Saturday, January 27, 2018




After the holiday festivities and lights, January can give me the doldrums.  All the beautiful white lites around town are taken down and put into storage.  

The winter germs hit.  (We had a horrible bout of flu at this house).  The eternal grey, cool and wet season begins full force.  Many of Medicare folks get the dreaded SAD as well.  Each year Mr. Ralph's bout with SAD worsened.  Now I know how he felt.  

And wouldn't you know, his birthday is January 31.  I don't know why I get so sad (and so does Kate) on his birthday .... even more than on his death day.  He'd be turning 84.  We usually went to the Oregon coast to celebrate, in the early years.  Then we timed our vacations to Maui to coincide with his special day.  First thing on the morning of his birthday, into the ocean he went!

We used to celebrate by going to his favorite Italian restaurant (one in Portland and one in Maui).  The one in Portland closed a few years ago so we will go to what we think would be his new favorite and it's just blocks away.

Happy birthday, Buddy.  I love you.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


I think I have a serious case of SAD.

Mr. Ralph had SAD and it worsened as he got older.  In the beginning, I thought it was related to his birthday (January 31) but after much reading and research (and visit with his Dr), it was the SAD that came with winter.

I've been slowly sinking this winter as well.  At first I thought I was just having a bad day (several days a week).  I couldn't face even the simplest task without getting anxious.  I became even more introverted.  Everything and everyone invoked a sense irritation.  Sleeping at night was restless and when I woke myself up, I worried over things for hours.

I went to the Mayo Clinic website and revisited this disorder.

Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:
Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
Having low energy
Having problems with sleeping
Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
Feeling sluggish or agitated
Having difficulty concentrating
Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
I feel like this mild depression/anxiety is related to lower hormones as we age, especially for women.  When I finally realized I was getting grumpier and preferring more alone time and crying at the drop of a hat ... I called my doctor and I am back on Celexa.  

It takes a couple of weeks to kick in and I think I will just remain on this low dose.  I am also doing other things to help .... sitting near the windows, getting outside every day, walking, taking more Vitamin D and making myself eat even though I do not feel like it.

And I'm sure the two week dose of Maui sunshine will be the icing on the cake.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


After being mostly at home tending to my flu stricken family, yesterday I got myself out to run a few errands.

Bed, Bath and Beyond.  WITH coupons!  (I ask neighbors for theirs, taken them out of magazines, etc)  I splurged and got myself an extra set of bed linens.  The set was already marked down plus I had two $10 off coupons and three 20% off coupons!  SCORE!

Jesse loves lighting candles in the evening to calm the boys before bedtime ... and freshen the air of sweaty little boy aroma and dog breath.  Some scents were being sold at half price .... plus coupons!  So a typical $22 Yankee Candle was under $9.  It feels good!
Next stop the grocery store, Safeway, because I had more coupons.  At the bottom of each receipt it tells you what percentage you saved ... 25% is my goal.  Yesterday?  50%.

I think many retailers are just trying to get some business after the holiday spending.  Next purchase?  A new big screen TV to replace the 15 year old one in the living room.

To celebrate a day of savings (and give the Chief Cook and Bottlewasher a meal off ... he had boys outside hiking for hours during our 58 degree day!), we brought in Round Table pizza (with a 20% off coupon!)

My kind of Saturday!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Last night I took my daughter, Kate, to Urgent Care.

After checking all of her vitals, the Dr. took a swab and proclaimed she had the flu ... as well as pneumonia ... and potentially a cracked rib from coughing.  She prescribed tamiflu, antibiotic, inhaler, cough suppressant and ibuprofin for fever reducer.  

Her blood pressure was dangerously LOW as she was not drinking enough.  Just sleeping.  Today we go to have an xray to see about her ribs although nothing much can be done about that. It will also provide a better look at her lungs for the pneumonia.

Unfortunately, I'm glad she was diagnosed with the flu ... it will be easier to get them all in for a flu shot next year.  Now that she feels this bad, she is upset that her kids had to feel this way.  She feels like she is going to die.

Many symptoms to the flu (and not everyone has every one!):

Fever above 100 F (38 C), though not everyone with the flu has a fever
Watery eyes
Sore throat
A runny or stuffy nose
Muscle aches
Stomach pain 

Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea (most common in children)

From what I've read, that's exactly what the flu feels like.  Like you would rather die than feel like that.

Monday, January 8, 2018


Sometimes it's nice to view the world via someone else's perspective.  

Once, during the last three weeks of sickness, I asked Deacon (almost 4) how he was feeling.  He said "very good, Grandma ... then lifted his shirt and said Look, my heart is still beeping".

Just to get them out of the house, we went to a drive through Starbucks and then on to get the car cleaned "Oh yay!  We are going to the car shower!"

I felt the tooth fairy fly by my head last night.

I don't like the name Braeden.  I want to be named Jim.

Today was tough as it is Braeden's first day back at school in over three weeks.  He's 90% better but totally out of the swing of school.  I decided to drive him to school this week so he gets an extra hour of sleep.  After breakfast and getting ready, he burst into tears ... I'm nervous to go back to school, Gramma.  No one is going to remember me.  I can't play football because I haven't used my muscles.  I'm going to miss by brover.  (this same brover who last night he said he wished had never been born!).

Let's hope he makes it through the day!

Monday, January 1, 2018


I owe a few blogs but both boys are in the midst of a very wicked flu.

It started a few days before Christmas when Braeden caught a serious cold.  So sick but his spirits were okay so they went to Christmas Eve on Jesse's side of the family.  Christmas morning younger brother Deacon woke up with the same snotty, coughing cold.  In fact, we almost had to wake them up to open presents.

Somewhere along the line, Braeden became extremely lethargic for two days.  Wouldn't even sit up.  He received two GI Joe guys for Christmas and Dad found some companions on Craigslist about an hours drive from here.  The morning we were to drive down to get them, Braeden started crying that he was too sick to go.  Gramma went and when I brought them home (FOUR guys and lots of clothes and ammo), he couldn't even sit up to look at them.

A few days later, Deacon fell asleep while playing on the living room floor.  They both continue to drink enough and some days they eat well, some days not too much.  And now they actual stomach aches and barfing and of course fevers of 102.

This morning Braeden came knocking ... crying, carrying his barf bucket and asked if he could be in my bed.

And here we are.  Watching Chicken Little (which is nothing like the one we used to read).

More later ...