Saturday, March 29, 2008

Feeling a Bit Better

Although I had a sinus headache all day, I drove to my in-law's farm, hooked up with my sister-in-law and we went shopping! Yes, nothing like an afternoon of shopping to brighten one's spirits! First we stopped at the ER to get my staples removed. The nurse had trouble with the specialized staple remover and had to resort to forceps to get the last staple (out of 2!) out of my scalp. The doctor said it's healing well but I may have a permanent squishy spot (no, not the bone itself, just a soft scalp bump) for the rest of my life. As long as my hair doesn't fall out, I can live with that. Things could have been much worse.

After that 30 minute visit we went to the all you can eat Chinese buffet where I managed to eat 2 plates of sesame chicken, garlic shrimp, lo mein, etc, and a bit of fruit for dessert. Next we dashed off to Peebles, to return a purse I had bought for a Christmas party that I never went to, and managed to find another purse I liked for me that was on sale to the tune of $19.74. This was a $94 leather purse. My SIL had to have one too! We hadn't planned on buying purses, but these should last, normally I buy cheap vinyl ones that look fairly ratty within a year. I also got myself a nice, simply structured fleece jacket for a whopping $4.20 plus tax. The color is a sort of burgundy. It will be a nice change of season coat for the future 50 degree temps I am predicting for April. (It's actually supposed to hit 40 tomorrow!)

Then, a little grocery shopping and we headed back to the farm for a nice meal with Hal and my in-laws. Hal brought me some sudafed (the kind that still has the real ingredient that actually decongests one's sinuses, not the placebo stuff they're selling now.) which finally killed off my sinus headache. We left for home at 8:30 pm.

Rocket and Luna spent the day at Uncle Butch's (which they love), almost 12 hours, but seemed happy to see me when they came home tonight. They were on their beds outside, enjoying the balmy 30f temperature but are inside now and gone to bed after getting their bedtime goodie. I brought their beds in tonight as it's supposed to rain/snow tomorrow. Hopefully, rain which will then turn to sunshine. Yes, that would be a nice end to my weekend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ice Hurts

A lot.

Especially when you are falling from a height of nearly 6 feet onto the back of your head.

It was not my intention Saturday morning to have such a fateful meeting of my head and the ice in the driveway, but on my short walk to the post office the slickness of the frozen water on the ground was more than my boot treads could handle.

To put it simply, I stepped forward and my foot did not stay where it was supposed to. Next thing I knew I was horizontal and falling onto my butt (thunk) and then backwards onto my skull (bigger thunk). After the first split second or 2 of utter shock, as the pain sunk in I let out an agonizingly loud howl. At this point I suspect Rocket and Luna, who were a short distance ahead of me probably, came back but I was too busy turning onto my stomach, crawling back to the less icy bits, and making a beeline, head down, back to the house. (There was blood, I can only assume such a position made me feel better.)

I called my neighbor, Uncle Butch because Hal was not home. I tracked him down at his daughter's house and he and his wife were there very quickly and after getting the dogs into the house, took me on the 5 minute drive to the hospital where Hal met me (having arrived first, after his dad found him at his camp).

Making this already long story shorter, I needed 2 staples in my scalp, some nice pills for pain and nausea (which at 12:30 am that night was HORRIBLE) and a lot of ice, the nice, kind, friendly type of ice that resides in a plastic bag. Needless to say, I had/have a concussion. My very first one. I hope never to have another. It was literally almost 48 hours before I began to feel as though I might recover. At least I did not pass out which could have been bad being alone in the woods with 2 dogs who are not very adept at playing at Lassie. Who knows how long I could have laid there?

Tonight, roughly 4.5 days later I am much better. I am still easily tired, the whiplash (yes, I got that too) is better, nausea rears its ugly head now and then but doesn't last, and my face doesn't feel numb/fuzzy. I managed to cook dinner without feeling as though it took too much effort, and it's been nearly 48 hours since my last pain pill. Sometime this weekend I return to the ER to have the staples removed. I hope by then the knot on my head will be gone and I'll be able to sleep on my back again.

Perhaps the ice in the driveway will have melted too. But the way winter is STILL hanging on, probably not.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Organizing my CDs

I'm not very good at housekeeping (hate it) or organization (sign of creativity?) but after listening to Santana the other night and deciding we'd like to buy more music CDs I thought it might be a good idea to organize what we own. They're already arranged alphabetically on the shelves within categories like rock, classical, jazz. But I've got over 100 CDs so I thought it made sense to catalog them all in a database. Easier to keep track of what we own especially when they're often scattered all over the stereo equipment instead of in neat little rows.

So I spent a couple hours today using Window Me's poor excuse for a database, MS Works, trying to create this great compendium. There was a template and it even allowed space in each record (a record is what each entry is called) for 24 songs. Problem is many of my CDs are 2 disc sets. While it only took me 30 minutes to type in the information of 19 music CDs it took the other 1.5 hours figuring out how to add a second disc to each record. Normally, it would be intuitive because I spent years using both Excel and DBase IV. But this MS Works database is a castrated database and it fought me tooth and nail the whole way. I won despite the lack of directions and poor help menus, but my addition is not very neat looking. Still, it ought to be work fine till I get to my classic music where some composers are in 3 CD sets.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Little Santana

After a nice burrito dinner last night, Hal (have I mentioned that is what I am calling DH?) we decided to have a fire and a glass of coffee liquor and cream and listen to a little music. So we threw our only 3 Santana cds on the player and sat back with a little mood lightening and listened. A lovely way to spend 3 .5 hours. We have more actual music by Carlos Santana but it's all on LP (vinyl records for those unclear on the concept.) The cds we have were the first Santana album, the tribute album Supernatural and the newer one titled Ultimate Santana. The first two were wonderful. But we were disappointed by Ultimate. That one had a few songs from Supernatural, a few other newer numbers (notably "Into the Night") and a few excerpts from old standards.

When I bought the cd I did not know songs such as "Samba Pa Ti" and "Europa" would only be allowed approximately 4 3/4 minutes of playing time, then they were faded out. Sacrilege! It is very annoying to know there should be more great music coming and then have it faded out! I can only assume that the cd was created by the record company not for old Santana fans but potential fans who like the names of the other musicians on the cd. "See new person? If you like these songs, listen to these tidbits of other Santana numbers!" So it's likely Ultimate won't be played by us much any more. In fact it has prompted us to think about buying more Santana cds (so perhaps the marketing ploy worked after all?) We are also thinking about other groups that are notoriously lacking in our cd collection. After all, my record player hasn't worked in years, it's not like we're able to play those old LPs.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Another Chicken Dilemma

So my chicken raising plans have changed yet again. This time it's because my husband seems to have developed an allergy to the egg whites of duck eggs. At this point we don't know if he's also allergic to chicken egg whites (or even if the yolks are also a problem) but for now we have to assume that is the case. It makes raising egg laying chickens a dubious proposition.

I could still go with buying only those Cornish X's, those are the chickens that have heart attacks before the age of 3 months (they should be processed before then) but what fun is having a bunch of birds for a couple months and then killing them all? What would I need a coop or hen house for? And where would I put all the frozen carcasses? I would have to buy another chest freezer.

So it makes more sense to find another kind of meat chicken, one that I could keep year round and cull a few now and then. It also makes sense to find a bird that doesn't lay hundreds of eggs per hen per year. (I suppose I could just buy cockerels (those are males for the uninitiated) but do I really want to hear 20 roosters crowing every morning? Do my neighbors?

I came across a chicken called the Dark Cornish which apparently those Cornish X's are bred from. It's a good forager, is not a great layer of eggs but the hens can be good setters and mothers. There are other tidbits of information I came upon but that's enough for this post. Also, I stumbled across another intriguing bird called the Buckeye, developed by a woman in Ohio at the start of the 20th century. A sweet bird that almost went extinct. Currently the Dark Cornish is easier to acquire, so at this point that is the way I am leaning. Besides, the Buckeye is cuter and perhaps harder to kill? I read a post somewhere where a kid said the Dark Cornish look like feathered dinosaurs. It's an apt description. But even if they're uglier than the "regular" chickens, I think I'll still let my husband "do the deed." For now anyway. I find lots of things other people deem ugly as cute.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Brother!

I'd have said big brother but that might be too Orwellian for some. Then again it isn't really necessary because I don't have a little brother and as my only brother knows who I am, he knows who he is.

The propane truck made a delivery today and panicked the ducks into the back of the garage as far away from that noisy menace as they could get. As soon as the man left they were back outside checking the driveway for exposed dirt. (Currently the driveway is mostly ice.)

In the afternoon I took Rocket and Luna on a short walk to find the ducks. The ducks had decided that on such a nice sunny (if cold) afternoon that they'd once again wander off to look for puddles, dirt and other tasty things. They had success under the power lines at the edge of the swamp, on the way to my neighbor's house. They dabbled there for quite some time making the puddles quite muddy while Rocket and Luna either rolled about in the snow or nosed under downed trees looking for whatever dogs look for. Here is a photo of Rocket and the ducks (Luna wouldn't stand still).

And here's a better photo of the ducks. I am certain they are getting as tired of winter as the dogs and I. Well, maybe not the dogs. Rocket especially likes to roll about in the snow making little doggie snow angels. Luna seems perpetually happy no matter what the weather as long as she isn't alone. She does love company. I know she'll probably burst at the seams once I'm working in the gardens. Outside, human companionship, squirrels to chase, and if I happen to throw a stick or a tennis ball or maybe even the blue Frisbee she'll probably faint from the sheer joy of it!

Speaking of gardening, I picked up my vegetable seeds at the post office yesterday. I got everything except the potatoes, those will be sent in April. Sending them now from Maine to Michigan risks their getting frozen in transit. April 1st I will plant the tomato and pepper seedlings in little peat pots in the basement. This is possibly the first time ever I didn't order any flower seeds. I just don't have the time and space to devote to them anymore. If I want any more flowers I'll buy plants at the local nurseries. I have plenty of perennials now so there isn't a shortage of color. But I am so looking forward to fresh vegetables!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another Pointless Post

Well, all the blogging advice sites say one shouldn't allow more than 3 days between posts and it's been 4 so to avoid the universe imploding I'll write something.

Luna is howling outside. I have no idea at what, but I suspect her Uncle Yogi may be barking back at her. DH is watching the last half of the movie "Nacho Libre" in the living room. Tonight's dinner was venison heart braised in tomatoes and wine with a sour cream egg sauce over a bed of white rice.

My dogs and I walked a couple times through the woods today, the temps finally achieved 30f again and ice melted here and there. I tried to help it along by chipping some off the deck and throwing it into the yard, but it's a futile battle. I am hoping enough melts before the predicted rain on Thursday to keep the garage from flooding for the 3rd time this winter. I've got to keep the straw bales dry for the duck pen.

The space shuttle is supposed to launch around 2:30 am EDT but I don't think I'll be able to stay awake for it. Hopefully, things will go as planned for it. I did remember to change the clocks to daylight savings time and am almost on the new time. At least I woke up at 9:30 am as usual though technically it would have been 8:30 if things hadn't changed.

Oh, here's something not pointless (well, I find dying pointless but there isn't a heck of a lot anyone can do about it yet), my uncle died last Friday morning. He was my mom's last sibling and was 90 years old. A very nice man, my older sister and I stopped in to visit him and my aunt at Christmas time. He will be missed. There aren't a lot of that generation left in my family. Death is a lousy way to end life.

Well now that was thoroughly depressing. I'll try to be more uplifting in my next post.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Random Thoughts

I'll bet there are a lot of blogs out there with "random thoughts" as a title. Bloggers, thy names are "Repetition".

I am tired, I ought to go to bed and fall asleep reading.

I felt fairly refreshed today. It was almost as though spring was just around the corner. No matter that it's dropping back into the low 20's (f) for the next 3 days and into the single digits at night. I preferred the sunny 34f we had today. Forty would be better though.

My seed/potato order has not arrived yet, I'm not sure if it's even been shipped.

Both my ankles feel as though they have shin splints. My ankle boots did not have enough support for the mushy snow encountered on my 1/4 mile long driveway. And/or perhaps I'm not ready for two 45 minute fast walks in 3 days.

I still have not ordered any chickens. I have almost 2 months before the feed store sends out its order. I did contact a local farm about acquiring Muscovy ducklings. They should have some available in May.

Luna and I played with the Frisbee this afternoon. She had a wonderful time. Rocket laid around and watched.

Hal and I (Hal is my husband's pseudonym in case anyone wonders) are eating too many Paczkis (Polish donuts). But they are soooooo good!!

I am reading "Proven Guilty" by Jim Butcher. His Dresden Files books are very fun to read.

Tonight's dinner was pork loin chops baked with rice and mushrooms in cream of chicken soup. Salad and steamed broccoli on the side. Gingerale for beverage. Paczkis for dessert. (I did mention those before, right?)

I'm sure there are more thoughts randomly wandering about my head but as they're too hard to pin down they'll just have to wait for some other day to be exposed.