Sunday, July 5, 2015

(Kind Of A) Pain In The Butt

Can you see the spot?
Yesterday morning when I woke up I had a red raised welt on the palm of my left hand that wasn't there when I went to bed.  It itched a little bit, and burned a little bit, but mostly it was just annoying.  After I got out of the shower I realized I also had similar welts on both of my gluteal folds.  Oy!

I wondered what I had done to cause the problem.  Friday had been an active outdoor day. Hubby Tony and I had visited a museum, spent time at a festival, and did a lot of walking.  During the course of the day I remember sitting on the grass a couple of times and leaning up against several trees.  That night we took in a fireworks display, where I sat on a sidewalk curb.  Each time I sat down (or leaned) I suspect I would have rested my hands on the ground (or tree), so I could understand the hand welt, but the other affected body parts would have been covered by my shorts and wouldn't have come into contact with anything.

I kept the areas covered with hydrocortisone cream and took antihistimine allergy pills on a regular basis.  My hand didn't cause me any problems, but all day long it was annoying to sit down.  When I did I tried to slouch, which kept pressure off the affected areas.  I'm sure my poor posture looked lovely at the restaurant where we ate dinner, but I didn't particularly care.

This morning the areas still looked red, but the itching and burning were gone. By dinner time the problem had resolved itself.  Hopefully never to return.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Bee Afraid?

This evening after dinner Hubby Tony cut the grass, and I did the trimming around the edges. As usual, I was using a pair of hand grass clippers, which I much prefer to noisy weed eaters.

When I got to the perennial bed that runs down one side of the back yard, I wasn't paying attention as I squatted down to clip the patch of tall grass next to the coneflowers.  All of a sudden a large bumblebee buzzed past just inches from my face.  He didn't seem angry, just annoyed I'd disturbed his meal.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Have you seen this email with the subject line "Reminder : Some of your informations must be updated!" yet?

When it first showed up yesterday I was very concerned.  However, after I read the email carefully I noticed there were several grammar issues.  The link led to a website that looked officially like Apple's.  This was easily one of the best phishing schemes I've seen.

After I reported the email to my provider and the Apple legal team I went to the official Apple website and checked my account. Would it surprise you it didn't need any updates?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Enough. Already!

Dave Murray on FOX 2

Yesterday our area broke the previous record for rainfall in June. Now 2015 is the wettest on record.

I'm thankful that our neighborhood isn't affected by the flooding the low-lying areas are experiencing.  However, between the critters and Mother Nature my garden isn't looking so good.  Just a couple of days after the plants went in the ground, something ate the top off one of the pepper plants, then came back for another plant later in the week.  Next they went after the eggplant leaves, leaving just a stub in the ground where I had envisioned picking large shiny fruits.

Now my plot consists of one sad-looking pepper plant at one end of the area and four tomato plants clustered at the other end.  Because of all the rain the plant leaves are turning yellow, and the lack of sun is keeping the tomatoes from growing.  If it stopped raining and dried out I think the plants might have a chance, but the weather app on my phone shows that there's a chance of precipitation every day for the next ten days.

Enough. already!

Five years ago today: Weird

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Life Is Like A Train Ride

At birth we boarded the train and met our parents,
and we believe they will always travel on our side.
However, at some station our parents will step down
from the train, leaving us on this journey alone.

As time goes by, other people will board the train,
and they will be significant--our siblings,
friends, children, and even the love of our life.
Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum.
Others will go so unnoticed that we don't realize
that they vacated their seats!

This trip will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy,
expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.
Success consists of having a good relationship with all
passengers...requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery is that we do not know at which
station we ourselves will step down.
So, we must live in the best way - love, forgive,
and offer the best of who we are.

When the time comes for us to step down
and leave our seat empty we should leave behind
beautiful memories for those who
will continue to travel on the train of life.

~Author Unknown~

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hurting Head

Two days ago the top right side of my head hurt like I'd bumped it.  I hadn't.  The sore spot was still there yesterday, and the right side of my throat was also a little achy.  Last night I had trouble sleeping on that side.  When I woke up this morning the sore area was larger, and the pain was sharper.  In addition, the entire length of the right side of my neck hurt when I pressed on it.  I tried calling my doctor's office for advice (but found out it's closed on Thursday), so I decided to go to an urgent care center.

Amazingly, there was no one ahead of me in the waiting room, and once I moved back to an examination room the doctor came pretty quickly.  After listening to my symptoms and looking at my head she diagnosed a scalp infection.  I left with a prescription for an antibiotic, a recommendation for an over-the-counter medicated shampoo, and instructions to apply warm moist heat to the sore areas and stay away from any hair products for the next few days.

The heat part of the equation would be easy to take care of.  (The no hair products in the very humid weather we've been having?  Not so much, but that's another story.)  I have a long, skinny field corn heating pad provides great moist heat. When I got home I threw the pad in the microwave to heat it, then folded it in half and wrapped it around my neck for the prescribed time. It worked like a charm.  However, when I re-heated the pad and tried to set in on my head it fell off. Because of the location of the sore spot I had to hold the pad on with my hand, which made me look pretty dramatic and made it impossible to get anything done.

I don't do well sitting and doing nothing, so I really tried to work. First I pecked at the computer keyboard with one hand (which wasn't acceptable at all), then I tried to read the newspaper (which worked until I needed to turn the page).  About the time I resigned myself to the fact that I couldn't do any type of task the time was over.  

I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Five years ago today: Classics

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Family Fun

Son Tony is in town this week to attend a friend's wedding.  While he was here, he wanted to do some 'tourist' things and eat a few of the local specialties he can't get at home. This afternoon all of us (me, Hubby Tony, and Sons Tony and Donald) piled into the car and drove to the Anheuser-Busch InBev brewery just south of downtown.

 We had reservations for a "Day Fresh Tour", which stopped at the Budweiser Clydesdale stables, the beer aging cellar, the historic brew house, and the Bevo packaging facility.   Son Tony had interned on the production line there when he was in college, so he was interested to see the changes that had been made in the last decade.

The last stop of the tour was the Biergarten, where we were able to sample some of the company's products.  After that we piled back in the car for a short ride to the Soulard neighborhood, where we had picked out a restaurant where we could get toasted ravioli.

"Toasted Ravioli"
Toasted ravioli (which is really breaded and deep fried) is an appetizer that can be found on the menus of restaurants all over town. Meat or cheese is sealed in pasta dough, then breaded and deep fried until the pasta turns golden brown. It's served with a container of marinara sauce for dipping.

We ordered both meat and spinach artichoke 't-ravs', along with entrees for each person.  There were no leftovers.  Although we talked about how full we were, there was one more stop to make.  It was time for dessert!

"Ted Drewes"
And not just any dessert. Our destination was the Ted Drewes on Chippewa Street (which is designated as a section of historic U.S. Route 66), because Son Tony wanted a concrete.  A concrete is thick frozen custard blended with add-ins, served in a cup with a spoon. The mixture is so thick that when the cup is inverted the spoon doesn't fall out.

The lines can often be long at Ted Drewes, but we were lucky tonight.  It took longer to look at the menu and figure out what each of us wanted than it did to order.  Just a couple of minutes later we got our sweet treats and found a place in the shade to eat them.  When they were gone we agreed they'd been very good, but there'd be no more eating the rest of the night.

Five years ago today: What Type Are You?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Celebrations All Around At Our House!

Sandra Boynton

Happy First Day of Summer to you!  It was a typical hot and muggy day here, more typical of late summer than the beginning of it.

Since the day coincided with Father's Day we paid tribute to Hubby Tony.  We also celebrated all the June and July birthdays.  There was food involved, and lots of presents. 

Five years ago today: Sunrise, Sunset

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bring Up To Date

Today I was stuck at home without a car, so I decided to tackle some long-overdue blog maintenance. The first task was updating the sidebar blog list.  Every couple of months I  take a look at the list, add my new favorite blogs, and delete those who've stopped publishing on a regular basis.

This is the way it works. On the design screen you click the Edit button, which brings up a popup called Configure Blog List. Close to the bottom of this popup is an Add to List link. That shows a box to put the URL in. You save it, then voila!, the changes show up on the blog.

However, today when I clicked on the Add button nothing happened.  I tried several times, and got the same result.  When I searched the Blogger Help forum I found out I wasn't the only one having the problem.  I added my comments to a discussion, and over the course of the day several more people chimed in complaining about the same issue.  Finally, late in the day I heard that the Blogger team was working on the issue, but it might not be fixed until next week.

I guess I have no choice but to wait.

Five years ago today: Glassy

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"I Live In A World Of Wonders‏"

Those words were part of a reflection that showed up today on my daily meditation calendar.   I read them, thought they were nice, then moved on with my day.  After a chiropractor appointment I was dropping my car off at the shop to get some work done.  My plan was to walk home (about two miles, which would also take care of the day's exercise) then tackle a list of things around the house.

It's been raining for days, but when my alarm went off the sun was shining and I thought maybe we'd get a chance to dry out.  However, by the time I left the house at 8:45 it was drizzling again.  I grabbed a backpack from the closet and threw a travel raincoat and a water bottle in it.  I put my drivers license, charge card, and a couple of dollars in one shorts pocket and my cell phone in the other.  As I left, Son Donald told me to call him if I decided I wanted a ride home.

The rain was still coming down in a steady drizzle when I dropped off my car at the shop, but that didn't stop me.  I put the  raincoat and started  on my way.  It only took me a couple of minutes to realize that the coat's plastic coating that kept the water out kept the body heat in.  Since it wasn't raining hard I took the coat off and let the drops fell where they would.

I took a shortcut through a park, and listened to some kids having a great time playing in the rain.  As I walked under some large trees I was surprised to see that the ground underneath them was still dry.  I exited the park, went down a hill, and turned left onto a large street.  At first this street is lined with houses fronted by nicely-tended yards, but it quickly changes to a new section they installed fifteen years ago  (when they removed  two 90 degree turns and a narrow bridge over a small creek from the original road).  The new section has sidewalks, a long concrete retaining wall, and a modern bridge.

In this section the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street morphed from nicely tended to natural.  Because I was walking instead of driving I was able to notice all of the wonders.  The green was a mixture of crabgrass and annual weeds, with some of the weeds showing their colors.  There was white clover and red clover.  I passed a few dandelions and the tiny yellow pompom flowers of black medic, and saw some lovely Queen Anne's lace and my first chicory blooms of the year.  If I hadn't been paying attention I would have missed the tiny red fruits of wild strawberry weed and the pink blooms of smartweed.

After I passed the retaining wall and went over the bridge I walked by a section bordered by a tall chain link fence on the left.  There was a small wild grape vine winding its tendrils around the links, and another mature one drooping over the top.  A large trumpet honeysuckle was covered with beautiful coral blooms, but some aggressive bush honeysuckle was right next to it.   Once I passed the fence the landscaping went back to suburban.  I turned off into my subdivision and finished the trip home.  The temperature was in the mid-70s, but the humidity made it feel much warmer.  When I got home my clothes were damp, as much from sweat as from rain.  However, it was all 'wonder-ful'.