Friday, September 30, 2011

Trip down memory lane...part two

Finally...the rest of the story.

Our Labor Day travels took us first to a small little town outside Yakima WA. From there we traveled onto Bremerton WA.  It was fun to see where hubby spent his early youth, and to see how different it was from where he lived when I first met him.

This is where I keep getting to share fun new things with my hubby. 
dinner with the family

The house with a view I'm very fond of

Shuffle board any one?


I will post more pictures soon. There was a show with heckling from the parents, it was awesome! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ear Aches and all that can come with it

I have not posted my second half of my vacation yet, I'm truly sorry about that.  I will eventually get around to doing it, and art and all of that, but right now I've been tired.  Let me tell you a bit more about our vacation, because in all of the fun there was one part that was uncomfortable, and then in the end it turned painful.  No emotional pain, don't worry, pain killers took care of it, but I did get to go to the ER first.

Did you see the spin on that? "Get to"...rather than let's say "have to".  I could have stayed in pain longer, but I did finally go of my own free will to the ER, a place that freaks me out, stinks, and I'm sure will make me sicker by being there than if I had stayed home.

Back to the beginning though.  In our adventure up to Washington, my ear began to ache, and then it got all clogged up...well I thought it was clogged up.  This is why I got the ear wax clearing up kit, and squirted water into my ear, and held my head to the side hoping all the stuff would drain nicely onto a towel rather than my shirt.  From what I know now, this was the wrong decision to make.  My ear problems began to worsen and my cousin and his adorable wife, both Dentists decided to pull out the ear probe and check out my rather upset ear.  Just to let you know, this is not the first time I've been around them with some form of medical mishap, I think they bring it out in me, or my body knows they will get it or try to figure it out...or maybe it's just kismet.  What they determined after consulting their medical books, and seeing I did not have wax in my ears, was an ear infection. This was news to me, I've never really had this before...still wishing I could say I have never had this before.  I was then told that only antibiotics would cure it, and to make an appt. with my doctor.

We left Washington armed with knowledge, and a drawing of what my infected ear looked like.  Some where between their house and work the next day things took a really unpleasant turn.  There was more pain, and seepage.  I do not do well with bodily fluids seeping out of me, eewww gross.  I tried to call for an appointment and found the number had been disconnected, tried the next day...this time looking for a new doctor.  That night though, the pain was so intense, I called my dad. He confirmed that I was not being a baby, and that at 9pm it was important to head to the ER, or if we were lucky and open urgent care.  We were not lucky so we sat in the ER until the wee hours of the morning until I was finally helped, and then give Rx to fill as soon as I could.  We left at 3am the next morning, we had been there about 5 hours.

I learned a few things, the extra pain was cause by a rupture, water was not allowed in my ear, and only antibiotics would clear it up.  If it did not clear up with the antibiotics, I might need stronger antibiotics, and I may need a patch on my ear.  I'm not sure if she only said ear, or eardrum....

I have been living with a clogged feeling ear since Labor day weekend, roughly half the month.  My antibiotics ran out a few days ago, and now my some times my ear pops open like it wants to hear again, but then it gets all shy and closes back up.  I really miss hearing with both of my ears.

I did see my doctor, and have now been referred to an ENT.  I've always wondered how the process began with seeing specialists...I'm not curious any more, it can stop at any time.  They have not called yet, so I have not yet seen them, but each time I head back to the Dr's office (back I am going back a few more times for other fun PCOS  type things) they check my ear and tell me it is healing.  This is good to know because I can't check  myself and I really want to meddle, to clean it out and help...but I've been told this would be bad.  Although I have had some really gross stuff come out of my ear now, stuff that might even turn the stomach of one pretty famous ogre.

I've been MIA, and this is why. I'm really sorry. I've neglected my duties in helping my friend recover from her surgery... and that makes me feel bad, but I've almost fallen asleep with her there a couple of times and it's getting embarrassing.  I'll post more, soon...when I'm not so tired and drained of energy.  There are other fun things that have happened...I'll even get the picture my cousin drew on here soon.  I've been given permission to turn it into an abstract. It will go well with my soon to be other health type paintings that are mulling around in my mind and really need to be put to canvas.

Happy trails all.....

  As promised, a picture of what I've been told my ear looked like over the Labor Day weekend.  The stuff at the top is normal stuff collected by the ear, the black dot is a black and white version of the red spot that was the injury.  There was an inflamed bump with a red  gash type thing, I was told it looked like someone poked me with something, and it was swollen around the injury. All of this was before the rupture that I learned about at my visit with the ER doctor. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trip down memory lane...part one

One of my favorite scenes in Washington
This is the ending picture of a lovely surprise journey we took over the Labor Day weekend.  I was lead to believe we would be staying in the local area, but there were plans forming in hubby's mind that he had decided to surprise me with, and it was a wonderful surprise.  First we went to see where he grew up, and then we went to see my Aunt & Uncle, and my cousin's and their kids.  I love traveling so does hubby, but it's lots of fun when he does things like this to surprise me.
Some people have hobbies together, or have other things they like to do together, we like to travel.  Of course we like things like movies, and bowling as well...but really we like to go to new places.  Three day weekends provide a great time for us to get away together.

This journey began with a rouse and ended up in a small town, where I got to see places that my hubby grew up in. He doesn't tell stories like my family does, but this sort of thing works too. 

outside house he lived in a long time ago

Park in Wapato right down the street from his old house

Outside the old church, he used to walk his dad to this church

a re-enactment of a bicycle accident
The day was filled with lots of memories as my hubby showed me where he spent his younger youth growing up in Wapato Washington.  We had a lovely lunch and continued on our journey to see my family in Bremerton Washington.

 I will post more pictures and the second half of our journey later.

First Swimming lessons were held here

It was lots of fun to see this quite town and walk around all the places and see how much has stayed the same.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cinnamon & Apple Hill

I love the fragrance of Autumn!!! This season with all its color and deep aroma's, it's intoxicating. I love going to Apple Hill, looking at the foliage turning wonderful colors, and sipping on hot cider early in the morning fog. Our small group goes every year. My second trip out to Sacramento DH took me to Apple Hill, we wandered though many different orchards and farms, it was fantastic.
I think of the aromas when I think of Apple Hill and fall, mainly cinnamon. Cinnamon is added to all of the fall fragrances that I love. So, while driving to class the other night my ears perked up when a listener called in to thank John Tesh about a tip regarding cinnamon in their coffee. I had to search and find out what his comment was. I tried putting cinnamon in my coffee instead of Stevia (natural sweetener) and was pleasantly surprised that it was sweet enough I did not need to add sugar or sweetener.

Here are some of the comments:

"-For a Quick Energy boost. Get a whiff of peppermint or cinnamon! Researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University say that peppermint boosts mood and motivation. So, pop a Tic-Tac, or drink a cup of peppermint tea. Also, studies show that cinnamon improves circulation, alertness, and energy. So, chew some sugar-free cinnamon gum, or add a dash of cinnamon whenever you brew a pot of coffee.

-Cinnamon. Studies have found that it controls blood sugar and lowers cholesterol. Sprinkle it in coffee or on oatmeal. (I have been doing this regularly now, on my old fashion oatmeal.)

-If you’d like to earn the title of “smartest person in the room,” sniff cinnamon. According to psychology professor Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, cinnamon’s aroma appears to increase blood flow to the brain, supplying it with nourishing oxygen and glucose. The scent ALONE raised scores on memory, attention, and mental processing tests. So sniff some cinnamon if you want to stay sharp.

-Stop and smell the cinnamon. A study in Australia found that the aromas of cinnamon or vanilla will set off a wave of feel good endorphins. You don’t even have to eat anything to get the effect!

-When it comes to your morning oatmeal, try sprinkling a teaspoon of cinnamon on top instead of sugar. A recent study by the USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center found that cinnamon has the double benefit of lowering your blood sugar AND curbing your appetite. So odds are you’ll feel full after only one bowl of oatmeal, instead of two. The 150 calories you’ll save is like saying “no” to 3 chocolate chip cookies.(another site that refers to this)

-If you’ve got a tough test at school – or an important presentation at work – grab the cinnamon! New research at Wheeling Jesuit University finds that cinnamon sharpens cognitive functioning by instantly increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain. In fact, the scent ALONE raised scores on memory, attention, and mental processing tests. So, sprinkle some cinnamon on your oatmeal in the morning if you need to be sharp. Here’s an added health bonus: Cinnamon protects against diabetes and heart disease, and even lowers cholesterol levels.

-If your halitosis comes from drinking coffee: chew some cinnamon gum. Research shows that one stick of Big Red gum has enough germ-killing cinnamon to cut coffee bacteria by about HALF. Cinnamon gum works better than a mint or mouthwash because it creates more saliva, which washes away food particles. Saliva is a natural antibiotic that decreases the number of bad bacteria in your mouth.

-Cinnamon. It helps control your blood sugar, which decreases your risk of heart disease. In fact, USDA researchers found that people with type-2 diabetes who consumed one gram of cinnamon a day – that’s about a quarter of a teaspoon – for 6 weeks, significantly reduced their blood sugar and their LDL cholesterol – also known as your “bad” cholesterol. Why? Experts think the spice’s active ingredients increase your cells’ ability to metabolize sugar by up to 20 times.

-Do you commute to work by car? Then, this one’s kind of fun - stink up your car! Psychology professor Bryan Raudenbush from Wheeling Jesuit University says the aroma of cinnamon and mint can help you stay alert and give you a boost of energy for the ride – and for hours afterward. So, break out the Altoids and de-stress your commute.

-Tips to keep you warm. It turns out that ordinary spices like ginger and cinnamon dilate blood capillaries. That boosts the production of heat in the body and makes you feel more comfortable in cold weather. In fact, they’re so powerful, they can make you sweat.

-Have You Sniffed the Air Lately? (This is my favorite, since I love fragrance, and so many of my memories are linked to aromas)
The smell of wood fires, evergreen, and cinnamon is everywhere. It’s definitely the season to be jolly. Why? Because those familiar aromas are one of the reasons the holidays feel so cozy, warm and wonderful. Susan Bowerman, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, says that the reaction to aromas is mental and physical. First, sniffing familiar scents stimulates your brain – and helps you recall pleasant holidays past. And certain smells cause actual chemical changes in your body.
Take gingerbread, for example. The spices include ginger, cloves, nutmeg, anise and molasses. And studies show that baking turns them into mood-boosting chemicals that can cheer you up better than a lot of prescription drugs.
Then, want more energy? Sniff a fresh Christmas tree! The oil that gives evergreens their oomph – called turpineol – is used by aromatherapists to boost energy. So, a couple of whiffs can make it easier to conquer your holiday to-do list.
The next holiday scent does wonders for your attitude: Cinnamon. Experts say the smell is a mood-booster, and creates a sense of soothing warmth and comfort. So to get a sunnier disposition: boil a couple of cinnamon sticks in water on your stovetop.
And the final holiday aroma is stress-reducing citrus. Studies show that scent of orange, lemon and grapefruit lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. So, set out a bowl of oranges, or attack a lemon with a zester to create a citrus-scented room. You’ll feel instantly calmer and more uplifted.
To recap, this holiday season, increase your energy with evergreen, boost your mood with gingerbread, feel sunnier with cinnamon, and stop the stress with citrus. And you’ll be creating a Christmas to remember, a Kwanzaa that captivates, and a very happy Hannukah."
John Tesh: Intelligence for your life

-Have a Happy Autumn Season!

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