Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Learning the Ropes

I'm dipping a tentative toe into the blog world with these first few words. I have not always tagged behind people, so this is really rather different for me. However, it's only one part not having the know-how and equal parts wondering if I have anything to say that might be of interest to anyone else besides myself. But then, I guess that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things because primarily, I'm doing this for one person anyway, and that's myself. If I can help anyone along the way, that's a bonus. As I peek in and read other blogs I see it all comes down to that end anyway, so here goes! It's cheaper than going into therapy and we really want to stay away from those drugs now, right? Or hey! Worse..."natural supplements". They aren't even regulated. Ephedrine...or Ephedra is a supplement and not considered a drug.

As I ponder and contemplate the things that have occurred to me the last five years, I realized I needed a place that I could lay it all out to examine and analyze it's nuances. So many times when something medically immense has taken place in a person's life, we don't know how to deal with it. Because it's brand new and because it's not usually something we get the chance to practice on, we so often flounder and get it wrong.

 We are also 'directed' on how to deal with it by others who have no clue how to deal with it themselves, yet feel that they are because they have that medical degree and are armed with all kinds of text books and journals.

Or because they love you, they feel they're expert advisers for you. Right up front I have to say, until you've worn the moccasins, (as the saying goes) stick to suggesting, but don't try to tell me how I feel - or should feel. I already know that. And it's not even close to the way you might imagine.

Five years ago in May of 2001 I had an aneurysm. It ruptured. And it was heavy duty! Pre to that, I had been an extremely active person; I ran daily, biked and hiked weekends, climbed mountains twice a year...or as often as I could get to them.

I ate healthy and stayed fit in my own complete home gym. I didn't smoke and rarely drank but for the few special occasions such as weddings or the holidays. There never seemed to be enough time in my days for the things I wanted to do, but I crammed as much as possible into every 24 hours and loved it that way!
My life was generally full and not complicated with health issues of any kind.

Then May 29th 2001 arrived. I found I wasn't as energetic as I wanted to be in prepping for a busy Memorial marathon weekend. I needed something to keep me going without lagging. I knew with all the things we had planned, that I needed an energy boost. So I bought some Metabolife to balance my metabolism. Yesirree! I was going to get it done. Much the way Steve Bechler must have felt that day in 2003 as he was getting ready to pitch his game for the Baltimore Orioles. Steve was the 23 year old pitcher who wanted to combat fatigue & decided to try Metabolife to revitalize himself. But like Steve, that wasn't in my future either.

I say "like" Steve, but not quite, because I lived, Steve died.

At that time, Metabolife contained the Big E. For those who still haven't heard about this wonder herb, that's Ephedrine. The herb that people are trying to get put back on store shelves because they want to 'look good'. Gambling with their own lives for vanity. Russian Roulette for the buff body. All of which could be viewed very prettily laid out in a casket.

I took my first little pill in the morning of that first day, another in the afternoon and pill three before bed. I was feeling pretty good about all this; I was doing something healthy for myself and doing it "naturally" and not paying out money for prescription drugs.
So! The following morning I took my fourth pill and went outside to do a little gardening. That was the last thing I remember until I 'woke up' in hospital seven weeks later totally paralyzed on the left side. My good fortune and what probably saved my life was that I had two doctors living right next door to me and they were tending their garden as well, when I hit the ground. They ran to where I was laying on the ground and made an immediate evaluation. They had me medi-vaced to the hospital downtown in eight minutes.

That was to be the first day of my second life. The one where you find out you're incredibly more resilient than you ever thought possible; the one where you find out through sheer determination that you can amaze yourself as well as the medical world. The one where, if you look at things as a challenge instead of a disability, they are surmountable. And the one where you find out who your friends are and sadder, just how very weak your family structure is. Those people who 'love you' were all of a sudden way too busy to call or lend a hand. The ones who will 'try to get around' or if they find the time, they will pick up that item you're needing but can't get yourself. Have they always been that self-involved or have you just been too self-involved yourself to notice? New life; new questions.

Counter that however, with those you never noticed in your life before. They come forward and quietly sustain you as you plod along in your new life. Supportive, helpful, not just given to lip service as surprisingly, family members only seem to manage. These quiet friends are there to bring you out of the hospital for the day and take you for long peaceful drives and/or to a wheelchair-friendly restaurant for lunch. They run all the little errands for you that your loved ones are (sic) too busy to run and they sit and listen as you try to figure out what happened in your life literally overnight.

I am learning so many valuable lessons in my second life. Some I wish I hadn't ever needed to learn; others I am eternally grateful for learning.

As Maya Angelou so eloquently stated:
"Courage allows the successful woman to fail & learn powerful lessons from the that in the end, she really hasn't failed at all!"

At any rate...bear with me here...I'm still learning. Now there's this blog thing! ~*wink*~

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Birds and I...

Sassy little Catbird
  I'm always asked why I feed the birds year round. I do it for their benefit when times are difficult like winter of course, but I continue feeding in the spring and summer because one, they are accustomed to always finding a meal at my house, and two, so I can view migrating birds and the generational passing of the seed.

   My main reason for feeding the birds is rather selfish, I will admit to that. It’s the psychological benefit that comes from seeing their flamboyant colors on a dreary day. It’s listening to their music in the
antelucan hour while everyone’s asleep and then waking up to their excited conversation. It’s knowing the families of birds find sanctuary in my yard for the summer, plus it really beats watching brain consuming TV anytime.

Catbird flashing me!

Junco taking shelter from the rain
    It seems like bird activity is higher now than it was in wintertime. If they’re not filling every conceivable cavity with nesting material they’re feasting at the bird feeders. After shopping around, the Bluebirds finally moved into a house hanging from my eave. The Wren house at the front of the house still is vacant but I'm sure not for much longer.  Tree Swallows chaotically investigate each nest box but as of yet have not made their mind up on one. My Chickadee has already added her first layer of moss to her fairy nest. The Purple Martins appreciate the new gourds I put up this year, a new one for me. Hopefully, with more nesting holes, my colony will expand. The vibrant procession of spring is marching through the fields and woods and it’s exciting to observe.

    I consider our kitchen window to be my personal television of the world I want to know. It doesn’t come with a remote or have a thousand channels playing the staid documentary of humanity’s shame and decline. It’s rather old fashioned in that it only gets one station and only shows nature programs day and night. It has a regular cast of characters like Chickadees, Titmice, Cardinals, Catbirds, Nuthatches and Blue Jays with occasional guest appearances by a Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Thrasher or a Towhee. Lately a new series has started playing; it’s called The Courtship of the Birds. It’s being billed as a heartwarming avian soap opera of spring love with a spectacular cast.

Cardinal selecting the best seeds.
    Watch as the male Cardinals courts his paramour by passing a sunflower seed to her, beak to beak. See the dandy little Goldfinches go round and round the finch feeders sporting the latest in daffodilly frocks. So many Woodpeckers spar over the suet dough that I actually have six suet feeders up. I’m keeping my seed feeders full in case the Indigo Buntings and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks stop by on their journey north too. It might only be a temporary visit but it sure is special.

    Toward months’ end, one of my all time favorite feathered friends, the Catbirds will arrive, plus the Orioles and Hummingbirds will appear, so this is the time to get your fruit and nectar feeders out. The Bluebirds will devour all the blocks with mealworms I leave for them. While it's not a favorite thing for me to buy, their enjoyment makes it all worthwhile. Some male birds are known to feed the female while she’s incubating the eggs. Once the young fledge are up and about, they’ll follow the adults around to find food, be it natural or what you provide at your feeders. It’s quite enjoyable observing the tattered fledglings’ first visit to a bird feeder. 

My little patient - a victim of a cat who I nursed back to health!
   And so having said all this, we need to protect those youngsters as well as their parents. There is 'love your cat, love your birds - keep your cats inside'. Those who go outside should be belled and it shouldn’t be made overly easy for the others, the ferals, to feast from your yard!

   I will share with you a small gallery of my visitors and I hope you will consider making your yard a safe and healthy haven for all who wish to visit and grace your landscapes...!

Red Bellied Woodpecker

  I love the colorful birds as most everyone does, but my favorites are really the little birds...the titmice, the Nuthatches...the Chickadees who will land on my head and shoulders when I'm at the feeders. And the Catbirds and finches, sparrows and sweet Juncos. I do think people don't pay enough attention to these little birds to realize how beautiful they really are!
Junco in the rain

Titmouse waiting for breakfast to be served!
Vigilant Junco

For the consideration of family & friends...