Saturday, March 5, 2011


John's parents, George and Theda

"That's what I've been sayin' all along!", John remarked, after I told him about my cholesterol results.  "You worked your butt off, trying to stay healthy, but genetics still got you in the end.  So what's the point?" And, as usual, my brain refused to spit out a timely reply.  It wasn't until this morning that the answer came to me.

The point, My Love, is those two in the photo above -- your beloved parents.  Which one would you rather end up like?  They both inherited a few "bad genes", Theda probably more than George, and those genes manifested themselves right around the same time.  Theda had a heart attack in her mid-sixties, and George's blood pressure became slightly elevated.  But, think about what happened after that.

Theda quit smoking cold turkey.  George said "What's the point?"  Theda took all the pills necessary, no matter how much she disliked them.  George refused to take his blood pressure medicine, once he discovered it could affect his sex-life.  Theda joined a water aerobics class and attended faithfully for the rest of her life.  George rode around in a golf cart a couple of times a week, but then suddenly gave up that, his job and his beloved woodworking hobby all at once, and for no apparent reason.  Only later did we realize that mini-strokes were probably affecting his ability to do them.  She gave up all the foods on her no-no list (pork, cheese, eggs), he kept right on eating the way he always had -- no fruit or veggies, just meat, starches and sugar.

When Theda finally needed by-pass surgery, many years later, she did exactly what the doctors asked of her, and made a full recovery.  When George had his first major stroke, and the doctors told him he could recover if he worked at it, he said "What's the point?", and got himself kicked out of rehab for refusing to cooperate.

So here's my point, Dearest: Yeah, genetics can jump up and bite you in the ass when you least expect it, but it's how you deal with it that really matters.  Theda managed to get herself another twenty years of high-quality life, pursuing her passions, contributing to society, and being an important part of her kids' and grandkids' lives.
A family float on the river.  Theda even went down the chute!
George got to spend seven years as a vegetable, breaking the hearts and sucking the life out of all who loved him.

We do have choices.  That's the point.

Friday, March 4, 2011


My new-fangled solar clothes dryer.

I have never considered myself to be a vain or prideful person.  I've never wanted expensive jewelry, designer clothes, or a luxury car.  I've never felt the need to cover my grey (well, I do add hi-lites to my hair, so I guess that's kinda vain), nor have I considered having any strictly cosmetic surgeries - 'though, if these eyelids droop any further, I'm gonna have to prop them up with toothpicks in order to see!

One thing I am quite proud of, however, is my brand new clothesline. (despite John's remark about his mom being up in heaven going "Those Stupes!  Why would anyone choose to go back to a clothesline, when they have a perfectly good dryer sitting a few feet away?")

The other vanity I must admit to is my health.  Perhaps because my own mom was a bit of a hypochondriac and drama queen, I have gone to great pains to prove that I am neither of the above.  I absolutely love being able to say "I'm 57 years old, don't take any meds at all, and the only time I go to the doctor is for my annual check-up."

Granted, last time I had one of those, they did mention that my cholesterol was higher than it should be.  But, since my good cholesterol levels were high enough to keep the ratio in balance, they gave me some time to work on getting it back to where it should be.  So I did.  I started eating steel cut oats with added flax at least five mornings a week.  I made sure I got some kind of exercise almost every day.  I ate lots of good fresh veggies, and very little meat.  And, I lost about one third of the excess weight that had been dragging me down.  I was quite proud of myself, and felt sure that when they got the results of this week's blood work back, I'd be receiving congratulatory pats on the back.

Au contraire, mon amis.  Instead, my total cholesterol is now about thirty points higher than it was last time!  Well, my momma always said "Pride goeth before the fall."  That, or a good gust of wind.
Guess it still needs some work.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Outdoor Woman in her kayak, with her pal Fiber Woman

Outdoor Woman loves to hike and explore.  She even went trekking in Nepal once, which proves she ain't no wussie.  In a few weeks she'll be heading off to explore Africa with a few girlfriends.  In the meantime, since she just doesn't have enough to do, what with her vegetable garden, her dogs, her chickens, her mother's failing health, her duties as a Master Naturalist who does property evaluations and conducts tours at the Blue Hole and such, her duties managing the bookings at the historical Winters-Wimberley homestead, and the work she does with area 4th-graders and another Wimberley womens' group, she's decided to organize a quick get-away down to the Big Bend/Terlingua area for we Muses.  I am neither a hiker nor an explorer.  I am, in fact, a major wussie...a wussie with short, stubby legs.   Should be interesting.

Monday, February 28, 2011


...something yellow!
And if these guys are blooming,
you know what that means, don't you?

It means it's time for these guys to come out of hiding!