Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Dalai Lama's Cat - And the art of Purring

Google image

This is a book we had at Book Club. Very cute - gentle lessons in Buddhist beliefs through the eyes of a (very spoilt) cat.  It's not necessary to read the book but it did remind me of few things viz.  Don't try to re-live happiness from the past - it will probably depress you.  Live in the present and enjoy every minute that you can.  The most happiness is to be found diverting your thoughts from too much introspection and seeing what you can do to make others happy.  I have never been much involved in charity work, but I can see the appeal and I do the things that I like for our Ladies' Club - viz knitting or crochet, but on the whole I think I should concentrate on being nice to my husband which will now be much easier now that I have access to some decent pain pills for the next few weeks. Hopefully by then I will have established a habit - they say you have to do something thirty times to cement a new behaviour.  NB  - Small son has given up smoking for 31 days now. Yeh! 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Breaking Bones should Hurt More

MIne is like the one on the left, but lower down

That might sound weird but I need a more arresting title than say, "Back Problem".  The physical problems that accompany ageing are really so boring, but what can I say? I thought I would share a few thoughts that might help someone else. I have had searing pain between my shoulder blades and could hardly walk for the last few weeks, so I went first to the chiro "Shock, horror, your sacro-iliac joint is jammed".  Some of his manipulation relieved the tight muscles down either side of my spine temporarily (and freed up the joint), but the problem persisted. Eventually, I went for X-rays last week and my GP seemed totally awed by the "severe lower lumbar spondylosis with scoliosis convex to the left" (which I was born with - and not worried about) but he did point out to me some fracturing of two of the lumbar vertebrae.  I think, on reflection, that I did this to myself (not confessing to the doctor of course), but when I was at wits end with my 'piri formis' muscle (sorry to bore),  I found advice on Youtube (naturally), which recommended rolling on a tennis ball (which I didn't have at the time), and if not, to use a rolling pin. I do recall this was quite painful (did I crack my own vertebrae?) but I was desperate to find something to assuage the muscle pain so I persevered. Having seen the X-ray, I shall desist from this practice and hope that with rest/passage of time the joints will heal themselves.  I can't afford to go for the Bone Density Scan until January but I don't think that will reveal a problem: last year I fell on my hip x3 times and broke nothing.  Luckily, my doctor was so amazed by my deformed spine that he gave me some strong painkillers which work very well indeed.  At least I am not snapping at my husband as I was before.  Let's hope that by January nature will have done its' work. My husband broke a toe once in the night on his way to the bathroom - fixed it himself and I met someone recently who had also broken her toe, but not realised. She has pain now - 5 years later).  I broke a finger once but it didn't hurt all that much so I didn't do anything about it.  Today, it is very skew and hurts a lot if someone squeezes my hand. Why didn't it hurt more at the time? (Sorry to bore).

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Don't Judge a Man by his Pants

Formal dress?

We went to a lovely wedding last month: small son's best friend - they grew up together - and a lovely American girl from Arizona.  The met four years ago, very romantically, on a game reserve in South Africa, where small son's friend was working as a game ranger. They had a tiny civil wedding when their travels and commitment took them back to her home in Arizona and then they had their dream wedding back here two years later.  It was a bit of a chilly day (and I was saving my high heels for the evening - it was wet on the grass!) and the guests were invited to play an impromptu game of croquet while we waited for the photographs.  The invitation had said 'Formal' so I was somewhat critical of this young gentleman in his shorts.  I heard later that he had been on a two-week cycle marathon and just made it to the wedding in time.  In his haste he had packed shorts instead of his long pants (same color) into his rucksack.  Needless to say, he is at the moment, not chaperoned by a girlfriend who might have checked.  Anyway, in the end - when I got to chat to him - what a nice chap. This is small son and his girlfriend  from whom I was sorry to hear he broke up with two weeks later (also me and hubby)

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Hazards of Helping

At least it didn't hurt much

Whenever I help my husband in any kind of job around the house, we usually have a communication problem and I end up getting my fingers squeezed in a vice/hinge/having a plank of wood dropped on them etc.  The list goes on.  This time I had to help with emergency swimming pool motor maintenance.  The motor had been emitting an unpleasant noise and we discovered (just in time) that there was an airlock or blockage somewhere connected with some or other valve. There is quite a distance between the motor and the pool, because of noise (about ten yards, it is situated around the corner of the house) and the pipes are buried beneath the paving.  I was required to kneel next to the weir and keep a tightly rolled cloth pushed into the hole at the bottom - about 18 inches down.  In the end I found I had to kneel with my bottom in the air so that I could  keep it in position and apply pressure with a broomstick until my husband shouted the signal that he was starting the motor and I must pull out the cloth at the same time.  We had done this successfully twice before. (We have to wait for our 'pool guy' to return next week from a funeral upcountry).  The procedure must happen every day to keep the pool clean with the 'Kreepy Krauly" and also hot from the solar heating. This time we did not manage to co-ordinate and I could feel the cloth being sucked up the pipe. Which would be a disaster. So there I was, wedging my left arm against the side while desperately hanging on to the cloth with my right hand and yelling at the top of my voice for him to switch the motor off.  Must have shouted at least 10 times before he finally came back around the corner. I think the whole street must have heard me but no chance for someone with hearing aids standing next to a motor. I am looking for sympathy - so am publishing the picture of my arm two days later. This time I couldn't really blame him although I did try hard.