Friday, October 21, 2011

Thoughts on Aging

I went to the doctor's.  Now, nothing good ever comes after that sentence, at least at my age. 

I NOW have FOUR medicines I have to take every day just to make my body perform in within normal ranges, chemically.  Three!  I don't even LIKE taking pills.  I have tried to ignore the situation, but when your body actually NEEDS can make your day very unpleasant when you don't take it.  Who is in charge here any way???  Obliviously, it's my body.  Crap.

I went in because I hurt my knee last month.  I have arthritis in both knees (and most of the rest of my body) and had decided that riding a bike would be a good exercise.  It was going well until I fell.  Of course, I hit my knee.  The good one. 

Structurally, it is fine.  I can stand and walk on level surfaces with no pain.  Anything else - there is pain.  The action determines HOW much pain.  Climbing stairs, going uphill or downhill, twisting, rising, lowering - you get the picture.  I went back to the doctor because I haven't gotten back to the functioning level I was before the fall.  The good news?  I probably won't without an orthopedic surgeon's help.  Now, later - it doesn't really matter.  I WILL be going if I want to stay mobile.  Yippie-ki-yay.

And I got a two-fer on this visit.  In addition to that good news, my blood pressure is high and I now have to take medicine for that. 

Which brings me to the title I chose.  I'm struggling with the concept that my body is wearing out.  I feel just the same inside as I ever did.  But I find my body not being able to keep up with my desires.  The things my body used to do without me even knowing or considering their importance, now, hold my activity hostage.

I don't remember ever even considering how important my kidneys were.  I doubt you have either.  The kidneys are important organs with many functions in the body, including producing hormones, absorbing minerals, and filtering blood and urine.  Now I have to consider what might harm them.  Seems a little late in the day for that.

I used to hike and run around and never even knew I had a butt.  But these days, all I do is drag it around.  There are days when it is all I can do to haul my wrinkly ol' keister out of the recliner.  I think of the poem that says "How do I know that my youth’s all spent?   Well, my get up and go has got up and went."  But INSIDE, I still want to go and do!

I don't even think I knew what a thyroid was when I younger.  I certainly didn't know what it controlled, which is almost everything.  It's like a mini-PLC (programmable logic control center) for your body.  I know I never thought about mine.  Now it controls ME.  My thyroid needs a back-up generator to keep my body on track.  And the generator I have to use (medication) is not self-regulating.  Unless you do the blood labs, you don't know how the dosage is fitting in with your body's activities.  My body used to do that all on it's own.

I'm afraid I am going to be appreciating more things I knew nothing about as time goes on.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Tag - My Life According to Google!

Type in the following and choose from the first description found. BE HONEST! Don't just pick out one to be funny. I tag my girls and whoever else wants to complete it. It was a fun one! Let me know if you fill it out!

1: Type in "[name] needs" in the Google search:
Paula needs to get out more.

2: Type in "[name] looks like" in Google search:
"Paula looks like cheddar

3: Type in "[name] hates" in Google search:
Paula hates Dragon Fly Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee

4: Type in "[name] goes" OR "[name] has gone" in Google search:
Paula goes Italian.

5: Type in "[name] loves" in Google search:
Paula loves Josh. (Wait until Tom finds out!)

6: Type in "[name] eats" in Google search:
Paula eats a lasagna sandwich.

7: Type in "[name] has" in Google search:
Paula has a record day.

8: Type in "[name] works" in Google search:
Paula works in Washington, D. C

9: Type in"[name] lives" in Google search:
Paula lives in Vancouver. 

10: Type in "[name] died" in Google search:
Paula died today?

11.Type in "[name] does" in Google search:
Paula does pasta.  (Probably because I went Italian?)

12: Type in "[name] will" in Google search:
Paula will not return to "Idol"

13.Type in "[name] is" in Google search:
Paula is stunned by Ellen.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Many Lives of Socks

My ex-sister-in-law gave me a pattern for making sock dolls years ago.  she made some and they were SO cute!   I've held onto it for years thinking that "one day" I would make some.   It came to the point where I was either going to make them - or toss the pattern. Luckily, I decided to make some!

They are so easy and so cute - I think I am addicted.  I hate it when I procrastinate on something and then find out I love it.  I have made about 10 so far.  I am planning to give them as Christmas presents.

This is my first one.  She already has a home.  I sent her off - naked  - with one of my non-biological daughters.  I didn't have a good clothes pattern at first.  So I am delivering her outfit next Monday!

I forgot to take pictures after I embroidered her face and put her hair in ponytails.  I will get a finished picture of her dressed next week, when I see her new Mom.

The bodies are easy and I like seeing them come together.  It is the quickest part.  It wasn't long before I had several naked, bald, armless babies!  I have been experimenting on hair styles as I have gone along.  I found there was a learning curve on handling the yarn on my sewing machine!  My first couple "wigs" were interesting! 

I wanted to try boys as well as girls - and immediately came up with Orville!  His name just came with him and the red hair!  I want to dress him in overalls!

This was my first short hair try.  It was harder than I thought it would be, but I like it.

After seeing some babies on-line, I thought I would try making smaller...babies.  I love them but don't think I can dress them.  I'm just going to wrap them in a soft blanket.

My first two "completed" dolls!  Not sure they really ARE completed...I keep thinking of other things that might look good.

I think these two are my favorite hair styles!  I'm running out of ideas.

As I work on the next set of dolls, I think I will make a tutorial and post it.  Too cute and too much fun not to share! 

Who knew socks could be so cute!!  They never looked that good on my feet!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Best Friends Animal Society

There is an amazing place hidden away in the middle of nowhere. It's the Best Friends Animal Society

located just north of Kanab, Utah.

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It's location is in what is known as the Grand Circle of national parks.  You can a magnificent view of the Grand Staircase, where I spent some of my BYU Survival class experience.  The canyons of the Escalante are some the most beautiful I have ever seen.

Best Friends offers free van tours and their huge operation.  We had a great tour guide, a native of the area, who works dedicated for the benefit of the animals they rescue.

They have quite an amazing history, and reputation, but I hadn't heard of them until my son told me of his visit there.  There are seven animal areas at the sanctuary and each of them welcomes volunteers: Bunny House, Cat World, Dogtown, Horse Haven, Parrot Garden, Piggy Paradise, and Wild Friends.  They are a non-kill shelter. 

They have a separate section for older dogs.  All the buildings are named after animals that holds a place in the heart of staff and volunteers.  The dog buildings are built in an octagon shape.  Six of the eight sides are formed into dog runs/kennels.  Each unit is designed with the comfort of the dogs in mind.  The units are roomy, have swamp coolers, radiant heating in the floors, and large runs.

The elderly dogs have soft, elevated beds.  So thoughtful.  My arthritis problems enable me to truly appreciate the blessings of not having to lie on hard concrete, and the increased ease of lying down, and rising from an elevated surface.  Each unit has two doggy-doors to the outside yard.

They keep current info on each dog for accurate transfer of information between the shifts of volunteers.

The runs are spacious.  The concrete walkways around the fence are for the security of the dogs.  They prevent the dogs digging out, and predators from digging in.

The setting of this shelter is BEAUTIFUL!  It's a retreat for the humans working there as well.  As a visitor, I was jealous.

They are an arena for dogs who have been kept on a chain all their lives.  They are unfamiliar with being confined, and being indoors.  It provides a great training opportunity.  It is used for agility training.  They have staircases in there, linoleum floors, wood floors - all things the outdoor dogs haven't experienced before.

It was a great experience.  Best Friends is the largest employer in Kane county, Utah, employing 500 people, including two vets who take care of all the medical needs of the animals living there.  For the full length of their lives, or until the animals can be adopted into their new "forever home."

I found a blog, One Bark at a Time, written by one of Best Friends' volunteers.  Fred is a Canadian, who works with the Toronto Animal Services.  He came for a week.  That isn't uncommon.  Volunteers come from all over.  Some make the visit their annual vacation.  Volunteers are a large part of Best Friends' success.

I can't wait to go back again.  It's an amazing place.