Archive forMay, 2012

It turned COLD!

Tonight it’s going to get down to 41 degrees!! (Today’s high is only in the mid-60’s.) There are places in Michigan with a FREEZE WARNING for tonight. Unbelievable! Two days ago it was over 90!

The predicted weather will keep it cool for the next four days. Guess that gives me an excuse to stay inside. (Which I’d be doing anyway.)

If we were in Florida we’d be experiencing weather in the 90’s. Makes me yearn for the sunny South.

Last night I was working on our “return trip” schedule for October.

I’ve always been a “planner.” Planning was my career when I worked with for the hospital. It’s my “thing.” Being a Hospital Planner meant that I did strategic planning for services the hospital wished to acquire or expand. Detail was my thing. Now I direct that “detail planning” to the organization of workshops for the ODPC festival and for our trips to Florida.

I enjoy the preparation and have my packing lists prepared as well as our return trip mapped out.

Sure there’s a good chance things will change, but I don’t mind. In fact, even when we’re on our return trip, we’ll be flexible about making it a two or three day trip back.

Last year, instead of stopping the second night in Georgia, we kept on going and made to our condo about 9:00 p.m. We may do the same thing this year.

If we do the three-day return, our second night stop would be Valdosta, GA, with a great dinner at “Georgia’s best buffet” but if we feel up to it, we can cancel our motel reservations and just keep going. (We will need to decide before 4:00 if we have reservations at the motel.)

If we do that, we’ll probably grab a carry-out pizza at Sun City Center’s Hungry Howie’s on our way to the condo and enjoy our meal “at home.” It would be great to wake up in our own bed Sunday morning. (Personally that’s what I’d prefer, but it’ll depend on the weather, traffic, and other factors which we can’t foresee but would influence our decision.)

I’m sure by 3:00 on our second day, we’ll know if we want to keep on going, or stop for the night. Our arrival is currently planned for October 7th (but with luck it’ll be the 6th).

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Sick for THREE weeks

I’m slowly improving but still a long way from feeling “right.” I’m so “worn out.”

I was on antibiotics for seven days, but even with strong meds, I am not myself.

I have a strange symptom. When I went to see Dr. Indira last Monday, she noticed that the left side of my neck is swollen. I couldn’t see what she was talking about, but it got worse. By about Friday I could easily see that it’s puffy. It seems to be worse in the morning. It’s slowly going down, but it’s still puffy.

I’ll go back to the doctor Wednesday. By then I’ll have been off the antibiotics for three days. My whole system is messed up but I hope that now that I’ve completed the treatment plan, I’ll start feeling more energetic. I sure hope so. This is for the birds!!

On the positive side, I have been plugging away at the ODPC workshop program and I’ve accomplished a lot. I sent the first draft of the descriptions to my proof reader, Nancy, Saturday. She’s a blessing!

Today I’ve been trying to organize an alphabetical index.

Once Nancy gives me the necessary changes, I’ll fix the problems and then put the “page breaks” in. Eventually the program will be a massive 20 pages. It’s a challenge, but since I haven’t felt good (incredibly weak and vulnerable), it was something I could do without being physical.

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Finally went to a pulmonogist

Monday –

My condition hasn’t improved much. I still have a cough, I’m worn out and even slight exertion leaves me winded. Dr. Indira, John’s pulmonologist, let me schedule an appointment at the same time John was seeing her. She realized how sick I was. She put me on an antibiotic and immediately sent me for a chest x-ray. There’s a little congestion in one lung. The antibiotic will knock it out. I should have gone in sooner but kept thinking I could fight it off on my own.

Right now I’m at Walmart waiting for my ‘script to be filled. Nothing like waiting when you feel rotten to add to your misery. They’re really backed up. But I’ll be patient.


Tuesday –

I’m now fan of prescribed drugs. Yesterday, my pulmonologist (actually she’s John’s but now I can claim her too) put me on a strong antibiotic, Avelox. I’ll take it for seven days total (so I’m only two days into the schedule.) I can honestly say that I am feeling human for the first time in over two weeks.

I am still weak as a kitten with absolutely no energy, but at least today I managed to unpack a few more items, and work on the descriptions of workshops for the ODPC. When Dr. Indira checked me, my left lung gurgled a little so I guess I needed to visit the specialist. Now after only two days, I feel the antibiotics are really helping. I’ll have to go back to her next next week, but hopefully by then, I’ll be fine. Yeah! for prescribed drugs (when needed)!

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Strangers in a Crowd

Today we went to a benefit dinner. Over 200 people were present. The crowd of folks were mainly our age and we were in the community where John and I have lived for over 25 years, but we could honestly say that not one person looked familiar to us. Here we were 10 miles from home, at a gathering of our peers, and not one was a friend, nor even a casual acquaintance.

It’s so different when we’re in Florida. Rarely do we go to the grocery store, church, or Home Depot that we don’t run into folks we know. If we go to one of our favorite restaurants even in another nearby town, our friends are there. When we go to Busch Gardens, as large as it is, we almost always see folks who are part of our circle of friends. But, here in Michigan where we both grew up, we don’t know a soul.

I miss the friendly community feel of our Florida area.

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Feeling better

I’ve been really sick! Can’t remember feeling worse but with beautiful weather and John’s excellent care, I’m doing much better now. Just wish I could get rid of this deep cough but every day I am improving.

Today John and I will meet with his siblings at a family restaurant in Elsie, MI. They try to get together every month. Obviously, because we were in Florida, we’ve missed getting together with them, but we’ll be there today at 12:30.

Then at 4:30, we’re going to a $100 per ticket buffet dinner. George, John’s good friend, had the ticket and couldn’t use it, so he gave it to us. Sounds like we won’t go hungry today. I just hope I can keep going all day. I’m still very weak!

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Finally I feel the three daily (grids) schedules for the ODPC festival are close to completion. It took an unbelievable amount of energy to schedule the workshops this year. Being sick made it difficult, but it was made needlessly tougher by folks who inconsiderately let me complete the whole schedule before they cancelled classes they’d agreed to instruct. It took me an extra eight hours or more to fix the schedule after they withdrew.

I finished at about 5:30 today. Pooped and discouraged!!!

Of course, the three daily schedules are just a small part of the 16-page workshop program. I have 13 pages yet to tackle! But the remaining of the “program” is, for the most part, just a huge typing job. Yes, it takes a lot of cross-checking, and it’s difficult to fit all of the classes under the appropriate category titles, but I feel by accomplishing the three daily grids, I’ve just climbed a mountain.

I’ve forwarded what I’ve completed to my wonderful proof-reader, Nancy. She’ll do her magic, while I work on the descriptions of the classes.

And if I haven’t said so enough, I need to thank John for caring for the house, and helping me in every other way so I can bury myself in the scheduling of the classes. He definitely makes it possible.

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Today I received this email message from our good friend, Shelly:

  • Shelly’s video message
  • The cat says: “Hi Sharon. Hi John. Oh, I’m at the pool and your not here. What gives? Oh, well.. Shelly and Richard left today too. The pool is empty. What’s the sense? Can’t wait until you guys all return. Bye.”

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    In Florida, the comfortable dress-code for Florida men is short pants. A huge majority of the fellows wear shorts almost everywhere (except church and formal gatherings).

    John was a reluctant hold-out. It’s taken me years to get him to accept the idea that he looks great in shorts. This year, he finally became comfortable in them and finally went with the majority.

    Now that we’re Michigan and it’s cool, of course he’s back in long pants. I’m wondering, when it heats up here, if I’ll have to start over convincing him that it’s ok to wear shorts. I wonder if, when we get back to Florida, he’ll again resist displaying his good looking knees.

    Time will tell.

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    The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

    Being back in Michigan hasn’t been very pleasant so far. We’ve only been home about three days and I’ve been so sick that I feel that I’ve merely existed.

    But now that I am beginning to recover, I’m looking around and I’m finding what I’ve always known, that this place is really lovely.

    Our little lake is beautiful. Unlike our “pond” in Florida, we’re close enough to the water here so we can watch the currents. The ripples, birds, breezes, and signs of “energy” are always present and moving.

    Multiple varieties of maple trees fill our yard. (We have crimson red, lots of sugar, and several I can’t name.)

    Our fruit trees are past the flower stage. The small apples, peaches and pears are growing.

    A little bird has been seen entering the wren house John put near the grape arbor. It appears to be a sparrow, but seems a little small for that breed (but too big for a wren).

    The grass is lush and green. (Unlike the coarse prickly stuff that grows in Florida.)

    The mosquitoes seem to be under control. (We have a mosquito abatement program in our county and two or three other surrounding counties).

    But in the house, there is lots of work to be done.

    I can honestly say I’m glad to be home.

    I’ve been sleeping quite well.

    I haven’t gotten bored or lonesome yet because I have so much to do (especially since the festival workshop program needs to be completed.)

    Once I complete the workshop program, I have several projects I’d like to tackle, but first I need to feel better. At this point I’m still barely functioning but I’m better today than I was yesterday.

    Life is good, even if I’m still sick.

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    Staring me in the face

    I am way behind schedule working on the program of workshops for the ODPC Funfest.

    I had hoped to complete the schedule of classes during the 1,300 mile (three day) trip returning from Florida, but I was too sick to tackle something that detailed. Even if I’d felt better, the inverter I use in the car to keep my computer battery charged quit working so, once the battery ran down, I didn’t have access to my computer.

    Workshops are a huge chore.

    I did do a little yesterday, but it’s hard to accomplish much between racking coughs.

    Of course, right now I’m also faced with unpacking.

    And once I get caught up on the workshops and unpacking, I realize I need to purge our house of junk and clutter. I need to start with the upstairs. The computer room is no longer used for that purpose, the balcony room is filled with junk, and the guest room closet should be cleaned out.

    But first things first. I need to concentrate on feeling better, and when I have the energy I need to work on the workshops. The rough schedule MUST be complete within the next week.

    It’s easy to be over-whelmed especially when you don’t feel well. I am improving slowly, but still really sick.

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    We’re home. Arrived yesterday afternoon. Our lawn was covered with branches and long grass, and the house is in need of a good cleaning.

    Already John has the lawn looking good after mowing and raking it but the house is going to have to wait until I recover.

    I am still under-the-weather with no energy at all. I have a deep, productive cough that scares me because it sounds so bad. But at least today I am slightly better and the blinding headache I had for three days has lessened.

    I am amazed that I’ve forgotten so many things. Being gone over seven months has definitely clouded my memory.


    I went to use the waste basket under the kitchen sink. Without thinking, I opened the door on the left side because that’s where the waste goes when we’re in Florida but here it’s on the right. The garbage disposal is also switched. Left here; right in Florida. I keep throwing garbage into the right drain. It seems to just be automatic.

    TV channels?? I can’t recall the active channels here in Michigan. We don’t have cable here, so our channels are limited. I have trouble sorting out the major channels in my mind. Is CBS channel 5 or 25? (They switched a couple of years ago.) And there are two remotes in the bedroom. Which remote controls what?

    I went to get a drink of water from the dispenser on the refrigerator door, but there isn’t one on this refrigerator. (There is in Florida.)

    So many little things. Did I store the antihistamines in the drawer in the vanity or in the cabinet in the bathroom?

    Do we need to buy toilet paper, or do I have some squirreled away?

    Do I have any warm clothes here? (I’m freezing.)

    Where’d I store the extra towels? Oh, ya, upstairs in the guest bathroom.

    Where did I put my lingerie? I took most of my unmentionables with me, but I think some were left here? Where?

    In the fall we left behind toothbrushes. They look new. But neither of us could remember which color was John’s and which was mine so they were tossed.

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    On the well-traveled road

    We’ve been on the road north for a couple of hours (left about 8:15 a.m.)

    As we were departing, we passed Sherry, Diane, Shelly, Linda and Ron on their morning walk. It felt like they were “seeing us off” and I couldn’t help but think that it was a good way to start our trip back to Michigan.

    I don’t know which place to refer to as “home.”

    We arrived in Florida on October 6th. Here it is May 6th, and we’ll leaving to go back the Great Lakes State. That means 213 days in Florida and 152 in Michigan. When in Michigan, we will spend time away from home. (About 13 days at the ODPC Funfest, a day at White Lake, 3 days in Gladwin at Carriage Days, and possibly some time in the U.P. That gives a total of 152 days in Florida and approximately 128 days in our Michigan house.

    Last night we attended a Kentucky Derby Party presented by the Michigan Club. It was a nice evening.

    When we got home we finished our packing. At about 8:05, we hopped on our golf cart and went out to look for the “super moon” which had been hyped as the biggest, brightest moon for 2012. Found a nice place to take photos without the clutter of condos.

    After finishing up a few last minute packing chores, we turned in early.

    I didn’t sleep well. From about 2:30 until 5:30, I was awake. I realized I was coming down with a cold. I was stuffed-up and miserable. Today I still have all the symptoms. It’s either a cold or bad allergies. Guess I can be miserable while riding back to Michigan just like any other place. At least here, if I’m sick, I don’t feel as if I’m missing fun.

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    Until we meet again

    As the date for our spring departure from our Florida condo approaches, I’m already eagerly looking forward to our return.

    But we can be flexible. Maybe could get away in mid-September, or maybe it’ll be as late as mid-October. A lot will depend on the weather since it could be lovely with beautiful fall color or, as in many Michigan autumns, it may be cold and wet.

    John’s grapes often dictate when we can leave. After he harvests them, he squishes them into juice. We then bring the carboys of grape juice with us and he processes the juice into wine in Florida.

    We must be here by mid-October. Both of us have doctors’ appointments. Mine is an important follow-up to my eye surgeries. My surgeon wanted me to come in the first of June. Since we won’t be here, I have an appointment for October 16th. If I get back earlier, I’ll move it up.

    John loves it up north. When I talk up our great Florida life too much, he tends to become defensive more firmly committed to be in Michigan. I’ll be patient and not appear too eager. Our place in Florida is paradise but so is our Michigan home. Looking ahead to the weather we can expect in Michigan next week, I’m seeing low 60’s with rain Tuesday, when we get home. That hardly compares to Sun City Center, FL, where it’ll be in the 80’s with sun and pool time every day from now until we return in the fall. I just need to let the Michigan versus Florida decisions resolve naturally.

    I guess I shouldn’t complain about having two lovely residences where we are very comfortable.

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