Ears….docs….meds….ugh

Posted September 6, 2014 By Ruth

For the last week and a half now I’ve been having some odd issues with my ears.  It started with some itching inside the canal, and some very mild “popping” sensation (as if I was transitioning up and down a mountain side).  It was random, in-consistent, and I mostly ignored it.

Monday night and into Tuesday morning, every time I swallowed my right ear would suddenly pop very painfully.  ALL NIGHT. 

Called my doctor’s office Tuesday morning and told them I thought I might have an ear infection, when could they fit me in? 

*sigh* a few years ago now the office (which includes a fairly large number of doctors of all kinds of specialties) was bought out by one of the hospitals in the area, and ever since they’ve been making slow changes.  A large number of which are mandated by law, so its not all the hospital’s fault.  But its resulted in more and more doctors and nurses leaving the practice.

Its finally hit a critical point.  I know its back to school time, which means lots of kids into the doctors for that last “before school” thing, and that “first week of school cold” and what not.  But calling Tuesday morning to try to get in with a possible ear infection, and the earliest they could fit me in was Friday morning.

I was frustrated, but before I could decide it was bad enough to hit the urgent care the problems with my right ear mostly faded and it went back to the inconsistent itching and mild popping.  So I dealt with it till Friday.

I will say they got me in on time.  My ears showed no signs of infection, and no wax build up (which I don’t normally have issues with but I’d thought might be the possible other cause).  After some discussion she said that she thought it was likely a side effect of my environmental allergies.  Its not a normal side effect for me, but it is for some people, and we’ve had an odd enough weather year that things could be different this year.

So, a new (prescription) allergy med, and some (non-antibotic) ear drops to help relieve the discomfort.  If it continues after a week on the new drug, or if I continue to have more of the really bad painfull popping I’m to call for another appointment, at which point they’ll likely refer me to an Ears, Nose, Throat specialist.

The new med is Xyzal, generic name levocetirizine.  It has all the standard warnings about “may cause drowsiness”, and don’t operate machinery till you know how it affects you and what not, and then in big huge letters it says:

TAKE IN THE EVENING

So yes, its going to cause drowsiness…..oh goody.

Took my first dose at 7pm last night (Friday night).

Its now almost 8pm Saturday, and I’m FINALLY coming out of the drug haze.  As long as I kept moving today I didn’t feel to bad, but as soon as I stopped for any reason my body tried to crash.

I’m off to go take my 2nd dose.  If you don’t hear from me this week its because I slept through it all……I can’t decide if I’m hoping this fixes my ears (cause I don’t want to deal with the doctor and drug runaround thats going to happen if it doesn’t), or if I’m hoping it doesn’t work so that I can stop taking it!

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The things I do….

Posted September 1, 2014 By Ruth

….in order to get ripe produce out of the garden!

 

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I’d been considering buying frost blankets anyway, to supplement the little plastic hoops I was using as frost protection.  The hoops didn’t work well with the jalapenos anyway and wouldn’t have worked at all with the tomatoes.  So I broke down and bought some.  I covered the hot peppers, including the jalapenos and habaneros, the tomatoes, and the sugar baby watermelon and the cantaloupe.   And after 4 days on the garden I have seen a jump in the number of jalapenos turning red.  Not sure its helping with anything else yet. 

I will say, the delayed ripening did result in some very large jalapenos!

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Missed a photo

Posted August 23, 2014 By Ruth

Cause I was once again without my camera, even though I know better.  Though to be fair, I don’t think I’d have gotten a picture anyway….

Yesterday evening, about 7:40pm-ish, we were outside with the dogs in the new run.  We don’t normally spend alot of time outside at dusk, the mosquitoes alone are enough to usually keep us inside.  But yesterday the wind was high enough, and the air cool enough that it was quite nice outside.  The dogs were enjoying it….

…..till Apollo suddenly roared and bolted for the back fence….I grabbed a double handfull of ruff, just in case he decided to try to go over the fence, and tried to get a look at what he was upset about.  Biiiig coyote, trotting across our back line, and our neighbor’s back line.  He stopped and froze when Apollo went off, but quickly realized that the dog wasn’t actually coming for him and just went on his way.  Not sure if it was the same fellow we saw last year or not.  I had a roaring pissed off Tibetan Mastiff demanding that the coyote keep moving and so I didn’t get the best of looks…….

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Now thats a carrot

Posted August 23, 2014 By Ruth

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Despite its size I don’t think it was quite ready to go, its supposed to be a spicy flavored variety and it was only spicy around the top inch or so.  None of the rest are that large yet anyway so I’ll leave them in the ground for a while longer to see if that makes a difference.

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No sympathy

Posted August 21, 2014 By Ruth

I’m to lazy to dig out all the news articles, if you really want to read them doing a search for “elbridge dog shooting” will get you most of them.

On May 31st an Elbridge woman shot her neighbor’s dog when the dog went after her cat.

Police declined to charge her with animal cruelty from the get go, charging her instead with firing a gun within town limits.

A couple days ago they dismissed those charges, stating that the law was aimed at reckless firearm discharge, and that people were still allowed to fire a gun in defense of self and property.

Of course, the dog owner is having a cow.  Upset that there won’t be justice for her dog.  Her grandkid is devastated.

Took a bit of digging, but I was able to confirm that Elbridge does indeed have a leash law.  Unlike alot of such they do make allowances for a dog to be under voice control of the owner.  However every single news article makes it clear that the dog was NOT under voice control at the time of the incident.

According to the above linked article the dog has multiple counts, confirmed by court records, of acting aggressively against the neighbors.  AND there have been multiple reports of the dog running loose and out of control.

While I have some sympathy for the grandkids, I have zero sympathy for the dog owner.  She repeatedly allowed her dog to run loose, despite repeated incidents of aggression by the dog and despite local leash laws.  If she had just taken the basic steps of containing and controlling her dog after the first incident this wouldn’t have happened.  Its not that hard, it just takes a little more effort on the part of the owner.  A dog who has a history of acting aggressive and is still allowed to run loose is not going to survive long, that is plain and simple fact.

Having said all that, I have to note, that the easiest way to ensure that your cat isn’t attacked by a local dog is to not allow your cat to run loose….

Arg!

Posted August 19, 2014 By Ruth

So today I decided to make some bone & marrow broth out of the insane number of buffalo marrow bones I have stuffed away in my freezer.

Get out the pressure canner, its been stored on the top shelf of a closet so that I don’t have to worry about anything being set on it.

Load it up, turn it on.  It starts dripping around the edge of the seal, but it always does that, it stops when it gets up to pressure….

Except this time its not stopping.  The canner appears to reach pressure ok, but even after 10 minutes its still dripping and burping steam around the edge of the lid.

Turn off the stove, release the pressure, let it cool.  Pull out the gasket, clean it and the lid, oil the gasket, put it all back together,  turn the canner lid around so that its not lined up the same way (this is ok with this canner, I understand with some thats not possible) and try again.  The gasket’s only a year old…..

It does it again.

Dig out the spare extra gasket I ordered when I got the last one (cause this canner uses a funky sized gasket so I ordered extra).  Replace the “old” gasket, set back up the canner……

Its still doing it.

This time I let it sit for 20 minutes, and realize that its not maintaining pressure correctly.  Apparently the lack of seal is indeed bad enough to affect the pressure.

Pull out the new gasket, clean pan lip, lid, and gasket, oil gasket, try again.

Same thing.

*headdesk*

 

Red Hot…

Posted August 18, 2014 By Ruth

My jalapeno’s are ripening!!!

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And I’ve got chocolate peppers:

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The big chocolate peppers are sweets.  The little ones?  Those are habaneros……  The orange ones are Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, and of course I’m sure you all recognize the onions as onions ;)

Speaking of the hot peppers, can someone explain something to me?  I’ve always been under the impression that hot peppers are a hot dry climate sort of plant.  Not desert dry, but, well, we’re very wet here, and especially this summer we’re decidedly cool.  And yet, with the sole exception of last year when everything drowned, I’ve had HUGE luck with the jalapenos, I’ve seen them even withstand a light frost that killed other plants with only minimal leaf damage.  The bases of the jalapenos this year are close to an inch in diameter (I tried to get a picture but it didn’t turn out), and they’re falling over with the weight of the peppers.  And this year, both habanero plants were TINY when I transplanted them out….and now they’re taking over!

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Am I just lucky?

Not my usual sort of music

Posted August 17, 2014 By Ruth

 

But I’ve always appreciated the use of “classical” instruments to produce non-classical music.

H/T to Bayou Renaissance Man

Soft Molasses Cookies

Posted August 15, 2014 By Ruth

I’m not sure how I never posted this recipe on here….its one of my favorites.  Bit of a pain to make, but the cookies are to die for!

3/4 cup shortening

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large eggs

1/2 cup molasses

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon nutmeg

 

Cream together shortening and brown sugar.  Stir in egg and molasses and mix well.  Fold in dry ingredients and stir. 

Cover and chill till firm (1-2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350°.  Roll dough into small balls and roll in white sugar.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. 

Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes. 

Leave on sheet one minute until set.

Makes ALOT of cookies!

 

I need plant ideas

Posted August 14, 2014 By Ruth

Alright peoples, I need ideas.

We’re digging up the horseshoe pits that were put in by the former owners, and I’m thinking I want to plant something in those spots.

I want something that flowers (berries or no doesn’t matter), but that either isn’t fast growing or that will stay less than 10ft in height.

I’d prefer no thorns. But if you show me something that’s otherwise perfect I’ll tolerate thorns.

It MUST be tolerant down to USDA zone 5 and I’d prefer zone 4 tolerant.

It MUST be tolerant of having “wet feet”. We have a very high water-table here, and if I dug a hole a foot deep right now the bottom couple inches would be full of water.