Friday, January 9, 2015

Life in the Slow Lane

I see my last post here on D.O.O.W. was already a week ago...definitely in the slow lane.  To say 2014 threw me off-kilter is putting it mildly, but I've been home for two full months, and one would think I'd be back in gear by now, yet I'm not.  I'm not sure if that still has to do with the grieving process from losing my mom, knowing I still have to contend with my dad's ongoing issues and trips back to the northern wet land, or just a build up of many issues these last few years.  What I do know is that motivation and enthusiasm aren't real strong right now, so things get put off and left undone and then they build up and that adds to the feelings of being overwhelmed and it seems an endless cycle.  I'm tired just thinking of all that needs to be done!

One specific thing that popped up while I've been home, and I'll try not to expend too many words on it, but about a month ago, I started getting sustained heart palpitations.  I went to my usual urgent care facility, which is also where my regular doctor is, but when you just walk in you see whomever is available and this time it was the Physician's Assistant (how does one formally address them? they aren't Dr.  So-and-So) who diagnosed them as PVC's (premature ventricular contractions) which typically are more bothersome than threatening.  She referred me to a local cardiologist for a stress test but when I went, her equipment wasn't working and I just didn't have a good feeling about her office and staff in general so did not make a subsequent appointment.  I found a different cardiologist; the appointment was yesterday.  I really liked him, his staff and his office set up - stuff like that is really important in my book!  I explained the stresses of this past year and gave my health history along with any family health issues.  He fit in a stress test while I was there.  During that test, my BP went up to 240/100 so they stopped the test and will do another one again in a couple months.  In the meantime, they fitted me with a 24-hour monitor (the top lead is so itchy!) and have me scheduled for further tests in February.  He recommended I take the usual baby aspirin dosage and take magnesium (oxide), which has a natural bp-lowering affect and wants me to continue monitoring my BP at home.  He doesn't think there's any reason I should postpone my trip back up to the wet land around the 20th.  

In other news, the furnace has been repaired as of yesterday.  There was a part that normally opens & closes and it was sticking closed, so had to be replaced.  All is good, and warm, now = happiness :)

After the cold snap of several nights with sub-freezing temperatures, I took inventory of how our outdoor plants survived.  Here are some photos of their really sad condition:

Jade plant, normally stands about three feet high, was looking very round and full and in bloom.  Very sadly drooping.

All of those fleshy 'petals' froze and are too damaged to recover.  If left alone, they will turn black, dry up and fall off.  If the main stem(s) weren't damaged too much, they will produce new growth and the plant will come back even fuller...unless I prune them back lower to the ground.

Some areas that weren't quite so exposed, were unharmed.  These plants get these clusters of star-shaped flowers (no fragrance) usually around December, but I think these plants actually were getting them in October this past year.

The second plant at the other end of the window is more exposed and suffered more damage.  It isn't dead, but sure doesn't look very pretty.

The geranium plant didn't fare very well either, though the "Red Apple" plant that hasn't been tended to all year did fine.  It doesn't belong IN the geranium pot, but not much has been maintained in these areas in my absences of 2014.

The aloe on the doorstep is fine - it's well protected, but does need to be cleaned up of the old dried 'leaves'.  That's a good-sized plant in a large pot.

In the back yard, the Schefflera suffered significant leaf damage, already turning brown.  It has long needed some maintenance and pruning, so it may finally get some...or not.

This 'frond' was the only one damaged on the large epiphyllum.  It's also long over due for pruning care.

The Naked Lady lily variety suffered as well.  The exposed leaves froze but it still lives.  I noticed a second plant was appearing a few feet away from the mother plant.  It's been planted here for about 17 years without much care other than to occasionally pull away the dead dry leaves.

I know this doesn't look like much, but if you note the far left corner you'll see a bit of green.  That's how this Airplane plant aka Spider plant aka Chlorophytum comosum 'Vittatum' plant is supposed to look, and I suppose there's a whole lot left under all the dead leaves, but most of the leaves that were exposed are now those dead, dark looking streaks in this photo.  This is one of those plants that self-propagates by sending out runners with baby plants, so it's virtually indestructible.  It will be back.

And what did I spy in my bulb pots?  New growth!  This is just one of them but all three or four pots had new shoots popping up. 

Oh Flame, I know you're not squawking at me; nice yawn!  Truly life in the slow lane.

Flame, stop laughing at me!  Flame and Raven enjoying a small patch of sun hitting the bed.  With double-paned windows, it's really hard to get a really good patch of sun in which to bask, but they try.  More remarkable is that they are this close together while laying down!

Next week starts off with Nick back to school on Monday and me taking "the girls" to visit the torture device.  That'll be one more thing off my list. Nick's asking for me to arrange for music or voice lessons again.  Unless he miraculously is endowed with a car, it would have to be arranged to have someone come to our home; not sure I'm comfortable with that during those times I'm gone.  What to do, what to do. 


  1. Perhaps the heart flutters are from all the stress of your Mother's passing; please accept my condolences and, from my experience, grief takes as long as it takes. It cannot be ignored or denied, one must plow through, step by bitter step until one comes to a place where one is resigned and, eventually, determined to get on with life.
    I have a Jade plant that, once, bloomed and a woman from the Garden Club told me, "Impossible! Jade plants do not bloom." When I told Dave she'd all but called me a liar, he said, "Don't worry about it; she obviously failed biology."

  2. After my father died suddenly ten years ago and then having to move in with my elderly mother (who was in quite a bad way) I started with sustained heart palpitations. It is not nice! I do take magnesium in the form of drops which does help and also maybe Olive leaf extract. Grieving for your mom and also the worry you have with your dad will exacerbate symptoms. I do find stroking a furry helps, there is something about them that is calming! x


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