Monday, March 31, 2008

Alice brought me a violet

Two weeks left in tax season and I'm still procrastinating. Finally finished Jeremy's taxes and will e-file his federal later today. On ours, I have filled out the income part, but haven't begun the expenses. It looks to be about the same as last year
when we got a small refund. Income is up slightly but expenses are up greatly. It is difficult to get into taxes with the improving weather and photos needing to be made.
Rode with Carolyn to Sam's Club today and then had her take me by and old and abandoned grist mill on Knob Creek. The old place needs some TLC. Got a couple decent photos, using the pocket Olympus camera.
The Olympus is an enigma. On bright days, it takes very good photos, but when the day is overcast and dull, the results are terrible and mostly unusable. All photos made with the little fellow need a lot of work in software because they are "soft" and lacking in contrast and sharpness. I have to use ISO 200 just to get a decent shutter speed. Can't expect too much from an inexpensive camera, though.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

These are the great staff members who took
care of me preceding and during my heart

Another Sunday has come over us... or overcome us. Carolyn is working, JJ is in bed, and I am trying to convince myself to slave over taxes. I am still feeling great except for the knee. I want that surgery done so badly, especially now that I know the heart is plenty strong enough for the trauma. Someday, maybe.
The weather is gray, cool, and sort of dreary with the the sun popping out on occasion. Thought about going out to take some photos, but I have too much to do here; speaking of which I ought to get busy.
More later...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It has been a busy day... but not a lot accomplished. I rode with Carolyn when she went out to clean some of her buildings. She should get done a little earlier tomorrow because of it. Working seven days per week at her age and with her health problems isn't a good thing.
My medical bills are beginning to to come in; Woof!
I am tired. I carried trash for Carolyn on the Elizabethton job and quickly got out of breath. One good thing though; no heart flutter. In fact, I believe if I wasn't taking the pills to make my heart beat slower, I wouldn't have gotten tired. I've carried the trash for her many times before without a problem. I my heart has been cured of the flutter problem, why am I taking something to slow it down? Why am I asking you? Why don't I ask ty heart doctor who put me on the pills?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Vanessa and Me

Today has been a dandy; I've felt really good, but everything else has sucked. One of Carolyn's helpers is in hospital with possible heart problems, and another is going to have a bunch of teeth extracted next Thursday. If the heart isn't well enough to work by Thursday, it will put Carolyn to doing all but two of the the buildings by herself, and she can't do them. We will try to get her a helper from the family, but that may also be difficult. I told her not to worry and fret about it, but I know she will. Hopefully in six months, she can walk away from the problems of running a small business. We may have to live in semi-poverty when she retires, but that would beat hell out of the way we live now.
I don't know what the Vol men left on the floor when they whipped Memphis, but they have played very poorly since. They took a terrible thrashing at the hands of Louisville last evening; a whipping that should not have happened.
As you can see from the above photo, I've been digging through boxes and finding things I'd forgotten existed. Since this photo was made, 'Nessa has grown up, I've grown old, and Alice (the photographer) has become more beautiful.
I hereby thank the paramedics and the staff of the JCMC emergency room for stabilizing me when I was in dire straits. I wish I could remember all their names, but alas, I don't. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

PT Test

The Old Fine Family Farm House

Today started early and has lasted a long time. Out of bed and ready to go get my first out-of-hospital pt test. Hell no, I ain't pregnant and that ain't what a pt test is. I'll have to stay on the blood thinning rat poison for a few months, so I will need regular blood tests to keep the clotting factor where the doctor wants it.
Drove to the lab and they knew nothing about it. They tried to find out about it. I sat and waited 'til I figured I had waited long enough, so I went home. The doc's office called and said I went to the wrong place; I was supposed to come back to them. Actually, I went where the doc said I should go. Well, the doc is an intern and was a little confused himself.
Went back this afternoon and got things going.
Except for RA, I've felt better today than in a very long time. Did some walking and didn't get out of breath... well, a little, but not as bad as the past few days. Even managed to make a couple of photos of abandoned farm houses.
The old rusty-roofed barn I enjoyed making photos of and in last spring has finally fallen to the ground. I didn't have the heart to make a picture of its demise.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Walnut Mountain Road--1983

Ever get one of these?





You have been banned from the Nature No Limits Group

Hi -

You have been banned from the Nature No Limits group. You will not be able to rejoin this group unless a group administrator removes the ban.

Note: This message has been sent to you by FlickHQ on behalf of Nature No Limits. If you want further clarification about the reason behind you being banned, you'll need to follow up with someone from the group, because FlickrHQ has no say in an individual Group's administration.

Sort of overwhelms the soul to know I have been rejected by a group that has such high standards.
Got the invite to join this rather plain-jane group yesterday morning from one of my Flickr contacts. Looked it over, joined, and posted one photo of a squirrel. Later, I received the above message.
It isn't the first time I've been banned from such as these. I once received an invite from an artsy-fartsy group, took a look at what the administrator liked, and posted one of my B&W photos that seemed like it might fit the overall theme. Other members must have liked the pic, because I got some nice comments from a few of them. Later that same day, I was banned... forever. I sent an email to the person who invited me to the group asking why. She checked on it and the administrator told her my photo just didn't meet the high standards she had set for the group. She didn't say why I was terminally banned. I went to the administrator's photostream, and found that just about any silly thing I have ever posted was much better than her best shots. She was just a wannabe. I did get the last laugh, though. The administrator must have forgotten who I was, because a few months later she listed me as a contact and nicely commented on one of my photos. Of course I immediately blocked her from commenting on any of my photos.
Crap, I've never claimed to be an artist, and I never will because I ain't one. If one thinks he is an artist, he should put his work before the art community and have it judged by other artists and people whom enjoy fine art. Flickr is not the place for such, especially when one bans other people's work because group members like it. Flickr was, is, and probably shall forever be a photo sharing community. Nothing more. I know many will disagree with this, but they have the right to be wrong.
Even though the little formal training I've had in photography is in photographic art, I still have a difficult time accepting that photography should be included in the fine arts. Of course, there were and are some great photographic geniuses, and I dearly love their work, but I accept it as it is, not what others want it to be.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Flowers for my nurses.

Some more people deserve a tip of my sombrero for treating me so well while in hospital. Lauren and Kay are two of my day nurses who bothered to spend extra time with me. Lauren for taking me to the day room on Sunday so I could use the computer, and Kay for hiding out from her boss in my room and swapping stories with me. Also to Sundae, my night CNA, who made sure my pills were taken and who drew blood every morning at 4:00.
More about my nurses. Kay is the nurse who found I wasn't able to go home and made me go back to bed. Thank you Kay; you saved me a lot of future grief. Kay is tall and slender and pretty with brownish-blond hair, and is always peering over her reading glasses. She lives with her husband in Radford VA, which is about 150 miles away, I suppose. She is a "traveling nurse," going to work where the money is, and JCMC has the best money in her travel radius. A lot like I was as a tramp electrician, although I dared not call her a tramp nurse. She stays locally on work days, and commutes to Radford and back on her days off. Another good thing about her and the rest of the nurses in the part of the hospital where I was kept, is they only have four patients each to care for. I got a lot of TLC. The few patients to care for and the big bucks (Well earned? You bet!) makes the job quite attractive to top nurses, and mine were tops.
Nurse Lauren is from Elizabethton, just a few miles from the hospital. She is a young, single, raven haired woman whom is as nice as they come. One day, Carolyn was going to help me get into the shower stall and Lauren misunderstood and thought that Carolyn was going to help me take a shower. She looked at me with the sternest face she could muster (it wasn't very stern from a face so pretty) and told me not to do anything in the shower to get my heart rate up. For a moment I was taken aback, then I laughed and promised not to be naughty. Laughing at her remark got my pulse running faster than anything I had planned for the shower.
CNA Sundae lives in or near the town of Roan Mountain. She doesn't talk much, but she is very, very nice to all her patients. She also is jet-black haired and pretty. She was my night CNA all but one time.
Sometimes hospital isn't half bad.
Rode with Carolyn to look at a new job to bid on. It is small and only one day per week, but it is close by and we want it. Even managed to get a decent photo while waiting on her; a water tank.

Monday, March 24, 2008

For Alice

Went for my weekly shot today—the one they forgot to give me in hospital—where Doctor deWit checked my heart rate and it was fine.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, we have snow flurries.
Sadly, the Lady Bucs lost a well played game and were eliminated from the NCAA tournament. They should be proud and so should be the community. The women accomplished much with a a small but loud fan base in a place that isn't used to winning in anything but men's golf. The college administration has done little to support the sports program, so the ladies' appearance in the tournament was quite surprising to most.

Meanwhile, the Lady Vols won a not so pretty game against a good Oral Roberts University team. It won't be so easy from here on.
More later...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Here is a synopsis of what happened...

I've had an increasing heart rate for nearly a year (known only by me). Last Fri.--14th-- I came home from having some blood work done to see if anything was out of order there. When I got home, I became short of breath, dizzy and began sweating. After a little while I wasn't any better so Carolyn called 911. The ambulance was here in about 10 minutes. and my heart rate was 280 per minute. In the ambulance, it went on up top 291. They gave me a couple of shots of beta blockers and it came down to 148, where it stayed until next morning when I got more blockers and coumadin that brought it down to 98.

On Monday I was stable and they were discharging me. I had all my clothes on, but my monitor wires were still attached. The nurse came in and said let's make sure so she had me stand up and my rate went to 142 and stayed there. She said "get back in bed". They did a stress test on Tue. and I passed it easily, so my heart was found to be strong. They then decided they could stop my heart with electricity and restart it and it would be in rhythm and ok. I didn't like the idea of that! I would have to swallow a sound probe so they could make sure there were no clots in my heart. Thursday they numbed the back of my throat and were ready to insert the probe when the doc came in and looked at my monitor and said to stop and that my heart was back in rhythm and it would do no good. A minute later it was fluttering again. He said that I was in-and-out of rhythm and something else might work. He called in a heart electrician (cardiac electrophysiologist) and he said they could insert a tube through a vein in my groin and go into the upper right chamber of my heart (atrium) and cut a small muscle in the bottom of the chamber that controls some of the electric flow between top and bottom cambers. The procedure is called intracardiac ablation. So, that is what we did on Friday. My rate and bp are now normal, my feet aren't swollen for the first time in more than a year.

On Thursday morning at 4:00, they drew blood as usual. They sent it to the lab and somehow it showed my clotting factor as 2.4 which was unusual because the day before it was 4.2. Friday morning came more blood work, and it showed that it was up to 4.6, which indicated my blood was too thin for surgery. After shaving and prepping me, they spent three hours trying to get my blood thickened with vitamin K, which didn't work. Doctor then ordered two bags of platelets to be infused which took nearly another hour overall. The procedure took about three hours I got back to my room at 5:30pm after having left the bed at 7:00am. As of this writing, I am still tired and short of breath, due to the extra thick blood I am pumping. It will take several days for the coumadin to thin it. I will be on the coumadin and a beta blocker for a while, and then I should be able to live normally.

It was an interesting eight days.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Alive and kicking!
I am home now and I thank everyone for your comments and caring; I will get back to each of you as soon as possible
A BIG super Thank YOU to my friend ALICE. She has been a tremendous help getting through all the problems. We love you, Alice.
My life was never in too much danger, but you could not have convinced me of that fact last Friday afternoon.
Again, thanks everyone; you are all special.
Today I sold my old Nikon slr cameras and lenses plus Carolyn's Sony movie camera. It saddened me very much to do so but it is time to move on. The Nikons have been very good to me over the years and I shall miss them. The Sony was Carolyn's Christmas present in 1996.
The roast is done cooking and the corn bread is in the oven. No knock to hospital food which has improved tremendously in the past few years, but home cooking is always best.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Carolyn just called 911...
Probably be on to hospital...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Recently I wondered about separating colored clothes from whites before laundering. Now I'm wondering why the spirits or elves or genies or whatever it is that lives in the washing machine can't do it. Don't tell me there isn't something abiding therein. If you don't believe me, then explain why my pants pockets are always wrong side out when I get them out of the closet. Or maybe something living or working in the dryer does it. If so, it would about have to be the devil, 'cause nothing else could withstand the heat. Does your pants pockets get turned wrong side out in the dryer? If so, you may want to have an exorcism performed. Fortunately for you, I perform such a service and it is free of charge. Of course to get Old Scratch out of your machine means he will have to go to someone else's dryer. Again, I can provide a home for him in my own dryer with his other manifestations.
Gotta get ready to go to the doctor....
Now my heart rate is 128 bpm which is 12 higher than three weeks ago. Blood pressure is normal, and I have a bit of scarring in the top and bottom of my lungs. This could be the onset of emphysema from years of smoking and and exposure to asbestos over a long period. I will have a thyroid screening through a blood test tomorrow. Doc says thyroid can cause tachycardia. If the thyroid is eliminated—which I think it will be—I'll get an appointment with my GP, and she will get me an appointment with the heart doctor and so goes the merry-go-round. Crap!!! I have lost four pounds in the past three weeks, though.
My internet has been down due to a wreck at the intersection of W. Walnut and S.O.F.
To hell with all of it... I'm going to sit on the porch and enjoy this wondrous spring day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In Last Saturday's Snow Storm

Ain't it great to be alive and be in East Tennessee?! Good afternoon everyone!
I have intentions of making a photographic excursion tomorrow afternoon, IF it gets as warm as they say, and IF it isn't raining. It'll be the first time in more than a month I've had a chance to get out and fool around.
One of my neighbors just finished mowing his wild onions. He is the kind who can't wait to get started mowing in the spring, but tires of it and his lawn quickly goes to hay field.
A lot of birds are singing and calling but I can't half hear them. I don't know if a hearing aid will help over the persistent tinnitus. Damned if I ain't falling completely apart. My brain says eight and my body screams eighty. Rats!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I tooted my horn too quickly about feeling pretty good; had a terrible night. The x-ray report is in and I have to see the doc again Thursday, which will lead to numerous specialists I suppose. I sneaked out without taking Carolyn with me last time, but I bet she won't let it happen again.
The male robins are bickering over who gets which lawn to call home. and mated male and female cardinals are having harsh words for their counterparts. I've figured out the mockingbird is a female, because there is none of the male's beautiful singing around the house. The first baby squirrels of the year should be coming off the nest soon and I will have more mouths to feed. It is fun breaking the little rats into the peanut food chain. Peckerwoods are bountiful and noisy with their calls and drumming.

It is about time for the big wood ants to invite themselves into the house where Carolyn will declare a 'no prisoners taken' war. She never quite wins, but she puts up a hell of a fight all summer long.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The lady Bucs and Lady Vols are champions in their respective conferences. One thing for sure, the lady Buc's coach Kemp and her staff must be pretty good at recruiting and teaching, which in the end will mean that ETSU will not pay them what she they are worth and they will move on to better jobs and the Bucs will return to the dark ages of womens sports. It hasn't failed to happen in any sport at our local university. ETSU's administration should be shaken to its roots and people put in place that can lead a large institution to better things.
Spring is making a feeble effort to be seen. Cardinals and other birds are seeking nesting places, peckerwoods are drumming their love sounds, and early flowers are beginning to bloom.
Except for this bum knee, I've felt pretty good the past few days. I'm sure I will get over it, 'though. Still not completely cured of my cold, but a nice warm day of sun basking should help... if we get a nice warm day.
Carolyn has been "straightening up" the basement for the last two days. She found some items I'll just have to photograph. She dug out all of Dot's Avon bottles and some other fripperies that I want to catalog.

Friday, March 07, 2008

SPRING! Yep! Saw a robin in my front yard,
Got to watch the Lady Vols now.
The ladies won.. BIG, and I saw a robin.
Not a bad day for a simple person such as I.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Still haven't seen a robin... but I did hear one last evening on a neighbors property.
This being near-constantly sick is stressing me out of bounds. Except for going for medical stuff like the x-rays and getting shots, I haven't been farther than the back porch except to ride to Elizabethton once with Carolyn. I am feeling better today, however, and may grab the camera and ride around for awhile. I've read everything in the house, including toilet paper wrapper and Tide box.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sharp-shinned Hawk

This recent migrant stopped by the feeders for lunch today, but his lunch wasn't bird feed; it was the birds. Do you reckon he may be the reason I haven't seen any robins? I doubt it because the robins hardly come around the feeders and there are plenty of other birds for him to choose from.
I'm having a slight relapse today, hopefully it will pass by tomorrow. I have a suspicion that it is congestive heart failure as the disease runs in the family on my mom's side.
I'm working on a new poem using words like thou and thine and broughtest. Ain't that just plumb cool?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Had to go for a chest x-ray... ordered by my arthritis doc. Seems she isn't too thrilled about the rapid heart beat and chest discomfort I'm experiencing.
I'm feeling better today, but still at least one more day away from feeling good.
Carolyn's daffodils are about to bloom, but still no robins. Have you read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson? One year the robins didn't return north in the spring. It is an excellent book if you are interested in environmental issues.

Maybe the reason for no robins at my place is because my yard isn't wormy enough. That may make a statement about you that have robins; you are wormy. Kidding, Alice☺

Monday, March 03, 2008

Still feeling bad... same old malady. Tomorrow is another day, though.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


News Flash: Alice informed me she saw a robin in her yard. That is the second "for sure" local sighting I know of. Thanks for letting me know, Alice!
Feeling a little off this evening...
Be back tomorrow

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Again, I am naked to the world; I shaved two inches of pure white beard from my countenance. Now I have no protection against getting my long hair in my mouth. In fact, as soon as I started eating supper, I managed to wind a long hair around my tongue and mixed with my food. It didn't taste half bad, though.
Still no robins for spring, but the wrens are checking for nesting places.

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