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General ruminations

Well, this morning I’m off to the doctor, where we shall see what we shall see.

I don’t expect to learn much today, but I’ll request that the clinic’s most discerning vampires taste my blood for anomalies. Then we shall see.

The trouble will probably lie somewhere between, “It’s all in your head, dimwit” and worst-case. I’m not worried; just glad to be getting this done at last.

Have I mentioned I hate doctors? (No offense, Dr. Jim. You’re different.)


After the appointment, The Wandering Monk will wander by to work with me on a materials list for the summer projects. The summer projects are basically one project: Finish the outside of the house.

This means everything from soffits, fascia boards, and gutters to a small deck, smaller porch, and possibly replacing another 12 feet of foundation beam. The latter won’t be anything approaching last year’s house jacking, when we found ourselves with no intact house to jack. But it’s not trivial.

We did luck out on one big thing. Last year we ordered as many pressure-treated/ground-contact 2x8s and 6x6s as we thought we’d need for the foundation work. When our plan had to change, I was left with a heap of pricey lumber — that became more valuable yet by the end of last year (thank you, Trump trade wars) and still moreso this spring. I’m glad I kept it instead of returning it for a credit; it will provide most of what we need for the deck and porch.

Otherwise the job is more labor- than material-intensive, and thank heaven The Monk still works at his unbelievable rates. This will be vastly easier than anything we did last year. But there’s a lot. Skirting and an access door. Earthquake strapping. Breaking up an old concrete walk and leveling ground. A lot o lot o lot.

I’m looking forward to it, and even more to having it done. Thank you for making it possible.


In the meantime I’ve been making an extra effort to live deliberately (if not quite ala Thoreau). I’ve spent an hour or two a day at the art table, goallessly noodling as my mind explores. I’ve made a rule about eating: no being on the computer, watching DVDs, or even reading books during meals. Just savor the food and Be There.

I’m paying more attention on walks. The world is many shades of green right now. The rhododendrons — almost supernatural in this corner of the world — are only now losing their blooms, after starting slightly earlier than usual in late April. The mudflats reek of shellfish, which isn’t pretty, but high tide brings pleasant salt-tanged and wet grass aromas.

It’s a good life. Important to remember that.


I also tried to read a book about silence. It was very noisy. Many desperate metaphors flapping around, trying to escape.

I thought instead of this:

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown—


Oh, and to bring us down from such airy places, have an eagle battling a mountain goat:


Source (H/T BD)


Finally, if you want that signed politically incorrect Grandpa tee-shirt, be sure to put your name in the hat by this evening.


  1. Pat
    Pat June 6, 2018 3:24 am

    Here’s wishing the Best Outcome to you on the Dr’s visit. (BTW, I think I should move to Idaho Falls.)

    It’s hard not to eat and read at the same time. I’ve tried that a couple dozen times and it never seems to work.

    That goat was just too heavy for the eagle. It may have been a young (or hungry) eagle who hadn’t gauged the size correctly. I admire the loyalty and determination of the other goat to stay with them and find a way to help.

  2. fred
    fred June 6, 2018 3:33 am

    When I get rich again I want to commission you to do a Blue Dog,divided into 4 pics,one in blue,red,green and yellow maybe? I keep seeing Ava with a front on pose,big sly smile,winning the art contest,I really see that.

    Blue Dog meets Warhol.By Claire.Has a nice ring to it too. 🙂

  3. DistOne
    DistOne June 6, 2018 5:26 am

    May the One Infinite Creator guide you and heal you. You are a blessing to all your readers.

  4. David M. Gross
    David M. Gross June 6, 2018 6:57 am

    I smiled big reading this: “I also tried to read a book about silence. It was very noisy. Many desperate metaphors flapping around, trying to escape.”

  5. larryarnold
    larryarnold June 6, 2018 10:15 am

    With all that tumbling, I’m amazed neither critter got broken.
    Predators that optimistic find trouble. There aren’t many vets in the wild, and even a minor injury that leaves one unable to hunt for several days can leave them too weak to catch and subdue prey.

    Around here the mourning doves are looking for love, and morning walks feature one of Nature’s finest choirs.

    Vaya con Dios.

  6. Claire
    Claire June 6, 2018 11:14 am

    Back from the doctor. No word on anything yet, of course. All the immediately observable stuff was fine & dandy. But I got thoroughly poked and prodded, screened, and scanned, and had all my precious bodily fluids drawn out of me. Now I feel ready to sleep all day. Return appointment for the results is next Wednesday.

    Thank you all for the good wishes and support; you guys are the best blessing a blogger could ever have.

    And fred, I’d like to do that “Blue Dog Warhol” someday. Believe it or not, I’ve actually pictured something very similar to what you describe.

  7. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 6, 2018 1:14 pm

    I don’t know what to say and that says a lot but I hoping and praying (I have this habit of when I can’t do anything else I can always do that, it’s free, I don’t know if it works but in this case I hope it does) everything will be ok.

  8. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit June 6, 2018 1:27 pm

    Fingers crossed and prayers up that the doc results will be along the lines of “take a vitamin”.

  9. Claire
    Claire June 6, 2018 1:32 pm

    I definitely won’t object to prayer, Comrade X.

    And I’ll be quite happy with “take a vitamin,” coloradohermit. I think it’s a good bet that I’m anemic. The reasons for anemia can range very interestingly from “take a vitamin” to “sit down before I tell you this.”

    I just hope there’s no more poking and prodding involved. And I do believe I’ve given enough of my blood to this cause already.

  10. Pat
    Pat June 6, 2018 1:53 pm

    “And I do believe I’ve given enough of my blood to this cause already.”

    That doesn’t help anemia.

  11. Claire
    Claire June 6, 2018 6:13 pm

    Yeah, I think you got that, Pat.

    Also, I had to go in fasting, of course. And while there are plenty of days I’ve simply forgotten to eat until afternoon and felt just fine, this would be one of those mornings when fasting felt like privation — headache, light-headeness. Vampirism I didn’t need on top of that.

    But the blood draw was no big problem. What I hated most, other than the general prodding and poking, was getting lectured about all the “routine” medical care I “ought” to get. Annual physical, mammograms, etc. I like this doctor, but she’s a stickler for whatever the conventional rules are. If I’d actually been getting all the stuff she insists I should have, how much time and money would have been thrown down the tubes over the years?

  12. fred
    fred June 7, 2018 1:47 am

    Health care can drive you nuts.After a lifetime of it,Ive decided 1/2 of it is total nonsense.Im really tired how what is gospel 10 years later is completely refuted.How the latest greatest med now kills you,oops,my bad,so sorry.

    I stay away from every pill I can,every test I can,Im not looking for obscure problems,Im looking for a fix when Im ill.

    VA….wrote how Im non compliant for refusing a colonoscopy.I dont need one,explained to brand new Dr….they carry risks and heaven forbid i have an issue Im not wearing a colostomy bag,so no,not interested,thank you very much.If its my time to go,so be it,Im comfortable with that decision.

    Hence,Im non compliant.Uh huh,right,Im not a mindless lab rat is what i am.

  13. fred
    fred June 7, 2018 2:05 am

    A good experience.I have a cough,next day can hardly breath.Go to a Doc In The Box (cash pay) and see a Nurse Practitioner.Takes one look at me,says obviously you have pneumonia,I know it,you know it.I can send you for an xray and sputum culture or give you some meds and send you on your way.

    I opted no tests,she gave me a free sample Z-Pack,24 hours later I felt great.Heck,in just a couple hours I felt better!

    Thats my kind of medicine!

  14. Pat
    Pat June 7, 2018 9:33 am

    fred – You felt better from pneumonia in a couple of hours?! And felt great after 24 hrs?! Doubtful. You may have had an allergy.

    What’s in the Z-Pack? Just curious…

  15. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit June 7, 2018 12:24 pm

    “Hence,Im non compliant.”
    HaHa! Me too and docs think I’m just a beligerant old cow. Guess I am actually. 😉

  16. fred
    fred June 7, 2018 7:18 pm

    Pat,z-pack is zithromax,and yes it was pneumonia and Ive had it since too,hence both the PNA vaccines are on board now (risk vrs benefit on that vaccine).

    And yes,it was clearing in a matter of hours thats how effective zithromax is to PNA.

    Im very well aware of the difference between an allergy and PNA.I started out as a Navy Corpseman in 1975.And did all but 2 years in ICU,CCU,Neuro ICU,Trauma ICU, and Transplant ICU as an LVN and an RN up until I retired last year.I have a clue.I bought it from Vanna.

    Zithromax is one of the wonder drugs for PNA.
    Heehee coloradohermit!

  17. Pat
    Pat June 8, 2018 2:19 am

    fred – I undersgtand Zithromax and pneumonia. However there is no such thing as a “wonder drug” for anything, and you’re lucky you responded the way you did.

    My real objection in your situation is the manner in which the Nurse Practitioner treated something s/he could not diagnose without medical certainty, and it is anathema to me that s/he could take pneumonia so lightly. I’ve seen patients reach a critical stage in 24 hours and die because the “wonder drug” did not work fast enough to get on top. Having had pneumonia myself, I have a healthy respect for it. (And as long as we’re giving qualifications, I was an R.N. for 56 years, including hospital and public health field service.)

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