Saturday, March 29, 2014

Prepping for a Speech

          Today is a grand day.  i have made all my little 'motors', and have only to pack up the 15 sample bags of material to be used by them. I was late going to the post office for my mail. I found only cold water with which to wash my hair, but I got a wonderful lunch from a neighbor who can make tacos much better than I, a gringa, can.

          Yesterday, I met a phone contact who is almost as old as I am. I tried to tell her about some things I was planning to do today, but stopped before I told her about my prepping for the speech this week at Toastmasters. She had interrupted me and began to tell me about her disabilities and how she and her husband were coping with them. I got the very strong message that my planned activity this week would never have interested her at all. 

          Then, my son came by and he said I walked right by him without seeing him.  Since he is usually in his working clothes I was thinking however it was, it had to be a workman for my apartment complex, so I stayed busy telling Xiao, my little dog, about what was going to be a treat for him, yesterday for suppler.  Chicken skin, grizzle, and soft parts of what was left of my dinner the previous night.  My son came after us, and I was so surprised to see him. He has a very busy schedule and for two days, I did not call him about any checks that I had to take to the Bank for him. It was great to see him in spite of his schedule.

          Of course, Xiao did not respond. Human talk while on a tour of our streets were uppermost on his mind.  We would not go down the long street, only by some other apartments nearby.  The reason was perfectly clear both to him, who was pulling very hard on the leash and to me.
He had gotten hurt on two different occasions on the long street and he wanted no more of it. Period! 

       I did not mind in the slightest. I was there when he had gotten hurt, both times, and understood his anxious behaviour.  He and I get along pretty good.  When I start to wake up in the morning, he will crawl out from under the covers and sit on my chest, with his ears perked high, and just took at me. If my eyes are still closed, he will do nothing, but once, I open them, he nuzzles under my chin. Then we rough play for a while and I end up rubbing his stomach, which he really likes. I can feel his paws relaxing and his eyes start to close ever so slowly. He is so completely relaxed. I like the idea very much, but have things to do and they do not wait very long to get done.

          Today is almost over, and tomorrow will be more interesting than today. It better be!

          A grand surprise, this evening at 10:30 pm.  I got a piece of Tres-Leches birthday cake, with a chocolate cookie and a strawberry on top of some great icing. It was a very nice gift for the evening. Even Xiao had a very small piece of the cake. And, as usual, I worked through half the night afterwards; just writing what planning for my speech this week. Wow!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


          Today is a milestone for me. I got may electrical connection to outside my door and I can sit there and sand my little shelf to a beveled shape.

          Not much of a milestone? Sure it is.  I have had this shelf to do for a long time. First, I had to get the proper wood; then. after measuring the narrow shelf I really wanted to put up, I had to get the wood cut. It was a bit long so I was reluctant to use my rip saw on the wood. My poor saw like to walk a little bit sideways which is not what I wanted to do this time.

          I waited until the maintenance men were cutting on a table saw and requested a few cuts. They were willing to oblige and I got some beautiful straight lines. Then i said down and re-did a picture with a bit of pastel oil crayons that I had painted previously. After putting it up all night, I found that I still have to do the the chest of my horse a bit narrower and a lot lighter.

          But because it is only the third horse I have drawn since I returned from China, and that was in 1986, I am a bit rusty on form. The first one I drew when I came back to the States. It was in pen and ink only. And it was a successful horse. The second was a sausage-backed horse, but with interesting bamboo and grasses. It was interesting for the bamboo and grass; the horse was only a directional pointer.

          The newest one came out, a bit odd. It  was like a hobby horse tha ran away from the carousel where the riders had mistreated it; all still and wooden.  However, my perfection-mode kicked in and I botched it again. I do not feel bad about this version, I will let it sit a while more until I do some 'exercises', I think. Nothing like mulling a problem over and then doing it right eventually.

          Went to Toastmasters the other night to applaud for a contestant who was in our group. Loa and behold, I saw Vic from the old T-M group at the health department. I was nice to see him again. Not only that, our contestant, thought he had lost to the first speaker, but it was discovered to be an error, so he actually won first place and will continue his journey to Toastmasters International.  Hooray for him.  It was a great speech with a strange ending. The kind that will surprise you, but a good one even so.

Until Next Time. . .

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Dog Had a Real Problem

Xiao and Brina Share a Blanket
       The above picture was after Xiao, the Chihuahua, came into the family. I thought there would be jealousy but found that Brina only wanted to share the blanket, so she pulled down half of it from the hammock Xiao was sleeping in and went to sleep below the hammock. She knew the little one would not hurt her and Xiao, the little one, knew that Brina was a friend.
         Brina was afflicted with seizures. And I had begun to hear that most times, an animal with seizures had to be put down.

        Through a friend who had studied acupuncture, I learned that a  major epileptic fit could be averted by a simple finger pressure directly under the partition in the middle of the nose. It is a safe Chinese acupressure pressure point and does no damage, even if it is done once or twice more. 

        I thought he was joking. However, my dog had been given phenobarbital, a heavy duty drug that got her addicted. She needed six of those pills per day.

        My vet advised me to get a prescription which the pharmacist told me that it had been taken off the market three years earlier.

         Having seen human epilepsy with the tense but flailing legs and arms first-hand, I figured the acupressure might help but did not know about it when I asked the pharmacist about meds for leg cramps. I was a bit disappointed that the medicine was under aspirins and such.

         That non-intrusive item is an over-the-counter, non-addictive pill costing about $6.00. It is called Leg Cramps. It comes in  two sizes, one for day time and one for over night. 

        Too simple a med I thought. Brina, the dog, really goes under for almost two hours of strain. But I was willing to try it if it might help the dog. I gave her one LC in the morning with a potassium pill and the same in the evening to help with the cramping. After one or two days the potassium was rejected. I dutifully put it back into her mouth and she took it in. The next day she did the same thing, but I figured there had to be a good reason for the rejection so did not give it to her again. 

       Then, one day, I forgot the evening LC pill.  I found that she was fine with one pill a day. The pill contained quinine and was a homeopathic med. 

        I heard from a person who had similar leg cramping seizures that he used Quinine water that helped him immensely.

        By that time I had learned about the acupressure point, but had never used it.  One evening, Brina dropped to the ground about three blocks from our apartment.  I, knowing I would take a bit longer to get back to her, I pressed her nose, then rushed my other dog home.  I grabbed her "taxi" (a laundry basket with a rope) and sped back to Brina.

         I  pressed her nose, one more time and I sort of dumped her into the basket upside down and started pulling the basket home. After a block or so, I heard her breathing normally.that was strange, I thought. But, curiosity got the best of me and I turned to see if it was true. She was sitting up in the basket with both paws on the front edge, happy as can be.

       After 4-1/2 years, we returned to the vet for something else. The vet was very disappointed I did not use her prescription. She said: "Well, it was good for you, and good for Brina;  but it was not good for us" [meaning the clinic.]

         In other words the prescription given me by the vet was just a way to get more money and probably less help to dog [or even to a human] than the phenobarbital, had.

          Once in awhile, when later Brina knew she was going to have a seizure, she would hop into bed with me. and trap me between my blankets. I would not be able to get up easily, so I would press her nose and do it one or two times more. Eventually she would snuggle up on my arm and stay for about 15 more minutes or so until she knew her seizure was definitely over, and then she would hop out and go to bed as usual.

        I was so glad that the one daily pill and the once-in-a-while acupressure helped both of us have a very pleasant time together.