Friday, March 27, 2015

'Best Before Date'

As I took my truck in to get it serviced the other day, I was grateful that it was still in such great shape, and everything was working so wonderfully. However, it still needed maintenance, and its regular check-up.
How much like a vehicle we are. Most of us are born with a reasonably healthy body and the latest technology to help that body function. (liver, kidneys, stomach, glands and other organs) OK, here is where the analogy breaks down. Vehicles have ever improving technology built on board, whereas, our bodies have amazing technology that has been around forever and it never changes. Back to the metaphor.
My truck needs regular fuel-up and oil changes and we could call that proper nutrition. As the vehicle ages, new brakes, a muffler, some gaskets or filters, together with belts and hoses will need replacing. Fluids are vital to proper functioning, as are our bodies. But, as more time goes by, what happens are what we call major breakdowns which translate to expensive repairs or maybe scrapping of the vehicle or at least trading it in for a newer model.
These thoughts were going through my head as I marched from one doctor to another, the x-ray clinic to the blood clinic, and the eye doctor to the allergist. I have reached my 'best before date' and some semi-major maintenance and repair is required. As wonderful as the human body is, it does wear out. We can neglect or ignore the signs of a breakdown, or we can be preventative or proactive when there are danger signals. If we are not, a catastrophic event could be in our future.
Apart from the usual blood work that is requested with a physical check-up, I also went to the clinic armed with a requisition for an x-ray to determine the extent of wear and tear on one of my knees. The two clinics are in the same building so I got the imaging done first. The bio-medical lab, where they take the blood sample, was just upstairs, so I took a number and prepared myself for a 45 minute wait. I was 10 minutes away when I began to read the requisition for the blood work. What I did not realise, or perhaps had forgotten, was that one of the tests was a glucose test, meaning that I was required to fast for at least 10 hours before giving a blood sample. The waiting room is very crowded and there is nothing to do but observe other people and see how slowly the numbers are coming up. So how do I exit gracefully, or in such a way as to save face?
I began looking at my watch frequently, while checking the electronic number read-out on the wall. I began to look and act impatient, and finally in a huff, got up and walked out. Why did I do that? I suppose I did not want anyone to see that my mental faculties are also wearing out. We get very creative when we are covering up for our deficiencies.
This morning (after my fast), I was checking in at the counter of a different blood clinic (there is that effort to creatively cover-up again) and was asked if I wanted to register with the service and receive my test results on-line. "Yes", say I, and after being told that I could register at the .com address on the form, I told her she would need my e-mail address. Duh! These clinics are frequented by mostly middle and old aged folks so she did not miss a beat. She probably thought, "Oh boy, another one."    

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How to Buy a Bed

     We decided, one day in December, that our bed needed replacing. I was all for a new bed, but not up to the daunting task of shopping for it. I checked the sales flyers and eventually went to the internet to do research. I wanted a good deal, a good bed, and good testimonials.
     I learned a lot, but mostly that shopping for a bed was a bit of a crap shoot. And what can you learn about a bed by laying down on it for a few seconds in the show room of a Sleep Store? I dug deeper and started to head in the direction of high quality memory foam beds. I had wanted a Tempurpedic last time but the 5K price drove me off.  Then I found a bed that was as close to Tempurpedic as you could get, but the price was 1/5 as much. Moreover, it was a Canadian Company and was skyrocketing to success.
Not only was the price good, but it included shipping, 2 memory foam pillows, and a 120 day guarantee with free return shipping if we decided to send it back.
We could not lose so I ordered from the website and a few days later it arrived in very heavy box. We opened the box near the bed with the old mattress already removed, and flipped the squashed contents onto the bed. It was icy cold and flat like a pancake. The instructions said it would take about 6 hours to 'fluff up'.

As it warmed, it slowly started filling out the baggy mattress cover. The two pillows were almost cardboard thin. In fact, one of them took three days to expand.

We slept on it that night and knew there was big difference from what we had. We no longer rolled to the middle as if magnetized, and we were lying straight, and level. It took getting used to, but in a few days we loved it and my back ache that had come late in the year was now gone completely. The 120 days are soon over, but we decided some time ago that it was a keeper. This bed has our complete endorsement.
You can check it out here if you are in the market for a new bed.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Cleaning Out the Memory Card

Between Christmas and New Year, I posted a few photos of this puzzle as it was in progress. Then I photographed it when it was completed and forgot that I had done so. I took a few spring flower pictures last week and as I exported them to my computer, there was the puzzle photo. It was a very difficult puzzle but very beautiful when completed. The scene was taken from somewhere in the Colorado Rockies. I am done with puzzles until next Christmas.

These Daffodils are very early this year, but because they are in a sheltered location close to the house, they should weather anything a late winter storm will throw at them. It is amazing how a splash of brilliant yellow will enhance the mood after a winter of nothing but gray and dull greens.

Our front lawn is infested with these Sweet Violets, but we do not mind. They are very pretty as the early morning sun hits them at an angle that sets them among diamonds and jewels as the light reflects off the morning dew. I set my camera right down in the grass to get this worm's eye view.