Happy New Year

Here are a few funny cartoons to enjoy:

Here's a video with some advice I'll try to follow.  It seems practical.  I think the best thing is to limit my resolutions to a few important ones.  Too many will make it impossible to accomplish.

Disappearing Dots

My brother Tony E-mailed this video to me.  For me the center green dot comes on and off while the yellow dots seem to disappear for a moment.

I circled one of the yellow dots with my hand so it was the only one I could see. It did not disappear.  Neither did the other yellow dots when I tested them in turn.  The illusion is real and not a tampering with the video.

Here it is:

Miles' Day Out

Our grandson is quickly growing up.  I can't wait to see him for Christmas.

This is a video from another day.

Earth Seems to Be "Rising" Over Moon

I want to share this photo I found today on the NASA site.
Though the “earth rise” evokes the sunrise that we’re all familiar with here on Earth, you’d never see this type of image if you were actually standing on the moon (as opposed to orbiting around the moon, like the LRO).
“Viewed from the lunar surface, the Earth never rises or sets,” Arizona State University’s Mark Robinson said in the NASA release. “Since the moon is tidally locked, Earth is always in the same spot above the horizon, varying only a small amount with the slight wobble of the moon.”

My Brother Has Spinal Stenosis

Sad to say but my brother just found out he has a spinal stenosis.  He's suffering and will continue getting treatments.

The narcotics help a little but he still finds it hard to move.  He told me he lost his balance and almost fell out his window.  Grabbing on to the bureau saved him.

This is just in time for Christmas! I hope and pray he will be better soon.

Healthy Weight for Seniors

BMI = Body Mass Index  is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

I recently read that a slightly heavier weight for seniors is still healthy.  Here's one explanation from Living Strong:

Body Composition

"As you age, you lose muscle mass. It's called sarcopenia, and as muscle mass decreases, fat tissue centralizes, filling in the gaps, so to speak. You also tend to store more fat as age progresses, thus maintaining steady or slightly increasing weight. Sarcopenia in obese elderly patients is associated with functional impairment and disability, so the upper ranges of BMI indicating obesity may indicate poor health outcomes in seniors as well as younger adults. That suggests that an ideal weight range for seniors is somewhere between the upper limit for good health for younger adults and the obesity range that is detrimental to patients of all ages. The Yale study concludes that 27, and not 25, should perhaps be the ideal upper limit for BMI in older persons."  From The Ideal Weight for Older People | LIVESTRONG.COM
Click sources chart below for a clearer view.

I want to keep my BMI above 23 because under 23 is not as healthy.  Yet still be under the old standard BMI of under 25 even though 27 is said to be okay.  This way I'll be covered by both standards. If I feel better with the lower weight then I'll just go with what feels best as long as it is above a BMI of 23.
Here is a link to calculating your BMI: Calculate Your BMI - Standard BMI Calculator
The calculator looks like this.
Now I won't have to worry about getting fat but worry about being too thin instead!
Is this a bit obsessive?
Is health mainly a matter of good luck (good genes, not catching a bad disease, no accidents)?

Tea: Bags or Loose?

I usually use tea bags because they're easy and fast with almost no cleanup. Sometimes I play around with loose tea.  The quality is supposed to be better. I've heard that the price per cup is cheaper.

I like Tazo English Breakfast tea bags.  There's more tea in each bag and it makes a strong cup of tea.

Bigelow has a nice variety.  The English Breakfast tea is not as strong.  They have an American Breakfast tea with more caffeine and stronger flavor.
The Earl Grey tea is made with bergamot oil which is much better than the bergamot "flavor" that Twinings uses.

Bergamot Fruit from Calabria Italy

I have to admit that playing with loose tea is fun.  I use a frog tea infuser.
I put sugar and milk in my tea except for green teas.

Now I'm using Twining's Irish Breakfast loose tea.  But I need more tea leaves to make it stronger.

In the supermarkets near me I can only find Twining and Lipton loose tea.  I don't like Lipton tea.  I'll have to order loose tea on the internet.

It all comes down to making it how you like; My "cup of tea"or just "not my cup of tea".

How do you make your tea?

Are Daily Naps a Waste of Time?

When I nap for over an hour I wake up tired and depressed.  It seems like a good part of the day is gone, wasted.

I tried shorter naps with a timer set for 30 minutes.  The problem is how I keep resetting the timer for 5 or 10 minutes more until I just let myself go into a long nap.  The result again is waking up tired and depressed.

From google images

What seems to work for me is what I call a short "caffeine power nap":

1. Right before you crash, down a cup of java. (I use tea.) The caffeine has to travel through your gastro-intestinal tract, giving you time to nap before it kicks in. 
2. Close your eyes and relax. Even if you only doze, you'll get what's known as effective microsleep, or momentary lapses of wakefulness.
3. Limit your nap to 15 minutes. A half hour can lead to sleep inertia, or the spinning down of the brain's prefrontal cortex, which handles functions like judgment. This gray matter can take 30 minutes to reboot.
What works for you?

Have You Seen Old Dollar Green?

I found this song one day while surfing the web.  It was by another unknown singer and the lyrics were hard to hear.  When I looked for a better version I had no luck for over a year; until yesterday when I found this version by Lou Rawls.

I could not find a copy of the lyrics anywhere.  There is another song with a similar title but not this one.

Here are some of the lyrics:  

Some people call him Buck
and other people call him Bill.

He has the face of a president
and His home is in the US mint.

I'm looking for him right now
If you see him send him to me right away.

I need him in my jeans. I have to go out 
and get some bread and beans


Getting Ready for Christmas 2015

This is our front door with the wreath we put up every year.  I use a green spotlight to make it visible at night.

I've spent the last several days starting to prepare for Christmas.  I can't believe it's December already.  Maybe the mild weather has something to do with it.

Instead of our artificial tree this year we bought a tiny live tree.  I did not notice that the care instructions were still attached when I took the photo! It's only 4 feet tall but more than enough for the two of us.  When we put it on a box it looks taller.  We'll drape a white cloth over the box to hide it.

I have the presents picked out for Lynette and just have to order two of them on-line and pick one up at Target. She asked me what I want but as usual I have no idea.  I don't want clothes and I don't wear jewelry.  I have to search around then if I don't see anything I'll pick something at random.

A Few Family Photos

My Grandson Miles and Family Dog Arctic

I was a little tired today so I only felt like posting a few photos that I edited.

Mom & Dad
Laurissa and Ryan

Whole Duck: Skin, Fat and Bones

Yesterday for my birthday Lynette made a whole roast duck with mashed potatoes, green beans, turnips and biscuits.  Everything was great.  Even though the duck was all skin, fat and bone; it tasted good.
Lynette was disappointed and said she would buy only the breast next time. All that mattered to me was her effort to make my birthday special.

I stayed in my JP's all day.  It was just the two of us.  My brother called and sang happy birthday with his wife and my neice.
My daughter called twice.  I could hear my grandson Miles in the background. Her husband wished me happy birthday just as Miles slammed the bathroom door on him.

It was a quiet and relaxed birthday, just what I was in the mood for.

Poor Designs from Bored Panda

I wonder if they did this on purpose.

They must have meant well.

I bet the author Brown was not too happy.

Was this supposed to be a joke?

She must be experiencing a side effect of the tea.

They could have found a better place to put the light switch!

These are my favorites from Bored Panda.

35th Anniversary!

Lynette and I have been married for 35 years!  It will be a quiet celebration, just the two of us for dinner and back home to watch TV together.
I've had terrible headaches as a side effect of daily doses of intravenous immunoglobulin this past week for my CIDP.  See my earlier post. Here's the link: CIDP.
Last night I had to take some oxycodone, left over from before my back surgery last year.  The extra strength Tylenol did not help much.  The pain felt like a knife stabbed into my neck.  
I was supposed to feel more strength in my legs but so far I only feel the headaches. Maybe I'll just have to give it more time to work.

      (That's not me in the photo but that's how I felt.)

We'll celebrate by going to one of our favorite restaurants.  They serve the best Chinese food I've ever had.  We usually order extra dishes to take home for dinner the next couple of days.

It will be some quiet time together.  That's what's important.

First Steps for Miles!

It's great having a grandson!

My first day of therapy for my CIDP went better than expected.  It was for about 3 hours instead of 4.  Now I feel tired so I'll keep my post short.


I've had "dropfoot" for many years and wear braces on both my feet/calves to prevent me from tripping.  I've fallen many times but have not broken anything; except that my back required surgery and I wonder if my falls had anything to do with it.  But I'm very lucky that now I feel no pain.

"Foot drop is a gait abnormality in which the dropping of the foot happens due to weakness, damage to the peroneal nerve or paralysis of the muscles in the anterior portion of the lower leg. It is usually a symptom of a greater problem, not a disease in itself. ..." ~Wikipedia

I just learned that I have Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy; CIDP for short.  After all these years I have a reason why I have "dropfoot".

"Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, is an acquired immune-mediated inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nervous system."

The treatment is Granulex-C iv ig, which is made from human plasma.  Starting this Monday on November 16, I'll get an IV at the hospital that takes about 4 hours.  I'll do this for 5 days in a row as a loading dose.  After that I might have to get another treatment every 4 to 6 weeks.

Hopefully, this will prevent my legs from getting any weaker and maybe spreading to my hands.  I might even get a little of my strength back. 

I get along fine now and don't want to be eventually forced into a wheelchair in maybe 5 or 10 years.

The doctor in this video explains CIDP.

Wish me luck!

Simplifying My Family Tree

This chart shows my personal genealogical goal. Anything more is just too involved in details which will be very difficult to keep track of.  I want to make it enjoyable, not a tedious task.

My parents were from Italy so even going back as far as this chart will be difficult.  So far I've reached my great grandparents on my mother's side and my grandparents on my father's side.  I may not be able to go back to my great great grandparents without professional help, which I'm not sure I want to do.

At least I'll have made some progress to make it a little easier for my descendants to continue if they like.

The video shows how difficult genealogy can become.

Happy Together

If you're not too young, you'll remember from the sixty's, the Turtles and Happy Together.

Happy Together
The Turtles

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night
It's only right
To think about the girl you love
And hold her tight
So happy together

If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me
And ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be
So very fine
So happy together

I can't see me lovin' nobody but you for all my life
When you're with me, baby, the skies will be blue for all my life
Me and you and you and me
No matter how they tossed the dice
It had to be

The only one for me is you
And you for me
So happy together

I found these photos on an Italian translated version of the video.  The music is the Turtles in English with Italian subtitles.  It was so good I had to share it.


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