T.G.I.F. !!!

Another VERY smoky day, but it is Friday!

A good work week.

A good week with Bear and Auggie…

…Auggie has been coming in 2:00 p.m ish and I’ve been keeping him in. He has mostly not protested. Mornings are less smoky, but by afternoon – YIKES. And today, as I’m writing this at 5:00, it looks like dusk. I’m happy that we are all inside.

Lunchtime: a brief outing with Mr. Bear. He didn’t want to stay out very long which was fine by me.

Friday night pizza prep: dough and my home brew ginger ale… I’m off wine until I have a bit more normal blood pressure history. Not a problem as I have some excellent ginger and the current batch of ginger syrup is VERY good.

A good week.

Hopefully, tomorrow’s cold front will improve things without making the fire situation worse. A front is to whoosh through tomorrow afternoon-evening. Behind the front are cooler temperatures and hopefully some rain. It is the whoosh that is the concern for fires. There was a local town evacuated – in case. Some new firefighting crews have arrived. Hopefully in 48 hours things will have calmed and cooled.

Meanwhile, T.G.I.F. at my house.

Paying attention with gratitude

It is Thursday evening as I write this. It has been a good week. I haven’t had to take any medication other than the 1 teeny pill given to me in the E.R. on Sunday afternoon. And my blood pressure has stayed in the normal range.

I took Monday morning “off” – a bit of time to regroup, do a few house chores that didn’t get done over the weekend: kind of mindless chores but things got put to rights. It was a decision made knowing that just kind of puttering is relaxing to me as well as getting those things done makes for a “clean slate” to start working. I think it worked.

Despite a short Monday, I’ve accomplished quite a lot this week work-wise. Additionally, I’ve spent good time with Bear and Auggie, fixed myself nice meals and slept well.

It is VERY smoky and despite the smoke reached to 89F yesterday and today, but that stuff: small potatoes! The weekend events turned my head back to focusing on the good stuff. And “this too, shall pass!” – that is my motto re the weather, etc. I have no control so it is silly to spend time agonizing about it.

Today, I read Heather Lende’s Four Good Things Post. I highly recommend clicking over and reading the entire post. She concludes with “I don’t know exactly what prayer is, but paying attention with gratitude is a good start.”

Paying attention with gratitude. I interpret that as staying in the moment and being thankful … whatever the circumstances. I had a great lesson this past weekend in how a seemingly challenging event could be something that had more good than bad. Not that I want a repeat, but I came away from the experience a changed person with new knowledge: about the E.R., about care professionals, about blood pressure and the heart and the body and the mind, about what I really want to focus on … I’m still thinking on the experience.

I hope that I am paying attention with gratitude: counting my blessings … which are many!

Happy Thursday, almost Friday!

Mind and Body reboot

First: Auggie, Bear and I are all fine – YEA!!

But, I did spend Sunday afternoon at the ER (Emergency Room of the local hospital) … with blood pressure through the roof!

It came down with medication and has stayed down: body reboot.


Despite a childhood climbing trees, skating, running, playing all manner of sports…I’ve not had the occasion of being an ER patient until this past weekend.

It was an enlightening experience.

Because I had very high blood pressure ( I went to a local Urgent Care facility first ) … as well as some chest pressure issues (seriously, I attributed them to sinus related issues from the smoke and dry air) – I was moved – at the speed of light- to a trauma room and hooked up to all manner of equipment. Blood was drawn.

And then…a man was admitted to the unit next to me…separated by a curtain…and before they had a chance to gown him, he had a combination seizure/heart attack. But they revived him. And administered all the things they do…and he had a second seizure/heart attack – but, they revived him.

As anyone can imagine, it was unnerving to have to listen and watch a bit … there was a window and reflection.

I was praying for the man, for his wife who was in the room, for me and for the care team…the entire ER staff was involved.

Incredibly, after each attack, the man was speaking coherently – asking for his wife. His wife was there and answered confidently: “I’m here, honey!”. Her poise and her staying – she thanked the ER crew for letting her stay – such courage! She’d moved to a corner out of their way. It was VERY obvious that it was important to both her husband and her that she be there.

Then, it was decided that he would be moved to a hospital approximately 15 miles away – a hospital that had a cardiac unit. I was both grateful and fearful. This man had had two serious events that took the entire ER staff to deal with – what if he had an event in transport. And it was obviously crucial that he had contact with his wife. She could not ride with him – she had friends who took her and an ER nurse went with the ambulance.

I somewhat witnessed the transport and heard details and later found out that he arrived at Kalispell Regional as did his wife. Beyond that I will likely not know. I continue to hold them in prayer.

Meanwhile, my own blood pressure slowly dropped, despite what was happening beyond the curtain.

And while a medication was a bit delayed, due to those happenings, after given, my blood pressure continued dropping and after four hours in the ER, I was cut loose with a prescription, direction to contact my primary care physician and the OK to drive myself home.

I slept VERY well that night and despite being in the house for longer than normal, so did Bear and Auggie.

And my blood pressure has been normal, since.

Body reboot via medication.

Mind reboot via … focus on good health trumps everything else ??? Don’t know, only know that at this time, I feel very well.


Mind and body rebooted and on we go.

Green and growing things: Greek Oregano and Organic Basil.

Growth means life and here at my house…Bear, Auggie and I – we are alive and well!

My heart is broken: more firefighters lost

After three firefighters in Washington were lost this week, thirteen firefighters this fire year have lost their lives working to save the rest of us and our homes and property.

It is heartbreaking.

The men and women who work wildfires are beyond heroic. It is a calling that requires a unique set of physical and emotional capabilities beyond what I can imagine.

I am heartbroken for the lives of the lost and their families.

Conditions, currently are horrible: scary, SCARY, dry ground and fuel along with heat, low humidity and wind.

Smoke: I have no breathing issues, but the amount of smoke has me wheezing and sneezing so I have to wonder about those that DO have issues.

My prayers go out for the West: first for the firefighters and all of their support, for those who have health issues, for the wildlife and the pets and livestock, for those who DO have breathing issues, for those who have to make decisions… for the West.

Almost 30,000 firefighters from all over the country are battling about 100 wildfires that have broken out across the West. The flames have torched more than 1 million acres of land.

So many firefighters are needed that more are flying in all the way from New Zealand and Australia this weekend, authorities told NBC News.

Final details were still being worked out, but the contingent from Australia and New Zealand was expected to arrive in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday. Boise is the headquarters of the Western regional headquarters of the Forest Service’s National Interagency Fire Center.

Mike Ferris, a spokesman for the fire center, told NBC News that the fire personnel — whom he described as fire managers, not front-line firefighters — will undergo two days of training on U.S. firefighting procedures next week before being deployed as needed.

“We currently remain at National Preparedness Level 5 [the highest level], our resources are fully committed and there are no season-ending weather events in the foreseeable forecast,” said Aitor Bidaburu, head of the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, which manages cooperation among fire operations from the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies.

The above says “100 wildfires that have broken out across the West”. I think that number is understated.

Whatever, my utmost prayer is that no more lives be lost. The stuff, the houses, the buildings…inconsequential and replaceable. It is the Fathers, Mothers, Sons, Daughters, the Animals – THEY are the important things…