I took Tank in for regular servicing this morning, and was very happy to hear that the vehicle is in “very good condition”. We have been very lucky to have found this mechanic, he is honest and talented, a great combination. If he tells us something needs to be done, we have it done. When he presents us with a bill, we don’t even have to look at it, we just pay it. There are very few businesses in Canada that deserve that kind of trust.

When I arrived home with Tank, I noticed that all the runoff from the entire street was pouring into our driveway, creating huge pools of water. The blockade I had constructed in the spring had worn away. The trench I had dug in the spring had become blocked with pine cones, and congested with thick grass and roots. I was wearing my trusty old GoreTex parka, so I was well prepared to snoop around in the garage for a hoe. Trusty hoe in hand I tackled rebuilding the blockade, taking the matted grass and roots and accumulated soil from the trench and placing them on the driveway in such a way as to divert the flowing stream from the street into the trench and thus into the ditch. By the time I had completed the task, the pools on the driveway were shrinking steadily, deprived of their life line.

My blood pressure is still far too high, the quadrupled medication is not doing the job. I suspect the sudden problem could be caused by the medication I take for high cholesterol. When I became a senior citizen, the drug plan I became eligible for would not provide me with the dosage I needed, which was low. Instead, I had to take double the dosage needed, because those were the only pills covered by the drug plan. Insanity. The doctor advised taking the medication every other day, but at a double dose. I think this might have caused my blood pressure to skyrocket, the timing is about right, it is a documented side effect for a small percentage of people, and I might be one of them. My first plan of attack is to cut the pills in half and take a half portion every day, and see if that helps my blood pressure. My other plan is to try to eliminate store bought bread from my diet, it is very high sodium, a sandwich will put me close to my daily limit for sodium. Today I have been looking at low-sodium and sodium-free bread recipes. I stopped using the salt shaker ages ago, but just about all processed food is high in sodium, so it is a real challenge to stay within the daily recommended limit. Just one pickle can tip the balance.

Cold and raining here all day long. Now the wind is up. Looking out the window into the distant sky, I can see flocks of geese attempting to fly in one direction, but the wind has other plans for them. They drop out of formation one by one, turning to follow the wind. Closer, leaves fly past the window like yellow and brown rockets on a mission.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 PM EDT Friday 21 October 2016
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 8.2°C
Dew point: 6.7°C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: N 27 gust 43 km/h
Visibility: 16 km


“The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.”
Hubert H. Humphrey
1911 – 1978

P.S. I would like to mention that no tears fell at my house today! The storm has passed it seems.


  1. Salt is a curse for people with high blood pressure. Daily meals are a balancing act. Even though I make most meals from “scratch”, some sodium creeps in. For the past few months I’ve limited my intake of oil (even olive oil), and have seen a reduction in blood pressure. Could there be a connection? Some say that omitting oil from your diet can unclog arteries. But the jury is not in!

  2. I was going to suggest cutting the bp pills in half… Paul has to do that a lot with his thyroid meds when his numbers are too low or too high, his doc is always fiddling with his doses, so he cuts/breaks them in half. I think there is a “pill cutter” contraption you can get that does it easier than the human fingers can do it.

  3. Diane, salt is used as a preservative and so it in most of the food we buy premade. I have to fight it in everything, bread and condiments being the hardest to give up, and my greatest dietary source of sodium. Attila doesn’t need to watch his sodium, and it is getting harder and harder to put together a meal that we can both eat with enjoyment. I am resigning myself to finding things I can eat, no matter how boring and tasteless, and rotating the same menus over and over again.

    That is interesting about the oil, I don’t eat a lot of fat, almost no animal fat, and mostly olive oil.

    It is such a balancing act! I don’t find the doctors much help to tell you the truth. We who exist in these wonderful organic entities, our bodies, have to struggle blindly onward trying to take care of ourselves. The best tips I get are from other people during direct contact, such as our interaction here.

    Medicine does not explore the maintenance of health, it deals well with health crises, but for health maintenance we are largely on our own.

  4. Bex, I have a little pill cutter, and put it to use yesterday. I decided to halve the cholesterol medication, to go back to taking the dose that originally worked well.

    The blood pressure pills aren’t working, so I considered cutting them in half, and then thought better of it, because I want to make one change at a time, in case something actually works I want to know what it is.

    I just don’t accept that suddenly, for no apparent reason, my blood pressure shot up and won’t come down. There is a reason, and I hope it isn’t a serious one. I know it isn’t an obvious reason, the doctor did the standard tests, and ruled out things like thyroid issues. It could be stress, it was a hell of a summer, but things are settling down now, so my blood pressure should be coming down if the increase was stress related.

    As we age we have to pay attention to what is going on with our bodies, in a way that we didn’t need to bother with when we were young.

    Leonard Cohen recently spoke about being 80, and I love what he said, attributing good health and good relationships in old age to good luck. I agree with him, it is mostly luck. You can sabotage your good luck of course, but lots of people have no good luck to sabotage.

  5. I had read the same information about olive oil Teri. Almost all the fat I consume is olive oil.

    I feel the information at webmd is reliable, as far as it goes. Rsearch can’t include the whole population, so they can’t accurately respresent everyone’s experience. I feel studies are good guidelines, but I don’t think it is a one size fits all situation.

    For example, my pharmacist told me that the low dosage I took for high cholesterol would not work, according to studies, but I know it brought my cholesterol under control. Thank goodness my GP at the time took a flexible attitude to prescribing the drug.

    I am willing to give conventional medical wisdom gained from studies the first right of refusal for my medical care, under most circumstances. But when that fails to yield acceptable results, I believe in exploring alternative measures tailored to my own physicality.

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