Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cholesterol

I was wondering if anyone who reads my blog has a problem with high cholesterol and cannot take statins.
I cannot take statins. They give me muscle pain and fatigue.
My cholesterol problem is genetic from my mother's side of our family. The only way I can lower it is with diet and exercise, but because my liver produces more cholesterol than it should, mine is always going to be high.
I tried 3 different statins, also tried Zetia. Have tried flush Niacin and Red Yeast Rice. I already take 3000 MG of fish oil every day. I also take Flax Seed Oil, Garlic Tablets, Vitamin E and COQ10.
I take low dose aspirin, but my cholesterol is still high.
I had a friend over on "Not Over The Hill" tell me that her husband also has genetic high cholesterol. He was put on statins but they were destroying his liver, so the doctor took him off of them. She said he started taking Centrum Cardio and his cholesterol level went from 256 down to 180. Centrum Cardio is a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that also contains 400 MG of Phytosterols which have been proven to lower Cholesterol.
I already take a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, but I found a product called Bayer Heart Health Advantage. It is nothing but 400 MG of Phytosterols per tablet. You take 2 of them a day. I'm hoping that they will help me to lower my cholesterol.
If anyone has taken either of these products, I would love to hear from you.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday

Did not get a walk in today. For some reason, when my husband (Ben) does not work, I can't find the time to get out there to exercise. He is always wanting to jump in the car and go somewhere.
Nice weather here in SoCal again today. Blue sky and sunny. They are saying that we may get up to around 90 degrees by middle of next week.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Got Started Early

I got started early today.
As soon as Ben left for work, I headed over to WalMart. I wanted to pick up a bottle of Bayer Heart Health Advantage. I was told by several on-line friends that they or someone they know was using Centrum Cardio Multi-Vitamins to help lower cholesterol. I started checking it out on-line and came across the Bayer Heart Health Advantage. The Centrum Cardio has phytosterols plus vitamins and minerals. I'm already taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, so I saw that Bayer Heart Health Advantage has nothing but the phytosterols so I decided to get it instead and give it a try to see if it will help me to lower my high cholesterol.
Picked up a few other things at WalMart too....a couple of DVDs....."Mamma Mia" and "Bruce Almighty", a new bath mat and some mouthwash.
When I got home, I drove over to our Central Park and did a 1.4 mile walk. The weather is beautiful outside today. Started out at 37 degrees this morning, but now it's in the 60's and the sky is blue and the sun is shining. Just beautiful.
Well, need to go check out my friends on NOTH and Facebook.
TTFN

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Day

It was cold for us this morning when we awoke....39 degrees. After Ben left for work, I hand my breakfast (egg and muffin) and then mopped my floors.
My older brother called. He is getting ready to have cataract surgery so he keeps calling me to tell me what's going on with him.
Then I went for a 1.5 mile walk. By that time the weather had warmed up into the 60's and it was really nice outside.
Came home and made my lunch and watched my soap (Y&R) and then started to work on my home-made Christmas cards. Took the photo of Ben and I for the cards over the weekend.
How was your day?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blood Work Results

Started getting the emails with my blood work results from Kaiser last night and the final result email came early this morning.
I HAVE BEEN A VERY BAD GIRL!
My cholesterol and triglycerides are the highest they have ever been. I admit that I have NOT been watching what I eat. Since I cannot tolerate the cholesterol medications, diet and exercise are the only way I can lower my numbers. When I was very first diagnosed with high cholesterol, it was 305 total. With diet and exercise, I was able to lower it to 265, which is the lowest it will go without medication. Mine is genetic, so it is even harder to get the numbers down.
In January 2005, I weighed 205 lbs. By October 2005, I had lost 45 lbs, but then gained back 5 lbs right away and it leveled off and stayed at 160 lbs for about 3 years.
I gained back another 10 lbs because I stopped watching my diet and I'm sure that is why my cholesterol levels also started going back up. Right now my total cholesterol is 326.
I go to see my new doctor this Monday and I know he will be all over me about my numbers. I know what has caused it and I am determined to start watching my diet once again and trying to get out and do more exercise.
Will just have to wait and see what happens.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blood Work Day

Had to go over to the Kaiser Lab this morning and have blood work down before my appointment with my doctor next Monday. The lab is only about 4 miles from my home, so that is nice, and the technician there is so friendly. Today I mentioned to her that I would be seeing my new doctor for the first time next week. She told me that he is really nice and really listens to his patients. My new doctor is in the same building as the lab, so he is only about 4 miles away too. When I first joined Kaiser last year, there were no doctors taking new patients at the facility near me, so I had to sign up with a doctor over in the big Kaiser facility across the valley. That doctor was nice, but he kept suggesting that I try to get a doctor at the facility nearer my home so when I saw this young doctor was taking new patients, I called and had them make him my PCP. His nurse called about a month ago and said I needed to come in for an office visit and she scheduled the blood work. I don't take cholesterol meds as they give me muscle cramps and cause fatigue, but they always run a complete lipid panel on me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Memories....

Do you remember Lincoln Logs?

One of my brothers received a set of them one Christmas back in the 1950's when we were all little. Of course we shared our toys so all three of us would play with them. We would spend hours on end building log cabins. We built them so much we got to where we didn't even need the instructions on how to do it.



The logs we had came in a round can like the one below. We had to put them in there just right or the lid would not fit on top. I remember many happy times building the log cabins with my brothers.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Do You Remember.....

Wax mustaches and wax lips?
I remember they would show up in the stores every year around Halloween and my brothers and I would run out and buy a bunch of them. We'd wear them for awhile and then we would always end up chewing on them. Don't know if you were supposed to chew on wax, but that's what we did.
I see that you can still buy them online. Don't know if they are still in stores.




Friday, October 23, 2009

Foreign Coins

I am so tired of getting foreign coins in my change when I go to the store!
Most of the time, if it's a penny or a nickle, I let it go, but not today.
We went to Sam's Club to pick up a few things. I always pay cash and my change was 84 cents. The guy at the register hands me 3 quarters, 4 pennies and a foreign coin with a big "5" on it. It looked like a "toy coin" or a "token" for a game.
For some reason, it just struck a nerve today and I told him I wanted a "real" nickle instead of the "phony" one he just handed me. Well he had already closed the register drawer and they always tell you they cannot open it again until the make a sale. I think he thought I'd say "OK, we'll just let it go", but I didn't. I told him I'd wait.
So many times I've received foreign coins in my change without realizing it until I get home and then when I try to pass it off to another store, they will not accept it.
I stood there and waited for the next customer but she paid with a credit card, so once again, the guy at the register told me he could not open the register drawer. Again I said "I'll wait". Well, there were no other customers in line, so he had to go get a supervisor to come over and open the drawer. They were both mumbling about it when they handed me an American nickle, like I was being a bitch or something.
THIS IS AMERICA! Why should I accept a foreign coin that I would have trouble passing on? The stores should look at the coins all of these foreigners hand to them when making a purchase and the stores should refuse those foreign coins.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn Morning Hike

This morning I hiked the 1.9 mile Canyon View Loop Trail in Towsley Canyon neat Santa Clarita, CA. My total hike from the parking lot, to the trailhead, over the trail and back was 2.6 miles. I don't know what the elevation increase was on this trail, but I know it got pretty high up. I could also tell that I had not been out on a "strenuous" hike for awhile because my heart was pounding, I was gasping for breath and I had to stop and rest several times on the climb up, but once I hit the summit and started back down, I had no problem.




If you would like to see all of the photos I took on this hike, please visit this album on my photosite at:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A TV Show To Remember

Do you remember the TV show "Gunsmoke?" It was one of my family's favorite shows. It was on CBS (our channel 2) on Saturday nights and 9:00 PM. We would all head for the kitchen around 8:30 PM and start fixing snacks, then right at 9:00 PM, we'd all sit down in front of the old black and white TV and watch the show. Below are the "original" characters....Chester, Miss Kitty, Matt and Doc.

Some of the episodes were filmed right here in the city where I live at a place called "Melody Ranch" which was once owned by Gene Autry. I have been there once and saw some of the sets for "Gunsmoke". Here is a link for Melody Ranch:

http://www.melodyranchstudio.com/

And here is a photo I found online of the real Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, KS.

Shoddy Merchandise

Why is it every time I buy some kind of electronic device, it always ends up being "shoddy" and I have to return it to the store to exchange it?
A month ago, we purchased a new cordless telephone for the computer room. It had an answering system and two handsets, one remote and one base. It was working fine until today when my brother called and left a voicemail but the volume keep cutting out on it. I kept messing around with it trying to get the volume to stay on but it just wouldn't.
We took the phone back to Best Buy where we purchased it 28 days ago. Luckily it crapped out within the 30 day return time. I told them what it was doing so they said I could either replace it with the same model or pick out a different model. Well I went for the different model because once burned.....
Took me over an hour to get the new one all set up with our family members phone numbers, set up the answering system, etc.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Do You Remember.....

Wringer Washing Machines?

My mom had one. She did not have to wheel it into our kitchen like the photo below because we actually had a "service porch" inside the house, between the kitchen and the bathroom and the "service porch" had a big sink in it. Funny we did not call it the "laundry room".

Anyway, I remember my mom washing the clothes in the tub and then having to wring the water out of them manually with the wringer that was connected to the top of the washer. Guess they didn't know how to make the tub spin the water out of the clothes back then. I remember the towels and clothes would come out all flat and hard, like a piece of wood.

Mom would put the "pieces of wood" into a laundry basket and carry them outside to the clothesline in the back yard and hang everything on the line to dry in the sun all day.

This is what our clothesline looked like.

Then, after the laundry was dry, it had to be ironed. But you could not iron the wrinkles out of everything unless you used a "sprinkle bottle". This is because they did not have steam irons back then. It was any bottle you had, like a soda pop bottle and you bought funny little corks with holes in the top that you would put in the mouth of the bottle and the water would sprinkle out from the holes.

I Do NOT Believe This!

So I head over to the Sears Optical Department in our mall again this morning since my new eyeglasses had not come in yesterday when I got there.
This morning the eyeglasses were there but......
The technician who measured the lenses for the trifocal lines messed up. She had the measurements about 1/2" off and now they have to remake the lenses and I won't have my glasses for another week.
The technician that was there today said she cannot believe that the other girl could make that big of a mistake on the measurements.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Again!

I just HATE it when things do not work out the way they are supposed too. I went to Sears Optical last week and had my eyes examined and then ordered a pair of eyeglasses. I was told that I could pick up my new eyeglasses today after 1:00 PM. I left home around 1:05 PM to head over to the Valencia Mall where Sears Optical is located. It's about 8 to 10 miles over there. Got there around 1:15 PM and was told that the UPS driver never made his delivery for the day. They said that he is "always" there between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM every day, but today, they had not seen him. The called UPS and were told that their package was on the delivery truck and would be there "sometime" today. Girl at optical department said there was probably a substitute driver and he didn't know the route. So now I have to go back over there tomorrow afternoon to see if my eyeglasses came in. Can't go in the morning. They don't open until 11:00 AM and we have a lunch we have to go to at 11:15 AM so will have to wait until we get back home.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Remember These?

Do you remember Formica topped kitchen tables and chrome and vinyl chairs? I think we all grew up with them. The one in my mom's kitchen when I was growing up was gray and it was oval shaped. We did not have a formal dining room, just a "dinette", but the Formica table sat in the corner of our very small kitchen. I don't know how five of us (my parents, me and my two brothers) all fit around that little table in that little area, but we did.

We were not allowed to have the television or radio on while we were eating at the table with the family. This time was set aside for discussing school, my dad's work, etc. and of course for eating our meals.

My mom had that table up until the time my dad died and all of us kids had moved away. She replaced it with a small wood table.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Do You Remember.....

SLINKY?


They had absolutely no purpose! But I thought they were one of the coolest things ever. I used to love to put it on the top of our cement steps that were outside our backdoor and just watch it "somersault" itself down to the bottom, or just hold it in my hands and "shimmy" it back and forth. It didn't take much to entertain us back then. We didn't need all these electronic things to occupy our time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Do You Remember?

Do you remember S&H Green Stamps?

You would receive them at grocery stores, department stores, gas stations, etc. You would receive so many according to how much money you spent. You would lick them and stick them in little books and then redeem them for merchandise.

You would get the S&H Green Stamps "IdeaBook" catalog filled with all kinds of things. Dishes, lamps, sheets, towels, and many, many other things.
I remember my mom would get all kinds of neat "stuff" with the stamps we collected. She got pots and pans, wall hangings, flatware and so many other useful items.

What Happened To Fall?

Well on Monday and Tuesday, we had cool weather, clouds and rain. I thought fall was FINALLY here!
Yesterday and today it is clear, windy and hot. We hit 95 degrees so far today.
Went and picked up my "spare" pair of new eyeglasses this morning. Now I'm waiting on the "main" pair. The "main" pair will have Transitions Lenses. The "spare" pair does not. They charge so much for Transitions. I wear trifocals. The "main" pair cost me $307 with Transitions. The "spare" pair cost me $164 without Transitions.
And don't even get me started on the price of the frames! I was lucky to find two inexpensive pairs. One was $59 and the other was $69. Most of them are "designer" frames and cost from $99 to $200. That is outrageous!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere

Lombardi Ranch - Saugus, CA

Every year, I drive over the hill to Lombardi Ranch in Saugus, CA. This is a family-owned ranch that has been in business for many years and I love to go there each year and take "Fall Photos".
Here is a link to their site:
http://www.lombardiranch.com/







Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Remember drive-in movie theaters?

I heard awhile back that the Skyline Drive-in in Barstow, CA reopened after being closed since 1987.

It’s nice to see this icon coming back. I have a lot of fond memories of the Edwards Drive-in Theater in Sunland, CA.

My younger brother worked there as an usher so he could get me and my friends in for free. I always enjoyed the movies more at the drive-in than I did at the walk-in theater. I could wear my jammies to the movies. Never cared for the food at the snack bar, so when Ben and I were dating, we would stop by “In-N-Out Burger” to pickup some food, drive over to the drive-in, eat and then relax and watch the movie. Sometimes it got very cold in the wintertime, but in the summer, we’d open up the windows and let the summer breeze blow through. When I owned my Chevy El Camino, we’d back into the parking space and have chaise lounge pads in the back. We’d bring lots of pillow and sit in the back of the truck to watch the movies.

Those were the “good old days”.

California Storm

Here's what our sky looked like here in SoCal around 8:30 this morning.



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eye Exam


Went for my every-2-year eye exam today. Found out I have "the beginnings of cataracts" or "Baby Cataracts' is what the eye doctor called them. She said that I didn't have to worry for awhile because they are just starting. My older brother is going in for his cataract surgery consultation tomorrow, so it's a little strange that I was diagnosed with beginning cataracts today. I always thought that cataracts were genetic. Neither of my parents had them, but the eye doctor told me that EVERYONE gets them sooner or later. So I guess a few years into my future, I will have to get surgery for them. I sure will not look forward to that since they keep you awake when they do it. Cannot stand the thought of seeing a scalpel heading for my eyes. Been drizzly here in SoCal most of the day, but it's been no way the huge storm that they kept telling us we were going to get, unless we get more overnight.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rain Coming?

It's been cloudy and gray all day here in SoCal. They say we are going to get 1" to 2" of rain from our first rainstorm of the season. We need the rain, but if we get too much, it will cause mudslides where the resent fires burned last month.
I had to light the pilot for our central air furnace today. The furnace seems to be working OK this year. Last year we had to call the Gas Company to come and put a new thermal couple in it. Two years ago, we had a plumber put a new thermal couple in and it cost us almost $400. Last year when we tried to light the furnace, it would not stay lit so we called the Gas Company. They came out and said the thermal couple we had gotten the year before had gone out again. They installed a new one for around $56. Obviously the plumber ripped us off the year before.
I had planned to go over to Lombardi Ranch today, but since the sun was not out, I decided against it. Lombardi Ranch is a family farm in Saugus, just over the hill from us. Every fall they have a big pumpkin patch and a corn maze, plus their Scarecrow Alley. I love to go over there and shot fall photographs. Maybe I'll get to go another day this week.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It Never Fails

It never fails. Every time I think I'm getting a good deal on something I buy, within the next few days, I see a better deal.
Yesterday I mentioned that I found an 8GB USB Flash Drive at Best Buy that was normally $44.95 on sale for $24.95. Sounds like a great deal right? Well today I saw that Target had an 8GB USB Flash Drive on sale for $18.99! It figures. Anyway, I decided to keep the one I bought at Best Buy, but also pick another one up at Target. What the heck? I can always use another one. The are great for holding all of my photographs, of which I take a lot of.
Started out this morning all overcast and gray but the sun came out this afternoon. They keep saying we have our first rain storm coming in on Tuesday. Hopefully they are right because we really need the rain badly. Just have to wait and see I guess.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Busy Saturday

Been keeping myself pretty busy today. Ben had to work.
Got up and had my home-made "egg mcmuffin" for breakfast then went outside and trimmed back my 4 rose bushes. The were really getting out of hand. Had stems sticking out 3 or 4 feet in some places.
Went up to Bed, Bath & Beyond to return a laptop table I had bought a couple of days ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but after using it, didn't like it. Then headed over to OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) and picked up some weed killer, some potting soil, some drain cleaner and a new American flag since mine is starting to tear some. The went over to Best Buy and bought an 8GB flash drive. I like to keep my photographs on them and my 4GB was getting full. I bought a "GeekSquad" brand one for $24.95. Was on sale. Normal price was $44.95 so I thought I got a good deal.
Came home and made my lunch (a tuna patty and salad), and settled down to watch the episode of "Desperate Housewives" I recorded last Sunday night.
After lunch I went out and planted my lettuce seeds, sprayed some weeds, and now I am downloading my photographs to my new flash drive.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Not Much Happening

Well, since I've been back from my second trip to northern California, I still have not been able to really get myself back into my "normal hum-drum". I got back into my morning walks and I've still been trying to get back to my web communities and friends, but it's taking me a little time to do it. Guess since I'm getting older, I'm slowing down. (Sounds like a good excuse).
Ben and I went to lunch at Denny's today. We had a coupon for "buy one entree get one entree free" so that was a good thing. We went over to WalMart to pick up a few things. Watched our soap opera (Y&R). Maybe by Monday I'll start to be back in my own little "rut".
Tomorrow I need to trim back the rosebushes in my front yard. They are getting really out of hand. Stems reaching out about 4 or 5 feet into the air. I also need to get my lettuce seeds planted. Bought them about 2 or 3 months ago and the package says to plant them between September and February, so I guess I'd better get around to doing that. I'm rambling, so I'll go away now (LOL).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Home Again

Well I'm home from my latest trip. This should be the last extended trip for awhile now. I'm trying to catch up on things around the house and trying to get back into my community websites. I love going on vacations, but sometimes it's so hard to get back into the swing of things after you get home.
Hope everyone is doing well and that you have been able to check out my photographs and videos of my trip. We had a fun time. Weather was perfect. Paradise, CA is a really nice place to visit, but I don't think I'd really want to live there.
Weather is nice here at home now too. Looks like maybe the HOT weather has gone away. Hopefully I'll be able to start getting some hiking in soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Links to Videos and Photos

Well, my brother Keith and I will be headed back down to SoCal first thing tomorrow morning. Had another great day with both of my brothers. We went over to the Paradise train depot museum and walked along the "TrailWay" which is the old path of the railroad right-of-way that used to run through the middle of Paradise, CA. They don't have trains here anymore, so they took the tracks up and paved the right-of-way for a walking/biking trail.
Then we went over to take photos of Feather River Canyon, then over to Billie Park and hiked the path to the lookout point to take more photos of Butte Creek Canyon, then Keith and I hiked down the path that leads to the Grotto while Ron waited for us up above.
Went out for Mexican food at lunch and then came back to the apartment.
I'm not looking forward to the long, boring drive home tomorrow, but I am looking forward to seeing my husband (Ben) and sleeping in my own bed again.
Here are the links for my videos on YouTube and for my photos on Fotki.com

Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/kayben80#play/all/uploads-all/2/UCbHi03bCuY

http://www.youtube.com/kayben80#play/all/uploads-all/1/BVuSILLeYhg

http://www.youtube.com/kayben80#play/all/uploads-all/0/qwO9tdb_ers

Photos:

http://public.fotki.com/kayben80/trip-to-paradise-ca/

Exploring

Yesterday my brothers (Ron and Keith) and I went exploring. We went to "Lookout Point" between Paradise and Chico and took a few photos then drove down to Butte Creek Canyon and to the Honey Run Covered Bridge. Beautiful area there.

Went to WalMart in Chico where Ron bought a new 22" wide screen computer monitor then we headed over to Upper Bidwell Park to do a little hiking. We did about 3 miles. Saw a lot of acorn woodpeckers, squirrels and lizards.

All in all we had a really fun day. Weather was perfect!

Here is a short video of me inside the Honey Run Covered Bridge:

video

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Greetings From Paradise, CA

Hello from Paradise, CA.
I did not get any photos yesterday because I did all the driving. I took a few here in the apartment, but have not gotten them uploaded yet.
We got here late in the afternoon yesterday and we were having problems getting my laptop logged on through my brother's router so I was not able to post. Today has been mostly cloudy, so we really did not get out and do much, plus we were trying all day to get my computer to log on. Finally got it hard-wired as his "wireless" would not let me log on that way.
Tomorrow we are going to head down towards Chico, CA and I'll start taking photos of Butte Creek Canyon and other things.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Almost Ready To Go

Have packed everything, washed the car and filled it up with gas, put suitcases in trunk. Now all I'm waiting for is my brother to get here in a little while, put his stuff in the car and then we will be all ready to head out first thing tomorrow morning.
Will take us about 8 hours to drive up Interstate 5 to Paradise, CA. It's a long boring drive as there is not much scenery on that highway. But my brother and I love to visit so we'll talk and enjoy our time. We also listen to a radio station up in the Central Valley called KingsRadio which plays "nostalgia" music from 1945 to about 1965. Some of the songs we've all but forgotten about when we hear them.
Hopefully I'll be able to log on to my laptop through my brother's router and be able to get on line so I can post on my blog while I'm up there. Otherwise, I'll have to see if my brother will let me log on to his computer for a little while.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Windy Thursday

It's very windy here in SoCal this morning. Went for my morning walk and thought I'd get blown away! But I love the wind as long as it is not destructive. I brings back memories of when I was a kid on Halloween. It was ALWAYS windy on Halloween night here in SoCal, windy and warm. October brings our "Santa Ana Winds" but that also means it brings brush fires. It was two years ago this month that Ben and I had to evacuate our home because the hill half a block up the street from us was on fire. That was really a scary time for us.
Anyway, I'm sitting here with the front door open, listening to the wind and watching leaves blow by. I'm also thinking about all of the last minute things I need to remember tomorrow before my brother Keith gets here to spend the night so he and I can leave early Saturday morning for our drive up to Paradise, CA to spend 5 days with our brother Ron.