What Can I do to Stop the Pain?

A bee doctor is standing with his hands in the air.

The author Michael Pollan offered an elegant seven-word mantra in his best-selling book “In Defense of Food†that provides clarity amid the bounty of choices on supermarket shelves: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plantsâ€. How easy that sounds. Although, I’m still on my ELOO (Extra Light Olive Oil) diet, I am still plagued by the amount of food available to eat. Jerilyn and I eat out once a week and, it seems, the restaurants are always eager to heap food on our plates in an effort to see that we return. The worst places are the buffets where we are responsible for returning several times and overeating. One thing I know for sure, if I ever cease to fight my own “Battle of The Bulgeâ€, I will quickly baloon to an inconceivable weight and multiple health problems will appear. Like you, I have a weight number that causes immediate panic if I exceed it. I may not win every individual battle, but I will win this war!

Last week, Jerilyn got stung by a bee (Wasp) on her finger and it caused her a lot of pain. She spied it on the floor and took a paper napkin and caught it, squeezing it several time until she thought it was dead. Nope! When she opened the napkin and picked the darn thing up by its wing it stung her and she yelled at the top of her lungs. Goodbye Wasp!   When she finished with it that time it was definitely dead. Looking at me inquiringly, she said “What can I do to stop the pain?†  Desperately trying to remember when I graduated from medical school, I suggested placing her finger in vinegar. That seemed to help some. A friend told us that taping a penny on it for 15 minutes helps and someone else said that rubbing a banana peel on it would help also. The next day she pulled the stinger out and then things started improving. Her finger is fine now, but it will be a long time before she fools around with bees again.

I went fishing with my son last Sunday. That boy truly loves to fish. Without a boat, we were relegated to fishing off a pier. We were there 3-4 hours without a bite. The wind was gusting up to 30 mph, so we pretty much knew the fish would not bite. It was, however, a good time for father & son bonding. It always works out that way when we fish together. What a fun time!

Jerilyn has been working with United Airlines, setting up our trip to California in July. She was trying to work it in with our trip to Hawaii. We wanted to leave home a week early (July 16) and fly to San Francisco, which is part of the Hawaii trip, and then fly up to LA to visit family and friends. After that, we would rejoin the tour group and continue on to Hawaii. Also included in the problem was that we were attempting to use a flight credit issued to us last year when we cancelled our CA trip. Over a period of two days she was on the phone with United constantly. Every time they talked the rate would change depending on who she was talking to. Finally, at the end of the second day, she yells into the phone “I cannot believe anything you people tell me! Does anyone there know what’s going on?†  That is so unlike Jerilyn. She is always sweet and pleasant. At the end of the day, they e-mailed us the tickets and I have printed them out. Unless we have a catastrophe we will be in CA on July 16th. This will be my first visit to that fair state and I’m certainly looking forward to it. I plan on taking many pics.

Saturday night we took Gladys out to dinner at Olive Garden (her favorite place). It has been more than six months since she has been out to eat with us. Health problems have kept her, either in Health Care, or her apartment.   It was a good time for all. But, without fail, she looks over at me when our food arrives and says “Now, eat slow because I am taking my time.†  As Jerilyn know, I absolutely despise anyone telling me how to eat my meal. As the anger boils inside, I calmly say to her “Gladys, I promise that if I finish before you do I will not leave you here.†Somehow, I think she knows how much that aggravates me and she cannot resist pushing that blinking red button. Once we got past that little annoyance, we enjoyed our meal and had a delightful conversation. She will be ninety this August. What a wonderful blessing!

Well, I finally finished the park bench for Jerilyn and I have included a pic of it. The base of the bench is made of six by six (6â€x6â€) lumber and the bench setting on top of it is from a buckboard wagon Jerilyn’s Great-Grandpa Moger used back in the early 1900’s. I applied several coats of Thompson Waterseal to it before bolting it to the base. The base is salt treated and should last for many years. I poured some dry cement into each hole for the legs with the thought that it would eventually harden and hold them firmly in place. Jerilyn still has some work to do. She plans on making it a rock garden, so another trip to the Rock Place is in store for us. Anyway, my part is done and Jerilyn is a happy camper. Needless to say, when she’s happy, I’m happy!

My latest project involved putting a tomato plant in a bucket and hanging it upside down from a tree limb in our back yard (I have also included a pic of it- it will be hard to see the plant hanging down because of the background). I found the info I needed online and with a printout of the instructions firmly clutched in my little hands I proceeded to follow them step by step.   First I obtained a 5 gallon paint bucket, with top, from Kathy (Jerilyn’s daughter-in-law), washed it with soap and water and placed the top firmly in place. I then drilled two holes in the bucket handle for a small rope. Taking a sharp knife, I cut a 2.5†diameter hole in each end, removed the top, placed a coffee filter over the hole in the bottom and filled the bucket with dirt (Jerilyn normally has a good stock of flower dirt from our local self-help store). Next I placed a coffee filter over the top of the dirt where the lid hole would be and then placed the lid firmly on the bucket. I then turned the bucket upside down, cut a slit in the coffee filter and worked out a place for the roots of the tomato plant, placed the plant roots inside the bucket and packed the dirt in firmly around it. The coffee filters inside the holes keep the dirt in place. Next, I throw a small nylon rope around a tree limb and attach it to the two holes in the bucket handle, hoist it to the desired height, tie it firmly and soak it thoroughly with fertilized water (Ortho liquid Fertilizer). That’s where the instructions stopped. I decided I wanted it to water itself for several days without my intervention, so I took a quart bottle, punched a small hole in its lid and base, plugged the hole in the base with a small screw (so I could regulate the drip), propped the bottle in the base and, with a few tweaks, I was done. So far, a bottle of water has lasted 1½ days. My new tweak should result in 4-5 days. I expect tomatoes as big as watermelons. I will keep you posted.

Some of you may not get the pics because your ISP (Internet Service Provider) strips them off because of security reasons. If you are not able to received attachments and would like to see them let me know. I can send them to you without including them as attachments via SendPhotos Gold.

You can find my blog at:   http://tommyhale.blogspot.com/ or my pictures at: http://bipolar66.smugmug.com

I hope you’re enjoying whatever season it is in your part of the world. Thanks for reading my weekly missive.


“Paradise is here or nowhere: You must take your joy with you, or you will never find it.” ….O.S. Marden