Friday, December 14, 2018

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

I get links to some of the oddest blogs... here's one:
Cat people are more neurotic? Really? I can't believe that someone would write such a thing about cat people!!! (just kidding... I'm trying to act neurotic!)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Juniper tar and horehound drops

Yesterday, Dwayne's nurse tried crushing some of the myriad of pills that Dwayne is taking and putting them in applesauce to make it easier to get the medicine down... rather than Dwayne needing to swallow a bunch of pills. Unfortunately, the medicine is very bitter, so it made a bitter powder on top of applesauce that the flavor of the applesauce could not combat.

This reminded me of my Granny giving me juniper tar on a teaspoon of sugar when I was very little - probably under 5 years old. I mentioned this to the nurse and he was wondering what it was used for... I don't remember why Granny gave it to me, I just remember that I thought, "Wow, Granny is going to give me a teaspoon full of sugar, that's going to be great!" and then getting the juniper tar on top of it and... well... it wasn't so great! The sugar couldn't overcome the nasty flavor of the juniper tar.

Dwayne's nurse googled juniper tar and the current medical application is externally for skin conditions, not to be taken internally. Obviously, Granny didn't read the internet...

I did some additional searching, and found a blog entry that had information about how other moms and grannys had used juniper tar:
It seems that it was used for colds and coughs... some people mentioned (and I kinda remember this) that you got better quickly cuz you didn't want another dose!
There is evidently a bottle of it at the Smithsonian (not currently on display):

Thinking about that remedy reminded me of other home remedies... specifically, overnight I was sucking on a cough drop (the air is so dry that I feel like I need to cough, but I don't think it is related to any sickness) -- and I remembered that Mom would keep horehound drops for us to use as cough drops.
I still think of horehound drops as medicine, not candy!

I was trying to think of other remedies that we used when I was a kid - Dad used to bring wild daisies and Mom would make a tea that she would put onto poison ivy breakouts on my skin. I dabbed calamine lotion and corn starch on chicken pox to relieve the itching. I still use camphor ice as lip balm (you can buy it on Amazon). Vick's Vapor Rub on the chest with a tee shirt over top of it.

I don't remember ever getting castor oil or goose grease, though I have heard of them being used as home remedies.

I wonder if these simpler solutions were better than what is in use today....

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Does that giraffe have a coat on?

Just down the hall from the oncology wing where Dwayne's room is this week, there is a courtyard with statues of two elephants and a giraffe.

I noticed that the snow made a covering on the giraffe that looked like a custom-made giraffe-coat!

It even has a nice "belt" around the front!
I don't think giraffes in their native environment would ever encounter snow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A ride on a sled!

While I was at the bus picking up some things today, I thought I heard my great-nephews outside. I peeked out, and they were getting a sled-ride courtesy of their daddy!

They seemed to be having a big time!
But it seemed like daddy was doing a lot of work!
Lots of mud around at the farm... but the driveway was pretty clear from snow and ice!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A snowy day

It started snowing sometime in the morning and has snowed all day...
about 10:30am - could still see some of the grass. Sorry for the water on the windshield, I didn't want to go outside to take a picture... and the silver thing to the left is the temperature barrier that we put in the windshield to keep a little of the cold from coming through the glass.

About 2:40pm
It has continued to snow all afternoon... I had to drive the Jeep to the pharmacy so can't judge by the amount of snow on it anymore... It is pretty, but makes doing almost anything much more challenging!

Saturday, December 8, 2018


While the home health folks have been visiting us, they have mentioned Dispatch Health - something like a minor urgent care clinic that comes to your home. It is available in limited areas at this time (and the one in the Richmond area does not service out to New Kent, where we are), but it definitely sounds like an interesting option for folks who are in the coverage area. It seems to me it would be particularly good if you have something like flu symptoms - instead of going to a place where you would share those germs with lots of others, get the diagnosis and care at home. And it would also be good for folks like Dwayne whose immune system is compromised, so they don't come in contact with a bunch of sick people.

You can read more here:

Friday, December 7, 2018

Operation Magic Carpet

Since today is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 8 marks the anniversary of the United States declaring war against Japan, and December 11 against Germany, I thought this might be timely.

I recently was reading the story of "Operation Magic Carpet", the effort to bring all WWII service men and women home by Christmas 1945. I found it fascinating - here is one version of the information: