Saturday, October 21, 2017

modern medicine

i’m having a medical procedure done soon. in preparation i have to modify my diet a slight bit for a few days. nothing major or difficult, just avoiding certain foods. i also have to drink a weird cocktail of chemicals the day before. sodium sulfate, potassium sulfate, and magnesium sulfate.

i want a picture here but nothing relevant to this post. this is some of our garden heading into winter.


ok, the procedure is a colonoscopy and the chemicals are heavy duty laxatives. i got a coupon from the doctor’s office for up to 30% off whatever price i pay. i checked it out on the internet. anyone can print one.

so we go to the pharmacy, ask for the prescription, and put down the coupon. i am currently without drug insurance due to a hiccup in switching our medicare supplemental policies to a different provider. my 3 month supply of blood pressure meds went from $8 (insured) to $47 (uninsured). i hadn’t really thought ahead about the cost of laxatives. how much could it cost? about one hundred dollars is how much. my widely available coupon did save me 30%.

i wondered how much the ingredients of such super pooper stuff might cost. the package informed me that 6 oz of product contains 17.5 G sodium sulfate, 3.13 G of potassium sulfate, and 1.6G of magnesium sulfate. there are two 6 oz bottles.

after a whole 4 minutes of internet search i found that i could buy medical grade stuff pretty cheaply.

sodium sulfate 500G for $54.50. so 500/17.5 = 28 doses: $54.5/28 = $1.95 per 6 oz bottle.

potassium sulfate 250G for $53.40. so 250/3.13 = 79 doses: $53.40/79 = $0.67 per 6 oz bottle

magnesium sulfate 500G for $73.90. so 500/1.6 = 312: $73.90/312 = $0.24 per 6 oz bottle.

that’s $3.72 of ingredients in 2 6 oz bottles.

i know that presenting that product to me in a sanitary package involves a whole lot more than the ingredients. even so.

why i'm having a colonoscopy 

this will be my third colonoscopy after surgery and chemo. there were polyps but no cancer. i have also had 4 pet scans since surgery and nary a sign of a cancer cell.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Not On The Road


Northern Pintail
I am writing this on Sunday afternoon. We were supposed to be on the road today, heading south to see my mom. We decided to cancel the trip and not drive through the fires that are/were raging.  We'll rethink our plans and probably go later in October. It's a long, long drive. One that starts out in the beautiful, cool, quiet not-very-populated redwood country and winds up 700 miles south in the arid hot overly populated land of 10 million people and even more cars of southern California.
Sunday's sunrise in the clear October morning sky
We did have one day of smoke here from one of the fires (Redwood Valley Complex), enough to darken the sky and turn that crazy sun red again. But mostly we have been spared the bad air days and nightmare that unfolded just a hundred miles south of us. Roger's sister and husband were evacuated for one day and night from a fire burning in the Sierra foothills. We have good friends who live in Sonoma County in the wine country. They posted regularly on Facebook how they were ready to evacuate whenever the call came. Their car was packed with photos, historical documents, clothes, and enough dog food for their three furry companions. Other dear friends waited in their homes, the air barely breathable, the fear palpable. They posted photos of found/lost dogs and even sadder photos of people looking for missing loved ones.  Fire season. There really is such a thing here in California. For some reason I thought it was over. We had already had our bad air days and dark smoky skies in September. October has been beautiful, cool, a bit windy. Ah that wind, it spread the fires everywhere; one spark led to another. Tragedy followed.
Homemade sun
We still make every attempt to balance the insanity of the world with as much beauty as we can find. Roger made this beautiful sun for our fence art project. He used wood scraps from the old deck. I'm trying to figure out how to make a heart and maybe some stars. It's how we try to stay sane.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sunday, October 08, 2017

I Had An Idea

It all started when I photographed the moon rising the day before it was full. It rose in a sky in that still had daylight, and I just loved the way it looked. I posted this photo on Facebook and wrote: In the utter bleakness of these times it seems almost ridiculous to me to run outside with the camera to see if the moon has risen. I wonder why I bother with such predictable lunar cycles, but I can't seem to stop. Then, I see this, and truly I know why.
Seeing this moon rise made me think about what it would look like when it set. It occurred to me that I haven't ever photographed a moonset, and how beautiful it might be to watch as it set into the Pacific. I checked a couple of sun and moon charts for times. The moon was supposed to set around 8:12 am the morning after the full moon. We had discovered that moon rises and set times are not quite as accurate as sunrise and sunsets, so planned to get to the ocean early just in case. It was exciting to think about what it would look like.
I woke Friday morning and photographed the moon in the still dark sky as it headed west to the sea. The sun rose in the clear eastern sky. It all looked perfect. We had our tea and toast and headed out for the short drive to the ocean. That's when I noticed it was hazy out there. The closer we got to the beach, the hazier and foggier it got. I could no longer see the moon anywhere. I had forgotten once again how the ocean has its own climate, and even if it's only two miles away, it will probably look and feel completely different out there. We stood on the shore and laughed how beautiful it still was, but not what we had come to see.

So we headed back home, but stopped at the ancient unused railroad tracks next to the bay to take a look at the low tide. The colors were enough to delight us in every way.

We saw these mounds of seafoam and pretended that they were our first view of icebergs. We loved it.

We're planning on trying to photograph the moon setting in the ocean again next month. Lucky for us, that moon, it's so predictable. And predictably, our hearts can be consoled by its beauty.