Bronchial Blues

So, it’s Winter here in the good ole Midwest. That means many things. First and foremost, the MidWest is Mother Nature’s PMS belt. It’s Spring one day, fuck-me Winter the next, and then Fall or Summer. Who knows? Not Mother Nature!

When it does finally decide to act like Winter and get cold, it gets colder than the tit of a witch soaking in an ice bath. I dunno, I have a fever. Just roll with it.

Anywhoo, it has been doing this all January and February long: Cold one week, warm the next. Blowing and cold for a few days, blowing and warm for a few days. This, as you can guess, has caused a lot of sickness to occur. Unfortunately, when you already have immune system and respiratory issues, it causes a non-stop sickness to occur that only worsens with each of Mother Nature’s mood swings.

This is how I have gotten into my current health predicament. I am in the throes of bronchitis. Granted, I’ve had far worse upper respiratory illnesses. The thing is, I’ve been fighting this thing for going on 5 or 6 weeks, now. I first got it when I had to go stay with Mom for her surgery. Damn you, hospitals!
I would start to feel better once the weather changed, and then worse once it got cold, again. At one point, eating really became a problem. This is a serious problem for me as my body is accustomed to having copious amounts of food pounded into it on a regular basis. I swear I’m going to be Diabetic if I can’t start eating like I usually do (read: if I can’t start shoving more food into my fat face).

I digress.

I was getting better. I thought my days of calling into work sick were over. I was looking forward to getting the next couple weeks out of the way so I could get to my three day weekend. Woohoo!

Haha, no.

Winter decided to rear it’s ugly head and threw such a terribly cold bite into the air, that being out in it for short periods of time (and with a scarf and hood) threw my upper respiratory issues into full blown bronchitis. I was not simply coughing, I was hardly doing anything else.

I finally called into work and Hubby coerced me into seeing a doctor. I got the medications I needed to get well and looked forward to not having to spend my days cooped up in the apartment.  I was starting to feel a little better in some ways: I no longer hurt all over as if I had the flu and my breathing seemed to be less labor intensive. I was still coughing nonstop, however, and couldn’t seem to catch my breath. Dizziness and fatigue set in and I wanted to go to the ER. I discussed it with Hubby and we decided to go to a different Urgent Care, instead. I’m glad we did.

Turns out that the afore prescribed dosage of breathing treatments was a little too much. It was like using a wrecking ball to kill a spider. It was making me hyperventilate and causing me to actually cough more.

Go figure.

The good news is that I’m actually starting to feel better. The latest doctor prescribed lots of fluids, 24/7 humidifiers and air purifiers, and a new cough syrup that should help expectorate any nasties still lurking in the cavernous depths of my lungs. And I’m not just talking cleavage.

Uh, sorry.. fever and all. Ahem.

At any rate, I went to the Pharmacy to get my cough syrup. Keep in mind, cough syrup that you can get over the counter is already seemingly pricey, disgusting, and you have to take far too much of it.

This crap was more expensive than date night, worse than the nuclear-waste-like syrup from earlier this week, and I had to take enough to down 1200ml in 6 days. That’s 240 teaspoons of this vile concoction. How vile is it?

It is bright pink and has a flavor to it that does not resemble bubble gum or berry in any way, shape, or form. Rather, I liken it to the vomit of a nuclear-blasted, sparkly pink, My Little Pony.

And I have to take 240 teaspoons in 6 days.

So, that’s the worst of it, right? I mean, just man up and take the damn stuff! Right?

Oh, it gets better.

It causes drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision. I’m used to seeing the first two, but blurred vision?! How much alcohol is in this?
Meh, turns out not enough. I am not having any side effects and Hubby can fully attest to why. I mean, there’s a reason I don’t drink anymore. Right.

So, things are getting better *knock on particle board* and I should be able to return to work on Monday. Not that they’ll be happy to have me there considering what happened this past Tuesday.. but that’s another story for another time.

 

 

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MIdwestern Skies

“Midwest” is such a vague term considering there are 12 states that make up that region.  Still, I wanted to share some snapshots I took of the sky a couple of weeks ago. It was just starting to warm up on a regular basis and we were getting winds and front clouds moving through the area. The quality of the photos could be better, but I took them through my windshield. Don’t worry, I was parked outside my house at the time.

I had just gotten off of work and was going to the store, I think, when I snapped these. I know it was in the morning because I was shocked at just how dark the sky still was.  To prevent confusion, or add to it, I’m a third shifter so I get off of work in the morning.

Church and Lights

Church and Lights

You can see that the street lights are still on because the sky is still dark, even though it’s morning. I was amazed at the dark blue color and the pockets of shadow and light that were passing by so quickly.

Neighbor

Neighbor

I’ve always thought that the house across the street was spooky yet fascinating. It kind of makes me think of Boo Radley from “To Kill a Mockingbird”. It’s made even spookier by the awesome front of clouds passing by.

Not to worry, the storm passed and all was well. It even made my crocuses bloom a little brighter.

Crocus Flowers

Blooming Crocus

Ignore the dead leaves.. if possible. I still haven’t cleaned out the garden from last Fall. I know, shame on me. I guess life has just kept me too busy. It’s difficult to find the right time to do it when working third shift, as well. I can wait until morning but then I am tired and ready to go to sleep. I can try to get it done when I get up, but I have so many other things to do at that time, before it gets too dark. Ah well, I may not have much of a garden this year.

And that’s it. I just wanted to share a glimpse of the wonderful skies that exist here in Ye Olde Timey Towne.  Maybe I can catch some mammatus clouds this Summer!

The Flood of 2013?

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It’s cold outside and snow has softly blanketed everything. We’ve been enduring subzero temperatures for over a week now.  Although the temperatures are due to increase, the precipitation is supposed to continue.  This means rain on top of melting snow and on frozen grounds.  This is what happened to Ye Olde Timey Towne of the MidWest last February.  We had a major flash flood.  Will we have another next week?  I’m thinking it is likely.  Apparently, I’m not alone in this thinking.  Those who have the misfortune of living alongside the river of our tiny town have already put up sandbags.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the river was not basically the dumping ground for all the Northern Counties’ rivers.  So we will not only have our own melting snow and rain to deal with, but that of all of the Northern State as well.  I’m thinking we should have invested in that canoe afterall..

The Weather Outside is.. delightful.

Here in little MidWest towne, it is cold and dreary.  Lovely.  It has been oppressively hot and humid for so long that the drab day is a welcome guest.  It is great to be able to open the windows and feel a cool breeze through the house.  I may even have to change into actual pants today because I’m getting goosebumps from the breeze!  Awesome 🙂

This kind of weather doesn’t get me down (in most cases), but the sudden, drastic change in barometric pressure does affect my health.  Therefor, I am feeling groggy and lazy today.  So you would think I would just stay under the covers with a good book, my doodle pad, and my mp3 player, right?  Of course not!  It’s time to get housework done.

I did a little housework and then realized that I wanted to get outside a bit.  What a perfect day to weed the garden!  And what a delightful little garden it is turning out to be this year.

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Porch-side garden

It’s not much.  It measures probably two by six feet.  But it’s mine and it’s gorgeous.  Half of it is doing marvelously.  Miss Marigold is turning into a small bush about as big as my head.  She’s getting  a little big for her britches because she’s pushing the boundaries of the garden fence.  But she’s beautiful.  Miss Celadona is getting quite a head on her shoulders.. maybe too large of one.  Her stems can’t seem to hold her head up anymore.  But she is gorgeous.  I was worried about Mr.Snapdragon, but he’s doing great now.  He is just the runt of the litter.

As I said, half of it is doing great.  The other three feet.. eh.. not so good.  I think it is because that’s where the bird feeder is, on the shepard’s crook.  The bird shit is probably not so great for the flowers in such large quantities.  Maybe a little would make good fertilizer, but apparently a lot makes good dead-a-lizer.

 

I geek Storms

I love storms.  Rain, wind, hail, black skies… tornadoes, tropical storms, hurricanes.  I love it all.

I grew up in an area termed “Tornado Alley”.  We would have at least one tornado every summer.  I remember seeing them from a very early age as if it were nothing.  It probably didn’t help that my father was an avid stormchaser and would take my brother and I on such chases.  Don’t worry, it was safe.. I was buckled into my carseat.  Seriously though, he wouldn’t take us along on storms that got bad, he would take us home first.

At any rate, I am used to seeing inclement weather.  Living in Tornado Alley as well as living in Florida for a short time has allowed me to experience such meteorological occurrences as tornadoes, large hail, damaging “straight” winds, severe electrical storms, tropical storms, and even hurricanes.

Oh my, hurricanes.  I lived in Florida for two years before wising up and realizing that the hurricane season, flood season, fire season, etc… just didn’t make up for the view.  My family and I were in Florida for the whole Hurricane Charley, Irene, Jean fiasco.  I think we had 4 hurricanes in 6 to 8 weeks.  At one point, we stopped unpacking the car because we would just have to turn around and pack it back up again.  I complain about cold showers now but it was the only way to cool off in the blistering heat when the storm left all power out.

The funny things about hurricanes is that they spawn tornadoes.  Why is this funny?  Florida is swamp land and sand.  There is nothing to build a basement in.  Where do you go when the tornado sirens sound?  On your front porch, getting to know your neighbors better as you all watch the darkening skies.

The best part about the hurricane experience was being packed into a storm shelter with hundreds of strangers, returning on a prayer that your home was alright, and dealing with the leftover weather.  One time, we were sent home prematurely in the eye of the hurricane.  The tail end of the storm is the worst part of it.  I remember how the house shook and rocked back and forth all night long.  My poor mother nearly had a heart attack for worrying but I made a better choice.  I went to sleep.  I survived so it must have worked out ok.  Another hurricane and we found out that we had contracted scabies from one of the lovely families sharing the shelter with us.  Ugh *shudder*.  I can’t stand those things.

The best part of storms?  The sky.  It becomes a canvas.  It turns from mellow blue, to violent black, and then to warning sign lime green.  The colors!  I could stand to make a living chasing storms.. I just don’t think I’d like being packed like sardines for the rest of my life.

 

For more info about the various types of Tornado Alleys, check out Weather Commentary.

Reprieve without Rain

Alas, the oppressive heat has broken like a nasty fever.  The air isn’t quite as thick with moisture and it feels so decently “warm” (as opposed to stifling hot) that I washed the car today.. by hand.. outside.  Awesome.

Not so awesome: No rain.  The storms happened just a hair south of us – shocker.  I can’t look this gift horse in the mouth though: I’ll take a break in the heat and keep hoping for a break in the drought too.

No storms means no more updated pics, right?  Wrong!  I know you must be soo excited.  While driving out to the in-laws, my hubby and I noticed this semi that got overturned by the storms.

Semi Down

Semi turned over by winds

The parking lot is owned by a furniture store which keeps these semi trailers in their lot and uses them to store extra stuff.  Apparently, this one was empty or didn’t have a whole lot in it.

Light Post

Light post knocked over by semi trailer

As if a semi trailer being knocked over wasn’t delightful enough ,it took one of the light posts with it.

I’m glad that no one was in the semi or around it when it fell over.  I’m also glad I found more cool pictures of the damage from the storm!  Storms are just awesome.

Trees et al: Update

The heat wave in the MidWest continues.  Today, the actual temperature reached 100 with a heat index of 104 in my area.  I know I shouldn’t complain because we are not experiencing flooding, wild fires, etc.  A little drought should be alright as long as we get some rain soon.. and, fortunately for us, the Weather Man says that rain is on the way.

SO, before the new storms arrive I thought I’d tie up the loose ends from the old storms.  Here’s the updated information from the latest severe weather to hit this area.

It’s always the trees.  Even when it’s roof damage, it’s usually wind or trees.  One of the many local parks experienced this with our latest storm last weekend.  This park is filled with very old, large trees that happen to also be very tall.  This is awesome because it makes this the ideal park to play at and celebrate family reunions, birthdays, and other special occasions.  Even in this record heat, the large trees at the park keep it much cooler and the kiddos sure enjoy playing there!

Unfortunately, the main out-building that is used for picnicking, grilling, and that houses the restrooms was destroyed when one of these trees fell on the roof.  Of course I have pictures!

Scene of the crime

Scene of the crime

They have the entire out-building and fallen tree sectioned off with scene-of-the-crime tape.  It is kind of fitting.

The  mighty have fallen

The mighty tree has fallen

I can’t imagine the sound this tree must have made when it fell.  Oh yes, if no one was around to hear it I am sure it still made a horrendous sound.

Whats left

What is left of the standing tree

This is a poor angle, I apologize.  This is, however, what is left of the standing tree.  As you can see (maybe) the part that fell on the roof was a larger section of the tree. Some of the trees in this area choose to shoot off about midway up the trunk and so it looks like they are split in two.  The wind or lightning simply took down one of these splits – taking down about half the tree.

Damaged Roof

It took the Fiddler with it

The entire building has been decimated.  I think the city is leaving things the way they are until the heat wave ends.

It was THIS big

It is a multi-person hug tree

This isn’t super large for a tree by any means.  But in this part of the Midwest, we have stifling hot summers and freezing cold winters, so the tress don’t have a great deal of growth time.  This is a larger tree for this park, but is not one of the larger ones in the park.  There are well over 20 trees in this park, about an acre of land.  Again, not really unusual throughout the US, but this is farmland.  It is unusual to see an area like this here.  The lady in the picture was a passerby in the park so I blurred her face so as not to offend her.

Well, that is all for the trees in this area for now.  If the storms DO hit tonight and are severe enough, I’m sure there will be more fallen tree pictures.  Until then, adios!