Having written about it, I realized I had to actually DO something about getting all these medical things set up. I am convinced if I breathe “regular out-of-house air” I’m going to die. That’s not necessarily true, but that’s how I feel.

I still haven’t heard from the ear department for Garry, but this morning I got a call from the Heart Interrogation Unit. Heart interrogation you ask? They talk to my heart and it answers them?

Well, yes, basically that IS what they do. Pacemakers are not just there to remind your heart to beat. They also track everything going on in your heart and to date, nothing has happened except the battery is aging. I hope it’s still true.

Unless you have a Pacemaker, you’ve probably never heard of a Heart Interrogation. It sounds rather James Bond, but it’s more like repairing a computer than torture by Spectre. This is when they meter your heart to check it’s memory. It somehow — in a very tiny package — remembers everything that happened to your heart since the previous reading. Were there any mini attacks? Anything abnormal. After you’ve had this surgery, everything is abnormal, so we are looking at the best results of an abnormal heart.

Any periods of rapid heart beating? And how is the battery doing?


When she asked me when was the last time I had the Pacemaker checked, I realized it was probably more than two years because while I had other important checkups last year, this hospital has a separate department for Pacemakers. They set you up with “a box” that hooks to your telephone so you don’t have to come into the hospital to get a reading on your Pacemaker. This will be a significant convenience in the winter when you don’t want to drive through snow. pounding rain, or howling winds. Now, if only I can get the dogs to stop barking!

There are a lot of good reasons to die these days, but letting your Pacemaker battery run out \seems a particularly stupid reason.

I’m getting close to needing a new battery in the Pacemaker. Last time it was checked — maybe 2017? 2018? Earlier? there were about 4 years left. Time has skedaddled, so now I’m close to the battery’s end-date. My heart will not beat without a Pacemaker and these last few months have been rather over the line.

Not only did she tell me to come I needed to come  ASAP, but she also moved the date forward to next Wednesday. I need to remember that if the battery dies, I die too. That would be a really stupid reason to die. Even I am embarrassed at how long I’ve let this go. I really didn’t remember how long it had been since the battery check was made and there has been a lot of stuff going on.


I can barely remember when my body functioned without a slew of testing.  There were surgeries for tumors (benign) in my right leg (15), the loss of an ovary (19), a spinal fusion (18) plus so much other stuff I can’t remember it. It’s a miracle I made it this far and it’s good someone reminds me that I’ ve got a lot of implants and replacements top to bottom. I don’t remember all of them when, for some reason, I’m trying to figure out which scars are from which events. Doctors should sign the incision with a date and the name of the hospital. Since age has made my short term memory about 15 seconds long, it gets increasingly difficult to remember.

She did assure me that there were VERY few people in the hospital and I would be unlikely to bump into anyone. Garry can’t come in with me which will make maneuvering difficult. There a lot of walking in a big hospital and I don’t move well.

On a more positive note, I will physically leave this house! Imagine that!

SOMEHOW, SPRING SPRANG – Marilyn Armstrong


You might think that with the awful and cold weather we’ve had, that spring wouldn’t show up, but it did. Today was pretty nice. A big humid followed by pelting rain, high winds, and several tornados, but the morning was nice.

I had to take some pictures of the woods getting ready for full bloom!


After a lot of people suggested I get a UBS at least to deal with the router and modem, I went looking on Amazon and realized I don’t know anything about what I need. Nothing at all. I used to rely on APC, but their ratings have dropped precipitously. So now, I have no idea what would be a good buy.


Owen says he has a friend who may have some answers, so I await information. The problem is that the UPS doesn’t give much power. Twenty to 30 minutes for things I can afford which would at least avoid the mini outages we get from our internet provider.

If we want to be really SAFE, we’d need a generator — and that’s big money. The generator isn’t expensive, but its installation is a major event and definitely not a DIY job. Something that would keep the water pump, refrigerators, lights, boiler, and maybe the TV running is a medium-home-sized unit, but by the time you get it installed, you are looking at thousands of dollars. Hospitals and other life-and-death places use huge generators.

Small, medium, or big, it is not happening. First, we need a boiler, a new deck, and a few replacement windows. And a big dehumidifier for the lower level to keep the mold away.

I feel as if we are buying the house a second time. I know it sounds stupid, but I somehow thought that once you fixed something, that was it. Done.

The new hot water system attached to the old boiler.

Who knew we’d still be living here when the roof we put in when we moved here started to deteriorate? Or when the 12-year-old boiler would suddenly (and startlingly) be a 31-year-old boiler 20 years later? Who imagined we’d still be living here 20 years later?

Who expected to need three hot water heaters, new pipes, three new well pumps — not to mention a new well. Life goes around, comes around. The problem is the money doesn’t necessarily show up at the same time.


We put different food in the feeder today. Well, actually, I put the food in. Owen lowered the feeders so I can reach them myself and not wait for him to get home. There were a lot of baby birds out there today. Tiny little Goldfinches, miniature Nuthatches, really small Chickadees, and occasionally a baby so young, he doesn’t even have all his feathers.

A very redhead
A rare head-on face-forward shot.

I got a really good lens-lock on a Red-bellied Woodpecker and I since these are one of the birds that usually disappear when I have a camera ready, I took as many pictures as I could. Also, I took a lot of Nuthatch pictures, but that will have to wait for another day.


I got really tired of the endless hunt for toilet paper, especially when you find some, they say you can have one roll. We have three toilets, so what do we do? Pass it around?

I managed to get the last known 24-roll package of Charmin on Amazon in March and it was finally delivered sometime in early April. Not only do we have three toilets, we also have three asses. Two guys and me. Owen and I took readily to the “point and shoot” hose type of bidet. Garry took a while longer, but eventually, he liked it too.

You actually feel clean. I have never found that kind of cleanliness with toilet paper. A few people went “EW. TMI!” This made me wonder why it should be more repulsive to hose your butt with clean, cold water rather than smearing the gunk around with paper — not to mention the paper clogs in the pipes.

Did you know that worldwide, the equivalent of almost 270,000 trees is either flushed or dumped in landfills 365 days a year? Roughly 10% of that total is attributable to toilet paper (according to the latest issue of World Watch Magazine). Toilet paper wipes out 27,000 trees a day. If for no better reason, we might consider that in every country around the world, trees are vanishing and we are using them to wipe our asses.

Unless you designed your bathroom to have a separate space for a bidet in its own place — which would require a rather bigger bathroom than most of us have –you can add an adjustable hose. It is very easy to install and I like the hose better. I like to aim it where I want it — and It has other uses, like cleaning the toilet. I’m told it’s marvelous for washing diapers now that cloth diapers have made a comeback. I was actually surprised at the popularity of paper diapers. I used cloth for my kid and paper only when we were traveling.

Hibbent Dual Function 2 Sprayer(Stream/Jet) Handheld Bidet Toilet Shattaf Cloth Diaper Sprayer Kit – Premium Hand Shower for Personal Hygiene Cleaning with No Leaking Attachment – Stainless Steel

That’s what I love about how we save the world. We go back to cloth diapers. Nice. Diapers have a lot of uses and make the best polishing cloths (if you are a polishing kind of person). BUT. We while we aren’t using paper diapers, we cut down 27,000 trees every single day because we think we need to use mounds of paper to smear our butts rather than hosing it down.

We have three of them, one for each potty. I’m not happy with mine, only because turning it on and off is awkward. I like Garry’s much better. It has an easy to use on/off valve and you don’t need to peer behind the toilet to find it.

It’s not that I never use toilet paper. I just use a lot less and I feel a lot cleaner too. I use paper to clean my eyeglasses, clean the sink drain, blow my nose (no tissues either). It’s less expensive, less environmentally damaging in an area with plenty of water, and makes us all feel so clean.