Friday, February 4, 2011

Fabulous February

Lunch Spot along Old Sugarlands Trail - GSMNP
January 28, 2011

Not everyone will agree, but IMHO, there is no fancy restaurant anywhere in the world that can rival the atmosphere, sound effects or beauty of the one I enjoyed last Friday and is pictured above.   Yes, I sat on a rock-outcropping with a indentation designed specifically for my butt and yes, I was THIS CLOSE to the water.  I can't think of anything I'd rather have had than the hummus (homemade by ME), Triscuits (only 10), mini-carrots, Cherry Pie Larabar and steaming hot coffee devoured by me after having hiked four miles!  This was a new spot I found and it's just out of earshot of the main road leading from Gatlinburg into the GSMNP, so I suspect, I'll be dining at this "restaurant" frequently!!

Got good news yesterday at the doctor's office.  CT Scan showed no sign of further infection, but plenty of  damage left behind by years of chronic sinus/allergy problems and recurrent infection.  This is the point where the ENT I've been seeing previously always said, "that's all we can do, stay away from those things which "trigger" your sinus infections."  The new ENT said, "now that you're feeling better, here's what we need to do to fix this!"  Way too complicated to go into here because that's not what this blog is about, but he did recommend I begin taking Singulair as a replacement for Zyrtec and I'd love to know if any of you have had experience with that medication.  Lots of bad reviews on the internet (which I pay little attention to), but two things that stand out are "I gained weight" and "I couldn't sleep."  You know these are HUGE red flags for me and if I can get any feedback from REAL people I know that confirms this, I'll ask the ENT is there is anything else.  I've also learned that Singulair is very expensive and there is no generic.   Thankfully, I have excellent insurance, BUT it's still expensive.  All in all, I am feeling so encouraged because 1) maybe I've found the major reason I've felt so rotten since before Christmas, and 2) I've found a new ENT in whom I'm much more confident.  

On to more fun things...............

My good friend, Karen, at Waisting Time  recently gave me the Honest Scrap Award and I am flattered that she chose me out of all the blogs I know she reads.  But if there is a word which I hope always describes my writing, it is "honest."  I promised myself before hitting "publish" the first time, that if I was ever tempted to be LESS than honest, I'd stop.  It has been difficult and painful at times, but so far, I've held true to that promise.....and that's the TRUTH!!

So to officially accept this award, I have to tell you ten things about me.   I've already told you more than you want to know in this post  and this post, so I think today's revelations will be quick and easy!   Just whatever floats out of my brain (which could be scary since there's no longer any infection up there to muddle things up! LOL!!).........................

1)  I am 5'7 1/2" tall and have brown eyes and brown hair.  I am 55 years old and my hair is still it's natural brown.  I've NEVER put ANYTHING on it and I challenge you to find one gray hair on my head!  Most of my friends say this is because we didn't have children!! 

2)  Speaking of children, Mr. B and I did not have children totally by choice.  It was something we completely agreed on from the beginning and we never wavered from that decision.  That isn't as radical now as it used to be, but believe me, in 1977, it was! 

3)  At some point when I was in high school, I decided I wanted to buy an RV and travel around the perimeter of the United States.  I had a map of the US on my wall with the route completely determined.  This is still a goal.

4)  Speaking of the walls in my room, in addition to the map of the US, I had posters of (this is going to be embarrassing) Bobby Sherman, David Cassidy (my face is really red right now!!), Pistol "Pete" Maravich, Joe Montana and Johnny Bench.

5)  "The Carpenters" were the first real concert I got to attend.  I believe it was in 1971.  That was the first of many, many, MANY concerts I've gone to.

6)  I was always the last one picked in gym class.  It was painful then and still hurts today. 

7)  Two friends and I were left at the Memphis Zoo on a Youth Choir Trip.  We were late getting back to the bus and our Youth Minister had told the group he wouldn't hesitate to leave us if we were late.  Can't remember if we were late deliberately or not, but it's not a mistake I ever repeated!  The punishment after I got home still burns today!!

Let's come back to the present..................

8)  I love fresh flowers.  One of my New Year's resolutions this January was to buy fresh flowers weekly.   Amazing how such a simple thing can bring so much pleasure.

9)  I've been undecided on whether to increase my hiking miles goal this year or leave it the same (300 miles) as 2010.  After our horrid weather in January and my being sick for 10 days, I've finally decided to keep it the same.  That was a pretty aggressive goal to start with and I was the very end of December getting it met. 

10)  And last, but not least, I will not be spending six weeks in Europe this summer as I had thought.  Lots of reasons, but it is the best decision.   Mr. B will be there for three weeks, but I'll remain at home.  So I'm in the process of planning our normal summer trip.  Last summer, there was no trip because we knew Mr. B's dad was in a fast decline, so I am really excited to get started planning.  We'll only have the month of June because Mr. B will not return from Prague until May 28th.  I'm thinking New Hampshire/Vermont, Minnesota or southern Colorado. 

That's all, folks!  Please forgive any bad mistakes.  Have to pick Mr. B up for our trek to Atlanta in four hours and I haven't done the first thing towards getting ready to go.   Eek!!  

Any input on Singulair or Summer Trip 2011 suggestions?


  1. 10) Kansas. Only kidding. Bar Harbor, ME is great. Lots to do and lots of hiking. CO has great hiking too, of course.

    6) I was always picked last too. Look at us now!

    5) Aerosmith. Late 70s maybe.

    Your honesty always shines through:) As does your wonderful spirit. Funny how that can be so evident just in words typed on a blog. Hugs, friend.

  2. Sharon, I'm so glad you may be onto a treatment for your sinus problems. I do not know about the Singulair. New Hampshire/Vermont sounds wonderful, as I have never been there. Colorado sounds good, too. Minnesota, not so much. But just go somewhere and enjoy!

  3. Sharon,
    I have no experience with Singular. My allergist put me on zyrtec and nasonex.

    I liked David Cassidy too, but I loved Donny Osmond! He has no idea how close we came to getting married.

    I'm sorry about the European vacation getting canceled. Sometimes, though, I think three weeks alone isn't a bad thing. :)

  4. Sharon, congratulations on your well-deserved award. I loved reading more about the "real" you! Like you, Clint and I are childless by choice and we did take a lot of crap for it back in the 1970's. We were never tried to push our beliefs on anyone else, and were always shocked/hurt/surprised/angry when family or friends tried to persuade us to have kids. I can honestly say that neither of us ever once regretted our decision.

    As for medication, I may have taken Singulair when I was originally diagnosed in 2001, but I can't remember exactly what I was on then. I was very sick at the time. About a year or so later, I was put on Advair for Asthma and Claritin-D for allergies and I've done very well with those meds. They did not cause me to gain weight -- in fact, I became so healthy by using them that I have been able to lose weight. I was so healthy for awhile that I stopped taking my meds for about 2-1/2 years, but over the past few months, I began having occasional allergy attacks again, and quite a bit of that nasty, crushing chest pressure that asthma causes, so I am back on the Advair, and taking the Claritin-D as needed. I also have an emergency inhaler which I use very rarely. Yes, my meds sometimes increase sleeplessness, but since I'm somewhat of an insomniac anyway, I've never worried about it. All of my walking from exercise tires me out enough to help me get a few hours of sleep every night.

  5. Hi there

    My only experience with Singulair was with my 9 year old daughter - she took it for 8 weeks with Zyrtec (Zyrtec in am, Singulair in pm) to adress suspected allergies. It had no affect on her dry cough (the GP and I eventually figured the cough was a habit)! There were no side-effects that we could tell...(The GP gave us 8 weeks' worth of samples, so it didn't cost a dime).

    Don't be too sad about missing your European vaction...right now I'm living in Russia, and I'm thinking Europe is over-rated! Good thing about Europe is that if you wait to come over here, all the old, historical stuff will still be here, just older.

    I say while your husband is away, plan a vacation for you - somewhere that may be in the US/Canada that you've always wanted to go, but he has no or little interest in.

    New Hampshire/Vermont is gorgeous in the summer.

  6. Southern Col is a bit too hot in the summer, I think. But Minnesota is really nice, and so close to Canada. Not sure about Vermont, but I've heard it is lovely!

    Polar's Mom

  7. My mom is 63, and has very tiny gray flecks in her hair. she looks at least 10 years younger and is blessed with good genetics I guess! Her mom, my grandma was the same way. I'll probably take after my dad's side, b/c I'm a blondish brown, and my mom has very dark brown (almost black) hair.

  8. Ditto on the Bobby Sherman, David Cassidy, and Johnny Bench! :)

    Enjoy your weekend trip! Hope the ice and snow don't cause problems!

  9. The Carpenters!!! Yeah!

    And getting picked last in gym class. Boo.

    I've had the RV/travel around the U.S. idea since high school too. I'm not sure I read it, but I was fascinated by Steinbeck's 'Travels with Charlie' because he was a Standard Poodle.

  10. I am soo glad to read you are doing better and that you went on a hike!! Good for you! I, too, love fresh flowers and try to keep some fresh ones in my house at all times. Michele

  11. I just found your blog, and I'm glad I did. It's great! The Carpenters--Oh Yeah--I still love their music! Take care of yourself.