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Sweet Tea

Sweet tea, southern-style

I’m working hard today and it’s time for a break. Of course my #1 drink-of-choice is always and has almost always been iced tea. Here in the South, folks prefer SWEET TEA. In fact, they swear by it!!! Any eaterie will serve it. It will be sweet, really sweet. When you visit somebody, you will be offered SWEET TEA. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes lemonade¬†or a beer will ALSO be offered, but you can betcha that in the South you will be drinking sweeeet tea sometime during your visit! So don’t turn up your nose at it. And if you move to the South, then you had better learn to like it! Oh, by the way….it is very often served in a Mason jar! Somehow it enhances the flavor (the opinion of a lot of us, haha). Many folks like it with lemon, some like it with mint. I normally drink it with mint simply because I usually have 3 or 4 types of mint growing in my garden.

I’ve been picking a few strawberries and blueberries out of my berry patch, trying to get to them before any of the’nuisance‘ critters do. I’m getting ready for a road trip so I need to tend to my gardens as much as possible before leaving. The blackberries and raspberries may or may not produce while I’m gone but there’s not much that I can do about that. Next up is my herb garden and all I can do is to pinch the tops off the basils so that they’ll grow fuller, as from past experience here in central Florida I do know that most types of basils can last 18 months or more! I’m putting 7 large pinwheels in my main garden to try and ward off some of the birds and squirrels that have been munching on my tomatoes (I have 12 plants already) and peppers and squashes and beans. I don’t know if they will keep ALL of the critters away but they surely do look pretty twirling in the breezes. We do have plenty of winds here in our part of the Sunshine State, and I’m hoping that they will at least keep away SOME of those varmints. I suppose I am the only one that can keep our puppy away from the pinwheels though!

When I was growing up, in Indiana (not the South!), my Mama served us iced tea EVERY night with our supper. I do mean every night: summer, fall, winter, spring. It wasn’t a choice, it was just a part of our meal. She cooked it in a saucepan on one of the 2 burners that was on the long island in our big kitchen while she was making the supper at the stove. Then she’d let it ‘steep‘ awhile. Right before supper, she’d have one of us kids pour the tea through a strainer into a large pitcher and add water and sweetener. We had to put the exact number of ice cubes into each glass and fill them with that beautiful amber-colored liquid beverage. Mama used Lipton loose tea and it always tasted perfect. When any of us had supper at somebody else’s home, we kinda missed having our iced tea. It was a tradition, I reckon, that you don’t even realize until later.

Nowadays I have diabetes and cannot add the sugar so I USUALLY sweeten my gallon-jug of tea with Truvia and Equal. Every once-in-a-while, I make it the old way with real sugar and then cringe as I take my blood-sugar reading the following day! It’s worth it occasionally if I don’t make it a habit! I also have made the switch to green teas. I also need to learn how to make hibiscus tea because I’ve got half-a-dozen gorgeous hibiscus bushes and my Hawaiian pals tell me that I oughta being making my own tea. I do like Jasmine tea. My daughter and I drink a gallon per day. Sometimes I make peppermint tea, or regular plain mint tea, or REAL tea (nowadays that seems to make me hyper and make frequent trips to the loo) but I do soooo love my SWEET TEA immensely! Well, I am thinking that I will go and have a jar right now!

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Grouchy Cranky

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Health scare this week and perhaps I might be feeling somewhat sorry for myself, but I DON’T CARE! My major disability is severe Vertigo/Imbalance/extreme Dizziness. That’s why I’m officially considered to be ‘handicapped’. Okay, I don’t like the label but I treat it as it is….just a stupid label. I’ve dealt with labels as my kiddies were growing up: ‘hyperactivity’, ‘ADHD’, ‘gifted’, ‘genius’, etc.. But all in all, I didn’t allow those labels to hinder my children to be treated any differently than other kids. Nor would I ever allow their teachers to do so either. So now that I’ve been LABELED, what a ‘pain-in-the-place-I-sit’ to go to the doctor and constantly keep finding out that there’s more additions to the list of medical maladies! I’m sick of it. I’ll give myself ‘labels’ instead: GROUCHY, CRANKY, DISGRUNTLED, PEEVED! Okay, that’s enough to make my point!

It seems to me that these doctors keep adding pills, while I was hoping to start lessening the amount of meds that I take daily. I’ve already conquered the asthma, YIPPEE!! I’ve not used the inhaler for more than a year, so I’m checking that off my list! I don’t think that I have sleep apnea anymore. I may snore a bit occasionally but no more breathing apparatus, no more waking up gasping, and my daughter hasn’t complained in many months (I do keep my bedroom door open). So I’m fairly confident that I can check that off, too! But now my Neurotologist has doubled dosage on one of my meds, another doc has doubled a dosage on another med plus added a med. A specialist is referring me to yet another specialist but I’ve not yet agreed because I’m stubborn! That specialist also is sending my lab results back to my Primary Care doc for adjustment of another med, I’m definitely not looking forward to another visit to my regular doc because last month she added another med too, grrrrrr! Plus I got sent to the Cardiologist for a ‘chemically-induced stress test’ because of an unusually abnormal EKG (lots and lotsa heart disease in my family); I thought that everything was fine since I’d NOT been called right away telling me of anything wrong. I went for my ‘follow-up’ appointment, and the Cardiologist had me scheduled for a Coronary CTA the very next day (2000+ images of the heart). So now I’m waiting, waiting, waiting. I’m NOT in a good mood and I’m having to stay home, right by my potty, drinking extraordinary amounts of liquid to get the iodine flushed outa my system so that I won’t have kidney problems to add to my list! Good grief!

Isn’t there a ‘Magic Formula’ to make me well again? Or something I can do have it all ‘taken back’? I’m just tired of pricking myself daily and checking my blood sugar. I’m tired of having to adjust my daily meals according to whatever those numbers were. I’m tired of having 2 arthritic knees that usually hurt so badly that I holler out in pain if I stand too long or walk much of a distance at all. I’m tired of being so dizzy during the first half of the day that I struggle to make it to the bathroom in time. Also, my dizziness has caused my walker to make lots of dents and nicks along the hallway of my daughter’s house from my bedroom to the kitchen. I’m tired of strange bruises that show up on my legs and arms and shoulders from bumping into things during these daily bouts of Vertigo. I’m tired of not being allowed to use knives or the stove for breakfast or lunch because it’s still too early in the day (being dizzy) and I might ‘hurt myself’ on the 4 or 5 days that I’m home alone. I’m tired of crying, usually late at night, when the searing hot ‘tinglies’ start to stab my feet in a hundred places because of the diabetic neuropathy. I’m tired of the numbness in my hands that takes over a few times daily and makes it so that I’m not even able to put on my own socks or can’t lift a jug off the shelf of the fridge. I’m tired of not having as much range-of-motion in my right arm because of the ever-growing pain in my right shoulder and am worrying how much longer I’ll have use of this arm because I am right-handed. I’m tired of having to depend upon another person. This sucks big-time.

Sometimes it’s ‘good to vent‘, or so I’m told. Tomorrow is another day; hopefully a good day. Or, in my case, at least I’m hoping that it’ll be a BETTER DAY! But for now….I’m gonna be GROUCHY & CRANKY and that’s all there is to it!