Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We Made It This Far

 We came through the windstorm in one piece!  The power never went out, even once, and I know that's very fortunate, since according to the news tonight, there are thousands of people without power all over the country.  Lucky for us, the woods across the road took the lion's share of the wind force through this entire storm.   However, around 3AM Wednesday morning, the wind really blasted the house with a ferocious gust which woke me immediately. Our bedroom window was creaking from the wind stress which scared me and then it made that blood-curdling whistling noise it only makes whenever it is assaulted by exceptionally high winds.  Very Halloween-ish.  It creeped me out, that's for sure, but at some point I fell asleep again. 

 We used to have two big elms and one green ash within 20 feet of the house a few short years ago.  Both elms succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease and the ash wasn't looking very good either, so to eliminate the worry of a tree falling on the house, we cut them all down.  Then the geothermal field was put in which took the last of the 40' tall spruces out, so we have no large trees anywhere near the house itself anymore.  And no windbreak, either, which is something we really have to work on.

I awoke before dawn, and was lying in bed listening to the wind before I got up, when I heard a crash and a metallic clanking sound, what was that?  The crash sounded like a tree falling (I've heard that noise enough around here with all of our chainsaw activities and tree-thinning the past few years) but I couldn't quite figure out the clanking.  I crawled out of bed to investigate.

The big willow tree in the driveway on the east side of the house was still standing (there's a tree that makes us nervous, it's humongous and willows aren't known for their durability.) While I was looking at the willow for damage,  I noticed the sunrise this morning, so I grabbed the camera and took this picture out of our dining room window. 
 From what I could see from inside the house, everything in the yard looked fine.  I then moved into the living room and looking out to the west, didn't see anything wrong out there, either.  I did like the sunrise lighting up the woods a mile away though, with the Pachyberm in the foreground. 

 At least the morning looked more cheery today than yesterday.  

Then I noticed a car went by on the road and slowed way down, followed by a clunking sound.  Ah, using my powers of deductive reasoning, now I'm getting somewhere....there was a tree lying on the road.  The reason I didn't notice the problem earlier was because it was behind our cedar trees out front.  The clanking noise I had heard after the initial crash was the upper limbs of the dead ash tree from the woods across the road bouncing off our mailbox. 

The same mailbox my mom painted for me a few years (and posts) back.  Thankfully, the mailbox came through just fine; apparently mailboxes are impervious to large trees falling on them,  it's the vandals that prove fatal.
Less than a half hour later, our town workers were there to saw off the portion of the tree that was in the road and cart off the brush.  I am actually happy this tree fell down finally, it's been decaying for years and always looked so dismal, and it always made me nervous every time it was windy and I went out to the mailbox.  See, I had good reason to be nervous this time!  The woods had indeed taken the worst of the storm for us.

The windy weather continues, but thankfully, as of 10PM this evening, the worst is over.  At least, according to our meteorologist's forecast.  The wind has died down to a mere 35 mph and should drop to the low to mid 30 mph's for Thursday. 

There are even a few leaves left on some of the more sheltered trees, like this Three Flowered Maple (acer triflorum)
So, that was the excitement of the morning.  The rest of the day was, well, not as much fun.  I had another doctor's appointment today with a new practitioner, and though I liked her well enough, the news was oh, rather depressing.  Still don't know why I feel like dirt warmed over and let's try something else.  Wait and see for another two weeks, repeat blood work and sigh, take a statin.

Personal-- You're Going To Think Karen's an Idiot-- confession time here:

I don't know what I have against the drug, but for some reason, I feel I've failed.  Can anyone else relate?  I know millions of people take statins (my mom is one of them and is still going strong at 90) but I can't help but feel with everything I've read that all is not what it seems.  There's an awful lot of money being made on the sale of statins, billions a year, and that makes me nervous.  Is it really for my good health or for the health of the pharmaceutical companies bottom line?  Ok, so I'm a bit paranoid, but I did have one doctor tell me a few years ago that he wasn't sold on the use of statins and even for that matter, on the whole cholesterol issue as a 'disease'.  He told me that out of a hundred people, two lives 'might' be saved...and a statin doesn't protect anyone from all things that can go wrong with your heart and he wasn't sure the side effects of the drug itself are worth the supposed benefits.

And haven't we all seen those alternately heart-warming to blood-chilling testimonials on TV commercials for this or that drug (especially statins) where the person trying to sell you on why you need to take this med has come to their senses and now look at 'em!  Why, they are enjoying life to the fullest and so could you!

Sounds great, doesn't it, until they get to the side effects read off by a person completely strung out on caffeine or speed:

"Known Side Effects of this medication are the following (but not limited to):

Migraine headaches, nausea, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, blurred vision, slurred speech,  unwanted facial hair (seriously, ladies--is there ever any 'wanted' facial hair ?) uncontrollable ballad-singing, explosive belching, incoherent babbling, and spontaneous drooling.  Don't take this medicine if you are prone to accidental ax murders, inability to control grocery carts at low speeds, have difficulty petting kittens, detest cauliflower, love clogged sink drains, keep chickens in your bedroom or forget to pay your light bill.  Other serious side effects which happen rarely are distrusting people in clown costumes, flailing of extremities on the dance floor, ear twitching, fear of platform shoes, inability to mute your cellphone and leaving your Christmas tree up until July."
But what to do?   The last few doctors I have dealt with all tell me the same thing, that even if I followed the strictest low-cholesterol diet in the world and ran a marathon a week, my numbers would still be too high, so I have to face facts.

I swallowed the first pill tonight.



Shirley said...

I am so glad to hear your property, your home and you and your husband are unscathed by the storm. Best wishes with the statin. Any chance of improvement is better than none.

FlowerLady said...

Oh Karen ~ I could hardly wait to get in here this morning to see if you and Carl survived. I thought of you in the middle of the night and prayed for you and others who were effected by these storms.

I'm sorry you are having to take statins. I would do all the research I could about natural ways of helping your high cholesterol. You are dealing with people who are in a billion dollar a year business that's for sure.

Anyway, your gardens don't look too worse for the wear and tear of the high winds.

Hope your day is lovely ~ FlowerLady

Darla said...

Glad the damage from the storm was minimal. Okay, all I can say is my husband was a walking time bomb with his cholestrol and the other number thingy...I changed his diet and put him on lecithin and his numbers decreased dramatically in three natural remedies, pray for peace on the right decision for you and go from there. Positive mind set will take you a long way as well.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, we were all under the same black cloud and we did lose power. So glad that tree didn't do any damage.


Anonymous said...

Karen, beautiful images among the slight devastation. Statins, I am supposed to be on them and when I read the side effects, I am taking my chances.Hope to still be posting next year. Donna

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Karen. Glad to hear that you made it through your high winds also. It was terrible here as well.We are still having some high winds today but not like Tuesday.
What a beautiful sunrise.

Sall's Country Life said...

Yikes, those side effects sound nasty! You could just do what I do and stay away from Doctors? Seriously, good luck on you decision with the statins. I do know that diet and exercise are our best medicine,I know,blah blah blah! I'm glad the storm spared you and your house. Take care of yourself!

Karen said...

Shirley, thank you! And yes, you are right, I'll take all the improvement I can get.

FlowerLady, thank you so much for your prayers and concern! After reading about what you went through with the hurricane, I sure feel silly stressing about possible 60 mph winds! To think you were without power for so long! You are such a dear person!
P.S. my email address is

Darla, I could use you on my workout/diet team! Good for you that you were able to help your husband! Thank you.

Thank you, Eileen, isn't it nice to finally be able to walk outside without getting blown over?

Donna, oh, I hear you, I really do! I have put this off for a long time, trying this and that...and even with the medicine, heck, who knows? I'll read your posts as long as I can if you do the same for me, lol. Thank you!

Hocking Hills Gardener, oh, wasn't that storm something? I'm glad you're weather is improving, too!

Lisa, I love your advice! I have effectively avoided doctors for as long as I could, but they managed to catch me again. I'm slowing down as I age, but I'm not down and out of it yet. And some of those side effects--incoherent babbling--have apparently already set in when I read over my blog posts. :-)

Garden Senses said...

Thank God that everything truly important is well at your house in spite of the storm. I don't have advice regarding medication, but will tell you that my husband lowered his cholesterol dramatically be eating oatmeal EVERY morning and watching his diet in other aspects - ice cream intake (his favorite snack),I use cheese much less in cooking (my favorite ingredient).... I wish you well.