A Little Catching Up – and A Couple of Notes 1/10/16

Doing some catching up tonight.  Some of the below will be old news if we’re friends on Facebook, but since some of you don’t do Facebook, I wanted to share what’s been happening the last week or two . .  or three.

It feels SO GOOD to get up each morning lately and feel the need to pull a sweatshirt on over my pajama top and slip socks on my feet before I make it to the kitchen for that first cup of coffee.  We are finally experiencing a little “cold snap” – meaning the day temps are in the low to mid-60’s (tomorrow the high is supposed to be 55), and the night temps have waivered a couple of times into the low 50’s (tomorrow night it may PLUNGE into the 40’s).  WooHoo!

Ted is fussing about all this terrible weather – mainly to aggravate me.  He says things like, “I didn’t move to Florida to have to wear a jacket on walks” and “Have you seen my wool cap with the earmuffs?”.  I wish I had a photo of how he dresses for dog walks now – wool beanie, heavy jacket . . . . . and shorts!  That guy!

On the other hand, Bear is deliriously happy with the cooler weather . . .

On the other hand, Bear is deliriously happy with the cooler weather . . .

. . . . and is enjoying his romps on the beach so much more! I sent these two photos to our wonderful vet in Georgia who performed Bear's knee surgery - just to show him how well he's doing. Can't believe that's been a year-and-a-half ago!

. . . . and is enjoying his romps on the beach so much more! I sent these two photos to our wonderful vet in Georgia who performed Bear’s knee surgery – just to show him how well he’s doing. Can’t believe that’s been a year-and-a-half ago!  Also can’t believe this sweet boy turned nine on Dec. 20.

We had a little scare with Maddie a few weeks ago. She came up limping one afternoon - not putting any weight at all on one rear leg. Off to the vet we went where they immediately suspected a back issue and put her on REST for a week. One of our neighbors joked that making Maddie rest would be like nailing jello to a tree. But we did our best - toting her up and down the stairs.

We had a little scare with Maddie a few weeks ago. She came up limping one afternoon – not putting any weight at all on one rear leg. Off to the vet we went where they immediately suspected a back issue and put her on REST for a week. One of our neighbors joked that making Maddie rest would be like nailing jello to a tree. But we did our best – toting her up and down the stairs, not letting her jump up on or down off the furniture, and giving her anti-inflammatory meds.  So happy to report she is doing fine and seems to not be limping at all.  I’m praying this was a simple strained muscle and not the beginnings of back issues.

Ever seen a manatee up close? This mama and her baby showed up off a neighbor's dock a few days ago and seemed to be smiling for the camera!

Ever seen a manatee up close? This mama and her baby showed up off a neighbor’s dock a few days ago and seemed to be smiling for the camera!  Her mouth is open.  Then there’s her fuzzy snout (you can see her nostrils at the top of the snout, next is a wrinkle, and then her eyes.  Mom and baby spent several hours feeding in our inlet before wandering on down the intracoastal.

We continue to celebrate finding our great little community, Sunset Inlet. As time goes on, you'll get to know a lot of these folks through the blog posts, and here are three couples we spend a lot of fun time with. From left to right: Nick and Sharon, then Toney and Sue, then Ernie and Jennifer. We all spent Saturday touring the St. Augustine Wild Reserve, which rescues exotic animals from folks who mistakenly purchase these creatures (lions, tigers, wolves, cervils, bears, etc.) and then decide they can't (or won't) care for them. It was amazing to see the love and care they all receive now

We continue to celebrate finding our great little community, Sunset Inlet. As time goes on, you’ll get to know a lot of these folks through the blog posts, and here are three couples we spend a lot of fun time with. From left to right: Nick and Sharon, then Toney and Sue, then Ernie and Jennifer. We all spent Saturday touring the St. Augustine Wild Reserve, which rescues exotic animals from folks who mistakenly purchase these creatures (lions, tigers, wolves, cervils, bears, etc.) and then decide they can’t (or won’t) care for them. It was amazing to see the love and care they all receive now.

I’m going to write a blog post above the reserve soon, but here a little tease (both photos used with permission from the St. Augustine Wild Reserve)::

Angel - a White Tiger

Angel – a White Tiger

Mufasa - an African Lion

Mufasa – an African Lion

After our tour we went into St. Augustine for a wonderful dinner at the Old City Inn . . .

After our tour we went into St. Augustine for a wonderful dinner at the Old City Inn . . .

. . . and leaving we caught a little glimpse of St. Augustine's holiday lights, which will remain up until the end of January. So beautiful!

. . . and leaving we caught a little glimpse of St. Augustine’s holiday lights, which will remain up until the end of January. So beautiful!

FROM MACKINAC

You first met Bart (a volunteer fireman on Mackinac) and his new puppy Chester in a blog post in September.

You first met Bart (a volunteer fireman on Mackinac) and his new puppy Chester in a blog post in September.

From our island visit in December. . . Bart and Chester at the Lilac Tree Hotel

And here they are in December!  Bart is the Front Office Manager at the Lilac Tree Suites and Spa, and Chester was helping out with the decorations for the holidays!  He’s growing fast!

A Clark Bloswick photo after a good snowfall recently . . .

A Clark Bloswick photo near the top of Fort Street, after a good snowfall recently . . .

. . . and a night-time look down Fort Hill from Greg Main.

. . . and a night-time look down Fort Street from Greg Main, with a well-lit freighter in the background.

A gorgeous, snow-covered Cadotte Avenue, compliments of Kaitlynn Gerdes.

A gorgeous, almost-snow-covered Cadotte Avenue, compliments of Kaitlynn Gerdes.

A New Year's Eve crossing on the Mighty Huron - showing just how cold it is! (Photo: Maryanka Alexander)

A New Year’s Eve crossing on the Mighty Huron – showing just how cold it is! (Photo: Maryanke Alexander)

Another photo from Maryanka. Lots of snow for New Year's celebrations!

Another photo from Maryanke. Lots of snow for New Year’s celebrations, and it looks like there was some serious shopping going on!

Folks are finding some "ice art" here and there, but no signs at all yet that there will be an ice bridge this year. (Photo: Patrick Conlon)

Folks are finding some “ice art” here and there along the coastline, but no signs at all yet that there will be an ice bridge this year. (Photo: Patrick Conlon)

From Bobby Lee: An island Belgian watches the Mighty Huron leave the island. This was Jan. 4, and it was -2 degrees.

From Bobby Lee: An island Belgian watches the Mighty Huron leave the island in the fog. This was Jan. 4, and it was -2 degrees.

SOME NOTES

Blog Non-Schedule: Since everyone seemed to love the idea of “coming full circle” back to Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog, I’m going to go out on a limb here and make another administrative change.

I know you all say you don’t care when the blogs arrive, and it’s been ME, not YOU who makes a big deal of that.  So, for now at least, I won’t be posting on any particular schedule.  Hopefully, that will mean I’ll sit down when an idea strikes me and post right away – instead of waiting for my self-appointed time.  Hopefully also, that will mean I will post more frequently – not less.

Some Personal Stuff:  I’ve mentioned some health issues lately but have been waiting until I had some definite news to really explain.  I now have “half” a diagnosis, and since it will be the middle of February before I see a doctor again (unless there’s a cancellation), I’ll share what’s going on at this point.

I’ve had chronic neck pain for probably 20 years.  I have no idea what started it, so it could have been some accident I don’t recall or it could simply be genetic.  Regardless, about 20 years ago I saw an orthopedist in Albany GA who told me I had “the neck for a 90-year-old woman” and stressed to me the importance of staying off horses and trying not to get hit from the rear in a car accident.  The horse riding I’ve avoided, but I’ve been hit from the rear twice since then – and I’m still walking.

Over the years the pain has gotten worse.  It’s pretty much constant to some degree, but not really bad except occasionally.  This past summer on Mackinac – for whatever reason – it became really, really bad.  When I got home I made an appointment with an internist, who scheduled an MRI and referred me to a neurologist.  The diagnosis – one totally collapsed disc, with the two under that one partially collapsed.  Degenerative disc disease (I guess that explains why I’ve lost almost two inches in height over the last twenty years).

Because the neurologist also saw some deformity in the curve of my neck (mine is straight where it should curve), he sent me for more x-rays and made a follow-up appointment for the middle of February (the first time he had an opening).  Now right here is where I could get started on the state of health care in this country for “older” people, but I won’t bore you with that.

The doc did say that he would be slow to operate – opting probably to try physical therapy and injections first.  I guess that could change depending on what the x-rays show.  I’m FINE with that – I would just like to start said PT and injections NOW, rather than a month-and-a-half from now!  I will continue to call once a week to check on cancellations.

I think that’s about all I have for now, and I’m pretty sure we’re all caught up.  EXCEPT – I’m still going to share soon our visit to a CLOSED Grand Hotel.  Can you say C.R.E.E.P.Y?

God bless.

 

 

 

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29 thoughts on “A Little Catching Up – and A Couple of Notes 1/10/16

  1. Sorry you are going through this neck pain. Hoping you can start your PT sooner rather than later. I know as we age, we continually have more physical ailments come up. You be sure and take care and know that I’ll keep you in my healing prayers.
    Looks as though you and Ted have a nice group of friends, so happy for that! Also glad Maddie is well on the mend. Take care an enjoy your cooler weather!

  2. Love the pictures from everywhere (but especially Mackinac!). So sorry to hear about the pain. It wears you down so. Having said that, you must be a whirling dervish when you’re pain free! So hope you can find some relief soon.

  3. I hope the doctors are at least able to give you a degree of comfort.
    We’d all have to hate to have you go under the knife for your neck or back.
    I don’t know that they have a waiting room large enough for Ted
    and all of us to support you and him!
    Thank you for sharing some of the folks and antics of the neighborhood.
    Along with the good ole mackinac stuff! Again when ever you decide to pop
    In, for a cup of cocoa or a glass of sweet tea, it will be a special treat!
    Fun fact: our Cheyanne and Bear are birthday buddies!

  4. Aww Brenda, I feel your neck pain..I have a similar problem with mine. Bud has problems with his shoulder for one…sometimes it sucks getting older. 😉
    I can’t wait to hear about the Grand..I bet it is kinda creepy during the off season…has there ever been any ghost sightings? Can’t wait to hear about the animal reserve also…so glad that there are people out there that care for these poor things.
    Looks like a nice group of friends and would love to get to know them better! 🙂

  5. Sorry to hear of your problems in your neck. Hope they have an opening sooner rather than later. Looks like you’re enjoying your new life in FL. Can’t wait to read about the Grand. Take care.

  6. Love all the pictures. “Angel” is absolutely beautiful. Sorry you are having neck pain. I had that for quite awhile but believe it or not the chiropractor helped a lot. But it’s not for everyone. Hope the PT helps and I have known people who have been helped with the injections. Looking forward to your blog on the Grand!

      • I also have the issue of less curvature than normal in my neck, and have found some relief from pain and headaches with acupuncture and regular chiropractor treatments. Hope for some relief for you! Love the doggie pictures!

  7. Wow, Bree. Sorry to hear about your pain in the neck. And I’m not talking about Ted! You’re too young to have such problems. I pray you find relief soon. That can really hinder a person.

  8. So sorry to hear of your neck pain. Praying the PT and injections help and no surgery will be required. My nurse practitioner looked at an xray of mine and told me she suspects I may be developing degenerative disc disease too as I get older. Not going to lie, it worries me a little. I’ve lost about an inch in height over the years, some of that due to kyphosis in my shoulders. We will just trust God that He will take care of it all. Hugs and I pray you get some relief soon.

  9. Just keep dogging the office staff till they get you in to see the Dr. Chronic pain is difficult to put up with but getting older beats the alternatives. I know you want to get started on the PT and injections and I have faith that these treatments will work well for you. I’m sorry you are having such a painful condition but trust relief is coming. Hang in there. Loved all the pictures. Bear looks euphoric and the Island looks magical with snow. Know we all have you and Ted in our prayers.

    • SO GOOD to hear from you, Cathie! Hope you’re doing well and finally getting settled in. Moving – like getting old – Is not for sissies. Hmmmm – maybe that’s moving WHEN you’re old that’s not for sissies! Love you, sweet lady. COME SEE US!

  10. Brenda,

    Please know that, along with the others, I’m sympathizing with you for the neck pain. It’s more than I think I should go into here, but, except for two weeks, I’ve had a backache since a few weeks before my 21st birthday and the neck pain got started about thirty years ago. Occasionally excruciating, but usually it’s just an “I know it’s there” situation. I have also found great relieve with chiropractic over the years. As a matter of fact, I often tell people, “It’s chiropractic that keeps me walking.” I’m not joking when I say that; it’s really the truth. I also say, “My Golden Years have been tarnished.” Now I don’t want to sound like a complainer because every day is a wonderful day that God has given me and there is always something in every one to be glad about, and I’m thankful for every day. And that includes your blog. Also, it’s 7 degrees right now at our house, but it’s nice and warm and quite comfortable inside. Not only that, but the weekend forecast was for 4-8 inches of snow and that was downgraded to about 3 inches.

    Thank you for the blog today. It was a difficult thing to do, but I just went back and looked at it again and picked out my favorite pictures: the two from Fort Street, A winter shopping day on Main Street and natures ice art on the Mackinac Island shore. I’m glad you posted those, as well as all the others. I was going to try to pick one, but couldn’t do it.

    Gotta go. Enjoy what sounds like warm weather to me and cooler weather to you.

  11. Thank you, sweet Lowell. I know I am so much more fortunate than so many others when it comes to the aches and pains of advancing age. Like you, on many days, it’s just an “ok, it’s there, but I can put up with it” pain. Having experienced a few of the “other” days, I thank God for those “put up with it” days! I’m going to wait until I see my neurologist again before I consider a chiropractor, but there will probably be one in my future. So glad the heavy snow held off for y’all!

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