Friday, March 06, 2020

A Lesson from Mother Nature Weekly Link Round-Up

Things are going well here at Casa Kittling. We're having the spring weather that tens of thousands of people come here for every year. There's spring training for baseball fans, car racing for Nascar fans... just about something for everyone, and I get to see things like this outside my windows:

That's one of two huge Tombstone rose bushes that bloom their heads off each spring, and the yellow puffballs you see on the tree behind the roses is my sweet acacia tree. You can't see how many more buds there are still to open on that rose bush. Yes, spring is glorious in the desert. In years past, it's been our pleasure to take friends out on a trail in the spring to show them mountainsides carpeted in gold and purple and blue and white. So many wildflowers! Spring is probably the best time to visit southern Arizona.

Things are going well for me, too. The dietary changes I've made in conjunction with the various exercises and other things that are done to me at the lymphedema clinic are having a very positive effect. I've graduated to the next stage of getting my lymphatic system functioning properly: compression leg "garments."

First, there are compression stockings that go up to the knee. Then the compression garments. They come in three pieces: the one you see in the photo for the calf of my leg, one that wraps around my foot and ankle, and the third that wraps around my knee. Getting them on and off can be an adventure because of all the pieces of velcro, but I will get faster at it!

These garments are made to be tightened up as the swelling in the leg(s) reduces. My leg gets skinnier, take off the velcro bits, trim off the excess fabric, and reattach the velcro. Voilá! How did they come up with this design? By studying giraffes!

If gravity had the same effect on giraffes as it does everyone and everything else, they'd have great big legs to go along with their big bodies, but they don't. Want to know why? Because the skin on a giraffe's legs does not stretch, so the legs simply cannot get bigger. These garments are made to mimic that, and they work. I got them fitted Tuesday, and when I went back twenty-four hours later for my next therapy session, the garments already needed to be cut down again. Even though I am sick and tired of having my legs wrapped up 24/7 except for the length of a shower, my eye is on the prize, and I will soldier on (and I'm enjoying my new diet).

But first, I'd better mosey out to the corral to turn this week's links loose. Head 'em up! Moooove 'em out!

►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • They're a scientific marvel: the world's first in vitro cheetah cubs have been born at the Columbus Zoo.
  • Colombians are grappling with a big problem: wandering hippos. While in South Africa, hippos like to wander into a petrol (gas) station.
  • A rare sighting in Yosemite: a trial camera captures an adorable and elusive fisher.
  • How one man and his dog rowed more than 700 kākāpōs to safety.
  • A frozen bird found in Siberia is 46,000 years old. 
  • Here's a first: gorillas have been seen dismantling poachers' traps in the wild.
  • Beavers cut flooding and pollution and boost wildlife populations.
  • These city crows have built their nest from coat hangers.

►Fascinating Folk◄
  • Irena Sendler: the woman who saved the lives of 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust.
  • Twenty women inventors you should know. 
  • The life and work of C.W. Grafton: crime novelist, lawyer, and father to a mystery icon. 
  • Sybil Ludington was the female version of Paul Revere and was only sixteen.
  • Fusako Aizawa, the grandmother whose stunning craftwork went viral.

►The Happy Wanderer◄

►I ♥ Lists◄

That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.

Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. So, there is progress. Will you always need to wear compression stockings and/or the garments you describe? (I don't know how you do it.)
    Well, I can answer one question on this post. Yes, reading books does make one happier. If I have a good book and tea and chocolate, I can spend a weekend merrily by myself. And even though I went out tonight, I kept thinking of the book I had to finish when I got home.
    The article reviews a lot of the benefits of reading, but one thing I know is that good fiction, mystery or not, is my destressor, along with snacks. I had to write about International Women's Day last weekend, and I would sneak off and read from a mystery for 10-15 minutes to take a break. And it works for me as long as it's a good book.
    And I have a bunch from the library and a lot more waiting. Will I ever learn to mete out my reading and be realistic? Not as long as the library has a reserve system.
    On to good health for you! And thank you for the lovely photos of the greenery and flowers around your house. Hope all that and good books aid your recovery.

    1. I'll probably have to wear compression stockings for the rest of my life, but if I do as I'm told, I should be able to ditch the garments sometime in the future. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that because (1) putting them on drives me nuts and (2) they're hot.

  2. I didn't know that about giraffes, Cathy! That's fascinating! I'm glad you're making physical progress, even if it's slow. It sounds as though you're doing what you need to do, and that's what matters. Glad your spring is glorious - nice stuff for you to enjoy. As for me, I'm off to that Mayan palace...

  3. Cathy, I feel like I'm getting a great education in all kinds of things each Friday. So happy that your health progress is positive. Those compression things are interesting and I also didn't know much about giraffes (except that they have black tongues - our daughter used to be afraid of them at the zoo - ha!). Glad your diet changes are working for you. My husband returned from a golf trip to AZ last night and he had a great time. He was in the Tucson area, but flew through Phoenix as the prices were quite a bit cheaper. I told him to watch out for Denis! Ha! So, I agree that spring is certainly the time to visit your hometown. Maybe another year we'll be there again.

    1. I hope so! And many people fly into Phoenix and then drive to Tucson because of the prices. Nuts, isn't it?

  4. Glad to hear that your diet is improving your condition. The compression stockings will hopefully continue your journey to health. Love the Tombstone roses, Cathy! And again, thanks for interesting links!

  5. A lot of my friends wear support or compression socks for varicose veins and other ailments. I am fascinated by the various patterns for these socks and came across the Vermont Country Store catalogue which contains compression socks in patterns and a few versions. I add it here:

    1. Thanks, Kathy! There are some good-looking ones there, but the compression doesn't go high enough for my needs. I certainly do appreciate your thinking about me though.

  6. Oh boy, that article on Americanisms....

    A number of those are actually lazy and annoying, even for Americans. Some of the alternate words that some Brits prefer come across to us as needlessly complicated, extra sylables without a purpose. And then there's good old 'gotten'. Shudder as much as you like, dear commenter, but gotten is an archaic form of the word that most speakers of the British form of English don't use anymore, but we got it from you. Just as soccer is derided as an awful Americanism, but it came here from England. You've just forgotten it was yours. (Ooops, there's that pesky 'gotten' on the end of that word, doing what it's been doing for many, many years.)

    Sorry, grammar snobbery rubs me the wrong way. English is a living language. It changes and grows, even if we would prefer it not to. It goes so far as to steal from other languages when it sees words it fancies. We're free not to use words that personally offend us, though. A large number of those Americanisms are ones I never use, and some I've never even heard before.

    1. Oh, and yes, I most definately have an inner dialogue.

    2. Grammar snobbery tends to rub me the wrong way, too.

      And those extra U's the folks across the pond like to harangue us for not using? THEY didn't start adding them hither and yon until all those rich young men went on their Grand Tours and came back from Europe 'round about the 18th century.

      One of the absolute best things about the English language is its ability to grow and adapt. Such snobbery is a waste of time.

  7. Eye on the prize is right! Glad it is going well and the interesting look at your contraption. I am no stranger to the knee high compression hose, have had to wear them for several years. I have gotten so used to them, that while a trick to get on, not too bad to wear. After everything else, it will probably feel weird to only have a compression stocking down the road.

    1. These compression garments are driving me nuts, but they're driving me nuts because I'm wearing them like I'm supposed to. When I've finally graduated to compression stockings, I'll feel like I've turned in both ankle monitors! LOL

  8. I hope when you graduate to compression stockings, you can get some with interesting patterns. I found a website with sets of them, all different patterns and colors. So let me know if you want me to send the link.

    1. You've already sent me the link, Kathy, and they didn't have the size or the compression strength that I need. Besides, I wear brightly flowered crocs, and patterned socks would definitely clash. ;-)


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