Bread and catnip

Because I have Addison’s disease, AKA chronic adrenal failure, it is necessary that I regulate my stress and choose my stressors judiciously. Socializing, travel, noise, and pain are the things hardest on me, but I can control my exposure to three of the four.

Noise is a publicly traded commodity, and there is little I can do about this stressor in my environment. About all I can really do is try to compensate with other calming activity. In the case of excessively barking dogs, which unfortunately is common where we live, but which fortunately is a violation of a county statute, I sometimes resort to calling the sheriff, whose deputies are very responsive, very good at educating dog owners of their responsibilities, and also good at imposing fines on owners who just don’t get it.

Crying babies are different from barking dogs of course, but their vocalizations are just as stressful. All I can do is remove myself from their midst, if possible. If a migraine kicks in, I have something to take for that.

Hyperacusis, or sensitivity to sound, often accompanies Addison’s. A deficiency of cortisol magnifies every kind of stress. People with Addison’s take hydrocortisone to “replace” our excessively low cortisol, but it really isn’t the same as God’s original issue.  The synthetic replacement can’t adjust its level to accommodate our stress levels as does our original cortisol, which modulates to meet the stressful occasion. But the synthetic keeps us from flatlining–a good thing, because cortisol is a hormone necessary to life.

My dear cat can be joyfully entertaining, and she can also be exasperating and stress me into caving to whatever she wants–which is usually to go outside into Effieland, our enclosed garden. But she can’t go out at night, and if she tortures us then, she needs forced cuddling and distractions. Catnip is also a fairly effective antidote to most of her yowling.

Making bread is a pleasant, happy, calm thing I do every week. Gluten intolerance, like noise sensitivity, is chummy with Addison’s. If Effie yowls while I’m making bread, it’s because she knows she’ll score a free safari ticket to Effieland.

I can’t cure my next-door neighbor’s phobia of leaves on his lawn. His gas leaf blower sounds like an XF-84H (I Googled “loudest plane in the world”). Every time a leaf falls, Doug’s on it.

Life is good; Addison’s sucks, but God has made it an instructive limitation.


P1020223My bread ingredients and wonderful tools in array

P1020224For Effie, bug watching has its own rewards–for me, too, because her expressions are so delightful.

P1020226Catnip score!


Filed under Action & Being, Cats, Effie, Health, Photos

Saturday bliss: bass fishing, otter sighting, and quiet on the Snake

We launched our skiff Companion Star from Clarkston Saturday at 9 AM and fished and caught bass until noon. The morning was warm and peaceful, and the few boaters anywhere near us were considerate. No one zoomed around aggressively or came too close. Everyone on the river kept sufficient distance to avoid creating annoying wakes, and most waved cordially.

We observed an otter with a fish or some indistinct prize, scamper out of the river and up the rocks. He was so delightful to watch as he looked back at us, making sure his catch was secure!

A pair of pleasant Department of Fish and Wildlife guys hailed us for a routine check of our licences and catch. My husband asked if they’d like to see our fish, and they were happy to see them. Of the 12″ Smallmouth that provided me a sporting challenge to land once I set the hook, one of the agents said, “He’s got some size!” I really liked those guys.

My husband took the video and all the photos on this excursion. I was just into fishing.


otter 2An otter (bottom, center) makes his way up the rocks at the river’s edge.

otter 1The otter looks back from the middle of the rocks.


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Effie watching me read, and other highlights of summer


Effie has the shade. She is under a grapevine; I am not, because of the bees, a multitude of which flits purposefully among the leaves and stems. My husband juiced the last of the grapes the bees had not sampled. The remaining fruit continues to draw grape-sampling, drinking, consuming bees. Effie is not a threat to their supply, and she is not disturbed by the bees.

The temperature was a brisk mid-80s this morning, and I sat for a little while in Effieland, reading A River Runs Through It. I’d have stayed longer, but the bees were daunting and I went indoors.

By 11 AM it was 108°, and even Effie came indoors. She napped through the heat of the day, dividing her time between the bed and her hammock.

A very important forthcoming summer highlight is my granddaughter’s fifth birthday. I decided to start a charm bracelet for her, and my daughter thought it was a great idea; it will be an ongoing thing. I will keep up with my granddaughter’s interests and commemorate them with charms. I will use lobster claw clasps, as I do with my own charm bracelet, to make the charms easily interchangeable on the bracelet, creating some huge factorial number of possible groupings as her collection grows. The project will motivate me to keep up with my granddaughter’s interests as she grows–and motivate her and her Mom to keep me up on them. This is a boon, because she and her parents live in Alaska. My hope is that my granddaughter and I will have something in common that we both treasure.

And, though we have heat, and sluggish fish, and noisy, exuberant jet boaters, yet we do take pleasure in fishing!

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Saturday on the Snake River

The day was sunny at Nisqually John, near Wawawai, a little too hot, especially, evidently, for bass to trouble themselves much with chasing flies or lures around. But a couple of respectable Smallmouth bass decided to come home with us, as did a couple of bass who joined our Canning Club Friday evening near Asotin. Friday had a few too many fast-and-loud party boats for my quiet taste, but Saturday afternoon’s heat thinned the crowd to a level I could live with. It’s all one river, and I love its beauty and its piscine bounty. The basalt formations of Hell’s Canyon and its rock coves make this stretch of Snake River scenery exceptional.

My husband took all the photos here, saving me the trouble of photographing the back of my head.🙂

2016.08.13 Snake River fishing 1

2016.08.13 Snake River fishing 2

2016.08.13 Snake River fishing 3

2016.08.13 Snake River fishing 4

2016.08.13 Snake River river boat


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Directed by Effie. . .

Effie finds herself at home in the Director’s Chair. I thought she truly looked the part, dealing kindly with her set crew, who were picking grapes.







Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Photo Galleries

a new line of fishing

My husband surprised me last night with a fly fishing rod. He presented the slender 7 ft. lightweight fiberglass rod to me with his vote of confidence. His confidence in my potential as a fly fisherman was not a surprise. (If I can get the new moves down, it will pleasantly surprise me.) He had some extra fly reels and popped one on my new rod for me.

The new rod and reel were strange to me after using my spin rod and reel, but as my husband described the reasons for the differences, I became more accepting, though I knew I was not a natural at this. I feel like I have a fair knack for casting my spin rod, but my fly rod will require lots of driveway practice. Just holding the line in my hand felt very strange as we undertook my first lesson Wednesday evening in our driveway.

I figure that as long as we live in an area considered to have some of the best fly fishing on the planet, and since I love fishing, I am motivated to challenge myself beyond what comes fairly naturally. It’s good to be competent with both spinner and fly. And I have a desire to learn first hand, to apprehend the beauty and mystique of fly fishing the people featured in Dan Landeen’s book are so exuberantly talking about.

We’ll see how it goes.


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Evening with the Effieland Patrol

P1020200The Effielander is ever wily; she must be deft and silent to capture bugs.

P1020201Happily, prey is always in sight.

P1020202What was that sound?

P1020204One can never be too alert. . .

P1020205or too satisfied with one’s place in life. . .

P1020206would-be adoring intruders notwithstanding. But it does perhaps give the coy Effielander something to consider.

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Filed under Action & Being, Animals, Nature, Gardens, Cats, Effie, Photo Galleries