Saturday, April 25, 2009

You Won't Hear This Advice at the Doctor's Office

But I'm firmly convinced that when taken in moderation, scotch cures everything.

Bad cold? Scotch.

Tension headache from reading about gastrointestinal phys all day? As I recently discovered - scotch.

Not a lot - I imagine that a lot would make everything worse in a number of ways. But a little bit? Let's just say I think there's a reason the Irish call whiskey "the water of life."

I'd probably never get my medical license if I ever said to anyone in a clinic visit, "Have you tried scotch for that?" But really - all things are good or bad in moderation, right? I wonder a little why everyone is so comfortable prescribing opiates for people with chronic pain, and yet no one ever says, "A hot toddy will take care of that cold for you." Oh, no. It's Neti Pots and clear fluids and wait till it's over. Why are doctors so comfortable with strong drugs that have potentially dangerous side effects, and yet you'd never catch one suggesting alcohol beyond a glass of red wine a day? I'm not saying it's always good for everyone - no drugs are, come to that - but surely it isn't any worse than anything else is. And anything that can get rid of the monstrous headache I had all afternoon that Excedrin couldn't touch is golden in my book. Thank you, Glenfiddich.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


It's finally spring in Ohio... we have some lovely yellow tulips in the yard, and a brand-spanking new garden plot all tilled and tucked away under a tarp until May, when it will finally be safe to put the tomatoes outside.

I am beginning to suspect that I was a little too ambitious with the tomato plants - we have about 30 started inside. I forgot that tomatoes produce all summer long, and more than one tomato at a time. Ahem. Then we went to Lowe's, which sells six foot long tomato stakes. Oh, my goodness.

So.. if we have a boatload of tomatoes this summer, I may learn how to can homemade pasta sauce.

We've been getting to know our neighbors - Phil is a middle-aged man whose partner passed away several years ago; my mother in law calls him "the pirate" because when she met him he was wearing an earring and a bandanna on his head. He's really nice, and always willing to keep an eye on the house if we're going to be gone for a weekend. He rents a room to a guy about our age, Andrew, who is also nice, though we rarely see him.

Across the street is Birgit, a middle-aged woman whose husband passed away this past year - she and Phil have gotten to be pretty good friends (she says it's nice to talk to someone who understands what it's like to lose a partner). She's really funny, and the kind of neighbor you can borrow a ladder from in exchange for a plate of cookies, if you know what I mean.

It's nice to have neighbors - I never really have before, and it's kind of neat. When the power goes out, everyone goes out to their yards and visits; people chat over yard work on the weekends; people offer to help you with big projects if they see you need it. Kind of a novelty for someone raised out of sight or sound of neighbors - but I like it.