Saturday, January 07, 2012

Last Christmas Decoration

On September 7, 2011, I posted a picture of my first Christmas decoration.  Below is the picture I put with the post.  

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No closets to force the color, only set the pot on the porch trying to keep them in a natural light pattern. 

Here is the result:

IMG_3296For some reason, the leaves on the sides were perfect for the Season.  The top is still turning.  I am thinking I had it on a low table part of the time and maybe the sun didn’t reach the top as well as the sides.  It will be interesting to see if eventually it all turns red.

It really is a beautiful plant for the second year. 

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

by Candice Millard is a non-fiction book about the 20th President, James A. Garfield. 

President Garfield was only in office from March, 1881 until he died September 13, 1881 by complications from an assassin's bullet.  There were no significant occurrences during his short presidential term other than a start on civil service reform.  However, his personal story, with humble rural beginnings and losing his father at an early age, is one of great achievement.  He was able by hard work and dedication to attain a college education and then elected to the Senate for multiple terms before his election as President.

About midway through the book Millard begins the often gruesome yet fascinating story of the shooting by Charles Guiteau.  The shot did not kill the President.  As a matter of fact, Millard makes a strong case that President Garfield would have lived had he more or less been left alone. 

Instead, Dr. Doctor Bliss (his first name was Doctor) insisted full command on the treatment the President.  Dr. Bliss did not believe in the existence of germs.  He continually probed with dirty fingers and instruments in search of the bullet.  The lack of antiseptic use caused President Garfield to die a slow, painful death. 

This book was probably not the best book for a cheerful Holiday season.  It is almost unbelievable to me that antisepsis techniques were not universally used in 1881.   There were doctors who did believe and practiced techniques promoted by Dr. Joseph Lister from England.  Unfortunately, they did not treat the President.

I highly recommend this book.  As I said earlier, it is nonfiction so there are no surprises.  It is an interesting look at this time in our history.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

January 1, 2012

I like the sound of “2,012” or “20-12” as some might say.  Political ads aside, I feel it will be a good year.

I read back through some of my past posts on this day (I started the musings in 2004), thinking there might be some profound resolutions that I could reflect on, achieving or not.  I didn’t see any.  Perhaps these types of personal goals are best kept personal.  Number one, no admission of failure and number two, sometimes they really are personal.

I do have several important goals this year.   They  center around becoming more healthy.  That would be my resolution and about everyone else who buys into the thought that setting meaningful goals on January 1st works.  Why not, though.  It seems like a logical time.  Out with the old, in with the new. 

One of the best articles I’ve read in the last few days about this topic says

"Resolutions are important because they promote goal-setting, which is critical to getting things done," said Michael Pantalon, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.”

The article goes on to say that there should be a, “reason behind the goals.”    I should tell myself, “I want to be more healthy so I can delay age related problems of women my age and in doing so, look better.” rather than “I have to exercise every day without fail”.  

Thinking  of the benefits  rather than specifics may help me stick to a program I decide for myself.  It sounds good written down here, but will it as I contemplate the regular exercise program I have in mind? 

We’ll see.  Happy New Year.  Let’s do it!