All posts by jupiterj

annual check up


Saturday, I worked on choosing choral anthems for the upcoming season. I am now planned through the beginning of January. This is a load off my mind.

I am working at putting some distance between me and  my job. This means that I’m trying to actually take days off. Yesterday I cooked.

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Watermelon radishes (I bought mine at Meijer on impulse)

I made bread, roasted watermelon radishes, and cooked up some lovely mushrooms I purchased at the farmers market on Saturday.

I think the mushrooms are beautiful to look at as well as tasty to eat.

My two days off were complicated by having blood drawn on Monday morning and then seeing Dr. Fuentes this morning for my annual “wellness” visit (check-up).

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She was running late today which worked fine for me since one of the activities I am trying to do more of is read. I had a book with me and was (as I told the nurse) a happy camper.

Fuentes noted my gradual weight loss with approval. She finally decided to address my chronic high blood pressure. My BP went up when I had to go off of a drug due to a severe reaction the vestiges of which I am still dealing with. The rash on my body is much, much better and I have a cream to treat it.

She upped my current drug, amlodipine, from 7.5 mg daily to 10. She warned me there might be side effects of some leg swelling at my age. She also added a water pill back into the mix.

I’m to report back to her in three weeks via the app that Spectrum provides. She always tells me to contact her directly if I experience any dire symptoms (like chest pain).

I reported to her that am feeling like I’m in a bit better shape since I have begun exercising daily.

My lab reports were also good, Despite the fact that I eat quite a bit of cheese, my cholesterol is down.

Well, this is a lot about me but I feel like I have been neglecting the blog so I wanted to do something today. Now to go read.

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blog inertia


I have been neglecting this blog. When I first began doing daily entries online it must have been in the nineties. I was under the influence of the Internet idealists who  felt that it would be a way for people to connect with each other and have discussions online.

Boy, did we have that wrong.

Anyway, this little blog has evolved into primarily a way for the people I love to keep track of me. I have family dispersed all over the world and this has occasionally been a low impact way for them to keep up with me without having to actually deal with me.

But now my three adult children all are living lives that demand  most of their attention. I don’t feel this blog served the purpose that it once did. Now if I need to connect with someone or they need to connect with me, we simply reach out to each other and that’s that.

So now this blog is running on inertia.

In addition, I am assiduously trying to build a daily life that is adapted to my evolving needs. I am downplaying over functioning at my church job and emphasizing the things I like to do like read and play music. This is working out pretty well.

But I find myself choosing between reading and doing my blog and lately the blog has lost.

So apologies. If you need to connect with me, please feel free to email me at I try to check email at least once a day and will try to return a response within 24 hours.

A lot has happened since my last blog entry. I have been to two excellent recitals, one was the Great Performance Series featuring the guitarist, Jiji,teamed up with the inimitable string quartet; Cuarteto Latinamerico.

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That’s Jiji on the right above. Man, can she play.

Then I heard my colleague and friend, Rhonda’s excellent Japanese music performance: Music of Japan. She is planning to repeat it twice soon, once in Grand Rapids and once in Kalamazoo.

Eileen and I walked to both of these performances. I am doing more walking partly in order to exercise and not use the car and partly with an eye on my upcoming visit to China.

I continue to run across interesting ideas and books.

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Timothy Snyder wrote this book just before Trump was elected. Here’s a link to the Politics and Prose presentation of its inaugural release. I think it is fantastic and the video presentation is worth checking out.

Yesterday I went to the library and browsed. I realized that I would enjoy doing this more often. As Eileen said it’s like going to a bookstore without having to buy anything and still be able to bring books home. When she said that I added that yes and the collection of books is better than most bookstores.

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Anyway, Harold Bloom died. Once again I am preoccupied with someone as they shuffle off this mortal coil. I grabbed several  more of his books yesterday to look at. I didn’t realize that he and Anthony Burgess were such mutual admirers.

I had a great meeting with my therapist, Curtis Birky, on Friday. He even gave me a couple of titles of books to check on. I told him I loved having assigned reading.

Life is good.