Monday, June 27, 2022

Why I Called My Blog "Life in Merlin"

Some folks around here live in Merlin, a state adjacent to the District of Columbia. Myself, I used to reside in Maryland. A few years ago I ventured down to DC, as we call it, for lunch with a friend. I parked on Wisconsin Avenue without noticing a small sign waaaay down the street warning anyone congratulating herself on finding a parking spot so close to the restaurant that all parked cars had to be off the street by rush hour. Well, it was a long lunch. When I came out at 4 PM, my battered red Toyota was gone. A taxi cab driver waited nearby, like the spider in the parlor, ready to cart the flies off to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. A Personage in a Suit, who shared our cab, fumed that he "would see about this!" I merely mentioned that I hadn't noticed the sign. The driver replied, "Jes' 'cause you from Merlin don't mean you can pay no-never-mind to them signs." I had to pay $150 to get that old car back.

Friday, April 22, 2022



This is a cannula ("can NUH lah"). When the prongs on the cannula are placed in the nostrils of a person  like me, who is short of breath because of a chronic lung disease, it delivers supplemental oxygen.

I went on oxygen at the end of March. There's a lot of learn. The most important is: "Don't trip over the green-tinted fifty-foot tubing," which connects the cannula to the oxygen concentrator. Alas, once a klutz, always a klutz. The second most important: you must clean the cannula once a week and replace it when necessary.

Only one had been delivered. I needed a spare for when the old one was drying after cleaning. I called the supplier. 

"What size do you need?" 
"Gee, I don't know. How many sizes are there?"

"Two. Size 14 and Size 17."

"I don't know what size I have."

"OK, I'll send you one of each and you can decide which one you prefer."

UPS delivered the cannulae the next day. I carefully measured the distance between the prongs with a ruler, using both the edge with the inches and the one with centimeters. Many times, from different angles. The distances always looked the same! I laid a new cannula on top of the old one. They looked like twins. How could that be? I tried measuring again. I was about to ask the resident mathematician for help, but decided to consult the Internet first. 

Silly me! I learned that the cannula tube that connects to the green oxygen-supply tube is either 4 or 7 feet long. The 4-foot tube is for children; the 7-foot, adults. I looked at the packages. Sure enough, one was labeled 1600-4 and the other, 1600-7.

I don't know how the person on the phone came up with 14 and 17. Maybe that "1" was really an "l" (el), meaning "length?"

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Snow on the Daffodils

It snowed all morning, but it's supposed to reach 44 today. The snow won't be around for long. Fat robins are feasting at the feeders. The daffodils' yellow bonnets are covered, for now, with white veils. 

Monday, November 15, 2021


 Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) can be brutal. I'm not doing well right now. I'm going to take a holiday from blogging so that I can learn how to live with this condition and feel better. I hope to visit your posts while I'm vacationing. I'll be back in awhile.