Saturday, December 4, 2010

BILBERRIES AND A DEAD FURNACE



BILBERRIES

First I want to thank you all for your caring about my vision phenomenon on Black Friday. Your comments were helpful and often funny but all were very much appreciated. I have decided to wait for another spell of super vision before seeing a doctor since at present, the spells only seem to appear every 25 years.

Most of your comments sent me over to Google to check what you all mentioned to see if there might be a cause that had a name. We always like our ailments to have a name, which takes it out of the vague, "probably is just in her head," category. All the ailments that you all mentioned however proved to have the opposite effect as to what I experienced.

Then Brighid's brief comment---”Have you been in the bilberries?” stirred a vague memory cell. Realizing that it was not a typo for blueberry, I then kind of remembered something about pilots during WWII and bilberries. So off to ole buddy Google I went.

It was rumored that RAF pilots use to eat bilberries before night missions during WW II to improve their eyesight. This was a popular myth but has never been proven. While the effect on night vision is controversial, laboratory studies have provided preliminary evidence that bilberry consumption may inhibit or reverse eye disorders such as macular degeneration,cataract and glaucoma. Now wouldn't that be wonderful.

Bilberries look a lot like very dark blueberries but do not grow here in the States. They are only at home in Europe's mountainous regions. Wonder if the Ozarks are mountainous enough? Wouldn't hurt to try.

This site has some very interesting information about the powerful berry. There are many ailments it seems to benefit. Now bilberry supplements are available but I am a terrible pill taker and an overdose is toxic, so I have ordered some organic bilberry jam from Italy.

I will let you know if anything exciting happens. Most likely it will just mean I will have some tasty toast in the mornings. It is one of those things you do while telling your self, “it might help and it sure can't hurt.”

Anyway, thanks Brighid. Perhaps if I had "been in the bilberries" as you wondered, that would have explained the vision improvement. By the way, check out Brighid's link to the video of the 101 year old cowgirl. That incredible woman makes me feel like a slacker and a whiner.

Random thought, do you suppose there is bilberry juice in Tootsie Rolls?

DEAD FURNACE

The other day my furnace started blowing cold air. That is good in summer but when it is 20 degrees outside, I prefer the warmer stuff coming out of the registers.
I do have a back up propane wall heater so I wasn't in a panic.

The furnace guy did all kinds of tests and finally decided it was a bum thermostat and proceeded to put a new one on my wall. While he is doing that, I am feeling pretty stupid for I know how to install a thermostat, in fact, I had put in the last one. Why hadn't I thought of that?

I really felt badly when he handed me the bill. $65.00 to pull in my drive way, $60.00 labor, $64.00 for a $34.00 thermostat (I checked), plus tax, that came to $202.00. I was really bummed about paying that much for a wall gadget that I could have done myself for $34.00. I was really kicking my behind.

Fortunately for my behind, my logical mind came to fore quickly and I realized, while it was a simple fix, I was paying the man for diagnosing the problem as much as I was for fixing it.

I felt better when I thought of a saying my dad was fond of. He was an engineer and people seem to resent paying him for brain power or expertise. It isn't tangible.

“You don't pay a barber for the hair he cuts off, but for the hair he leaves on. It is all in knowing what you are doing." Knowledge does have a dollar value. Thanks Dad.

36 comments :

  1. That would have upset me to, but hey, like you said, you're paying for his knowledge. Thank goodness he had some.

    Like my Mother said to me the other day on the pone, somethings wrong with my garage door opener. It won't work. I said did you check the battery? She said battery? You mean it has one. Bless her heart. I said Mom how do you think it communicates with the thing that raises the door, she said well I never thought of it. I said perhaps Dad always switched them and you never knew it, then she reminded me she had it installed after he died. Now that's been at least seven years ago, so if that battery hasn't worn out before now, I'm really surprised. So she took her trusty opener and went to the local hardware store and got the right battery, but said it still didn't work. (Now my 63 year old brother is practically living there, he should have known the problem) but like the old saying goes, he's as worthless as tits on a bull. LOL Hardware store man told her she would have to take it back to Sears, perhaps it needs checked, since it's their brand of opener. She does have another one that works, sometimes. So I told her to get them both checked. She said the man told her it might cost $60.00 or more, which I think sounds a little high, but then we haven't had to replace anything like that. In the background I could hear my brother say to her, so what. (About the price) I thought yeah, so what, it's her money that will be paying for it. He's been using her car also, so if the truth be known he did something to it. He needs to get a life and leave that poor woman alone, but then she needs to tell him NO. I'm sorry, as you can tell, the so called baby of the family is a real pain in my butt.

    Cold here this morning, about 27 above, light snow falling. Guess I'll be staying indoors. Have a great week-end and keep warm.

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  2. And thank you, Patti, for making me feel better about my $175 car repair bill. My check engine light went on the other day and I panicked. I took my car to the car place and $175 later, I realized I hadn't put the gas cap on tight enough. Now the money included an oil change, a new air filter, a new belt of some kind, and my emissions test. However, all of those could have waited if I had just remembered that I already know that not tightening you gas cap can cause the check engine light to come on. Oh $20 of it was for a new gas cap, which they said might be the problem instead of my not tightening it. I know that several of these I could have purchased at an auto parts place and put them on myself, but it I can't be trusted to screw on the gas cap, how can I be trusted to put in a new air filter?

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  3. Stay indoors my dear and enjoy your day AND your new heater :) must get that money's worth now that you apid for it, yes?
    speaking of blueberries...sure would love to have a blueberry muffin straight from the oven with my morning coffee; mummm...want to go to the store for me?

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  4. I love your dad's quote. Still, nobody likes an unexpected big bill this time of year. Stay warm.

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  5. Very Very interesting about the Bilberry...I am going to have to get me some of that Jam! It sounds like it is worth a try....!
    And I love what your father said. It is so very true. It is just that sometimes the cost of these visits can seem very excessive....! I'm glad you've got your HEAT working, once again.

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  6. My uncle trained with the RAF during WWII and he had some tales about bilberries. Funny, I hadn't thought of those stories in years.
    Let me stop here and thank you for the sharing of the video. The 101 Cowgirl was such a great way to start the day. I love her and her story.
    Be warm, enjoy his knowledge and let the rest go. We all have a money coulda, shoulda, woulda, story. I have sworn off of the "if only's" in my life. I can't afford to feel silly or guilty or unwise anymore. Yeah now that I have said that I've probably cursed myself huh. Oh well. Have a super weekend, The Olde Bagg, Linda

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  7. Blueberries and cranberries are wonder berries. I do hope you find your bilberries too.

    I love that last quote from your dad's.
    Hope your sight improves soon.

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  8. Okay, Lady, so what are we going to do about our CHristmas spirit missing in action? ...think about it :) as will I! and I'm serious about this!

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  9. So true. We want to see something for our money. That's why blue collared America sometimes resent white collared America. They don't 'see' them working. Pounding a sledge hammer can be seen, it's proof you are working. It's hard to see brain power working. We couldn't live without it however.

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  10. You are a regular philosopher!

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  11. Since there is Macular Degeneration in George's family, he does anything he can to keep from getting it himself. He takes Lutein and there is Bilberry in one of his vitamins... YEAH!!!!

    Sorry about the big furnace bill... BUT--another thing you can be thankful for is that there wasn't something else wrong which would have cost you ALOT more... Be thankful that you didn't have to spend more....

    Have a great weekend... Getting VERY cold here for about 4-5 days... You too????
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  12. I learned much from your post today. I guess you got your gift of wisdom from your father. Isn't nice when we remember those sayings that our folks had long ago. They always seem to comfort and teach me anew whenever I remember the sayings of my parents and grandparents.

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  13. Love your blog. This is the first time I have read it and I will keep coming back. I need all the humor I can find.

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  14. I hope the bilberry jam does the trick!! You'll let us know, I hope.

    Sorry about the thermostat, but look at it this way - you are helping the economy. Right?

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  15. Patty,
    Goodness, I sure hope your Mom has gotten the door fixed. "Tits on a bull" huh, that is pretty useless. Sorry he is a pain in your badonkadonk, most families have one of them.

    marciamayo,
    Oh my, if I made you feel better, you made my day. It is good not to be alone. We both had a real dose of "should have knowns". Expertise sure is expensive.

    Tracy,
    You are right and boy do I appreciate my heat. Blueberries are just a powerful as those bilberries. Muffins sound good.

    Olga,
    Thanks, his favorite quote became mine. The timing was a bit off on the expensive repair but I am glad to be warm.

    OOLOH,
    In the winter, I never fail to feel a rush of gratitude when I come in from the oold to a cozy house. It was worth every penny.

    Linda in NM
    Wasn't that old gal something special? Love how she referred to the women in their 70's as young. Love her for that.

    lakeviewer,
    If the berry jam helps, that is icing on the cake--but I am just happy that I had those few hours of young eyes. Quite the treat.

    Tracy,
    I haven't given up on the MIA spirit. Sometimes it is just very late getting here. Rushing the season like they did hurt this year.

    Linda,
    Isn't that the truth. It is kind of like when you have a headache and trying to convince someone you don't feel good. You look all right. We are a visual species aren't we.

    Friko,
    Well, not me but my Dad was. I was just a good listener.

    Betsy,
    My step-mom had that so our family is familiar with Lutein. Didn't know about bilberry though. George is doing everything right.
    We have been cold and have colder coming. Sure wish it would snow.

    sallylwess,
    Like you,I do tend to hang on to sayings and such that my parents or grandparents used. They could make good points with a few words.

    schmidleysscribblins,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I hope you do come back and let me know when you do. I'll check your blog now.

    kenju,
    You have a good point Judy. I was thinking that bill was the fates way of smacking me upside the head for only buying 2 flashlights on Black Friday. I was scheduled to help the economy or else.

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  16. So now I'm off to buy tootsie rolls and bilberries??? You know, I wouldn't have thought of the thermostat either. My first thought about anything that breaks around the house is to "hire" it done. I try to fix things, but usually end up breaking something else along the way. I'm lucky in one respect, one son is an electrician and the other is a trim carpenter. They ususally get around to fixing most of my problems.

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  17. The best part of this whole thing is that your furnace works again - thank goodness he didn't replace the thermostat and find that wasn't it after all! blessings, marlene

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  18. Biberries? - yeah right. Did you not read my comment on your last post? Oh, that's right - I just wrote that comment. Well there was the nap after my last comment. Hmmm...If this bilberry idea is better than my idea than I'll eat a bilberry. Is there really even such a thing as a bilberry or are you just pulling our legs.

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  19. I'm so glad to have fired up a memory cell about Bilberries. Will be trying the supplement variety, so hopefully we can compare notes.
    Good that you found a guy with the knowledge to fix your furnace. Sometimes we have to bow to those with more knowledge, dang it anyhow!

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  20. Your furnace story reminded me of a story my Grandfather told me. He worked at a factory and the line shut down because a machine was malfunctioning. A repairman came and fixed the machine in a couple of minutes by adjusting one screw. When he presented the owner with a bill for two hundred dollars the owner went ballistic and demanded an fully itemized statement. The repairman complied - adjusting screw $5.00, knowing which screw to adjust $195.00

    An Arkies Musings

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  21. No kidding. I almost hate to even look at these repairmen's bill. In any case, thanks for stopping by my blog. It always neat to run across new people that way! :)

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  22. turquoisemoon,
    Aren't you lucky. Too bad you didn't give birth to a plumber also then you would be totally set.
    Guess I need to court a handy man.

    Stichingbythelake,
    You know, I have had that happen with my car a LOT. They seem to just replace parts till they get it right.

    Grayquill,
    Surely you know about bilberries, they grow in the same area as you hunt snipe:)) Kidding of course.
    Relax, your leg is safe, they are real.

    Brighid,
    Let me know how the suppliments work. They have to be cheaper that Italian jam.

    richies,
    That is a perfect example of the price of expertise. Just love it.

    troutbirder,
    We need these guys, it is just tough paying for them.

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  23. Please let us know what bilberry jam tastes like.
    Glad you got your furnace working. I can understand being bummed for having to pay for a simple fix. Just be happy it was a simple fix and not a major repair.

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  24. We potters have saying when someone asks us how long it takes to make a pot, we say about five, ten, or 20 years depending upon how long we have been potting as each year brings new knowledge and expertise and I guess the same is true of anyone in a profession even the heat and air guy. I think those propane wall heaters are much less costly to run than the forced air ones. We're all electric here and if ours goes out we'll be in a world of trouble.

    I may have to get some of that bilberry jam, perhaps they'll have some at the healthfood store. I always heard carrots were good for the eye sight, hopefully all my carrot eating over the years has paid off. Now where are my $2 magnifying reading glasses, I need to go make something in clay. Ha.

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  25. Well, after having to go outside in the bright sunlight with a magnifying glass to thread a sewing needle today, I think I will take a quart of that bilberry stuff and a couple of blueberry muffins to go.

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  26. Thanks Patti for this post.From time to time we all seem to face high bills and Most of it is tax and transport. I hope the bilberries work wonders on your eyesight. I'd love to hear from you if they really do! Thanks for visiting our universe!

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  27. I wonder if they grow beside billabong trees.

    Speaking of batteries, my mother had an old station wagon for years and years. She bought a battery with a lifetime guarantee for it from Montgomery Ward. They had to replace it seven times before she finally sold the car.

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  28. Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    You are right, I was braced for maybe a serious problem so I really do feel fortunate.

    Linda Starr,
    I guess that is right. Potters also have built in price for expertise. At least in your case, the art is visable.
    Will let you know. How about carrot and bilberry juice?

    Coloring Outside the Lines,
    Hay, it can't hurt now can it. Those darn sewing needles keep getting smaller and smaller.

    Reader Wil,
    I know, I think the part I resent the most is the charge just to show up at your door. Wish they would call it something else.

    marylee,
    That is how to get revenge. Keep something a long time with a lifetime warrenty. Just love it.

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  29. Your daddy was a wise man. The berry is new to me but if it's as healthful as the other berries prove to be you may be on to something...ouch on the furnace bill, though. it's always something - guess that's why 'life' is a four-letter word...

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  30. i'm a little late getting here; never heard about bilberries but will be interestedin the results as I have glaucoma. Maybe it will cure my arrhytmias HA.

    Peple hated paying me a $1pill when the first antibiotics came out. Well I did have to get the right pill in the bottle and count correctly 1-10, etc.

    A lot goes into prices including licenses and education. Most pharmacies today have floor plan loans on inventories like cars, usually $500,000 up, mostly up.

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  31. Glad to meet another 70 blogger. I enjoy blogging, but it's beginning to take over my writing. I have a memoir coming out probably in February, my first book at age 70. Life begins at.... I think you agree. I like your blog. Such interesting things that you write about. I want to keep in touch!!
    Ann Best, Long Journey Home

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  32. I've tried bilberry ..... gave it a good long try for my glaucomaish peepers. Didn't do anything for me, but I'm probably over the hill, so to speak. Although, I've read about pilots using it, too and perhaps it works in young eyes. Worth a try for some, huh?

    Your Father was a smart, logical man. What are the sayings, The apple doesn't fall far from the tree..... a chip off the ole block, etc.

    I meant to ask you. I wrote down Nov 28 to watch our Sam E. Of course, I forgot. Did you watch it?

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  33. I am going to have to research bilberries...do they taste bitter? I find that most things that are good for you taste awful. Sorry about the price of your thermostat...that's a kicker at Christmas time.

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  34. I Wonder Wye,
    Thanks, I always thought so but I am prejudiced.
    Yes it is. Sometimes it slaps us just to see if we are paying attention.

    Nitwit,
    Well it is good for the circulation so maybe??
    Hay, you had to know all about mecicine and answer a million questions. Are pharmacists are our best health professionals. I never resented the dollar.

    Ann Best,
    Welcome to TNS Ann and thanks for following. I will check your blog now and get to know you better.

    Manzanita,
    I always thought Dad was a genius but as for me, I fear he stood on a hill and this apple rolled down it pretty far. Oh well.
    I have Sam recorded on DVD and have been waiting for the right time to enjoy him. I am saving him like a piece of fine chocolate.

    Dee,
    As far as I know, they have a higher sugar content than blueberries and are great tasting. Will let you know.

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  35. I wonder if a few bilberries will cure my problem. But I doubt it. I have discovered a complication call the vagal nerve also forces atrial fibrilation. If I eat more than about 1 cup of solid food or two cups liquid I can expect problems.

    You would think I would be losing tons of weight but not so.

    I chose not to attack large appliances but I try to fix smaller items myself or call on husband before I calling in the the brain power. Husband is good at purely mechanical things. I watched him assemble "brushes" to a lawn mower part the other day---on our newly refinished dining table..............

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  36. Nitwit
    You are lucky to have a handy man around. I still have to pay.
    That one cup of food screams weight loss. Wonder why it isn't falling off.

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