Just Breathe

Hearing from a grown grand child makes my day. Below the message I received from granddaughter Hannah (age 24) earlier this week:

Hi Grandma!

Just thought id pop in and say hi. I have been reading some of the herb books you gave me and am thrilled for the start of spring to come so I can begin growing my plants again. I currently have a rose-bush, some mints, and a healthy rue plant inside but I cant wait to grow more. I also have become more fascinated with natural products and the healing power of natural medicines, which has prompted me to begin making a variety of my own products. This includes cleaning products, laundry soap, bar soap, beauty products and lotions. Im just beginning, but its a blast to escape the world of harsh bleaches that kill one’s ability to breathe for the day after cleaning the bathroom. Anyways I almost forgot I have to go to work.

Talk to you soon!
Love Hannah

P.s. I typed this on my phone so please forgive any typos, it’s a bit tricky.


We are all breathing a little better.  The Sears Home Services team came Friday and gave our air conditioning/heating system a good cleaning.  The technician used a device to examine the interior of our duct system not too different from the instrument a gastroenterologist uses to explore the nether regions of the human body.  He showed me the stream of photos from the device which fed a camera, photos which gave me the eerie feeling of exploring the surface of the moon…detritus of over 40 years and almost unbelievable. The team then cleaned the 18 heating and cooling vents throughout our house, as well as three air vents in the bathrooms and my dryer  vent. They then hauled the debris to the local disposal site here in Arlington. 

Dust and hair had accumulated into drifts and contained black spots which he said showed patches of moisture causing the ducts and heating and cooling mechanism to rust. 

 He then dismantled the cooling and heating system, cleaned the blower, cleaned the semi-rusted coils that use much electricity to produce heat or cold and sprayed them with some protective material to help prevent further rust (the system is only five years old).  He said the preventive maintenance would help the system survive 15 more years and was far less expensive than replacing the system, which would be necessary in far less time.

He says we should have the system cleaned every three years from now on.  He said, the birds, dogs and we would all be able to breathe better.  I can already feel a difference in my breathing. He also told us we would use fewer filters and less electricity, and get a tax write-off for this home improvement.


Yoga classes are going well.  We have been practicing “centering” and breathing lessons.  Very useful. David says he loves it. This is wonderful news as he generally only participates in these exercises grudgingly. Before yoga today, he is working on taxes this morning.  He has temporarily postponed cleaning his bedroom and the shop, where I saw a mouse this morning. 

Mario, the Brazilian terminator, came earlier this week to bait the rat stations outside and set up mouse bait stations under my sink and in the pantry.  I hate to do that, but needs must.  We live in the physical city and get everything urbanites get including rats. 

We get country vermin too. A rabid red fox bit a woman in Rock Creek Park in DC this past week, which means they are prowling our neighborhood too. The park in DC adjoins our park areas here in Arlington.

sign at the border.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rock Creek Park. Northwest, District of Columbia.

Rock Creek Park. Northwest, District of Columbia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The foxes probably take the Metro over here.  

All this activity makes me wonder if progress is real.  We humans seem to fix one problem only to raise many more.  Sorry to sound cynical, but I think the days of coal-burning pot-bellied stoves in every room had their plus side.  Oh that’s right, Mom found bats in the chimneys and the vents attached to the stoves. And coal-burning made it difficult to breathe.      

10 thoughts on “Just Breathe

  1. Looks like you’ve got done what needed doing for the moment. It’s always best to keep up with maintenance, it gets too costly to let is slide.

    Yoga is good, perhaps my creaky knees will let me do some if I start on the easy bits?


  2. I saw your interesting comment on Tom’s blog, and thought I would say hello from Oregon. I’m very glad you got your ducts cleaned and can now breathe better. I just had a ductless unit installed last year, and it works well, but looks a little ugly hanging there on the wall.


  3. What a wonderful Hannah, and how really delightful David likes Yoga. Yes, all that nasty stuff in the system, and you could only guess it’s there. Glad now it’s gone. Bravo.


  4. Kudos to Hannah. I like her concepts, but I am too darn lazy to do the same. David cleans our a/c filters at least twice a month just by running water through them and then wiping and putting them back. It helps a lot. Hope you trap that mouse soon. I detest rodents and thank God there are none in my neighborhood due to the feral cats.


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