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September Meeting Announcement

September 3, 2016

Stanly County Beekeepers Association Chapter Meeting Notice   Date: Thursday, September 8, 2016   Place: 1st Presbyterian Church at 126 W. North Street, Albemarle NC. Enter through main entrance on…

Source: September Meeting Announcement

Today’s My Birthday … May There Be Many, Many More

August 27, 2014

Not sure what I’ll be doing today but whatever it is, I’ll do it without guilt. Don’t you think that all birthdays should be guilt-free zones where we indulge ourselves any way we choose without feeling guilty about it, or without feeling as though we wasted any time. We should give ourselves the gift of at least one full day where guilt does not enter our thoughts.

bathe the horses but not as usual; today I’ll take time to massage softener throughout their manes and tails. I might even braid their tails. But I do want to see just how soft their tails can be. Although I am out of carrots maybe the apples will keep their attention for a bit longer than usual. That is, if all this attention doesn’t work.

read the rest of the day: Years ago I remember reading for pleasure but also feeling guilty because I wasn’t studying something, or memorizing something, or analyzing something. (Guess that comes from too many years in school — a feeling of loss when it’s all over. PS. I’m over that guilt now but it was an adjustment.)

write on my blog. It’s been too long and it’s time to get caught up.

I will NOT:
mow. Although I enjoy the immediate gratification — not on my birthday; I have mowed for the past two days so today is definitely a no mow zone.

I will NOT:
weed. Even though those little seed heads are ready to burst and spread throughout the lands, today I will not weed. They’ll be there tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next … . (Get the picture?)

I will NOT:
worry or fret about ANYTHING. That’s my ultimate goal … to be gentle with my heart and my blood pressure — for one entire day. Then once I accomplish this, I’ll expand the practice from one day to one week, then to two weeks … and so on.

Here’s why

On August 8th I spent the night in the hospital suffering from heat exhaustion; thinking that I had had a mild heart attack. If you’ve ever felt your heart jump out of your chest, you’ll know what happened. My heart doesn’t usually argue with me but it did that day. I had been feeding the bees in my bee suit but got too hot and almost had to crawl into the garage for the Gatorade.

It’s been three years since I’ve ridden in an ambulance (October 10, 2011 Bob and I were in an auto accident and went to the hospital to be checked out, all went well); but, it’s still no fun. My heart goes out to those who are traveling at a speed that requires a siren. Being strapped in at normal driving speed was scary enough. Then there was the transfer from the ambulance to the ED. EMS assured me that they only drop people on Saturdays and since this was Monday, I was safe. I suppose this is EMS humor; those folks are wonderful, I might add.

I kept thinking about the $800.00 taxi ride to the hospital. If my husband had been closer to home, he could have taken me but he didn’t want me to wait the one and a half hours for him to get here from Charlotte. So, I called the 911.

I did enjoy having food delivered to me in bed. Someone else figured out the meal, cooked it, then brought it to me; someone else picked up the dirty dishes and voila, I was ready for my next meal. But other than that, it was not restful even thought I was on strict bed rest. I do wonder how hospital kitchens manage to suck all the salt out of food, though. Grits without salt? You’ve got to be kidding.

After exhaustive tests on my heart stresses, it was determined that my heart is strong and doing quite well. That left the heat exhaustion. It was a scary experience.

How many ‘wake up calls’ does a person need? Well, I’ve had two: one for cancer and this one for my supposed heart attack.

Stop the stress and that means all types of stress, not just worry.

That doesn’t mean I can’t work out here, after all we love our home and our critters. But it does mean that I must focus on what is important, and working in high humidity isn’t it. Although, the hubster made me promise to not get over heated — ever again. Actually, he put me on a schedule of low long I may work outside and I had to promise to stop working with the bees no later than 10:00 a.m.

After all, we’re in this together and if anything happens to either one of us, our home ceases to exist as we, and our critters know it. That’s scary enough for me to make dramatic changes.

Today is the first of many stress free, guilt free days. How about you? How many wake up calls do you need? I’ve had two; I may not get another one.

Newest Social Media for me is named Medium

August 22, 2014

Pat Allen

Had a Heat Stroke When Working with My Bees

August 20, 2014

Please bee careful with working with your bees. As we beeks know, our bee suits are hot on a cool day. But when the temperatures are in the 90s with the humidity in the 80 percentile, those bee suits can be deadly.

Monday morning, August 18th, I was working with my four hives who hadn’t been attentioned in more than a month. They desperately needed feeding. I had finished two of the four hives when I got light heated, slightly dizzy, and felt faint. I sat down for a while because I wasn’t through. After a few minutes of not feeling any better, I decided to finish feeding then close the hives. Their inspection would have to wait for another day.

I gathered my equipment then started toting my wagon back to the garage when I realized I wasn’t going to make it back if I hauled the wagon. Dropping the handle, I raced to the garage while pealing off the suit. Quickly I got the Gatorade out of the garage frig and sat in a chair for a few minutes. Within two minutes I realized I needed to lay down on the pavement. I downed more Gatorade . There was no way I could walk up the fifteen stairs to the air-conditioned living room.

After resting for about twenty minutes and drinking more Gatorade, I made it up stairs and sat on the sofa for a few minutes. Realizing how hot, wet, and gooie I was, I decided to take a cool shower. It felt good so I stayed in the cool water until I felt cooler. Washed my hair in cool water — that really felt good.

With my robe on I sat on the sofa and drank more Gatorade. About twenty minutes later I felt my right heart muscle move … a few minutes later it happened again. Taking my breath away, I laid down and rested some more. About twenty minutes later I went into the kitchen for some ice water. I was holding the glass when my entire left arm tingled and felt numb. That tingle throughout my left arm told me that I was in trouble.

I took three 81 mg baby aspirin then called my doctor’s office to tell them that I believed I had had a mild heart attack and asked them what I should do besides taking baby aspirin. The nurse highly recommended that I call 911. Didn’t want to do that but she convinced me.

So, I called Bob and told him to drive safely but I thought he had better come home … then I told him why. He said he was over an hour away and told me to call 911. Crap! So I did. … Glad I did. They were terrific. The 911 guy said I should take my blood pressure. It was 205 over 90. YIKES! He stayed on the line with me until the ambulance arrived.

When the ambulance got there the bp had gone down to 195 over 80. After three nitro tablets the bp was 127 over 50. Now that’s better. Nitro is nice stuff. (Grin) Doesn’t taste good but it works and that’s what matters.

I arrived at Stanly Regional Hospital in Albemarle, NC around 4ish. (Don’t remember exactly because I was busy.) They tested my blood for particular signs and it tested OK — no heart attack. But they wanted more blood tests so I was admitted for observation. Bob arrived around 6:30 pm. and stayed with me until 11:00 p.m. when we got a room number. He then went home to feed all the animals.

Through the night my blood was taken two more times. I applaud the Phlebotomists did excellent work. They only made one stick and got he vein. THAT’s always a biggie with me.

The next day Bob arrived around 10ish and stayed with me all day. Around 11:00 a.m. I went for a nitro stress test. What an experience! The results indicate that there is absolutely no doubt — my heart is fine. So, with that said, my heart apparently had gotten too hot and was working overtime to pump blood to the rest of my body, hence. a heat stroke was the diagnosis.

It’s important to know the heat stroke signs. This site will help. Your life and the stability of your family could depend on it. Please commit them to memory and stay aware of your environment at all times.

I’m home now and getting back to my routines — only smarter. From this day forward I will work with my bees at dawn and quit, whether I’m through or not, no later than 10:00 a.m. Husband has given me orders to set the clock on my phone. OK.

I was afraid Bob was going to suggest I get rid of the bees. But he didn’t. He’s wonderful. Actually, he’s gets more wonderful every year. We’ll be thirty-four on September 1st. and we’re looking forward to another thirty-four years. A scare like this really helps you see what’s important. Yep, it’s family.

CVS Sold Wrong Medicine Dosage for Over a Year — Now What???

July 21, 2014

This is a chronicle of my Facebook posts about my issue with CVS selling me the wrong dosage on one of my meds for over a year.

July 17, 2014


I just found out that CVS in Locust has been selling me the wrong dosage of one of my meds for OVER A YEAR. Holy crap!!!!

July 17, 2014

Here’s my med: metoprolol succinate. Here are its uses: This medication is a beta-blocker used to treat chest pain (angina), heart failure, and high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. Sounds like being on the wrong dosage could make a difference in whether I have a heart attack or not. NOT HAPPY with CVS in LOCUST, NC

July 18, 2014

Regarding my concern with CVS selling me wrong dosage for over a year: Apparently ‘the problem’ was a technological mis-communication between CVS and Oakboro Medical Services. NOW I’M REALLY CONCERNED because, as I understand it, Oakboro Medical Services is on the same Stanly Regional IT system as are other medical services throughout Stanly County. Doesn’t that mean that ALL of the medical services throughout Stanly County are affected with this technological glitch.

If I were you, my fellow Stanly County residents, I’d make SURE my meds were correct. Hopefully I’m the ONLY PERSON IN STANLY COUNTY who has been affected by this glitch, but I highly doubt it.

Please take care of your health and make sure you have the correct medications at the proper dosage. My trust for the medical profession and CVS has been shaken AND I’ve been over medicated for over a year. I’m not sure what to expect.

July 18, 2014

This afternoon I received calls from Oakboro Medical Center advised me that they and CVS had been in communication and believe they have found the problem. Apparently there was a technical flaw in the auto-response/fax system. I was assured that this problem has been repaired and there would be no further problems.

Later that afternoon

While I appreciate knowing this, my trust has been broken with my medical care professionals and CVS. CVS is the easiest to fix — they are out of the picture. This decision was made with the pharmacist started arguing with me with I told her about the mix up. I told her to contact Oakboro and tell them. Getting the correct prescription from them is my only concern from her.

July 18, 2014

I contacted Michael Harwood, my banker who is also on the Board for Stanly Regional Medical Center and told him about my plight with the wrong dosage. He told me he would look in to it then get the right people involved.

I told Mike I wasn’t going to sue but I was going to make a lot of noise. I figure putting this event on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog ought do. I doubt that I’m the ONLY person in Stanly County that has been getting the wrong medication. I’m just glad that my blood pressure has been within a practical range for the past few months, AND that the mix up didn’t involve my cancer medicine.

Amy Carracker from Oakboro Medical Center called this afternoon to talk about what was going on. She’s a Physician’s Assistant there whon I had met once before. I told her what had been going on and mentioned that my trust had been broken. She told me that the Administration would like to offer me a free exam to make sure I’m alright. I told her I would think about it over the weekend then get back to her.

July 21, 2014

Amy Carracker just called to see what my decision was. I told here that my husband and talked about it over the weekend and decided that staying with OMS would be the best thing to do. I have an appointment on Monday the 28th at 1:45 for a blood pressure check and conversation.

I’m hoping this is all behind us and that no one will ever have this problem again.

August 8, 2014

Essie Mayer, my mother-in-law, went to Stanly Regional with high blood pressure and needing daily help. Moved to Forrest Oaks on August 8th. So far so good.

August 18, 2014

I went into Stanly Regional with heat related heart incident. I thought it was a mild heat attack but after extensive testing, my heart is fine, no issues. So, that being said, the heart attack must have been related to my heart being too hot and it argued with me. I got too hot while out working with my bees. From now on I work with the bees as soon as the sun comes up and stop around 10:00 a.m. Whew! what a fear.

Both Essie and I received excellent care from the hospital staff. My faith in Stanly Regional is being restored. Although, I’ll always be more aware of my meds and will ask more questions.

Didn’t Celebrate Mother’s Day At My House

May 12, 2014

We celebrated Mother’s Weekend instead.

It all started innocently enough. My husband and I were enjoying our morning tea on the back deck when I asked him what he had planned for me on Mother’s Day. He sat stone quiet as his face turned ghost white. Sensing that he hadn’t planned anything, I sat quietly, enjoying every minute of his dilemma and wondering how he was going to escape his self-created problem due to his lack of planning.

I didn’t move a muscle; almost holding my breathe, waiting for his response.

After a few minutes, he looked at me and said, ” Well, it’s your day, what would you like to do that day?”

He did it again. He’s really good at turning things around back to me but I’m still not used to this maneuver. I told him that I hadn’t thought about it but would give it some thought then get back to him.

A few minutes later our son Don joined us on the back deck for his morning coffee. Saturday mornings are among my favorite moments when the three of us have time to get together and talk about everything and nothing. Throughout the week each one of us goes our different ways so Saturday mornings are our only time to be together as a family.

By this time I had had a few minutes to think about what I would like. Next time the subject came up I had an answer. It didn’t take long for the question to come up. It’s my day, I wasn’t going to let the boys get away with anything.

I would like for Bob to feed the horses both meals on Saturday and Sunday. For Don, I would like him to clean the kitty litter boxes, (we have three). The boys were stunned.

Guess my request came as a surprise. But with them doing those chores, I would have time to read.

For the past ten days, I had been studying nothing but text books on Apis Mellifera (Honey Bees); I was taking the first exam in a series of three exams leading to becoming a Master Beekeeper. I passed; that exam was behind me. It’s been too long since I’ve read so many text books; talk about dry. By now I was desperate to read something with a plot.

I had a long over due date with Tess Garritsen and her Silent Girl. Because of the boy’s gift of time, I read in the living room, on the back deck, in the dining room, on the front deck, and in the office — all day Saturday.

On Sunday the first thing I saw when I entered the living room were two bouquets of flowers that Don had put there the night before; one for Essie and one for me. Under the flowers was a gift card to Applebee’s. How sweet. Employed children are wonderful, aren’t they.

After getting my morning tea, I sat next to the flowers and read, then I read in the dining room, on the front deck, and for a short period of time on the back deck.

Sunday afternoon, we picked up an order from Applebee’s and took it to Essie’s for an early dinner. Essie is Bob’s 97 year old mother who is home bound so we spend as much time with her as we can. Because we ordered off the menu, Bob got his steak, Essie got her spinach salad and I got my Oriental Chicken Salad. I’m sure Applebee’s has other fine items on their menu but I’ve only eaten their Oriental Salad — it’s wonderful.

On the say home, Bob said, “This turned out to be a fine weekend. I got a steak out of the deal.”

With this tidbit of news, maybe I can pull-off having Mother’s Weekend again next year. I’ll let you know. As long as Bob can get his steak, maybe, just maybe we can do this again, and again, and again. New traditions have to start somewhere. Might as well be at my house.

Different Blogs Talk about Many Subjects

April 4, 2014

It takes several blogs to cover my interests. Below are the links and brief descriptions:

1. My Fighting Carcinoid Cancer blog ( is all about being a cancer survivor. Up until March 2011 I had no idea that so many types of cancer impacted so many people in so many ways. Chances are excellent that either you have cancer, someone in your family has cancer, or you know of someone who has cancer. We’re all connected and with so much information available, I write about what works for me and my family in hopes that someone will benefit from my experiences.

2. Nubian Dairy Goats ( exposes my daily life. I have raised purebred Nubian dairy goats since 2003 and throughout the years several folks have asked how I care for them. For them, and for the folks who buy my goats, I write about some of the tips and tricks of how to care for them. For giggles, I write about their busy daily activities and include photos of their antics.

3. The Stanly County Beekeepers Association blog ( is all about our local beekeeping club and it’s activities. We keep honey bees because they’re in trouble across the planet; it’s our way of giving back to Mother Nature. Without honey bees, thousands of plants that we eat will not be pollinated and thus will not grow. Their demise is growing to a serious situation that everyone needs to know about. As a bonus the bees give us bees wax (I make candles, lip balm, and goat milk lotions) and honey (I add honey to my goat milk soaps and bottle honey for sale).

4. As a way of decompressing from a busy day, I write Farmhouse Musings ( where I talk more personally about living in a rural setting; dealing with chickens that lay more eggs than two people can eat, horses who poop in the barn faster than I can clean it up, dogs who poop faster than I can clean it up, cats who poop faster than I can clean it up, bees who … these guys clean up after themselves, and who knows what wildlife but at least I don’t have to clean up after them.

5. My goat milk soap and lotion products are showcased on my Goat Milk Bath and Beauty blog ( All of my hand made soaps contain goat milk and olive oil because of their health benefits.

In my spare time I’m writing a mystery/suspense novel about a psychopath who wants to totally control an art gallery owner but she has different ideas. Raised on a ranch where her parents provided bucking broncs, bulls, steers and saddle horses to rodeos throughout the west, Rebe has learned to handle herself in just about any situation.

Come join me,

Pat Allen, Owner/Operator
Sleeping Dog Ranch Nubians,
Heaven’s Hill Apiary, and
Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps



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