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Showing posts from April, 2020

Got O2?

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As my husband Tom was recovering from a viral pneumonia in 2016, one of the things we did for entertainment and information was to check his oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter – one of those clever little electronic devices that a nurse has probably clipped onto your fingertip at some time or another.
To make it even more fun, I would pull out my Samsung Galaxy phone (a phone that later died from a swollen battery) and use the Samsung Health app to check my oxygen levels by placing my finger over the phone’s light and camera lens.Then we’d switch devices, and he would use the phone app while I used the oximeter.Surprise!The phone app was amazingly accurate; it agreed with the oximeter readings every time.

But alas, in January 2020, Samsung removed the oximeter function from the Samsung Health app.I have a different brand of Android phone now. A few days ago, I checked the app store to see if there is a decent oximeter app available.After trying a few – the most promising ones – I f…

What to Read Now: The Gulf

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One day, before The Isolation, I was wandering through the MacIntosh Books & Paper shop, and I noticed an attractive, large tome written by Jack E. Davis, The Gulf:  The Making of an American Sea.  MacIntosh owner Rebecca Binkowski had displayed the book prominently on a wall, so it was easy to notice.  I opened the book to a random spot and began to read.  The writing was beautiful!  I tested a few other random pages, and declared out loud, “This is a great book!”  Rebecca responded by telling me that it had won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018, and that the author had made a few appearances on Sanibel in recent years.


I don’t buy books often because the Cooley household already is home to thousands of books.But I knew this one deserved a place of honor on my shelves that store books about Florida – after I read it, that is.As I read it, I kept telling my husband Tom about it.By the time I was finished, he said he just had to read it, too.Both of us took our time with the 600-page tome;…

Procuring Provisions

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William McAdams, Sr., was a tall man with fair skin and blue eyes.  He was of Scottish ancestry, the sort of Scot who knew much about cattle and horses, and who wrote many letters.  When he was 25 years old, he was already known as one of the best farmers in Illinois; he was a particularly well-known breeder of Shorthorn cattle.

In 1861, at that young age of 25,  he entered the Union army's 59th infantry and was given quartermaster duties in Company H.  This was not a simple job; there was no effective supply chain during the Civil War.  McAdams and his colleagues had to acquire supplies as the army moved through the South.  How was this accomplished?  Well, McAdams and his colleagues would sneak out to the next town, ahead of the other soldiers, and they'd steal the best horses, cattle, and food that they could find.  That's how a large part of the provisions were procured. War is hell.  This Company H was in the battles of Pea Ridge, Bay Springs, Liberty Gap, Chattanooga…