Saturday, February 18, 2017

The End of Illness

It is 6 am here and I feel better, without taking phenergan or whatever.  Here's hoping it lasts.

We had 4 inches of snow, but today it is supposed to have a high of 60.  I want to go to the drug store -big excursion! - so I guess I will need to get cleaned up.  Meanwhile it ts back to bed.

I wrote the above mini post and then forgot about it.  Now it has been a week with no posts, sorry!  I know you all have been bereft.  This will be short as well, but more than 3 sentences, I would hope.  We will see.

I think spring is right around the corner here, mild weather forecast for the next week or 10 days.  I will try to get out for more than 30 minutes while it lasts, it is still Feb. so nothing is for certain in the local weather.  Last year we had a sizable snow this time of year, so it doesn't pay to get too complacent and do some foolish thing, like putting the snow blower away, or using the last of the ice melt and then not getting any more.  That is only tempting fate.

I am losing steam on my Kitty Trio cross stitch, so I will put it aside for a while until I am ready to go again, just a few days.  Meanwhile I will try machine knitting again and see how my shoulder does.  It feels pretty good now.  I'll start with something small, like dishcloths or a scarf, no loss if I have to frog it.  Probably do the dishcloths, I have a ton of cotton yarn to use up over the next, oh I don't know, the next thousand years.  When I was 12 or so years old, my aunt tried to teach me and my sister how to crochet.  My problem was maintaining even tension, row after row, so the piece wouldn't start out 12 inches across, and then diminish the next row to 10 inches, and so on, until I had a triangular piece at the bottom.  I never did get the knack, although I tried multiple times.  My sister, however took to it like a duck to water and crocheted all the time until she passed.  This delighted my aunt and pi**ed me off.  I gave all the afghans, etc. that she made for me to Goodwill after she died, but that is another story.  It makes sense if you knew the full story.

This damned desk has a slot at the back, all the way across, for wires and cables, a gap of 4 inches or so.  I am getting really tired of fishing back behind the desk for stuff that has slipped down behind the desk, grrr.  I keep trying to clear the surface of the desk, but as soon as I get it done, more stuff amazingly appears in that space.  Then it gradually crawls to the back and oops, there it goes behind again.  Stuff expands and fills the space available to it, I think.

Onward to the kitchen for now, the offspring went shopping this morning and my daughter was hungry when they went and they came home with an amazing array of snacking stuff.  I've got to find space (again) to put it all away where it will get used before the "use by" date.  Such a burden %> )

Today's cartoon:

Tuesday, February 07, 2017


I guess that the weather is mild for now, but I wouldn't know first hand as I have been in bed for the last 4 days.  I went to the Med Express on Sunday and the nasal swab said "guilty!" I have the flu.  I haven't eaten much since Saturday, but I don't miss it.  I saw the dentist yesterday to be prepped for a crown ($$), but today I am worse so I canceled the eye doctor appointment.  I think med visits are my only activities that get me out of the house.  Bleh...

We did have one hellacious clap of thunder last night, I swear it was directly overhead.  I didn't see my chicken hearted cat until hours later, I think she was behind the furnace.  The other three don't like it either, but they hide under the couch, etc., and only briefly if the thunder passes by.   When I was a kid in Florida, where thunderstorms are everywhere, we had a cat who would run OUTside, get soaked, then flee back inside, and if the storm continued, do it all over again.  Maybe she thought the house was  the cause of all the commotion, I don't know.  Maybe she just dared to show the storm who was the boss.  I wanted to give her a shot of cat shampoo the first trip out, so she would at least get clean, but Mom said that was a bad idea.  Guess so.  I would never go back to FL, even in the winter when we are immobilized by ice here.  It is too damn hot there in the summer, and the bugs alone would keep me out.  When I went to see my friend in FL, who was slowly dying of lung cancer, the first visit I stayed in an old motel, and slept with the lights on so I knew were to stomp.  The other visits I slept at her mother's house, which had routine visits from the exterminators, and had a rental car so I could come and go as needed.  Now that she is gone, there is no reason to return to FL.  I would do it now, though, if my friend was still there.

I tried to do some cross stitch while I am in bed, but it makes me sea sick, and it is at a clumsy position anyway.  I still have more patterns to come, I probably already have the right colors of floss, but I will need more fabric for them.  But first I will finish the "Kitty Trio" (see down there ) pattern.    Feeling bad again, I'll quit while I am ahead.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Hoping for a mild February

We had another 3 inch snowfall a few days ago, but not much of it stuck.  It was kinda pretty, big fluffy flakes, as long as I don't have to be in a car on a steep guard rail-less road.  Northern WV is a nice place to live, it has scenery, and is close to a major metro city (Pittsburgh) for shopping.  I personally haven't been to Pitt for years, after all, there is the internet which has the advantage of no crowds, parking, and traffic back to WV.

The preventative maintenance on the furnace was done today, and there are no problems except for too much dust in the immediate area (e.g. the cat litter box right next to the intake duct), but I think I can correct that without moving the box.  I mean, how would we like it if we had to use the bathroom and couldn't find it? We will give it a trial and see if the furnace filter has less dust on it.  A simple furnace filter replaced more frequently won't be a burden either.

I found some neat cross stitch patterns over the last few days, just the pattern and not an entire kit, which runs the cost up a lot.  Here is one of them
It is a fractal cat image, and if the monitors of all you readers can render a reasonable copy, you can see the pattern should be easy, unless it is stitched on black fabric, which is the pits.  I haven't received this pattern yet, I am keeping my fingers crossed about the black fabric.  I did one cross stitch a long time ago on navy blue and swore I would never do a dark background again.  But we know how that goes?  It has to be worked on in the daytime, you have to have a white something on your lap so the holes show up, and you don't want to take some of it out to do over.  But there are lovely patterns with the dark background that are very striking.  Sigh.  Update:  it is stitched on white fabric!

Ugh.  I just was dive-bombed by a stink bug, I'm out of here until it is found.  Hope all of you are having a good down time on your days off, and I am hoping you have no close encounters with bugs.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

January is almost gone

We have had a very mild winter so far, just one 3 inch storm.  The major problem of that storm was one steep section that turned into a sheet of glass and stayed that way for several days.  We live on an undeveloped road, and I haven't seen a plow or treatment truck here in years.  It is ill-advised to put salt on the road, since as it melts, it turns the road itself into a mired mud pit, pretty much permanently.    Cinders are the only salvation, not something you can pick up at Lowes.  We had the furnace people try to come and do the preventative maintenance, but the truck slid into a ditch and he couldn't get it out.  He was lucky, because the ditch is on one side, and a steep drop-off on the other side.  And a rear wheel truck.  No go.

Anyway, we haven't had a replay of the bitter cold weather we had before, when we had to leave the kitchen sink doors open with a heater in the room.  Brrr.

I am finding it difficult to do even the most rudimentary cleaning.  My knee doesn't like it, and now my back is chiming in with its twinges.  I used to have a cleaning service that came every two weeks, so the place stayed pretty much clean all the time, just a little touch-up as needed.  But when I retired, I canceled the service (dumb me) as I would be home all the time and could save a bunch of money by doing it myself.  I didn't remember at the time how much I hate cleaning.  I can do de-cluttering and other odds and ends of housekeeping, but scrubbing and vacuuming not so much.  I am tempted to get a service to come once a month, once the road is reliably passable and once I can see how the $$ works out for the entire year.

I must try to stay away from the news about what Trump is doing.  It upsets me a lot, especially the foreigners trying to come here.  He is such a maniac, the thought of his finger on the red button makes me actually ill.  If only Congress can shift to Democratic control ( how likely is that?) he could be impeached.  If only he gets tired of doing the actual work of the president and resigns.  If only...

I am getting along on  my current cross-stitch pretty well.  It would be nice if I didn't have to pick up and put away the project every night, but these cats would have it destroyed in a single night.  I am also enjoying watching the posts on YouTube of the cross-stitch forum, they are listed under FlossTube and range from excellent to pitiful, but I watch them all, and subscribe to the best.  In place of cleaning, I am afraid.  Here is a picture of what mine will look like eventually:

"Kitty Trio" by Design Works.

I have also bought several patterns (more than several) but I don't know what I will do next.  I can't have more than one project going at a time, that would lead to a lot of half-done things, but I really like this one so I will finish it toot-sweet.  That isn't spelled right, but you know how French is, nothing is written like it is pronounced.  And of course, I don't speak French...

Cartoon for the day:

Take care and stay warm!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Happy Birthday... me!

As time marches onward I am finding that "the firsts" are getting fewer.

Since N died:
This is my first birthday.
June 6th was the first  (46th) anniversary without him.
Dec. 25th, 2016 was the first Christmas.
Jan. 1st, 2017 marks the first year that I am a widow.  I went to bed early.
May 10th will be the first anniversary of his death.

Even though I can't drive for now, I have kept all of my appointments.
Although I goofed up the bill paying at first, I can now manage the bills.
I took care of the flood downstairs, and what's more, paid for it.
Sold N's car for a nice amount, and thereby canceled the monthly payments.
Filed for the settlement of a law suit, and got the money, yeah.
Remembered to claim his dry cleaning, and donated it to a charity.
Discovered that I really don't like to watch TV or movies, and canceled all the premium channels.

And best of all, I am now able to talk about his death without breaking down.

Still, I feel an overwhelming sadness when little things catch me out, like finding last year's Valentine card.  Or when I hear from someone who doesn't know he is gone.  Seeing mail addressed to him.

Anyway, I am doing better, overall.  If you know anyone who has recently lost someone, give them an extra hug (if appropriate) and a few kind words.  It is hard.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I signed up for Facebook several years ago.  I really don't care one way or the other, but my very best friend posted regularly and it was hard on her to send an email saying the same information.  She died 2 years ago (?) so the only contacts I have are her family, and some cousins of N, for a total of 16 friends.  Two are some old friends from CA days, and two are friends of the kids (who are not themselves members).  Anyway, I found out how to delete posts, which is all I really need.  No games for me.

I am astonished that the Trumpster (rhymes with dumpster) is still posting on Twitter.  I guess he thinks he is "in touch" with the core of his supporters?  Or just that he likes to seem "with it" ?  In any event, it is not doing him any good as he seems to be the butt of many jokes because of it.  I am still floored that Hilary lost.  I can't believe the stories that circulated about her during the campaign; that she was a murderer was the most egregious lie I heard.  I remember in high school civics class learning that, if you're going to tell a lie, make it a big one.  Guess DT and his cronies read the same civics books.

My family is currently sharing the same virus, as we have all been down with sneezing, coughing, sore throat, etc. one after the other.  I have been exempted for some reason; I haven't had a cold in at least 15 years.  Clean living?  Superior immunity?  Luck, I think.  This current one seems hardier compared to the run of the mill sniffles, so I shall see how it goes. 

I had a long talk with Norm's sister the other night.  She doesn't have an internet contact, which would be easier for me.  About 80% of the way through the conversation, my phone began to lose its charge so we had to cut the conversation.  I don't know why N only talked to her 3 or 4 times a year.  I know he hated the way she screamed at her great-grandson, but all that meant was that he needed to call later in the evening when the kid was put to bed.  I wish we lived closer, it would be good to see her other than at funerals. 

Well, time for the cartoon:

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Woman from Maine

If you marry a Maine woman.....

Three friends married women from different parts of the country. The 1st man married a woman from Indiana, he told her that she was to do the dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple days but the 3rd day, he came home to see a clean house and dishes washed and put away. The 2nd man married a woman from Alabama. He gave his wife orders to do all the cleaning, wash the dishes, and prepare gourmet meals. The 1st day he didn't see any results, but the next day he saw it was better.  By the 3rd day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table. The 3rd man married a girl from Maine. He ordered her to keep the house clean, the dishes washed, the lawn mowed, the laundry washed and ironed, and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the 1st day he didn't see anything, the 2nd day he didn't see anything, but by the 3rd day, some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye, and his arm was healed enough that he could fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher. He still has some difficulty when he pees.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Can't think of a thing to write..

So let's go to the cartoon first thing:

Friday, January 06, 2017

First Snow, dammit

I wouldn't mind the temperature (within limits) or the early darkness, or the wind, if only the snow wouldn't fall on the roads.  We got 3 inches last night, and it is lightly snowing now.  There is just enough to make the driving slippery, but not enough to get the plows out.  I don't have to get around today,  we even have milk and t. paper, the two commodities everyone grabs when the forecast is chancy.  But my daughter has had to go to work this morning, and yes, she is a good driver, and the roads in town are rarely more than slushy, mostly.  I still worry (I am a parent, after all) and having found she made it in, with no trouble, I am now all set to worry about the drive home in the dark.  I never say anything or ask about the drive, there is no need to pass my anxiety on.  Still I wish for clear skies all year round.

I got the check yesterday for the class-action lawsuit, all I need now is to go to the bank.  I still haven't figured out whether I will need to declare it as income, apparently it is not a yes/no question.  I will ask the financial guy his opinion, rather than find yet another guy,  an accountant, to render a definitive decision.  The settlement came with a 4 page document on this question, lots of ifs and  unlesses.  Pain.

I have been spending an inordinate time on YouTube, watching videos on... are you ready?... cross stitching.   I know, how could hundreds of people with regular lives make these videos on such a simple topic, but still I watch.  I have 10 tips I wish I could give to all of them, they are consistently guilty of most all of them.

1.  Don't scratch your head or play with your hair.
2.  Try really hard to stop saying "um"  "so"  "you know" every other sentence.  Try.
3.  Don't mumble; we are not mind readers.
4.  Make eye contact with the camera (and therefore us) and don't peer into the distance at the side; and mumble.
5.  Be organized.  Don't rummage around on your table or desk for your notes, or something you wish to share with your audience.  Have it right at hand.
6.  If you are showing projects that are completed, if you haven't gotten it framed or made into something, at least have it ironed, and maybe even tacked to a piece of foam board temporarily.  It drives me nuts when your project flops around as you hold the corners up to the camera.
7. Have something to say, not just parade a looong series of things you are working on.  A tip, a feature, something.
8.  And since we are here, if you have 20 stitches done, it doesn't count as "started".
9.  Keep your pets out of the video; they aren't cute to anyone but you.  A photo, OK, but not a pet distracting you on camera and knocking over your notes.
10.  Watch your videos after they are done and before you post them.  Editing really isn't that hard.  It helps if you are not the presenter AND trying to fiddle with your camera.

In summary, be calm, collected, organized, and enthusiastic about your topic.  Try.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year

I managed to sleep through the fireworks in the neighborhood at midnight, thank you very much.  I didn't think they would do them as it was cold and rainy, but when you gotta go boom! then go boom!

I surely hope this year is an improvement over 2016.  Between deaths, flooding, illness and injuries, it would be hard to equal that this year.  Or so I hope.  Almost 8 months since my husband of 45 years died.  I think if I had some warning, if it had happened in the hospital, if I hadn't seen the CPR being done, maybe it wouldn't have been such a shock.  No chance to say goodbye.  The gathering (not an actual service, just an opportunity to mingle with those who knew him over the years) was a success, not as a social party, but talking with people who worked with him, mostly.  He was retired for 16 years, but we couldn't go through the mall without at least one person stopping him to chat.  He was the director of personnel for a large government entity, co-workers of many hundreds.  He was cremated, something he had stated many times.  I'm not sure he would have approved of the gathering, but it made me feel a lot better, especially since his sister could be there.  Their brother had died early in the year, so now his sister is the last close relative.  I wish we lived closer.

 The farrier came this morning to trim the hooves of the last horse we own.  It is a clear blue sky today, and the temperature is mild, unlike the last two weeks.  We had all the faucets and piping in heated rooms but I still felt like sinking into the ground when we lost the water;  I thought the pipes had frozen.  I called the water company and she told me there was a break in the water line that was being worked on.  Whew.  Our neighbors called too, with the same fear.  I'm seriously thinking about moving to a place where there is no snow or frigid temperatures, but it would have to wait until our animal census is zero.  Maybe one cat.  No horses, no dogs, no more cats.  It is not like I have a circle of dear friends, and there are no ties to keep us here.  It is worth thinking about.

I have been a slacker for writing in my journal, but it is not like I am trying to win a prize with a daily diary.  I will write when it feels right.  My blog here serves as a similar purpose, and is easier to write because it is easier to do revisions than to cross out and erase there.

That is the latest update, more or less.  Hope all the readers here have an enjoyable and trouble-free year!

 slogan for the day:  "I put the PRO in Procrastinate."


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Back to the ordinary

The days immediately after Christmas are a let-down, don't you think?  Unless you have relatives still in the house, or the odd kid who needed an extra day of vacation.  Here the schools are closed until Jan 3rd, since Jan 1 is on a Sunday and therefore Jan 2nd is a holiday.  For us, it was a day of cleaning, laundry (as always), gutter cleaning, kitchen duty, and so on.  I was ill last night and traded dinner for an early bedtime.  I feel OK now, too much rich food that I am not used to, so it was back to housekeeping.  All except the gutter work, I don't do ladder work. 

I got a nice gift a day early, a book called "Field notes from Grief:  The First Year" sent by a friend.  I need to go to see a therapist; I am having terrible terrible nightmares, the kind where you can't distinguish between asleep and awake. I get them whether I take a sleeping pill or not; and waking up several times a night doesn't help either.  I spent one night on the living room couch, just to keep from picking up the nightmare from where it left off.  I did some calling around, but the problem is Medicare; not all therapists take it, even though I have an excellent secondary coverage.  And some weren't accepting new clients.  If this next one can't help me then I will give up.  If I can just continue through the new year...

The T-shirt I got for C says, "Don't blame me, I voted for Bill and Opus"  and there is a cartoon of Bill the cat and Opus the penguin.  None of which is understandable unless you've been a fan of Bloom County, which has only recently been back in publication.  I also got C the latest book of Bloom County,  a pokemon pikachu jump drive, and an agate wind-chime made of really lovely geodes that make a musical sound.  He is so hard to buy for.  R got boots, a sweater, an emoji bracelet, and a necklace.   I am not convinced that the boots fit her.  She always says (whatever the gift) it's fine! and then half the time puts them in her closet or dresser and are never seen again.  A big waste.  These are from Zappo's, so the return is free, maybe she wants a larger size, or brown instead of black, no problem, so long as the boots are as new.  Sigh.  Kids, irregardless of their age.

So I hope everyone had a fun relaxing day, and that everyone is safe and sound.  A New Year  coming, maybe make some resolutions?  Or just continue with ones made before now.  Anyway...

Friday, December 23, 2016

The shopping it is Over

Initially, when son, daughter, and I were discussing Christmas this year, we said, no big decorations,  the usual steak for dinner, no gifts.  But as the time grew closer, I decided a few small things for them were OK, and things have escalated.  I now have several gifts for each of them, and I hope they like them.  That is the best part of christmas for me, seeing how the recipient enjoys their gifts.  It was all the internet for me, and I never did make it to the mall.  Today we went to walmart to pick up a few things for dinner and my god! the crowds!  And they weren't very nice either.  I saw one woman, messing with her phone, drop a credit card just after leaving the register.  I said, excuse me ma'am I think you dropped a card.  She gave me the biggest smile as she picked it up, so I guess all is not lost in the Christmas spirit.

i am missing N more now than previously.  I have been getting cards from people all over the country who did not know that N had passed away.  So as I write cards to them, I am telling them the bare bones of his illness, and it is hard to do it without making it sound too bleak.  And each telling makes me a little more sad.

Well, time to rustle up some dinner, here is today's cartoon:

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cross Stitch

Cross stitching and machine knitting are the two main crafts that I do more or less constantly.  The knitting has to go on hold until my right shoulder mends a bit.  I use a magnifying glass that hangs around my neck - maybe you have seen them? for the cross stitch, so I can put my arms down further, and not be peering at the fabric.  It is lighted too.  One by one all my bits are falling apart, it seems like.  I can't figure out what to do with the stitched pieces, I usually frame them (have them framed) but where will I hang them?  It seems like every bit of wall is already occupied.  Maybe I will rotate them, that will also make me see them anew.  After they are completed I usually am sick to death of the sight of them.  I also try not to begin a new project when the old one isn't completed, the knitting people call them UFOs (Un Finished Objects) but unlike hand knitting, using machines means I can't readily start a new item because the old one is hanging on the machine, taunting me. 

I am having the devil of a time with an eBay seller in Beijing.  I bought a winter coat, very lovely, but about 5 sizes too small.  The listing explained that Chinese sizes are different from our sizes, so to be safe I ordered the largest size they make, supposedly a US size 3X (Chinese 5X).  The coat was about a size 12 I think.  So, with regret, I returned it.  $60 in postage, custom forms, etc.  The seller says the coat "never arrived" and ebay confirmed that they are not obligated to return my item price (I would still be out the shipping to and fro).  I have opened a case with the USPS because the coat was insured, but I don't know how that will work out.  I should have donated the coat to charity.  Damn.  My advice:  don't buy from China, many packages routinely "get lost" and how do you prove that you did not receive it, or that they actually got the return?  And they will get bad feedback from me anyway.  I have NEVER given bad feedback, and I have 100% positives and glowing comments from all 600+ sellers from whom I have bought, over the years from 2005.  Damn it.

 Well, enough sour grapes for this post.  I hope all my readers, casual or following me, have a safe trip to the family gatherings, and that all the gifts DO NOT have to be returned!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Getting closer

It is 12 days until Christmas.  Aren't I supposed to get a partridge in a pear tree today?  I've always hated that song, it goes on and on and if you can remember the "lords a leaping" and the rest, you're spending WAAAY too much time listening to the radio this month.  And partridges are very messy birds, also.  I'm not sure about how tidy eight maids a-milking would be, cows being non- housebroken and all.  Anyway...

I got t-shirt number three yesterday, two white ones in two different sizes, and one black one, a ladies black one, all with the same logo on them.  I'll show the shirt(s) after Christmas, as I don't want to give it away yet.  Anyhow, I am clearly not proficient in on-line shopping yet.  Yet.  Practice makes perfect, yes?

Also, I opened a package that was addressed to our neighbor, it was from China and I had a correct package from there too that day.  Oops.  We get a lot of mis-directed mail, it hasn't been a problem until lately.  I hope all our mail isn't suffering the same fate.  Some of it is very important, like the check for $$$$ from a class-action lawsuit of ten years ago.  Can you believe they just poke a check in an envelope and drop it in the mailbox, no confirmed delivery, no signature needed, no insurance?  I sure hope ours is on its way without a glitch.

I was selected by the Nielsen TV group to participate in a survey about TV watching a few weeks ago.  I ordinarily pitch such mail unopened, but this time I opened it and money floated out.  It was followed, over the next week with two more dead presidents.  I'll do their surveys anytime now.   At one time I was part of a consumer survey group, and sometimes I received products ( like shampoo, bug spray, laundry detergent, and paper towels) to test.  Sometime in there I was dropped as a tester, probably skipped too many products.  I remember one where I had to keep track of how many loads of laundry I did in a month, and I was surprised at how many there were, 50 or so I think.  Four of us then, even so that is a lot. 

Did you ever hear a piece of folk superstition regarding New Year's Day?  I had a friend in the 60s who was appalled when I told her I was doing laundry on that day.  She said, 'oh no, someone in your family will be washed away (die) that year'!  I don't know where that started, she was a Georgia farm girl before moving to south Florida, so maybe that was the source.  Superstitions are always fun to hear, but now I count on  to get the lowdown on dubious tales.  Some of the ones floating around on the 'net are really old, but still believed by a lot of people.  Tales of dying children that want postcards sent; chances to win a great prize if you forward an email to 20 of your friends (that used to be called chain letters, before the net), and so on.  Snopes is a great source for quashing the false rumors, or even validating the ones that are true (not very many, I notice).  It is fun to check out their web pages once in a while.

Oops, the load in the washer is done, time to load the dryer.  Take care these next 12 days especially, lots of maniacs on the road this time of the year.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas in 15 days...

I have finally gotten all the stuff I ordered, so other than wrapping, I'm ready to go.  Well, there is one sweater that is due Dec. 23, but that's OK.  It still feels like N should be here, doing all the outside decor and more of the tree trimming, but I just don't have the heart to do it.  It will even be strange on Christmas morning, as he was the one who handed out the gifts, one at a time so we could see how everyone liked the choices that were made.  He was also the chef for the steak and trimmings that is our traditional menu.  None of us have actually ever cooked steaks.  So, a little anticipation there.  Given what steak costs, it is to be hoped that it turns out great.

I was thinking the other day about blogs that don't exist anymore.  Back when I started, way back in 2004, I remember one blog supposedly written by a British call girl that was quite amusing.  She stopped writing because she got an offer to put her musings into a book.  Supposedly.  I don't remember her name or the name of the blog, so I can't google to get the whole story.  There were others; most only lasted a few months, for whatever reason, perhaps just boredom and failing to come up with things to write about.  I, of course, have never been at a loss for words, a factoid that was frequently found on my report cards many many years ago.  No point in trying to change now, is there?

If my sister was still alive, she would have been 70 in March.  She's been gone for 12 years.  When she was alive, it was a crisis a day, and I was supposed to mediate whomever she had pissed off.  It got really really old.

She was the first of all our relatives to go, due to a fall.  Now there is no one left except me and 3 cousins (out of eight) that I haven't seen more than once in the last 20 years.  All the earlier generation has been gone years too.  It makes Christmas a little bleak, and maybe we try too hard to be jolly.   Ho?  Ho?   Ho?  Hello?  But it is what it is.

Definition for the day:  "OCD : Obsessive Cat Disorder."  (We have 6)

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Cold and windy

We are truly getting a taste of winter today.  R left to go to work, then came back in for a warmer coat, a hat, and gloves.  Brrr.

I ordered my xmas presents in what I thought was ample time to get here before the big day.  But I still haven't received most of them, and I am getting annoyed.  In one case, the present is not available until February!  Why advertise it on your web page when it isn't available until months later?  Which, I should point out, wasn't revealed until the purchase was complete.

For one item, it was attempted for delivery yesterday "unsuccessfully".  We were home at 4 pm, and checked the mail right away - nothing.  At 5 pm C checked again, and this time there was a pkg., but not the one that is to be redelivered.   I did get 2 copies of Consumer Reports, the extra for someone I don't know at an address I've never heard of.  If that pkg. was OK to put in the box, why isn't this one?  Anyway, we will be here all day today, so no excuses.

I am making slow progress on the cross-stitch which I started years ago.  I am determined to finish it and get it into the trivet case, however long it takes.  Before I start another, I want to see how the "Red line " product works to grid the canvas and makes stitching go faster.  It  hasn't arrived yet either.

OK here is the photo of the living room and the dining room, actually taken before the Great Flood in July:

Things are not quite in the same place now, but you can guess what havoc all the "stuff" from downstairs (where my bedroom is) made on this area.  All that, plus in the garage for the furniture.  The room had to be stripped to the walls for the carpet guys to do their thing; afterwards I offered them (2 of them) a tip for the very good job they did, but neither one would take it.  I couldn't figure out any way to tuck it into their tool boxes, etc.  So when I went to get my hair done (see the post below) I tipped the beautician $20 and I thought she would pass out.  It is a little place, no appt. taken, if you want a particular stylist there is an extra charge, etc.  But I think of it as "paying it forward".  The rest will go in the kettles of the Sally Army.  They have an anonymous donor that puts a $1000 bill in a kettle every year (the specific kettle is revealed to the main Army ahead of the time), isn't that neat?  I wish I could afford that too.  Donations have been going down every year as more people are unemployed.  But of course DT is going to fix all of that, restore the coal mines that are closed, put all the coal miners back to work, happy days will be here again.  Right?

 T shirt for the day:  "I've finally reached the wonder years!  Wonder where my car is parked?  Wonder where I left my glasses?  Wonder where I left my phone?  Wonder what day it is?"

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

RED head

I got my hair colored, cut, and styled today.  I have worn it red for many years, and when my hair grew back after chemotherapy it was gray.  Very gray.  It made me feel old and sick.  It took many treatments and haircuts to get back to red, maybe 4 boxes of color.  It didn't look very even but it was an improvement over orange.  Anyway, I haven't had anything done with it for many months, 7?  9?
but when I described how I wanted it to look today, it came out a little,  I can't think of a description, but it is OK with me.  I mean, other than brushing my teeth, I really don't see myself in a mirror too many times a day.  And this answers the question, "Are you a natural redhead?" without saying a word.  NO, my hair grew out looking like this...

I have been doing some cross stitch on a project I started a looong time ago.   I made an error back in the beginning, had to rip it all back, and it put me off doing more.  I should have just set this project aside and started something I could be enthusiastic about, but I didn't.  I have started this up because I can't use my knitting machines; the ortho doc says I have a torn rotator cuff in  my right shoulder.  I can't say I really know what that is, I think it sounds like something wrong with my car. (Sorry ma'am but you need brake pads and new rotator cuffs)  but what I do know is that sliding back and forth with my hands on the carriage sends hot daggers of pain from my shoulder all the way to my hand.  I regard this as just another page in my disaster journal.  The doctor said I need physical therapy, but I am not going to set up weekly or biweekly PT visits in the winter.  Our road never gets plowed, and being on a ridge means we get a lot more snow than our share.  So he gave me home therapy exercises to do, which I haven't actually looked at yet.  But I will.  I'm sure.  But I wonder why not go with rest (no vacuuming ya hoo) instead, to give it time to heal.  I have only seen this doctor once before, and all he really wanted to do was give me a cortisone shot and call it a day.  Instead I suggested that having an actual diagnosis might be handy, down the road, so he sent me for an MRI.  If you have never had one, count yourself lucky.  I kept my eyes completely shut the entire time, so my claustrophobia wouldn't send me over the edge in that very tiny tunnel.  If I ever need another I'm bringing my sleep mask.
I am finding that even cross-stitch is messing up my arm and hand, after a short while stitching my right hand goes numb and I have to stop for several hours at least.

Our Christmas tree is up.  I bought a little pre-lit 4 foot tree, we pulled it out of the box and plugged it in and viola! instant holiday decor.  Maybe I'll see about some other decorations, but if not, it still looks nice.  Our big tree is in the storage unit, along with all the decorations, and getting  it out sounds like way too  much effort these days.
We bought a bow for the tree topper for the tree, it looks great.  That is our sole acknowledgment of the season, so far.  Maybe a wreath on the door is next.
I hope all of you enjoy your decorations, baking, shopping, wrapping, sending cards, and on and on.  Written out like that sounds like too much work, doesn't it?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Before and After

 This is what my bedroom looked like in August after clearing out the salvaged stuff, and the water damaged stuff to the trash (like the carpet).

This is what it looks like today, cluttered but comfortable.  And dry.

Happy Thanksgiving!  We are doing a scaled down dinner tonight.  One neighbor brought us stuffing, and another neighbor asked for a cup of flour.  It is a good thing she didn't want a more exotic ingredient (like tapioca) since I need to go grocery shopping with Chris and do a resupply of all the odd things.  But the pie is in the oven and smells heavenly, and the bird will go in next (a boneless turkey breast) and then the last 30 minutes will be the usual pandemonium.  I remember the prep we had to do 20 years ago (has it been that long!?!) when we typically had around 17 at the table.  Several tables.  I would be so beat by the time it all hit the table (buffet type) I wasn't even hungry.  But I never had to worry about leftovers because I made up a carry-home plate for every one and that pretty much took care of it all.  I miss seeing all those who have died over the years, but I don't miss the work it took to prep it all.  My mom was a big help in those days, but N sat in the living room visiting unless I called him.  Anyway, today is today, and who would have thought N would die when he had never been sick at all over the years we were married (45).

Time to get back to the kitchen, hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable holiday, with food, parades, football and all.  And family and loved ones most of all.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Grieving in my own way

The 10th of November marked six months since my husband died.  I hate using "passed" and other euphemisms for dying, but the straightforward 'died' seems to startle conversations when the subject comes up.  Ah well, this too will pass.  The main change in my behavior is that I am ordering tons of stuff on Amazon and winning items on eBay.   When N was alive, he made remarks like "what, another package?" and I felt like I had to defend every little thing I bought.  And they were universally cheap things (under $25, some less than $10) and even though he kept the accounts paid up without stress.  Now that he is gone, I have nothing to rein in my purchases, and I have used that freedom a lot.  50 orders in the last 6 months.  I always called it "retail therapy"  and in the past I would physically go shopping at the mall, etc.  Now that I can't safely drive myself ( neuropathy in my feet, it is impossible to feel the pedals) it is all done online.  I want it to be like Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons, when he puts an order in his mailbox and the immediately the item is delivered.  The impact is missing, because the order might be something non-exciting, like new ink cartridges for the printer (which cost the earth), etc.   My son is disapproving when he collects the mail now too, but what can he say?  It is my $$$ now.  Even the mailman is disapproving, he put a flyer in our box for how to order the new larger mailbox.  I duly ordered it ( and when it arrived, it was hand delivered to the house because it obviously didn't fit in the box).  So I put the name and box number on the box, and when my son took it out to switch them, he found that although the new box is wider and taller, it is 8 inches or so shorter.  Not helpful at all.  So it went into the garage to be used if the current box is flattened  (like in the snow when the plow comes through).  There has also been quite a bit of returning things, for which I get no pleasure, since I pay the return postage, worse than buying stuff. 

Anyway, I am slowing the ordering down, and I find my attention turning to my knitting, cross stitching, and so forth.  I found stuff that had been in a closet when I sorted through the stuff coming back into the my room.  I have filled a huge trash bag, and donated boxes and boxes of useful stuff.  For example, I donated  huge amounts to one of D's friends who is a 3rd grade teacher.  They won't have to buy pencils until the next millennium, I think.  Much "stuff'" has also been donated to Goodwill.  I would include Salvation Army, but getting in and out of their parking lot is a nightmare.   

Photos of the room will be forthcoming soon, aren't you excited?

I opened one envelope from the mail that included a check for $$$ as our settlement in a class-action lawsuit from 10 years ago.  Unfortunately the check was made out to N.  No problem depositing the check, but the letter included a W-9 from for the IRS so I could collect $$$ more.  So I called the legal phone number, and she told me to send the form in my name and the check (sob) back to them, and they would issue another check for the whole amount made out to me.  I hope I haven't been too conscientious.  I shall see.

Well I have gone on and on in this post, even I am bored, so I will stop.  Hope this lovely cool weather continues for a few more weeks, it is one of the reasons this is my favorite time of the year.  Besides, I could rummage around in some more boxes, see what it in them.  Exciting things like a huge tub filled with socks.

Thought for the day," I’ve decided to sell my Hoover… well, it was just collecting dust."

Saturday, November 12, 2016

I promise I won't mention his name

OK everyone, the wrong guy won.  There is a lot of hostility and rash statements flying around on the 'Net.  Everyone needs to calm down until there is a valid reason to condemn a specific action.

So take a deep breath...
And hold it.
For the next four years.

There now, don't you feel better?

Today's cartoon (instead of the thought/joke/etc. I usually end with):