Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fall(ing) is here

In keeping with the season, I too fell last night.  I was trying to shoo the cats out of my bedroom using treats in the hallway.  But there was a thunderstorm starting at the same time, and two of the 'fraidy cats wanted in my room to hide.  I guess the attraction is that the room is warm and inviting; or it could be that it is because it has a zillion places to hide.  Anyhow, I got them all in the hall, but when I went to turn back into the room, they tripped me racing back in.  I felt myself going down, but there was nothing to grab and down I went.  It's a good thing I am so well-padded and so no damage was done except to my bum, which is bruised.  Well, my pride took a hit too.  My son corralled the hiding cats and I went to bed, not too much the worse for wear.

The little cabinet worked out great, for holding the camera gear.  The dresser top is now tidy and I can find things promptly.  It only took 40 minutes (or less; I wasn't timing it) to assemble.  The reviews on Amazon ranged from saying the assembly was a snap, to those where the buyer had to take it apart twice to get it all lined up.  I don't know why; the instructions are illustrated with drawings and the language is brief and to the point.  Must not be "handy".  Anyway, a good bargain.

With the storm last night bringing a lot of rain, we were fully prepared with sand bags at the entry door to stop any overflow in the garage drain.  And actually the garage stayed dry, so our efforts there with a new drain line and seals on the floor and on the garage door worked out well.  Now that the horse is out of the barn, as they say.

The replacement lamp shade for my cute little lamp from ebay is supposed to be delivered today.  Then I can return the weird silver shade I got from Amazon.  The silver one has an item number that only differs by two digits from the brown one.  The devil is in the details. 

My I'm full of little adages today.  Onward.

Quote for the day :  "I'm great at multitasking. I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Again, we go to sew

Now my visitor counter is gone.  Maybe the HTML will heal itself?  It's my only hope, because I sure can't.

I ordered a Sauder nightstand cabinet and it is out for delivery today.  I want to use it to store all the camera gear (well, not the film ones) out of the dust and cat hair, and keep it together.  The cables alone are a tangled mess, so although I don't know what they all are for (the red black yellow ones) at least I will be able to find them.  As part of this melt down (aka The Flood) I have been sorting through all my craft stuff and giving a lot of it up for donation.  I'll keep the knitting stuff (naturally) and the cross-stitch kits, which I pick up now and again.  But all the doll making, macrame, and so on, will be looking for another home.  It all will make someone happy, getting all these things for next to nothing.  It makes me happy to not have to come up with places to put all this.

I needed to mend a pair of slacks for my daughter, but I was dismayed when I saw where the torn place was.  They had a type of zipper called "invisible".  When the garment has one, and the zipper is closed, the zipper is folded into the seam allowance and has a tiny pull tab at the top.  I don't know if they still make them or not.  They require a special zipper foot on the sewing machine, and are a little tricky the first time they are used.

So I discovered something else I can't do.  I couldn't remember how to turn the sewing machine on, how to wind a bobbin, how to thread the machine, but I persevered and got all of that.  If I still have the presser foot, I either don't know where, or don't recognize it in the bits-and-pieces box.  So I made do, and ripped it out 2 times before I got the seam below the zipper closed.  It isn't my best looking mend job, I have to say.  But all these hindrances are do-able, just needed a little time to work on it, sweep up the mental cobwebs.  But what it is that puts an end to sewing is that I can't feel my feet; and as a result, I can't feel the pedal that makes the machine go and determines how fast it goes.  Kinda like driving, yes?  But I was really dismayed at how  badly the neuropathy really is in a simple task.  I used to make my own clothes (usually with Vogue patterns), the kids Halloween costumes, and so on.  It was a while ago, but I didn't think there would be any problem once I got going.  I was wrong.  And now I have a concrete explanation for myself about why I cannot drive except in dire circumstances.  And why the problem started when the chemotherapy started.

My aunt, many years ago, had a sewing machine that was built into a special cabinet, and instead of the foot pedal, had a lever on the cabinet that she controlled with her knee.  But I am sure they don't make those anymore for home sewing, if anywhere.  She passed away many years ago, and I have no idea where her machine went.  It only had one stitch that it did, a straight forward plain stitch.  I look at machines now, they do everything but paint the room for you.  And I know damn well that their owners don't use all those bells and whistles.

And if you are trolling for reactions to The Debate, you won't find it here.  I refuse to listen, not because I am indifferent, but because Mr. Trump is one scary dude.  I don't go to horror movies either, and they don't have global repercussions.

Quote for the day:  "All reports are in. Life is now officially unfair."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Almost Forgot

I always write the title for these posts after I have written the post.  Mainly because I need to read what I have written to come up with a title.  This one is clearly going to be an example of writer's block.

We still don't have the dining room cleared out of the stuff (sounds better than "junk") that belongs downstairs.  I work at putting stuff away downstairs, but I can't carry anything much (mainly myself) without tripping.  I have neuropathy in my feet, probably from the chemotherapy, and I can't tell without looking exactly where my feet are.  This makes carrying stuff down a flight of stairs, where I need two hands, impossible for me.  I can see, though, how much this is a drag for my son and daughter, but it does have to be done.

I had a nice talk with N's sister last night.  She is raising her great-grandchild, this after raising her own two children and her granddaughter.  He is quite a handful, and I feel for her, but the kid's mother won't step up to take him, and his father is a complete mystery.  That sounds harsh, but it is what it is.  The child, now 4, is a screamer and ADHD for which he is on meds.  I have only seen him once, at N's memorial, and for too short a time to form an opinion.  Maybe things will change for the better as he gets older.

The one remaining horse, Maybe, is settling down after the loss of Willie, her sibling.  She nickers a lot more at us, but without running around screaming.  Horses can be VERY loud when they want, but nickering is a sweet sound.  I feel that she is lonely, but I am resolved, no more horses.  Or dogs.  Or cats, although I waffle a bit on that.  The vet bill for the dog last week was around $800, which is considerably less than the estimate we got beforehand.  It is hard to make these decisions for a pet, no matter which path I choose I have a part that doesn't agree.  In the past we would have said, "do it" but those days are gone.  As an example, taking the two dogs to the groomer is a thing of the past.  Two BIG dogs (Newfies) for a bath and trim job is $100 apiece.  Plus a tip.

Thought for the day:   "Another fine day ruined by responsibility."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Six hundred and fifty

In case you are wondering, this is the 651 post on this blog, so if you read one a day, you will have had a year and nine months of trivia, suitable for driving yourself  completely ga-ga.  I warned you.

I am having a heck of a time with my on-line shopping experience.  For instance, I need flower pots to transplant some of my houseplants.  So far I have received 6 pots too large with no saucers; two tiny pots with saucers but pots are only one cup size; one ceramic pot that is too shallow for the cactus to fit in; three red pots just the right size, but without saucers.  Then there is the lamp shade, It is supposed to be burlap covered and instead is some weird fabric that makes the color silver (ugly) so it has to go back.  It is the right size.  I ordered a nice print by Carol Grigg, only to find it cheaper on walmart(!) although mine is a limited edition, which accounts for the price.  I guess.  The list goes on.  I guess I am too distracted and don't scrutinize the descriptions very well.  All except the weird lampshade, for which I have the email to corroborate.

I am about half way through getting all  my belongings back in the bedroom, I have just temporarily run out of steam.  The living room is clear, now to do the dining room.  Soon.  I will post photos of the finished rooms, but it may be a while.  There is so much junk, we have the trash people scratching their heads over the loads at the curb.  Not that we have a curb; this is after all the rural country.  I wrote on an earlier post that the paving crew was here and I hoped that they would re-pave instead of just patch.  So, surprise!!  They did neither.  Instead they poured a driveway for one of our neighbors, drat.  Not even a dab left for the road.

I go to the dentist this afternoon.  I have broken a tooth, I think.  So this is another fun-filled day.  I don't even get a free toothbrush, or a sticker.  Last time I was there I had an easy time with the cleaning, so I guess it all evens out.  Update:  Yes, the tooth was broken, and needs a crown, but a temporary patch job will have to do for a while.

We took Maggie (Newfoundland) to the vet to get her stitches out and for them to check her ears and eyes for the infections from earlier.  She looks like a giant Q-tip:  fur on her head, and a tuft on the end of her tail, and naked in between.  But no doubt she is cooler.  She got loose when we were moving her back into the yard and did a little walk-about, but came willingly enough when we called.  There is no forcing her to go where you want, as she weighs 125 pounds and pulls you right off your feet.  Very strong dog. There is a story making the rounds about a Great Pyrenees that was kept in a horse stall for 6 years and never clipped until now.  They are about the same size as Maggie, and she felt put-upon  when she was in the horse stall for two days (where she was kept so her stitches wouldn't pull out right away, or get dirty).  Some people don't know what responsible means.

Quote for the day:  "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Carpet Squares

In retrospect, it was kinda funny, but it didn't seem so at the time.  Son C began laying the squares from the doorway back.  I suggested he find the center of the floor, snap a line, and begin the squares on the line, to keep from having to trim every square.  But in the end, it worked out OK, and in the bottom of the empty box we found the directions, and I was right.  Not that I had any OTJ training, to back up my suggestion.

Now we are moving the piles of stuff - just, stuff - back into the room.  It looked pretty large at first, and now it is getting smaller with every box full.  I'm donating a bunch of stuff to a school, through a co-worker of R.  It will be a while, because the first things out of all the flood water is also the stuff furthermost behind the bedroom stuff.  At least I can now water my dining room plants without having to lean over the boxes to reach them, and hope the water was going into the plants.  Some irony there, needing water.

Dining room; almost completely full.

If you look by the windows you can see bits of plants peeking around.  One plant hanging on the right; that's all the access to the plants.  The living room looks worse:
Living room with no place to sit.
The TV on the right doesn't work because the remote doesn't have a clear shot at the front of the set.  Or any pathway to get to the TV where the manual controls are.

None of this includes the furniture in the garage that was too heavy to get it up the stairs.

My plan is to sort things as it comes downstairs, but I probably won't be able to keep up.  Three piles:  keep, pitch, donate.  I have the stuff for a yard sale. but my neighbors say forget it, all they sold with theirs was sold to other neighbors.  I got a nice file cabinet at the last one, a commercial one, not a flimsy made in china one.  But even if we haul it to a flea market, the effort of doing the whole set-up, sell, haul away is lacking.

I realize this is a problem most people in the world would love to have; they wear it out, fix it up, make do without.  This is sorta like complaining that your diamond watch doesn't run.

Quote for the day:  "America is a country where half the money is spent buying food, and the other half is spent trying to lose weight."

Note:  I worked for a guy who bought an expensive gym membership, while he paid someone to mow his grass.

Saturday, September 03, 2016


Yesterday I had a phone call for N.  It was from a testing company for which he read aloud the tests for those not capable of reading, for one reason (like blindness) or another.  He did the reading very frequently because he was almost without any accent, and he was very patient.  In return for doing this, the company made a donation to the Literacy Volunteers.  A win-win set up.  Anyway, the caller was very upset, so I guess she knew N pretty well.  I suppose she never reads the obituaries in the newspaper, it was in there 4 times.  I never knew before that the newspaper charges by the column inch for an obituary, any of them except the tiny little 2 sentence ones, and they want the money up front.  And it is not a trivial charge, either.   Anyway, perhaps that will be the last call.  The carpet we ordered is in, and when Lowes called to schedule the installation, they asked for N instead of me, and here I thought we got that cleared up when we were at the store.  But yesterday's call was sadder because they actually knew N.

The house is looking worse by the day, as I shift things around trying to find my belongings in the heaps.  One more week, I think I will make it.  At least my walk-in closet was not flooded, I can't imagine how I would have handled that.  As it is, the biggest nuisance is that my bed is resting on cement blocks, to get the bed frame (with drawers) up off the floor to remove the wet carpeting and let the bed frame dry.  Every time I roll over the bed goes **Scrape** and wobbles a bit.  I want my bedroom back.

I ordered sand bags yesterday so we can make a barricade against water at the doorway into the house.  I think we have done all we could to divert water away from the roll-up garage door, unless we make a bigger lip on the outer side of the door.  I plan on having a new door for the one that goes into the house, once the money is there, with the "style" that is whatever will make the threshold water-tight. ( I could buy a lot of yarn for that amount of $.)  And fortunately, all the yarn was either in plastic tubs, or on shelving up above the floor.

This photo shows the garage door, pre-flood, and notice how the road water is going *across* the driveway and not down it?  If it rains hard enough, the rain goes (guess where?) downhill, instead. 

You can also see the white cat (named, White, how imaginative) and her very own door, which is shut and fits tightly when the weather threatens.

Ah well, this too will pass.

"For every action, there is a corresponding over-reaction."