Thursday, June 22, 2017

Moving right along

Last week I bought (on Amazon, of course) a "smart switch" with the goal of being able to turn a lamp in  my bedroom on and off through a command to Alexa.  Foolishly I thought the switch plugs into the receptacle , you plug the lamp into the switch, and there you go.  Foolish, I know.  The actual set-up is far more complicated, downloading an app to my smartphone, login, click "skills", etc. etc. Twelve entire steps, none of them intuitive.  So back it goes until they make a plug-and-play version.  Since it came through Amazon the return is simple, thankfully.  From the reviews, about 75% of the reviewers sent it back.  Even allowing that bad reviews predominate in any roster of comments, that's still a lot of irritated customers.  Including me.

I'm all prepared for my hospital surgery on Monday, just need a few last minute things to carry in my tote bag.  The heaviest item isn't the clothes, etc., but the slippers.  Why they are so heavy I haven't a clue; maybe it's because they are "designer" slippers, and the extra hype for the name makes them weightier? It is C who will have to shelp the bag around when the time comes that I will go to my room.  I'm surprised I will have 3 - 5 days in the hospital, followed by 2 weeks of therapy in my home, 2 - 3 times a week, then a follow-up visit with the surgeon at 2 weeks, it sounds positively generous on the part of Medicare.  Best to get this done before the Republicans get around to chopping benefits.  I wonder, do legislators also get Medicare at 65?  I have the same BC/BS coverage that they have (federal annuitant coverage, after 35 years in the federal service) which is my secondary coverage now that I am past 65.  And I wonder if their coverage includes treatment for blithering idiots?  I guess so.  Treatment for hearing, that precludes being told what they don't want to know.

Peace!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Shopping

Isn't this a pretty tote bag?  It is crocheted, and it was on SALE!  I admit I am a bit of a hoarder of purses, but I have only 2 or 3 tote bags, some very large and some quite small, so this one is Goldilocks, just right.  I looked at straw/rafia bags, but they feel so stiff in the hand (unlike this one), and have a limited life span as the straw gets brittle and cracks.  The totes I have have been with me for many years, and I anticipate that this one will last as long too.

Anyway, my big news today is that I got an email just for me; not a sale's pitch, not a campaign plea, not a notice that my bill is due.  This was an honest to goodness message from an old friend.  I don't hear from her very often.  My BFF died of cancer about 3 years ago, and we sent mail back and forth weekly or so, and I miss her very much, both the absence of her friendship and of her letters.  Everyone is so busy, I know they aren't retired like me with scads of free time, but I wish I would get a note, and short is OK.  I remember getting letters from  my grandmother when I was away at college (decades ago), and scarcely sent back a reply, I was so busy.  She died suddenly at finals time for me, and I didn't even get to the funeral to see her old neighbors and friends.  I still feel remorse at how cavalier I was in those days.

I cleared off the bed in the spare bedroom today, being a flat surface it accumulates everything on it from mail to laundry.  I have my Zappos shoes all packaged up and ready to go on Monday, once we found the package tape.  And I found the notebook that holds my retirement information, I knew it wasn't lost, I just couldn't put my hand on it right then.  And I gathered up all my cross stitch stuff and took it downstairs where I can sit in my new chair, prop my feet up, turn on my Ott light and stitch away.  Alexa plays music for me, although we have a failure to communicate once in a while.  For instance, I wanted to hear cuts from Bob Seger's album, and there were presumably only 2 songs available, so Alexa kept switching from one to the other.  I finally got us on a Tom Petty groove, and then Don Henley, and Phil Collins, and by then I was tired of stitching.  But it sure beats having to find the right CD and physically switch them as they finished.  So, what do I do with 400 CDs now?

Onward...


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Spam calls

I got one of those mean-spirited scam calls, perhaps from overseas based on the accent.  He started telling me that he was from Microsoft and that there was a problem with my computer.  When he paused for a breath, I asked him if he felt any kind of remorse for trying to scam money out of old people who were too gullible.  He shouted, 'you cannot lecture me!  You are not my mother!' and hung up.  Wow, there is still some vestige of honor sparking in con artists, I guess.  That, and the power of moms the world over.

Tomorrow I see my family doctor to get clearance for my surgery on the 26th.  I saw her about a month ago for a check up and so I don't foresee any glitch from this.  I went last week for the usual lab work, urinalysis, EKG, chest X-ray and I assume if there were any problems I would have heard by now.  I would hope.  As an aside, many many years ago my father was scheduled to have back surgery, and he had the workup similar to mine.  The weekend just after I was working in the lab, and I looked at his lab results, which was strictly forbidden, a firing offense, if discovered.  When I looked, it was a shock to see the lab work indicated an infection.  I called my mom that night and told her what I knew, and my only worry is that no one would catch the results and overlook a potentially critical problem.  So we decided she should call the clinic and say that he is showing signs of a bladder infection, and since they were there a couple of days ago, maybe someone could check the results?  Oh wow, they told Mom that she was a wizard for catching that, and I'm sure some 3rd year med student got reamed for not checking the labs.  They postponed his surgery until he was clear.  It still would have gotten me fired if we told the truth.  And none of it matters now, but still I have written here vaguely enough.  Mom and Dad are long gone (Mom would have been 99 in July), and I am long retired; no records could still be around as proof.  One of the few times I broke an important rule; but I may have saved my dad's life.

So I will inquire about my labs when I see Dr. J tomorrow, just in case.

Peace!



 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Kitty Trio Progress

Here is a photo of how much I have accomplished on my cross stitch.  I am working on the white of his chest, and I long to get to the colored part of the central cat.  Just thought I would like a record of my progress from time to time.


The blue fabric around the outside of the hoop is a grime guard, it keeps the fabric clean from hand oil, etc. and tucks the excess fabric out of the way so it isn't accidentally stitched in on the back.  Ask me how I know.  I am using my favorite needle, it was originally a needlepoint needle, until I filed off the sharp point, so now I have a cross stitch needle that is 2 inches long, instead of the purchased ones that are 1 1/2 inches long.  No good for big fingers.  When I was working for Dr. A as a research assistant, he had minimal supplies, and I had always worked in an established lab that was equipped with everything to start with.  Anyway, I wrote up an order for XL disposable gloves, since all he had was Medium.  When he saw the order, he said, "I don't think your hands are bigger than mine" so I held out my hand and he held out his, and I plainly had the larger hands.  He let me order them, huzah.  He was a jerk, anyway, and when I got my lab safety compliance job, I danced out of the lab, I was so thrilled.  And when I did lab inspections for that department, I was extremely picky about everything in his lab, so there.  Karma.

Anyway, cross stitching.  I find it quite soothing, as long as I am not making a mistake that has to be ripped out.  Minor mistakes I chalk up to unique features I included.   For instance, there are places on the cat's tummy where I have used light gray instead of very light gray, and who is to know?  I can't find them, even knowing where they are.  One of a kind.

Oh, and the red grid, stitched with red monofilament line, is an enormous help in counting, and when I am done, I will just pull the strands out and they disappear.  I wish I had known about gridding years ago. 

The neighbors are having a party in honor of the oldest graduating high school, and we are invited.  My son made excuses for me (I would have to walk over lumpy bits of yard) but the father came over and invited us specifically, so C has to go, at least for a while.  For sure they will have yummy food.  At least so far there is no loud music.  When the original family lived there, they would have loud drunken parties, and although I liked the family, the parties were too much.  N would go, but I know they thought he was hen-pecked, that I would make him come home in a short while.  Nothing could be farther from the truth, he hated drunks, but if I was his excuse it was OK with me.

I'm hoping C brings me a plate when he comes back.



Peace!


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Anniversary

Today is my 47th anniversary, if I just continue to celebrate it when N is gone.  We were married in Miami, in the church of my grandmother, by a wonderful pastor.  When we met with him several days before the  ceremony, after the usual discussion, he said, So you will be living in Memphis?  And how far from your parents is that?  And when we replied, hundreds of miles, he said, Good.  The inevitable spats can turn into open warfare once the parents get their oars in, even after the two of us have made up.  Wise man.

There is a bottle of bubbly in the fridge, but my tummy has been revolting all day, so I think I will save it for another time.  Martini and Rossi Asti Spumoni.  Probably not spelled right, but my favorite. 

I didn't get much accomplished in the cross stitch department, the tummy thing.  I did set up project two, and put a few (very few) stitches in it.  I still need to finish the organization of the floss.  I got a package of floss from Herrschner's yesterday, that completed all the colors of DMC floss in my stash, all 474 colors.  And more than one skein of quite a few colors.  So I am set, once I get it all straightened up.  Herrschner's still had floss at $0.44 per skein, not having yet raised it to $0.52 that is the price now from the manufacturer.  Still it is way less than found in Aus. where it costs $1.25 per skein.  DMC floss is made in France, so it's cheaper here because of the volume sold, and not because we are closer to France than Oz.  The colors I got yesterday were a lot of jewel tones, so pretty they seem to glow.  And although they are cotton, they have a subtle shine to them, I just love holding them as I get a kit together.  I am still doing machine knitting, and the yarn I love the best are the jewel colors, and not the pastel ones so much.  My favorite is Bernat Satin yarn, polyester but with a sheen to it also.  My problem is, what do I do with all the things I knit, I have a dresser filled almost completely with scarves, hats, mittens, etc. etc.  That is even after donating lots of items. 

I have pre-surgical exercises to do twice a day prior to the knee replacement surgery, and my arms are like noodles with all the leg/arm motions that I am not used to.  My back isn't feeling too great either.  I guess I will do what I can and try to do the others to some extent.  My knee has limited me doing even simple things, like walking!,   so I am going to have a lot of catching up to do once the knee is healed.  The doctor told me, the worst part of the process is pain, and that I will have lots of pain meds in the hospital and after I go home.  I will try to reflect on the amount of pain I had when I was thrown from my horse (SOLD) and fractured L2 and L3 vertebrae that had me in a body cast, braces, etc., for months afterwards.  That is what I consider a 10 on the pain scale, and I hope the knee is not going to approach that. 



Onwards...


Saturday, June 03, 2017

Knee Surgery

I am scheduled to have knee surgery on June 26.  My main concern is the aftermath; how much and how long will I be laid up, how much therapy I will need,  can I do stairs?  I want to get all the major mending to be finished before bad weather sets in, when the driveway and roads will be slippery.  Last night I couldn't stop my brain from buzzing and whirling, what would I need to take, and so on.  I ordered some new shoes, loafers, to wear while I am doing therapy walking at the hospital.  At home I wear slippers all the time, but they don't have much in the anti-slide department.  Most all my shoes are clogs, and I can't get my foot into them now, my feet are so swollen, despite taking Laysix twice a day.  Plus, they have a wedge heel, so I am afraid I will stumble and/or fall.  Anyway, I ordered them from Zappos, so if they don't fit they will go back.

In addition, I ordered an armchair and ottoman to go in my bedroom so I can sit up in there.  My bed has a bookcase headboard, and leaning on it to sit up is uncomfortable.  The chair is from Wayfair, I hope it goes without a glitch.  I know there is some assembly needed, I think it is just to attach the legs.  It is mission style, and the reviews all agreed it was very comfortable.  One other one I was considering had reviews that said the cushions were very stiff, so that one was a no-go.  I really appreciate the trend of including reviews for purchases, when you are looking at an item online and can't kick the tires, so to speak.  It should be here soon.

My library card catalog drawer cabinet arrived today, and the cross-stitch floss with fit in it nicely.  It even has the drawer slide-y bracket that snugs up the drawer contents, like a file cabinet has.  I will need to continue to put 3 x 5 cards in each floss bag, which wouldn't be nearly as difficult if the inside of the bag was 3 x 5 like the outside.  As it is, I have to trim the cards and then force them into the bag, to make them less slither-y.  Still, I will only have to do it once, so it will be OK, as I have a paper cutter to help with the trimming.  And I will do it a little at a time.  I am sorting out the floss bobbins that I have gotten from 3 different vendors, to make them all in numerical order in their little clear boxes.  I should have stuck to just using the bags, or put all the floss on the bobbins, instead of having both.  Hindsight...

And speaking of sight, my new glasses are top-notch.  Plus they are very light, saving my nose, and the lenses are bigger, giving me more room to see things.  No, you will have to take my word on this, I'm not posting photos!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Limping along

I see the ortho doctor Thursday, and I will just barely be able to walk into his office by then.  It is funny how fast the injection dulls the pain, partly because of the lidocaine that is in the same syringe as the cortisone.  None of the pain easing changes the fact that my knee will not be able to actually hold me upright in a pinch.  I will ask about the knee replacement when I see him.  At least the shoulder is pretty much back to normal, as long as I don't try to carry anything heavy with my right arm, like a basket of laundry.  And although my other knee creaks and groans when it moves, at least it doesn't hurt (much).

I see from my view counter to the right, that I have passed 33,333 views.  It is not accurate, since I have used at least 3 other counters over the years since this began, and this Google one didn't track those views.  Still, I guess it is accurate enough for government work.  I mainly check out the little graph, and it is discouraging that most of the time it is flat lined at zero.  Oh well, this is actually written for me to read and not the greater public arena.  And I seldom read other people's posts, they are often religious, or political, or have some very specific niche they write for.  I like to think mine is pretty general, since I have no religion, not much political views (except for that damned Trump guy), and no one relating what their cute little offspring are up to.  And I try not to assume that readers know the stories behind a given post, and give a short brief update as I go.  My family doesn't even read mine, so I am free to vent if necessary, without ticking them off.  Not that I vent much.

I have been going through the dressers and cabinets and purging all of the useless stuff.  I will surely toss something I will need in the future, but I know people who never accumulate anything (my sister comes to mind) and they manage to float their boats just fine.  For instance, when I have my yearly mammogram, the office schedules the one for the next year and gives me a green sheet of paper with all the pertinent information on it.  It makes that visit so simple when checking in, but it means keeping the magic green sheet for an entire year.  I have never lost one, in all the many years that I have been going there.  I keep it in my organizer, which I carry always, simple enough.

 I haven't found much to do with my Alexa Echo since I got it.  It is dynamite for an alarm clock, and to tell me the time when I can't see the clock or there has been a power failure.  It plays pretty much any piece of music I can think of, and a lot I have never heard.  Still, I should poke around on the web page at Amazon and pick up a trick or two.  It was pretty expensive for an alarm clock.

Today's cartoon:






Sunday, May 28, 2017

Out!

I wrote down below that I was posting Cross stitch projects I did several years ago, because I was seeking to join several YouTube groups that are closed groups, that require evidence that you are bonafide stitchers.  I ultimately joined 4 cross stitch groups and at first all was well.  Then one of the groups had significant problems with their feed, and every time I tried to log in, I would get a "no posts to show" message.  The admins wrote that we who were effected should complain to Facebook, like they were going to jump on an intermittent problem for a few hundred users.  Only if the board caught fire, I guess.  So I daringly posted (that feature remained) a message that I was once more unable to see the posts, and that I was surprised that the admin people weren't jumping on the problem.  It was particularly aggravating that the group was a buy and sell one, and if a deal was halfway completed, there was no way to get on the group to finalize it.  I was trying to sell a set of patterns, and couldn't find out if anyone was interested or had questions.  Well I got a lot of comments from people who were having the same problem; and then I got a message from one of the admins. saying "how could you?" and that they were working (how?) on a solution (for weeks?) and that I should go on ignoring their group.  That is a solution?  And I no more read their message when they struck me off the group and erased all comments and messages that I was even slightly involved in. So don't give your members a chance to reply if they could.  Fortunately there is another group for buying/selling that works just fine.  I posted my "for sale" items there and all is well.  Apparently booting people off the other group is pretty common for that group, and my alternative group reciprocated by blocking that admin from"their" group.  Such a lot of hoopla over a simple thing.

It is 4 am here now and my eyelids are sagging, so I am back to bed.  More tomorrow on better topics. 

We have been having a plumbing problem (wouldn't you know it?) in the kitchen.  The sprayer was leaking all down into the cabinet below whenever the water was turned on.  When we traced it down there is a leak in the handle of the sprayer, and my first thought was "plumber".  But C said he could fix it, and off to Lowes he went.  Turned out the hook-up for the sprayer is a proprietary one, and we ordered one from (who else?) Amazon.  It is supposed to be delivered today (Sunday) by the USPS. Meanwhile, the water in the kitchen is only from the sprayer hose, laying in the sink.  Better than nothing.  I am beginning to feel snake-bit with all these little calamities.  The current weather for today is flash flood warnings and torrential rainfall from now until 10 pm.  C went down and put the sand bags back inside the garage door (where the floor is not level enough for the door to seal) and around the back door, just in case.  No sign of a storm yet.  Hope we don't lose any trees.  Or if they fall, please let them fall away from the house.

The cat we call Stripey is not doing well, despite a brief rally when we started giving him his own plate.  He is ferociously eating but getting thinner and thinner, and I am afraid he is hyperthyroid, due to a tumor on his pituitary or on his hypothalamus.  But if so, there is little we can do for a semi-feral cat who would need surgery and medication daily for the rest of his life.  When we first lured him into a cat carrier would be the last time we would see him, I fear.  And the expense...  always have to think about that.  It is sad.

Geez, this post is full of bad tidings, guess I had best stop now.  Today's cartoon:

Peace!




Thursday, May 25, 2017

Spring ? Cleaning

Well, it isn't exactly spring any more, or just barely.  Still, I got someone to come in June to clean my carpets.  There isn't a lot of people to do this right now, as the university is out, and all the students are moving out of their apartments, which need to have carpets done before renting them out again, summer or fall.  Plus, all I have to do is LR, two hallways, and the stairs that connect them.  The carpet that is in the LR is really worn, but I am hoping we can get another year or so out of it.  Recarpeting is going to be a nightmare, because of all the big pieces of furniture on it.

The next project for the house is to get the gutters replaced.  I finally found the names of two guys that do this; I specifically did not want someone who does roofing as well, because they are sure to recommend a new roof once they get going on the gutters.  If I get the same opinion from someone who doesn't do roofing, I can at least assume they have no vested interest in recommending a new roof.  Always something.

I went to see the financial advisor yesterday, and my retirement money is doing pretty good so far.  I have been crossing my fingers when reading about the stock market, etc., but so far Trumpster has been unable to bankrupt the country from the cuts to poor people.  As someone who collects Social Security and uses medicare (as well as BC/BS ), I myself have a vested interest in cuts to either program.  I don't feel like I am taking advantage of the federal programs;  I worked 35+ years, starting out at minimum wage, and paid SS and federal income taxes for all that time, sometimes for two jobs at once, so I feel like I have earned my share of benefits.  

Anyway, I have been cross-stitching a fair amount this last week.  My new swan light, LED, has made an enormous difference in what I can see as I stitch.  I am still working on Kitty Trio (a photo down below somewhere) and still on the first cat, a black and white one.  I opted to use DMC 310, black, instead of the kit floss of black, since a large amount of the entire pattern is black, and I didn't want to run out with only a portion of the pattern done.  I went to Hobby Lobby last weekend and filled floss colors for the snowy owl project (also down below somewhere) I now have only 3 flosses I couldn't find.  One is a blue (the background) for which the stated 8 skeins is necessary, and HL only had 7.  And two others that they were completely out of.  I am keen to get started, but first I have to see how to grid the project.  I haven't gotten the fabric yet, I am leaning toward an ecru fabric that is pre-gridded, but it is pricey, so I am waiting.

I have a Lenox Village spice rack (above) that I bought, one jar at a time, many years ago, and I would like to sell it.  I went to Replacements.com to see what their sell/ buy prices are.  Turns out they are selling them, complete in the rack, for $359.  But the quote for buying is for only 8 spice jars, for a grand total of $8.  I don't think so.  Maybe I will advertise them in the local Bulletin Board, ads are free, and see if I can get $150 or so.  Or maybe eBay.  I need the space where it is hanging for a cross-stitch project, which is not yet done, so no rush.  Replacements.com is a great site for filling in missing or broken pieces of a flatware or china set.  When I received the china for R, it was a set from Noritake called Ramona, a nice white dish with a spray of violets in the center.  It was missing one teacup in a set of 12, and I replaced it for about $15 plus shipping, and felt lucky to find it at all.  And Mom's flatware needed spoons, and that was available too.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Migraine

Feeling crummy today, I am going back to bed as soon as the headache settles down.  Meanwhile I will write here.

At least I don't have night terrors/hallucinations since I discontinued Wellbutrin.  It was the only new drug, and so I slowly reduced the amount that I was taking, and whoa Nellie!  the nightmares, etc., disappeared.  I have been taking one in the morning instead of 3, and that seems OK.  I am losing weight too, which makes my crappy knee feel better, too.

I have Kindles in great number, 5 to be precise.  Two are mine, the original white one, and a paperwhite kindle.  Then I have two from husband, an old large screen one and a color one.  Then there is the Kindle Fire from R who has a tablet she likes better.  When I get a new book, the check-out screen lets me choose Kindle one thru five, although all my books are available on the other ones too.  The logical thing to do is to sell these, but that would take effort on my part, and I don't care that much.  The large screen one is the best to read, but the "next page" button doesn't click when it is used, and so I am considering getting it repaired.  Does Amazon even do that ?  I will check soon.  When my head doesn't feel like my left eye will pop out boink!   I haven't had a migraine in a long time, and my med for one has passed its use-by date by several years.  I won't drink milk that is out of date, I sure won't take a med that effects my brain.  Effects or affects?  Dunno.

There is a lot of good stuff for sale on Stash Unload on facebook, but I am determined to not buy anything more this month.  I have enough projects to last me longer than I will be alive, so I ought to sell some of them too, see above rationale.  The owl one below alone is enough to take me months if not years.  But I am determined to give it a go, once I go to Office Depot to see if they can blow up the pattern for me, on the 18 pages, because the pattern as of now will take a magnifying glass to read.  Talk about migraines...

Headache is easing, so I am going to try to lay down again.  I don't know why sitting up feels better, but it beats warm compresses any time.

Cartoon:
  Bye...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

It is Mother's Day.  Yipee.

Here is the next project in line to cross-stitch.  The tiny image above doesn't show how grand it looks.  The pattern is 18 pages long, and uses 47 colors of floss, mostly blue.  It will be the biggest project for me ever,  but I plan to work on it in rotation with other, simpler, patterns, so it doesn't feel so daunting.  I have already selected the called-for floss, all but 3 that I don't have.  The fabric, however, is another story.  I  want to use the 16 count fabric, pre-gridded, and I have had trouble finding it.  Finally I found a vendor who sells this very thing, HAED, but I have to buy about twice as much fabric as I need, at twice the price, of course.  I think I will wait for a while.

I have had breakfast, but everyone else is still in bed, and I think I will go back to bed myself, although it is 10 am.  There is laundry to be done, but a few hours one way or the other won't matter.  I don't mind any part of the task, except the putting away of the clean clothes, I don't know why.

I would like to go to the mall today, I haven't been there for months, just to browse.  I can't drive these days, and so I have to get R or C to drive me. I would like to think they would gladly take me if I ask, but I know they would not do it cheerfully, and I would feel like I am imposing.  So I am in the house unless I have an appointment, and I am cabin fevered.

Speaking of appointments, I am only 2 weeks and 3 days away from my ortho appt. to get cortisone in my knee again.  And to talk/ start to prepare for knee replacement surgery.  I need to know how mobile I will be, how soon can I climb stairs, when and for how long PT will take.  I put off doing it in the winter time, for fear of falling in snow/ice, but I need to get it done now, if at all feasible.  God my knee hurts, it wakes me up at night when I try to turn over.  I fell on the top stair just a little while ago.

Mother's day.  One of the last ones when Mom was alive, we had a nice dinner at her house, but guess who prepared it?  Me and Mom of course.  I pointed out that we were the only "moms" and everyone else sat in the LR watching TV while we did the heavy lifting.  (It is just that there isn't a good place to go out to dinner, the restaurants are full to overflowing, and many of them have buffets only.  One year our reservations were for 3 pm, that was such a hard time to have dinner, too early for dinner and too late for lunch.)  I still resent the way chores fall to the women-folk it when I think about it.  And of course Dad's dog (a poodle, can you believe it?) got fed first, right at the table.  When Mom passed Dad moved to an assisted-living place, no pets, and I found someone who miraculously needed a house poodle as the lady was bed-ridden and their dog had died, also a poodle.  And so Nipper smoothly transitioned to a new family in Ohio.  When the lady died, the man spoiled him rotten, and sent me photos of him in a santa hat, and so forth.  It was a amazing solution for Nipper.  Oh, they renamed him Chipper, because they thought Nipper sounded like he bites.  I explained that he was named after the RCA logo of a dog listening to his master's voice, but they looked at me like I was nuts.
  I won at Trivial Pursuits once because I knew the dog's name.  But I lost out once because I didn't know who was the star basketball player in the 70s, and of course that was Wilt Chamberlain, Wilt the stilt.  I don't think anyone plays Trivial Pursuits any more.

Have a good day!



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

One Year

Today marks one year since N died.  I can't remember what I posted back then, I was so shell shocked. He was a young 72, and in April he found out that he had lung cancer that had metastasized to bone and brain, based on a MRI  that he had done because he had a nagging pain in his neck, and a weak grip in his left hand.  We thought he had a pinched nerve in his neck, so the diagnosis was a shock.  When the radiologist looked at his MRI, he said that the two lesions in his brain were due to a stroke and not the cancer, so they worked on him in the hospital to get his blood clotting ability in the safe zone, before starting chemo.  It was decided that he should have radiation on the two lesions in his breast bone, and that would have been 10 sessions.  He was on his way to session 7 when he said he felt dizzy, and collapsed in our driveway, our son caught him as he was falling, I ran to help hold him, it was raining (of course) and daughter called 911.  The final diagnosis was that he had a stroke.  The EMTs worked on him about 15 minutes in the garage, but no heart beat and no breathing, although they bagged him with O2 and did cardio for all that time.  Our neighbors came and hugged me, the kids say, although I don't remember.  They transported him to the funeral home, and later cremated him.  We had an informal gathering there a few days later, and I came home with the ashes.    From the original diagnosis he only lived a few weeks.  Those weeks were awful, he wasn't himself, and at home the two times he was here he was unable to do anything to take care of himself.  I brought him consumer reports in the hospital and told him we needed to buy another car, and he happily compared various models for several days, and then we discussed pros and cons, it helped enormously to distract him from morbid speculations.  I would not wish those weeks on my worst enemy.  I still miss him so much.

Never did buy another car.


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Raven

I was correct about losing our old Newfoundland dog.  She was not interested in breakfast this morning and when my son went out to check on her at noon, she was gone.  We found someone to take her for burial (easier than it was to get someone to handle Willie, my horse, last year) and I didn't go to the barn, I want to remember her as when she looked beautiful.  She was, as I mentioned earlier, missing her Landseer buddy Maggie, and was withdrawn and sad, if you can attribute sadness to a dog.   They had been together since we brought them home a few months apart.  It is strange to have no dogs.  Soon it will be no horses, she is 24 I think.  I hope to god she just lies down and dies, and not be in horrible pain from a torsion when she colics.  There isn't a lot that we can do, the barn isn't on closed circuit TV,  and we can't camp out there for months.  I hate this.  We still have 4 indoor cats and 2 - 3 outdoor ones, and one of the outdoor ones is in her teens, and one of the indoor ones is 10.



From younger days.



No cartoon for today.



Wednesday, May 03, 2017

New furnace

The guys are due here momentarily to install the new furnace/AC unit, so I got up 3 hours early to be out of the shower and dressed before they arrive.  I just know they will need my expert advice 💩when they work.  Ho ho ho. 

Here is the project that I have added to my roster of patterns to stitch.  I generally don't look twice at "cute" patterns, but this one doesn't seem TOO cute; not like ones with bears, angels, fairies, big-eyed children, butterflies, cartoons, samplers and so on.  I plan on doing a bunch of felines and then hang them all together, somewhere.  I still have to finish "Trio", but it is coming along nicely.  In between trio and this pattern is the 45th anniversary remembrance that will say"Cherish the Memories" instead of "the best is yet to come".  There isn't any "yet to come" for me.  Our 46th anniversary came one month after N died.  We were definitely a rare item.
Here they are, time to adjourn to the dining room with my projects.  Hope all of you are well and happy.  Today's cartoon:


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Needle Pulling Thread



I've seen this Mother Goose rhyme in tons of places, but I am looking for one that is charted for cross-stitch.  There was one on Stash Unload on facebook, but I didn't get there in time and someone else claimed it.  That version had been cheerful-ized so it was without woe, far to go, and works hard, and for some reason "Sabbath" was changed to "Sunday".  Anyway, if you find a nice cross stitch pattern for this in the above version  ^, I will offer a finder's reward (via PayPal) of $20, if I claim it successfully.  This is a challenge, because I have only a few steady readers, but stranger things have happened.  Update:  I found one I like on ebay, so no rewards needed, sorry!

I am having a good bit of pain in my thumbs from stitching, my left thumb is sore from holding my hoop, and right one because of the push/pull of drawing a needle through over and over.  I keep picking the sampler up, only to make my hands hurt more.  The right thumb has a lot of arthritis due to the years of pipetting I did in my job as a research tech.  It has been ten years since I retired, I would have thought it would mend itself by now.  But a couple of years ago I broke my right thumb, and the x-rays taken surprised the doctor, who didn't think I should be able to use my thumb much at all.

I went to Hobby Lobby Friday, I wanted to fill in my missing DMC floss skeins, so as to have a complete set.  Not all of the missing ones, just a dozen or so this time.  To my dismay, the cost of a skein has risen from $0.44 to $0.52 each.  The manufacturer is responsible, and not Hobby Lobby, it has been increased everywhere.  As much as we in the US moan about it, the cost in Aus. is $1.50 each so they aren't very sympathetic.  I need to figure out how to organize the floss, I currently have around 400 colors.  They are in individual plastic ziplock bags, and put on binder rings at 75 per ring.  It is far from good, the bags are slippery and twist and there is no way to hang them up.  I need plastic bins to put them in instead of the rings, but I can't find the correct sizes yet.  The nice cabinet is expensive $400 and I can't figure out where I could put it, the house is overflowing with stuff already.  I have too many hobbies.  Update:  I bought 6 cardboard boxes like shoeboxes, to fit in the drawer where the floss has been on rings.  But the bags are too slither-y to put one behind the next, so they are still on the rings.  I wanted to put 3 x 5 index cards in each bag to stiffen them up, but the cards are too big.  Drat.

The bread is nearly done, and smells heavenly.  I love a slice of warm bread with butter (not margarine!) and so does everyone in the family, so a loaf doesn't go very far.

Cartoon for the day: 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Too tired to do a whole post, so this will hold my place for now.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Cross Stitch Redux

I post photos last month (March 7th) of some of my cross stitch projects from many years ago, like 20 years ago.  The reason I did was because I wanted to join a Facebook channel for cross stitchers.  There are several (quite a few, actually) that are closed groups.  That means you must be passed by one of the admins for that channel before you can read/write posts there.  The admins want to see examples of one's work, and to make sure that you are faithful, honest and kind.  Sort of.  They actually look at your facebook page, and not your blog, but I wasn't sure and so I posted the photos here as well as there.  I have found other cross stitch things that I still have, but they are "smalls".  Anyway, I was successful in joining the 4 channels I was interested in, and so I too will end up spending waaay too much time on facebook.  Some of the channels are for buy/sell deals, which I am enjoying very much, although I have resisted buying anything.  Mostly.

We did have one last snow last week, but it wasn't much more than a skiff on the lawn.  That hardly counts.  Now surely we are through with winter.  Update: Yesterday (may 6th) we had hail!  Does this mean snow in July!?!

I keep hearing gunfire outside, it is rare for 10 am on a weekday.  This is the country, so rifle fire is fairly constant, even out of hunting season, for target practice.  Rifle fire/hunting is restricted to certain hours, and cannot be within a certain distance from a dwelling.  The ammo for these rifles is pretty expensive too, maybe a dollar apiece.  Anyway, you have to know where the shots are being fired, and then let the sheriff know, to get any kind of enforcement.  If it isn't being fired by one of the sheriff's buddies.

Our old Newfy dog is in her final days.  She hasn't been the same since we had to put her sister down when she got an aggressive cancer.  She has found a new place to hide when we let her out of the barn, behind and underneath a huge holly bush.  I am afraid she will go back in there and then die, I'm not sure how we could get her out of there, dead or alive even if she refuses to come out.  This is the part of pet ownership that I hate.  Is she suffering?  Ill?  Just withdrawn?  Damn.

We have a new addition to the outdoor cats.  There is one that has been an occasional visitor to the garage to sample dinnertime, we called him Stripey.  He was plump and sleek, and we assumed he belonged to one of our neighbors and was just snacking here.  But through out the winter he got progressively thinner and not so sleek, and we concluded that his regular family had moved away and left him.  So now he gets his own plate and as long as he doesn't hassle the old cats he is welcome to stay.  He has picked up some weight and looks sleek again.  I could just throttle his owners.

This has been a downer of a post, we need some humor:


Monday, April 03, 2017

Too tired

I had a 10 am doctor appt., and at 11 am I came out to the car where my son was patiently waiting for me so we could go on to my next appt.  Listening to the radio while he waited.  Hit the key and you guessed it, it wouldn't start.  Dead.  So then he called the dealer where he bought the car, who confirmed that he had lifetime road assistance, and gave him the number to call to get someone out there.  Son had to wait for the garage truck on the other side of the building, because GPS takes you to the front of the building and we were on the back.  When the tow truck arrived, he said he was told it was a keyed-out call, and that he didn't have a jump box in the truck.  Off he went, and we waited for the other guy to come.  He did, jumped it, and we drove directly to the auto parts store for a new battery.  The one in the 2011 Subaru was the original one, the wonder is that it worked all winter long.  Battery = $140.  Doesn't that seem high?  But it isn't like we could shop around.  We got home at 2:30, had to cancel the second appt., we had it for the day.  We take cars for granted, until they don't work.

I have been browsing the net, seeing what  there is for me to buy (ho ho).  I would like a cabinet with shallow drawers to store embroidery floss, which is all numbered and has a key to find where they fit numerically.  Needless to say there are two kinds of cabinets that fit that criteria.  One is a cabinet that wouldn't fit a hanky, and the other kind with just the right dimensions, except for the pricetag.  I have around 500 skeins, and keeping them straight takes me more time than the actually stitching does.  One of the group on facebook suggested having a carpenter make one, but this is a small town, and it is undergoing massive construction on every other corner, and no one is available for a simple task, when they make a load of $$ doing finish carpentry.  I think I will have to get one of the expensive ones, eventually.  Meanwhile I look. 

This is a short post, I am about ready to sleep even though it is only 8 pm.  today's cartoon:


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Really bugs me

We got the exterminator to come and "bomb" our attic for the miserable stink bugs which have taken over our house.  It is too soon to tell how much effect it will have.  If necessary we will shut the outdoor cats in the garage and get the outside of the house sprayed.  I think it takes 2 hours to dry, I will have to check on that.

The next job will be to get the gutters replaced.  We had a bad winter two years ago that bent and tore down part of the gutters.  N fastened them back in place, but we are getting leakage in a hard rain, the water comes between the eves and the gutters and spills water next to the house.

It is always something.  I think we are OK on major appliances, but with all of them it is only a matter of time.  The days of keeping a washer, etc., for decades is long over, and few people believe that appliances could last that long.  Now we are grateful if they last 10 years without a repair call.  Planned obsolescence I am certain, keeping all those workers in China busy.  Not that I have anything to say about the Asian workers, but that the quality for even simple things is lacking.  Update:  The furnace/AC has been diagnosed as terminal, it is 19 years old, but the new one, for the entire setup, is costing $9,000.  What next?

I finally got reimbursed for the winter coat I sent back to China when it didn't fit.  Both the seller reimbursed me, including shipping charges, even though the package never made it past Bejing, and the P.O. reimbursed me for the insurance that I got when I shipped it out.  It only took 3 months.  I will never buy clothing, or return anything to China.  Such a hassle.  I got a coat from Land's End instead of the imported one, and by cracky it fit.  We didn't get any cold weather for the entire winter, but I was prepared if we did. update:  Can you believe it?  The coat was delivered back to me yesterday (May 12th), covered in customs tape and looking like it served as a football for the entire 6 months👌.  I will donate it to Christian Help in the fall, for their coat drive.  It says it is a 5X but I guess it is more like a 12. 

Time to do more laundry, here is today's humor:






Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The top of old Smoky

I bought some cross stitch fabric from etsy and it came yesterday.  The first package I opened had a musty smell.  I laid it all out on the bed, spritzed it with a little Febreze, put a fan on it and left it overnight.  This morning it smells fine.  The second package smelled like stale cigarette smoke.  After I folded the first lot up and put it away, I spread this one over the bed and gave it a shot of Febreze, and I will let it steep over night.  It is funny, how people who smoke don't think there is much odor left after they stub out the cigarette and go indoors, when in fact it lingers a long time.  Phew!  I should be glad they aren't cigar smokers, I guess.

I am going to try my hand at dyeing some  of my cross stitch fabric, once I get all the bits assembled.  I am going to do tea and coffee as the dyes, and vinegar as the "fixer" .  With these ingredients I won't have to worry about disposing of a toxic solution, it can be poured down the sink.   I need to get a couple of disposable aluminum roasting pans to put in the kitchen sink, this crappy Corian sink will stain badly and I don't like doing the scrub and bleach to fix it.  I'd like it if I can get a crumpled tan/brown finish to look like old parchment for a pattern I have in mind.  I have lots of Aida fabric to experiment with.

For a wonder, the therapist I had given up on, the one who never returned my calls, called to apologize and to set up a meet and greet for next week.  She will call me when she can give me a solid time.  I was so amazed I nearly hung up on her, we get so many spam calls (I have answered two just this morning)  and she talks really fast, just like the spam callers who try to get you to listen past the first 15 seconds.  Now if she just calls me this time...  If she doesn't call this time I will give up.Update:  despite requesting that she call me the next day, when she had her appt. lists, she returned my call 3 weeks later.  I politely said I had moved on in finding a therapist, and she said she understood.  Geesh, three weeks to return a call, no one is that busy that they can't make a 3 minute phone call!

One of the spam callers yesterday was one who called on behalf of policemen and firefighters who are injured in the line of duty.  I told them to send me information, and I would check them out online to see if they are a valid group.  The caller told me they are a tax deductible group, and when I could get a word in edgewise, I said, yes, but that they are tax deductible does not mean they are a charity.  He hung up on me!  That is a first.  My usual ploy is when they ask, How are you this morning?  I proceed to tell them all my aches and pains, doctor advice, medications (all fictional), they usually hang up first, just to shut me up.

Our neighbor brought us a vegetable pizza, I had never tried one before.  It was delicious!  She is going to spoil us.  Originally I tried to keep up, sending brownies, bread, etc. back, but I have lost the match, and given up.  I wish she would send her apple cobbler again.

Kitchen duty is calling, so here is today's humor:











Thursday, March 23, 2017

Too much stuff

Waaay too much.  My son took a pickup load of trash to the dump yesterday, old bed, recliner with all the springs broken, ratty old rugs I didn't know they were in the attic, tons of junk.  The total cost was $12.50  I am determined to clear the attic of everything but the luggage, and maybe not even that.  We have a storage unit for keepers, but there isn't much - Christmas tree, one section of the leather couch, golf clubs (which I need to advertise), etc.  It is worth every penny. 

The worst thing about it is how many stink bugs there are in the attic.  When my son opened the overhead ladder to go up, stink bugs literally cascaded down.  And most of them were dead, but some were still wiggling.  How they do that??  Survive freezing, parboiling, no food and still be kicking?  I have a horror of them, I can't stay in the room if they are flying around, ish.  Time for an exterminator for the attic.  I can't have treatment outside where the cats are, or inside, since they mostly come from the attic. I'm thinking about getting a crew to clear, while we sort in the garage.  So much to do now that the weather has turned nice.  It has, don't you think ?  We're all finished with winter, aren't we?  Please?

My trip to the eye doctor for a checkup, yielded a new script for glasses.  I'm hoping they will eliminate that annoying tip-your-head-up-and down searching for the sharp orientation.  I even found a nice frame on line (Amazon of course) which I am sure won't be available at the optician store.  At least I have insurance which will cover a lot of the expense.  My current glasses are the same for the last 3 years, after the cataract removal. 

This is the dullest post here, maybe because it is 5 am.  I think it is time for a little humor -



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Is It really Spring?

The snow on Friday disappeared with the rain on Saturday.  I sure hope that is the last.  The daffodils are already up, if the cold didn't spoil them, and the forsythia is blooming too.

I have been on ebay, for some retail therapy, and won/bought a bunch of DMC embroidery floss, which I really don't need.  I have 200+ skeins already, and recently got a small plastic box with bobbin-wrapped floss, 69 skeins.  My original flosses (also from ebay 6 months or so ago) are sorted into floss-away bags, which is OK if you don't mind dragging the whole thing out every time you need a little, say, #310 (black).  Whereas with the bobbin system, you just open the box and voila! there it is.  But really, it is just for the fun of bidding, or jumping into "Buy it Now" before it is seen by someone else.  This recent haul is the second type, it was up for only a few hours from when it was listed, and I grabbed it.  Now comes the hard part which is waiting for it to come.  Hopefully in a few days.  Gotta love it.

I am self-debating whether to get a copy of "The Last Dance", starring Patrick Swayze.  All the reviews say that while the movie, plot and script, is a real stinker, every one says the dancing scenes are breathtaking.  This was the last movie made by Patrick before he died of cancer.  His mother had a dance studio when he was little, so he danced from the time when he was a youngster.  A few years ago, he and his wife did a performance for the Academy awards (I think) but I have not found anything on Youtube.  He was my favorite actor, although most of his movies were ho-hummers, except for Dirty Dancing which has become a cult classic of sorts.  I used to joke that I would watch film of him brushing his teeth, just for fun.  I guess I could watch Last Dance with the remote to fast forward through the story.

I finally decided to see a therapist for "grief counseling"  because I am having a tough time now.  It is nearly a year since N died, and I have been having horrible dreams where I am partly awake and in my room, and partly asleep with a nightmare.  It may be because of a change in meds, too, I see the Dr. in a few weeks.  Locally all the medical practices have had a tremendous turnover in staffing, and although my latest doctor said she won't be leaving, I take that with a grain of salt.  She is the 6th doctor I have had in the last few years, some for only 3 or 4 visits.  It is hard to maintain a coherent history when I can't remember who said what, or why they prescribed one drug or the other.  Anyway, I got a few therapist's names from my last therapist (moved away) and have whittled it down one after the other.  Either they don't accept Medicare, or are not accepting new clients, or aren't local, or have given up counseling all together.  The last one, whom I thought would be a good match, won't return my calls, after the encouraging first time.  Maybe she fell down the stairs, I don't know.

I finally got a new mouse for this computer.  The old one had taken up the disorienting  habit of moving when I wasn't holding it.  If I want that kind of motion I'll use a Ouija board!  So for a few bucks, I got a Microsoft one.  It is made in China just like the other, cheaper, ones, but at least there is a USA source for this one, if I need help.  Although what kind of help I would need for a mouse, I don't know.  The new one is very peppy, but can be adjusted if it is too peppy.  I'm still test-driving it.

Well, back to the trenches (cleaning). Today's cartoon:




 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bored / boring

I am getting a small amount of followers for this blog, and I hope they aren't too disappointed in the frequency of my posts.  I try to have something reasonably interesting and not post without a subject.  Unfortunately this is one of the posts when I just meander from topic to topic.  Sorry!

The forecast for the eastern part of USA is grim.  The forecasting is usually correct in predicting if it will snow; not very good when it involves the amount of snow.  Still, the local Walmart was packed yesterday, and from the number of cars in their parking lot packed again today.  The two big items are Roll paper and milk.  Milk I can understand, you can't stockpile milk because it will spoil; but T paper?  I wanted to go and get new filters for the furnace, and a plastic storage box for my cross-stitch stash, it won't be a very large box, but I was deterred by the crowds.  As for the cross stitch patterns and such, I decided to have more than a single work in progress, for times like yesterday when I had to rip out everything I had just stitched.  Right now my stuff is overflowing a medium sized box, too shallow and the kits are slippery.  I did get to the pharmacy today, bad time to run out of necessary refills.  I take dozens of meds (slightly overestimated) and I am always out or nearly out of something.  The pharmacy staff know me on sight, sigh.

My son and I were discussing what we will do if we go out to the barn and our old old Newfoundland dog is dead.  She doesn't seem to be in any pain, just moving slowly and having trouble getting up.  Appetite is still good, and her tail wags just as hard as ever.  This is the same dog that had two ACL surgeries, and she has gotten several years since then without pain.  I know she misses her buddy who had cancer and a systemic infection, but there isn't much we can do in that area.  So the question of how to handle a dead dog weighing 120 pounds is a tough one.  Guess we will see when the time comes.  I will miss her.  We seem to be slowly reducing our critter population.  It will be strange when they are all gone.  The horses made it well into their 20s and the cats into their late teens.  I vow, no more horses, dogs, or cats.  I am too old and what would be done should they outlive me?   Anyway, I guess we will take her to the vet, they have done this before.  Unfortunately they charged $400 for the other Newfy, my jaw dropped when I got the bill.  We can't dig a hole for a dog that big, we would need a backhoe, and that isn't possible.  It isn't like we could borrow one from a neighbor.  Guess we will see for that part too.

I need to get a new mouse for this computer.  It is doing strange things, like when I am not touching it and the desk is not shaking or anything, it will scroll up or down, it is a drag when I am trying to read text.  The PC downstairs uses a trackball, which I prefer, but the mouse is cheaper by a factor of 2.  This one is so old, and was my husband's before me, it has potholes where my fingers rest on the surface. 

That is all my sleepy head can manage for today, if you are in the storm's way, stay home if at all possible.


Thursday, March 02, 2017

A Taxing Job

I am doing income taxes; I have it done for son and daughter, they were a snap.  Then I waded into my taxes and got completely bogged down with all the assorted forms to consider.  I am going to have to call one company tomorrow and see if I can figure out where they fit in, in the greater scheme of things.  Bah humbug.

We had a narrow escape with our 2015 taxes.  When I went to do this year's, I looked everywhere for last year's forms.  When we had the Flood several months ago, the boxes with all the taxes 2000 - 2015 were soaked.  Still, each year was in a plastic envelope and none of them were too wet.  What happened, tho, is that they got stuck wherever there was space and carried upstairs.  When we put things back downstairs, the boxes that held the taxes originally were a soggy mess, and so the envelopes went into another box.  Unlabeled.  When i found the box, all of them were there, EXCEPT the 2015 ones.  To make a long story short, we found them at R's office, along with a lot of office-y supplies that we gave to a third grade teacher for her classes.  No one wanted the three ring binders, and R was moving them out when she rooted around to the bottom, and there was a big plastic envelope with "Taxes 2015" written on it.  Also was a folder with credit card information, including one form that had our credit card account no., credit limit, my SSN, and the PIN on it.  Geez, talk about lucky.  Everything was untouched because the water stains on the papers had stuck them together, a little, and they were still stuck, no one had found them.  Thank my lucky stars.  I need a bigger safe deposit box, I think.  Or a bookkeeper on retainer.

The farrier came today to trim the horse's hooves, an every-8-week job.  I pay whatever he wants, because most farriers would rather do a whole stable full of horses, one after the other, than just come out for a single horse.  We did a swap, tho, he wanted our gas powered auger, and in exchange he would do the next two trims for free.  The post hole digger was just sitting in the shed gathering dust, and there is no way I will ever put another fence up.  The last time it was used was to set the mailbox out.  We put up two fences, first with locust tree posts (they rotted off in a few years) and then with pressure treated 4 x 4's set in concrete.  Those are still going strong, except for one the idiot horse has gnawed through.  Anybody want her?  She is 24 years old, stubborn as a mule, with the temperament of a Tasmanian devil, and has not been ridden in years.  I'm way too fond of my bones just the way they are, thanks.  She lives a life of leisure, fed hay year round, hay and grain twice a day, hooves done, stall cleaned, turned out in nice weather, blanketed in cold weather, wormed, vaccinated, vet to look at every little boo-boo, fans in the stall for hot weather, heated water bucket for winter time, automatic fly sprayer etc. etc.  The lady who does my nails says she wants to come to my barn to live. I had a therapist who would chide me (gently) for not riding more (when we had 3 beasts) until I pointed out the care they get for doing absolutely nothing.  Do you think she misses being ridden?



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Management

Well, not really.  I am sorting through all the jewelry I have accumulated over the years, set aside those that need repair (does any store still do this for chains?) and adding chains to all the worthwhile pendants, polishing the silver things (and what a difference it makes) and figuring out what gold is real and what is gold filled.  I'm still not done, I have run out of 30 inch chains, and I am never going to wear necklaces any shorter because I want all my necklaces to fit over my head without having to open/close the chain when I wear them.  My hands shake too much to fasten things around my neck.  And I swear the manufacturers are making the clasps tinier and tinier; probably the same designers that invented transparent steel to enclose all sorts of things.  I notice there are some items where the ads say "frustration-free packaging" and here is a cheer for them.  We all need a little less frustration in our lives...

I have damaged my "good" knee and can scarcely climb the stairs; once I am upstairs (kitchen, living room, etc.) there I stay until I go back downstairs (bedroom) for the night.  My knee feels like there has been a blowtorch on it, yet I have no idea what I did to damage it.  I have to use my cane just to go to the bathroom, and I haven't mastered taking a shower with it.  I just go very slowly when I wash my feet, standing on one leg at a time, and I would greatly appreciate grab bars in the shower, but we tried to install one and couldn't find the studs behind the shower to fasten one to.  Not for the lack of trying.

We have a couple of beautiful mountain ash trees that I don't think will make it until the spring.  The local woodpeckers are chopping huge chunks of bark off the trees in pursuit of a borer insect that has arrived in WV from the north.  All due to global warming that extends the moderate zone southward, bringing the pests along with it.  Did I say, global warming?  I mean temporary weather fluctuations.  Riiight...


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

Sick

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...

...to 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

Facebook

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: