Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Kindle-ing the written word

I bought a Kindle Gen 2 ebook ($8), and then couldn't get it to ask for (my) connection.  I did the same thing years ago when I bought my uncle's Kindle, and I don't remember any problem changing the owner to myself with that Kindle.  Anyway I looked online and found someone with the same problem, and the process was very straight forward.  Even the steps looked familiar, so I tried it and it worked like a charm.  The only hiccup  was that the battery was in need of a charge, but it came with a cable and so now I have two.  It is so nice to get something to work like it should.  My son tried the laborious method, and found that the Kindle is so old they wouldn't work.  Anyway, the name it is registered with now is M***'s 6th Kindle (blush).  I inherited my husband's Kindles (2) as well as my own so I have one gen 2, a  paper white and one large screen kindle which is very nice.  They read to me, shop with me, and do several "beta" programs.  The only problem is remembering which Kindle I want my selection to be on.  Hurting for choice.  One lives in my purse, one on my bedside table, one in the living room (drat) and so forth.  It is easier when I don't have to remember where I had it last.  In theory.

My psych doctor is messing around with my meds and it is wreaking havoc on my sleep cycle; I have to sleep all the time right now.  At least I don't have to go to work anymore, yeah.  Retirement is grand, I wish I had been able to coast along all these years.

I bought a selection of drawing pencils/charcoal sticks, etc., to keep me involved for now at least.  I used to be able to draw OK from a photograph, and I tried to buy a movable articulated horse figure, as I get confused when the legs are close together, but on Amazon they are $60! and I don't know if it would even work.  The exact same thing of a human figure is $10 - $12!  Supply and demand.  When I was in junior high the art teacher browbeat me into thinking how things, like trees, really look on paper.  I learned a lot from her that year.  I am sure they don't take art classes now except for an elective, probably in high school.  There are no sketches on the bulletin boards in elementary school where we go to vote, when it would benefit drawing skills the most.  We didn't let our kids attend that school, back in the day.  One voting day, of course right near Thanksgiving Day, there was a display of paper leaves with wishes the students had made (anonymously) and they broke my heart.  Wishes like "I wish I could stay here forever"  and "I wish my dad would come back" and" I wish I lived with Mommy and Daddy again" and "I wish I could see my sister" and on and on.  My kids went to Parochial school.  I knew they would have to face many difficult times in life, but please, not as a 6 year old.

I am currently reading Beginner's Guide to the End, Practical Advice  to Living Life and Facing Death.  I haven't gotten very far yet, but it reads in a compassionate and straightforward way.
It is the Kindle I just rejuvenated,  all charged now and I downloaded this book.  It came with a nice leather case too.  And it bills to our credit card.

That is it for today, hope this hasn't been too boring.  I can only write about the past, because the current life is totally the same day by day.  Talk about boring.


Friday, January 10, 2020

Wicked 4 letter word (snow!)

It has been weeks since I have posted on here, I apologize if you have been checking in to see if anything resembling a post has once again been written.  Life just got in the way.  I will try to be more consistent in my posts.

I  have been  able to put on a regular shoe now that the swelling has gone down.  Still I need to walk every few days to get where I don't have to watch ever step.  I have been waiting to see if the swelling has gone for (mostly) good.  I credit my Ultram for the reduction, it is the only new item in my daily pharm.  I have seen other times when the swelling has retreated only to run again in a few days.  The
Ultram is now brand name instead of generic;  the neurologist recommended  it, and said the generic was a steroid and hard on the kidneys, while the brand was neither.

I spent the 8th, yesterday, in the hospital, what fun.  I think I  would have been admitted but I refused.  I think I will not go unless there is a compelling reason to stay.  Every time I have gone in I came home with a violent respiratory infection, so that a simple stay for "observation ",when right now there is a vicious virus going around the county which I do not need.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

Here it is on Dec. 31 and I am not planning to do anything.  I haven't stayed up until midnight in many many years, and this year will be no different.  I do have a bottle of Asti Spumonti (sp?) in the refrigerator, but there is no chance it will be polished off tonight.  One glass is about my limit, and several of my meds say not to drink alcohol while taking them; but I figure one glass won't stun me unconscious.  Many years ago, we went to my aunt's home and had a nice dinner and TV watching for the various time zones.  My uncle, whom I now know was a dirty old man from trying to what we called French kissing back then, always had a glass of Coke and Canadian Club which he always wanted us to taste.  Like maybe one sip and I would tear my clothes off and make wild passionate love right there in the kitchen.  Or something.  He didn't make it to old age since he had Alzheimers soon after retiring.  I wouldn't ask that for anyone, gross or just friendly.  My aunt had an awful time of everything (like getting her arm broken in a fall, going to the doctor's for cast removal, and falling in his parking lot and breaking it again), she cared for Grandma until she passed at 98 y.o.  Then my uncle started getting pretty waffle-y as time went by.  Aunt N caught him turning on all the gas burners in the kitchen and then carrying a skillet full of water back down the hall.  Not to mention leaving the house and wandering the neighborhood unable to find his way back home.  At that point my aunt found a residential lady to look after him, and my aunt finally got a full night's rest.  Grandma had problems too as time went by, asking for her father, and getting dressed and trying to leave, and so forth.  My aunt finally forbid my sister from coming to see her, as she would get her all upset, and crying.  A lot of this I didn't know at the time, living on the other side of the country and too broke to fly home.  This is before credit cards became so prevalent.  So the good old days weren't all that good for us.

The Christmas decorations go down tomorrow.  I can't help without going upstairs and that would be asking for trouble.  Today I got my final package from Yankee Candle, they sent half of it before the 25th and this is the second (free) shipment.  I'll send it to R and she can give me whatever she doesn't like.  It is hard to choose a scent over the phone, the descriptions are not much help.  Citrus and pine, what would it smell like?  Guess we will find out.  The hand mixer that I gifted to myself is nice.  I just need to get upstairs and be able to stand for a while.  The ortho doctor gave me a 'script for therapy on my (uncut) leg, as it is beginning to show the effects of taking all my weight while I favor the one with the replacement knee.  I have been doing the exercises with both here at home, or I would be in even worse shape.  What fun.  But I have seen improvement, if only a bit, to keep me going twice a week.

C is making snickerdoodle cookies and the scents from the kitchen are better than any candle.  He is more precise than me, weighing out the flour and the sugar, rather than using a measuring cup or spoon.  The last batch was scrumptious sugar cookies ( and he ate most of them).  I finished off the toffee that R gave me last night; I could have eaten even more if available.  Still have chocolates to go.  From Thanksgiving to New Years is one yummy thing after another.  I will have to lose weight if I am to walk unsupported.  I won't know how I am doing since the one time I tried to weigh myself I fell.  I will just use the waist measurement to plot my loss.

Lunchtime, once the cookies are in the oven.  Of course everyone knows you burn the last batch, being busy with clean up and so forth.  It's a rule.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry merry

OK, it is Christmas Day and I am here killing time, waiting for dinner.  Yum.  The orange cinnamon  rolls this morning were delish.  The wrapper says, amount per serving, ONE!  They must be kidding, I polished off 6 myself and so did C and R.  Plus I got popcorn, toffee bark, m&ms, enough to sink the good ship Lollipop (reference for readers familiar with Shirley Temple movies).  I am using the hp computer in the blue room, and I keep trying to use a track pad, arg.  Plus all my sites are password protected, and since the MacBook Air uses a fingerprint scan (mostly) I don't actually type in a password.  Google said they would send me a code on my email account, but the email account uses a password too.  I finally got this to bring up my posts on at&t and so here we are at last.  Wish I had something to write about.

C and R liked the gifts I got for them, especially the $$ .  Money is better than gift cards which don't show how much is left on them, don't show the expiration date, have fees to use, and so on.  I put the money is a little coin pouch, didn't just stick it into a piece of wrapping paper.  I also got a hand mixer with two different blades, and a really heavy metal hand part.  I got it from...me...to me.  I had to have something to unwrap too.  Anyway, they liked the idea of gifting yourself.  Now to find a purpose  to use it.

I didn't have any trouble climbing the stairs, well, mainly.  Going back down we will have to just give it a go.  C holds me up with the gait belt, and can drag me back if I stumble.  I'm wearing my grippy socks to give me some traction.  Wish me luck.  Update:  I made it downstairs, but it was touch and go especially when I looked down to guide my feet on each stair.  Got to do better.

When I was a kid I could hardly wait for Christmas day.  Now it is hard to feel much more than a mild interest.  For one thing, if there is something I want, I just buy it.  The same is true for R and C.  So for a gift you have to find something unusual that they have not seen, or candy that will be gone in a week.  I have to do shopping online.  Just thinking about all that walking at a mall is enough to put me in a bah humbug mood.  And if I am looking for something in particular, I check out Amazon first.

The telemarketers have the day off too, yeah.  At Yankee Candle I wanted to ask about the buy one get one promotion, but when I called, the answer voice said "We are having unusually heavy calls, your call will be answered in the order in which it was received, the current wait is...one hour."  Yikes.  It seems their computers wiped themselves and they had to hand enter each order, taking forever and all of them  screaming "Where is my order?"  Fortunately I bought mine back in November, and if they send me another three candles I will be most happy.  If not, oh well.  But I won't try to call until Jan. sometime. 

The one thing I missed out on while we lived in Miami was snow.  We went to WV when I was a kid, but always in the summer.  The one year Mom drove us to the farm in December was, from my point of view, a disaster.  N and I were walking hand in hand, talking, poking among the grass for a 4 leaf clover, and Mom and my sister (who was so jealous it is a wonder she didn't turn green) and N's mom and dad, and all of them trying their best to keep us from being alone together.  It didn't work especially well, given that when N died we had been married 45 years.  So much for Mom's prediction that N would leave me after 3 months.  Anyway, it snowed some one night and in the morning the trees and plants were changed to a beautiful winterscape. And it didn't last long, but when I went to SC for fresh. and soph. years, there were lots of kids that had never seen snow.  In all, there were a lot of novel experiences those two years but god I was glad to leave them to run their bigoted, racist, holier-than-thou mind warping school behind me.  I never looked back, and I never sent them a damn dime.

Time to go...Bye!

Monday, December 23, 2019

the New Year

I think it is safe to assume that this is the last entry until after the new year.  Although it is true that I would say the same other years and then get so bored that I found myself here at the keyboard, typing away.  So we will see.

A robo call a few minutes ago.  She said she was from AT&T and when she asked me how I was doing, I said I wasn't feeling very gullible today and that she was out of luck, "Sorry!"  What a job to have!   Calling random people, hoping that someone on the other end of the phone would take the bait.  And at this time of the year!  This is why kids need to pay attention in school:  to learn that when the call starts out with a "bloop" they are not actually who they say they are.  And this is why schools need to offer classes that teach modern skills, like this, and things like how to do a budget, the perils of signing things that they don't understand,  how to shop for car insurance, and so forth.  It could be the most useful things they ever learn.  Assuming they are listening.  Teaching cursive could fit in somewhere too.

Not all my Christmases have been merry and bright.  I was thinking of my sister Marlene, 4 years older than me, and how she could bleed the fun from anything.  One Christmas I bought her towels, the nice thick ones, along with all the hand, washcloths, etc.  When she opened the gift, I was chattering away about how nice it is to get out of the shower and be able to wrap up a warm thick towel (I knew she didn't have any).  But then I noticed that she wasn't looking at me.  She was staring at my 2 kids, who each (8 or 9 years old) got $100 because Mom couldn't get out to shop in person for them.  They were saying, "wow".  Mom asked  my sister did she like the towels (which I had paid $89 at Penneys)  and she said, it looks like everyone got money but her.  I was floored.  I've gotten gifts that weren't my ideal thing, but I was still saying great thank you.  I couldn't believe that even she would act that way on Christmas!  Mom, who had the patience of a saint, told her to shut up.   She was a piece of work.  And she has passed and for me she isn't missed.

Well, this isn't a very long  post, but I wish everyone that reads this has a Happy Holiday (aka Merry Christmas) and a great New Years.  Bye!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Holiday Cheer

The original plan was for the big Christmas tree to be in the living room, and the little one to be in my room.  But while the big tree is happily lighted in the living room, the small tree is unable to be very festive when half the lights are out.  C took it apart (there are only two  pieces) and fiddled with the wiring for about an hour and then gave up.  It is slated for the next trip to the transfer station (dump). So my only festive move is to have Alexa play instrumental Christmas songs.  They sound pretty good, arrangements that I haven't heard before.  My favorite song is Carol of the Bells.  It is a very common Christmas song, but the name isn't very well known.

I have been having a tough time with my IPSY membership.  That is one where a subscriber gets a cosmetic bag every month containing 5 samples (big samples) of makeup, for $10.  I got an email today asking about what sample I would like to choose for the January shipment.  And I thought, Jan?! I haven't gotten the one for Dec. yet.  So I went to their Help page, and it refused to let me log in.  I got the site giving me a temporary password, sent to my email address.  But when I tried to log in, I get a message that the email and password don't match.  And I thought, what?  They just sent me the temporary password, which they sent to the email address, so how could they not match?  But it refuses to log me in.  I sent a message to the help section, but come on, it is less than a week until Christmas, no one will be answering help messages this week or next.  I am about to cancel the whole thing, except I have to log in first!

I didn't go to therapy today.  I was all ready and Chris went out to warm the car up, and nearly fell on his ass.  He had swept the driveway and put down salt earlier, when it was just snow, but it apparently turned it to ice and glassy too.  So he called and cancelled the session; the last thing I need is to fall on MY ass.  His car won't fit in the garage and still be able to open the doors.  When I had the Miatas they were just right for the space, but not a compact car.  This is why I scheduled the knee surgery for the summer (of 2017), to avoid the weather problems.  But the final surgery was in Feb (of 2018) and I am still doing therapy so that Some Day I will be able to get around without the walker.  That would  be my Christmas present times a million.

I got a message from the Big Bank today asking me if I recognized a charge on my account from yesterday.  I looked in all the places a charge might have come from or to, but found nothing.  And I checked everywhere and didn't even find any charge from yesterday, except for the bogus one.  So once again they will cancel this card and send me a new one.  This one was the replacement for the last hack, and yet it is hacked again.  Mutter mutter.  There is a class action lawsuit for a breach of Experian last year, could this problem be due to that?  And if so, do you think they would tell us?  That's what I thought too.

Click on the lady and you will get a bigger image, easier to read.

I just heard that one of my old friends, one I haven't spoken to for years, just found out she has breast cancer.  Been there.  I still get a giggle from this poem;  I have a warped sense of humor sometimes.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Life moves along

Insurance for mobile homes (aka modular homes) has changed since the day when the only coverage you could get was auto insurance.  If you investigate these homes, they don't look like trailers anymore.  Top of the line is $100,000 and up, and is a triple wide, so 70 feet wide and 60 feet long, with nearly any option you want to add.  They are dry walled, taped, textured and painted; once in place they won't be "Mobile" anymore.  Still they are taxed as personal property and not real estate, which is a big saving.  My long range (next year) goal is to buy a double wide and live in it until this house is sold.  It is, thank the tax man, paid for.  Then I can repay the loan for the mobile home and still have plenty that we won't need to eat beans.  The first improvement here is the master bathroom, but I can't do that until I don't need it anymore.  A few days to go elsewhere is doable, but weeks, no way.  The very big incentive to living in a mobile home is that it is all one level.  Homes in this area are almost all with stairs, due to the up-and-down of the terrain.  I may make good with therapy until I can at least do 3 or 4 steps, with a hand rail, but that may not be possible.

Anyway, that is the rationale for moving, if only I can find a nice community of upscale homes that have a vacancy.  The two-edged part of this is to find the lot, and only then order the home.  Probably have to pay the going rate for a month, just to keep it available.  So complicated.

The cat with the expensive food is doing better already, eating well and acting up (NOT akaking up). I hope she continues to improve, I feel defeated when they get sick and then the vet treats the symptoms and not the cause.  She and the other 3 cats are completely indoors so how do they catch these things?  One of those puzzles.

There was this strange noise last night around 10 pm.   It sounded like snow sliding off a metal roof, which is completely impossible, for one, I am on the lower level, no roof for here, two, no snow, three, snow doesn't bark.  When C looked all he saw was the neighbor-across-the road dog trailing a length of chain.  He ran away when he saw C, I hope he got back home without strangling himself.  I thought he just dragged his chain across the downspout, but seen in daylight there was no damage visible.  Another puzzle.

Well, I am ready for bed.  The therapy today was difficult as I am sore from the fall, and even cancelling the part that puts stress on my left leg didn't completely fix it.  I am so tired.  Bye!

Thursday, December 12, 2019


I am waiting for the bathroom to warm up before I take my shower, it is only 64 when I first went in there.  At those temps I could reasonably put the soft drinks outside and shut down the refrigerator.  Anyway, I thought I would get another post going here.

I have a good friend in SanFran that I worked with in the Olllddd days.  I last saw her in 2001 on her yacht/boat and her note this year says she is moving from Hawaii to a gated community in Sarasota, with all the mod cons.  I have to admit, I am a teeny bit envious, but that is life, some are poorer and some are richer.  She invited me down once she got settled.  However, there is the step/stair problem, so I figure I will have gray hair (check) and walk with a cane by then (I wish) before I make it there.

I knocked this computer off and it landed on edge on the squishy carpet, and seems OK now.  The cover was a little loose, but it popped back on and there isn't any problem I can see.  I also knocked over the can of Coke, but it fell directly into the trash basket upside down.  Small mess ensued.  I think I will adjourn for now and get that shower before another mishap.

The laundry is done (mostly by C) and put away.  There is still my gold silk shirt to tackle, unfortunately the stain is on the right side right in the center of the front.  Right now I could wear it under a jacket or sweater, whereas it will be hard to do even that if there is a big hole there.  I have a replacement that looks pretty much a duplicate, but it is made of polyester.  For me that means no dry cleaners; their price doubles the cost of the shirt after one or two trips there.  I just need to have a go at the stain, good or bad, get me off the fence.  It occurs to me we spend more time and effort on our clothes, even when they are cheap or designer made, and use them if they wear out pretty quickly.  My dry cleaners' items stay in their plastic shrouds, except when I need to find something "special".  I wish I could remember how this one got stained.  I have an Oscar de la Renta blouse that I glopped salad dressing on.  When It was cleaned, I warned them, but the result is a large slightly lighter color on the front.  It is completely invisible in low lighting.  At home I wear a cobbler's apron at dinner, or even change to an old t shirt to avoid messing up something dressy.  As if anyone would notice.

C is off to the vet to get the prescription food for the oldest cat.  She is too thin and this food is very appealing to her.  It is $100 for a large (10 pound) bag, so we have to isolate her when the other cats want to check out the new food.   They are very plump, even the one that looks thin until you pick her up, oof!  I counted how many cats we have had over the years, and it is 28, more or less.  You have to  realize this is over 45 years, and always multiple cats at the same time.  The amazing thing is that I can still remember their names;  Luckily I can't remember their vet bills.

All the plants look fine in the upstairs dining room.  They have all done well  without me, all but the Christmas cactus, which croaked.  Years ago when we moved to WV from CA (and never mind what you saw in Horse Whisperer) you can't leave a horse in a trailer for days and days so I arranged a transport with a company that does this all the time (and ignore the bite marks and the raw part of his tail).  So we put the cats in the biggest of carriers, and put the Husky in the trailer with them.  When we stopped for the night, all the beasts came into the motel with us.  Oh, but what I meant to say was I transported all my plants on the hay shelf at the front of the trailer.  Quite a few.  And when we stopped in NM, even though it was April, all the plants were frozen and black the next morning.  I still haven't found some of the types of plants, must be a West Coast biome thing.  Anyway, at that point in time plants were the least of my worries.  I  had R in the intensive neonatal ward in CA, weighing all of 2.5 pounds, another car back in CA that a drive away company would eventually get to us in WV,  our house had been loaded into a moving van, and I had to stay in M's house until they released R and we flew to FL, where mom lived.  I was so stressed, when we met in the AirPort I handed R to mom and said something along the line of "here".  The wonder is that I kept it all together for those incredible weeks.  So the loss of one Christmas cactus is a small matter.

Image result for philosophy funny cartoons about life

Monday, December 09, 2019

part two

I, once again, have fallen, this time against the sharp corner of the craft table.  It all happened so fast, I think I may have slipped on the newspaper laying on the floor.  I will have a dynamite bruise on my shoulder, and my knee aches like a **** well, a lot.  C had to come and pick me off of the floor, get me onto an ottoman, and from there into bed.  All this happened 20 minutes before leaving for therapy, so I didn't go.  The next appt. is on Friday, I will see how I am doing Thursday night.  I'm not sure I will be able to get onto the massage bench,  not to mention doing the exercises.  I thought I was on my way to using a cane.  HAAA!  I can't even rely on my walker, it goes down with me.  C was supposed to go to the auto dealer to pick up R while her car was being serviced and take her to work, but she got a loaner car.  What would I do if he had been gone during my upset?  Just lay there, I guess.

It's strange to have no horses and no dogs.  Mainly the horses, I looked out my bathroom window and watched Maybe and Willie peacefully grazing, or standing nose to tail so each tail clears the other's face.  It has never been the riding I miss, it is watching the horses as they do their horsey things.  When Willie died, it was Maybe screaming at night that alerted us to see only one horse when there should have been two.  I felt sorry for Maybe, alone every day.  Sometimes when the kids at the neighbor's screamed at a certain pitch, I would see Maybe jerk her head up and neigh back, thinking it was another horse.  As I said before, they are herd animals, and they need their buddies.  Anyway, I miss all three of them, as they went one by one, in their 20s.  It is sad our companion animals live such a short time.

The farrier came on Sunday and took a whole lot of gear and tack, everything from buckets (heated) to blankets.  I am glad they will use them, I am sure the farrier doesn't earn much for very hard work (especially in the winter) and what would I do with it all?  Ebay it all, piece by piece?  He was jubilant every time he discovered another item.  I have no idea where he will put all that he has, he only has a run-in shelter for his horses and not an actual barn/stable.  His wife says they will put most of it in the spare bedroom.  We found one thing in the aisle, a shed snake skin, I was glad to know there are snakes in there and not rats (or mice).  Years ago I told the guys at work on their farm to bring me a gunny sack with a snake inside; I would turn them loose in the corner where the hay sits on pallets, and bingo! no more rats.  For a while.  I am not afraid of most snakes, only the viper ones I leave alone.  Rattlesnakes like: cottonmouth, copperhead all types of timber rattlesnakes, for example.

We should have a smaller water and electricity bill this year, I hope.  They both have their own meters, and the only draw this time is the electricity in the tack room to keep the hose flexible.  Why do we need water now?  Beats me.

I need to lay down and rest my achy bits so I will leave this here.  Bye!

Friday, November 29, 2019


I fell, reaching for my cell phone a few minutes ago.  Luckily there was nothing behind me when my knee buckled, and the carpet is backed with a very thick pad.  Still it leaves me shaken (or stirred).  Yesterday I went upstairs around 1 pm for the turkey dinner that C fixed.  R was there too.  We had far too much to eat, and I took a Phenergan once I got downstairs again.  I did a little stumble going up, but C steadied me with the gait belt.  But on the way down around 5 pm I had a complete buckle with my "good" knee, and once again C caught me.

So all in all it wasn't too bad yesterday.  But today, wow! both knees are a major pain, undoubtedly due to yesterday's efforts.  I wasn't planning on Black Friday anyway, but after my fall,  I am not stirring from my bed.  Just when I was thinking I was having major mending going on.

 I got a check Tuesday for $32.84 as a settlement on a class action law suit.  The  case involved HP who made some of their models of printer which wouldn't accept any other print cartridges than HP.
I found my model and SN in the list, so I sent back the claiming information, and the $32 was my share of the settlement.  Beats getting a bill.  Too bad it isn't enough to buy a new set of cartridges.

The saddle still hasn't sold yet, but it is early now anyway.  They keep them for 90 days; I think the price drops then.  It looks very nice in the photos.

Here is the link to the saddle; when you click on this link, it will show all 5?  6? Photos.  I hope this works.


Time for a nap; hope everyone had a good turkey day!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

I'm a little slow these last few weeks.

I have apparently damaged my "good" knee, which makes it really hard to get around.  I wish I had remembered that factoid before taking the diuretic, I am really slow getting to the throne when the time comes calling.

I got my life insurance last week, hurrah.  I don't want to leave the kids with no way to manage financially, like N did nearly 4 years ago.  That was the reason I had to sell the Highlander, the payments were absurd.  The only vehicle I own is the p/u truck, which I can't climb inside, never mind drive when my feet are numb and I can't lift my foot far enough to reach the pedals.  What a difference one simple surgery has made.  You know what minor surgery is, don't you?   It's surgery that happens to someone else.

I think I will end up getting knee replacement on the "good" knee eventually.  But I will put it off as long as I can.  My family physician that I saw yesterday, did X-rays of that knee and said that there is still some cartilage in there, even though it sounds like a very creepy door when I stand up.  She also did some blood work, thyroid and so forth to see if there are signs of early dementia, won't that be fine?  Just what I need to hear.

I am keen to get going on the plan to move into a mobile home, the first step is to see the bank, I figure I will need to borrow the purchase money, so we can move from here to there, and then sell the house, after it is empty, and then pay off the mobile home. The only hard part is clearing the house of every thing we don't want to take with us.  The mobile  home is considerably smaller than here, and I have only to look around to see things that will have to go.  And I can't do much other than be an overseer since I can't carry anything.  It will mean a huge effort, and probably I will have to hire someone to help with the furniture, as well as boxes.  What fun.

The show saddle is up for sale at the online horse gear (mostly saddles) place in IN.  I hope it sells quickly, it is the only tastefully trimmed silver saddle there, and it is priced at $795.  I plan on giving the $ to C since he did all the polishing and leather oiling. I hate to see it gone, but it will be good to have someone use it again.

I've got time for a little nap now, so I think I will prop my swollen feet up and rest a bit.  Bye!

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

saddle up!

This is the last photo, I think, that will be of my western equitation show saddle.  C wore his poor fingers off polishing the silver lacing but it goes out for consignment sale as soon as the box for transport arrives.   The consignment guy sounds very fair;  and of course, the higher price they get on this saddle the larger their share becomes.  God it is a beautiful saddle, and I rode it all over California on the show circuit, although I didn't get the blue very often, still I enjoyed riding this piece of art on my palomino quarter horse, mane and tail flowing white (well, not the mane it is pulled to a few inches long, don't know why, that was the style at the time).

And unlike the ordinary saddle, which I got pitched off a few times, I never fell at all from this one.  Although it was touch-and-go the day the arena was directly next to a field where hot air balloons were being readied for a nice ride.  The noise they make when the burners are going full blast scared me and I knew what it was from.  But Poco, bless his heart, looked, snorted and went on like he'd seen them every day of the week.  That was the same show where the judge had us all lined up in the center, and one by one had us leave the group and make one pass around the arena and then line back up again with the rest.  Poco had no trouble with that either, we were used to riding alone, out and around before returning home.  He was the only one that didn't balk at leaving the group.  Horses, they live in herds in the west, and where one goes they all go.  But it tickled me to see those many mega dollar horses not do something so simple, while my $450 gelding took it right in stride.  The lady I bought him from told me that he trusted his rider to see to it that he was OK.  And she was right.

Tomorrow I am going to open our safe and see if I put the key to the safe deposit in there.  I found the keys to the safe dangling on the key rack next to the hot water tank.  I know where one bank key is, but it bugs me not to have the second one.  I know, I am obsessive,  but someone has to keep us on the path.

Well, it is time to go for the night, good night to all, Bye

Monday, November 04, 2019

Fall is here

Here it is November already, I haven't thought out what to do about Thanksgiving, much less Christmas.  C will have to do whatever is needed as while I can, with help get upstairs, but I can't stand very long and that takes care of stirring, slicing, peeling, and a whole lot more.  Every year it seems like we do less and less.  Christmas is far more manageable since we do steak, baked potato, green beans, and pie.  Maybe a fruit salad in there too.  No left overs, minimal clean up (the broiler has to cool first) and we rarely get to the pie until the next day.

Last night, Nov. 2nd, was trick or treat night here.  The rain was unremitting downpours on the 31st, and on Friday the first, the wind howled through here making umbrellas pretty useless.  Yesterday there was no wind, no rain, but not very many kids either.  We had 31, where last year we had 50.  There were none of the ATVs towing trailers with 4 or 5 kids aboard, most of the littlest kids were pulled in a wagon or a stroller, and the average age was 4.  All had parents with them, some in costume, and for the last 30 minutes there were none.  Boring.  And there I sat with 10 pounds of candy in a big enamel bowl in my lap, yum.  I don't know what we will do with the rest, as it became apparent there would be scads of candy left, I was just scooping up handfuls for each kid.

My new blanket was delivered Saturday by UPS, and I love it.  It is very fuzzy and very large, and C made my bed with clean sheets and two blankets, it looked heavenly after sitting for 2 hours in the cold.  I had a heater by my legs, in addition to coat, mittens, hat and hood.  Still too cold and I couldn't get up and move around, once it got dark we were an oasis of light. Those damned floodlights wouldn't stay on, you could tap  on them (C did) and a minute later they would go off.  Luckily no one fell in the driveway, but it is time for a new light.  One kid said he liked my horses, and I thanked him.  I got by without anyone asking about them.  I was prepared to lie, saying we moved them to another barn, or we sold them, but not necessary.

I offered a print to R when she was moving to her apartment.  She bought a red couch and I said that this print, by Carol Grigg called "The Loss" would look good above her sofa.  She just said Hmmm and changed the subject.  Tonight she texted C to ask if she could have it.  I said sure, but if at some point she didn't want it, to give it back to me.  The frame and matting alone were around $200.  I don't want her to just pitch it.

I wanted to down-size this photo of "The Loss" but for some reason it won't do it and then show the smaller photo.  I give up.

  I can't tell you how long I have fiddled with this image, it is a lot.

I sure hope this will get hung without any drama. Update:  R took the print hung it on the wall over the couch, put a lovely quilt on the back of the couch, and sent photos.  It looks spiffy.

Back to bed, Bye!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Halloween Time

I had my mammogram last week, and I got a nice insulated tote bag in honor of getting my mammo done in Oct.  This was with a new machine that was not as squishy as the old one, and they got it done while I sat in my wheelchair.  (I was in the wheelchair because we were running late and it takes me forever to walk so slowly for any distance.)  Then I saw the surgeon, who gave me the all-clear.  6 months until the next one.  Yay team!

I bought Halloween candy on Amazon a couple of weeks ago.  Usually I wait and get it at the grocery store, but usually there is only old lady candy left, Jolly Ranchers, smartees, and such.  The candy for this year is M & M s and Snickers and Reese's cups and other chocolate types.  I bought a lot.  A lot as in 12 pounds.  So we can sample and not have to buy more candy.  I even bought some full-sized bars, which (ahem) I hope will be left for us.  I didn't give candy out last year, it was a time when I was still missing N, even though it had been more than 2 years since he died.  He always came outside (where I sit because the light is better) to keep me company and look at all the costumes, some are really cute.  One year we had a boy carrying a sword (fake) with a box of Cheerios stuck thru by the sword, and proclaimed he was a "cereal" killer.  Not so funny these days...

I got an email from Chase that my card had been used for something I don't recognize.  I called them right away and they blocked my card and will send a new one ASAP.  It was for 6.99 but maybe just a test run (at a spa) to see if it would fly.  Thanks to Chase, not.  The only thing I charged yesterday was for a blanket, which cost a good bit more than 6.99...

There was an obituary today for R's girl scout leader.  This is the one that led a trip to London for the senior girls (and took R kayaking on the river etc.), other than all the money collected by parking on home football days, car washes, aluminum can collection, and on and on.  R was thrilled to go, I've never been to GB myself.  The leader has family there so they had a picnic (not what they called it, I can't think of what they called it), as well as side trips to various places.  The girls had a blast.  R liked going to a pub the most.  The trip was a really special event, one that years' worth of girls got to take.  I ran into the leader at the grocery, etc., and she always remembered who I was, quite a feat, given the number of moms she knew. She was 84, but still she will be missed by a lot of families.

It's a dull dreary day today, all the fall colors are over as the trees shed their leaves, starting at the top.  It is fall, even though the calendar says there is more to do before winter.  Chris hasn't finished cleaning my saddle, all that is left is the silver to be polished, a boring job.  The leather looks great, like new.   I will have to harass him a little.  What I would need a show saddle for when I can't ride?  It cost a fortune 40 years ago, and I want at least $ 500 for it.  If I don't get it, I will put it in the house (my room) to admire.  It is silver plated, but now they ride with nickel conchos, etc.  because silver trim is so expensive.

C took the phone out of the barn, and I have it here, so I don't have to drag the big black phone around when I am at the keyboard.  It was hit-or-miss if the phone would ring in the barn, and probably C would be using the DR Power wagon and couldn't hear it if it was ringing anyway.

Time to go...Bye!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Friday, October 18, 2019

Back in the day

This is the hoof pick I've had for 35+ years.  When I boarded my Poco horse in Golden Gate Park, the guy that put his shoes on (farrier/blacksmith) would be a regular there for a lot of owners.  He did hot shoeing and had a little furnace-like in his truck.  He would heat them, test them for fit, whack on them on an anvil for a subtle change, try again.  Any time, even now, that I smell coal burning, I would think, "shoer is here.." .  He was quite a flamboyant sight.  He had a long queue of hair, and a mustache that he waxed and twirled so it stood out from his face like the cartoon bad guy.  Hammering, heating, dunking in water to cool, the tourists were there catching it all on film.  So, any time he had a pause in doing the horses, he would make these hoof picks out of old horseshoes, half of one, and give them to his clients.  It was considered a mark of approval to have one of Steve's picks.  The usual ones are made in china, now, and are lacking a point that you need to clean dirt, stones, whatever from the sole of their feet.  The form of these are a big improvement and god forbid you lose yours, and have to ask Steve for another.  He also made custom fence gates, for big bucks,  and probably there are still some in San Francisco even now.

I miss the social part of boarding, talking folks and horses, laughing at bad jokes, riding together.  Of course it is a Lot Cheaper to keep your beasts at home, but a lot more work too.  But the past is past...

I will get C to drive me down to the barn so I can find the things I want to keep, but none as special as this pick.

Thursday, October 17, 2019


I had the vet come and put Maybe down on Tuesday.  I could not get down there, so I watched from the house window.  It was very quick , and C took her to one side of the barn so there were no sight lines to that area.  When Willie went down, it was much closer to the road, but what could we do?  Thus the neighbors had a plain view of the proceedings.  The kids would have been shocked the most,  as they got up to "treat" them all time (against the posted notice to leave the horse alone).

I have had horse(s) since I was twenty-four yrs old.  44 years.  But no more horses anymore.  Big beautiful barn standing empty.  All the horse gear to be passed on to someone else.  There are few things I want to keep, I have one beside me here now.  Picture to follow.  Still have the show saddle to be cleaned and oiled.  This would have been better if N were here, I think, to oversee each step.  Did I do the right thing?

Monday, October 14, 2019


I am fighting off a sore throat and drippy nose, and there is no condition or mending that can be accomplished with Kleenex and throat lozenges.  I can't wait for the aftermath, so I am out of bed now, sniffling and looking forward to being able to get my passwords sorted out.

Beetles, ugh.  I saw one in the bathroom and gritted my teeth and stepped on it.  I have never seen one in the house before, but it looks like one in the Wikipedia for big black bugs.  With the high frequency gadget in there I thought all the bugs would head out away from the source.  Maybe as time goes on they will clear out.

I am finally agreeing that it is time to put Maybe down.  She has steadily gone downhill since her stroke-like episode several  months ago.  The farrier came yesterday and couldn't trim her feet, she can't stand on just three legs, she might well have fallen on him, she is so wobbly.  My usual vet is recuperating from a bad back condition (I have been there too) and the next closest vet is way pushed to do his patients and Jim's as well.  I have the guy with the backhoe and flat bed truck lined up, only have to give him a day before notice and he will come.  This is my last horse, I am getting too old to do this, I can't even manage to get to the barn, because the ground past the yard is so rough with tree roots, etc.  It will be strange to have the nice barn and all the gear, and not have a horse.  I will ask the shoer what he wants of the gear, for a flat price, I think.

I couldn't ride again anyway, my left knee is in bad shape, and mounting and dismounting risks a fall, even a tumble under the horse if my knee gives out.  I never thought my last ride would be the last one, I would have savored it more.  But with all the new homes built past us, 40 at least, and the drivers zoom past, never mind the 20 mph signs,
it is too dangerous to ride.  I wouldn't even let my kids (if mine were young again) out to play in the front yard, it would only take a few seconds to drift into the road.  Ours was supposed to be the last house on the road, but the contractor started a new one before our paint was dry.  I want to move where the road is level, and someone else clears the snow off.

Here is my plan:  buy a big mobile home and have it set up in the best park.  Move in over several days, maybe get a moving company or someone to help with the carrying, clear out everything here that I want, and get an auctioneer to sell the rest.  Then, with the house empty and clean (painted?), put it up for sale.  Use the money from that to pay off the mobile home.  I would use the balance to pay the lot rent,  or put it with the investment guy.  This house is 38 years old and needs some TLC to get it sale ready, and  remodeled bathroom and kitchen will increase the asking price.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Med Tech.

When I was still gainfully employed I could explain (briefly) what I did for a living.  Clinical labs, OK, that's where all those tubes of blood, or samples of urine go to be tested for this or that.  I worked in the blood bank, testing bags of blood to get a "match" for a patient who needed a fill-up.  People have seen that, bags of blood hanging on a long pole, on TV if not in real life.  I worked weekends and holidays, and my 40 hour job too, so sometimes I worked 14 days in a row.  After 5 years I gave up the blood bank job, I was so exhausted, although the extra money was nice.

But my regular job was working as a research tech.  I worked jobs in physiology, biochemistry or pathology, for a wide variety of principal investigators.  The problem was that for most of these jobs I got paid from a grant, mostly NIH money, and most grants are for 3 or 4 years.  Once they run out, the investigator would write a new grant for another 3 or 4 years.  The results in fund-ability depended on a lot of things; cancer was the main project for many years, and now the top priority is Alzheimer research.  But if the grant ended and there was no money from a new grant, then POOF! I looked for another job.  Every 3 years.  It got really tiresome, never knowing if that new car was manageable when my salary was zero, and so forth.  And there was probably a bunch of other techs looking too.  As I got older, it got harder; I was a whole generation older than the investigator, who felt more comfortable being the boss of a young person and not someone the age of their parents.  And I had to take classes to keep up to date as science evolved into new techniques.  The last 3 years were heavenly, I was the lab safety specialist, paid on HARD money (not a grant) and I enjoyed telling investigators how to shape up, preferably before the OSHA inspections.  But once the mortgage was paid, and N was doing all kinds of consultant work at home for nice money on top of his annuity, I knew this was the time to get out.  Plus, they were building hundreds of new labs, and the thought of having to do so many inspections made me tired to think of it.  My replacement was a tech laid off too, and she was a great one for doing that kind of work.  So we overlapped a couple of months, and then I retired with 35 years of work.  My retirement wasn't much, but I had a nice nest egg laid back.

And I still haven't said what I was doing all those years, have I?  Think mice and rats, and sometimes rabbits and goats (YEW) that were studied for results that would occur mainly in people.  Consider radioactive compounds, and infectious techniques.  I worked one whole year on trypanosomes, the organism that causes sleeping sickness.  Fortunately we don't have tsetse flies in our part of the world, will that change as global warming increases?  Dunno.  Not my problem now.

And so went many years' work, many techniques, SOB bosses (we won't go there; karma will do it)  papers and grants, and some really nice co-workers, many passed away now.  I miss them, but not the  lab.

That is all for now, I'm sure everyone is bored by now, and time for me to go to therapy.  Bye!