Thursday, November 09, 2017

Thursday, November 02, 2017

More Bad News

This will be my last post for a while.  Turns out my replacement knee is infected, and tomorrow it comes out.  Then for the next 6 weeks I have daily IV antibiotic.  Then two weeks to see if the infection is gone; THEN another surgery to put a new knee in.  All that 6 week/two week I won't be able to walk/ put weight on the knee which will have a cement spacer during all this.  I cannot use crutches, I have tried in the past, and a walker won't work with no weight bearing.  I think I will be inpatient for this time.  I'll try to catch up if the facility has a router.

I am incredibly mad-sad-pissed-worried-etc.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Not very spooky

In keeping with Halloween, here is my strange-not-spooky tale.  I was working late in the lab when I went down the hall to the vending machines for a Diet Coke.  I put in my change, pressed Diet Coke, and - nothing.  I muttered, and that was my last bit of change, when there was a kerlunk! from the Pepsi machine next to the Coke one, and out dropped a Diet Pepsi.  I looked around for the candid camera, or whatever, but there was no one there anywhere on that floor.  I took the Pepsi, said, "thank you" and went back to the lab.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

So Far to go

The knee specialist told me last week that my knee needs surgery to stabilize my knee cap; but once they see what is going on in there, they may remove the prosthesis entirely and put in another one, of a different type that will be secured to the two parts and be stable.  I won't know what the decision will be until I wake up.  If they have replaced the knee, I will be back at ground zero in terms of therapy, rehab, and exercises.  I am so so sorry I had this done, even though the doctor said after the replacement that the ends of my tibia (?) were becoming green and black as they deteriorated.  The specialist and my original doctor will do the surgery together.  They blame my fall at home for the poor progress.  Who would have thought a simple fall onto 3 inches of carpet and padding would be so dire?

Do you recognize this?

When I was married (at the ripe old age of 19) we didn't have enough money to "make a bean sandwich for a piss ant" as my mother-in-law once said.  So for a cheap evening, we went to a drive-in theater that was showing a marathon of spaghetti westerns by Clint Eastwood.  They were, "A Fistful of dollars", "A few dollars more" and "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly".  They were called 'spaghetti'  because they were filmed in Spain (and not Italy as often said), and I crashed after the second one.   It wasn't until many years later that I saw the ending of the one I missed.  I think Clint made a princely sum of $15,000 for the first one, his first as the starring actor.

Once we had kids, movies were off the table, between admission prices, babysitters, snacks, dinner at a diner.  Of course now when I could go to any movie at all, there isn't much to watch.  The last movie I saw in the theater was "Avatar" and the 3-D effect left me with an excruciating headache.  And all the scenes where the perspective is a fall down for a long distance triggered my fear of heights.  All in all, not a 5 plus experience.

This an oldie but one of my favorites from Bloom  County.  No more Hare Krishnas in airports now, and no Bloom County either.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Here is my beautiful Poco palomino from a long long long time ago.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017


I got all showered and made up, and then my stupid knee started failing every stride, so I didn't get to go to my appt. with the financial guy.  Bummer!  As we used to say.  I spoke to the doctor - an actual doctor on the phone! and he is setting up an appointment with a knee specialist "this week".  His final admonishment was "don't fall" so I guess I had better be extra careful at least until I see the specialist.  I just hope there is a solution outside of more surgery.

The horse continues to show signs of a stroke, but she doesn't seem to be in pain or distress.  She still nickers at us, but no whiney with her tongue poking out of her mouth.  She can't  crib either, and has substituted flapping her tongue up and down.  Weird horse.  At least she can't scream at what she thinks is another horse when all she is hearing is kids with high voices yelling.

I am afraid we have a skunk visiting in the garage, this after trapping and releasing 3 possums.  You know what a skunk will do after the door slams shut.  And as soon as you pick up the crate again.  Please don't be a skunk, even a coon is OK.

When we lived in San Francisco, I boarded my palomino horse in Golden Gate Park, and my stall was one under the bleachers that faced the polo field.  From inside his stall I could see a triangular space way up high, and there was a family of coons that lived up there.  There were two ways to get out, one was to go down to the last stall and down the wall, and other was to plummet onto my horse as he stood there peacefully dosing. He did not appreciate them at all.  Finally I camped out and waited until the family exited for the night, and then I stuffed the opening and nesting site with chicken wire.  Nasty job.  I thought coons were cleanly animals, they even wash their food, but take it from me, their nests are filthy.  I wore a surgical mask and long gloves and a tyvex overall, gross.  And while I was at it, I stuffed chicken wire above the wall between my stall and the next to stop the pigeons from perching there and crapping all over the horses.  My horse wore a blanket to keep him clean, but it didn't cover his neck, so, ick.  A Palomino, if you don't know, is golden with white mane and tail, so dirt shows up really well.  I used to shampoo his mane and blow-dry it afterwards, I was in a bunch of photos I guess, with all the tourists strolling through.  Gosh I miss that horse,  had him shipped from SF to WV when we moved, and he lived until he was 22.  I wonder if the polo field and the stable are still there, it has been 38 years.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


I went to see the ortho doctor yesterday, and it was discouraging.  He moved my poor knee through all the various movements, and shook his head and said it is definitely a very loose kneecap.  He said, "I know you don't want to do surgery again."  So he fixed me up with a knee brace, called a J-brace, and said to come back in 4 weeks.  My knee now is *very* loose and I don't know if it is from the exam or a by-symptom of the new brace.  It has even "popped" while I was wearing the brace.  I am thoroughly discouraged.  And I am sure no one wants to hear any more about it.

When I cleared up all the papers and such from my parent's home, I just glanced through them all as I filled black trash bags to be sorted later.  When that time came, I was appalled at the minutiae in them.  There was a receipt for a 25 cent spring for a 42 Packard, as an example.  They also saved all of my report cards and those of my sister too.  I had never seen hers, so I was amazed when I looked through them and realized that she *never* passed a single subject.  They were all Fs.  All of them.  And yet she was promoted to the next grade.  I studied hard and was discouraged when I got a "B", so I guess my parents kept her cards confidential so she wouldn't be jealous of my good grades.  Anyway, by the time she moved here, she couldn't read or write, but boy she knew how to spend.  She begged money from our parents (who were not well off) every month, but she had nothing to show for it, not furniture, dishes, clothes, collectibles, what she spent all that money on I have no clue even now.  Drugs?  Booze?  Gambling?  It is 13 years since she passed away, and I still don't know.  My parents died two and five years before she died, in credit card debt as far as they could be.  Both were in a nursing home, Mom for 4 weeks and Dad for 3 years, and never got to be financially secure in all those or previous years.  She didn't visit them either, I think she moved on to her church for money, more fools they.  My folks even had triple mortgages on their home, which I only found out once I was their executrix.  There was no love lost between my sister and me;  and in fact I had no contact with her the last two years before she died (as the result of a fall on an icy sidewalk).  I know at her funeral we were treated as the pariah by the church members but not by the pastor, who knew her manipulative ways and told the others, in the nicest way, at her funeral, bless his heart.

Water and Bridges.

I think it is time for a wee nap, once I struggle into bed.  The kids just got back from the grocery store and brought home some white chocolate macadamia cookies, yum.  Maybe after dinner...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Days Gone

We had KFC for dinner the other night, and it has changed.  I don't know if the whole franchise has changed recipes or if our local Kentucky Fried Chicken has gotten poor.  But the chicken was greasy (nothing new there) soggy (yuck) and tasted completely different.  We don't get fast food very often, but I think that will be our last purchase from there for the foreseeable future.  Fried chicken is not rocket science.

I am getting an error code from blogger, I think the internet here is down.  I am not about to write a long post and then have it lost, so I will wait a bit and see if it comes up.

When I was a kid, eating out anywhere was a real rare treat.  We went to BarBQue barn, or Pizza Hut, or really rarely to the local steak place.  My dad was agreeable for any food, except for steak.  We never fixed it at home, and I would be horribly embarrassed when he ordered steak.  He wanted his steak Well Done, no pink whatsoever, and would send it back multiple times before he got his shoe-leather steak done  the way he liked it.  The other thing was, his criteria for a good restaurant was how much butter they gave you for the bread.  If it was a big lump, and no steak, he was content.  At least in Miami back in the 50s there was not much of a possibility you would see someone you knew while you were eating, or even if you were shopping at one of the big box stores.  The exception for my family was Sears.  Mom and I and my sister went to Sears one night and she ordered chain link fence to be installed in the back yard, and it was on her Sears credit card.  When the sales lady called for approval, it was declined.  I'm not sure why, but at any rate, the lady called a supervisor to see if he would approve the sale.  Much to Mom's dismay, the supervisor was Mr Marks, who lived across the street from us, with two daughters my age that I played with.  She was nearly in tears (and my mom NEVER cried) but he didn't say anything, just signed the approval and disappeared.  I don't think we ever charged anything anywhere after that.  At least until my married sister cried for money, month after month, and they tapped out their credit cards, but that is another story.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


I was walking with my cane in the kitchen, and Blam! my knee gave out and away I went.  The only reason I didn't hit the floor is that I grabbed the freezer.  I hate this; what if it gave out as I came up the stairs?  I want my walker at hand, so I can have at least a chance of catching myself.  We are going to try a neoprene brace (the kind they sell at the drug store) and see if it stabilizes my knee.  I am so sick of all this; I thought I was improving with my cane, getting close to walking free of pain and weakness.  Damn.  Surgeon next week.

I have been getting a box every month from Birchbox, cosmetics, a mix of skin care and makeup.  I just love to get my box, play around with everything.  I also get a box from Cosmetique, not as nice as the Birchbox.  I may cancel it, I'll give it another month to see if it improves.  Many years ago I was getting things from them (we're talking 15 or more years) and can you believe it, the palette of  eye shadow was exactly the same?  I know because I went through all my drawers a few weeks ago, and there it was, untouched.  I hope it was a one-off thing.

I  called a lawn management co.  that has been treating our lawn for years.  The thing is, the lawn springs out of the ground from all the treatment, and C can't keep up with the mowing.  So I asked them to drop the treatment and come mow/trim the lawn.  C says he can do it, but he already has so much to do, between cooking, cleaning, taking care of the horse and cats/boxes, laundry, driving me to my appointments, collecting my scripts, if you can think of anything else he does it.  So I will see how the lawn mowing goes, and how much it costs, to decide.

It is nearing 5 am so I will end this pity party and go back to bed.  And here is hoping Irma didn't hurt anyone, and that the damage to home and work can be quickly repaired.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

It's smee!

Well OK, just this time I will post a very recent photo, taken Sept. 5th.  And an amusing cartoon, too.

Bye for now...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Is this OK?

I have been sitting in my new chair and propping my operated-on leg up to help reduce the swelling and the improve the blue tinge in my foot.  Last night I was up in the small hours and my knee did its agony when I tweaked it the wrong way, no fun.  It has been weeks since the original surgery to replace my knee with a prosthetic one.  My message is, unless you are dragging your leg up the stairs, don't do it.  I am so sorry I did.

I am afraid to come down the stairs, afraid of falling again.  I fell a few years ago on the lower set and broke a rib, and on the upper set of stairs I fell and broke my ankle, so fear is an understandable result now.  What if my knee chooses that time to give out?

Monday I was off on a safari to walmart; I didn't plan to get out, just go for the ride.  As we began to get in the car, Maybe (horse) nickered at us from the water trough, and something didn't sound right.  To make a long story shorter, she had had a stroke, and what I saw was her tongue hanging out of the right side of her mouth.  She had the symptoms all on the right side of her head;  ear, eye, pupil,  posture, the whole set of symptoms.  We went to walmart just to get what we needed and then call the vet when we got home, but who did we run into at walmart but the vet.  I think you can find anyone at walmart if you hang around long enough!  Her prognosis won't be known for a week or so; better or worse.  C brought her into the barn so the vet could examine her, but when C tried to halter her yesterday, she did the "I'll kick you!" message, and so she didn't get her shot.  She is on bute twice a day mixed in her grain, we shall see how it goes.  She is 25.  Aren't we having a good time in the last 18 months?

The home health nurse just left this morning, she will be coming weekly until Oct, this in addition to the physical therapist who comes twice a week.  After that, once a week for him as well.  If I could just conquer my fear...

 So far no new visits from possums, the have-a-heart trap works great, and baited with peanut butter it doesn't attract the cats.  So grateful not to have skunks or porcupines, touch wood.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Post doctor post

I'm back from going to see the ortho doctor, for him to see the progress on my replacement knee.  It has come along quite nicely since the revision surgery on July 12th, and the exercises have contributed to that as well.  It was great to be outside, this boxy bedroom may be large, but after weeks in here I am ready for a road trip.  Not that it will happen... I didn't need the wheelchair, only the walker, and Dr. P was amused by my hand foam padding, "handeze", that has soothed the calluses on my palm.  Earlier this week C came home from a Walmart run with a quad cane, I had practiced with one in the rehab hospital.  This room has 3 inches of carpet plus padding and is not the best place to use a cane, it wiggles around so much.  But I will see.  The therapist will come tomorrow and I am sure he will want me to work on stairs.  Shudder.  I have a very great fear of falling, with good reason.  On the other hand, I don't want to write off half of the house because 13 steps can't be done.

I keep getting messages from Yahoo that I cannot sign in with an unsecured address.  I haven't tried to sign in anywhere unusual, but I changed my password.  I didn't write it down and now I am stuck using a mystery password.  Hopefully it won't matter.

I got a note from H yesterday, it was brief but at least I heard from her.  She didn't follow up on any of the things I put in my last message which wasn't brief, so I don't know if she got it after all.  I think our friendship is slowly sinking.  She moved away 4 years ago, and tho she regularly travels to see her grandson and therefore passes right through this area, she never stops.  I even used bribery, that I would gift her my golf clubs which I only used once, but that didn't work either.  She has a huge number of friends, while I have many many less (like 3), and it would be hard for her to understand the isolation that causes.  Then there is this damned knee surgery, but we won't go there.  Anyway, sadly, it is probably past time to move on.

I want very much to get my nails done, but logistics interfere, and so I have bare nails for the first time in a very long time.  They look peculiar short and without polish, but it won't hurt to let them grow and get smooth again.  Gel nails are really strong and absolutely do not pop off, stronger than my natural nail which means they must be soaked in acetone to remove them.  Mine are all gone because my nail outgrew the gel tip, a matter of several weeks.  We women are such slaves to our appearance  ;-)

Speaking of appearance, I have been getting some cosmetics through eBay and thru subscription sites, a new wrinkle for me.  I enjoy fooling around with makeup, tho I usually don't use it day to day, once I retired and didn't need to impress anybody.  I struggle just to keep showered and my hair colored.  Speaking of which I need to get it colored now, if I can maneuver in and out of those chairs.

The eclipse was a non-event for me; I slept through the whole thing I am embarrassed to admit.  C said it didn't get any darker than a dusky-like time, although the darkness confused the crickets and began to chirp.  Someone had a really neat solution to looking at the sun, they just used a colander and moved it up and down to focus the image on the ground, a whole lot easier than making a pin-hole camera, but a similar method.  The photos I have seen on line show the sun very plainly, but no solar flares off the corona, probably only scientists are interested in that detail.  Or maybe I am surfing too widely to find the right images.  Anyway, another eclipse is due in 6 years which will pass directly over here, I must try to time my nap better.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


The only reason I know what day of the week is the local newspaper, C puts it on my breakfast tray.  Even so I get off-track about appointments, what day they are scheduled and where they are.  I see the surgeon doctor on Thursday this week, and I hope he has an uplifting explanation on the reason for the exquisitely painful thing that makes me want to go back to bed and never emerge.  I don't trust my knee, I don't see how I can give up my walker when it will hold me up until the pain dissipates.

Enough about poor-me problems.

I really really want to hear from H, I am desperate for someone outside of  the house (and my therapists) to help me focus on everyday things that have nothing to do with knees.  I know she is very busy with her job, and most likely writing a note to me feels like another hurdle to face.  She has been a friend for a long long time, first as a therapist and then as a friend, and she knows me like no one else in my life.  I am afraid if I seem to be nagging, etc., she will give me a pleasant goodbye.  My other close friend is my nail lady, and as I mentioned before I can't get in her house to get my nails done, with the walker.  If I could just convince myself that a walker isn't necessary now.

Whoops, there is that knee thing again.

I have a chip in my front tooth, a souvenir from my surgery, but the dentist's office is small and crowded.  C has a dentist appointment tomorrow, so he can scope out the in/out of going there for me.  
I hate going to the dentist, but now it fells like a safari expedition.  The chip isn't that worrisome, it is one on the back side of the tooth.  This is the second time I have gotten a chip from anesthesia, don't you think the surgical people could guard against this?  Maybe they do, and I just don't know.

The cats are still trying to get in this bedroom every time the door is open/closed.  We now have a squirt bottle with water that can be used to back them off for a few moments, in theory.  There is so much stuff heaped in here to make room for me and my walker, there are dozens of hiding places for a cat.  They eventually do come out to be scooped and expelled, so it doesn't seem like there is much incentive to sprint in here.  "Other side of the door" syndrome it seems.  I go out in the hallway to sit on the bench there and give them all scratches and belly rubs.

I am enjoying my cross stitch projects, there are two currently being worked on, I switch back and forth when I get bored with one.  Of the "Kitty Trio" one I have finished one cat and begun the second one.  The first one was a black and white, and the second cat is a tabby, much more difficult to do, changing colors every few stitches.  The second project is a sampler for 45 years of marriage, and it is bigger but much simpler in design.  I have tentatively lined up another pair of projects, but I won't begin them until these are done, or nearly so.  Then I will need to gently wash and press the finished item and take it to Hobby Lobby or A.C. Moore to be framed, big $ I am afraid, I am very particular in selecting mats, glass, frame and it all adds up.  And last of all I need to figure out where to hang them, not enough blank walls to go around!

The mess in Va. is weighing on my heart, I am surprised at the number of protesters and counter-protesters involved, and the hate-filled white supremacists who think these violent confrontations are part of "free speech".  Clearly they are delusional, and slept through history class, if they think Hitler is a model for anyone at any time.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

all things considered

I have had a rough couple of days.  It is especially painful when things have been sliding along so well, but Monday around 5:30 am I started to swing my legs back onto the bed when my knee seized up and I felt the most excruciating pain.  I put my leg back on the floor, and after I cried for a while, I called C to help me back into bed.  Today my knee still is stabbing me when I make an incautious move.  The therapist came yesterday and said there is nothing wrong with my knee, it was just one of those nerves getting pinched.  I am not trusting my knee now, especially for tricky moves like in and out of the shower.  The pain was an easy 10, then.  I am so sorry I have gotten this replacement done, my knee would have given me another year or more before becoming critical.

This computer, the Mac Air, is getting wonky as I write this, I hope there is nothing really wrong with it, just one of those "nerves"  getting "pinched" there too.  I would hate to have to send this for repair.

We will be getting hay delivered next week, 150 bales.  It seems like a lot of hay for one horse, probably will last until the last of the year.  The farrier comes on Friday to do the trimming of her hooves, and we will be set for another 8 weeks of that.  The vet came while I was in the hospital and trimmed the growth on her right ear, it was a bloody mess, but we are trying to keep it from occluding her ear canal and setting up the condition for an ear infection.   She is not calm enough for routine treatment with an antibacterial dressing.  I hope she doesn't go rapidly with this condition, as it is, the vet fee is $300 for  him to come out and excise it.  And it makes her rub and scratch at it on the posts, opening it up again.  I am starting to think of putting her down.  C has suggested giving her to the
shoer, but I don't  think it is a good idea for her; she has never been  turned out with other horses, she has been stall-kept when necessary (weather), and at 25 is too old to breed, etc., or to change her ways.  I will have to make a decision soon.  I had to put her mother (dam) down several years ago, she had damaged (broken?) her right hind and after weeks of treatment could no longer stand or walk.  I found her brother laying in the field, dead, causes unknown.  So much for drifting into an eternal rest.

The last year and a half have been one loss after another, starting with the death of my husband, and I am afraid it will continue with the death of this last horse, having taken the dogs too.  Several of our cats are aging a lot too.  If I can get a good shot at the damned possum in the garage that will be one loss I won't mourn.  Filthy animals.  Maybe a have-a-heart trap is the answer, bait it with peanut butter so the cats aren't trapped by accident.  Amazon to the rescue.  Update:  The trap did the trick and we released him waaaay out in the woods. Update to update: we caught another possum the following night, and saw a third one that is very large; May have a coon too, since we find cat food in the water bowl, where coons like to "wash" their food.  We are setting the trap every night; there has been rabies found in the area...

Saturday, August 12, 2017


This MacBook Air is starting to request sign in for every app.  In return, I have written  all the passwords down; it is a nuisance.  Hope it is just a transient problem.

C killed a millipede last evening, it is so icky.  I don't care that they eat other bugs, it is just too gross looking.  The thought of having one ON me is too creepy, I would have to take a shower then and there, and hope the single one is all there is.

My knee is doing pretty good, all thing considered.  The therapist (s) are coming 2 or 3 times a week, and I have been faithfully doing the exercises that they recommend, they are all OK except for the "sitting push up" ( rising out of a chair half-way and then sitting down again for the next one),  that one really hurts.  That, and the one where I prop my heel on a cushion, and let gravity pull the knee straight.  I have to lift my leg off the cushion when I do 10 minutes of this.  I hope I will be able to whip through the exercises soon, without breaks.  As it is, it takes me 30 - 40 minutes to do these.  So much fun.

I have all of my nails short, and the nail lady who does them is unavailable, as I would have to walk across her lawn, And then maneuver inside the tiny house to get to the little corner where her nail stuff is located.  She has offered to come here, but for now I will just wait and see how compromised my walking is.   It looks weird to see my nails au natural , I have kept them done for around 15 years, maybe more.  I am one of a handful that she still has, after closing her shop 2 years ago.  Maybe I will give them up altogether, we shall see.

This is really boring, all this minutia of my life, and it is 4:30 in the morning so I will quit for now.  Ciao.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Knee deep

Well, OK, I missed the last week of June and all of July, and the first week of August.  I had knee surgery on June 26th and It Did Not Go Well.  I fell and split the incision open, and had to have revision surgery, and 4 weeks in a rehab hospital.  Now I use a walker and a wheelchair for the foreseeable future, and I am upbeat about being home and being able to use the internet.  Of course there are those pesky bills, but I am sure all will be OK in that department soon.

Right now I can't do stairs, so I am restricted to the bottom floor, where my bedroom, bathroom, and computer room are located.  Outside of the kitchen I can't think of anything I need upstairs for now.  I am a little cabin feverish but being at home is so great I am not looking for any expeditions that might cause me to fall.  There are home health therapists scheduled for home visits too.  I am not permanently restricted, just until all is done healing.

Our cats are feverishly trying to get here in the bedroom, but they are not allowed in, I cannot put away non-cat safe items (like Yarn) so they must settle for peeks through the door.  Except for Beans, who has a magic ability to materialize between your feet when she even thinks the door will open, It is a little spooky, but she is promptly returned outside the door.  I am very pleased at how much cleaner the room is without cats, barring the post-fall stains on the brand new carpeted floor which are really hard to remove.  A small price to pay.

Since C is home full-time I can call him if I need any help, I just call him on his cell phone.  R is helping me with showers in the morning and on weekends, which was the main drawback in the hospital.  I feel that I have been incredibly lucky in the long run.

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.


Saturday, June 17, 2017


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?


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.



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.


Tuesday, June 06, 2017


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. 


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


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:


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 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. 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


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.


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


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: