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Welcome! I am glad you are here. Join me with a cup of your favorite beverage and see what is going on in my life and what is on my mind. I would love to have you join my site and you can do that on the left side where it says 'followers'. And please leave a comment! Thanks for visiting.

Monday, September 25, 2017

WHAT'S A MURGATROYD?

I received this in an email recently so I can't take credit for it, and I have no idea who the author is. I found it interesting and so very true. Language keeps evolving. I don't care much for some of the phrases  the younger people say, like cray-cray, bae, and as I discussed in another post - yahyahyah. I know there are more but my mind is blank at the moment. Enjoy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
                         
                            Would you believe my spell checker did not recognize the word “murgatroyd?”
                           
                            Lost Words from our childhood:  Words gone as fast as the buggy whip!  Sad; really!
                           
                            The other day a not so elderly (70ish) lady said something to her son about driving a jalopy and he looked at her quizzically and said "What the heck is a jalopy?”   Oh, oh a new phrase!  He had never heard of the word jalopy!!
                            She knew she was old but not that old.
                           
                            Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.
                           
                            About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology.  These phrases included  "Don't touch that dial, Carbon copy, You sound like a broken record" and "Hung out to dry."
                           
                            Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie.  We'd put on our best bib and tucker to straighten up and fly right.  Heavens to Betsy!  Gee whillikers!  Jumping Jehoshaphat!

                            Holy moley! We were in like Flynn (before Michael Thomas “Mike” Flynn of course!) and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn't accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill.  Not for all the tea in China!
                           
                            Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when's the last time anything was swell?  Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys, the D.A. and of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers.  Oh, my aching back.  Kilroy was here, but he isn't anymore.
                           
                            We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, well I'll be a monkey's uncle, or this is a fine kettle of fish, we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed common as rain, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues, our pens and now our keyboards.
                            Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we've left behind.  We blink, and they're gone.  Where have all those phrases gone?
                           
                            Long gone:  Pshaw, The milkman did it. Hey! It's your nickel. Don't forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper.  Well, Fiddlesticks!  Going like sixty.  I'll see you in the funny papers. Don't take any wooden nickels.
                            It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff!  If only we could dial an Operator for assistance?
                           
                            We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeable times.  For a child, each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age.  We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist, and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory.  It's one of the greatest advantages of aging.
                           
                            Unless you live in Oregon or Massachusetts, you probably don’t know what a gas station attendant does.  Don’t bother looking for the janitor in a school or a stewardess on an airplane either, they’ve been replaced by maintenance engineers and flight attendants.  Stewardesses used to serve meals and drinks on flights, after the ‘No Smoking’ light was turned off.  Oh my gosh, people smoked cigarettes on airplanes???
                           
                            Secretaries have been replaced by administrative assistants, nurses have become health care providers and mechanics have become automotive technicians.  Most people under 30 years of age today would be just as confused by the sight of a clutch in a car, as they would be by seeing a typewriter on a desk, not to mention listening to a record player.
                            It’s a changing world for sure.  See ya later, alligator!  After while crocodile!
                           
                            Yep, In a short time we will be no more!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

"DISH" IT OUT

This pretty little amber dish is one that my mother always used to serve pickles in. Home canned, of course! I always loved her bread and butter pickles.






I put the pencil in the picture to give a better idea what the size of the dish is. I had a hard time trying to get a picture to show the raised design all over the dish.



As far as I can see, this dish is still in perfect shape. I think it must be at least 75 years old, and maybe older, since I remember it always being there.  I wish I had a nice china cabinet to show off what old dishes I have. It isn't very many, but I also have quite a bit of crystal dishes, vases, and candle holders that I have received as gifts over the years. I don't make an effort to collect anything so my collections aren't big, but most have a memory attached to them.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

MORE AND MORE BUTTERFLIES

Yes, there are more butterflies on the bush today. There are also many more honeybees, but so far I have only seen one bumblebee. I don't like to get around bumblebees as they can sting more than once, where honeybees are once and done. However, bumblebees are prettier.

Today the butterflies were opening their wings in a different direction and I could see them from the top to get a better look at their design, and they are definitely Painted Ladies. I am afraid the butterflies don't show up as well in the pictures as they did looking out the window. I have looked up many birds to identify them, but this is the first time I tried identifying butterflies.





I think this will be the end of the butterfly posts unless the bush becomes totally covered with them.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

MORE BUTTERFLIES

On Labor Day I looked out my window at the butterfly bush and noticed several more butterflies than the day before, so here are a few more pictures. I did some research to find out what kind these are. They are Painted Lady! I think that is the prettiest name of all that I looked at. I'm not sure if you can see them very well, but I tried.





Friday, September 1, 2017

FAITH FRIDAY THOUGHTS


I made changes on this blog's "Faith" page today. As I was listing the links on the page I found it interesting to see what I wrote in the past, and what caught my attention at the time I wrote. Sometimes I am amazed at myself on the things I said. I can only say that I must have been directed by the Spirit in finding the things I did, and the thoughts I had when I wrote them. I am often enlightened with things I read, and by posting them here, I hope you are enlightened too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

BUTTERFLIES

I just discovered that I have a butterfly bush right outside my window! I don't have a tree by a window like I did at the other house so have not been able to watch the birds and I miss that.


The flowers have just started to open and the butterflies, honeybees and a bumblebee or two showed up.
I am not too happy to have the bees right next to the front door, but it is nice that I can sit in my chair and watch them come and go. I have seen up to 8 of the orange and black butterflies at one time. There are a couple of much smaller yellow butterflies, too. The bees are constantly coming and going, so far only one or two of each at a time.


The quality of the pictures isn't so great since I took them from inside the house, through the fine mesh screen and I haven't installed the photo editing software on this laptop. I found out I can download the pictures directly from the camera to the computer without the software, but have not found a way to edit without the software as yet. I thought if I opened the door to take a picture the butterflies would leave.

I have not taken the time to find out what kind of plant this is. Do you know?

The complex owners had 3 flowering perennial plants in front of each unit, each one different. When they had to reseed the lawn after having rain wash it out a few times last summer, a lot of the grass seed ended up in the flower bed, so they had to spray weed/grass killer in the area in early summer this year. I think one of the plants got a little of the spray, or had some winter kill as it has not done very well this summer. I see the flowers at the other units are fine. I hope they replace it if it does not do well next spring. Plus they have not removed the dead grass so it doesn't look very nice out there, but at least the flowers are  blooming and making it look a little better.

Friday, August 25, 2017

FAITH FRIDAY -- ITS THAT TIME AGAIN




It is time to start working on Bible study for our Friday morning class. We always take the summer off because of vacation schedules, and because we really do need a break.

We will start again some time after Labor Day weekend so it is time for this 'teacher' to get the first lesson ready. I have worked on it for two afternoons this week and still don't have the first lesson finished.

We have been doing a study of the book of Daniel, and finished chapter 6 before our break. Chapter 7 starts to be more difficult to understand because of all the prophetic visions that are in 'code'. Say some prayers for me!

In chapter 6 we find the story of Daniel in the lion's den. This may be familiar to many of you from Sunday School lessons. Recently I ran across a short devotion about this, written by Jennifer Benson Schuldt. At the bottom of the page she writes:

FAITHFULNESS TO GOD INSPIRES OTHERS.

May Daniel's faithfulness inspire you when you feel like you are dealing with the 'lions' in your life.

LIVING WITH LIONS

Read Daniel 6:19-28.

When I visited a museum in Chicago, I saw one of the original Striding Lions of Babylon. It was a large mural-type image of a winged lion with a ferocious expression. Symbolizing Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love and war, the lion was an example of 120 similar lions that would have lined a Babylonian pathway during the years of 605-562 BC.

Historians say that after the Babylonians defeated Jerusalem, the Hebrew captives would have seen these lions during their time in Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. Historians also say it's likely that some of the Israelites would have believed Ishtar had defeated the God of Israel.

Daniel, one of the Hebrew captives, did not share the doubts that might have troubled some of his fellow Israelites. His view of God and his commitment to God stayed steady. He prayed three times a day -- with his windows open -- even when he knew it would mean entering a den of lions. After God rescued Daniel from the hungry animals, King Darius said, "[Daniel's God] is the living God and he endures forever. . . He rescues and he saves"  (Dan. 6:26-27). Daniel's faithfulness allowed him to influence Babylonian leaders.

Staying faithful to God despite pressure and discouragement can inspire other people to give Him glory.


It seems what you see in these pictures are the ones found in Babylon, and were seen by everyone that passed by, including Daniel. I had not heard about these before reading this devotion, so I did a search to find a picture. There is more information about them online if you would like to do a search.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

CALM THE STORM

When I get around to reading other blogs I will read Living Well/Spending Less by Ruth Soukup. She recently posted something that gave me pause to think. She credits the following to Timber Hawkeye.

You can't calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.
She also added this statement. "Sometimes the only thing we can change is ourselves." You have most likely heard this one many times and it is so true. I do think we can sometimes change others by changing ourselves. What do you think? But the changing of ourselves is the objective, not changing someone else.

Upon reading the statement that you can't calm the storm again, I was reminded of the storm while Jesus and his disciples were on a boat. Only Jesus can calm the storm. So give over to Jesus any storms you may have in your life.

Friday, August 11, 2017

AWESOME

Earlier this week I had another post-op eye check. Still great news! My vision is still 20/20 in both eyes and the eye pressures are down to 10. It used to always be around 16 even with using eye drops every night, and even after having the glaucoma procedure. My doctor is very happy and said so several times. Maybe I am her star patient? I know I am well pleased so far. Time will tell how long the vision will stay this way but I am sure going to enjoy it while I can.

I worked a little bit on genealogy again this week. It has been at least 2 years since I did much with it and notes I had scribbled never did get organized. Whenever I found some information I would scribble on small pieces of paper that piled up. Using Word I started a folder for genealogy and have made pages for each person and add the notes to the right person as I go through them. That should give me a better picture of these people's lives, and I will have the information handy when I need it instead of searching through all the scribbled (sometimes unreadable) notes. Unfortunately, when I started working on genealogy I did not record where I found the information. I have since learned it is very important to do that. I think most of the genealogy websites will often have pictures of the original documents and I have downloaded those and printed them to put in the family binders. I have found that even documents don't always have the correct information for several reasons. I hope my kids and grandkids appreciate all the information on their ancestors some day. I would still like to find more information of the ancestors in Germany before the first one in the family immigrated to America. Unfortunately, many records were destroyed during and after the wars.

We are getting some very heavy rain as I write this. We really need it, too. I know some areas of the country have had way too much rain this year, but in my little corner of the world we have come up short in the rain department. I know farmers will be smiling wide today. Crops were beginning to show stress from lack of water.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

PET PEEVES


No, not this kind of pet. 

My pet peeves have changed over the years, maybe because I have more patience now that I am older. I do have a few currently, however.

I hear so many people, especially celebrities being interviewed on TV. If you do this, please do not be offended. When I hear someone say, 'yahyahyah' when answering a question or replying to what someone else has said, it grates on me like fingers on a blackboard! One 'yah' is enough. In fact, in interviews I would rather hear 'yes'. I do say yah a lot myself because I am lazy, and it is so common. But only one at a time! My husband would tell me there is no such word as yah as he did not seem to like it when I said it. But. . . . in German, Dutch and Norwegian languages, and maybe more, yah or jah is the correct word for yes. He was Dutch and spoke some Dutch, so I don't know why he didn't like to hear it from me. I guess that was his pet peeve.

When my youngest daughter was here the last time, I heard her say yahyahyah severel times as well and I did call her on it in a joking manner, and I told her the reason it bothers me. Of course she said she does that to show her excitement about something. Is this the verbal use of more than one explanation mark? It seems so!!!! 😀

More language that bothers me and I hear from my older daughter is 'and whatnot'. Also grating to my ears. It seems to be used quite often by a lot of people, including celebrities.

One more. I heard the current Bachelorette say this so often during the show and she is not the only one with this habit either. Saying 'I mean' in every other phrase, even when not explaining anything previously stated, is such a bad habit.

Do these phrases bother anyone else?

Do young people even know what fingers on a blackboard means? It seems blackboards have gone out of style in schools. Now they use whiteboards and markers and they all use laptops for everything. One advantage of no blackboards and chalk is that the erasers don't have to be banged together to get rid of the chalk dust. When I was in grade school it was a privilege to be chosen to take the erasers outside to clean them at the end of the school day.

I am also peeved with drivers that pass me in no-pass zones, even when I am going the speed limit, actually 5 mph over speed limit as most people do since they won't issue tickets for that. They are not only risking having a head-on collision, but that will involve me as well. I do not appreciate being put in danger of my life or limb because of their stupidity and lack of patience! People often also pass me just before they make a right turn off the highway, making me brake and take the cruise control off. And if they don't turn off I will pull up right behind them at the next stop sign or stop light. So we both got to the same point at the same time and passing me did not accomplish anything other than irritate me.

I think I am done ranting for today. Thanks for letting me get this off of my chest.

ATTEMPTS

I am still very slowly trying to get some arranging done in this apartment. Looking things over I came up with this one. The wood box, crystal bowl, doll and lamp were already on the chest, but the box was closed and the bowl empty. The wood box was a rummage sale find years ago. It looks like it might have been homemade.

As I was rutting around in a drawer of a different chest I ran across several doilies I had made over the years and totally forgot about. Two went on top of the headboard, and decided another one would look nice displayed as I did here.


Then I opened the drawer just below the top of this chest and saw the white pillow I had made. It could be used for a wedding ring pillow but that was not the original intent when I made it. I learned how to make these pillows in a class, but they were made with calico prints, which are really nice too. I just happened to have some of this satin in a fabric drawer, as well as the wide lace, so my mind started working and came up with this pillow.


The little beanie bear had been on a small shelf of the hutch top dresser for a long time. I thought it fit in the box too. The rag mop doll in the bowl was also on the dresser and thought she needed a new home. Those rag mop dolls were really popular a long time ago and crafters would make them from the larger real rag mops, but I never got into that. This one was also a gift.

The little standing doll with the straw hat is one I made. It is a room deodorizer cover. I can't think of the brand. Is it Renuzit? The doll is glued to the top of the container and just need to replace the bottom when the gel is used up. Right now she is sitting empty as I forget to buy a replacement.

I bought the lamp shade at a rummage sale. Someone had made it and it has designs cut into it the red layer of paper. There is white paper under the red.

I am not quite satisfied with the arrangement yet, but need to think about it some more, or find something else that is still in the closet.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

TURNING A LEMON INTO LEMONADE





 This is the result of a tense day that I blogged about on May 4, 2017, title "A Tense Day" if you would like to go back and read it.

The tense day was the day my apartment had a safety inspection that is done once a year. My bed is in front of the only window in the bedroom as that is the only way we could make it all fit. The headboard was too high as at least one window in each bedroom can't be blocked by any furniture, 

 
and this bookcase headboard is too high.

The hallway is the only place I had room to put it. I thought I might have to sell it but decided it works well in the hall! Thankfully the hall is very wide and there was just enough room between the doors to put it.
The doors on the front, below the book shelf, drop down. I have always stored my extra sheets and blankets there, and now I can keep them there and not try to find another space for them. The same for the books. I don't have room on my other book shelves for more books so this works out well, too.



The framed pictures on the wall are my mom's baptism and confirmation certificates. They really made them BIG and elaborate in the early 1900's! The black box, which I featured in this blog here works nice here along with the doilies I ran across in a drawer that I had forgotten I had. The white ceramic is a tea light holder and has small holes in the design so the light comes through.

This may not be the prettiest arrangement. It came about in an odd way. A couple of years ago I was decluttering a closet that had craft supplies, including things needed for floral arranging along with leftover flowers from other projects that were just thrown into a big box with other stuff, or in plastic shopping bags. Very disorganized, to say the least! As I picked out the flowers I started putting them in the vase that was handy, just sticking them in without thinking about an arrangement. It was just a good place to hold them while I was sorting everything. When I got done, this is what it looked like and I decided it looked pretty good so just left it. And here it is to this day. And because I had to remove the headboard from the bed, I now have a place to display it again.

Now I have to decide what to put on the same shelf as the books. I need to dig around in the packed spare closet and see what might work, or take something that is displayed somewhere else and not working there.

Anyway, a big problem turned out making a very dull hallway look much nicer, I think. A rather tasty lemonade.

Monday, August 7, 2017

A LITTLE BIT OF SUMMER

This picture doesn't do this arrangement justice. It is something I put together many, many years ago, when I was working in the Ben Franklin store. The boss had a lady come in and show us how to do floral arrangements and this seemed to be her favorite style of arranging. I try to display this every summer. Oh. I just remembered that I always set a large conch shell next to it! I better see if I can find it in my totally cluttered spare closet. The shell has some of the same color as the flowers in the basket.

This is the way I have it displayed for now. When my husband was still living he had a square glass coffee table and I displayed those two things on top of a straw place mat on it. Now that I don't have that table and have moved, I need to find different ways to display my old favorites.

The picture on the wall is a numbered print of a painting done by a former pastor we had. He was a commercial artist before becoming a pastor and after several years went back to commercial art and this is a print of one of his works. I really liked it because it depicts an old farmplace that resembles the home I grew up in. There are a few milk cows and 2 horses in the pasture, just like we did. There is an old John Deere tractor just like Dad's, and what I learned how to drive with. And there is an oat field, complete with straw bundles set up in shocks, which I often helped with. I think I could still set up a shock.

This console was also my husband's. He had it in the basement and it was black with black/white marbled contact paper on top and on the front of the drawers. It looked pretty sad. I do hate the electric cords being so visible. Why didn't they make things with white cords? The clock is very old and was my parent's. The cord on that is so very long for some reason. I will have to work at trying to hide them better one of these days. Any suggestions?

Friday, August 4, 2017

DUCK, DUCK, GRAY DUCK

Did you play the game "Duck, Duck, Gray Duck" in grade school? Some say goose instead of gray duck according to Wikipedia. I do remember playing it. Wikipedia says it was played in Minnesota and is of Swedish origin. Well, we played it in Iowa too.

I don't really have a gray duck but I do have a very small collection of Mallard ducks that I started years ago. I am not really a collector of 'stuff' (recipes, yes!) so I didn't collect very many.

I didn't have very good luck taking pictures that day. So I tried again with the result below and still ended up cutting the top of the head off the fabric duck. My back was hurting at the time so didn't feel up to taking more  pictures. So deal with it! 😃



 It all started with this stuffed fabric duck. I and two friends went to a class to learn to make them. These two friends and I had annual craft sales in one of the lady's home for a few years. We each had our own type of work to sell and mine was always fabric or yarn creations.



Then I found a cross stitch pattern book with several Mallard pictures. I chose this one to make a pillow. I am so glad cross stitchers say to initial or 'sign' and add the date it was made because otherwise I would never remember. This one was done in 1984.


The next duck was found at a rummage sale a neighbor across the street had one year. There were two old wooden duck decoys.


One was much nicer than this one but they were asking $45 for it. I wanted it but not for that price! This one looks a little sad but I think it has a lot of character. And it was only $15. I love it.





This small figurine has beautiful detail. It was free! If any of you watched "Hour of Power" with Dr. Schuller many years ago, you might remember that he always had something they would give away, wanting a donation to keep the show on TV, of course, but the donation was not required to get the item. You just had to ask for one. And this is one of those.




I do have another duck but this could be any kind of duck, not a Mallard. I found this in a neat little antique/decor shop in another town several years ago. I apologize for the flash glare. Again, blame it on my back and not taking enough time to take better pictures.

The words in the frame say, " Be so happy that when other look at you they become happy, too."
Daughter Rhonda found that at a craft show in her town and it reminded her of when I was getting prepped for my hysterectomy. We were having so much fun while they did what they needed to do to get me ready. I joked with the nurses and other attendants and we all laughed so much. When each one would leave they would laugh and say we made their day.

One of the funniest things was when my daughter's phone started saying in a very loud, crazy voice, "Help me, I am stuck in your pocket and can't get out," over and over because she got a text. She had forgotten to turn the ringer off earlier. This happened when a nurse was listening to my heart and she said that was the first time a heart talked to her. We roared! I can only imagine what others outside my curtained cubicle thought of us. Here I was, having surgery for cancer, and there wasn't a sad eye in the room.

This shows the complete arrangement with the little duck. It is sitting on a wooden tray table. They make wonder, inexpensive end tables. I got mine at Walmart. They also have them in dark wood but I like the blond. It seems to 'disappear' and makes the area feel like there is more space. The picture on the wall is a counted cross stitch project I did several years ago.



This picture was taken a long time ago and yes, I still got the flash glare! When I had it framed I wanted it behind glass because my husband smoked and everything got stained from the smoke. I think you can see that I like a challenge with my needlework.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

 When I wrote this draft it was still July! I can say that I did most of the work in July so maybe it still qualifies as Christmas in July. 😄 (oh no! Emojis in blogs!)
__________________________________________________________________________________

Not long ago daughter Lisa saw an afghan on Pinterest and suggested she would like one. I had her order the yarn which was shipped to me and I recently finished it.

Christmas peppermints!



This was an interesting pattern to make and something I had never done before. The written instructions were not making sense to me, and I can usually follow any complex pattern, but I was able to find a YouTube tutorial showing how to do it. After watching that, I found the instructions simple and I don't think they could have been explained any better. It seems there were a lot of other crocheters who did not understand them either so I am not alone.

The back side of the afghan is also interesting and looks totally different from the front. The back side is shown at the top of the picture - the motifs that sort of look like spiderwebs or electric stove top coils in red.

The pattern also has instructions for a pillow that looks like a giant peppermint. I don't have that finished yet as I need to get a pillow form first. That is also done in a very different way than I have done before and I have done a lot of different things in over 60 years. You are never too old to learn new things.

I found the free pattern on the Red Heart website here -- http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/peppermint-throw-and-pillow if you would like to try it. Once I got that pattern figured out it was quite simple so don't be afraid to try it.

Here is a picture of the sample I made with yarn I had on hand before the ordered yarn arrived. I think this pretty as well. There are many color combinations if you don't want a Christmas blanket.

 A single motif like this could be used as a potholder or a table pad to set a hot dish on, don't you think? But then I think I would put two together to make it thicker.


Friday, July 28, 2017

THAT'S LIFE

Life has gotten in the way a bit so haven't taken the time to take some more pictures, upload them and add to the posts I have written sans pictures. Give me a little more time and I will get them finished. See you soon.

Friday, July 21, 2017

UPDATE

Second cataract surgery was done June 15 and all went well. I now have 20/20 vision without glasses. Sometimes I can also read without glasses, but often need reading glasses, especially for smaller print. I can also work on computer without glasses. It seems strange since I started wearing glasses at age 10 and wore them every day, and for awhile I had contacts until my eyes got too dry. I still reach for glasses as soon as I get up in the morning!

The trick now, to keep those reading glasses handy in case I need them. I am NOT going to get one of those neck chains to hang the glasses around my neck! I often prop them on top of my head, but then forget they are there.

We are suffering with a very hot and very humid week so the AC is getting a workout. When the dew point gets into the 70's it is miserable so you won't find me outside unless absolutely necessary.

My sleep pattern is still very erratic and sleeping one to three hours at a time with long awake periods day and night. Sigh. And I still don't have much energy plus have lack of focus so not much is getting done around here. I do hope that changes soon now that all surgeries are over and I don't have so many medical appointments, because I have a long list of To-Do's.

I do have lots of ideas for blog posts so I need to sit here and work on them. So plan on seeing more to come!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO

First cataract surgery done. All went well with surgery yesterday, although the cataract was quite thick and a bit hard to remove. So I agree with everyone who said to get it done as soon as possible. What is supposed to be no stitches ended up being two. I did wait too long, but since I could still see quite well, I didn't see it so necessary to get it done before. Plus after going through all the other surgeries in the past 2 years, I was a bit preoccupied.

I have to say that this was a strange experience because they did not put me to sleep, so was well  aware of everything that was going on. But, with local anesthetic and some intravenous sedative, there was no pain. Darwin, the anesthetist, remained by my side the whole time and would add more sedative if things got uncomfortable. I didn't need it. He told me before I went back for surgery that he would be doing that. I told him I preferred not being able to remember everything but he said I needed to be awake as the doctor would be telling me what to do. When I protested he said he didn't lie. Well. . . then I really had to tease him and said he lied all the time. We must have a little laughter at times like these. He gave it back to me, too.

My eye was a little scratchy yesterday. It sometimes felt like there was an eyelash in my eye. But after a good night's sleep (a rare occasion!) the eye is very comfortable. Vision is fairly good, though it sort of comes and goes as far as clarity. It will take time for the new lens to settle down. So far it seems like colors are a bit faded, but white is very white. When I look through the eye that is not done yet, everything has a bit of a yellow cast compared to the new one.

Usually you have to go back the day after surgery for a post-op checkup but they did it about three hours after surgery yesterday instead. It seems the doctor was going to be at one of the satellite clinics today and would not be available. That worked out very well since it would have meant another 60 mile trip and needing another driver to take me. Another checkup is scheduled for Monday, and the following week is supposed to be another checkup, but that is when I have the other eye done, so I guess both will get done that day. Then there will be the followup visits for the next two weeks. I am so tired of checkup after checkup and trip after trip so I do hope this is the end of any major health problems for a long time. But at my age, that may be wishful thinking.

My friend Julie drove me yesterday and we had a very nice visit during all the waiting times. I don't think either one of us was quiet all day, even though she is more than half my age. It was a delight to have her along and I am thankful she was available to taxi me around all day.

One done, and one to go.

Friday, May 12, 2017

TIME TO REMODEL?

As I have checked out this blog after being AWOL for quite some time, I realize I really need to remodel the site, or at least do some reorganizing and updating. Unfortunately that will have to wait for awhile. I am busy making an afghan again, this one for my daughter. And I have several other things that need to be done and take priority over the time I would have to spend here. Just be thankful I have posted a few time recently!

I am now working on a laptop. My desktop computer is refusing to connect to the internet for some reason. I changed nothing but one day it connected and the next day it didn't, and still doesn't. I really do need to take it in and have several other fixes done. But I know it will that $$$ that I don't have right now. Some day. . . . . . .

Thursday, May 11, 2017

DO YOU LIKE NOW WHAT YOU USED TO NOT LIKE?

Have you found that you now like foods that you never liked growing up?

I could not stand cooked oatmeal for breakfast when I was a kid and early adulthood. For hot cereal I only liked Cream of Wheat. If Mom made oatmeal, the only way I could eat it was to put it on my toast. I have no idea why! Now it seems really weird.

I don't know when I started liking oatmeal for breakfast. It may be when the flavored instant oatmeal packets became popular several years ago. Lately, out of need because of not buying groceries for quite awhile, I made regular quick oatmeal in the microwave and adding my own dried fruits, nuts and sweeteners and like that even better than the packets. It doesn't take any longer to make in the microwave either. The instructions on regular oatmeal for a single serving is twice the amount in the packets also, so is really enough for 2 servings if you have more people to feed. Sometimes I am hungry enough to make the whole thing, and sometimes I will cut that in half.

For sweeteners I prefer brown sugar. I am a huge fan of brown sugar anything, even right out of the bag. I have also used pancake syrup, honey, white sugar and stevia.  I try to have a variety of dried fruits on hand, and a few kinds of unsalted nuts like walnuts and pecans. I think real maple syrup would be great but I never buy it since it is more expensive.

Recently I tried something different that I found very good. Sinfully good! I made the single serving of regular oatmeal and added a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast (for added protein and vitamins) in chocolate flavor, plus the one cup milk that is needed for both the oatmeal as well as the instant breakfast powder, some dried cherries and walnuts. Yum! It tasted like a chocolate-cherry oatmeal cake or brownie with nuts, and only takes 2 minutes in the microwave.

It doesn't take long to put it all together in the morning, but if you are always rushed in the morning, you can mix the dry ingredients the night before and just add the liquid the next morning.

I never used to buy the Instant Breakfast but that was one item suggested to eat after having my knee surgeries. It is also one way to get your chocolate. However, it is not sugar free and still has calories so not necessarily a diet food. But it is really good!

This is a good breakfast for someone living alone like I am, or if you still have a spouse.

Monday, May 8, 2017

NEXT ROUND

The next round of surgery is scheduled. That's right, another round coming soon.

I need to have cataracts removed from both eyes and the first one is scheduled for the end of May, and the other one will be the middle of June. The doctor will also be doing a procedure to help with the glaucoma I have at the same time.

Because of the glaucoma procedure I cannot have the surgeries done here at the local hospital, but have to go to Sioux Falls, an hour away. I had my other surgeries in Sioux Falls as well, but this will be done right in the ophthalmology office/surgical center and not one of the hospitals.

I do need drivers to take me there and home again. And as I was reading all the pre-surgery info today I realize I need a driver for the following day for a checkup. I sure wish my kids lived closer and could take those days off of work. I think I do have my Bible study students available for the first surgery, but will have to check with them to see if they can do the next day as well.

The trials of living alone and having family so far away. But it will work out.

I so hope this will be the end of any more surgeries!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A TENSE DAY

Living in a government controlled low rent housing is a PAIN! Last month I had to go through all my financial stuff and report my income from last year and if anything will change for this year, plus send in copies of last bank and financial statements. That will have to be done every year to re-qualify for the low rent.

The management and a government safety inspector will come around every year to inspect the unit. Not every unit will be done every year, but I just KNEW I would be picked this time. At least they let you know about week in advance when they will be here. And yesterday was the day.

Sure enough, there were several people who came to my door. I did have the house presentable, in fact they were very impressed and complimentary. All in all, they were very nice people. But I was more nervous about the possibility of them coming here than I was for any of my surgeries!

One thing that made me nervous was something stated in the letter that said at least one window in every room can not be blocked by anything, and that includes headboards. I knew I was in trouble. The only way we could get my bedroom furniture in the room was to put the bed in front of the only window, and it is a little too tall, by about 2 1/2 feet. And yes, they said I had to remove it. I told them this was the set my husband bought when we got married and I hate to get rid of it. The lady from management said they would see if they could come up with something after they had looked at the other units, and they couldn't do any better than we did.

She suggested taking the hutch off the top of the dresser and putting in the closet. Sure. First of all there would be very little room left for hanging clothes. And, they would have to remove the sliding doors of the closet to get the long thing in there. That doesn't work for me! So the maintenance man and one of the management men went to work and took the headboard off the frame for me. I was very thankful for that! It wasn't an easy job for them. And there wasn't much room to take the bookcase headboard out of the room but they made it. Then there was the problem of where to go with it since the other bedroom is full and would have the same problem of ending up in front of the one window. I finally decided to put it on the long wall of the hallway. It may become a permanent fixture there as it does fit very nicely. It is a good thing the hallway is very wide.

I don't think any of my kids can use the headboard so might have to try selling it but doubt I could get enough for it. It is a beautiful piece and useful as I had books in it, as well as the reading light set on the top. At one time I had the radio in it too, along with tissue box, jar of cough drops, and dust. There are two doors behind the pillows that drop down and I stored all the extra sheets and pillow cases plus a blanket. I guess I can put the books and linens back in there while it is in the hall since I don't have room for any more books on my bookshelves.

The next problem was where to put the reading light where it would be most effective. Having it on top of the headboard behind my head was the perfect place for bedtime reading. I do have a bedside table but it is small and really had enough stuff on it already, plus it is much lower than the headboard. I ended up putting a few thick books under the light and that works okay but not ideal.

Another problem . . . . with no headboard the pillows end up either falling down between bed and wall, or being pushed into the blinds since the window comes all the way down to the top of the mattress. That makes it difficult to put any kind of headboard there, even if it is low. The only advantage of having the headboard gone is that I now have 10 more inches of walking space in the room.

In the other bedroom I had a small student desk that I use for sewing in front of that window. I did have room to move it a few inches to the right so the window is accessible enough, but now can't fully open the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet all the way. They did okay that and thank goodness because I have nowhere else to go with it. I will be moving it back over until next year when they inspect again. ;o) The desk isn't as high as the headboard so does not block as much of the window anyway.

The letter of pending inspection said the safety inspector would only be checking the furnace closet as we cannot have any personal items in there. I did keep my broom and swiffer in a corner of that closet but took them out the day before. The other thing they would be checking is all the smoke alarms. But then he opened all the doors, checked all the outlets, opened the back door to the patio, which I have not cleaned off and rearranged things from winter but at least could get out the door in an emergency.

I had the foresight to straighten up the garage the day before. The letter did not say they would be going into the garage, but just in case. . . . and the lady from management did go out there. She wanted to check the breaker box. I had removed the large bag of plastic shopping bags that are to go back to a store for recycling by putting it in the front seat of the van so that I remember to take them along on the next trip.

Before I went to my oncologist checkup April 24 I cleaned a few things in the van that I had over the winter and they were sitting not far from the interior garage door, waiting to go into the garage storage room. I have a large plastic tote that I keep extra blankets and other things in case I got stuck in the winter. I also had a plastic cat litter pail with ice melt in it, a small floor vac and a few other odds and ends. Now they are where they are supposed to be. I also have a small cart to put shopping bags in when I get home from shopping so I can get them into the house in fewer trips. I always keep that right outside the door where there isn't much room, but I moved that along the side wall, out of the way. The only thing she commented on is a couple of empty boxes below the breaker box. They are not blocking the box and still easy to get to it, but she was concerned I would trip over them if the power was out and it was totally dark while trying to find the box, saying that a flashlight never seems to be available, but I showed her where I always keep mine handy and I always know where it is. It is on the counter and not in a drawer. But I will go out and move them over a few inches like she said.

They were all impressed with unit as a whole, including how nice I had it looking. The safety inspector also complimented on good everything looked and asked if he could take a few pictures. I had no problem with that. I think he mostly took pictures of the kitchen area.

So the first inspection is over and I can relax for another year!

Friday, March 24, 2017

$$$$$

Not fun being a widow.
My dollars are flying out the window so much faster so far this year. So money seems to be on my mind all the time. Now would be a great time to have a husband who also gets a Social Security check every month.

So far I have spend a lot more on drugs (Rx, not street drugs!) than I did for all of last year, and basically have the same drugs. My medicare part D has a much higher deductible for the year, and not only that, but not all my meds count toward the deductible! The deductible is $400, up from $260. I have already paid close to $500 and still have about $260 left to pay on deductible. Several of my meds have been changed to a higher tier, which means my share is many times higher than what I paid before. And the list goes on and on.

I have the added expenses of moving, plus higher rent so I have watched the dollars disappear and my checking account reserves have all but been depleted so have no cushion to depend on. After paying some large bills in January, I went on a 'no buy' for 6 weeks, and did a pantry and freezer challenge. That all went well, and I had plenty of good food to eat. I used my bread machine at least twice a week for delicious bread. But then I ran out of essentials so that I couldn't even bake anything. Then it was time to restock. Well, that was expensive! I ended up spending over $300 just to get the essentials and a little restocking of canned foods, and yet there were still holes in things I needed.

Since I haven't lived here for a year, my electric bill is not on the budget plan yet. I have electric heat, with heat pump, at this house, and have nothing on gas, so had no idea what my heating would cost. It not is so high considering the bill includes water heater and all lights and everyday usage for appliances, etc. And I do have a dishwasher that I did not have before, and I use it at least twice a week. The highest bill in the coldest months ran around $115. But, the problem - I was used to paying $70 a month for gas/elec at the other house. So add the extra $ to the expensive med bills and higher rent, a small increase -twice- in my cable/internet/phone bill, I have nothing extra. There is one good thing and that is I do not have to pay for water, sewer and garbage here, and that had been $70 a month.

I don't mean to be a downer with this message, but it is a big concern for me at the moment. That is why it would be really nice to have a man to share the expenses. Is there anyone who has a  single
older gentleman relative out there who might be interested? I am serious - sort of. ;)

I must keep reminding myself that God has taken care of me for almost 75 years and I know He won't stop now. I need to keep the faith because God is faithful.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

WINTER? OR SPRING?

The month of March is all a bit confusing here in northwest Iowa. Winter keeps dragging her feet because she doesn't want to leave. But Spring is stubborn and refuses to give up until Winter is finally gone for good, at least until its time comes again.

Today we can get a little of both as snow flakes are predicted for this morning, but by afternoon it will be warm enough for rain, which is also predicted. So far the snow has stayed just south of us so it is still dry. There are still a few spots of snow left from the last big storm we had, and they are what is left of the piles of removed snow from streets and driveways. I think those will be gone in a day or two and no one will be sad to see it go. I will be very happy to be able to turn the heat off and have windows open, and hope that it doesn't get too hot and humid for a long while so the AC can stay off too. But, we rarely get a summer without it.

Surprisingly, in an average March, we usually get the most snow of the winter, even though it is not the coldest month. And we often get some snow in April. My first baby was born during the early morning hours of April 12. It was raining when we went to the hospital at 11 pm, and by morning we had 7" of heavy, wet snow.

Around here, weather is always talked about, because our farmers depend on it for their crops. Spring has to be dry enough to get in the fields to prepare for planting, and then time to get it all planted before needed rains come to make it grow to maturity. Then, it needs to be dry enough to get in the fields to harvest it all. All too often spring is very wet, delaying planting. And sometimes in summer we get some heavy rain that will drown out the low spots in the fields. Or it is too dry, stunting the growth and cutting the yield way back. Some years the farmers are still picking corn when we get a lot of snow and they are unable to finish, and the corn stays in the field all winter. The deer population loves that!

Some of you might think the yield doesn't matter, but that is their livelihood. Selling that grain is what pays the bills for the year, and they at least need enough to buy new seed to plant the next season. Farming is the biggest gamble there is, but you can't keep a farmer from 'playing in the dirt' every year.

So Winter, get out of here and allow Spring to stay!

Friday, February 10, 2017

PREGNANT?


No, not me! That would set records for sure!

I was sitting in my usual chair one day and suddenly noticed some new leaves had popped out on one of the stems of my dragon tree. I was shocked. I didn't even know the plant was pregnant and here it had already given birth to a new baby.

 I wish I had been on the ball and got a picture of it right after it had started, but you know my procrastination. It is a little hard to tell in ths above picture, but the leaves in the middle of the picture is the baby.

 Another angle of the new baby.

This shows a little more of the whole plant with the baby on the left. It is about in the middle of one of the stems (stalks?) There are 4 stems but you can only see parts of two of the heads.

I received this plant at my husband's funeral 12 years ago and this is the first time a baby has arrived. I guess this dragon tree likes this house as much as I do!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

VIEW FROM MY FRONT DOOR

Here are some pictures for a glimpse of the results of a big snow storm we had earlier. We got somewhere between 8 to 10" of new snow. Don't pay attention to the dates on the pictures. Somehow that got screwed up and I didn't realize it until now. I can never remember dates and didn't write down the date of the storm, but was toward the end of January, 2017.


I tried to get different angles to show the depth of the piles of snow after the scooping was done. I am standing in the front doorway as I did not have shoes or coat on, and it was COLD out there.



 This one probably gives the best angle for the depth. Notice the white 'cap' on top of my old cream can that sits right next to the front door. The wall of the garage goes all along the right edge of the sidewalk. I think it 'helps' some deeper drifts to form right on the sidewalk when the wind is just right. I am so thankful I do not have to get out there and scoop it myself. One of the perks of living in a managed unit.

 Now this picture is actually taken from my front window. Notice the drift overhang that formed on roof edge. The roof extends out a few feet from the house which is nice, especially in the summer as it keeps the hot sun out of the windows in the afternoon.

 Another view of that roof drift. You can see the strips that make the windows look like smaller panes. I cannot remember what they are called right now. Brain fog again?

I did take one step outside the front door for this one for another angle. You also see the light fixture at the front door. There is a matching one at the front corner of the garage.

I took the pictures at the right time because it was not very long afterward that the whole thing dropped off the roof!

Just another normal winter in Iowa.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

STAR OF THE SHOW


If you a fan of modern country music, and know who Thomas Rhett is, his current hit is "Start of the Show".

When I started working on this post I titled it CHURCH AUCTION, but "Star of the Show" was playing on the radio at the same time, and it fits.


This afghan/blanket was the star of the show at the church auction. It was again chosen as the featured item where the auctioneer asks for $20 bid donations from those who are not bidding to buy the item. They have chosen mine almost every year, which always amazes me. This one sold for $200 and made $600 in donations. It always makes me feel my time was well spent in making this.



This was not hard to make but did take a little bit of time in getting the squares to meet up 'perfectly' while sewing the strips together. And fringe always takes time, and I don't always add fringe even though the pattern calls for it. But I feel it adds a lot to this one.




 The one other project I managed to finish in time for the auction are the children's bear scarves.


 These came as kits with head and paws already made. All I had to do was knit the scarf and attached the head and paws to each end. The yarn is 'fur' or 'eyelash' type and worked up to a very soft and cuddly scarf.

They sold for $50 each, which made me happy as each kit cost almost $20 just for materials.


In this picture I tried to pose them as they would be worn to give you an idea what they should look like, but that didn't work out very well. I wish I had a child here to model them!

 If you are wondering about the white afghan used as the backdrop, that is one I made about 30 years ago, or longer. It has been an all time favorite over the years and I have made a lot of them from this pattern.

I have already started on some projects for next year's auction, though there is some talk about only have one every other year. But we do need some kind of fund raiser every year to help pay off our new building loan.