Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas Day is drawing to a close, and we will be heading off for yet another meal. We began the day at Daughter's house. SIL fixed a really nice breakfast, and then we got to sit to watch the grands while they opened their gifts from Santa. It was really nice.

Doodle Bug is definitely OCD. As she would tear a piece of wrapping paper off, she would look for the appropriate place to put it! Both Lady Bug and Monkey Boy decided DB's toys were the ones with which to play. What a surprise!

Then we went to Son's MIL's house. I just love her mother who is visiting here from Louisiana. She is such a delight. There was enough food there for the masses. It is always so good. The cousins got to exchange gifts there. It was very nice.

In a bit we will be heading back to Daughter's house where there is venison stew awaiting. G just walked in stating he is not a bit hungry. I know what he means. But we did say we would be there.

Tomorrow we are heading to the SSB for New Year's. We will be there until January 4. I will try to stop by from time to time. In the meantime, I hope you had a blessed Christmas, and I hope you hve a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Changes

This morning I was not going to post - anything. I was in a deep funk. The world looked drab, and I couldn't think of anything positive about the day with the exception of the fact that I was breathing and moving about.

Then I met with our Realtor who sold us the other property. We have the house on the market finally. It will be a month after leasing it that we will realize any monies from it because around here the listing fee is a month's rent. Well, that's ok. I want it on the MLS listings.

She was amazed at the change in the property. She made two suggestions, one of which is on the books - a cleaning service to do the windows and so on. That is going to happen. So as soon as we sign the papers and return them, we will have the house on the market.

The real thing that moved me to post was a Christmas card from my "step brother." We are not related in any way by blood. My father married his mother when they were both getting to be elderly. Ron and I seldom had any communication at all. He has five kids, and we really didn't know any of them at all.

When his mother got so sick and I stepped in, that seemed to change things. He inherited a lot more money because of my dad then would have happened before. When Dad died, he inherited even more.

So there has been some communication now. In fact when we went to Disney Land for Lady Bug, we visited him at his newly opened restaurant. We had a lovely time. I got a Christmas card three years ago. He had been treated for colon cancer. Then I got my diagnosis.

We didn't hear again until today. I believe he lost the restaurant because he is selling insurance. But more than anything else, he has had cancer again.

I certainly will be including Ron and his family in my prayers. I think they have had some very hard times. I think the bills were stacking up big time from what his wife said in the letter.

I am not in such a blue mood anymore. I have heard from several people today. So far I have not had a recurrence of cancer. This is another day for me to be grateful, not down.

I hope you have found something of value in this day.

Peace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Separate ways

Sunday at the kid's Christmas program, I got to thinking. I am a bit sad that my daughter, son and we go to different churches. It's great we all go to church, but it would be nice if it was the same one. I can see problems down the line when Wiggle Worm and his future siblings get old enough to be in programs at their church, and that happening on the same day as his cousins. I have to admit, I did enjoy it when we all went to the same church.

Later that evening, at Daughter's birthday dinner, my DIL was bemoaning the fact that her brother won't be coming here for Christmas at her Dad's house on Christmas Eve. I found that amusing - in a sick, distorted way. You see, Son and DIL will be at her Dad's on Christmas Eve after he gets off work, and then they plan to be at her mother's house on Christmas Day. Now, we are invited to her mother's for both Christmas Eve (I would feel really strange with DIL not there) and Christmas Day. But, do you see any time there for them to spend with just our family? Nope - not just us.

I so wanted to quote that old adage to her:
A daughter is a daughter all her life,
A son is a son until he takes a wife.

That is so very true. It was true of my husband, my SIL, now my son, and now her brother. She was so upset because her SIL's family live in the same city with her brother. I think it may be something that happens because there is so often strife between two women - especially MIL and DIL. I really try to not let that happen. It was a factor in my marriage. If she weren't so thinned skin, I would have said something. There are times it's just better to keep one's mouth shut. And I did. And the twinge of hurt is still there.

Peace.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What a Sunday!!

We began our day in a normal, peaceful way. We went to Daughter's church because the kids were in the Christmas play. I thought I was going to have to hog-tie G. But, he got over it. They did a great job. Not that I am prejudiced or anything.

Later Daughter and I went to see "Precious." We both read Push, the book it is based upon. We knew what we were in for as far as the language and violence. We both thoroughly enjoyed the movie - if that's what how you want to phrase it. The acting was wonderful. The subject matter is another thing, but these things happen to girls.

What really surprised us was this woman came in to the movie with a little girl not more than ten and another little girl about two. The part of the movie where she entered was some of the worst language, and it went on for a long while. I simply could not believe she brought her children to this movie. It is definitely not a children movie. I really don't understand some people these days. I was very uncomfortable for those girls.

The movie was a good time for us - part of Daughter's 36th birthday celebration. Best of all, it cost us nothing because I had passes from my dentist. His hygienist was ill, and they didn't call me before I got there. It wasn't a problem anyway. The dentist is just right here. G had a gift card that we used for two drinks ($9.50 worth). She drives a company vehicle, so we didn't even pay for gas!

All hell broke loose when I got home however. I walked in, talked about the movie a bit, and G asked "Is the generator still running??" I said apparently, but our neighbors have power. This is about 5:15. We were to meet the rest of the family at 6:15 for dinner. He had been sitting for two hours with the generator running. The problem was OURS! We called the utility company. They did come out - about the time we were leaving. The generator company had me leave messages. The utility company said the problem was ours; we had service. Something was not letting the generator switch back to local power.

We went on to dinner with the generator humming away. I really felt bad for the neighbors, but hopefully since it was cold (for us, I know!!!) hopefully they had their windows closed. It ran all night. I will say, it was kind of neat though. We know it will run the house - at least what we were using for the night. And the motor isn't really that loud. Now in the still of a post hurricane night, that may be a different story for the neighbors. We will just have to provide refrigerator space and ice to make up for things!

This morning, the guy whose "emergency number" I called and left a message, said I didn't do those things, but he sent a crew anyway. They got here about 10 this morning. So we used about 20 hours of natural gas to run our lights. The repairman gave me his card with his direct number. I hope we never need it.

All turned out ok, but for a while there, I wasn't sure. The repairman said he would try to get the company to pick up some of the gas bill, but that really isn't that big a thing. I'm sure it will be about $40, but we now know more about that nice little chest that is nestled behind our garage and keeps the home fires burning!

Peace.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cristmas Traditions

This is a strange topic for today since I am in such a funk about everything in general - even Christmas. But over at RevGalPals, they challenged us to talk about the traditions we have in our families, since all families have different ones. Well, this year I haven't done a single thing - much less follow a tradition.

These are the categories:
1. Traditions you always do: (keeping in mind I haven't done these) We decorate for Christmas the first Sunday in Advent. My daughter's birthday is December 18, and she always loved having the house so festive for her birthday. We would also go back to San Antonio to celebrate with family. She thought (even though she later knew it wasn't true) that her birthday lasted two weeks or more.

2. Things I always cook or like to eat: I would bake dozens of cookies. This year - I don't need them. So there has been zero baking. I like to try to do a fruitcake or two. G likes them. This year - no.

3. Traditions I would like to start: Our family being more proactive in helping others. This includes giving to Lutheran World Relief, the various programs that provide things like cattle, serving at one of the city wide meals. I would like to see us turning Christmas to providing for those who have little.

4. Traditions I would like to discard: Gift giving. Sounds like Scrooge doesn't it? My grandchildren have more things than they could ever use. My children aren't in need. My extended family isn't in need of anything.

5. About our family: As an extended family, we have curtailed the gifts. We just enjoy each other's company at Christmas and New Year's. Our closer family is still giving gifts. We have our private exchanges, and G and I go with Daughter's family. Son's family is having their first Christmas with Wiggle Worm. We'll see what that brings.

We are so fortunate to be where we are in life. We are so fortunate to have our families. I need a better attitude this year!

Peace.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Many steps

Yesterday was the appointment with the bariatric surgeon. He's the one who also did my mastectomy. What a dichotomy. I guess that is a strange combination, but I like him. So . . .

I knew that I had to go on a three month medically supervised weight loss plan to satisfy my insurance, but it was the rest of the hoops I have to jump through that worry me. What this means is I really don't know when I am going to have the surgery. My plans (what a fool to make plans, right?) were to have the left knee done in January and the right knee done in April. Well - with the bariatric surgery having to be done in at least three months, I have a scheduling problem.

The nurse said that when I was over the knee, then we could look at the gastric surgery. She said that I don't want too many surgeries too close together. Hmmmmmm - I am looking at getting three surgeries in about four months. I think that's going to be too many.

Here's what I have to do for the bariatric surgery:

1. Go to my general practitioner. Get him to follow me on a diet for three months, at least.
2. Have additional blood work done and get a cardiac clearance - which I will do the middle of January anyway for the knee.
3. Get a gastric clearance. That means scoping my stomach. And doing an ultrasound of the gall bladder. If there is any problem there, it comes out at the time of surgery. The nurse said since they were already doing that, they would probably do the colonoscopy. I don't really mind the colon stuff - just the prep for it!! I'm not due until July 2011.
4. Meet with a nutritionist. I would think this should be done at the get go, but it can be done at any time before surgery.
5. Meet a psychiatrist. Now that should be interesting.

I figure that if I go through all that, I just might solve my problem eating on my own without losing part of my stomach. As I said, I now have a scheduling nightmare. At first, I was going to make the appointment with the general doc immediately. But I know I cannot drive for three weeks post surgery. So, that would mean that I can't get the first month check in on time.

What I think I am going to do is wait until I am more mobile post the first knee surgery. I will make the appointment with the general doc, and I can go in on a regular basis. So in other words, I think I will have the bariatric surgery after the second knee. I think that will be the best way to go. I think there will be less recovery from the bariatric surgery than from the knee. I just don't want to have the summer the time I am laid up with knee recuperation.

So, there you have it! Isn't this just so exciting!

Peace.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life

Son's friend's mother died yesterday. I don't know the specifics, but I know the respirator was turned off and death happened at some point. I just hope the passing was peaceful. She has been through so much the last few months.

On another note, I witnessed the passing of a friendship yesterday. I reached out to a friend, and the response was cold. That was the absolute ending this time. Sad.

I still had absolutely nothing in place that would be termed Christmas decorations. Last year, I bought some LED solar light strings on closeout. The weather here has not been conducive to solar anything, so they just sat in the living room. I decided I would throw them onto the bushes outside yesterday afternoon. Two sets did nothing. Two sets lit - for a while. I know they require six hours of light. It is still overcast today. I doubt they will get the light they require.

I did manage to get all sorts of medical appointments set yesterday. I was amazed that I could get the regular gyno set up. I have to wait one year between appointments. That anniversary is January 26 - the day before the great surgery. I was able to set that up! That's good. I wasn't looking forward to "that" appointment after having the knee done!

My appointment with the bariatric surgeon was moved to this afternoon. I'll let you know about that one.

Have a pleasant day.

Peace.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Down

I don't know the exact cause, but I have really been feeling depressed. I sometimes get this way - especially around this time of year. The other day, someone at work mentioned to G what a wonderful season this is. He replied to them that he isn't especially fond of this time of year. He's right.

During this season, as I think I have mentioned before, we have lost my mother, my step mother, my dad, his dad, and a favorite aunt. Just a bit ago, Son called. His friend, who was his Best Man at his wedding, is having to make the decision to remove his mother from life support. This hits me hard. The closeness of out two sons, and she was a breast cancer survivor. The cancer had come back with a vengeance. She was going to San Antonio for experimental treatments that she couldn't get here. That is a bit amazing to me because we do have the premier cancer center here. J's mom had cancer before me. I think she had been a seven or eight year survivor. J is convinced that the cancer was still there, and the medication to stop the production of estrogen (I don't know which one she was taking) just held the cancer at bay.

At any rate, this looks like the end for his mother. I have so much sympathy for J. He, like me, is an only child. I know how hard that is. I don't know if having siblings helps at a time like this, but I do know how horrible this time is for an only child.

I just don't know why I feel so empty inside. I am so lonely. I'll be glad when this season is over. Perhaps this mood will leave with the season.

Peace.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's a date

The big day id January 27 at 9am. I met with the surgeon today. I didn't realize how severe my knee problem was. The surgeon was amazed at the x-rays. He is concerned about me making it to the 27th. He told me to be very careful where and how I walk.

We will be doing the left first because it's the worst. The bone is breaking apart, and I have little pieces of "stuff" floating around in the knee. It has been there so long that there are secretions around the pieces making them even larger. He likened it to an oyster making pearls. The bone fragments irritate, so there is secretions added to the bone.

I feel somewhat better than I did. He was very reassuring. He actually has a personality! He gave me a cortisone shot to ease the knee somewhat while I wait for the surgery. He actually gave me a script for pain pills. I asked if they were for post surgery, and he said no - that he knew I was in pain now.

So . . . there you have it. My bariatric appointment is for next Thursday. That could probably be squeezed in between the knee surgeries. That is if I go through with the bariatric stuff. We'll see.

Hope you are all in one piece with only natural parts!

Peace.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Busy, busy

I think I am going to have to begin with the "day-timer" again. This is a busy, busy time.

I went to the bone doc today. I have an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow. Wow, that was fast. We will be discussing the dreaded knee replacement. The first doc nearly scared me away from it all. He told me how much it hurts, and many people refuse to have the second one done due to the pain. He said to schedule the second six months after the first, but look forward to a year of hellish pain. Yipee! Sounds just groovy!

When I returned home, there was a call from my OTHER surgeon. My insurance will cover the bariatric surgery. But I have to jump through some hoops to get it. It will be a few months. I have to be on a managed weight loss program. That means them prescribing a diet and watching. Then I will be a candidate. So I see him next Thursday.

In the mean time, I have to have a physical to make sure I am fit for the knee replacement surgery. It's not a little snip-snip like I understand the gastric sleeve is. I am due to see the heart doc soon anyway. So I'll just see about moving that appointment up.

All this and the holidays too. Am I crazy? Well, yes, but that's another story. Am I scared? You bet ya'. But something has to be done. I can't go on this way. I can't walk. I told the nurse at the bariatric doc's office what was going on. Looks like I will have the knee done first. Well, that can't be helped. That is unless the knee surgeon sayd he wants the other first. \

We will see what is what!

Peace.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Too much attention

When I went to the (wrong) Christmas party at the sewing machine place, they introduced a new person who would be doing classes. They also stressed checking the web site for things going on at the sewing machine place. So I did.

I found that this woman was going to be offering a class on a casserole carrier. I have been wanting to do these for a long time. Yesterday I called to get the details. They were scarce. Even the store had no idea. They didn't have her telephone number either.

So, I loaded myself into the car and headed over there this morning. I had no sewing machine - just me. I walked in, and she was in the classroom. Apparently she didn't get word that the other woman had dropped out - so it was just the two of us. She had the fabric - already cut out. So I went off to find a spool of thread.

It was just the two of us! I had full attention. I was using a machine that I didn't know. The first had a bobbin that you put in from the front. I am used to a drop in bobbin. They swapped out the machine.

The worst part, and the part where I had way too much attention, was using the wide bias binding. I don't do well with that stuff. I had to go around this huge circle adding a shoe lace in. The first round, I missed about a half of catching everything. I know she thought I was a real ditz.

We were there for the full three hours. And then some. I do have a casserole carrier, and I can tell you this: when I make them, they will NOT have bias tape holding them together.

Peace.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Offer

Daughter's friend, the one she and Lady Bug accompanied to "A Christmas Carol" yesterday, can bring vendors into her building. I think she only has one or two at a time. She offered space to me.

That sounds really great, but I don't have the items for a "one man show." Most of the items that I made for yesterday's event were specifically for this area. They were in local school colors, and in fact really were monogrammed for that event.

I have ideas for some other things, and I may take NR up on her offer at a later date. It's a shame because this would be a great time to sell. People are thrilled to find easy gifts. I may talk to Daughter more to get her input. Perhaps we do have enough things. But we only have ten wreaths, and other things are vary limited.

Regardless, the pressure is off. I will now set my sights on the July show. Last year, I could have sold hundreds of the neck coolers (they hold water and some say cool you). I heard the organizer say she would find someone for next year. Well, Dora, here I am.

So like other manufacturers, I will shift from Christmas to hot summer stuff. We will see how the break that comes post knee surgery works in. I know I can't bring the craft stuff down - I will have to get myself back up so I can climb stairs. But that has to happen so I can go to the SSB. It is at least six steps to get in there!!

Now I have to set about cleaning this messy house. It is so cluttered. I would like to have help come in every other week. That would be so nice. But I wouldn't allow them in right now!! So it's off to de-cluttering now!

Peace.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Bummer

Here it is 11:54 am. on Sunday December 6. I should be looking for a parking place up at the park so I can be setting up my booth. But here I sit at the breakfast room table.

I really thought the powers that be would cancel this whole shindig. It is in the 40's, overcast and drizzling. We had real snow all over the place day before yesterday. It seems that Holiday in the Park is going on without me. I called to withdraw. I don't think there will be much traffic.

The chairperson said that even if the snow was canceled, they would have the vendors there. I keep telling myself that there won't be much in traffic, but truth be known, I have worked hard to get ready.

I'm not really totally ready. The two week down time with the machine in the shop really put me behind, but I thought I could sell some stuff this time. Now we will never know.

I know it would be miserable out there. The ground is wet, and I think will get wetter because there is going to be more rain before the 4:00 ending time. I don't have warm clothes here. They are all at the SSB.

Still I am bummed. I am really let down. I was all set - now . . . Oh, well. I guess we will have a Christmas in July table at Round-up. Or perhaps we will set up our own craft show (not).

Peace

Saturday, December 05, 2009

What's wrong with these pictures?

Other than the fact that it was really overcast, so they are dark, this is the early snow here in Swampland. It got heavier, but Daughter and I went to lunch, so I missed those pictures. The real internet is up today, so I can get these to load. As I have said before, the 3.6 speed just doesn't cut it!!

It is rare for snow to stick to the ground here, but it did. All the shrubs looked like they were sprayed with the canned snow.


We certainly didn't need the umbrella today to block the sun.


Didn't need the fan to blow cooling breezes. In fact, it got to 25 last night. It is 11:23 local time, and there is still snow on the ground in the shade. We are not used to this - at all. I worry about how many plants we have lost. There hadn't even been a light freeze to temper them. We have so many tropicals. We got some into the "green house," our out building, and gave them an electric heater. I am just hoping!!!

Peace.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Well -

I*'m still on air card because I just don't have time to call you-know-who and wait, then set up an appointment for them to come out for a service call.

The surgeon Daughter went to is the one who did my mastectomy. I like him a lot - if you can imagine that after what he had to do! His chief type of surgery now is bariatric surgery. Even though he is not one of my preferred providers, he will do the surgery for what the insurance pays. If it is 80% - he accepts that and doesn't bill for the remainder. I have to admit - I am thinking very seriously about it. I keep weighing the pros and cons. So far, I haven't done it on my own. The knee thing is looming on the horizon (if I would call the bone doc).

I started on the embroidered Christmas cards yesterday. I also got a call from daughter. She has accepted another engagement on Sunday. She, after all these years of doing this, forgot the show was Sunday. I'm a bit bummed. But she said Son in law will help. Hmmmm. Not sure about that.

The tree company is working on the trees at the other house today. I wish G could be there instead of me. They just had a question that I am not sure of. I didn't mark the trees with G, and , um, there is a language problem there too. I don't really know what they are asking.

It hit me this morning that we have to prepare that house for the immanent 26 degrees too. We are not ready here, and I don't know where the vulnerable places in that house are. Gotta call the contractor to see if the plumbers changed out the water cut off for the house. That is the way I WANT to handle it.

Better run - have a good day.

Peace

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Short, sweet (?), sorry

Comcast is still MIA so I'm on the air card, and it is limited.

Daughter went to the surgeon. She has mitral valve prolapse, so she should be on antibiotics prior to any procedures, but we forgot about that. He did another ultrasound, found something that was not to his liking, but we have to wait until Thursday for the biopsy. She has to take the antibiotics two hours prior to the procedure.

Thanksgiving went fairly well. After three days, G was tired of Doodlebug. When anything doesn't go her way, she howls. So they left on Saturday to see Son in law's family. It was time.

We did get several hair bows made as well as ten wreaths. If I can get away from this card and its blazing speed of 3.6 Mbps, I will upload some of them. The show is Sunday.

So with all that is going on, I must head upstairs. I have wrist rattles, girl's coins purses and cards to make before Sunday. Feel like a hamster on a wheel!

Peace.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My machine is back

And it was free! Now I am waiting for Daughter to call me back so she can come over and haul it upstairs. Today is a terrible arthiritis day, and I don't think I can do it alone. Sometime I need to get a weight on that puppy. Of course, it is back just in time for us to leave for the SSB until Monday. Oh, well, some you win, some you don't.

We will be working of Christmas wreaths and little girl hair bows while away. I will get pictures of what we do. When we get back, I will call Comcast and b*tch at them. I keep thinking they will want to make an appointment to come out, and it just won't work until like - next Friday. Monday is Daughter's appointment, Wednesday the tree people are coming to the other house, Thursday is my sewing club Christmas party. Sometime I need to make a bone doctor appointment so we can move along with the (gasp) knee replacement.

I hope your Thanksgiving is good. I hope you have a lot to be thankful for. I know I do.

Peace.


Monday, November 23, 2009

More (yawn) pictures

Ok - quick post (or at least as quick as the air card will allow since Comcast is down - again!) These are more of the Christmas things I have been doing.



These are key fobs - done in purple and gold since they are the local high school colors


OK - for now this is it! Blogger isn't cooperating. I have up loaded two more pictures twice. I am allotted only so many downloads and time - so I give up! Perhaps tomorrow.

This is the story of my life right now. The machine is still in the shop. Even if it comes out tomorrow, I can't do anything with it until next week. The craft show is the 6th. So I;'m shifting gears. We will make wreaths for the show.

Peace.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The long wait

Daughter has an appointment December 1 for a biopsy. That just feels like such a long time. I know it really isn't, but . . . At least we have Thanksgiving in there to break up the time. Three years ago plus a few days, I was the one waiting.

Holiday time isn't always a pleasant time around here. My mother died in December. My dad died January 13, which isn't really holidays, but he was so ill during the holidays. My step mother died right after Christmas. She was also so ill at Christmas. I had my suspect mammogram right after Christmas, so I spend a lot of time worrying about it. Now we have this.

I am really optimistic about the results though. This is probably a case like they are talking about. She will have to go through the pain of the biopsy with a result of no cancer, but I know she wants the biopsy. She would not be open to waiting to see what happens. The masses are large, and from what I understand, large masses in a young woman are usually not cancerous.

So we keep our heads up high and plan to have a good Thanksgiving. I know part of their Thanksgiving will include a trip to the Alamo City as SIL's dad just had heart bypass surgery. Things will work out fine.

Peace.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prayers, please

I sincerely hope I am jumping to conclusions that are not real, but please pray for my daughter. She finally got the results from the ultrasound of her breast. She has two large masses in her right breast. She has been referred for a biopsy. I know one of the masses is in the area where my mass was.

I keep thinking they are milk ducts that are inflamed/infected. She is still lactating, but rarely nurses from the right side. She will nurse Doodle Bug at night from the left only. She is only 35.

And the stand now is women don't need to self exams or get mammograms! Bull.

Please include her in your prayers.

Peace

Dim the lights, please!

OK, now just sit back and relax (or flee for your life). Let the show begin.

These are the 3D embroidered ornaments I worked on. Most are self explanatory.













OK - bring up the lights - hey, wake up over there! Come back tomorrow for some of the other things. I won't subject you to as many! It was just that this was a set.

Peace.


































So there you go!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas present

G has been emailing the kids with an idea for my Christmas present for this year. It is the same one he thought of last year, and, really, I won't mind it especially if I am going to be incapacitated for several weeks in January with the old knee.

When I was reading Judy's blog this morning, she was talking about how nice a larger house would be, but it means more work. I can fully attest to that. We are still in the house where we raised the kids. We have been here since right about this time 1975. We have even added on to it - we took in the attic to add two bedrooms, bath and sitting area.

I love a clean house. I HATE housework. At one point in my life, I taught full time, was a church organist two Sunday's a month, and ran a small craft shop which was open on Saturdays and Sundays for which I was the crafter. During that time, I kept my head above water. But Daughter still was home, and she provided some help.

Recently, the cancer drained me of all energy, and the arthritis has progressively gotten worse and worse. My house is cluttered. It is dusty.

All that said, I will return to the beginning of this post. G wants to give me a cleaning service for Christmas. That's great. Of course I need to get things a little more ship-shape before that happens, and I can do that. The sticking point from what Daughter tells me is that he has the bizarre idea to rent a storage facility to move everything into from the house to "deep clean."

I will balk at that! First, that is much more work than is required! Second this house is not that bad! And - if he would help with small things - like picking up the newspaper when he is through reading it - it would be nice! You would think it was like the houses you see on that program "Hoarders." Clutter is one thing - filth is another!

So, these days with no sewing machine that I need, my plan is to cut the clutter. I want to do that regardless after talking to Aunt F, I know I will have all sorts of help in and out of the house. And I am really sick of all this cr*p!

Tomorrow the promised pictures.

Peace

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm back, I'm back!

I'm back in more ways than one. Yes, we are back in Swampland after an exciting weekend full of testosterone. The guys were really a lot of fun. They provided lots of laughs, especially when Contractor Dude decided to sit in the high grass. He ended covered in chiggers. Bad move! I would spend another weekend with them.

I'm back in the land of the internet. I don't know if my problem was the air card, my computer, Firefox or all of the above (or none of the above). I would get on line, and then I couldn't get anything done. The internet would just lock up. The air card showed it was well connected and working at its break neck speed (3.5 Mbps). But after a bit, I couldn't get anything in or out. I would then connect to Explorer, and things would work some better, but the end was the same. Anyway, I am connected this morning.

One of the things I did get accomplished was to get pictures of the things I have been working on. I will get them downloaded today. I want to post them on the website, and I will post some here also.

I have lots of time to work on the pictures today, and tomorrow, and so on until next week. I got word of the sewing machine. They finally got to it yesterday. It seems everyone brings their machines in this time of year. I guess we are all busy little sewers! Anyway, they have the USB port ordered. I guess they don't stock them. I must be the only idiot they have! The amazing part of this story is that it is going to be covered by the warranty. I broke the thing. It was my fault. But, I'll gladly take the warranty! I do have to wish I could get it back sooner because I have so much yet to do and so little time. After I get it back, there will only be a few days before the show.

Peace.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the continuing drama of my life

I took the machine to the shop yesterday. One of the sales people who claims to love these machines looked at the computer slots, and said it should be easy to replace. I tend to agree because it looks like a pretty much stand alone component once you get into the guts of the machine. But when the owner of the shop looked at it, he wouldn't even guesstimate about the machine. He said they would have to run diagnostics to check the mother board. Well, a mother board couldn't cost over $2000 - could it??

So there is sits. I am awaiting word. I keep telling myself Ken (the owner) probably likes the Brother machines better than mine, or he just doesn't really know the machines at all. They just make him money. Nevertheless, I really need it back.

This down time gives me a little spare time though. I am on my way up to the craft room anyway. The a/c-heated people are coming to do the fall check on the systems. I was just telling Daughter I should have made her old room into the craft room. Son's old room (the one I am using) has both access doors to the attic where the equipment lives. We had taken in our attic when the kids were teens/preteens to give two bedrooms, a bath and a sitting area. It was nice to get them and their associated mess upstairs and out of sight. In fact, I even found a poster that announced "Teen ager lives here." I put it at the base of the stairs. So I have to go up to move the ironing board and other associated sewing equipment away from the access doors.

Tomorrow we will be heading to the SSB. Son in law, Contractor dude (who is working on the investment house) and Old Friend will be going with us. I don't know how long I can stand the testosterone in house. I may have to go to the next mountain for some relief from my friend there!!

Hope you have a great weekend. I might check in, but usually things are too busy. At the least, see you Tuesday!

Peace.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sick

As you know, I have been working hard on getting items ready for the craft show in December. I have been pushing the machine really hard.

I have a new sewing table that I got for my birthday (and anniversary and probably for Christmas and Valentine's Day at its price) that has a pneumatic device to lower it into the cabinet. I did that the other day. I needed the space, and I put the machine in the lowest position. Great, right?

Uh, no. I forgot one little detail. I didn't take the external CD computer cord out if its side. When I lowered the machine, the cord stuck. Oh that computer cords would stick like that when you want them to. But I didn't realize it at all. Yesterday, I was ready to stitch another design. I tried to put the thumb drive in the port. It wouldn't go. I tried the cord. It wouldn't go. Then I realized what had happened.

I looked at the cord from the CD drive. It was chewed inside. So was the port on the machine. I then tried to hook the computer directly because you can do that. The machine wouldn't recognize the computer. I was dead in the water. It also was messing up the last design I was working on.

I am embarrassed to take it for service. I know the other one was a lemon. I don't think they know that fact today. When whoever bought it keeps bringing it back, they will know though. But I think they believe I don't know how to sew.

I think I am going to fabricate just how this disaster happened. I just can't admit I was so stupid. But I am wondering just how much this little fiasco is going to set me back.

I will take it after a bit, and I am hoping fervently I can get it back on Tuesday. I've got a lot of work yet to do!

Peace.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Whoopie!

The gas company has finally come to put in the meter here for the generator. I hate the gas company! Last week, they called, out of the blue, to put in the meter at the other house. It wasn't there for the inspections. Yesterday I discovered the water heater probably doesn't work. I never got any hot water. But I don't think a water heater would have sunk the deal anyway.

But back to home. We are on the last leg of the generator saga. The meter has been paid for since July. We are finally getting it.

Yesterday, the construction crew from the phone company came to fill in the hole that has been dug out three times to fix the nicked cable. They even put in new sod! Soon, I can go back to locking my gate so that I don't have to worry about strangers coming into my back yard! Finally!!!

Things are looking up. Now I just have to face . . . the knees. Still scares the stuffin' out of me. I'll make the appointment with the doc probably next week. We (G and I) have decided on sometime after January 18. Oh, what am I in for?

Peace.

Friday, November 06, 2009

MIA?

No, I am here, but I have been horribly busy. I am still trying to use the computer, sew, and watch TV. I can do the sewing and tv, but no computer!!!

Anyway, I have been gone most of two days. First, we decided that the old troop carrier was time to be retired, only it won't be. Daughter and family want it. Their extended cab is just too small for their family. So they wanted the big ol' 250.

We looked at new smaller troop carriers on Monday. We found one we want at C**Max. It was sent to our close location yesterday. We bought it. G wanted a LoJack put on, so I couldn't get it until today.

As soon as I got home, Daughter was picking me up to watch Monkey Boy while she had a mammogram. She was just going to leave him in the waiting room. I knew better. She has a lump in the right breast. Even though she is still (?? Doodle Bug is 2 1/4) nursing a little, she wanted that lump checked. After all she does have a family history now. I think it is just a milk duct, but better to know for sure.

So today I went to get the new truck. I took the old 150 to Son's house. We are really downsizing. We will only have two vehicles!! Got DIL to take me to get the new one after leaving the other one at her house. . Then lunch. Gotta have some fun.

Got home and had to get Simone her Prilosec. The things I do for my dog.

I am still sewing my little fingers off. I am getting ready to get pictures. I finally downloaded the 183 that were on the camera from who knows when up to last month. I will post them at some point.

I just wanted to let you know I hadn't fallen off the face of the earth.

Peace.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Oh my,

I found there are many embroidery groups on Yahoo, and I joined several of the groups. Most are groups that are set up by digitizers. They are the people who put together the computer designs for the machine. They will often offer samples and other freebies. That is wonderful in itself, but there are some really cute sets, and they are often on sale. Anyway, I spend a lot of time on Yahoo. Some of those folks must spend 24/7 because they post a lot of messages!

Today I was reading one message posted to one of my groups, and the woman was talking about doing projects for craft shows. That got my attention quickly. She went on to say that she is on her second machine in just a few years (sounds familiar), and the present one has frozen up. I was really interested now.

She said that she fully explained to her dealer what she wanted out of a machine, and they sold her the ones they did. Now when she takes them in for service, she is told they were not meant for business use. They are for only about a million stitches. Some of the things I have done recently (most if truth be told) are 20,000 at a minumum. I am sure I am beyond a million.

Now her machine is not the same as mine, and I am sure my first one was a lemon. It should have been yellow - lemon yellow! Needless to say, I am really worried about this machine now! I can just hear it - I should have bought a commercial machine. I guess I could have for a little more than what this one ran, but they only embroidery. I wanted something that sewed as well.

I guess I'll just have to praise this one and keep it happy!

Peace.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Mass confusion

I brought the lap top up to the craft room so I could do my emails and read my blogs while sewing. You know, that was a stupid idea. It really can't be done.

When I have the machine going, I thought it would be a great time for doing the computer stuff. It isn't. I just get started with one thing when the other thing calls. I'm finding I'm only getting 50% efficiency. It has helped to have the computer though because sometimes I have to download a design onto a disc, and it's all right here.

G was off today and we spent the afternoon looking at trucks. He gfeels it's time to replace the troop carrier. So we looked at C**max. They didn't have anything. We went to the dealer. Found two we like, but $$$$$! I really don't know what we are going to do in the end. I know what I think, but then again, I hate to think of spending that kind of money. I feel like we have been bleeding money these days.

Well, the machine has stopped, so that is calling.

Peace.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Remembering and news

Today would have been my mother's birthday. She would have been 94 if she had lived. She died in 1972. That's been a long time - the year before my daughter was born.

She shaped the way I dealt with my daughter. My mother and I didn't have a good relationship. I was an only child, but I wasn't treated fairly. I know, it's easy to say, and a lot of people would say that sort of thing, but in my mind it is true.

When I was growing up, I would always be compared to my friends. In "why don't you do _______ like X does." "Why can't you be more like X?" "I do everything in the world for you and you don't appreciate it."

Those are hurtful things. She also would remark about how "fat" I was. I look at pictures now and realize I wasn't. But then I believed it, and if that was what she wanted . . . well I still have great problems. She wasn't a size 2 either.

The belitting went on even into my adult hood. When we moved to Swampland and bought our first house, I overheard her talking to my aunt who lived here. We lived in an older neighborhood. Around here, you didn't have curbs. You had bar ditches in front of the houses to handle the heavy rain. My mother found that appalling, and she said so to my aunt. G and I had horses at the time. Her opinion was that "his" was far superior to mine. I could never please.

I vowed I would never be like that to my kids. And I never was. I thought Daughter and I had a good relationship until she became a teen. I think she remembers those horrible times more than the other times, but we came through it. We can now be friends and we are. I don't think that would have ever happened with my mother and me.
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News:

Son called me today. He went to sing at a friend's church on Sunday. His friend is the assistant pastor. They hired Son to be worship leader. It will pay $200 a week. At this point, that is a nice little added income for him. He will keep the band because they only play out twice a month at most. I'm proud of him. I wish he were still a Lutheran, but he wouldn't get this kind of thing.

He was laughing telling me he was following in my footsteps. Yep. I was church organist for many years. I miss it, but the arthritis is just too much, plus when I had the anurism in my left eye, that compromised my music reading.

Peace.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sew, sew, sew your felt . . .

That's what I am doing. I am in the process of making pencil toppers. I got into these when I found a very inexpensive set from a digitizer on the internet. I made those, and Daughter remarked how neat it would be if I could make some for Christmas to have at Holiday in the Park. So went back to that digitizer to buy the Christmas set. Then I found two more sets. That is why I am sewing my little heart out now. I have my list of projects posted right here by this machine to keep me on track!

I will post pictures (if anyone might be interested) as soon as I charge the batteries for my camera, download the multitude of pictures that are stored there from way before August, and get the items ready for their pictures.

The camera seems to be my nemesis these days. Last weekend when we were at the SSB, G's cousin was having the local community happy hour. They took the great grandparents house (what is left of it) and salvaged it. It was in terrible shape. She told me they began this task because they wanted a place to stay when they came up. They live in San Antonio, and they wanted some privacy when they visited her mom and dad when they came to visit.

They have taken the beat up little remains of that house and restored it to a beautiful place (even if they have to have an outhouse). Anyway, Daughter gave me strict orders to take pictures. I dutifully put the camera in my purse. When we got there, I pulled it out to turn it on. It was on some setting that I never use, and the batteries were DEAD!

I thought I was sunk until I remembered that I, as usual had my cell phone, so out it came and I snapped a few pictures. Cousin said she would send me pictures if I wanted as she takes many. And she should. I think I may email her because I have no idea how to download pictures from that phone. I have no cables or anything to tell me how to do it. Besides, I am becoming absolutely technologically illiterate. It is getting worse and worse as technology evolves more and more.

So - back to my hoops and threads.

Peace.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Busy, busy

After a summer where the cattlemen sold off their herds, the rain has come to the Texas hill country - and how! The weeks are waist high, and it is still raining. They have gotten their entire amount of rain for the year, and the year isn't over.

We spent the weekend there. I was ready to leave (meaning the house was clean, dishes done, and all packed) at 9:30. It was raining so hard we were waiting to see if it would begin to clear. We have low water crossings to get out, and if it is flooding you just can't make it. It did begin to clear - a bit. But on the way home we caught up with the front. We followed it all the way home.

I am busy sewing my "stuff" so I can get ready for the "Holiday in the Park" craft show. I finally got a date last week. It will be December 6, so I have to get to work. I really want more Christmas stuff in this year's show. Don't have a lot right now, so it's sew, sew, sew.

The other house closed, and that blasted window was put in. It was close, but it all came together. Short sales are anything but!!

Peace.

Friday, October 23, 2009

If it weren't for bad luck ...

Simone has been sick for at least three weeks now. We are going to get a referral to Texas A&M for further testing. Our vets have exhausted their arsenal. Of course, we are going to yank her out into the troop carrier to travel to the SSB. And I have to get to the vet's office for her nausea pills.

I am third on the list for the glass company. But it is already 10:21. I just keep hoping for the phone to ring. I am tied because when I checked the cell this morning, it wouldn't charge. I have become so totally technologically lame, I couldn't remember how to get the battery compartment open. I finally did and it is sitting there charging. It is going to take it a while.

I don't take stress well at all. My intestines are in an armed revolt. I wonder if one of the dog's tranquillizers would help me??

Well enough of this pity party. I hope your weekend will be wonderful.

Peace.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is it safe yet?

It isn't! Duck under the bed and grab your head.

This "snake-bit" (used it again Shawna!) house we have been messing with since July 2 finally went to closing today. The skies warned us not to go. We had another round of heavy, flooding rains this morning.

I went to the bank to withdraw the money via a cashier's check. It looked like the heavens were breaking finally. The rains were lessening. A good sign? Perhaps. Or perhaps not.

I went to pick up G from work. Usually the traffic on our freeway into town is crowded. There was no traffic. Good omen?

We get into the closing, and the owners are there. I really didn't want to meet them. I knew we were getting the house way under its value. They, like so many others got into trouble with their mortgage, and their mortgage company (according to the woman) wouldn't work with them. She said that they had tried a year ago to get some kind of help, and nothing came about. So I was uncomfortable - very.

All went well - we thought. One sticking factor has been a broken window. Our mortgage company is demanding it be repaired 24 hours after closing. Getting things about the "invoice" have been a joke, but we got one sent to them. We were to have paid it at closing. We didn't. Because the mortgage company didn't include it, like they didn't include the loan application.

The glass company was set to come after 2. We were just barely out of closing at 1:30 when they called. They would be at the house in about 30 minutes. So we had to cancel. I pray they are there in the morning.

Then G called me at 3:30. Our mortgage company demanded that we deliver a check to the title company TODAY or they wouldn't fund the loan. G was furious. But he finally lowered to a mild simmer and went over.

So - he paid. I will meet the glass company tomorrow - if they show before noon. I will have to give a credit card for security until they get the check from the title company.

I. Want. To. Hide. Under. The. Bed. I am beginning to think there is a spell on that house!

Peace.





Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Flat

That pretty much sums up the way I feel today. In fact, I thought about not posting at all. But, as usual, I am.

We are finally closing on the "Short sale house" tomorrow. But it is fraught with more challenges. I have to get to the bank early to get a cashier's check. Then I have to make my way to closing. Here in Swampland we are lucky to have more than one business area. We don't have just one " x town." No we have downtown, midtown, and uptown. Each one is a pain in the rear to get to. Then you can throw in the Medical Center, but that's another thing.

I have to be in uptown at noon tomorrow. I don't know why we had to have that title company chosen. There are multitudes out here in the muddy acres surrounding Swampland.

So I get to get in gear to get to the bank - early. Then to closing, then hopefully I get to meet the glass company at the house to have the window repaired. That has been another bone of contention. The underwriter wouldn't write the loan without the proper statement from a glass company to the effect they will be at the house within 24 hours. Gee.....

So I have set up the glass company. Then they (some entity from the mortgage company I guess) will come out to make sure that %&&^$^& glass is in. Yep, I'm about to lose it.

I told DIL I would put the name of a certain insurance company on an apron for her. She is going to be that woman who wears said apron for Halloween. I finally got it all centered in the hoop. It all looked great. I started the machine. It looked absolutely beautiful - even if I couldn't get a font with slanting letters, but even the color of the thread was great.

Then I unhooped that work of art. When I turned it over to remove the stabilizer, there it was. The band from the neck was trapped in the embroidery. It is only an inch, but it might as well be the entire thing. I can't take out the stitches. I would never get it hooped correctly again. I guess I will be heading to the craft store after closing - or on Tuesday anyway to do it over!

So my mood today is flat. Just tired of it all.

Peace.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How true

Things have been hopping around here - mostly with "the" house. If we ever close . . .

But I have been taking some time to cruise the internet. I noticed that my nephew was on Facebook. M has always been a bit different, and he still is. He and Son are the same age - M being weeks younger. He finally got his degree, and is working on his Master's (Son never finished, but then he is doing OK). He now lives here in Swampland, but we never hear from him.

When I discovered he was on Facebook, I asked him to be a friend. He is friends to his aunt on his mother's side and that whole family. He replied with a nice little email, but never mentioned being a friend. Sure enough, we are not friends.

That hurt my feelings a little, but M is M. But it got me to thinking the old adage : a daughter is a daugter all her life; a son is a son until he takes a wife. Then as I was reading Judy's blog, I thought of it again.

It is true of my son. They spend more time with C's family. It is true of SIL. They are closer to us. It was true with G. What I didn't realize it that it would extend to the children. M's family is closer to my SIL's family.

Family relationships are complicated - and funny.
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In other news, Daughter called with the latest in the saga of her step-daughter. It seems like step told her mother that she was at her grandparents house with her dad (SIL) when they all got into a bad argument that caused SIL to get in the car and leave. We don't know why she decided to do this. SIL is in Mississippi - not the Alamo City. But step's mom texted him and blessed him out. They the truth came out. Would I love to be a fly on the wall? You bet!! I am just wondering what kind of trouble Step is in. Poor kid. Her life looks really bleak. She needs major therapy - now! I hope she gets is, but I know it won't happen. She is one of five from three relationships. Sad.

Peace.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Good laugh

Here we go again with talk about the weather, but it's really comical to me!

It was warm yesterday. In fact, we set another record high I believe. Yesterday afternoon, the heat index at one time was 101. As a life long Texan this isn't surprising to me at all. I remember many Halloween trick or treating times with high temperatures. I remember many Christmas days that were hot. Usually my aunt would have given me a beautiful velvet dress for Christmas, and I would be hell bent on wearing it for Christmas dinner!! I sweated - a lot!

I was watching Good Morning America this morning they sent the weather man down here because we were having a major cooling off this weekend. Oh, please!

From what is forecast, we will be warming again by the middle of the week. But we here are living in the moment. We will enjoy the wonderful weather this weekend and be thankful for it!

Peace.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Snake bit

That's a phrase we use around these parts to indicate something that has a problem. I am using that term for the property we wanted to buy as a rental.

Our first problem was wayyyyy back in July. The owner (who had moved out of the property and was facing foreclosure) got two additional contracts. The other two were for cash, but were for a much lower price. He took several weeks to decide, and then took ours. It went to his mortgage company who felt the price was too low, so we came up $3000. It was still a good deal - even with all the work that needs to be done.

We were on vacation then. We had to find a fax machine in Canada to send in that offer. The mortgage company then sat on it for a month. They then accepted it. They originally set closing for less than a week away, but we got it changed. They said by October 28, we said the 21.

So I have been trying to get utilities on for the structural and mechanical inspections. The gas still isn't on. The structural we had indicated a "moderate amount of settling.) There are two doors that stick. Around these parts, that isn't an uncommon problem - especially after our hot, dry summer.

When the appraiser came out, the appraisal came out much higher (they couldn't tell us how much) than the purchase price, but the appraiser is concerned with the foundation. Also because there is a broken window, some HUD thingy said that we have to get an estimate for the window that the title company will cut a check for at closing (from our funds) to have it fixed the day after closing. (Huh???)

So I met the glass company (the second one because the first thought I was crazy and almost told me so). I have the estimate in hand. But now the appraiser wants another structural on the house to specifically check the foundation.

I am beginning to think that nearly three months and all this "extra money" is a bit much!

Peace.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A ho-hum day

I'm about to go up and fight the technology wars again. Although the new machine is heads and shoulders above the old new one, there are still some problems. I don't think the problems are with the machine this time; I think they are with my CD's.

When I was trying to move embroidery designs from the hard drive to CD, I would get error messages that I needed to put in a writable disk. It was. So I think the problem is with the computer or the disks. The computer is getting a little old. It very well could be it.

You know the computer is getting old when it's as cranky as you are. There is so much junk on it that it takes a long time to load. I have tried to get rid of this junk, but it is still there. I don't feel like paying $50-150 to get a professional to clean it all up. There may even be some viruses lurking in the background even though I run a firewall in addition to the one from Microsoft as well as all other kinds of programs to fight those stupid people who love to dream up the viruses.

I could take the computer upstairs when I go to try to figure out where the problem lies, but I have enough fun taking a thumb drive with me. I have enough fun just getting myself up there!

Peace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Grampa's suggestion to MB

When we are at the SSB (Stings, Sticks, or Bites), there is no one around. We are on 200 acres, and we are one of the smaller places!

Yesterday, Monkey Boy was standing outside the second bathroom telling his dad that he had to go. He was doing all the associated jumping around and tugging. Daughter was in the bathroom showing no signs of giving up her place. His dad just kept telling MB that he would have to wait.

G witnessed all this. He walked up to MB and asked him why he just didn't go outside. G said MB looked at him like he was crazy.

G told me this last night, and we did get a good laugh. It is still funny, but I got to thinking while I was writing this. It isn't that he has never done this particular thing. I remember them telling me that all summer he would get out of the pool to go behind the garage.

It is still funny though. MB is a different little kid. He just doesn't know exactly how to take us. I'm sure that he was really confused. We just don't let him out to run around. As I have named the place, it could be dangerous.

Needless to say, MB waited until the bathroom was empty!

Peace.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quickly

I finally waded through the 288 emails on yahoo. My air card just couldn't manage that site. I have joined several yahoo machine embroidery groups. Most of the emails are from digitizers who are trying to sell their designs, but there are also chatty emails. I don't know how those people have the time to chat there. But they do. Oh, well. So I wade through hundreds of emails.

The weather at the SSB was really pretty bad, but I enjoyed it never the less. Daughter and troop decided to make the trip. They weren't really sure because their trip out on Friday morning was scary. The roads are dirt and rock. It rained really hard Thursday night. The road was really squishy, and they didn't have any 4-wheel drive, they were in her work van.

When we were on that part of the road on Friday late afternoon, it was still pretty scary, but we have 4-wheel. Of course, Son says that 4-wheel drive just means you can get stuck twice as far off the road!

I got a lot of things done. I just wish I could have slept more. It was perfect sleeping weather. It was cool and rainy.

Home now. All is good.

Peace.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Preparing to go to the SSB

Warning: This is a vent!!!

Hurry - check your weather radar and you will see severe storms bearing down on Swampland!! I thought I had at least 30 minutes more before I had to load the ice chests and travel tote into the truck. Nope. It is raining cats and dogs right now, and I have both Simone and Shadow under my feet. Wonderful!

That brings me to today's rant. During the hot months (and that's about 9), we can't load the ice chests, et al the night before. That leaves it to me so we can leave as soon as G comes home. This time there are two ice chests. We had about 100 pounds of ice left from the reunion. We are going to take it to the SSB because this is the season it is needed for packing game.

Who gets to load all this s**t alone. That's absolutely correct. I could only get 40 pounds of ice in the old chest, and the new one is full of food because Daughter's clan will be there Sunday. (SIL's aunt died in Little Bitty West Texas Town Wednesday night and they will be using the SSB to break up the trip for the kids.)

Now when we get there, G will have the audacity to complain about the weight of the items I packed - alone. I will be duly ticked!

Gotta go now. I loaded in the toad strangler, so I have to dry off to get wet again when I play shuffle the vehicles. Perhaps I need a job outside the house too???

Happy weekend to you.

Peace.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Whine and cheese

I know the cheese is around here somewhere to go with this whine! I just can't find it. But then that seems to be the status of my house anyway!

I finally got my self in gear to go to the grocery store. I try to put it off, and I am delighted when someone offers to go for me! I used to like to go shopping - anywhere. Now I absolutely despise going.

Tuesday I met the mechanical and structural inspector over at the other house. The grass over there hasn't been cut in weeks, and it about 6 inches tall. When he finished looking at everything, he had to show me. So here I am tromping around the house in tall grass. I don't think that helped my knees at all.

I came home and decided to go upstairs to work on some embroidery. As I was about to start climbing the stairs, I twisted my right knee slightly. It almost felled me. I couldn't believe how much it hurt. But I went up anyway. I thought it would be better yesterday after being off it all night. Was I ever wrong.

Yesterday I was really crippled. More than ever. But there were other possible factors. We got rain. There is a front out there so the pressure is changing a bit, AND I had been walking around on uneven ground with tall grass. What was the cause, I don't know. I do know I was in great pain.

Today I had to go to the grocery store. There is no one but me for this right now. We are going to the SSB this weekend, so the trip was a necessity. I am home now. My knees are screaming. And it didn't help that my glasses fogged up from the car a/c in the muggy heat. Why does that add to my pain? Well I stopped to pick up one of the little neighborhood papers and tripped on OUR uneven grass. I almost ate it. But I did jam my knees catching myself.

So taking this little respite has helped me. Let me bring in the groceries. That cheese just might be in one of those bags, and I'll serve you some. You had the whine.

Peace.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

October

I'm going to share a secret with you. I am beginning to really hate October. It's not the weather. It's not Halloween. It's not because the holiday shopping madness is about to begin. It is because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Now, if I had paid closer attention to this month four years ago, I probably wouldn't dislike October so much. The way it is now, all these reminders about self checking for breast cancer, getting a mammogram, and so on, remind me of how stupid I was.

I was stupid enough to go for about ten years without my "woman's" check up. When my general practitioner would ask, I actually lied. When he pressed as to who was doing the pap and breast, I told him I was still going to the old gyno.

I don't know why I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor. I intended to go to this doctor for six years. He had delivered all my daughter's children. My DIL was going to him, and her mother was also going to him. I just procrastinated.

Finally the spirit moved me. I walked out of his office thinking I had dodged a bullet. From his exam he thought things were just fine, but he prescribed the dreaded mammogram. At the time there was a lot to gram!

When I got the call to come back in, I knew. I knew there was a problem. When I had to go to the surgeon, I had to pick up the films from the mammogram. I could see the tumor. Then I could feel it. Why I had not been able to feel it before I really don't know. That sucker was 2 cm (almost an inch).

So every year I spend the entire month with reminders to self exam, get mammograms, walk in walks. It all just sort of mocks me. I was stupid, and I get reminded more everyday of October.

Don't get me wrong. I get reminders all through the day anyway. There is the numbness beginning mid chest going on through the underarm area to the mid-side. Each evening when I take a shower and see myself in the mirror I get a strong visual reminder. Sure I have had reconstruction, but the chest is still a crazy quilt. Plus I vetoed the construction of the nipple.

I will be glad when October is over. At least one of the reminders will stop!

Peace.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This and that

I thought I had outsmarted the gas company. I gave them my cell phone number. No matter where I went, I would have my cell phone to get their thirty minute warning. I was upstairs sewing happily away on my new machine. A little after 4, it gave the message tone. I listened to my message. It was the gas company saying they were on their way. The message was at 3:38 the guy said. But my phone never rang. I nearly broke my neck running down the stairs, and then hopped in the car to get to the house.

I waited and waited. G came over. We waited some more. At 5:15, we decided we had missed them, so we left. I was so distraught because I just couldn't change the mechanical and structural inspection again. Besides, I had spent two days now waiting.

When I got to the house this morning, there was a door hanger. The gas company was there at 6. Ummm, by my calculations that is just a tad more than 30 minutes.

We had the inspections. The gas appliances in the house are the central heat and the water heater. Both of those are fairly new and shouldn't be a problem. So I am not too worried about them. The inspector found some moderate settling in the house. Down here, we all pretty much have concrete slabs that our houses are built on. When it gets dry, houses settle. Sometimes the slab cracks. But that one is moderate probably due to the summer heat and drought.

So now we are on to closing - I guess. I think I will let my renters turn on the gas. They have to anyway. I am really sick of the gas company!!!

In other stuff and things. I took the remaining parts of the old machine to the store today. I saw they already had my old one out for sale. It was considerably less than they gave me on trade in. Poor soul that buys that lemon.

Peace.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Waiting, waiting!

I'm beginning to think we should just dig a hole in the back yard and bury some money there and cut a hole in the mattress and stuff some in there too. Trying to invest in something that is a seemingly good investment is driving us both crazy!

First was the electric entity that turned on the power days before I requested it. Then sent me one bill for well over $300, only to be followed up a couple of days later with a second bill for over $150. I thought that was taken care of before the bill ever came. That was straightened out Friday - I think. At least I have a letter and an email stating that.

We did get a key to that house. The gas company was scheduled to come out on Friday. They were to call me first to give me 30 minutes heads up. At 6:30 I called (after calling at 3:45) to check on their progress. They had been to the house. No one was there. No s**t Sherlock! So they are scheduled for today - again. It's getting towards noon. I had asked for early.

Anyway, we used the key last night to check to make sure the power and water were on. By the way, the power company is a different company!! Both were on. When G went upstairs (I'm not climbing stairs there), the thermostat was set on 54. The door to the garage was open and the stairs accessing the attic were down. So we were air conditioning the garage and the attic. No wonder the bill was about $426 for less than a month.

My bug guy came today and did the termite inspection. It passed. So now we have the other one set for tomorrow morning - just waiting for the gas company to grace us with a call. I'm sure they will call in about an hour. We plan to have lunch with my daughter at noon. But isn't that the way things go? It surely is - at least for me.

Peace.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Quick note

The reunion came off fine. The rain came as we were eating lunch. Lunch is another story. I thought I was going to come to blows with a cousin and her beans "not being cooked through." The kids got to do the pinata. MIL came, and thought she would be taken home when she was ready. BIL and SIL had to stay to help clean up.

Little girls are nasty little creatures. They are beginning in kindergarten or before. It happens even in families. Lady Bug is a budding naturalist. She found some pill bugs (roly-pollys or what ever). They fascinated her. A couple of second/third cousins made fun of her because she enjoyed playing with bugs. For Pete's sake. That was a real downer for LB.

So all's well that end's well.

Peace.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Is there any old business?

Yes! I seem to be running a day behind relating this terrifically exciting life of mine! Yesterday was sewing club. I hoisted that machine downstairs along with its trolley. The combined weight must be 60-70 pounds, at the least.

I got the thing into and out of the car. Got into the classroom, set it up, put my "stick" into the USB port, and . . . nothing. It wouldn't recognize the stick. Now I have had problems with it recognizing the stick from the get go. With great trepidation on my part, we put Joyce's stick in. Nothing.

So I knew what I had to do - the same thing I do at seemingly every club meeting. I had to take it to the front for a consultation. Oh, and get ready to leave it to be repaired. They weren't sure what was wrong.

I knew Ken had gotten two machines in that were new, refurbished machines, not just the old one updated. He wanted to move them that day. I jokingly said I ought to trade my in for one of those. Well to cut to the chase, that's exactly what I did. They gave me 65% of the purchase of the old one toward the new one.

When I got home, I put the new one in place and began to embroidery some ornaments. What a joy. It immediately recognized the CD-ROM. (I forgot to say the old one didn't want to recognize the CD-ROM anymore either). I didn't have to use bobbins that were filled with the same color. That cut my time down a lot! It was quiet.

But now I have two new extra bobbin cases. But there are too many people I have heard of that these machines DO eat the bobbin cases. But this new one is so tight. And it sews so smoothly. It just purrs! I love it, love it, love it!!

Pray for good weather at San Felipe State Park tomorrow. IT is the family reunion day. Right now, it doesn't look promising. The problem is keeping the little kids happy. They can't run and play outside if . . . I can't even say it! I guess we do the Pinata early.

Peace.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I knew there was a reason I hated going to Wally World. I totally remembered in a flash yesterday. It's not merely the fact the stores are huge, it is the fellow shoppers. They are, for the most part, strange and rude - hence the web site about them.

I really wanted to get in and out because that was only my first stop. I had pretty much decided that I was going to use one of the motorized carts. Guess what - they were in use by folks that looked to be in their 30's. So I got a regular cart and began my trudging.

My first stop was shampoo for G. There was a lady parked in the middle of the isle perusing every type of shampoo. She really shouldn't worry about what kind of shampoo. I am an expert here. I have always had thin hair, both is texture and amount. After chemo, it never got any better. I really believe the pill I take does that. I wear a wig.

This woman didn't have much more hair on her head than I do. But she was going to take her time looking for a shampoo. I could have whipped that wig off my head and told her that none of them work to give you more hair. But I didn't. I finally got around her.

It seemed that it didn't matter which way I was going in the aisle. It seems it was the wrong, and I didn't have right of way. All these others wanted to crash into me. It was like a demolition derby!

When I finally got to checkout, there weren't too many people at any of the registers, but #16 looked really promising. She was paying, so I could get right in, right?? Not on your life. She still had a cart full of items. So she was all checked out. She swiped what looked like a credit card. I think it was a gift card. It wasn't accepted. She tried again, and they fooled around some more. Finally she said "they don't want me to use it twice in one day." She pulled out another card, and after some sort of voodoo and high finance, she was gone. I was about to die. My feet, legs and hips were screaming!

I went on to three more stores, and it was uneventful with the exception of the big drug store. A woman in a mini-van really couldn't see when she was backing out. There was a huge FedEx delivery truck across from her, so the parking lot was not large at all. She decided she would continue backing out even though there was traffic. There was no place for her to go, but go she must! I had to pull into the parking places at the side or she was going to hit me. It was the perfect topper to my day!

Peace

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shopping

I absolutely NEED to go out shopping today. I need things from the grocery store, and Wally World has sheets on sale. I need additional sets for the SSB. We are getting more visitors there. I can't keep up with the washing of said items,

I just don't want to go out - at all, but today is the day. Tomorrow I could go, but after my sewing machine club, I usually don't want to go. I will pick up fast food and head in. Friday is out.

The reason Friday is out is simple. I have to wait around here for the gas company to install a new meter and turn on the gas at the house we are buying. The other owner's mortgage company finally made a decision. We sent them a new offer after they turned down the first one when we were in Canada. I think they really believed someone would come in with a better offer. The place has been empty since March, and it was on the market before that.

So I spent yesterday afternoon calling all the utilities setting them to be turned on so we could schedule the mechanical, structural and termite inspections. Those are set for Monday. I get to stay close to the phone because I have to be there when they put the meter in and turn on the gas.

I also called the electric utility that turned on the power on August 12 when I wanted it on the 21st at the earliest. Then when I finally found it was on by calling to postpone the service, yet again, found it had been on. I thought that was all taken care of, but then I got two bills totaling $426.

I called yesterday to get that cleared. When I called the number that was listed for those of us who felt the bill was a mistake, I found that there was a credit on September 11 of the same amount that is still "owed." That line would just allow me to make a payment, or ask for balanced billing. When I told the computer I wanted none of the listed options, I was whisked to Customer Service. As I was explaining my case to the guy, as soon as he said "I understand" we were "disconnected." And he ever tried to call me back.

I sent an email to the address that was given for comments, etc. I didn't expect to hear anything at all. I did get a almost immediate response promising she would look into the matter. So far - nothing.

So there is my whine. I guess I should offer some cheese to go with it. Now I am off to take my meds, get dressed and hit the stores. Ugh!

Peace.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Same song

Yep, same song, verse fifth something. Simone is sick again. It started last Tuesday when I needed it the least. The guy was here for the generator, and he had to turn the power off. I witnessed her nausea in the den. I didn't know about it in the bedroom until, in the dark, well you fill in what happened. It wasn't pleasant.

She was better Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday I saw the signs and was able to get her a pill for nausea. That held off the severe nausea. Saturday she was OK, but Sunday not at all. Daughter did volunteer for dinner. I was relieved.

G decided that she needed to see the vet (yet again). So yesterday I made her an appointment with the more senior veterinarian. It is so funny to get to the office. All the assistants exclaim "Here's Simone!" They come around the desk and love on her. Word apparently spreads through the entire hospital. It is almost embarrassing. Of course, you have to remember that she goes there for baths too. She also has been boarded there two or three times.

The veterinarian came in. He is basically stumped. But I wanted G to be there to ask questions. The vet said there was no reason to spend the money to send her to A&M because she gets nauseated, then gets better. She is maintaining her weight, so there isn't that problem,

The course of treatment this time is a stronger anti-vomiting pill. She got that this morning. When she got up, it was the lickey-lickey stuff again. He also wants to try an antibiotic. Boxers are subject to, among the multitude of things, an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut. That can cause the nausea. Well, that is as good as any other probable cause.

This morning she has had her super-duper anti-nausea pill. I need to give her that anti-acid, and she wants to eat. Then we will try the outside break - on a leash to stop the grass (or anything else she can get her mouth on) eating.

Life is nothing but exciting around here. In addition to a sick dog, I will be fighting with the power company I had lined up to turn the power on at the house we want as an investment. They turned it on way before I asked, and didn't say anything when I would call to postpone the turn on. They had it on for less than a month, and they sent me a bill for aver $400. All I can figure is that that thermostat is set on deep freeze. I wouldn't know because I am not the owner yet, and I have to access to the house. Wish me luck.

Peace.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Praying

That title sounds ominous I know, and it's really not that bad. But I am praying in earnest. Here's why:

Our church is about 27 years old, and in that time we have had three pastors. Pastor One was there o get the church started. He was older - about to retire. Pastor M really tried to please all. I was his organist, and I saw a lot of the things he did to please. I have found that the pastor and organist have a pretty close relationship - at least in our church that was the case, especially when we were still considered a mission church and right after. The staff of the church was small.

I remember once Pastor M said he would marry these folks that weren't members. They were going to have the big wedding with bells and whistles. It was to be on Saturday afternoon. We were all assembled - me there an hour or so before to begin the music about a half hour before the set time. I began to play fully aware that the bride was not there. After 45 minutes, I gave up. One can only sit at the bench so long! I discovered the groom's dad was opposed to this marriage. It seems that it was almost an "arranged" marriage so the bride could remain in the country! After about another 30 minutes, a small car careened into the parking lot. Out tumbled the bride and a host of others making that scene resemble a clown car at the circus with a multitude of clowns emerging from a little car.

After a few years, the church was in its building and on its way, and Pastor M was going to retire. So we had to call another pastor. That's when we got Pastor L. L is a very liberal guy, and very dedicated to education. His main focus as pastor to our parish was to serve the community. To him that included a daycare/school. He kept pushing and got that in place.

His health wasn't the best, and he suffered several attacks. He has had many stints put in his heart. Many of our parish are staunch conservatives however. After a parade of two assistant pastors who turned out to be, lets call it as it was, real duds, then the specter of (gasp) sex education and homosexuality reared its ugly head, he was pretty much hounded out of the office. His heart just about quit, he went out on disability, and ultimately resigned.

That was a blow to my kids. He was THEIR pastor. He confirmed them, went to camp with them, presided at their weddings, baptized one of Daughter's children. When he left - so did they, much to L's sorrow. He repeatedly told them it wasn't HIS church.

Our interim through this ultimately became the pastor. It was his dream. He was close to retirement, and this was the position he wanted before retirement. My family didn't find his sermons inspiring. Daughter and family have begun to go to a mission church a little further out. That pastor is so dynamic. I love the spirit - I miss that mission spirit. Our church is the kind that people sit back to let "someone else" do the work. You can't do that in a mission church.

Now we are issuing a call to a new pastor. He is young and from the area. He and the mission pastor are friends. I imagine that he will deliver good messages, not Chicken Soup for the Soul. My concern is something Pastor C said. He remarked to Daughter "Church X (ours) has a bad reputation, and I hope he doesn't get run off because he is a good guy." I hope not too!

Peace.