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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019

Nope, no working the project today.  Now the grand daughter is sick.  She is the last of the grandkids to catch whatever is going around the schools.  She is a senior in high school this year.  Getting the best grades and getting selected for college is her biggest concern.  But today she is laid out with the flu.  DIL says do not come to the sick house.  It can wait.

My adductor strain has started acting up again.  Climbing a ladder and balancing on a tiny step for a few hours is all it took.  So it is good to have the day doing ice and heat packs.  Streaming some Netflix things.  And thinking about some recent articles and blogs I have read.  "Feminist" brings the stories of the 1960's and 1970's activists is what I am streaming.  An article about Democratic socialism as many of the new, woke generation are becoming.  Led by Bernie Sanders

One article in particular struck a cord with me.  This particular writer is a Christian.  She stated that Jesus was a socialist.  Sharing, caring and all equal.  For her socialism is the answer.  Workers owning the businesses.  All sharing on a equal basis.  Capitalism is an ugly word as it encourages unequal money distribution. 

Over the days since I read the article, I have been mulling this over.  Chewing on the idea.  Weighing it against my life experience.  I have come to a conclusion.  None of these systems will ever work for the common good.  None.  Human nature gets in the way.  Greed and sloth.  If you look at socialism in Russia and the old USSR you have oligarchs.  Capitalism gives you the 1 % where they never have enough $$$.  And it does not matter if one is conservative or liberal, Koch or Soros.  Sloth  is seen any time you are in the world.  There is always that person or persons that do just enough to not be fired.

When we visited part of the old Communist Bloc countries in 2016 we heard lots of stories.  The younger persons had adapted to a more capitalistic economy.  The children of parents who grew up under the Communist government felt freer to a degree.  Some absolutely embraced the freedom.  Others were still questioning.  One young man from the Budapest area noted his parents are somewhat lost.  They had worked in their government assigned jobs.  Then the government collapsed.   With nothing to replace the jobs.  The USSR had been the main consumer of the goods.  Dilapidated buildings in some parts were a result of the ensuing wars.

Before one jumps to say, 'There you go, capitalism and democracy are the way to go" consider the dilapidated inner cities of the US.  Under capitalism industry migrates to the cheapest labor.  More money for the shareholders sounds really good.  Board of directors salaries are met before any profit is shared.  Salaries of the workers are met, too.  Of course currently those salaries have not risen at the same rate at the 1 % ers $$$$.

It is a matter of pick the poison that fits you.  I just hope we choose wisely.  That the Democratic party is not hijacked by the extremists.  If it is not already too late.

Monday, February 11, 2019

February 11, 2019

Friday, Feb. 8, found the weather very unpleasant.  Too cold to be working in the unheated garage.  We decided to take the day off and rest.  There was a pizza run for Middle grandson's lunch.  I began sleeting while I was out for the pizza run.  Unpleasant weather.  The remainder of the day we actually did rest a lot.  Slept in our easy chairs.  Woke up, watched a bit of TV and still slept all night long.  Saturday was another cold, wet day.  We stayed in most of this day, too.  Missed Youngest grandson's indoor soccer game.

Sunday was foggy, cold and just nasty weather.  Oldest grandson had a game in San Antonio, a 2 hour drive from here.  Outdoor game.  Nope, not going to attempt this either.  Word was it was a great game with Grandson who was on defense made a goal!  The Round Rock Dragons won and Grandson was muddy but happy after the game.

Sunday evening our nephew came for some help with repairs and tailoring of some clothing.  He is going on a cruise and is needing costumes.  I showed him how to repair a tear in his jeans.  Then began working on making a sort of costume for the theme of cannibals.  Something similar to the look of the 2010 Wolfman movie costumes.  Made headway but still have more to do before Thursday when we see him again.

The work was resumed on the utility room project.  Again, my intent was to paint.  Never made it to opening the can.  Housekeeper is coming tomorrow so I spent my time getting as much stuff picked up.  Blinds were rehung and tools we were finished using were loaded back into the storage tub.  Hubby was cutting and fitting the rest of the wood for the wall to wall shelf.  It is a two person job to get the shelf around the corners and through doorways. 

With all the sawing and fitting there was sawdust throughout the garage and hall to the utility room.  Straightened up the garage by carrying out all the recycling.  Swept the garage, hall and utility room.  A shelf that covers the opening behind the washer and dryer was rehung.  We called it quits for the day.  Headed home where left over chili and broccoli salad fit our appetites and energy levels just right.

Weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow.  It will be good to see the sun and a bit more warmth with out all the humidity.  Take care and will try to remember to take update pictures tomorrow!

February 7, 2019

About a year ago our DIL asked if we thought we might be able to do some stuff in her laundry room to get more storage.  She had some Pinterest examples of her wish list.  One big item was to have a cover over the top of the washer and dryer.  The left pin was one example.  Well, the first thing we had to change was the fact that her controls were at the back, not the front.  There is, also, a topside dispenser unit for detergent, softener, bleach, etc.  Research, exchanged emails and hand drawings led to the example on the right.

Like this a lot too.
There had to be some savings done.  I decided we would give her stuff for the project for her birthday last year.  Christmas gift included a retractable drying unit.  Besides waiting for finances, there was the bike accident.  Vacations, birthday parties, kids activities, well, just life in general.  
Finally on Tuesday afternoon the destruction began.  That is Hubby pulling down the braces for the fairly useless shelf that was installed by the builder.  Note Lila in the window and DJ standing behind her Grandpa.  Just like me DJ loves this guy.  By the time the destruct was done DJ was needing some rest.  Lila did a cat scan of the work.  

There was at least an hour of time cussing and discussing exactly how we would make the shelf work.  The reality of on site projects are always a bit different than the vision.  This shelf will extend from wall to wall.  Openings at the ends will be used for the litter box and either the laundry cart or recycling depending on what DIL wants.  Measurements and re-measurements for the shelf supports were made.  One support was installed for the shelf.  We are old and were ready to go home and sit in comfortable chairs.

Wednesday brought more discussions.  And walking around DJ and Lila.   Also, moving the cat dish to a location DJ could not get to it cause she will eat everything.  There was a litter box to keep from being a DJ snack, uck.  I had planned to paint but the paint was not available.  I had forgotten to bring the level so I took DJ with me to get the level from our place.  This gave Hubby time to make more measurements and make a template for the door we will eventually put in the long shelf. 

DJ was intent on watching for squirrels during our drive. By the time I returned, all the supports were installed.  It was time to put all the stuff back in place cause with 5 kids there is ALWAYS laundry.  Besides, Oldest Grandson had a lacrosse game we all needed to go see.  Our grandson's team won!   

Thursday started with a trip to Home Depot to get additional supplies to put the shelf together.  Paint was matched and purchased.  Some stain was selected as well as the varnish for finishing the long shelf.  We grabbed some Starbucks and headed to Son's place.  First up was the installation of the wall cabinet.  More measurements to locate studs.  Hubby pre-drilled holes in the back of the cabinet for attaching to the wall.  Together we were able to get the cabinet lifted onto a sawhorse.  We made the final lift and I held it in place while hubby installed two screws.  That was enough to hold the cabinet in place for him to install the remaining screws. 

Hubby headed for the garage to begin the assembly of the long shelf.  The shelf is being made from 6 ft. by 12 inch pine boards.  The span to cover is about 104 inches by 35 inches.  Boards are being doweled, glued, cleated and mounted together.  So lots of measuring, cutting and thinking to make sure all is going in the correct location.  Meanwhile I was working on painting along edges and small areas a roller would not fit.

About when it was time for some food I realized the roller had no pads.  I was just certain we had roller pads in that container.  Oh, well.  Two good reasons to get Hubby to stop and rest.  Over night he had awoke with severe cramps in his thigh.  Had to put a heating pad on it for him to get relief.  Picked a fast food restaurant that was next to Home Depot.  Sitting down surely felt good.  After eating we headed for Home Depot.  Hubby chose to stay in the car while I purchased the roller cover.  

The roller unit we use has a built in paint storage in the handle.  Just squeeze the handle and more paint feeds into the roller.  This requires a special roller cover that has holes.  Hubby had purchased this from Home Depot about 15 years ago.  Home Depot no longer carries the unit nor the perforated covers.  Just fine give me that unit that has the roller, cover and extension tube.  I just want to get this painting done.

It was the end of day three.  Another day and all the painting will be done.  The long shelf assembly will be complete.  Before we Thursday tonight the washer and dryer were put back in their permanent place.  Kitty litter box, food and water were put in her reach.  Home surely felt good that night.

February 3, 2019

The month of February brings slightly longer days though temperatures promise to remain cool.  Now by Texas standards the temps are cold some days.  By standards of others further north the temps are down right balmy.  It is 70 F, 21 C today.  The forecasts says it might get as low as 40 F on Thursday night.  Those temperatures make my daily walks pleasant enough.  Here are some views from my walks and activities over the last few days.

Eye exams followed by shopping with Hubby and DJ the granddog.  

Actually the next day I did not go walking, I sat in my chair.  I had on my Hot Sox, socks I can heat.  And when the feet are aching they surely feel good.  Real good.

Rain, some snow flakes, more rain, cold and finely a break in the weather.  An opportunity to get out and snap a few photos. 

That's all for now.  Hope all is going well for those who visit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my mother's passing.  A morning text from my youngest sister reminded me of that early morning.  Mom's health had been a dramatic decline in the four months since the last of her siblings, her baby sister, died.  Mom had lost the sight in her right eye on Thanksgiving night.  "I woke up and could not see the clock till I turned my head, it said 2:37."  She knew that was the exact time she lost her sight.  Within 3 weeks Mom fell and broke her right wrist.  By late December Mom was showing signs of losing touch with reality.  She began throwing food in the cafeteria and yelling at the staff.

Mom's legs began swelling.  Daily wound care bandages were being applied.  On January 14th or 15th her right leg split open.  She was transported to a hospital. She was diagnosed with a major UTI and admitted.  Later the doctors further diagnosed her with delirium thought to be a result of the multiple traumas in such a short time.  Mom would talk continually over the next few days.  She regularly finished her bizarre stories with "dot com" or "ATT, ATT".  Sister spent the days with Mom, I took the night shift.  A series of injections were administered attempting to 'reset' her brain.  The room had to be dark with no TV for at least 24 hours.  After the 24 hours Mom seem to be greatly improved.  Not as agitated and would sleep quietly instead of constant mumbling.

Sister #4 had been researching full nursing homes for a few weeks.  It was obvious after the fall causing the broken wrist she needed full care.  Now that search had to be completed as there was no way Mom could reture to the assisted living situation.  The care facility had to be a home that would accept Medicaid for payment as Mom's funds were depleted.   We sisters kept a fund going so Mom could have what she needed.  But $5,000 a month would not be possible for any of us.  By the 25th a contract was signed.  In the evening of the 26th an ambulance transferred Mom to Hollymeade Skilled Nursing Facility.  She seemed okay but not as good as before leaving the hospital.  A consult with the staff yielded a plan.  Sis and I would go to her home and rest.  The last two months had been a beat down for all of us.  Mom would receive meds for sedation so she would rest, too.

On the 27th Sis and I would go visit Mom for a while.  Next we would gather items Mom would need in her new 'home'.  After two weeks in a hospital room Sis and I needed a little time just to breath.  We arrive at the nursing home to find Mom mad as a hornet.  Her breakfast tray with most of her breakfast was thrown onto the floor.  Attendants said they heard her yell for them to take the tray.  They asked if she could wait a minute.  Within a minute they heard it hit the floor.  Brand new room, brand new carpet stained with orange juice, coffee and covered with scrambled eggs.

Sis and I were crestfallen.  Working so hard to have a nice place for Mom.  Then this.  And Mom was becoming confused and delusional again.  She saw something hiding in the ceiling that frightened her.  It was the vent for the heating and cooling unit.  Around lunch time Sis and I left to get our lunch.  We thought maybe some time alone might help Mom.  We, also, took the time to get some cloths and other things from Mom's old place.  Stuff like the basket she kept next to her chair holding nail files, Carmex, pencils, you know her 'stuff'.

Returning we put all the stuff away and attempted to get Mom to eat her dinner.  The meat was ground hamburger.  Little pieces that could be chewed and swallowed easily.  Mom emphatically said she did not want it.  I said,  "Now, Mom, I know you want to live so you have to eat."  Her response was to spit the food across the sheets of the bed.  She at some point during the following hours told me she was going to get up and walk out of the place in the morning.

Sis and I went out for a bite of dinner and a stiff drink.  Since we each had a car, I decided I wanted to spend the night with Mom to see if that might help her settle in a little better.  The preceding days, weeks, months that had stretched into years of caring for our parents then our Mom had finally hit my sister.  She could not even face going back in just to say goodnight again. 

The night was long and only fitful sleep for Mom.  Mom was in pain especially in her right torso area.  It seemed the meds did not do much to help.  I attempted to rest in the recliner next to her bed that night.  She and I would hold hands.  Up and down with nursing staff checking her.  Changing the coverings on the big bed sore on Mom's back.  My mind still hears her voice calling me to make them stop.  Once they could not find a pulse or register blood pressure.  They decided the device was faulty.  Mom begged for something to make the pain stop.  I asked if she wanted to call and ambulance and return to the hospital.  Or wait for the doctor to make rounds in the morning.  She decided to wait.

Around 7 in the morning I stepped out of Mom's room at the brand new nursing facility.  Nature was calling as well as my back needing to be stretched.  I returned to get my tablet to check emails and grab a cup of coffee.  Mom had insisted on having her false teeth in during the night.  They had rattled with each breath she took.  They were still rattling.  Returning to the coffee area I sat for just a few minutes reading what I could.  Frustrated with the slow loading of the emails, I returned to Mom's room.  As I approached the bed, I could tell something had changed.  The rattling had stopped.  There were particles of food on her face and puddled on the bed.

Walking out to the nurse's station I said I needed them to check my Mom.  I noted it appeared she had died.  A quick check confirmed my observation.  They were sorry for my loss.  I was sad but knew Mom was no longer in pain.  I then began the task of calling my sisters.  Sister #1 answered immediately.  She said as soon as she saw who was calling she just knew.  She would come immediately.  She lived an hour and a half away.  Next was Sister #2 who lived in Oklahoma.  Her husband answered.  Mildly surprised as they thought she was improving.  I answered, "So did we." He said he would tell Sister # 2.

Next on the list was my youngest sister.  The sister that had cared for Mom and Dad over the last 15+ years.  The one the did the bulk of care taking.  She dealt with everything from doctor appointments to termite damage at Mom and Dad's place.  I dialed the number and thankfully, again, a BIL answered.  I told him Mom was gone.  He broke down crying.  He, too, volunteered to wake Sister #4 to break the news.  Finally I called my husband who was 200 miles away at our home in Round Rock.  His sweet voice wrapped me in comfort.

Once I hung up from the calls, I cleaned Mom's face and the sheet.  Youngest sister and her husband arrived within minutes living only about 5 miles off the same road at Hollymead.  Sister was sobbing.  I could barely shed a tear.  The staff asked if it would be okay for them to clean Mom.  We left the room and returned to find Mom in clean linens and covered to her neck.  I touched the area she said was hurting during the night.  It was already hard as a rock.  I'll always wonder what was causing the pain.

Word had quickly spread to the grandkids that lived in the area.  They filled the room.  Mom had protected all these people.  Several of the grandkids lived with her and Daddy for months and a couple of years at a time.  Mom had cared for them following surgeries.  A part of their hearts were ripped from them that morning.  The morning Mom woke up to a new level of existence and walked out of Hollymead Skilled Nursing Center.

Monday, January 28, 2019

January 28, 2019

Funk.  That is the best description of my attitude for the last few months.  Between strained tendons and ligaments late last summer halted my walks.  With no way to walk away the election noise put me in a place where there was no desire to write or do much more than just stare at computer jigsaw puzzles.  The holidays were a nice distraction but then the ridiculous government shut down.  The shutdown is still not really resolved, only kicked down the calendar for 3 weeks.  So there it is, the funk.  Staring back me from every mirror.

My best camera is not working properly so it has been taken in for estimates for repair.  Wednesday my eyes will be checked so I can hopefully get glasses to be seeing better soon.  In the meantime I have decided to jump start my attitude.  Getting the bird feeders up and going hopefully will bring some activity to the patio.   I have started carrying an older camera with me on my walks.  I post the photos to facebook mainly for my sister who is recuperating from knee replacement.  The photo at the top of the post is this evening's sky.  It was taken from the 5th floor of the parking garage where I walk.  And that is SOC.

A long time friend called today.  She spoke of traveling to Tennessee to an International Silk Painting convention.  She has joined a chapter of that organization in Topeka, Kansas.  A couple of weeks ago she made the trip from Springfield, MO, to Topeka.  That is about 225 mi. (355 km).  It was her first trip that far alone with her doing the driving . . ever.  She is 70.  I cannot even imagine that.  I made numerous trips of 400 miles by myself over the years.  I flew to different places for work back in the day.  By myself.  My friend has, however, developed her artistic skills to the point that she can sell her work.  She paints in all sorts of mediums.  She weaves, spins her own yarn and sews.  She does melted glass objects as well as pottery.  All with severe fibromyalgia. 

We shared what had been happening in our lives.  She had been in California to visit family.  While there she and her BIL who is a private detective found one of her high school friends.   She said she never  thought she would live to be 70.  Her dad died of heart problems at a young age.  Her mom, like wise, died in her late 60's from heart problems.  Once Jo, my friend, hit 70 she decided she would start living each day to the fullest.  "After all, Grandma Moses was 70 when she started painting." 

When I shared I had become more turned inward she let me have it.  "Get out and start living.  You are not that person to stay home all the time."  Easy for her to say.  Her meds have all been increased so she is feeling no pain.  LOL

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January 23, 2019

For several years I enjoyed participating several photography memes: Wild bird Wednesday, I Heart Macro, Macro Monday 2, Thursday Challenge, Friday Fences, Bird D'pot, Skywatch.  Hubby even bought me an upgraded camera to use.  While I was doing some journaling about current events, stuff that I wanted to tell and about every day happenings I never really considered myself a writer.  And I still do not. I wrote in answer to challenges on The Spin Cycle.  Was introduced to and participated in Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.  All sorts of creative juices flowed.  Then life happened.  Not necessarily just to me but, also, to the folks hosting the memes.

The Spin Cycle slowly quit spinning.  Friday Fences locked its gates.  Thursday Photo Challenge grew tired of thinking up new challenges.  I Heart Macro leader became more ill.  Folks I enjoyed following quit using the platforms I used.  Now they have moved to instagram, Twitter, Flicker and other things I do not use.  I use my phone for a phone and text.  It will not hold apps for all those other things.

You see less of me all the time.  My muses are no longer in this part of the world and I cannot afford to go looking for them.  The good camera is not even working properly these days.  I sit in my apartment cocoon waiting for my muses to come home.  To fill me with the eye for beauty in words and pictures.  In the meantime I will continue to read and comment on the things I can.  As long as you are on a platform to which I have access.  And, yes, I have a twitter and Instagram account.  But the laptop is too heavy to carry around for the instant photo sharing.

Peace and love,