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Sunday, February 9, 2020

February 9, 2020

This is the day my father in law and his twin sister were born.  One hundred and four years ago today a little woman delivered twins.  She was a midwife herself.  I do not know if there was anyone with her to help her or not.  I would suspect possibly her mother was there.  Possibly another midwife but that is pure speculation.  I seriously doubt a doctor was present.  I do remember the two older brothers saying they were taken out of the house to the barn.

Image result for maternity clothing in 1910
1916 was long before all the modern electronic gadgets that could tell the condition of a fetus.  No way to know the child's sex.  No way to know anything other than a woman was in a 'family way'.  Women actually dressed to try and hide the fact they were in a 'family way'.  Really!

Heaven forbid saying a woman was pregnant.  She might be 'expecting'.  There were no gender reveal parties.  One hundred and four years ago there weren't shopping lists to buy gifts for the woman in a family way.  In a farming community such as where Grandma lived everyone did good just to keep their own children fed and clothed.

I do remember my MIL saying Grandma told her what a surprise the second baby was.  Grandma said she barely have enough diapers and clothing for one baby and certainly not two.  Aunt Kathleen was born after my FIL.  She was the first girl for the family so no hand me downs for her.  At least with the two older brothers there might be clothing for my FIL.

As the family was a farming family I suspect she had little extra money to spend on material for diapers.  Probably re-purposed worn out clothing for the diapers.  Or the cotton flour and sugar sacks could have been an option, also. Again speculation.  However, this an interesting article here about the very subject of diapers.  And here is one about the flour/staple sacks.  My older sisters remember our mother making sure she bought the staples in sacks that she could match up to make their clothing during the WWII years.

Grandma survived this day 104 years ago as did the twins.  An older brother had died before the twins were born.  Grandma had 3 more pregnancies.  Two of those three births were girls that survived into adulthood.  Now, they are all dead.  Much of their existence just distant memories in the minds of their children and grandchildren.  There are even great and great great grandchildren for whom Grandma is just a name of a woman in a photo.

Back l to r:  Raymond, Trecil, Carl (FIL), Willis
Middle l to r:  Lorene, Josephine, Kathleen (FIL twin)
Front:  Grandma and Grandpa
Circa early 1950's

Surprise on the Inside Gender Reveal Cake The two babies grew to have families.  FIL had two sons, three grandchildren and now 10 great grand children.  He lived to be 89 + years.  Aunt Kat had one daughter and two sons in that order.  There are four grand children, and 6 or 7 great grandchildren.  Aunt Kat developed leukemia and died too early.  Her youngest child was only 2 at the time of her passing.  Her daughter visits us every year for a week to 10 days.  There seems to be a slightly different relationship with those three cousins maybe due to the twins factor.  Maybe someday  scientists will discover a marker in DNA that answers the question of relationships.  Until that time there can still be a few surprises in life to enjoy while knowing how to decorate the nursery.

Take care and peace,

PS:  How would a gender reveal be done for multiple births of different sexes?

February 8, 2020

Today did not have a lot going on for Hubby and I.  That is unless you count sitting in a stadium watching our grandsons play lacrosse.  G-man, who is 15, is on the the JV team.  Older brother, B, is a captain on the varsity squad.  G is a freshman, B is a senior.  There is, also, Z grandson who had his ACL damaged last fall playing football.  Z plays lacrosse, too, but is out this season as he recuperates form his injury and surgery.

This morning was overcast with a 9 mph wind coming across the field.  Temperature was about 50℉, 10℃.  Hubby and I dressed warm and I took the wool blanket cause I did not want to get chilled.  I had awakened with a headache and knew getting chilled could cause it to go into a migraine.  Sure, there were brave folks in shorts and no jackets.  Good for them.  We were going to be on the bleachers for 4 hours.  I felt the only statement I was making was to the two grandsons.  We are here for you always.

Image result for lacrosse stickJV game started at 11 AM.  G-man was playing offense.  It was a pretty rough and tumble game.  At one point in the game there was another tussle for the ball.  If you have never watched a lacrosse game and saw what I described as a tussle you just might think what the heck.  A battle is possibly a better way to describe a loose ball. 

The battle involves players all attempting to get to the ball on the ground.  No hands can touch the ball.  The ball can be kicked.  The sticks are 3.5 ft to 6 ft long.  The sticks are the only other thing that can touch the ball.  Those same sticks can be used on the other players as well.  Shoving and pushing are part of the game.  There are rules as to how, where on the body and when the pushing, shoving and hitting with the sticks can be done without penalty.  Well, no penalty other than bruises, scratches and general pain for the players the following hours/days.  You can see an example here.

Back to G-man's game.  G-man is in the middle of fighting for the ball.  Other players come flying in from all sides.  Someone gets the ball and a whistle sounds.  Two players are down and not getting up quickly.  One player from each team.  One is G-man.  The other player is helped up and is moving slowly.  The Round Rock Dragon trainer is now at G-man's side.  In a short time G-man is able to get up and move off the field.  A replacement is sent in for G-man and play resumes.  We can see G-man is being checked for a concussion.  By halftime it is determined he is okay.  He returns to play all of the second half without further injury.  Game ends Dragons 1, Alamo Heights I do not remember but something like 9 or 11. 

Next game started at 1 PM.  There is close to a 30 minute warm up that we grandparents need to watch.  It is B's senior year.  B is the grandson that last year about this time had his chin broken and was out for the rest of the season.  He is back and doing very good this year.  Even has a small college watching his work.  I digress.  The varsity game starts.  The Dragons are on fire, no pun intended.  At the end of the first quarter they are up 7 - 0.  B is doing an outstanding job on defense.  Almost to the half and B takes a nasty hit from another player falling against the back of his right leg.  He goes down and is not getting up quickly at all.  Another whistle.  B manages to get off the field.  A replacement is sent in and the game continues. 

B's mom is near us.  She is using her long range camera lens to see what is going on with B and the trainer.  B's dad, our son, is spotter and cannot go to check the situation till half time.  The trainer is working on B's leg and icing.  Shortly, he has B begin to make movements.  The movements continue and B stands.  Move stretching movements.  Halftime arrives and dad checks out the boy.  Sore but not in pain as Z was after the ACL injury.  That is good.  But B does not return to the game.  Dragons increase the lead to 10 before the other team scores.  Then the other team begins scoring.  We know the team is missing B's talents.  Dragons hold on the the lead increasing for a final score of 12 - 5.

All the while through both games I yelled about 3 times.  Cause I still have very little voice.  With these boys and this very physical game I am not sure if my old heart can take another 4 years of lacrosse. 

Ya'll take care and stay off the lacrosse fields, please.


Thursday, February 6, 2020

February 6, 2020

When it comes to the year 2020 and the environment, well, we are back several decades.  Yes, the economy is doing well.  My 401K retirement funds are at the same level as they were when I put them in investments in 2002.  Yes, they have recovered from the 2008 melt down and even added about 14%.  The value on the chart has remained pretty consistent over the last 12 years and 2 different administrations. My plan has been to withdraw as needed for auto repairs, insurance premiums, trips, etc.  Live for the most part on my Social Security check.  Same with Hubby's retirement funds and incomes.

I am not educated in the ways of the economy in general. I have observed that investors will hold funds till an more friendly administration is in office.  Are the tariffs working?  Some say yes, some say no.  So long as companies are run for the purpose of making the most profit, the burden will always fall on the end user, you and me, the consumer.  Whether it is a US consumer or a consumer in another country, we pay the tariffs.  Do the tariff revenues go into the general coffers of governments or into politicians pockets?  Only 'they', whoever the heck 'they' know are.

Environmental regulations are being trimmed back to pre-1970 years for some industries.  Fossil fuel companies seem to be especially favored in this area.  However, chemical companies are doing pretty well, too.  Sorta wish some of the folks rolling back the standards had eaten fish from Spring River in Verona, Missouri, (or Kansas as that is up for debate now).  That was the beautiful spring fed creek between our home and Aunt Punkin's home.  A chemical byproduct named dioxin seemed to have made it into the water from a chemical company located on the banks of the stream.

That same contaminate was discovered in Times Beach, MO.  Parks in the small town where lived contained some of the same sludge.  Millions and millions of dollars later there was an incinerator built that was moved to different areas where there was contaminated soils.  The soil was dug up and exposed to UV light to decontaminate.  The contamination was done out of ignorance. 

As noted in the past on this blog I worked for a company that dumped chemicals into the city water system.  Also, just dumped on the ground behind the plant.  One of the guys was recently mentioning this on social media.  Basically he said we did not realize it would harm anything.  Hubby's cousin worked as an engineer in the local water system.  He could tell by the systems that monitored the water when an accidental dump was made by someone or some company.  Those systems were put in place once the government had set up standards.  I have heard both he and folks in charge at our plant of the chemical handling of over zealous EPA standards.

Image may contain: sky and outdoorIgnorance can explain past transgressions.  I mean in the 1940's the farmer on the adjacent farm to ours accidentally spilled a large quantity of gasoline near his spring fed well.  Within days the water was contaminated never to be drinkable again.  That lesson for that farmer did not transfer to the folks in a different state.  So the lesson did go unlearned.  1,1,1-trichloroethane was poured onto the ground by ACD emplyees.  As well as acids.

The spillage lesson has been learned.  Unfortunately it is too late for the karst system in the area.  The photo to the right is the site where all the chemicals were dumped.  Click here for the story of the chemical migration. 

Yes, my 401 K from the polluting company is still growing.  As more standards are rolled back to 'encourage business' I ask myself what further price will the planet pay???

Peace and love,  Janice

Thursday, January 30, 2020

January 30, 2020

It is amazing me how easy it has been to write 2020.  2019 had my brain cells all scrambled.  Kept starting to write 1920 cause 19xx had filled 55 years of my life.  I have mentioned to this to different folks where we were dating things.  Everyone is saying 2020 has been an easy change.  And so much for that little bit of brain dump.

It is chilly here these days.  Several days of clouds.  Note I did not say cold as it is in the 40's F, 5 - 10 C.  Those numbers are almost springlike for folks in Canada.  I have definitely become more 'thin skinned' the longer I live in Central Texas.  Plus, just getting older for me makes me feel the chill a little deeper.  Hubby, however, is in love with these temperatures.  Anything above 65℉ has him breaking into a sweat walking across the room.  Unless I am cleaning most of the time I am wearing a sweater or under a lap blanket.

Today was a followup on the upper GI endoscope.  Esophagus is not damaged.  Slight irritation in the stomach.  The pH monitoring test in early December recorded very high acid in the esophagus.  On the DeMeester scale the result was a level 3.  Level 4 on the scale is damage in the esophagus up to and including cancer.  Whew.  Another non cancerous diagnosis.  All this testing and different doctors have led to a diagnosis of my voice problem to be a result of laryngopharyngeal reflux.

Dr. Siddiqui gave me two options:  1 lifestyle changes and medication or 2 surgery.  He suggested going with option one first.  He saw my face and said, "I do not think you like that."  Once I said I had been on a double dose of medication for months he said surgery was needed.  The doctor is getting in touch with the doctor he considers the best in the area.  That group will call and set up the next appointments.

Great.  Cause I now have a pulmonoligist, a gastroenterologist, an asthma specialist, and an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist.  A specialist in robotic gastro surgery will now be added to the list of doctors in my phone.   These five specialists joined my journey just since September, 2019.  All in pursuit of my breathing and voice problems.  Prior to that I had a GP, a cardiologist, an orthopedic specialist, a podiatrist, and an ophthalmologist.  Oh, and a dentist.  And I am a relatively healthy in that 95% of tests come back in the 'all good' areas.

Like all older folks, I must say that back in the day ... when I was young and not all worn out from living.  Way back then I had a GP, dentist and whatever optical place was most affordable.  In 1972 an OBGYN was added because I was having a baby.  The child's needs added a pediatrician.  A move in 1975 and I was back to just a GP and a pediatrician for the child.  A dentist was still required and glasses.  And then the body began to age and an orthopedist was added.  OBGYN was back on the list.  Herniated disc and a neurologist was added.    Oh, well.  You know how it goes.

Hubby has fallen asleep in his recliner.  He has his earphones on listening to something.  It must be upsetting him.  He is growling and groaning.  But I cannot understand a word.  I am always afraid to try to awake him.  He is big and might decide to fight me in his sleep.  He could knock me back to the 1990's.  Oh, well.  At least I could still write the date correctly.

Peace and love.


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

January 29, 2020

Strange how the minds work.  After completing the morning rituals of dressing, making the bed, sweeping the floors and taking morning meds, I am ready for some food.  Coffee, 4 oz. of fat free cottage cheese mixed with 1/3 cup of frozen blueberries.  Reheat a cup of coffee for hubby.  Time to settle in with the computer to complete the other morning ritual, eating breakfast while reading morning devotional.

Hubby has the TV on watching a local morning talk show.  Barry Sanders is discussing Rocket Mortgage and a give away on Super Bowl Sunday.  A long forgotten brain cell awakens.  Was Barry Sanders a friend of that football player that died?  No, Sanders is too young.  Brian Piccolo was the guy that died.  What was the TV movie's name?  With the laptop fired up and waiting the search begins.  "Brian's Song" was the movie and Gale Sayers was the friend.  I must click on the link

The article transports me back to the early 1970's.  Hubby and I sitting in our new home watching that made for TV movie.  The article reminds me of how segregated as a people we still were.  Sayers and Piccolo were the first black and white athlete to share a room. Now days that is common practice.  From that reminder my mind comes back to the present day.  And the recent death of Kobe Bryant, another iconic athlete. 

Lives cut short,  Piccolo was 26 when he died of cancer.  Kobe, 41, his daughter, 13.  Seven other lives were taken in the accident.  The seven others were coaches and three 13 year old team mates/friends of Bryant's daughter.  All taken too soon.  Different colors of skin riding together.  All friends in life, bound forever in death.

Another brain cell fires.  The armed forces were integrated the same year Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Robinson was the first black to play on the major leagues.  Previously persons of color played in separate leagues.  All of this was well before the integration of society in general here in the US.  Does that mean that professional athletics sort of leads the way at times?  As well as the armed services?  Possibly I need to take another look at Kaepernick’s action without the background noise.

Certainly something to think about this chilly, sunny morning in January.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

December 3, 2019

Holy Moly, how can it be this close to the end of the year.  Feels like we have jumped into warp speed this year.

Let me do a couple of updates.  Christmas PJ's were completed in time, even #10 shirt.  During the night I awoke and thought I need to try changing the top thread or at least re-thread the needle.  As I attempted that move I realized the needle was slightly bent.  If I had not been standing up to do the work I do not think I would have realized the issue with the needle.  The light was hitting the machine from a different angle causing the needle to show up better.  Anywho,  needle changed and #10 complete.  The final result was given to the kids on Thanksgiving evening.

As you can see not all the kids were thrilled with the prospect/reality.

Finally all were almost on board with the silliness.  Thanks, Baby Sis, for the use of your bed.

Bonus Grandson appears to be unhappy with the view, teehee.  Youngest though it was just fun/silly.  And for what it is worth all except MCH kid wore the PJ's the rest of the evening and slept in them.

The above photos are out of sequence as they were taken on Thanksgiving night, but what the hey.  Bonus Grandson required some unusual auto arrangements to make the trip from Round Rock to the Dallas area.  Wednesday evening Sis provided food and a small bonfire.  The kids usually love that but it was raining a bit.

The rain did not keep Uncle D. with help from my grandsons from getting the fire going.  Just a bit of petro and instant bonfire.  While the bonfire developed a bed of coals under the watchful eye of some of the kids, #3 Grandson and Uncle D. put together a peach cobbler.  The dutch oven containing the fixins was sat in the coals to bake.  Thirty minutes later the cobbler was done.   Grilled hot dogs, beans and chili were even better when one of the guys that smelled of smoke stood nearby.

Last minute instruction video, maybe?
Here are a few more snaps of the final Thanksgiving Day food prep. The sofa is holding all the food filled folks following the meal.  Football was the remainder of the day.

Uncle D carving the masterpiece. 

Turkey filled, pre-comatose family members "watching" football. The view of Bonus on Thanksgiving Day was mostly a blanket covered recliner.  He was still on pain meds which put him straight to sleep.
Black Friday found no one of this group wanting to brave shopping.  After meeting for lunch at the Star complex in Frisco the crew began to disperse in different directions.  DIL, Bonus grand son and daughter headed back to Round Rock.  Cause boyfriend and girlfriend needed to be looked at some more.  Son, Hubby and grandsons headed for TCU football game that would be watched in a drizzling rain.  Uncle D (aka Youngest BIL), Nephew, and Niece's family bail on the TCU game.  Rain and 5-10 year old boys typically do not mix well.  That last group chose to go to a local high school state playoff game in a covered stadium.  Sis and I went to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood  about Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

Later Friday evening the whole troop reconvened back at Sis' home for, you guessed it, leftovers.  There were beans, chili, ham, turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing, rolls, cranberry sauce and desserts to be eaten.  And we did eat but there were still left overs to divvy up between all the folks before we started returning home on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday was slow for Hubby and I.  Sis, BIL and Nephew visited BIL's mother.  We dog sat Leaping Lucy.   Son and his boys visited Niece and her family till time for them to get on the road back to Round Rock.

Maybe Leaping Lucy flies with those ears!
Our Saturday afternoon and evening would be, yes, another meal and a Christmas Lights tour of areas in the Park Cities of the Dallas area.  Park Cities is the name given Highland Park and University Park.  Folks such and the late Ross Perot, Jerry Jones (owner of the Dallas Cowboys), former President George Bush live in these exclusive cities.  The tour included stops at Val's, a cheesecake shop, Cocoandre's, a chocolatier shop, and last Joy, producer of macaroons and ice cream.

Val's specialized in cheesecake cause his mom had immigrated from Haiti to New York.  In New York she worked in a Jewish cheesecake shop.  When Val's Mom became ill he spent every Sunday with her.  They baked a different type of cheesecake each week.  His story is on his website.  Click here.
Part of downtown Dallas skyline.

Chocolate, family and shopping.  That is a great way to spend and evening.

Chocolate high heels.

   Moving bus + night shot =

Just realized I never posted this.  And now it is December 28.  Christmas prep and most celebrations are in the rear view mirror.  My breathing is greatly improved so long as I take the meds regularly.  Missed a couple by accident and could tell the difference.  Nothing left of the shingles.  And there are a few added pounds from all the festivities. 

For all you folks on the Georgian calendar, have a happy and safe new year.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

November 26, 2019

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, child and text

Sorry it has been a while since I posted.  My energy level is suffering from the months of breathing issues.  Then about 12 days ago I noticed a sort of burning pain in my left thigh.  By Sunday I was broken out on my rear and inside thigh.  I had worn some new pants without washing so I figured it was just a reaction.  After different salves, etc, there was no improvement.  Wednesday I called the doctor, said I suspect a certain problem and was told to come in within 3 hours.  Shingles.  Really.  And with that it felt like the last of my reserves were flushed down the stool.

45905-1A-M #followme Mens Flannel Pajama Pants Mens PajamasI had been working on Christmas PJs for the grandkids.  The tee shirts would have Merry Christmas spelled out on printable fabric.  The trick is only 3 letters appear on each shirt.  The kids have to stand in a specific order to have it spell our correctly.  Material for the PJ bottoms was pre-washed in prep for cutting for the bottoms.  Then shingles, on my bottom to where I could only lay in certain positions.  For. 4. Days.  So much for the bottoms.  Thanks to Amazon we now have bottoms being delivered today. 

Since I could stand I was able to print the letters and bond to the tops.  I needed to overcast the edges of the letters.  There were the shirts for Son, DIL, Hubby, DIL's dad, and me as well as the 5 grandkids.  That was a total of 10 shirts to be overcast.  Night before last the final two shirts were to be overcast and IDs added.  Shirt 9 complete.  Shirt 10 ID stitched.  The overcasting came to a solid stop as the machine would no engage the bobbin.  Different bobbin, well actually 5 different bobbins.  Nothing worked.  The. Last. Shirt.  I gave up because there were still pies and desserts to be made for Thanksgiving and it was 1 AM.

Monday #4 Grandson arrived to help with making pies.  This has become a tradition with since we moved to Round Rock.  He was a huge help making crust for several of the tart size pies.  He made a couple dozen tarts.  By the end of the session we had two full size pumpkin and one apple pie.  About a total 3 dozen apple, apricot and cherry tart size pies.  Grandson left and I spent the next couple of hours cleaning up the mess and wrapping the goodies for transporting 200 miles.  Part of that time was spent gathering additional items to make the yeast breads for Thanksgiving.

It is Tuesday and I need to figure out how to get the last shirt overcast.  Need to pack, make cupcakes and sorghum chewies.  I can do this!  Because the shingles are much improved.  A good night's sleep has relieved my tired legs.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, people sleeping and indoor
16 and still needs a cuddle toy.
 After testing last Friday, it was determined there are no significant allergies.  The doctor adjusted my medications adding an inhaler twice daily to help with the not quite asthma breathing issues.  Post nasal drip is still treated with two nasal sprays and a nightly sinus medication.  The doctor removed all allergy medications.  As for the GERD, an upper GI scope is scheduled for Dec 2.  A PH test is scheduled for January.  Once all the information is gathered there will be hiatal hernia surgery.

Our Bonus Grandson had the torn knee issues repaired in surgery last Friday.  His mom said he is grumpy.  Imagine that.  He has had a ruptured appendix and procedures to drain the abscess.  Eventually he had surgery for that.  Just healed and feeling good and the knee was damaged during a football game.  Six weeks to allow parts of the knee to heal then another surgery.  Been a tough year for him.  Little four year old Braxon is recovering physically.  His mental capability has regressed to about one year old level.

So I close today with thanks for health care professionals to guide us damaged folks to health.

Ya'll all stay safe out there.
Love, Janice