Friday, April 29, 2016

Home Again

I was away for just over three weeks.  It's good to be home!  Internet access was limited at my aunt's so I haven't kept up with you all here in blog-land.  In between laundry & house-cleaning over the next couple days, I will start peeking in and seeing what everyone's been up to, and think about/prepare a post or two myself.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Uncle

For the last nine days, I've been here in the Northwest with my family, the family of my beloved aunt who I go to quilt camp with.  Her husband, my uncle, have been married for just under 51 years.  He's ten years older than she.

He came home under hospice care on April 6th, the same day I made the long drive.  His doctors said he likely would not survive a week.  As we know, only God knows the exact day and time.  It's a difficult thing to watch someone go through the dying process.  It's hard to see them suffer, even when you know they're so drugged on morphine and other drugs they likely aren't feeling much.  It's hard watching the closest of his family members as they begin to mourn, knowing that time is limited, knowing that no longer will they hear his voice, or see his smile except where videos or photos reflect them.  They have memories, but they miss the one they love.  It's a difficult thing.

We're facing the end.  We hoped that timing elements might have been different.  The passing will be close to his grandson's 13th birthday.  The same day, his son is taking a very important work-related test that he can't postpone.  The son, my cousin, has been here nearly the entire time, holding his father's hand, often with tears of loss in his eyes at the impending reality.  He and his father have been best friends.  They are very much alike.  

A neighbor who was a hospice nurse many years ago, and who is one of those wonderful neighbors one dreams of having, is here, a calming influence, a knowledge resource, and a compassionate friend, holding his hand also.  My aunt is on his other side holding onto him but assuring him it's okay to 'go on ahead'.  Their two daughters are here working jigsaw puzzles, two granddaughters are busying themselves on their electronic devices, the son is sleeping knowing his father would want him to go ahead with the test when daylight arrives.  And the big, overly-plump half-lab, half-retreiver is sacked out on the floor.

It's "11:55" p.m.  he is gone. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Holding Pattern

I'm in a bit of a holding pattern again, at least for a day or so.  I have a lot to do and I'll be busy, but it looks like I'll be hitting the road again - I just don't know exactly when.

I'll be headed north, but this time not for my dad, though I may visit him.  My uncle, the husband of my beloved aunt, the both of whom I stay with when I go north, has reached the point where his days are few.  He was taken to the hospital Saturday night with breathing difficulty.  My aunt had been saying for days that he was having more trouble breathing and getting up and down, but they had been carrying on as usual after he rallied a bit from using oxygen for awhile.  It was a different story upon going to bed Saturday night, so she took him to the emergency room.  His lungs were filling with fluid and an x-ray revealed a dark area behind his lung(s) - but unsure if it is pneumonia or what.  Up in the air is when he'll be able to go home on hospice care and what exactly that will entail.  The hospital (or insurance) there has a maximum "in hospital hospice care", then they have the patient transported home on hospice and on "comfort care".  They have a meeting with the Dr. today, so they will be better informed as to what's what with him and his care and the expectations.

In the time since I was last in Oregon, my aunt & I chat daily, his memory issues (he has dementia far more advanced than my dad's) have worsened and his overall health declined.  He also has congestive heart failure and another issue that's been treated for a number of years.  He is 83 and has led a long, good life.  He's a good man.  He has a unique, hearty laugh and upbeat spirit, though in recent years that laugh has not been as robust as when he was young and healthy.  His example gave me a love for crossword puzzles.  He has always been loving and welcoming of my visits.  He and my aunt have had 52 years together.  He is 10 years older than she.  They have three great children, my cousins, and six sweet grandchildren.  Some of their kids & grands live right next door, others a mile away and the furthest no more than 20 miles away.  

My cousins have been great with helping their mom & dad, but they need to get back to work, so my aunt has expressed her desire in my coming up to help and appreciation for me to do so.  

Please, if you think of it, pray for my aunt and my cousins as my uncle heads into his final days, and for him.  Also for me as I'll be driving, probably within a couple days.  I'll know more later today, but I have much to do, so I'd best get to it!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Files, Files, Files...a genealogy post

When I last posted, I had shown the file cabinets, and then transitioned to Webs of Thread for the cutting 'table' aspect atop those file cabinets.  I've not done any sewing, but am slowly working on genealogy organization.  

I'm not going to show any pictures, only because they're as boring as the plain written word.  I've alphabetized, in the drawers, all my boxes of genealogy, except for my step-father's.  I haven't yet decided if I want to incorporate his, or keep them separate or just stuffed in a box in a closet.  It might be necessary to get yet another cabinet as I have my husband's lines that aren't filed but at this point those are minimal.  

With the files, I'll be using a 4-color code system for my lines. Blue for my paternal g'father, green for my paternal g'mother, red for my maternal g'father, and yellow for my maternal g'mother.   Today I went to both Michael's, hoping to find some good colored stickers, minimal success, and Staples where I found colored hanging folders, and top-colored labels.  Also some colored hearts (instead of stars) to designate the individuals within those colored files who are my direct lines. 

Michael's had photo boxes on sale at $2 apiece so I picked up five of them.  Photos are included in this organizational effort.  Some photos go with my genealogy records and some are my own personal ones.  I've pretty much decided that I will be disposing of a whole lot of personal photos.  I figure that as mobile as life is today, and with social media, my descendants will have no interest in dozens of photos of locations from my singles days.  They mean something only to me holding my memories of the activities and the people in them.  Pictures with family members are another story, but even many of them need to be culled.  Who needs blurry pictures, or pictures where you can hardly make out who's who?  Digital photos are another animal altogether.  I also shot slides for several years, so will have to deal with those.

I suppose one could say I'm at that age, where I'm ready to rid myself of excess, rather than continually gather, and that which I keep needs to be organized and labeled where applicable so that my descendants will know why I kept it in the first place or how I came to have it.  Eventually, even with that, these things could still end up in a dump, or an antique store, or in a box in an attic or basement until the day the Lord returns to create the new heavens and new earth and then it'll all be gone and no thought ever again given to it.  It's all just "stuff of earth" with no heavenly value.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

File Cabinet Update

Here we go.  I was so excited these came early.  They were scheduled for between Friday and next Wednesday!  The delivery man brought them into the house - should have taken a pic of them still in the boxes, but I was too anxious to find a box-cutter and see how they looked.  But first, since they were a minimum of two days early, I had to clear out and sweep up the space.  

I then opened each box, and carried them, one at a time, up the stairs.  They aren't heavy, about 20 lbs. each.  Once upstairs and in the room, I had to screw the handles on - easy peasy.

Cleaned, empty space
That empty space sure makes it look like there is a lot of room.  Very deceptive.
one cabinet
The front of the cabinet is at the 30" from the wall mark - that's the depth of the table-top.  Notice the empty space behind.  That 12" space will be utterly wasted.  Keep this in mind.
two cabinets
It's beginning to look good.  That 12" floor space loss is still gnawing on me though.
handle and screws
The only assembly required was putting the handles on.  I had to find a Phillips head screwdriver.
three cabinets
Can you envision a work surface yet?  What I have come to realize, is they just might be a smidgen too high.  The cabinets measure 35.5 (more like 35.75) and the table-top will add another inch.  I won't have any back problems, but the top of my shoulder may grouse if I have to do a lot of cutting.  I could get a 1" - 1.5" thick board to stand on when cutting, which would really make it ideal.  I am not complaining.  Slightly too high is better then bending over with the back problems I've already experienced in recent years.
four cabinets
All four in place and handles attached.  There were no dents in any of them, and I also avoided adding any dents :)  Carrying them up the stairs though sure showed me how out of shape I am.  Especially the first two, but then I kind of got used to it.

Now, keeping in mind that 12" space behind the cabinets?  I'm going to recommend you go to my Webs of Threads site, because that actually deals with my quilting.  See you over there.

So Excited

I am SO over-the-top excited today.

If you've followed me here and on Webs of Threads, you may recall a few posts about how small my Creation Station is and my arrangement of furniture within.  

During the last couple weeks I've been considering an option that will kill two birds with one stone in giving much-needed storage space for my dozen or so genealogy records boxes (which includes easy access to the records), and I need to put my cutting table at a more ergonomic height.  I was at a local stationery store and saw the file cabinets.  Particularly the ones with three drawers.  They were displayed up on a shelf so I couldn't measure by standing next to them, so an aisle so away, I found a yardstick, lucky me!  The cabinet height measured 35.5"...seems good to me. 

That gave me the idea to put the cutting table top on four of them, giving me a total of 12 drawers for genealogy purposes.  The table top I use is a 30" x 60" heavy laminated top from an old metal desk.  The desk was scrapped as it was falling about, but I knew I wanted to keep the top specifically for this usage.  But first, I had to come home and measure, because I couldn't remember the dimensions of the top.  I wanted to make sure four cabinets would fit side by side under it...and they do will, perfectly.  
Taken from doorway
Whew, I took a break, and got the area cleared.  Now I just need help of one of DH or son to lift that heavy top off, remove these two file cabinets, and unpack and bring in the new 3-drawer ones.  These old 2-drawers have that huge 'empty' area at the bottom which adds height, and the new ones don't so that's why the 3-drawers still only measure 35.5" high.  Add the inch of the table-top, and it's perfect height for cutting.  I use that thin grippy mat stuff between the cabinet and table-top so that there's no sliding.

For now, I'm resting, and I'll be finding lunch soon.  Maybe I'll go down and see about getting the cabinets out of their cardboard shipping containers (and hope none have dents!).  I may have to install the handles, so will take care of that too if need be.

I'll post finished pix later...or tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Computer Insanity

I wrote about some of my computer issues on Saturday.  Some of those issues continued but hubs has my laptop working for now.  He's waiting to see if the problem returns once I shut it down.  I'm not planning on shutting it down until at least Friday night as I then know he'll be able to work on it Saturday if the problem does return. Any sooner and he wouldn't be able to work on it until he's "off work".

We also had to get our ISP involved on Monday as we had no internet or cable first thing in the morning and that will not work with Marty's working at home.  The tech found a couple problems outside in the neighborhood, and all has been sort-of good since.  This morning the TV had a lot of pixelation issues but that cleared after about an hour, and we dropped internet once, but it came back up within minutes...not a good thing that it dropped, but it was around the same time as the TV pixelation issue, so maybe a little behind-the-scenes work was still going on.

This evening my Dell is driving me insane!  I only use that laptop now for my Family Tree Maker, and only still use IT because it's FTM2006 and hasn't been updated...ever, on my machine, and won't run on my Win8 machine.  FTM is no longer being supported by but has been taken up by another company just recently, but I haven't decided what to do going forward.  The Dell is so old, I'm afraid it's just going to poop out one of these days, so I need to decide soon regarding FTM - I'll probably purchase the newest version and load it onto my Lenovo Win8, but I'm not sure I can transfer the OLD data from the very OLD FTM to the newest version.  OK, that was a total rabbit trail.  So just what is it about the Dell that's driving me insane?  It's making a faint high-pitched mechanical-whine noise and what's really weird is, if I hold my head in one position, I don't hear it.  If I move my head slightly, it's there.  I've put my right ear on the keyboard and hear it, but I don't hear it with my left ear when I put it on the keyboard.  I'm ready to put my headphones on to block it out.  I've never noticed this sound before.  So is it the machine?  Am I insane?  Did my right ear hearing change in a day?  Do you have a spare white coat?
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