Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cleaning & Scrubbing

I was able to get Clue 2 of Grand Illusion finished pretty early - easy to do if you don't do anything else, and that's usually what I do with my weekends....very little in the way of housework!

So, what have I been doing in my non-quilty time?  Some of those once or twice a year, or decade in the case of some, maybe in a lifetime for others, but for me, something I like to get done at least once every year things.  I tackled the very necessary chest freezer clean-out, defrost and inventory on one day.  With being gone so much this year, I've had no clue what's still here and long-forgotten how old some things might be.  This freezer only builds up ice around the top rim because when you open it, warm air hits it and creates moisture, which then freezes when you close the lid.  It isn't a very large freezer, just big enough for our little family, so I empty everything into ice chests, then scoop up any loose things like spilled frozen veggies - why do the clips not get put back on those open bags? - I then run as hot of water as I can into my large soup pan/spaghetti pot, set it in atop a towel I've placed on the bottom, then close the lid and leave it alone for about 45 minutes.  Oh, and I've turned it OFF!  

When I come back, the ice on the side slips right off, I remove the hot water pan(s) and scoop out the ice then mop up any melted ice/water and dry the sides and bottom, turn it back on and re-inventory the items as I put them back....unless it's an item that gets tossed.  I also did the refrigerator's freezer but it doesn't ice up so  it was just a basic clean-out and inventory.

Once those were done, I tackled the pantry - a deep, shelved, "walk-in" space about 32" x 38". There's just enough room between the shelves and the door for a small rolling cart, and to store a few things on the floor.  I also have some overflow shelves out in the garage, so all of these were cleaned, re-organized and re-inventoried.  It's amazing how much I've crammed into those spaces.

I cleansered (is that a legitimate word?) the kitchen sink after soaking it with scalding hot water and bleach.  I discovered that the 'splashless' bleach is not quite the same as regular bleach...whatever the additive is in it, it suds, and suds a lot.  I noticed too on the jug that, in very small print, it says "Not for sanitization or disinfection.  To sanitize and disinfect, use Clorox Regular-Bleach.".  Well, so much for sanitizing and disinfecting.  I will be far more careful to read the label on my next bleach purchase.  Who knew, right?

Today, I tackled the inside of the refrigerator.  Oh my! but it was a mess.  More things got dumped.  Who needs salad dressing bottles with a half-inch of dressing remaining that "expired" a year ago?  And ugh, those shelves in the door were filthy! Not to mention the bottom after I removed the drawers. 

Oops, I need to be paying attention to the clock, it's almost time to go pick Nick up from school.

Sorry I took no pictures of my "before" and my "after"; the before would have been too embarrassing anyway.  Next, I need to tackle the microwave - sure wish my guys would learn to clean up after themselves - would make my life easier!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thursday's Thoughts are Lacking

Truly I am loving being home.  I have found though, that I am mentally all out of sorts lately.  Staying focused is a challenge.  Today I updated our financial stuff and discovered I was two days late on our cable bill.  Glad they don't automatically shut it off.  But the bigger question is, how did I manage to overlook paying it, and also end up almost late on a credit card payment?  I'm thinking this whole back and forth between home and my dad's, from my own records to his records, from my former - now non-existent - routines here at home to living day by day, has totally fried my brain.  I told my husband my routines were all out of whack and he said "What routines?"; poor man doesn't know or recognize I had routines....well, I did, even if they were often hit and miss, now they don't exist at all and my thought processes aren't even thinking about making lists to get back on track.  If I'm rambling, reread my second sentence ;p
This was a 'from scratch', crust and all, turkey pot pie.  I found the recipe online and it was from a Taste of Home contributor.  Instead of crimping the crust, I just overlapped the top one and tucked it down the insides of the pie plate.  This would have been a good one for Toaster Oven Tuesday.

This is all that was left after dinner, and I got to enjoy the leftover for lunch the next day.  The crust was really flaky.  I guess with 2/3 c. + 2T shortening it should be!

We had a pretty good rain soaking a couple days ago.  So much so that the birds were trying to find a dry spot.  Outside our upstairs windows are 'planter' ledges and you can see the silhouette of a little finch hanging out safely with Flame on the inside trying to figure out how she could grab that little birdie.  At one point there were two on the ledge, and my poor kitty was quite frustrated!

The ash tree in our back yard has finally turned to its beautiful fall yellow; leaves are beginning to drop - the heavy rains helped as well to get them to drop.  This is normal that it's leaves do not drop until December, while in other parts of the country, ash trees will have lost their leaves two months ago.

Some of the leaves floating on what becomes our own private 4" deep 'lake' in the back.  Previous owner was a cement guy so except where the ash tree is in a 20' x 20' section of lawn (make that roots & dirt), the rest is all concrete and as it's all well over 20 years old, the roots of the over-50 year tree have cracked and lifted the concrete, so water collects in that back corner.  The birds love it at times, gives them a place for water, and worm-collection.
Flame discovered she can jump from the desk top to the top of my 6' tall bookshelf upon which I have some boxed projects.She was hoping she could just jump down without Nick's help - she's very independent you know.  Nick is now 5'10" and that hair almost makes it to 6'.

I took this through the side window of my car.  Kind of represents my brain these days, very foggy.  This was somewhere south of a major university town on the interstate in the wet land I keep going to.  Those aren't DUCKS in the field ;p  they're cattle.  There were places where the fog was so thick you couldn't see but a few car lengths ahead of you...and some drivers weren't going any slower.  Me?  Well, 55 was a good speed rather than the 72 the policeman accused me of on the previous trip south.  He still reminded me of Don Knotts in Mayberry, RFD, lol.

That's it for this week, we'll see how long before I post again.  I'm hoping Bonnie Hunter's electricity gets back on so that she can get the next step of Grand Illusion out for us tomorrow.  That woman is an absolute wonder at how much she gets done.  I want to be like her when if I grow up before I die.  She must be incredibly organized and seems to have energy to burn.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy ThanksGiving!

I must apologize for never having pictures for this side of my blog.  There's a laziness in me when it comes to that camera!

Now that today is nearly over, I truly hope and pray everyone had a wonderful day with family.  And if not with family, hopefully doing something enjoyable and pleasing.  I know for some, the holidays can be a real season of stress and hardship, something I've experienced myself often over the years I've spent since leaving home at the ripe old age of 18!

As you all may remember, I have only a large toaster oven [my Toaster-Oven Tuesdays have been side-lined due to current life events] and I used it to roast a turkey.  No, the whole turkey did not fit into the oven, but I cut off the wings and legs & thighs - leaving the latter two attached to each other - and roasted them and 1/2 the back in one batch on a rack in a pan, covered with foil.  When they were done, I then did the remaining 1/2 back and the breast.  I cooked them yesterday so that I could do the stuffing today and I cut up the breast, deboned the thighs and warmed them in the toaster oven.  Along with those dishes I had mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans w/butter, deviled eggs, store-bought sandwich rolls cut in half, and I opened our last can of green olives.  For dessert, I had picked up a NY cheesecake from Trader Joe's and a jar of lemon curd which I slathered over the top and Marty, Nick and I had quite a pleasant little feast, and there's plenty of leftovers to last through the weekend!

I'm thankful for my little family, and thankful I am home to be with them and to be able to cook a good meal for them.  I'm thankful I'm here and not up north where there is so much family drama.  I'm thankful for those family members even with the drama but am also thankful I moved away all those years ago and I'm especially thankful that the Lord chose me to be one of His own.

This past week, I learned from my daughter that her baby due in mid-April, is going to be a.....GIRL!  So I will have one grandSON and one grandDAUGHTER.  I guess I'd better seriously consider getting some quilts finished, including my daughter and son-in-law's wedding quilt that I started, ahem, about six years ago, and my grandson is already four and hasn't received a quilt from Grammy yet!  And tomorrow starts the annual Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, so excited and anxious to see what it will become!

May your home be filled with many blessings.

Friday, November 7, 2014

I'm Getting Ready

It's no surprise to my followers that I'm not on here much these days.  Maybe that'll change at least a little bit soon.  I'M GOING HOME on Monday with hopes, and plans, to be home until at least mid-January or even late-January.  

My dad has been doing well since his surgery.  I had a private meeting with his primary doctor the other day and updated him and discussed some of the issues I see.  When you have a man like my Dad with his mind-set, sometimes there's only so much you can do, and the rest you commit to prayer and trust God to take care of what you have no control over.  

An example of my Dad's stubbornness:  It's been just two weeks since his surgery.  There had been a windy rain storm right around that time.  A few roof shingles appeared to be affected.  My Dad said he was going to get up on the roof (single story house) to check them out.  He's 81 years old and thinks he's only 40.  I strongly recommended he wait until his much younger brother (67) could come over and help him (he's been helping said brother a lot on some of his own house repairs).  What happened?  As soon as I was out one day, and it wasn't raining, he climbed up on the roof with no one around.  He refuses help from others.  Had I been here, I probably would not have been able to stop him, but I could at least make sure the ladder didn't fall, and should he have fallen, I could get help right away.  His response to that.  Don't you dare, you leave me where I fall.  I will not go in an ambulance.  Um, yeah.   

Today was the first day I re-checked the comments on my last post since right after I posted.  There was a third comment, I have deleted it.  It was from that old familiar "Anonymous", whoever that is.  I've never met anyone by the name of Anonymous.  It had nothing to do with things posted on my blog, not even on my quilting blog.  I can only presume Anonymous claimed he is an "American man".  Anonymous seems to have issues with American women.    He sounded very angry and bitter towards American women - describing them very negatively.  He urges American men to boycott American women.  He linked a blog-site of his own which he said was for the sole purpose of explaining why American women are inferior to foreign women.  I did not click through.  Well, I hope he can find that "perfect" non-American foreign woman.  And I can't help but wonder just how perfect he sees himself as an American man.  How sad to be so jaded.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Surgery Update

On Thursday, I took my dad to the hospital for his surgery.  Yes, finally, it was scheduled and happened!  What an ordeal trying to get it set up these past many months...and it shouldn't have been that way.  

A year and 10 month's ago, my dad had a cervical fusion involving the C-level vertebrae.  During that surgery, the surgeon implanted hardware - kind of like wedge-shaped spacers - between the vertebrae and then put plates over the fronts of them (anterially - front of neck side).  With the lower of the three, surgeon #1 left jutting out about an inch saying that he couldn't insert it fully due to bone spurs and proximity to the spinal cord, so with that in essence it was like having a big speed bump in my dad's throat, which obviously would be both uncomfortable and create some swallowing difficulties.  This, coupled with his dysphagia swallowing difficulties and choking issues created a rather burdensome situation for him.

The original doctor left town for back east "due to family emergencies"....well, I'm not so sure, but he isn't here, so we found a new surgeon and my dad really likes him too, though it is a further drive to that hospital as it's not here in his town.  So back to the surgery, Dad was scheduled for 2:15, but didn't get wheeled in until close to 4:30 - yep, a long delay - but it did happen.  The surgery lasted about two hours, during which time I drove the 45 minutes back to the house to eat as I'd only had breakfast, tend to the cats, and pick up my cell phone and make some calls.  Yeah, I'd forgotten my cell phone at the house that morning so couldn't keep anyone informed other than a few via my laptop, which I remembered.  I got back to the hospital about 10-15 minutes after the surgery was finished, and after missing the surgeon's call as I didn't answer my phone while driving - no bluetooth, I'm so behind the times - and it was a couple more hours before my dad was put in his room.

The surgery was 'successful' in that the surgeon was able to remove the offending piece of hardware and did not have to put a new one in as the neck was now fused at those vertebrae (a good thing medically) but the surgeon was a bit stymied as to why surgeon #1 did the original surgery in the first place - he said he saw no need from what he could ascertain via the records and from his exploration during the surgery.  He also removed a lot of the bone spur growth and I'm hoping that will help relieve some of the arthritic pain he feels.  We knew going in that this wasn't being done to relieve pain, but to give him better comfort from a swallowing standpoint.

It took four hours to get him released from the hospital yesterday (my only complaint) after the doctor did his morning rounds and pronounced all was well and good.  He has few restrictions which is good, he's a very non-compliant patient, he slept very little last night he said - not surprised as he sleeps very little usually but with, I'm sure, still having certain drugs in him from the surgery, it increased his hyper-ness rather than the reverse. He has also, up until the last hour or so, talked incessantly in a rather Marlon Brando-ish whisper (think The Godfather).  He's walked to the store - in the rain, worked busily in the garage for hours after getting home, with flashlight in hand went slug-hunting in the back yard last night, and is working on his very rustic leather projects.  

With the surgery going well, and his not needing a great deal of after-care, I see no reason why I can't go home on Nov. 10th as planned, and I pray I can stay home until after the first of the year.  One day at a time though.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Duck, Duck, Duck

Yeah, I'm watching the Ducks womp Washington.  While I did not attend either school, I am rooting for the Ducks of course, after all, I am a Duck Out Of Water!

And speaking of Ducks, yes, I am here in the wet land again, and hooray, it has been wet off and on.  I've enjoyed that part.  I will most likely be here for another three weeks, maybe more.

My dad had a medical procedure on Wednesday - nothing requiring recuperation time, and it went well and so far nothing appears to be amiss but full results won't be in for about a week.  The very next day we drove over to the hospital where he will, finally be having the surgery on his cervical spine to remedy his previous surgery in the same location, for his pre-op.  I hope he quits complaining after this, but that's highly unlikely.  At his age, it seems he's constantly complaining of some ailment including his inability to regain the 20-25 pounds he's lost this past year, and that he no longer has the muscle mass of a 30-year old.  It's tough to be 81!

I'm hoping to take part in Bonnie Hunter's annual Quiltville Mystery Quilt again this year [watch for any updates at my quilt blog Webs of Thread, if I have any].  At the very least I will be following other bloggers' progress while I print out each week's instructions.  I've already picked up the paint chips from Lowe's and was surprised to see that the yellow one wasn't quite as yellow as my computer monitor made it appear.  I may be stretched to shop my stash for this one, not to mention my not being home, so may end up with some additions to my stash numbers again - oh darn! right?

With this trip north, I brought a box of genealogy to work on in my spare time and I have an embroidery project I can work on too.

Those of you who do, please keep praying for me in all areas as I continue to help my dad, rub elbows with family, and am so very far from my husband, son, and church though all are accessible via the internet.  Oh, and include my dad with his surgery which is for this Thursday, and that he'd be a "nice" patient - his reputation is one of non-compliance, impatience, hostility and a whole lot of 'language'.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Surprises!!

Surprises can be nice, and some surprises can be not so nice.  I've had a little of both this week.

I'll start with the not-so-nice and get it out of the way.  I was doing laundry and other chores earlier in the week.  We have a lot of dust here.  Dust is not my friend.  Dust is winning has won here.

It was time to flip the mattress.  It flopped down on the box spring and dust swirled in the sunlight.  I'm sure a hoard of dust mites was flooding the room about that time too.

Progressing to the laundry room with the sheets and pillowcases in hand.  A bald man + a CPAP machine and a pillowcase needed a super-spraying.  I use Amway's Classic Laundry Prewash Spray Spot Treatment (formerly SA8 prewash) - good stuff.  I think I sprayed TOO MUCH.  Between the dust & the spray, I was suddenly thrown into a severe coughing spasm for the next half-hour, to the point of gagging all while trying to breathe.  If I were to self-diagnose, I would call it chemical-asthma.  I went to the doctor the next day, received a breathing treatment, a chest x-ray, and sent home with a diagnosis of 'bronchitis' (really?) and a prescription for drugs to use in our nebulizer.  I gave myself another breathing treatment yesterday.

I have had one other incident like that.  Many years ago, our street was repaved and I had to park over a block away.  It was very hot out, the chemicals were coming off the pavement and I'd walked very quickly to my car and immediately began coughing in the same manner for about the same length of time.  Not fun!!

I'm thankful to be better today though, but I'm being very cautious and waiting on doing any more laundry for a few days, especially any that requires pre-treating!

NOW TO THE NICE SURPRISE!

I had just redirected my living room blinds to allow more light in, laid my finished Gathered Over Time flimsy out on the floor and was standing on the arm of the sofa to take a picture of it and could hear a child's voice approaching my door.  I have to admit, I groaned with the thought that it might be a child working on a fund-raiser for school.  About that time Marty had looked out the window from his computer chair and said, "Oh, it's (old roommate)!".  

What a NICE surprise.  Marty and this former roommate had bought our house many years prior to any of us getting married and shortly after he & his wife married, they moved up north, and now he was making an impromptu visit along with his 5-year old adopted daughter.  This was such a pleasant surprise as we'd lost touch with them a few years ago after they moved from one house to another up there.  

The only one missing was his wife as she was visiting another friend of hers here in town.  The wife is also a quilter.  Both are just the nicest people and I made sure I got their new address and phone number!! They only live about 25 miles from my dad so I can go visit them when I'm up there too.  The little daughter was so precious, and not at all shy.  As soon as I opened the door, she came in and wrapped her arms around me before I could say howdy, sweet!
 
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