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02 October 2018

A Reading Summer

I did a lot of reading over the summer. Sometimes it's even better than in the winter! I love reading on the deck with the birds chirping for background music! I must say there is nothing like a good book to take you away, letting your imagination paint the image in your mind from the printed words of a good author.

I will always be a historic romance reader. I love tales from by-gone eras. I love no phones or computers or even cars in the stories I read. I've especially enjoyed the Julia Quinn books this go 'round. Characters and places have been tied together from book to book and it really helps me to remember things I'd read months ago. I'm usually one of those people who read, enjoy, finish and it's done - gone from memory, to move to the next and the next.

I hooked up with LibraryThing and really like it. I didn't want to do the GoodReads for all the bells and whistles I don't need. LT is so simple to use and is just a collection of my books so I don't re-purchase one I've read when I'm at the thrift store! Guess it's time for this set of books to head back for others to read and enjoy!

23 September 2018

Blocks From A Grandma

Quite some time ago a young lady I had known from another church gave me a box of crocheted blocks that her grandmother had made but never put together. She had seen me crocheting in the waiting room of an office where she was secretary. I asked if she was sure and she said no one in her family cared. I said I would take them rather than see them go to the thrift store. Maybe I could fix them and share with someone.

This past week I finally started putting them together. I purposely chose a set of 30 blocks that didn't have a lot of extra fru-fru on them, just to see how I would do. These green variegated were perfect, although some blocks didn't have that extra border that others had. I guess Grandma just missed a few!

It will be interesting to see how the blocks grow into actual blankets! I plan to take a few of the more elaborate ones back to the family. As I told the lady, even if she or her children aren't interested she may someday have grandchildren who would love to have something special from great-great grandma! They wouldn't even have to know that I helped!

20 September 2018

The Upside And Downside

We recently finished up therapy, Hubster for his shoulder, me for my lower back. I'm a bit disappointed because there was a miscommunication of what my needs were and what actually was done. When you start they give you a form to fill out, including your goals. I want to strengthen my back, walk farther, and be able to go up and down stairs like a normal person (instead of 2 feet on 1 step). This was all relative to the major issue I was having in my lower right back. I think because my regular therapist was out a couple of days the focus switched to just meeting those goals. My lower back is still crappy.

Twice when I asked for copies of my therapy exercises they gave me copies of Hubster's instead. Thanks for nothing... my shoulder is fine. I finally got them and am trying to continue at home.

I told Hubster it's up to us to figure it out so I've been googling a bunch. A couple of nights ago we slept in the guest house on the lumbar support mattress we had made a few years ago. I wanted to see if it made a difference from our hard waterbed. It didn't and at least the waterbed is heated so I'm content to be a waterbed baby.

We also went for massages. They'd been scheduled a while ago. Hubster stood right by me when I made the appointments and was asked up front if he had a problem using Mike. He said no problem until the morning of the appointments. He said he must not have heard that part but there was no way a guy was giving him a massage. It was too late to reschedule without a fee so I ended up swapping with him and he had my girl. I had Mike. It was my first time with a guy.

It was a blessing in disguise! I think it was the best massage I've ever had because Mike could press harder and really worked the muscles more than the ladies do. I was also very impressed with the continuing interview he had to determine things of my daily life; even down to where my arm was when I slept on my side! I don't think anyone else has ever asked that. Mike looked at it in terms of being part of my professional medical team. He concluded he didn't feel anything of great issue with the lower back except that it was so extremely tight and that was ultimately fixable. I have hope again!

Don't get me wrong... this was not a sleepy-time relaxing massage, but a true workout, sometimes painful as the knots in my back and legs were worked out. My knee pain is also much better to the point that yesterday I was able to walk to the mailbox and back, quite a lot when you consider how long my driveway is! It's been a real long time since I've done that!

Tomorrow I see my chiropractor for the first time since July. I'm anxious to get her take on how things have played out.

Well, really I have to remember that I've been oh so much worse and things could get worse. My other knee is moving and clicking but I'm holding my breath on that for the time being. I will do what I can to keep moving forward and be the best that I can with what I have to work with. I'm not in a wheelchair and have so much to be grateful for. I thank God everyday for His healing.

26 August 2018

Still It's Just A Hamburger Joint

Last week we decided to go to Red Robin. Hubster wanted a hamburger. We only go there about once every few years and each time we're reminded of why we don't go there more often (besides the ridiculous high prices). They did not disappoint this year either.

Before we could even get in we were repelled by the two smoke stands on either side of the front doors. They weren't the large ones with sand like most places use. No, these had to be pretty in matching red, kind of U-shaped and looked capable of holding about a two cups of cigarette butts. Of course, people will be stupid and/or lazy and both of these units were crammed with small trash bags and plastic bottles as well as overflowing butts in each. They almost matched! (The photos were taken on our way out so some trash had been removed).

It was so disgusting! We told the greeter who "finally" showed up to seat us that they might want to take a moment to empty them. This poor child must have been nervous or immature because she babbled like a 6 year old school girl, saying she'd told someone to clean them the previous night but guess they hadn't. Really, ya think?! I kept thinking "So why didn't You do it, especially since you have guests coming in?"

She seats us and we're tucked in a booth along one wall of the front room. There's about 8 tables with chairs between the booths and the large divider bar in the center of the room. On the other side of the bar is another room with more seating. People are clearly all over the building and it's not crowded by any means.

Along the wall next to ours (the L-shape) are more tables, each with two chairs on a raised dais. There is one man sitting at the end table. Another man comes in and seats himself in the far booth from us (I guess "Babs" was still slack on greeting people). A few minutes later Babs comes and tells him he has to move or they will get in trouble for him sitting there. He is clearly upset saying "it's ridiculous that I can't have a booth." Before he can get seated "Babs" returns with two ladies who take up the now vacated booth.

Now I could see them needing to require two people per booth if they were busy, but this is 1:30 in the afternoon. There is no crowd banging to get in there, there is plenty of seating all over the place and the guy just wants to sit in a quiet area and not on display. He was asking for a manager but I never saw one show up before we left.

Those were the two biggies. But let's not forget the filthy floors and the nasty walls and windows with food splashed on them either. It just added so much to the ambiance!

No thank you. I don't care how great your expensive burgers are we will not be returning.  Plus Hubster said the mushroom-Swiss burger is much better at Hardees!

20 August 2018

How It's Been

Therapy is going well. It seems odd to have my husband laying on the next table as he has usually always been waiting when I go. This time he is having his shoulder worked on while I try to get my back issues settled. I guess for me things will never really be the same again in my lifetime. I do hope they can at least get a little better.

It's been rainy and hot, as usual, causing us to stay indoors as much as possible. I think I love that part of getting old - that I don't have to go out unless I want to and I don't have to get out of my cozy clothes unless I want to (or am expecting company). At least we have some new TV stuff to watch.

My goodness, it's a whole new world out there and here we were simply trying to get the boxes and phones to work properly (for months on end). We finally gave up. We 'cut the cord,' bought two TVs and hooked up with Roku and Hulu. Frustrations with the phones led to us moving over to ATT's wireless home phone and things haven't been this good in a long time!

That thing with the moon is still in operation (against or for us, I'm unsure). A difficult 'discussion' the other day made perfect sense once I remembered that it is getting time for the full moon again. And as usual, the next day everything was perfectly fine. I guess as long as the followup is good things can't be but so bad, right?

We are still downsizing in preparation for a yard sale that he is adamant will happen in September. I'm still skeptical but hopeful to be proven wrong. So I've been going through all the drawers and cubbyholes and letting go of a lot of things that I've spent my life saving for that illusive "some day" when I'll need this." I now know someday will never come and if it ever does I'll just have to go buy what I need. Needless to say, I am getting a lot done.

Church work has been keeping me very busy over the last couple of weeks. As church secretary I'm on several committees that meet at the end of each church year. It's been my job to keep track of schedules, volunteer lists as well as being a working member of each committee. This month we had several people join the BBC family so I've taken care of the accompanying paperwork there as well. I have put finishing updates to my report for the annual business meeting. Besides that I've had the usual bulletin creation, music planning and rehearsals. At least I don't get too nervous anymore and mistakes are sloughed off and not too much of a worry any more. Still, I love the work I do as my way of contribution to the life of a little country church. I'm looking forward to the new church year!

I'm looking forward to a real vacation soon too. Or so he says. I am actually starting to believe it will happen now! I do so want to visit my daughter in FL. The last time I went she lived in another place and her new house is not even new anymore. And since I can walk better without too much back pain I'm really looking forward to spending time with her on her own turf!

OMG! how could I leave without mentioning the wild turkey family that came through our yard? There were seven young ones with a larger mama and even larger father turkey who always brought up the rear, keeping guard the entire time! It was really awesome! And they even ran off my wild rabbits!

We also have had sightings of bear activity which I found out about through a Facebook posting. Someone actually saw the bear and mentioned it being near my house. Later my brother saw muddy tracks where it crossed the road, walking down the field right next to my ditch! Oh my! I want to see him, but kinda don't. He might be a little too close for comfort and my running gear just isn't what it used to be lol!

04 August 2018

Since Then

Since my last post it's been kinda crazy around here (again or still). To start with, like most of the south it's been raining like never before almost every day. The ground squishes when you walk on it. Since we can't get it dry enough to cut the dogs now need bicycle flags to find them in the tall grass. They are not happy.

Along with rain came the illustrious Cox cable truck who had backing up issues and dug a nice trench in our front yard with it's dual tires. And of course, it's too wet for them to come fix it yet. Great! You can't tell too good from the picture but this is over 100 feet and about 8 inches deep in most places!

The Cox truck being here at all is another story. This guy was just one in a long line of technicians who have come to fix a problem that was outside, up a pole, not inside our house. But for some reason it seemed very hard to get the people taking our calls to understand that we need a maintenance call instead of a service call. So every guy they sent out left us shaking his head saying he should have never been sent. I'm sure by now, after all the calls my husband has made that they all know him on a first name basis at the call center! The good news in all this is that the guy who screwed up the yard was very happy to report that he had fixed the problem up the pole! Yeah!

We'd been really contemplating going with Roku and dumping our TV service through Cox so after all this drama we finally bought one and are now trying to get used to it. We haven't settled on what service to use alongside Roku and am still doing the research to what will best meet our needs. I find there is some really random stuff available out there! We watch a lot of history and documentaries. I get the feeling most services cater to people who devour movies and music videos. So we're struggling a bit. I really miss my "regular TV."

I had my final 18-month follow-up with my back surgeon and everything is good. I got a referral for back strengthening therapy and have just started that. Danny, upon seeing his PCP, finally decided to get shoulder therapy; it's been hurting for months now. His evaluation is next week, then we both go for 4 weeks. I bet I get lunch out of the deal too, since we have 11:30 appointments!

I've been dealing with an IBS attack since Thursday afternoon. The timing couldn't have been worse since I'd just had my back popped and it was already very sore. Everything became 10 times more painful since I had to keep getting up and down every 20 minutes all night long. Silver-lining - lost 5 pounds! Yesterday was mostly a soup day and I'm still eating tenderly today, hoping to use this weight loss as a jump start for healthier eating (but you know how easy it is to fall back into the junk food ways).

20 July 2018

The Unwanted Visitor

It's the call you never want to get. No, not that one... everyone is fine. I'm talking about the one that causes panic like no other. "There's a SNAKE in the House!"

Yes, I got the call (luckily he wasn't in my house) but poor Mama was on the other end of the phone in a major panic. She has been terrified of snakes her whole life and to see one climbing on her kitchen window.... You just cannot comprehend what that call sounded like!

Our snakes after hummingbirds, 2002
At first I thought the snake was outside the kitchen window. "He's just after the hummingbirds" I told her, not remembering that she doesn't have feeders this year. I was thinking of the time we had a snake on our door doing that.

The timing couldn't have been worse. Danny and my brother were both out in different directions having cars work done. So this was now a case of the blind rescuing the blind! I told Mom I'd call a neighbor and for her to keep an eye on the intruder. Losing sight of him would be the worse case scenario.

By chance neighbor Austin was home and not 'up the country.' Alice sent him right over. He arrived as I did, armed with a hoe fork & a pine cone picker-upper. By the time we got in the kitchen we saw a HUGE crooked black line draped over the soap dispenser, paper towel holder, the mixer and other items on the counter. He was heading to the corner! And we needed to get him before he rounded that corner and made it behind the stove.

I went to open the back door since I would NOT be holding it when the exit happened, while Austin started moving items and trying to grab the snake with the not-quite-strong-enough picker-up. The knife block fell over scattering smaller knives across the counter and Austin managed to turn the snake back towards the corner instead of the stove and got a hand on his tail.

I was standing right behind Austin and when he said to back up I did just that. I wished I'd been a bit quicker because the next thing I saw was a snake head coming towards my face as Austin whipped the snake off the counter.

I'll never forget the sight I saw next of Austin standing in the middle of the kitchen swinging the snake round and round. (where was a camera when you needed it)? OMG! Please don't let him slip through his fingers! Austin quickly made his way to the back door. I could hear the snake hit the door facing as they passed through the threshold. I couldn't tell if I was scared to death or scarred for life by this, the craziest thing I've ever witnessed in my life. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Crisis averted we went back to the living room where Mom had been planted in her chair the whole time keeping a watchful eye on the snake before we had arrived. We all started calming down, my brother and his wife came in and like any good group of hunters do we went back over the story, relating every detail, just like I've done here!

A super big thank you to Austin to coming to our aid! We're still not sure how the 5-6 foot long black snake got in but you can be sure that any holes found have been plugged and the doors are kept closed from now on! I know there are good snakes and bad snakes, but when any come in the house he's automatically on the bad list.

Oh, and when I got back home and looked in the mirror I found a spot of blood between my eyebrows. Slowly I washed it away... there's no scratch, no cut.... Good grief! I have snake blood on me! Totally creeped me out!

11 July 2018

Mission-minded Crochet Work

Last year I had heard that the migrant ministry recipients that our church serve liked to receive hand crocheted washcloths. So lately I've been working to make as many of them that I can before the end of July. This is a quick and easy project that travels well to work on in waiting rooms and vehicles.

I already had some that I'd stored away to use as a craft show item, but never got to have a booth last year. And while I was laid up with my back and knee surgeries I made a few more. So I now have a nice stack of at least 30 washcloths ready to be donated plus whatever more I can get done in the next couple of weeks!

03 July 2018

Blame It On The Moon

This has been another rough week. Danny had surgery last Thursday, getting 3 hernias repaired at one time. He’s now recovering nicely. Both dogs are now feeling good too so that just leaves me with leftover health issues. I am still struggling to get over twisting my back 10 days ago, but am making progress each day. I think once I get through this I am going to see about getting some strengthening back therapy, which I’ve never had since having back surgery over a year ago. Perhaps this could have been avoided if I’d had therapy sooner.

Beside pain each of us was dealing with and super hot temperatures outdoors, another thing that didn’t help matters was the full moon around June 28. With feelings walking a fine line, things weren’t always rosy last week. Now we know why.

My lightbulb started going off as I began noticing a trend a few months ago, gradually putting 2 and 2 together. Things would go well at home with everyone relatively happy and suddenly the botttom would fall out. Petty arguments and hurt feelings prevailed leaving us both baffled. Luckily it was always a temporary affliction and we’d get through the set-backs fairly quickly. After a while I mentioned my curious thoughts of a moon connection to Danny, so together we have been watching for a correlation between the moon and a tendency for arguments debates to become a bit more “heightened.” It seems to happen right before the full moon and dissipates within a day or so, with life returning to normal. We thought we were crazy but after tracking emotional exchanges a while we’re pretty sure we’re on to something. And now that we know better we can do better!

I know it sounds bizarre, but I share this because maybe someone else has had the same thing happen and just didn’t realize the moon could be an influence at home. Everybody knows the moon affects tides, births increase, and crimes go up during full moons. Why not arguments at home?

22 June 2018

Yarn and More Yarn

I keep saying I'm not going to buy any more yarn. I have way more than I need or want already. I get my yarn at thrift stores so when I see some really good deal or several skeins of one great color I can not resist.
Wasn't this a great deal?!

Here is one of three shelf units that are full of yarn. Plus I have more stashed in other locations.

I've been trying to settle down to start on some lap afghans for the hospital. I've found several patterns that I think would be fun (and easy) to try. We've been so busy lately that there's been no time to sit and concentrate without interruption. So I've been making more baby hats.

Baby hats are so quick to make and the work travels well, especially to doctor offices and the like. I've got a bag full of hats now, ready to go. I bet there's at least 50 in this group already!

The Crochet Club has still not been meeting. After the delay due to weather June has proven to simply be a busy month for everyone. I guess one of these days we'll get together again; meanwhile I'm going solo at home.