View From My Window

Home away from home, this is our place in Roadhaven Resort, Apache Junction, AZ. We went over recently to do a bit of repair/replacement on the place. We left before it got really warm, returning to the cool air of Tehachapi. It was the end of the season so there weren’t many neighbors left to visit with.

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That little tree in front is a Navel Orange tree and it’s loaded with blossoms this year. We won’t be around to enjoy any of the fruit, but I’m sure that the year-round residents will avail themselves of the free fruit. Owners aren’t really allowed to live there year round, as it’s a resort and so they must leave for a certain period of time during the year. I don’t know what the time frame/rules are, but I know friends who take off during the hottest months of the year and travel to family or friends who live in the cooler parts of the country. Living there full-time is most certainly cheaper and more convenient than living in a full-size house.

Off to other topics, my sewing machine broke down last week and had to be put into the shop. It’s ready to be picked up, so we’ll take care of that today, after our monthly haircut appointment.

I had a wonderful birthday this past weekend — the kids surprised me with a Cricut Explore Air 2 paper/fabric crafting machine. I haven’t really got into it yet, but we made a couple of cards before the kids had to leave for home. Should be a lot of fun and I’ve already mentally created several things so am anxious to get busy creating.

Not much else to report so will close this with blessings to all. Be safe, take good care of yourself and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Life is forever changing, and we must draw from it as much goodness as we can, while we can.

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View From My Window

April 19, 2019 — Just a quick check-in to say I’m here but have been very distracted lately. My two nieces and our younger son will be arriving today to help me celebrate my 75th birthday. Should be lots of fun.

Remember to be safe, take good care of yourself, and tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

April 1, 2019 — Happy April Fool’s Day!! No tricks here… just photos of our beautiful hillsides. If you look closely, you can see a tinge of purple everywhere. That’s actually a flowering weed that comes up this time of year. When it dries out, it has burrs that catch on the soles of your shoes. Nasty stuff, but oh so pretty when it’s in bloom.

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There’s also been a lot of activity on the tracks down below. The crews have been changing out the rail for the past week.

They’re almost done now, and there’s only a few pieces of equipment left behind. Most of the work now is profiling the ballast and making sure all of the clips are in place on the new rail. There’s still a welding truck down at the far end of the valley, just in case it’s needed.

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When you look on the left side of the above photo, follow the dirt road down from the highway and you’ll see a strip of white. There’s actually a passing siding installed there and this is where the crews set out their equipment at the end of the day. In the mornings, around 6:00 a.m., you’ll see a mass of activity there with the equipment’s lights on and blinking as the workers begin to move the equipment out onto the main line.

That’s all for now. Be safe, take good care of yourself, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

March 28, 2019 — Another night without much sleep. I went to bed tired and a bit sleepy, but after laying there lightly dozing for over an hour, I decided to get up. Heavy housecoat on, I moved through the living room to the office. I turned on the computer and played a couple of card games then decided I would do a bit of seam ripping. I moved to the living room and proceeded to finish all of the seam ripping there was to do.

Next, I returned to the office and decided to work on the Black on Black mystery quilt I had started at the last Loose Threads meeting. I’d sewed two short seams yesterday and got both of them wrong–out came the seam ripper. <sigh> I decided I needed a design wall of some kind so went to my flannel stash in the laundry room and pulled out a piece of blue flannel. I used painter’s tape to affix it to the wall behind the door to the hallway. There I proceeded to put up my blocks. Even with a printout of the blocks made by another member, I was totally lost at placing the various pieces. I got three blocks put up and realized that the pattern was wrong. Having to mentally switch gears gave me a small headache, so I decided to stop and take a break. Here’s how far I got:

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The block on the lower left needs to be swapped with the block on the upper right, but I didn’t have the mental ability to tackle it right then, so I’ve left it for later on. It is definitely different. I hope it grows on me by the time I get it finished. This was a strange pattern because it was only as big as you wanted it to be and we traded fabrics with others in our group.

Our weather is foggy and cold today. It looks like it’s raining ever so slightly. The cloud cover is making it doubly cold. Brrr..

Be safe, be well, and please let those you love know that you love them.

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View From My Window

March 26, 2019 — What a difference a day makes. For that matter, what a difference a night without coughing makes. I went to my primary care doctor yesterday and she called in prescriptions for another ZPack of antibiotic and a 5-day prescription for Prednisone. Ahhh… the miracle drug! It does work wonders in the body. I took my first dose last night, and this morning, I felt ‘normal’ for the first time in weeks. Five straight hours of sleep feels wonderful!

Some time ago, I came into possession of some Concord Grapes. I believe my neighbors gave them to me, but don’t truly remember. I do remember that I processed them into juice, put it in the freezer and promptly forgot about it. Day before yesterday, I took the container out of the freezer, worried that it had been in the freezer far too long and needed to be dealt with. Last night, after my first dose of Prednisone I felt good enough to make grape jelly!! I had the pectin (expiration date was 2017 so I felt a bit worried the jelly wouldn’t set, but decided to try it anyway). It was the low-sugar/no-sugar type of pectin, so I was able to use sugar substitute. I had jars, rings and lids, so set a pot of water on to boil to sterilize things. I hadn’t made jam or jelly in ages, but I managed to pull it off.

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And it set up!! And it sealed!! Whoo hoo!

Amazing that I could be so wiped out and sick for most of the day only to wind up energized and feeling great. I actually feel like I’m going to beat this thing.

I have truly been worried about my health. A dear friend and neighbor at our place in Arizona passed away from COPD just this past December. I remembered her cough and how much weight she’d lost in the year before we saw her last. For myself, I’ve lost 15 pounds over these past four weeks. I last saw Millie in September of 2014, when Dad Westover passed away. I didn’t realize then that it would actually be the last time we would see one another. When we go over next month, it will be so strange not to see her smiling face. Her passing will set in then…something I don’t look forward to. Her husband has been in ICU there in Mesa, AZ with bleeding on the brain.

Life is fragile — handle with care. Take care of yourself and those you love. Be safe, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. I am so very grateful for my husband, my family and my friends. Thank you for being here.

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View From My Window

We got more rain yesterday and last night. Yesterday afternoon the clouds lifted enough that we could see the tops of the mountain across the way and were pleased to see that it snowed there. So lovely to look at.

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In one of my quilting blogs, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, I read about an international project to make quilts for the families of those killed or injured in the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch is special to Robert and I because we have friends who live there. Needless to say, I’m participating in this effort, and here is my first block:

1st Heart for Christchurch

My point at the bottom of the heart didn’t quite meet, but that’s o.k. with me–it just gives it character. I have five more set up to sew and hope to get them all done this morning. I’m trying to locate the woman in Arizona who will be sending blocks from here in the U.S. She’s on Instagram and I don’t do Instagram so finding her is proving to be a challenge.

Meanwhile, my respiratory infection continues to dog my days and nights. This will pass…I just need to be patient.

Be safe, take care of yourself and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. I am so very grateful for my husband. He’s such a comfort and helpmate to me. We are blessed.

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View From My Window

March 17, 2019 — My stitches are gone but the virus lives on. I did get in to see my pulmonologist on Friday and he gave me two prescriptions — an antibiotic and a cough medicine. I’m on the second day of the antibiotic and tried the cough medicine for the first time last night. Ugh! I commented to my niece that it was so horrible tasting that having the cough was almost better than having to take that vile stuff.

I love having my niece here… she helps both of us sooo much. Her sister gave her a Cricut machine that takes designs from her computer. She made a St. Patrick’s Day Shaker card and it turned out really nice! She’s also begun making signs so brought a wood picture frame and a printed piece of canvas to put into the frame once it was painted. She’s really very good at the things she makes.

We were on our way to breakfast yesterday and I spied these small glass bottles in the floor of the back seat of the car. I asked what they were for and my niece says she’s going to make Alcohol Inks and store the ink in the jars. I immediately thought of all the paints and crafting stuff I had that I not only no longer used, but had no desire to use. I told her I had some paints I wanted to give her. So when we got back home, I went through my cupboard and pulled out anything I thought she could use. She mentioned she’d needed a light box and so I gave her mine, which hadn’t been used in years. It was like new so I felt good about passing it along to her. Several years ago, I gave our daughter-in-law all of my rubber stamps and stamp pads along with loads of cardstock and colored text weight paper.

Today, I pulled my Arizona sweatshirt jacket from the closet because it was lightweight but decided I didn’t need it, so it rode to the restaurant and back home, laying in the back seat. As I got out of the car, I asked my niece if she would like a new sweatshirt jacket. She said sure, so I handed her the sweatshirt jacket I’d brought along. Her comment “It won’t fit me.” was disproven when she put it on and it fit her perfectly! Felt good to pass things along while I’m still here.

I’ve been pulling tax stuff together in preparation for my appointment tomorrow afternoon. It’s the annual ‘get it together’ mission for gathering tax documents. We have another new tax preparation company this year but I don’t know that I’ll change after this. Three years ago, the woman who prepared our taxes lost her mother. She announced that she was going to be closing her business and retiring. I tried the person she recommended but wasn’t all that impressed, so resolved that this year I would try someone else. Hopefully, this will be the last time I have to look for a capable person to do our taxes.

Be safe, take care of yourself, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. We have friends in Christchurch, NZ, the site of the recent terrorist attack on two mosques. Notwithstanding all of the attacks we see here in the U.S., it stunned me to know that our friends were possibly in harm’s way. Life is so unpredictable. Be grateful for those in your life, and never pass up the opportunity to let others know you’re glad to have them in your life. Blessings to you and yours…

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