View From My Window

Friday, January 22, 2021 — Today was really different, because last night was different. Yesterday evening Robert said he’d been meaning to say something to me — then he stated that he’d seen an ad in the newspaper for a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air for $9,000, and he wanted to go take a look at it. I was stunned–I didn’t really know what to say. He no longer drives–so why would he want this car. He said ‘all the parts are there.’ Translation–it still needs work. He’s having trouble putting a plastic building together and he wants a car to work on?? I didn’t know if he was joking or serious, but I made a kind of noncommital comment.

I tried to write about it last night but just couldn’t bring myself to put it into words. Tonight, he called out from the living room “$875 Million dollars!” I didn’t know what he was talking about, so went in to stand by him. I asked him what sold for $875M. He said, ‘No. The Lottery is $875 million! and it only takes one winning ticket and I’ll have my ’57 Chevy. Then, he proceeds to say that he’ll sit in the passenger seat and ‘allow’ me to drive him around while he waves at everyone we pass along the way.’

Last night, I had asked him what he would do with the car when he doesn’t really drive anymore. He chuckled and grinned and said, “I have a driver’s license!” (Yes, he does, thanks to my going online and renewing it for him.) He said he thought it would give him something to do — i.e., go out and sand on a spot here and there. My mind is reeling, thinking of him wanting to go out into his cold, cold garage to sand on a car, when he hasn’t followed through with the HO layout he was going to build. I never know how to respond to things with him. I am at a loss most of the time.

Today, I had my grocery list in hand and was ready to leave to go shopping, go to the mailbox and do other errands. He was fixing hummingbird food (he was at the computer earlier and I noticed a hummingbird trying to get food out of the feeders–both feeders were empty. I commented that he would have to make hummingbird food today. Didn’t say right now, but that’s what he did — jumped right up, leaving his game half-finished and went in to fix sugar-water mixture for the feeders. I told him he didn’t have to do it right away, it was just that I noticed the hummingbird trying to get something out of the feeders and they both appeared to be empty. He then commented that we were out of bird seed. He said he didn’t know if Albertson’s carried it. I told him I could go to Tractor Supply and get it there. He half-way suggested that he wanted to go along, and then backtracked and said it was obvious that I didn’t want him to go with me. I stood there speechless. When he does come with me, I’m limited in how much time I can spend in the store because he has no stamina anymore. I laid my keys down on the counter and told him he could come with and I could wait for him to make the hummingbird’s food. He then became curt and said, “No. Go ahead. I know you don’t want me to go with you.” I said, “I’ll be back.” and left. What could I possibly say??

When I did get back, he helped carry in the groceries and then the 35 lb. bag of bird seed. After standing and folding the grocery bags while I put groceries away, suddenly he seemed drained and said, “I need to sit down.” I told him that just bringing in the groceries had wiped him out. I added that this was one of the reasons I didn’t want him to come with me grocery shopping, because he just doesn’t have the stamina for it anymore. He agreed, as he sat down in his chair.

I look through my caregiver books for help in responding to the unthinkable situations and found nothing. It’s like, “You’re on your own!” And so I am. One day at a time, one caregiving moment at a time.

Be safe, be well — get your COVID-19 vaccination!! — take care of yourself. You are important. And remember to tell those you love that you love them. I will save the bathroom repair saga for tomorrow’s post. Talking about it here would just make me tense again … have a good evening!

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View From My Window

Sunday, January 17, 2021 — I’m more than disappointed these past few days. I’ve been working on the latest quilt donation and was almost finished quilting when I happened to turn the quilt over to trim off the ends of thread from starting and stopping the stitching. I was utterly shocked to discover that the tension was off on almost every block I’d sewn. Out came the seam ripper and some small, very sharp scissors. I am still pulling stitches, and it’s been three days off and on ripping out stitches and cutting off the knots formed when the machine cuts the thread.

Those little bumps between the horizontal lines is the upper thread–it’s supposed to be layered/knotted between the layers of fabric, rather than sitting on top of the backing. You can see it’s very pronounced in the stitch line on the right side of the picture. <sigh> I know some quilters get so sick of a project that they fold it up and put it away for another day. I’m tempted to do that with this quilt. I’d already trimmed it and had it ready for binding. Note that when I checked the stitching around the edge of the quilt, I found that the tension was bad there as well, so IT will have to be torn out and redone.

Other than this, I did manage to get in to see the eye surgeon this past Thursday. He inspected my eyes and noted that the left eye also has scar tissue growing over the lens, so I’ll need the laser procedure done on both eyes. I’m scheduled to have the right eye done on the 28th of this month, followed a week later by an appointment to do the left eye. I asked the dr. if this happened a lot — i.e., the scar tissue situation — and he said, yes, it did, “About 40% of the time.” The things they never tell you! Ah me… I thought that I would be put under for the procedure and would need someone to drive us back home from Bakersfield, but apparently, the procedure takes all of 10-15 minutes, no anesthesia (gulp!) and I will be clear to drive us back home directly afterwards. I guess it’s a sweet and simple procedure. We shall see.

As we move through the days, dealing with the ever increasing threat of infection from COVID-19, I see the death toll continuing to rise to drastic levels. Today’s newspaper had no less than four pages of obituaries. Although I’m sure that a great percentage of the deaths came from COVID-19, not all of the obituary articles noted the cause, so we can’t be sure. Seeing all of these notices just serves to increase our awareness and insecurity when thinking of exposure to the virus. Thankfully, my family members have recovered and returned to work. I don’t know that having gone through a bout of the infection will leave them immune to a second infection. One would hope so, but I don’t know that it’s been proven just yet.

Do continue to take care of yourself and be extra careful if you have to go out. The virus is mutating and the odds are even greater these days that you will contract the virus. Tell those you love that you love them. Please know that you are loved and are never alone in this life. Blessings to you and yours — always.

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View From My Window

Sunday, January 10, 2021 — What a lazy day this is turning out to be. Ruby has slept 90% of the day away–after polishing off two cans of Friskies cat food. I had been giving her half a can of tuna morning and night, but found the cat food far cheaper. After opening that first can of Friskies, I decided I’d go back to tuna. I just cannot tolerate the smell of that cat food. Ugh! There are two cans remaining of the 10 cans I bought at $.65 apiece, which were on sale. She gobbled the first can up and I wondered if she ate without really smelling the food, or if the food actually smelled good to her.

Our love affair with Ruby began when I would give her cat treats when she came to visit. That got expensive so I started buying dry cat food and giving her a handful as a treat. LOL Then it was, break out a plate and put 1/2 a cup on the plate. That naturally progressed to pouring it into a bowl until the bowl was close to overflowing, and adding a dish of water to wash it down with. This went along until I got a number of cans of inexpensive tuna with our monthly food distribution. I figured I could spare a bit of tuna as a special treat for Ruby. Can you tell where this is going?? LOL

Now, she’s at the door first thing in the morning, crying to be let in so she can eat. Then she proceeds to any of a number of sleeping places and proceeds to groom herself before settling down for a good nap. Ah me… I told the cashier at the grocery store as she was scanning the cans of cat food that I never thought I’d be buying cat food. Well, that was the first and last time of that for me. <shudders> I’m glad Ruby liked it because I know I won’t have any sitting on the pantry shelf, dying of old age.

She really is a love… and all of my attempts at distancing myself from her have eroded to allowing her back into our lives and with even more attachment than before. I can see how people get attached to cats. I went online to ask why cats sleep so much and was rewarded with the statement that cats inherently sleep a lot because of their hunting instincts. Their ancestors hunted for their food and slept off and on during the day to store up energy for their nightly foraging/hunting activities. Although the domesticated cat no longer has to forage/hunt for their food, they still maintain the urge to sleep. And sleep they do… LOL

Be safe, be well, and remember to tell those you love that you love them! And watch out for the cat if it gets underfoot. Falling over a cat is not fun! Nor good for old bones!

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View From My Window

Saturday, January 9, 2021 — The following is a letter I submitted to the Editor, Bakersfield Californian newspaper in response to an article in today’s paper. The article was an interview with a Bakersfield resident who flew with his wife to Washington, D.C. to attend the Trump rally. The husband made some statements that I take issue with. I told Robert that I had a problem with what was being said by him and Robert immediately said, “Write a letter!” LOL (knowing full well that I would–and have).

_________________________________ # # # ______________________________

Editor, Bakersfield Californian

RE” Local section article, P. A3, Saturday, January 9, 2021, edition: “Bakersfield Trump supporter describes heading to DC rally before riot ensued.”

Resident Shaffer states, “He knew there were … other longtime Trump supporters like him who shared his belief that the states, courts and county agencies had not done their due diligence. … He didn’t really believe that the election would get overturned … but he thought that maybe congressional members would air some of the issues.”

I’m lost here. What ‘due diligence’ wasn’t done during the November 2020 election? Have I missed a report where evidence showed irregularities had been discovered? Was an act of fraud uncovered? Why would this election be fraudulent when the election that enabled Trump to take the office of President wasn’t considered a fraud? What was done differently? Could it be that people wanted a new leader for the country? Evidence speaks louder than words and we have yet to see any evidence.

Please help me understand what ‘issues’ you believed Congressional members would air. What did those rioters believe they were doing? Voicing their opinions? According to Ashli Babbitt’s husband, that’s what she was supposedly doing. I beg to differ–she participated in an unlawful act and paid for it. She went way beyond exercising her right to free speech. I’m glad steps are being taken to identify and arrest all those who participated in the attack on the Capitol. They must take responsibility for their actions and bear the consequences.

___________________________ # # # ________________________

I follow another blogger’s posts — https://ellenshead.blogspot.com/

Her latest post adds some very disturbing news to the already disgusting and sad state of affairs. It boggles the mind why some of the people who should have been expected to act more responsibly were among those who caused damage to the Capitol, who perhaps made the more egregious acts during the riot. Complicit assistance from within the Capitol is the least horrific part of this news.

I await news that the people responsible been located and are being held accountable, including those in political, military or police (including Capitol Police Force) positions. This goes way beyond what one would expect of Americans who believe in our country and democracy.

Take care … continue to be safe and to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Saturday, January 9, 2021 — All things work out in the end. Hopefully, this will hold true for the rest of this year and we’ll have an end to the COVID-19 crisis and a government that reflects the values of the people of this country.

Meanwhile, I finished the first flannel rag quilt. It turned out to be more of a doll size quilt than a lap quilt, but it’s still cute.

I have more flannel to work through, so there may be a succession of doll quilts to be donated. LOL

We’ve had some really foggy days recently. This morning was no different.

Looks like a good day to stay in and sew!

As I said earlier, all will work out in the end. Yesterday’s mail brought our new insurance cards–for the insurance we carried LAST year. <sigh> I’m thinking I may as well accept that my window of opportunity to choose a new insurance plan has closed permanently. It’s o.k. We can afford the bit of extra premium thanks to our 1.3% pay increase. NEXT year I hope to be able to navigate OPM’s system a bit better. We shall see. It’s always such a complicated process. They don’t make it easy, for some reason. But, we have health insurance and I like our doctors, which is far more than many people have going for them today.

Please stay safe–it’s getting far riskier these days to avoid COVID-19 infections (or variations thereof). Remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 — Christmas has been taken down, wrapped up and stored for another 11 months. The new year is here and it feels good. I had several tasks that needed to be handled ASAP, the least of which was to get our new hot water heater inspected by the County Building Dept. I called the number on the form on Saturday and left a message. I was told that if I were to call before 8 a.m., I could possibly get inspected that very day. When I called on Monday to verify that they got my message, I discovered that I was on the call list for that day! Whoo hoo! Strike one off the list!

The second task wasn’t nearly as easily handled. I needed to call the government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM). I received notification that Robert’s annuity statement was available for viewing. In the back of my mind, I was worried that the change in health insurance that I performed on November 9, 2020 hadn’t taken effect for some reason. Open Enrollment ended in December and so my chances of trying again were out the window. Reaching OPM by phone at any time is a herculean task. Talk about a busy line… it took me the better part of 2 hours of hitting ‘redial’ and re-entering the phone number (I often felt that somehow I wasn’t calling the right number because it would bring a recording of “All Circuits are Busy… Please try your call later.”

Finally, I got a ringing in my ear!! I didn’t have to wait long at all, considering how difficult it was to get through to the number. After explaining my situation, the representative said she didn’t see anything on our account that indicated a change in insurance and she would forward my situation to upper management. Apparently, I (who at times have the foggiest of brains) tried to sign up for health insurance that’s only available to postal worker’s! Uh… my husband wasn’t a postal worker. Perhaps that’s why I never received any kind of formal verification. <sigh> I don’t know what will happen now. I now wait for a call from the higher ups who can hopefully get us onto a new plan that’s a bit cheaper than what we now have. I have to hope…

Speaking of waiting, we went to Bakersfield yesterday morning for my appointment with the eye surgeon. Apparently (love that word!), my primary doctor’s office staff sent me a letter saying that I had authorization to request a referral. I really didn’t read the letter all that closely, so upon reaching the desk and signing in at the surgeon’s office, I was told I couldn’t be seen until they had a true formal authorization from our health insurance. The nice letter on the Dr’s letterhead didn’t quite cut it. Also in the back of my mind has been the niggling concern that a) I want to get my right eye fixed because it’s begun to actually hurt each and every day, and b) if my insurance changes, I will have to get a referral for a new opthalmologist/surgeon to repair my right eye. (I have scar tissue growing over the lens in my right eye, which was installed when they removed cataracts from my eyes a couple of years ago.).

For now, my comfort is that we’re still insured and it’s very good insurance. But it’s also very expensive insurance, something that I had hoped to have changed by the end of last year.

I also discovered a deposit from “Almost-ex” President Trump, which recovers 3/4th of the cost of the new hot water heater! Nice… gratitude all around here. I am grateful that neither Robert or I have COVID-19, and our family’s health is improving, day by day.

I will leave you with blessings for you and your loved ones. Be sure to tell them that you love them. Wherever you are on your path in this life, remember that you are loved, you are important, and you are here to learn. Be grateful not only for what you have, but for what you don’t have!

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View From My Window

Saturday, January 2, 2021 — The second day of the new year and I’ve been sewing off and on most of the day. I worked on the scrappy quilt for a bit, finishing the quilting on all of the 5″ blocks. Now all I have left are the mini-four-patch blocks, which are smaller and although they would seem to be quicker, they actually take more time because you’re constantly stopping and turning the quilt around and repositioning it. But eventually, it will be done and I can trim and bind it.

I was gifted a huge bag of flannel pieces, and they’ve sat on my cutting table, taking up valuable space, for over a week now. So, today I put together a rag quilt, baby-size. I have a second one set to be cut and laid out, as well. Then there’s even more after that. I’ll manage to get at least three rag quilts out of this donation. Hooray for me!

All these quilts cost me is my time, thread, electricity and my machines. Pennies compared to the overall comfort value these quilts will bring to someone.

Other than this, I’ve read a bit and worked on our taxes. It’s the first of the year and the deed must be done. I figure if I get an early start on the preparation work, I can get in and get them done sooner. Then I won’t have it hanging over my head with the sand of the IRS hourglass running. LOL

There’s so many people coming down with the COVID-19 virus these days — it truly is an epidemic. It’s affecting whole families, as one person gets it and then the rest of the family begin developing symptoms. Please be extra careful if you must go out. Mask up, wash up, and keep your distance. And please keep positive healing thoughts for those who are fighting this virus. I know that even if they don’t have severe symptoms, the fact that they’re actively fighting the illness is stressful enough.

I happened to see my sister-in-law’s post on FaceBook the other evening — my brother-in-law has COVID, so I called to see how he was doing. Come to find out, he got the infection from his wife, who got it from who knows where. He said some people had come to their church and said they thought they’d been exposed a few days before, but because they didn’t have any symptoms they felt they were safe. No telling if they were right or wrong in not staying home, but they discovered they WERE infected. Don’t take chances–if you think you’ve been exposed, please stay home and self-quarantine.

And remember to tell those you love that you love them!!

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View From My Window

Wednesday, December 30, 2020 — We’re getting down to the wire now–it’s almost 2021 and with the new year comes the hope that we will make headway on many things, number one of which is the COVID-19 virus. Sadly, several members of my family have the virus and the mother in me wants to be there with them to care for them. But, I can’t do that. All I can do is caution them to take care of themselves. They’re all adults (except for one member), so they know what to do.

I have to say that all of my admonitions about staying safe didn’t work the way I hoped it would. Part of me feels that the odds are against us, with each passing day bringing more and more infections and deaths. And now a variant on the virus has appeared and so we’re fighting it as well. From what I’ve heard, the symptoms for the new virus are pretty much the same as for COVID-19, but it’s more contagious.

It’s one hard row to hoe for us these days. We have to persevere. We WILL beat this. We must keep a positive outlook and know that eventually, this will be a bad memory for the world, and we will move forward to conquer other crises.

I’m making progress on the latest quilt, but I do miss the new sewing machine. I’ll have to break down and take it to Lancaster to be repaired, but I really don’t want to leave the house. Now there’s a conundrum for you! I’m using the Singer 9960 but if I try to go fast, the stitches are uneven. :/ I think it’s the walking foot that isn’t staying in sync, so it’s just going to take me a bit longer to finish. It will get done and I’ll move on to the next quilt. One at a time…

It’s that time again–time to close this down and go sit with Robert and find something good to watch on t.v. I pray for blessings, good health and safety for all my family and friends. There are always things to be grateful for in this life. Please take a moment to put positive thoughts out to the Universe. We need all the positivity we can bring to our world.

Be safe (please!), take good care of yourself, don’t lose faith that all will be right with our world eventually, and please remember to tell those you love that you love them. Love is our one constant in life–treasure it!

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View From My Window

Friday, December 25, 2020 — Another Christmas is at an end. We had a very good day today. I cooked a nice turkey breast roast and all the trimmings. No dessert, but that’s o.k., as we don’t really need the extra calories.

I don’t know that I wrote about the hot water heater springing a leak, but it did and now it’s shut off and drained. We’ve had no hot water for 2 days now and I now boil water to wash dishes and rinse them with cold water. We’re getting a replacement water heater, but not until NEXT Thursday! It was the earliest they could schedule the installation. I opted to go with a smaller size hot water heater because it saved us almost $1,000. I was surprised that the difference between a 50 gallon and a 75 gallon water heater was just about double the price. I also didn’t know that 75 gallon water heaters are only guaranteed for 1 year; 50 gallon water heaters are guaranteed for 3 years. We’ve had our current water heater for 13 years, so you could say we’ve got more than our money’s worth. I was shocked at the prices.

Did not expect the water heater’s demise. I know the car will have to be put in the shop fairly soon — the engine maintenance required light on the dash has been blinking. When it goes to solid yellow, I will call and schedule an appointment. And, I’m looking at getting some quotes to have the house’s exterior trim and woodwork painted. Some of the eaves will need to be replaced and I expect that will cost. Needs to be done, so there you are.

I hear the statistics for COVID-19 and it makes me sad and at the same time angry. People are still fighting wearing a mask, and at the same time, people are dying in ever greater numbers. We’re missing the boat here…

Do continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing. You can never tell if someone near you is contagious or not, so why put yourself at risk??

Blessings to you and yours. Please say a prayer for all those who are fighting COVID-19. And be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 — I finished another quilt last night. It’s a baby quilt and I had planned on donating it to the Family Life Pregnancy Center in town, but when I called, there was a phone message saying they were closed until after January 2nd. So, I’ll hold on to it until then.

I had another quilt all put together and ready to be quilted so am working on it now. Of all things to have happen, I was sewing with my new Baby Lock machine when I broke a needle. I don’t know where the tip went, but when I loosened the screw to remove the remaining shank, it dropped down through the feed dogs into the interior of the machine. I took the cover plate off, turned the machine upside down and shook it a bit, hoping the needle would dislodge and fall out — no such luck. Sooo, since I didn’t want to sew with that needle still in the ‘works’ of the machine, I have it removed to the dining room table and set up my Singer Quantum 9960 in its place. If something happens to THIS machine, I’ll move on to my Bernina. <sigh>

I have a doctor’s appt. tomorrow afternoon so won’t be making any trips to Lancaster until Thursday. I’ll have to call and make sure they’re open. It’s 40+ miles to Lancaster/Palmdale and I don’t want to make the trip only to find the shop closed.

Ruby has been one tired cat today — she’s discovered that my external hard drive is a heat source, and it also whirs now and then. LOL Such a life… This particular hard drive has a problem so it’s not always recognized by the system, so I’m not concerned that she sleeps cuddled up against it. She looks like one contented kitty.

Be safe, take good care of yourself, and tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Saturday, December 19, 2020 — Where does the time go? I feel like a leaf in the wind without any direction. I have sent only the most important Christmas cards out this season, have done no baking whatsoever (totally unusual for me), and don’t feel like it’s Christmas. Talk about the sands of time running through an hourglass, my days feel like they’re getting shorter and shorter.

The Yellow Bin

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve taken to trading items with my neighbors by putting them in a yellow bin that sits on my front porch. We communicate by telephone or FaceBook messaging but more often than not, I’ll simply tell them that I’ll put the item in the yellow bin. It’s a no-contact way to pass things back and forth. The bag has books for a neighbor that’s due to have hip replacement surgery soon. The wine is for my next door neighbor who loves red wine. I like the convenience of putting things out for others. It lessens the chance that either of us will get exposed unnecessarily.

We received a package from Robert’s brother and sister-in-law yesterday–it was a gift package with items made in Kansas. I had always been the one to order things to be shipped to them but this year the days have slipped by and I have done nothing. I’ll have to call and thank them for their thoughtfulness. I just have not been up to doing my regular holiday duties. The situation brings a load of guilty feelings.

Enough of the whine for now … be safe, take care of yourself, and please remember that you are an important part of many people’s lives. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. May you be blessed…

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View From My Window

Monday, December 7, 2020 — I learned another lesson last night. A friend whose husband has Parkinson’s dementia let me know she was at the point where she could no longer care for her husband at home and was forced to place him in a care facility. I had told Robert about my friend for over a year, so I (without thinking) told him that the husband had deteriorated and was going to have to go into a care facility. He came back at me with a comment about how he knew he was going to die and he didn’t need to hear about other people dying. At that point I realized that I should have just kept that information to myself. Yet another point of separation between us; I can no longer share everything with him as I’ve done for the past 57+ years. I have to filter things from now on.

Being able to share anything and everything with my husband is something I took for granted. And now it’s gone. I did apologize to him and said I would think twice before telling him things in the future.

Be safe, take care of yourself and remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Friday, December 4, 2020 — Smaller quilts are much quicker to make, and this current one is ready for binding. In looking at it overall, I can see that my arrangement of blocks could have been better, but I was limited in the total number of the various pieces, so it is what it is. The one thing is that my points meet!!! LOL (looking for a positive here, other than it will give comfort to someone eventually. This one will go to the Family Life Center. My neighbor was over yesterday and saw it under the presser foot — she loved it and said some little girl would just love to have it. I thought it too ‘adult’ looking for a child, but maybe not.

For now, I’m going to stop and adjourn to the living room with my Kindle. My neck is bothering me just a bit and I think I should hold off on cutting the binding until tomorrow. I will be meeting one of the Depot board members at the Depot tomorrow and we will do a test-fit of the drape for the train layout. I’m sincerely hoping that it fits. If not, I have more fabric and elastic and can enlarge it. (Though I’m hoping I won’t have to as I’d rather be making quilts!)

Be safe, take good care of yourself, and remember to tell those you love that you love them. I’m comforted by the knowledge that we will soon have a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus, and that the medical community will be innoculated first–they are more than deserving of being first. Eventually, everyone that wants the vaccine will be able to receive it. All in due time. Things are definitely going in the right direction — we just need to hold fast and continue to practice safe actions away from our homes. (Mask, social distancing and awareness of your environment will hopefully keep you and yours safe.)

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View From My Window

Thursday, December 3, 2020 — I am that pleased with the new sewing machine. Tonight, I decided I would try quilting my latest quilt rather than sending it to my friend with the long arm. Actually, my friend has sold her home here in Tehachapi and is moving to Arizona. She doesn’t have time to do any work for me. I delivered the latest completed quilt to the Tehachapi Hospital yesterday, and have another quilt top and back ready for batting and quilting. It’s in on the dining room table. I started working on this current quilt a couple of days ago and was surprised at how quickly it came together. What makes a big difference is the speed of the new machine and the fact that it sews straight as an arrow. I had to really stress over keeping my fabric aligned with my other machines. It’s so nice to be able to just allow the fabric to flow freely.

After deciding to quilt this latest effort, I was a bit concerned when I went to attach the walking foot to the machine because I’d had so much trouble attaching it to my other machines. Wow, was I ever impressed — it went on first try and it wasn’t even hard to do. Oh my word. Then I inserted a fabric sandwich (two pieces of fabric with batting inbetween) and did a few practice stitches. Wow, it ran like a dream without puckering or bunching. What a difference.

My only problem now is my chair isn’t high enough and I tend to hunch over the machine. After sewing the first couple of rows on the quilt, I felt the muscles in my shoulders begin to seize up. Time to quit… and do a bit of research on the net for proper height of chairs when sewing. Perhaps a new sewing chair is in order. We shall see.

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

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View From My Window

Monday, November 30, 2020 — Christmas came early today. I had to put my Bernina 1008 machine into the shop so when I did, I decided to buy the Baby Lock machine that I’d been wanting for the last several years. Tonight, after a fairly short but involved learning curve, I began working on my next quilt.

Baby Lock Presto II

I’m not sure how this quilt will turn out–I create most of my scrap quilts as I go, or “by the seat of my pants”.

Well, this is short but sweet. Robert is calling from the other room so I must go.

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

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020 — It’s always something, isn’t it?? I have one sister left out of four — she’s younger than me by 3 years and she lives in Texas. She had injections in her spine recently, to hopefully eliminate or reduce the chronic pain she’s been experiencing. I sent her a card but hadn’t heard from her — now I know why. She’s been told she has a growth on her brain. She had surgery on her ear earlier this year and had been losing her hearing in that ear so she went in to an ENT to see what was going on. She’d also fallen a couple of times this year and wound up in the hospital with concussions. Tests showed the growth. They’re sending her to a specialist in Dallas.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

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

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Monday, November 23, 2020 — Cold and cloudy this morning, the sun can’t be seen at all. I hope it warms up a bit because we’re going to be heading for the Depot this morning to do a test fit on the train layout table drape.

I came into the kitchen this morning and spotted Ruby laying in one of the deck chairs. We wonder where she spends her nights because she does nothing but sleep and eat all day. We discuss this situation on a semi-regular basis, last night being the latest time for our musing about where she goes when we put her out for the night. She does like to sit in the window and watch the birds, but this is second only to eating or sleeping in one of the office chairs. We put her out if we have to leave the house, but can always depend on her being right there on the deck upon our return home.

Be safe, take care of yourself and those you love, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Be patient with others and yourself. We can’t know what is going on in other people’s lives, but home confinement is once again the order of the day.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2020 — For a number of years the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum has had a Photo With Santa event, with a G Scale train layout loaned to the Depot by member Mike Nixon.

This year, the Depot will have its own Christmas Train display, and I’ve been asked to sew a drape to go around the tables. I’ve ordered felt to cover the tops of the tables. The felt will help soften the noise of the train.

The drape will have elastic run through a casing at the top to give it a bit of fullness, and adhesive backed velcro will be used to attach the drape to the table’s edges.

Off to other topics, I see the gastroenterologist tomorrow. I don’t know that he’ll want to do anything further on me, considering the outcome of the MRI. I’m thinking that the gallstones are the source of my pain (still have occasional pain in my back) and for that, just watching my diet might be all that can be done.

I need to make an appointment to see the opthalmologist who did my cataract surgery so scar tissue can be removed from the lens in my right eye. I also need to touch base with the cardiologist. I’m really not sure I want to have a pacemaker installed right now. I’m of the mind that ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ I do o.k. right now without the heart meds and am content to let things go until something happens to force the issue. I’m hoping the cardiologist agrees with my decision. I feel there’s more risk involved right now than there would be if I HAD to have the pacemaker installed. Right now, I consider it an elective decision, and I’m thinking I’m going to elect to not have it done. The eye surgery? Absolutely–I have one heck of a time trying to thread a needle with the way my eyes are now. A recent eye exam is what uncovered the situation, and I can’t get new glasses until the scar tissue is removed.

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

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Thursday, November 12, 2020 — I’ve been working on another scrappy quilt top. This one will go to Adventist Health Tehachapi Hospital.

I used scraps and made a stack of four-patch blocks then added 1.5″ strips on two sides (one white and one complimentary color). Next, I took two charm packs and matched them up to the four-patch blocks. It made for a very interesting pattern. I don’t know what I’ll use for a backing. Perhaps I’ll find a nice yellow fabric.

I don’t know that I mentioned where my last quilt was donated. It was a baby quilt and it went to the Family Life Center here in Tehachapi.

This is the fabric for the quilt top. I thought I’d taken photos of the completed quilt, but I can’t find them right now. I used a different fabric for the backing but it turned out really nice. I received a nice thank you card from them.

Be safe, and be well. Take care of yourself and remember you are loved. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 — I had a good visit with my primary dr. this afternoon. He added one blood pressure medication and asked me to come back in 3 months. I asked him why I should have a pacemaker installed if I’m functioning o.k. as is. He said I needed to discuss that with the cardiologist. I’m thinking that the medications only improved my heart function by 5% so I quit taking them. The dr. said if there are no blockages or other problems I probably could get along without the pacemaker. My kind of thinking completely.

Feeling very good right now. He did put through a referral for an Opthalmologist and it happened to be the one that did my initial cataract surgery. Small world, indeed.

Be safe, be well, and know that you are loved. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 — Happy Veteran’s Day and a heartfelt thank you to all veterans for keeping our nation free.

I know I’ve said in the past how very blessed I am to have a husband who is both patient and understanding. Last night, he asked me if I was upset about something and I said no. I actually was still harboring a bit of my unease about the shower incident, but couldn’t bring myself to open that particular subject up.

Well, tonight, I finally released a lot of the things that I have been stressed about, and we had a very calm discussion of the shower episode from the other evening. He apologized and I told him an apology wasn’t necessary because I realized that it was his mind that was changing and he can’t control that. I so appreciate that we can openly discuss anything and everything that goes on in our lives. In talking to him, we came to the conclusion that since he showers each and every evening, the handle for the shower is always in the same place as he left it when he last turned the water off. But since I showered before him that particular evening, the handle wasn’t in the same place as he expected it to be and it altered his routine. Just that little thing and it threw him off. Now I know what other caregivers mean when they say that keeping to a regimen is vital in reducing frustrations for the person with dementia. He also confessed that when he’s in the shower and he closes his eyes, he has to hang on to the safety bar that I had installed in the shower because his equilibrium is completely gone.

Tomorrow I will see my primary dr. I have my list of things to discuss with him, and I have the referral from the Optometrist that indicates I need eye surgery to remove scar tissue that’s growing over the lens in my right eye. I’ll need to get my eyes examined again once the eye is healed, so new glasses can be ordered.

Continue to keep the faith — stay safe, take good care of yourself and know that you are loved. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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Monday, November 9, 2020 — Today is the beginning of Open Enrollment for Federal Employees Health Benefits insurance changes. Each year at this time we’re given the chance to change our health insurance plan. If we’re happy with the plan we have, we do nothing and it stays the same, except that each year the premium typically goes up. The increase never matches our COLA, so I’m faced with trying to find a plan that we can afford and that will provide us with the necessary coverage for the upcoming year. I have to look at our health and try to guess whether we’re going to have any major illnesses or surgeries. As we age, this job gets harder and harder to pull off.

Part of my depression and stress has been the completion of this task. Once done, it can’t be changed for another year unless one of us dies or there’s a major situation that would qualify us to move to another plan. I’ve never had to do that, but I’ve had to live with a bad plan choice more than once. Not good.

I managed to find a new plan that not only costs less, but has 99% of the doctors we’re already seeing as part of the in-network provider list. Robert will have to change his primary, but all of his specialists will remain the same, as will mine. This is a very big issue for me, as I want his continuity of care to remain unchanged. He gets confused enough without any insurance upheaval.

Speaking of which, we had an interesting but bizarre conversation last night. After his shower, Robert came in and said he had a small complaint to make about how I used the shower. He asked me to follow him into our master bath where he pointed out the handle (one handle controls hot/cold water flow) position on the shower. He said every time I take a shower, I leave the handle on the cold side and when he gets into the shower, he is hit with a spray of cold water. Thus, we stood there, discussing the way the handle works and without getting angry, I said I would try to always put the handle on the hot side of the control. For myself, I reach in, turn on the water and turn it to hot–wait for the water to turn warm and then turn the temperature down before stepping into the shower. Apparently, Robert gets in and THEN turns on the water… Odd, but o.k., it’s how he works the shower controls. What puzzled me was that a) he apparently didn’t think about controling the temperature of the water before he got into the shower, and felt that because I showered before him, I had set the controls to cold so he’d get blasted with cold water. Realizing that this could turn into a negative situation very quickly, I gave up and said I would try to watch it in the future. Of course, I left the room totally confused as to how I could control the placement of the shower handle so he wouldn’t get hit with cold water. <sigh> The fact that he felt this was something I was doing wrong didn’t fail to register in my mind. It was evening, so I know he’s most likely experiencing the Sundowning effect of dementia. Still… it left me totally perplexed as to why something like this could be so important to him as to bring it to my attention. I can’t begin to comprehend how his mind works anymore.

Each day is a learning experience… all I can do is go with the flow, and allow things like this to just pass right on by.

Be safe, take good care of yourself and those you love. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Appreciate the good moments and let the bad ones go–they’ll only weigh you down.

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Thursday, November 5, 2020 —

I was very depressed today. Stayed quiet in my office and spent the day on the computer–working the checkbook, finishing up working on the bill-paying and alternately watching for signs that the electoral vote was being updated. It never was, as far as I could see, and in checking various sites on the net, I saw that oftentimes, it was less than what I was currently seeing — time-wise.

And then I made the mistake of listening to Trump’s speech from the White House. He hadn’t gone 10 min. and I was in shock at the words coming out of his mouth. How dare he claim to be the winner when they’re still counting votes?? Never in the history of our nation have we ever suffered such a fool.

I apologized to Robert tonight, letting him know (although I know he already sensed it) that I had been depressed and he said if it wasn’t for the garden railroad and his trains and his books, he’d be depressed too. He said he gets very depressed at times. It’s not the first time he’s mentioned that he has been depressed. Horrible that this whole thing is affecting the two of us the way it is and I know it’s hard on so many millions of others dealing with the same (or more) issues.

This is such cruelty–to be in partial lockdown because of the virus and to be subjected to such negative/blatant lying from someone we’re supposed to honor and look up to. Not one iota of respect for that — can’t think of a word ugly enough to describe him — person.

Hugs and hang in there — we shall do the same. Ever trying to remain positive, I’m thankful for my friends…

Be well, be safe, and know that one day this will all be a distant memory for us. We must persevere and keep the faith. Remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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Saturday, October 31, 2020 — I learned something new about my computer recently. It has a very small battery on the motherboard that keeps the time and date correct. I’d been seeing an error message whenever I booted up the computer that said my battery was low. Since I didn’t know I had a battery, I ignored the message until the day my computer failed to boot.

I got the name and phone number of a guy who works on computers and took it to him to repair. He and his wife brought it back last week. He kindly suggested that I needed to ‘drain my swamp hard drive’. Too true that… I have stuff from the beginning of time saved there. So for the past several days, I’ve been going through the hard drive, folder by folder. I’m at the dreaded (and well overloaded) CRAFTS folder, which has no less than 16.5 Gigabytes of data stored there (and that’s after deleting things for the past 3 days!). Talk about getting lost in the swamp! My word…

I came across my first journal entry, from 1999! Fascinating. I moved the file and kept it. Robert came in to find me reading the entry and said ‘it’s history–nobody cares–why are you reading it?’ I read it because it revives memories of that time in my life, as these words will remind me of today if, or when I should ever have occasion to read them in the future. Sometimes, reliving the past is a comfort.

On another topic, I had a Caregiver’s Support Group conference call on Thursday. There were only about five women present, and listening to them discuss their lives and the things they were dealing with in caring for their loved ones made me more than a little depressed. I was already borderline depressed, but this kind of pushed me closer to the edge. It’s really hard to remove one’s self emotionally from other’s pain and sadness. It’s even more difficult if you’re not in a strong emotional position. After a bit, I announced that I had to leave as my time was short that day so signed off. I spoke with the group coordinator a couple of days later and apologized to her, letting her know that the discussion was depressing me further than I already was. She said she knew that it affected me, and that it was o.k. She and I agreed that Robert wasn’t progressing nearly as fast as others, and may continue to be in the mild stage for years to come. I told her that listening to the other women caused me to realize that their experiences were possibly in my own future–not something I wanted to accept, but intuitively knew to be true. For now, I must take each day as it comes, doing what I can to make our lives comfortable and safe.

Blessings to all, with thoughts of gratitude for your presence in my life. Be safe–take care of yourself and those you love. Be sure to remind those you love that you love them.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020 — Actually, it’s Wednesday, the 28th, but who’s counting?

Thanks to modern technology, I was able to access the report on my recent abdominal MRI. I’m not a doctor, but I do know how to Google words I can’t suss out. What I didn’t see was anything resembling the words malignancy, or need for follow-up testing. I did see notes about various cysts and their sizes, one of which matches the size of the one that was supposedly in my pancreas. Not a single instance of ‘abby-normal’ (thank you, Young Dr. Frankenstein!), so coupled with the fact that I’m no longer having any symptoms (since I stopped all but the most necessary medications), I am inclined to believe that what happened to me that weekend in July was a gastric attack. Possibly gallstone related, as the report did mention signs of their formation.

I pushed the edge of that envelope this evening when we went out to eat with our neighbors. It IS Taco Tuesday, you know, and consequently, we meet at 4:30 p.m. each Tuesday and go for tacos at a local Mexican eatery. The COVID rules have been relaxed a bit so we’ve been able to dine inside the restaurant. Lovely!

Last week, I was very good and ordered a #1–cheese enchilada with rice and beans. I ate the enchilada and the rice, but passed the beans to Robert. Tonight, I was hungry — hadn’t really had much to eat but a single piece of toast and a cup of coffee this morning, so I ordered the #2 (cheese enchilada and a chicken tamale with rice and beans). I ate the enchilada, part of the tamale, the beans and rice. Bad… I had some mild discomfort later in the evening, so I know that the beans were possibly a no-no. Next Tuesday I’ll try Fajitas… and take the leftovers home! The beans and rice will be served separately and I can pass the beans to the rest of the group to share as they want.

I’m thinking of eating as a mine field these days — there’s danger afoot and one must be very cautious when dining out. But to feel as good as I do these days is nothing short of marvelous.

Be safe, take good care of yourself (listen to your body–it really does know you better than your doctor), and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Get your vote turned in! I really don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote.

BTW, we received three new trees for the Sunset Pacific Ry. yesterday. They’re Crape Myrtle’s from The Crape Myrtle Company. I purchased two and received a third one free. Two of the trees were called “World’s Fair” and one was called “Pink Blush“. I don’t know if they’ll have time to bloom before they go dormant for the winter, but they look very healthy.

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