View From My Window

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 — What a fantastic day today has been. It started with an e-mail from the daughter-in-law of the place we hope to purchase in Mountain Aire Estates. She says they will hopefully be finished clearing the place out by the end of December and we can come take a look at it. Saints be praised!

Then, this afternoon I volunteered with the United Farm Worker’s group in Mojave, CA. I offered my help to the woman who has provided me with extra food donation boxes for the past couple of months. I pass the food along to my neighbors, who pass it along to family members who are in need. I also share it with our eldest son, who passes it to his step-children who need assistance. I was the only person to volunteer out of the 25+ people on her list. I had no clue what I would be doing, but figured I was a body and would find a way to help. As it turned out, I stuffed envelopes for the better part of an hour. Having once worked in a mailing house, I was right at home stuffing! LOL For today, instead of having boxes of food to pass out, they were handing out $25 vouchers that would be usable at any store, enabling the recipients to use them for whatever goods they needed. They shared literature about their organization, which is basically an outreach organization. It felt good to be able to help an organization that helps everyone, no questions about citizenship or whether they’re for or against the vaccine. No requirements other than that they need the assistance. I thanked them for the opportunity of helping and said if they needed a volunteer in the future, my friend R knew how to reach me.

An excellent day today. I left the donation venue at 3:30 p.m., which is when I would usually fix Robert’s dinner, and stopped at Subway on the way home. When I walked in the door, Robert was eating cookies… my timing was good. LOL I know he’ll never starve if I have to leave him during the day, but he doesn’t always eat the best things (there were healthier options in the refrigerator/freezer). I’m glad I bought the Subway!

Do take care, stay safe and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. I’m grateful that I can still volunteer and do for others. It just feels good.

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View From My Window

Saturday, October 23, 2021 — Woke up around 6 a.m. and decided I needed to get up. I pulled the blind up in the bedroom window and saw nothing but white. Needless to say, it’s cold today!!!

Winter has arrived!

Last evening, Robert was trying to find the MLB listing in the newspaper. Following the neurologist’s orders, I sat on the couch and held my tongue. I didn’t offer to help and tried to ignore that he was having difficulty. Come to find out, he was looking at the wrong day’s paper. He asked where the morning paper was and I told him I had put it there on the counter with the rest of the papers, waiting to be taken out to the recycle bin. Finally, he found the right paper, located the Sports section and found the listing he needed. Next came the really difficult part — using the t.v. remote control to find the station. Again, I sat and watched, without saying anything. It was difficult, but eventually, he found the information and I felt good that I hadn’t jumped in and taken charge of the situation. I think from now on, I’ll just wait until he asks for help before coming to his aid. 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

Wednesday, October 20, 2021–The housekeepers were supposed to have come yesterday, but apparently I hadn’t requested that they return every 2 weeks. A call to the organizer brought them to clean today. As they were leaving, I said, “Not this next Tuesday, but the Tuesday after–10 a.m., o.k.?” They were eager as they said, “We’ll be here.” Excellent. They did both upstairs AND downstairs, so the house is ready for our house guests who will be arriving in less than 2 weeks.

But all is not rosy here, although the house is spotless. Having the housekeepers here puts Robert in a foul mood. Notwithstanding that the newspaper (in its infinite wisdom) changed the layout for the “Sports on TV Today” section of the newspaper and he couldn’t figure out when the MLB was going to be televised. I took the paper and found the information very easily. It just wasn’t laid out the way he was used to seeing it and it confused him and irritated him. I know life is very frustrating for him anymore, but I get the brunt of his bad moods. Worse yet, he didn’t get a newspaper at all yesterday. I called to report the missing paper, but didn’t expect they’d do anything about it — they didn’t. :/

Earlier today, I called the 1-800 number for Home Depot’s blind department so I could order replacement slats for our vertical blinds. Several of the slats have broken over the years and we’ve turned them upside down and punched new holes in them to rehang them. Imagine my surprise when I was quoted $18 per slat compared to an online price of $.98 each! LOL Come to find out, when we ordered the blinds (14 years ago), we ordered custom made blinds and consequently, if we want the same type/style/color, we have to pay the big bucks. The ones online for $.98 are white, smooth/cheap blind slats. When I got off the phone, I told Robert we would have the new blinds in 2 weeks. Robert said we didn’t need custom blinds. I disagreed and said I wanted them to match the other window’s blinds, and in order to do that, I had to order custom blinds. It was cheaper by far to pay for a whole new set of blinds, etc. than to pay individually for the replacement slats. When they get here, I’ll have to pray that I’ll be able to just insert the new slats in the existing hardware. If not, then I have to find someone to remove the old hardware and install the new, praying that everything will fit.

The caregiver support group I belong to is affiliated/operated by the Valley Caregiver Resource Center (VCRC) and they call periodically to see how I’m doing and if I need anything. A gentleman called from VCRC yesterday to check on us. Although I felt uncomfortable talking about Robert (and myself) to a stranger, especially since Robert was just in the other room and I wasn’t sure if he could hear what I was telling the gentleman, I knew he needed to know how we were doing, health-wise and our general well being. I let him know that I had fallen and scraped my right arm fairly severely, along with my right knee. I told him I hadn’t said anything to my husband because he would be upset (he would be, and he actually was, when he spotted the scrape on my knee.) I told the gentleman that Robert was now in Stage 2, and I was finding it very difficult at times to deal with the changes. Robert’s mood has changed and he gets frustrated far more easily than ever before. He keeps going out to the garage and going through all of the boxes of stuff that didn’t sell, and he brought back into the house most of his boxes of train books and slide albums–things that I know he wants to keep, but could have sat in the garage with no problem. But, he insisted they had to be inside the house because he didn’t want anyone looking at his ‘stuff.’

Our niece and our younger son both agreed with me this past weekend that Robert’s condition was deteriorating. The saw it for themselves. I told my niece that I asked them every time they came to visit if they spotted any change in his behavior and up to now they’d always said, “No.” This time, their reply was a definite, “Yes.” The younger son admonishes me to just let things go and not to get upset. I don’t feel that I am upset–depressed and sad, yes, but upset? Nope. Some days are just more difficult to get through than others.

So another day is almost done. My house is clean, we have food in the refrigerator and the pantry and all is right with our world, for now. My needs are being met except for the sorrow I feel at losing my lifetime companion, one bit at a time. But it is what it is and I can’t change it, so I must accept it.

Be safe, be well and take good care of yourself. You are needed–and your presence is valued above anything in the world. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. It’s important.

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View From My Window

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 — Another small world story or two…

I took the baby quilt over to my long-arm friend’s to be quilted. She’s really quick and when I got home from running errands today, there was a message on my answering machine — she’d finished the quilt and it was ready to be picked up! Wow! Now I get to trim it, put together fabric for the binding, attach the binding and hand-sew it down. I’ll get photos once it’s completed.

I stopped at the market after delivering the quilt and making a quick run to the post office. After I finished shopping, I was exiting the parking lot when I saw a UPS truck parked in the shade. I drove over and rolled my window down. The driver got out of his truck and came to my car window. I told him I wanted to say how sorry I was for the UPS driver who lost his life the other day in Santee. He said, “You saw that?” I said, “Yes, and my daughter-in-law and grandsons live about 2 miles from where that accident happened.

https://fox5sandiego.com/news/local-news/plane-crashes-near-high-school-in-santee-reports/

I told him I was kind of partial to my UPS guys. I said I knew he wasn’t the regular driver on my route, but that I give the regular guy homemade Banana Bread or Pumpkin Bread any time he comes to my door. The guy brightened up and pointed at me, chuckling and saying that I’d given him a loaf one time when he was substituting for our regular delivery guy. I clapped my hands, laughing out loud and said I was so very glad. I told him I would give him a loaf any time he was in my neighborhood and gave him one of my cards. I told him if he knew he was going to be in my neighborhood, he should give me a call and I’d have some bread set out for him and if I didn’t happen to have any in the freezer, I could make some because I always have the ingredients on hand. He laughed and said thanks and he really appreciated the bread and knew that the regular driver was scoring some goodies on his route! LOL

Be safe, take care of yourself, and know you are loved. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 — In tribute to a good friend who left us far too soon. Image borrowed from http://www.space.com

Northern Lights
by Cindy Simon (c) 2009 (aka Seedys)

Face a-tingle
Toes burn
Head tipped skyward
I slowly turn

Heart dances
Eyes alight
My soul sings
With sheer delight

Doubts fly
Weight lifts
I am certain
of God’s great gifts

What we need
Is provided
I listen close
For I am guided

Green light glory
Fills the sky
Affirmation
God is nigh

“Glory, Glory, Glory! Each time I see the northern lights, I gasp at the certainty I feel as my heart swells to overflowing at the beauty the Universe is capable of showing me.

All is well, all will be well, I am guided, I have everything I need. Blessed be!”

— Thank you, dear Seedy’s, for being a part of my life. I will always remember you and think of you fondly.

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View From My Window

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 — It’s cold this morning — 30 deg. on the deck and the poor hummingbird’s feeder is frozen. Hoarfrost on the ground and no birds moving means it’s too cold for them to be out hunting for breakfast.

Gads, sometimes it just never ends. About 10 min. ago, my house phone rang. I answered it and it was a scam call purportedly from Amazon.com. At least it wasn’t someone offering me a warranty renewal on my 2001 Honda Civic! ROFL Ah me…

Be safe, take good care of yourself and have an excellent day today! And be sure to tell those you love that you love them!

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View From My Window

Monday, October 18, 2021 — The best laid plans … I was going to get up, get dressed immediately, and head out to water the layout. It is Monday, after all. But as I sat in the bathroom, looking through the fabric blinds to the outdoors, I detected water spots on the outside of the window! Then I heard the wind. “Could it be rain???” Oh my word!! It IS rain… and it’s watering the layout!! I got the day off! ROFL here… So, major change of plans — did NOT get dressed, did NOT go to the post office to mail off a return package to Missouri Start Quilt Co. I DID notice the thrift store truck offloading things from the house next door. I saw them the other day as well. And today, they filled the truck, left and then returned to fill the truck again. I considered getting dressed and going over to ask them to come offload my garage full of sale stuff, but then I decided it was cold and dreary out and I just didn’t feel like getting dressed, so I didn’t.

I love it when my days are random and filled with easy choices!

I think Winter is trying to move in. I’m ready for it. I don’t know why my photos come out so dark. I adjusted the lighting before taking this photo and it still came out dark. :/ Ah well, you can see the clouds in the sky and see that the sun is trying to go down. It’s the end of the day here. Tomorrow will be a busy day as the housekeepers will be here in the morning. (thankfully!!)

Be safe, take good care of yourself and remember to tell those you love that you love them. My niece and I had a good conversation about the no-vaxers–those who don’t want to get the vaccine and who don’t want their children to have it either. I understand the term “free will” and can grasp why they protest that it’s their body and their decision, but I also know that this virus is not like other communicable diseases. I saw on the news just a bit ago that General Colin Powell passed away from COVID-related conditions. Sad, sad, sad. Such a loss. It’s a loss, no matter who dies.

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View From My Window

Sunday, October 17, 2021 — It’s over — our 3-day garage sale is done, Finit! all closed up and the remains put away, to be donated, one box at a time or perhaps, a phone call to Caring & Sharing (our favorite local thrift store) can be contacted and asked to come take everything away. I imagine they would do that as they came next door and took all sorts of furniture and things away.

Our realtor stopped by today to say that the house next door was going to be put on the market this coming Wednesday. They’re going to be asking $399,900 “as is” for a starting price. It needs a total remake inside the house, but their view is like ours — jaw-dropping gorgeous. Plus, he has an N gauge layout in the basement, ready to run. A railfan’s dream!

We did pretty good on the garage sale–got rid of a lot of stuff, and I feel lighter because of it. This morning, I jokingly said, “O.K. guys, everything is $.10 apiece and you buy one, get one free!” I didn’t really mean it, but then gave it a second thought and said, “why not??” So that’s what I did. I made a whole $3.00 for the whole morning. LOL At noon, I turned to Robert and the kids and said, “How about we close this shop up and call it good.” They wholeheartedly agreed, so that’s what we did. We hauled everything back into Robert’s garage and closed the door.

The funniest incident today was about the next door neighbor. He’d come over yesterday, looking for a particular book on railroads. We knew we had it, but naturally, it was packed away and we couldn’t find it. Robert later went through some of the boxes and found four books he thought would be of interest to the neighbor guy. This morning, when I spotted the guy, I called out to him and said Robert had some books for him. Eventually, Robert was there to share stories about the books and I thought Robert meant for the neighbor to keep the books — Nope, LOL Robert said he was loaning the books to the neighbor to look through and then return. The neighbor chuckled a bit and said, “Hey, Bob, don’t you have a game on t.v. or something to watch??” LOL I’d said if Robert hadn’t been there, I would have just given the books away. Ah me…

Well, the kids are gone back home, Robert is in his chair with the newspaper in his lap and the t.v. on. All is right with my world. Be safe, take care of yourself, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Saturday, October 16, 2021 — It’s the weekend and the second day of our three-day garage sale. Yesterday went fairly good, with spits and spurts of buyers. I sold far less fabric than I thought I would, but perhaps it’ll go better today. I’ve already discussed with S what I will do with anything remaining tomorrow afternoon–it’ll get donated. She agreed that she was going to do the same with her things.

I was warned by S’s husband that a woman who lived a couple of blocks away had set her yard sale things out Thursday night and covered them with a tarp. Someone climbed her 6′ chain link fence ($1,000, and newly installed in the past couple of weeks), took out her motion sensor light and proceeded to take everything in sight. She didn’t bother calling the police to report the theft because she said, “They won’t do anything about it.” I have all of my ‘stuff’ in boxes, and they’re easily transferred back into the garage. S joked that maybe they should leave everything out (they have clothes, etc. laid out in the front yard on a tarp), and maybe someone would do them a giant favor and steal it before today! I said, “No–because you WANT them to steal your stuff, they won’t do it!” Murphy’s Law in action! LOL

I was sharing some of my ‘sale’ stories with my niece last night — there were some sales that were definitely a ‘give-away’, i.e., $15 for a 2-ton jack! LOL The younger son stood there with his jaw dropped and said he needed to get out to the garage and see what we had to sell! LOL And then he was talking about his Igloo cooler, that needed a new plug. I told him ‘Wait one!’ then promptly went out to our $1 table and took the Igloo repair kit off the table and brought it in to him. It still had the price tag on it! $16.82! He was stoked and said he had some work to do today! LOL

I received another e-mail from the daughter-in-law of #26, letting me know we would be the first ones to know when they were ready to sell her father-in-law’s house. I wrote her back and thanked her. Meanwhile, Robert says if another 3/2 with a garage becomes available, we can take a look at it. I’m always looking for the signs in life, as to which way to go and what to do. They synchronicity of life can’t be ignored. One buyer yesterday lives a few blocks away and came up to us asking if we had any model railroad stuff. I asked him if he was a modeler and he said, “Yes.” I then asked him what gauge (size) did he model. He replied, “G-scale.” I laughed and said he needed to come look at our back yard! He did and was amazed. Ultimately, I gave him a wood flat car kit that I’d come across and told him this would keep him busy until he could get his own garden railroad built. He bought a piece of railroad rail and one of the two railroad lanterns we had for sale. He asked if he could bring his girlfriend back to see our layout because she was really good with plants and he hoped to put her to work decorating his railroad with plants. His girlfriend was busy this weekend, but he had his 28-year old son visiting so later in the day, he came back with the son and I took them down to show them the layout up close and personal. I imagine we’ll be good friends from now on… Nice!

Well, I hear noises in the house so will close this for now. The house is coming alive…Be safe, take care of yourself and be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Wednesday evening, October 13, 2021 — They say that all good things come to those who wait. Well, we’ve been waiting and wonder upon wonders, I received an e-mail from the daughter-in-law of the man who owned Unit #26 at Mountain Aire Estates. Sadly, they had two deaths in the family within months of one another–one is bad enough, but to lose two in less than 6 months is very difficult.

Meanwhile, she wrote that they were working at removing the personal effects and wanted to fix a few things in the place before putting it on the market. She estimates some time in Spring of 2022. I wrote her back and thanked her, telling her we would purchase the home in a less than perfect condition and that we loved the way the home was situated on the corner. Our previous home in San Diego was a corner home, and it was also a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. And, the garage was 2 car and was situated on the side of the house, just like #26 is. Is the Universe talking to us? I believe it is. I’m more than happy to wait as long as they need. I told her although Robert’s dementia is progressing, we’re still not in a hurry and can wait as long as it takes for the right home.

Speaking of dementia, tonight was a truly difficult time. I asked Robert last night if he’d like to go to Jake’s Steakhouse tonight to celebrate our anniversary. He said yes, that would be o.k. So, instead of making a reservation, we showed up at 4:00 p.m., their opening time. We got seated and I asked for coffee with creamer and Robert asked for an 805 (which he never really drank). Then we went over the menu and he said he’d take the prime rib (he never orders prime rib, but I thought perhaps he was confusing it with the sirloin steak, which he usually orders. Nonetheless, when the waitress came, I ordered for him and added a dinner salad for him. I ordered the Mahi Mahi, that came with a mound of rice & risotto and a serving of cold #1 green beans in a red onion and Vinagarette. They were similar to the fried green beans usually found on the Chinese Buffet line, except they were COLD! Talk about a shocker… I eventually got my green beans traded for a baked potato. When our meal was delivered, I noticed Robert was having trouble with his knife and fork, switching them back and forth and using the fork upside down — just trying to cut his meat. I asked if he’d like some help and he said, “No.” So I continued with my dinner until he’d spilled the Au Jus all over his plate and some into his lap. Then the small container of horseradish sauce was next to be juggled onto its side. Finally, I reached over and said, “Here, let me help you.” I flagged down a waitress and asked to see our waiter. When she came to the table, I pointed out that Robert’s prime rib was very fatty and it had so much gristle he was having difficulty cutting it. She asked if we wanted to exchange it for something else and Robert declined, saying the flavor was good, but there was a lot of gristle. I managed to take the knife and fork and cut the meat away from the fat, cutting it into small, bite-sized pieces. I urged Robert to work on his baked potato since he hadn’t touched it at all. By this time, he appeared to be very tired and was shutting his eyes and looking like he was going to go to sleep right there at the table. I caught our waitress and asked if they had a dessert tray–she replied that they had a menu and I asked if they had cheesecake. She gave me the two flavor choices and I selected one and asked for the check at the same time. A few minutes later I realized Robert needed to get home — now. <sigh> So I once again flagged down the waitress and asked that the dessert be packed to go. I got the bill, signed it and we got up to leave just as they brought the dessert in a to-go package.

I realized when I got Robert home, that tonight was probably the last time we would be going out to eat where he had to cut something in order to eat it. He just couldn’t manage the task at all. And I felt helpless sitting across from him, watching him struggle. It reminded me of the time when I shared caregiving tasks with a friend who was a live-in cook/caregiver to a woman who had Alzheimer’s. I told the friend that eventually, she wouldn’t be able to allow the woman to eat in a restaurant, and more than this, eventually, she would have to be placed in a care facility. My friend objected, saying that would never happen–but it did–just as I said. Sadly, after the woman passed away (in a care facility, mind you), my friend returned to her home back east and the last I heard from her granddaughter was that she had Alzheimer’s and was in a care facility.

Life is a cycle, and I see that I was prepared for these days with Robert by my experiences in caring for another who had Alzheimer’s. Notwithstanding my experience and training at San Diego Hospice, the education I received firsthand in dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient was truly a blessing in disguise.

Be safe, take care of yourself, and know that whatever you are experiencing in life, it’s what you’re meant to experience. I think we have to look deeper into what we do in this life, and be grateful for all of the many blessings we have. And please be sure to tell those you love that you love them. It’s the one thing that keeps us going.

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View From My Window

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 — What a surprise today is!

I think we’re having a cold snap here on the mountain! LOL If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was Winter!

No real goals for today other than to stay inside and warm. My right shoulder is sore from the booster shot I got yesterday, but other than that, no side effects at all. Nice!

Be safe, take care, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Today is our 58th wedding anniversary. Still very much in love and happy to be together.

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View From My Window

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 — The house is quiet once more. All errands are done and Robert is asleep in his chair. I napped for a bit on the couch, after finishing a book on my Kindle. I was a bit tired after running two errands this morning. Our day went like this:

Night before last, I booked our appointment for our COVID-19 booster shots to be had this morning at the local grocery store pharmacy. The carpenter was here today, to finish up two railings that went alongside our two garages, and although I was a bit uncomfortable leaving him in the lurch, so to speak, I felt he would be o.k. I also needed to go to Home Depot to get some replacement slats for our vertical blinds. I worried that having more than the one errand to do would create tension for Robert and he balked at the additional errand at first when I told him about it, but finally said it was o.k.

As we were leaving the house I asked if he’d told the carpenter we had to leave for a bit and he said yes he had. So, off we went. After we’d got our shots, and waited the required 15 minutes, off we went to Home Depot. This morning, before we left the house, I again offered to bring him back home after the booster shots if he didn’t want to go to Home Depot. He declined, saying he walked funny anymore, but he could hobble around the store with me.

When we got to Home Depot, I parked so the sun was shining in the front window of the car, knowing that it was cold out and Robert really didn’t like the cold. It’s never really bothered him in the past, but he’s a bit sensitive to it now. After I parked the car I asked him again if he wanted to come in or would he rather sit in the car. By happenstance, I missed taking in his Flight Journal magazine which I’d picked up in yesterday’s mail. I told him he could sit here in the sun and read his magazine. He said, “You know exactly what you want, don’t you?” I replied yes, and said I would be as quick as possible. He relented then and said he’d just as soon wait in the car. I dashed into the store, found the replacement blind slats, but all they had was white and ours are a textured beige, so I gave up the search and headed back to the car.

Once back in the car I asked him if he’d like to buy me a Frosty at Wendy’s since I’d taken all of my money out to put with things for the garage sale to be held this coming weekend. When we got to Wendy’s I had to ask him to take out his money and he asked me if I had any money. I’d already explained that I had removed all of my money, but knew he had money because I saw it at the pharmacy when I had to ask him to remove his wallet so I could locate his COVID vaccination record.

As I write this, I realize that every step of anything I do anymore has to be planned to the nth degree, noting that if what I do includes Robert, it has to be explained more than once, and I have to expect that he’ll object to leaving the house at all. Which he does, religiously.

We got our Frosty’s and a large french fry then I parked the car so we could watch the trucks and trains. After a bit, I decided we really needed to leave and we got home just as the carpenter was leaving. He made a u-turn and came back to the house. I wrote him a check and showed him the other carpentry work that I wanted done. I told him to check his schedule and give me a call to let me know what he would charge and when he could do the work. Then, because the new fences were bare wood, I made the call to our painter and worked with him to get an estimate on painting. Every little thing… just amazing.

So now, as I write this, he’s still asleep in his chair. He nodded off shortly after we got back home. I got a short nap myself, after reading for a while.

Life goes on, one moment at a time. I did finally make the cut in the backing fabric for Amelia’s baby quilt, and have begun putting it together. I think I’ll have my long arm quilter friend quilt it for me. I can add the binding, but having her do the quilting saves me a lot of work and I don’t think my hands would be happy with all of that effort.

Be safe, take care of yourself, and remember to tell those you love that you love them. Sometimes, it’s hard to let life just flow, but it’s really better if you can do that, and not stress over things.

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View From My Window

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 — It’s quieter this morning–the winds have died down a bit. Winds blew so bad yesterday that there was a solid dust storm all day long. And last night it got cold, very cold! We turned our furnace on and set it at 65 deg. It came on several times last night, and around 2:30 a.m. I was still half-asleep because my feet were so cold. I even had socks on, which I rarely do. I got up and put another quilt on the bed and finally drifted off to sleep.

The carpenter should be here in a couple of hours and I’m hoping that he’ll be able to start working on the railing along the sidewalk by my garage. We shall see.

It’s just daybreak and the stream of cars heading east is a welcome sight. Apologies for the blurred photo–it’s really difficult to photograph through double-pane windows, especially when the camera wants to flash! Trains are running well too–the bright light is a westbound train passing one sitting at the end of the valley, that’s waiting for his turn to go down the hill.

This is my favorite time of day–peaceful and fresh. A good start to the day. Be safe, take care of yourself and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Have a good day!

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View From My Window

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 — And the days continue to flow past, faster and faster. Our sky is still full of smoke. I feel for those affected by the wildfires. Our only reaction to it is having to stay indoors, but then with the pandemic, we’re pretty much home-bound anyway.

And every now and then CalTrans has a crew working on the highway and we get to watch the flashing lights and the vehicles working their way around the work site. Always something going on–and the trains have been running hot and heavy this morning! This train has been sitting for over half an hour and before he had stopped, he was being paced by another North-bound BNSF freight. It was sure interesting to watch as they both worked their way through the valley, side by side. We knew one or the other would have to stop because right around the curve the tracks change from double to single track. Well, as I type this, the train has begun to move. Guess he got his long-awaited green light. And so goes his day.

I do enjoy our view, but am also eager to get to a smaller, more easily navigated home. I have been working on a refinance of our current mortgage, and yesterday I received a preliminary cost estimate. It was higher than the previous estimate, submitted to me less than a month ago. The cost of the loan had grown to $7,000, and I just couldn’t see paying out that kind of money for half a percent difference in our interest rate. Notwithstanding, our house payment would have been higher than we’re paying now. Not a good financial move, so I sent an e-mail out to all concerned that I was canceling the refi process. It felt good to be able to protect our assets and make a wise financial decision for the two of us. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it eventually turned into a huge mistake that I thankfully have avoided.

I’ve finished Amelia’s quilt top and am working on putting the backing together. The quilt turned out to be quite a bit larger than I had thought it would be, but that’s because I have trouble visualizing sizes of things (i.e., pulling out a food storage container to store leftovers in and discovering the container is way too big for the amount of food to be stored).

The backing is going to be the same pink fabric as in the quilt top. It’s actually going to be a very nice quilt, large enough for her crib and later on, a lap/nap quilt for her. I have fabric left over and some day I might make her a doll-size quilt and find a baby doll for her as a birthday present. Just a thought…

Be safe, take care of yourself and if you feel good, keep doing what you’ve been doing because it’s working!!! And remember to tell those you love that you love them. I have to go now–“El Gato” is at my office window, giving me the evil glare that her food dish is empty. I have a story to share about her food dish but will save that for later. Have a great day today!!!

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Sunday, October 3, 2021 — I can feel the stress right now. And I know the reason for it–inability to control what I want to control. Robert’s health, people allowing their pets to run wild in the streets. Every little bit of negativity builds and fights my inner desire to have life the way I want it. Acceptance is a hard nut to crack. Some days it’s just easier. I’m going to close this and go work on the baby quilt. If I get lost in my sewing, I won’t think about the things I don’t want to think about!

Have a wonderful day — stay safe!! Tell those you love that you love them and work on gratitude and acceptance, as that’s what I’ll be doing for most of the day.

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Sunday, October 3, 2021 — I wrote yesterday about buying apples from a neighbor who has a small orchard. Then last night I came across a really interesting recipe for a Cinnamon Apple Cake. I want to share it here so I don’t lose the recipe! Best way to keep your recipes from ever getting completely lost is to share them!

Apple Cinnamon Cake

Apple Mix:
2 Granny Smith Apples, finely diced (or use Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala or combo)
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Cinnamon swirl:
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1 Cup Butter, Softened

Cake batter:
3 Cups Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1-1/2 Cup Milk
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Cup Butter, Melted, cooled just slightly

Glaze:
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tbsp. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
Dash of Cinnamon

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan. In a bowl, stir together the apples, cinnamon and sugar until apples are well coated. Set aside.

Make the cinnamon swirl: In separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and cinnamon together until smooth. Add in the softened butter using hands or a fork. You might have to use your hands to mash the butter into the dry mixture. The consistency of this will be like a paste. Set aside.

Make cake batter: In large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, nutmeg, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Slowly stir in the melted butter until combined. Gently mix in the apple mixture. Spread into prepared baking pan.

Drop cinnamon swirl mixture by spoonfuls evenly over your cake. Swirl the topping through the cake batter with a knife.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Mix together glaze ingredients until smooth and spread over warm cake. Let sit at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Have a wonderful day. Stay safe and be sure to tell those you love that you love them!

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Saturday, October 2, 2021 — Bills are paid, money in the bank and all seems to be o.k. A date has been set for the yard/garage sale, October 15, 16 and 17. I’ve put the ad in Facebook at several sites. S. came over earlier and said she’d tried to place the ad in FaceBook Marketplace but it had changed since she’d used it last and she couldn’t make heads or tails of it. It was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to get it in. The younger son will be coming up that weekend to give me a hand. Robert says he’ll hide out most of the weekend. LOL No problem….

As I was heading to the Community Services District office to drop off the water bill, I noticed that there was a woman selling apples at one of the homes there on Westwood. On the way back, I stopped and bought a bag. She had a variety of apples — Black “something or other” that were supposed to be very sweet, then Gala and Granny Smith. She had one other variety, but by then I was set on the Black ‘beauty’. It was a type of apple I was totally unfamiliar with. I asked her how long she had lived there because this was the first time anyone had ever sold apples from their small orchard. She said it was actually her daughter and son-in-law’s home and they’d been here for 2 years. I believe our friends had owned the house before and he’d planted the apple trees. Now what to do with all of these apples?? LOL

I received my monthly retirement annuity notice in the mail today and happily discovered a 3% raise!! Whoo hoo! I have to laugh at the piddly amount, but seriously, it all helps. I hope the rest of our annuities/Social Security accounts follow suit. We shall see…

I broke down and called my computer repairman to help me pull my backed up data out of the old computer. I really needed to get to my recipes and other files. He came and picked up the old computer yesterday and brought the hard drive and a newer external drive back this morning. Voila! He’d unleashed all of my records from my previous bake sale efforts so I have a head start on contacting people to bake for me. Nice! I told him I owed him some peanut brittle!

Not much else to report so will close this with blessings to all. Be safe, take good care of yourself and know that you are loved. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Hanging tough here…

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Friday, October 1, 2021 — Some days are just hard to get through. Today was one of those days. It started out with him feeling very tired and went down hill from there. It’s 8:00 p.m. and he’s in taking his shower and then going directly to bed. He’s been slightly confused most of the day, although he did manage to get the trees in front watered. All I can do is hope that tomorrow is better.

Today, I received an e-mail with another form attached that needed information and our signatures. I completed all of the information and then went to have him sign his name. He looked irritated as usual, but I told him I could have forged his name (legally I’m able to sign for him), but I felt he should do it as long as he could. He had a really difficult time and I had to coax him, letter by letter. When he finished he said he didn’t even recognize it and couldn’t read it. I resolved to not ask him to sign anything again as it was painful to watch him struggle. Another milestone…

I received a call from his neurologist’s office yesterday and we have an appointment set for him for next month. He didn’t know why he should see this doctor so I told him. Apparently, he should have been checked every 6 months. I didn’t know this. The call came because they’d received a request for a prescription refill authorization. To my mind, we should have received at least two previous calls since it’s been 18 months since he last saw the dr. But, we’ll accept what we can and move forward.

Be safe, take care of yourself, and remember to tell those you love that you love them. Everyone struggles at one time or another in life. Just know that you are not alone and tomorrow is another day and it just might be a lot better than you expect it to be.

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Thursday, September 30, 2021 — Only three months left to this year. Just amazing how fast the days go by. I opened the blinds in my office a bit ago and saw the Quail busily running around and scratching in the dirt. The lone male sits on the top fence railing, guarding the flock. It’s always fun to watch the quail scuttle back and forth along the top of the wall, looking for a gap in the bottom of the fence. There’s usually at least one poor soul who lags behind and can’t locate the right gap in the fence. LOL Watching it go back and forth, worrying different spaces until he finally finds the one he’s passed up several times before and hurries underneath the fence to join his family. Everyone gets along well first thing in the morning.

California Quail — early morning feeding frenzy

Only a couple of errands to do today. First is the post office to mail some K-cups to my niece. Then on to the grocery store for bananas, milk, creamer and ice cream. We still have several servings of the Peach Cobbler I made the other day and Robert likes a dish of it with vanilla ice cream at night. I gave him the last bit of ice cream on his serving last night, so a trip to the store is in order.

I’ve begun sewing Amelia’s quilt–got all of the pieces cut out last night. I think it’s going to be really nice. The pattern I’m using is a freebie I came across after a fellow quilter recommended it. It’s a 3-Yard Quilt, offered by Fabric Cafe https://www.fabriccafe.com/Sew-Fast-Free-3-Yard-Quilt-Pattern-p/091526-free.htm There’s even a really excellent video on YouTube with Laura Ann Coia of Sew Very Easy quilts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-9TyyKzeTs I’m finding it a perfect pattern for a quick and very attractive baby quilt.

Not much else to report, so I’ll close with blessings to all. Be safe, take good care of yourself, and remember to tell those you love that you love them. One more thing — we watched a Netflix movie last night with Michael Keaton called, “Worth.” It’s a biographical film based on the 9/11 tragedy. Very emotional, and long, but well worth watching.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021 — What a gorgeous day today is turning out to be. Our sky is absolutely clear and the weather is nippy. What more could one ask for, I tell you?

It’s another kick-back day today, except I plan on cutting the fabric for Amelia’s quilt. She’s my niece’s new grandbaby. Just wonderful…

Well, I’m off here–got to make sure my dear sweet hubby has something to eat. I know it’s late, but we didn’t get up until after 9 and he’s still reading the morning paper and having his first cup of coffee.

Be safe, take care of yourself and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Blessings to all and have an excellent day today!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021 — What a day today has been. I’ve been on the phone off and on all day, and if I wasn’t on the phone, I was at the computer. For a number of reasons, going through the process of executing a refinance of our mortgage has been one giant headache. Hopefully, it’s complete and I can begin to relax and just wait out the rest of the time until escrow closes. I gave some serious thought to whether or not I should refinance, considering that we’re going to be selling, but the half-a percent discount in interest and the fact that the loan can be assumed by the new buyer made it a no brainer of a deal.

The day started out cold and foggy, but right now the sun has broken through just in time to set! LOL

There’s Ruby, poised on the railing outside my office window. She alternates between grooming herself, looking in the window at me and laying out flat on the railing and half-way snoozing. She’s fallen off the railing in the past, but landed with all four feet down on the ground. She bounded back up the stairs like nothing had happened while we tried to swallow our hearts which had got stuck in our throat.

I have to laugh at her — she sits there and gives me this unblinking, evil eye stare, basically ordering me to come out and groom her, and give her some cat love. LOL She’ll take it for a couple of minutes and then she’ll jump down and head for her food dish. <sigh> She’s a pest at times and can be very determined when trying to get my attention.

I will share one political cartoon with you before I end this post. It says all that needs to be said about the vaccination saga.

Be safe, be well, and please take care. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Our COVID statistics continue to rise–most recently, Kern County had 8 new deaths and 900+ infections. Nothing to be proud of, nothing at all.

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Saturday, September 25, 2021 — I’m disappointed in myself today. I failed to remember the passing of my father-in-law on September 23, 2014. I dream about him all the time, but didn’t connect the other night’s dream of him with the fact that he’d passed on that very day. I think I posted a comment to Ellen’s blog https://ellenshead.blogspot.com/2021/09/a-break-in-weather-queen-of-night.html that my dreams often had deceased relatives in them. I was also remiss in the number of grandchildren my niece has. Amelia happens to be her third grandchild. I feel it’s a cop-out, but all I can think is that my lack of memory is because I’m so very focused on our life situation now. Maybe it’s that I’ve always been bad about remembering dates and so to let such a sad date go right by isn’t totally unexpected. Still, it makes me disappointed.

Our air is so smoky right now that I can’t begin to think of going outside. From what the newspaper says, it’ll remain smoky through the weekend. We’ve been sleeping with the bedroom windows open at night and the a/c turned off. I’m going to have to go turn it back on because I’m still smelling a bit of the smoke.

We binge-watched “The Stranger” on Netflix last night, finishing the last episode at midnight. The intro music is almost identical to Bosch, which is, I believe, another of Netflix’s special series. We loved Bosch and almost binge-watched it when we discovered it. We found a new series of Bosch on Prime Video, but it wouldn’t play so gave up trying and went back to Netflix. I don’t know why but we have a really difficult time playing Amazon/Prime video on our t.v. Netflix does fine, but their selection is poor anymore.

Not much else to report so will close this with blessings to all. Be safe, take good care of yourself and remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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Friday, September 24, 2021 — It was an interesting day today, to say the least. Apparently, there’s been some trouble with the Depot camera’s functioning and so this morning I received a call from LG, asking if I could be at the Depot when the repairman showed up to work on the internet. She said the cashier at the Depot would call me when the man arrived, but that she might be able to make it herself. She said she would call if she needed me to be there. I said sure… Then, at around 1:15 P.M. I decided to make a mail run and go on down to the Depot to see if the repairman ever showed. He hadn’t, so I sat until 2:00 p.m. — the appointment slot was from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. I told the cashiers that I was going to run my errands right quick and if the repairman showed, they were to call my cell phone and I would come right back.

I got 99% of my shopping done at WalMart, including more cat food (yay, Ruby!) and some fabric to make a quilt for the new great-grand-niece, Amelia. Ah… and my niece is now a grandmother!!! I grin like a Cheshire cat every time I think about it. But I digress. Here’s the fabric:

Quilt fabric for Amelia’s quilt

I haven’t decided on a pattern just yet, but it will probably be like a 9 patch or something similar–something that I can put together quickly and get it mailed off. I’ll get my long arm friend to quilt it for me with hearts all over it. Just so excited…

Because I changed my cell phone number, I received a call this morning from K.S., one of the three Depot volunteers who live there in Mountain Aire Estates. He called to let me know he’d received my e-mail about the cell phone number change, but also to tell me there were at least two units going on the market very soon. He said he would call me and let me know the numbers once he was sure of them. Then, this afternoon when I went to the Depot to meet with the telephone repairman, K.S. was there and he mentioned offhand that he and his wife were considering selling their place and buying one up in Utah. I told him we came fairly close to buying in Weber, UT years ago, but decided to stay in San Diego and continue to look for a place here in Tehachapi. He and his wife have a very nice home at the end of a street there in the park. Their home has a garage and it’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bath. I asked him if he had a timeframe for moving and he said he didn’t know–that they’d been discussing it. Sooo… I’m thinking that one way or the other we will get what we want and need as far as housing goes. I just have to be patient!

Nothing else to report, so will close this with blessings to all. Some of you are going through some very difficult times right now and know that you are in my nightly prayers and my thoughts during the day. If words could heal and take away your pain, I’d be saying them like a mantra. Know that you are loved, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. And please be safe…

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Friday, September 24, 2021 — Wow, it’s the last Friday of the month and the end of this year is fast approaching.

I had to change my cell phone number last night. For whatever reason, it got tied to another FaceBook user and I began receiving all of his posts plus the ‘people you may know’ were all friends/acquaintances of his. He appeared to be Mexican, as did all of the people in his profile. I found myself totally frustrated at this situation and after writing to FaceBook several times, I gave up and decided the best thing to do would be to change my cell phone number. I won’t put it here because this blog is public, but if you want the new number (and I haven’t sent it to you in an e-mail by now), just send me a message and I’ll reply.

For today, I might have to go downtown to meet with the AT&T repair person because the service has been cutting out since Tuesday. Not looking forward to leaving the house, but I’m committed to keeping that camera’s service up and running. Plus, I need to get a congratulations card in the mail to my niece’s son and his wife, who have had their first baby. It’s my niece’s first grandchild!!! Stoked is light for the way I feel right now. I actually dreamed of buying fabric to make a quilt for the baby. All of my fabric is packed away and I don’t really remember what I do have that would be appropriate, so when I go to the Depot, I’ll just have to stop by WalMart and see what they have! LOL This is a more than good enough reason to buy more fabric! (actually, I’ll take ANY excuse to go fabric shopping)

Not much else going on — we watered the layout this morning and Ruby was walking around on the layout, lapping excess water that had puddled here and there. At one point she was rubbing up against me — I hadn’t put out her food for the day yet and I think she was trying to make sure I knew she loved me and would thus take care of her empty food dish. LOL When I finished my half of the layout I told Robert I was going in. When I got upstairs, I took out two clean bowls, filled one with kibbles and went to the office door to take them out to the deck. As soon as I opened the office door, Ruby came running up the stairs. She raced into the house, did a quick turn around and as I walked out the office door she blazed past me and went directly to her empty food dish. She meowed and looked up at me. I laughed and said, “I know, you’re hungry and your dish is empty.” I set the new bowl down and proceeded to clean out her water dish. I’ve said it before and will say it again–I don’t know what will become of her when we actually sell our home and move. Ah me…

Be safe, take good care of yourself and remember to tell those you love that you love them. Life will pass, whether we enjoy it or not, so best to find something in your life to enjoy and be grateful.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021 — Happy Summer Solstice! It’s been a very productive day with the house cleaners (two of them) arriving on time and working for the next three hours. They did a fantastic job! I did make a mistake when I paid them and looked at the wrong clock so they got paid for 4 hours instead of 3. I wrote a message to the owner and said I would consider the first hour of next week’s cleaning as paid in advance.

I received a call from our realtor yesterday. He said that the owner of #123 had called him and said I had visited. I told him yes I had and we had a nice discussion about the situation. He went on to discuss when we would be ready to list our house, saying that if it was in escrow, the potential seller of a home we were ready to purchase would be assured that we would be in a position to cover the cost of the purchase. I felt like we were playing a game of chicken — who lists first, us or the potential seller? He said there would be a contingency statement that escrow couldn’t close until we had found a home to purchase, and escrow could be extended as long as necessary. I haven’t ever heard of escrows being open-ended, but rather always in terms of 30 days, give or take. I might go to our attorney to see what his take is on the situation. We also discussed (again) whether we shouldn’t just wait until a home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a garage comes on the market. I really think this is what we need to do. Robert needs a garage and we need the room that a 3 bedroom would give us. I figure that it took us a while to find this property, so I shouldn’t be surprised that it will take a certain amount of time to find the right house to replace it.

The sky has been clear all day today, which is nice. I sincerely hope it stays that way. Be safe, take care of yourself and remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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