View From My Window

Tuesday, August 9, 2022 — I’ve been working on a quilt for my DIL and it’s been a slow-go job. Yesterday, I wound two fresh bobbins of thread and when I went to put one in, I heard a little ‘clink’ and the tiniest screw fell out of the bobbin case. I tried getting it back in for the next half an hour and finally gave up, put some tape over it onto the case and told Robert, “Road Trip!” My Baby Lock has been out of commission for a few weeks now, and now my Viking is kaput. I still have my straight stitch Kenmore, but I’d rather stay with a computerized machine. Robert said he was going to have to find me a new hobby. LOL I think not!

Meanwhile, the next door neighbor sent me a FaceBook message and a video of a bear strolling up her driveway! The video was taken at 2:30 a.m. yesterday morning (I’d gone to bed at 2 a.m.). At 1:30 a.m., I tossed some bread heels out to the yard. I shared the video with the kids and the eldest said I needed to stop “chumming the wildlife”. I’d seen a bear just the other day, but didn’t think it was prowling my area. I don’t know if you’ll be able to view the following video. If you have a problem and want to see it, please leave a note below and I’ll work something out with you via e-mail.

https://www.facebook.com/messenger_media/?thread_id=1661401356&attachment_id=783475629747694&message_id=mid.%24cAAAAACsmTSOIr6auG2CfmFAvYpbF

I told the kids that perhaps the footprints I’ve been seeing in the garden railroad weren’t deer after all, but rather bear tracks!

Nothing else going on so will close this with blessings for all. Be safe, please be well and take good care of yourself. Remember that you are loved and be sure to tell those you love that you love them!

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View From My Window

Sunday, August 7, 2022 — I’ve been among the missing for the last week plus. My dear friend, Mage Bailey lost her battle with cancer and I’ve not felt like writing. Actually, I haven’t been a day without thinking of her. I know she would want me to keep on writing. If our situations were reversed, I would want her to keep on writing, and drawing/painting and creating beautiful quilts. I know she struggled getting that last quilt finished, but finish it she did, and it was stunning.

I think about how much I miss her and know that the pain felt by her husband and family are far, far greater than mine could ever be. I hate cancer!! It’s taken so many of my family and friends.

I am still scheduled for the defibrillator surgery. As the time draws near, I think about what my life will be like after the implantation. The other day I had several errands to run. By the time I was finished, I was in pain and cut short the list of errands. I gratefully headed for home. I didn’t even get to the grocery store–I was done.

Today, Robert (bless his heart) actually carried half a load of laundry to the laundry room. He was trying to get the wash caught up before my surgery. I was truly shocked that he was thinking that far ahead. Later on, I told him I needed to go to the grocery store and he asked if I would like him to come along. I said I would as I enjoyed being with him. I didn’t know how much help he would be and as it turned out, all he really did was push the cart. By the time we got to the checkout, he was trembling. I asked for help out and thankfully I’d got the very first parking space in the row so Robert didn’t have to walk very far. When we got home, he had trouble getting out of the car he was so weak. I did manage to get everything on my grocery list, so we should be set for at least another week or so.

I have a phone number for Elderly Assistance Services and will call them on Monday to see what they can offer as far as assistance.

Do take care. Be safe and be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Saturday, July 30, 2022 — Wonder of wonders, we had just a touch of rain today. Was it because I was up at 6:00 a.m. to water the garden railroad? LOL Could be. LOL Ah me… no matter how light a rain it was, we can surely use it.

It’s been a good day today, even though Robert woke up feeling very tired. By mid-day he was doing good. He watched some baseball and some NASCAR racing after having his breakfast.

I checked my calendar this afternoon and see that we have no appointments until the end of the month, when Robert has a dermatologist appointment. Well, I do have an appointment on the 15th to have that defibrillator installed. I’ll have to find out what kind of help I can get beyond what my kids will be able to give me. They’re 5 hours away and can’t be expected to come up every weekend. There has to be some way to get someone to come in. Will have to work on that.

Nothing 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.

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View From My Window

Thursday, July 28, 2022 — Following up on my goof up last week when we showed up at the dr’s office a week early, today we showed up and we were 15 minutes late. <sigh> I had the day right but the time wrong. So we sat in the waiting room for a bit and then they decided we could be seen after all.

They called us in and escorted Robert into the room where they take vitals. His weight was 145.2, which was a disappointment for me, but his blood pressure was excellent. The nurse then took us into the exam room and began doing a standard cognitive ability exam. The first time Robert looked at me for an answer, the nurse told him I couldn’t help him. Needless to say, he didn’t do well on the test. When the dr. came in, I explained that I needed to make sure that Robert’s retirement annuity would continue if something were to happen to me, because he would still need care and care costs money. I told him I was scheduled to have a defibrillator installed in a couple of weeks. The dr. then went over the results of Robert’s last lab work and asked him a couple of questions about his physical condition. After chatting with Robert for a bit, he said he felt that the Alzheimer’s was progressing and he had no problem providing a letter documenting his condition. So, we go back on Monday to pick up the letter.

As we were leaving, everyone was saying, have a nice evening, and I said I planned on taking Robert out to Wendy’s for a frosty, and we’d sit and watch the semi-trucks and trains. As I walked out of the office and headed for the car all I could think was, “Can I cry now?” It hurt to watch him struggle to pass that very simple test. Strange that I know he has Alzheimer’s and I live with his disease each and every day. I know it’s progressing, but for some unknown reason, having the dr. confirm it hit me, and it was all I could do to not break down into tears. Such feelings of sadness that he’s having to go through this.

Half-way to Wendy’s, Robert asked where we were going. I told him to get a frosty and he said, “Oh yeah.” By this time, it was nearly 5:00 p.m. and the sundowning was well underway. Once home, Robert literally collapsed into his chair and closed his eyes. The rest of the evening went the way every evening usually does — he naps until I wake him to go get his shower. He comes back into the living room and I find something to watch on t.v. Within an hour, he’s asleep in his chair and I have to wake him and help him to bed.

Not much else to report so will close with blessings to all. Be safe, take care of yourself and know that you are loved. Keep the faith…

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View From My Window

Thursday evening, July 21, 2022 — Well, I blew it today. I pulled a ‘Robert’ and got my days mixed up. I thought he was supposed to see his primary physician today and I had Robert all primed with a nice pocket t-shirt and fresh jeans. Drove to the office 15 min. ahead of the appointment time only to be told (nicely, mind you) that his appointment isn’t for today, but NEXT week. Arrrgh. And when we got home and I checked the calendar, I saw that he had missed his appointment with the new Nephrologist. They didn’t call to remind me, so I called to apologize and reschedule the appt. In talking with the receptionist, I discovered they’d called the old phone number and even left a message! LOL The girl laughed and said maybe that’s why they didn’t get a confirmation phone call back. Uh…. yep, that’s the reason. So now it’s set for September. I figured we’d have to wait a bit and we will.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the ants have gone away for a while. Don’t know where, but they’re not HERE, so I’m o.k. with it. As I mentioned in a response to a friend’s post yesterday, I have some granular Terro and I plan to put it all around the house tomorrow. I had put some across the front of the house and a bit on the deck, but need to put it around the layout because I know they’ve got some major construction going on there–it’s always dry anymore, and they like nothing better than a dry home and a close source for food and water.

Notwithstanding the support I receive from my friends here on my blog, I’ve also received some very good advice from some of my dementia blog friends about hospice and why some people come off hospice and go back on. As long as whatever medical emergency isn’t related to the condition that placed him on hospice, he can be seen by doctors and can go to the ER. I’m not clear on what happens if he does go to the ER, but apparently, they can take him off of hospice and then put him back on once he’s released from the hospital. I hope we never have to find out for sure how that works. All I wanted to achieve was some help. Perhaps a couple of hours a week rather than three hours every two weeks. Might have to talk to my housekeeper and see if we can spread her time out instead of having it all on one day. Meanwhile, I’m going to contact OPM and make sure we don’t lose our health insurance because of the hospice request.

If anyone reading this would like the URL’s of the support groups/blogs I follow, just note it in the comments below. I have been blessed with so much emotional and educational support through these groups/blogs.

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

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View From My Window

Sunday, July 17, 2022 — The flooring company owner came out to check out our floor and he said he didn’t see anything wrong until I pointed it out to him. The floor had smoothed out quite a bit by then, so it wasn’t as bad as it was originally. Today, all I have to do is fight ants. LOL Ah me… if it isn’t one thing, it’s another. BUT, our new microwave works really, really well! LOL

As for our ant invasion status: Robert said he thought all of the ants were gone. I told him, “No. They’re just taking a break, stepping back so they can regroup. They never give up!” I told him about the freeway of ants that had made it across the living room floor to the kitchen counter early this morning. One after the other, like a packed freeway at rush time. I had to toss a new box of apple fritters because the ants had got into the box. I went outside onto the deck to see if I could see where they were coming in and there were no signs of ants. I groaned because that means they’re in the walls. Ugh… I think we’ll have to set off bombs to get rid of them. I even considered calling an extermination company. Will have to give that some thought given that we’ve had so much appliance repair expense this month.

Wishing those thunderheads had a promise of some rain in them…

On a more personal topic, as most of you know, our eldest son works for Union Pacific Ry. He sent me a message the other day that showed a newspaper clipping stating that “Railroad union members vote 99.5% to authorize a July 18 nationwide strike”. I asked him what they were striking for and he said railroads across the U.S. had been working without a contract for the past 3 years. This means no COLA pay raises for anyone.

On July 15, 2022, President Biden issued an “Executive Order on Establishing an Emergency Board to Investigate Disputes Between Certain Railroads This effectively canceled the strike. People talk about the container ships that were stacked up in ports on the east and west coast, but if the railroads were to strike, this country would stop dead in its tracks. We see on average 30-40 freight trains per day and that’s just one section of railroad and one state.

Sunday morning, July 17, 2022

I’m glad the strike was averted. It would mean a real hardship for thousands of railroad workers and their families. Coupled with the COVID pandemic, it would be a catastrophic situation and totally unfair to the people of this country.

I will close with one noteworthy bit of information. We received a letter from our health insurance yesterday, approving the request for Home Hospice service. Interesting that the insurance company approved it when the visiting hospice nurse felt it was too soon for hospice care. I plan on calling the dr. tomorrow to say that we’re going to sit back and wait a while before we call in hospice. The primary reason is that when Robert is placed on Hospice, he wouldn’t be able to go to the ER nor be seen by his primary or specialist doctors. At this time, that would be an unwise move on our part. So, we wait and take things one day at a time.

Nothing else going on. My world is still a beautiful place to be. Please remain safe, your life and the life of those you love could be at risk. The COVID virus has mutated again and it’s even more virulent than previous versions. Know that you are loved in this life and please remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Friday, July 15, 2022 — Saw a chiropractor for the first time in close to three years today. Oh my word! Heaven is being able to walk without grunting. LOL I felt so good I went to Walmart and did a bit of shopping for a counter top microwave, some food for the birds and other grocery items. By the time I hit the registers I was out of gas and almost back to my pre-chiropractic pain level. Dang it! But, in for a penny, in for a pound. I got help putting things in the car and then went back in to the SubWay shop for dinner.

Dinner acquired, I decided we really did need ice so I went to the drive thru dairy place and bought a 10 lb. bag. Then it was “Home James!!” LOL

When I pulled into the driveway, I stopped just outside the door so the microwave could be removed from the back seat. I looked across the way as Robert and I took the two bags of birdseed out of the trunk and I said to Robert, “I’ll have to wait until I see that D is home so he can get the microwave out of the back seat.” I went on into the house and set up dinner–then when Robert didn’t show up, I went back out to find him wrestling with the microwave on the driveway!! Just then, the neighbor’s pickup did a slow turn in the street and I called out to them that we needed help. A young boy who was the spitting image of (must be a younger sister) “D” (the girl who weeded our layout) walked up smiling and when I told him I needed the microwave in the house, he picked up the whole box like it was nothing!!! LOL When I told him to put it on the counter (I was thinking I’d just cut the box away and leave the microwave on the counter), he came back with, “Do you want me to take it out of the box??” Bless his heart. He was a lifesaver! When he finished, I told him “I owe you cookies.” He waved and said, “Okay.” LOL

Exhausted, but showered and ready for bed, I’m a tad sore in spots, but oh my… I can move and it doesn’t hurt. There’s 10 kids and 2 adults over next door, so if I make cookies for them, I have to make COOKIES!! LOL What a great family, though. I was thinking a nice Texas Sheet Cake would go a long ways, but maybe not for 12 mouths! So here’s my favorite Chocolate cake with Chocolate icing. Addictive, but oh so good.

TEXAS SHEET CAKE

From Taste of Home https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/texas-sheet-cake/

Ingredients
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup water
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream

Icing:
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons 2% milk
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
In a large saucepan, bring the butter, water and cocoa to a boil. Remove from the heat. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; add to cocoa mixture. Stir in the sour cream until smooth.

Pour into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

In a small saucepan, melt butter; add milk and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour over warm cake. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Editor’s Note: This recipe does not use eggs.

UPDATE: Sunday, July 17, 2022 — Made the Texas Sheet Cake for the new neighbors next door. There’s 10 kids plus two adults so this just might be enough to go around! Love it!

Texas Sheet Cake–July 17, 2022

I placed a call to our homeowner’s insurance first thing this morning and then I called the flooring company that did the new bathroom floor. They’ll come out tomorrow morning to look at the floor and see what can be done to remove the bubbles and streaks (striations) in the surface of the floor. AND, I received a call from the appliance repair people — they’ll be here Monday afternoon to fix all of the appliances! Love it…

All is right with my world, one more time! Be safe, be well, and please tell those you love that you love them. We are all blessed in this world — we may not be winning the lottery, but if you look at all the good things that come to you unbidden, you’ll realize you are blessed afterall.

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View From My Window

Thursday, July 14, 2022 — Lots of news today. The repair service came yesterday for our microwave. They returned today for the refrigerator–which had a leaky water valve. The housekeeper was the one that noticed it. I would have eventually, but thankfully, she noticed that the rug in front of the refrigerator was wet. The water inlet valve was in the back wall, so she pulled the refrigerator out and cleaned the floor. We could see where it had leaked and WAS still leaking.

The water had leaked underneath our hardwood floor and lifted it in places. I placed a call to the same repair service that was here yesterday for the microwave. They gave me a window of time between noon and 5 p.m. After I hung up, I called the neighbor to come over and see if he couldn’t at least shut the water off, and he did. While he was here chatting with Robert, the phone rang and it was the repair serviceman, saying he’d be here in 10 min. Outstanding! On top of fixing the water valve, he took the ice bin out and discovered the icemaker/dispenser was broken so he’s ordered a replacement part for it as well. I’ll eventually have a refrigerator that keeps things cold, dispenses ice and cold water and doesn’t leak all over the floor. I’m hoping the wood will shrink back down, but don’t know if that’s a reasonable expectation or not.

The other news is a nurse associated with a local hospice company visited and did an interview. She says it’s too early for Robert to go on Hospice. She gave me signs to watch for, and said they’d check back on us in another month just to see how things are going. Even though it’s too soon, I felt a big relief that someone could do a formal assessment on his condition. She said he was thin, but it appeared that I was taking good care of him. I thought I was, but it’s nice to hear it from someone else whose opinion matters.

I went to see another house today and it was another ‘not interested.’ I have to say the highlight of the viewing was the door to the master bedroom had been removed and re-hung OUTSIDE the frame, so the door would cover the entrance to the laundry room. I opened the door to step into the laundry room but the door wouldn’t move in all the way so I sneaked a peek behind the door and didn’t see anything to keep it from opening. Then, I looked up at the top and the top of the door was hitting the frame of the doorway. Uh, Nope. I don’t think so… my realtor said, “No problem. A couple hundred dollars and a carpenter can fix that right up!” LOL Nah… LOL I don’t think so. So the search continues, but while I was there I saw yet another house up for sale. My realtor knows the listing agent and said he doubts they’d entertain a contingency offer but he would talk to them anyway, just to be sure. Our home is there… just like I know that there’s a buyer out there for this home. Speaking of which, we have our first viewing (in person!) on Monday.

Onward and upward… keeping the faith and keeping on. I was joking with the appliance repair guy and said I should have him move in downstairs and give him room and board in exchange for keeping all of our appliances in good order. He just chuckled. I did too! Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that no other appliance decides to give us grief before we get this house sold.

Be safe, be well, and please keep the faith. We are all guided in this life, and are never really alone with our pain or our problems. Know that you are loved and be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 — “One Liner Wednesday” — Today’s one liner is “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again!” And so we will. I’m viewing another home for sale in Mountain Aire Estates tomorrow afternoon. Perseverance is a good trait to have.

Not a whole lot going on today. The repairman was here early afternoon to take the microwave out of the wall unit. He actually managed to get the door open before removing the whole unit. It’s now sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting for the part that’s being ordered to arrive. The part is $310, and fee for today was $120. No idea what the cost for installing the part will be, but it has to be far less than the $3-5,000 that the microwave would cost since it’s part of a set. As I cook meals without the use of a microwave, I am thrown back to the days before we owned a microwave. It can be done. It’s harder and takes more time, but it’s temporary. I fixed spaghetti today. I can re-heat it on the stove, so we won’t starve. LOL

We get spoiled by our modern convenience appliances, but I wonder at those people who have never cooked without a microwave. How would they handle the absence of a microwave?

Be safe, be well, and please remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 — The visit with the nurse practitioner went very well. He has kidney and gallstones (which we knew), but no other real changes, which is good. I asked for Hospice assistance and it’s being requested.

Not much else to say — thank you for being here. Blessings to all… remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 — It’s the wee hours of the morning and I’m here writing. I’ll be able to sleep after putting these words down. I have a link that I want to share — it’s to a blog that I subscribe to called “When Dementia Knocks.” Today’s post is about feelings that aren’t good feelings. Some days are just harder than others, and this was one of them. It wasn’t hard for my husband, it was hard for me.

I ordered a hand-held shower kit that has a magnetic docking feature. I purchased an extra docking station so it could be attached to the wall, close to the seat that’s in the corner of our shower. I take out the instructions for installation and see the following warning:

You never know…

I placed a call to the cardiologist and left my name, number and a brief message. The recording said I’d be contacted in 24-48 hours. I’ve also discovered that if I have the defibrillator installed, I can no longer use my TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit that I use for chronic pain.

I had wanted to have a Hospice consultation tomorrow, but Robert seemed very hesitant. I told him how his symptoms had been changing and said that I felt Hospice could be helpful to us. I told him I wanted to find out more about it because I know that the way Hospice is looked at is wrong–it’s no longer just for people who have less than six months to live. People go on and off Hospice care according to their needs. We’ll see what the results of the CT scans are tomorrow and perhaps learn more about Hospice care and what they can do for us.

Reading some of the other dementia/caregiving blogs makes me realize that things could be much, much worse. I am grateful they’re not. Tomorrow (today, actually) is another day and we will take it one day at a time.

Blessings to each of you… know that you are loved and whatever is going on in your life, you will weather it. This too shall pass… be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Sunday, July 10, 2022 — Every day is different — thankfully!

Funny, as I sit here looking out my office window at the birds sitting on the railing outside my window, I watch them looking at me sideways and wonder if they are thinking about me and what they see. Their feeders were empty a bit ago and they were making a lot of chirping noise outside the window. Then, suddenly, one of them hit the window. I got up to look and there were several birds (mostly sparrows) running up and down the railing, looking down at the feeder.

I have to think that they know I am the source for their food and they needed to get my attention, so they did it in the only way they could–noise! LOL

The first e-mail in my inbox this morning was a message from one of our friends here in T-town. The attachment was a video from Kinderworld.org about how animals connect with humans.

Waiting patiently for their turn at the feeders. Birds are circled in black.

And then there are the Ravens, who soar overhead and ‘caw’, begging for food. I toss old bread out to them on occasion, but don’t make a habit of it because I don’t want them to become dependent on my handouts.

It’s a beautiful, blue sky day today. I will work on finishing up the last of the quilts. Be safe, take care, and please remember you are never alone in this life. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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Saturday, July 9, 2022 — I read the Opinion section of our daily newspaper, “The Bakersfield Californian” and on occasion, I’ve been known to write a Letter to the Editor. Sometimes, they get published.

I feel like we’re at the far end of a fulcrum swing that has gone the wrong way and got stuck. Things are so out of balance these days. There feels like a lot of anger at work, with far too easy access to weapons that should be used with more forethought and self-control.

Our politicians fail to live up to the standards we expect of them. New political players whose votes are supposedly ‘unowned’ by anyone but themselves, are having a hard time staying true to their word. Having voted for them, we believed they would be different from the previous incumbent, but time and again, we are faced with deceit and cronyism. I can imagine the cloakroom talk: “Now, look here, sonny, you don’t know how the system works. It’s nothing like you’ve been told in your high school civics class. It’s the big leagues now–you follow my lead and just watch, and I’ll make sure you’re tapped for re-election next time around. It’s quid pro quo in here–you support my bills, and I’ll support yours. And don’t mess up by trying to be a goody-two shoes. You can’t fight City Hall, so don’t even try.”

I see politicians who have held the same office for years — how they get re-elected time after time is beyond me. I will continue to vote my conscience. Anymore, I rarely vote for the incumbent–unless he or she has shown that they are strong enough to adhere to their campaign promises.

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

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View From My Window

Friday, July 8, 2022 — Made it to the cardiologist’s office this morning and had a nice discussion with him about installing a defibrillator in my body. I told him I’d gone online and did a search for “pros and cons of having a defibrillator installed.” One of the conversations between a man who was contemplating having one implanted and his cardiologist went like this:

MAN: Doc, what will I get out of having this done?
DOC: It’ll give you five more years of life.
MAN: I’ll take it!!

So will I. Five years will give me at least five more years with Robert. I feel good–the doctor says my heart has improved, but he still wants to do the implant, so I agreed. I feel like I have a good 10 more years in me, so will take whatever I can get, one day at a time. I’m scheduled for the 15th of next month.

I have one quilt ready for the long arm quilter. It’s my last unfinished quilt. I didn’t want anything ‘hanging’ when I went in for the procedure, so will deliver it to my long-arm friend tomorrow. I’ll have to press it again tonight, to get all of the wrinkles out of it. LOL Robert isn’t very steady on his feet anymore, so it’s hanging a bit crooked, but it’s there and I have the batting and backing ready to be sewn to it. It’ll make a nice, comfortable quilt for our older son’s friend.

Not much else to report, so will close this with blessings to all. Be safe, take care of yourself and know that you are never alone in your journey through life. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them!

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View From My Window

Thursday, July 7, 2022 — Once again, I’m given a sign that the Universe is watching over me. Just when I was losing faith that we would be able to find a buyer for this house and a smaller one to replace it, I open my e-mails to a post from Everyday Gyan Practising <sp> Trust

It’s a difficult thing to do at times — trusting the unknown — but if you can, it will make you freer. Blessings to each and every one. May you trust that your life is on a path and you will be guided, no matter what happens. 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, July 6, 2022 — I subscribe to a number of Alzheimer’s related blogs (because my husband has Alzheimer’s), including one from the Alzheimer’s Assn. This morning, when I brought up my e-mails, the very first line was a message from the Alzheimer’s Assn. and the topic was very prophetic — “Acceptance Enables Change.” I’ve always believed we are guided in life; that if we are aware of the world around us we will see/find pointers that will help us get through whatever we’re dealing with in life. And so it was today–first thing I see is the reminder that my life is changing and I need to accept it. How utterly true.

Knowing this time in my life is filled with some very serious changes, I am at peace with them, and that’s a good feeling. I am very confident that all will turn out as planned and all will work out for the best eventually. It always has, and always will, no matter how much we worry.

Do take care–remember that you are a one of a kind, special person, and you mean a lot to me. Stay safe, and remember to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Tuesday, July 5, 2022 — Well, this day is coming to an end, and gratefully so. Robert managed to get into the house, opened one sliding glass door in the living room, and sat on the love seat with his eyes closed. He was totally wiped out. I told him on the way home that I hoped he wouldn’t have to go through this again. Just the ride to Bakersfield tires him out.

The receptionist at the radiology center gave me a form with a code so I can go in and look at the images. I have, and they don’t make a whole lot of sense to me. When I see the dr./nurse practitioner next Tuesday, I’ll know more. Meanwhile, when I looked at the summary of the procedure, the reason for the scans was shown as “Anorexia and Abnormal weight loss.” Excuse me?? <sigh> No one has ever said he has Anorexia. Blows my mind…

I had stopped at the KFC there in Bakersfield and picked up some chicken, a cold drink and some fries. Robert hadn’t eaten all day long and he was exhausted. He ate chicken while I drove! LOL When we got home, Robert asked me to heat a piece of chicken for him. I touched the latch on the microwave and heard it snap–so much for using the microwave! At first, we thought he’d put his chicken in and closed the door, but no, he’d set it down on the counter next to the microwave and left it there. As I said before, he’s completely exhausted and I’m sure his blood sugar is down terribly low. So, another call tomorrow to the appliance repair people… One day at a time… one thing at a time…

Earlier today, I received an e-mail about our house and the contingency situation. The realtor ran some figures (again) and has come up with the fact that we are $8K short of what we need to buy #79. Notwithstanding, he hasn’t received a single request to actually view our home. So, we’re back out on the street looking–unless the owner of #79 wants to be Santa Claus and almost give his home to us. I think I was counting my chickens before they hatched. I was so sure we had it all covered. Not so, I guess. For whatever reason, I’m partially relieved because Robert’s health is taking up all of my time and energy right now and I don’t want to have to deal with real estate stuff. I didn’t get back home in time to call the dr’s office, so will do that first thing in the morning, and ask for a Hospice consultation.

I’m going to go try to rouse Robert from the love seat and put him to bed. I think our day is at an end… Blessings to all. Be sure to stay safe and tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Monday, July 4, 2022 — We got a call from Robert’s older brother this morning. He was calling to see how Robert was doing. He said when they were here visiting, he was shocked at how much weight Robert had lost and how frail he seemed. He started to break down into tears and said he wished he lived closer so he could spend more time with Robert and to give me a break in caregiving because he knows I don’t have any help. I told him I appreciated the thought and it would be nice for them to spend more time together, but I take it one day at a time and am hanging in there. He said when they were here visiting, he had to go outside to break down because it affected him so badly to see his brother looking so ill. Living with Robert and seeing him all of the time, I don’t see him the way someone else would who has to absorb the dramatic change in Robert’s physical and mental condition. I know it was a shock for them.

We had garden railroad friends from San Diego visit with us for a short while this morning. They’d been down to the Loop checking things out down there and stayed at the Best Western in town last night. When they stopped by this morning, I took them downstairs and told them if I’d known they were going to be in town, I could have put them up at the Cable House BnB for free! LOL They were duly impressed with the garden railroad, which is nice, considering it’s loaded with weeds now. :/ But, it is what it is and neither one of us can get up in the layout safely anymore, so the weeds remain.

One of the guys was a long-time garden railroad friend and someone I’d been on committees with in the past. They didn’t stay long and a bit after they’d left to head back home, Robert said, ‘Two men came to the house this morning. I know S.S. was one, but who was the other guy?” Although he was standing there when I first opened the door and talked to the guys there in the entryway, Robert somehow missed or forgot the conversation about who the second person was. I explained to him that we had met him in the past when we’d visited our friend’s place. They happened to be holding a railroad meeting and there were a lot of people there, so it’s possible that the event just didn’t connect in his memory, so when he saw the man again, he didn’t remember/know him.

After the company left, Robert was very weak and so I fixed him a shake with a bottle of Boost nutrition drink. I’ve started giving him the shakes mid-day to help get some calories in him. He seems to like them and they’re good for him.

Be safe, be well–take good care of yourself and be at peace with wherever you are in your life’s path. Enjoy each moment and know you are loved. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Friday, July 1, 2022 — Baking order of the day is Frosted Banana Bars, because I’m bored making banana bread and I have three bananas that are calling me to do something with them besides put them in the freezer with the other dozen+ bananas residing there.

So here it is … it’s really very good, with or without nuts.

FROSTED BANANA BARS

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt

FROSTING

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bars test done. I use a metal cake tester inserted in the center of the pan to test for doneness. Stick the tester in and pull it out — if there’s wet at the end of the stick, keep it baking for an additional 5 min. at a time until the tester comes out dry. Or, you could use a toothpick, which I used before I bought my metal tester. I used to make decorated cakes and so figured a metal tester would be cheaper and better than a toothpick!

Cool. For frosting, cream butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla; beat well. Spread over bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

Enjoy! This would be a great dessert to take for a 4th of July picnic or gathering.

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View From My Window

Friday, July 1, 2022 — I have a link to share this morning. It’s from “Oh Hello Alzheimer’s“. It’s a personal blog by the wife of a man who lived with Alzheimer’s. More than this I cannot add because it would make me cry all over again from thoughts of my own future life.

Onward and upward, I will break out our flag bunting and hang it off the railing on the deck so people coming up Hwy. 58 can see it and enjoy the beauty of our national flag.

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone. Stay safe and be well. Know you are loved, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Thursday, June 30, 2022 — Well, some positive notes and some not so positive notes. One, Robert realized that this was the end of June and actually changed the calendar in the kitchen to July. Good job! He didn’t know that today was Thursday, which was surprising because he usually gets tuned in to the day by the headlines of his morning paper. Not today I guess… you can’t have everything!

Next was an attempt to find the report from the brain stem MRI that was done 7 years ago which said Robert had Alzheimer’s related dementia. I need it to get working on getting signed up as a legal representative for his retirement annuity. If he passes away and I’m not signed on as his legal representative, his monthly annuity will stop and I’ll have a real mess on my hands. Dealing with the government is not an easy thing to do. Back to the effort, I found where he’d had an MRI done with the local radiology office, but when I visited their office (with proof of my permission to access his medical records), the scan they had isn’t the one that showed the change/diagnosis. So now I have to backtrack to the dr. that ordered it and see where he was sent. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll do that tomorrow! LOL I often wonder why it is that I do things all day and at the end of the day there’s always something left over to do the next day. Sometimes it just appears during the afternoon, when I think I’m good and done with tasks. Nah! LOL

Be safe, be well and know that you are loved. We are each blessed in so many ways. Remember to tell those you love that you love them. Life is always better with lots of love in it.

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View From My Window

Thursday, June 30, 2022 — I missed the “Thursday Door” post last week, but I offer the following as my entry for this week. It’s our front door and I love it. I found the design, researched where to find/order it and watched as they put it in.

Cable House Front Door

When people ask how to pick out our house in the cul-de-sac, I tell them, “Look for the house with the red door and a sign on the front that says, ‘Cable House.’ That’s us.

Be safe, be well and keep on writing.

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View From My Window

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 — Some highs and some lows and some surprises! The highs: got in to see a nurse practitioner and she did a COVID test on me. Whoo hoo!!! I’m clean! ROFL here… I’ve had a sinus infection for what seems like ages and I had an asthma attack this morning that lasted for a couple of hours. It scared me when I couldn’t get the coughing under control, plus my right eye was hurting again. <sigh–I know, whine, whine, whine) So I tried calling my dr’s office–several times, in fact, and all I got was gobbledygook and then a message saying the number was out of service. Wow… never got that one before. So I went to the Internet and got the phone number for the office in Bakersfield–managed to get a 3:30 p.m. appt. today. Hooray!

Showed up early for the appt. and discovered their computer and phone systems were down. They were surprised that I was able to book an appt. Took me in after a bit and when I gave my symptoms, out came the COVID swab… Ah… and then another swab to check for Mersa. Never had that one in my life! When she pulled the swab out, I told her I could recite the alphabet for her she was in so deep! She cracked up. Lungs were clear, but my nose had an infection and so she put me on an ointment and a double-down dose of Prednisone.

Went to WalMart to get the prescription filled — handed the two prescriptions to the clerk and asked if I could wait for them. She said, “30 minutes.” I said, “I’ll be back!” Off I went to do a bit of shopping (not like I needed anything, but you know — what do you do in a store when you have to kill 30 minutes? You shop! I walked around for what I thought was 30 min. and went back to the pharmacy. I wound up sitting and waiting for the prednisone but there was a problem with the other prescription so it’ll come in a day or two. Finished paying for the few things I picked up while waiting for my prescription then headed out to the car. When I thought I saw it, I did a double-take — it was filthy! So, I got my things put in the trunk and hopped in and headed for the car wash. Went through like a charm — swish, swish. Got out the other end, made a right to head out onto Tucker Rd. and I notice this stream of water–it takes me a bit to realize it’s INSIDE the car and dripping from the rear view mirror. Arrrgh… my mind is racing all over the place… a) it’s summertime so no need to panic and have it fixed right away, b) it’s always stored in the garage, c) should I declare it when we’re trying to sell it? d) wonder what it will cost to get the seal redone. <sigh> and above all, “Should I mention it to Robert?”

Pulled into my driveway and Robert came out. I’d stopped mid-point because there was something in the front of the garage–it was a mouse, caught in the mouse trap I’d set in the corner of my garage. It had caught his tail and he was dragging it around… I wouldn’t drive into the garage and Robert kept motioning me in — I kept pointing down to the ground and he finally took a look. I rolled the window down and said, “Go get a grocery bag from the kitchen counter and put the mouse and trap in it.” Well, he got the bag, put said mouse and trap in it and began trying to tie the handles together. He was having a horrible time because his brain wasn’t working right then, so I got out and he’d just got it tied once and handed it to me. I tied it again and said, ‘Put it in the brown can in your garage.” He headed out to the front of the house and I said, “Your garage door is closed.” His reply, “But I know how to open it!” And he did… the mind was working again.

Got inside and we found ants crawling in the living room and our bedroom. Never a dull moment… Robert’s speech was really off today, and he said he was really tired. He always says, “I don’t know why I’m so tired; I didn’t do anything today.” Well, except try to think, I say to myself.

Tomorrow is another day. I hope it’s a better one for him. Be safe, be well, and please tell those you love that you love them.

p.s. I forgot to add another ‘surprise’ item — I received a call from the title company, letting me know that my paperwork to purchase the other home was ready to be signed. I said that I couldn’t sign because there’s a contingency clause on the purchase and we haven’t had a single bite on the house. Oh, says she. Well, let us know when you want to come in and sign the papers. Will do… LOL

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View From My Window

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 — We had a very nice day yesterday. The couple next door operate an Air BnB in the lower level of their home. I received a Facebook message that said they would be having guests from the U.K. and the couple were interested in garden railroads. They had mentioned that they would like a closer look at our railroad if it were possible. I told the neighbor I would watch out for the couple and make contact with them.

I had one loaf of banana bread left in the freezer, so yesterday morning, after the weed clearing serviceman finished his work, I went out to the fence between our properties and called out to the couple who were there in the back yard of the BnB. I handed the loaf of bread over the fence to the wife and said if they would like a tour of the railroad, to come over any time. Well, they did and we had a very nice visit. Come to find out, the husband is subscribed to the Tehachapi Live Trains at Cable and Air BnB. An hour or more later, they left to return to the BnB but were very appreciative of the tour of our home and the Sunset Pacific Ry. They said they would love to be able to buy it but they wouldn’t be able to because of their citizenship in the U.K.

One of the parts of caring for my husband is having to think about the ultimate reality of his disease process. I try to care for him as though he will live beyond my time, even as I realize that may not be the case. That said, this morning I received a call from the title company about how the new home should be titled. Considering Robert’s continuing mental decline, they tactfully suggested that I put only my name on the new place since eventually Robert won’t be cognizant enough to sign any documents regarding the sale of the new home, should I ever want to sell it. Right now, this house is in a trust and I didn’t know how to take it out of the trust and transfer the trust to the new place. So I placed a call to our attorney and now have an appointment next month to make an ‘amended and re-stated’ trust where I will become sole trustee and the trust will be the beneficiary. Still trying to dodge the tax man! I have to chuckle as one of my blogging friends just very skillfully/thankfully dodged the tax man in her town. She (like me) keeps good records and could prove that she had paid her taxes before they were due, so she didn’t owe any money now. Kudos to those who keep good records!

Life continues on, and we do what we can to keep it running smoothly. This upcoming weekend is the 4th of July weekend and I’m sure it will be a busy time. Tehachapi is a really neat place to visit and we get a lot of people coming to celebrate the 4th here. Watching fireworks from the back deck on the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum is a real treat. The hillside across the valley from us (on this side of the train tracks) is a popular place to watch the fireworks and we always watch for the line of car headlights strung along the top of the hill. LOL So cool…

Do take care and stay safe this weekend. Know that you are loved and you are one very special person. I’m adding a link to a post called “The Jupiter Effect” by a new online writer/friend, Dan Anton. I highly recommend you read it. It imparts my own belief that we are each important in this life. Blessings to all. And be sure to tell those you love that you love them!!!

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View From My Window

Saturday, June 25, 2022 — Younger son and his older son are here along with our niece. The grandson drove up last evening in his own truck! I can’t believe that time that has passed. We met his mother, D, when he was just 18 months old. Our son legally adopted him six months after he married D. We’ve watched him grow into a wonderful man. So very proud of him and how he’s living his life. His younger brother is usually the one accompanying his dad and aunt for a visit to Tehachapi, but he’s an avid fisherman and today there was a fishing competition, so that won out over a visit to Grandmother’s house.

In answer to a friend’s comment about living without our spectacular view and being comfortable living close to other people like we will be when we move. I have to say when we had our winter place in Apache Junction, it was in a gated community very similar to Mountain Aire Estates. The house was only 400 sq. ft., compared to our current 2799 sq. ft. The new home has 1800 sq. ft. and is all on one floor. It’ll be more comfortable in many ways, especially as Robert’s dementia progresses.

We already have a number of friends who live there in Mountain Aire, so we’ll have people to help us should the need arise. Here in this cul-de-sac, we are only close to one family out of the five homes. It doesn’t come close to the camaraderie/support of neighbors/friends in a gated community.

Robert’s dementia has reached the point where he no longer has any interest in the garden railroad or running the trains. We’re no longer physically able to maintain the railroad, nor a house this size, so moving to a gated community is our next best step other than buying into one of those multi-faceted care places where you move from one level to another, and they take care of you for the rest of your life. I will miss the beautiful view, but feel this is just our next (and possibly last) part of our lives. Best to live them in comfort and among friends who will be there for you if needed.

Blessings to all. Be safe, be well and please tell those you love that you love them.

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