View From My Window

Monday evening — July 19, 2021. Today would have been my father’s birthday–it dawned on me as I typed the date. He passed away on October 12, 1992, the day before my wedding anniversary. Seems like forever…

I’m stopping in to say that the wife of the couple whose home was potentially going to be put up for sale has decided she wants $175k for their home and doesn’t plan on listing it until September. My own research of sales in the park showed the same square footage being sold within the last year for $130k, so we’re going to pass and continue to wait for the right home to be offered at a more reasonable price. Who knows, she may come to the realization that she’s not going to get $175k for their home and ask a more reasonable amount. We shall see.

Meanwhile, thanks for all the kind words of support. I would be lost without my friends here…

Blessings to you and yours; be safe, take care of yourself (you’re so important to me) and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. I’m a firm believer in thinking positive and that all things work out for the best in the end.

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View From My Window

Sunday evening, July 18, 2021 — Since most everything has been either packed away or priced to sell at the upcoming garage sale, I’ve been sewing my scraps together. I really didn’t have anything in mind other than perhaps a quilt, but as I sewed, the piece just evolved into the shape of a place mat. I’d packed all of our place mats away, so this turned into a kind of neat place mat for Robert’s place at the kitchen counter.

I don’t think I’m going to run out of scraps any time soon, so will continue sewing place mats until I run out of scraps. I didn’t have any backing fabric so took a terry towel from the kitchen drawer. It was just the right size. I messed up a bit when I put fusible webbing on the back of the top, because I wasn’t careful with the iron and the top stretched a bit. But, that’s o.k. because it’s just for us to use and we’re not all that picky. It’ll be sturdy and that’s what’s needed. I haven’t said anything to Robert about it — just laid it down at his place and am waiting for him to say something about it.

I was thinking that it’s one thing to make something for someone you love, but when you happen to be upset with that loved one, it feels a bit odd to be doing something nice for them. The other day I received a text from the neighbor’s son, asking me who we were using for a realtor as he was going to be putting his parent’s home up for sale. I happened to be at Home Depot when I got the text so I called home to ask Robert for the phone number of the realtor. His card was on the surge protector by my monitor in the office. Robert sounded a bit put out that I was calling him to ask for a favor, but I wrote down the number he gave me. I thanked him and hung up. Next, I called the number and although I didn’t get the usual business name greeting, I went ahead and left a message. A couple of minutes later I received a call from a young woman who informed me I’d left a message for a realtor and I’d called a wrong number. I apologized and hung up. I then called Robert back and asked him to verify the phone number for me. He put the phone down and I heard him go into the office–he angrily said, “Are you writing this stuff down?” I said, yes, I was, but that he’d given me the wrong number. After giving me the number at the top of the business card, I thanked him but he’d already hung up on me. I stood there in shock–he had NEVER hung up on me before. I didn’t know what to make of it.

I never called him on his behavior, figuring it wouldn’t be worth the effort because he wouldn’t know what I was talking about, or he would deny hanging up on me. Then, last night, as he was getting ready for bed, I turned the light on over the thermostat and checked to see the temperature setting. I saw that the selection was set to HEAT and it was reading 65 deg. as the goal temperature and 80 degrees as the actual temperature. I put the selection back on COOL and set the temperature at 77 deg. He stopped and asked me what I was doing and I said the thermostat had somehow been set to HEAT and I was putting it back on COOL and setting the temperature because it was 80 deg. and that was too hot for me to be able to sleep. He barked back at me and said, “Do whatever you want.” He shuts the a/c off when he takes a shower because he says the cold air bothers him when he gets out of the hot shower. Rather than tell him to dry off or to use the heat lamp in the ceiling, I don’t say anything at all. So, this time he forgot to turn the a/c back on OR, probably turned the thermostat to the right, which is HEAT and just left it at that, thinking he’d reset it to where it was before he took his shower.

This is a horribly long story, but if you’ve got this far, I thank you. It’s just more of those incidents that you have to let go right on by, but I’m finding that they’re coming at me more and more frequently these days. <sigh>

Be safe, take care of yourself, and know that you are loved. We all have battles to face in life and having friends to share your battles with is one of the blessings in life. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them — even when you’re just a bit ticked at them!

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View From My Window

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 — Life is full of surprises. I received a call from my cardiologist’s office yesterday and they wanted me to come in that day rather than today. Okaay… no problem. I picked Robert up from the Depot where he’d been working with the guys on the Tuesday Crew and off we went to Bakersfield.

When the doctor came into the little room, he had the printout of my heart monitor results. He showed me a couple of places where the little squiggly lines jumped down below the baseline. I took this as a bad sign, and I was right. The diagnosis is Atrial Fibrillation with Tachycardia. He said he was very worried about my heart because I could have an attack of Tachycardia and just drop dead.

Interesting… I told him I didn’t feel like I could do something like that. He asked me why I waited so long before seeking treatment. I told him I didn’t feel there was anything wrong and I was still able to do what I needed or wanted to do. My one symptom was shortness of breath and as long as I used my inhaler and then the nebulizer, I was good. Well, I thought I was good. Apparently, I’ve been living on borrowed time — makes me think of the song, “Living on Tulsa Time” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXSmAcJqsGI

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The doctor then added three new drugs to my already too long medication list, AND ordered a ‘Life Vest’ for me. The vest would be worn all the time (apparently) and if my heart began to go into a tachycardia rhythm it would shock me. Okaaay! LOL He then said he wanted me to see yet another cardiologist–hopefully, that very day. Well, I have to have prior approval, so the visit to the new doctor will have to wait, as will the life vest, but I do have my new meds and have begun to take them. Gads… I have to say that it feels a bit incongruous to have something like this going on inside my body and me not feeling it at all. I will persevere, however, and continue to do as I’m doing–living my life to the fullest.

No action on the housing situation until this Friday when we get an idea of what the owners of the latest home selection decide to ask for their home. We’ll hopefully be able to take a tour of the home this weekend. We shall see.

Not much else going on — doing laundry for most of today — all of the linens from downstairs were in the dumbwaiter when I brought it up earlier. I had a towel that had somehow got mixed in with our sheets and when I folded it from the dryer, I brought the dumbwaiter up so I could put it in to be taken downstairs. Voila! When the dumbwaiter came up, my next task sat before me in a huddled lump! LOL At least two and possibly three wash loads. Then the folding of the freshly laundered linens begins.

One note of sadness before I close this post. I received a message from the next door neighbor’s son, A.S. (This is the elderly couple who are in a care facility in Bakersfield. She has dementia (possibly Alzheimer’s and it’s advanced) and he’s had a series of strokes, seizures and brain bleeds off and on for the past several years. His most recent episode was a fairly strong stroke and it landed him in the same care facility as his wife was living at.) I don’t have any details other than his father passed away Sunday evening. A.S. sent me another message later on saying he was going to be selling his parent’s house and did I have a recommendation for a realtor. I gave him the contact information for our realtor and said he would be in good hands.

Life continues on… best we make what we can of it while we can, for we never know what tomorrow will bring. Blessings to all. Be safe (take your COVID precautions seriously as we’re not out of the woods just yet), and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Thank you for being here and allowing me to share my world with you.

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View From My Window

Monday, July 12, 2021 — Another day of high heat, but the a/c is keeping us cool. We were out early this morning to water the layout. I took a spill doing the duck under of the bridge from the house to the layout. Robert took a spill yesterday and hit his head on the dining room table. He said he didn’t understand why he didn’t try to catch himself because he had nothing in his hands. He said he didn’t trip, just turned a bit and down he went.

The “Duck under”

No broken bones for either of us, but lots of skinned places on elbows and knees. Ah me… I got up from the ground and told Robert, “We’re too old for this.” LOL Ah me… Later on, I spoke with the younger son on the phone and Robert asked if I’d confessed that I’d taken a tumble. I said, No, I didn’t feel he needed to know that. (But he does read my blog on occasion, so I’ll say right now, “I’m o.k.–nothing broken… just new bruises and scabs!)

On to better news, our realtor called this morning and we have a lead on a new place there in the mobile home park. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed. So far, so good.

Our great-nephew asked his mom to ask us for a railroad car. When I asked what kind, she said “A steam locomotive!” whoa… LOL that’s not a car, that’s an engine! Anyway, she wanted to buy a set from Robert and I said, no, we’d give BC a set that Robert wasn’t using. So while Jeanette (our niece) was here visiting this past weekend, we pulled together a steam locomotive, the matching tender, a Southern Pacific caboose and several railroad cars, plus two long pieces of track. Her son (BC) has already sent us a thank you message saying how ‘stoked’ and ‘pumped’ he was. I’m glad… it’ll give him something to remember his Great-uncle for.

It’s been a good day today, preceded by an excellent weekend. Several people have commented to us that we’re going to miss our trains and the view. But our feelings are the same as our feelings about tearing out our previous garden railroad at our home in San Diego. It brought us enjoyment and a safe haven, but we knew it had to go in order to sell the house and get the funds to build a new and better home here in Tehachapi. Now, we’ve realized our lives are headed in a whole new direction and it means selling this house and the garden railroad and moving to a smaller, one story home with more neighbors to connect with. Everything seems to be falling into place. I am a firm believer that everything works out if you just keep the faith.

Be safe, be well and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Life is an adventure–enjoy it!

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View From My Window

Friday, July 9, 2021 — The kids are here this weekend, and they brought a long time friend with them. CV was a next door neighbor of friends we knew in San Diego. It was good seeing her and showing her our home and little town.

We were sitting on the deck earlier and I noticed once again that Robert has become quiet, bordering on withdrawn. Yesterday, I called and canceled his stress test as he just wasn’t up to handling the heat of Bakersfield. I’m glad that he wanted to cancel because I don’t do heat as well as he does, and if HE didn’t want to expose himself to that kind of heat, I knew I would be having problems handling it too. At the same time, I know that something is going on and it’s causing him to be fragile, physically and mentally. I watched him pull himself up the stairs from down below, and he was using two hands to physically pull himself up, step by step. I followed behind him and was dismayed to realize that he’s that weak.

When he managed to get to his chair, I calmly called him on it and said I was worried about his lack of strength and how he’d had to pull himself up the stairs. He said he was worried about himself too. He said he’d walked around the layout twice and it wiped him out. I know his dementia is progressing, but didn’t realize that it was going to affect him so severely physically, so early. Even without the neurologist evaluating him, I would venture to say he’s moved into the second stage of Alzheimer’s. I need to contact the neurologist and get him in–though he won’t want to go while it’s still hot as it is right now. Notwithstanding, if the disease is progressing, and I’m sure it is, I doubt there’s anything the doctor can do about it. I don’t hold much hope for the new medication that’s being talked about because it does the same thing as the two medications he’s already taking — it slows the progression — it doesn’t stop or cure the disease. It makes me wonder why they’re putting another ‘almost’ successful drug out on the market and at the same time I realize that perhaps it’s for people who can’t tolerate the currently available medications, or who find that the medications don’t work for them. No easy answer…

Meanwhile, my other half is fading away, day by day and bit by bit. It’s not just sad, it’s lonely.

Off my soapbox; put away the tissues and pull up your big girl panties… it’s a tough world and some have it tougher than I do. I really want to get us moved to a smaller place and soon. I would hope it will make things easier for him with less stress. I don’t know — maybe I’m just hoping that it will be a major improvement for him. We shall be patient and wait for whatever our future holds to be unveiled to us.

Meanwhile, the kids are here — even our fly-tying grandson who makes the most gorgeous bundles of bits with a hook that I’ve ever seen. He makes it look soooo easy! Just love it. Be safe, take good care of yourself, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. I thank you for being here, for allowing me to unload my worries for a bit, and when moved to offer your thoughts, sharing them here with me. Blessings to you, and much love to you and yours…

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View From My Window

Wednesday, July 7, 2021. There are times when I don’t know where to begin when I sit down to write. But here goes — our kitchen has fluorescent lights under the cupboards and I use them as a night light. The tubes burned out and it fell to me to replace the bulbs. I find myself taking charge of things that I never had to do before. I went to Home Depot yesterday (forgot the bad light tubes at home, naturally) but found what I felt would be the same size/type of light. Bought two of them and put them in last night after Robert went to bed. When I came home from Home Depot with the new lightbulbs, he complained that every time something in the house was broken I had to get it fixed right away. Right… well, for all these years, I never complained about the things that got broke and never got fixed, but now that it’s fallen to me to take care of things, I don’t delay and I either take care of it myself, or arrange to have someone fix whatever is broken right away.

Last night, after Robert had gone to bed, I refilled his pill box. Tonight when he went to take his evening meds, he complained that his pill box was all messed up. I got up and went to see what he was talking about. He said that there were more pills in the box than there had been before. I said, “Yes, I refilled your pill box last night after you’d gone to bed.” I then looked at the slot for Wednesday PM and saw it was empty, and the slot for Wednesday AM was still full. The answer was that he took his evening pills this morning because he had the pill box upside down again. I apologized to him for not taking better care of him. If I’d set his morning pills out like I’d started doing a while back, we could have avoided this situation. But he was insistent that he could take care of taking his pills as long as I kept the pill box filled. Right. :/ Will have to go online and see what’s available for pill dispensing containers.

Still no word on the place in Mountain Aire Estates. One other place did come up for sale but it didn’t have a garage. It was 2 bedroom, 2 bath and was listed for $105,000. It went on the market on June 21 and sold on June 24–3 days later. Needless to say, we have to be vigilant in watching for a home to be put on the market. Notwithstanding, there are no storage spaces left available anywhere. Not even in California City! We’re still packing and putting the boxes in Robert’s garage. The eldest came over yesterday while I was out running errands and picked up a couple of boxes of his things. He called today and I chastised him a bit for not taking his stuff with him when he moved out. I told him he must have walked out the door with the clothes on his back and that’s all, because we’re finding all sorts of stuff that belongs to him. How about his 8th grade yearbook from 1981??? LOL Ah me… he’s promised to come back and make another withdrawal of his stuff, but it’ll have to be after his next work period.

That’s about it for now. I’m still wading through the swamp of computer passwords. I’ve hesitated contacting the computer guy because I’m actually getting things together, one web site/password at a time. Do take good care of yourself, and stay safe. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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View From My Window

Friday, July 2, 2021 — Today was a notably different day. Robert was obviously stressing over going through all of his train stuff so I went down to help him a bit. After packing a couple of boxes, he seemed to be getting weak so I suggested we call it quits and go upstairs for a break. I carried some things up as I went up the stairs and he followed me up, carrying his drink cup.

A couple of hours later, I happened to be in the front bathroom and saw that the faucet had been turned on and the water was running–no one in sight. I shut the faucet off and once again thought of re-installing the water controller. It’s an automatic/hands-free attachment. Robert had a real problem with it for some reason, so I removed it. It’s in a drawer in the kitchen and it might be time to try it again. That faucet seems to be the only one he habitually leaves running.

Later on, I opened up the drawer where I keep my wax paper, foil and plastic storage bags and there was the package of cookies I’d seen him snacking on earlier. He’d apparently pulled a large zipper bag out, put the cookies in, closed the bag and put the cookies in the drawer rather than in the pantry where he’d originally found them. I’ve noticed that when he’s stressed or seems to be overly tired or confused, he’ll do odd things. Forgetting to turn the faucet off being one of them.

He admitted to me that he felt like he was just spinning his wheels in trying to go through things. We have a lot of stuff that belongs to the older son–and it’s become a real challenge to get him to come and take his things. It’s hard for him, I know, because he’s rarely home and when he is, he’s exhausted and the last thing he wants to do is come pick up his things and then find a place to put them once he gets them home.

I recently sent a letter to all of the homeowners in Mountain Aire Estates whose homes have garages, telling them that we are looking for a home there and would appreciate them letting us know if they’re ever in a position to put their home on the market. I don’t know if people will be upset that I’m soliciting them like that, but better to let them know from someone who’s interested in buying than receiving a solicitation from a realtor. Perhaps they’ll actually read my letter.

Anyway, I need to sign off — Robert’s calling from the other room. Be safe, be well (take care of yourself and please continue to take precautions against the COVID virus.) Kern County has reported their first patient with the COVID variant. It has begun… Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Keep the faith and believe that all will work out for the best. Blessings to all…

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View From My Window

Sunday, June 27, 2021 — If you could see through my actual window, you’d see how frustrated I’ve become over the weekend. I received my new computer, but all of my passwords and links are on my old computer, which is regretfully dead as a doornail. <sigh> My new IT guy will be calling in the morning to set a time to come over and help transfer my data from my back up external hard drives to the new computer hard drive. So frustrating to be so helpless.

But, I have to say I’m not entirely helpless. I put together my new bamboo breadbox all by myself! I love it and I even got a compliment from Robert — he said it looked really nice. That it does, and is a vast improvement over the bits of bread/rolls laying all over the kitchen counter.

And I was able to share a lot of my artwork/paper/crafting materials yesterday. I have to say that it didn’t make much of a dent in my collection, but it helped a bit. Now I’m down to three containers, two medium and one large.

Have I mentioned how frustrating it is to try to do anything with the new computer, which by the way, runs on Windows 10, which I am not fond of in the least?

As for my fabric stash and getting it downsized, I am down to two very large bags of fabric pieces. The rest of the fabric has been sorted/measured/tagged and is ready for sale.

Once these two bags have been gone through, I will dismantle my cutting table, moving the table out to the garage and putting my cutting mats somewhere flat so they don’t get warped. (That will be a task in itself as I don’t really have a suitable place in mind.)

Still no word from the owner of the home in Mountain Aire Estates. I keep hoping to hear from him. I’ll keep a positive outlook and keep downsizing our stuff. Robert has begun pulling things out of his bookcases downstairs and it has been a difficult time for him. Seeing all of the things that he/we have spent money on is depressing to him, so I go down often and check on him to bolster his mood a bit.

It’s a fact of life that we tend to collect possessions. Some of us collect more than others, but eventually, we come to the realization that ‘things’ are not what life is really all about. It’s about loving those around us, giving of ourselves and what we have to others. I think the ladies who came yesterday were truly surprised that I really wasn’t going to ask for any money for what they were taking–it was all free and given from my heart.

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

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View From My Window

Wednesday, June 23, 2001 — What a day today has been. I canceled this afternoon’s get together with a friend and moved it to Friday. The handyman that was supposed to arrive between 8-8:30 a.m. called at 8 to apologize and say he’d forgot and could he come tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. instead? Absolutely. LOL I need the work done, so I’m at his mercy.

The first time I booted up my desktop computer it seemed to stall a bit–it’s been doing that lately. It finally showed the opening photo and I was off and running, for a minute or two. I tried to bring up Chrome/Yahoo mail and it went black and died on me. Hmmm. Maybe the power supply. Out comes the laptop and a prompt phone call to the computer repair service. Oh, they’re going to be closing their doors at the end of this month and they aren’t accepting any more repair jobs, but they gave me the name/number of an IT tech who works from his home and does house calls. Turns out he lives in Golden Hills so isn’t far away. He shows up and takes my computer — we discuss what we believe to be wrong with it. He calls later in the day to say we were wrong about the diagnosis but since the computer is so very old, it’s really not advisable to repair it. He suggests I go shopping and when I find something I like, to send him the info and he’ll check to make sure that it meets my needs and that the price is reasonable. He says he’s not going to charge me for this service call. I like this guy!! LOL I think I have myself a new computer guru!

Onward and upward, another home came available in the mobile home park we want to move to, but it is only a 2 bedroom and it doesn’t have a garage, so we won’t bother going to look at it. I called Louis, the realtor that I’ve been working with, and gave him what little info I had on the current owner of the place we are interested in. The gentleman’s father was the actual owner, but he passed away in February and the place was left to the son. I wrote him a letter on the 5th of this month but haven’t received any reply. Louis did a bit of searching online and found a couple of phone numbers that he’s following up on. One day at a time…

Meanwhile, my housekeeper/aide was here yesterday and she moved all of the packed boxes out to the garage. I’m still pulling out craft papers for this coming Saturday’s gathering. Hard to believe the stuff I’m coming across. It’ll be sooo good to have things down to a dull roar! LOL

Nothing else to report so will close this with blessings to all. 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, June 19, 2021 — What does proof of 30 years of crafting look like?? LOL Oh my word… Binders upon binders full of projects, photos of things I’ve made, instructions, templates, you name it, I have it. LOL

I posted a note to one of my FaceBook groups — Tehachapi Ask — asking if there was anyone in town who enjoyed crafting, cardmaking or art. I received several replies and I decided I would have an open house meeting and lay out all of my extraneous craft supplies and invite people to help themselves. If more than one person wanted a particular pattern, I’d fire up the copier and make copies for them. It feels right to do this, so I’m hoping that a lot of people will contact me to get my address. I have loads and loads of miscellaneous stuff to share.

We shall see… Next Saturday — from noon to 1:30 p.m. it’ll give me a chance to clear out the three large drawers full of papers and art supplies! Happiness is…

I’m still working on the fabric, having decided to stuff quart size zipper bags full of fabric of a particular size (i.e., I’ve cleared out the box of 2 1/2″ strips) and pricing the bags at $1.00. I’m hoping people won’t begin opening the bags and going through them. At $1.00, you should just buy the bag and if you see other bags with fabric you want, you buy THAT bag as well, you don’t open the second bag and have at the fabric just because it matches something in the first bag. <sigh> Hoping people will be honest, but you can never tell.

At the end, I will have accomplished my goal and that is to downsize our possessions.

Blessings to all … The daughter of a dear friend is battling breast cancer, so if you are of a mind to pray or think positive thoughts, please do so. God will know who you mean when you think of Carol’s friend’s daughter. Sad to think, but the father has had his own bout of cancer. I’m thinking that as soon as we get settled into our new place I will make her a quilt. I made one for her father and her mother–she deserves one of her very own for such a difficult journey.

Be safe, take good care of yourself — YOU ARE IMPORTANT to so many people. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. I love my blogging friends–each and every one of you. Be well…

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View From My Window

Saturday, June 19, 2021 — We’re still draining the swamp of stuff here in the house. What a chore!

I’ve been going through all of the 3-ring binders of templates and projects I’ve done over the years. I came across things I forgot I’d made, so that was fun, but the amount of data in the form of papers is unreal. There were things, however, that still struck me as being worth saving. One of these is a paper I wrote which was apparently homework for a writing class I attended back in 2003. Now THERE’s some history for you!

Herewith the article. I have to note that I mention my sister in this and my sister has since passed away, so reading of her presence was a bit melancholy for me.

Waiting For My Muse

I sit at my keyboard, eagerly awaiting the unbridled flow of words from my mind. But my muse is hiding and my mind is as blank as the document on the screen before me.

My sister sits nearby, knowing that it’s Tuesday evening and there is writing homework to be produced. She laughs with mirth at my difficulty, knowing that feeling of emptiness that comes when the muse is unavailable. She knows that eventually, I’ll find something to write about, even if it’s only the fact that I’ve hit a writer’s block.

Where do our muses go when they’re not helping us? Off to some paradise in the South Pacific where there are no computers, no writing homework and nothing to do but lay on the beach, watching the waves roll into shore? Or do they go to Europe, to visit the grand cathedrals of Rome or glide down the canals of Venice in a long boat? Wherever mine has gone, she’s no doubt having a better time than I am. Yes, my muse is a female. Usually dependable, and quite vocal, she rarely leaves me stranded as she has tonight. When she returns I’ll have to have a serious talk with her about Tuesday night duties and leaving without permission.

It’s midnight now and if I’m to get any rest tonight, I need to close this and head down the hall to bed. My muse has failed me tonight, but hopefully, she’ll return refreshed and ready to work tomorrow. I’m thankful there are no penalties for nonsensical writing, for this piece would surely cost me.

— 000 —

I so enjoyed that class. Mage, author of a blog called “Postcards” was also a member of that class; it’s where I met her for the first time. We became fast friends and have remained so to this day. We’ve lost several mutual writing friends over the years, and have weathered illnesses and crises. Still, we’re optimists and writers at heart so will continue to put our fingers to the keyboard and express our views of life and living.

Be safe, take good care of yourself–know that you are loved and there are those who care about you. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. We all need to know that we’re important to the ones we love, and vice versa. I don’t believe COVID is quite through with us, so please continue to practice social distancing and masking up. Thank you!

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View From My Window

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 — This is the last quilt I’ll be working on until we get moved to the new place. No, we still don’t have any response from the son regarding his plans for the house. Patience may be a virtue, but I’m running short on it right now. LOL

This baby quilt is going to a young man who will soon turn 21 months old. I’ve never met his mother, but know her through the Buy Nothing Tehachapi Facebook group. I’d been conversing with her about people who say they’ll take something and then never follow up on their promised action. Not good. I off-handedly asked her if she had children and she said yes, she had a 20 month old son. I don’t know how long it’s been since I asked her, but I immediately said I would make him a quilt. So now I’ve finished the quilt and all of my fabric has been sorted through and the fabric I’m keeping has been packed safely away. The remainder of the scraps (of which I have MANY) are being sorted into packing boxes with the size labeled on the box. I will provide quart ziplock bags for people to stuff their selections into. A full quart bag that’s closed at the top will cost $2.50, the same price as a yard of fabric.

I love the way this one turned out. Quite pleased with it, if I do say so myself! And a big thank you to Cathy Criger, who does all of my long arm quilting now.

Nothing else to report so will close this with blessings to all. Be safe, take good care of yourself, and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Love is the oil that makes our life run smooth!! Enjoy!

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View From My Window

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 — Such a beautiful day today. Our weather has turned back to winter temperatures, but the sunshine is warm and most welcome. Hard to believe it’s Summertime with temperatures hovering around 50 degrees.

We have a realtor selected for listing our home. He came to check the house out the other day and said it would most likely sell quickly. The market is very active right now and people are often paying more than the asking price for homes. I’m still packing and sorting out our possessions. Decisions, decisions! LOL

We’ve already had one person interested in purchasing the house, and it’s not even officially on the market yet. I gave him the Cook’s Tour of the place and after viewing the house, we adjourned to the deck to catch a few trains moving through down below. Nice of the trains to cooperate and show up for us.

The kids were up this past weekend and we had a great visit. Then yesterday, the younger son arrived with the ex-daughter-in-law of Robert’s older brother. She wanted to see our home before we sold it. We were pleased to have her visit. It was hinted that she was considering relocating to California from her home in Kansas. I can’t blame her–California may be expensive, but it’s a wonderful place to call home. We love living here in Tehachapi and wouldn’t think of living anywhere else.

I saw the cardiologist yesterday and he’s told me to stop taking two medications. They aren’t the ones I wanted or expected to stop taking, but fewer drugs is fewer drugs and I’ll take whatever I can get. I told him about my truly debilitating muscle cramping and he suggested I eat a banana every day, or to drink coconut water. He also said I needed a defibrilator to prevent a sudden fatal heart attack. He told me that the heart monitor that I will soon wear isn’t like the older models, but merely a patch that they put on my chest. I’m waiting for a phone call from his office in Bakersfield to set appointment to have the patch installed. Should be interesting.

The younger son went to the store for drinks last night and came home with fresh bananas and a variety of coconut water. Nice kid!! The dr. also said he wanted a new blood test, so this morning I went for another fasting blood draw. When I returned home, everyone was waiting and we headed out to the Keene Cafe for breakfast.

The kids left to return home shortly after we got home from breakfast. It’s strange how much you look forward to having your kids visit, but are so very happy when they leave to return to their own homes. I have another doctor’s appointment this afternoon and then no more appointments for me for the interim. Hooray!

Our replacement dwarf Crepe Myrtle trees arrived on Monday and we’ll need to get them in the ground today. They’re really cute. I’ll share photos once they’re planted.

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

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Friday, May 28, 2021 — By the end of this year I’ll have to find a new title for my pages as we will have moved to a new home here in Tehachapi. Not a new-new home, but a new one to us. We haven’t told a lot of people, but I posted an announcement on my FaceBook page indicating that the home was going to be on the market in the next 60-90 days.

“Cable House”, home of the Sunset Pacific Ry, will be going on the market in the next 60-90 days. A lot of thought has gone into this decision and although we’ve enjoyed creating our beautiful home and our railroad, it’s time to relocate to a smaller place.

If you are interested in details about the house, or are familiar with the house and are interested in purchasing it (based on current appraisal), please contact us by e-mail at SPacificRy@yahoo.com.

The home was built to potentially be a Bed and Breakfast with two bedrooms and a full bath downstairs.

We hope to find a buyer who loves trains and who would want to keep the Sunset Pacific Ry in operation.

All serious offers will be considered.

Thanks to all.
Bob and Carol Westover
Owner/operator, Sunset Pacific Ry. and Cable House

Life is forever changing and we must change with it. You never know what the future might bring, and fighting change is such a negative waste of energy.

I had my heart ultrasound yesterday and then we went to CostCo to do a bit of shopping. At one point I lost Robert there in the store. When I found him, I sat him down at a foot massage exhibit and told him to stay and I would be right back. The sales representative joked that “the first hour is free.” Less than 5 minutes later, I returned and he was gone. I asked the sales representative where he went and he said, “He just got up and said, ‘I’m going to look for my wife.'” He did go down a few aisles and try to find Robert, but no luck. I finally spotted Robert at the front of the store. You never saw anyone move as fast as I did, mentally calling to Robert, “Stop!!” “Turn around!!” but he never did. I finally got close enough that he could hear my voice and he stopped. He said he was just going to head to the car. He just does not have the stamina to go shopping for any length of time anymore. When I saw him, he was wandering like he was lost… oblivious to all of the people around him. You could tell he was having trouble walking by that point. I don’t know what to think about taking him shopping again. Those days may be over, or I may have to find another way of perhaps having him shop with me for certain things and then have him go back to the car and sit and read. I don’t know…

Anyway, it’s life and we have to adjust to it. This morning, a man from Tehachapi Flooring is coming to measure the master bathroom floor for new flooring. I’ll have to pick out a different pattern than we used in the laundry room because of all the angles in the bathroom. One day at a time, one thing at a time.

Blessings to you and yours. Be safe–keep your social distancing in place and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Always hope for the best, but anticipate the unexpected!

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 — It’s watering day for the layout. Once again, I asked to help Robert water the layout and this time he said he didn’t want me to hurt myself. Really?? LOL Like I don’t want HIM to get hurt either. If we both go down and each take half of the layout to water and weed, we’ll be done in half the time and half the effort of doing the whole thing by one person.

So, we went down and I watered the west end and he took the east end. Then he got up into the layout and watered the center. I finished watering and began pulling weeds (yeah, more weeds!) and deadheading the Armeria. Everything looks good, which is nice.

I took a photo of one tree rhat never made it out of hybernation. I’m going to write to the nursery and ask for a refund. They’ve told me for several months now to give the trees time, but I think I’m done waiting for leaves to sprout. It has all the appearance of one dead tree and it has two others in similar condition.

This is supposed to be a Dwarf Crepe Myrtle tree.

Well, our sky is clear and the wind has slowed down a bit so it wasn’t all that bad outdoors today. Do continue to be safe, be careful when in crowds, especially if you haven’t been vaccinated. Don’t take chances with your health. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them!

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Saturday, May 22, 2021 — Just a very quick post to share a good recipe that I got from my neighbor. This is what I fixed for my dinner tonight… Good stuff and I didn’t want to lose the recipe so will share it here, then I know it can always be found again! Also, I sold my Singer Quantum 9960 sewing machine. Now I’m down to my trusty Singer 401a (a vintage sewing machine) and my new Baby Lock machine. Manageable, for sure.

MASHED POTATO & WILD RICE STUFFED MUSHROOMS

May 22, 2021 – From my neighbor on Tulip Ct. She and I used fresh herbs, but she says she’s sure it would be just as good with dried. I have to say, I made a few changes to the recipe. They were delicious! A lot of work, but I’m sure it could be shortened with a couple of short-cuts here and there (like instant potatoes, for example).

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Line a rimmed baking or (cookie) sheet with parchment or foil.

INGREDIENTS:

½ C. Whole Wild Rice/ or 1 1/4 cups cooked wild rice (I substituted regular long-grain white rice)
12 Large Baby Portabella Caps, 2 ½” to 3″ in diameter. (I used regular white mushrooms and removed the stem)
1 1/4 C. Prepared mashed potatoes (She used Bob Evans, ready to eat, but I wasn’t sure of the sodium content so I just cooked a large Russet potato and mashed it.)
1 Tbsp. Unsalted butter (I used margarine because I can’t tolerate butter fat.)
2 Cloves garlic (Large), Minced. I used ready diced garlic in oil.
1/4 C. Finely chopped yellow onion
2 tsp. Finely chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1 tsp. Finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. Black pepper (I probably added another ½ tsp., but no add’l salt)
1 C. Shredded white cheddar cheese, plus more for topping (I bought Kerry Brand–block sweet cheddar)
1/4 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus more for topping.

Prepare the rice–whether you use instant rice or boiled, your choice as to type. Gently wash the mushroom caps, removing the stem and placing them on the parchment. Set aside. Place mashed potatoes in a medium bowl and set aside–since I boiled and mashed a potato, I left it in the pan rather than dirtying a bowl.

In a fry pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic & onion and cook until softened – about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring regularly. Do not brown. Remove from heat. Add softened garlic & onion, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to mashed potatoes. Stir to combine. Stir in 1 1/4 c. of the cooked rice, the white cheddar & parmesan. Taste mixture, adding more salt or pepper if needed.

With a spoon, add mashed potato mixture to cavities in mushrooms, stuffing the mixture in as tightly as you can. Mound the remaining mixture on top, pressing it into the mushroom. Depending on the size of caps, you may have more or less mixture to mound on top. (I had quite a bit extra so put it in a glass baking dish, garnished with a bit of the white cheddar and baked it along with the mushrooms.

Bake for 25 min. Remove and add a bit more grated cheddar then parmesan on top of each and return to oven for 10-15 min. more. Sprinkle with additional fresh chopped thyme and serve hot.

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

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Thursday, May 20, 2021 — What a cold, cold, day this has turned out to be. The sky is clear, but the wind has howled all day (and all of last night as well). I doubt the thermometer ran much above 40 deg. all day long. I was going to go grocery shopping but then it got close to the time for my weekly phone conference meeting with other caregivers, so I put it off, telling Robert that we would go afterward. Well, afterward he was hungry so I fixed us some hot soup and we’ve just called it a day. There’s tomorrow, afterall.

I know that every day is different, I understand that. But this past week has been one heck of a ride. I have the last quilt project all but finished. I have the final sashing row laid out and will get it sewn on either tonight or tomorrow. And then it’s putting the backing together and getting the quilt to my long arm friend for final quilting. I feel guilty for it having taken me so long to finish, but my health has been in the cellar for going on 6 weeks. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

Ezra’s quilt

I’m thinking a narrow red border will frame the quilt nicely. I got the pattern (Daisy Chain) from Missouri Star Quilt’s book on baby quilts. I saw the steam locomotive design and was sold on buying the book. I’d like to make a couple of these quilts for the Depot’s gift shop.

Well, time to close this up and get into the other room. Robert’s gone for his shower and I need to find us something to watch on t.v. He has such a time with the remote anymore. Another simple skill that’s gone by the wayside.

Be safe, take care of yourself (you are so very important to everyone around you), and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Blessings to you and yours…

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Thursday, May 13, 2021 — I’m still wading through the swamp of my cookbook collection, but I think I’m nearing the end. It’s utterly amazing what you will come across while sorting through your ‘stuff.’ In a gallon zippered storage bag was this really pathetic looking cookbook (using the term loosely) with a birthday card. I didn’t remember either item, but felt it must have been important at one point in time so I opened the bag and gingerly removed the birthday card.

Birthday card to me — date unknown, but Dolly has passed and Maggie (my aunt) has been in a care facility (strokes) for a number of years now.

And the ‘cookbook’:

Mom was a member of this organization for a number of years. In looking through the cookbook, I recognized several names, especially one who happened to be a neighbor.

Another ‘keeper’ but I doubt that my kids would understand the significance of nor the history of this bedraggled collection of recipes. Part of me wants to hit the Internet and search for some of the names that I recognized. There’s a FaceBook group called, “You Know You’re From Clairemont if” — I imagine that would be a good place to start. Clairemont (North and South) was a very tight-knit community of middle class blue collar workers. The homes in North Clairemont were built for servicemen/women returning from WWII or the Korean War (can’t remember which) and they were all ‘cracker boxes’ but nice cracker boxes! People kept their homes up and kids played in the streets until dark and then they played underneath the street lights until their parents called them in to eat dinner and go to bed. It was a good time.

My parents bought a home in North Clairemont in 1956. My husband and I bought our first home in North Clairemont in 1969–it happened to be one of those ‘cracker boxes’ and we were grateful to have the opportunity to buy it. Three bedrooms, one bath, one car garage and a huge back yard. We had to put $50 down to open escrow and put the remainder of $500 downpayment at the close of escrow 90 days later. We scrimped like crazy, but we made it. So began our upward movement in homes.

Be safe, be well, and please tell those you love that you love them. Life is a circle–our past will follow us wherever we go. Make sure YOUR past is one you wouldn’t mind meeting again!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 — Wonders never cease. Today, I interviewed a young man who is a Junior at Tehachapi High School and who has a part time business — weed whipping properties! Robert has allowed me to hire someone to do the yearly cutting of weeds and clearing our property for 200′ from the house. I have barked and pleaded with him for the past several years that I didn’t want him working on that hillside because it’s uneven and he doesn’t have the best physical balance anymore. Finally, he caved and allowed it. I am blessed.

And, the eldest came over, saw the boxes of cookbooks in the entryway and when I told him to take them and go to the swapmeet and sell them, he said, ‘possibly.’ That little crack in the door was all I needed to encourage him to start loading the car! LOL Next on the agenda was to get him to accept the china hutch and contents that he didn’t want me to sell outside the family. He didn’t want it to go anywhere else, but then he never took possession of it either. He asked what I was going to put in its place and I said, “Nothing.” We’re trying to get rid of stuff, not just move it around. So next rest period he’s promised to bring his truck and take the china hutch. Hooray! AND, he’s promised to take the stack of TREX wood that was left over from building the deck 14 years ago! The stuff was/is expensive so we never wanted to just throw it away, figuring that someone could use it. And the years slipped by and the TREX sat. It was a pain in the Kazoo when watering the layout because you always had to renegotiate the hose, moving it back and forth around the stack of wood. It’ll be sooo good to get that gone.

One thing at a time, one day at a time.

Be safe, be well (take care of yourself), and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. My nephew-in-law is on the mend from his COVID infection, though my niece says he’s still trying to regain his strength. She admits he should have got the vaccinations, but didn’t. She said she’s had her two shots and is now waiting for her 14 days to end. She’s a beautician and I know she has a number of regular clients whose protection she’s ensuring while they’re in her shop. Be prepared. ’nuff said!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021 — The COVID figures for this past week showed 25 new infections but no deaths. That’s a start, but 25 new ones in one week??? I need to add that this is for Kern County as a whole, not our little town alone. I have no clue what our numbers are. I know I can get them from the Kern County Health Dept. web site, but why seek out bad news?? It’s enough to see it in black and white in the morning newspaper.

Which brings me to the situation where you learn that friends of yours say they are among those who don’t believe in the vaccine, and not only haven’t been vaccinated, but don’t plan on doing so. Shocked, is one term, but also “Personal Preference” comes to mind. It is a personal decision, and I’m certainly glad I’ve received both vaccinations, just in case the friends happen to have come in contact with a carrier and didn’t know it. Safety first (and that’s a railroad term!!)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, something is eating my plants out front. I have my Butternut Squash, a Zucchinni, some Elderberry shrubs (now down to one lowly gnarled plant), and some Coriander (ala Cilantro). And, our three rose bushes are alive with aphids. I used the very last of my Safe Soap insecticide on them so will have to rely on home-made spray until I get to Home Depot again for the high grade stuff.

It’s warm today, and that’s a nice change from the cold, but I don’t want it getting too warm. LOL I got spoiled living all those years in temperate San Diego with its ocean breezes.

Be safe, be sure to take care of yourself, and remember to tell those you love that you love them. Continue to take precautions against the COVID-19 virus until it is dead, dead, dead. Though I don’t know that that will ever happen if you have people who choose not to be vaccinated. Just be careful out there, people!

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Sunday, May 9, 2021 — Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers here today. My day has been beautiful, with both sons and my niece reporting in with well wishes. Truly, all this mother ever needs from her children is to hear their voice and when we get a chance, to get a hug.

The women who said they would come today were no-shows — no call, no e-mail, no FB msg. Ah well. It is what it is. But, I did invite my neighbor Susan to come over and get first pick and we had the nicest visit while she went through the cookbooks. I was utterly amazed at the number of cookbooks I had collected over the years. I kept pulling books and pulling books and filled three medium size packing boxes full with the entryway table loaded to boot. Sadly, my neighbor only took two or three with her. LOL

I told her I was going to have to have a yard sale to get rid of things and she brightened and said she was already planning one and we agreed to hold it together. Sometime in July, I expect, we’ll be ready to put our stuff out for the world to peruse and purchase (hopefully). Part of the problem with going through things to downsize is that you get caught up in memories of when you acquired the item(s). They become important to you once more and you abandon letting go of them, one more time. LOL Nope, can’t go there… once a decision is made, it has to be honored. So says a fabricholic that hasn’t attempted to reduce her stash yet!

Somehow, we learn erroneously that ‘things’ will make us happy; the more we have, the happier we will be. Not true. Things become an invisible burden to our psyche. We always feel lighter when we shed the excesses in our lives. This is my time to shed…

Be safe, take care of yourself (especially if you’re a caregiver–a lesson I’ve recently been reminded of), and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Love is the most important thing to possess in this world. May you have all the love you can carry in your heart and more. Blessings to you.

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May 8, 2021 — All of these health crises has made me want to really downsize what I own here at home. One of my big ‘collections’ is cookbooks. I’ve inherited several from various family members, especially from my husband’s side of the family. These I intend to keep so they can be passed on to the kids. There’s only a few of the other cookbooks I will keep.

Last night, I posted a GIFT notice on the Tehachapi Buy Nothing group on Facebook that I was shedding a lot of my cookbook collection and if anyone was interested they could message me to arrange a time to go through the collection and pick what they want. I received one message from a woman who said her daughter was learning to cook and she would love to go through my cookbooks. I messaged her back and asked her to come today. I have a couple of special books set aside for her, but will allow her to choose more when she comes.

The thing that amazes me is the things we come across when going through our possessions. I came across a copy of “Workbasket Magazine” dated March 1996. It was the only issue, so I figured it had something in it that was special. Well, the special thing is that it is the last issue produced as Workbasket Magazine. Read more about this really neat little craft magazine here: https://mycraftbasket.wordpress.com/history-of-workbasket-magazine/

Last Issue of Workbasket Magazine March 1996

I have a bad habit of not wanting to throw anything away, always believing that things should be recycled or given away to keep our landfills under control. That said, I’ve tossed 4 empty coffee cans, 3 glass quart jars and a gazillion plastic bowls from purchased salad mixes. I know this urge to keep things is something I inherited from my parents. Both parents were somewhat of a hoarder–my mother’s thing was food. She had an absolute grocery store in her garage; shelves upon shelves of canned goods and a second, full-size refrigerator there for perishables. I’ve never been that bad, but I do have a very full pantry!

Well, enough dribble for now. I’m obviously feeling much better (hooray!) and will endeavor to stay that way. Water is beginning to taste o.k. right now — not great, but o.k., LOL

Blessings to you and yours. Be safe, continue to practice your social distancing and be sure to tell those you love that you love them. I like the Buy Nothing concept — it’s like “Pass It On” because people there trade services as well as personal things–all free of charge. Being here for one another is what counts!

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Thursday, May 6, 2021 — It’s been a difficult time recently. I went into the hospital on 4/29 and was released on 4/30. Congestive heart failure. I went back to the hospital on 5/4 and was released on 5/5 around 1am. Dehydration.

I’m home now, but weak. I’ll try to post in a couple of weeks. Thanks for being here.

Blessings to all… remember to tell those you love that you love them. Nothing is guaranteed in this life, and we should take nothing for granted, especially our health.

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Sunday, May 2, 2021 — Home now, with three new medications. Diagnosis was another episode of Congestive Heart Failure, but my heart threw out indicators of a heart attack, so it wasn’t until after they’d done some testing that they corrected the diagnosis. Went to the local ER and then they transferred me by ambulance to a hospital in Bakersfield. Robert took the car and drove home (thankfully, he is still able to drive in an emergency, which this was, although I drove us over to the hospital initially).

Kids to the rescue — the younger son and my niece drove up from San Diego, stopped by the house to pick up Robert and then back west to Bakersfield to wait while I was being discharged. The elder son was at Cajon when the text came to rally the troops and he passed the younger son’s vehicle 3 blocks from the house. He knew that only two people could be admitted as visitors so went ahead to the house to wait.

I now have to really watch my sodium intake. And, tonight, cramping began in my hands. It’s due to an electrolyte imbalance but I don’t know what part I’m low on. I have been taking Magnesium at night, and for the most part it helps, but not completely. I’ve complained to the dr’s and nothing has been suggested as a remedy so I continue using my homeopathic Hyland’s Leg Cramp pills. They work.

Please stay safe. Take care of yourself (I know, best I take that advice myself), and remember you are loved. Please tell those you love that you love them. One day at a time, one moment at a time.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021 — Well, it’s been a “D.D.” (Damned Different) day today. I woke at 4 a.m. with a need to go to the bathroom. Our bathroom is about 8-10 ft. away. By the time I finished, I was totally out of breath and wheezing like a growl. I managed to get to my emergency inhaler but was so short of breath I found I couldn’t use the inhaler. I forced myself to calm down and managed to use the inhaler, which in turn eased my breathing. I then went to the office, sat down and set up the nebulizer.

To say I was scared is to put it mildly. I’ve only had one or two other instances where I was so short of breath I couldn’t get my breathing timed in order to draw in a dose of medication from the inhaler. So today I called the pulmonologist’s office and have an appointment for a breathing test, and then a bit later the scheduler for the new cardiologist’s office called and scheduled me for an ultrasound of my heart and lungs. Considering that I just saw him for the first time yesterday, receiving a call today is nothing short of miraculous. (or scary, if I think about it too much… LOL)

I will persevere and will find out what’s going on. I pulled up all of the chest x-ray reports as well as the CT scan and MRI that were done of my stomach and pelvic regions. The CT report said there were nodules in my lungs and I should come back in 6 mos. for a re-test to see if they were stable. It’s been almost that now, so I’m hoping the ultrasound will show something. If not, I’ll request another CT Scan. I’ve printed out all of the reports and will put them in the mail for the new cardiologist.

Meanwhile, I’m taking it easy–sewing on a new baby quilt that is going to be really pretty, and resting when I feel I need it. I’m also staying on top of the nebulizer treatments–currently every 3 hours or so. They work, so I at least have that going for me.

Be safe, take care of yourself and be aware of the six-foot distancing. I will continue to wear a face mask until such time as I am assured that there is no more pandemic. That may be a while yet. And, I have to wonder at the salt content of last nights Mexican food “Taco Tuesday” meal. I wonder if it had anything to do with my inability to breathe… until I know for sure, I think I’ll take a vacation from Mexican food. Gonna miss it…

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