Thursday, September 7, 2017

Today’s entry will be short and sad. Another friend has passed. That’s three in the past month. The most recent death came day before yesterday. I received the phone call yesterday morning, and although I wasn’t surprised at the news, I was saddened. Of the three friends I’ve lost over this past month, this last one was a friend to both of us. He and his wife have been a big part of the volunteer force of the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum, and he will be sorely missed. Up until the last month or two when he’s been so very ill, he’d been joining the Signal Crew for our monthly breakfast get-together.

I think of the wives of these three friends, and know that they will have to learn how to carry on with their lives. I’ve said it with every post I write — life is fragile; we never know when our life (or the life of those we know and love) will end. We can never really be prepared to lose someone. Best to enjoy your life and appreciate those in it while you can.

Be safe, be well, be happy…

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Robert and I stood in our driveway earlier this evening, chatting with the newly-married Mike, (our next door neighbor) and Susan, wife to Dennis, the neighbors on the other side of Mike. We looked up to the hills and saw smoke. I’m hoping that it was a controlled burn and not a wildfire. I don’t handle smoke well in any form. I’ll find out in tomorrow’s news whether it’s something to be concerned about.

Meanwhile, we did our all too often trek to B’field and the Urologist’s office where we discussed kidney stones, lasers and stents. Robert’s blood pressure was a bit on the low side and he’s not been feeling very chipper these past couple of weeks. He asked me to drive this morning, so I know he’s not himself still. He’s been having quite a bit of trouble with dizziness when getting up from a sitting position. I know he will need to see his regular physician, but he’s more than fed up with seeing doctors right now, so I’ll give him a week or so before I bring up the subject of a visit. Meanwhile, he’s begun checking his blood pressure each night and tonight it was 113/60 (at the dr’s office it was 115/60, so not much different). I don’t think he needs that blood pressure pill. We will have to document his blood pressure to show the dr. when we do go in to discuss the dizzy spells.

I’ve been tackling the failure of my backup external hard drive — it’s a second Seagate (2TB), to back up the first 1TB drive that was purchased 8-9 years ago. After much phone calling, e-mailing and posting to Seagate’s Facebook page, I finally connected with a customer service technician who was extremely helpful. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Notwithstanding the demise of the new (less than 4 mos. old) external hard drive, I’ve been going through my computer, trying to put photos in some semblance of chronological order. I decided to make folders by year and then two folders under each year (January to June and July to December). If I can vaguely recollect when a particular photo might have been taken, I have a better than average shot at getting the correct folder to find said photo. That said, these folders are still strung all over my hard drive, filed under various topics (HOUSE, TRAINS, WEATHER, WILDLIFE), rather than being in one central folder called, for example, PHOTOS. That folder would be backed up on a weekly, if not daily, basis. It wouldn’t help me remember where a particular photo was stored, but at least they’d all be in one place. I feel like I’ll never get my photos in any sort of order where they can be accessed in a timely manner. <great sighs here>

Another day has come to a close — I hear a train working its way down the hill below the house — I see the traffic out on the highway and watch the semi’s with their flashing lights. It’s that time — I wish you blessings and a new tomorrow. Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Remember to tell those you love that you love them.

 

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Charles Schulz had it right — “Is not life itself a learning process? Do we not mature according to our learning?” Some of life’s lessons are painful; we must persevere and work through the pain. We will be stronger for it…

Secret of life

I’ve been trying to sew up some things for the Depot gift shop. So far, I have five Crayon Rolls made up and the quilting on the latest train quilt is almost finished. I know my seams aren’t 100% pretty because my eyes aren’t what they should be right now, but at least they’re sewn! I have both of my sewing machines set up and have been going back and forth, working at each machine–the quilt on one machine and working on small items on the second machine. When I get tired of working on one thing, I move to the other machine.

Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Love is the most important thing we have in this life. It’s the one thing we can take with us when we leave. Remember that happiness comes from within each of us… we are all blessed. Remember to tell those you love (or care about) that you love them and you are grateful to have them in your life. They are there for a reason!

 

 

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Wednesday, August 31, 2017

We had a very enjoyable connection to visitors to the Depot yesterday. They showed up and we were closed, but the Signal Crew was there and Dixie and I were there to work on the library and the exhibit for Tunnel 10. When I saw them looking in the window, I opened the door and asked where they were from. FLORIDA! was their response so I quickly called out, “Come in! Come in! For people from Florida, we’re more than happy to have you come in and we will give you a personal tour of the Depot.” If they’d said, Tehachapi, or Bakersfield, or any of the other communities nearby, we might not have been as generous and would have apologized but asked them to come back on Thursday when we would be open during regular hours.

Long story short, there were two couples and they were neighbors back in Florida. I don’t exactly remember the city they were from, but it was somewhere along the coast. Notwithstanding, the women’s names were Carol and Nancy — I could not believe the coincidence of names (mine being Carol, and my sister from Florida was Nancy). When they were ready to leave, they insisted on photos with me and hugs all around — When I hugged Nancy, I whispered to her, “Happy Belated Birthday” because Nancy’s birthday was just this past week on the 24th.

It’s been a rough week. The week started off with Robert having laser blasting to his kidney stones — again, and they removed the stent that they put in two weeks ago. He felt wonderful for that day and the next, and then on the 3rd day (today), he woke and didn’t feel so good. He asked me to drive myself to my eye appointment in Bakersfield (which I did). There’s no doubt he didn’t feel good if he was willing to ask me to drive myself to Bakersfield! By day’s end, he was feeling a bit better, but I noticed he hadn’t changed out of his PJ bottoms and t-shirt–stayed nice and comfy all day.

I learned of a friend’s husband’s passing on Tuesday (he passed away Monday morning). He was diabetic and had kidney problems. My connection to him is through his wife, who is the daughter of a very dear friend, my eldest sister and mine. We were all enrolled in a Surface Textile Design class and were members of a group of women from the class who bonded and developed their own little support group. We called ourselves the “OSG” for Our Support Group. Once a month we’d meet for lunch at Home Town Buffet and exchange birthday cards for whoever had a birthday that month. The birthday gal would receive a card signed by all the other members, filled with either a gift card for a fabric shop or cash. Slowly but surely over the years, members moved away (I wasn’t the first to move — one member moved to Scotland, to live with her son as she couldn’t live alone anymore) or died. After the friend moved to Scotland, another member developed cancer — and died. Then another member had a massive heart attack — and died. By the time I moved up here to Tehachapi, our group of 10 members (they included my next eldest sister because they loved her–even though she didn’t sew and wasn’t a class member) had dwindled down to three.

Back to the friend’s husband’s passing. One of the OSG group was the mother-in-law of the man who passed on Tuesday. Her daughter would fly out to visit her mother and show up in class as a surprise — then we’d all go to lunch together. Her mother’s passing was sudden and painful for all those who knew her. She passed away in her sleep — here one day and gone the next. Now, her son-in-law is with her.

Yet another friend (whom I have yet to meet in person, but who is the recipient of some of my glass collection) is hospitalized with a brain tumor — after undergoing chemo and radiation for lymphoma (and going into remission after the treatments!) A whole new ballgame with the discovery of the tumor. It seems to never quit.

We must remain strong. Whatever happens is meant to be. We are here to learn, and learn we must. Life is incredibly short. Don’t allow yourselves to get caught up in the busyness of life without taking a moment and savoring the fact that you’re alive. Be grateful for those in your life for one day, you may still be here and they’ll be gone. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. Blessings to all…

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Well, gads… the mind is gone for sure. I’ve thought about my sister’s birthdays over this past week, and remembered last week that my nephew-in-law’s birthday was yesterday. Did I send the card that I thought about sending? Nooo… Did I call him and sing the birthday song yesterday?? Nooo… <sigh> Lesson in living — as you age, remember that you DON’T remember as well as you used to, and if you think of something that you need/want to do, you’d better do it right then, as you’re bound to forget it until it’s too late.

I’m going to have to get that belated birthday card out and put it in the mail — right after I finish this post! I’m getting the card out so I don’t forget it… Done–signed, addressed and stamped!

The boys are gone to Big Bear for an air show — I have the whole house to myself. I have a bit of errands to run and a cake to make for tonight. I’ve done a bit of work at sorting/trimming my fabric scraps, and will work in a bit of reading this afternoon. A good day…

Be safe, be well, and be happy. Be sure to remind those you love that you love them. Find a moment in your day to spend just for you; you deserve it and you’ll remember it.

 

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

DSCN1507.JPGLast weekend, our niece came up for a visit. Sometimes she comes up with the younger son and grandson, but other times she drives up alone. She enjoys the serenity of our home, and we enjoy her company immensely.

Rather than go out to have breakfast as we usually do, Robert and she enjoyed breakfast out on the deck while I snuck inside to grab my camera and capture this photo. Our weather was absolutely perfect for eating outside.

Peaceful moments in time…

I’ve been very tired lately — am not sure if it’s the heat or the fact that I have to strain to see as I’m still waiting for my final eye exam after the cataract surgeries. I don’t regret the surgeries, but am stressed because I can’t see well. All will improve in time. I think this is one of those lessons in patience that I need to learn. I am grateful that we have doctors who can perform surgery to correct eyesight. I think back to ‘the old days’ when such surgery didn’t exist and wonder how people managed. A different time, with much different lifestyles; I much prefer today’s way of life. I just have to be patient.

Be safe, be well, and please be happy. We are here to learn how to love one another, how to live our lives to the fullest and to gain happiness from life.  Patience is a virtue… that’s my motto these days. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them. And do a good deed without bragging about it.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

A quilting friend’s husband passed away recently and a Celebration of Life service was held for him today. I met Richard Perez in June of last year. He and his wife Sherrie are members of the same quilting group I belong to — Loose Threads. I wasn’t aware of it, but they typically offered their home for the group’s annual pot luck and get together. I had only recently joined the group so didn’t really know many of the members by sight.

When I was introduced to Richard, he was manning his Tregar Smoker, cooking the meat for the group. Richard made me feel really comfortable and welcome. The fact that he had the same smoker as our son gave me an opening to start talking to him. I soon discovered that he also baked, made killer beef jerky and quilted some amazing quilts.

Several funny quilting anecdotes were shared at the service and many, like myself, found themselves laughing at his eagerness to create. Nothing scared that man — from paper piecing (which most quilters abhor) to tackling “Y” seams (I had never heard this term before, but after seeing the quilt he created that had Y seams, I decided I was better off not knowing more about Y seams).

Recently, Richard convinced his wife and several quilting friends to attend a paper piecing class together. The king-size quilt that he began in that class wound up being finished by his wife and some of those same quilting friends. Owners of Thimble Town, offered their quilting services so Richard’s completed quilt could be displayed today. I wish I’d taken a photo of the quilt. It was THAT beautiful.

After viewing this man’s life in photos and hearing family and friends speak about how knowing him had impacted their lives, I thought to myself, “What’s important in my life?” If there was one thing that I knew I wanted to do or accomplish before I died, with no financial restrictions, what would it be? Because if you’re dying, money will be the least thing of importance in your life.

We need to be grateful for each day of our lives. Be aware of what’s really important to you. Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.

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