Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

It's funny, I always felt sorry for people who have to work on Thanksgiving.   But this year, sitting in an ICU room with my sweetie, I have a slightly different perspective.    I have watched today's staff loading the elevators with roasters and turkeys and pumpkin pie, laughing with their friends.   From where I am sitting today, they are looking pretty good.   For us, things have not gotten worse, and the hospital Starbucks stayed open for a couple of hours this morning.    Maybe it's good to be reminded that there is always something to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Storms of November

It has been cold here, but beautiful.   We've had snow several times, but none of it has really accumulated yet, and I am happy for that.   I love seeing it outside my windows, but driving in it is not much fun.
November is my most favorite and least favorite month.   This is the month I will turn 68, so perhaps it is no surprise that it has been filled with mixed feelings.   I am, after all, happy to be alive and healthy, but have to admit that I am not all that thrilled to be older than dirt.   Still, it seems to be the best option offered to me at the moment.
Like all months, this one has been filling up with good and not so good events.   In the good news column, I won a cute little cat-shaped needle threader from Barb at Cat Patches!    I love winning things, and this is super cute.  And since Barb and her husband are busy traveling the country in their RV, it was especially nice of her to take the time to send it.

In the Search and Rescue world, we have been called out a few times but haven't had to do much since the missing persons have been quickly, and safely found.   That is very good, but it means that our Team isn't getting much of a work out.   And when they are not busy, they tend to get needy and cranky.   Human nature, perhaps, but it makes me wonder whether our little org can survive.  Especially now that my sweetie, our group's founder, has had some health problems.  He is the glue.

He was scheduled for his surgery last week.   We live over two hours of driving away from the hospital, and they had us come down a day early for tests.   Aside from the need to pay for a hotel, it sounded like a simple plan, but between a broken CT machine and incompetent lab workers, it turned into an all-day adventure between two affiliate hospitals.   To add insult to injury, by the time we showed up on time for the surgery the next day, my honey had been, at their orders, without food or drink for 16 hours.   They let us sit for another 3 hours and then announced that the surgery had been postponed until next week.   Two days of endless waiting rooms.
Although we do understand that things happen, and they did tell us what some of those 'things' were, it was awfully frustrating.    So yesterday, a week later, we drove back down to try the whole adventure again, hoping that every step of the process will go well on the second go-round.   This time the orders have changed, and suddenly it's okay for him to drink until two hours before the surgery, making us wonder why he had to fast for so long last time.   Medical stuff is just plain annoying when it is not terrifying.

I can't help but be nervous -- even routine heart surgery is scary, especially when the heart involved is precious to you -- but I also don't want my nerves to show.   Maybe I'll plan to freak out later after I know everything is okay.   Right now I'm sitting in a hotel room, on pins and needles again, waiting to see whether the surgery will happen -- last night my honey developed a cold and chest congestion, so we are waiting to see whether they will take him today as scheduled or bump him again to some future date and have us haul our fannies back down again.    Again, he can't eat until we know what's happening.   I feel bad about eating when he can't, so I'm tucking bananas and fruit bars and nuts into my bag so that I can eat when, if, they take him to surgery.   Fortunately, we both have lots of extra padding to tide us over.  No danger of either of us wasting away over just a couple of days.

The drive down this time was a little different because this week I am driving a rental car.  This past weekend, a guy in a hurry ran a stop sign today and smashed my car as I was driving by.  And yes, there is good news there, too.   No one was hurt and it wasn't my fault, and I'm grateful on both counts!   As my sister most helpfully pointed out to me, at my age we all assume that anything that goes wrong was probably caused by some sort of senior-moment, so I admit to being a tiny bit relieved that the younger driver was the one who messed up.  The local Santa Parade was going on at the time of the accident and maybe I am secretly hoping the other driver ends up on the Naughty List, although I guess that's naughty of me.  Aside from the cost, sigh, the downside of the rental is that it is small, a Chevy Volt, which is about the size I like to drive, but I am a little concerned about the idea of my post-surgical, very tall honey getting in and out of it when he is feeling puny.

Enough of that.  On the sewing front, I made my first pair of leggings, using fabric that I already had in my stash.   Several of my peeps like to wear Lula-you-know-who leggings so I decided to try my hand at sewing a pair for one of them and she loves them.  Not only that, she actually wears them!   This was the quickest sew I've done in years, which always makes a project fun.  I'll be cutting out a few more pair this week and whipping up a few to give as Christmas gifts.  I hope the next few pair are as successful as the first pair was.
It looks like I'll be doing more embroidery, too, because my honey bought another Babylock machine for me to use while I'm at his house helping out during his recovery.    Hopefully I'll finally get some of that Christmas sewing done, although I hope his recovery is quick and smooth    I have a stack of napkins and towels to embroider, and I thought it would be fun to try some embroidered quilt blocks.

And in family news, my grandson turned into a teenager this weekend -- 13 years old, how the time has flown by!   He is still the joy of my existence, nothing is more important than family.      Family, love, health; these are the things I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving week, and every week.    

*Footnote.   Surgery is in progress.   It will be good to be able to observe this day through a rear view mirror, all the more reason to expect a happy, even if turkey-less, Thanksgiving.  :)

**Update.   Although the surgery went well, he later had two strokes and has lost the right field of vision.   It is a waiting game now, to see whether anything else happens, or whether he will stabilize and be able to go home.   Not until after Thanksgiving, though; we will spend it in the hospital,  thankful that things aren't worse.   Wishing you all the best.



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sugar Fast

It looks like Fall here in Mid-Michigan, the trees are seriously starting to turn colors and the fields are dotted with orange pumpkins.  But it is hotter than blazes, with several days in a row now at and above 90 degrees.   We are not hot weather people here, and don't appreciate it much.   Even the specter of cold and ice just around the corner aren't enough to make me enjoy this much heat. It makes me think with real concern of all the people who are suffering from the recent storms and floods and fires, who don't have electricity right now, or water or basic sanitation, no matter the temperatures.  And since I am a follower of Science and a believer in climate change, I fear for all of us and believe these problems will only get worse.

But on my local front, we are fortunate, indeed.   My biggest recent problem is that I am going to a wedding, my Honey's sister is getting married, and I STILL have nothing to wear.    On an unrelated/related note, my Sweetie is having a cardiac ablation in November, and his physician asked him -- and me, as a support person -- to give up processed sugar until after the surgery.   So I have not had any intentional processed sugar since early August.   I am sure some sugar has slipped in since we do eat out from time to time, but even there we are avoiding sauces and dressings and of course, no desserts.   At home I am carefully reading labels and paring my diet to the raw essentials.   (Dry red wine, you will be happy to learn, does not contain processed sugar.  My fella doesn't drink and so normally I go months without it, but it is likely to become my greatest solace as this sugar deprivation goes on.)  

You would think I would be wasting away but alas, no.   I've lost only a few pounds, and I SWEAR, as I try on dress after dress after dress in anticipation of the coming wedding, that I am actually getting fatter.  I don't do sleeveless, I have no waistline, the litany of defects seems overwhelming lately.   So, despite my understanding that this is not a big deal and that I am fortunate indeed, these are grim times in this old gal's household.  I've bought eight, yes, 8, dresses so far, and hate them all.  I add to them every few days and try them all on every freaking morning.   I have about a week left, and more shopping time (I hate shopping) to put in before I choose the least hateful one.  And then begins the equally dreadful chore of returning the rest.    Oh how I suffer.

Other than that, thank goodness, things are just ducky.   I am sewing and volunteering and enjoying my Grands.   Truly, except when I have to dress up, life is good.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Happy Traveler

My guy friend and I took a most amazing trip into the Path of Totality last week.   Even though the drive home took an extra FOUR HOURS because of construction traffic, the eclipse was worth the trip.  But as an added bonus we got to spend several days with his youngest sister and her fiancĂ© at their home in the Path.   We spent the first couple of days visiting the Illinois State Fair, the first State Fair I'd been to in years.   I carefully examined the quilts and bags, wondering if I will ever dare to enter.   I ate a slice of deep fried cheesecake.  And I enjoyed seeing the critters, including the most beautiful steer I've ever seen, really too pretty to eat, although I suppose he will also be a lovely set of steaks.     The horses were gorgeous and I learned several things about ancient methods of 'dressing' them for battle.   The sheep and llamas were just plain fun, although it was way too hot to really appreciate their wool.  But it was a lot of fun talking to exhibitors and learned about their various areas of expertise.  There is so much to learn in this world!
The total phase of the eclipse, of course, was absolutely amazing.   Absolutely.  Amazing.  And it was a great trip.   We ate way too well, I even made my famous pancakes, with local blackberries and blueberries.  We laughed a lot, and got to chat about his sister's upcoming wedding.   The celebration will be outside by their beautiful pond, and she is planning on fall flowers and patchwork squares on every table.  She ended up adding a few tables and was feeling anxious about having to create several more mini quilts, so I offered to help.   I never got around to finishing the Solstice Blocks this year, and this sounded like an excellent reason to get back to those, so I have been happily sewing since we got back.   It's funny how much easier it is for me to find the time to sew for someone else than it is to sew for myself,  but I am enjoying this project and it will be fun to see the finished squares when we drive back down for the wedding in October.   Now I just need to find something to wear!



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Northern Michigan and Home Again

I am just back from a week in Northern Michigan with my family, 3 siblings, all but one of the nieces/nephews and the whole passel of grands.   It was the usual mixed bag that family can be for me, a fair share of hurt feelings and annoyance, but overall a good trip.  There were fake mustaches and temporary tattoos.  We picked blueberries, made jewelry (and messes), roasted s'mores and saw meteors, watched the kids catch tiny fish, and ate boatloads of fudge from Mackinaw Island.    I was lonely when I got back to my empty house. 




Home again, I am at loose ends, no longer in the usual rhythm of my life. The vacation laundry is done and the bills are paid, but nothing else is falling into place yet.   I sewed one of the little purses today that I've made dozens of, only to make mistake after mistake, to the point that the purse was ruined.   I will tear it out to save the zipper, but nothing else can be salvaged, something that has never happened to me before.  But the tear-out will have to wait -- a distant friend has just called from a hospital a hundred miles away to say he is stranded after his Friday back surgery and asking if we could drive down and pick him up because he is being discharged, and so my afternoon will go the way my morning did, out of whack.

But tomorrow is another, and hopefully a better, day.  And the weather here in Mid-Michigan is glorious again today.  I have nothing to complain about.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Vacationing in Manistee

I am mid-way through a week's vacation with (a small portion of) my fella's family in Manistee, Michigan.  There are 9 of us sharing a house and we are having a lot of fun.  Manistee is on Lake Michigan, one of the loveliest of the great lakes with its sandy beaches, temperate water and rolling waves.    We found an area with lots of multicolored pebbles and collected a bag of colorful little stones and beach glass that our 'artists' plan to turn into jewelry.  There have been the usual unwelcome sunburns and mosquitoes, but otherwise the week so far has been lovely.

Our "salmon slaughter" competition was yesterday and to everyone's surprise, I 'won.'   It took a village to land my fish, with everyone on the boat pitching in to help me hold the rod and turn the reel, but that didn't stop me from accepting the top award for the day.   The first mate helped me hold the fish for the photo since my arms had turned into spaghetti by the time the fish was landed.
Each of us caught at least one fish so the trip was a definite success.
My award consisted of a medal, a salmon-colored mug created by one of the 'kids' in our group, and bragging rights for the next year.  

One of the many cooks in the group prepared the fish that night and it was, to my surprise, absolutely delicious.   He made a marinade of brown sugar, lemon juice and soy sauce and grilled it with apple wood chips.   I am not a fish eater, but this was worth changing my mind for!

Today will be more of a take-it-easy day, at least for me.   All this relaxing just wears me out!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Busy

We have had record flooding in my area but, for no good reason, I have been spared.  Counties and homes all around me have been declared disaster areas, but not a drop of water in my basement.   Mother Nature is capricious.
Well, the part about the dry basement is not entirely true -- there WAS some water in my basement, but it came from my broken water heater and not from the storms.   My fella hooked up a new one and things are dry and warm again.  After several days without hot water, I was amazed to be reminded what a luxury it is.   We are so fortunate in so many ways that we, or at least I,  take for granted.   Having a Handy Guy is also a luxury that fills me with gratitude, by the way.  :)


Today I took my Grands to visit a Lego art exhibit at a local art museum -- what fun!   We saw dozens of 'reproductions' of paintings and sculptures, as well as a lot of original art, all made entirely of regular ol' Lego bricks.    It was quite amazing, and always fun to spend time with the Littles.

When I got home, I discovered in the mail that arrived today that I've been ordering fabric . . . again.   Oh, such pretties, five different kinds.   I really need to learn to sew well enough for these not to be a waste.  I should also probably stop buying things just because they are pretty, without any real project in mind!

My guy is also, apparently, an impulse shopper.   He decided that it would be fun for me to have a "starter" embroidery machine, although I had never used or even considered one.   Next thing I knew, I was embroidering.   And he was right, it IS fun.     The last thing I needed was another list of projects to make, but what the heck.     My mother used to say that busy hands are happy hands . . . she was wrong about almost everything else, but I'm hoping she was right about this!