Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cats and Routines

 So funny - you can train a dog by doing something over and over with them. But a cat trains you, from the first time they see you repeat something they recognize ... take Trash Day...

From the 2nd time Silkie watched me gather a few little 
Smiths/Wally grocery bags, go through the rooms and empty the smaller trash containers in each room, replace the little bags, and put the full ones in the kitchen trash bucket, then take that big bag out, tie it off, and replace that bag, she already knew I was headed outside with the stuffed kitchen bag ... she sits waiting at the back door... yep, she trained me well (sigh)...

The one thing she has a hard time teaching me is the difference in one particular "meow." I have not yet figured out whether she wants me to go into the kitchen and toss a few kibbles onto her plate, or whether she wants me to sit on the special chair and make a lap for her to sit on...

Guaranteed that if I head to the kitchen, she stays sitting by the chair, making me feel stupid, and if I sit on the chair first, I swear she "sighs" heavily at the stupidity of humans and marches into the kitchen hoping she is wrong and some kibbles are in her plate - of course, I immediately sit up, go into the kitchen and feed her...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Blessings are Often Almost Invisible

There are many times in life when blessings are almost invisible.

Take the fact that for many months, I spent much of my day working around water rationing issues. Then I was blessed with the ability to get my broken, deteriorated pipes under the old mobile home replaced. I easily recognized that as a true blessing.

But the weekend of our park wide yard sale, my bottom dentures broke. Immediately, much of my time was taken up with extra food prep. Much of the food had to be cooked longer, prepped and pre-prepped, and so on. This does take a lot of time and could be seen by some as a real inconvenience.

There is another side to this, though. I realized tonight that it all worked out in God’s own time. And it was a double blessing.

See, if my dentures had broken back when the pipes were still broken and I was water-rationing, it would have been a real hardship. The extra food prep requires a lot of water usage, in a way. There’s a lot of washing - chopping tools, blender, and so on.

Thankfully, God held one inconvenience off until the first one could be resolved. He really does have my back.

Thank you, Father in heaven, for the way you time my blessings. It worked out for the best, just as it always does. Forgive me for my occasional impatience. I trust in you.

Food Prep Fun and Games

It’s been a bit busy of late but happily so. With my no longer having my bottom dentures, I now need to pre-prep a lot of my food.

In a way, my life is rather comical. For many months, about six of them, my days were wrapped around my water-rationing. My broken and disintegrated galvanized pipes under the house forced me to do water usage at very short intervals, turning it on and off only when really necessary.

Then, thank you, Lord, I was able to get the pipes fixed. So I figured my in-house time-issues would be resolved.

Then, the dentures broke for good. And now my days revolve around food prep. Yep, the Lord really loves to give me a reason to be up-and-around. This is probably a good thing. Who knows how lazy I would be otherwise? I do have to laugh at it all.

Anyhow, over the past few days, I’ve spent time fine-dicing pears and apples with our Vidalia Chopping Wizard (for my every-other-morning oatmeal), making V8-type smoothies (to use up the now hard-to-chew veggies) for the freezer, par-boiling half a bag of shredded carrots (1/2 for avocado/raisin/carrot salad and 1/2 for my omelets), steaming and freezing a head of cauliflower into several sides for the freezer, and well, you get the drift. I did pace myself and I still have more to do so that I won’t have to watch the food spoil. It’s all working out.

This coming week or so, I really do need to do some more crock pot meals. All in its own good time, though...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Will Try to Post an Update Tomorrow

Things are not bad but I’ve been a little busy. I’ll try to make time to post an update tomorrow, for sure.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Feeling Embarrassed by My Selfishness

Today it occurred to me that I have been a bit selfish of late. I have spent more time “surviving” and not enough time in touch with several friends who are dealing with worse issues than mine. Oh, I have shared a post or two, and I have perhaps FB messaged quickly once or twice, but I have not really been in touch.

This is embarrassing for me. I’ve been “just dealing with things” for several weeks now. I do need to get myself back on track.

Sweet Lord Jesus, you know what it is like to be in one of our bodies, to deal with life on a daily basis. You are my example, my role model. I know, of course, that I could never be as good as you were, but I do need to try a lot more. Please fill my heart and soul with such a love for others that I find the time to at least be in touch more than I have been

Got a Lot Done Already Today

Lunch in progress - Veggie Omelet
Not a bad day so far, productivity-wise.

Outside: 
Managed to not only take out trash, but clear a small stash or two from the back patio/driveway area to the trash as well. Looking a little better back there...more to do, but in its own time. I also snipped the dead fronds off my wee Sago Palm and plopped those in the trash, and watered it. Dumped a small amount of very old potting soil, found in the back area, around the clumps of aloe that are flowering out front, and watered that.

Food: 
I’m in the midst of defrosting a 2# tub of plain yogurt so I can make smoothies either late today or tomorrow. Steamed a head of cauliflower for later. A friend gave me some Greek Cucumber cheese, a soft cheese. I do not want to begin eating cheese & crackers once more; I’ve quit that delightful addiction. But I think I will take that cheese and the cauliflower and make a few small containers of Cheesy Cauliflower for sides for the freezer. I also cut a small cantaloupe and that will go into that smoothie today or tomorrow. I still need to peel a cucumber for that batch, and prep one or two other items. At least I got the messiest stuff (cauliflower leaves, core, and cantaloupe rind) into the trash.

The photo is my lunch-in-progress. Because of no longer having the lower dentures (broke a week ago, permanently), I need to find things that satisfy but are soft enough to eat. This is part of a veggie omelet. I sprayed a pan with olive oil and added a few drops of the oil to the pan. I layered some shredded carrots (they soften really well!), a thick layer of spinach leaves (when done this way, they cook down and I don't even need to trim the little stems), two mushrooms, a green onion, and a chopped tomato. That's what you see in the photo. Then I added one egg beaten with a little milk, and when that set, I sprinkled with a small amount of shredded cheese. 

House: 
After Monday’s leak which saturated the one bedroom floor, I am happy that the rug is almost completely dry. It wasn’t a large enough area for a water-extractor or wet/dry vac, but it did have a musty smell. That smell is almost gone. I grabbed the manual Bissel and ran it over the rug to fluff and refresh it. But I really need to get the vacuum out, put a little carpet cleaner in that area, and have at it. It means moving two dressers and/or tilting one up a little onto a piece of wood or something in case there is still some damp area that needs to air out. I hope to do the vacuum thing this week so that it is done.

Heading on into the Noon hour...thinking, thinking, what I want to do next...

Silkie’s Mysteriously Wild Night

My night time routine usually includes 75% of my sleep in the bedroom and 25% either the couch or Jane’s old lift chair in the living room. Somewhere between 3 and 4:30 a.m., I transfer from the bed to the chair or couch. At that time, it is dark in the living room but with some light from the outside street lamp coming through the blind slats, I can see enough to not trip over the cat if she is lying on the floor at that time.

I usually can also see her “treat mousie.” It’s white plastic on the bottom, clear on the top with the treat holes, and painted mousie face. These days, with her diet changes (as of the Valentine Day injury), it no longer houses Temptations. But she is happy just trying to get a few of her prescription diet kibbles out of it. So I expected to navigate around that.

This morning, however, I noticed a shiny blue ball-type thing near the treat-mousie. I made my way to the lamp, turned it on, and looked back in curiosity. She rarely, if ever, plays with any of the cat toys left from former cats. The only toys that ever interest this cat must either dispense food or reek of catnip.

Not only was I surprised at the shiny blue ball, which dispenses nothing at all, but I also saw the cloth birdie that tweets if you press it a certain way, and one of the furry catnip mousies (you pull its velcro’d tummy open and add catnip from time to time.

She had all four toys strewn around the middle of the living room rug.

Obviously my normally unsocial fur-kid had some kind of wild party in there overnight. I am grateful because she was very quiet about it - in the past many of my fur-kids have been very noisy in their midnight parties.

But her new antics do have me curious - I wonder if I should consider a kitty go-pro?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday Thoughts

Lord Jesus, forgive my selfish nature and how I went through this whole day with very little thought about what it means to me. There are times when I feel overwhelmed, and then I think of what you endured for our sakes. I will think about your sacrifice the rest of this evening and this weekend... Amen.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gratitude, Attitude, Goals Renewed

Lord Jesus, I have no idea where I am being led. I am not resisting. But my finite mind does get confused about which path the Father wants me to take.

You know how grateful I am for all the love and prayers and various types of help you have sent to me through my friends and loved ones. I could not have survived this long without that.

If I am to eventually sell this mobile home and go to a senior-affordable-living apartment, in today’s world that means a waiting list and it means getting this house in good enough shape to be able to find a buyer. For this I need your Divine help.

If I am to stay here and continue what few good works I can do, then, again, I need to continue to focus on getting the home into functioning condition once more.

Everything in its own time and according to the Father’s plan. I am on track with that. Even though I know I am not very good at reading the Father’s hints, I do pray that he does not need to smack me on my head to get my attention. Perhaps we could meet somewhere - midway?

So for now, I pray for understanding and wisdom, for patience and for your continuing protection, love, and compassion. I trust in you.

Plans for the Next Few Days

Now that I no longer have bottom dentures, I cannot eat the cucumbers and other healthy foods I brought into the house. I will give the popcorn (both already made and also the bags to pop) to a friend. Right now, I am waiting for my cold Cheerios to get mushy and I finely-diced a banana - that should be easy.

Food: I will spend as much time as I can, given the once-again water on-off situation, trying to puree what I cannot eat in this condition (no bottom dentures): strawberries, apples, pears, grapes, carrots, and other stuff. I will make a container of brown rice and re-stock my beans. It’s no biggie to puree those other foods - so many of my friends today are living either totally or partially on packaged shakes like Ensure.

Oh, and I found an online manual for my blender. Even though it is over 20 years old, it is able to grind/chop meats if they are cooked. So I can still make crock pot meals with my ham bones (the only meat I use that won’t get mushy enough for me for now), then grind the ham and I can make ham croquettes - my mom used to make them - now it’s my turn.

My week will be taken up with the newest plumbing issue, the leak and wet rug by my bedroom behind the one bathroom, food issues, catching up on bills, packing up the yard sale leftovers, getting to the grocery for some fill-in items, prepping/pulverizing foods, once again de-cluttering and organizing, and doing a lot of cleaning. My life really does have purpose!

Yard Sale Report

I’m making this quick so I can turn the internet back off and unplug my DSL which is very close to the wet spot in that room. For the next few days, I will only be on and off quickly - please do not be offended for all the times I might not be able to comment...

Yard sale traffic was wonderful on Friday. I had hoped to pull in at least $100 for the whole weekend to cover my annual smog/registration. Friday, with almost all 50-cent items, I took in $102.75.
Typically here, Friday is best, Saturday is about half of Friday, and Sunday is usually a “bust.” So, Friday was great. Saturday was 46.50 and Sunday was 3.50 - Saturday/Sunday will pay for my one $50 bill due next week...

Friday I was too busy to do any reading or crocheting while waiting; Saturday I did a little; and Sunday I was able to make 7 baby hats...

All in all, it worked a little better than I’d hoped. Now I need to spend the next day or so gathering up the leftovers and splitting it for things for a friend and the rest for a charity pick-up.

Update on Neighbor’s Health Issues

Thank you all for your recent prayers for my friend with the brain tumor. At this point, they now have him up a bit. He was able to swallow and they started him on baby food. From here, they will work on getting him into re-hab. Then everything is aimed at getting him stable and able to handle the eventual brain surgery.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your mercy and compassion. Please continue to watch over this man and his wife. Give them all the patience, stamina and anything else they need to get through this trial. We trust in you.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Might be Offline for a While

There's a glitch with the recent plumbing re-pipe and I might be offline for a day or two or whatever during any time they need to access the area where my DSL line is - I'd need to unplug it in that case, so don't worry...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Your Chuckle for the Night

Too soon to update you all on my weekend park-wide-yard-sale efforts, and too crunched for time, and too tired - BUT, I do have to give you your chuckle for the night. 

Friday morning, before I even finished setting everything out, around 6 a.m., my bottom dentures broke again. This time they wouldn’t “mesh” enough for me to super-glue them back together, and I did need to keep going forward, so I have not had them in.

Tonight, I was preparing to soak them with the uppers, and then put them aside until, if, and when, I can deal with another set. Wait for it - I accidentally dropped 1 of the two broken halves down the bathroom sink. I could at least see the piece so I knew it wasn’t down too far. Tried kitchen tongs - too fat. Tried another set of tongs - too fat. Finally I fished through the kitchen cutlery drawer, grabbed a skinny cocktail fork, and that did the job.

No moral to this story except perhaps to be very very careful when you are, um, “mature” and tired...I am going to bed! And, yes, you are allowed to laugh. In retrospect, it really is funny.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

All Systems GO!

I have to make this brief - I’ve got 3 days’ of work to do in 1 day, today, for the park-wide-yard-sale beginning early tomorrow morning.

Water: Plumbers finished at 2 a.m. this morning; got to sleep at 3; up at 5 - I haven’t even really had a chance to wallow in the lap of water-luxury just yet...just wanted you all to know it is done!

Friend’s condition: Sitting up on edge of bed and in chair; off ventilator. IF he passes the swallow test today, they can skip replacing the feeding tube - praying for this for him! They will evaluate for long-term rehab, enough for him to be safe for that surgery for the brain tumor.

Yard sale: They are predicting heavy winds late Friday and all day Saturday, with gusts from 30 to 50 mph, and chances of showers on Saturday - this could be a complete flop but I’ll focus on heavier items that will not blow away.