Monday, March 27, 2017

Today’s To-Do List Results

I had a To-Do list for today. Part of it was scribbled on a note, the rest was mental. Things got away from me, as they do for all of us. So this is what I managed to do from that list -

Drop off proofing copies of the monthly newsletter - check

List Easter Egg Coasters on Etsy - check, but not the way I figured. I never got them as far as Etsy. I happened to post them on Facebook while I was trying to decide if I needed better photos and they sold that way - yes, so, check

Try to put everything back from the  Fri/Sat re-pipe of the back bathroom - all I did was pull out two or three things I needed for the day/night - still on list

Begin to clear one section to use for stacking things for the Park Wide Yard Sale - still on list

Bag all the old empty toner and inkjet cartridges in one big bag for Wednesday trash - still on list

Toss several bags of plastic containers I was saving for various craft supplies, etc., and get them ready for recycle on Wednesday - still on list

Make a garden salad, to last a few days - still on list

Make the avocado/carrot/raisin salad to munch on for a few days - still on list

Begin to really really clean that back bathroom which was neglected as all cleaning that required water was neglected during that six months of water-rationing - still on list

The reason why some things never even got started today was because I received an email and needed to do some things that I didn’t plan to do. I had to download some papers, sign them, then scan them and email them back. This should have taken me half an hour at most; it took me almost three hours. My Windows 10 doesn’t recognize my old printer’s Scan function. I tried several programs already on the computer and in my other programs. Nothing would give the .pdf that I was required to email. Finally, finally, I managed to scan, even though it saved only as an image. From there, I had to find the folder it automatically saves to, click the images (three, for three pages), and then Print, but change from printer to “print to pdf” - that did it.

Also, although I rarely have time for phone calls, a dear friend was overwhelmed with many issues and when I got that call, we took time to talk.

It was not a bad day at all - just not filled with things coming off that list - tomorrow’s another day, another list...when I keep on keeping on, eventually most of it gets done. 

I really must make that garden salad and that avo/carrot/raisin salad. I found myself just grabbing stuff that I had weaned myself from - ok, I confess - I was so hungry for something and nothing was “it” so I plopped 3 small slices of raisin bread into the toaster, at one point, and slathered it with oleo. I am very angry with myself, but it tasted so good - I never even made it to the shaker of cinnamon/sugar (well, sugar substitute). Can’t do that again. A slip here and there is okay, but I don’t want to go backwards.

I hope you each were able to check off a few things on your own To-Do lists today - or at least one item...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Gotta Try to Get Some Sleep Tonight

The plumbers were here from 6:30 pm yesterday evening to 2:45 am this morning. I finally stopped the little clean up I was trying to do, around 3:30, and climbed into bed, but I got back up at 5:30 - I think I am wired from the excitement...

I tried several times today to nap, and that is normally so easy for me to do. Not today. Even after a wonderful shower, which always relaxes me, no dice.

So I’m hoping I will be happily able to fall asleep tonight. I’ll go offline before 10, maybe even before 9:30, finish up little things, and give it a try. 

I am beginning to get drowsy, now, I think - it’s 8 pm while I am writing this.


Without going into details, the funds for the re-piping are available! I will let the plumbers know later this morning - because they left at 2:45 this morning, I know they are probably still sleeping.

We will probably schedule the job for a few weeks from now because of all I still need to do to clear the areas in front of some walls they'll need to go through, but I am fine with what they did for me last night. These folks took a leap of faith by beginning the job, not being sure I could come up with the funds, and I am so happy that I can confirm their trust was well-placed. God truly is good...

What was done last night will be not only manageable but better than the past 6 months. It is no biggie to wash the dishes in the suds at the kitchen sink and then take the dishes to the back bathroom in a nice strong plastic bucket to rinse. I can fill the kitchen sink from a bucket from the bathroom shower or whatever.

I cannot wait to take my first un-rushed, un-timed shower in 6 months - I might not get out in a hurry so do not worry if you do not hear from me for a long, long while (lol)...

Sweet, sweet Lord Jesus, never let it be said that you are not compassionate and understanding. I prayed to both you and St. Joseph to guide the folks who did the work last night, because both of you lived here on earth, working with your hands. Bless my plumbing team and the one who answered my prayers, please, and bless them abundantly! And thank you, sweet Jesus!

Friday, March 24, 2017

My Leak is now Leak(s), Plural - Update

Ok, my one leak under the house has become several. 

I noticed the one side of the lot getting wet a day or so ago and it has apparently been that way a little while. I called a fellow I dealt with twice before on those old pipes. He did section-patches twice for me (10 yrs ago, and again 6 yrs ago) and had told me they couldn’t be patched again. He came right over this evening, and he and his wife (who works with him) took a look. They showed me how bad it was, but I already knew in my heart.

Long story short, the only way to do this was to bypass all the leaks and give me complete access to water in my back bathroom - that is the shortest distance from input and easiest for immediate help. I will have to carry my dishes through the house, back there, and do them in the shower stall. No water in kitchen, 2nd bath, or laundry, BUT I will have full access back there - hot and cold water, and no turn-on/turn-off at the shutoff valve. What he did was re-pipe that back bathroom and will not have to do that when the rest of the pipes are done -

Meanwhile, I just hauled stuff away from one inside wall and from under the bathroom sink. I still have to put it all back and do a little clean-up. I’m really tired but in the morning, and all night long, I will have normally running water in the shower stall, toilet and sink. Well, the hot water in the sink is down to a trickle from the rust in the water but he’ll clear that for me tonight.

He has given me a price and the offer is good until 4/15 to get the rest of the piping done. I will find a way even if I have to get a title loan on my old car - I’m not sure how much that could bring but I must try.

The thing is, I cannot even sell it the way it is. And I cannot risk the wet ground underneath unsettling the jacks the mobile is on, or any other issues.

So, in the end, tired as I am, and late as it is (they are still under there finishing up), I have made a bit of progress but have a ways to go.

Sweet Lord Jesus, you and St. Joseph knew what it was to work with your hands. Bless these people who are trying to help me and to bring me a measure of comfort for now. Whisper to me how to deal with the rest, where to find the funds, and anything else I need to know along the way. I trust in you.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Yet Another Friend in Need of Prayer

One of my friends was rushed to the hospital last night around midnight. His wife described the situation as a brain seizure. For hours and hours, they could not even do an MRI or CT because he couldn’t remain motionless long enough. During that time, he wasn’t even conscious. 

Today, they were finally able to do the MRI. He has a tumor between the brain and the skull. They plan to do a cranial angiogram on Monday and the surgery on Tuesday. Please, please pray for him and for his wife, who must be frantic at this point. My heart aches for them.

Once more, Sweet Lord Jesus, I come to you, asking for your mercy and kindness and love. Please just glance their way and guide the hands and minds of the teams connected with this procedure. We trust in you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Not Asking, but Begging for Prayers for Loved One

It’s rare for me to beg for prayers but I am scared for my “baby” brother (now 73). He just tested with a 24 PSA which is very high. He is hoping it is, as he puts it, just “old age swellling,” and it would be wonderful if that is so.

He’s almost finished the round of antibiotics that they usually prescribe first, in case it is simply an infection.

My worries are multiplied by the fact that they are isolated in the high desert in CA with not-always-reliable vehicles. Town is 25 miles from their 5-acres of sand. Insurance coverage is very iffy. They (he and his wife) have been self-employed for decades and cannot afford enough of the right coverages. Also that ride to town is brutal when you’re dealing with something like repetitive treatments.

And, of course, he is my “baby” brother - so, please, if you think of it, say a wee prayer on his behalf?

Sweet Lord Jesus, you who healed with a simple touch of a hem of your garment, and healed long distance for someone with great faith, look kindly and compassionately upon my brother in this hour of need. I trust in you.

Roller-Coaster Kind of Day

One of those days that had its ups and downs.

I called in a payment to a very old collection account. It was a bundled account and included many very old bills that went back to my cancer days and several “not included in the covered procedures” type of things, plus furniture bought back in ’01 for the mobile home.

I’ve been paying $50 a month (plus a fee for over the phone 
payments) since 2006. I thought this was the last payment so I paid them a little extra to close the balance, happy, happy, happy that at least next month, this one was gone. Not so. Turns out there was one that had come through a while back but they were good enough to not hit me with both at the same time. However, because I’ve been paying them for so long, they did lop off some of this other bill and will let me pay it off within 10 months. So, it’s good and it’s not exactly good.

On the really, really good side, I’ve got a crockpot working overnight. Three leg quarters cut into six pieces, box of low-sodium broth, celery, onion, kale and some barley. It’s already smelling good. Can’t wait for it. Why is any chicken-based soup so delicious and so soothing?

This morning, I dropped off one payment, went to the smaller food pantry and picked that up, went on to the post office and mailed the two small Etsy orders, and made two more stops. By the time I got home, two hours later, I flopped.

Oh, and for years, since Jane passed on in ’09, I’ve happily enjoyed her motorized lift chair. That thing is SO old. I’ve got two cushions under a towel to keep my butt from sagging onto the innards of the chair. Well, this afternoon, when I had to put my legs up for a few minutes, it was strange. It’s tilting now when I raise the footrest up and the back reclines - it’s very uncomfortable and I'm not sure how safe it is. I do have a recliner, as well, in the living room, so tomorrow I will try swapping them around in the living room. I'll take it easy - the lift chair weighs a lot. Silkie doesn’t really like a real recliner because of the jerking motion when you pull the handle up and release it to go down. Hopefully, she will get used to that.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fun, Food, Folly and More

Ok - the fun and food part are correct but not the folly but hey, I liked the roll of “f” words... The folly was technically an oversight or mistake.

The past two days have kept me on my toes which can be a good thing.

Friday, I was happy to see 2 Etsy orders. 

One was for 2 sets (3 each) of my plastic canvas satin ribbon crosses and one was for a Class Reunion Report. Today I got the crosses packed and will mail Monday. 

The “folly” (or technically “mistake”) part was in the Reunion Report. I had the whole report done when I realized the buyer gave me the wrong Graduation date. I had to put the project on hold while I waited for her to email me back to verify what I figured was the correct date. I will do all the work over again tomorrow morning - not a disaster, just a bit annoying.

Silkie and I had the “fun” part today. I’ve noticed in the past that she sort of stalks the manual Bissell carpet sweeper. I ran it lightly over the rug today, as I must do off and on, for litter pebbles and such, and this time she actively stalked it. I couldn’t keep playing with her with that - nothing more to pick up. So we hauled out the Infamous Red Dot! She loves the laser light - I do not like it because my thumb gets tired. Still, she’s been inside now since Valentine’s Day and I felt sorry for her, so we played. This time, though, I did a lot of “on and off” bits, like fireflies, and this time she REALLY got into it. I rewarded her when I got tired with 3 of her prescription-diet kibbles.

I defrosted a huge bag of chicken leg quarters, just enough to pull them apart and repackage. I re-froze, immediately, 3 bags of 2 each, and am finishing the defrosting of 3 of them. Tomorrow or tomorrow night, I’ll toss them in the, you guessed it, crockpot, with celery, carrots, onion, a box of low-salt broth, maybe some kale, and a 1/2 cup barley (it really swells). Can’t wait. I can almost smell it.

Oh, and I cashed in some Swagbucks and used it to order 2 cheap nightshirts/dorm-shirts from Walmart, to pick up Wednesday. The two I’m using are very old, very stretched (falling off shoulders) and barely hanging together. No other way I could afford these, cheap as they are - I am really grateful for what I am able to do with Swagbucks.

Yep, not a bad two days, in spite of the mistake in that report.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Car, Crockpot Chicken, and more...

Well, I have my car once again. Things are moving along.

Yesterday I gathered stuff and today I put it out for the local charity pickup - things I knew I couldn’t put out at the April yard sale. For the next few weeks, I’ll be sorting and packing and gathering stuff the Spring park-wide-yard-sale in our senior mobile home community.

I cooked the whole chicken today in the crockpot and tomorrow I will section it and pack and freeze in containers for various uses. This weekend, I hope to cook 3 leg quarters in the crockpot for a simple chicken barley soup - it will only have chicken, some carrots, celery, onion, and barley. Oh, maybe I’ll toss some kale in there. I have some in containers in the freezer.

This afternoon, I fed a friend’s fur-babies and I worked on a charity baby blanket in between things.

Yep, things are moving along...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Silkie’s Nip Trip, De-Cluttering, and more...

In some ways, today was very productive; not so, in others. What I accomplished was all small, but sometimes those small things add up at the end of the day and look real good in hindsight.

Silkie got lucky with an unexpected Nip Trip. Ever since her injury on Feb 14th, on Sunday mornings I’ve given her a pinch of powdered catnip from a bag from a friend who finds it wild where they go in the summer. However, I’ve grown tired of reaching into the bag, tilting it, and trying to get a pinch from whatever powder falls to the bottom, around all the sticks and leaves and such. Today, I took out the big plastic colander, a wide shallow bowl, and had at it. I strained it, and put only the powder back into the bag. The smell was all over so there was no way I could deny Silkie a pinch.

For some odd reason, I could not stop long today. I usually need to put my legs up once or twice during the day if I want them to hold up. No biggie -my legs and I have worked that out. But today, I just seemed to keep finding things to do while I was on them.

I made one of my garden salads to stretch over the next few days. I defrosted some peaches from my freezer, and began defrosting the whole chicken, which I will cook tomorrow night, overnight. I packed the peaches into smaller portions and froze some and left some down.

Tomorrow they pick up recycle tubs, so I grabbed what I’ve accumulated for the two-week span and took that out. Plus I grabbed some folded cardboard and also flattened a few boxes of recyclables and got them out of the way.

Made a few calls - the thrift store for pickup on Thursday (now I’ll work on some more for them, tomorrow), the Vet for Silkie’s prescription diet kibble to pick up in a week or so, and my health provided to check on something.

Along the way, I began trying to find a way to easily transfer clay litter from the 21# bag I got yesterday, before the car broke down, to some containers. Finally found a funnel that would allow a reasonably quick flow from clumsy bag to plastic bottles. I’ll finish that tomorrow. I spent too much time bent over during the trial-and-error time.

All of this was before Noon.

Later, I sorted 3 bags of donated yarn into bags by weight: worsted, baby/sport, etc. That made a much neater stash. Lots more to still sort.

In between, when I needed to sit a moment, I worked on the baby blanket I began Saturday at the mechanic’s shop. I’ve also been working on the 2 pair of crocheted slippers for the order for my friend.

Yep, I do feel good, good and tired. But a good tired. You all know what I mean. Tomorrow, I must finish one crochet project for someone else, and finish transferring that litter, among other things. But today, well, today saw a lot of little things done. Good.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Challenging and Interesting Day, to be Sure

Started out very early so I could be at the County offices by 8. Before that, I stopped at Smiths, filled up 2 three-gallon jugs of water and picked up a 21# bag of clay litter with a coupon), gassed up the car, and then County. From there, I headed to Walmart to get the one missing skein of yarn I needed to finish 2 pair of my crocheted slippers for an order for a friend.

At Walmart, when I parked the car, I walked to the front to a lonely shopping cart, and immediately saw the water pouring out from my car onto the ground. Knowing what we were up against (see story, about the car,here), I decided to just go into Walmart and make the necessary calls when I came out. 

Years ago, I would have filled up the radiator and drove it to my guy’s shop, watching the temperature gauge. And if it overheated, I’d stop and fill again, or if it overheated, I’d get out, and push/roll it to the curb. I cannot do that now at this stage of my life, so towing was the safest option.

First I called my guy to let him know the car would be towed in this morning. He had no trouble allowing it to stay at his shop until the part comes in Wednesday and was willing to drive me (and the water and the litter and the yarn) back home.

Next, I called road service. By now, it was almost 9 and rush hour, so I knew they would be backed up. 10:20 was the ETA. So I sat. And I sat. And I talked to folks nice enough to stop when they saw this Senior sitting in her dirty old car, hood up, and door open.

My guy is getting very nervous about the fact that the Saturn parts for my make, year, are getting discontinued steadily and that we might have an issue down the line where a part is not available.
Now, I have no trouble with junkyard parts. Been there, done that. But that is not for a part such as this water pump or other parts which I really do need to be reliable. You can’t be sure about some parts from a salvage car.

And I did finally get back home before Noon, .

Happily, the rest of the day I spent contemplating my life ... and being grateful that the car did not break down in the middle of traffic, even though I will be without a car for a few days.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for always watching out for me. This could have happened in the middle of the rush hour crush. It could have happened somewhere less comfortable to wait than in a Walmart parking lot. Thank you that I had my prepaid non-smart flip phone with me to make the calls. And thank you that my mechanic was happy to bring me home. For that and all else, thank you.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Got Some Things Done Today, Inside and Outside

Well, I managed to get some things done today.

Outside, before Noon, because this week we’re hitting the 80s, I pulled weeds. Then I sprayed 3/4 of the whole lot. 

I know most folks do not get that we have weeds when we have “desert landscaping” which is a fancy word for a large-gravel layer instead of a lawn. But years ago, when the park was built, the gravel went over a layer of black plastic. Now, on many lots, including mine, the plastic has broken and separated in places and weeds pop up.

Inside, I knew I was going to be hungry this week for “stuff,” so this morning I made my avocado/carrot/raisin salad. It is sweet and rich and creamy and healthy. The recipe I make results in about 3 or more cups of the salad, so I can grab some spoonfuls (or a small container) for a few days.

The other important thing I did today was fill out the papers for my annual renewal of reimbursement of the Medicare premium fees. I did that, plus gathered the zillion pieces of documentation, and I’ll be up at their offices by 8 tomorrow morning and get that over with.

Later this week, the mechanic will call and let me know when to bring in the car.

Oh, and I went into some of my repeating emails and "unsubscribed." I need to clear out my inbox and my email accumulation in general.

Not too bad a least I can look back and know I did something. I can’t always truthfully say that.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Car

Ok. I’ll make this brief but I know some of you will want to know how it went today, and I owe you that.

Apparently it was an “auxiliary water pump.” My 2001 Saturn has two pumps. I never knew any car had two water pumps. But apparently some BMWs do, also.

Of course, everyone knows Saturn doesn’t exist now, but a local Chevy dealer here covers their parts and things. Normally. This particular part has been discontinued, and the dealer said other parts are quickly being discontinued as well. I sat there watching my guy call all the other places he could think of and nobody had one. He finally found a place that will special order it and we should have it Wednesday, and hopefully install it Thursday.

This is the first time my guy has ever mentioned that it might be time to think about a different car because good as he is, he can’t fix something if the part is not available.

On the plus side, I took it in right away and know what is wrong...if I had ignored it, I could have had problems while out on errands or something. 

Lots to think about that’s it for now.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Update on One of my Friends

My friend who was feeling suicidal and I were in touch yesterday. 

Apparently he and I thought of the same thing at the same time. I was just getting ready to type an email, asking if he was on any meds with suicidal urge side effects. Just then, his email arrived, and he mentioned that he was, indeed, on one Rx for over 5 years which does have that possibility. He sounded a little more like himself and said that if he feels that way again, he’ll call his doc right away.

Thanks for the prayers, my friends. They DO help.

Sweet Lord Jesus, please continue to hold all troubled souls in your loving and compassionate heart. Fill these people with your love and help them to find their way.

Uh Oh

Ok, trying to think positive here. Wednesday, when I backed the car off the driveway, I could see two quarter-sized spots that would have been under the front end of my car. This morning, backing out to go to Charity Crafting session, I saw a much larger single spot. I was hoping it was condensation. I figured if it were dry when I returned a few hours later, that was it.

It was still wet. I stopped short of that spot, took a tissue, and gently made a blot of the spot. I’ll take that to my guy tomorrow morning. I am not even going to consider what it might mean. I was going to stop there tomorrow anyway for an oil change.

Crossing fingers, toes and eyes...and making some life-changing decisions, but it will take about a year for them to be in place...

Silkie is beginning to be her old self. When I came in the back door, her little fuzzy face was trying to get around me to get out. I will need to watch from now on. It’s been almost a month since her injury. Half of me is happy she is feeling friskier. Half of me is sad because I can longer allow her outside. Life moves on...