Sunday, July 14, 2019

Our Vegas Heat

Our side of the Vegas valley hit 113 today.

I might need to re-think where I am stashing the packed plastic bags of finished projects for the homeless, the new mothers in need, and the VA. I began putting them in the widest closet. However, I had forgotten how hot that area gets. 

It's the back wall of my mobile home, and unshielded outside - no trees or anything to block the sun. We will have several more months of this. I might move them during the coming week to a more central area of the house, where A/C can keep things cooler. It will also give me a motivational push to sort of re-organize a bit.

Because the back half of my house is the hottest, and because that's where my desktop PC is, I should let you all know that there will be times I am not online as often during the summer months, especially afternoon-through-evening. So, please do not worry if my online activity slows down until the cooler weather arrives.

Silkie does not seem to miss those fattening Temptation treats. So far, she's happy just eating regular kibble from her former treat-lids. Nice.

I don't want to stay online back here too long tonight. I don't want you all to think I am boiling hot or anything. It's just the way the A/C hits each room. It will cool down in here by the time I actually get into bed each night.
Rolling along...

Thanks for Prayers on Recent Requests

Thank you for your prayers; here's an update on the recent requests.

On the friend's cousin in hospice: my friend's beloved cousin has safely crossed over. Two days ago, I asked for prayers for that purpose, for quick and gentle passing. My friend notified me that her cousin passed on today. I am sorry for her loss but grateful that the suffering ended. Thanks, each of you.

On the friend who has lost faith: this will be an ongoing, possibly long-time need. But for now, I am keeping conversations comfy and casual. I think at the moment, she needs someone to just listen and emails are something that do not intrude into my day, so hopefully, it will be a comfort to her. Again, thanks, each of you.

I have so many friends who are depressed, coupled with their medical issues. Please, each of you, remember that you are always in my heart and prayers.

Father, thank you for hearing the prayers of folks who do not even know the person they are praying for. To me, this is the ultimate gift of faith - bless each of these prayer angels abundantly!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Prayers for Friend who has Lost Faith?

Someone I've known online for years because of our Etsy shops back in the day, emailed me today. I will try to get back to her this weekend but at the moment, I feel at a total loss for the right words.

She has lost all faith. She had a very tough life - sexual assaults as a child, eating disorder, many many medical issues, and lately, lost a boyfriend of 10 years, her car and the ability to drive, and has attempted suicide several times. She feels so alone. I feel anything I say will be totally inadequate. She feels the Lord has not kept his promise to her.

I'm asking for prayers to lift her up, in whatever way the Lord knows is best for her.

I do know that in my own troubled past, in my 17 active alcoholic years, many times I thought he had abandoned me. But over the years, I've come to realize that we, I, think in our own terms, the here and now. And he works in his own time, for final happiness. We can't always see a purpose in things.

At this moment, I have no clue how to help this woman. Perhaps our joined prayers will help provide an answer. I fear that anything I say to her might be the wrong thing. So for now, I'll simply say a simple prayer.

Father, you know who I am worried about. Please shower her with whatever she needs to keep stable and to survive this turmoil she is enduring. I do not even know what to ask for, but I know you know what's best for her! Please send that help? We trust in you.

Special Prayer for Easy Passing Requested

A dear friend is so worried about a beloved cousin. The cousin is at hospice stage and totally unaware of the present. The cousin is suffering terribly. She has stopped eating. They are hoping for a quick and easy passing at this point for this dear woman, sad as it will be.

Sweet Lord Jesus, you had deep affection for relatives and loved ones here on earth. You know this feeling. Please look compassionately on these people and help their loved one come to you gently and quickly. We trust in you!

Silkie's Food Intake: Big Discovery!

Today after accurately measuring Silkie's kibble, I discovered she has not been eating anywhere near a full cup of kibble daily; her weight must be because of Temptations! Will go down to 3/4 cup tomorrow and see; I think she's already okay with 1/2 cup...

I will trick her so she won't miss those treats. I'll just get a different variety of kibble from her main course. Then I'll use that kibble, as part of her total, in her treat lids in the house. Several vets have suggested those, the scattering of food here and there in the house, so that she must walk a bit to get them. That should work out well enough.

I read online several times that Temptations are empty calories, like some of our own snacks. No nutrition to speak of, just taste and calories. They also said that 5 of them equal one full meal, calorie-wise, for a cat. I did the math. I know I was giving her 3 in the mornings, and 6 hairball ones at night, and some throughout the day. So she was getting the equivalent of at least one extra meal a day, and probably more.

With that in mind, she might lose more easily with just that one major change. We'll see. It does raise my hopes. Nice.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Silkie's Vet Visit

The visit went well, considering. Thank you all for your prayers. They trimmed her nails and did a visual exam of those broken canines. The vet agreed that the most practical action was to remove all 4. However, her weight makes surgery risky at the moment.

She was 13 lbs. in Jan. 2013 when we brought her in from the shelter at 1-1/2 years old. She is now 22 lbs. He explained how much to cut her food. And she is not allowed any Temptations treats except for the hairball ones. That's the only hairball med she will take. So instead of 6 in the rolling purple ball at night, her go-to-bed action fun, there will only be 3, but I'll toss in some food-kibbles, just a few.

We hope to get her down to 14 lbs. by mid-December, and then do the surgery. Along the way, IF the teeth cause her any trouble at all, with eating, etc., I'm to bring her in ASAP.

So she and I had a talk today when we got home. I'm going to cut back on my treats, too. I sort of went into binge-mode after my usual Lenten chocolate fast. Now, she likes treats in little lids I scatter throughout the house. But now, instead of Temptations, I'll just put a few kibbles, within her daily limit, and I think she will be okay with that. She just loves finding it.

This vet office is definitely one I wish I had begun to use earlier. I like their attitude, their compassion, patience, and expertise.

They want her down to 1/2 cup kibble a day; she normally does at least a cup a day. So, I'll do a cup through Sunday night, but now I will measure it instead of eyeballing the amount. Then next week, go down to 3/4 cup, and the following week, the 1/2 cup.

She doesn't drink water so to keep her hydrated, I take a can of pate cat food, mix it with a lot of water, and put a few spoons of the "broth" in a bowl off and on throughout the day. He'd like her off that eventually and suggested I put a few additional bowls of water in various areas in the house.
So, at least we know where we stand, and it isn't as bad as it might have been. And Silkie and I have both known this "day of the diet" would come. Neither of us like it, but we will do it.
Thanks again, folks, for your prayers!

Sweet Lord Jesus, thank you for your help this morning. We are so grateful. Help us to do this right, with the least difficulty possible, and please bless those who said a wee prayer for us this morning!

The Battle Royal Loading Silkie into Car for Vet Visit

This morning is one of those things you can laugh about afterwards. Getting that pudgy girl into the carrier and into the car was a real challenge. I'd already left the crate out in various areas for a few days. Then, this morning, I was ready. At 9 (appointment was 10), I noticed she was in a spot easy for grabbing. I waited until the A/C went on and figured the noise would cover the sound of my unlatching the crate door. NOT!

She bolted into another room, under a table and behind some boxes, totally out of my reach. I resorted to trickery. I rolled the hand sweeper, the ever handy Bissel, which she loves to stalk. She didn't budge. Stronger trickery. I brought out the "RED DOT." That did bring her forward. I grabbed and plunged her butt-end down into the crate. I doubt she'll ever trust that Red Dot again.

Huffing and puffing (both of us), I grabbed my purse, and quickly carried her portly self to the back door. Apparently I didn't latch her crate door well enough, because at the open back door, she pushed it open and bolted outside and down the back stairs to the driveway, down to the front lot, and across.

Knowing she was headed to the front porch, I dashed back inside, opened the front door, and grabbed her again. By now, we were both really cardio-pumped. It is hard for me to carry that heavy load down the back steps without banging it against the house, but I managed to not terrify her any more than she already was. I loaded her into the car, went back and locked up, and away we went.

Fortunately, at this vet's, they allow staff to come get the pet; that was a treat for me. Silkie and I were still huffing and puffing.

A friend and I were talking this afternoon. She totally agreed when I said that Tough Love is harder on the giver than on the receiver, whether the receiver is human or otherwise.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The July 4th Local Treat Bags

I've grown addicted to passing out little gift bags to about a dozen or so folks in my senior mobile home community for holidays over the past few years. They usually contain a handmade item (either crochet, or bookmark, or both), a food item, and some printed downloaded puzzle pages.

I've been sidetracked this year, though. I just looked back and I totally missed New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, and Easter. So it was time.

I began last week on the handmade items. I decided to try a red/white/blue patriotic 8" dishcloth for each one. I skipped the bookmark - not enough time. I found and downloaded 3 patriotic-themed puzzle pages: crossword, word search and maze; and I gathered a list of 10 facts about the holiday. For the food, I naturally wanted red, white and blue, so I made little paper muffin cups with the following in them: 6 cherries, 6 white cheddar cubes, and a handful of blueberries. Pix are posted here.

The dishcloths came out pretty well. I had fun watching them develop. Made 14 of them.

Bags went to park Staff, our former newsletter delivery team, and a sprinkling of long-time friends in here. Over the past year, one on my usual list passed away, and one is out of town.

But I am happy to be back on track. One gal said she felt that the dishcloth would look great on her table under a vase of red, white and blue carnations - hmmmm.

The flat tire last Monday messed up my timing. I lost hours of work on the dishcloths, so I ended up doing a few each day. I gave the park Staff theirs on Wed. morning because they would be closed on the 4th, but I enjoy driving around early on the holiday morning dropping off the rest.
Rolling along...

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Didn't Do Much Today but Managed to Get Some Things Done

I didn't do a whole lot today, but I did manage a few things while I watched some horse races from Belmont. I truly truly do love horse races. Went to a few in NJ back in the day.  Anyhow, I kept occupied by finishing 2 baby jackets and making 3 baby hats. The jackets were partially done and they were crying for me to finish up. Nice way to pass the two hours. So happy I'm not a betting person. I mentally picked some to win, but I wouldn't have fared very well today.

I had an 18 oz. batch of blueberries in the fridge so I rinsed those while they were still perky and froze them in 2 peanut butter jars.

Not into transferring photos from camera to PC at the moment or I'd show you all what I did for the July 4th Treat Bags this year... hold on... they're coming... tomorrow, I promise!

Other than that, I'm happy that we had no shaking from CA today - so far. And no fireworks, so far.

Oh, and my one friend whose tree was set on fire from irresponsible neighborhood fireworks on the 4th updated me - no house damage except for nasty smells. So grateful for that.

And I need to thank you all for recent prayers for another friend, the one who was terrified that she'd lose her foot. She was happy to update us - she had the foot worked on, including grafting, and got through it... prayers will continue for real healing on that.
Rolling along...

Friday, July 5, 2019

Fireworks Fire at a Friend's Home!

Just because the 4th is over, it doesn't mean we aren't ALL still in danger from irresponsible fireworks usage. A friend came back yesterday from an outing where they watched their grandson have fun with safe fireworks. A neighbor called them to say their house was on fire! 

Fortunately, the house was relatively untouched but a tree and brush in yard were ruined. During their cleanup they also found a dead baby bird. I'm waiting to hear whether their chickens made it through okay.

Anyhow, it was an irresponsible neighbor who apparently caused this with fireworks. Even if the house is okay, a sane person has to realize there must have been smoke and water damage along the way. If her neighbor had not had a key to their home, and if the neighbor had not begun to hose it down while waiting for the fire department, it would have been a disaster for sure. Not to mention the possibility of spreading to even more neighbors.

The thing is, it is not yet over, folks. This is a long holiday weekend. It's reasonable to think there will still be danger until at least Sunday night, and even possibly Monday. Folks who buy illegal level fireworks will always want to use them up and not waste their money.

So, I really need to pray not just for my friend and her husband and their home and their flock, but also for each and every one of us until this year's session is over.

Sweet Lord Jesus, please watch over those we know and love, and even those we do not know, over the remaining days of this long holiday weekend. Protect us all from the foolishness of others. We really need all the help you can send our way. We trust in you.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Dontcha Just Love a Comedy of Errors?

One of those mornings that you laugh about later, if you manage not to go nuts with the stress involved.

Started out at 9 to visit a food pantry new to me. Didn't really need anything, but it was a distance away and I thought I'd check it out and let some folks in my senior mobile home community in on whatever I learned.

Got there at 9:30 and the strip mall was really tight parking. Tried to get into an end spot across from the place but apparently misjudged the tightness of the curved curb on the driver's side. By the time I realize I was scraping, I heard a big ol' hissssssss. Prayed fervently that I hadn't messed up the radiator but managed to fully park the car without any sensor lights coming on. Got out. Tire really smooshed.

Now, they weren't supposed to open until 10 and they were across the drive from where I was parked but I wasn't eager to go inside the hookah/pipes/head-shop I was in front of, so I tried the door to the food pantry and miraculously, it was already open. They allowed me to sit in there, out of our heat, while I did the cell phone calls back and forth for the tow.

This was rush hour. I expected the predicted hour wait. Just before the hour was up, I get a call that the guy is 5 minutes away. I walked out of that place and across to my car to wait for him. Ten minutes later he calls and says he's outside of my home, about 7 miles the other direction, in the mobile home park. Somehow, he went to my home address instead of my incident address.
He hung up, ten minutes later his dispatch called and said he was headed back to where I really was. Half an hour later, he did get there.

Now during this time, between 9:30 when it happened, and when the car was loaded onto the flat bed at 12:30, there were quite a few calls and texts back and forth. I only use a prepaid non-smart flip phone on the road. During these exchanges, I almost had to laugh because the insurance company (road service) and the tow company, each one blamed the other for the mix up in addresses.

During that time, also, the staff at the food pantry noticed where I had the problem and 3 of them told me that they, too, had scraped that particular rounded curb but hadn't blown their tires. I am normally a very careful driver, very. But even though they tried to make me feel it was not my fault because of the way that spot was made, I knew that I must have allowed myself to become momentarily distracted - after all, 3 or 4 of us might have had issues, but literally hundreds of others had parked there just fine over the years, right?

At that point, I had already realized I didn't expect that tire to be able to be repaired and expected to need a replacement tire. This car, a hybrid, does not come with, or have room for, a spare. I asked to be towed to a place I use for tires about 2 or 3 blocks from me. After climbing Mt. Everest to get up into the cab of the tow truck, we headed off.

At the tire shop, I already knew I had problems. I only had $13 left in my bank account but my SSA was coming in on Wednesday. So when they said I did need a tire, and they did have one, I had to explain the money situation. I remembered I had an unused gift debit card at home, destined for a special need. So I asked to be taken home to get it. This guy was SO nice. He did the job, and let me go home to get the card and trusted me to come back.

All is well, at the moment. I left the house at 9 and got home at 2...
This is one of those things you laugh about afterwards... I'm almost ready to start laughing...

Saturday, June 29, 2019

July 4th Fun Bags in the Making

Over the years, I grew into the habit of giving out little treat bags to about a dozen folks in our senior mobile home park. 

Depending on what I've got, what I've decided on,  and how late it took me to decide (sigh), it can vary as to who I can give these to. In the past it was often to the Office staff, our newsletter delivery team, our charity crafting team, and a few neighbors.

For some odd reason, I fell away from it and miss doing that. So I ended up putting on my thinking cap and decided to at least do it for this coming July 4th. I won't let the cat out of the bag too early. I am not sure how many I can finish and I don't want some folks expecting something I might not be able to deliver. But I promise to let you know what I ended up doing.

Back in 2016, my notes say I dropped off a crocheted white star coaster, a handmade laminated bookmark, some printed puzzles/quizzes from the internet, mini-food-kabobs... things like that.
On the best of those years, I often ended up putting together 12 to 15 bags and enjoyed it immensely. The number has dropped a bit over the years - folks move, folks pass away...and other things happen in real life.

Anyhow, I've been having fun today working on some crocheted items and I hope they turn out the way I plan them...can't wait to share a pic or two next week.
Rolling along...

Recent Evenings & Enjoyment

Silkie and I have done some rearranging of our evening patterns, routines, and rituals.

Partly that is because of the upcoming July 4th fireworks activities, which have already been sounding their impending approach, and partly because of the heat out on the back cement driveway.

One routine is her last visit outdoors for the day and/or night. Usually that is around 6 pm except in the summer. We have been in triple digits for over a week now, and it's too hot for her out on that cement driveway. It is still heavy with the heat of the day at that time. So we've begun to sit on the front porch around 7 pm. The porch is of course elevated and the indoor/outdoor somewhat shabby carpeting is so much cooler than the hot cement on the drive. I take out a little rug piece and one of her catnip toys, I sprinkle a pinch of catnip out there, prop open the screen door, and she enjoys the evening breeze and I enjoy sitting on a white rocker I picked up in here two years ago at one of our yard sales for only $25 bucks. Sometimes while I'm sitting, I crochet; other times, I begin my evening prayers. But we've been enjoying it.

I hope to put a pot or two of kitty grass out there this weekend and a small rag throw rug for her. She loves crumpling up those rag throw rugs and pushing them into pillow-mounds to rest her head on.

The other routine is our brushing in the living room before she goes to sleep. It's our quality time. But some area neighborhood residents nearby have already been popping off those fireworks, sporadically, as soon as it gets dark. So instead of waiting until 9-ish or later, I've been going in at 8 or 8:30. That way she is brushed, we've chatted and sometimes I sing to her, and she's had her final round of munchies. If the random fireworks sounds then go off, she hies herself hither into a corner of a center area of the house until they stop. But at least I know she's happier that she has not missed her quality time.

I'm not sure which of us is enjoying those front porch sessions more, though. I know it will not last because our monsoon season hits in July and we have downpours that will make that routine impossible, but for now, rolling along...

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Semi-Annual Primary Care Visit Went Well Today

Sometimes I feel bad about feeling good. Today was one of those days. My labs and my heart and my lungs and other little tests he did were good. I love making that guy smile. So, the Rosuvostatin pulled my LDL way down and boosted the HDL up nicely; still a ways to go, but he is so happy with this improvement for sure, and with no side effects that I am aware of after six months. 

My A1C was a little elevated but still under 7 - and that was MY fault because I went a little wild with the post-Lent (no chocolate) after-Easter-candy-sales but I can get back on track. Everything else was good although they did the circulation test just before I left, so I don't know how that worked out. Anyhow, all in all, it's okay for now.

In fact, it's far better than the year I faced both a lumpectomy on my left front and a basal cell carcinoma on my right shoulder blade. That was tricky going. And it's better than when my arthritis in my knee was so bad I was on Vicodent, then down to Tylenol Arthritis. I haven't taken a pill for that in over a year now.

But in another way, I feel so bad for so many of my friends who are suffering, either personally or by feeling helpless while watching a loved one suffer. I'm well aware that this will happen oftener and oftener as we all age gently (or in many cases, not so gently) together.

My friends, those who are suffering themselves or for others, I feel so sad and wish I could do more than simply send up prayers, but you all know that at least I do that...

So, I go again later this year, after my next breast exam routines. I have referrals to call in appointments for both the ophthalmologist and the dermatologist along the way.

At least I know that the extra food prep, the changes in the foods I eat, and de-stressing in lots of ways, at least they are working at some level. And, since I am nothing if not practical, I do realize that even with all of this, none of us really knows our own expiration date. With that in mind, I will still enjoy some of life's treats but I will continue to try to balance those with healthier choices.
Rolling along...

Monday, June 24, 2019

New Prayer Requests

One of my friends is terrified of her situation. She admits to being a bit overweight and that makes her situation worse. Anyhow, she's got some issues on her one foot and it just won't heal. They want to do skin grafts onto it if her insurance will cover that. She's in severe pain. She's so afraid that she will lost that foot and will not handle it at all well at her weight level. She really needs big time prayers, my friends.

I was going to include another dear friend who was afraid she had some sort of stomach or pancreatic or duodenal cancer, but that has now been ruled out. Still, something is very wrong in that area and she still needs a proper diagnosis so that treatments can be chosen.

And one of my friends is not only dealing with her own Stage 4 cancer issues but also with some very edgy family matters that are complicating an already complicated matter.

I know you will all include them in your prayers, and for that, I thank you, and always add you to my own prayers as well.

Sweet Lord Jesus, it seems I am coming to you more and more often. But we have been told that you want us to do that. So we ask, once again, for your love and compassion and healing and wisdom for these people who are worried and who are suffering. Help them in whichever ways they need it most. And bless those who take a moment out of their own often-troubled lives to say a prayer for others. We trust in you!