Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hawaii, AC trouble, a birthday, and old pics...

beach in Hawaii

Well, our oldest grandson is off this week to Air Force Boot Camp (or Basics) for the next 6 weeks... and our oldest son left Thursday to join family in Hawaii (their new home). This is one of the first pics he sent us while driving around on his first day there. Actually it's one of several, but I really liked the secluded look of this beach as well as the clear green water. I'm neither a swimmer nor a sun worshiper, but I do love to walk on secluded beaches. There's something about the smell of the air and the atmosphere.

And these next ones were taken at the place they're renting now...

Here in Texas DH and I are surviving the heat with our downstairs AC out. Actually it went out Thursday afternoon and the repairman just left a few minutes ago (Saturday afternoon). Yes, it is up and working again... and we are richer for the cool air, but poorer in our pocketbook. But then, that is life, yes? (and surviving in Texas without AC is difficult - if not impossible)

AND... the springs on the garage door broke this week (repairman fixed that Friday) and we also have a lovely leak coming from the upstairs ceiling through to the computer room... (Plumber called and should be here early next week). 

And it's DH's Birthday today! He's had lots of texts, phone calls, and messages from family and friends... and we hope to go out tomorrow to celebrate. We thought about going out to dinner tonight, but it's really too hot... so we're going to stay in and enjoy our cool air!

Since son was here going through possessions and getting things boxed and packed to move, I started going through boxes of old pics. Came across these... which are some of my favorites of our 3 kids when they were small.

These were taken in our first home in Texas...

As you can see, cats were part of our lives then too...

Now these 3 are all grown up with lives and kids of their own:

our 3 taken some years ago

Guess that's my 'share' for the day.

Also... at the moment I'm reading an odd little book called "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" by Phaedra Patrick. It's an interesting little tale of an elderly man who a year after his wife passes, decides to finally go through her things and finds a gold charm bracelet that leads him on an unexpected adventure into his wife's past... and opens him up to a whole new lease on life. I'm not finished reading it, but so far its been an enjoyable read. 

Enjoy your week! (and try to stay cool...)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

lots of catching up to do...

lots of catching up to do...

This summer is halfway into July and I've not posted very often. Sorry about that. From a daily journal-er to a once a week blogger is a bit sad, but there are times when life gets so busy that there is little time to fit in all the things one would like to do. Besides, sometimes a little divergence is good, yes?

My plans to do both watercolor and pottery classes this summer went out the door with my unexpected emergency appendectomy. By the time I got my doctor's OK to drive, I had already missed 3 classes of watercolor and 4 of pottery - and as summer classes are already shortened,  it didn't seem advisable to continue them. 

And our oldest son's plans to move to Hawaii with his family meant their moving out of their house at the end of May and into ours for a while this summer until grandson was graduated and safely off to basics or US Air Force boot camp (which is coming up very soon)... this has changed our normal routine.  But I have to admit we've enjoyed having this time with them. Once your children get married and busy with their jobs and families, birthdays and holidays are the only real time you get to spend with them. So these little unexpected times are to be treasured.

I have continued to work on my watercolor - on my own mostly, but I have watched a few you tube videos also. Not sure how well it's going, but like everything else, doing a little every day should be a good thing.

just practicing with colors over old sketches

Julie, our silly little black and white cat, has become a bath fanatic. She loves it when she can sit on the side of the tub and get soaking wet. If you tell her that you're going to take a bath, she immediately runs and sits on the tub... waiting. Loves me to squeeze the washrag all over her head and body. Such an odd little cat. 

Julie enjoying the bath water...


The kids came over last week to go out to dinner and back to the house for birthday cake. Since this week was my birthday and next week is DH's, we try to celebrate the two birthdays together. We're both 72 this year. He got to choose the cake... which was an Italian Cream cake.  It's his and my youngest son's favorite. Mine is Chocolate mousse... but believe me, I didn't need more chocolate.  Oldest son and his kids are Chocoholics... so we have more cookies, cakes, and candies in the house this summer! (DH is in high heaven - as I never have this much 'trash' around). But what the heck... 

birthday flowers - must remain in bathroom as Julie will chew on them...

Another thing that is going on is that while our son is going through all their stuff and trying to get it all packed away and shipped, I have started going through boxes and boxes of family pictures that have accumulated over the last 50 years (it's not actually 50 until January, but close enough...). What I'm trying to do is divide them up between the 3 kids... and those that should go to other family members (like cousins) and friends.

While doing it of course we are taking a stroll down memory lane... laughing at  some, trying to remember where or when for some, and of course some bring tears as so many in the pictures are no longer with us (like my mom, dad, sister, brother, nephew, aunts, uncles, and a few friends, etc.) But the pictures do bring back memories of happy times when we were all together. So I guess it's 'bitter-sweet'.

Well, I promised to make meatballs and spaghetti today for Sunday dinner, so I'd better get to it. Hope your weekend was fun and will try to get back to the computer later today to read blogs and make comments.

Oh... also my dear friend took me out to lunch this past Thursday for my birthday. She gave me a bag of 'goodies' ... as well as brought me some new books to read. And over the years I've made her several little dog sculptures. Yesterday she sent me a picture of the ones she has on her desk. I'd forgotten which ones she had.

But perhaps it's time to make her another...

Oh, Ghost wanted to say goodbye... or hello? (actually it's not Ghost, but it certainly could be).

Monday, June 26, 2017

Today was the day...

Today was the day! Had my 2 week post surgery check-up and all went well. Glad to put that behind me.

The doctor said that I could go back to all normal activity... which includes driving and walking. Of course I was able to walk before today, but found when I did try to walk too far or too long, I got a few twinges where my surgery sites are. Since I've had no problem with pain since the surgery, I simply have foregone the walking my 10,000 steps (actually I hardly ever get more than 5,000) for a bit longer.

Sending you some pics of my youngest grand daughter visiting the beach for the first time. My son and DIL took her to Galveston Beach this past weekend. 


I think she thoroughly
enjoyed it! 

The cats are all fine. They are missing my being in bed with them during the day - as since my energy has returned, it hasn't been necessary anymore. However, I do still take a short reading time in the afternoons and do occasionally do fall asleep. This seems to satisfy them. And Tux seems to have calmed down now that things are back to relatively normal.

I finished the 2 quilts I've been working on. Here are some pics. The first is a baby quilt and the second is a quilted tablecloth for my kitchen.

This is the 2 sided baby quilt...


This is a close-up of the 2 sides...

close up of 2 sides

Quilted table cover

Well, that's about the news for now. I'm practicing with my watercolors since I had to drop the course for now.  

Getting used to colors with their tints, shade, tones, and de-saturations...

Practicing using some of the colors on sketches... 

There's so much that I don't know, but possibly I'll pick up some techniques while I wait out until the course becomes available again... which probably won't be until next summer.

Well, have a great week. The 4th of July is fast approaching (as well as my 72nd birthday which follows on the 6th)!  Life is just one big (or little) adventure after another... and I will try my best to keep up.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

the thing about blogging...


I was reading someone's blog this week (have time to catch up on this now since the surgery), and I realized that reading other people's thoughts makes me aware of how much the same we all are... not everyone of course, but certainly a lot.

I love reading (almost anything, but mostly mysteries, some historical fiction, small town, cozies, etc.), growing things (I love to plant something and watch it grow - it's almost like bringing new life), writing (have always written - journals, stories, letters, etc.), sketching, watercolor, working on the pottery wheel, nature, quilting, knitting, crochet, and cooking!

How can anyone ever be bored in this life when there are so many fascinating things to do - on top of every day obligations (loving and caring for your family and pets, maintaining your home, etc.)

I used to love fishing too... although I haven't done any in 50 years. DH is not a fisherman (even though he's from Louisiana). But my dad and uncles  had a fishing camp on Grand Isle in Louisiana and when I was growing up we used to go out there by boat to fish. I think one of the last hurricanes demolished it years ago. Thought maybe  I'd take fly fishing lessons after retirement, but really haven't found the time. 

And science has also always been of interest to me. I was in Animal Science at LSUBR back in the 60's. They didn't have a Veterinary School back then. They do now. But back then, you chose to go 2 years of AS and then apply to Vet School or get your 4 year bachelor's degree and then go on to Vet School. I chose the latter. But I worked part- time in the graduate research labs on campus making slides from tissue samples... and enjoyed it. I think research would be captivating work.

And of course I obviously love animals. We've had almost all sorts when the kids were growing up (married at 22 and had 3 kids by 28). Probably the cats were the most prevalent specie in our home... at one time we had 8.  Generally 3 was our limit, but then a feral came by and left her 5 kittens on our back porch. What's a person to do? We took them in. That was 14 years ago. We still have 2 of the original 5 (grand daughter still has 1 'the siamese one', lost 1 to Leukemia a few years ago, and 1 found another home). 

grand daughter and 5 kittens left on our porch

The other 'feral born' cat with us now is Ghost. Her mama had several kittens and would show up on our back porch on occasion with them. One time she and the others left one behind. She was a few weeks old and seemed a bit 'out of it'.  Vet said that she had genetic kidney problems and possibly diabetes - probably wouldn't make it past a year. Again - what's a person to do? We took her in. She's 10 now. These 3 will remain with us, but could possibly outlive us, so sadly, there will be no more brought inside.

Ghost as a kitten

Anyway, I find sharing things with others of like mind enjoyable... and blogging is a way to do this. So dear blogging friends, thank you for being there for me... and I will try to be here for you... reading and commenting when I can.

And to those of you who are aware of my recent emergency appendectomy, I'm home, doing fine, and feeling almost normal again. Resting, but not staying in bed  - can't drive yet, but DH and I went out to breakfast for Father's Day this morning. Energy level definitely on the increase! 

Oh... and since today is Father's Day, Here's a few pics of my dad. He passed away at 75 in 1982. Born in 1907 in London, England he would have been 110 last month. Dad was a good man; a wonderful husband, terrific father and a loving grandfather... and he is dearly missed.

my dad and mom

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

the cats and me...

Tux and his 'how could you?' stare

I think all of you who read my blog know our 3 remaining cats; Tux, Julie, and Ghost. Of the 3, Tux is my 'familiar'... bonded to me. He seems to be the one most affected by my absences. While all 3 are affected; Julie cries and wants me to hold her upon my return (which she seldom does when I'm home), Ghost will avoid me for a bit, then gradually forgive me for leaving... and let me near her again.

But Tux has been almost inconsolable since my unexpected hospital stay this past week. Upon my return, he howls and yowls and follows me around constantly wanting to be on my lap (which he can't be because of the recent surgery). I have to put a pillow over my abdomen to protect it (Tux is 18 lbs.) He stays by my side - in the bed, on the sofa, wherever I am. If we close the door (which we do at night), he sits by the door and cries. Hopefully he will get over this as I recuperate.

Tux with his  ' you just don't understand' face

Had hoped that DH and I could have walked outside today. It's the 4th day after my appendectomy. But afraid that while the soreness is easily handled, the lightheadedness and lack of energy keeps me house bound. And I'm still having night sweats... which I think is normal after surgery... possibly due to either the trauma, anesthesia,  or the pain medication.

And I so want to go to the watercolor class I started (as well as my pottery one), but beginning to wonder if this will be possible any time soon. For whatever reason (maybe age?) I'm not bouncing back too quickly.  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

An unexpected turn of events...

In my previous post I mentioned how wonderful this past weekend was... with the family all here and grandson's graduation. And it was... until Tuesday.

hospital bed - not my actual hospital bed

Late Tuesday afternoon I started having pains in my abdomen. Figured it was my Interstitial Cystitis acting up. Tried to ignore it, but it gradually got worse and I ended up on the floor of the den in the middle of the night doing Yoga stretches to ease the pain in my lower back. By morning I hurt everywhere... felt like my bladder, kidneys, and everything below my ribcage was aching. And I was running a fever of 100.4...

Called my primary physician and got an early morning appointment. He sent me for a cat scan STAT at an Imagery Center... and was suspecting Gastritis or Pancriatitis... or worse (my brother died of pancreatic cancer).

The pain worsened throughout the day Wednesday and my cat scan was scheduled for 2:45... and was done around 4. They had me drink 2 bottles of something and also injected me with Iodine. When it was done, we were told to wait there for a radiologist to read the scan and relay it to my doctor. (I thought this was unusual... and not a good sign at the time)

At about 6 pm, we were handed the CD of the scan and told to take it immediately to the Emergency Room of Medical City Dallas hospital across the street. Apparently I had Acute Appendicitis.

This was a surprise! We never suspected that.

We sat in the Emergency Room (actually I lay on a bed in the hall) from about 6 pm until 1:00 am) before a bed could be found. Hospital was very busy.  But they were very attentive (I was right across from the main desk).

Saw some strange cases go by... but that may be a post for another time. My story continues.

Eventually a doctor who introduced himself as the surgeon who would be operating on me came by and told me he wanted to do an appendectomy tonight, but there was no operating room available. But he was putting me on antibiotics and morphine in the meantime. At about 1:00 am I was taken to a room in the hospital.

At about 11:30 Thursday morning I had surgery and was kept overnight (maybe due to my age?). The surgeon had mentioned that I was the oldest patient with acute appendicitis he'd ever had. Apparently most with this diagnosis are younger...

Now it's 4:25 am Friday morning and I'm ready to go home. Everyone had been very kind and professional so I have no complaints. The guys in the ER were great; friendly, attentive, and very skilled with needles. They can only use my left arm due to breast cancer on my right side. But my poor left arm is running out of space (it has 5 injection sites in it with one being a permanent catheter).

Oh, great... they just took blood again and this time my vein collapsed (don't blame it)... so they had to dig around a bit (not fun). Now my poor left arm has 7 injection spots; 3 in the middle and 4 in the back of my hand.

I'm definitely thinking 'time to go home'.  They're supposed to discharge me today. Hope they do while I still have a drop of blood in me. Wonder what they do with all that blood? My doctor took blood Wednesday morning, CT tech injected Iodine, ER took blood again, and then in the rooms they took more blood daily.

But... again, I won't complain. The pain in my abdomen is gone! Thank goodness... a little sore, but not bad. My legs have some sort of massaging apparatus on them for circulation and I have to inhale 10X every hour into this breathing device (to prevent lung collapse? - some sort of precaution)

This was one unexpected adventure! But it could have been much worse. My appendix could have burst or the diagnosis could have been pancreatic cancer.  I'm good.

As awful as the whole situation was... and I wouldn't want to relive it, everyone who took care of me was kind, attentive, and efficient. Luckily I haven't been in a hospital in many many years, but have always been leary of having to go. This experience calmed my fears.

(oh, I forgot to mention that DH and my 2 sons were here with me almost the whole time - so I was well supported.)

Well, that's my update! Sorry it was so long. I did have to miss both my watercolor class Friday and my pottery class this morning, but definitely plan to make them next week! 

Have a great weekend!