Saturday, July 30, 2016

TGIF... and pie and cats!

It's a hot dry Texas day and I really have nothing special to blog about. This morning DH and I grocery shopped and this afternoon I made him a blueberry custard pie. But that's about it. So I thought I'd just show some of my favorite pics.

Ghost's profile
Like so many of us, I have tons of pictures of my cats. This just happens to be one I really like.  Ghost has such a great profile.

Ghost and toys
And this one shows up the green of her eyes! 

Julie relaxing on my kitchen counter

This is one of my favs of Julie. She is such a silly little cat.

Ghost (as a kitten) jumping on Julie

This is another pic I like and have it on my kitchen wall. Ghost loved to play with Julie when she was a kitten. 

Studious Tux as a young kitten

Tux (Julie's brother) is a laid back quiet cat... even as a kitten. He let Jack (his brother - now deceased) take the lead... and he followed him around like a 2nd appendage. We worried what would become of Tux when Jack died. But he's done well. 

pensive Tux

But Tux will never be a leader. He tries to take Jack's place as the alpha male, but he worries a lot and needs attention. He is always in my lap and is easily annoyed if my attention wanders - by my picking up a book or cell phone. 

Tux in the towels

But he is a sweet cat, doesn't fight, and loves being close. We named him Tux when he was a kitten as he had the typical tuxedo markings, but sometimes we call him "Smudge" for the smudge of black on his left cheek.

And then there's Rose, our 21 year old kitty. She spends most of her days now sleeping by the Aga, but does sit in the windows occasionally.

Well, that's about it. Nothing too earth shattering, but at least a bit down to earth and calming after the last two weeks of political craziness.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

holding on to the thread...

Thinking about life... nothing specific... just how it goes. Have been reading a strange book, "A Spool of Blue Thread" by Anne Tyler. It's interesting... not especially enthralling, but very true to life -pertaining to relationships within a family. Part of the summary on the book's back says "... Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and secrets."

IMO Tyler is a good writer as she seems to capture not only the conversations that are so true to family life, but the feelings hidden behind the words both said and unsaid. On some level, relationships within a family are so simple and straight-forward. And on other levels, there are always the unsaid feelings that linger - some justified, some not. But love exists in and among the tangles of life... and despite everything, seems to pull everyone through.

It makes me think of my own family... how everyone interrelates. Some simple, some complicated... yet love seems to pull us all through (if we let it). Each of us, our parents, our children, their spouses, their parents, and our children's children... not to mention other family relations and extended families - all have their own story (their own history). 

And none of us really knows the other's whole story... what they've gone through or are going through. We may know part of it - what they've chosen to tell us or what we've seen, but we can't really relate because we didn't experience it. So expectations to understand are unfair. We try. Sometimes we fail. 

IMO what we have to do is choose to trust... and continue to love. I know trust isn't easy. It's difficult and it's scary. But considering the consequences of not trusting...  

So how do we all 'come together' as a family? I don't know the answer, but it seems to me that if there is a basis of love running through... like a thread... then if we hold on to that thread and trust it to hold us,  then it will.  

Simplistic? Perhaps. But it works for me. I'd be curious as to what works for you?

Have a great week!

Friday, July 22, 2016

iPhone troubles...

iPhone in rice

After dropping my iPhone in the kitchen sink last Sunday morning, I immediately dried it off, took off the protective otter box, shut it down, and and stuck the phone into a bag of rice to dry it out. 

Wednesday morning (almost 3 days later), I took it out and turned it on. It worked, but there was still a bit of water smudges that could be seen through the screen (which didn't bother me), but... the darn recharger no longer fit in the recharging slot!  Now I would have to check it out with Apple or Sprint - or both - because I can't recharge it. 

I'm pretty sure we bought the replacement insurance when we signed the lease, but think there may be a deductible?  (DH and I have had the new iPhone6's for about a year.) I would appreciate any input from anyone else who has had this experience. My daughter said that she had to pay $200 to have her iPhone replaced. 

Update:  Went to Apple Thursday morning and had them look at the phone. They took it in the back and did "something" to  it - cleaned out the port that holds the recharging wire??? Whatever they did, it worked and it now fits and recharges! Hooray! 

(I had put the phone back into the rice on Wednesday night and the water smudges disappeared too! So hopefully all is well??)

Happy Weekend to all!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

post birthday weekend...

Isn't this a great sign?

Saw this sign in a Hallmark store and thought it was perfect...
 I feel this way a lot 

Now that our birthdays have past, we're having a pretty lazy Sunday. As you can see, it fits right in with our 4 cats' idea of 
how one should spend the day.

Lazy Sunday napping...
Julie prefers to do her napping on the counter... with her toys close by

I did however plan to make a fresh peach custard pie this weekend, but since we have birthday cake left-over in the frig, figured that we didn't need any more sweets at the moment. 

So-oo not wanting to throw away my already defrosted fresh peaches, I decided to make 2 small fresh peach tarts - and freeze them for another time! 

peach tarts

And here's an update on the feral cat situation: 

DH was looking out the back door this morning (counting heads) and suddenly said, "Oh no..." I came around to see if something was wrong and he said, "Look by the side wall" which I did. At first I didn't see anything unusual as there are always mama cats nursing their kittens there.

Then suddenly I realized that the kittens were "white" (actually Siamese markings). Apparently this was a new mama and she had 3 kittens (2 Siamese and 1 black) nursing. I immediately told DH, "we definitely have to take that wild-life sanctuary sign off our gate!"

new kittens???

and on a sad note: I dropped my iPhone into the sink this morning (and yes, the sink was filled with water). Snatched it out and looked for rice to dry it out (didn't have any) so took off the protective cover and put it all in front of a fan. It's still working, but there's a smudgy film around the sides. DH went off to get me some rice...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

birthday thoughts, shredding, and outside critters!

This week was my 71st birthday.  I now realize why so many really old people say (unasked), "I'm 95 years old" or something to that effect. It's because they can't believe it themselves. That's how I feel. 71??? Really???

Where does the time go?  Of course we know where it goes. It goes to the passing of class after class after class... passing through grammar school, high school, college, and then some. Then there's working and raising a family... and before we know it, the kids are grown - and suddenly - we're old! (What's that song out not long ago... "Don't blink"... how true)

They say that getting old is not for sissies... and it's not, but it does has it's compensations. Grandkids are one! Retirement is another. With luck and a little health, old age really isn't so bad. It's a bit scary sometimes... knowing that as the lyrics to that PBS show, "New Tricks" says, "we're getting to the end of the day". 

But I love having adult relationships with my grown kids and I love spending time with my grandkids. I also enjoy waking up whenever I want to, spending the day as I see fit, and although finances and health play a bigger part these days,  all in all, we can't complain.

That was just a short rant. Please ignore it.

On to other things:

paper shredder

Bought a cross-cut paper shredder this week. Have been shredding away years of papers stuffed away in boxes.  One more day of shredding should do it. (I don't want my kids to have to go through 50 years of paperwork.)

Tux under my desk helping me shred

And my compensation after a day of de-cluttering and shredding...

a few moments of tea and mystery

And when I get a minute to check on the outside ferals...

The view from my kitchen window is a constant source of entertainment. There are times when the yard seems totally vacant, and then the next....  they seem to pop out and are everywhere !

baby coons

These young coons and their mother also use what we call "the magic rabbit hole".  It's their tunnel (as well as the ferals and other critters) from the creek into our yard. And have a baby possum that visits nightly in the front... haven't gotten a pic of him yet since he comes when it's dark, but I'll keep trying.

Have a great week! This coming week is DH's birthday (yes, we're only 9 days apart) so our adventure (such as it is) continues...

Friday, July 1, 2016

how to be "old"...

Wednesday I went to my annual Oncologist appointment... only to find out that my doctor that I've had for 16 years is no longer available. He moved a few months ago to another state. "Shouldn't I have been informed?" I asked. Well, apparently there was a glitch somewhere and I was told that about 30% of his patients didn't get the letter sent out and the other 70% had the wrong names on it. OK...???

I was seen by another Oncologist who was taking on some/all of my former doctor's patients. He was very nice and we discussed a few things - as I'm used to doing with my former doctor. I explained that in general I was in good health, and considered some of the little things that occurred as "inconveniences" and probably age-related. He agreed to a point. But it made me think.

I think that there should be classes to teach us how to "be old"...

Instead I have to ask the doctor if "such and such" is a medical problem or is it just par for my age... ?(which will be 71 in a few days)

Should I be taking vitamin D3? My family physician's test last year showed my Vit D level to be only 14 and I was told this was low. But I don't really believe in vitamins... just eating right. This doctor said that he wasn't too keen on vitamins either... and wasn't worried about the D3 level.  I've gotten this far without pills and hopefully can go a bit longer.

OK, on to another age-related problem - the subject of "driving". Some drive until they're in their 90's... some shouldn't. Well, if we're honest, we know that our reflexes probably aren't as fast as they used to be. So we should be more careful when driving. Actually my reflexes seem to be more advanced than they used to be... as I tend to grab the door handle quite often when DH brakes suddenly. However, I taught myself to ride in the car with my eyes closed when my kids started driving to eliminate this reflex... so-oo maybe it isn't age-related. I don't drive on highways much anymore... am not comfortable going 70 mph with the possibility of my vision suddenly going out due to migraine aura. And I don't drive at night because of the glare (but once I have my cataract surgery, this may no longer be a problem...)

Isn't this a great pic?

Then there's the increased number of pit stops. Some of this is due to my IC, but some could very well be age-related. When I asked the doctor about this, he said, "probably both".... which I would have guessed anyway.

There's possible memory loss. I do occasionally forget the word for something and don't remember it until about 10 minutes later... when it's no longer relevant. Or walk into a room looking for something and then can't remember what that was until I return to where I started. Or...

I have done this...

None of these bother me too much, but since my mother, her sister, and my dad's sister all had Alzheimer's, I can't help but think about it.

And there's the agility issue. I used to be able to sit down on the floor and get up quite easily... but lately, not so much. I can still do it, but the getting up part has become a little more difficult. Yoga helps with this, but I quit for the summer and have apparently regressed a bit...

Should I mention hearing loss? DH and I do not have hearing aids and don't think we need them... yet. However, we have noticed that we do turn the TV volume up a bit more than we did in the past. So how do you know when it really becomes an issue?  My eye specialist once told me that an issue needs addressing when it starts to affect your quality of life. He was referring to my cataracts at the time. But I guess this advice could extend to other areas as well.

How about lower energy levels? I find that usually by mid-afternoon, my energy level has dropped to a point that I require some down time... meaning a nap. Now this is one age-related issue that I don't really mind. I love to nap! And the cats love it too! So almost every afternoon, we (the cats and I) retire and although sometimes I just read, other times I do nap until time for tea at 4. 


Now I'm not complaining about these possibly age-related issues. I'm grateful to have reached this age... since my siblings weren't given the chance. I'm really happy for what I can do and have done. And as time marches on, I will accept that some things will change. 

And hopefully, I can do this gracefully. This actually reminds me of something I used to say to my first grandson (who is 17 now) when he was a small boy. He would be having fun somewhere and not want to leave... so he would cry. I would tell him "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened".  I had read this somewhere and thought it very wise.  I need to try to remember it for myself.