Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014

Time Keeps Flying - Faster and Faster
April 30, 2014

Today our oldest grandson is 16 years old!  How did that happen?  In my computer I have thousands and thousands of photographs stored.  As a screen saver, the computer rotates through some of those photos.  Recently many have been of this same grandson when he was a toddler.  He is one of those people who doesn't change drastically over the years, and so when those pictures pop up, I see in them the current young man.  Somewhere it is almost like we skipped some years.  We didn't.  They have always lived in the same town we do, but time is escaping.

Other times I have mentioned that in our son's family, when the children reach a set age, on their birthday they can select where the family will go out to eat breakfast.  Our grandson had chosen as this morning's meeting place, his other grandmother's restaurant.  At 7:00 we gathered to celebrate.  Since their grandmother owns the restaurant, and it specializes in Mexican food, the children have grown up loving beans, eggs, and tortillas for breakfast.

There were gifts to open and some too large to be wrapped.  We had a great time being with family.  What a nice way to start the day!  How they get 7 children up, dressed, and smiling for a drive across town before 7:00 in the morning is a mystery me.   
After breakfast, I returned to the house to fix my lunch to take to the office.  I had a couple of other things to do while home and then got to the office about 9:15
It had been a wonderful start to our day and we are so glad we can be a part of their lives so often. 
It is going to be interesting to see how God uses this young man in years to come.  He has been given many talents.

Since it is the last day of the month I had certain things to accomplish at the office.  I did some paperwork, but tomorrow is when I will be the busiest as I prepared the monthly statements for our customers. 

After I arrived at the office this morning Ron took my car to get it worked on.  There seems to b e a small leak - somewhere radiator fluid is leaking.  They did not get to work on it today so we picked it up after work and will have to take it back another day. 

Yesterday I did not get a blog posting done.  It was a rather uneventful day.  I did have a nice conversation with our oldest son last night and tonight had one with one of the other boys.  It is always good to catch up with what is going on in their lives. Three of the ladies came for quilting last night.  We had a good time catching up on each others' projects and family news.  One has a newly engaged daughter.  That is a happy thing to hear. 

The birds continue to keep me entertained and the spring flowers continue to show off their bright colors.  I had filled the birdbaths and this hibiscus got water sprayed all over it. 
At quilting last night I did pretty well with the hearing.  At breakfast we were ahead of the main crowd so I was able to manage.  The telephone is still really hard. 

Much of my time today at the office was spent making lists of things we need to take when we go to our son's graduation in a couple of weeks.  We leave in two weeks.

Oh, I remember something I forgot to share.  I had mentioned that the last scheduled trip to the audiologist had been postponed by the office in Houston.  They called yesterday and set it for the week of graduation!  That will be a busy week with a lot of driving.  But it will be good to get back on track.  There are so many things going on and we just try to keep track of it all.  I carry a calendar book in my purse for all the medical things and we try to check it regularly.  Most of the doctor's offices give courtesy reminder calls the day before scheduled visits.  That helps.

Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

A Bright Start to My Day!
April 28, 2014

This morning I did not make it to the gym.  My back was hurting and although some exercise might have helped, I decided it also might make matters worse, so I stayed home.  I did get up and do some housework and had Ron's coffee ready earlier than most days recently.

After taking care of things in the yard, I came in and opened the curtains in the sewing room and spotted an adorable little Yellow Warbler out on the waterfall.  He was having a good morning bath!  If you aren't a bird watcher, the name Yellow Warbler can be confusing.  Lots of little warblers are yellow in color, but one of those is named a Yellow Warbler.  He is mostly yellow with orange streaks on his breast.  Those deep black eyes just set off the yellow in an amazing way.
He had a good time hopping around on the waterfall and wiggling around in the little pools of water in the indentations in some of the rocks.  Half of the photos I took were blurrs of him getting wet all over.
The object in front of him is a solar powered light.  I have several around the ponds.  He did a pretty good job of trying to hide behind this one so I couldn't get good photos.  Of course I think if his eye was behind it and he couldn't see me, he thought he was hidden.
I needed to go to Harlingen to the quilt shop, but I kept watching him until a dove flew over to the waterfall and chased him away. 
Finally I got ready to go to Picket Fence Quilt Shop in Harlingen to meet the lady who is going to do the machine quilting on the quilt I have been making.  I had ironed the backing and binding fabrics this morning before I spotted the Yellow Warbler.  Then I spotted a puddle under my car and after calling Ron and describing it, I decided to drive to the office and let him check it out.  He said I was fine to go to Harlingen.
I met with the quilting lady for about 30 minutes deciding on design, thread color, batting, etc.  She thinks it will be ready in plenty of time.  Then I ran a couple of errands in that end of Harlingen before heading home and stopping to pick up a prescription.  Right now I am taking allergy medications.  The winds have been bad and there is smoke from Central America that is keeping our air hazy and dirty.  Those of us with allergies are feeling the affects from the smoke.

At the office, I took care of the usual things.  Business was slow today.  I think the weather was a factor.  It was 96 degrees, the wind died down, the humidity was high, the barometric pressure dropped, and it was oppressive outside.  No one wanted to be out unless they had to be.

After a trip to the bank, at the end of the day, I went by Ron's mom's house.  Ron's brother and his wife were visiting briefly.  Then I left to go to my mom's house to check on some things.  From there I headed home to relax a little. 

When I saw this bird on the feeder, I couldn't figure out what is was.  Then once I put the photo in the computer and enlarged it, it seems to be a baby that is just getting its feathers.  Funny looking.  Then this Black-bellie Whistling Duck (they used to call them Black-bellied Whistling Tree Ducks) took up a post on the top of a dead tree.
I think the barometric pressure has all of us with joint pains suffering.  My elbow has bothered me the last two days.  I am ready for the wind shift that is predicted for tomorrow afternoon. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27, 2014

Sometimes Your Day Doesn't Go as Expected;
Sometimes It is 8 Times Better !
Sunday April 27, 2014

Last night I actually got more sleep than usual.  I went to bed early and hit my snooze alarm for a bunch of times before getting up today.  I fixed breakfast, washed my hair and got ready for church.  We had a great lesson in Sunday school with a lot of interesting discussion.  All of our Winter Texans have gone home, but we still had a good bunch in class.

This morning in the Worship Service, the Adult Choir presented a musical.  None of the music sounded familiar.  A couple of the songs I knew but they were new arrangements.  I could not follow the melody on any of them.  It was nice sitting in church with four of our grandchildren and our daughter-in-law.  Just before the musical started, our daughter-in-law passed me a note asking if I would like to have 8 children for lunch (their seven and a friend who was spending the day with them). That is a day changer, but a wonderful one. Our son and his wife decided they wanted a quiet lunch together and although we missed them, we had fun and they had a good time together where they could chat for a few minutes without interruptions. 

There are so many times God paves the way ahead of us.  I had not been to the grocery store for a while, but stopped at one briefly yesterday and bought a sliced, boneless ham.  So we had ham, macaroni and cheese and corn for lunch.  The grandchildren hadn't been over in a while so they were delighted to be coming to Grandma's house (and Grandpa's, but when eating is involved, it is Grandma's house).

They all ate well and enjoyed their lunches.  Then they scattered to various rooms for various activities.  The two little boys were off to the Lego/guest room, the two youngest girls were in the play room with the Fisher Price toys, they oldest two girls (our oldest grand daughter and her friend) were out in the yard, and the two oldest boys were watching videos with Grandpa.

After a bit the two little boys and I joined the girls in the yard with the Nerf dart gun and the disc shooter.  They all played together with those, sharing with the girls.  It was 100 degrees in Brownsville today, but there was a strong wind so that made it bearable in the yard.  They enjoyed watching the birds from inside the house and while in the yard.  I could hear the grandchildren and the birds.  It was nice outside.

Inside, I had put dessert in the oven - one of the favorites - Cherry Crunch.  We enjoyed that with ice cream and had not been finished for long when their parents arrived to pick them up.  The mother of the friend arrived about the same time, so all headed to their homes.  Ron left for a meeting and I was alone in a very quiet house. 

I spent a little more time in the yard filling feeders and pools and bringing in the hummingbird feeders to clean and refill.  Back inside, the birds kept distracting me from other activities.  There were Red-winged Birds, 2 or 3 kinds of doves, Green Jays, sparrows, a Hermit Thrush, Buff-bellied Hummingbirds, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and the ducks.  I did get the binding and backing fabrics washed for the quilt but still have to iron them.

Ron went to his mom's house after his meeting.  It was late when he got home.  Long days.  I guess they are all the same length, just some have more squashed into them. 
When our youngest granddaughter is doing this, she says she is "standing on her hair."  What a cutie!

Listening to the children is getting easier.  I don't always understand the youngest two, but some of the time I do.  Today the elbow has bothered me some, but that may be weather related.  Don't know for sure what it is.  I hope to go to the gym tomorrow, but I have several things I need to do tomorrow, so I am not sure if it will work out.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April 26, 2014

Mission Accomplished!
April 26, 2014

For several weeks I have had a quilt in progress on the design wall.  Tonight the design wall is blank. Today, I finished the quilt top.  I took it to a quilt shop in Harlingen and they think they can get it machine quilted for me in time for Stephen's graduation!  I need to go back Monday morning and see the lady who does the quilting.  She was not in today.  I bought the backing and binding fabrics and brought them home to wash and iron.  I still need to get batting.  I am not sure I like the kind that they carry.  I will talk to the lady Monday and see what she says.

Saturday morning, as usual I was up early waiting for the housekeeper to come.  I gave her a challenge today because I was busy in the sewing room and wouldn't let her clean in there.  Shortly before time for her to leave, I told her she could clean the floor, but the rest would have to wait until next time.  I needed to finish the quilt.

Some of the contrasts don't show up in the photo, but I am pleased with the outcome and delighted that it is at the quilt shop to be quilted.

After the housekeeper left, I fixed a sandwich for lunch and then cleaned all the stray threads of the quilt top and pressed it before taking it to Harlingen to the quilt shop.  Before I left, I spotted a new visitor in the backyard.  It was a new bird visiting.
My research says this is a Pearl Cockatiel
It was fun to watch this bird.  It is probably a pet that escaped.  It doesn't seem to be very afraid of us but does fly off when the other birds do.  It keeps following the ducks around.  But this one seems to be taking care of it.
Here, you get a size contrast.  A couple of times it pecked at the duck's feet.  I think the cockatiel thinks it is in charge.  A grackle flew into the midst of a group of birds and ducks and most gave him room.  Not the cockatiel.  He did not seem to be intimidated.
Here they are on the roof together.  Maybe the duck adopted the cockatiel.  I read an article today on things not to ask adoptive parents.  I guess I won't ask.
The duck seemed to stand guard.  Fun to watch.

Back to my trip to the quilt shop.  I talked to a couple of the ladies who work in the shop and one helped me select the thread, backing, and binding.  I am not sure if I will have them bind it or if I will do it myself.  It will probably depend on when they can finish it.

From there I went to the grocery store and got a few things. After putting the groceries away, I started supper and we later had a great supper of ham, sweet potatoes, and pineapple salad.  Ron had spent much of the afternoon working in the yard and was hot and tired.  I think both of us spent time during the evening relaxing and reading.
The flowers continue to bloom and add beauty to the yard.  Each time I go out there I try to pull a few weeds and trim a few things.  There is always work to be done in the yard!

Today was actually a very quiet day.  I did very little talking and didn't have a lot of interaction with others.  I do feel some of the pressure is off since I finished the quilt top.  The day before, I finished the invitations.  I think I am on a roll.  Yea!

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

Blood Tests Rate an A+
April 25, 2014

This afternoon I had an appointment with our General Practitioner (GP).  It was to get results from an assortment of tests he ran almost a month ago.  I knew I was feeling pretty well, but was concerned that there could be a cholesterol problem or something, but he said all the tests results were great.  Everything was in the normal range, in fact they were almost all about in the middle of the range.  Praise the Lord!  It was so nice to go to the doctor and sit there getting good news.  We did discuss some health issues like my allergies and he suggested the allergy tests.  I am ready to have them done, but think I will wait till I am not as busy as I am at the moment.  I really have a lot going on right now.  He said, no problem, just let him know when I am ready.  He gave me refills on a couple of prescriptions and that was about it.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, my blood type is A+.

At the office this morning, our oldest grandson was there.  When we doing keep him busy, he reads or draws.  He helped Ron move some stock around to have it in more convenient locations.  He helped me with filing and filled key hooks.  It is hard to believe that he will be 16 next week.  The years are going entirely too fast!  I took him home on my way to the doctor's office.  He and his next youngest brother are going on a youth retreat for the weekend.

Earlier in the day, I went to put one of the quilt squares on the design wall that I had sewn last night and I saw I had put it together wrong.  That is what I get for sewing past my bedtime!  So I took off the two misplaced pieces and this evening I fixed that square and made the remaining three squares.  I now have all 25 squares made, I just need to sew the blocks together!  I have rearranged the blocks on the design wall and will let them sit tonight and see if I still like the arrangement by the light of day tomorrow.

When I returned to the office after my visit to the doctor, I finished printing the graduation invitations for our youngest son.  He will be receiving his Master of Divinity from Criswell College next month.  He did that while working full-time where he is now the assistant manager of a Christian bookstore. 

After meeting our friends for supper I came home and got to work on that quilt in progress.  At dinner this evening, I did hear much better than usual.  It was nice not to have to ask my friend to repeat everything she said to me.  I have to get the quilt finished!  I need to go to Harlingen tomorrow to talk to the lady about machine quilting it for me.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 24, 2014

Busy Morning; Quieter Afternoon
April 24, 2014

This morning I did make it to the gym!  I spent about an hour there and returned home to spend about 30 minutes in the yard filling ponds and feeders and cleaning the windows on the sewing room to keep them clean for taking bird photos.  The bird activity has been down some.  Still lots of Red-winged Blackbirds, large assortment of doves, ducks, and sparrows, but none of the cute, little migrating birds that I have seen.  Oh, and of course I can't forget the Golden-fronted Woodpecker pair nesting in the tree just out the sewing room window. 
That is about the same way I feel when I face the mornings.  This is the male and I think he was just checking things out.
He gave me a great view of the top of his head.  He is a good looking bird.

I showered and had breakfast before starting to work on the quilt in progress.  I got two of the blocks done and then fixed my lunch and headed to the office by way of the utility company to pay the office bill.    By 10:30 I think I was ready for a nap. 

The computer kept me busy this morning or maybe the other way around.  I had work to do on the books and then worked on Stephen's graduation invitation.  With the help of a friend and Stephen I think I will be ready to print them in the morning. 

Many days at the office I listen to Rush Limbaugh on the computer from 11:00 - 2:00.  He had been off for a week and as I suspected it was so that he could have his second Cochlear Implant surgery.  He had the second ear done about a week ago.  It is hard to believe but he had his first one done 13 years ago.  He had a lot more problems with his than I did with mine, starting with the surgery and going on through the activation and his results.  His hearing has been decreasing in recent years and part of it is rather complex to explain, but some of the electrodes in his had to be turned off because they were causing a facial tic.  Also his recovery from the surgery seems much more complex than mine.  Here, a week after the surgery he says he is still heavily bandaged, and my bandages came off the day after my surgery.  I am going to put a link here to a transcript of his opening monolog this morning where he talks a good bit about his experience.  I think those of you who are really interested in the Cochlear Implant and my experiences with it will find his experiences very interesting. 

I think you will need to copy the above link and paste it at the top of your page and then hopefully it will take you to his transcript.  If not, try: and find the piece titled Where I've Been the Last Week.

His hearing experience is very different as far as conversation, than mine.  It is very similar in relation to just "noises" in general.  He talks about not being able to identify sounds.  The audiologist in the beginning told Ron that I would need to ask what different sounds were and he should help me identify them so I can learn what they are.  Tonight when I got home the yardmen were working on the yard and I could not identify a sound (I didn't know they were here).  It was the edger.  That is not what it sounded like.  Rush also does a better job of explaining about music through a Cochlear Implant.  I think you will find the transcript interesting.  I sure did.

Mid-day I ran some errands, going to a couple of Dollar General stores for some office paper goods and to a couple of other stores.  After work I went to Michael's.  I had been there yesterday and had left two of my shopping bags (in Brownsville you take your own bags to the store) somewhere on my shopping rounds yesterday so I decided to see if by change I had left them at Michael's.  I had, and they had been turned in!  Yea!  They are special to me because they are some I designed and had printed for our family gathering a few years ago.  I had a purchase to make there and then decided to go to Target since it is in the same shopping center.  I don't think I had been there since before Christmas.  I ran into my friend Pat there and she said she also rarely goes there.  I found some nice "after Easter" bargains at several places yesterday and today. 

Before I came home I stopped at Walgreen's and got milk and bread and then came home.  It was 7:00 when I got home and that makes for a long day!  I spent some time in the yard.  My Easter lily finally bloomed.  It is still close to Easter.  One bloom was all the way open and another about halfway.
It is the only Easter Lily I have.  In the past my success with them has been limited.  While in the yard I decided to see what else was blooming and one of the hanging baskets had its first bloom.
This basket did very well last year, so I am hoping it does as well this year. 
The oleanders out by the water are still in full bloom.  We can't see them from the house.  In fact Ron didn't know they were blooming until I showed him a few days ago.

I fixed supper and started laundry while I cleaned in the kitchen.  There is always something to be done.  It was a productive day, but I am tired.  I think I will sew a little more and may make it to bed before too long.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 23, 2014

My Ringing Telephone
April 23, 2014

Using the telephone is a monumental challenge to me.  It doesn't seem to be getting much easier to hear on the phone.  The least bit of noise surrounding me when I try to answer the phone makes it impossible for me to understand what is being said.  Today it seemed like I was answering the phone all day.  First thing while I was still at the house, the amplified house phone rang.  Normally I don't even try to answer it, but the caller ID showed that the call was from the Heart Clinic where I had an appointment set for late in the day.  I decided I needed to try to do it.  First off, I had to turn the TV off and then try to understand an unfamiliar voice.  Thankfully it was a male voice - lower pitch - so I  managed with only one or two requests for him to repeat.  He wanted to tell me that my appointment was moved up an hour and a half.  That was fine.  I had some things I needed to do in that end of town so that would allow me time after the visit to get them done.

Next, when I got to work, I had to answer a call at the office, which I rarely do.  Much of my day was spent in my office paying bills, catching up posting those checks I was writing, into the computer, balancing my checkbook, and a few other bookkeeping chores.  Then I spent time on our son's graduation invitations.  I did research on line to try to find some items I needed for the graduation party.  As happens many days, I spent time looking for things my husband had misplaced.  We take turns on that - he finds my missing things and I find his.

I had a quick lunch and returned to the same chores I had been doing in the morning.  Then it seemed to get busy with customers in the shop.  I needed to leave about 2:30 and that seemed an easy thing - until about 2:15 when we got really busy and I kept trying to get out the door - unsuccessfully.  It was 2:40 before I left.  Around 2:00, my youngest son had texted to ask me the dates of the family get together this summer.  I wanted to double check so I texted the daughter-in-law who started this and the daughter-in-law who made the reservations, thinking I would get a quick answer from one of them.  I did.  Both of them.  The dates didn't match.  Oops!  There was a one day difference.  So I was trying to leave the office and straighten out where we stood on the plans with each of them texting me with things like: "I don't have her phone number, please text it to me."  "Have her call me at this number."  and from my son, "The boss is in and I want to ask for those dates off.  What are they?"  It became funny.  My morning had almost been boring and the afternoon was turning into a panic.  Thankfully, most of the lights were green so I made it to the appointment with time to spare, but I had just found a chair when they called me in for the test.  I had just started to answer one of those texts when I was called in.  I was taken to another waiting room and tried again to send an answer and was called in for the test.  So I just turned the phone off.

The doctor had told me a man would be doing the test but a woman came to get me.  She is in our Sunday School class and said she would be doing the test.  I told her I thought it was supposed to be the male technician, but she said when she saw me on the list, she asked him to switch.  It was nice to have her take care of my test and after the previous hectic hour, it was good to be with a friend. 

This sweet woman is one of our newer friends and I had a chance to find out a little more about her and it was good to get better acquainted.  I think she had not been in our class for long when I went deaf, so there have not been a lot of chances to just sit and talk.  When I left there, I drove to a store parking lot nearby and spent the next 15 minutes answering the texts that had stacked up while I was in the doctor's office.  I think it is all straightened out and the plan is better than ever.  God had a better idea all along.

I did some shopping in that part of town getting office supplies and some of the items for the graduation party.  Then I met Ron and my brother-in-law, Jim, for supper to celebrate Jim's birthday.  The food was good and the visit was very nice.  Mom called Jim during supper to wish him a happy birthday and then asked to talk to me, but with all the restaurant noise, I couldn't hear her.

Once I got home I had phone conversations from a couple of our sons and I had to have them do so much repeating that it was very frustrating.  By the time that was done I was exhausted.  During those conversations, I was getting emails from two of the boys with photos; one son was sending photos from a weekend trip he and his wife took recently, and the other was sending photos from a month he spent in Israel a couple of years ago.  My sons (all four of them) are outstanding photographers!  What a treat to see those photos.  Some were new from the recent weekend trip and of the others, many I had already seen, but they were amazing. 

I must look into getting a CapTel telephone SOON.  If only I could make a phone call to work it all out!...

Today I didn't have time to take photos, so I am throwing in some of flowers I took Sunday afternoon at the Easter picnic.  Hope you enjoyed them.