Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 31, 2015

A Friend Comes to Visit
January 31, 2015

Late this afternoon, a friend arrived to spend some time with us.  Much of my day was preparing for her arrival.  I got up early and as Ron was heading out, he came back to tell me it was going to be a beautiful sunrise.   It started out with some pinks, and I decided to drive to another location where I might get better photos.  I think I missed the best part of it while I was en route to the other location.  But I did get a few more nice shots.  I would like to abolish telephone poles.

I ate my breakfast and then did a few chores around the house like sorting laundry.  Then about 9:00 I left to go to Mom's to get Carmen to come work on the house.  She spent the next four hours working on the house while I worked both in the house and in the yard.  I spent two hours working in the yard on the ponds, bird feeders, flower beds, and raking some leaves.  I also cut back a few plants.  As I brushed some branches out of my way, something either bite/stung me of poked me and tonight I am having an allergic reaction in that part of my hand.

When Carmen finished, as I took her home, we stopped and picked up lunch for Mom and the two of us.  I didn't have time to eat mine right then because I had an appointment to get my hair cut.  When I arrived the lady told me it would be about 10 minutes, so I sat in the car eating my lunch.

When I got home, I took a quick shower and washed my hair.  Next on my list was to make a quick stop at a bridal shower for Ashley Smith.  The shower as lovely and it was good to be there at least for a short time.

I got to the airport about 10 minutes before Tiny (my friend) arrived.  I met her as she came off the plane and then we gathered his luggage.  We loaded the car and then headed and it wasn't long before we were home.  We decided that we would go to the grocery store and get some things to get us through a few days.  Back at home, we had chicken and peas and a lot of laughs.

This morning Ron showed up about the time I was ready to start working on the waterfalls and he replaced many of the pumps.  The yard is starting to look beautiful.  There are a lot of weeds coming up under all the bird feeders.
We had a good time at supper and laughed a lot.
Hearing at the shower was next to impossible but I enjoyed the familiar faces.

Friday, January 30, 2015

January 30, 2015

How Are You Doing at 
Remembering to Write 2015?
January 30, 2015

This lone Pied-Billed Grebe was out behind the house this morning

Here we are almost one month into 2015, are you remembering to put that in the date?  I did very well the first few days of the month and then made a few mistakes.  I think I am doing it right almost all the time.  Today being the end of our work month at the office, I was working on the statements to our customers and found that my husband had 2014 on about 1/2 of his invoices.  His are often ones that go to corporate offices.  They like things to be correct.  So while I prepared a bank deposit late this afternoon, he went through and corrected his invoices.
The spider webs were interesting, but not very perfectly constructed.
It is hard to believe how fast this year is going.  I know I say things like that over and over, but I feel them over and over!  Naturally since February is a short month it will seem to pass rapidly, but in addition to that, we have plans to go to a state locksmith convention, so we will be out of the office a few days.  Spring will be here very soon.  At least, it will be in South Texas soon.

This morning I got up around 6:00 and it was very foggy outside.  A little before 7:00 I made Ron's coffee and then when it was ready, I took it to him and woke him up.  Later after he went out to bring in the newspaper, he told me the spider webs were beautiful with the dew drops on them.  I had forgotten to go look earlier.  When I got outside, there were some lovely ones, but it would have been better for me to go out earlier.  I took a variety of photos while I was out and those are scattered through this blog entry.

I left the house about 9:00 to go pick my mom up to take her to her physical therapy session.  She has not been able to do a lot of walking on a regular basis since the weather has been so bad most of the month and she can't yet drive, so she needs the exercise she is getting at PT.  I dropped her off at the PT office and went to get my breakfast.  I ran into a friend from the church who was spending some study time in the quiet shop.  We spoke briefly, but he returned to his study and I went to a table to read.  It was a relaxing time for me.
Intersecting ripples on the water as drips from the dew on the trees dropped into the resaca
My next stop was at Target to select a wedding gift.  Their machine that prints out the wish lists was not working so I went to another place where the bride and groom had registered - Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  The lady there thought her machine wasn't working, but got it going and printed a list for me.  I shopped and finally made selections for Mom and myself.  Just as I was pulling out of the parking lot, Mom called that she was ready to be picked up, so I did that and took her home.
Pied-Billed Grebe (one of my favorites)
Before returning to the office I picked up lunch and then ate it at my desk.  I worked on closing out the month's bookkeeping.  I got all the invoices and payments posted and prepared statements to send to our customers.  I had those finished by just before closing time and I took the last deposit of the month to the bank.  Ron took the statements to the post office to mail and we met our friends for supper at Luby's.

At supper, the hearing for me was harder than it had been lately.  Every time I spoke my voice seemed to just raise the level of the other noises in the room - which were actually very few.  We didn't stay too long, but had a nice visit.  It was a good evening.
Single Red Hibiscus

January 29, 2015

Another Fantastic Evening
January 29, 2015

There was very little eventful about my day until the evening.  I got up very early (a little before 6:00) and finished the blog from yesterday.  Then I made Ron's coffee and got him up.  I went to the office a little before 10:00.  At the office Ron was working on locks for several customers most of the day, so he was in the office, but needed me to wait on customers as much as possible. 

I paid some bills and continued the cleaning work on my office and my desk particularly.  Much of the day I had a headache, so really didn't feel too ambitious.  Late in the day I left the office to pick up some French bread for supper at Jeff and Barb's.  From the grocery store I went to pick up Mom and Carmen to go to Jeff's.

The younger children were playing in the yard and the street.  I stayed outside, took photos, and chatted with them.  Then when it was time for the sunset we walked down the street to what I thought would be a better viewing spot, but it wasn't really a good spot after all.  The kids had gotten out their riding toys for the trek down the street. 

All this activity kept them out of their mom's way while she fixed lasagna for supper.  I took the photo of the moon (at the top of the page) just before we went to look at the sunset.  I know the background looks dark, but it was not yet dark.  The kids played ball for a while, just bouncing a large ball back and forth to each other.
As I have mentioned, a lot of the trees have lost most of their leaves and I noticed as I walked around Jeff's yard, that there are a lot of hidden Hot Wheels cars.  They have a lot of them that they use on the driveway for playing and racing. 
We enjoyed visiting and eating together.  The children watched a movie and the adults got to have a conversation; that worked better for my hearing.  My son and daughter-in-law try to help in any way they can with my hearing needs, also reminding the children to slow down and speak up when talking to me.  My family helps in many ways and that is so important to anyone with even partial hearing loss. 

It is hard enough being isolated by the hearing loss, but then when the ones you love the most, don't put out an effort, it hurts that much more.  Today, I had two customers who brought that concept to mind.  One is a man I have known a little for several years.  He lost the hearing in one ear as an infant and probably the years around the noisy machines in his work caused damaged the other ear.  I asked if his wife understands and he just rolled his eyes, teared up and said no.  I mentioned not being able to determine what direction a sound is coming from when you only hear out of one ear and he looked shocked and said he didn't know that was why he couldn't tell where a person is, who is talking to him out of his sight.  You need both ears to determine direction of sound.  God gave us two ears for a reason - not just to hold our glasses on our faces.

I told the man about a couple who had come in recently just to ask about my Cochlear Implant and that as I talked to them, I could see on the wife's face that she had not understood her husband's limitations.  She was very sorry she had not been more helpful.  Sometimes we just don't explain it to our spouse, sometimes we laugh off our limitations, and then, so do they.  Sometimes we just won't admit how bad it is, not wanting to be a complainer.  This man can not afford the surgery but will soon reach Medicare age and hopes that he can have something done at that time.  He may need another type surgery because his original loss is a different type and that ear may not be able to be helped.  Hopefully the other ear can be helped.

The second customer who brought it to mind was more in a negative way.  He has a rather booming voice when I encounter him other places, but across the sale's counter, he lowers his voice (I guess to keep the conversation a little private) and I can not understand him.  Ron had called me to come from my office to help this man because he was helping a couple of other men.  I guess this man (a friend) thought since the others were being rather loud, he would bring the noise level down by speaking more softly.  Whatever his reason, I knew I could not understand what he wanted to order.  Thankfully, Ron finished with his customers and I was able to turn it over to him.  The same thing happened when the man returned to pick up his items.  I had Ron take over as quickly as I could.
After a nice visit with Jeff's family, I took Mom and Carmen home and by the time I got home it was after 9:30.  I had stopped for gas on the way home and then my daughter-in-law called from New Mexico and we talked as I finished the drive home and for a while after I arrived.  Spending time with family - in person or on the phone - makes for a good day.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 28, 2015

  A Beautiful Ending
 to a Productive Day
January 28, 2015

Since I had been unable to get to sleep easily after that nap the day before, (didn't get to sleep until after 3:00 a.m.) it was hard to get up this morning.  Once I was up, I got a lot done before going to the office.  I got some cleaning done and some drawers organized.  I am a pack rat!  I married a pack rat!  We won't end up on Hoarders (the television show) yet - at least at the house.  The warehouse at the office is another story all together.  I found so many non-working watches.  What am I doing with them?  A couple of them I didn't remember, but many (as our youngest granddaughter would say) are "my favorites."  I find it difficult to find the style of watches I like in my price range.  I don't like the big ones.  So I save the non-working small ones.  I can see by this paragraph why I am a pack rat.  I get sidetracked and put too much thought into the non-functioning things in my life.  I need to enjoy the things that work.  Maybe I will make myself a poster that says that.   See, there I go again on a rabbit trail!
At the office I also tackled some problem areas.  I have misplaced something so I spent some time looking.  Still looking; but again, some things got organized in the process.  Ron was out for a while during the morning and that always allows me to do some cleaning.  I shredded old files until the big trash can in the back was full and moved on to other activities. 
Another office machine has died.  Our fax machine.  We can get faxes through our printers (as soon as we figure out how).  Ron always forwarded phone calls to his cell phone, through the fax machine.  Now he has not been forwarding them.  I actually had to answer the phone a couple of times yesterday and managed to handle them.  They were not complex; "No, we don't want what you are selling."  In my spare time I guess I need to look for a new fax machine.  OK, if you are keeping count, it is 3 printers, two computers, one fax machine, the a/c, (all in the last few months) ...the mechanical gremlins are still at work. 

My afternoon was spent with a bit of frustration as I worked on the other bookkeeping program in my computer - my checkbook.  I had to do it like the other one, although this one was backed up through November (the old computer died in early December).  So I had all the checks to enter and bank statements to balance from November on.  I normally write very few checks.  Not so this year.  With Stephen's wedding and a lot of travel, and Christmas shopping, it took a while to get them all entered. 

When I finished entering all the information, and balancing the statements, I printed out a tax list for Ron to have when he does the taxes: charitable contributions, doctor and drug expenses, etc.  All went well.  Then I went back to the check register and it had rearranged the entire register into categories: all checks to one business or one person in order.  Yikes!  As I have said, I know just enough about computers to get myself in trouble.  It had arranged all checks since 2006 in that fashion.  After trying for a while and being afraid I would make things worse, I asked my husband for help.  I did not take him too long to find the right button to push and all was well.  Oh, my.  What would I do without him? 

By the time I had done all of that, my head was aching and it was past time to go home.  I put things away and went by Mom's house.  She had been resting, but I got her up and we visited for a while.  She and her computer are now getting along well with each other.  When I got in the car to leave, I could see that the sunset was lovely.  I honked the horn as Mom was closing her front door and walked her out to the side of her house to see the magnificent sunset that was just getting more and more beautiful.  We enjoyed God's handiwork and of course, this was the one day I had left my camera at the house.

As I drove down the street from Mom's house, the colors of the sunset were getting more and more vivid and intense.  I pulled over and got out my cell phone and took some photos.  They don't begin to do justice to the beauty of the evening, but I have shared a few here.
There just was not a place to get a photo to capture all of the beauty.  Then on Facebook later, I saw that the television station had posted a shot from their weather "eye in the sky" and they came close to getting it.  You might see if channel 5 KRGV has it on their website.
If I had my camera with me, I probably would have run the battery down taking as many as possible because every few seconds, it changed.  "Thank you, God, for having me leave Mom's at just the right time.  Thank you for the beauty that so many people saw."  The Bible tells us that God reveals himself in his handiwork and even those who have not heard of Him through the scriptures, can know Him. 

The rest of my evening was spent fixing supper which I enjoyed with my husband, and doing a little cleaning in the sewing room. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 27, 2015

Another Day And A New
 Computer Challenge
January 27, 2015

My plan was to be up at 6:00 this morning.  Instead, I was up at 7:00 and I don't know why.  My vibrating alarm clock is the WORST designed alarm clock I have encountered.  The button to turn the alarm OFF is small and in the midst of other buttons.  I guess I accidentally turned it off instead of hitting the snooze alarm.  I quickly got ready, washing and drying my hair and arriving at Mom's at 8:00.  Sitting in the car, before going in I saw I had an email from her after I had gone to sleep last night saying the Geek Squad guy would arrive at 10:30 (not somewhere between 8:00 and noon he said earlier).

Inside, Mom was still sleeping, but Carmen was up and dressed.  I spent time cleaning the window that I take photos from and filling the feeders.  Carmen would have done it, but it was so pretty outside, I was glad to be out in the sunshine.  I finished cutting back the rose bushes that I worked on a few weeks ago.  While waiting, I took a few bird photos and read for a while.  Mom came in later and said I should have gotten her up, but I told her that she sent her email to me after I was asleep last night so I decided to let her sleep.

The expected man from the Geek Squad did not come, but a little after 10:30, two men came and set up a connection so he could work remotely.  He had claimed he had done everything on his original trip, but spent the first 20 minutes downloading needed items and setting up things that should have been done on the first trip.  He also got Mom's printer working with the computer which he had not done on the first trip.  Later, working with him on the phone, he solved most of her problems and I think she reached a saturation point and asked if she could call back if she had additional questions.  He said yes.

The only real problem in dealing with the Geek Squad man on the phone is that I could not hear.  I had gone over to Mom's to help listen to him in person - not on the phone.  I needed to ask one question in particular about her computer, and tried to talk to him on the phone but just could not hear him at all - well maybe 10%.  We did get an answer, but I really can't deal with the phone in situations like that.

It was noon when I left her house.  I picked up lunch for Ron and me to share and then went to the office.  It turned out to be a slow day with some crazy customers.  One brought in just the top of a broken key and wanted a copy.  Ron asked where the rest of the key was.  She said she didn't have it.  He said he needed the part with the cuts to make her a new one.  She told him she thought he was a locksmith.  (Yes, he could probably make her a new key from the LOCK, but not from the head of the broken key.)  That is when I want to break the top off a key and hand it to them and say, "Here is one just like yours."  But I don't.  I try to be nice.  Sometimes it is hard.

I went down town for a while to get some fabric to make some more of the scarves like I made in Santa's workshop.  I got my car washed while I was out and then returned to the office.  Ron had to pick up prescriptions for his mom so I had him pick up one for me at the same time.  I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the computer on assorted chores and still trying to learn how to use my new one properly.

About 4:30 I left to come home.  I fixed a delicious ham sandwich for supper, sat down to read, fell asleep and slept for 2 hours.  What a day.  I have been cleaning a little at a time, somethings it is just things like my purse or tote bag.  They get so cluttered and heavy.

My mother-in-law does the most amazing handwork.  She had Ron bring me this bookmark this week.  She knows what I love: butterflies, bluebonnets, birds, and sewing.  She designs so many of her own patterns and I will enjoy using this bookmark.  I do have two Kindles, but a mountain of paperback books I have not yet read.  I appreciate her thoughtfulness.  She is a very kind, talented lady.

Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015

A Lovely Day From Start To Finish
January 26, 2015

This morning I only hit the snooze alarm a couple of times before getting up.  For some reason, I felt relaxed, but still got a lot done before going to the office.  When I went out to fill the ponds and feeders, I could not believe what a beautiful morning it was.  It was calm and comfortable.  I would love to have spent the morning working in the yard, but I needed to go to work. 

Hibiscus plants were blooming everywhere.  The blooms are a little small after the cold weather the last few weeks, but the colors seem deeper. 

Several ducks were out in the water creating lovely patterns in the wakes they left as the swam along.
This Muscovy duck was hoping I had food for him.  He was in a hurry to find out.  The answer was, "No."

At the office I worked on some bookkeeping chores: paying some bills, etc.  Ron had called the A/C repairman to check the unit - the compressor would not shut off.  He said he got it fixed and I am glad since I was getting too warm.  After lunch I left to mail some items and did it at the downtown post office for a change.  They were not busy when I got there but by the time I left there was a long line.  If you grew up here, it is so different from what you would remember.  It might look about the same, but they close from 12-1.  Thankfully I had waited until a little later to go.

From there I went to P.U.B. to pay the shop bill and then to an appointment at our General Practitioner's office.  I had missed an appointment by accident on the day I had my tooth pulled.  They were very kind and understanding about it.  This was just for a medication check and refills.  I saw the Physician's Assistant and Ron and I both like her.  She is a good listener.

From the doctor's office I went to our son's home.  The children had left a couple of items at our house and I delivered them.  My daughter-in-law and I visited while most of the children played outside in the beautiful sunshine.  Ron and I were so impressed yesterday with the youngest grandson's math abilities, it is hard to believe he is only in Kindergarten.  I think she had a day like some of mine last week and was glad to have someone come visit. 

It was time for the shop to close by the time I left there so I called Ron to tell him I would meet him at home.  I stopped to buy some small pumps for the fountains and waterfalls.  A few of them need to be replaced.  As I was leaving the parking lot the clouds caught my attention and I pulled over to take some photographs. 

It was tempting to stay for the sunset, but I knew Ron would appreciate some supper, so I picked up fresh, warm tortillas and came home to make tacos for supper.  That is one of Ron's favorite meals and he was delighted to see what he was getting for supper.

Our son David called while I fixed supper so Ron chatted as I cooked.  We had a relaxed supper with a lot of quiet conversation - a real change from 24 hours earlier with the two talkative grandchildren.
Watching the jets flying high above was interesting.  The weather made them more visible and it is hard to imagine all the air-traffic that passes over our area.

January 25, 2015

Unexpected Fun
January 25, 2015

This morning we got up at the right time to get to Sunday School on time, but somehow we were running a little late when we actually got there.  After class started and by the time I got the attendance done and wrote cards to our absentees, it was time to go pick Mom up for church.  Her helper's ride was waiting for the helper to take her to her church.  Mom and I arrived at church and she visited with many friends before the service started.

We knew our son and his wife had a meeting after church for the parents of the kids in the children's department.  I asked if they needed us to take any of the children and they said they would like for us to keep the two youngest while they went to look at houses after their luncheon.  Jeff brought the two over a few minutes after we got home.  I had a ham I had fixed the previous day and made salad, heated corn and french bread and we had a delightful lunch.  I told Barb this afternoon that I got the two best eaters of the bunch.  They ate and ate.  They loved the ham.  One didn't want bread and one didn't want the spinach in the salad, but other than that, they ate more than one helping of everything.

We had a good time at lunch and laughed a lot.  I must admit, at times the noise got to me.  I told Barb I also got the two most talkative ones.  Oh, my, those two love to talk - not necessarily to anyone, just talk!  By the time the two of them were talking at the same time and the a/c was running I was on sound overload.  I could not tell what any one was saying, but the two children had "very important" things to tell me.  After lunch I told them it was rest time and Ron quickly went to sleep - but no one else did. 
They looked at books and kept sneaking up to work puzzles.  They had fun with all the wooden puzzles and worked them in and out of the frames.
Our grandson had taken all the wooden puzzles pieces to one puzzle that had tools and slipped them in his belt loops like a carpenter would wear them.  He was not happy to return them to his sister so she could work the puzzle.

While they were "resting" I baked a banana cake because the bananas were ready for that usage.  After rest time, our youngest grandson helped me bake Chocolate Chip Cookies and they both helped some.
I had promised this young man we would make cookies when they seven children spent the weekend with us recently and we ran out of time, so I made sure to get that project done today.  He is six and amazed me with his math ability of adding and subtracting and doing thought problems.  He is one sharp kid!
The cookies were excellent, so he must have done a great job.  Naturally, taste testing was in order and we all proclaimed them "Fantastic".  Then the kids ran off to play in the toy room while I cleaned the kitchen.  I didn't finish the cleaning, but Ron worked on it later.

Ron had to go take something to his mother and picked up milk and bread on his way back.  Before long it was time for supper and we had ham sandwiches, chips, and grapes.  Of course supper was followed by chocolate chip cookies and milk. 

Jeff and Barb were late getting back and we visited for a while when they arrived.  It was after 10:00 when they left and Barb texted me a couple of minutes later to say the baby was already asleep.    It was a good day, and is always fun to have the grandchildren come over.  They enjoy coming in twos and threes so that they can have more time to play with their favorite toys without having to share too much.