Words never to be used

Did you know  that there is a movement among a small group of educators to stop fourth graders from using the word “said?”   “Get,” “nice,” “very” and “thing” are also on the list.

I understand the intent, to help students learn that there are amazing, and more specific ways to express yourself, but there are pitfalls in the current practice.  This is supposed to be  a two-step process.  First, you expand their vocabularies, and then you help them learn when to use the two-dollar words, and when to use a simpler description.  Unfortunately, the second step seems to be forgotten in many schools.

I think it’s fine to expand a child’s vocabulary.  I’m all for clear descriptions.  But, I think we need to work on flowing prose, and interesting sentences, rather than how to pack a paragraph with adjectives.

Here’s a link to the article, if you’d like to read about it.

The Passing of an Era

Last month Dear Husband sold the Arr!!  It now resides in the Atlanta area.  We understand that its new owner is going to refurbish it over the next couple of years.  It will get cleaned up, repainted, all the bright work will be done, and the wood will be sanded and varnished.  I’m so glad it’s gone to a new home.  It was a yarr little boat!

DH is still very interested in soaring.  He’s reading all the ads for gliders and talking with the members of his soaring club to learn which gliders are worth looking into and which are not.  I socked away the cash from the Arr!! into a fund for a possible purchase.  We’ll see if he flies the club’s planes or gets one of his own.  There are advantages both ways.

DH tried to solo before the planes were put away for the winter, but there just wasn’t enough time.  If we had been home in November, he might have made it.  This just gives him more time to study for the exam which will follow soloing.

So, we have left “Anchors Aweigh” behind and are moving on to “Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder.”  DH is never a dull man to be around!

Where did November go??

I have thought about blogging for the entire past month.  As we traveled through the south, when we played with our granddaughters,  when we were almost T-boned just an hour from home as we returned, as Fred began PT and we both came down with a miserable bug that I just can’t seem to shake.  But, I just thought about it.  All those thoughts are still bouncing around in my head, so you’ll get those thoughts in strange order, or maybe even not at all.  Most of those thoughts are centered in November, but there’s Halloween, too.  So, I’ll talk about Halloween here.

This is our second year in our ‘new’ home.  Our first Halloween we had roughly 106 trick-or-treaters.  This year we had closer to 160.  While it was cold, the rain held off just enough for the kids to get in their visits.  Dear Husband did the door duty this year, so I didn’t get to see the clever costumes and exclaim over them.  I really enjoy Halloween, especially since I know that the trick-or-treating is limited to between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m.

We’ve been very lucky not to be TP’d, and none of the kids have done any tricks.  We gave out Rice Krispy Treats and one little girl said, “Oooo, I LOVE Rice Krispy Treats!”  I guess DH chose our treats well.  🙂

Great News!

For those of you who have read here recently, I want you to know that my husband is doing very well!  He was in the hospital for a total of eight days.  He had an incredible number of tests done, and he will have a lot of follow-up visits with several doctors, but he is well!  I know…I know….. He is MUCH better than when he went into the hospital.  I think I’ll be able to say he is well before too long.

Dear Husband missed the speeding bullet.  HIs nurse described the mostly clogged artery as “The Widow Maker,” so you know it was serious.  We’re working on lifestyle changes.  This evening we had cod for dinner, with steamed broccoli.  Yes, there was a little bacon, and some cheddar cheese over the cod, but considerably less than there might have been a year ago.

We will be adding exercise to our routine, and checking blood pressure and blood sugars, so we’ll have plenty of feedback.  I hope we will BOTH be healthier as we enter the coming year.

Thank you for your kind messages, and for your positive thoughts and prayers!



My Dear Husband

It’s been a difficult week.  Dear Husband had trouble sleeping Monday night and ended up sleeping in a recliner in the living room.  He’d had “some discomfort” in his chest and sitting up made him feel better.  Tuesday night I went off to do that darned sleep test, so we were apart.  When I saw him Wednesday morning, he said he’d had another tough night.  We went to exercise, and when we came home, I reminded him to call the doc to make an appointment.

When he described to them what was bothering him, the doc said, “GO TO THE ER!!”  We had lunch and I drove him to the ER.

After six hours in the Emergency Room, DH was admitted to the hospital.  Thursday  they did a phalanx of tests, one of which was an angiogram.  In the midst of that test they decided to insert a stent.  One of the arteries was 90% closed, and the other was 80% closed.  His kidneys are not very tolerant of the dye, so the second stent will be done on Tuesday

The docs are using the three day holiday weekend to observe DH, and to continue collecting test results, so he’s cooling his heels and everything else in a very expensive hospital bed.

I’m confident the doctors are going to make a huge difference in his life.  I’m confident that he is going to feel MUCH better, and that I will have him around  for a while longer, but I’m not kidding myself that we are out of the woods yet.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers this coming Tuesday.

Sleep Tests

At long last, I persuaded Dear Husband to do a sleep test, and probably not a moment too soon!  To get him to do it, I had to nag, brow beat, offer to do one, and MAKE THE APPOINTMENTS!!  That’s all water over the damn now.  I’m SO glad we did the tests.

I was sitting back smiling smugly as we listened to the consultant talk about the results, because I knew DH has much more apnea than I do.  BUT, the doc knocked the wind out of my sails when he told me that I have a more serious problem with depleted oxygen levels.  I’ll have to go back to the sleep center for further testing to determine just what kind of equipment I’ll need to use.  I expect to be a new person once we get this straightened out.

Have you done a sleep test?  I do not know how they can realistically expect you to sleep.  First, they wrap two bands around your chest, to help hold equipment in place.  Then they glue 23 leads to you: in the hairline around your face, across the top of your head, on your throat, on the front of your chest just below your shoulders, and also on your lower legs.   Then, they gathered the wires together and helped me into bed.  I’m light sensitive, so I needed to turn away from where the equipment plugged in .  I was surprised to find that I could turn over.

It took me 47 minutes to fall asleep, where it normally takes me five.  I woke when the nurse came in to reattach something, but went right back to sleep.  Then, at 3:00, she came in once more to add something that delivered oxygen.  They tell me I went back to sleep, but it took a while.  At 6:00 they woke us.  We dressed and headed for home to clean up.  We could have showered there, but preferred to travel light and shower at home.

I’m not thrilled to be going back, but the pay-off will be huge.  We will have energy and be able to accomplish so much more each day.   We can expect our health in general to improve, and we should have more years together.

Win-Win wouldn’t you say??  🙂



Mother would have said…

“It’s as hot as the hinges of Hades!”  We’ve been fortunate that the temperatures have been fairly moderate this summer, but the “dog days” of August are upon us.

We went to exercise this morning.  It was warm, but bearable with the fans running.  We came home to a cool house and planned the meals for the coming week.  We stopped for lunch, and then headed to Meijer’s and were nearly felled by the heat radiating up off the blacktop, as we walked from the car to the store.

We did the shopping and then I was such  sissy that I asked Fred to bring the car to the front door to load.  He’s truly a prince.  He didn’t make me walk in the heat with him.

We got home and unloaded the car.  Fred noted the darker clouds to the south as we left the store.  He kept up a running commentary on how dark it was getting, and the increase in the winds.  We haven’t had much rain the past few weeks, and I figured I was going to have to go out to water the patio plants, when the storm slid past us.

Right after we got the groceries put away, the heavens opened!  I love hearing rain on the roof.  I felt “snug as a bug in a rug,” (another of Mother’s sayings??), knowing that I could sit inside and listen.  The rain was pretty hard, and was getting lashed by heavy winds.

Alas, it didn’t last.  I doubt we had fifteen minutes of rain.  But, at least I don’t have to water the plants!  It will be interesting to see if the storm washed out any of the humidity, or whether it just added to it.


Rip Van Winkle.

It’s been ages since I’ve posted.  Life has been full, and while I’ve thought about putting it down for you to read, that’s as far as it’s gotten.  I need to get a new memory card reader for my camera, so I can share a wealth of pictures that have accumulated.  I’m a dinosaur where phones are concerned.  I have a Tracfone flip phone.  It DOES take pictures, but I haven’t a clue how to move them from the phone to more useful media.

We’ve been busy. (Obviously too busy to get the memory card reader! lol)  We are mostly moved into our “new” home.  We have to do a little work in the garage yet, and in the basement TV area, and the living room.

We celebrated our 25th anniversary early by going on a Viking Tulip Time cruise with friends.  We flew to Amsterdam and then cruised around the Netherlands and Belgium.  We were gone from May 1 to 11, and it was a wonderful trip!  If you watch PBS and see the pictures of the riverboat in Budapest, thats the type of boat we were on.

Our oldest granddaughter is eleven and I’ve been teaching her to sew.  My goal is to get her to the point where she can make a simple quilt, but we started with a portable game and a skirt.  I think it’s been a good start!

We came back from vacation and scheduled sleep tests for both of us.  We both flunked.  We see a consultant next Monday and will likely be using Cpap equipment in the future.

Fred is learning to soar.  He started in late March with lessons at a soaring association west of us and is nearing the time when he will solo.  He’ll have to have more instruction and then take a very long written test, and  a soaring test to get his license.  He may have to do an oral test, too.  I’m not sure about that.  He’s as happy as a clam.

The Arr! is for sale.  Know anyone who wants to buy a 1983 Bayfield 30 foot sailboat?

We’ve seen our house and lawn through every season, now.  I have plans to change the front landscaping.  Although I like most of the plants, I think the curb appeal is sadly lacking.  I’ve met one neighbor who is an amazing gardener, and I understand there is another just a few doors down who is an expert at landscape design, so you can guess what I hope to be doing this winter.

We’re well and busy, and settled in.  I hope that those of you who might chance to read this are having a good summer.

I should be…

…quilting or playing in the yard, or running errands, but my computer has taken me hostage and I just can’t seem to break free!  🙂

I’m really just checking in to let those of you who read my blog know that I’m yet living’.

We’re in our first spring at our new home.  The Japanese weeping cherry is gorgeous, and we have a star magnolia in the front lawn.  I hope to open a new bed between the magnolia and a tree that’s further west, and add lots of blooming shrubs and perennials so that we have bloom three seasons.

The house has weathered our winter well, and made it through the heavy winds associated with the tornadoes that came through northern Illinois a week ago.  We were very fortunate, and so were our extended families.

Dear Husband and I were both sloths during the winter.  I dreaded getting on the scale yesterday, but oddly, it said I hadn’t gained weight.  I’ll find out on Tuesday whether my scale is broken, when I see the doc for  a check-up.

DH is studying to become a soaring pilot.  He’s taking lessons in a glider and hopes to buy one, one day.  I’ve been up for a ride, and I can see what he loves about it.

My Scraps on a Mission group is slow to get back to work this year.  I’ve finished four lap quilts, and have the tops for three twin-sized quilts finished.  I’ve sent one to the long arm quilter because it was more than I could do on my machine, but I hope to do the other two on my own.  I have an oversized baby quilt finished for the grand daughter of a friend, otherwise  I haven’t gotten to any of my own quilting in the past few months.  Ideas, I have tons of ideas, and lots of projects started, but just not enough time.

Exercise has been going well.  I subbed for our guru the past two days while she’s been taking a five day yoga seminar.  I suspect she’ll have all sorts of things to inflic….er share with us.

I’ve come to understand why Northerners become snowbirds.  I always snooted those who went south, but I’ve finally reached the age where weather, temperature, air pressure, etc, all have an effect and make me realize I have arthritis!  I don’t love winter as much as I used too.

We’ve met the neighbors to the south!  John offered to clear our sidewalks with his motorized plow, so we took a goodie basket over to say thanks.  We find we have a  love of gardening, and a dislike of the wildlife who eat our plants!  I can see DH and John shooting marshmallows at the critters.

So….we’re here, and have weathered winter, and are looking forward to the warmer weather.  I hope you’re all doing well.  Happy Spring to you!

Don’t tell me…

Has it truly been two months since I’ve last posted?  And I thought I was doing so much better.  Hmmpf.

Well, Dear Husband and I have both had our winter colds.  I started to get better and he got worse, so I nagged him to visit the doc.  The PA saw him and put him on antibiotics and a puffer, and had him get a chest x-ray.  He’s better now.  Apparently he had bronchitis, and was inching his way toward pneumonia.

I’ve subbed for my exercise guru four days in February.  She’s been ill, and now her husband has the flu.

I cancelled the opening day for Scraps on a Mission.  I didn’t want to share our germs with the ladies who come to sew.  We’ll have our opening day later this month.  Many of us have been sewing, as though the meeting had taken place.  I have three 50″ x 50″ lap quilts ready for binding, and I’m working on three 80″ x 80″ tops, one of which is finished.  I’m going to quilt two of them, and have the third quilted professionally.  When I’m a little further along, I’ll finish a quilt for a friend’s grand daughter.

We’ve had a lot of snow, but nothing like what’s inundated the East.  One of our neighbors  cleared off our sidewalk using a plow attached to an all-terraine vehicle.  DH cleared off the  driveway, which is very short.  We’ve had one feeder out for the birds.  As soon as we can get another pole into the ground, we’ll put up another.  Perhaps we’ll be able to lure some of the cardinals to our back yard.

Things have been very quiet the past two months.  That’s when you should begin to worry.  Two weeks ago my sister-in-law passed away.  I feel dreadful for my brother, because she was the light of his life.  He has planned a lovely memorial for her, and we’ll all gather on Sunday to share our memories.

Two of my siblings have lost their spouses, now.  So far, I haven’t lost a sibling, but with each loss I wonder who will be the first of us to pass away.  Our Dad lived to 70, but Mother was almost 94 when she passed away.  We have good genes and bad, and some of us lead very healthy lives, and some, not so healthy.  I’m reminded that we should live life as though this was our last day on earth.

And with that, I think I’ll call it a day.  I hope you are all high, dry and well!