One of the things you face, when not blogging on a daily basis, is the plethora of subjects that you might blog about when you return to that blank screen. Unfortunately, in my case, there are usually dozens of one-liners that pop up, but not as many full blown thoughts. Tonight the subject that has floated to the surface and seems stuck in first place has to do with “snowbirds.”

A few years ago I used to think of snowbirds with distain. They were “elderly” people who fled areas as moderate as northern Illinois (HA!) for the colder months of the year. Some would go for a month, others for the entire period from November to April. I thought, “They’ve been raised here. They know what our winters are like. They should be able to make it through the winter without needing lengthy vacations in the (much warmer) south.” I thought, “Canadians don’t run from a little cold. What’s the big deal?”

Well, I have a great deal more empathy for those “elderly” people these days. I am in my late sixties and I have arthritis, and I could be the local weather girl. This is OCTOBER, for God’s sake! We had one rainy, cool day yesterday and I wanted to stay in bed for the day with an electric blanket. I can’t imagine what it will be like this winter when it is truly cold.

I was conversing via e-mail with my three sisters, and the youngest, who lives in Indiana, was requesting an electric sleeping bag that she could wear when teaching because her classroom was so cold. The oldest one was talking about buying more socks! It’s comforting to know that I am not alone in not looking forward to winter.
Meanwhile, I think I’ll stock up on hand warmers and look for my crocheted sock patterns. I think I’ll take a serious look at a room heater for the basement so that I can continue to quilt without icicles dripping from my nose, and I’ll buy stock in Advil.

Who knows, there might even be an extended road trip south in my future one day, or perhaps a lengthy Caribbean cruise. Just don’t call me a snowbird, though. That would mean I’ve joined the ranks of the elderly. (Sigh)

Network News

For some time we have been bemoaning a trend in network news on TV.  The stations repeatedly tell you what they will be covering. Five, six, seven times they will “tease” you with the news to come.  And when it’s time to report on those subjects, they don’t have time to say more than a sentence, or two if you are lucky.  This is not the journalism I remember from my childhood.  Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and Peter Jennings must be spinning in their graves each time a network news program is aired.

It used to be that “Who,” “What,” “Where,”  and “When” were the absolute minimum in reporting, and we hoped to to know “Why” as well.  Sometimes we also were treated to “How.”  Now, we’re lucky if we get two of these questions answered.  Frequently we are told that someone has been shot, but while they might tell us the corner where the shooting took place, they most likely won’t tell us where the victim was hit, or whether they will survive.

Today must be a very slow news day.  The big news byte is that the shooting in California is now being classified as a terrorist attack.  I think we could conservatively guess that in a five minute period at 4:55 this afternoon, we heard this same comment fifteen to eighteen times on one station.  I’m sure it’s the same on all the others.  Why not do a good job of covering the story in full, and then go on to other news?  Just as I am sick of the commercialization of Christmas, I detest the same thing happening to the news.

Serious reporting has disappeared at such an alarming rate that we are changing to news programs that will give us the deeper story, like the “PBS Newshour” and “Charlie Rose.”  I  rarely go to CNN for news, but I may check them out to see if they are doing a better job than the networks.

And, while I’m at it, it seems that radio news announcers feel that time is money, so they now leave out the little verbs, and report in incomplete sentences.  Stations which used to pride themselves on their presentations feel they have to go with the flow, so there will be a generation of radio listeners who won’t know there is anything wrong with this.

We need a groundswell of complaint, a grass roots movement, to let the stations know WE DON’T LIKE IT!!

November First

November first, at the crack of dawn, we headed out for a two week trip to the south.  The  plan was to drive down to Orlando to spend a few days with our granddaughters and their parents, and then visit New Orleans for  a bit before driving home.

We decided to drive east to Indiana and pick up Interstate 65 and take that south to Mobile.  The first day we drove through Indiana and a good part of Kentucky, stopping at Bowling Green.  The second day we finished the trip through Kentucky,  zipped through Tennessee and slogged through Alabama.

I’ve never made this  particular trip and was amazed at how beautiful Kentucky, Tennessee and northern Alabama are in late fall.  We drove through foothills (of the Smokies, I assume), and early in the day either clouds or fog ringed the tops of the hills.  We had an overcast day, but very little rain, which made the travel quite easy.  There was a brief spate of construction just after I took the wheel in Tennessee, but it didn’t last long.  Dear Husband was delighted to find an exceptional seafood restaurant a block away from our hotel in Mobile.  We opted for just about all the peel and eat shrimp we could eat.  I think I might have had hush puppies, too!

The third day of our trip we headed east out of the very tiny bit of Alabama that fronts on the Gulf of Mexico, into Florida.  The panhandle of Florida goes on FOREVER!!!  The worst part about the panhandle is that every mile looks the the one you just drove, and the one up ahead.  A little variety would be nice.  I think it might have taken us five hours to go from Mobile to Interstate 75, where we turned south.

We drove to Ocala, another place I had never visited.  I researched seafood restaurants in Ocala.  They have every kind of seafood place there:  shops where you walk up to a window to order, fast food chains that feature deep fried fish, nicer restaurants where you are waited on, and a few really classy joints.   We opted for the nicer restaurant, and made our way to the center of town.  Ocala is very people friendly.  We had almost no trouble finding our way around, and had a wonderful dinner at Harry’s.

The fourth day of our trip we were about 90 minutes from Orlando, and had the day to ourselves before we met up with the kids.  We slept in, had a big breakfast and continued south.  When we entered Florida, there was a rest stop that had fliers on just about everything you can do in Florida.  Dear Husband found a flier on a quilt shop on the Atlantic side of the state.  Since we didn’t have any plans, we went fabric shopping. (I know how odd that sounds.)  We bought the fabric for a baby quilt I need to make, and DH found several pre-printed panels that would make absolutely adorable quilts.  Before I singed the credit card  we headed back to Orlando to meet our family

And with that, it’s time for me to hit the hay.  Hopefully, I can give you the shorter version of the rest of our trip when I return.

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!



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!

Merry Christmas

For the few of you who read my blog, I want  to wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best in this coming year.  I hope you are able to spend time with family and friends, and have a little time off to be able to enjoy the season

As usual, I’ve been experiencing my anti-materialism gloom.  Dear Husband has done the “hit the pavement” shopping, while I’ve handled what needed to be ordered via the Internet. It helped to be able to spend a day baking with two of my nieces, and celebrating with our exercise class.

Our exercise guru opens her house to a pot-luck brunch immediately following class on the final session in December.  I subbed for her so that she could be ready for her guests, and class was very pleasant.  The day before, DH made his famous latkes, and I baked “egg muffins.”  The muffins are basically scrambled eggs poured over chopped veggies and cooked chopped meat and/or cheese.  I cooked them for 24 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  They puffed up, and then sank as they cooled.  They make a very convenient breakfast, and can be refrigerated for several days and reheated.

I have lots of wrapping left to do for our kids and granddaughters. We’ll see them several times this holiday season.  In addition to Christmas, we’ll take them all out to a marvelous seafood brunch.

I’m looking forward to hanging the bird feeder that my sister gave to us as a housewarming present.  It’s a platform that holds a suet/seed ball that has fruit added to make it look like a little owl.  I plan to put it out Christmas Eve so that we can watch the birds.

My family has already met for the year.  It’s so large that it has become difficult for them to clear the decks to gather, and….a number of them are spread out over the U.S.  This year we were instructed to choose a DVD to give, and a “snack” to go with it.  It’s tough to buy a DVD for a drawing, so there were some hits and misses.  We ended up with two Mark Wahlberg action movies, and a Nicholas Sparks chick flick. lol

January 2nd, my quilting bee will come for a Soup Supper night.  I’ll make several soups and provide bread, salad and dessert.  This will be the first time most of them have seen our new home.

I’ve enjoyed this Christmas more than several in the past, but the materialism really bothers me.  The push to get the best price and the perfect piece of technology misses the point of the season.  I’d rather spend time with friends and family and not worry about gifts.  So, I’m the Grinch.  I hope you all will carry on the Season for me.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!