Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Time to catch up... again!

Well kids, it hasn't been a very good year. But Life goes on and I'm still praying and thinking positive and doing what I can.

My sales on eBay are going fairly well. I could do better if I wasn't so discouraged about shipping big, heavy items. I have knitting machines to sell because I'm only going to keep one. I have vintage sewing machines I would like to sell and they have to be very carefully packed so they arrive intact and unharmed. I've done it before with good success. I just need to work up the energy.

My Machine Knitting Bookshelf is empty except for a few that nobody seemed to want. I haven't decided how to sell the MK magazines yet. And I have lots!

So where were we? My 60th birthday was quiet. I'm happy to be a little closer to my social security. What next? Ah, 4th of July. Hubby Alex played one of the Benicia Founding Fathers with the Historical Society in the parade. Behold Robert Semple!

Then I spent nearly 24 hours a day recording the Olympics. Most thorough Olympics I've ever seen. Recorded 30 tapes that I dubbed to 27 DVDs. That's a LOT of commercials eliminated!

We had a few heat waves although not as bad as last summer. Cleo found that she likes to hang out in cool places like the bathroom sink and the tub.

Last year my credit union (EBTEL) was taken over by Sterlent CU. This year Sterlent was taken over by Patelco CU. What a pain! They have messed up my accounts SO much! I want to move all my accounts to a nice little local bank around the corner. No more deposits "lost in the mail". The last one I mailed (never again) was 2 weeks late so I was advised to get the check writers to stop payment and write new checks. Case closed right? No! After 4 weeks Patelco decided to post the deposit without notifying me or questioning the deposit slip date of a month before. And when the checks bounced they tried to charge me! I did what they told me to and they are going to try to rip me off? I don't think so! All charges reversed. Now I am trying to refinance my equity loan so I can pay off Patelco and get my accounts out of there.

So let's see, what else has gone on? Hubby Alex turned 73 last month. He is always in such perfect health that we got a new life insurance policy that goes to 120 years and costs a LOT less than the old one. A couple of weeks later I find this massive swelling on him, about the size of a cantaloup, that he should have told me about months ago! It's called a hydrocele (look it up) and will have to be surgically removed in a couple of weeks. I'm really tired of hospitals this year.

Again I am knitting Christmas gifts. A pair of gauntlets for someone who appreciates knights in armor and all that.

A couple of little cabled bags that still need pretty button closures.

And a Bramble tote bag that isn't finished yet. See the boo boos? I might just keep this one.

So that's where I am now. Watching the election returns and dreading the takeover of our country by a man who is not a natural born American, has terrorist and communist leanings and couldn't tell the truth if he tried. Lois, can I come live in B.C.?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Anything Nice...

Hi Folks. I know it's been a while since you've heard from me and I apologize. Me old Mum taught me, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Well, there's been very little nice to report on for quite a while. But darn it! This can't go on forever can it? I figure, today is the first day of my 61st year on this old earth. Well actually yesterday was my 60th birthday, but I'm a night owl and for me it is still "today". So, anyway, it's the beginning of a new year for me and I really hope things get better.

So where were we? Oh yes, the big storm that took down our trees and our wires and our neighbor's wires. A nice lady artist had taken some of our chunks of wood to work with and she came back for more. And while she was at it she cleaned up the first stump closest to the house. It's hardly noticeable anymore and hubby has made a new bonsai display area there. The old tree in the back is still lying where it fell and most of the debris is still there. For my birthday hubby says he will plant a veggie garden back there. It would be nice...

Had a huge scare in February. A very close family member attempted suicide and was in a coma for a few days. The hospital was about an hour and a half away but I or hubby needed to be there every day. I was so afraid. There was pneumonia, liver damage, brain damage. A sad, damaged psyche that can't or won't be fixed. He got better. He went home. He's trying. But I can hear him sliding back when I talk to him. A constant, wearing worry.

Which wreaks havoc on blood pressure, etc., etc... I am a well lubricated pin cushion. (smile) Only ruined one dress with blood stains. Naturally it was in light spring colors.

With gas prices so high and all that driving back and forth to the hospital for weeks, our already stretched very thin finances took a huge whack. Property tax didn't help either. Putting groceries on a credit card only works for so long. So now I am selling my things to help make ends wave at each other. My Mom is mad at me for not managing well. She's not the kind of Mom who will just hold you and let you cry and pat you on the back and tell you everything is going to be ok. She wants to move back to Oregon and it's just breaking my heart. It took SO many years to get her to live close by so we can help when she has one of her falls. We've been through all that a few times now. Oh well, at least she is still ABLE to move back to Oregon.

More later...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Gifts and Storm results

I received so many wonderful gifts I still haven't absorbed them all. Remember to click on the pictures for a better look, especially the storm pictures.

There's a beautiful Spode Blue Willow teacup and saucer, a wonderful swirled glass vase with a signature that is partly ground off, a charming snow globe music box that plays Take Me Home Country Road, an interesting apothecary jar, 2 different books about communicating with my cats, a bar-B-Q cookbook, A book of letters between Queen Victoria and her eldest daughter, The Princess Victoria, Princess Royal and German Empress and Queen of Prussia.

Beautiful golden ornaments and munchy goodies that were in my stocking, and the ornate Oriental Duck is an addition to Alex's duck collection.

The fabric shaver (that really works!) that I've always wanted from my wonderful DIL.

The DVD I've been waiting for, and I can't believe I haven't watched it yet!

Self explanatory!

And now pics of the aftermath of the weekend storms. One of our 100 year old black acacia trees fell down and took out our and our neighbor's wires. The other black acacia, also as old, had been leaning over the years too and needed to come down. My dear brother and his father-in-law came with their chain saws and took down both trees. Mayhem is left in their wake but we are grateful, nonetheless.

This is the new view from the bathroom window. The kitties will miss chattering with the squirrels and watching the hummingbirds at the feeder.

The sad view from the porch.

What's left of the beautiful old tree that the squirrels used to hang out in. A lady wood turner already came by and took some very large pieces of trunk. I look forward to seeing what she does with them.

This is what's left of the old tree that fell. My brother was going to finish cutting down the main trunk and cutting up the fallen trunk but his FIL was worried about traffic backing up on the way home and another storm was coming in.

Smashed storage and benches. Lots of crushed beginning bonsai trees etc. All those buckets and bags and stuff you see in the pictures is stuff my pack rat hubby has brought home from other gardens, now exposed to the light of day.

The other side of the yard. Timber bamboo as big around as my arm not to mention about 40 other kinds of bamboo. With that huge head of a statue back in the jungle you could almost believe you were in an Indonesian jungle.

Well, that it for now. I'll check with my neighbor tomorrow about her pictures. Another storm is coming in tonight!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

I know. I'm a little late. I've been a busy girl in many ways. The week before Christmas I spent 4 days in the cardiac ward having some hair raising tests which resulted in excellent news about my heart. But also taught me a serious lesson about letting go and not trying to be in charge of so much. Believe me it's a lot easier to say than to do. Especially when the whole family is coming for Christmas in a couple of days! But we got through it and enjoyed every minute. Took a few days to recover from being so tired but it was worth it. Some pictures...

Christmas morning.

The Christmas table.

Front to back, son David, DIL Jenny, Granddaughter Judy and Nephew Alec.

Front to back, Grandson Brandon, SIL Mary, Nephew Seth and my Mom.

My handsome boy David.

Brandon showing off his new fingerless mitts with Grandpa Alex handing out presents.

GD Judy, cat Sammy and DIL Jenny.

Brandon & Jenny patiently waiting to open packages.

Rufus hiding out from all the company.

Cleo hiding out under her first Christmas tree. Cleo is the only cat we've ever had who climbed the tree, and from the inside too!

Fingerless mitts for David that weren't finished until after he had to go home.

Next time, pics of Christmas goodies and of our devastated back yard after the week of storms.