Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Catching Up

I guess it is time I showed up again.  I know it has been a long time since I have posted and I appreciate those of you who have inquired about Aud and I.

Aud turned 96 on October 11, and she is still going strong.  Not as strong as before, but she is hanging in.  The sight has diminshed in her left eye due to the coumidin (that is not spelled right and I am too lazy to look it up, lol) she has to take.

I have taken her to an eye specialist and now she has had two shots into her eye, a month apart, and is seeing much better.

Here she is with her leg brace on, her back brace on, her cap to keep the glare out, and her trusty bag that holds her Iphone, Kindle, and Ipad.  She would probably wring my neck for posting this picture but at least she is up and moving. And, her sense of humor is still perking along. 

I took this picture this past weekend, and since then her back has really been giving her problems and
she can hardly get around so I got her a four wheel walker with a basket and brakes, and a seat to sit in if she can't make it another step and she is moving right along back and forth between her bedroom and the ktichen area.  Her old walker now sits at the door of the living room, which is sunken, and she transfers everything to her bag and steps down and uses that walker to move to her chair.  It works out pretty well. 

I have acquired a few more health problems in the last several months also, so there are days that I don't get around too good either, but I have lots of energy when I can get around.  

As a result of that energy, I have been getting some quilting done, and finally finished up my batik basket quilt that has given me fits for months.  I am in the process of binding it but this will give you an idea of what it looks like. 

Have finished up a couple of other quilts, but don't have pictures handy so I will try to post more  sooner than later.  

I am still playing bridge a couple of times a week, and am the treasurer of our local quilt guild this year, so there is no grass growing under my feet.  Just wish I could work some cooking into my schedule, but that seems to be on the very very back burner for now.  

Hope everyone is perking along at life in the best way they are able, and all is well with each of you.

See you later!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Aud Tale

I realize I haven't posted in a good while,  I keep intended to and just putting it off.  However this one is just too good to pass up.

Around this time of night Aud has managed to do all of the sleeping,  reading,  and playing solitaire that she can do without turning on her television.  She probably has watched some tv throughout the day because she keeps assuring me that she can multitask.

Most days we do watch some tv in the living room because I try to spend some "quality" time with her every day.  This is where you have to realize that spending time with Aud involves a tv going and her either reading or playing solitaire while she watches tv (multitasking).  Not sure this counts as quality time but she is an avid tv watcher.  Doesn't seem to care what she is watching.

The problem with all of this is about this time of night if she is in her room she starts channel surfing and before I know it, the tv is loud enough I can hear it through the walls.  So I make my nightly trip in there to ask her to turn it down because by this time of night I am usually reading or playing bridge on the computer and I can't multitask,  noise drives me bananas.

Tonight is no exception.  I knock on her door and when I open it I see that she is watching a Spanish language tv station.

What in the world are you watching a Spanish station for?  Why aren't you watching some of the stuff I have taped?  No wonder I can hear it through the don't even realize what you are watching!

I do so!.....I am brushing up on my Spanish!

Who else do you know that is 95 1/2 years old that is "brushing up on their Spanish?"

:) Life is never dull around here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Sometimes when things just don't seem to be going well, I look at the yard and see bits and pieces of spring in all it's glory and promises of things to come and it gives me such a sense of peace.

Yellow Iris transplanted this year

back yard lilies and climatis

azaleas in front yarx

climatss climbing on  yard shed

antique rose bush, mums in waiting, yellow lilies
that have escaped being transplanted

Forest Purple Pansy RoseBud Tree

east back yard

anemones in late March

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Washing Woes

The last two weeks were a total disaster around here as far as anything productive going on.  Both Aud and I had a stomach virus of some sort and to top off the first week both the washer and the dryer decided it was time to quit.  Called the repairman and ended up replacing the dryer and fixing the washer.

Things are never being simple at this place, This happened on a Thursday, and the part needed for the washing machine had to be ordered and would not arrive until Monday.  Got up out of my sick bed and went to alliance store we deal with to buy a new dryer and of course it also had to be ordered and it would be Tuesday before it would get in and could be installed.

Last Monday, the washer was duly fixed and ready to go.  On Tuesday morning the dryer was delivered and hooked up.  It is a gas dryer and I needed it moved over a little bit from where they hooked it up, they moved it and off they went.

I washed some sheets, put them in the dryer and it took them two hours to dry.  Something is wrong here.  I call the appliance store, and they tell me it will be Wednesday before they come out.  Well, we got that straighter out in about 5 minutes and they showed up about an hour later.  The technicians had turned off the gas to move the dryer over and forgot to turn it back on.  Unreal, right?

I wash 4 loads of clothes and dry them and then I wash a small quilt that I use as a table topper on my table, and I cannot get it to spin dry!  Finally end up wringing it out by hand and getting it dry in the dryer.

Of course I call the washer repairman the next morning and my regular person isn't available so they send me someone else. The washer is acting like it did before I had it repaired so I assumed it was a bad part.  After a lengthy discussion with first repairman via telephone and owner of said repair company we finally decided that what was happening was the washer was compensating for an unbalanced load and was never able to spin properly.  The part replaced was a water value of some sort and since our water was now so soft it was able to spray more water since the pipes weren't clogged up. Now to compensate for a  small load of a heavy object I have to add a couple of towels to make the silly thing spin correctly.

This washer is a Whirlpool Duet which is a front loader, and the way it works it balances the load ever little bit so it won't fly off into the next room.  Picture that.  The new dryer is also a Whirlpool Duet with steam.  I have been informed that it has had problems, but Ms Aud was insistent that is what she wanted, and as the song goes, "What Lola wants, Lola gets".  :}

I see repair bills down the road, but the dryer is a beauty.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Market Baskets

Not making much headway on my baskets.  Life has sure been busy the past couple of weeks.  However I finally decided what I was going to do about the basket handles.

A little construction

I made "couture" handles for the largest baskets.  Think I will keep those and get the appliqué done and put them together before I tackle the next size.

And a little deconstruction.

Decided I could not stand that color basket handle on all of the smallest baskets, so off with their heads!
Now to decide what colors to make them.

Check out Judy's  to see what is going on in other places.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Market Baskets

Last year Sharie and I decided to do this quilt.  I had cut out all of the handles and backgrounds and made a few of the small baskets.  

When I finally got back to it this year, I decided that the basket handles are too dark so I am changing them.  Now I have all of the baskets made and "all" I have to do is cut out the handles, appliqué them onto the backgrounds and I will be finished.  lol.

To see what other people are up to this week, go here.  Thank you Judy for hosting this.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Saga of The Child House

A monologue to remind me of where our money goes.  It makes me faint with angst!

This is about The Child House.  I named it that because it just keeps taking and taking, and just about the time I think it has "grown up", it comes up with a new request.

Short history here.  My husband passed away in 2000 and my children live in Oklahoma and with only Aud and I, (I am an only child), we were encouraged to move here so they could help us if they needed to. It all worked out as it should because I was laid off in early 2011 and we put our Texas house on the market, I accepted a job in Oklahoma, and Aud stayed in Texas to sell the house there.

It took a year to sell it, and when it finally sold, I had two weeks to find a house up here.  The movers were scheduled, etc, etc.  It was one of those moves from hell, so to speak.  I found the house, papers were signed, I was to fly down to drive Aud up, and had to have emergency gall bladder surgery.  So The Child House became ours. Since I was recovering from surgery I could not lift anything over 10 pounds, which didn't help, but that is another story.

Anyway, we had two days to get the carpets cleaned and the house cleaned before the movers arrived.  They unpacked, all was well, and the next morning we were washing dishes, and washing some clothes and the commode got flushed and all of a sudden we had water problems.

And those water problems have popped up periodically ever since. We could not wash dishes and clothes at the same time or use the front bathroom if any of those two items were being used.  The piping was too small. That was solved by buying a new washer and dryer that used less water.  3 months later the dishwasher was not usable, there was a short in the wiring that we didn't know about. so we purchased a new dishwasher.   The water heater was replaced 2 years later.

Then the main waste pipe going out of the house broke (cast iron, this house is 40 years old) and the floor in the master bedroom had to be dug up for about 15 feet and new piping put in. New valves
had to be put in in two of the three bathrooms which also required holes being dug in both of those.

By then we had found a decent plumber and we basically have had him on retainer since.   The next thing to go wrong was the outside sewer line which broke due to tree roots so we had the tree cut down, and new piping laid to the main sewer line that goes across the back of our backyard.

And then the a/c unit drain would clog up and water would spill out all over a side hall and we had to replace carpet and so on.  So, we replaced all of the carpet, put tile in the kitchen and bathrooms, wood laminate in the dining room, side hall and 2 bedrooms.  1 of which I used for sewing at one time.

About a year later, we redid the kitchen countertop, added a new cooktop ,oven units and sink.
In the process of doing a final installment tweak, the workman clipped a hose under the sink by
accident.  He left for the day, and a couple of hours later we were washing dishes and the nicked
pipe hose split the rest of the way, and all of a sudden the kitchen was full of water and it was
creeping in on the laminate floor and under the cabinets into the next room which also had laminate on it.
Couldn't find the cutoff valve in the house and didn't have a turn off tool for the outside, and none of the close neighbors had one either.  Called the fire department and they came out and cut off the water.

So, the contractor had to replace most of the laminate in the two rooms close to the kitchen and fix
the split hose.  It was a total nightmare for a couple of weeks.

Somewhere along the  way we have replaced all of the windows, the a/c and heating unit,  all commodes,  put in a walk in bathtub, a new "handicap" accessible shower setup and updated another shower, and put in a ton of insulation in the attic.

We have also put in a totally new kitchen, including all new appliances,  which is absolutely wonderful, and a pleasure to cook in because everything has it's own place.  We did add a wall in part of the kitchen
and open up another wall to give us a little more counter and cabinet area.  That greatly increased the flow of the kitchen and the house. At that time we also painted the inside and outside of the house.

And then we had a slab break which required rerouting the hot water in one area of the house.  It caused water damage to the laminate flooring again, which had to be replaced again.  Could no longer get what we had used originally, so we now have two separate areas of laminate, but surprisingly they look ok.

We had french drains put in in the yard due to water problems with heavy rains a couple of years after we moved in.   Also added a sprinkler system to take care of the watering. And just this month, we had to have a section of the back porch concrete replaced because it had sunk and water was getting in under the fireplace and getting the living room carpet wet.  We also had some of the back yard dug out some more to further facilitate the water not backing up onto the porch.  Now we have a swale in the back yard just off the middle of the back porch which is going to have to be fixed.

As to the yard, it was a total wreck when we moved in, and over the years I have finally gotten it to the point where it looks great most of the time, and this year finally had a full yard of fescue in the back which will stay green all year long.  That got dug up of course when the back yard was "regraded" a couple of weeks ago.  I have added lilies and other perennials slowly but surely and this year removed every plant that requires a lot of maintenance because it costs so much to maintain them and good gardening help is hard to find and very expensive.

And then there is the electricity. We have replaced the majority of it and added some capacity also.  Replaced all light bulbs with curlies when they first came out, which really saves on electric, and have now replaced all of the lights in the living room with leds on dimmers.  These are wonderful and not hot.  Also replaced outside security light fixtures and put in led bulbs on dawn to dusk cells.  Our electric bill has dropped another 30 a month.

AND, I must not forget the fireplace.  We called a chimney sweep to clean out the fireplace when we first moved in.  It needed a new "cover" on it, BUT, there were baby birds inside the chimney and since
they were protected, we could not put the cover on.  So, we had to wait until the silly things grew up and flew away.  I remember at night they would start yelling and I would holler "shut up" into the fireplace and they would, lol.  After they left, we converted the fireplace to gas logs and things were good until about 3 years ago when the turn on valve started leaking gas.  And our good friend the plumber had to
put in a new turn off valve, lol.  Of course it proved to be a royal pita, but he got it done.

ALSO,  there was a hole in the eaves of the house and a squirrel family had set up shop in there and had a baby.  I kept telling Aud we had some animal in the attic and she never believed me until one day I was outside and looked up and there was a squirrel staring at me through one of the screened openings in the eaves. We had to have it trapped and that was another whole adventure.  My son-in-law came over and covered up the hole and when the roof had to be replaced because of hail damage somewhere during this journey, that was taken care of.

The past two weeks we have endured the installing of a soft water system.  Our dishwasher, which was installed when we redid the kitchen 2 years ago, was not acting right.  It was under warranty so I called the technician to fix it, and was informed that hard water was eating it up and he told me we needed to get a water softener system in or we would have to replace the dishwasher in another year.  If you have priced dishwashers lately, they are not cheap.  Also, a month ago, we had to replace the faucets in the bathtub for the same reason.  The soft water system was installed a week ago Monday.  This morning at 4 am I hear this ungodly noise coming from the garage.  I go out there and there is water gurgling out of
the water heater drain.  I call the soft water person, leave a message on his answering machine, send a text to the plumber and literally set in a chair for the next few hours with my stomach in a knot listening for the sound of water.

The soft water person came by about 8:30, informed me there was no problem with the unit, and the plumber arrived around 11.  He has run the snake down the drain, there was 40 years of calcium in it I am sure, and now the soft water is working again, and there is no water coming out of the drain.  When I found out he was coming I ran to Home Depot and picked up 4 new faucets to change out in the bathrooms.   We had changed them out several years ago and put in the "one handle" variety.  Both Aud and I have trouble turning them to the right temperature, and they seem to drip back onto the countertop and since he was going to be here anyway, it would save another service call expense.  They are beautiful.

Last fall when we had the a/c unit checked, the motor on the heat part of the a/c had to be replaced.
When the plumber and I were throwing out the trash from today he said to me "it sounds like the motor on the a/c unit needs to be replaced.  It is whining some."  It is due for service in April. 

One bright piece of news, we have been told in the past month that we do not need any piers!
Are  you listening, Child House?

As Aud is so fond of saying, and I think the house hears her and giggles, "surely there is nothing else that can go wrong now.  Don't we have it all taken care of? "

Don't think I will tell her about the a/c right now, lol. Give her a couple of days to feel secure.