Thursday, April 28, 2022

Thursday, April 28, 2022, MN

After six weeks of religiously taking my thyroid medication as prescribed, I had my follow-up blood test this morning and already got the results.  This all started in August 2019 when the numbers were low (.16 IU/ml) and the safe range is .30 to 4.50 IU/mL - the doctor decreased the strength of the medication I was taking.  In March the numbers went up to 4.58 IU/mL and then I had to modify how I took the medication and strictly take it on an empty stomach and not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes.  Today it was even higher at 6.75 IU/mL. I haven’t heard from my doctor as to what the next step will be.

I finished the Tunisian Crochet blanket (throw) that I started about six weeks ago.  The last few days, I have been so obsessed that my fingertips were started to be sore. It measures 57” x 57” and has 27,792 stitches.  It will be warm and cozy next winter.  What will next project be?

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Happy 74th Birthday to ME! Thanks to my family and many friends - new and old - who have made it a great day for me.  The greetings started when I was in Stoughton over the weekend and when I arrived back home from my visit on Monday, when there were are few birthday cards in the mail and clipped to my door.  Then, an early greeting from my sweet sister, Rita, last night before I went to bed.  Just when I was getting ready for the day this morning, a call from my newest friend, Deb, here in my building, and an invitation to walk to Mugshots for a coffee.  While sitting there, I was pinged with a few greetings and the messages and phone calls from friends and family have come in throughout the day. It is so nice to be remembered by so many. I feel so fortunate to have made so many long lasting friendships through the years.  I will have cake and ice cream with Ben’s family this weekend and will enjoy a nice dinner with Ben and Jill the following weekend.  What a day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tuesday, April 26, 2022, MN, WI

A lot has happened over the last week and now I will try to reconstruct the events of my days since last Wednesday.  I volunteered for the Food Truck event at my building on Wednesday before loading up the car for a trip to Stoughton. After dropping Frisco off at his second home with Ben and the family, I headed south.  The weather was lousy- cold and rainy - but I opted to travel that day so I would have plenty of time to visit people in Stoughton.  It rained constantly, but came to an abrupt stop as I got to the Mississippi River in eastern Minnesota. That was nice because it allowed me to see the ice dams that formed frozen waterfalls in the high rocky cliffs along the road side.  I wasn’t able to take a photo but I found this one online to borrow. The ice wasn’t this thick and was scattered over a mile or so along I-90 near Dresbach.  There was no rain until I got to Sparta and then it was rainy all of the way to Stoughton.

My first stop was to get hugs from Pat and Tracey and it sure felt good to see them again.  I didn’t stay too long as I was getting tired after the long day and Thursday was a working day for Pat. It was also nice to see Dawn, my cousin-sister-girlfriend and we had wine and talked until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.

Dawn and I had lunch with her Mom, Wanda on Thursday and I can’t remember the last time that I was at Wanda’s house.  This was a blast from the past, as the house looks pretty much as it did back in the 1960s when they bought it and when I used to babysit for them now and then.  Wanda just celebrated her 90th birthday in January and is physically challenged by Osteoarthritis and macular degeneration but her mind is sharp and we had a very nice visit in spite of her recent sad news of a cancer diagnosis. As we were hugging and saying our goodbyes, she sang the little song, Que Sera Sera “Whatever Will Be Will Be”.

Back to Stoughton and I headed off to see Susan, my childhood friend who recently became a widow and relocated from Georgia back to Stoughton.  She has a lovely condo at Vennevol, a senior housing complex on the west side. We sat on her patio and had a great visit then went to town and had dinner at the Viking Brew Pub.

I spent the evening with Pat and Tracey before going back to Dawn’s house where she had some friends over to watch “Murder and Mayhem”, a weekly event for that group of friends.

Friday started out with a meetup with Jonnie for breakfast at Sugar and Spice - another good chat and family connection.  Dawn went grocery shopping and I dusted and vacuumed her house in preparation for a gathering that she was having on Saturday.  After that, I was off to the Pancake Cafe to meet up with my classmate, Doug, for a beer and some good conversation that we missed out on last August, as he was unable to make it to our class reunion.

I hung out with Pat and Tracey again and we had carry out fish fry for dinner.  After dinner, they gave me an early birthday gift - an Apple Watch.  Dang, did that make for a big surprise! It will take a while to get used to wearing a watch again and a learning curve to figure it all out, but I think I will grow to love it. 

I headed to Pat’s house first thing Saturday morning and we had coffee and watched the news.  The weather was gorgeous that day and I didn’t even need a jacket to walk over there.  By 9:00 he and I were both ready to get moving and he started working on detailing his truck and I worked on detailing his front flower beds.  That felt so good to be outdoors and doing something that I have always loved. When we finished those projects, he helped me to clean the remaining road salt from the carpet of my car.  And then we both needed naps after that.  He made quiche for dinner - a bacon and cheddar and a spinach with feta cheese. Yum! It was a lovely day, especially when I could spend it with my son.

On Sunday morning, I had coffee with Dawn before packing up, picked up some pastry from Fosdal’s Bakery for breakfast and headed over to Pat’s house for the morning.  He had something going on that afternoon and I was heading north to Pat and Roger’s house.  

The weather had changed again with high winds and low 40° temps - back to winter again.  Patty and I bundled up and went for a walk together but the wind could have blown us over a couple of times. I definitely needed a good walk after a few days of eating way too much and not walking at all. It’s always nice to be with them.  We had Old Fashioneds for happy hour and lasagna and salad for dinner, then watched “Pure Country” with George Strait in the evening.

After a nice walk again on Monday morning, I packed up and hit the road - so ready to get back home to my own space.  An unexpected change has come about me - a yearning to be in my own space - that I never used to experience.  In the past, I have been a ‘go getter’ and being away from home didn’t really bother me, but I have sure noticed it the last few trips that I have made.  It was great to see my buddy Frisco again and he was happy to get back home too.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Monday, April 18, 2022, MN

Well, the damned white stuff is still coming out of the sky - being persistent but not accumulating on the ground.  There is not a person who I’ve talked with who hasn’t expressed their disappointment in the late spring and the weather we have seen in April. It is just dragging on and on. When I walked Frisco yesterday morning, I looked up into the tree to check for buds and I saw this little guy peek out from his hole. He just watched me from his protected spot for several minutes.  Can you see him?

I made up for lost time with Ben this weekend and it sure felt good to be with him.  I went to their house Friday afternoon and met Norah and Camille at the corner bus stop and got the packed and walked them to Sabine’s house for birthday sleepover. Charlotte and Violet walked back to the house with me. When Ben and Jill were done with work, we ordered pizza from Hello Pizza and had wine and pizza and good conversation together over dinner.  On Saturday, he and I met at the 9-Mile Creek Trailhead and walked while the twins were at gymnastics. And yesterday, we were all together with Jill’s parents at their home for Easter.  

The individual letters spelling out ‘Happy Spring’ were placed in some of the eggs that were hidden outdoors. After hunting for eggs and filling their baskets, they opened the eggs and found the letters, they had to work together to unscramble them and when they did, they got to have the golden egg that was filled with $$$ for each of them.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Thursday, April 14, 2022, MN

How is it that I have managed to lose things lately?  A few weeks ago, I accidentally threw away my favorite black onyx ring. This week, I went to get Frisco’s bottle of ear treatment from the counter and it was nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere. Did I accidentally put it in the trash or the recycle bag or in the tote where I keep his other things? It is in none of those places.  I have kept a crocheted coaster on my table since I made it and went to grab it this morning and it wasn’t there. After lots of looking, it is still not there.  Is there a ghost in my apartment? Is my mind playing tricks on me? Am I actually throwing things away that shouldn’t be thrown away? Senior moments? Who knows?

After listing the Bridge family rocking chair (it belonged to Mike’s great grandfather) on marketplace since last August, I finally got an interested buyer.  It was picked up today and will find a new home in a solarium in someone’s cabin.  I’m sorry to see it go, but I no longer have room for it and nobody else in the family wanted it.  The story is…when we moved into Mike’s Grandma’s house back in 1972 while he was going to college, I found it on the screen porch - weathered and worn.  I took it to our apartment, cleaned it up, oiled it, oiled it, oiled it - and it became a treasured piece of furniture.  When we moved from there, it went to Mike’s parent’s attic for years until one day in the mid-90s, his Dad told me that I could take that ‘God Damned’ chair and Mike and I quickly loaded it into the back our pickup truck.  It was a favored piece of furniture in our household until now.  

I’m a firm believer that ‘things’ are not necessary in order to keep memories and I have been lightening my load of things for years.  My stock of ‘things’ is greatly reduced to what I live with and use every day in my apartment and to a few bins of photos and trinkets.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Wednesday, April 13, 2022, MN

Weather…we are heading back to winter once again as temps will drop this week and a wintry mix of precipitation is expected over the next several days. We will be seeing mid-30s and won’t get a glimpse of 50s until the 21st.  It’s been a miserable spring that has been dragging on.

Frisco was ready to go out for his final walk at 7 pm and I held him off until 7:30, knowing that he would be up and raring to go out much earlier than usual in the morning. I made a hot toddy and sipped on it until 8:30 and headed for bed. I could hear the heavy rain hitting the window. At 10pm, awoke to the sound of very loud thunder that rocked the building.  It held on and roared for several seconds.  I was awake just about every hour last night and here I was hoping for a good night of sleep.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Tuesday, April 12, 2022, MN

The weather actually cleared up last Friday, the snow melted and we headed into a five day period of spring-like weather and were able to get some nice walks in.  On Saturday, we drove to the Bloomington Ferry Trailhead and walked the multi-use trail along the Minnesota River and Sunday’s walk was along the southern shore of Lake Harriet, then back to Ben’s house through the Lynnhurst and Fulton neighborhoods. 

We had dinner at Red Cow on Saturday night and that was quite tasty.

I put the bedding and towels that we used in the laundry, vacuumed the dog hair from the floors and after an evening walk, we headed back to my apartment.  When I got the mail, there was a note in there from the mailman, Neil.  He had seen the note that I posted on the bulletin board of the building across the street about house cleaning jobs and he asked if I would be willing to clean his condo for him.  We spoke this evening and I will be starting that job next Tuesday evening (he is working six days a week and evenings work best for him). After the first time, I will see if I can change it to daytime.  

The family had a long day of travel and didn’t get back home until shortly before midnight. Based on the photos and messages that I got from them last week, they had a wonderful time with a mix of relaxation at the house they rented, beach time, whale watching, horseback riding and hanging with their friends from SF. Also, Charlotte got to swim with dolphins and I can’t wait to hear about her experience.

Tom left yesterday on a Sun Country flight that left at 4:00 and got him back to Phoenix at 5:30 his time.  After the trip to the airport, I went straight back home to take a nap, as I have picked up the cold that he had earlier last week.  It is a cold, as I took a Covid test yesterday afternoon just to be sure.  Last night was miserable and I’m hoping that was the worst of it - NOT.  I felt miserable all day and I even nixed the monthly art class but did manage to get a fairly decent walk in before the weather started to change.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Friday, April 8, 2022, MN

We just couldn’t stand feeling cooped up another day, so yesterday we headed out to do some shopping at Costco and we went to the Burnsville Mall and walked around out of the cold and wind. What a reminder if the past that mall is.  Many of the stores were closed up and barricaded with only a few remaining - Macy’s, JC Penney, and Dicks Sporting Goods were the biggest that were open. The carpets were stained and nasty looking and it had the feeling of its better days being in the past.

We stopped at the Cam Rahn Bay Restaurant and had Vietnamese food for lunch - the place was clean and well staffed and the food was quite good.

The dogs are patiently waiting for their dinner to be served.

We are now watching 1-2 episodes of Yellowstone each night.

The weather has continued to be lousy until this morning when I happily saw some breaks in the clouds and patches of blue sky showing through them.  This is what it looked like in the back yard this morning.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Monday, April 6, 2022, MN

The lousy weather trend continues and we saw a whole day of rain that became snow during the night and is predicted to be unseasonably cold for the next two days. I feel bad for Tom but we have managed to get out for some walks.

We started watching the Paramount series “1883” and binge watched all 10 episodes over the last few nights.  I thought it was real good, it kept our attention and I give the actors credit for doing a great job.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Monday, April 4, 2022, MN

Last Thursday afternoon, I picked Tom up at the airport and he will be here for the next ten days.  Since Ben’s family is going on a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, we will be house and dog sitting while they are gone.  So far, the weather has been lousy.

Leading up to Tom’s arrival, I didn’t do a whole lot other than prepare for his visit (made lasagna for the night he got here), did some shopping, laundry, and cleaning.  

I also met up with Mary, the Service Coordinator in our building and got some training to help out with the bi-monthly Food Shelf - an organization that brings groceries to senior complexes.  Several people in my building no longer drive and this service really helps them out. Residents put their names on a list and a random drawing of apartment numbers is done to select the order in which people can come down and shop.  My job will be to help with setup and takedown and to greet people and watch that they take only the designated number of times.  

On Friday, I helped the “Cards for a Cause” group make Mother’s Day cards. We ended up with about 6 people helping out.  Here is a sampling of what we made:

Yesterday, we went to Perkins for breakfast after stopping at two other places that were overcrowded or didn’t have much for breakfast. Then, in the afternoon, we went to the Bloomington VFW and had a beer and listened to the Blues Jam Session, there was some pretty good talent there.  Tom got to see snow today, it barely made it to 40°.  

We heard some bad news from Tom’s sister Geri yesterday.  Her dog Panda (about 3 years old) attacked her cat Smokey and gave it some serious injuries about a month or so ago.  Since then, she has been keeping them separated (the dog in the back yard and the cat in the house) while trying to find someone to take the dog - until yesterday. She took the cat to the back yard to let it roam around and was closely watching them when all of a sudden, the dog attacked the cat again and was shaking it and wouldn’t let go.  She ended up with a bad bruise on her left hand while trying to pull the dog away.  The cat had some lacerations but nothing that looked too bad - and she was unable to get through to any of the area veterinarians - and then Smokey died yesterday morning. He apparently had internal injuries.  She now has to keep the dog for another week before animal control will take it and it will have to be put down.  Geri lives in Blythe, CA - a rather depressed town on the Arizona/California border between Phoenix and Palm Springs.