Saturday, September 23, 2023

Saturday, September 23, 2023, MN

Fifty-six years ago on this day, Mike and I got engaged. The romantic setting was in his 1958 Chevy, parked in the driveway of the Starr School, when I was living with my Aunt Eleanor, Uncle Frank, and cousins Jackie & Jonnie (guess we needed a bit of privacy).  I was in a glum mood after work, probably thinking about him taking off for active duty with the Navy but I brightened up with his proposal.  Of course, we had to go to Monona to announce it to his parents and to Rita’s house to let her know and then I was able to flash that beautiful diamond to let my friends know the good news. 

Last Sunday I got the dent removed from my car.  I went with the guy who said he could do it for $100 - he came and removed the bumper, took it to his home and got the dent out, then returned and put it back on my car.  It’s not 100% but it looks much better than it did and that is all that I was hoping for.  My poor Toyota is pretty beat up with a few scratches and small dents, pocked paint on the hood, but still no rust and it should keep me on the road for a good while yet.

Before & After

I met with the Stampin Up girls on Monday afternoon and we had a small group but a fun time making three different cards. Diane brought a Pear Pie for dessert and it was so yummy - I don’t believe that I have ever had it before, but for me - any dessert with fruit in it makes my day, much preferred over anything chocolate.

Tuesday was art class with Genevieve and we did some acrylic painting. I don’t feel that I’m very good at it, so will probably put my projects in the donation box, but it was fun to do.

Wednesday was another busy day with helping out with food shelf in the morning, running errands in the afternoon, and going apartment to apartment with Mary, the Vet Tech who comes to do our pet nail trims.  The service she provides is so appreciated and we all look forward to her visits every six weeks.  

Thursday was cleaning day at Ben and Jill’s house and thanks to Deb who takes Joey out for a walk while I’m gone, I can come home and relax, take a little nap, and recover. On those days, I usually get about 12,000 steps, 4.5 miles, and about 10 flights of stairs. I’ve improved my efficiency and am able to limit the number of times that I go up or down stairs. 

I had the strangest thing happen during the night.  I was tossing and turning, not sleeping very well, but I woke up with the strangest sensation - both legs from the knee down were HOT and I mean HOT - and it dissipated after about five minutes.  I don’t have a clue what was going on, but I noted it on the calendar and will see if it was just a freaky occurrence or an indicator of something more serious.  

Jill had to go to a conference Friday afternoon, and school got out early for Camille and Norah, so I went to meet them and hang out for the afternoon.  The Cards for a Cause group was meeting at my building, so I took card with me to do with the girls.  They like doing that project and I think they feel good about doing it. Charlotte helped when she got home and we ended up making  about 40 cards.  Ben took Charlotte to swim practice, so I stuck around until about 7:30.  

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Saturday, September 16, 2023, MN

It has been a week of appointments for me, for Joey, and for my car.  I dropped Joey off on Monday morning (they use a drop-off system and work them into their schedule) for his annual checkup, then headed to Costco to have my tires rotated.  All is good with that and they have about 30,000 miles left on them and that will take me to 200,000 miles on the car, so I will probably be looking a a new one at that point.  While I was waiting, I got a call from the Vet to let me know that everything checked out with Joey and he is in good shape.  

When I left Costco, I went to a body shop called Dent Heads and had my bumper looked at - they said it would be more extensive than what they would do, so referred me to Bloomington Auto Body.  The estimate I got from them was for $1200.  Dang!  I have now gotten estimates for $100, $500, and $1200.  The guy who quoted $100 is going to come to my house tomorrow, remove the bumper, take it to his home and work out the dent and plastic weld the  split and then return to put it back on. I’m going that route - it’s got to look better than it does now.  

My annual checkup was on Wednesday and I walked out of there feeling kind of bad.  My thyroid level is off again, meaning a slight adjustment to my medication - not a real big deal.  My blood pressure was high and after several attempts, even keeping the cuff on for 7 minutes and getting additional reads, it was still high.  So that means an increase in the dose of my medication, monitoring with daily checks, and follow-ups - not too serious, but a hassle.

Of real concern to me was the issue of constant dry, irritated eyes - no matter how slight the breeze, even the movement from walking, causes them to water and this has been going on for a long, long time - in spite of following recommended treatment routines.  She suggested I reach out to the ophthalmologist again and request a prescription - done and that turns out to be a $47/month expense. I’m not jumping the gun, but it seems like relief after using it twice on the first day.  We shall see and I feel it would be so worth the $$$ to not have to constantly squint, blink, and wipe my eyes.

We started to feel some cool, fall-like weather this week when we went from the 90s to a high of only 66° and night time temps near 50°.  I went through my closet and packed away some of my summery stuff and I put the down comforter back on my bead.  It’s still way too early to get out winter stuff, although I saw a few people out with down jackets on.

I’ve been working on stitching cards a lot. Judy has invited me to share her table at the neighborhood church bazaar next month, so I took her up on it and have been busy stitching away. I had 25 stitched, so got busy yesterday with assembling and creating the cards that I will take. That is a long process, as it means deciding on a design, cutting paper, and putting them together.  Here are a few examples:

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Saturday, September 9, 2023, MN

Way back last Sunday, I had a nice long conversation with Tom - it had been almost 3 months since we last talked so we had a bit of catching up to do.  I also had a chat with my Mesa neighbor Arlene and it’s always nice to connect with her. 

We had a short but sweet family gathering for cake and ice cream to celebrate Charlotte’s 12th birthday on Monday afternoon.  She is so sweet - dressed in her Taylor Swift sweatshirt and growing up way too fast.  I couldn’t help but remember her first birthday celebration at a San Francisco park. Ben and Jill were scrambling to get ready for the first day of school, so we only hung out for about an hour.  Charlotte starts 6th grade and the twins start 4th grade.  

I had my blood work for my upcoming annual physical on Tuesday morning and I had the results in MyChart by that afternoon - it doesn’t seem like much has changed although my thyroid numbers are low again. I’m hoping that doesn’t affect the medication that I take because that usually results in frequent checks and manipulating the dose. 

Tuesday also marked the 8-year anniversary of my brother Ray’s death at the hands of a heinous killer.  It is such a difficult memory but I have to think of the times in his life that were good his children.

Wednesday was food shelf day and that took up a couple of hours.  It is rewarding to see so many residents and get to have little snippets of conversation.  

Thursday was cleaning day at Ben’s house and he was on a work call the entire time except to give me a quick hug and about a 5-minute chat.  I finished in record time and took 12,000 steps, walked 5.5 miles, and climbed 12 flights of stairs that day.  No wonder I need a nap when I get back home and thanks to Deb for walking Joey while I’m gone, I can do that. 

Yesterday was grocery shopping day and it included a stop at Von Hansons to stock up on protein - pork chops, chicken, bacon, and a nice steak to have for dinner last night.  They have these griller sirloins that are just yummy.

We have now gone from excessive heat days to a high of 66° on Wednesday with night temps in the 50s.  I have a feeling that fall will come fast, as the drought will cause the trees to turn color and drop quickly.  The colors might not be as vibrant this year either.  There is still very little rain in the forecast for the next week or so.  

I took Camille and Norah to their soccer game this afternoon, as Jill and Ben will be with Charlotte and her school friends for a bowling birthday party.  I debated whether to take Joey or leave him at home, but taking him won out.  He got sick and threw up in the car on the way to their house but he was such a good boy at the soccer field and had lots of fun with Yoshi when we got back home.  Camille has a foot injury (the trash can fell on her ankle) so she didn’t play but Norah had two ‘almost’ goals and several really good long passes. Their team lost 3-2.

They are both grounded this week (for not listening and following rules) and it made for such a nice time together, as they weren’t looking for sweets and could have no screen time - so they played outside, played with the dogs, and played a game of Trouble with me.  

Friday, September 1, 2023

Sunday, September 3, 2023, WI

Camille spent the night with me last Tuesday and we went to the Minnesota River National Refuge in hopes of going through the nature center and gallery but once again, we got there on a day that it wasn’t open.  The butterfly people were there and we got to catch, tag, and release Monarch butterflies.  Camille caught six of them - four escaped and a male and a female were tagged.  We can now check the website to see if they made it all of the way to Mexico on their migration.

I got  back to Stoughton Thursday afternoon and my first stop was to have some lunch and a margarita with Doug at La Cantina and we had some good conversation and a few laughs. From there, I went to Dawn’s and got settled in. After chatting for a bit, we headed to Cheeser’s for the wine tasting. We tried some California wines - a white blend, a Pinot Grigio, a Cabernet and a other red blend - and chatted non stop.  And then we went to listen to music at the gazebo where we met up with Paul, Pam, and Jeff.  Back at Dawns after the music for dessert and then she and I ended up talking late into the night.  Yes, I was feeling a little bit foggy from the wine the next morning..

Nan, Monica and Logan picked me up this morning and we headed out to the cemetery where we split the hosta plants by Mom, Dad, and Rocco’s graves and we buried some of Rick’s ashes in the hole in front of their graves.  And then we went to Mandt Park and put the rest of his ashes in the Yahara River.  A cloud of ash was floating in the current and then turned and traveled in a circle back toward where we stood on the shore, before it dissipated and disappeared.  Monica said that was very typical of her Dad, as his goodbyes were always long goodbyes.  It was emotional but we all felt like it was the right thing to do - he is back in his old stomping grounds.

It was so nice to see Monica, Logan, and Nan again.  Once Logan was no longer shy around me and learned my name, he kept pointing to me and saying “Aunt Rose”.  That just made my heart happy.  He is so smart - knows how to count to 15, knows all of the colors and shapes, and he’s not quite two years old.  We had such a nice visit.

Yesterday was Charlotte’s 12th birthday and she and her Mom joined two other friends (who also have birthdays right around this time) and their Moms at a cabin to celebrate. We will get together for family celebration tomorrow.  

I hung out with Pat most of the day, starting with coffee in the morning, then a drive to Madison for a couple of errands, we drove around to see if we could spot Russ in the area where he usually hangs out (no luck there), and we picked up Smoky Jon’s BBQ for dinner.  What a treat - we had ribs, brisket and their spicy corn - all was very yummy.  

After coffee and a short visit this morning, I went back to Dawn’s to load up and she had breakfast ready for me and a bag of goodies from her garden.  What a gal!  I met Pat and Roger at the Iron Skillet outside of Portage for breakfast - not like I needed anything, so I had some fruit. I got back on the road and made it back home by 3:30.  Joey was excited and happy to see me and is now sleeping on the couch next to me.  I love that I can leave him behind and it is not traumatic.

I hate to say it but there were definite signs of fall on the drive.  There were spots of color in the trees, the sumac is red in many places, and the roadsides were filled with goldenrod.  I even saw a flock of White Pelicans flying south.  It certainly doesn’t help that we have been in drought conditions most of the summer.