Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Long time gone

Things are back to (more or less) normal for me now.  I just got home from Washington (DC) where I spent 5 days with the Holts.  We had a grand time but man oh man did we walk a lot.  I thought I'd be in better shape but I blame my sore knees and feet on the shoes I took.  I thought they'd be good walking shoes but I think I was wrong.  Anyway we walked.  and walked. and walked.  They live in the Watergate, which isn't far from Georgetown and the Metro stop and Whole Foods, but you do have to walk to all of those places.

We went to museums.  My favorite?  By far the Newseum.  They have great exhibits and films, and just my luck are featuring a big exhibit on rock and politics.  Oh so many fantastic things to see and watch!  Springsteen's draft card.  Film on concerts.  Clapton's guitar.  Ahhh, I basked in it.  We went to the Botanical Garden, an art gallery, Georgetown for dinner, the Kennedy Center for a concert, the Museum of Natural History to the butterfly room, Rush's very impressive office at AAAS, Whole Foods a couple of times, the FDR and MLK memorials, the cherry blossoms, and more.  It was good with lots of visiting.  And some resting.

I almost missed my flight coming home this morning, as only I would do.  I was waiting at the wrong gate until I heard my name on the intercom telling me to go to the right gate.  Ahhhh, to be me.  The flight was fine, as was the flight going down.  I got home this afternoon, retrieved the retrievers and am settled in now.  Tess is all right but the kennel owner reports that she was coughing up small amounts of blood so I called the vet and will take her in on Thursday.  He said they will probably knock her out, maybe there's a mass by her larynx.  So the surgery I was not planning on may happen anyway.  Oh what the hell, it's only money.

Going to the gym with Carol in the morning.  That will be nice.  Life goes on.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Can it be? Oh yes, it's on its way

So much like early (very early) spring today!  It was -8 in the morning but up to 38 in the incredibly bright and warm sunshine this afternoon.  I love this weather.

The plumber returned, replaced the pressure tank but oh no! the pump still won't come up to pressure.  I diagnosed the problem, at least I think I did: the line between the house and the well is frozen (and frozen GOOD).  The pump won't pull water from the well but the line going to the well has water in it so the well is probably not dry.  What difference does it make, really?  I don't have water and won't for a long, long time.  I think it was a perfect storm while I was in RI--bare ground, subzero temps, no water moving through the lines.  I just hope the line hasn't burst, that's all I need.  Anyway I have generous and wonderful friends and have easy access to water. 

Went to the gym yesterday and today with Carol, that was nice.  Yesterday I went to Plattsburgh for lunch with Barb and taking care of a few errands.  Today I took a shower at Carol's then visited for a bit over coffee, very nice.  They have one of the best views in the Adks for sure--panorama of the Silver Lake Mtn. bluffs.  Really spectacular.  After that I went to the dump, then stopped for a short visit at P&J's, then came home and was industrious.  I swept and started tidying up the living room (hosting book group tomorrow), did 2 loads of laundry at the Holts (got to use my freshly re-wired dryer for the first time in a long, long time), visited with a friend who was here to check on his camp, finished the book group book, which I really enjoyed (The Flood Girls).  Now I'm in for the night and can only eat lean protein and fruit for the rest of the night because a friend brought me delicious cookies and I ate 2 of them.  I gained a couple of pounds this week.  I think I got too cocky, deciding I didn't need to count or measure, I "just know" how many points foods are.  NOT.  So now it's back to recording everything I eat, which is just fine and works.

Tomorrow I'll finish the laundry and cook a corned beef dinner in the crock pot for book group.  yum.

It was a stellar day.  A banner day.  A wonderful day.  But I still have to vacuum and dust.

Tess is not better but not worse so I guess she'll survive kenneling.  I just worry about how difficult it might be for the kennelers to deal with her.  Early morning seems to be her worst time, maybe they won't have to deal with her then.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Lucky girl, very lucky girl

All hell has broken loose here in the North Country, but I'm just fine.  We had a huge and extended storm yesterday and last night and ended up with at least 33 inches of snow.  I still have electricity and phone (let's not forget television) but no running water.  A girl can't have everything, after all.  My plow man came and shoveled around my car so I now have mobility and the ability to get water from the neighbors.  I've talked to my mother twice, my friends about 4 times and have been emailing everyone I can think of.  It's wonderful, truly wonderful to realize how many people are interested in my welfare.  I feel lucky.

I went to RI last week, arrived there Thursday afternoon to spend time with Liza and Mark and to celebrate Liza's birthday.  We missed the birthday by a day--I came home on Monday, her birthday to avoid traveling in the storm.  That was a wise, wise move on my part and I am relieved.  We  celebrated her birthday Sunday and she was fine with that.

While I was there it was cold and snowy.  They got about 6", which is their equivalent of our 33" I think.  Mark and I didn't get to the beach because it was too cold and windy for me.  Mostly we just spent time in the living room visiting.  That's what I went there to do, happy coincidence.  My mother is fine, just fine.  She's very healthy and is in good mental shape as well.  She's old, and she feels old and she minds feeling old.

It was cold at home while I was away, below zero so the outlet pipe for my sump pump and gray water froze.  This led to much flooding when the sump pump emptied the water in the cellar on to the floor of the laundry room, into the back of the house, blah blah blah.  Nice to see water flow uphill, right?  Meanwhile the pump runs just fine but won't come up to pressure.  I had a plumber come yesterday (poor man, bad roads, very bad roads).  He fixed the sump pump problem and diagnosed my water as an old broken pressure tank.  Hopefully that will be replaced tomorrow (not today, roads are closed).  Once again I am relying on the water of neighbors. 

I feel happy and fortunate this afternoon (quite different from my moods of the morning) and know that all will work out.

Meanwhile my old dog Tess is not doing well.  I took her to the vet, she's been diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis, which for now is merely an inconvenience causing her to cough and gag a lot.  Eventually her larynx will close unless she has surgery, which will not happen.  The surgery is expensive and complicated and I don't see the point of putting a 14-year-old dog through that.  She and I have had an excellent life together.  It will be sad, very sad when the end comes but when we get dogs we know this will come.  Oh yes, easy to say.  Harder to face.

The other dog, Miss Treasure is just fine but boy oh boy did she have a problem finding a place to potty this morning before I shoveled.  She said yes, she could pee in deep snow but it would be impossible to poop in that.  Oh the poor dear was so fussed!  Finally the plow man came and made a huge, huge poop path for her, what a relief.  She and Tess went for a long walk.  I finished shoveling out the car and moved it.  I was afraid I'd have to go to Plattsburgh today to do some banking but for some reason my Social Sec. money came early this month (how did they know?) so I can be homebound.  Except I'll go to P&J's for water this afternoon.  I've checked in with them and they're fine but had no television so were frustrated by that.

I went to the gym with Carol yesterday, that was a treat.  Skipped today  but we're planning on being there tomorrow.  I was supposed to have lunch with Julie today but since neither of us could get to Plattsburgh that didn't happen.  Tomorrow I hope to spend the day watching the plumber install a new pressure tank.  HOPE to.  Friday I'm having lunch with Barb and will do grocery shopping in Plattsburgh.  Book group is Sunday at my house and I think I'll cook corned beef and cabbage, an easy dinner.  We're reading The Flood Girls, which Marylou said was depressing but Lin and I are enjoying it's dark humor.  Yes it's a sad story but it's nicely told.

Life is exciting in it's own small way.  I'm home, I'm happy and all is well.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Snow on ice

Temp this morning=0  High for the day=12  Predicted wind chills= -25
I have no idea what the actual wind chill was at any point today but I have a hard time believing it was -25.  Yes, it was windy and cold this morning and my bare hands hurt hurt hurt when I picked up the paper on my way to the gym at 7:45.  Anyway now it's 3 degrees and the sun has moved over so my living room is cooling down quickly.  At least I have a good fire going and lots of firewood to feed to it.

I went to Burlington on Thursday to have my car worked on (diagnosis: DIRT packed into the wheels, causing extreme vibration).  It took a long time because I had a part replaced while they were cleaning out the dirt but I rewarded myself with a trip to Barnes & Noble, where I was extremely good and only bought 4 used books plus notecards for my mother for a total of $25.  Oh what I could have spent...

Yesterday I had lunch with my dear friend Fred.  We had an excellent conversation and covered lots of things, most of which were relevant to our present lives.  Wills, inheritance, health, weather, getting old.  OK, that doesn't sound very cheery or pleasant but it was nice and helpful to me.  Not the part about the weather, that wasn't helpful--there was an icy wind whipping along yesterday.  It died down a bit in the afternoon but came up again overnight.  Now there's a stiff icy wind but it's not blowing -25 worth.

I went to the gym 6 days this week, good for me!  Going again tomorrow morning, then will try to get there every day until Thursday, when I drive to Rhode Island to celebrate my mother's 91st birthday.  One thing Fred and I agreed heartily on was that, when you have a 91-year-old loved one every day is a gift.  Oh I never thought I would sound so corny but I do feel that way.  Any time now is good and special.  OK, maybe not so special, but a treat.  My mother is exceptionally well with no major health problems but she had an "incident" recently that was sobering and scary for me.  She's just fine but we do need to do something to make it easier for her to take a shower or bath.  And what will I do if I'm living here when I am old(er) and less mobile?  Well now there's something I can worry about.  Anticipatory anxiety.  oh let's not do that.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Rain on the snow

It rained hard this morning, is raining again now.  It's so nifty when it rains on snow, there is a sweeping mist off the ground.  I love this effect.  We still have snow here in Hawkeye but there's not much anywhere else, and there is also bare ground in spots in Hawkeye.  Not in my yard, but elsewhere.  And my deck is nearly bare.

I've had a busy time but things have certainly quieted down.  Monday I didn't go to the gym but Carol and I walked to camp to check on the buildings.  No trees down, all buildings still standing.  It was a brisk walk in the crunchy snow, then we went to the Holts for dinner.  That was nice.  It was also nice to have company to walk home with in the dark.  An easy thing alone, but a treat to have company.

Yesterday I hit the gym in the morning then went to Saranac Lake for an eye appointment.  All is well with my eyes, my macular degeneration is no worse.  This was a huge deal for me, a big relief.  I do not want to be blind!   Vision in one eye is slightly worse so I got to order myself new glasses.  I only buy cheap glasses, online, and they don't last as long as the good ones but they're easy to get.  and cheap.

I had a quiet afternoon--not bored, really, but sort of wondering what to do with myself.  I almost started work on a basket for my friend's grandchild but lost that thought.  I went through some paperwork, paid bills, wrote a letter.  Not the most exiting time but it was pleasant.  I went to bed early last night then woke at midnight and got up.  Managed to get back to sleep and then slept until 8:00.  Unheard of!  Not only did I oversleep but Wednesday is the day I call my mother by 7:30 in the morning.  I never even thought of calling her until she called me at 8:30 to see if everything was OK with me.  We agreed that there's not much she can do if I'm NOT OK, but that day hopefully will not come in her lifetime.  We talked a long time, all is well.

I went to Plattsburgh for my weekly lunch with Julie.  That was fine but it was strange that I didn't have many errands to run in town.  It was a quick trip, now I'm home watching it rain.  Off to Burlington tomorrow for a car appointment.  Worried about the car, hoping for an easy (inexpensive) solution to its vibrations.  First I'll meet Carol at the gym at 6:30.  I skipped today which is sort of embarrassing.  Do I really only go there when she does?  No, I've been there without her but not often.

Is it spring yet?  It's 50 outside.  I didn't remember to say "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit" when I woke up this morning.  My father's rule was that it had to be the first thing you say on March 1st for good luck.  I did say it, just later, and Pat said it too so let's hope we'll have good luck this year.

Oh, FedEx just came to deliver the 30 pounds of dog food that I order online each month.  Last month he left it on North Shore Lane, which really pissed me off because I had to slog through deep snow and carry the package up the hill to my car.  Yay for him this month he found my house.  Very exciting for the dogs, just a relief for me because I'm almost out of dog food.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Back to winter

Yesterday it was 60 in Hawkeye, this morning it's 24.  We had sunshine yesterday, then pouring rain with thunder, then finally at least 3 inches of heavy snow.  VERY heavy snow.  Trees are drooping, branches and boughs breaking off.  The snow on my car this morning was like concrete because it all started as ice then was covered with heavy snow, which all froze.  It took a while to uncover the car but I managed fine and got to the gym this morning, spent 40 minutes on the treadmill and had a good visit with my friend.

It's been a bush weekend.  This was the weekend of The Burn.  Joe arrived on Thursday, as did the Holts and their company.  Friday was lunch in Plattsburgh with P&J, Joe and Bill--always a treat.  Friday night was dinner with the Holts--again always a treat.  Yesterday I went to AuSable in the morning for book group groceries for tonight, then I went to the burn.  It was pretty, as it always is, something hypnotic about a big fire, right?  This year the ground was pretty much bare and it was warm, very warm.  It wasn't until late afternoon that the rain started.  What a downpour!  Just amazing for the end of February.  I went to the Holts for dinner, walked down in my mud boots as it started to snow then came home with wet feet because the snow was so much deeper, and had to duck under many drooping boughs along the road.  Dramatic and beautiful effect.

This morning I met my friend at the gym--we'd skipped yesterday so had much to catch up on.  I think tomorrow we'll meet at my house in the afternoon and do some walking around here before having dinner with Annie and her company.  Tonight is book group and I've been trying to come up with a book that's available cheaply or widely at libraries.  I think I may have found one, The flood girls, by Richard Fifield (who was born in 1975, yikes, oh my big yikes).  We'll see how that goes over.  Book group is at Marylou's new house, which is very exciting and wonderful.

Boy my woods look like and Ideals magazine.  Does anyone else remember Ideals?  No, probably not.

It's great to have March arrive but this weather has us all confused.  It was so much like April last week, just wonderful spring-like conditions but the cruelty of weather reality wasn't far away.  Here we are, back in winter but with knowing that spring will indeed arrive.  Wow.
 The Burn
Working the burn

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Spring? No, it can't be

It sure feels like spring out there but we have weeks and weeks to go before it could really be spring.  Temps have been in the high 30's and well into the 40's and the sun is warm, much warmer.  I leave for the gym in the morning around 6 and it's getting LIGHT out these days.  I get to see the earliest sign of a sunrise as I pass by Taylor Pond.  It's great.

Yes I'm still hitting the gym in the mornings.  It's going well, not so much in terms of how much weight I'm losing but I have a good time visiting with my friend while we treadmill together.  I'm increasing my speed (marginally) and the incline (again marginally) and I can feel a difference in the "workout" I'm getting.  If it weren't an overused term I'd label it a "so-called workout."  I did figure out how to adjust the tension on the rowing machine so maybe I'll branch out and include that.  Tomorrow we're hitting the pavement with plans to walk outside around AuSable for a change.

I had lunch in Elizabethtown yesterday.  That was a long drive but it was nice to see a different friend.  Tomorrow I'm having lunch in Plattsburgh--I have some errands that can't be done in E'town and was all set to attend to them yesterday, since we were originally scheduled to eat in Plattsburgh but oops, my friend had a meeting in Willsboro so we ate nearer there in E'town.  So I still have some big city errands to take care of. 

I had a good weekend but didn't do much.  I gymmed both days.  Saturday morning was dump time.  Sunday I cleaned some of the house because friends were coming from Albany.  They did come, did some hiking then went to their camp down the road.  Then they stopped by my house (without coming in--what??? you mean I cleaned the house and only I will appreciate that?) and we went to the pizza place in AuSable for dinner and a nice visit.  I managed to stay within my WW points that day even with my personal pizza.

Monday I ended up in Lake Placid at the laundromat (too much driving!).  I had bedding to wash and needed a few groceries so off I went.  It was more crowded than I like but still no lines, no waiting at the 'mat.  I'm getting to be a real pro at commercial laundry-ing.  Needless to say Donny hasn't come back to fix the electrical panel and that's OK.  No big deal.

This will be a busy weekend, it's the weekend of The Burn.  Joe arrives tomorrow.  The Holts arrive tomorrow.  Friday is lunch in Plattsburgh.  Saturday is the burning of the brush pile.  It's supposed to rain and be very warm for that.  Rain, not snow.  Warm, warm days but then it's supposed to cool off but only into the 30's.  I'm waiting for the return of winter, I know it's coming.