Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Family Time

Earlier this week I was feeling a desire to blog about our trip to Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, but I think a virus has taken residence in my body and all my desire has flown out the window.  
We did have a very nice time at the Gathering of the Green looking at the the displays and the parts and merchandise for sale. Jim attended several workshops that were about the kind of restoration he plans to do and I attended a craft workshop and a brain energy workshop and spent the rest of the time sitting in the ladies hospitality room knitting and talking to women in there, wandering around  buying things and taking pictures.  
We had a very nice time visiting Jim's sisters and seeing some people we haven't seen for a very long time.  It's rather a pain to have to worry about what I eat, to the extent that people ask what I can and can't eat.  I can really eat most anything except very dry and spicy foods.  Food that has acid doesn't work either.  It does make it easier when people do that for me, but I can eat most normal sort of food that people cook.  
This weekend we went to my folks because it has become a tradition for me to celebrate my birthday with them.  It isn't very often close to the day but we get together in March sometime to eat corned beef and cabbage, and strawberry pie for my birthday meal.  This year on my birthday I was in Minnesota and Dad was in San Diego, so we got together the next weekend.  

I love big old houses--Davenport Iowa.

View in Wisconsin. We've had way too many cloudy days in March. 

Birthday present from Jim.   

Second stop.

Stone wall in Wisconsin. 

I refuse to be cold. I think since I am over 50 I can indulge myself with comfort. 

For my coffee loving friends.  There is tea in there. 

52 years old, this day.  

Como Conservatory in St. Paul. 

The Sunken Garden 

Whereas in the USA, displays are groups in threes, Japan prefers two, and a great difference in size. 

There is a zoo there, too.  This horrible thing is rather like a legless salamander.
And lavender. Ick.

We came home by way of Mankato.  The author of the 'Betsy-Tacy' books, lived in the yellow house.  Her books are highly fictionalized stories of her life, but the setting is the one she grew up in.  The white house is where 'Tacy' lived.  It was a real thrill to see that the geography of the place matched her description. 

March 24th.  Snow and tulips.  

Resolutions? What resolutions?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Going Green

I really shouldn't do a Tuesday blog post because I am not home. I am tired. I still want to, the easiest way to keep a habit, is to keep it. 
 I am writing this Monday night so it will pop up tomorrow as we are driving home from Minnesota.  We have spent this week visiting John Deere tractors and Jim's sisters.  Part way through the trip the batteries died on one camera, and I didn't bring the cord for the other camera.  I will post a more complete vacation week some other day.  Here are some highlights from the first couple of days. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Changes in Time

I'll get the resolutions out of the way...

I've been enjoying the sunsets this month.  It seems like most days the sun came up to a gray day with a splendid sunset at the end. 

Of course, since my last post, we've had the time change and after listening to the complaints of Jim for a few hours, and avoiding facebook we passed into the new time and the enjoyment of the longer evenings with a minimum of discomfort.  I complained plenty about the time change in previous years. I don't complain anymore.  As one blogger friend said, "However, I don't have young kids." 
One year, when I was a kid, we didn't change back to standard time and I remember seeing photos in the paper of school children huddled under street lights in the pitch dark waiting for their bus.  
I looked up the date and I was surprised to see that was 1974, I would have been 10. Back int eh days before Daylight Savings Time was ever thought of (actually Ben Franklin thought of it hundreds of years ago, but we won't go there, it wasn't adopted until WW1) most of the country was inhabited by farmers.  Farmers started work when it was light and quit when it was dark.  Construction workers in Arizona start early and finish early to escape the heat of the day in spite of the fact they don't observe DST.  If we didn't change the clocks, people who work outside would need to change their start times to get the most work done in teh early part of the day before it gets too hot. Instead of 7 am for example, it would be 6.  Changes would be made whether the clocks change or not.
And everyone likes the long evenings.

Year-round experiment (1974-1975)

During the 1973 oil embargo by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), in an effort to conserve fuel Congress enacted a trial period of year-round DST (P.L. 93-182), beginning January 6, 1974, and ending April 27, 1975. The trial was hotly debated. Those in favor pointed to increased daylight hours in the winter evening: more time for recreation, reduced lighting and heating demands, reduced crime, and reduced automobile accidents. The opposition was concerned about children leaving for school in the dark. The act was amended in October 1974 (P.L. 93-434) to return to standard time for the period beginning October 27, 1974, and ending February 23, 1975, when DST resumed. When the trial ended in 1975, the country returned to observing summer DST (with the aforementioned exceptions)
I have been wanting to write a tribute book/photo album of my Grandparents for years, but the paper and photo method of scrapbooking this particular album left me stymied.  Enter the digital age, and I put it together with a minimum for frustration.  I'm pleased with the result.  

Foggy Sunrise 

Evidence of Spring 

I worked very hard on an open work sweatery topper thingy last summer, crocheting from a pattern that had been badly translated from Chinese or some other language that uses characters.  (There are some mighty good and free patterns out there written in some other language than English.) It took all the skill I have to read the chart and all the knowledge I have of crochet stitches to make it work.  
I was so careful, measuring as I went, but when I sewed it together it was just a little bit too small, and the sleeves a way bit too small.  The only real problem is it is hard to get into with not much give, but once on, it's okay.  

I made doily coasters out of one of the sleeves. 

More signs of spring, delivered by hand by my hubby to his best girls.  (To the only two that were there at the time, anyway.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Scrambled Up

I seem to be lost today.  Lost in a sea of what to do next.  Yesterday we went to Omaha to another doctor's appointment.  I got a good report on my incision, new ear plugs, and another appointment in a month to be evaluated for a BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid) which is an external hearing aid that snaps on to an implant anchored onto the bone behind my left ear.  It is the only option unless I just have one ear to hear with and poor hearing at that.   The large hole in my ear drum that was exacerbated by the most recent infection, means stuff that usually drains down the Eustachian tube will drain out my ear and a 'normal' hearing aid won't work under those conditions. If my hearing can be restored to that ear, it will make a big difference. 
I spent Saturday baking and cooking and even though I had company the rest of the weekend. It seems like over Monday my 'things to do' pile has expanded.  There is nothing that tires me out so much as all the little things that need put away.  It's a mental thing, I think. 
I tried some new recipes this weekend.  I made a coconut cake that has boiled sugar water poured over it right after it's baked.  Jim loves it.  I can't eat coconut because it is too stringy and hard to chew up and I choke on it.  My other success was a scrambled egg casserole that can be made the day before.  The ham and onion needs to be saute'd before the eggs are put in.  Unfortunately, I forgot to watch carefully and they scorched.  I put the eggs in and decided I couldn't serve it for company so we ate it for lunch, picking out the burned bits. I used 28 eggs that day.  We ate 5 for breakfast, 9 in the casserole for lunch, 9 in the casserole for the company, 3 in the coconut cake, 1 in some sugar cookies,  and one down the sink.  
You know, when I added that up, I forgot the 2 eggs I put in the buns that were an afterthought.  That makes 30! It's a good thing that our chickens are laying well. 
Jim has been working on an old 'B' John Deere that belong to his dad.  It's one of those projects where "I'll just do this little bit to make it run better", that turns into one where one things leads to another.

Getting ready to paint.   

It was foggy on Monday.  Really foggy.  The barn (which you can barely see) is 280' from the house. 1/20th of a mile. 

The sunset is different every day.   
I love having such good views of the sunrise and sunset from our house.

These ear plugs should be called 'ear protectors'.  They don't go into the ear canal, they seal it off.  I cannot get water into the left ear.  The large hole just invites infection to come in.  I'm tired of the cotton ball/vaseline method. 

Resolution Report Card
Walking: 4 out of 7 with one office cleaning day
Clean office on Friday: done
Do office work in the office: done
Letters and Cards: 6
Blogging: done
Piano: not bad

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March Forth

Oh, I should have waited a few days, since it's the first. 

Resolutions 2016

This springlike weather we've been having inspired me to get out and start walking again a couple of days ago.  Another blog I follow had such a bad start to the year, they've chosen March 1st to be the New New Year and having chosen their resolutions.  I'm just starting again since I had other things to worry about in February.
Speaking of worrying, one of the ladies in my Tuesday knitting group keeps close track of my ear troubles. She always wants to know how I'm doing.  As a cancer survivor herself, she knows what it feels like to have cancer and treatment.  Last week, I was being my usual cheerful and deaf self and she was wondering how my post-op visit went and I told her it was fine, I'm fine, and she says, "no you're not, you're worried about what's next".  
Well, maybe I am about 4:00 in the morning and I can't get to sleep, but I wasn't worried about it then.  I am extremely thankful that I have been blessed with a fairly cheerful spirit.  I don't spend my time worrying about what's next because I don't really know what's next and there is no sense trying to imagine it.  Whatever happens next I will deal with and worry about it then.  

I decided to keep notes on things that happened this week that were different from the normal things I do every day.  
It was windy, it was springlike, I saw two robins, I hung clothes on the line, I made a strawberry pie in which the crust fell on the floor after I baked it (I had just scrubbed it) and the pie itself fell upside down on the floor last night (onto the plastic wrap thank goodness) when it was half gone.  
I made two batches of strawberry jam and one batch of grape jam from frozen fruit and juice from some frozen tomatoes.  (That's when I scrubbed the floor)
I also wore too short socks with my leggings and I have no idea how women (and girls) can run around sockless.  My ankles were freezing.  

I cooked a bunch of beef liver for the cats and dog and the ox-tail for the dog as part of my cleaning out the freezer project, but I'm not sure how interested anyone will be with that. 

Photos for the week:


This is Jim 

These are the first to come up next to the house on the west side. 

Fruits of my labor.
I didn't take any pictures of the liver. 

February 28th 

Christian and Zane