Saturday, July 31, 2021

August


What does August mean to you?  Is it just another summer month or does it hold other meanings?  I always think of “back to school time” when August arrives, even though my children and grandchildren are grown.  These days many schools start by the middle of August or sooner.  When I was a child school started the day after Labor Day.  However, August signaled the time to get ready to go back to school.   I’m sure you remember the excitement at picking out your school supplies and some new clothes and shoes. 

As an adult, I think I was about as excited as my two sons when it came time to shop for back to school. I loved seeing all the new school supplies and helping my boys pick out a few new outfits for school.  My birthday is August 9th and my mother always sent me a little money as a gift.  She always told me to be sure and get something for myself.  I never told her, but I always used the money to help buy school supplies as money was always tight then.  Actually, that was using the money for myself because it made me happy to be able to get the things my boys needed to start the new school year.  I also know that my mother would have done the same thing.  😊

When August comes around I also start thinking about the seasons changing.  It is still a very hot month here and actually so is September.  I guess it just makes me realize that the summer is nearing its end and Fall is around the corner. 

Does August hold any special meanings for you?

                                        

It's definitely still a beautiful summer here.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Hello

I may not be blogging much lately but I’m still here and still reading all your blog posts.  My friends here are very important to me and I am grateful for your friendships.

June is always a busy month for us.  My daughter-in-law Kristi's birthday is June 4th, Tom’s birthday is June 23rd (yes tomorrow!) and of course we celebrated Father’s Day this past Sunday.  In between all that Tom and I both have had several medical and dental appointments and we have had people we hired to come out and do some work around our house.  It’s been kind of crazy around here!

We hire someone to come out and clean our gutters around the roof of the house twice a year.  There are many trees in our neighborhood and the gutters seem to fill up quickly.  Tom used to do that job but it is much too dangerous for him now with his balance problems.  Last year we found a very nice man that is a teacher at the high school here.  He has a gutter cleaning business on the side for additional income and he has been a blessing to us.

This month we also had tree trimmers come out to trim the trees in both our front and back yard.  We have a row of Osage Orange trees at the back of our yard and they grow quickly plus the winters here can be damaging to their branches.  About every five years or so we have them trimmed to prevent potential problems.  Some people say we should have them cut down but I love having trees around the house. 


I was trying to capture the sunset and you can see some of the trees I'm talking about here.  In the summer they fill in and provide a lot of shade.


Some of you may recall in my last post I was concerned about some medical tests I was going to have done.  I had both an upper & lower GI test and they were not as bad as I thought they would be since I was sedated for both of them.  They did do a biopsy from each test and it took two full weeks before I got the results.  Fortunately, both of the biopsies were benign however the one from the colonoscopy was a precancerous adenoma.  I was told I have a high risk for colon cancer so I will have to repeat that test every five years instead of every ten.  I am, of course, thrilled both tests were benign and I feel quite fortunate I did not put them off any longer.  A colonoscopy is one of those tests we never want to have done mainly because the prep the day before is not a fun thing.  However, I have learned the importance of having that test done because it truly can prevent cancer.

We are hoping for things to slow down a bit for us in July and maybe I'll even come up with a more interesting post than this one!  Take care everyone!


Cat pictures just for fun:

Sophie says Hi!

Zeus says I'm sleeping, don't bother me!


 




Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The First of June - Already!

  

My blogging has fizzled out to almost nothing since January and in fact I only posted once last month.  Sure, I have a lot of excuses but really, either you blog or you don’t.  I will never be one that posts every day like many excellent bloggers I know, but I do like to post once a week.  Hopefully I will be able to improve and get back to that routine.

So, what’s been going on this month?  Like so many others living in many different areas, we have had almost daily rain and much cooler weather than usual for us.  All that rain has meant I am playing the game of trying to catch a dry day to mow the lawn weekly since it is growing like a well-watered jungle.  The plus side is the cooler weather is much more comfortable for mowing than the usual hot and sunny weather.

A positive thing has happened recently.  Tom finally decided to get hearing aids!  You may recall I had previously mentioned that he has lost all hearing in one ear and quite a bit in the other ear.  He was evaluated by an ENT earlier in the year and given the specifications for what type of hearing aids he needed.  Tom was a little unsure about taking this step so he didn’t get them right away, but after some time he finally decided to take the leap.  Accepting your aging is not an easy thing for many people.  Thankfully, we received our stimulus checks just in time to pay for the earing aids, as those that have them know – they are rather expensive!  So now he is getting used to them and trying to remember to wear them.  He can hear much better with them but just needs to get comfortable wearing them.

It’s not been the best month for me as I’ve had some minor health problems which have required a series of medical test.  A couple of weeks ago I had a CT – Calcium Score Test which is essentially a CT scan of your heart to check for blockages.  I passed it – Yay!  I have spent the rest of this month dreading some other tests that I have to have this Friday.  I will admit up front I’m a big chicken!  Due to some health issues I have to have Upper & Lower GI tests.  Yep, the lower GI test is the dreaded colonoscopy requiring the miserable one-day prep before.   I had one over ten years ago but it’s that time again.  The Upper GI is the scope test which I’ve never had done, although I should have had one a long time ago since I do have a hiatal hernia and reflux.  I didn’t have the scope earlier because, yes, I’m a chicken!  They are going to do both tests on the same hospital visit.  So, chicken me has spent much of this month worrying about this coming Friday.  I realize that may sound silly but well, that’s just the way I am.  Friday morning Tom will drop me off at the hospital.  He is not allowed to go in with me due to the hospital still observing strict covid rules.  I wish he could go with me to help with my courage, but that’s the way it has to be.  I will be put to sleep for the tests (they better do a good job with that!)  and when it is all over the nurse will call Tom to pick me up.  I’ll let you know more when I know, however if I have a biopsy from either test, I probably won’t know those results until next week.

Sorry for a post full of TMI but I am just an honest and straightforward person about things like that.  I have felt bad about not posting more often this month but honestly, my head has not been in a good place for posting and I’ve just not been feeling well.  Hopefully I will be better after this week!

I haven’t taken many pictures recently but I do have one.  There are many squirrels in our neighborhood and suddenly one of them has decided he wants to move in with us.  We have to watch the door when we go out or in because he has tried to run into the house.  Can you imagine the havoc with two cats if a squirrel came in the house!  I think he sees how spoiled the cats are and wants to join them! 


Take care everyone!


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Mother's Day

 

This past Sunday was Mother's Day and my oldest son Chris sure did give me a wonderful weekend.  It started Saturday morning when the doorbell rang.  It was a florist delivering the most beautiful flowers from Chris and Kristi!



Sunday Chris picked me up for a special mother and son day out in Kansas City.  He has done this for the past several Mother's Days and I've come to really look forward to it.  We spent the day on The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.  It is a popular area of the city designed after Seville, Spain which is our sister city.  There are many excellent restaurants and unique shops and you can easily spend a day just walking around.  We went to Cooper's Hawk Restaurant and Winery and enjoyed a delicious meal.  We then enjoyed walking around the area and of course we had to visit the huge three story book store there.  We finished the day off at one of the coffee shops.  More than anything I enjoyed simply being able to spend time with my son and visit and catch up on everything with him.  I would like to have gotten more pictures of the area but it was a cloudy day and not the best for taking pictures.  I did get one of a smaller fountain, Neptune although the picture is not the best.  

Kansas City is known for its many fountains.

Despite it being a cloudy and cool day we really did have a great time!  I feel blessed to have two wonderful sons.  I did not see Sean, my younger son but he did call me and we had a nice, long phone conversation.  I hope everyone here had a wonderful Mother's Day!



Friday, April 23, 2021

What Happened to Spring?

 

I’m still here!  There is certainly no danger of me posting too often.  However, I do sometimes get sidetracked by other things going on.  Maybe someday I will learn to blog more regularly!

Back to Spring.  What happened to it?  A week or two ago we had a few Spring days and I actually got some yard work done and even mowed the grass.  Our Redbud tree bloomed beautifully and I had all the windows open in the house.  Open windows always make our cats happy and me too for that matter. 


Redbud Tree on 4-19-21


Then we suddenly went back into nights below freezing and this past Tuesday we woke up to two inches of snow.  I have heard from so many friends from many different areas that have also had Spring snows this year.  My main concern is that we could go from Winter straight into Summer and miss out on those wonderful Spring days.  We’ve done that a lot here and our Summers can get really hot.  I’m not complaining though because I do love the changing of the seasons! 

Redbud Tree with snow on 4-20-21
(Sorry for the bad picture, it was taken through the window screen.)
 

Tom and I have managed to stay busy indoors.  We had a ceiling fan that stopped working and was not able to be repaired.  We have always been do-it-yourselfers so we bought a new ceiling fan with a light and decided to replace it ourselves.  We first had to take the old one down and then install the new one.  Tom is still having trouble with his balance and it is unsafe for him to do much climbing, so guess who did the work?  Yep, I did most of it myself!  I did have some help and direction from Tom but I got the old one down and the new one up mostly by myself.  Tom did get the main motor of the fan attached to the ceiling because it was too heavy for me to hold over my head.  I got all the blades attached and the light kit installed.  I was kind of proud of myself! 


Last weekend I went over to my youngest son’s house to help him put up some new drapes in two rooms.  Sean is a single guy and has never been that good with things like drapes, so I helped him out.  It was also nice to get to visit with him too.  I think I’ve done my share of home installation projects for a bit now!

That is what has been going on here recently.  I heard our weather man say next week our temps might get into the 80’s F so that could be Summer coming!  I hope everyone is well and happy.  Take care! 


Sophie & Zeus say Hi!                          

Sophie
Zeus




 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter!

 

I hope everyone is having a nice day and maybe even enjoying some warmer Spring weather.  It’s been a quiet weekend here.  Yesterday was warm enough that I could get a little yard work done.  In our back yard we have a row of trees that is home to quite a few squirrels.  It suddenly looks like the squirrels decided to tear down their winter nests and there are sticks all over the yard.  Of course, it could have been all those high winds we have been having this Spring too.  Either way, I’ve got quite a few sticks and such to clean up before I can even mow.   

 

Our redbud tree always has beautiful buds on Easter.

Does anyone have any special plans today?  I miss the Easters when I had young children or grandchildren here and we had egg hunts and family get togethers.  Now even my grandchildren are grown and everyone is off doing their own thing on Easter.  I was determined to still do something special even if it is just the two of us, so I planned a special dinner.  I bought a turkey breast so we could have roasted turkey without having a whole turkey for just two people.  I’m going to make home made stuffing to go with it and I even got some cranberry sauce.  I know, it sounds like Thanksgiving doesn’t it?  It is something we love and don’t have very often so it will be a treat. 

 

All these buds should burst into flowers soon.

I want to thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers for my brother Charlie.  I truly believe positive thoughts do make a difference.  He has his six weeks of radiation set up now, beginning April 19.  He is looking at all of this as one big adventure!  I have such admiration for how he is handling everything and I believe his positive attitude is going to make a big difference for him.  He also just got his first covid vaccination and I am very happy about that!

Enjoy your day today!



Friday, March 26, 2021

Final Covid Shot & a Request

 

Wednesday, three weeks after our first shot, we drove back up to North Kansas City to get our second Covid shot.  We received the Pfizer vaccine and were told that in two weeks we should hopefully be 95% protected.  Of course, everyone still has to wear masks and observe social distancing, etc. regardless of having had the vaccine.  We chose to drive about 45 minutes away to get our shots so we could get them sooner rather than wait an unknown amount of time.  The area where we live has been very slow getting the vaccine and the waiting list is long.  We didn't mind the drive because we enjoy driving through Kansas City once in a while.  Just for fun, I took a few pictures on the way there and back.  You can tell it was a cloudy day.

KC Royals Baseball Stadium and the
 KC Chiefs Football Stadium is right behind it.


Heading into the city you can see a portion
 of the KC skyline, despite the clouds.


Crossing the Missouri River on the
Bond Bridge on the way home.


After receiving our second shot Tom and I each had the usual sore arm and he had no other side effects.  Unfortunately, this time the side effects got to me.  I was down with a fever, headache and general flu type feelings all day yesterday.  I slept most of the day and didn’t even read blogs, so sorry for no comments yesterday!  I’m better today although I still have a headache that just doesn’t want to leave.  I have to buy groceries today since I didn’t feel like it yesterday, but hopefully I’ll be back to 100% soon.  This is one time I’m grateful to feel bad if it means getting the vaccine!  We look forward to feeling at least a little safer in a couple of weeks and maybe even going out occasionally!  I am hoping that anyone out there that has not yet gotten the vaccine is able to get it soon!  This could be our way out of this pandemic.

I have a favor to ask of all my friends here.  My older brother, Charlie, has been diagnosed with cancer and I wonder if you could say a prayer or maybe have some healing thoughts for him.  He had surgery on March 15th to remove a cancerous tumor inside the salivary gland on the left side of his face.  They also had to remove the lymph nodes in his neck on that side.  Because of the type of surgery, a nerve on that side of his face had to be cut which left him unable to move any part of his face, mouth or eye on the left side.  He now has to wear an eye patch since he cannot blink or close his left eye.  He will be starting radiation treatments soon.  I have to say Charlie is one amazing person of great faith!  He is taking all of this so well despite the discomfort and pain.  Six years ago he decided to move to Costa Rica.  He is a big nature lover, birder and bird photographer.  Costa Rica provides him everything he loves in nature and bird photography.  He also has a blog if anyone is interested:  Retired in Costa Rica .  Thank you so much for any prayers and good thoughts you can send his way!

 

 

 


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Reflections

 

Last Thursday, March 11th was an anniversary of sorts.  On that day one year ago the World Health Organization declared that we were in a pandemic.  It seemed so strange at first because for many of us the problems with Covid were “somewhere far away”.  Well, that didn’t last long.  I remember checking a map online that illustrated the growth and spread of Covid across the world.  That quickly changing map combined with the constant news reports made us realize it was soon to be almost everywhere.  Then we had the sudden rush for food and supplies followed by many empty shelves in the stores and it truly felt like we were living in a science fiction movie.  Even today, a year later, when I go out and see everyone in masks it just doesn’t seem real.                                                               

We have been living a chapter in history that our ancestors will read about in the future.  There have certainly been pandemics before but nothing like this in my lifetime.  Fortunately, history is being made in another way that will hopefully lead us out of this pandemic.  Vaccines have never been developed as quickly as the ones we have now and after just a few months we are seeing a difference already.  We now have hope that we are really coming out of this.  Not only is Spring coming, but also hopefully, a gradual return to a more normal life. 

Many people have said that the past year has changed them in both positive and negative ways.  I know I don’t feel the same as I did a year ago.  I’ve been far less active and as a result do not feel as physically fit.  The lack of contact with other people has also left its mark on me, as I’m sure it has for others as well.  On the positive side, I’ve learned to appreciate so many things in life that I took for granted before the pandemic.  I hope that lesson will stay with me.  Has the past year changed you, and if so how?       


Spring is on the way and a more normal life is getting closer.


 

 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Vaccinations!

 

Our waiting for the first Covid vaccination finally ended last Wednesday when we were fortunate to receive our first injection of the Pfizer vaccine.  Back when the vaccines first came out, I signed up on three different waiting lists, a state, a county and at a local hospital.  The age group we qualified for (over 65) had been open for over a month before I received an email offering us appointments through the state list I had signed up on. 


We had a very good experience from start to end.  I was at first not sure what it would be like since it was the first “mass vaccinations” done in our area.  It was held at a large company’s office headquarters in North Kansas City.  The National Guard was handling much of the event.  


We arrived at the first parking area and were directed where to park and told to wait in the car.  Within five minutes a Guardsman came to our car and checked our appointment confirmations.  He then directed us to another parking lot next to the building.  There were uniformed Guardsmen all over the parking lots directing the cars where to go and where to park.  They even had Valet parking for those that could not walk very far. 

Once we parked, we went in the building after being given medical masks to wear over the masks we already had on.  Although there was a line of people, we very quickly went into the area where the shots were given and received our shots.  We were then directed to a large room with spaced chairs to wait the required 15 minutes.  They had slides playing on a large screen telling us what to expect as far as any side effects.  As soon as the time was up we went back to the car and left.  Everything was very efficient and it only took 30 minutes from the time we went inside until we left, including the waiting time.  By the look of the number of people I would guess they were getting at least 200 – 300 in and out each hour.  




We have done fine since we received our vaccine.  Tom has not had any side effects and I only had a few minor ones.  I had a slightly sore arm and I felt achy for that evening and the next day.  My glands on the left side of my neck have also  been a bit sore and that is all.  We go back for our second shot in three weeks.  I know we will still have to wear masks and be cautious but it does give a feeling of being at least a little safer.  

I hope anyone that has not been able to get vaccinated yet will be able to very soon.  For those in the U.S. there are finally more doses becoming available and I hear by May they will be vaccinating everyone, not just the older or immune compromised.  I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend!  I send my best to you all!



Sunday, February 28, 2021

It Comes in Threes

  

That’s what they say about trouble.  In my case it’s more like inconveniences and not really trouble.  It all started about a week ago when our water was shut off.  There was a tag left on the door stating that it was cut off for non-payment.  No way I thought, as I always pay our bills on time.  Then I read the tag a little closer.  It was not my address and not my name!  The water cut off order was for a different home owner at a different address.  Now I understand mistakes happen, but to not even match the name and address was a bit much.  Our house number is large and prominent on the front porch.  The person that did this was either randomly cutting off water or couldn’t read.  I immediately called our small-town water department and explained the situation.  The lady I spoke with was very understanding and promised it would be corrected as soon as possible.  She did seem more than slightly aggravated with the man that did it and I sensed this was not his first mistake.  Our water was cut back on in less than an hour so no harm was done. 

The second of the three was a few days later when I received our charge card bill.  We just use it for online purchases and I usually pay it off every month.  As I was checking over the bill I found one $40 payment made to Apple.  We do not use Apple products at all so I knew that charge was not made by us.  I called the charge card company and explained the situation.  They said it was a fraud charge and canceled that card number so it would not happen again.  The $40 was refunded to our account and they sent us new cards with a new number.  So, thanks to our card company no harm was done.  However, that card was listed with multiple companies for automatic payments.  You know, companies like Netflix, AAA Auto, and things like that.  I spent one afternoon changing the card number with a whole list of companies online.  Not a terrible thing, but an inconvenience.

The third of the three was just a couple of days ago when suddenly my main email account stopped sending and receiving email.  I have a gmail account associated with Blogger but my main account is what I use with all our bills and anyone we do business with in addition to family.  This has been really aggravating as I still have not been able to completely get it corrected.  I updated the account with the service provider and finally got it working on their website mail program and on my phone.  I can send and receive mail now.  The problem I’m having is that I can not get it to work with the Outlook email program.  Outlook is the program I have always preferred to use for email.  I’ve spent two days on it and I’m so frustrated I’m just going to leave it alone for now and use the web mail.  Hopefully I will eventually figure it out.  I know I must sound like I’m complaining, but overall I am grateful to only have these types of inconveniences and nothing really serious.

I do have one piece of good news.  Tom and I have appointments to get our first Covid vaccines this Wednesday.  I had us signed up on three different vaccine lists and just this evening I received an email offering us an appointment this week.  I was able to schedule it online tonight.  This is what they are calling a “mass vaccination event” so there is no telling how many people will be there or how long we will have to wait.  Whatever the situation, I am so glad we will finally be able to get the first shots.   

I hope everyone is well and happy.  I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I posted.  I’ve got to do better than this!  I’ve just had nothing to write about.  I’m going to work on that.  Take care everyone – Spring is coming!

 

Zeus and Sophie