Showing posts with label Julie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Julie. Show all posts

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Spiders and Shorter Days

Note: Spiders are not attractive to potential house buyers.  Don't get caught with them in the tub.  Here is one I found this morning, trying to ward off looky lookers.  (Six walk-throughs with realtors, with one offer on the house thus far.)
Tomatoes are ripening on the vine, neighbors have been too kind with their squash, and days are getting shorter with kiddos out early in the mornings making their way to school.

Yesterday proved an interesting day with the oncologist in that I learned I qualify for a clinical trial.  At first my altruistic thoughts were quite positive, until I read through the 23 pages of the abstract and learned I would have to make at least fifteen overnight visits to Denver, in winter months, over the continental divide, and at my own expense.  So now the inclination is to let some other "lucky" lady take my place in the trial.  In this double blind study, I had a 33.3 percent chance of receiving the placebo instead of targeted radiation, and even though it would be do-able, it would also be very taxing.  I am continuing on with the Ibrance and letrozole, targeted therapies to slow down tumor growth.  Dr. L offered steroids and analgesics for back and hip aches, but I am holding off for now and trying other avenues for pain relief. There will be time later to bring in the big guns to control pain.  And actually, the pain, dare we say discomfort, is mostly under control, in case you were to worry.

On the Julie front: she is doing pretty well, better than I would have imagined a year ago.  Her new social avenue is playing a card game, Phase 10, with one of her and my best friends at the manor, Ms. Louise.  Louise just passed her 91st birthday last week with much hoopla.  Julie gave her sweet presents and flowers, and Louise had two birthday lunches that she very much enjoyed.  These days, all three of us are playing Phase 10 together in the mornings after Julie gets to the garden room around half past ten. This is sweet Louise with Julie.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Llamas at the Manor

Llamas from Whitewater, 17 of them, are owned by Kathy and Glen Stanko.  Kathy and Glen were kind to bring two of them to visit the manor yesterday.  They were certainly a hit with residents.  Julie loved seeing them, and even made me drive her chair out to the parking lot to wave them off back to their home forty-five minutes away by trailer.

They ate iris and parsley planted in the herb garden, but that was ok.  There are plenty more iris I planted there last fall, while the parsley is taking more than its fair share of garden space.

White llama above: Phoebe Snow.  Her fur is a natural white and is spun at Fire Mountain Fiber near Hotchkiss, Colorado at Bad Rabbit Farm.  Her fiber is lace weight.  Kathy wants me to drive out to the ranch and see all her fiber for sale; I might take her up on it as I would really like to dye up some more fibers in acid dye baths.  Like last year!

Julie is trying to touch Phoebe's neck as Phoebe patiently waits for it.
Here is the location of the Stanko llama ranch on Kannah Creek Road near Whitewater.  I might just take a drive out there soon to purchase some fiber.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tea Party

Tuesday was the Tea Party for four manor residents.

Gene went to the grocery store for most of the party fare and bought cookies and cucumbers and thin white bread for buttered tea sandwiches.  He even found the Queen's recipe! 

For my part, I cleaned the patio and cut roses and whipped up scones, and made an ice ring with silk flowers frozen between layers of water.  During The Purge of Kitchen Doodads several years ago, our ancient handed down punch bowl, cups and ladle were dismissed with fond farewell.  So for tea, other utensil improvisations were in order. It all worked out.  More or less. Except we limped along without a ladle, pouring sherbet and 7-up punch from a pitcher into clear plastic cups.

This week I accompanied Julie when she went to her long awaited appointment with the ophthalmologist.  After the exam, he launched into a speil about how she would be having corrective surgery on her crossed eyes later in the summer at Children's Hospital in Denver.  I stopped him in his tracks when I brought up her winter flight to Denver for medical reasons, explained issues with pressure sores, the ambulance ride home that exacerbated the wounds, and ended my diatribe with the declaration that it would be very difficult to get her transported over to Denver.  
Long story, but the female ophthalmologist who corrected her eyes back in 1993 is still practicing in Denver and this current specialist with confer with that woman, reaching back 23 years into Julie's medical records and will likely, hopefully, be doing the corrective eye surgery on Julie in August.  Yes, Julie definitely needed a change in lens prescription but will wait for new lenses until after the eye surgery.

I am leaving today for Bangor, ME for the Cineast Scrabble Tournament in Castine, Maine.  It should be lots of fun, and I will be glad to get away for a week. Julie has been testy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Mother's Day Thought without Flowers

One of my favorite sermons concerning Mother's Day was delivered several years ago by a Lutheran pastor.  She spoke a few words in a heartfelt message about Mother's Day, and how it is not always a happy time for many individuals, especially for women who had lost children to death, to drugs, to estrangement, or to legal intervention which placed children in other homes or institutions. And women who chose abortion as a means to end an unwanted child were also mentioned with sadness by this pastor: how, indeed, would that female remember Mother's Day and her prior actions to prevent the start of a life from shortly becoming one of her own children?

This pastor went on to say that not all people were lucky enough to be born to exemplary mothers; some people were not nurtured with love, with bed-time stories, with chicken soup and sweet kisses on hurts, but instead had only painful memories of their mothers. And those unpleasant memories were brought to their attention and in juxtapostition by Mother's Day being joyfully celebrated by others.

But if you are lucky enough to have children who give you esteem out of love, or even simple duty, then you are blessed.  And blessings to you if you have or had a mother who did not abandon you, and who more times than not, gave you love.

Simply being reminded that motherhood is not all ribbons and bows is worthy of thought.  And it makes one careful of calling out "Happy Mother's Day" to female strangers at the supermarket, since it might evoke an untoward response.

On Sunday afternoon at the manor, the activity directors sponsored a tea for all mothers at the facility.  Refreshments and flowers were well received, and we heard some amazing stories about elderly resident mothers who were honored that day.  One son told of his mother having read the entire Bible each year for 48 years.  Forty-eight times she had read the Bible, and lived her life with those lessons in mind.  He and his dad are there every day for a few hours at lunch time, honoring their mother, cajoling her to eat, giving their attention to her. She is truly blessed.

Julie gave me potted tulips in my favorite colors, and a wooden carved face to place in our garden.  She gave Gene's mother flowers, and then we had his mother and part of her family over for dinner in the evening while Julie stayed at the manor.

Gene advanced pups Mercy and Libby some money, and they gave me presents he said they told him to purchase to thank me for a year of being a good dog momma.  Gene made this picture of them:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


While reading Jean today, she reminded me of a conundrum that I experienced last weekend: the sewing machine electrical cord and foot pedal went missing.  And I mean nowhere were they to be found.  The last place I remember seeing the clear plastic sack containing those pieces was at the repair shop. 

That sack was lying last Friday morning on the repair office counter next to the cash register.  Inert, innocently bagged along with my name and phone number in case it was separated from the Pfaff.  It was just there.  I was trying so hard for it not to be misplaced.  But it was lost, or stolen, or taken by someone who had not a clue that it was important.

Two phone calls to the repair place assured me that the parts were not in their possession; intensive questioning of the husband revealed nothing (he carried the repaired machine back to its cabinet). A thorough car and then garage search revealed not a clue to the whereabouts of the missing parts.  Had I picked up that sack when paying for the repairs? I just cannot remember. So there was nothing else to do except order the missing parts from an internet source.  Sigh.  $120 could have been better spent.  Nothing to be done now but wait and see if the newly ordered parts show up via USPS.

Today is the first day that Julie will be at our house for a short visit since the first of the year.  Her visit will include lunch of fried trout that Gene and I caught last week at Corn Lake.  Julie was last here at the house on January 1 when almost immediately she became ill with that blasted virus that hit the manor, quarantining the place for about ten weeks until it had run its course of infecting all those vulnerable residents. From New Years' Day until today, Julie has either been recovering from illnesses and surgeries or otherwise incapacitated to the point she could not leave the manor/hospital for a visit home.  That is almost four months, so today will be a real treat. Pray it will be a "successful" visit: i.e., all bags stay in place on her body and she does not need to be returned to the manor for nursing care that I cannot provide. 

One of her nurses said yesterday that back in the early winter, Julie would begin throwing up on the mornings when she was to come over to our house because of anxiety that all would not go well.  That made me so sad to hear that.  I will endeavor to make light of any untoward outward expression of appliance glitches today, because it is likely Julie feeds on my nervousness.

Yesterday, I waited almost an hour at the manor for Julie and her entourage of care givers to finish up with her care before our visit.  (I brought tamales for our lunch.) While waiting, I finished this little piece in oils and pen, 5" x 7". 

Further dabbling yesterday with pansies and poppies in acrylics turned out nothing worth saving.  Tomorrow my friend at the manor who also paints with me on Wednesdays may provide something worth sharing.  I'll take a picture of the cardinal she is painting for show and tell.

The weather is truly spring-like, and by that I mean it takes its turn being cold and warm, with last night temps going down to freezing. Here is a photo of a few cosmos seedlings this morning.  They have spent the last three nights under a south window in my study.

About half of the seeds germinated, so it must be time to start planting and nurturing a second batch.

Last week a newly ordered kit with yarn dyed by KnitCircus showed up in the mailbox.  It is Rainbow Trail by Christina Gihrlanda.  Lovely colors! The color is named "Quoth the Raven." It will knit up into a striped sweater like this:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Happened this Week

Best new recipe tried this week: Lemon Ice Box Cake  by 12Tomatoes to be served at RCIA tonight

Finished Projects: A Line Vintage Dress (modified pattern) and Yard Clean Up ( trees, boxes, rose bush limbs) in time for city-wide trash pick up, likely today

source is our front sidewalk

Frustrations: Julie has been in bed two weeks; sewing machine tension is off, making sewing almost unacceptable; Julie does not keep her new phone charged

Successes: Julie was in wheelchair and playing cards in the manor activity room with only minor headaches Sunday and yesterday; Pfaff sewing machine taken to be fixed at the repair shop; went fishing today and we caught our limit of trout! Geese were present

Happiness Derived from Material Goods: New Merlot Leather Lazy Boy Recliner delivered yesterday so Gene and I now have Edith and Archie Bunker chairs

Blooming:  Iris in front

144 seeds planted on April : progress of sprouting as of April 14. half are up:

Electronic Update: The Fire was knocked off Julie's bedside table on Sunday night and is broken beyond repair; new phone for Julie is working (but hardly ever charged when I need to call her)

Trying to learn how to use Jack's Camera (macro lens):
actual size: a 50 cent piece
Ollie the Owl: still here, seen most often at dawn and then again about 10 AM daily

Reading: Almost finished another Rosamund Pilcher's Winter Solstice, and Pain in the Tuchis

So what is up in your neck of the woods?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Six Days Later

Looking back over this blog, I realize this online journal is now mostly about daughter Juliet, not "Arts and Crafts".  And it has been almost a week since it was updated.  (Thank you, Sharon, for your text last evening asking about Julie and prompting me to write an update.)  Here is what has happened since last Tuesday:

Julie was taken by ambulance from Denver on Wednesday, a five hour trek over the Continental Divide, which resulted in more trauma to her pressure wounds.  She was placed back at the manor, sans IV medications, all being replaced by oral meds.  Good news: she was transferred from the hospital back to her "manor home." I returned a few days earlier back to GJ.

Since arriving back in Grand Junction, she has been kept on bed rest and on a special mattress and bed at the manor that shifts her body weight to try to help her heal the back thigh area. We have read half a book aloud since then: Virginia's Diary. And Gene reads his book to her.  We play Word Chums. 

Today she was angry, mad, and frustrated at being kept in bed.  She broke her iPad Saturday (it fell off the bed), so I got it replaced and found some little cord attachers that will keep her phone, her Fire, and her iPad all hooked up and disentangled from one another. Maybe.  And I bought a one year guarantee so that if she breaks it again, the warranty will cover it.  Bad news was that I got a glass cut from the screen; just glad it was not Julie that received the sliver in her hand.

And we have had several talks about hospice being brought in to help her.  These were not easy sessions, but realistic at this time. For now, the APH (atrial pulmonary hypertension) is being managed, but APH is a progressive heart disease under the umbrella of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), a diagnosis that results in eventual death.  The good news is that the lasix are keeping fluid from building up around her lungs, and she is breathing easier.  We will not discuss the bad news.

And I finished the Promenade Shawl.  Never will I knit that again as those garter stitches never seemed to end.  But eventually, finished...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Free Time on My Hands: Promenade Shawl; Piper's Journey Shawl

Yesterday, I said I would be knitting.  And yes, I did just that.  

Almost finished with the Promenade Shawl.

And the (3rd, count it) Piper's Journey Shawl is well on its way to completion.  That pretty pink yarn is from Ginny, who dyed it with pokeberries!  I am joining in with her YarnAlong.

All this knitting is happening because Julie is still in Denver in the hospital.

The news last night, set to the background of Julie crying over the cell, was that the manor is reluctant to take her back as her "home" because she is on an IV.  But the IV is only temporary, we hope, and she should be on oral medications shortly.  Does this mean Julie will need to find another nursing home placement?  Will another nursing home here in the home town take her on, or will there be further reluctance because of her complications?  (She does require lots of assistance in turning in bed, electronic lifting into her motorized wheelchair, bathing, help with her two ostomy care bags, daily wound care, etc.)  Need I go into further detail?

So instead of biting my nails, I have turned to reading (again, PomPom, I am into the Tuesday readings with help from the Paraclete) and knitting, and even getting a haircut yesterday and planning on coffee with friends this morning.

And Julie stews in Denver at hospital.  Pray hard, friends, for answers to her placement here in Grand Junction.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Back at the Homestead

On Saturday, it was such a privilege to meet PomPom, whom I have followed on her blog for at least five years.  We have participated in Christmas swaps, and exchanged comments  on our blogs over many past posts.  She is a delightful, warm, sweet, loving person who has prayed me through many a trial (as has Sandra and many another, thank you very much).

Here is a picture of the two of us taken by PomPom on Saturday:

"That is God's call to us--simply to be people who are content to live close to Him and to renew the kind of life in which the closeness is felt and experienced." ~ Thomas Merton ~         (as read on Sandra's blog)
It was so kind of her to give me a fixed hour prayer book, The Paraclete Psalter.  I am reading today Psalm 24.  Thank you again, PomPom...prayers for your husband as he is in Taiwan this week.

Yesterday, I returned back from University Hospital in Aurora, leaving Julie for more medical care.  Over the weekend, she was bombarded with lasix (diuretics) and today is to have a follow-up echo-cardiogram to determine what levels of medications would be in her best interests to hold pulmonary hypertension (PAH) at bay. She might return this afternoon to Grand Junction by ambulance, or she might not.  The roads were to become icy by last evening, and Glenwood Canyon will be closed tomorrow during the daylight hours for repair from a previous rock slide. It is unlikely that Julie will have to be air ambulanced back to Mesa Manor here in Grand Junction.  But she might have to be in hospital until Wednesday when the roads are open and passable.  It appears we are back living in the wild west when wagon trains could not make it over the pass, which is almost the way it is over the Continental Divide in present day.

That reminds me of the book A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains, a good read about a single woman in the mid 1800's, Elizabeth Bird.  Amazon says:

"A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains" is one of the many accounts of Isabella L. Bird's amazing travels and adventures. At the age of twenty-two in 1854 Isabella left a comfortable life in England for a life of adventurous travel. "A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains" is the account of six months of those travels in 1873 through the rugged terrain of the Colorado Rockies. Based upon her letters to her sister this account relates the many hardships of the great western frontier in the pioneer days as well as the awesome beauty of nature she found in the western territories.
But I digress.  Now the day lies ahead.  It is rainy and dark, a good day to finish up that Promenade shawl.  And wait to hear more news from University Hospital on its 254 acre campus, a city within a city.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Surgery Update

And now it is Monday, the last day of February. 

Turtle with its broken shell is a get well card from Kathy to Julie, who remains in the hospital with a headache from an accumulation of CSF.  

Early Saturday morning, it was the desire of the neuro team at the hospital to have her taken over to Denver for surgery, but I pitched that it was not in Julie' best interests to have her transported there, for more than a few good reasons.  Julie concurred.  So she remained in hospital here over the weekend until a different surgeon was back on duty today who might be willing to take on her challenging case.

Twice over the weekend her shunt was tapped and excess CSF fluid removed, lessening the headache.   But nausea and headaches continued.

Now it is time to put on the Full Armour of God and go see what the day brings.  Hopefully, some relief for Julie and a surgery to "fix the problem."  

Her name is in the prayer book at Immaculate Heart of Mary.  If you are a praying person, please remember her in your talks with the Almighty for grace in her time of need.  God bless.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Ollie Again and Scrabble Update

For a month Ollie has been away.  Then this morning an owl appeared in the house, spotted around 8:15 am.  I had checked at dawn, but the owl house was vacated.  So some owl appeared later after sunrise.  Gene thinks it may be a different owl.

Owl seen on Janurary 10, 2016:
Owl seen on February 16, 2016:
We think it may not be Ollie, but Ollie II.  This owl is lighter in color and the area to the left of his closed eye is a bit more heart shaped. What do you think?

Scrabble and Julie Update:

The 32nd annual Scrabble tournament was held at the Hilton Doubletree in Tempe.  Warm weather and a fun time was had by most all.  We used the updated dictionary, including over 5,000 new words.  I challenged "ZEDA", one of the newly included words in the TWL, losing the challenge, of course.  

Although I had a bit of a time worrying about Julie while in Arizona, it was nice to be away from Colorado in warmer weather, playing my favorite game. 

Juliet had and has an upper respiratory infection (aka as a "cold"), but Gene held down the fort.  He finished reading aloud to Julie the third book in the liturgical mysteries series by Mark Schweizer and started on the fourth.  She had a chest x-ray over the weekend that showed no pneumonia. The manor has been giving her breathing treatments as her nebulizer has not been of help with this particular bug.  They also have her wear an oxygen mask at night as her H2O sats are low.  

The wound vac suctioning sound and the loud alarms on the machine are pretty much constant during the night, disturbing her sleep, but the nurses are taking good care of her.  She hopes the wound vac will have done its job healing up her belly incision, and that she can have it removed on Thursday of this week.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Recipes from Deliciously Ella and Karen Ehman

For ease of reference, so I can easily locate them and cook from iPad instead of printing them out:

From Deliciously Ella

  • 500g new potatoes, halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes or powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 400g can of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 180g quinoa
  • 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 150g spinach
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
Place the potatoes in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil, then let them cook for about 25 minutes, until you can easily stick a knife through them. Drain them well.
Place the potatoes in a large pan and add the garlic, turmeric, coriander, chilli, ginger, coconut milk, tomato purée and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper, then add the quinoa with a mug of just-boiled water (300ml).
Reduce the heat to a simmer, place the lid on and allow to cook. Over the next 30 minutes, stir every 5 minutes or so to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. (This is quite a long cooking time, but this is how long quinoa takes to cook in all these ingredients, rather than just in water.) Halfway through cooking, add the chickpeas. When there are just 5 minutes left, add the spinach and stir it in until it wilts. Once the quinoa has cooked and is fluffy, not crunchy, it’s ready.
Thank you, Betty the Woodfairy, for posting that you made this, because I shamelessly copied it and will make it this week!  Or Maybe Gene will, except he cannot have greens because it messes with his rat poison, and he does not care for chickpeas.  Never mind, I will make it.
1 (15 oz) can Crushed tomatoes

1 (15 oz) can Diced tomatoes

1 (15 oz) can Tomato sauce

1/4 cup Grated parmesan cheese

3/4 cup Plain low fat Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

1/2-1 tsp Salt (to taste)

1/4-1/2 tsp Pepper (to taste)

Optional: pinch of sweetener of choice or honey (to taste)

Put all of the ingredients for the soup into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into individual bowls and microwave until it reaches the temperature you desire (or put soup in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it is warmed through).   Yields: 4 Servings

Julie Update:

Still in hospital, grumpy about it, discouraged because daily wound care takes a long time for nurses to attend wounds.  The 3 x/week "team"(wound care team consists of two specialized nurses and often the doctor observes progress) will see her this morning for assessment. 

Infection is decreasing according to the numbers in the blood, but she is still on IV antibiotics but needs to be on oral medication before being released back to the manor.  She was placed in a recliner twice over the weekend.  That could be called progress.

Huge snow day today, and schools are closed; town is on accident alert as it continues to come down.  Using Jack's camera while it is still dark in the early hours of Feb. 1:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

This Week Mostly at Hospital

Our weekly RCIA Meeting on Tuesday night with Fr. Isaac and others, learning about the dignity of life in its many forms. Official Vatican Network published the gist of our discussion here; timely for the discussion.

It was my birthday Tuesday, with my husband providing some carrot cake refreshments that evening.  Thank you for birthday cards sent by Kathy M and Kathy W, Madge, Mary Kay, Pam, Sharon, Lynn and several others I cannot recall as this is being typed!

Knitting continues on two projects while sitting beside that hospital bed.  

I finished two books read aloud to Julie this week.  It makes time go by more quickly, although my voice sometimes gets froggy.

We have completed Karen Vorbeck Williams The House on Seventh Street and are rapidly getting through her other book, My Enemy's Tears.

Gene reads Mark Sweizer's Liturgical Mystery books to her (his second read aloud book now underway).  Gene has read them all and highly recommends them as light fun.

And Julie began her third week at St. Mary's Hospital...

She had a reaction to her antibiotics, enough to have it discontinued. It was changed to another one by IV last night. Her wound looked in order yesterday when they changed out the wound vac and put on another one. The wound care nurse at the manor came over to observe how the nurses changed it out so that the manor nurses could learn how to do it there. Julie will have it changed again tomorrow, and maybe she can go back to the manor late Monday on oral antibiotics. Maybe.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

One Stitch at a Time

It just occurred to me that I have not yet shown knitting progress on a kit I purchased soon after Julie and I returned to Colorado in May.

That month of May in South Carolina was a complete wash in terms of knitting. Even if there had been time to sit down and knit, there was not a whit of concentration left in my frazzled mind.  So just as well that my hands had a break from the needles.

During June, I finished one of The Yarn Harlot books.  A story she wrote stuck with me when she talked about a woman in her circle of friends who took on the daunting task of beginning to knit a blanket, a huge one.  The woman in the story decided to begin this project while in the midst of several personal crises, including severe depression and the break up of her marriage.  McFee, aka The Yarn Harlot, went on to write that this woman, stitch by stitch, finished one row and then another, day by day, week by week. Lo and behold, after a year, the blanket was completed.  Somehow, the working of the project, the clearing of the mind, that entire process of making a blanket required a different sort of concentration of efforts.  And it resulted in more than just a finished blanket. With the ending of that enormous knitting effort, her depression had lifted and she had made important decisions, including one to end her marriage.  What determination she had.

Back to my tie-in and identification with the woman who undertook that blanket project.  No, I am not leaving my husband. But I did decide to order from a Norwegian designer who had put together kits for the most determined of knitters.  Those who had knit up this daunting project took months to complete it, according to their notes on Ravelry.  So I took the mental plunge back in June and bought the kit, knowing I would eventually complete it because I must finish what I start... a compulsion.  It may take a while to complete, but each completed stitch will work toward good mental health.

So this is the Promenade Shawl now on the needles, started in June:

But then I got distracted with other projects, like knitting up Julie's acrylic shawl just in time for cool weather.

She wore it yesterday on her Wednesday visit to our house.  Her aide helped to choose the dress from her closet to match the shawl, and got her ready.  Julie was all smiles when Dennis delivered her to our curb.  Gene made guacamole and tacos at her request.

Joining in with Ginny and her Yarn Along!

Julie and I took a leisurely wheel over to the hospice restaurant again this week. After thinking about the Ezra book and praying about the situation, it went much better than our first outing there. Thank you all for your kind comments about the Very Busy woman, by the way.  (And no, I have not heard from Her again.)

Here we are in the sun before our lunch.  A kind gentleman snagged from a nearby bench was the photographer.

Recipes tried this week: Beer Bread, and Rosemary Bread, thanks to Stephanie who blogs here.  Ya'll have a good weekend!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hand Spun Gifted Wool

An internet Scrabble friend whom I have virtually known for about seven years but have never met personally, sent me this:

An amazing gift of hand spun wool

This wool draped over a tomato cage is not even all he sent because I shared some with friends.  Natalie got right to work on her portion, knitting up a pretty shawl.  The darker and lighter colored two ply wool shown below will be worked up as the bottom piece of the wrap.  She is doing a good job of styling John's yarn into a usable creation.

My friend, John, spun all this wool himself.  It cost him a kings' ransom just to mail it from where he lives in Australia.  He and I have previously exchanged post cards; he sent me a picture of an Aussie wombat years ago.  He likes wombats.  I sent him something back, a watercolor methinks.

And not only does this John spin, he also knits.  He asked me via the chat line on the ISC forum several months ago if I needed something knit up: a baklava, or a hat. My reply was "no" because I happen to also knit.  But I asked him if he could spare some hand spun wool because I can't, don't, and will never spin wool.  

Lo and behold, he sent me over five pounds of hand spun Australian sheep wool.  Wow.  You should feel the lanolin in this wool, just marvelous.  Thank you, John!

This is the tomato plant not clad in wool, and it has produced three actual, edible tomatoes.

And this sweet little four inch tall angel was given me last week by the husband because he thought I needed a bit of extra love.  She is hanging off my newly replaced iPhone.  Replaced because the first one was in a sack in which iced tea was spilled, ruining the iPhone. Note to self: do not put your phone in a plastic sack with other items, especially one containing liquids. 

On the Julie front: after church this morning I am encouraging her to write a blog.  Her stepfather, her aunt, her uncle and I have all asked her to do this, but she has been unenthusiastic about it thus far.  It is now time to take the bull by the horns and sit down in front of a laptop plugged into some common room area at Mesa Manor and start the process.  Maybe next time I post it will be with a link to a Julie Created Blog.  We shall see.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Clematis and More

Beauty observed from neighbor Woods' fence...

and a Woods' iris to boot.

Also, courtesy of Mr. Woods, a cedar nursery box he made for me in April; trusting the coleus will flourish through September on our back patio.  Some critter was munching on foliage this morning; everybody has to eat, just not at this smorgasbord.

A little crowd of google eyes was in Jack and Julie's knick knack box in York.  She thinks maybe Jack made it in years past.  It is now keeping company with the coleus.

 And day lilies about to bloom

Over the weekend, I pulled out tons of mint that overgrew grassy areas, and the bindweed was having a field day, too.  Out that went, which only makes it grow more profusely.  And I trimmed down the rose bushes, too.  At least I can expend energy in eradicating weeds, even though tackling the thorny issues of life is a bit more daunting. 

On the Julie front, she is moving to Mesa Manor this week from Colorado Canyons Hospital.   Mesa Manor is a Genesis owned 84 bed licensed facility.  This is a picture of its entrance and information can be accessed here

 It is probably the best place for her now.  She soldiers on.