Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday ramblings

For many years I used email to send family messages.  It was one of my New Years Resolutions many years ago.  Well, after I started blogging, I stopped the weekly "Sunday News" message.  I was not motivated to do both.  Sometimes I miss those days of sitting in front of the computer on Sunday and just catching up with all of you on various events in our lives and passing on things that I 'gathered' from talking to some of you through the week.  I thought this posting could be kind of like that so I will try to duplicate some of those days past.  Blogging seems to lend itself to a different format though.

Movies:  We have watched a few movies lately.  Winter is a good time in N. Michigan to catch up on the movies that are out.  We have a great 'independent and community opperated' movie theater in downtown T.C.  It often shows the more unusual movies and brings back to the 'big screen' the movies that have been nominated for awards but are past the popularity at the multi-plexus.  We went to see Social Network last night.  It was interesting.  I think it is a generational thing, this Facebook.  I checked it out again today before starting this post.  I find it mildly interesting and a good way to catch up on daily activities of the younger generation but I wouldn't be interested in keeping 'in touch' with people that are just casual friends.  I am not interested in finding out what someone I knew in high school is doing with their life unless they are still friends.  The movie was interesting but I found that I didn't like any of the characters very well.  They really lacked social skills.  If it is an accurate portrayal of those people, they definitely have a LOW emotional quotient. However, they make more money than I do so there are probably some trade offs.
True Grit was another good movie that we saw recently.  I loved the little girl in that movie.  I see that she is up for an Academy Award for that performance.  I would vote for her for that award.  All around the movie had something for everyone with lots of action and good acting.  The King's Speech  is my final favorite recent movie that is up for awards.  It was a very well acted movie and just a 'classic' style of movie.  I liked all the characters in that movie.  I stuttered when I was little so I have been told.  Mom used to say that I started stuttering when she tried to make me stop sucking my thumb.  When she let me suck my thumb again I quit stuttering.  I guess I got what I wanted. I was a pretty 'strong' and difficult child too.

Garage:  We now have siding all the way around the garage.  The siding looks great.  I need to get another picture on the blog again.  Kevin primed the siding boards before he put them up and it is tinted the same color as our house or close.  However, we are thinking that we need to change the house color a bit to make it look better with the new garage doors.  We are getting the whole house painted in the spring so maybe I will be soliciting advice from you for a new color, still in the same color family, for the house.   We are very happy with the garage even though it has taken longer to build than we thought.  Kevin does a great job of paying attention to the details that make the garage look like it was made just for our house, not just slapped up as an after thought.

Volunteering:  I am still going out to Kingsley once a week and helping Molly with what ever she wants for an afternoon.  This past week I taught a Math lesson while she tested kids for report cards.  I always go early enough to have lunch with the crew and catch up with other teachers.  Then I stay the whole afternoon.  This past week I stayed until about 4:30, helping Molly get her report card envelopes all ready for the next day.  I know the routine fairly well and know what Molly wants so I am able to do things without much direction.  I enjoy her class and spending time with children for that afternoon. 

Projects:  I made a baby quilt for a friend to give to a niece.  I just finished that up this past week and now I am back at Diana's quilt.  This one is a little different.  I have the front done and will post a picture when I get it quilted.  My goal is to get the back done today so that I can take it to the quilter this coming week.  I have pillows and curtains to make to go with the quilt too.  I want to get all of it done before we go to TN the beginning of April.  I think that will be fairly easy. 

Winter:  It seems that the winter is LONG this year and it seems that we have a lot of snow.  It seems to snow almost every day.  The snow is always white and clean in the morning. We have been getting a little "cabin fever" here.  Bud thought about trying to get out of town for a short weekend trip but realized that we would have to drive too far to get out of the cold.  Diana said that they have been out of school 9 days so far this school year.  Of course, they close school much easier there because they don't know how to drive on the snow and don't have snow removal equipment.  I think that TC has only missed 1 school day so far this year.  The snow piles in the driveway are getting quite high even though we had a big thaw earlier in December and the snow disappeared for a couple of days.

Bud:  He continues to work hard every day.  His schedule starts a little later now that I am retired.  He often doesn't leave the house until 9 in the morning but he is working hard every day.  He was very busy the month of December and things have slowed down a bit to an easier pace this month.  He isn't going in on the weekends as often which is great.  He continues to work little by little on the wiring of his garage.  Last weekend he installed a motion sensor light on the side of the garage. 

Della's new habit:  I have become one of those people that goes out to get the morning paper in my PJs.  I never thought I would be that kind of person.  I only do it now in the winter because I throw on Bud's big warm coat that goes almost to the ground and covers up the fact that I am in my PJs.  I try to get up by 8 every morning, read the paper and have breakfast at my leisure.  Then I try to watch The View if I am home.  It is my 'guilty pleasure' of daytime TV.  I have been reading a lot lately.  All those good books that I received for Christmas keep calling to me.  I just finished two books by the same author, The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger both by Markus Zusak.  Both were very good and captivated my attention for several days.  I bounce between my sewing room and the comfortable chair upstairs, trying to divide my time between sewing and reading. 

Well, that is the update of the news up here.  I will go and work on the quilt for the afternoon.  Happy Sunday to all of you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good Heart

I just wanted to follow up on my medical test last week.  I received a call from my cardiologist yesterday and my heart is doing fine.  I haven't had another incident of extended A-Fib since that day and am on a couple of medications to regulate my heart.  I was pretty sure that it was fine but it was nice to hear it from the doctor too.  I just don't want to end up with an enlarged heart like Dad had.  I am guessing that he ignored some symptoms some times which caused some damage at some time. So, my heart continues to serve me well. 

I listened to President Obama speak last night.  I think this topic fits under the "Good Heart" title too.  It was a very good speech.  I am impressed by his thoughtful approach to governing.  It would be nice if our leaders could work together.  It would also be nice if the American people would also work together to make this world a better place.  I know that is a big wish but I am just putting it 'out there'.   Be nice to someone today.  I might make a difference.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It takes a licking and keeps on ticking

Timex, the old watch commercial used the slogan "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking"  I thought it would be a good title for this post.The picture is not so great but it has a pretty good story to go along with it and you may notice that I decided to publish this post even though the picture is pretty unflattering. 

Some of you may know that I have episodes of what is called "atrial fibrillation".  I looked up the definition in an old medical dictionary (just as a little 'side' story, inside the cover it says:Della Lewis, Hurley Hospital School of Nursing and that was the fall of 1968)  The definition says: "condition in which contractions of the atria work independently of the ventricles"  It goes on and on more but I won't bore you more.  Anyway, what happened is my heart starts by beating in an irregular manner and then sometimes it goes into the 'fibrillation' which causes it to beat very rapidly.  My doctor is a very thorough man and has kept an eye on it for quite some time.  It is a nuisance but not life threatening unless it goes on for more than 24 hours.  The last month or so I was experiencing an episode almost every day and they would go on for a few hours.  It was getting a little annoying so I mentioned it again at my last visit to my doctor.  He put me on a medication that is helping to regulate my heart and sent me to my cardiologist for a check up.  I had a stress echo cardiogram last week in the office.  My lovely little heart decided it needed to 'perform' for the technicians there in the office.  After the treadmill portion of the test, I showed them how it loves to go into this A-Fib (doctors shorthand for this problem.)  My heart just didn't want to slow down after the test.  They scurried around the office and found another doctor to check me out and finally called my cardiologist over from the hospital to check me out too before sending me home.  Since this is a regular occurrence for me I wasn't too worried.  I guess if you are going to have any problem with your heart, the best place to 'show off' is at the office of your cardiologist right across the street from the hospital.  

SO, just like a Timex, my heart takes a licking and keeps on ticking.  I only hope that we are not just allowed so many heart beats for each person.  I would hate to waste them just sitting around. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Found money treat

Yesterday I found some money while cleaning AND spent it right away.  I was downtown, meeting with a travel agent to start planning the spring Paris trip and I found this purse on sale.  I thought it would be cute to have so I spent that money fast.  I guess when you find money, you should spend it quickly so that you reap the benefits of your surprise right away.  "Felted" purses are in this year so I am now 'in style' with my new treat.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rewards of cleaning

Today I decided I needed to start going through some of my clutter.  I bought a new dresser for my bedroom that will help me organize things a bit more.  I started with the drawer that has old T-shirts and nylons.  I threw them all away and now I have lots of room in that drawer.  Next I moved on to the top of my old dresser where I just stack papers and such.  I managed to get rid of most of that clutter or put it in its proper place.  Finally I moved on to the top drawer of that dresser where I just put things that I need but don't want to go looking for them like credit card statements, passports and such things like that.  As I was going through this drawer which was full of envelopes and such, I came across an envelope that had a $10 bill in it.  I don't know why it was in there but I will now spend it.  Next I came across another envelope that had a $20 gift certificate to spend anywhere downtown.  I remember receiving this gift but thought I had already spent it. FINALLY I came across my tanzanite ring that I thought I had lost.  I was feeling very sad when I realized it was missing and was hoping it would show up somewhere.  Today is my lucky day.  Cleaning does have its rewards. 

Monday, January 17, 2011


 I am nostalgic for that wonderful sounding phrase.  For those of you that are under 40, that is what they used to say when you drove into a gas station.  First you would drive up to the pump and then "WIND DOWN" your window (YES, I did say wind it down.  That was the days before electric windows too.) You, the customer, would stay in your nice warm car while the attendant filled up your gas tank and washed your windows.  This job was the source of employment for many a young man, maybe their first job.  (I don't ever remember a young girl having this job though so maybe times weren't so idealistic.)  It is COLD here with a north wind blowing off the water so buying gas is a cold experience and I just had to complain. 

This little theme takes me to a rather philosophical level though and I just couldn't pass it up.  Wouldn't it be nice if we as humans were more adept at 'winding down our window' and asking for someone to 'fill-r-up'????? 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Leo L.

Yesterday we finally had a chance to see Leo.  The "Michigan family" arranged to meet in Big Rapids.  Eva, Jessica and Doug drove up from Grand Rapids, Leo drove over from Clare and Bud and I Drive down  from TC.  It was about and equal drive for all of us.  Bud looked up places to eat on the Internet and found this nice sounding place in downtown Big Rapids.  It was called the Blue Cow.  We all arrived about 5:00.  Originally Leo and I had talked about meeting in Clare but he said that he wanted to get out of town after spending 14 straight days of working.  About Wednesday Eva sent me a text about what we were doing to celebrate Leo's 55 birthday so I invited her to join us.  She talked to Jessica on Friday and invited Jess and Doug to 'crash the party".  They kept that as a secret so I was just expecting Eva.  It was a wonderful surprise for all of us.  We stayed for about 2 1/2 hours just relaxing, eating a wonderful meal and giving Leo both his Christmas and birthday gifts. 
 The food was terrific.  I think we should do it again.  It was a great location for everyone.
The "Party Crashers"
 Leo opened his Christmas presents from Eva , Jessica and Doug and from me.  Eva gave him some new slippers, Jess some candles and a new car trash container she made.  Bud and I gave him his new digital picture frame with about 200 pictures loaded in it. 
The " Michigan family"  did a good job of helping Leo celebrate his birthday.  It was fun to see everyone.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

I am working on family photos

I have been working on a Christmas present for Leo today.  It is a digital photo frame.  This required me to load some pictures and sent me to the photo albums to find pictures.  It has been a busy day but here is a small representation. 
An early picture of me teaching.  Probably the shortest my hair ever was.
This is the picture that started the whole thing.  Some of you may remember that I kept leaving this picture behind somewhere at the farm when we were cleaning out the farmhouse.  Last year I had this picture put on a mug for Leo.  This year I decided to load some of my school pictures and many other family pictures on a digital frame as a Christmas gift.  We are going to see him tomorrow night so today, at the last minute, I was working on his present. 

My final year of teaching.

This is an early picture of Josh.  I don't know the year.

Josh was just a baby when this was taken.  How about those styles everyone????
I don't know the year of this one but am guessing about 1960
Baby Leo. 
Mom and us kids, probably the summer of 57 by the looks of Leo's age.
I liked this one of Erik and Dad.
I don't know the year but you can see that Amy's daughter, Caydee is a baby.
Mom with baby Caydee.
This is a picture I had of Glen and Penny at Amy's wedding.  They clean up pretty good.
I think this was an anniversary party we had for Mom and Dad but can't remember the year.
Same year and same place.

Isn't this a typical "boys at the farm'  picture.  Where is your shirt, Matt.
This is the only Skip-bo picture I have.  I wonder who is winning?
WOW  how young were these kids???
These kids too???
Mom's last Christmas.
The football teams a couple days after Mom's funeral.

Amy's family.  She sent this to me earlier this year.
The Coleman team. 
My favorite picture of Leo and Josh.

Just a picture I had of Mom and Dad.

I loaded a LOT more pictures for Leo but I thought you would enjoy this selected few.  I will be working on a family photo album this winter, now that I have figured out how to do it.  Enjoy the trip through time.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2010 Photo book

This is my 2010 photo book.  I know the pictures a little small when you view it but I thought it was pretty good that I was able to put this on my blog.  Enjoy.  It took me quite a bit of time to do this but it was worth it.  I am going to try to go back and do this for previous years.  I haven't printed many pictures since I bought my digital camera and do miss having a copy. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Is it Bud or Ken?????

Bud wants it to be noted that he objected to being the object of this blog but I talked him into it.

I walked upstairs and noticed Bud's clothing selection for his day at leisure and commented, "You look like Ken." Many of you may remember that Dad (Ken) always dressed for work in his blue or green Dow Chemical uniform.  He always wore them when he worked. He would wear this 'uniform' type of clothing to and from work and had something else he wore at work.  I don't think I ever saw a picture of him in his real Dow uniform.  For as long as I can remember this is what he wore to work.  Even after he retired he continued to wear this type of clothing every day at home.  I guess he thought it was comfortable and easy but not much style.  When he was working around the house he would switch to his bib overalls.  He was a man of simple tastes in clothing. 
Anyway, you can see why Bud objected to being accused of having Ken's style.  However, you many notice that there is one BIG difference between a picture of Bud and one of Ken.  BUD IS SMILING.  I hope I put a smile on your face today and brought back a few memories of days past.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter is back in N. Michigan

When you don't have anything to blog about in N. Michigan there is always the weather, ever changing, sometimes beautiful and also frustrating. 

Today the 'lake effect' snow has been falling all morning.  It is a fluffy snow but it is persistent.  The weather forecasters are calling this heavy lake effect snow.  You really can't the snow falling in this picture but it is coming down. 
I am planning to get out today though.  I haven't been our wandering around, running errands much lately and I need to do it today before I get 'Cabin Fever', another problem in snowy N. Michigan.  I am going to the post office to mail a package to my most loyal blog follower, Sara!!!!  So, Sara, look for a little surprise in the mail soon. 
I am also wanting to get some exercise today.  It is on my 'short list' of things to do today.  I want to start some kind of exercise program, hoping that my feet will tolerate some walking.  I used to walk every day for 2 miles and have not picked up that habit again.  I have been working on improving my feet so today will be a test of my commitment and my feet with the slippery snowy weather.  Warm clothing and a commitment is all you really need to get out and do some exercise.  I have the warm clothing so I hope the commitment 'kicks in' for the health of my body. 
Here's wishing you good health and maybe some commitment to something that improves your health.

REVISION:  I have been thinking about that previous statement where I named Sara as my most loyal blog follower and decided it needed some revision.  I don't want to alienate any of my followers.  I should restate that Sara is my most loyal blog commenter. 
WOW, I just got back from adventuring out with my car.  I am a little unsure about the walk now.  It is getting worse and is pretty slippery.  I will try it and see how that 'healthy living' thing works out in this snowy weather.  I wouldn't want to break a hip or something like that.

Another update:  I just finished my 20 minute walk.  No broken hip but I AM out of shape.  Well, one day toward better health. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

working on projects

I pledged this year to get back on track and work in a more organized way on various projects.  When I first retired I was more likely to make lists and work on projects from a list. That worked pretty well because I was kind of busy getting ready for my trip and selling the farm.  I have not been very well organized lately and I seem to have a lot of little projects kind of half finished.  I know that a retired person can divide time between many projects but I feel a little need to have fewer projects 'out there'.  SO, yesterday I at least worked on a couple projects that were half completed.  I will work on a list today.

 I took a jewelry making class last winter with the idea of doing this project.  I had a garnet necklace that broke and needed restringing.  I also had a white pearl necklace that David brought back from China that I really didn't need in that particular form.  I decided to combine the two and this is the results of one afternoon of stringing garnets and pearls.  It is going to be a long necklace that I can wrap many times around my neck.  I like how it is turning out.  (Click on the picture and look at it close up.  It really looks good.)
I also started this lovely purple scarf last winter.  It sat beside the TV on a table all summer but I finished it this past week.   I really like how it turned out.   Knitting is fun but this took way too long.  It is a very soft fine wool that feels very soft around my neck though.  I will wear it a lot.  I do like it. 

I will finish the necklace to day and then go to list making.  I have some furniture to paint, my bedroom decorating to finish and match with the quilt I made, closet cleaning and many other little tasks.  I do enjoy making lists and completing projects so the list making will energize me. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

I hope all of you had a safe and Happy New year's celebration.  We went out to the Yacht Club for dinner but didn't stay too late.  We came home and opened a bottle of Champagne (Bud had put it in the freezer and did you know that it CAN freeze so he made a bit of a mess while opening it but it was still good)  Since we didn't have to work today we slept in and just relaxed around the house this morning.  You can see from the picture, we are getting a winter thaw here.  It was 40 degrees this morning when we woke up but the cold front is moving this way.  We are suppose to get cold and snow later today.  It is hard to believe that the snow we had melted so fast.  Today Bud is watching the Michigan State game over at the Yacht Club.  I am making cookies and we are going to a Rose Bowl party later today.  Relax and enjoy the day.