Monday, July 26, 2010


Monday, July 26th,2010-more home repairs to be done.

Here it is Monday , July 26, 2010. Finally cooled off some and no rain so I was able to get a little more out side work done. Right now it is only 80 degrees F with low humidify. First day in quite a while without the window air conditioners both running, along with the furnace blower to help circulate the cooler air around the house. This was the longest heat wave here in a few years. Leaves me wondering what winter will be like this year.
A few weeks ago I decided to get the underside of the front porch roof re-painted. It should have been done earlier last year, but so much kept happening that before I knew it , it was already to rainy and cold for painting. So, I just tossed on a layer of paint to protect the wood over the winter. A few weeks ago I finally got my trusty step ladder and my scraper and scraped off all the loose paint. I knew the paint wouldn`t adhere well with the damp weather, but it did accomplish what I was hoping. The wood was protected, but of course I also knew I was making more work for myself because I knew it would probably need to be removed before re-painting it again. As I started doing a little scraping, in some places the paint came off in small sections. So, I ended up scraping almost all the paint of before doing a layer of primer. Then I got laid up for three weeks and couldn`t get my shoes on, so no climbing the ladder for me. This morning I went out and painted on a second coat of primer. I bought the primer paint that will cover stains so it wouldn`t show where there was still some old white paint from where the bare wood was. I also had used my multi master tool with the sander and sanded over the paint that was left on to make sure the whole surface was smooth and wouldn`t come loose , before I started painting. Now instead of seeing some flaking paint, it looks lots better. Now, I have to wait for another nice dry day so I can do the white top coat. Thought I could do it tomorrow, but the weather man has changed his report to possible thunder storms. So, will have to wait till tomorrow to know. Once that is finished, I am hoping to be able to re-stain all three porch floors before winter. I try to do the porch floors about every 3 or 4 years.

A few years ago my youngest son extended the back porch roof out to cover the steps for my safety. Every winter I was having ice on the steps to worry about. I was going down those steps often to get to my 3 section compost bin that sits on the property that connects to the house property on that side of the house. Every winter I tell myself "this will probably be my last year working the compost", but then I keep saving house scraps and taking them out and covering them with the leaves from the leaf pile. The soil from the compost is usually used in the flower beds by the front of the house and the long bed beside the driveway. I noticed the plywood used to cover the extension has started flaking on the underside and needs replacing. It was covered with the black paper and shingles, which protected the top side. I am hoping to have it re-done using boards this time. Plywood did last 4 or 5 years before the moisture started destroying it. Used the plywood because I already had it handy and too save money. OH Well, at least now when it gets done, it should last as long as I need it to if I can get it painted. Now have to wait till my carpenter son`s work load slows down and he has time to do it for me. Wish I owned one of those ladders that can be sit on the ground with the other side on a step so I could reach to paint it myself. I do have the long handled section to connect the paint rollers to, but that doesn`t do the job in the edge where the framework and boards are nailed together. I tried taping a paint brush to the handle, but it didn`t work. Last summer I used my floor scrub brush handle and taped my long handled scraper to it and was able to scrape down the eave board on the front of the house. Worked great. My home has a single front with a second story only on the back half of the house. So, I am able to do the front eaves myself. To be honest, I never wanted a two story house, I wanted a ranch style with all the bedrooms on the main floor. Might have won that battle if my Dad hadn`t told Walt we should add the second story. Walt felt our property was not wide enough for the size home I wanted, I was willing to build it sideways with the kitchen end towards the road. That would have given us plenty of room with still lots of back yard for kids to play in. Years ago we had the sewer changed and I wanted to have it moved further into the back yard so we could add a couple more rooms to the back of the house, lost again. Walt felt it would be too hard to run the sewer pipes under the addition unless we also had the cellar extended under the addition and he was probably right. Would have cost too much to have a cellar dug out and built- really not worth the cost at our ages then. I can`t complain, because if it had been something I felt was really important, I would have insisted and he would have given in. I knew when to take a stand and when to let it go- all depended on how important and needed it was. If you want to win the important battles, you first need to learn how to let the unnecessary wants go. We both learned over the years how to give and take and how to listen to each other`s reasons behind out actions. Kept us together for a little over 50 years. July 19th made 8 lonely years living here alone with out him. Many time I wish he was here to talk over some repair that needed doing. I still remember what he said to me when I mentioned some repairs I felt should be done. His answer was " Let who ever gets it after we are gone do the repairs. It will last as long as we need it". I remember those words whenever I start putting money into more repairs. So glad I have three handy boys willing to help with the harder work. We have done so much in the past 8 years, new roofing shingles on house and on kitchen addition, whole new side of the building and new shingles on shop building, new bathroom tiles , mopboards and ceiling and casing trim, over half of the main boards and sheeting boards replaced on the back lower section of the house, new bathroom window to replace the rotting one, added new insulation and plastic in the attic to save fuel money. Walt would be shocked if he knew how much the fuel prices went up. I could go on and on as have done loads of repairs over the years. Yes, the home might have lasted as long as we needed, but I sure would have been living in tough times. Roof probably would have been allowing the rain in by now. Ha Ha. Part of owning your own home is keeping up with all the necessary repairs. I have a cousin who told me they sold their home and will be renting until the new senior housing settlement is finished, then they will get one of their places to live in. She said it was nice letting others be responsible for all home repairs, mowing, snow plowing etc.. Her and her husband think it will be cheaper to rent there than paying taxes and for repairs for their own home. It will be about another year before the housing settlement is finished, so I am waiting to see how they make out. I hope things work out for them. She is just a few months older than I am and her husband is only a few years older. So, it probably will make their life a lot easier. I just can`t imagine myself not living in my own home. One of my wishes is to continue living in my own home the rest of my life. I hope my wish comes true. Watching my Aunt that last year living in a nursing home and seeing how much she wanted to go back home was very heartbreaking. I went every week to sit and crochet with her to keep her active and feeling she was still able to do something she enjoyed that also made her feel more useful. One day she forgot how to crochet. She asked me how anyone can forget how to do something they had been doing for years. I told her she was just tired and it is hard to think well when we are tired. I kept her crocheting up to three days before, by constantly finding easier and easier crochet patterns, then near the end I got out some of the small blocks she had done before and showed her how to just do a single crochet row of a different color for a border. Told her they would make cute doilies to sit some of her knicknacks on. The next day when I stopped to visit, there they were, finished and her knicknackls were sitting on them. She was proud of how it looked. That make me feel happy seeing the smile back on her face. As much as I still miss her, I know she never accepted losing her husband only 1 1/2 years before, after being married for 67 years. They had gotten married on her Birthday, so her 80th Birthday this year was a sad day spent thinking of him. Her husband, my Uncle John, was my mother`s youngest brother and the last living member of her family.
Saturday we had our family yearly picnic, held this year at one of my youngers sisters yards. I can remember many years when we would have way over 100 people attending. This year there was under 40 and almost half of them were my sister`s family. She felt so discouraged that she told me she was thinking of just having her own family picnic next year. I sure do not blame her. A lot of extra work and money spent and few showing up. We have lost so many family members that the family gets smaller every year, but at the same time, it keeps growing with everyones new great grand babies. There is just my three sisters, 2 sister-in-laws, and a few cousins left and some of them live out of state. One of my daughters could not go because she had a back operation, one son had accepted a previous invitation to a graduation party, another son (A carpenter) worked, another daughter is a correctional officer at the prison and had to work, the son who lives an hour`s drive away was working on his car as he needed it for work today. Getting harder every year to get everyone together. Was planning on taking my older sister`s Birthday gift down to her today as she will be leaving for home on Wednesday, but when I called, she had spent the night ou at camp with my sister-in-law and it is quite a ride out there. Am hoping I might catch her tomorrow if they come back from camp. The daughter with the back op shares the same Birth date as does one of my good friends I have known over 10 years on the computer. 29th is a popular date in my family.
Still having trouble getting used to living here without my trusty Border Collie. For 14 years she protected us and our home and let us know whenever anything different was going on outside. I went to bed knowing she was there looking out for me. The last few weeks of her life I had to use a harness with strap type handles to pick her up as her hind legs and hip could not do it. Once she was on her feet, I would walk along with her using the harness until she got steady on her feet and could walk alone. Finally I had to give in since the pain pills stopped working and I could not let her be in pain. One of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life was taking her to the vets and saying good by to her. Kids keep telling me I should get another dog, preferably one a couple years old and already house trained. It has only been a few weeks, and I still am not sure if I will ever get another pet or not. Just know I am not ready right now.


Sunday, July 11, 2010


Saturday July 1o/ Sunday July 11,2010

Life never has time to get boring. Always something happening and sometimes things we wish didn`t happen.

I am reminded of the old saying-When it rains, it pours, meaning when one thing happens, other things are bound to happen. This morning (Saturday July 10th, 2010)was the burial for the 6 beautiful children who died in the fire, 2 of which I knew. While reading the morning newspaper there was another Funeral this morning for a 50 year old girl originally from our neighborhood whose family hung with my kids through their school days. I was unable to attend either Funeral because my feet are still so swollen they do not fit into my shoes. Then to make things worse, running around without shoes I bumped my little toe against the toolbox, hurting it so bad I feared I had broken it. Ice packed it for about 3 hours, then had to put on a sock to keep the toe held in place next to the next toe so I could get some sleep. That was two nights ago. Today it is still badly bruised and swollen about twice it`s normal size, but able to bend it a little- so thankful it wasn`t broken. I am still waiting for the meds to turn my feet and legs back to normal size and for the bruised color to leave that huge little toe so it will fit into my shoes when my feet do. I am sure things will improve once this heat wave is over. Rained a little last night and early this morning, but it did not cool things off like we thought it might. Reminds me of when my husband`s feet were badly swollen, but his were even worse.

Last week I had hoped to add a second coat of paint on the white carousel horses that once were probably from a swing set on a school playground. They have an antique look to them and you do not see them at schools anymore. Every day I hope to wake up and find my shoes again fit so I can go outside and paint. When I can , maybe I will go buy some gloss white for the second coat so the horses will shine better the way the red saddles and the black mane and tail do. All carousel horses did usually have the glossy look to them. I am not very good at sitting around accomplishing nothing. My daughter who had the back operation two weeks ago came over to make sure I was sitting with my feet up until the swelling goes down. She even pushed my old computer over, sit one of my kitchen chair thick soft cushions on the top of the computer and insisted I use it for a high foot stool. I think it also brought back memories to her of how bad her father`s feet got from the water build up, so it scared her.
Three days ago I called my Dr to have the prescription renewed. The Nurse called me back and told me she had faxed in the prescription, to wait a couple hours and they should be ready for me to pick up. A couple hours later I phoned our Hannaford Pharmacy to be sure they were ready, the girl who answered the phone told me they were out for lunch from 12 noon till one o`clock, so to call back after one. I called back and the next person who answered told me to call back later as they were out from 12:30 till 2:30. What a run-around I was getting. At 2:30 I went to pick up the prescription and was told they never received the prescription from my Dr`s office. I told them I knew it was faxed in to them because my Dr`s nurse phoned me after she faxed it in. I told the girl I hope I can handle wearing the tight shoes for a second trip. So, I had to come back home and re-call my Dr`s office and was told she had sent them the order and that they should have received it, and that she would re-fax it and for me to give them another 2 hours and this time it better be ready for me to pick it up. I told her I knew she had and that I was sure it was a mess up in the store. I waited another two hours, again used a shoehorn to help push my swollen feet into the too small shoes that I had loosened the shoe strings in as large as they would go so I could drive down again to pick them up. The ones working the first shift at the pharmacy had gone home and others were then working. Before making the second trip I tried reaching my oldest daughter to ask her to pick them up for me, but she wasn`t home. She stopped to check on me later and told me she got my message and tried calling me back, but I had already left. The daughter who had the back op thought they should not have renewed the pills without having me come into the office for a check-up. Told her to stop worrying, I have had this problem in the past and the pills had worked before, so they should work again. Now I am still waiting for the pills to do their job. If I cannot wear my shoes soon ( even my slippers are too tight) I will go stir crazy. I have spent the past few days working on the knitted baby sweater and catching up on my e-mail on the computer. OH well, using the keyboard and knitting are supposed to be good exercise for the arthritis in my hands. But I would rather be exercising them by playing the organ- but things would not sound as good without also working the foot pedals. I did manage to hobble out the back door a while ago and use the garden hose to fill the water sections in my garden earth boxes so my plants would not die. They had not been watered in a couple days. Rain does not water these plants as there are covers over the boxes and the plants grow up through the x cut places in the covers. Plants are all growing good so far and I do not want all my work to go to waste, so I just had to manage climbing up and down the four steps wearing some old slippers, cannot get the newer ones on . Less painful than wearing the shoes was.

Back writing again. Here it is, Sunday and I am still doing a lot of sitting. feet still swollen, but legs look almost normal again and feet also are improving, but it usually gets worse towards night- hoping not this time. Little toe still huge, bruised and sore. Should improve soon. Still too warm to shut off the air conditioners and the noise of the one in the window beside me is getting to me, so will shut it off for a while. The larger air conditioner is way off in the laundry room at the other end of the house. For it to help much, I turn on my furnace fan. The fan draws the cooler air down the larger register in the laundry room and then shoots it up all the hot air registers in all the rooms. Not as good as a full house air conditioner, but sure does help a lot. Wow, just shut off this one and it is already feeling too hot. As I told people who were complaining about the very cold weather last winter, wishing for warmer weather- when the warmer weather gets here you will then be wishing for cooler weather. This year we have already had more hot days than we had all last summer. They blame it on global warming. Heat wave has already lasted over a week, and nights are staying up in the 60`s or higher, so nights are not cool enough to help with cooling down the next day.

Well, enough about the weather. Got a little more done on the baby sweater. Wish my crazy hands would let me stay knitting or crocheting for much longer time. Have a new way of holding knitting needles. Hold one needle in my left hand, the other needle I push against the bottom of the chair I sit in, using my knees to keep it straight upright, so my right hand just has to hold the yarn and wind it around the empty needle. With the body of the sweater almost done, the left needle does get heavy. Weighs very little, but feels heavy for my hand holding it. Have two granddaughter`s expecting, one a girl, other a boy, plus my sister`s granddaughter is expecting twins, still unsure- boys, girls, or one of each. Even though the baby shower was too far away for me to attend, I still feel I should make a gift, or maybe two since they did send me an invite. One good thing is that noone will need a baby sweater for a couple more months here and maybe longer where the parents of the future twins live, so hoping time enough to get more sweaters made, but first I need to get this one done


Monday, July 05, 2010


Soo much sadness, looking forward to happier days.

Monday, July 6, 2010
Soo much sadness, looking forward to happier days .
So much has happened since I last wrote. I had lost my oldest brother Fred in June, 2008, then less than 6 months later I lost my last Uncle -John Thompson -on Dec. 2008, Next it was my 3rd and last brother Gerald just 8 months later in August 2009, 9 months later it was my Aunt Hazel Thompson in May of this year. Only 13 days after losing my Aunt , last month on June 15th I lost my beloved 14 year old Border Collie who had kept me going every since I lost my husband in 2002.
There was also another favorite uncle , a cousin, a cousin`s husband and other relatives in these three years. We got so we felt like we were living at the local Funeral Home.

All my life if we lost one person, we usually lost 2 more before that year was over. It happened so often that we sort of expected it to happen in three`s. But things seemed to change after I lost my wonderful husband Walt in 2002. Things started happening in our immediate family every 2 years. Two years after my husband it was my youngest sister`s husband who died from an accident, then 2 years after Steve, it was my oldest sister`s husband Bud (Edwin), then 2 years after Bud, it was my oldest brother Fred. Then things changed again and there were only months between, not enough to even try to handle one before there was another. I try to tell myself that when you get older, everyone else also gets older and I should be prepared for things like this. But, how do you prepare for losing a loved one, then another and another. All you can do is pray for help handling it.
At my Aunt`s funeral, my older sister (will be 81 this month) was telling someone that she was now the oldest member of our family. When she saw me she said to me , "after me, you will be the oldest". I told her she had to hang around for years because I never wanted to become the oldest. I now have three sisters, one 2 years older, one 4 years younger and my youngest who is almost 11 years younger than I am.

Today is the 4th of July and our thoughts should be on all those fighting wars so we can live in peace here at home. But, last week there was a terrible house fire where 6 children died ranging in age from 1 year to 12 years. Six children who will never know what it is like growing up into adulthood. I only knew 2 of these children- one age 6, the other age 12, but I feel for all of them. The mother of these two children came to see me last week with her 14 year old daughter and one of my granddaughters who came up from Virginia to be with her friend. The mother also has another daughter who turned 16 on the day of the fire. Her 2 children who died in the fire had only been living with their father and his girl friend for a few months. So very very sad for everyone in their families and for all those who loved them. All 6 funerals will be held this week. My heart goes out to all of them.

This is not the usual posts I write in my blog, but my mind is just so filled with memories of everyone. I am finding it hard to clear my mind and think of things going on here in my own home. One daughter had back surgery last week and is slowly starting to get around again. A son brought me two of those quite heavy horse swings like the ones you used to see on the old school play ground swing sets. Not sure what material they are made from. Full horses with the legs bent up under their bodies. The day he gave them to me, he turned over a high barrel, placed a long wide board across the barrell and sat the two horses up on the board ballancing them so the board stayed in place. He know I have a problem bending over for very long. After him and his family left, I started scrubbing them clean. The next day I spent re-painting them- white horses, black manes, hoofs and tails and eyes, bright red saddles trimmed with black edging and black halters painted on the horses heads. I was surprised how well they looked when I finished. I am thinking of maybe doing a second coat of the white part on the horses. Next , I need to decide how I wish to set them up in my yard. Last month this same son gave me one of those horse/ carriage set ups that is an open weave style with those tiny Christmas lights that light up on it. Beautiful and large - resembles the reindeer. sleigh ones you see in yards at Christmas time. As you probably guessed, I am a horse lover and own a large collection, part inside and part outside. Painting them helped. I have always handled things better if I stay busy. I have started making a knitted , hooded baby sweater that zips down the back. Need to get two made for the new great grand babies expected in the near months. My family may be getting lots smaller all the time while my own childrens families are getting larger. It feels like us older ones move on to make room for all the younger generation to move in. I will be 79 years old in September, time sure seems to fly by so much faster when you get older. I can still remember when having three months off from school in the summer seemed like it lasted a lot more than just three months. Now, it seems like summer just starts and in no time it is over and cold weather is back again. Is it because as we age we find so much more that needs to get done that we have forgotten how to just sit and relax and let the world go by without feeling we shouldn`t be wasting time needed to accomplish all that needs doing. Why have we forgotten what it was like when we were kids with nothing much to worry about. Why did we let ourself become so worried about how things look to others or about all the repairs we need to do, instead of just spending some time enjoying ourself with out filling our heads with problems that might never happen just because we stopped and wasted away a whole day. The jobs will still be there tomorrow, but wouldn`t our health be improved if we spent less time worrying and more time laughing having fun? Easy to say, but how do we change how our habits have us controlled? Can we change the way we have spent most of our lives? If only it was as easy to alter our lives as it is to alter clothes.

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