Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It was a productive morning, and I'm happy to have a nice clean bathroom - though the more I did in there, the more I found that needed to be done.  Then Linda called tonight, and it's possible the meeting planned for tomorrow afternoon (which provided the motivation to clean!) may not happen after all.  However even if it is cancelled, she's still going to come over to admire our nice new kitchen, as well as deliver the cooler we left behind on Thanksgiving and take home some of my protein powder to try with Zahn.

After my gym workout (and a little cardio afterward) I swung by Winco to pick up salmon and a few other items for dinner.  I cooked tonight, giving Tom an evening off, and Alex joined us.  Instead of simply steaming the asparagus I sautéed it in butter and garlic, and grilled the salmon out back... in a t-shirt.  And that's the reason we put up with our "warm" summers!

Most of my afternoon was spent on the binding for the spool quilt.  It took a long time, but now it's attached and ready for the blind-stitching (which I can do at the Flying Pig Sewcial on Saturday.)  I'll be taking the quilt to Busy Bees tomorrow; it's always fun to have something to share at Show & Tell.

Much of yesterday turned out to be spent on the phone! 

Several were somewhat lengthy chats: I talked with Mom twice (though admittedly the second time was brief because she was simply testing out her 'new' iPhone which Andy/Sandy were setting up for her, and which she'll need to be able to use to call me for pick-up at the airport), Linda, Colleen (who apparently has been trying to connect with me for days on the house phone), and Josh.  Others were simply making appointments, like with Deb for Paul and his crew to return, or to Bella to set up the much-need post-construction house cleaning.

In the afternoon I headed to the lab for the redo of the creatinine test, and again I was happy to see that I'd chosen a good time - the waiting room empty.  However <sigh> the lab order (that the oncologist's office said on Friday they would fax to the lab) had never appeared, so I got to sit and wait while a phone call was made to remedy that. Naturally I had brought a book with me (one that Patti recommended and passed on to me Sunday) so it wasn't that big of a deal. 

Still, I could (and should!) have been in and out of there a lot quicker... 
if someone hadn't dropped the ball.

Speaking of in and out - by the time I got out of there I was hungry, and decided to pop over to In-n-Out Burger (it's right near the lab) for a quick burger and fries. 

Who'd have thunk the line at the drive-through would be so long at 2:00? 
Again, at least I had my book to read.

Marcie (and Latina, of course) stopped by in the afternoon to show me the quilt I talked her into entering in the AQG show (the angled binding had needed to be redone, and she just got it back yesterday) and it's gorgeous!  Irene did a stunning job on it; even Tom commented on how perfect her quilting was. I'll get to see it again when I hand-stitch the required sleeve.

Alex got home yesterday afternoon, and approved of both Marcie's quilt and the new kitchen hood.  He was pretty tired, and after a short visit went back to unpack (and rest) until we went out for dinner at Sweet Tomatoes.  I enjoyed my salad and soup, but couldn't go back for seconds (as I would have liked) after my later-than-usual lunch.

  To Alex's amazement I even passed up the chocolate lava cake - making him feel somewhat guilty as he pigged out on his dessert in front of me - but then I did sleep in until almost 6:00 this morning.  So it was worth it!

Alex has a trip to Flagstaff planned for Wednesday, and then may return on Friday with a different group of friends.  Of course after "real" snowboarding venues in Colorado, Snowbowl won't be nearly as exciting - but expect he'll enjoy himself nevertheless.

Alex also wants to schedule my long-over due trip to Vegas to see the Terry Fator show while he's home - and is talking about taking me out clubbing afterward.  

 With all the construction and traffic in and out of the house (and knowing that "at some point" Bella would be here to do it right!) I've quite easily justified putting off the lion's share of house-cleaning.
(Not that I ever really need an excuse...?)  

But with some of the Foothills ladies scheduled for a meeting here tomorrow afternoon I really need to do some. Sprucing up that bathroom is at the top of my list this morning before heading to the gym.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Up since 4:00 this morning <sigh> which never makes me happy.  Of course that could have something to do with the fact that I have been drinking a lot of water, 'studying' for today's blood test. My kidneys do seem to be quite happy - though of course we won't know for sure until I get the lab results.

Yesterday I made the binding from my bright leftover Robert Kaufman fabric.  (There is not enough to go all the way around the quilt, but I knew that would be the case.) My original plan was to do the rest of the binding in black, but this morning I did a search on line, just in case I could find some to order.  However nothing came up; even on his site that fabric name/number does not appear.  Who knows how long I've saved it in my stash, waiting for just the right quilt, but (obviously) quite a long time.  Good thing fabric is patient!

Last night (after we'd pigged out on Tom's delicious dinner) Wanda gave me a wonderful tip on avoiding binding bulk at the corners (just a simple matter of folding in a different sequence) which I'm looking forward to testing out.  She was somewhat reluctant to bring it up (though I always welcome constructive criticism) because she was quite happy with the binding job I'd done on her quilt, and was afraid I'd think otherwise.  But her suggestion definitely will even out the bulk at the corners.  Wonder why no one teaching binding methods ever mentioned this trick? 

And chatting this morning with Linda (one of the few people I can call early in the morning) I got another suggestion, given to her by a judge at a recent quilt show, on how to make the binding fuller. So I'm looking forward to seeing how that works out.  She hasn't even had a chance to try it yet, so I'll be the guinea pig.


Talked to Josh this morning and got some questions answered, though (after talking to Andy last weekend) I had some more for him.  He's going to look into things and get back to me, possibly later today. But since the office was closed Thursday and Friday for meetings, I'm thinking it's possible he might be a little tied up today...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

I took the old metal soap dish (from the kids' bathtub) to Home Depot this morning to see if I could find a new shiny replacement.  They did have one model - but instead of the screw holes being vertical they were horizontal - which could make it difficult (or impossible?) for Tom to install into the "backing" inside the wall.  The guy there said the one we had (probably the original, and 50 years old) is a nice solid one, unlike the flimsy one they were selling for $14.   He suggested I just take it home and clean it up with some CLR (which only cost me $6.)  Tom didn't think it would clean up - but it did, and without too much elbow grease.

Patti and I had a nice walk around her neighborhood (when we dropped off my latest bag of tins and spools at Kathi's) though we both felt overdressed for the warm weather.  The exercise is good for her ankle (she thinks it actually felt better when she was doing all that walking in San Diego over vacation) so we may be walking together more often.

She also gave my hair a trim ("it has grown a lot") which it needed.

Marcie and Latina came over later in the afternoon, and approved of the yummy smells coming from the crock pot.  We hung out in the backyard the whole time, and Latina did lots of sniffing - but for some reason she won't pee over here and waits until she gets home.

Wanda called with the good news that she will be able to join us for dinner after all.  Maybe I'd better try to do something with the piles of fabric still on the couch?

I'd almost given up on catching whatever rodent had built a nest on my car battery.  Something has (quite consistently) been able to eat the peanut butter from the traps, even launching the springs in most cases, yet still not get caught. 

Judging from the totally cleaned-out orange peels that I keep picking up from underneath that tree we most likely have had a roof rat move in.  But yesterday we finally caught one in the big rat trap.  I suggested to Tom that "we" reset the traps, which he has done.  

I don't know whether to hope we catch another one or not; it would be great if we only had that one 'tenant', which we have now evicted!

Did a little sewing yesterday, and ran into a problem when I tried to thread a new color. It kept jamming up in one place that of course I can't get to, so after multiple tries I moved the little sliding cover in an attempt to "fix" it - but that just made things worse when I couldn't find anything to grab to open it up again.  The instruction manual was NO help (spot number 4 of the threading isn't even labeled on the machine diagram!), so next I tried calling Marcie (unfortunately she's in the same techno-boat that I am) and then Jeannie (who knows a lot about machines - but didn't answer her phone) and finally asked Tom to come in from the garage and put in his 2 cents worth.  But I actually figured it out and fixed it all by myself! To say that I was surprised (and thrilled!) would be an understatement; might wanna keep your eyes peeled for these guys...

  My biggest concern had been that if I ended up needing to take it in somewhere to be repaired I most likely would not get it back in time for the upcoming retreat - creating a real problem!

When Bill installed the grab bars in the shower Thursday, I had mentioned how the corroded metal soap dish in the tiles looked even worse than ever (hard to imagine) in comparison to the nice new bars.  WHO KNEW that there were just a couple of screws holding it in (well, he did!)  I had no trouble with the screws, though it took Tom and a wedge to pry it loose.  Of course if it's not a standard size (something we have run into many, many times with this house) it might be difficult to find a replacement at Home Depot.

I'd meant to call Patti yesterday - and then she beat me to it.  We had a nice long chat, catching up on things.  She and Gary had gone to San Diego the end of vacation, and tried to go whale watching - but shortly after heading out to sea heavy fog rolled in and there was no visibility.  Whale watching is on my bucket list - and obviously still on theirs!

She said her foot behaved reasonably well with all the walking they did while there, though she's still dealing with swelling and pain.  The good news is that at least she continues to see improvement in that department, though unfortunately it gets slower and slower.  In February she'll reach the one-year anniversary of her fall, and then in March the one-year anniversary of the surgery.  After that, the surgeon plans to remove some of the metal, which could (should!) help a lot with both the swelling and pain.  While her Olympics hopes have been dashed <g> and she's not likely to ever regain full movement in that ankle, the true happy ending would be to not have any more pain!

Last night Tom and I watched another Netflix, a documentary about life of the Paleo Indians in North America around 10,000 BCE. 

Although it's filled with stunning scenes re-creating the realities of life in prehistoric times, this A&E docudrama shouldn't be confused with 10,000 BC, the big-screen epic about prehistoric life directed by Roland Emmerich. In this program, you'll follow the earliest humans as they interact with a variety of now-extinct creatures, including woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers, as well as a few animals that are still around today.

I found it interesting (and of course was easily able to follow all the flint-knapping!) though Tom was a little disappointed since he already knew everything!   

The Columbian mammoth was the largest land animal since the extinction of the dinosaurs.  I usually wonder how the scientists figure out many things, such as how the mammoths "spent x-number of hours eating each day", though assume they extrapolate how much an animal that size would need to eat and then figure out (from modern day elephants?) how long that should take.  Although I already knew about atl-atls (and have actually tried out one, though with very limited success) I was astonished that an experienced hunter could launch one 100 yards at speeds of 60 mph.  But that certainly helps explain how puny humans could take down a mammoth.

Today's agenda includes more mucking (anyone surprised?) and then around mid-day I'll head over to Patti's to take a walk around her neighborhood and "catch up" some more.  

For dinner tonight Tom in going to cook a roast in the new crock pot (which has a really short cord so it's a very good thing I had Bill install the plug as high up on the end of the island as I did!) as its "maiden voyage".  Wanda has been invited to join us, but she's going to a memorial service this afternoon with a group of quilting friends, and since someone else is driving (and the ladies may decide to do something together afterward) she really won't know her 'schedule' until later.

Guess it's about time to start doing something productive this morning...

Saturday, January 13, 2018

On Wednesday our neighborhood was the lead story on the news when a man on the next street was found murdered in his house.  (Tom had noticed all the helicopters hovering.)  Yesterday I found out from Marcie that our painter, Dennis, rents the guest house on that property - and was the one to find him when he hadn't been heard from for several days.  (When Dennis was painting here I remember him chatting with me about him, saying what a down-to-earth guy he was despite his wealth.) Apparently the man owned a rehab facility, and Dennis reports that he had befriended some of the teens trying to give them a chance at a better life.  They 'repaid' him by torturing him in their attempts to get money from him.  Tragic any way you look at it! 

Alex called yesterday, on his drive from Colorado to California.  The guys should arrive there today, and then after a day or so of getting organized at that end he expects head home for bit.  This month he had a fantastic time snow-boarding in Breckinridge, Telluride, and Steamboat Springs, and of course is hoping to get up to Snowbowl in Flagstaff as much as possible before he heads out for his next job (TBD as of our conversation yesterday, though he could know more after he gets to California.)

First thing on my agenda today is to make more progress mucking my sewing area.  Now that I'm finished with my 'coffee' and about done 'working' on the computer, it  would appear that I'm almost done procrastinating this morning...

Friday, January 12, 2018

Instead of working out at the gym today we did measurements, and my body-fat has gone down almost 4%.  While the actual number still seems appallingly high to me, for my age it falls between the "good" and "excellent" range.  (Unfortunately, all that fat seems concentrated in my mid-section, so I really do need to get to the gym on my off-days and do some cardio to help with that.)

When I got home from the gym the front yard was already looking really spiffy - the guys do such a terrific job - though it's fairly evident that they won't be able to get to everything on the property that needs attention. (However they have saved me a LOT of raking!)  I see a phone call to Deb in my future to schedule yet another day of work.

When I was making my post-workout shake I checked my new brand of protein powder; Jim said that some of them have creatine as an ingredient to help with muscle building.  That, of course, would have explained the lab results from yesterday...except for the fact that it's not listed as an ingredient.  Thought I'd figured it out - but guess not.