Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Another wave of vertigo mid-morning while in my recliner reading.  While I do need to go get some bloodwork done before an upcoming doctor's appointment early next week, I guess I'll postpone doing that until tomorrow.... because I am NOT going to chance getting dizzy behind the wheel!

Jeannie texted me that she almost stopped in this morning on her way home from the vet with 'the girls', but when she saw all the vehicles parked out back she assumed we had company and drove on past.  However those vehicles belong to Alex, Aja, and the folks currently camping with Alex (who drove up with him in Tom's truck)... plus of course the Rockstar truck with trailer make it look even busier back there.

With my body still on East Coast Time it should be no real surprise to anyone (and certainly not to me!) that I crashed early last night.  While I've been up since before 5:00 this morning I still got a very good night's sleep... and so tonight expect to be able to stay up past 8:00!  

I did, however, experience a severe bout of vertigo in bed this morning when I lit up my watch dial in the dark, wanting to check if it was still the middle of the night or actually morning.  Happily the room only spun viciously for a minute or two - though of course I was extremely careful when I got out of bed 'just in case'. This has happened before on the morning after I've flown, but I've had all sorts of tests done and it's apparently nothing to be concerned about.

Recently I finished a novel about the grim lives of coal miners in 1912 Pennsylvania, before the unions helped protect them. Though the plot was somewhat contrived and the main character not quite believable (which is why I cannot actually 'recommend' it), it still seemed a good representation of the conditions.  Those criticisms not withstanding I still enjoyed it and I'm glad I read it.  Currently I'm engrossed in The Art of Fielding, about a shortstop, which I am finding hard to put down despite not being a baseball fan or knowing much about the game.

Later today I plan to load the few pix I took in Maryland so I can share them, and also do a little sewing since there are a "few" gifts still to make! 

Alex is currently camping with some friends despite the nippy temps (which is why a sizeable portion of the expected group bailed on him) so I haven't yet seen him since he left on tour a few months ago. But he did call yesterday and will be home sometime today. I'm hoping I can get him to help me clean the hot tub (he and Aja enjoy using it also) and then I'll be able to start off my mornings with a soak.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sunday afternoon was Ivy's funeral, complete with military honors. The minister hit just the right combination of philosophy, spirituality, and even levity; I was not the only person to think it might possibly have been the "best" funeral service.  When we first got to the funeral home and saw all the chairs that had been set up, Sandy expected that we would not need most of them.  Of course we were expecting the family from the area, but all of Sandy and Andy's friends came to show their love and support - and by the time the service started there was not an empty seat!

Monday morning there were a couple of very aggravating snafus when I was getting ready to check in for my SWA flight and get my boarding number. It worked out in the end, though (despite hitting the button at the first acceptable second allowed) I still got a depressingly high number. From now on I may just pay the extra fee <sigh> so I can sign up earlier.

Mom and I finished up this visit's Rummikub tournament Monday afternoon with me considerably in the lead. She joked that she was going to take the scoresheet with her the next time she played with her friends at Riderwood; she usually wins when they play, and said given the walloping she got from me they'll think I'm a genius! Lol

That evening, while Andy was doing his final Evidence class (a last chance review before Wednesday's exam) I packed while Sandy and her cousin Glady played Scrabble.  (NO way I was going to join those two excellent players!) after that the three of us played some games of Rummikub.  Glady, who had arrived Sunday morning for the funeral, had brought along Pippa's "cousin" Abby, also a golden retriever, who was coincidentally born on the same day as Pippa. The girls play well together, though now that they're 2 and no longer official <g> puppies they were much less rambunctious than they had been during previous visits with each other.  

Andy and I got out of the house on schedule this morning and had an uneventful drive to the airport in the rain. There was not much of a wait to check my baggage at the curb, though security was the usual line (and again one of my socks set off the first scanner so I had to go through a second one, and even then be patted down afterward.) Still I got to the gate with plenty of time and didn't need to rush. And despite my horrid boarding number, it turned out that there actually was one aisle seat left in the back so I lucked out in that respect. 

Before we left the gate the pilot informed us that we were going to have to detour north to Chicago to avoid some bad weather - though he still expected us to arrive on time, or even early, in Phoenix. There were some times the seatbelt sign was lit, but aside from a couple of little bumps we really didn't experience much turbulence.  I'm certainly not complaining that we had a MUCH smoother ride today than on my flight east!  

Now I'm home (and even unpacked!) and stretched out on the heating pad after sitting for all those hours. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mom and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Ed & Emily's beautiful new house. We got the full inside tour, though it was too chilly to tour the spacious grounds.  In the short time since they moved in Emily has done a great job, and I especially love the art room for the kids. Emily worked up a color palette which will make selecting fabrics for their quilt much easier for me, and while we all visited I even got in a game of Scrabble with Charlie (with Harry helping by picking tiles for me.)

Back at Mink Hollow I got a mini-tutorial on Evidence when we went over my exam.  Andy was impressed (at least that's what he said!) when I caught on to several key distinctions that apparently take some of his students considerably longer to grasp. Tonight was not the first time he said he thought I'd have made a good lawyer, though have serious doubts on that score!

They've been watching The Crown on Netflix and tonight I watched their next episode with them.  It was quite enjoyable and well done, so once I get home I plan to watch the show from the beginning.  When we headed back upstairs I mentioned having a piece of pie.  Good thing I wasn't trying to sneak a late night snack; Andy had already set the alarm, so when I unlocked and opened the door to the screened-in porch (with the cold weather it's been serving as additional frig space for the 5 pies) it went off.  While having dessert we capped off the evening with - what else? - a couple of games of Rummikub.
Thanksgiving was busy, first with the hustle and bustle of getting ready, and then (of course!) with all the conversation and eating.  We kept political discourse to a minimum (we're all on the same page after all and "everything" has already been said, plus it was not a day for weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.)  And if anyone went home hungry (or even not stuffed to the gills) it was his or her own fault! Andy and Sandy had made two turkeys (those of us 'of an age' surely remember the old Alka Selzer commercial), one in the oven and one in the deep fryer, and both turned out delicious. 

Friday morning I slept in - and so did everyone else, so it was obviously needed by all.  Andy and Sandy celebrated their anniversary with a quiet day of relaxation at home; Mom and I had thought about going out to a movie, but the nearby theater wasn't showing anything that interested us (and we certainly weren't going to a theater in one of the malls on Black Friday!)  We ended up watching a Netflix which turned out to be excellent and we both enjoyed it.  Gleason is about football player Stephen Gleason who was diagnosed with ALS shortly after he retired from playing.  Weeks after his diagnosis they discovered his wife was pregnant, and he decided to make a video diary for the child who would most likely never 'know' him.

Driving home another deer bounded across Mink Hollow in front of me.  While this one wasn't as much of a close miss as the previous one (for which I was grateful!) when you see one deer you often see several more, so I was ready 'just in case.'

Last night I "took" the Evidence exam Andy will be giving to his law students this coming week.  I haven't seen my actual score (it would be interesting to see if I got any right!) though he did casually <g> mention I would "need to re-take the class"... LOL

This afternoon Mom and I are going over to Ed & Emily's. Since I missed the wedding last month I didn't get to see their new place. It will also give me an opportunity to see the colors (blue and gray) 'up close and personal' which will help me pick fabrics for the quilt I'll be making as their wedding gift. And I'll get to see Charlie and Harry, who were with their mom on Thursday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It was only 38 degrees when I went to visit Dad at the cemetery, but with no wind it wasn't too bad. Sandy & Andy had gone to make the arrangements at the funeral home, and because the cleaners were at the house Pippa came with me to visit Mom.  (It was too cold to leave her outside all day so otherwise she would have had to be cooped up in the storage room all day.) That worked out well because Mom, as expected, was delighted to have the unexpected visitor.

Andy and Sandy ended up bringing over lunch (more yummy Chinese take-out) when they finished with arrangements for Ivy, and then took Pippa home with them.  Ivy's funeral will be on Sunday afternoon.  At least this trip, after attending my aunt's funeral when I was visiting in May (and with three 90+ relatives "in the mix" here) I did pack an appropriate outfit.

Wednesday night I helped Sandy get the tables set and then "helped" Andy with some of his 5 pies (we made a run to Roots for some gluten-free pie shells, and then I peeled and diced the dozen apples.) Pokey isn't here to eat the cores so I set them out on the deck railing for the birds and squirrels.


By the time I made it upstairs this morning (surprisingly but happily I went back to sleep after I made a run to the bathroom around 5:00) it was almost 8:00 (!)  I'm sure the critters had been up and busy well before that - and there was not an apple core in sight.

In a bit I will watch The Parade while I devil the eggs.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Sad news to report.  I just found out that Ivy died last night. While Sandy knows it was for the best - she certainly didn't want her mom to suffer any more, and at 97 Ivy did have a good long life - it's just so final. Ivy was such a sweet little old lady and loved by so many, but of course Sandy will feel her loss the most.
Yesterday Mom and I enjoyed our lunch with Lucille at the cafe (first time I'd eaten there.) Lucille looks good - considering - but has so little energy she can barely talk above a whisper. Just being at lunch seemed to wear her out and she was quite ready for a return to her apartment to rest.

It was another day of more Rummikub and home movies. Lisa and Alex were very entertaining with their comments at Mom & Dad's 50th anniversary party the summer of '99 - and of course adorable.

On the drive home in the dusk a deer sprinted out of the trees and across the road in front of me while I was driving on Mink Hollow (a narrow, windy lane with no shoulders.) I've seen lots of grazing deer near the side of the road since my arrival, but this was the first one to provide a "challenge".  If she had jumped across just a second or two later I might not have been able to miss her. (On my daily drive over to Mom's I pass a couple of dead ones by the road.)

I again beat Sandy home since she's been spending all day with Ivy, who is still with us - though she's asleep (from the morphine?) all day. Monday Andy was able to join Sandy for a while, and yesterday Ed did.  Of course now we will not be heading to the shore on Friday for the weekend after all.  That's fine with me, though I know how much Andy & Sandy love it there and try to get there as much as possible.

She and I were able to get all the glass doors on the fireplace clean for tomorrow.It was not easy (and we will both need to replenish our supplies of elbow grease) but the paint scrapers did work to get the baked-on soot removed so we'll be able to see the fire now and not just feel it.  Andy, who had another late night, was quite impressed with the results when he got home.

Last night I did a load of laundry and also boiled up a batch of eggs in preparation for whipping up some deviled eggs for tomorrow. Still there was plenty of time to sneak in some games of Rummikub. I'm definitely on a roll this visit, having won all games Sandy and I played on Monday and Tuesday. I also skunked Andy our first game, though he squeaked by on the second one when I was left with just one tile.  Just the luck of the draw since we're all quite evenly matched with regard to our skill, so I expect Mom should start evening up our scores any time now.

The house cleaners will be here this morning so we all need to get going fairly early. But since Mom has a 10:00 appointment I thought this would be a good day to swing by the cemetery before I head over there and say Hi to Dad (and Jeff.) Yesterday was not as cold as Monday (and we didn't have that intense biting wind) and today should be warmer still so it seems like a good plan.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The thermometer read 34 degrees when I left this morning, although it 'warmed up' about 10 degrees by lunch time. Even though we parked right in front of the restaurant, the wind was gusting so much that Mom could barely move forward, and I also had considerable difficulty holding the door open. Once safely inside (though chilled from our very short time outside) we had a delightful lunch with Richie. Of course we again bemoaned the current state of affairs, but also caught up on each other's family.

This morning we watched some old home movies from the 80s (everyone looked so young!) and this afternoon we continued our Rummikub competition; I seriously increased my lead (by 100 points after I was able to go out when Mom still had a fairly full rack.

Now that I've returned to Mink Hollow I'm surprised that Sandy is not yet home (Andy teaches at the law school on Monday evenings and won't be home until late) so I am a little worried about the situation with her mom.
The five of us had a delightful brunch yesterday. I was not the only one who pigged out (Mom felt she got her money's worth) and 'probably' <g> not the only one who skipped dinner that night because I was still stuffed!  Allen had planned to take Rachelle and Bob out to dinner that night for their anniversary, but I have a feeling they may have decided to reschedule. (And if Helen had not died this past May, yesterday would have been Helen and Allen's 67th anniversary.) I did get a wonderful shot of Allen, Rachelle, and Bob - but since it's on my camera I won't be able to post it until after my return to Arizona.

Up in the the apartment after brunch (during brunch Mom declared politics off limits) we all commiserated about the election and its aftermath.  It was so nice to feel validated for my feelings about the appalling choices for the next administration, instead of "give him a chance" - a patronizing view I got from so many back home in the week following the election, and which just made me feel even more isolated and depressed.

When I got back to Mink Hollow around 5:00 yesterday Andy & Sandy had only been home about 10 minutes. The heavy winds had made their drive back from the shore somewhat harrowing.  Andy got a fire going (their first of the season since it had been such a mild Fall) and we certainly enjoyed it while listening to the winds howl outside.

Sandy is off to check on her mom this morning, but Ivy (who has not been doing well and is in hospice) seems to have taken a turn for the worse over the weekend. While it's not surprising (Ivy is, after all, 97) it's still a difficult situation for Sandy, who recently buried Mike, her only sibling.

I am getting ready to head over to see Mom, and waiting to hear from Richie about whether he will be able to lunch with us today.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

I had some issues with the alarm system this morning (no real surprise) but in the end it turned out okay; will hope to do better tomorrow.  This is the first time I have had to deal with it (Andy and Sandy are away for the weekend celebrating their anniversary) and I had no issues turning it off yesterday or today when I returned here, or setting it either night once I was in for the night. It just wasn't happy with me setting it when I was leaving this morning. The house phone immediately rang, and I was ready to tell the security people the password - but no one was on the phone. Of course they called Andy and he took care of it.  Who knows - we may do it again tomorrow!

It was another beautiful day today, at least early on, and Mom and I took a walk before heading over to see the foreign movie on the far end of campus this afternoon. Unfortunately the film was less than stellar (though it did have a few good moments) and we ended up leaving before it was over.  By then the expected storm was blowing quite a bit so we took the circuitous inside route back even though it is much longer than walking directly across campus.

Today we made arrangements to get together with various folks while I'm here. Tomorrow Uncle Allen, cousin Rachelle and hubby Bob will join us for brunch at Riderwood; of course we will also see them on Thursday, but with the big crowd it won't be quite so easy to chat and catch up.  On Monday we are meeting Richie for lunch, and we'll lunch with Lucille on Tuesday. Nothing on for Wednesday yet.

Thursday "the usual suspects" (16? of us) will be here celebrating the holiday.  Then on Friday Andy & Sandy and Mom and I plan to head to the beach house for a weekend of (more) relaxing.  And that's my itinerary.

Here's a cell phone pic of Mom I took today, to show Mel that Mom was wearing one of her necklaces.

Thursday was a long day of traveling, but it was (mostly) uneventful, and I'm always grateful when my luggage makes the same trip.  An hour into the flight we hit a sudden stretch of turbulence which lasted about 15 minutes, during which the plane not only lurched violently, throwing us in every possible direction, but also made horrible noises I have never heard before on an airplane, as if it was coming apart.  It reminded me of the experience Andy and I had in a tiny 4-seater plane some three or four decades ago, when we went sightseeing over the Grand Canyon. As the hot air rising from the canyon met the cool air above and "argued", the turbulence tossed that plane around easily, and neither of us has forgotten that harrowing experience.  

I was surprised that Andy came to the airport with Sandy (turned out he'd been working near home that day, in court in Columbia.)  They took me to dinner at Timbuktu while we waited for the worst of the rush hour traffic to abate. The restaurant is renowned for their crabcakes - and I can see why! It was not only delicious, but huge.  (I had the leftovers for dinner on Friday.)

Once we reached the house Pippa gave me a warm greeting, though now that she's a "mature" 2-year-old there was none of that foolish puppy behavior of jumping all over people.  And of course as I was the newbie in the house she slept in my bedroom with me.

Friday was spent with Mom over at Riderwood.  She looks great, and now that she's sleeping better her balance has improved some.  Of course <g> we got in a couple of games of Rummikub, and then after lunch we walked across campus to attend her Friday afternoon class:The History of Medicine.  She offered to forego it, but it sounded interesting - and it was; yesterday's class turned out to be mostly about smallpox.  My only problem was sitting for the two hours, even with my thermorest.  All those hours and hours (and hours) of sitting on Thursday has made my back crankier than it's been in a LONG time, so I'd almost forgotten about "that" spot on my lower back which has now flared up.

The weather yesterday was glorious, and today should be almost as nice. Then it will cool off some. But at least the change from the upper 80s to the 40s is somewhat gradual, and presenting less of a shock to my system.  

I slept in until 8:00 this morning (!) which I guess I needed.  Now it's time to get dressed and head back over to Mom's.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Before I had to leave quilting early yesterday I got to show the 3 bags I made.  Obviously the ladies liked them, because now they want me to give a class on them!  

I can only imagine the "deer in the headlights" look of disbelief that was on my face.  I've reluctantly agreed to do it; let the chips fall where they may!  Talk about the blind leading the blind.

Tom got good news yesterday about a program that will pay for his upcoming 3-month regimen of Harvoni (without insurance the cost is about $1,000/pill, but even with his insurance it still would have cost a hefty sum) about the same time that I got an incredibly low boarding pass number for today's flight. 

Time to go pack a lunch for today's flight and then pack some last minute items and head to the airport.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Yesterday afternoon I went to see Denial 
at the movies with Renee and Penina.  

Could you prove the Holocaust happened? That’s the deceptively simple challenge facing Emory University professor and historian Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) in “Denial,” the excellent fact-based drama.
Back in 1993, Lipstadt inadvertently sews the seeds of that conundrum when she refers to Hitler scholar David Irving (Timothy Spall) as a Holocaust denier in her book about the Holocaust denial movement, accusations that prompt him and two aides to ambush her at an Atlanta reading in the film’s electric opening sequence.
Three years later, Irving sues Lipstadt and Penguin, her British publisher, for libel. Refuting his claim seems easy enough, but Britain's laws place the burden of proof on Lipstadt to show that the charge is true – a daunting task for which she hires solicitor Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott) and barrister Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson).
The defense team researches what it’s up against and plots its strategy, revealing much of their individual personalities in the process. The sudden shift from dull London offices to the immense power of Auschwitz is an especially masterful move and one whose intensity carries over to the taut courtroom scenes that dominate the film’s second half.

We found it an excellent movie, and in light of the frightening current political situation it packed an even harder punch than it might have if these were "normal" times.  While looking for a shot of the movie poster (above), below is another one that popped up.  Given the vile trash that has spewed out of Trump's mouth constantly during the campaign, and now seeing the people he is (sadly not surprisingly) choosing to help him "lead" the country, this is another example of the "new normal" - where racism and hate are brazenly out in the open and "accepted", and against which decent people will need to fight.

Last night Tom and I caught up on a number of Jeopardy programs that have been piling up on the DVR.  Many of them were from the current on-going teen tournament, and these are undoubtedly bright, educated students; one girl has the memory skills to recite pi to over 500 (!) decimal places, while one boy described medical research that he was doing (and which Alex admitted he did not understand.)  But it definitely made me cringe when during the mini-interview section many of them started their sentences with the grossly incorrect "me and my friends" did such and such. 

Today I plan to start packing, and so I figured it would be a good idea to check the extended weather forecast for Maryland.  The first few days shouldn't be too bad, with temps in the 60s (though once temps plummet below 70 I tend to get cold) but by the weekend there will be a run of days where the temps are not expected to rise above the low 40s.  I see lots of sweatshirts in my future!

Later this morning will be my last workout at the gym for a couple of weeks, so I'm hoping to make it an especially good one to help 'tide me over'.  During my trips back home we seem to be eating constantly (though I certainly am not complaining about all the good food!), and no doubt this visit will be no different.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

This morning I finally squared off the two bags I made, which means two more holiday gifts completed.  Then this afternoon I quilted a pillow top, and now "all" it needs is to be turned into a pillow. Luckily Colleen has a handy-dandy template that really helps with that. 

I only made it through the first half of Boot Camp at the gym this afternoon. My legs are sore from Friday's workout, and my back is kvetching from sitting all day yesterday at the bluegrass festival .

Patti called this afternoon. She didn't have her yard sale yesterday after all because when she went outside to get started her neighbors were using some sort of machines that were stirring up all sorts of dust - and were planning to be at it for hours. (At least everything is all ready to go next weekend.) She was sorry she didn't join me yesterday for the trip to Wickenburg after all.

Getting ready to start my next library book The Good Lord Bird by James McBride.. This one is about John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry.

Yesterday was spent relaxing in the sun (my face did get some color before I turned my chair backwards) listening to wonderful bluegrass music and reading. At one point, with my chair reclined, I think I dozed off (waking up at 4:00 is getting really old) only to be rudely awakened when I got whacked in the face with a flying water bottle. Luckily it startled me more than it hurt.  

I also made great progress on one of my latest library books (The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead) and finished it this morning.  With a lot of people ahead of me in line it had taken quite a while for my name to float to the top of the list at the library - but it was worth the wait.

All the sitting yesterday (even in my comfy short chair which reclines nicely) aggravated my back. It's been a while since it's felt 'crunched', and if I had the hot tub cleaned and up & running I'd be in it soaking this morning. The hot tub has not been a priority because our weather continues to be unseasonably warm, and we expect to flirt with 90 by mid-week. Still I will need to get into a cold-weather mindset when packing over the next few days.

Alex (and his colleagues) had dinner with Mom and Andy & Sandy at Mink Hollow on Friday evening, though (as yet) I have not heard any details from any of them. I did, however, get the picture I requested, of Bana in the Rockstar truck when Alex picked her up (I think literally) at Riderwood.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Up early (4:00) and in several hours will be heading up to Wickenburg for the annual Bluegrass Festival.  

Should be a lovely day to hang out and listen to music, in the mid-80s - though next week it's expected to climb back into the 90s again here.  Could be a quite a weather change when I land in Maryland!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Last night I started one of my new books (The Essay by Robin Yocum) and finished it this morning. It was quite enjoyable, and just what I needed to lift my spirits. 

Jimmy Lee Hickam grew up along Red Dog Road, a dead-end strip of gravel and mud buried deep in the bowels of Appalachian Ohio. It is the poorest road, in the poorest county, in the poorest region of the state. To make things worse, the name Hickam is synonymous with trouble. Jimmy Lee hails from a heathen mix of thieves, moonshiners, drunkards, and general anti-socials that for decades have clung to both the hardscrabble hills and the iron bars of every jail cell in the region. This life, Jimmy Lee believes, is his destiny, someday working with his drunkard father at the sawmill, or sitting next to his arsonist brother in the penitentiary. There aren’t many options if your last name is Hickam.   
An inspiring coach and Jimmy Lee's ability to play football are the only things motivating him to return for his junior year of high school—until his visionary English teacher cuts him a break and preserves his eligibility for the coming football season. To thank her, Jimmy Lee writes a winning essay in the high school writing contest. When irate parents and the baffled administration claim he has cheated, his teacher is inspired to take his writing talent as far as it can go, showing him the path out of the hills of Appalachia.            
Terrific characterizations, surprising revelations, gut-wrenching past betrayals, and an unforgettable cast of characters born of the dusty, worn-out landscape of southeastern Ohio make The Essay a powerful, evocative, and incredibly moving novel.

This morning's leg workout at the gym was somewhat more difficult than usual, and (despite "dumbing down" my calf raises) my left foot is already bothering me... right there!  

I've done a little yard work (trimmed all the lantana out front) and cleaned the pool, and soon I plan square off the bottoms of a couple of bags.  Yes I've been putting off that step, but <sigh> they're not going to do it themselves!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I did buy a pattern at yesterday's program, for this quilt... just don't look for it any time soon!  Like the  Storm At Sea pattern there are no curved seams though it gives that impression.

This morning I resized/cropped/oriented the 80 photos I shot yesterday and then loaded them onto the Foothills site. Next I took care of some phone calls, including making my hotel reservations for the quilt retreat in February.  Also popped up to the library to pick up a couple more books that had come in, though no way I'm going to be able to get through the 4 books I currently have checked out before I leave for Maryland in a week.

Deciding what to do with the rest of my day.

Waking up yesterday and discovering the nightmare was real, I had difficulty enjoying the annual program at Foothills yesterday.  Last night I watched the news coverage, then Rachel, and Chris.  It was quite distressing to learn that 49% of eligible voters did not cast a ballot in the election! Apparently they were not able to bring themselves to choose either candidate, (somehow!) believing that there was 'no lesser of the two evils'?

There are so many things about a Trump presidency that are appalling, especially the people he is likely to surround himself with and appoint to top positions.  

But (assuming his itchy finger on the button doesn't start WWIII) filling seats on the Supreme Court will most likely have the largest impact on us for decades to come. 

Of course I can dream that Trump is convicted during his upcoming trials... 
though Pence is also a frightening alternative!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

To say that I am heartsick this morning is an understatement.  Here in Arizona the race was close enough so that if those who voted for Johnson or Stein (or possibly those who believed they "couldn't choose the lesser of two evils" and thus didn't vote at all) had instead voted for Hillary it would have turned our beautiful state blue.  How many other states were in the same boat?  As I watched the red stain spread out over the map last night I went to bed very discouraged, though never really thought this could happen.  To make it worse (as if!) today is the anniversary of Kristalnacht, the "official" beginning of the Holocaust. The parallels between Trump and Hitler have always turned my stomach - I truly fear for the country!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voting turned out to be a breeze. There was NO line for my precinct at the polling place (though the other precinct sharing the location was quite busy.) I showed my license, signed my name, and was given a ballot right away.  I've done what I can to save us from tRUMP and now just have to wait for the results.

Then it was over to Best Buy to (finally) buy a new battery for my camera; I will need it tomorrow as the official photographer at Foothills. While there I also talked with three different customer service guys, but at least now I FINALLY am able to access the macro setting on my camera via the macro button.  It should not have been so difficult- but hopefully the issue is now resolved.

Since Lowe's was right across the parking lot I stopped in and I picked up 5 covers (for the light switches and electric outlets) and once home installed them in the "new" bathroom.  Looking better and better in there.

And late this afternoon I deviled the eggs for tomorrow's potluck.  Feels like a pretty productive day!


I was feeling pretty good until the election results started to come in.  It's still early, only 7:30 here.... But the number of states that have gone red is beyond discouraging, and making me sick to my stomach.  
So far today I've made a trip to the library, worked out at the gym (Jim upped some of my weights again), picked several Rx refills at the drug store, and fortified myself with lunch.  Now I'm having dessert (leftover chocolate from Halloween) and then I'll be off to VOTE!  

Hopefully it will go smoothly and with no long lines, since I will have missed all the 'before work' voters, and parents with kids small should have voted this morning and now be home for afternoon naps.

Monday, November 7, 2016

After Linda trimmed my hair today (it looks a lot better now), and Elmo gave me lots of I'm-glad-to-see-you doggy kisses, she and I went out for lunch.  

Afterward we picked up Zahn and brought him back to her house for the rest of the day, and blew bubbles in the backyard before he was 'willing' to have his lunch.  He is definitely strong-willed, though no doubt it doesn't help <g> that he's still 2.  Maybe when he turns 3 next month it'll get easier for Linda? 

I don't know how Linda does it... I certainly don't have that kind of energy any more!  In fact when I got home I opted for a horizontal pause...

Bathroom remodel project is (basically) finished, though with a dollop of paint left I'm still deciding what to do about the trim.  Still.... it's a nice feeling!

I also have two mesh bags almost finished - just need to square off their bottoms.  But my directions ("square off bottoms") leave a little to be desired, so I see a call in to Wanda in my future for a few helpful reminders!

Foothills' annual program with Pat Knoechel, and accompanying potluck, is coming up on Wednesday, which means today I need to boil up eggs so I can devil them tomorrow.  Pat is an entertaining speaker, and the quilts she brings to her deomos are beautiful.  Plus she always gets me motivated to sew more.

Good news - see me jumping for joy because I snagged one of the 32 spots
 for the Quilt Retreat in February! 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

More weeding this morning, and happy to say that I finished up the other side of the front yard.  Tyga helped me - at least for a while, until he disregarded my instructions to stay in the yard and decided he 'needed' to run into the street to check out some big dogs being walked.  And so he spent the rest of the time banished to the house.

Now I'm getting ready to help Tom paint the bathroom ceiling.  If he does the first coat this morning it should be dry enough by the time I get back from the gym this afternoon to apply the second (and final) coat.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tom got nervous yesterday when he saw a large truck dropping off light plants at the church across the street.  Usually those portable lights are used for night-time construction, so he was worried that the church was getting ready to start building something (at night!) on the rest of its over-size property.  Being the curious neighbor that he is he walked over to check it out, and was relieved to find out they were just going to be using the church's empty lot for overflow parking for the charter school up on the corner which was having its Fall Festival last night.  (FYI I recently learned that building was originally Loretta Young's Charm School for Young Women back in the 50s.)  We decided to go check out the Fall Festival and "dine", but there weren't many food options so we ended up going out to Freddy's for burgers, then came home and watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which I found entertaining.

I finally got a good night's sleep last night (obviously it helped that I took a Lunesta at 10:00) and only woke up - a little before 9:00! -  when a rather large package for Alex was delivered.

So far this morning I did a whole lot of weeding out front, pretty much ridding the yard of zillions of dandelions.  The ground was still saturated enough that all but a handful pulled out with their roots intact. Tom came out for a bit and trimmed some of Chinese elms' low-hanging branches, and also tidied up a few of the bushes, so between the two of us the trash can is filled up and the front yard looks a lot spiffier.  

While I was out there working Virginia rode by on her horse (Tyga was definitely interested in her big "dog") and asked about last week's car on fire, and George and Rachel, who live on the other side of 35th, stopped to see if they could harvest some of the olives from our trees.  I explained that our olives weren't the eating kind, but they said Rachel does make something good to eat from them.  In any event, I told them they could have whatever they wanted, which made them happy, and they seemed to think the olives would be ready for harvest in another week or two.  I wasn't able to identify their heavy accents (or syntax) but we seemed to communicate okay.  

Also did some laundry, and now getting ready to pay some bills.  Not the most exciting of Saturdays, but things sure look a lot brighter after a good night's sleep!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Between the heavy rain yesterday and irrigation this morning, how could I not do some weeding after I got home from the gym?  The dandelions have been threatening to take over the front yard, but I'm working at whittling down their numbers.

I'm still dragging, no doubt because I'm still not sleeping well... though I did eventually fall back asleep this morning after I got up at 3:30.