Tuesday, September 20, 2022

WELCOMING FALL...

 






It has been a long, hot summer

 and it can't be over with too soon for me.  

With that being said, 

I absolutely know that I will be complaining about cold, winter weather soon enough 

but, right now,

 when I walked into the kitchen this morning 

and saw that The Captain had lit the little red stove and I could feel

 the beginning of its warmth, 

this is perfection for the moment.




This sight is just enough 

to put me in the mood for

 a small amount of fall decorating.

  I plan to do some, as I just can't let this beautiful season get away from me. 

 It won't be like times past 

when all the bounty 

was brought out of hiding 

and each available surface was covered,

 but there will be enough

 to make the moment count.





I am so happy about the way 

that the wisteria is covering

 the top of the gazebo

 with no trees to grab on to.

 Since it was cut back so far, 

I don't know if it will bloom 

next spring or not

 but I can't help but have visions of

 those beautiful purple blooms 

dripping down over the Secret Garden, 

at least I certainly hope so.





The Captain is doing very well

 after his surgery. 

 He was told that

 he couldn't drive for six weeks

 but after his two week check up

the doc said he could start.  

They didn't have to adjust

the device very much 

as they seemed to get it just about right

 at the time of surgery.  

Tami stayed with us after his surgery 

so she could drive us around 

until the doc released him.  

He still has to wear his sling at night,

 just in case he would move 

his arm over his head, 

but has been able to take it off 

during the day. 

 He is getting his strength back and has been taking short walks each day 

when the smoky air allows it. 

 It has been bad again this year 

and the reprieve we had from the hot days was sitting on the porch at night, 

but the smoke lingers so we haven't been able to do that for awhile.

  A storm is expected so hopefully that will help with the fires

 although the wind picks up

 before the rains come 

and then the threat of lightening 

is stronger too.





I mentioned that I thought I was getting a cataract on my left eye 

and driving was scary

 when I first noticed it.  

That was during the time when the Captain was having his symptoms 

and he couldn't drive

 so I was the only option.  

Lines were a little wavy

 but when shutting my left eye, 

I could get us to Point B from Point A. 

 I wouldn't recommend it though!  

It was so helpful when Tami took time off to come and help us. 

 I went to the eye doctor and what I thought was a cataract,

 turned out to be macular degeneration.

  I am now going to a retina specialist

 and having shots

 put into my eyeball once a month.  

Yes, you read that right! 

 A shot in my eye! 

 I have never been able to put eye drops in my eyes myself. 

 Anything having to do with coming into contact with my eyes has really scared me my whole life. 

 Whenever I had my hair dyed, I was always petrified that some 

would drip down in my eyes. 

 It has always been my worst nightmare and now the doc is telling me

that he wants to give me

 an injection into my eye.  

I think I must have been in shock because I felt that what had to be done

 would be done! 

 He put drops in that numbed my eye, 

stuck some kind of an instrument on it

 so that I couldn't blink 

and shot away.  

I felt just a very little nudge in my eye

 and it was over. 

 Actually, the drops were the worst thing.  

As I said, I will go back once a month 

for the rest of my life. 

 It has been two weeks since the first treatment and I can see a bit better.  

Of course, the real test will be when I go back in October

 but he said they have good results with the treatment.




Well, I just wanted to update you on what is going on around here 

and to show you a bit of fall color.  

Thank you all 

for your concerns about our health 

and I always appreciate

 hearing from you so much

 and try to keep up with what is going on with you as best that I can.  

Will talk to you all again soon. 

 Hope the fall days ahead will be good to all of us.


...xxoJudy...





I hope to get back to painting soon.  

Here are a few doodles that I managed to do at the beginning of summer.


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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

THE REASONS...

 




Our poor crepe myrtle tree

 blooming after last winter's storm.

 It is a shadow of its former self.



Hello everyone. 

 I hope you are all well and have a little time to spend with me today. 

 It seems like I have been away for a long time but, 

on the other hand, 

it seems like just yesterday that we last spoke. 

 I will try to bring you up to speed and explain why I have been absent for awhile.




The trees that we had cut down are coming back like crazy. 

One day they were gone and the next they were back.  

They look so pretty and innocent with their soft green leaves,

 but we will have to put something on the roots to get rid of them for good.



As far as we know this story started sometime last summer. 

 The Captain and I had just finished dinner after a day of working in the garden. 

 He went in the kitchen and called out to me.  He was hanging onto the counter for dear life

 and said he felt like he was going to pass out. 

 It lasted a couple of seconds and then he was fine.  The next morning we called his doctor 

and because it was so hot and he had been working out too long, 

we just thought it was dehydration and a dose of too much hot sunshine. 

 He seemed fine after and for the few months that followed.  

However, earlier this summer it happened again.  This time the doc ordered further tests: 

 #1: Lots of blood tests which all came back totally normal.

  #2:  An ultra sound of the carotid arteries, which also came back good.

  #3: A CT scan of the brain (which was a long scary wait for results) 

but that also didn't show anything out of the ordinary. 

#4:  A stress test which was normal. 

 He had a doctor appointment and was checked over pretty well and seemed fine.

  In the interim, he had episodes off and on.  Each time I threatened calling 911,

 he was adamant that he felt good right after and his blood pressure was also good each time. 

 The doctor had also ordered him to be seen by a cardiologist

 and I made the appointment but the docs were so backed up that I couldn't get one until two weeks later.  

 A week ago Saturday, he had another spell

 and I put my arms around him, patting his back and telling him to relax. 

This was what I did each time as there seemed nothing else that I could do. 

 He fell backwards to the floor, hitting his head on the way down on one of the cupboard knobs, 

blood was all over the floor and I fell on top of him.  It took awhile for us to untangle and get up

 and we then walked into the sitting room. 

We sat down on the couch and he had another one

 and he said to me that if he had one more we would go to the ER.

 He did have one more after a few minutes and we went in the car 

which I thought would be faster than calling an ambulance.


They took him in immediately and started hooking him up with more wires than I had ever seen. 

 Two of the technicians consulted and immediately called the cardiologist on duty 

and they took him to the ICU 

and scheduled him for a pace maker

 the following morning. 

 On Sunday morning they performed the operation 

and he was up and walking in a few hours and came home that night.


He is doing really well although complaining about the things he can't do.  

He still gets pretty tired and lays down a few times during the day. 

 He can't get the wound wet for awhile and he can't drive for five weeks. 

 He hasn't had to take anything for the pain more than Tylenol up to this point.  

He says he is feeling better

 as each day passes. 

 He is disappointed that we had to cancel his appointment to pick up his new hearing aids 

but just had to postpone it another month.


Tami came up immediately and was such a big help. 

 Without her, I don't think we could have coped completely. 

 She and Tim are coming up again next week and plan on doing yard work 

and driving me to my eye appointment, which is another story in itself.

  After his appointment on Thursday, 

we may have a few more answers

 as to how and what has happened 

to someone who was always so healthy 

and any heart problems were the furthest thing from our minds.


There won't be anything special going on around here for awhile 

so I won't be having anything new to show for it.  

I am looking forward to autumn, if only to get out of this hot weather,

 so I probably will still be AWOL in blogland for awhile longer anyway. 

 I will be keeping you updated every so often on his progress.

  Take care everyone and I apologize

 that I haven't always been good lately when answering your comments

 but I appreciate them all so much.


...xxooJudy...





Tami cut his hair. 

I have been cutting butchering it since Covid.

 He says he has been de-Goliathed but we all like it. 

If you are familiar with the TV show Breaking Bad, 

you will understand why I have been calling him Walter White 

(shown here with Nurse Ratchett Robin).


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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

SUMMER MOMENTS...








 
I hope you all enjoyed a Happy 4th of July.
 
 It was just another day here at the Cottage but, at twilight, that all changed. 

 I did a very small amount of decorating 

but it was enough to capture the spirit. 

 As we have been trying to pay attention to the bottom line of our electric bill,

 that means that between 4 and 9 PM we are charged considerably more

 for the amount of utilities we use, so we have been using no more than is necessary. 

 But on the holiday we put all of that aside. 

 We went all out with lamps a blazing

 and twinkle lights on the porches.








With the addition of antique flags and long ago treasures, 

we celebrated in style and it looked spectacular at night. 


 Just before 9:30 we drove to watch the fireworks and they were magnificent.  

They have always been held at the fairgrounds with all day events there

 and a parade, either in Grass Valley or Nevada City.  

Because of Covid, the last couple of years

 they have been shot off of an overpass over the freeway.  

Their thinking was that more homes are situated in the area 

so people could see them without congregating together. 

 We thought we would be able to see them from our driveway,

 but we got only a very little glare off in the distance.  

This year we took a chance and drove up and parked in the hospital parking lot 

and they were right over our heads.

  It was a very clear night 

and as we have our first dog ever, that isn't afraid of the noise, 

it was a wonderful evening.





We have been working diligently 

on bringing the Secret Garden back to some visions of old.  

Although, it will be many years before that might be a possibility,

 it is looking not half bad.





Of course, there is a glaring hole now 

and the neighbor's garage roof is visible. 

 It is a tin roof and the sun reflects off of it with great intensity.  

It was impossible to sit on the porch 

in most of the daylight hours.




We decided to use an old piece of lath that we had 

to try to block that out somewhat. 

 It works pretty well 

and from a sitting position, 

we can still see most of the garden...





...we cut a small peek hole 

so that the person sitting in the chair directly across from the lath,

 is able to get a full view

 of the thirsty little hummers.




We found this beautiful flower basket,

 filled with all the same colors...





...that connects together

 the outside with the inside.






It is looking better than we thought it could 

and with a few little tweaks, 

such as painting one more chair red and a new sprinkling of gravel over all,

 we can almost see the return of 

what once was.





The wisteria had grown so tall 

and was in full force in the tree tops.

  When the trees were cut,

 it immediately sprouted leaves at gazebo height 

and is now starting to twine around and over. 

 It is just like we had always planned!





A nosy neighbor is liking the view...





...along with our little speckled pup, Robin,

 who will go to any lengths to find a sun spot.





"Rituals of quiet and calm, 

encouraging us to enjoy 

our own good company."


Alexandra Stoddard






We are still practicing moments of taking deep breaths

 and it seems to be a good way to go.


Until next time, Happy Summer Days to you all.


...Judy...





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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

JUST BREATHE...

 






"Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day

 is the rest we take between two deep breaths".

Ettys Hillesum


When I found the above quote, 

I knew it was indicitive 

of how my life is going.  

It gave substance to how

 I am enjoying life right now 

and took away the very slight feeling 

that maybe I should be doing more. 

 I am rearranging what used to be 

and adding in what is important to me

 in the here and now. 

 If the laundry doesn't get done on Monday,

 or the grocery shopping doesn't get done on Tuesday, 

we just dig a little deeper

 in the sock drawer

 and make a peanut butter sandwich 

for that night's dinner. 

 Those significant items 

will get done in due time,

 but when they don't, 

we just take deep breaths

 and enjoy something else in their place.







That doesn't mean that every thing

 is at a stand still, however.  

Ideas come and go,

 some more important than others. 

 The special ones get done a little sooner, 

and if not so special, 

maybe we take a few more

 deep breaths in between times.  

The important part is that we 

don't let remorse come into the picture. 

 This is a fairly new concept for us 

so we don't have much to base it on, 

but hopefully, it will work out

 and we will be able to stick to it. 

 So far, it seems to be working. 

With my back issues it seems to be 

more of a necessity than a luxury.





In one of these moments in time,

 I had an idea that would

 rearrange the kitchen.  

When memories are sometimes short

 we tend to forget and therefore we repeat the same mishaps over again.  

The Cottage is the only home 

that we have ever had

 that I really couldn't rearrange the furniture in each room 

when the feeling would strike. 

 Because there is no center hall, 

there is an abundance of 

doorways and windows in each room

 that only allow for a 

single method of placement. 

 I, like my mother before me,

 am a big fan of rearranging, 

and it took me quite awhile

 to get used to this way of living. 

 For some reason though, 

the kitchen seems to be exempt from it all. 

 I have tried numerous ways

 of fitting our existing pieces 

in different configurations but, 

I don't know who I am trying to kid,

 because the end results are

 always the same as the beginning! 

 We thought we could use

 the large Ikea cupboard as an island

 but it was just too big.  

This is a heavy piece and not easy to move, 

but the Captain is always willing to forgive 

as he almost always has to 

move it back to its original position.





All this nonsense could have been avoided

 if I had just tried my new idea

 in the first place. 

 This little table we have used in the kitchen for some time. 

 It is smaller scale and fits in nicely...





...enter the same little wooden table

 after painting its legs white. 

 It now has a more farmhouse appeal 

and the size is perfect,

 even with the larger white chairs.





Now, I can understand the true meaning

 of taking a rest in between 

a couple of deep breaths! 

 It makes life so much easier.





I have been practicing free hand drawings 

and think it is evolving a little bit. 

 I see improvement is needed

 on the bottom petal, 

but now I can see it so, hopefully, 

I won't make that mistake again.




A still life practice piece.






Thanks to the Captain and the fairies, 

the Secret Garden is coming along.  

Although it will take a really long time to come back to what it once was, if ever, 

I am happier with it now than I thought I would ever be again. 

 This coming weekend we will be making a trip to the nursery for some bright color 

and a piece of lath which, hopefully, I will be showing you soon.

  Watch this space.





I ordered Bernideen's book 

that she just had published 

and it is really a treat,

 especially for my storm damaged eyes! 

 She did such a nice job 

and her garden is simply beautiful. 

If you haven't stopped by 

her beautiful blog,

 please do.

 You are in for a big treat.







Well, I am off to take 

some other deep breaths 

so will visit again soon. 

 Hope all is well with everyone. 


 It is hard to comprehend 

what is happening 

in our country right now.

 It is an unbelievable and despicable time.

  I lived through the times 

before Roe v Wade 

and it wasn't good to say the least. 

 I don't know what these zealots

 have in mind for the future

 but going back is not the answer. 

   



Happy Tuesday

 and remember to breathe 

and make something sweet.



...Judy...





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