Friday, December 20, 2019

Once an English Teacher, Always an English Teacher

As I drove to a nearby town today, I was listening to a metroplex country-western radio station. OWW-ooooh! During a break between songs, the d.j. did a live ad for a local car dealership. After chatting up the end of the year specials, he started talking about other things he wanted for Christmas, a new set of golf clubs, a kayak, and so on. Then he stopped his list and said, "But I digest."

What?!!! It took me a minute. He meant digress. For whatever reason, he obviously wasn't paying attention to what he was reading or saying. The teacher in me wanted to call and give him a definition. But I didn't, because I was driving.

The drive went well. I could see what lane I was in and what lanes other cars were in, a crucial part of driving on the highway, don't you think? So the new glasses are a success. I have my freedom back. Yay! Although he isn't saying it, I'm sure Hubby is thinking, "She can drive again. Yay! I have my freedom back!"

It has been a cloudy day and when I began driving back home, it was beginning to get darker. I noticed the lights from oncoming cars caused more of a halo than before. I guess night driving is still out. Sometimes I feel like Cinderella rushing to get back home before time runs out. Except for the parts about being young, beautiful, going to a ball, and having a fairy Godmother. I'd like to have a fairy Godmother though. One that cleans the house while I'm sleeping. A fairy Godcleaner.

But I digress.

Highlights of the Last Month

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted. The longer I am away from the blog, the harder it is to come back to it. I hope to do better in 2020. In fact, I may even make a resolution to post at least once a week. But for now, life is a whirlwind, and blogging is on the back burner.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, the family was called in and told that my mother-in-law had a terminal bedsore, specifically a Kennedy terminal ulcer. They said most patients do not recover from it; instead, they decline rapidly. She passed away four days later. The funeral was the weekend before Thanksgiving, in our hometown, so instead of the kids coming here for Thanksgiving, we had a meal together that weekend so they wouldn't have to make another long drive right after getting back home.

It's been two trying years for Hubby, taking care of his mother, working, and lately, chauffeuring me. He had to go back to work after the funeral, but was off Wednesday afternoon through Friday, and we did absolutely nothing. I didn't cook a meal for Thanksgiving, just a pumpkin pie to go with our chicken sandwiches; other than that, we barely moved out of our chairs. Even though we had been expecting her passing for a long time, it was still stressful when it happened and we needed to recover. I think I've written before how needy and demanding his mother had gotten in the six months before going to the nursing home, and then she spent the next six months being bitter and depressed. The next year was better, but she still wanted someone to be with her every day. It affected his attitude toward her and the rest of us; I'm sure no son wants to parent his mother.

But in the next few weeks, as we began going through all the things from her apartment that we had boxed up and stored in our attic, he came across pictures, letters, and journals of the mother he remembered. He began to smile again when he talked about her, and the irritation he had been carrying around for the last couple of years began to slip away. So as hard as it has been to sort through things to keep or get rid of, it has been good too.

I mentioned that he has been my chauffeur. My double vision had been getting worse, and finally I knew I couldn't drive on the highway again until I had stronger prisms in my glasses. When I couldn't tell which lane the car was in, I knew I was in trouble. I've had new glasses for a few days, a stronger prism for one eye and a prism to straighten the image in my other eye. For some reason, one eye saw things straight, and right next to it, the doubled image was at an angle. I'd like to say all is good now, and it is better, but there is still some double vision, and a vision distortion that is like watching a 3D movie without the special glasses. I haven't driven on the highway since getting my new lenses, but will try it tomorrow on a two lane highway to the next town.

This past week, I've been taking pictures of things we want to clear out of here, both mother-in-law's stuff and our stuff, and listing it on Facebook marketplace and craigslist. It did well at first, but the closer to the Christmas rush, the slower it got. So we've put everything on hold until after the first of the year. I was hoping to clear the space in my sewing area before the start of 2020, but I don't think that's going to happen without playing the shuffle-the-junk game.

Tomorrow, I need to do my pre-Christmas house cleaning, and then try to squeeze in a little Christmas shopping. I hate to admit this, but other than buying a couple of toys for the grands, I haven't bought or made a single Christmas present. No stress there, right? Happy Christmas shopping, cleaning, and cooking, and I hope to check in with you soon.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Half Square Mosaic



I recently sorted all the plywood and lumber in our workshop/garage. It was a mess, stacked here and there and leaning against walls. Once it was in like piles, I started working on the biggest pile - the plywood. Once I picked out all the pieces needed for upcoming projects, I started cutting the remaining scraps into building boards for the grandsons. All the scraps from that were then cut into triangles, half square triangles to be exact.



After all the cutting was done, I laid out the triangles to see what I could do with them.



I decided to make a mosaic to hang on the wall in the garage. I ran them through the router to round the edges, and then started painting and playing with designs.  I decided on a half square expanded star.



Someone asked me how I painted them.  I used acrylic paints, the tube type worked better than the bottled craft paint.  Some triangles were painted with just one color but I get bored easily and decided to play with color.  So on some I painted two colors and blended them while the paint was wet, and on some I painted a base color, let it dry, and then painted a thinned color and sprinkled drops of alcohol on it.



Next, I built a frame with a back so I could glue down each triangle.  I also cut some small strips for a solid border (not shown).



I painted a stripes on the frame, blending in one color to the next, like I did on some of the triangles. Then, mounted wood blocks on the wall, turned the piece on point, and hung it.

This is as close as I've come to quilting in months!

Linking to:
Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy
Busy Monday 389 at a Pinch of Joy
Inspire Me Monday at Domestically Speaking
Fabulous Party at Lou Lou Girls
Friday Feature at Oh My Heartsie Girl
Talk of the Town at My Repurposed Life
Handmade & Otherwise at Petals Pies and Otherwise
Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes


Monday, October 14, 2019

Rain, Glorious Rain!

I was going to post this Friday, but I got sick again. This time I am on antibiotics so maybe won't relapse. It rained heavily Thursday night and slowed to a light rain Friday morning. Two neighbors reported 3-1/2 inches in their gauges, so I'll take their word. I drove through our low field Sunday and didn't leave any ruts, so the water must have soaked in quickly. This was our first measurable rain in over two months, so we are still under a burn ban. But hopefully, it is the first of many more rains. I just need to get out there with some fertilizer first.

Friday morning, a friend went with me to a quilt show in a neighboring town. I say quilt show, but it wasn't like a guild show. It was a group of church ladies who have a quilting/sewing group and they like to show and sell their projects once a year. I wanted to take some photos, but since no one else was taking pictures, and since the items were for sale, I kept my phone in my purse. The ladies there were very friendly and invited us to join their weekly sewing circle, and I may go next time. By the time we left, it had stopped raining.

Our town was having a city wide garage sale Saturday, so I dropped Linda at her house to start setting up, and I went to the grocery store to buy kid-friendly foods because Lil and the grands were coming for the weekend. By the time I got home, I had a scratchy throat and the beginning cough. I took some AirBorne, but it didn't make any difference and by Saturday morning, I was feeling much worse. Needless to say, Lil didn't bring the kids to our house. I had just been to the doctor Thursday with another complaint, and Hubby went Friday for his cold, so I called the office and the on call doctor called in a prescription so I didn't have to wait until today to start antibiotics. I feel much better today too.

I hope you are staying well and have a good week.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Fall is Finally Here

September only had one day with temperatures below 90 degrees. Most days were over 95, but with the drought, at least they weren't very humid days. October brought a couple of quick rain showers that barely got the ground wet, and the high temperatures stayed with us. But last night, finally, a cold front made it down here and right now it is 68 degrees. I actually wore a light jacket to the lumber yard. There is a strong wind blowing, but it's still wonderful to be cool again.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Cleaning Up and Then Making More Sawdust

Our workshop had gotten so cluttered that it took as long to clear stuff off the workbench as it did to actually make something. Wood was on the workbenches, on the sawhorses, leaning against the wall, and piled on the floor. And we had gotten lax with the sawdust cleanup, so it was a real mess. Needless to say, you don't get to see a BEFORE picture.

I started by clearing out the kitchen corner so I could move the freezer. When we moved here, the compressor on our all fridge quit working, so we bought a new refrigerator with freezer and moved the old freezer to the garage. It was right beside the door into the house but that wasn't a great spot for it. It was hot and blocked access to the counterspace. So I moved it to the opposite end of the garage kitchen, thinking I would switch the door so it opened from the other side. But the all fridge/all freezer sets don't have that option, and opening the door was a real nuisance, especially if there was something like a scaffold in front of it. So my goal for cleaning was just to clear the area to move the freezer. And it snowballed from there. (I had already cleaned quite a bit before I took this BEFORE picture.)  You can see we still need to put up quite a bit of wall board.  All in good time.



I spent all day Friday, sorting materials into groups and stacking them flat on 2x4's so they will stay flat and dry until we need them. Luckily, only one board was warped and one had some sun damage. So we got lucky that our neglect didn't cost us too much. Sorry it's so dark. I was shooting into the light.



My goal is to turn these materials into the projects they were bought for, so once I got the table saw and workbench cleared off, I started on the plywood pile. I had a specific project in mind, and made a good start on it and on another set of bookshelves. Then I made use of the cut offs. Can you guess what I'm going to make with them?

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Drought Resistant



A few weeks ago, I read a post by Angie of Letting Go of the Bay Leaf. She goes on long walks through woods and fields and takes the most amazing photos of plants and wildlife. I looked out at my drought-stricken field and thought there's no way anything is blooming around here. But the next time I had some free time, I drove down a few nearby roads, and this is what I found.

Farmers around here are complaining that the ground is so hard they can't plow for fall planting, so I didn't expect to find much, if anything. Imagine my surprise when I came upon a field covered with white blooms.



But it wasn't blooms. The upper leaves on this plant change to white in late summer. Snow on the Prairie, aka Snow on the Mountain, (Euphorbia marginata) is considered poisonous and a threat to livestock, so it's safe to say this field is not being farmed. The plant is a source of nectar for bees and butterflies and this time of year, beekeepers aren't collecting honey but letting their bees build up their hives for winter. The plant is a little plain here, but further north in the Texas panhandle, the plant leaves are showy, larger, and more varigated. Another Euphorbia you're probably familiar with is Euphorbia pulcherrima, the Christmas poinsettia.





Near every fenceline, I spotted the purple heads of False Purple Thistle (Eryngium leavenworthii). Again, not a true flower, but the seed head is purple along with the leaves surrounding it.



Then I rounded a corner and finally saw a bigger patch of them. These may be pretty, but take my word for it that they have nasty spines all over the plant that burn when they touch skin. Our front pasture was covered with these and I once made the mistake of trying to walk through them to get to the other side. Ouch, ouch, ouch!





Another curve in the road, and I found my first true flowers.



It might not look like much, but they are photo worthy because of their size. These false gaura, are about eight feet tall. The usual height is around two feet. There were honey bees flitting from bloom to bloom. Obviously, they appreciated these little flowers, no matter the height.





I'm linking to:
Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Out of the Way Drying Rack

I haven't posted any DIY stuff in a long time so I thought I'd show you something I built even though there is nothing fancy about it at all.

One of the hardest things about downsizing is the lack of out-of-the-way space. One of the reasons we sold our last house was that we had so much space we never used, rooms we seldom went into. When we drew up the plans for this home, we tried to make use of every square foot and I wanted the washer and dryer to be more convenient and efficient. To make it easier to get laundry done we put the washer and dryer between the shower and the closet. No more schlepping dirty laundry from the bathroom across the house to a laundry room, and then back to to the closet. Unfortunately, that left no place to drip dry any clothes near the washing machine.

I knew we were going to have stairs to the attic and thought I would put a clothes line up there, similar an idea presented by Amy Dacyczyn in her book Tightwad Gazette. We weren't here long before I decided that Amy D's attic didn't reach 120 degrees by mid June. I needed a plan that wouldn't cause heat stroke.

As I looked around the laundry area, the bathrooms, and the closet, the only usable space where such an eyesore could exist was in the closet. It's just a simple clothes rod that folds against the wall when not in use. A magnet holds it in place. (One of these days I need to find a smaller magnet.) I put it over the door in the closet so it wouldn't be in the way (as much) when being used. Luckily, there are two doors into this closet so there will always be a way into the closet and there will be more air flow when drying clothes.







Monday, September 9, 2019

Relief Is in Sight



And then a cold front will drop the temperatures into the low 90's/upper 80's. Just ten more days of hot, hot, hot.

How's the weather where you are?

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Where Did the Mojo Go?



Have you ever lost your blogging mojo? Or maybe it's writer's block, blank brain, or just plain apathy. Whatever the case, I have been in a funk for quite a while. Oh sure, I can think of things while I'm driving down the road, or have a hammer or paintbrush in my hand, but the minute I sit in front of the computer, my mind is a barren wasteland.

I've gotten a couple of emails in the last few weeks asking me why I haven't been blogging and a friend asked me to post more about our barndominium. But what made me feel guilty about not blogging was when my mother called and told me she felt that she was missing out on our lives without my blog. Nothing like mom-guilt, right? So I sat down at the computer, opened a new post page and watched the cursor blinking in the corner. Then I looked at facebook, watched a youtube video, tried to make a list of things to blog about, and finally emailed a blogging buddy who hasn't missed a week in ten years to ask how she does it.

Number 1. When she doesn't have the time or inspiration, she hires a ghost writer. Drat. She is a food blogger who has ads and sponsors and can't afford NOT to post a couple of times a week. And because she has ads and sponsors and doesn't want it known that she doesn't write every single word herself, I am not going to link to her blog. Obviously, a small-time personal blogger like me can't do that.

Number 2. Finish a draft post. How did she know I have unfinished draft posts? I guess most people do. I looked at my drafts and they either require extensive research or photos of something I don't yet have. There are a couple of one-liners I could develop - if I could think. But I'll keep it in mind for another day.

Number 3. What did you do today? What is fresh on your mind? I went to an estate sale that was closed when I got there and then went to the grocery store. BORRRRING! And then I patched nail holes in the wall where I built a clothes drying rack this week. STILL BORRRRING. "Back up," she says. "Pick up your phone, photograph the drying rack, and BOOM, you have a post."

Number 4. What was the subject of the last long conversation with someone? What was the last comment you made on a facebook post, or blog, or online forum? Is it post worthy? Most of my conversation lately is with the cat and his major accomplishment this summer is to be sleeping in precisely the spot I need to be.

Number 5. Rewrite, update, or expand a previous blog post. Another good idea, but one that will take some time and a few more brain cells than I have at the moment.

Number 6. And this may be the most important for future posts. Keep your iphone at hand at all times. When you see something interesting, take a picture, or a lot of pictures. The pictures will prompt your memory later. If it's an idea, turn your phone to video and make a voice recording. That's easier and faster than trying to find something to write on, or even to type a note into your phone.

Number 7. Have a specific posting day, or days. People like structure, even on blogs like mine that seem to have no structure. Ouch. Sometimes truth hurts.

I joined a couple of hyperthyoidism facebook groups and common complaints are brain fog and memory loss. Maybe that's part of my blogging problem though that has gotten much better in the past few months. I still misplace words that were just on the tip of my tongue and I forget what car I drove to the grocery store when I have a full basket of frozen food, but all in all, I feel closer to normal than I have in a couple of years. I hate to claim that excuse but even more, I hate to think I have nothing more to contribute here.

At least it will make mom happy. And I was just kidding about the mom-guilt. Mostly.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Did You Know That August is National Happiness Month?

Since mood affects health, I've been trying to make some changes in my life. August seems to be the perfect month to concentrate on happiness. I don't think I was born a pessimist, but was in training from the minute I was born. Can that be changed sixty-some-odd years later? I hope to get some tips from those of you who are naturally happy and optimistic.

Here is a list of tips to get into happiness awareness before the first of the month.



Friday, July 12, 2019

Now Resuming Regular Broadcast Blogging

I haven't been posting because, well, no reason except being busy. So many things have happened in the last month and I think, "I need to blog about that" and then I get home and just don't do it. Day before yesterday, Hubby had eardrum surgery and we were trying to think exactly when his problems began - three years at least. If it had been my surgery, and my problem, there is a good chance I would have blogged about it and thus been able to find out when it started. So now, while he is recovering, I have a little free time on my hands and thought I'd catch up on some blogging.

At the end of June, I went to St. Augustine, Florida with my girlfriends. I had been dreading the heat, but it wasn't much different than here though one man said that week was exceptional. It had been in the 100's the week before and was only mid to upper 90's while we were there. The next week it jumped back into the 100's. I had my own little adventure at the airport during the first check-in, and we had some unwelcome visitors at the Vrbo house we rented, but we saw a few sights and ate a ton of great food.

My latest lab report shows that I am not in remission. I'm not surprised, I thought something wasn't right with the last one. I am a little annoyed with my doctor though. At my appointment Tuesday, she talked to me like I was the one who said I was in remission. I am in a couple of online support groups and I think I find out more from them than I do from her. She isn't open to any new research published by other hospitals or foundations and that is frustrating.

Right before going to Florida, I found out that I have a squamous cell carcinoma on my hand and had it cut out when I got back. I can't wait to get this bandage off my hand and hope the crater fills in by itself pretty soon. Wear that sunscreen folks!

I'm still putting together kitchen cabinets and unpacking. The unpacking isn't as thrilling as I thought it might be. I'm discovering that we packed a lot of junk when we moved. Maybe it wasn't junk to us then, but after living without it for three years, a lot is really unneeded and unwanted now. We've also got all of my mother-in-law's junk boxed up and in the way. Even though we have sworn that we will never have another garage sale, we both see that we are going to have to do that to get rid of all this.

After storing our refrigerator and freezer for three years, along with our larger furniture, we finally got them here only to find out that the refrigerator no longer worked. The people who bought our house asked if they could buy the set AFTER we had paid movers to put them in storage. So no, we didn't sell them. So we put the freezer in the space we had recessed into the wall for the set, and the noise it made kept me awake at night. So instead of buying just a new refrigerator to go with the old freezer, we put the freezer in the garage and bought a side by side. Now we have room for another cabinet, as soon as we fill in the recessed wall there. Hubby won't be doing any building until he gets the okay in about five weeks.

Besides the refrigerator not working, we found that someone who rented an adjacent unit had put moth balls in theirs and all of our furniture reeked of mothballs. Reeked. I read that leaving things out in the hot sun will get rid of the smell and it did pretty well, but there were some things we didn't want to leave outside, so we shut them in the house and turned on the heater. What kind of nut turns on the heater in Texas in May? Us. We're nuts. It worked though, the smell came out of my leather furniture and the mattresses. I thought we might have to replace them. The lesson we learned from this is that it would have been cheaper to buy all new furniture and appliances than pay to store them for three years.

There's probably more to update, but Hubby needs to have his bandage replaced so this is Nurse Marti, signing off.

Friday, April 26, 2019

I Need a New Face

Wednesday, I had an appointment with my oculoplastic ophthalmologist. Say that fast three times! It was a followup visit to determine the progress of my Graves Eye Disease. I'm not sure how he made his determination because all he did was take some pictures of me, but he declared that I am in remission. Yay. Really, I mean YAY! But there's this niggling doubt that he just said that without a real basis.

Anyway, he started talking about the surgery, orbital decompression, and said he would also lower my top eyelids, reduce the swelling around the sides of my eyes, and remove the bags under my eyes too, but he needed a photo from ten years ago to see how to reconstruct my eyes. I reached for my phone and pulled up a picture and handed it to him. He looked at my phone then turned back to me with one raised eyebrow.

"This is Julia Roberts."

"Right."

"I need to see your eyes."

"As long as you need a picture to go by, couldn't you give me eyes like hers?"

The raised eyebrow again.

Apparently, my eyes are so disfigured now that he can't even imagine what I used to look like. I could give him a picture of anyone (except Julia Roberts) and he would never know it wasn't me. But when I got home, I dutifully started looking for a photo showing both eyes. I know I had one on facebook at one time, but when I dumped facebook, I think I dumped that photo too. I was hard-pressed to find a photo, but finally came up with two, one from about twelve years ago, and one from fifteen to twenty years ago.

So here's my public service announcement for this week. If you don't have a photo of your face looking into the camera, take one right now. You never know when a plastic surgeon is going to want to know what you are supposed to look like.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

I Was Held Prisoner at the Doctor's Office Today!

One of my worst nightmares is to drive in early morning rush hour traffic, in the rain, and without being able to see the cars beside me. In my nightmares, I either arrive late and miss my appointment, or I arrive on time only to find out I've got the date wrong. Then I have to come back again the next day, only this time I can't find the highway exit, or I've gone to the wrong office, and miss my appointment, so I have to come back yet again the next day. Kind of like Groundhog Day II, The Panic Attack Drive. So I don't make early appointments. I'll take a 3:45 appointment on Friday afternoon or the day before a holiday before making an appointment before 10 a.m.

But for some reason last month, I made an early appointment for today. I probably thought Hubby would drive me so didn't worry about driving in traffic, and he offered this morning, but my eyes weren't going to be dilated so I decided to be a grownup and drive myself so Hubby could go to work. I left an hour and forty-five minutes early, which should have given me plenty of time to search for a parking space and visit the restroom before my appointment. But it didn't work out that way.

The rain slowed traffic to a crawl in places, the spray from big trucks made it impossible to see, and there were a couple of accidents too. I pulled into a parking space at exactly two minutes before my appointment time. After drinking a glass of tea before leaving the house and white knuckle driving for almost two hours, I wanted to stop by the restroom before checking in but thoughts of Groundhog Day II flitted across my mind and I headed for the office instead. I don't believe in psychic dreams, but why risk it? As it turned out, it was probably the best decision I've made in awhile. Instead, sat in the waiting room for another thirty minutes before I was called back. Every time I started to get up and tell the clerk I would be right back, the door opened and a patient's name called. There were only two people in the waiting room when I got there; I had to be next, right? So I waited. And waited. Then crossed my legs and waited some more.

After my appointment, which was mercifully short, I found the restroom before getting on the elevator. It was one of those spacious, single occupant restrooms and on the end of the hall with private entrances to offices so not much demand for the restroom. Once inside and busy with the task at hand, I heard someone jiggling the door handle. I fervently prayed that I had remembered to lock the door, because I was too far away to stop anyone from opening it. The jiggling noise stopped, I breathed a sigh of relief and then a sigh of real relief. After I washed my hands and retrieved my purse from the hook on the door, I reached down to flip open the lock, and it wouldn't turn. No matter had hard I pushed and pulled on it, the button wouldn't budge. I looked around and there was no emergency phone number stuck to the wall anywhere, and no room to slide a screwdriver under the door even if I could call building maintenance.

So I did the next best thing; I called the doctor's office. I spoke to the lady who made my next appointment and told her I was locked in the restroom. She didn't know who to call, so she put me on hold. The minutes ticked by and she never came back to the phone, so I started working on the lock button and door handle again, pushing the handle as far as I could one way and trying the lock, and then pushing it the other way and trying again. Finally, I just started shaking the door by the handle as hard as I could. Then I heard a voice. A man's voice, timidly asking if I was okay. I stopped shaking the door and told him I was locked in. I could hear the door handle clicking as he jiggled it back and forth and he told me to turn the lock button as he moved the handle on his side, and CLICK, the door unlocked. I was so happy I could have hugged him, but I didn't want to seem deranged as well as weak or worse, stupid. I mean, who doesn't know how to unlock a door?

I recognized the man from the waiting room in my doctor's office. He was with a woman who was loudly complaining about everything from the uncomfortable chairs to the forms she was filling out. I hoped they wouldn't sit anywhere near me so I could read in peace, and then mentally grimaced when they sat right across from me. But I was very happy to see him after he freed me from the restroom. Embarrassed, but happy.

I've been locked out before, but never locked in. I don't know what made the lock jam, unless it was caused by someone jiggling the handle from the other side while it was locked. I wonder if I was the first to be locked in there? I wonder what the fear of being locked into a bathroom is called? Cleithrophobia? Or paruresis? Whatever it is, I think I have it now.

Monday, April 22, 2019

My Mother-in-Law Thinks She Died

Have I told you before that my Mother-in-law is a hypochondriac? Or she was. Now she is a ghost. Or she was a ghost; a living ghost I guess. I'm not sure what she thinks she is now.

Despite doctor approval and our encouragement, my mother-in-law hasn't gotten out of her nursing home bed since February. After being in the hospital for a week at the end of January, and soaking up all the attention there, she didn't want to go back to the nursing home. Then, when the doctor indicated that she would continue to have problems and soon be back in the hospital again, she decided to quit taking all her medications and just pass away. She did have to go back to the hated nursing home, but she agreed to go only because she didn't have to stay there long before the end came. The doctor predicted she would have five days. So she didn't feel the need to get out of bed for the event.

Then a funny thing happened. She started feeling better. She stopped complaining about everything, she started smiling again, and she even joked around with us. But she was still wouldn't get out of bed.

I think she didn't want to be standing up when it happened. She wouldn't roll over in bed either. She wanted to be lying on her back, with her eyes closed, and hands folded over her chest, like in the old movies. Let me tell you, during those first few days, it was pretty unnerving to walk into her room, see her pallid remains, and realize that she had passed on during her nap. Both Hubby and I had a couple of moments when our breath caught in our throats, tears started welling up, and then she opened her eyes and scared the crap out of us.

But last week, one of the aides called Hubby and said Mother-in-Law wanted to get out of bed and go to breakfast in the cafeteria in her wheelchair. Then, she wanted to go for lunch. We were thrilled and after we both got home after dinner that evening, we went to see her. I went straight to her room, while Hubby filled the bird feeder outside her window, her only source of entertainment, or at least it used to be her only source. When I walked into her room, she was dozing in bed but looked up as I neared the bed, just as she usually does. I sat in the only chair with my back to the window so she could see me and the birds while we talked.

She looked at me as if she were surprised to see me. I don't go see her every day like Hubby, but I do see her every few days. She looked really sad and told me, "I guess I wasn't on the list."

"What list?" I figured I must have missed something from Hubby's visit the day before.

"At the gate. I didn't get in."

Just about then, Hubby walked into the room and sat in her wheelchair on the opposite side of the bed.  She turned to him. "I must not be in the bad place either."

Hubby looked at her and then me with a quizzical look on his face, and I shrugged back at him with an equally quizzical look on mine. "What are you talking about mom?"

A tear rolled down her cheek. "I didn't get into heaven. But I don't smell my skin burning so I guess I didn't go to the bad place either." She chuckled at her joke.

Hubby asked her if it wasn't a little early to be worrying about that, and she mumbled something that sounded like she had died that morning. She was talking softly and her dentures didn't seem to fit quite right, but the gist of it is that she had been wandering around all morning trying to find out where she was. She asked us if she was in heaven, and Hubby told her no, that she was still alive and in the nursing home. She said no, that she was not alive, that she knew she had died that morning, but she didn't know why we could see her, unless we had died too. Hubby went on to tell her that we were all alive and asked if she remembered going to the cafeteria that morning.

"No, I didn't go to the cafeteria. I cooked breakfast and Aunt Flora came over for lunch, (Aunt Flora died forty or fifty years ago), then I drove to the store. (She hadn't driven in a couple of years and finally sold her car last year.) If I'm not too tired, I'm going to cook supper tonight."

I asked her where she cooked breakfast and she pointed to her closet. When she started playing with something above the bed that we couldn't see, we told her good night and went to find the nurse.

The next day, she told Hubby's cousin that she had been buried alive for four days to which the cousin replied, "I'm sure glad you managed to get out." What else do you say to someone who's been buried alive?

Monday, April 8, 2019

Mosaic Monday

This has been a great year for Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush, and our front field is a sea of color. As storm clouds moved in Friday evening, I grabbed my camera to get my first pictures of 2019 blooms. Considering this is supposed to be a hay field, these flowers are what most farmers would call weeds, but I can't bear to mow them down. I just wonder how much better they are going to look in a few days after two days of rain.

From the house to the creek and beyond.











I think this is my favorite photo though. I love the water tank in the background. Just wish I had mowed around it last fall.



For the first time, I am participating in Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf where photos can be of just about anything.