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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Life rhythm and pattern



We’re around again to the 330. Today is the real 330. There is a DC columnist’s heading, News from the 212, which is DC’s area code. One of my friends, at least, starts her morning Facebook post: The 330 this Morning!, or something close to that.

Today, in my world’s inexorable turn on an axis, we have the ephemeral rendition of 330. Gone at bedtime, for all practical purposes.  I went to the post office this morning, because it’s raining and tolerable, because I wanted to go out and breathe the advance of spring.


The pot of Mom’s chives caught my eye, not for their specialty but for their appearance. To now there have been only green weeds to signal spring. Chive shoots are the prescient herald of the event. I leaned in to clear away the old leaves, dropped what I’d lifted, and stepped back. Three inches of snow are forecast overnight, and freezing temps in the morning.


This morning a neighbor stopped with a package left at her door in error. A florist box full of tulips, from a friend. The card said “Happy to have you in my life!” Laura and I arranged them in the vase from the box, to the delight of all, and Toby not the least.


Toby cannot keep his lips off tulips. “I can’t help it woman! I’m transported to them!”  There is no place here he cannot access and only one room I can close down from him. 



He barged into my bathroom this morning. B.a.r.g.e.d! The door hit the door stop and returned to the door frame, nearly latched. OMG, what has happened! After several maneuvers, he was free. I will move the tulips to the loom room when I go in to weave later today. That door can be securely closed.


The tulips came today to wish me happy birthday tomorrow. Don’t trust those pesky delivery services on a Sunday, even if it is your birthday. Mine were delivered to my neighbor, after all.

I see several doctors, but actually not too many. I have them carefully sorted, and discarded the ones I found extraneous. One of my favorites is my endocrinologist. I last saw him in June, and broke my femur the following week. I saw him again last week. He did not even turn to his computer until he had a bone by bone account of the event.

When we were done with the blood work discussion, he informed me there were four items on his list today, and now he had covered three. The fourth was our ongoing discussion of bone strengthening drugs. He’s been pushing them for several years, and even has a couple of Chantilly lace bone scans to wave before my eyes.

For several years I parried the proposal with the request to answer “Where does the stuff go?”, and, of course, he had no answer. Sally Field and Blythe Danner notwithstanding, I personally knew one case of dental jaw problems, and given my extensive history of dental work, I haven’t been about to try a bone drug, past calcium.

Working to solidify these damn broken bones the last eight months has caused me to reconsider.  But the only good reports of Prolia are from doctors, not patients.  So once again, no bone meds. And that’s most everything from the 330, on 330.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Whinging



My title is a word I’ve read often lately, I suppose only on British blogs. I’m not going back to analyze my data. I read the word and mentally pronounced it as whining. That’s an old childhood fault of mine, making up pronunciations instead of looking up pronunciations. 

My favorite example is ‘cupboard’, as in Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard. I pronounced it ‘cup board’, and thought how unwieldy a word! I did not make the mental leap from Mother Hubbard’s board of cups to the cabinets in our kitchen with plates and cups until a year or two into school.

These last several weeks have been whinging weeks for me. I thought I’d blog a small treatise, but first I really should see if whinging is synonymous for whining. It is not.  And, they are not pronounced alike! I suppose anyone who ever looked it up knows that. Looking  it up isn’t all that easy, what with the silent ‘h’ at the beginning and the ‘dj’ at the end. There is a symbol for ‘dj’, as in judge or Joanne, but not on most typewriters.

For the first time ever I employed the speaker function at the end of the pronunciation explanation by letter sounds. That was so neat; like a kid I made the computer pronounce one word and then the other.

Years ago, when I still had a mother and we took road trips together, we got into the discussion of missed pronunciations. I confessed my cup board to her and she told me of a word that she also mispronounced and misconstrued for a long time. For years I remembered that word and used it. Now I don’t remember her word at all. If it ever comes back to me, I will share.

In truth, I have been complaining persistently, in an annoying way, I’m sure, these last several weeks. Nothing is proceeding brilliantly, or even to plan. I’m through mentioning most of them, as I also believe that only increases the jinx possibility exponentially. Whining is the making of a high pitched sound, as non-verbal babies do. That I have not done, I believe.

March essentially is over. This last week is Laura’s spring break. Last year we were in sunny, warm Texas, enjoying bluebells and Indian paintbrush (which probably has a less derogatory name), good company of family and friends.

This year, lacking garden flowers, I will share last week’s florist flowers. Then I will play ‘whinging’ vs. ‘whining’ for a bit.



Saturday, March 23, 2019

Punctual-tardy

I have frittered away my day. Sadly, that is not unlike me these days.

Laura is with her siblings and her father this weekend, at a memorial service for his father, who passed away recently. I was happy Laura eventually decided to go; she has a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins she has never met.

He father has no car, and for this sort of outing he rents a mini van, adequate for his four children as passengers, with his partner and himself in front. All the backpacks should fit neatly back to front, too.

James intended to get Laura last. I suggested to schedule her next to last, head to the college for the one off work at six, and get on the road. That was agreed to as an excellent plan. Be here before five, be in Hiram by six and be on the road for a six hour drive to Michigan in a not unreasonable time.

They arrived here for Laura at seven. I remembered I'd failed to account for the laggards, the belated, the dilatory. Of the two children in the car at this point, I know one could not get out of bed, though capable. 

I know of another trip on which the eldest of the two remembered some inconsequential item left behind. No mind they were two hundred miles down the road; they went back for it. No, g'ma was not along.

So, here at seven. I didn't ask if they had the worker in the car or still had that pick-up  to make.

Laura has been a punctual person as long as I've known her. Suitcase packed a week ahead. I also know the tempos of the times of the lives of her siblings. (Whoa! Prepositional phrase penalty flag!)

I don't really remember the rate at which her father advances through time, but he or his partner may have figured in the arrival at seven.

I do know it will be loud and raucous, each talking over the other. It's been awhile since the four have been together, with their father. I think it will be a very good time.

I've been through the pictures, looking for one that is appropriate. Sadly, I find none that will please all four, and I'm not in the mood to be busted by one. So, here was my day.



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Do the benefits exceed the drawbacks?

I've not had much to say of late about my opiod. I think it's an important subject and I stay abreast of the subject. God, I hope so! I visit the office every two months, and the exam in rigorous.   

I understand how patients can be drawn in and succumb. I see a physician whose practice is limited to pain management. I need to understand his practices, and so far I do. I started with a daily dose of 75 mcg, the lowest possible. 

When I broke my way up the bones on my right side, Dr. Pain said he should double my dose to see me through. In fact, pain was stinking unmanageable and my 150 mcg dose now is twice a day, twelve hours apart. Dr. Bone is quite comfortable with that. 

Like Dr. Kidney and Dr. Heart, Dr. Bone  is happy I see a real pain management doctor. (And those are all the doctors I see, except my primary care, which we are obliged to have, and my therapist, who helps me sort my problems.)

I maintained for two or three years, I think, on the 75 mcg dose. I wonder if I can ever go back. I hope so, and will stay on it like the duck and the June bug. My replaced shoulder is magnificent, but my broken femur is slow, slow, slow.

At some witched hour in the night, I woke from pain in my right knee and left shoulder. I considered it all, and attributed it to yesterday's three hours of sewing. I put all in a new position and went back to sleep.

At some more witched hour, but not yet eight a.m., Laura, in jammies, wakened me. For the third time this year, she and the bus did not connect. 

Sigh! I got up, put the morning dose in my mouth, dressed and drove Laura to school. In two and a half months, it's over! Came home, and have literally frittered away the rest of the morning. I'm cold, and Mr. Cat feels sorry for both of us!



A warm cat leaning on my shoulder makes me sleepy. Opiods and sleepy do not mix well. I'll be off to play cards and eat Fritos soon, and that is good. Mr. Cat has been sent to find a new shoulder. And, I'm still in charge of the opiods. 














Sunday, March 17, 2019

A nice surprise!


Jan called this morning.
She finished the quilt and was in the neighborhood.


Here is the quilt and here is Laura
with blue hair.


And here is the quilt, sure to be extra warm
from its wool batt and velour backing.
Almost too thick to quilt, but doable.
Thanks, Aunt Janice!


Saturday, March 16, 2019

My rock garden, and other good news


My towel project nears its end; I have twenty or so bloggers left to contact. I've slowed down, in order to have another color off the loom, for one more selection pile. I'm close to done with "denim"; I probably will finish them Monday.

So many people wanted to send something in return, and I explained this was for me, and if they really wanted, a thank you note. Some nice people still persisted, and it came to me: a stone for my garden. But not the little garden out front, where I would never find them, but in the beautiful old ironstone platter from Alberta



Until the denim are done, here is my tiny inventory. A very foresty green. They only lack bluebells, to set off their color. Then the periwinkle, the cream and the pumpkin.


My loom has ears! Sometimes that happens. And finally, spring is coming. There was only a dusting of snow this morning.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

More of the story



When I wrote that last post, two local events crossed my mind. Perhaps they should have been part of that post.

I live in NE Ohio, in Boston Township. The township is divided by the Cuyahoga River valley; some township is north, some is south.

I live south of the river, as does most of the population. The largest number of inhabitants south of the river live where I do, in a mobile home park. It’s not about the amenities of housing south of the river, it’s about availability (almost 300 homes in the park), and the school district.

Three school districts serve the entire township. Mine is Hudson. I’ve mentioned Hudson schools in many contexts over the years, including its exclusiveness, its cost to taxpayers, and the quality of education ranked among the highest in Ohio. Although Hudson has declined recently in a realignment of Ohio scores, it remains a top tier high school, and exclusive.

Hudson is not an open enrollment school. As that implies, you must live in the district to attend Hudson schools. When we moved here, thirty years ago, Roger next door had a live-in girlfriend with two very undisciplined boys.

My sister and I became friends with a couple of women with shared interests. They were knitters and we were spinners. Rosemary also was Student Records Administrator for Hudson Schools. On one visit to the shop, Rosemary mentioned the lack of motorbike racing noise from next door.

“Oh, yes, Roger’s girlfriend and the boys moved to Akron.” “When?” “Over the summer.”  “Interesting; the boys still come to Hudson,” said Rosemary. “Oh, yes,” we volunteered. “Their mother drops them for the school bus every morning.” And that was the end of the boys attending Hudson.

Truth be told, I felt little sympathy for those boys, who had ruined more than one family picnic by raising all hell, dirt and noise with their racing bikes on the track Roger carved out for them behind his house. But ten or so years ago, I had to rethink! A woman in the southern part of our county enrolled her daughters in another out of district school. She lived in Akron in a dangerous neighborhood with substandard schools.

When caught she took her case to court, and lost. Then she had a thirty thousand dollar invoice for unpaid tuition. Her eventual sentence was probation and community service. I suppose the tuition was resolved in some fashion.

I checked Google to see if anyone is in prison for hopping school districts, and found cases of probations and fines for falsifying addresses. I was not successful with Snopes, so I sent a request to investigate.

Why is this in a story about rich people falsifying records to advance school admission? Because it’s a story about poor, poor people doing the same. And I think it’s something we need to think about.



Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Stay positive. Remain cheerful and upbeat. Just ignore it.


            
Those are mantras I use to sort of kick my butt and get past annoying situations. The older I grow, the more often I walk into “old person” situations. Situations in which I am a faceless old person.

Today I read in The Washington Post, the FBI finds wealthy parents, including “stars”, use bribery and fraud to have their children admitted to Georgetown, Yale, Stanford. Fifty are charged, thirty-three are parents. 

The investigation is ongoing and others can be investigated and charged. Boston’s U.S. attorney called it the largest ever college admissions scam prosecuted by the Justice Department.  And the scheme was discovered accidentally.

“These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege,” said Lelling, Boston U.S. Attorney.  “This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I’ll add there will not be a separate criminal justice system, either.”

That raises my confidence in returning honor and integrity to the process.

Parents being duped are half my age. Colleges participating, or receiving rigged SAT’s and other college admission scores range from coast to coast.

Laura’s junior class took ACT tests today. That acronym stands for American College Testing. SAT is Scholastic Aptitude Test. The tests took all morning. I asked what classes she had in the afternoon, and she replied “Nothing. All the juniors went home and had no classes.” Well, the juniors with cars.

Laura ate lunch until all the lunch periods were over. Then she cleaned her art teacher’s palettes, spent one period talking with her 9th grade history teacher and another talking with her 10th grade history teacher. Then rode the bus home.

I stopped to read some comments to the Post article. Here is a showstopper: “The rich don't look at everyone else and see people, they see the unwashed masses that are obviously not as good as they are, otherwise they would be rich too.Signed therealgrimm


 A Depression era quilt: "Prosperity is just around the corner."

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Next week’s good news



Saturday a week from today the month will be half over. That is the best the rest has to recommend itself, so far. Laura and I each have dental appointments in the rest of the month. Mine is the semi-annual cleaning and hers a cavity to be filled.

When she came back to the waiting room after her semi-annual clean and told me about the cavity she added, almost in the same sentence, “Dr. Bob says to tell you it’s not my fault!” and I had to chuckle. 

These children did come to us with few social skills, and Laura the least of all. Tooth brushing was nonexistent for her. She simply “forgot.” We established the routine of smelling her breath for toothpaste, morning and night, to release her for school or bed. Weird, but effective.

Then at age seven or eight, Dr. Bob came out to tell me Laura had a cavity, and was it OK for him to take care of it now instead of another appointment. I agreed, with the caveat he tell her the cavity was the result of not brushing her teeth. Dr. Bob was appalled. A terrible thing to say when it might not be true. But, it might be true, so he agreed and got the job done.

This time, he wanted me to know, the cavity is the result of an area of malformed enamel.  Which makes me think, she certainly brushed her teeth almighty well these last seven years to forestall a cavity in an area of no tooth enamel.

Laura’s dental appointment is the last week of the month, spring break.  I have a fine record of not taking the children from school for any appointment, and I kept it again, getting the dental appointment on spring break.

Sadly, I heard from her father today that his father had passed away and the memorial service will be Saturday, a week. They will have to travel the last Friday before break, and Laura has to see if that can work with her exam schedule. I’m sure she can work it out.

So, March is not shaping up with the best of them. It still could exit like a lamb, after the bone numbing cold with which it came in.


After a full afternoon of eating watermelon at the old house.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

How to start


   
After a couple of false starts, my computer guru was able to come today. In fact, I spent an extra hour in bed. Lazy slug! By the time I got up and turned on the ring on my phone, it was pretty late. And I still didn’t notice I had a text waiting until it was embarrassingly late. The short version, Jim was on the way over!

The good news is, the restore disc did not intimidate him. I told him to blow through all the snarky messages about not able to connect and update, and just put back all the stuff I already had. And he did. 

Looking over tabs I didn’t concern myself with in 2012, I saw one that will search and locate all the names I’ve put in as birth places or residences. The program needs attached to the internet, so I’ll talk to Jim about it. In the meantime, just look:

.
And there are trees for every name in the left hand column. Some are as extensive as my dad's, which cuts off here about 1790. On the paternal side, that is. Dad's ancestry there was Ulster, Presbyterians through and through. Kept track of things.

I tried a screenshot, but Windows 10 and I aren’t on good enough terms yet. I took a picture. That I understand. Looking just at the screen for my dad, unexpanded, I guess I’m overwhelmed by the amount I shrugged my shoulders over and gave up for lost when Ancestry and Family Tree blew me off. Now I must be back in touch with 23 and me, to be back on the mailing list for potential cousins of mine. If ever I discover why my grandfather married my grandmother, I will share!


And in other news of the world, it is cold. Sunshine is not alleviating any misery! We are struggling for twenty degrees, amid sunshine and snow. But, come the weekend, it will be fifty!

I’m off to the loom. There are twenty or fewer towels left on the beam.  What should I do next? More red? More orange? More blue?  I'm weaving green right now.



Monday, March 4, 2019

Cornbread



Hang onto your cornbread, and if you know what I’m talking about, please tell me.

I came home from the post office today, and was behind a rusted out pick up. Very rusted; streaks of rust in the bumper, below and above it, and all down the driver’s side. That’s all the truck that I saw in our trip up the road.

At the top of the rear window, in black letters about three inches tall and proportionately wide, CORNBREAD.  At the bottom, more lettering between two large pictures in the same black plastic, like duct tape. Or an actual, stick on decal.

On the left, something I couldn’t make out. It was like a musical instrument, but not. It was like a crested tellin shell (I looked that up), but not. An old fashioned men’s bed urinal, but not. On the right, the image definitely was a skull that I’ve seen occasionally, Punisher Skull.

And spread between these two images, big lettering: FUELED BY HATERS.

I spent the rest of the trip home repeating that over and over. Because of the short term memory thing. 

I turned to google when I came in, and rather quickly, I “got it”. The New England Patriots are “fueled by haters”, and won the Super Bowl this year. That was the Los Angeles Rams logo on the left.

Interestingly, going through the google listings, I could not open more than a few. Some did open, with the disclaimer, OOPS, and no content. We all know that one.

But the country girl still needs to know, what does CORNBREAD mean?


Friday, March 1, 2019

Four days on the run


    
It will be mighty fine to move through my day at my own pace this fine Friday. The sun is blazing, and I could go take a picture of it, but it’s cold. It will be forty though, and that is good news.

Today I have another set of towels to finish and a new color to begin weaving. I have a new shirt to modify (why do I know more about proper garment finishing than the people who sell them!). Well, not a new new shirt. I bought it early in January and have worn it and its twin almost constantly. This morning’s choice has a front pouch pocket. Its twin has two side pockets that drop out the bottom under the weight of even a tissue. Needs fixed!

So, I’ll do all that today. But first, another fine development this week.

I put my hand into a bottom file drawer folder and saw something I did not know I had. It is labeled Family Tree Maker restore disc. The postmark is 2012, and it came from California, the location of the infamous third party supplier to Ancestry.com. To jog memories a trifle more, these are the two entities I dealt with, briefly, when I upgraded to Windows 10, leaving behind QuickBooks (oh, well!) and Ancestry.com, or more precisely, Family Tree.

It would cost me many dollars of upgrade money and more brainpower than I retain. Don’t say, Oh, you can do it, Joanne. No, I can’t. But I texted Jim, the computer guru, and he thinks he can do something with a Windows 7 program on a Windows 10 computer. All the data to populate the program is right there in a file I scroll past daily. I am no longer interested in upgrading it, only looking at the information in it.

Wish us luck! Then I will reinvolve myself with 23 and Me and attempt contacting second and third cousins who may have sat on the steps late at night, listening to the grown-up’s gossip. And one of them may remember the elusive little floating bit, why did Mamie Hogue marry George Marion Lytle?

Ruth and I made our mostly annual trip to Lake Farmpark's annual quilt show yesterday. We perused the show and had lunch. Then we planned our next "new restaurant" expedition, and had a long hug and came home.

So, a couple of my top picks from yesterday’s quilt show. And another personal milestone: I walked the entire show (slowly!) for three hours!


I made one of these quilts, years ago. It's folded in a chest at Beth's house. The pattern is cut from folded paper, like the snow flakes we made for decoration, years ago. Then all the raw edges are needle slipped under and felled down. Then set the blocks. Then...


I don't know the back story of Karen Eckmeier, and her quilts being here. I do admire this kind of work; thousands of bitty pieces, put together. Incredible work!


This quilt is a Dresden Plate. I've made one of these, too. It may even be in the chest at Beth's house. My sister and I have similar stories of baby sitting and felling the blocks. I was attracted to this by the border, little Dresden plate bits.


This quilt's simplicity attracted me. Well, I fall for iris, too. And the matching blue jacket of somebody. I see all of these quilts meet my quilt rule of ending. Build it to the edge, bind it and go home. The first picture has a quilt to the left, the Best of Show, that is an example of quilts that don't attract me. Border after border! As lovely and intricate as that BoS is, it's just too busy, visually, for me.


This quilt is amusing. Its title is Dinner for Eight. Well done, you.