Monday, January 02, 2017

New Year 2017

Toby and I spent a quiet New Year Eve doing the same old thang we always do - checking on the mom's. Toby's mom was actually in the hospital in Electra, so we drove there first. That mom was doing well. It seems her arthritis had kicked in and caused her not to be able to get out of bed or walk. The ambulance was called to take her to the hospital. The good news is that steroids and pain medicine was all that it took to set her to rights. The bad news, well, anytime an ambulance and hospital are involved things are not good. Anyway, we spent the day with her and the Sisters (Toby's). It was a nice visit.

When we left there, we headed to WF to check on my mom. She had other plans for the day - like going to a MSU basketball game and then going home to watch basketball (or was it football) on TV.  Thanks to her boyfriend who takes her dancing, out to eat, and to different sports events, she stays pretty busy.  I do love the man for his help with Mom.

Last summer, I canceled Mom's Direct TV sports package, because she does not watch any TV these days, and her bill is quite expensive. At that time she had broken up with her boyfriend and there was no reason to have the sports package or all the movie stuff on her Direct TV. She didn't notice the change in plan. Now, since she is back with the boyfriend, he wants to watch sports at her house. Great. She called the other day to say she had turned her sports package back on and not to mess with her TV again. She told me that she likes to watch football! Sure thang, Mom. Whatever. Why are you just now noticing this change? And who turned it back on for you? The boyfriend, God bless him.

Since Mom was busy, we came on home and got a few things done around here. By 7:00 PM, we were in our recliners reading. I was playing Words with Friends with one of my local buddies. She sent me a message that several couples were playing games at a mutual friends house and why was I not there. Good question.  The decision to go was based on New Year resolutions to be more sociable.  So we went.  It was fun. I played some game called Train, where you build trains across a map of the USA. It was a game of strategy. I won, but I don't think it is my game.

New Year Day, we cooked and ate our black-eyed peas and hung out here at the house. We hiked through the woods planning the new fence. We took a nap. We discussed our resolutions. Mine are the usual - more art, less weight, more friend-time, less procrastination. Although I did not do great on my weight last year, I did do more art. Now I need to market it better and put myself out there more. I do love beginnings - new starts. I always have hope that things will improve. Maybe it doesn't really matter. I do love life no matter what. I just wish I was loving life thinner :)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Political Views or Obama Review

Last night while driving home from WF, my mother's 85 birthday dinner, I was listening to some radio show when the news came on. One of the news segments was about Obama's sanctions against Russia for interfering with the Presidential election.  The reporter said that the sanctions were the toughest sanctions put on Russia since the Cold War. I have had several thoughts on this:

First of all, I find it very ironic that the Democrats poo-pooed Hillary's misuse of her emails while being Sec. of State as not being serious enough to indict her.  The FBI reported hundreds of classified emails being mishandled by Hillary, and that was just the ones the FBI saw and not the ones that were hidden or destroyed. Now the Russians allegedly hack into the Dem's emails. Hmm, how long have they been doing this? Have they been hacking into Hillary's emails too? No wonder the Russians have no respect for Hillary. They've probably been looking into her for a while now. Of course by helping Trump, they just lost one of their best information sources.

Another thing I find ironic is the outrage that the Democrats have over what was exposed.  The Dems show a video of Trump and his locker-room talk and then accuse him of all sorts of sexual misdeeds. (That in itself is ironic considering Hillary lives with a sexual predator and the Dems had the man elected President as if his sexual misdeeds were of no consequence.) Obviously this video was used to sway the election. When their own misdeeds were exposed in order to sway the election, the Dems  cry foul. Understand that I do not think cyber crime is okay. Nor do I think it is okay if Russia can hack into anyone's emails. The ironic part is that Democrats exposed Trump with glee, but then whine when they get exposed. Karma.

Lastly, I find it odd that through eight years of Obama's Presidency, he has done very little when another country does something wrong. Russia can invade other countries or aid our enemies and Obama does nothing. North Korea fires missiles - nothing. Mexican drug lords kill hundreds of people - nothing. People can riot in the streets, kill policemen, loot businesses, etc, and Obama acts if the people had the right to do so and that the victims had it coming. Indians from all over the US have a "peaceful" demonstration where vehicles are destroyed, tires are burned, people are seriously injured, hundreds of people are arrested - Obama does nothing and leaves the state to pick up the bill. I could go on and on with Obama's lack of leadership. Obama has been mealy mouth at best.  But now with 22 days of his Presidency left, someone hacks into someone's emails and Obama puts the "toughest sanctions since the Cold War" on Russia. It reminds me of a coward that runs up and punches someone, but runs off and leaves the fight to someone else.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Week

The following saying was posted on FB:
Toby took a half day last Friday. We worked on Christmas presents. I mean we went out to the barn and made several Christmas presents. I made five necklace hangers. First I cut five pieces of 1x6 about 16" long. Then I routed the edges. Having never used the router, Toby had to show me how, but I'm a quick learner. Then I sanded the boards and coated them with polyurethane. Then Toby drilled five holes in each board. I could have done this - I can use the drill press. Next, I put five knobs (ordered from Amazon) into the drilled holes. The screws were extra long, so Toby cut them off with some sort of grinder. Then I added a hanger-doo-hickie on the back of each board. Ta-da! I made really cute necklace hangers. All the while Toby was building a wooden box to hold 24 bottles of beer. The box had our brand burnt on the outside ends of the box and a bottle opener too. He did an amazing job. He gave the box to our son. Since they make beer together, it is good to have something nice to carry the beer. Of course they save old boxes, but the cardboard boxes fall apart eventually. The wooden beer box was really nice.

Saturday we spent the day getting ready for our Christmas Eve party. Cleaning house and cooking pies was a big part of the preparations. Finishing our homemade Christmas gifts was another important part. Both of us were pretty worn before the party started. But the party was really nice. Instead of our usual talent show, we did karaoke. I think we have pretty well exhausted all the talent. Singing was fun - still no real talent there. Well, Alan was pretty good and was so was Ali. The rest of us just sang anyway. I did a horrible rendition  of "Unchanged Melody."

Sunday we went to WF, picked up the mothers, and went to my brother's house for steaks. The food was excellent. My mother was not a happy camper, but Toby's mom was great. My SIL gave all the ladies a scarf for Christmas. Mom didn't like hers and said so - several times in several ways. I don't think anyone was upset or hurt by her remarks. It's just the nature of the disease. After the mom's were taken home, I was able to sit out in the backyard of Pete's new home and enjoy the company of family. It was really a nice afternoon.

Monday Toby had a list of things he wanted to do. He asked me if there was something I wanted to do - something for Christmas. I wanted to see a movie. So, after doing lots of little things around the house, we went back to WF to see "Rogue 1" with Jesse. It was a good time. It reminded me lots of the first Star Wars movie. The fact that Carrie Fisher died the next day, well, that was sad.

Tuesday Toby took off another day - his last day of vacation for the year. We did things around the house again and went to the GGs house to put together Bo's other Christmas gift - a work bench from Harbor Freight. We also made a trip to WalMart - yeha! Then we went home for a quiet evening. I finished a book I was reading.

All of this Toby-time has really thrown me. I feel like it has been a really long weekend with Toby home. It has been good, but I'm not used to having him around so much. This morning was strange to have to make his lunch and send him off to work. Whatever will I do with myself - evil grin.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Why is December so busy? Everyone has lots of parties and gatherings and shopping. We don't do much shopping, but still we are busy. Last Thursday, Toby and I kicked back after supper. It had been a busy day painting with my ladies - which means cleaning house before they all come over, etc. About the time we settled into our recliners, the phone rang. Shay said, "Aren't you coming to our Christmas party?"  Why yes we are! Then we jumped up and took off for the party. We stayed up past our bedtime playing games and visiting with people. It was fun - better than sitting in the recliners.

Then on Friday I had a paint party with the ladies from our church. I just put out the invitation at church not knowing who exactly would come. I had ten ladies show up. It was a perfect fit around the two tables I had set up. I also had the ladies bring finger food. Geeze Louise, they brought a feast. I wanted to stay in the other room with the food. I had cleared a place for food in my art room, but there was too much food, so we moved it to the kitchen. After giving a little speech about canvas, paints, brushes, and drawing (tracing if they wanted), everyone picked a snowman and went at it. They really did a great job needing very little help. Still, I was not able to paint with them, because I was helping here and there. So, I had access to food drink :)  between helping the ladies.

Here are several of the snowmen that my friends painted:

They all turned out really well. I think my favorite was the second from the last - the purple and red. Robin has her own style and it worked well. Her snowman just made me happy. Tomorrow at the regular painting ladies day, we will work on snowmen again. I'm expecting some extra ladies who did not get to come last Friday. More fun!

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Funny and Not - Again

On Monday Mom had a doctor's appointment at 10:00. Although I had called the evening before and she remembered her appointment, she was asleep when I went to pick her up.  Her first words were,"I don't have a doctor's appointment." It didn't bode well for the rest of the day.  Still, she got up and got going, and we got to the appointment in plenty of time. As we were leaving her apartment, she told me she wanted her key to the backdoor of the building. Without thinking, I replied that I did not have that key. She insisted that I did have it - that I had always had it - that she had not had it since she quit driving. And so the argument started.

It is funny how her mind works or doesn't work sometimes. When she loses something (which is all the time these days), I always tell her to keep looking in her house. She will insist that she has already looked, and I insist that she look again. Recently, but at different times,  she has lost her insurance cards, her driver's license, and now her whole purse. She loses her hearing aids about once a week.  Eventually, she will find things or not. Sometimes she says someone stole whatever she can't find. Usually, she calls me and says, "Lou! Do you have my driver's license?" or whatever.
"No, Mom, why would I have it?"
"Because you don't want me to drive."
"Mom, you don't have a car. I'm not too worried about you driving."
"You have it! You took it!"
"Well, I don't have it. You need it for identification. I did not take it. Did you look really well in you other purses?" And sometimes, she finds things after looking again, and I always encourage her to keep looking, which irritates her. And sometimes things are just gone.

So on Monday when she insisted that I had the key to the backdoor of the elderly living place and I insisted that I did not have it, she told me, "Well you need to look again. When you get home, you need to look through your stuff..." See how her mind works - she can't remember that I have never had her keys and that just a few weeks ago, I showed her how to use the key for the backdoor. But she can remember that I always say to look again, and she used that on me! To keep her happy, I told her I would look again.

While sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, she brought up the key again saying, "You took my key when I quit driving and I want it back!" We actually had lots of discussion with me trying to show her that I don't have the key and would not have it. Eventually I said, "Mom, I have never had a key to the backdoor. Why don't you believe me? Would you believe Pete?"
"Okay." and I began texting Pete, Kathy, and Jesse concerning the key." Then Mom in her very sassy way said, "A steak dinner?!"
I was surprised at her her making a bet, but I answered, "Yeah, a steak dinner."
Immediately, I got replies from everyone. I showed her Pete's reply, "Mom has always had the key." She read it. Then she said, "What does he know?!"
"Mom, you said you would believe Pete if I asked him!"
"No I didn't."
So, I guess I'm not getting that steak dinner. She told me that I had better keep looking for the key at my house.

In other news: I'm having a paint party on Friday night. Ladies are coming over to paint simple Christmas/winter paintings.  I have painted a few for reference and will probably paint a few more today. It should be a fun time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Too Gone Too Long

Randy Travis sings a song, "Too Gone, Too Long."  That is how I feel concerning this blog, since I have not written in forever. My life is not very exciting these day. This past week has been mostly house cleaning and cooking. Twenty-one people sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a good group and lots of fun was had. The weather was beautiful for playing outside, riding the four-wheeler, taking walks, fishing in the pond, and sitting on the patio. Glad to see them come - glad to see them go!

In the meantime, Toby had the outside fences taken down around our property.  The fences were old and falling apart. After pulling post and rolling up barbed wire, I feel old and falling apart. Now the county guys are here with their big machinery to level the fence line. We had to pen the horses up in an electric fence - to keep them from getting out on the road. Several times the electric fence has failed to keep them in - thanks to the miniature horse, Frances, who can go right under the fence and causes the others to follow. He is not our horse. In fact, we only own two horses, but there are five in the pasture. I'm not sure why we are taking care of other people's horses, but we are. When the horses escape the electric fence, it is the job of the ranch-hand (me) to pen them back in and fix the fence. I could go into detail about fixing the electric fence since the solar charger will NOT turn off.  But unless you understand the workings of the electric fence and you know me, the story is not nearly so funny. Take my word for it, though, me and electric fences do not work well together, which can be funny, especially to Toby, who swore that if you used the orange rubber gloves, you would not get shocked.

As for art, I've been working on some Christmas cards. Maybe I'll even get them sent out by Christmas. Make sure I have your address if you want one. Maybe I'll even get the Christmas decorations out before Christmas. Don't hold it against me, but I admit that I listened to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Truthfully, I could listen to Christmas music all year long. Weird!

Mom came for Thanksgiving and stayed two nights. She did really well. Having other people to talk to her and keep her entertained was good. She did not have her hearing-aids making conversation difficult,. But then, what else is new? Family, who had not been around her lately, reported back to me that Grandma was very negative. Geese Louise! She she did not throw a fit or get upset with me or anyone else - I thought she was great! Something funny: She told me over and over that she was going to take one of my aspen paintings home with her. She justified it with, "After all, I gave you the magazine that you painted it from." Which she did not do, but it was okay. She even remembered to take the painting when she left - pretty darn good for her. And it was nice that she liked my art. I have missed that - her liking anything about me.

Like I said, my life is not really exciting these days. Now and then I get this really excited feeling in my heart. What could that mean?