A New Normal

On Monday I decided that I would suit up, complete with masks and gloves and go to our local grocery store. We needed a few things, like fresh vegetables and I thought I should at least make an attempt.

The store had a few people and I was amazed at the beautiful produce in the stores. I was able to get broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and summer squash and my favorite eggplant! I was thrilled. I’d made a list and was able to get everything except eggs. There were no eggs. Thankfully I still have some.

20200323_103643

The store really was well stocked and people did have a lot to choose from. I thanked all the clerks I saw who were working hard to fill the shelves.

I was in the store for maybe 20 minutes as I raced up and down the isles. I did not want to be there too long.

In the check-out lane, I kept my distance from everyone and I noticed that some people were not being that careful.

20200323_103639

I’d worn jeans and a shirt I could wash up, and the coat I was wearing really needed a bath anyway, so when I got home I stripped in the laundry room and then finished cleaning up upstairs.

As I write (5:55 PM on Monday) it is snowing very hard outside. We are due to get 6-8 inches of heavy wet snow.

So much for Spring coming to our neck of the woods right now.

I hope, wherever you are, that you are safe and healthy and well.

32216247197_26de197829_o copy

Grateful

Yesterday I went out for the first time since I was struck down with this blasted pneumonia. It felt good to be in the land of the living, but I admit to being paranoid by every coughing or sneezing person. So much so, that I had a surgical mask with me that I wore while I was out. And since it was only in the single digits temperature-wise, I had on my warm coat, a scarf, and my favorite hat.

winter 2Not me but a reasonable facsimile!

Since Jack had been wanting to go out to finish up some Christmas shopping, he asked if I felt up to going to the Liquor Outlet to buy gifts there too. Well, yes, yes I did! I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful it felt to be out and about once again!

Arnie, wrapped up in his sweater, came with us. He looked adorable and a woman who works at the store is crazy in love with Arnie and she keeps cookies there just for him!

We arrived home in time for lunch, and afterward, I began the wrapping process. I wrapped four gifts yesterday. What I did was wrap the gift, then stop to drink my tea and honey.

So today I plan to wrap a few more gifts and make some banana bread. But I have learned that I need to do one thing and then rest. Then do another thing, and then rest. It seems to be working.

So, have a wonderful weekend before Christmas! Enjoy!

vintage_christmas_dachshund_dogs_n_cats_postcard-r273776f00960430e878a2120b9a35429_vgbaq_8byvr_630

Christmas Past

Recently, I read a story a man had written where he fussed and fumed about his father never buying him any good Christmas gift. Well, I shook my head in disbelief.

You see, my Dad was a really busy man. He taught school 5 days a week, he taught piano after school to so many of the kids I went to school with. He also played the organ at the local Congregational Church, was the director of the Senior and Junior Choirs and also directed the Handbell Choir. Each year Dad directed a Christmas Carol sing on our town’s Village Green. Not to mention playing the organ for many weddings and funerals.

So each year Dad would go down to the local Pharmacy or 7/11 Grocery Store, whichever was open on Christmas morning and did his Christmas Shopping for us.

img514Here I am, at the age of 12, on Christmas Morning with the gifts that Dad got for me. Notecards, a horoscope book, hat and gloves, a little kitty and two dolls.

I wish I could sit down with that man who complained and tell him how lucky I feel that my Dad went out before I woke on Christmas to get these things for me. He did it every year. Sometimes I got life-saver candies, sometimes some Christmas candy. Sometimes chapsticks. Sometimes a teen magazine. But he shopped on his own and bought these things for me all by himself.

My Dad did the very best he could, all on his own, and I feel like I was pretty lucky!

Mom did the big shopping. And it was pretty good too. Mom also cooked the best Christmas breakfasts and Christmas dinners. She was a traditional Mum.

But all in all, looking back now, I think I was pretty blessed all around. I didn’t have to have my Dad buy me the world to show me that he loved me. His Christmas Day shopping sprees mean more to me now than he will ever know.

 

Goodbye November

Well, here we are. The last day of November. After this, it’s a mad dash to Christmas. Usually, I have nearly all my shopping done and Christmas Cards are written, but I have almost nothing done and the cards are still in the box. Who knows, maybe on Sunday I will break out the cards and start writing.

This year seems to have flown by. So much happened, so much changed. I think I will remember 2019 as being a year full of changes, both good and sad.

The sad is that I lost my best friend, Candy. That just plain broke my heart.  I miss her a great deal and think often of her.

10314704_10204228861468369_7991530868176608085_n (2)

The good is the health and happiness of my family. My grandchildren are growing by leaps and bounds and are both wonderful happy kids. And nicest of all is that they are truly kind people.

73460668_10220804758650481_3363653210374930432_n

Mandy and Matt adopted a pup named Freya and also bought the home of their dreams. They are also terrific parents!

67607180_10219921896539480_874360384033652736_n

Despite changes in my extended family, everyone is doing okay. For this, I am very thankful.

So life is rushing by and I’m trying to grab every moment I can and relish the happiness and the blessings in it.

 

Feeding the Birds

I was gazing out my bedroom window when suddenly a little bird flew into the lilac bush. I stopped and watched as this little bird, not bright or colorful, but certainly intent on doing something in my lilac bush, worked at something. I looked and looked and there it was. A rather well-built nest.

birds nest

I was really struck with the bird’s cleverness and the beauty of the nest. I believe the nest is the new home of a Catbird. We’ve had them before and they really are quite amazing nest builders.

I’m not sure why, but this year I am really enjoying the birds! Perhaps it was the injured Woodpecker I saved. Whatever, I have now gotten new suet feeders and once I return I will set them up. Of course, since we also have bears, so I will need to bring the feeders in each night.

61963809_2787685864637823_7099090386303320064_nWhat is it about being in your sixties? I mean, I have found that I stop and smell the roses more. See birds, notice all the little things in life that make this an awesome place to be.

I felt this as a child and then lost that awe for a long time. I am so glad to have found it again. Especially at a time in my life when I can appreciate it all the more!

My “New” Computer

I was so upset last week when my laptop’s hard drive blew. In the past it was prohibitively expensive to replace the hard drive, so one was destined to bite the bullet and buy a new machine. Technology changed along the way, and my Computer Guru suggested an SSD replacement. For those who have never heard of this it is a Solid State Drive.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when my laptop (I feel I should name her), came home. The first thing was, I turned her on, and she turned on instantly. And although I have an I5 processor, she runs so much faster than Jack’s computer with the I7 processor.

Now here are the biggest changes. She runs quietly because an SSD has no moving parts. She also runs very cool. Jack’s laptop, and all other laptops I have had, all run very hot and the fan runs almost constantly to keep them cooled down.

It’s like having a new computer except….my Computer Guru also moved all of my programs over to the new drive! I basically sat down and started to work! So it makes things even better!

I’m very happy to have chosen to re-purpose my machine. I had not even come close to using up all my memory and I did not want to take the plunge and buy a new machine.

I’ve never thought of myself as being a super recycler, but in this day and age, I think if we can do it, and save a landfill, and our pocketbook at the same time, then it’s worth looking into.

I am lucky. I have a Computer Guru (and I say this with a lot of love and thanks for all he does for Jack and I), who truly believes in re-purposing machines when you can. His prices are really good and I think he enjoys helping people with their problems. They’re hard to find, but I know they are out there. Ask around. Anyone that lives near me, email or PM me and I will send you his number. He comes right to your house, and if he can’t fix things there, he will take your machine, fix it, and then bring it back and reinstall it for you. The day I found this young man, was a very lucky day for me!

So I am a very happy girl, with her very nice almost new computer! Thank you Brad!

 

Weekend Wrap-Up

Recently my life has been full and busy. I was thinking about this, as I drove home from my daughter’s house yesterday, and upon arrive fell into bed for a quick catnap. As I lay snuggled under my blanket, I couldn’t help but think, how wonderful and lucky this is! This could easily have gone another way.

Just a few months ago, I was too sick and too weak to do much of anything. And I will tell you that being that sick is pretty depressing. Now, to be well, with no fever and to have my body running the way it should, really fills me with joy!

The doggies are happy Mommy is well, and if we could just get Jack completely well that would be perfect. Slowly but surely, he is getting back on his feet.

20171007_152938

So, after seeing my grandchildren on Saturday, and actually baby sitting for my grandson,

 

20171007_165209

I woke on Sunday and headed home. I think the best part of babysitting your grandchildren is when you arrive and they are so happy to see you. The hardest time, is when it is time to go back home.

Of course on the other end, were Jack and the dogs, who were so happy to see me. Best of all, Jack hadn’t eaten the left-over Pot Roast, so we had that for our dinner last night. The recipe for the Pot Roast will be on Dackel Princess tomorrow. Trust me. It is easy, delicious, and nourishing!

So life is very, very, good, in so many ways! I am a lucky lady!

Thank You, Dr. Chapman

My TBT this week looks back to Christmas 2002. Two days after Christmas my retina detached in my left eye, leaving me totally blind in that eye. I drove myself to the hospital because Jack wasn’t home. 46 miles in my trusty Jeep over to Dartmouth Hitchcock. It’s amazing what one can do with one eye!

I saw my usual Optometrist, who examined my eye and called his colleague, Dr. Chapman, to come take a look. Dr. Chapman was a Retinal Surgeon, and he examined the eye and told me to wait a moment, then he came back and at 4:15 that afternoon, he scheduled my surgery.

After a cursory physical, I was wheeled into surgery, not knowing if I would regain my sight or not

MB's eye patch

Me in the hospital after my first retinal detachment. I remember being very afraid, until they took off the bandage, and I could see some light.

   

little shot

The photo above was a few days after the first surgery. I looked like I had been in a boxing match!

It was quite an ordeal, and for those of you who may be new to my blog, I have had retinal detachments in both eyes, cataract surgery in both eyes, lens replacement, and then 6 surgeries in my left eye to clear the vision. My eyes, simply put, have been beat up a bit with all the cutting and stitching. However, I am so grateful to the talented surgeon I had, who never gave up on me.

22170_1285294725527_1024898239_880978_4010686_n

And in the end, it was Dr. Chapman who saw me through it all.

Why am I writing about this today? Well, after all these years, Dr. Chapman has moved his practice to another state. Although I never had a chance to say goodbye, I will be writing to him to thank him for all that he did for me.

I am so fortunate! How do you thank someone who saved your vision? I can see Savannah and Quinn. I can do so many wonderful things because my vision was restored! And this year when I got my driver’s license renewed, I didn’t need my glasses to pass the vision test!

Yes I will be thankful all the days of my life to this wonderful doctor. He never gave up, and was always fighting for my vision. How very grateful I am!

Thank you Dr. Chapman!