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  1.  
    It was 71 degrees in the middle Tennessee area yesterday. I sat out on my patio for about an hour to collect some Vit D and to just FEEL the warmth on my skin. I have loved our warm Winter so far. I am so ready for Spring and the new life and beautiful blossoms...proof that life moves on after the dreariness of Winter. Welcome to February everyone.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2017 edited
     
    Saw my surgeon today - right on track for my shoulder rehab. He was very happy about that. Ordered 6 more weeks of PT. Therapist wanted 2 times a week for 4 weeks, then once a week for two months. Working on behind my back which is very painful. Who would think trying to scratch your back would hurt so much!

    February came in cold and my furnace quit. High today was 23, low tonight mid teens. Furnace was fine this morning, came back from doctor and it was just blowing cold air. It doesn't even try to light. Repair guy can't come until tomorrow - says is probably one of two sensors. :-( Now will see how warm the electric heaters keep us.
  2.  
    Charlotte, you are getting it coming and going. Hang in there, girl!
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2017
     
    We have heat!!! A $7 part - $90 labor and service call. But that is fine. The heaters worked good for the night to keep it at the normal 56 in the front, bedroom heater that I use every night kept it warm too. This morning I turned the living area one up and got it up to 60 before he came.Now we are a toasty 68-70.

    Yes, it has been a challenging winter (actually the last year as far as the RV problems) but I know I am not the only one. Thankfully I have credit cards I could put the expenses on although paying them is not always easy. If I could take my SS it would be so much easier financially wise, but then I would loose Medicaid. This fall I will be force to change to Medicare and I will have to take early SS to pay Medicare Part B (or else pay that stupid penalty the rest of my life).

    I try to keep thankful that I do not have to recover from loosing every thing to tornadoes, fire, floods, etc. The lady next door has been fighting an inner ear problem for a couple months. She has vertigo really bad - can barely walk. It is a case of those 'crystals' in the inner ear that have been out of place. My sister had it and it took 6 months to get them settled back where they belonged. I guess she went to an audiologist yesterday who was turn her head every which way. Her husband got to witness her eyes rolling around which freaked him out! So, I am thankful for the health I do have. Many here are even dealing with far worse than me, too.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2017 edited
     
    It's good to have heat. Especially when you're in snow the way we are. Being on this board has made me spend time thinking about how different our lives are just based on where we are. In winter up here you mostly huddle up being outside and are constantly reminded looking outside that you have heat and that is a good thing.

    I'm actually sitting here looking out over the snowy roofs and all the lights twinkling listening to Maria Callas. Dianne wasn't a big fan of opera, but sometimes when I listen to it, it goes right into the bone. I thought in the movie Moonstruck, Norman Jewison caught that feeling really well. A lot of people were touched by opera for the first time watching that.

    That movie touched on another thing. The timelessness of all of our imperfect lives. That's one of the things I like about going deep into any story in history. It is so often full of things that resonate because it doesn't really matter when you are - it's going to be a story full of people and things that happened around them. Just like it is right now. We collect moments both great and terrible and they become the story of us.

    O mio babbino caro is one of the more beautiful songs written in my opinion.

    Maria Callas doing it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6bSrGbak1g

    A 9 year old on a talent show in Holland doing it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDqTBlKU4CE


    (Dutch is a strange language for me. I understand about every fourth word perfectly. The other three are gibberish. It's an experience.)

    It's a strange life. My readings prove to me over and over that it always has been. One minute you're a fairly prosperous merchant and the next minute the Romans come waltzing in and you're guarding an outpost in Serbia. One minute you're the up and coming kid and five minutes later you're old, staring out a window, and your teeth are falling out. At least that's my experience. Stay warm.
  3.  
    O Mio Babbino Caro is truly one of the more beautiful songs ever written. Montserrat Cabelle and Anna Netrebko are amazing singing it too. Do you wonder if Puccini, when he heard it performed, felt as if he had created something so beautiful and timeless?

    Initially I did not listen to Amira Willighaven at Wolf's suggestion (this is edited) because I couldn't imagine a child singing as well as Callas, etc. Boy, was I wrong. She is just amazing.
  4.  
    My sister sent me this and I'm thinking I should share it with my friends here. It may have been published before, but I haven't seen it.

    Norbert Tackman explained that his wife had died after 49 wonderful years and when a good friend's husband passed away, leaving her consumed by grief, he felt the need to help her so he wrote her this letter. I personally though it very meaningful.

    A TIME TO GRIEVE

    What could have been is gone. What was is still in your memories. You will always think there must have been more you could have done. More times you could have said "I love you." Times you think "Why didn't I hold him more? Why didn't I do this or that?" You did all those things. You just need to remember them.

    Remember the times you held hands as you walked. When you held one another and kissed. When you shared a sunset or a walk through a garden. Remember that great vacation you had together. Remember when you made love and shared that special time. Remember how your love never dimmed but got stronger over the years.

    Remember when you first met and fell in love. Then go through your life remembering the special moments, one after another. When you had children. When you laughed or cried. That trip to get away. Visiting friends. A party. Going to church. When you redecorated the house. Little things that only you and he shared.

    Push out of your mind the memories that make you sad and replace them immediately with good memories. Something that makes you smile.

    In the weeks after his passing, the relatives go on with their lives. Your friends don't call as often and you're left alone. This is the time to be more involved in your favorite organizations, your church, your friends, in other words, keep busy. Be with other people. Push yourself to do things, no matter how small. Don't feel sorry for yourself......You have so much to offer to others and your fellowship will give back twice as much to you.

    There's nothing wrong with crying. It's part of the loss. It's part of the grief. Accept the aching need to have him back and tell him you love him. And always remember to say , "What a good life we had."

    He knew you loved him and cared about him. just as you knew he loved you and cared about you. Remember, he is watching over you. He doesn't want you to suffer. He wants you to be happy for all the time you had together........God Bless You.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2017
     
    The last few days I have been looking at the desert hills and landscape covered in white vs the brown it normally is now. This is our 4th winter here - the first with so much snow with more forecast for tomorrow before changing to freezing rain then rain. In a few days it is suppose to warm up in the 40 so it won't be long the snow covered hills will then be brown or in some cases black from the fires last summer. Because the snow has a layer of ice on it from the freezing rain, the sun sparkles on it like when the moon shines on water.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2017
     
    Marsha, I doubt artists spend much time admiring their own stuff. That's what we're here for. I bet they mostly see the imperfections. It reminds me of Beethoven who was deaf by the time he wrote the ninth symphony. That is my single favourite piece of music. One of the singers had to turn Beethoven around it is said when it was first performed. He had no idea the entire audience was standing, applauding, and weeping. He never heard it. He only wrote it.

    It's the moments. They are woven together by us into stories, but no one lives the story - they live the moments just like everyone else. We sit in the trailer on a duty both exhausting and painful, yet we notice how the sun sparkles on the ice the way the moon shines on water.

    I've always seen myself as The Blue Boy. Gainsborough caught my self image exactly in that. It doesn't matter that I look nothing like that. It matters what I think. And I think The Blue Boy is everywhere and sometimes he sits in front of a piano and sings. Watch the girls looking around bored and gradually being drawn in to the skinny little kid,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxDlC7YV5is
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2017
     
    Yesterday I had another rant towards hb. I had been having this dreaded feeling ever since Thursday when my niece posted a picture of her, her mom, her brother and his son visiting her in the assisted living. I was so ticked because my sister would do anything for her kids and grandkids, yet when she needed them after her husband died 8 years ago they were no where around. Even after her stroke her kids nor grandkids would come visit her. Well, one son maybe once in the 8 years, another once every 3-6 and he lived 30 minutes away, her daughter once a year if that.

    Yesterday we had freezing rain - again. I took the dog out and of course she doesn't like walking on those ice crystal an don't blame her. I went to look for the broom that I leave by the door - not there. He used it yesterday and put it under the rig - again - always too far under for me to reach without getting on the ground. We have an old office chair that hangs outside. He keeps putting it under the slide to protect it and I keep telling him not to. He hadn't for a while then did it yesterday. I was so ticked because it is the only grass that doesn't get covered with snow/ice and the dog will go there. I came in so ticked and let him and the dog have more than a few words.

    A couple hours ago I found the reason for the dread I was feeling yesterday. My oldest sister died this morning. She was placed in assisted living a couple months ago (had VaD). She asked to sit in her chair this morning then when they went back to check on her she was gone. I am glad it was quick and she didn't have to suffer through what was to come but it hurts so much. She is the one we parked our rig at her place off and on since 2004 helping her with yard work while she took care of her husband. She is also the one whose got so nasty after her stroke I had to leave cause I couldn't deal with her and hb. I was also beating myself up last night as I looked at that latest picture of her with the kids because I should have been strong enough to handle her and hb. Hb was nothing - easy.

    Little brother stayed there and refused to leave her alone. He still doesn't know because we can't get a hold of my brother (M) just a year older than me to tell him. He should not be alone when told cause he will be devastated. So my younger sister and her husband are driving over (3 hour drive) to be there when he finds out. Hopefully he won't find out before they get there. We both know he will be devastated. He fell apart when he came home from work and found his partner died, so much so he would let them in to his body so they tazed him 3 times to the point of burning a hole through the rug and floor. They wouldn't wait until brother M got there. George had been dead for hours so there was nothing they could do so waiting would not make a difference. We fear a similar reaction like that this time.

    I have been trying for weeks to go over and get my daughter's stuff that was stored there and see her but the weather just would not cooperate. Can't go off and leave the RV when it is so cold for fear of water freezing. Now the visit with her a year ago will have to do. She would have been 78 on the 20th of this month. Hb was close to here too because she was responsible for us meeting. They always had a special and good relationship - one I at times was jealous of because he would share his feelings with her but not me. He did bring me some toilet paper (he won't use Kleenex) he said to wipe my tears. We were once 9 kids and are now 6. My two oldest siblings I was not close to because they were my dad's by his first marriage so saw little of them. But the 7 of us, her two and their 5, were close in weird ways.

    Life goes on and this next week will be hard. Now I at least know why I felt the dread yesterday.
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      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2017
     
    I'm sorry, Charlotte. It's hard to lose family, I know. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2017
     
    I also send my most sincere sympathy Charlotte. I am sorry that you have to endure yet more sadness.
    And don't be too hard on yourself if you do become angry at times, you are very entitled to that anger.
    You do a wonderful job with Art and the motorhome, not many could measure up to your abilities and competence so take a bow and be kind to yourself, especially now during this difficult time of loss.
  5.  
    Ditto to what Cassie said.

    So sorry for the loss.
  6.  
    This post is to ask Mary: What is causing all the pain? Could you get an earlier surgery? Keep us updated. I'm thinking about you this morning. (((((( ))))))
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2017
     
    Will email you the details.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2017
     
    Charlotte, I am so sorry about your sister. I remember when she was placed in assisted living and before that when your brother worked such long hours every day and then came home to take care of her. I hope you will all feel some peace in knowing that the end was quick and her suffering is over.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
     
    Big blizzard here. My yardstick measured 16". Will be 10 degrees F tonight so I decided to use the self-cleaning function on the oven.

    Cassie, How amazing that you had 112 degrees F today. I wish we had more members like you from the Southern hemisphere and places other than North America.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
     
    I was way off topic on the other page,I think that I am a bit doolally from the heat. Good that you brought it over here, Myrtle. 10F sounds wonderful to me at the moment. There have been lots of new members popping up (from?) but then they disappear, I wonder why?
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      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017 edited
     
    Husband started a new phase: narrating the shows since I guess he can no longer remember what is going on. His favorites to narrate: the old MacGyver, NCIS, Gunsmoke, Leave it to Beaver, the news, hockey, etc. Makes it hard when you are trying to follow the show and he has his own story line!

    We had snow yesterday - about 3 inches, then freezing rain last night. Jas went down the steps and slid on the porch. I slipped some on the concrete until I got the de-icer on it. Today made it to 34 so the ice melted a little. This weekend is suppose to warm up into the 40s. Glad I don't want to go to the east side. The only way is via Portland. All 3 Washington passes through the Cascades have been closed since Tuesday due to so much snow and now I guess they got rain. They have been doing avalanche control and cleaning debris off the road.
    • CommentAuthorFiona68
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2017
     
    Charlotte, I'm so very sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. It's so hard to lose our siblings and not being able to see her in such a long time must be devastating. I'm glad your husband showed you a little kindness (by bringing your the TP for your tears). You certainly deserve kindness and love. Here's hoping that the weather improves and Spring comes your way soon.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2017
     
    Interesting time when I took Jas out at 2am. I stayed on the porch letting her go do her thing while I marveled at the bright moon and stars. Off in the NW I could hear coyotes. Normally they howl at different times but these guys were doing it all at the same time. Sounded like about 4 but they sure were off key! They were not singing in harmony! I looked at Jas at the end of the motorhome staring off over the field then I could hear something. I went to the back (NE) where I could hear something walking through the ice covered snow off in the field behind us. I listened as it sounded like it was getting closer - told Jas to get inside. This morning I when I took her out your could see the footprints come up through the snow, checked out an empty grocery bag frozen in the snow, came over behind the motorhome then went over behind the neighbors. This is actually nothing new, happens often but first time I have heard it coming. The moon was so bright I didn't take a flashlight with me otherwise I would have looked for eyeballs!
    • CommentAuthormyrtle
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2017
     
    Charlotte, Were they human footprints?
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2017 edited
     
    no they were dog - the coyote. They are common around here. People have seen them in the park at night. Thankfully have never been around when I am out with the dog.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2017
     
    Charlotte, The coyotes here are bad. They have taken cats and small dogs. I don't think we are as close to the wilderness as you are but I guess that doesn't matter much anymore, since they come into the suburbs now.

    I just brought Lucy to the groomer. This was the third time I tried to get her there recently - the first two times she escaped before I could put her in the carrier. She was a mess - although I was able to cut off a few mats, there was a bad one I could not get because I had no one to hold her down. The groomer had to shave it off. She looks great now. They clipped her ruff short, combed her out and gave her a mani-pedi and a belly-shave. The groomer and her assistant kindly offered to come to my house the next time. That sure will make my life easier. They do not ordinarily make house calls but they see how terrified she is when she is there. They told me that they think she was mistreated when she was with her previous owner.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2017 edited
     
    I actually live in the city limits but on the outer edge where there is still vacant land. I was talking to a woman who lives at the north end of the park. The geese have taken to landing on the land at that end. She says the coyotes have a hay day with them at night.

    We have a mobile pet groomer in our area. She use to work at Pet Smart but found so many found it hard to bring their pets in. So, she bought a small bus, remodeled it for bathing and grooming. Her prices are about $5 more than taking them in. She grooms a number of pets in the park. I hope to bath and clipped Jas sometime this week. She really needs it.

    Sun was out, upper 40s so washed the car and motorhome. Both look better now - road dirt off car, bird bombs off MH.
    • CommentAuthorOnewife
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2017
     
    Charlotte thinking of you. Sorry about your sister
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime4 days ago
     
    Went to doctor today to find out about my right hand going numb. When I talked to the physical therapist he thought it was probably in my neck - showed up due to what is going on with my left side. Doctor thinks it is since the last 3 vertebra have very little space left. He has ordered an MRI and nerve conduction study to see more of what is going on. So much fun growing old!!!

    Yesterday it rained all day. I had to keep checking to see which side of the mountains I was on !!! (the west side rains all the time, we are suppose to have sunshine). At least it wasn't freezing rain or snow. Susan posted a picture of all the snow she has - she can keep and enjoy it although it was a beautiful sight.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    Bummer of a day. Been waiting for the bus, finally dawned on me it is a federal holiday and they are closed. :-(

    So much for my free time!
    • CommentAuthormyrtle
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    I know how you feel, Charlotte. I had the same experience years ago and then realized it was Good Friday. (The day care facility was run by a Catholic hospital.)
  7.  
    Yeah, I went out to the mailbox, like...well, duh. Federal holiday--no mail delivery. Spent a lot of time outside with Bandit, though--it isn't too warm, but it's warm enough to where a lot of the snow has melted off, and we have been trekking around enjoying walking on grass instead of snow, and enjoying clear and sunny weather instead of the dreaded "wintry mix." I have not posted about my stepdad, who just turned 92 in the hospital where he was taken after suffering stroke symptoms. He was on a vent in the ICU, and they took him off it and made a Hospice referral--whereupon he rallied, and is hanging in there breathing on his own but still pretty much unresponsive. I feel bad, but he was living in his own home with some services in place until last week...enjoying his two pet birds...seeing a lot of the family and good neighbors who are friends. I think a lot about how much better the "golden" years are if you aren't demented. I don't think old age is for sissies no matter what, but what a difference for the better if you are in your right mind. Well, I guess anybody who visits this forum knows that. Sigh.
    • CommentAuthorOnewife
    • CommentTime20 hours ago
     
    Yikes I went to the mailbox, at least no bills where waiting inside. Our day center was open today. I did go the Monday after Christmas, I drove , parked my car, only to find the door locked. Mistakes like this me Very nervous. I'm afraid that I will get some type of dementia. Wonder if Dh told the director because every holiday closing she makes a point to remind me. Oh well
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTime19 hours ago
     
    Maybe the director just knows that caregivers are under a huge amount of stress and so tend to make more mistakes.

    Anyway, it's family day up here in Canada, eh, and so when I was putting away the socks and unmentionables into the bureau where her framed picture is standing, I took a moment out to celebrate family.

    "Your family stunk." I told her, "They're ugly too."

    I love these days we set aside to celebrate our close ties to family. I think I last saw them run away screaming when they found out their younger sister had Alzheimer's. I can't really remember back that far. Or maybe I'm just being kind. After all, it's family day eh?