Friday, May 22, 2015


Karma's fine.
I finally caught The Crud.
Terrible sore throat.
Stuffed up head and headache.
Croupy cough.
Not sleeping well.
Generally miserable.
We did finish the invitations on Wednesday.
Wasn't sick yet.
I hope I didn't just give them back fresh germs I was incubating.
Anyways, be back when I am feeling better.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Good morning!  Yes, it's still morning...but I am running later today.  Was sick a couple days last week and it threw off my sleep schedule a bit.  Anyways, we did see peeks of blue sky a couple times this last week...but they were brief.  See that bank of clouds on the horizon?  The sky was completely covered over and it was raining 20 minutes later.  (Yes, it is windy up here.)
Can you see the field beyond the garages?  Looks like a good size pond forming, doesn't it?
We went from the drought fire warnings to flood alerts to freeze warnings.  Yes, I saw a few snowflakes yesterday when I was helping bring things up from Leah's car with my little green cart. 
Leah and Ian were here in the afternoon.  All the planning was done for a simple birthday invitation for Ian's first birthday next month.  (I covered the info with a post-it note.)  This was just the sample/template card.  

We will be making them using orange cardstock (you can see on the table) for the base and a light cream cardstock for the information sheet slotted inside.
And for the ladies over at T Stands For of my trusty new red insulated coffee mugs!  Hi, everybody!
While Leah was working on getting the info sheets to print the way we wanted them to...I thought I'd take a video of Ian.  As you can see, Gramma's place is absolutely not kid proof.  It's like letting Ian loose in an art & craft store--LOL!
Tried again.
You may notice that neither video made it to 30 seconds.  Ian is always only about 2 feet away from something interesting he really can't get into--LOL!  This is why I am extra excited about the new apartment!  All this stuff will be in the art & craft "studio" where we can shut the door.  Whoohoo!  Which means McFamily will be more likely to want to stop by for visits...and it will be easier for Gramma to watch him, too.  ;);)
Miss Karma hides away in the bedroom while Ian is here.
To Karma, life without Ian is the way it should be...
...peaceful and calm.
Her life is going to start changing soon.  The purging and packing is going to begin shortly.  As soon as I get the official word...Karma is going to know something is up--LOL!
My Amazon order this month brought tears to my eyes.  I had ordered this to send to my dad.  His latest love had been doing the easy sudoku puzzles.  So, I shall do them myself and think of Dad every time I pick up the book.  :)
I also got The Night The Sirens Blew by Allen W. Taylor.  I didn't know there was a book about the Fridley tornadoes 50 years ago until Pat (my BFF in high school) told me about it.  And she sent me Amazon money so I could order it--OMGosh!  Thanks, Pat!  I haven't started it yet, but you can bet I will read every word.
Plus I ordered a gift for Dagan--LOL!  
Dagan is the official pooper scooper over at McFamily's.  They actually have two of the typical plastic scoopers (one shorter handle and one longer) that bend and are just horrible to use, IMHO--especially with two cats.  Truth be told--after the first visit I was actually carting Karma's scooper back and forth in a plastic bag every time I went over there in April--LOL!  So, I ordered one for Sammy and Annie...well, for Dagan.  ;)  I haven't heard yet how he liked his "present"--ROFL!
There's been so much rain that Dagan and Leah's sump pump quite working and they had about 3/4 inch of water over most of the basement!!  Awk!!  So they have been busy dealing with that the past couple days...and will be dealing with it every night till it is all cleaned up and dry again.  Always something, right?  It's also been too wet for the sprinkler system to be installed so they can finally put grass on their yard.  And the current prediction is probably sunny for a couple days and then right back to rain and more rain.  They always say--go with the flow, right?  Well, there's been a little too much "flow" lately for McFamily--LOL!
My Mom is doing really well.  Has had a smaller boot on her foot for a few days.  Goes to physical therapy five days a week and they say she's doing really great!  We chat every night...which is new because before this we talked maybe 2-3 times a year.  We have not had daily contact since I left home after high school at 17...but now we actually get along--ROFL!  
Love you, Mom!
Oh, and I added a link (hope I did it correctly) to my facebook page on the right side of the blog under my other websites or whatever I called it.  I had no idea there were so many Rita McGregors and that I was so very common--LOL!  Anyways, hopefully you can find me on facebook if you want to be my friend in Faceville.  ;)
  I am still quite lost on there, though.  I realized how much I am only used to blogging and have not otherwise been involved in social media.  I can't figure out those boxes that pop up on occasion and how/where to respond to them.  It took me days to find where to even update the most current posts...and I'm still not sure I have that right, either.  Goodness!  I am just trying to learn how to keep up with posts on there--LOL!  I am sure I'll figure it out eventually.  But don't expect much of me for a while, okay?  :)
Things are going to be super busy for me as soon as I get the official word on the North Sky apartment.  But Sheree already told me to go ahead and mail the Karma form to Dr. Sleckman and we are not expecting any problems with my approval.  Just waiting for it to be "official" before I start packing things.  
But it has truly started to sink in.
The planning and list-making has begun!  :):):) 
I imagine it will be harder for me to keep up online.  I promise to at least blog.  (Could possibly even be more often because I'll have more to tell you?)  Just don't know how much time I will have to get around to visit in Blogland or Faceville.  The next few months are going to be jam-packed for this old hobbly Swede, I tell ya!  But I promise I will do my best to remember to have my camera nearby, to post blogs, and to try to get around when I am can.  And I'll let you know when I get the official word from Sheree. 
 Meanwhile, Leah and Ian plan to be back on Wednesday.  We'll be working on the invitations.  Today--I am working on moving lists...laundry...making soup and bread...and cutting some orange paper.  ;)  And tonight while I watch TV I might struggle with some sudoku (math in any form does not come easily for me so this should be good for the "old dog" brain) and think of Dad.  :)
Life is good.
  "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
Helen Keller  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


I hope the farmers have gotten as much rain as we've had here in town.  Happy to see the water standing in the field across the way...
...and the usual sloppy spring water in the yard.  We needed rain.   
But now moody Mother Nature has decided that we whined about it for so long that she's planning to keep this up for the foreseeable future--LOL!  Oh, and she dropped our summer temps back down into the 30s and 40s.  What can you do?  She's fickle.  But it is supposed to creep back up into the 60s again this week.
With all the recent upheaval, I missed a couple pics I took of Miss Karma when it was sunny.  (I usually post you pics right away.)  But that's okay--because imagine Miss Karma lying in front of a sliding glass door instead. 
Yup!  I am "unofficially" moving the end of July!  Leah and Ian brought me over to turn in all the paperwork and copies yesterday...and sign some more documents.  (They still have that darn cold that won't go away and Ian has now got the cough.)  Anyways, they still need to hear back from my bank, the company where I live now, and they're checking my (non-existent) criminal record so it's not technically "official" yet...but it looks like North Sky will be our new forever home!!  :)
I am thrilled and overwhelmed.  Seems like everything is a dichotomy lately.
McFamily sent me a dozen red roses for Mother's Day. 
They're beautiful... 
...and opening up nicely.  
Extra special this year. 
I swiped the following pictures from my sister's Facebook.  Yes, you heard that right.  I finally relented and joined Facebook again.  I was on briefly years ago but deleted my account (which is not easy, I tell you) because it just took up time and I didn't know hardly anyone who was using it back then.  Now I found out a lot of my family members are on Facebook...including even Dagan and Leah.  So, I am now back on Big Brother Facebook.  You can just look up Rita McGregor, I guess.  ;)  
Anyways, I love this picture of Dad.  
He was seldom ever without his hat.  
We miss you, Dad. 
Mom and Dad. 
And here's my folks in the front and from left to right in the back are Kathy (SIL), Blaine (brother), and Renee (sister). 
My Dad's leaving instantly was even more of a blessing than I knew.  Mom said the day before the accident the doctor wanted him back in the hospital (congestive heart failure, edema, etc) and Dad flat out absolutely refused.  (Told you he hated being in the hospital.)  Mom sure couldn't force him to go.  (It is neigh on impossible to move a stubborn swede once they have their mind made up, ya know.)  So it was truly a blessing in disguise.  Shocking, traumatic disguise...but a blessing nonetheless.
Mom has six (or seven?) broken ribs, a terrible seat belt bruise, and an ankle in a huge heavy boot that goes almost to her knee for her ankle injury.  She's sore as hell...but she's okay and knows how very lucky she is.  She was up and walking a little yesterday.  
Blaine and Renee will be down in Florida till the 17th.  When Mom is doing better the doctors will send her to rehab next.  She has a lot of friends, brother & wife, and caring neighbors down there.  Many are "snow birds" who go north for the summer, but there's a network of people around her. 
 Mom and Dad had already decided to sell their trailer in Minnesota before the car accident.  Blaine, Kathy, and Renee had already started to empty it out and clean it up to get it ready to put on the market.  So they are all dealing with so much.  Myself, I am permanently sidelined...can't travel, can't lift, can't even stand for all that I am pretty useless.  But I am calling Mom every day...and sending lots of positive, healing energy.  :):)  
A heartfelt thanks from all of us to every single person who has been thinking of her.  She has months to go before she is healed. 
 I am also unbelievably grateful that my perfect North Sky apartment arrived out of the blue.  (There were a lot of prayers for me, too--you guys have powers you don't realize!)  Because it is something so positive and happy to focus on and will keep me very, very busy for the next several months.  Life is a paradox.  Blessings abound!  I was grateful to have Mom here this Mother's Day, that's for sure.  ;)
I have been so mentally elsewhere that I forgot to take any pictures for T-Stands For Tuesday, but I will try for next week to have a nice red cup or something else to post.  I mean, I have been so distracted that when I was filling out paperwork for the North Sky apartment instead of writing down that I lived in West Winds (apartments) I wrote down I lived in West Acres (the big shopping mall in town)--ROFL!  :)
Oh, and before I forget--I can't remember who it was who also has fibro and wondered which medication I was trying.  It's nabumetone.  Please remind me if it was you who asked.  Sorry to not remember.  Shame on me.  Sadly, the older I get the more that will happen, I assure you.
BTW--the consensus appears to be that the pretty pink flower was a camellia japonica.  (See--if I write things down then I remember...usually...well, if I can remember to look at the note--LOL!)
Purging has leapt to the top of my priority list.  I don't know if you noticed, but the empty, untouched, new sewing supplies storage containers are still sitting on the table behind the bouquet of roses...and have been since they arrived.  As soon as I am feeling up to more than the normal tasks (like laundry today)...I will have to continue to purge and go through everything I own (or as much as I can manage) before I move.  Good to be busy.
I will also be trying to learn how to navigate Facebook.  Looks different.  ;)
Have a really good week.
 "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched... but are felt in the heart." 
Helen Keller

Saturday, May 09, 2015


The weather has been a roller coaster (have been getting some rain, though) and life has been an emotional roller coaster.
Thursday morning I had my appointment with Dr. Sleckman.  Because of all the recent changes they asked me to come in 50 minutes ahead of time to fill out paperwork.  The rheumatology department has moved and changed floors, too.  
When I got there no one knew why they would have had me come so early because they had no clue what paperwork I was supposed to fill out since I've been coming there for years.
 But everything happens for a reason, I guess.
I always arrive early and had forgotten my cell phone.  I never forget my cell phone.  But I was really tired and sore...hadn't been sleeping well since I got the call from federal housing and had been up since 2:30am.  Apparently I had never checked the phone before I left, either.
Anyways--good news!  Dr. Sleckman will fill out the forms for Karma if I am accepted at North Sky (no pet building and I needed a doctor to say she's a companion animal I need).  He also gave me a new-to-me, non-narcotic pain and anti-inflammation medication to try out.  (I have troubles with meds quite often.)  After I was finished, had new appointments set up and got to the car I realized I had forgotten my phone (because I was going to text Leah to tell her I felt okay enough to drop off the DVD I rented for them to watch).  I was feeling so happy and relieved about Karma that I decided to drive over there even if I didn't give her a heads up.  If I didn't catch her before she went on her errands I had a key and I was too sore to stay long, anyways.
When I got there Leah was still home.  
That's when I found out that my sister had been trying to call me all morning...and so had Dagan and Leah.
My folks had been in a terrible car accident that morning in Florida.  Apparently my dad died instantly.  (Thank goodness!)  He was in the passenger seat and they were T-boned by an SUV on his side.  He was pronounced dead at the scene by the paramedics.
My mom was in the hospital in critical condition.
Leah was wonderful!  She didn't leave on the errands, told me I could stay as long as I wanted, offered to make me food or something to drink--but I had no appetite (even though I hadn't eaten because of the doctor appointment).  I just sat in the recliner...numb.  Dagan called from work and talked to me for quite a while. They are such a blessing!
And Ian is just plain good for the soul. 
He came up and took a nap on Gramma. 
I think little ones and animals pick up on the energy shifting.  When I am there and Mama leaves the room to go upstairs and Daddy isn't home--Ian keeps and eye out until she comes back as he plays or he crawls over to the gate.  But Thursday for the very first time...Leah ran upstairs and Ian crawled over to me and wanted me to pick him up...and he just cuddled with me.  Put his head against my cheek.  
 Ian is good medicine.
I was so numb and drained--was going to try to wait for Dagan to get home but I figured I should get home to check my phone and emails while I had the strength left to drive--left before 3:30, I think.
My brother, Blaine, and sister, Renee, were flying down from Minneapolis right away that afternoon.  Eventually found out that Mom is doing okay!!  Better than expected, actually, with her multiple cracked ribs, bruising, and broken ankle.  I was able to talk to her on the phone in ICU on Friday morning and she's doing well, considering.  Was happy the chaplain had been there to see her a couple times and he was there when I called.  Mom sounded tired and weak, but in decent spirits.
Renee said the nurses loved her already and were surprised she was able to even sit up on Friday with minimal pain medication and all those broken ribs.  Said she must have a high pain tolerance.  (Does run in the family--LOL!)  The specialist doesn't think she needs to have a loose bone chip in her ankle removed, but she has a big heavy boot on her broken ankle.  I guess they don't wrap ribs these days.  Doctors don't think she has any internal injuries, either.  Wow!  Mom is supposed to be moved to a room today!  She doesn't remember anything until she woke up in the ambulance--so that's wonderful! 
The last time I saw my dad was in 2013, because they left early for Florida last year during their summer visit to Minnesota.
He was 94.  Mom is 86.
Honestly, this was a blessing in disguise for my dad.  His health has been deteriorating...congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, legs swollen and weeping fluids...and he was more and more unhappy.  Not his old silly self the last year or two.  He hated being in the hospital (which he was in twice recently) or the nursing home (which he was in after his hip surgery when he was 90) or being stuck in a wheelchair (why he had hip surgery at 90).  So, now I just see him younger, healthy, telling his puns, flirting with waitresses, laughing and being silly.  
Love you, Dad!  :)  
I will miss you.
And Mom...she's another tough old Swede.  Good news there.  I do believe she is going to be fine.  Being alone will be quite a shift for her when she gets back home--but we are strong, optimistic, practical, stubborn folk.  I'll be calling her every day during her recovery. 
Love you, Mom!  :)
That's kind of all I can manage for today.  I am so grateful to my brother and sister for being able to go down to Florida to deal with arrangements and be there for Mom.  Thank you, Blaine and Renee!  :)
Thanks to anyone and everyone who sends prayers, positive thoughts, and healing energy to my mom.  
Life is precious.  
Be generous with your love.  :) 
"We are never more than one grateful thought away from peace of heart."
David Steindl-Rast

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Wednesday-11:30am: North Sky Apt

This is going to be picture heavy!  
Grab a cuppa and a cookie--LOL!  
I didn't get home from McFamily's until about 8pm and am totally spent today.  Therefore, I will have to save the tornado story for another time.  (Boy!  This possible move has just take over the priority list, hasn't it?  LOL!)
The apartment I would get would be the bottom one farthest back from the road in this photo.  It's at the end of the building before that second building that is under construction--which will be the center/main one with the office and lobby, etc.  There will be three buildings total.
Dagan even rearranged his meeting so that he could meet us there and see it, too!  So I asked him to take a video.  
And Leah took pictures!  
I'll just show you a few of those.
Here's the entryway where the mailboxes are.
(We were all waiting for Sherry.)
Ian patiently waited for us to wander about this empty apartment.  Makes you wonder what he must think of the peculiar behavior of adults sometimes--LOL!
Bright enough for facing east on a sunny afternoon.  Very low air conditioner.  We thought maybe so that it would be wheelchair accessible?  The den is right off the living room as you saw in the video.  I am soooo excited about the possibility of having that as my art & craft room!!  
Thinking there might not actually be room for a loveseat.  Might have to go with a nice big recliner and have two recliners.  I'll find out later...if I am so lucky as to move in here.  :)
Much bigger sink area in the bathroom with bigger drawers and more cabinet space.  And washer and dryer are included!!  Whoohoo!!
But what I really loved (besides the art & craft room, of course) was the patio... 

...and grass.  Even if it has drought-brown patches.  Something about looking out on grass for a span like this that makes it feel more homey and cozy for some reason. 
And the kitchen!  Leah snapped a picture of the normal sized drawers!!  (Everything is smaller and narrower here.) 
You know us women... 
...Leah got me all the pictures... 
...of all the cupboards... 
...and all the cabinets... 
...and appliances... 
...for some fantasy kitchen planning.  ;) ;) 
I have very few cupboards and cabinets here.  So few they had to have a pantry, really...or, I should say, I am glad they did.  And the North Sky apartment has that huge storage area across from the kitchen and you could use part of that as a pantry also--wow!  (That was the room Dagan wasn't sure what it was in the video.)
Anyways, we all really liked it.  I felt--yes--this could be my forever home.  Now I just have to fill out tons of paperwork that will be coming in the mail, make copies of various "proofs", and then I have an appointment with Sherry to turn them all in on Monday.
Then I wait for the verdict.
Meanwhile, I need a doctor to fill out new forms for me to be allowed to keep Karma since the other ones are so old.  My rheumatologist is such a nice guy and I know he would probably do that for me, but it can take months to get in to see him.  My GP--well, he has an aversion to filling out any kind of extra forms for anybody and wouldn't fill them out for Karma ten years ago.  He also didn't want to fill out anything to help me get disability, either.  (Is it any wonder I hadn't seen him in nine years until my rheumatologist sent me to him because he put me on blood pressure medication?)  
Anyways, I call the rheumatologist's office right away since I am overdue to see him, regardless.  No openings until August...BUT...lo and behold, there was a cancellation for tomorrow morning.  BUT because it's been over a year I need a new referral from the GP.  (We've got a whole new system going on up here the last year or two.)  So, I am crossing my fingers the GP is in a good mood and faxes the referral...and planning on being there in the morning unless they call and tell me otherwise.  (Which means because of the IBS I won't eat until after I get back home tomorrow--TMI, I know--LOL!)
I am assuming that all doors are opening and everything is just falling into place, right?  :) :)  I mean, why else would there have just been a cancellation at Dr. Sleckman's?  (I cannot move without Miss Karma!!)  I have been overdue to see all medical personnel and planned to this summer/fall, anyways--GP, Sleckman, dentist, eyedoctor.  I do need to see them all...but they all cost I have been procrastinating.  Suddenly...I hope to check one off my list tomorrow, anyways.
Anyways, I hung around at McFamily's yesterday so Leah and I could be all excited and talk about the apartment, of course.  And so I could spend some time with Mr. Ian.  I stayed until Dagan got home so I could hear what he thought, too.  Thumbs up from everybody!  :)
Dagan and Leah bought me things in Japan!  I got to open presents last night!
The big tea bag is to make a whole teapot full of some kind of tea.  The green bag is some kind of instant tea you can make by the spoonful in a cup of hot water.  Dagan and Leah had it served to them in restaurants.  
They went to this calligrapher's shop and got the bigger square stamp you see.  Was made from his personal calligraphy, but we have no idea what it says.  They just bought it because it looked cool--LOL!  The package with the little black tubes are ink refills for that stamp.  (Thank goodness there are pictures of how to refill it!)  The other one that is still in the package is a small calligraphy stamp.
Leah's friend, Yuki, can probably read these and tell us what they say.  Leah took pictures.  When I find out, I'll let you know.
She found another one of these pen cases... the one I love that I bought from JetPens.
She knew I would have really loved to have had the black and red one (they were out of at the time and you never know when something will be in stock again or never again) so that is what Leah was looking for, but couldn't find a red one.  Well, we had discussed, back when, that if I wanted to buy a black and red one when they had them again at JetPens that I could always save the orange and grey one for Ian for when he's older.  Yes!  Good idea!  (And good excuse for me to still get a red one--LOL!)  
Well, she did find another orange and grey one...that I can use as an extra one in the meantime if I want to.  But, since they plan to have another baby, this way both the kids can have identical pen cases down the road when they are older.  I know!  I know!  We are just kind of optimistically sentimentally sappy.  But it makes perfect sense to us and was an awwww-moment.  ;) ;)
The long thin delicate brush is also from the calligrapher's shop.  And the double sided brush pen...well, I already tried it out for writing that thin and thick way that I've seen people do that's kind of spencerian...and it worked!  Bounces right back!  I have wanted to learn how to do that and this brush pen worked great!  (If the brush doesn't have spring to it then it won't bounce back for the thin lines.)  So cool!!    
Those little rubbery bands with the flowers on them are to slip over your fingertip as page grabbers for turning pages or sorting through stacks of papers!  Never seen anything like them!  And the corner clips.  I had already bought some from JetPens and shared with Leah.  They come in a pack of the three colors.  She found these over there, too!
And this is a perfectly formed dried flower blossom that Leah managed to bring all the way back home uncrushed!
When Leah and Ian got their picture taken by this tree in the shogun garden...
...Leah said she saw one of the flowers, still perfectly formed, was lying on the ground and she picked it up.  Not sure what kind it is...but they are really beautiful.  
Does anybody know?  
Leah said she doesn't care if it gets thrown in the blender as an inclusion for handmade paper or what I do with it, but she wanted me to have it.  Sweet!  (And wouldn't that make some special paper!)
And lastly--also from that calligrapher's shop...
...a glass paperweight!  No clue what it says--LOL!  But it looks cool!  Can use that to hold down the rice paper as you do your painting or calligraphy.  Awesome!
Well, that's it!  Whew!  :) :)
If I get the all clear and am okayed to give notice here...things are going to get really, really, really busy for this snail/hermit, I tell you.  I'd have to be out of here by the end of July.  I'll let you know, for sure, as soon as I hear one way or the other!  
Well, here's to things getting crazy, eh?  
Until next time...
"O Great Spirit, I awake to another sun, grateful for gifts bestowed, granted one by one."
Twylah Nitsch
Seneca Medicine Woman