Monday, March 25, 2024

March 25, 2024 Monday--5am

Good morning!

Not a pain-free week, but a good one!  A busy week--until my body made me call it quits over the weekend.  I went over to McFamily's Monday and Tuesday to watch the boys and was busy making food at the end of the week.  

Monday Leah picked me up, I watched Ian, Liam, and the boy nextdoor (who has the trampoline in his backyard).  They brought home dinner from Wendy's--which is a real treat!  (Take out food is no longer a cheap meal, that's for sure.)  Dropped me back at home.

I had noticed the birds here more than usual.

Sure enough--we got a little bit of snow and it was even colder than it has been recently.
But by 2pm it was mostly melted away--even though it was only 22 degrees.
Tuesday Dagan picked me up after he picked up the boys from school.  I got to watch as Liam did his exercises for speech therapy.  Dagan and Leah went off for the school conference.  While watching the boys play Minecraft...well, it came about that I discovered one could build a house and even a farm.  I thought that sounded like a lot more fun than blowing things up--lol!  Ian started building a house for me.  Liam even stopped to watch.  Everything is in blocks (pixels), so it is a funny process and makes kind of funny looking buildings.  We got a lot done but Ian saved what we had gotten done so far so that we can continue to work on it again.  This is something Ian and Gramma will be working on for some time.  I really enjoyed it--and so did the boys.

Dagan and Leah came home, we had dinner, and D&L asked me if I felt I was up to staying longer?  Sure!  They wanted to go to the movie theater to see Dune2.  So, they went off for a date night and we worked on my Minecraft house until 8:15pm.  Then we went over to the kitchen table to work on Liam's speech therapy exercises (which Ian does with him).  They got to watch a couple Bluey cartoon episodes and then off to bed they went a little after 9pm.

I started watching a movie on Netflix called Made In Italy with Liam Neesen and his actual son playing father and son in the movie!  About 10:00...Ian came hesitantly downstairs.  Said he couldn't sleep.  (I think he was thinking about the house on Minecraft--lol!)  I turned off the movie and we sat and talked for about half an hour.  

Now, Ian was tested for dyslexia before Dagan had his surgeries.  Test results had to be rescheduled because of the surgeries--but we are pretty positive Ian has dyslexia.  So we talked about that.  I told him about when his Daddy was diagnosed when he was in third grade--which things were hard for him and what things helped.  Leah was never diagnosed but we're really sure she has a form of it, too.  But she has problems Dagan doesn't and Dagan has problems Leah doesn't.  Everyone is different.  Ian will have to find out how to adjust to what's difficult for him.  

I told Ian how Dagan had to have no distractions in order to do his homework.  It had to be just the two of us--no TV or radio or not even being near a window.  How it took him quite a while to learn how to focus hard to get the work done so that then he could go and do something else that was more fun--lol!  How Dagan had to have me there to help him stay on track with his homework for several years.  Ian knew exactly what I was talking about.  That day we worked on his math homework not so long ago--it was like DeJa'Vu!  Brought me right back to grade school with Dagan--lol!  

Anyways, Ian went back up to bed.  It was such a wonderful talk.  I was just finishing up the movie when I got a text from Leah that they were just getting out of the movie. (Was a long one--like 3 hours--but they said it was good.)  They got home about 11:30pm and I got dropped off home about midnight.

I can't tell you how much it meant to me to be able to watch the boys and especially so that Dagan and Leah got to have a night out!  I haven't even been capable of that for sooo very long!  :) :) :)

Note: Leah and I already talked about Ian's dyslexia and I volunteered to be the one to help him with homework after I move in.  Neither Dagan or Leah have the extended patience to focus on something like that--both having also dyslexia issues in the first place--lol!  But I have had years of practice.  Neither of them would have lasted the over two hours to work on three large number multiplication problems, for example.  I know that if Ian comes down to my apartment--nobody else around--quiet--no TV--nothing...he will get some work done faster.  He was so proud of himself when he finished those math problems!  It's not like they do it on purpose.  Ian will get better at focusing, I'm sure.  Like his dad did.  Takes a lot of patience and focus to help them learn and adapt, I know...from experience. :)  

And they did get the results.  Severe dyslexia.

I think Liam has it, too.  I see things with him trying to learn to read that I noticed in Dagan.  (Liam read me a book for the first time when I was there.)  Coming to a word like "bed" will stop them cold.  PLUS--Liam is also really excited to learn cursive!  Says it is easier to read.  Both he and Ian are practicing cursive.  Liam showed me how he can write "Liam" in cursive already.  Cursive was always easier for Dagan to read, too.  Leah has always had an even harder time than Dagan ever did with reading.  She has to read and re-read to finally figure out what it says.  She never got diagnosed or got any help back when she was in school.  

I am excited to be able to help the boys with schoolwork!  They will both have homework time with Gramma.  Not sure how we will schedule it, but I would like one-on-one time with each of them.  Sometimes we might be able to be there together--all three of us.  We'll have to see how it goes.  It's interesting for me, too.  I learned some of the new math when I was helping Ian--lol!

Wednesday--as you can imagine, I had to take it easy, but I was not as tired or in as much pain as I expected to be--so that's great!

Thursday--I worked on making foods.  Baked some fish and some spam.  Made tuna salad.  I need foods kind of pre-made so they are quick to put together or nuke in the microwave.  Have had to do that for so long now I don't think that is going to change much ever--lol!

Got my first ever text from Ian that night (used Mama's phone).  Asked if he could borrow my iron for a craft project.  Sure. 

Friday I cubed up a roast for the crock pot and made more of my beef...well, whatever.  I keep going back and forth from calling it soup to stew.  It has potatoes, carrots, and crushed tomatoes in it--so it is like a beef stew, but I don't thicken up the broth.  Gets fairly thick regardless, so I think it is closer to a stew.  We'll call it beef stew--lol!  Did laundry.  Leah forgot about picking up the iron after work (now you know why they forget so much) so Dagan popped by that night to pick it up.  I hope I get pictures of the project they are making.

By Saturday I was pretty well shot...and Sunday, too, to be honest.  They'd been talking about a good dumping of snow and 45mph winds coming Sunday through Tuesday.  

BTW--I can't get pictures because it is too dark but I discovered that it's the cottontail rabbits who are coming during the night and they are the ones sitting in my planter boxes. :)

Lots of birds were coming to eat more often.  They're smart.  They knew about the storm coming.  
Woke up Sunday morning to maybe a couple of inches of snow.
Tossed out some seed.
Could see a small flock waiting in the tree. ;)
Allie was right by my side...wondering what I was doing at the patio door.
As soon as I walked away...the sparrows and juncos came down to fill up before the winds really got going.
Allie retreats to the bedroom again every day now.  Her safe place.  Her snoozing spot.
Did I tell you Leah asked for that gatefold table to use in the garage when I move?  It doesn't take up a lot of space but is super sturdy, so she will use it for projects she's repairing or building in the garage.  One's that involve all those tools I know little or nothing about--lol!  Art and paper crafting tools I am very familiar with--lol!  Screw guns and such...nope.  I think it will work great out there for her.  Miss Allie will have to find a new safe sleeping spot when we move.  She will have to, regardless--all new smaller floor plan.  :)

Well, I am actually writing this on Sunday, as I do often lately and then schedule it to post early Monday morning.  The snow is supposed to continue through till Tuesday morning, I believe.  The winds are supposed to pick up.  So, I don't know if the schools will be closed tomorrow or not.  Depends on how much snow and how strong of winds we get.  Dagan is supposed to have his pacemaker appointment up here on Monday.  He might have to cancel and reschedule.

The issue is that the voltage is higher than they want on his pacemaker to get it to work.  They were hoping it might go back down on its own.  But if it remains higher...that means he very likely does need new leads.  So--waiting to find out what is going on with the pacemaker.  Hopefully will know more soon.  Other than that, he is doing well and looking good.  Came in to love up Allie for a while--lol!  He likes to "torture" cats, but he couldn't lift her because he's still on a 10 lb limitation and Allie definitely weighs more than 10 lbs--lol!  Otherwise he would have picked her up and cradled her upside-down and rubbed her belly...because she doesn't even like to be picked up let alone the rest of it.  That's what we mean by him torturing cats--lol!  But cats love him and come back for more.  Makes no sense.  Dagan has always had a way with cats.  He kind of more teases them, I guess--but never pushes it too far.  They know he will let them go in short order.  He's an animal lover like his mom. :) 

Well, it was not expected that I would make it to this birthday.  I just never thought about it much, to be honest.  I do tend to take life one day at a time...and ignore medical predictions--lol!  But it is my birthday on Thursday, I believe.  The 28th.  Whichever day that is.  I'll be 73--whoohoo!  And this will be a year of changes.  Come fall I should be moved and life will be very different.  A new chapter.  Meanwhile--snow is falling.  I have my white winter for a matter how late in the season.  I'm one of the few people smiling up here in Fargo.  Till next Monday...have an interesting week and be well and safe. :)  

Monday, March 18, 2024

March 18, 2024 Monday--5am

Good morning!

First of all--Dagan is home and doing well.  When they had him down there they really checked everything they could.  They've wanted to study him for some time, had their chance, and ran all kinds of tests on him for those three days.  He had a liver ultrasound, heart catherization, x-rays, pacemaker checks, lungs checked out, CT scan...I'm not sure what all else.  He had the two surgeries--the heart cath on Monday and the pacemaker replacement on Tuesday.  They kept him overnight on Tuesday and he got okayed to return home on Wednesday afternoon.  

Leah did both the school runs for the boys on Thursday and Friday so Dagan didn't have to drive and could just rest and recover.  (She usually drops them off and then Dagan picks them up.)  They are all feeling better, Leah said, and Dagan is doing well.

Tonight and Tuesday night Leah is picking me up about 4:30pm so I can stay with the boys while Mama and Daddy go to school conferences for Ian and Liam.  Will be so much more convenient when I am living there, eh? :)  In fact, Leah said she is contacting the drywall people this week.  Nice!  The sooner my place gets done the better.

Meanwhile...I lost my internet completely Monday night.  Tried everything.  Nothing worked.  Gave up and went to bed.  But it was back when I woke up Tuesday morning.  Found out later that it disconnected my cell phone from my internet, too, but didn't reconnect automatically when it came back on.  Now I know to check that if it ever happens again because they were charging me all day.  Luckily we're still on the unlimited family plan--whew!  But Leah has been planning to change that because we don't normally use much extra "away" phone time.  

Funny thing was when I lost only the laptop--as you may recall from my last post--it was over the daylight saving time it never automatically changed my time on the laptop.  But when I lost the internet altogether...when it came back the laptop suddenly had the correct DST time.  Glad!  I thought it was going to be wrong till fall and then be worse wrong come the fall change--lol!  I have no clue how to change the time on my laptop.  But it fixed itself when it was dead the second time--ROFL!  

Anyways, it was an ordinary week for me doing all the usual household stuff...but stressful.  Even though I wasn't there, I was mostly focused on Dagan's surgeries, of course--plus the internet issues--and the usual blogger issues, lol!  Miss Allie was happily watching the birds on the patio.

Didn't look happy with me disturbing her by calling her name for a picture--lol!
It was 65 degrees on Monday.  Sunday we had a teeny bit of snow and it was 22 degrees for a high.  Can you see the little bit of snow gathered by the planters.
The crazy back and forth weather continues.  

Allie has decided she doesn't like sitting in the chair next to me at the table anymore.  Too noisy and bright light, I suppose.  Now she knows the new routine and what I am up to at the table.  (Which she discovered is quite boring.)  She moved to the living room chair for a couple of days...but then ended up right back in her favorite spot... the darkened bedroom where she can really conk out all afternoon in peace.  LOL!

So, I am looking forward to spending some time with the boys.  Get to see Dagan with my own mom-eyes--lol!  Just to see all of them.  Keanna comes to clean already on Tuesday again.  Seems like the two weeks went by so fast!  I've just been glad to have ordinary days...not as totally exhausted and the pain level lower.  Well, I should say more ordinary fibro/arthritis days--lol!  It's heavenly!  Thank you for all the prayers and good wishes.  Till next week, my friends.  Life is good!  :)

Monday, March 11, 2024

March 11, 2024 Monday--11:45am

Woke up to a dead laptop.  Died during the night and so my blog never posted.  I tried all the things to start up the black screen but nothing worked.

Leah texted me to let me know Dagan's liver scan was good and he was waiting to have a heart cath.  There had been some emergency surgery so he is all ready and prepped for the cath...just waiting. 

Leah talked me through checking laptop cords and such--which I had already done.  Then she told me to hold the start button even longer.  (Had held it down like maybe 12-15 seconds and nothing had happened.)  I think it took closer to 30 seconds--but up popped back to life!  Why she shut herself off during the night, I have no clue...but now I can post the blog I had scheduled.  And you know more than you would have.  So far, so good on Dagan's tests today.  Surgery is tomorrow afternoon. :)

Good morning!

I saw the bigger covey of partridges on Monday, so I figured we were in for some cold weather again.

Yup!  Snow on Tuesday.
Since there weren't blizzard winds with it, I took a picture both ways from the patio.
Here you can see the tree where the sparrows and small birds hang out waiting for seed (or just in-between meals--lol!).
I put out some extra seed.  (This was covered in about 15 minutes.)
Allie came over from a nap to watch what I was doing, of course.
The snow that was supposed to last for just a couple of hours lasted several hours...and the world was white again.

Well, briefly.  Very briefly.  

Believe it or not this was the very next day.  Brown again.  Extra seed uncovered.  I didn't have to put any more out for almost two days--lol!
Keanna drove through the snow to clean on Tuesday.  Dagan dropped off a couple grocery items and brought in some bird seed for me.  He was coughing some and sounded winded.  Told him he needed to let his doctors know he'd been sick in case they wanted to postpone...or at least give them a heads up if they didn't want to wait any longer on his pacemaker.  He didn't think he needed to.  Leah talked to him, too.  So he called on Thursday and got the okay to drive down if he was feeling okay.  

On Thursday this really cheap throw I ordered arrived.  On sale for $13 on Amazon.  Since my "bedding" is nothing but neck pillows and throws...thought this lighter throw would be great.  I tossed it on the floor...was going to grab it on my next trip to the laundry room.  I was shocked!  Look who decided to park herself on the throw!
This is the same cat who will not come up and sit with me on my chair when I have a blanket over me.  Any blanket.  Not one of my throws is acceptable to her.  You'd think I had covered myself with an electrified, poisoned, blanket full of tacks.  They lie folded and stacked on the floor in the studio all day and she has never set foot on them.  Ever.  Yet--here she sat!?
Cats do not have to make sense.  I figured this shocking behavior may well pass quickly.  Folded up the throw and set it on the floor where she likes to rest...thinking now she'd surely avoid it like she does the extra cat beds I move around the place--lol!
Couldn't catch a photo of her parked on it, but she has been there a few times.  Almost like she didn't want such embarrassing pictures of her out there on the internet.  She'd skedaddle when I went to get my phone to take a picture--lol!  Guess I may be giving up my new, super cheap throw--lol!  Well, for as long as it still interests her, anyways.  If I wash it and it smells different that may change her entire attitude, though--lol!

Whenever I go down to the front door to check my mail...well, there is still a good-sized Santa sitting outside the door of the guy who lives next-door to me.  It's a cute enough Santa with glasses...but it is March, after all.
Usually when Allie hears me say I am going to check mail she'll drag herself out of bed to make sure I make it home okay.  Miss Allie does have abandonment issues, as you know.
So, our brown winter persists.  
I actually heard Canadian geese overhead on Sunday!  Beginning of March!  Spring doesn't usually really arrive up here till sometime in May.  If I didn't know better I would think it actually was spring up here.  We're supposed to be in the 50s and even low 60s this week.  Bizarre!  

Dagan and Leah drove down to Minneapolis Sunday.  Leah's brother, Aaron, is staying with the boys and will bring them to school, etc.  Dagan has the pre-surgery stuff on Monday, surgery on Tuesday, and post-surgery stuff on Wednesday.  All goes as planned, they will be driving back on Wednesday.

Once a Mommy...always a Mommy.  I will relax when the surgery is done and he's back home.  I wish I could be there in the waiting room with Leah.  I'm sure most of you know what I am talking about.  Thanks for every good wish, prayer, and healing thought.  Till next time...

Oh goodness!  Caught her!  LOL!

Monday, March 04, 2024

March 4, 2024 Monday--5am

 Good morning!

Monday it was 60 degrees and sunny!  Had the patio door open a good part of the day.
Tuesday morning woke up to a blizzard with 35-45 mph winds.
I shot a little video.  What crazy weather!
As soon as I put out some seed a few juncos came out from the bushes behind one of my planters to grab a bit to eat.
In just a few minutes the seed was being buried by the gusty snow, but they knew where to dig with their beaks and feet.
The smaller birds are always glad to see the partridges arrive because they have bigger feet and beaks to dig with--lol!  Notice the bigger flock showed up when the weather got bad.
I noticed when the wind was dying down later in the day the two partridges were sitting up on the planter box where that nest-like indentation is.  Maybe it is those two?
Wednesday was really cold still, but roads, sidewalks, and parking lots were getting plowed and schools were reopened.  

So many of my pictures look like this one--lol!  The small birds are so flighty!  They land and eat a little and then take off to sit in the nearby tree.  
They kind of regroup and come right back...but then all fly away again.  Back and forth in one big bunch of flapping wings.  No wonder Allie (and Annie and Karma) love to sit and watch them.
Once the wind dies down and it warms up a little bit, they calm down and the big flock splits up again.
Allie slept next to me at the table for another day...
...but then she decided that it was too light and noisy in the kitchen so she moved back to her favorite spot to sleep the day away...every day since the blizzard--lol!  And she does really conk out and relax in the darkened bedroom.  
I have done laundry and used the table to fold clothes and towels right there in front of her...and she barely opens an eyeball.  It's her peaceful haven.  I don't spoil it for her by talking to her at all when I'm in there.  

I hope she finds a spot like that somewhere after we move. 

The rest of the week--I worked on coloring the birthday cards.  It looked like this for three days in my kitchen.
I rotated colors for certain parts of the stamps and colored them assembly line fashion... none of the cards have the exact same color pallet.  I finished them all while watching YouTube videos.  (Like the Goulet Pencast you can see on my laptop there...all chat about fountain pens.)
It did warm up by Wednesday, as they predicted.  So--we are right back to brown grass, as you can see.  Almost 50 again today.  Bizarre!
I have been enjoying my peaceful weeks with no pressure to finish purging and packing.  Been baking, cooking, doing laundry, tweaking my rollie carts, puttering, writing letters, and grateful I didn't catch what McFamily (and so many others) have been plagued with this winter.  

I got a few pics from back on February of the times when they thought they were all getting better.  This cold/cough/flu whatever people call it (but not covid) just hangs on and on.  I think since Leah also did get covid on top of this she is taking a long time to heal.  She had bronchitis, too, along with the sinus infection.  Ended up back at the walk-in clinic Friday after work.  Her bronchitis is gone but the sinus infection is still a problem.  Another round of anti-biotics for her.  

Leah has had asthma since she was little.  It hadn't been a problem for years, but the smoke from Canada set it off this past summer...and asthma may have something to do with it taking longer for her to shake this.  But Ian is still coughing some, too.  Liam still has the head congestion but is getting better.  Dagan is doing okay--thank goodness.  They need to all get well!  Dagan has his surgery in one week.

Anyways, the frustrating thing about this cold is that you might feel better for a while and then feel worse cycles.  Plus it can turn into bronchitis or pneumonia or sinus infection.  I keep hearing of people being sick for weeks and months with it...all over the US at least. 

Anyways, as I was saying--these pictures are from when they felt better back in February.
They had been to Kobe's Japanese restaurant.  They have a great Koi pond!
Here's a selfie of Leah, Ian, and Liam in the living room by their picture window...showing our brown winter.
Liam working diligently on making something--can't recall what this is called or what he makes with it (bracelet?)--but you use small rubber bands and weave them together, I believe.  He was very intent on his project.

So, that's about it from here.  Hopefully McFamily will all feel lots better by the end of the week.  They're on the mend and Leah is on another round of anti-biotics.  Me?  I don't have any plans at the moment but to work on letters, do the usual household chores (and grateful that I can do them pretty easily now--whoohoo!), and hopefully do something extra this week.  Not sure what that might be yet.  It is just wonderful not to be feeling every day like I am behind the eight-ball, as they say.  

Have you had crazy weather?  Do you or anyone you know have this crazy cold/cough/flu thing?  (I do know a few of you have.)  Do you have plans for the week?  Till next time... *hugs from Fargo*