Thursday, September 23, 2010

Insurance (again)

Doris has called to my attention that you must be direct military to get better rates from USAA. Sorry for my error, all. DH had USAA for forty years and only recently called them to get rates and learned he was still a member (he had forgotten all about them). We lucked out and got some great rates. Oh well, I tried helping. (Story of my life).

No thoughts forthcoming on removing the ink? Thanks. Lavinia

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Car Insurance

If your husband (or you) were in/are in the military, consider becoming a member of USAA, the insurance rates are much less than everywhere else. They also have car loans, house loans, etc. They used to be only for officers, but this year they opened it up to regular enlisted. Just a thought.

I hope you ladies and families have gotten thru all the earthquakes, fires, storms and other events unscathed. This is a little late, but I don't watch the news any more hardly, just plain tired of politics.

DH has a screw loose (LOL) literally in his ankle, so surgery coming up to remove it. They will leave the other plate and 8 screws in since they seem to be okay.

My grandson joined the Army and just loves it. I got a letter today 8^). His platoon will be shipped to Iraq as soon as they finish basic. He's not supposed to go with them as he is scheduled to go to Airborne school. He said he didn't join the Navy because he couldn't swim. I said I guess you are going to sprout wings when you jump out of the plane? I tried to find my picture of me in the Air Force Reserve to send him, but to no avail. Memory is terrible and I don't know if I threw it away but didn't think so. Oh well.

Almost forgot, a wayward child in church Sunday had me in tears by the end of the service (most of which I didn't get to pay attention to). Added to that I discovered the red ball point pen she was using on everything got on my new top. Anyone have any ideas (cheap hair spray comes to mind, I dont think it will fade the top??)

Hugs and blessings to all. Lavinia/TN

Oh, my aching back

OK, I've got to see the chiro. Dr. this afternoon. Too much time in front of the sewing machine.
The college student that was supposed to come over this AM overslept (Duh) and we didn't connect by phone until about 10:00 AM.. By that time the sinuses, neck and back were in kinks, so just forgot about sewing for today.
I did get some skirts cut out yesterday, did cut out the lining fabric just now. If she shows tomorrow at 2:PM I'll have it all set for her to zip up the side seams of some little skirts. If she doesn't show, I'll do it myself.
Even though the play director wanted these all done by last Thurs., others have said--we are volunteers, and get it done on my own time schedule. I'll do my level best without any more stress to the sinuses and back, etc. Don't know if it is a low-pressure front, the fuzz from the fabric, the position of sitting, or all of the above.
Going to spend 30 min. with my warmy things on the face and neck before driving over to the chiro.
Thankfully I now have a new car insurance co. as Allstate cancelled us without our knowing it. DH set up the payment on the computer for auto pay, and it didn't go in in time. I was driving about with no insurance for 3 weeks. So glad there were no accidents in that time.
We are now with a local agent, and have Travelers. State Farm, who we had a year ago, is pulling out of Fla. with homeowners ins, so we got someone else, then changed the car also. They said we could stay with them for the car, but the rates had gone up a lot.
Think all is OK on that front.
Sara in Fla. who feels like a pretzel

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm outta here !

Off to Auckland tomorrow to stay with the family. DGD is off to some cycle races with her parents and we will look after the boys. It will be lovely to see them all again. We haven't been up there since May.

Sara, what a busy time you are having with the costumes. Be sure to post a photo or two, when they are finished.

Kathi, sounds as if you've had a fun few days. Quilters are such good company aren't they ?

No wonder we haven't heard much from Jane lately ! Those two black and white (and very lucky ) dogs, look as if they would tire anybody !

and Fran... I didn't realize that your surgery was scheduled for this month. I hope the recovery is going well . If I had your phone number I would give you a call... You've surprised and delighted me twice, by phoning here. If you email me your number, I'll phone when we return from Auckland.

Hope it's warmer in Auckland. I remember going up this time last year and packing summer clothes... Today I've been packing the winter woollies, there's a cold wind here and it's hard to believe that it may be warmer up there...

Take care,

Home again

I just returned Sunday night from a four day visit with Jolene in MN. What a good time! What started out as a small get together grew to fill the boundaries left by the Schell's Brewery 150th anniversary celebration. In addition to that, the local college was having a homecoming celebration. Good thing the majority of those occupying every hotel room in a 45 mile radius weren't all quilters. There would never have been room for us in the local quilt shops! We ended up with almost 20 of us by the time all was said and done. Most were from the midwest and drove in.

We ate and drank the local nectar until we were rolling rather than walking, and we also left a considerable amount of green behind in the local economy.

It was decided there should be another retreat in a couple of years. Put your thinking hats on and come up with some ideas. The gals from Iowa are thinking that would be a good place. North Pole Sue would like to plan for a retreat up there some day.


Monday, September 20, 2010

this & that and dogs

Our last sweetheart was Princess, part border collie, and very smart.
She lived (we estimate) about 16 years. She adapted well to our home in West Palm Beach after our daughter picked her out at a rescue place. She was the only one to come up to the door or the cage and look longingly at her.
As of last night our two dogs, Pumpkin and Polly are back spending the night in the laundry room. We have a doggie condo set up. One kennel -the wire one- on the floor, and another on top of that. It is a canvas travel kennel I borrowed from a GF. They seemed OK at 6:15 AM this morning when I went to let them out. They were both happy to run out in the backyard.
This condo situation was set up because of their both jumping onto and off of the bed the night before, about 3 times each. The jingle jingle of the dog tags, plus the tap-tap-tap of their toenails on the floor doesn't sit well at 3:00 AM.
At 5:30 that morning I let them out, and then we slept in to 7:00 AM. Sleep is a necessary component to well being and good mental health in my book.
I think the wire kennel is big enough for their 2 little bodies, but DH doesn't, so will see how long this condo situation goes.
Other than that I'm making green costumes, and on, and on. So far have 1 finished, 6 cut out, and 2 half put together. I'm going to try to finish those 2 today for the practice tonight.
Mastery of elastic will come in another day or so I think.
OK, break time is over. I'm going to stretch for 5 min. before going back to sit in front of the sewing machine.
Sara in Fla. where is is below 90 today.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Goodness, Jane

How lucky can you kisses first thing in the morning. Heavens, don't discourage Rocky.


Following is a review of Kit’s mental health and thereafter, a review of mine.

Kit has continued to be a dear member of this household. She has recovered her confidence enough to become very vocal unfortunately. She barks her great alarm when someone approaches the house while she hides in my bedroom with her tail firmly attached to her belly. However, with the use of frequent therapy consisting of walks to neighbors’ homes which are, by the way, out of site of mine, and the use of herbal pet calming remedies the latest of which comes from Drs. Foster & Smith on line, she has ventured onto two porches as I chatted with the occupant. Last week she actually very cautiously entered the homes of the same two neighbors. One of those couples have been very willing caretakers of Shadow when I had to be in a hospital or out of town. They have four Boykin Spaniels one of which seems to have a neurological anomaly. He growls when approaching for a smooch and even louder when he is petted. All the while his vestigial tale (I abhor the removal of healthy parts on dogs for no good reason) is wiggling at a very high frequency. He really intimidates Kit and ended up shut in a bathroom the short time we were in the house. She wouldn’t let her hosts touch her nor would she take a treat from either but this is still a major breakthrough since she originally ran at least 30 yards from anyone in the neighborhood. At the other house she allowed the lady of the house to pet her. That was only because she, Kit, was wedged between the sofa where I sat with the neighbor and the coffee table trying to save herself from the monster eating Pomeranian of that household. He’s actually very playful but like a lot of toy breeds barks incessantly and knows no fear.

Back to her vocalizing: it has become far too frequent as she seems to be using it to get what she wants from me. Most often it is a matter of “Come to the door and play fetch with me.” It is most annoying. I would even consider a bark collar but I don’t want to discourage a true warning bark as I am quite alone up here on my hill and once asleep without hearing aids I don’t hear much of anything. I have yet to hear the coyotes in the area and sadly miss the tree frogs, spring peepers and other wonderful night noises of the forest once the hearing aids are removed.

Now for my own recent psychotic break. The first dog food I bought for Kit gave her diarrhea so I switched to another. September 4 I loaded up the better part of 40 pounds of the stuff and hauled it off to the weekly humane society adoption display in a Sylva town park. After hauling the load out of the car of course I had to walk around to various temporary pens and visit all the doggies looking for homes. This organization fosters, neuters, and has them all checked and inoculated by a local vet practice with which they have a contract. There were about ten dogs (they do cats too but that’s not my preference) there and all but one were barking and carrying on, two in adjoining pens were trying to have a bit of a rumble with each other. I approached the little guy who was utterly serene with tail wagging in the midst of the chaos. He is of unknown origin but, like Kit is mostly black with white markings and black freckles on his white snout. Actually Kit is almost half and half. At my approach he jumped up and invited me to pet him. Well, you can guess what happened. The lady who fostered him had the paper work on the vet work, his rabies shot tag and hustled me off because she was crying. She’d only had him for a week and was totally in love. The only reason she didn’t keep him is because she knew that she would now be able to rescue another pooch from the shelter’s death row which is where they end up when all available space is taken. She had named him Sunshine because of his sunny temperament. He hopped into my car without hesitation and all the way home I had to keep pushing him out of my lap as I drove. I decided right away that after having been deprived of his “manhood” he at least deserved a macho name so he is now Rocky. He weighs 28 pounds and has a short but course coat and erect ears. The vet that did the neutering estimated his age at about a year. My regular vet agrees but just barely. Once acclimated to his new home (about 48 hours at most) he’d mastered the dog door, never leaves the premises and loves hikes in the woods with Kit and me. He ranges wider than she does which alarmed me initially but he always comes back after a bit. He doesn’t look as though he has any hunter in him but he loves to run hither and yon in the woods with his nose to the ground. The age estimate concerned me just a little at first but now that he’s totally comfortable I have to patrol the yard and driveway for my belongings like socks and shoes including the $125 hiking boots. I think he does it just to get my attention. I’ve heard a bark or two no more than three times in the two weeks he’s been here. It’s taking a while to convince him that I don’t like muddy foot prints on my sheets when he decides it’s time for me to get up in the morning. I hear the galloping footsteps once he’s in my room and then he’s in my face licking and nuzzling. I guess I’ll just have to shut him out of the room. At least he’s stopped getting up there once I get up and feed them. Kit just barks in the morning. Maybe I’ll have a room built for the two of them with sound proofing. The first vet that saw Rocky described him as a border collie cross which I thought absurd. If he weren’t so quiet I would say more like a terrier. However, the other day I happened to see a picture of a border collie and, sure enough, it looked like Rocky with hair so who knows. That might account for his smarts which are considerable.

Not much other news as the two of them have been taking so much of my time lately. The orthopedic situation has worsened considerably because of the hammer toes with which I was probably born. Walking downhill has become extremely painful and since I’m allergic to all anti inflammatory drugs, both prescribed and over the counter I’m stuck with acetaminophen and aspirin which are most effective in combination. I don’t like taking too much of either so I am now scheduled for surgery for that on 11/18. I’ll be on a walker with only partial weight bearing for at least a month and won’t be able to drive. Don’t know what I’ll do about the canine exercise needs during that period. My dog loving neighbors are very vigorous hikers so I’ve got to get Kit willing to go off with them. Shadow went with them till she got too feeble to keep up.

Jane, Kit & Rocky

life goes on... the rest of the world, Marion. If there's news of you still having aftershocks over there it's hidden somewhere in the back pages of the newspapers. Thanks for keeping us up to date with it all. We did, however, know that your storm was coming. Apparently it was the size of Australia!!? So lucky for Christchurch that it was mainly on the other side of the island? I wonder how Bee faired in Auckland.......I had an email from her yesterday but she didn't mention it, which is probably a good sign. She's having loads of trouble with her internet and can only get on intermittently if at all, apparently.

I've been using up sick days again. Have taken 2 weeks' sick leave and 2 weeks' school holidays to recover from a gallbladder operation last Monday. Only one gallstone but the size of a big olive and BLACK. [More than anyone wants to know? LOL Sorry ;-) ] Back home in my own bed (well, the spare one, actually, as my tossing and turning in order to get comfortable the first night home kept hubby awake all night, poor dear.)

The drought has broken in many parts of the country and particularly our state. We've had 2 months of above average rainfall; the reservoirs are almost full and usually dry rivers are running again - something which hasn't happened for quite a few years. So even though it's Spring and we're looking forward to the warmth, no-one seems to be complaining when we get a few more drops of precious rainfall for the water tanks, etc. The whole week looks to be grey and dreary. A good reason to stay inside.

better not to know ....

I've just been on a web page which records and reports earthquakes.. We had a sharp after-shock early this morning and I wanted to know just how strong it had been. Imagine my surprise when I saw a list headed "The last 30 earthquakes recorded." ............ all had happened since Thursday and all but one around this area.... I had only felt three of them, all over 4 on the scale..

Lovely spring morning here this morning but the rest of NZ had a rough w/end. Thousands without power in the Nth Island following storms and the bottom of the Sth Island under heavy wet snow, which caused the collapse of a new stadium, among other things... "Unsettled spring weather " is how it is explained... !

Venturing into town later today to visit a friend in hospital. It's his Bday too, so I must make the effort. I've made a small posy of spring flowers, that should cheer him up.

DGD in England now has her own laptop. She Skyped us from her dorm on Saturday. It was almost a good as having her here. We heard all about her dorm mates and her new school. She seemed happy and excited, I really appreciate the marvel of modern communication. When I first came to NZ (in 1963) it was difficult even to make a phone call. It had to be booked in, in advance, and there was so much echo on the line that it was hard to have a conversation. Fortunately , my mother was a great letter writer and we exchanged weekly letters until she died in the mid eighties..

Where is everybody ? Busy, busy I suppose ?

Have a good week.