|A picture meant to show my dissatisfaction with my first real in person haircut, that also shows the mottled and bruises on the arms and elbows over a week later.|
Monday, May 3, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Today's scheduled post (yesterday's post actually) was meant to be a retirement apartment update. I figured it was time to share some of the best retirement aspects, especially safety and community wise of the place, along with some "tools" I've aquired. And so I will. Sometime very soon!
First, though, a confession: On Saturday, I fell. In my parking lot. The fault was entirely mine. I cannot blame it on dizziness or lack of co-ordination although leg weakness surely contributed as well. Mainly though, there was a complete lack of paying attention.
In spite of my FEAR of falling, I rarely fall. I think I've had two major falls while blogging (and since I also have a multiply injured ankle, a couple twists and turns that I didn't even remember at the time that have left me holding the walls for a few days) Many readers may remember the last time I fell on uneven broken payment. A fall that directly lead to the refurbishment of said walk in front of my local Bad Daddy's. Folks that have been around longer may remember my falling down my front steps in the icy snow and landing and a bush, and putting in new railing immediately afterward.
While I may be able to blame at least part of fall one on weather and lack of railing, and fall two on a piece of pavement that was separated by two inches with no markings, this time there is absolutely no one to blame. Just me. There is a curb where I park, and my normal method is to hold onto my car with one hand and use my cane with the other to take the small step down and avoid the trek to the ramp. It has worked well since October.
Saturday as I stepped down, I was looking elsewhere-at one of the trucks unpacking for people who moved in. I immediately and completely lost my balance and headed downwards. Fortunately I do actually know HOW to fall, so I let my self keep falling rather than stopping said fall, and slapped my hand on the other car (a small price to pay if I scratched it) and turned my body so that I landed on my more than voluptuous rear. Hard. Darned hard. With bruises on my arms but no head injury.
Unfortunately, although I fall well (lol) I literally cannot get up these days. For years I used to do the so call "twist" method of turning the body and extended one hand over the other and then coming up on one knee and using hands and furniture to rise. It works well, and as someone who has had had degenerative disease for years, I know it well. But I can't do that anymore. And I was between the two cars and a column and a curb, so even if I had been able to do such a move or get up on my kees, there was nothing. Almost everyone was out shopping and doing errands except for a couple gals, and my daughter and son in law were a half an hour away.
At the advice of the growing crowd-most of whom were my age and younger mind you-a call to 911 was made. I literally told them "I've fallen and I can't get up". After hysterical laughter from both myself and the operator, a small truck was sent, and thirty seconds later I was upright and ready to get into my car and get fabric and Panera for dinner. No slouch am I!
It does seem that the 911 knows this place well. I wasn't really suprised. I mean I and many of my day to day visiting and chatting with type pals are late fifties to seventy or so range. We have fairly decent to good health and mobility. But there are also folks here with health issues as well as up to age 102. On any given day you can see how many of the residents have some kind of home assistance, even if it's just housekeeping and cooking. After the storm, the elevators were down for well over a week while a part arrived from Sweden (don't ask, I didn't). So there were three strong hunky type guys in uniform the age of my son in law regularly helping the non stair walking types up and down to go to regular medical appointments and take care of other needs.
Remember I once said I was considering the second floor? Aren't we all glad I didn't follow up on that one? Honestly I can only assume that people who make that decision do so for some kind of privacy or security issue. But I slept on the first floor in my house, this is a gated community with patrols and it's very well lit. For me it was a no brainer, and more so after the Hell Freezing Over Experience.
While I talk about falling a bunch and have a healthy fear of falling I don't fall very often. Not that three falls in twelve years is a GOOD thing, just that with a leg that always hurts and gives out at will and very occasional balance issues, it could be so much worse. Especially while I was living in a house with stair entrances on all sides. But I've taken advantage of a balance issues class, and this is one area where I am completely unashamed to take advantage of every resource, considering myself young or not.
I have a nightlight in my bathroom and I leave the bathroom open at night and bedroom door open so I have a straight line of sight (because who of us doesn't get up at four am or there abouts at least once in awhile). I have a cane and I take it with me, knowing I can leave it in the car. I especially take it with me to concerts and sporting events and on public transportation and trains because people just automatically give you space, you know? I have a rolling walker. One that was given for me purely for the purpose of using the seat in standing room only jazz and blues venues which I have done more times than I can count. I now keep it next to my bed in case I feel the need to hang onto something when I get up. I an unashamed to ask people who invite me over if they have stairs, and if they say yes, I again am comfortable asking them to assist me up said stairs.
If could only just pay attention where I am going, we would be peachy. Or at least better of than I am now. Because I hurt. Specifically my butt bone hurts like hell (sorry, there is no other way to say it), my arms and shoulders are sore as hell and my elbow has a scab. But I didn't hit my head (automatic Doctor's trip for me without question) and my hips are intact, and tomorrow is another day.
Friday, April 23, 2021
|Improvised quilting is a messy process|
Tis a gray, gray day today. So gray that I have both the overhead and the standing lamp in the corner. It's just gray right now but starting sometime around two we are expecting thunder and lightening and hail. My car is under cover although I may re-align it a bit, and I have moved my plants back from the railing for protection. We're back up to the norm as of tomorrow morning, but today is definitely not a day for a drive, so tomorrow I may go exploring even though it's the weekend. And Sunday I may sun worship just a bit.
One of my major spending areas when it comes to the grocery thing is fast food breakfast stuff-things that I can pull out of the freezer, bakery muffins and so on. The other one is baked good snack stuff. The former is primarily because I am a "must eat as soon as I get up" person, but also an " I can barely see straight for the first hour more" type, contradiction as this may seem. I was having an issue with produce, but by buying less more often and having some canned and frozen as backup I've mainly solved that one.
Today I am cooking, because while 65 and humid is not cold, it's cool enough that keeping the oven on is not a problem. Earlier I made poached type eggs in a muffin tin, eating two and putting the other four in the fridge after cooling. In theory I suppose they're like hard cooked by the yolks are softer and I'm hopping that a mild zapping of a few seconds won't make them rubbery (I'll add butter). This afternoon I'm going to try scrambled eggs with cheese and sausage in muffin tins for the same experiment. So long Jimmy Dean (I hope). After that is a frosted sheet cake to be divided into (tiny) squares and frozen. I dont have a mini muffin pan so if I want something with the eggs it will either be a loaf again divided into tiny servings or mini muffins from the store. Working on it, working on it.
|The yolks still ran a little so I was happy. Will they do that when cold? Probably not.|
In the creative areas of my life, I am trying to find small ways to be more mindful. Quilting and knitting especially are expensive hobbies. Quilt cotton alone costs about thirteen dollars for just a yard. Acrylic yarn uses all kinds of chemicals to make and while both cotton fabric and yarn are natural, cotton is not the most sustainable thing to grow (excessive water usage.) Let's just say I don't have a embraces living things or that uses reclaimed wood, rocks or nature. Maybe I should add one.
Up till now the my frugal measures have been mainly about making (and getting ready to sell) pretty usable things, selling what I make, and using every little bit. Now, I'm exploring taking it to another level and using old and used clothing and recycled fabric and yarn, and some new kinds of quilting that embrace that along with the traditional things I'm doing. And also working mainly with bamboo and wool yarn.
Since yesterday was also a gray day and I read and sewed while sitting for too long, I decided I needed a quick trip out. I dropped in at a brand new craft thrift shop that just opened in our town. I did NOT end up getting yarn, thread or fabric, after all that discussion. I just figure sorting through it all required a chair and more time than I had. But I DID get a picture frame, dowels, a good easel, wreath forms and ribbons and other materials to make bowl and vase fillers both to put in the apartment and to put on my slowly developing Facebook page.
I also dropped in at the nearby independently owed used book store, and came out with two books. Spending on books, not really frugal. Giving old books a new home, a good thing. I haven't paid for books in a very long time and am mainly a digital book gal these days. But I'm trying no screen or internet in bed and since I read on a Fire rather than a Paper White and the net is so tempting I'm moving to paper for some reading as well as whatever book I use for my night time meditations. Not sure which to start. The one that can't been fully seen is Earth Abides. A deadly disease end of the world book written in the forties, with a unique perspective on the "after" .
I'm very slowly stepping out more. I actually have things on my calendar in May. A daytime quilt group meeting, a sit on the patio and drink and draw or craft group I just joined. Other things here and there and in person church at least once a month. Plus, I really haven't done anything or much of anything with my clothes for over a year. So I went ahead and ordered what I guess the those int he know would would consider an ensemble. I just wanted things to match because this is a new color combo for my closet. The yellow is more gold than it looked online, but I can work with it. I am really loving the pinks.
|Spring colors make me happy!|
I'm trying to decide whether to hit a German Fest this weekend or Lavender fields. Or accept that the crowds will be unbearable and just head out to a far away park or field.....
Sunday, April 18, 2021
It's Sunday. Unless I am spending time with family or have a special commitment, that means church and breakfast in the morning, quiet and personal time in the afternoon and that dinner is leftovers or ordered in so the labor is as little as possible. Even in retirement.
I should be sitting on the patio, knitting meditatively, journaling or doing something similar-which I often do, but not always. Today, however, I just watched a You Tube video on patriotic decor "dupes" or how to copy Pottery Barn and such for a tenth of the money. That was followed by a video on organizing with things from the dollar store.
Yes, I may have a (moderate) You Tube addiction.
In fairness, You Tube is fun. It's rarely perfect, often real and can be instructive. Where as on some level both Instagram and Pinterest are more about the pretty and perfect pictures than the how to get to the pretty and perfect pictures (and I say that as someone who is on both). The gal I watched to the patriotic decor instruction worked on her dining table, had to move a chair to set up her ironing board, and functioned as most of us do.
All of which sounds great,yes? Except for the fact that I am subscribed to SO many channels. So many that I stopped counting as we were moving well past one hundred.
Exercise channels because I work out for an hour besides my walking (strength, stretch, Pilates, yoga). German language and TV show channels so that I can practice my language. Multiple music and virtual tour channels. Sounds great so far, yes?
And then, we have all the Dollar Tree deocr, haul and organizational channels. Two women who review subscription boxes on a daily or semi daily schedule (these are a weakness of mine and I manage to avoid pulling the trigger 90 percent of the time, but I can look). Clothing haul videos from Walmart to Nordstrom (again, I can live vicariously, yes?). An organizing channel. Multiple craft channels that cover everything from card making to painting to furniture refinishing (which I will probably never do-if I can't paint over it, it's gone).
Knitting and crochet and macrame channels. Quilting and sewing channels. Including the Knitting Bartender, the Quilting Cowboy and the Quilting Marine. Money saving and frugal videos. Easy cooking for dummies videos (sheet pan and casseroles and slow cookers). I've been sucked into at least one life over sixty channel, may the good Lord help me. And during this time of Covid-19, let's not forget the road tripping channels as well as those that stream shows, operas and the like.
He made that sweater himself, and probably in two days.
I'm somehow sure I missed a bunch.
None of these are harmful in their own right. And I'm not watching Grey's Anatomy excerpts or stories on the real lives of the monarchy or Prince Harry, or political crap, or porn or prank or challenge videos or following the most recent influencers (not that there's anything wrong with any of that).
And it's also not like it's taking up all my precious retirement time. Each morning after my meditations and prayer time, I scroll through (right before my quick news check and blog check) and save the videos I might like to my library and that's it. And then I either cast them to the TV to watch or to the tablet to follow in my sewing room. When I need to be reminded how to do something or learn how to do something new.
Still, it's a rabbit hole. One of many available online. For every worthwhile video is two or three that are simply vicarious pleaseure. Which I suppose is no worse than watching Line of Duty or reading John Sandford 20th Prey book or whatever.
But it's something to keep track off. Along with the blogging, Pinteresting, and other social media time. And it may be time for a You Tube challenge. I'll have to go searching through those videos.
I've been asking bunches of questions on my local city pages (best day drives, best places to sit outside and drink or eat with a book, most important things to see in Denton. Just me being me). It was suggested that I should start a You Tube channel about everything I see and do as a new person in town and document it in my own fun style.
I don't think so.
Friday, April 16, 2021
Okay fellow bloggers, I don't send email to my subscribers or followers. Is there anything I need to change regarding the feedburner thing?
Today I was perusing that online consignment store known as Poshmark. Because my favorite store is completely closed I figured I would see if I could find some like new or close to new tops from Christopher and Banks (preferrably from the same seller to save on shipping), along with jewelry.
I also looked at some home stuff because round here thrift stores which are many and good are very crowded and I have not yet quite been willing to step into the proverbial abyss. Fear not, all clothes get washed, and all jewelry cleaned with alcohol before use. I haven't quite pulled the trigger yet, but I have put together a couple of bundles, with the shirts being in the nine dollar range. I just need to make that last step.
I got fabric, but am glad I did the five dollar Joanne special for my first fabric foray of stuff to bring home. I love the orange and think I'll actually move more towards those kinds of prints or batiks for the other colors, and the yellow and green will work for now. I also love the sunflowers although they are a bit darker (I definitely don't want dark or jewel tones and I am not a neutrals person. I want light and airy. If I though my heavy furniture could support it, I'd be that beach vibe decorator). But I realized I do have a fair amount of turquoise decor after living in a home with that color of walls, walls and need to incorporate such-like my candles. So since I have quite a bit of this butterfly fabric (or I can get more of it) I'm moving to that as the main print. The green is hard to find in the print, but I can adjust the colors to match, and vary them as I need to. Tis from rom the same fabric collection as the sunflower.
On a side note, I've decided to offer up some of the things I make for sale. I'm about to make as set of patriotic decor for me (bowl fillers, wreath and banner, wall art) and post it online with the note that I can customize or change. If it sells I'll let it go, if not it will be my decor. We'll see how that goes.
A large majority of the people I have "met" (mostly online at this point) since I moved are younger and not retired. I'm sure there are more retirees to meet as I go to the daytime exercise classes, and quilting group and the retiree high tea with my church, but I have not yet them yet in person. I know there are younger more mobile types living in this vast community but with everything shut, the chance to meet other than the occasional wave while walking has been limited to date (and I am not just looking to meet people my age). I am ready to open up and meet others. Not that I am minding the multi-generational group/vibe so far. That's very much my thing as well. I turned down an invite to an opening event for a candidate to our city council today and tomorrow I am doing art on the patio (well distanced) with a bunch oft twenty and thirty and forty somethings who draw. I joked that I'll be the gray haired one knitting.
Next week my second day trip among the Texans is to lavender fields or bluebonnets. Decision not made yet.
Son finally got a vaccine. On Sunday he got the J and J, and then of course all the hooplah. He had almost no side effects and is keeping track of himself so I am not inordinately worried.
You'll love this one. The apartment complex has opened up it's age guidelines a bit, and there is now a fifty-ish fellow who owns his own tiling business living above me. I mentioned something to my daughter I about the very nice "younger guy". She just stared at me. I was thinking I was happy to have more active people around (my particular building seems to be mainly inactive people who need some help as opposed to some of the other buildings, not sure why), and when I man active I mean Barbara's level, lol. She is forty and I guess still thinks as fifty five as older. Just wait!
Oh, I also see that they've now allowed some younger people in, as they had long term empty apartments. So we have a young couple with a child and a dog who are lovely down the wayside.
Monday, April 12, 2021
My days do not have a great deal of routine (at least compared to many retirees I know). I don't know if I get more or less done on any given day in retirement than anyone else. I do know that I don't feel the need to be "doing" or "productive" throughout my my retirement days or weeks. When I look at all the things some folks list as having done every day in various forums, and blogs and facebooks, I wonder at the energy.
I've had a little bit more structure during the last year of cabin fever, but still much less than many. And I am slowly letting go of most of that as we tip our toes back into the new normal, whatever that means. I have enough things to keep me amused and challenged when I need them and I have no problem sitting out on the patio for an hour or on any given day. Which was what happened this morning.
I do have some small morning and evening routines that kind of sort of keep me in check, and in Texas I am heading full tilt into the hot weather morning routine. So I I'm happy to say that I walked forty minutes this morning, had my prayer and meditation time, ate breakfast and picked up, got dressed and still managed to sit out on the patio for well over an hour doing nothing but listening to the chirping birds chatting with others and looking at bathing suits on Amazon (you can hate them, but you also still gotta love them much of the time). All before some time a little after eleven.
Yesterday my daughter the plant lover stopped by with three big pots of flowers, and three small "railing" type pots in which I think I will probably grow herbs (or scucclents). Now I just need to keep said flowers amongst the living, and perhaps we can add some more. We also moved the artificial trees that she got when she moved me in and I'll put decorative plant stakes in pots. It was almost impossible to find ceramic pots both tall enough and wide enough to hold them this weekend so for now we're going with the rocks as weight and if I absolutely have to I'll tie to the railing maybe.
The online colors of my striped chair covers were really off compared to the table cloth, as were the other seat covers I tried. They don't match. But they will match the small blue pillows so I think I'll just remove the table cloth. Cleaning pollen off the glass table is no worse than off the cloth. I did forget that I brought my german pottery planters on this trip so they'll go on the table as well. Today I hope to add the large solar string lights to the patio rail.
Still working on the wall decisions and the handmade decor as well as deciding on hanging plants. It's a work in progress. One that will change more than once, knowing me.
|Rough inspiration for using the green and gold and orange|
|Fabric ideas to take with me to the fabric store.|
Meanwhile, I've been trying since I moved in to come up with a single color scheme that I could use all year around by just changing the hues/shades a bit. Because I am spring/summer/fall/winter decor type! And that would go with beige furniture and cream walls because those are all the neutrals I can stand, lord help me. I've finally come up with a general idea and looked at fabric and picked patterns. Now to go to Joanne's and see if I can find the similar colors and prints for half the price. Maybe even with a coupon. Because as many times as I change out pillow covers and table runners and throws, we need to go for the best quality at the lowest price around here. Even switching out, they will be much cheaper done by me than most of the stuff I have seen online.
I'm wondering if I can paint some picture frames in similar colors for the table top and shelf picture frames?
Tomorrow my morning routine will be none at all, as I plan to take a drive (weather depending) and/or visit the fabric and craft stores and perhaps get lunch. Take out that is.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Or at least half way there. After getting a prescription from my doctor for handicapped plates, having safety and emission checks on my car and writing a check for registration fees and taxes I now have a Texas license plate. One down. Have the sticker on the car and just waiting for help replacing the plates.
Fortunately my driver's license in Colorado still lasts a good long while. I dunno if it's Texas specific or if it's the new special ID licenses. But they want me to prove every name progression from birth. Which means I need to request a marriage and divorce decree from the 1980 in addition to current documents. I suppose my passport might have sufficed if the dog had not eaten it. But then again, I can't even get an appointment for a new license until late summer....
Yesterday I went and had my first full on pedicure post Covid. Prices have gone up on these, but for me they fall under a health expense since reaching my feet is difficult. I had a half an hour leg massage and it was wonderful, and every one was masked and distances. Another small step. I was seriously thinking about attending a fair in a couple towns over that's about thirty minutes away-If only to see the building full of Monarch Butterfly quilts. But I decided that if I was going to do that, it should have been today, not a Saturday or Sunday. I am actually going to in person church on Sunday and depending on "things" I may go to the local Saturday Community Market tomorrow morning and/or explore the town center and the large used book store. We'll see.
Next week's project is to order stuff and perhaps create something for the patio. As you can see from the photos, my neighbor above has her patio full in bloom. My daughter will be setting up one or maybe two planters for me, but no more since have difficulty keeping plants of any kind alive. I've budgeted somewhere between a hundred an a hundred and fifty dollars for step one, which will include full cushions for the chairs, two heavy pots for the trees so that the wind doesnt knock them over (I also plan to put some plant stakes in them), something for the wall and lights for the railing.
|I need to move the trees to make room fro the wall art. And no, the pillow doesn't match the tablecloth. Back it will go.|
|My patio, empty slate with just patio table and chairs|
|Neighbor above patio. While I dont necessarily wish to attain this, half of this would be nice, lol.|
Step two will be planters when daughter gets to them, a bunting to put across the railing, some other hand made yard art and an outdoor pouff for my feet. I really only want one club chair and they almost all seem to come in sets of two (as do the deep seated outdoor chairs) so I am slowly looking around.
I hurt myself doing some exercise routing in one of my seated programs and I do mean it hurts whenever I move. On the area just underneath my collar bone and just to the left of what I guess is the sternum area. So I am back to gentle stretching and walking outside and inside (even yoga hurts). It's eighty degrees, but eighty degrees and breezy and hazy in Denton is not 80 degrees and clean and sunny and calm a mile closer to the sun in Denver.
Knitting has become part of my wakeup/morning routine (I seem to be going to be earlier and rising earlier but that's a different story). I generally grab my coke, my kindle and my notebook for reading and meditations while I'm having the morning caffeine (or two). As I shared with this picture on Instagram, said routine is also now involving knitting every day. There's actually an online course about knitting as prayer and meditation. Maybe I should be taking that.
I'm actively working on the craft specific blog now, slowly but surely. Once it's published it will have lot's more finishes to share as well as "while I'm working on them photos" and will possibly link to a Facebook sales page. Onward and Forward!
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