Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What's New...how is the world treating you?

Good merry morning!  I am trying to be better about blogging.  I used to blog most every day, but life has gotten busy and I seem to always be rushing.  So it is good to slow down for just a few minutes and write about what is going on in my life.  Every day my dad asks, "What's new?"  And then he sings, "How is the world treating you?"  It must be an old song that he remembers.  I think the next line is, "You haven't changed a bit..." I just looked it up.  It's an old Billie Holiday song. Here's a link if you want to read the whole thing.  http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/billieholiday/whatsnew.html  I like that he is full of memories of old tunes.  It makes him happy I think.  He was one of the lucky ones...able to work at a career that he loved.  He was a high school music teacher.  But he played in a jazz band when I was little.  And his high school jazz band was always pretty special.  One year he took them to a competition in Belgium.  I think that was the highlight of his career.  He still talks about how not many band teachers took their jazz band to Europe!
Today is kind of my day off.  My little sister usually comes over once a week on Wednesday to visit with my dad.   It is good to have a day for doing my own stuff.  Today I guess it will be to find a storm door for our back door.  We just had the wood floor refinished a couple of weeks ago.  But last week we had a windy storm that blew rain under our door and soaked the floor by the door.  I think it will have to be replaced :(  It is warped and uneven now.  But in the mean time we need to put in a better storm block.  It's supposed to rain again tomorrow.  We often get bad winds here.  But the one last week was incredible.  The weather here continues to be unsettled.  But we are getting some sunshine, and mostly it is in the 50's and 60's.
We were supposed to be leaving for Kansas City tomorrow to visit our daughter's family.  But Mel has a new machine arriving at work today.  They weren't expecting it until next week.  It will really be a boon for his business.  They are so busy and this machine will help take some of the pressure off.    It's an Arburg plastic injection molding machine.  It is big!  I think it weighs 16 tons!  He has to arrange to have it unloaded off of the truck and he is probably going to have to find a crane, as the fork lifts he can find aren't rated for that much weight.  Sigh!  There's always something challenging. We will have to reschedule for Kansas City.
Another daughter has started working for Alaska Airlines and one of the perks of her job is that her parents can fly free stand by.  I am excited about this.  But it will be tricky to try to get away with Mel working hard and his business growing.  However I'm not complaining.  I think it will be fun when we can find some time to sneak away.
As far as my art work goes...there isn't any right now.  I started sketching for a watercolor, but I haven't been able to get back to it.  I will.  But right now time is kind of crunched.  I have time in the evenings, but I am usually too tired to even think about painting.  Mornings I am usually rushing to get everything done around here.  Then I hurry over to Mel's work and help a little and then it is on to my dad's.  I am grateful for this time I have to be with him.  He is aging gracefully, although the memory thing can be a little funny at times.  He does pretty well for 94.
Well, I guess I had better get on with my day.  I hope all is well in cyberspace!!!!  Melody

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Organizing My Brain


Me and my mom and Kenny 
Good morning!  I have been thinking of my mom a lot lately.  I miss her.  It would be so nice to be able to sit down with her and just talk!  She was a good listener and I could tell her my worries.  It seems like we were always able to figure things out together.  I miss that....and her....and the beach and sunny weather!!!!!
It is a little cloudy here.  It rained during the night, with a lot of wind.  I am so glad it is not snow!  However, the rain brings its own problems.  I think flooding will be an issue here in Idaho.  There are already people suffering because of the high water in smaller towns like Weiser, where the river has been extremely high.  They are releasing as much water as is safe from the dams. It is fun to see the high water, but a little worrisome for someone who tends to be a worrier.
I have started putting time in at the shop again.  Not much, just an hour or two in the mornings.  Mel is feeling pressure to get his work done, and so I go in and balance books and straighten his desk of all of the filing.  We have a bookkeeper, but she is only part time.  I enjoy being in there.  It's always so busy!!!
Today I plan to go into the shop and then on to my dad's.  He will want to go and get chocolate.  We have found a little candy shop in Eagle that makes rocky road...his personal favorite.  But it is very expensive.  My sister found some at Trader Joe's that is fresher and cheaper, so we may have to change our route.  Trader Joe's is new to Boise and is downtown near the college.  I like driving in there if the traffic isn't too bad.  Traffic has become a real issue for Boise.  It has changed dramatically from when we moved here.  It's still not as bad as Oakland or San Francisco...or even Salt Lake.  But it doesn't feel like a small town anymore.  Progress I guess.
I am starting a new painting any day now.  I have the materials, but I can't seem to settle on an idea.  I think I might take a break from painting people and paint a landscape.  I don't know why that is such a hard thing....to come up with a definite plan.  But it is the hardest part for me.  It is good though, because it keeps me thinking.  ;)  I read an article about painting that said it helped this artist to blog about art because then she felt challenged to actually do some.  I am hoping that works for me!
Well, I am flabbering again.  I think I have so much to say until I write it down:)  Then I realize I do need to blog just to organize all of the random ideas floating around in this brain of mine.  Take care out there in cyberspace!!!  Keep your stick on the ice!!!!
Melody

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Who or Whom?

I am listening to two owls tonight...hooting to each other outside my studio window.  They sound friendly and I really think they are owls, and not someone pretending to be an owl:)  They are the first ones I have heard this year, and I am hoping it is a sign of Spring.  This winter has seemed so long!!! I went to book club this morning, and one of my friends there said that her daffodils had not bloomed yet, and how unusual that was.  She said in all of the years she has lived here that they have always bloomed in February.  I think she has been in Idaho longer than I have.  I can't believe we have lived here 30 years!  It will be 31 in November.  Time seems so much quicker now.  What has changed to make me think so?  I'm not sure.
I haven't written in my blog for quite a while.  It's not that I don't think about it.  But I am pretty busy with my Dad.  I drive over there most every day to visit him at his house.  It's a long drive, but it is worth it to see him smile.  He looks forward to me coming and taking him for a drive.  We usually just drive to McDonald's and get a diet Coke.  He likes that he can get a large for only $1.  Then we drive to a park or just sit in the car in the parking lot.  He likes to go to parks though, and watch the squirrels.  And the people.  So many people have dogs and it is fun for him to watch the dogs run and chase the squirrels:) or the balls, or sticks or whatever.  When the weather is much warmer I plan to take my scooter over and we will have a real adventure.  I think he would like to drive it along the greenbelt.  We shall see.
For book club we read, Dead Wake.  It was a fascinating book about the sinking of the Lusitania...and so much more.  I like that we read interesting things.  Next month it is my turn to lead a discussion.  We will be reading, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.  I have wanted to read this for a while now.  Mel read it and thought it was good, though sad.  I know a little of the content, but I really think it would be a timely read.
I have finished my painting of the man in the red turban.  I like it a lot.  Probably because it was not my idea:)  I feel that copying a masterpiece has taught me so much about classical painting.  I was a little discouraged for a while because I didn't know how to finish the flesh part of the painting.  My teacher passed away last year before I learned that from him.  He was such a talented artist!  Luckily he made videos of his method and a friend of mine bought them.  So I remembered her talking about that and borrowed one of the discs that talks about painting flesh.  It really helped!  And so I finished the painting.  I still need to sign it...my name plus Jan Van Eyck.  But I found a nice frame.  And for once I think the painting looks better in real life than a photo.  It is not so bright.  So I have made progress.  Whew!
Well, I guess I had better end this.  Melody

Monday, November 21, 2016

Reporting In

Good morning!  I thought I would report in on my progress with my healthier way of eating.  I am now down to about a fourth of my diabetes medication.  And I have cut my blood pressure meds in half.  I can walk much more easily as my knees hurt much less.  I even started riding my stationary bike again!  And I am down 10 pounds.  So I think it is great!  And I have lots more energy and I seem to think clearer.  So Yay, Vegetables!!!!  And beans.  It took me a couple of weeks to feel comfortable with all the beans we eat, but it's worth it.
In other news we have had a difficult couple of weeks with my dad as he has had a couple of bouts with illness.  He was doing much better yesterday and hopefully he will be feeling great today.  He hasn't wanted to do much except sleep for the last couple of weeks.  But yesterday he seemed more alert and well.  So I am happy for that.  It has to be hard for him.  He tells me everyday that old age is hard.  And I believe him.  So many challenges!  But I am grateful he is still with us.  He is such a bright and happy individual.  I am very blessed!
I have a new calling in our church.  I am part of a team for compassionate service.  There are three of us.  My responsibility is taking care of new mothers.  I love it.  I think I got the best of the responsibilities.  I also keep a list of service in our area, so that if sisters need a service project they can call me for ideas.  We do have a very loving and sweet group of ladies who care a great deal for each other and are anxious to serve others.
Well, I had better get on with my day.  I hope all is well in cyberspace!  HAVVVVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day

Good morning!  It is election day!  I am not looking forward to it much.  I am not happy with either candidate so I am voting for a third candidate.  Living in Idaho is pretty much a republican win, but I want someone to know that I do not think Donald Trump is a fit candidate.  I cannot vote for him in good conscience.  And I do not agree with too many of the issues of the democratic platform to vote for Hillary Clinton.  So I am voting for Evan McMullin.  I feel good about that.  The other things on the ballot are easier.  I will be glad when today is done.
I haven't been writing much.  Mostly because I have been kind of busy.  But also because it has been a hard few months.  My dad's wife Barbara died July 21 after a prolonged battle with pulmonary fibrosis.  That was hard but expected.  Tragically her daughter Adele was killed in a train accident 5 days later.  That really threw us all!  It was very sad and unexpected.  She had stopped her car on the train tracks to help a stray dog, and I guess did not expect the train to come just then.  She was 62.  I didn't know her well, but it was still a shock.  And my dad was really affected by it all.  We both had caught a very bad flu a few days before Barb passed away, so it was extra difficult.  My dad was so sick and sad.  We came back to Idaho the next week because I thought he might find comfort in being back in his own home....which he did.  But it has taken a lot out of him.  My sister Joy lives there with him, and has taken on most of his care.  But I go over every day to visit and help out.  I really worry now about him.  He has gotten so much more weak and frail.  It is hard to see.  He has a great positive attitude though.  He is always joking and happy.  And singing!  I usually take him out for a short ride each day, and he loves to sing along with Frank Sinatra, or Ella Fitzgerald.  He is still a jazz musician in his heart.  He is an inspiration to me of how to grow old gracefully.  He loves to tell me about how amazing life is!  And he is right.  It is amazing in every way.
I am kind of excited this week, as I found a book about reversing type 2 diabetes.  It is called, "The End of Diabetes."  It is by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  It is a plant based way of eating.  I have been doing it for a little over a week, and have had to lower my dose of insulin by more than half.  I feel great!  And I am also losing weight, which is a plus!  He claims that within a couple of months you can be off meds for diabetes and within a year be completely free of diabetic symptoms.  I think it may work!  At least it is for me so far.  And I feel full and not craving chocolate or sugar or any of the other things that usually call to me when I am trying to eat right.  I also like that it falls within the guidelines of the Word of Wisdom...a tenant of my faith.  I feel much more energetic.  And....an unexpected bonus is that my knees are hurting less!  It is supposed to help arthritis....and in my case it  is certainly doing that.
Well, the day is beginning and I must away!  HAVVVVVVGW!  Melody

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Coastal Breezes

Good merry morning!  It is great to be here in Oregon.  Yesterday we drove to the coast again to escape the heat here in the valley.  It was 93 degrees when we left and 66 degrees on the coast.  It was very pleasant to sit by the doorway of the restaurant we went to and feel the breeze from the ocean.  I took a snapshot.  This is in the coastal town of Florence.  It is a cute little town, with good restaurants.  This was a new one for me...International Fish Market Restaurant.  It sits on the river by the boat docks.
I am feeling like things are concluding here.  Maybe another month or two.  It is hard to tell.  Barb has a strong will to live and she hasn't given up.  But she is asleep most of the time now, and not able to communicate very well.  And she is so thin.  And cold.  Her room is about 99 degrees most of the time and she is still cold.  Her circulation must be very poor.  It's hard to see.
Well, I didn't mean to end on a sad note.  For the most part things are happy and good here.  I am so enjoying the time I have with my dad.  He is such a good, kind man.  I love that he can hear now.  It helps with his memory.  I didn't expect that.  But I am glad.  I hope things are good wherever you are in cyberspace today.  HAVVVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody

Friday, June 3, 2016

Modern Day Miracles

Good day!  It is still morning here.  And I am having a hard time waking up today.  It might have been the dream about the bears.  I thought the house was full of them.  I was glad to wake up!
Yesterday we had a miracle happen.  I took my dad to a hearing specialist.  He has been going to the VA for the last 10 years for his hearing, and it hasn't improved.  Instead he has gotten so he doesn't hear much, and lately it is so bad that he seems to be kind of isolated.  Anyway, I had become so tired of waiting for long times for his appointments at the VA and then being told they couldn't do any more, that I made this appointment for yesterday with an independent audiologist.  I was afraid that it was going to be a run around sales pitch, but I was so wrong!  After giving him a thorough hearing test, they put some new hearing aids in his ears, programmed them to go along with their findings, and voila!  He can hear again!!!!  I mean he can really hear.   I am so excited!  It will be such a change for him....not having to sit and wonder what everyone else is saying.  He can hear it all!  I guess that the hearing aids convert the sounds that are out of his range to a range he can hear.  This is fairly new technology.  It doesn't just make things louder, it makes them clearer.  And I guess it will filter the environmental sounds so that the background noise will not be annoying.  I am so astounded.  And I wish we had done this a year or more ago.  He is happy too.  And it is a good time for a little joy.
Other than that life continues to be interesting.  I never know what the day will bring.  Lately we have seen quite a few movies.  We got a larger TV so that Dad could see it better, and he loves netflix.  He loves that there are so many movies to choose from and is especially fond of the older movies.  So we have been watching the oldies but goodies.
I hope all is happy and well for you where ever you may find yourself in cyberspace today.  HAVVVVVGW!!!!!  Melody