Tuesday, January 31, 2023

SUNSET, SUNRISE

 

Our local San Gabriel Mountain range as seen from our street in Anaheim Hills

We here in the southland have been getting a whole lot of weather this year,
from the Santa Ana Winds blowing thru
(no fires yet)
to the very chilly temps with snow on our local mountains
 and much needed rain.
Same range but taken from another street a day after it snowed

And along with this delightful weather 
we are also getting much clearer and cleaner skies,
 resulting in incredible sunsets.
Enjoy!
From the entrance to our Condo complex

From our driveway

From street above our reservoir

Sunday, January 29, 2023

ANOTHER LITTLE BISCUIT

Australian Eco/Fiber Artist India Flint calls these Biscornu 
which I believe is French
 and translates to biscuit.
I learned to make them in one of her delightful on-line classes.
BTW,
her newest online course starts Feb.1 and I believe you can still enroll

I love making them and teaching others to do the same.
They are a great way to use up scraps of fabric and special threads.
This one was made from a few eco-dyed pieces I had in my stash.
The fabrics were a bit too plain for me so I added a little embroidery.
And then my favorite last step is to pick out a button for each side.
I believe the one in the top photo is wood 
and the one here is the back side of an abalone button.
Every time I stick a needle or pin in it,
I smile.
They are just so cute.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

LOOKING BACK...

 thru some older photos I found these,
a couple favorites that I'd completely forgotten about.
I love this first photo from 1985,
although it was just too long ago for me to remember the names.
My ex, Inars,
 my then boyfriend,
 had taken me shopping to outfit me with a whole new wardrobe.
He told me my other clothes looked like I was a school marm,
which I guess I was.
Hee hee
He had worked at a men's store and knew fashion.
Actually he still does,
know fashion.
Still irons all his shirts and looks real spiffy.
LOL
Check out that classic 1980's blazer with shoulder pads.
Ha!
In fact,
 I just recently sold it to a theater thrift shop.
I could barely get my arm inside the shelve,
I was so tiny back then but didn't even realize it.
Isn't that always the way?

The date on this one was 2006 when my current Principal who I adored,
Patty Hager,
unbeknownst to me,
 nominated me for Teacher of the Year.
This was a competition for the California League of High Schools.
All the nominees had to give a speech in front of their peers which terrified me.
I hate public speaking with a passion!!
By the time it was my turn I had inhaled at least 3 Jack Daniels and coke.
But it was still intimidating and quite awkward.
BTW,
it was a huge relief when I didn't win 
since I would have had to gotten up and give another speech.
Phee Shuuu

This next photo is of a drawing one of my students gifted me of me.
I was trying to remember who drew it,
and sadly couldn't read the signature to help jar my memory.
But I always thought it was fabulous and such a fun interpretation!

As I was posting this next photo
 I suddenly remembered this alumni's name,
Ryan Chen.
I couldn't tell you what school year I had him in, 
but he came back to visit probably about 2010
and let me know he'd followed his heart and went into the arts.
I just love seeing my students all grown up, successful and happy!
And don't think I didn't notice how gorgeous he was.
LOL
But damn I look pregnant there :(,
the pounds are starting to stick.

And this last one was at Xmas time 
and one of my last photos with my students in my classroom.
Probably from the school year 2017-18.
And I'm so mad at myself for not remembering her name,
although my gut is telling me it was Jenna.  
But what I do remember is that she had to take a Fine Art to graduate 
so she picked my Crafts class and wasn't very thrilled.
But she found to her surprise that she was incredibly crafty,
did many noteworthy pieces,
and ended up enjoying herself.
I think I also remember she had enlisted in the Military Service
 and was going straight to Boot Camp upon graduation.

Why is it I remember the background info but not the names?
Crazy hard getting old.
But so fun to look back and try to put names to faces.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

ADVENT UPDATE

Well I'm really truckin' along now boy!
Ha ha
Only 42ish days behind.  :(
Here are Days 7, 
a gorgeous shade of dark turquoise,

Day 8,
a solid black
with day 7 knit up,

and Day 9.
I personally would never be brave enough to put this luscious dark green
with the turquoises,
but wait till you see it knit up in a couple of days.
It really works!
Bravo Amanda for choosing such bold colors together,
and then dyeing them up for us.
I think I'm currently knitting across almost 300 stitches in each row.  
I should time myself.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

JIM'S MASSIVE RECOVERY - PART 1

I know you all saw the terrible accident in this post from October.
The accident actually happened during the last week of August,
it just took me awhile to get pix organized and up.

Anyways,
what I haven't shared with you are some of the recuperating photos I took of Jim
from when they sent his home from the two hospitals 27 days after the accident.
They deserve this whole other post plus a Part 2 coming up.

BEWARE:
some of these photos are pretty brutal and gruesome,
but not all.
Even Sophie had to cover her eyes a bit.

OK, here we go, ready or not....
this first pix is how the surgeon sent Jim home to me.
Blood and yellow pus oozing from his harvest area,
dripping all over the floor.
I was freaking out.
This is not my jam or area of expertise.
But I had to learn fast.
Just the pills alone they sent home with him were overwhelming.
And then there were the boxes and boxes of medical supplies 
they sent to our house.
Where to put them all?
And so much plastic waste products they were packaged in.
CRAZY!!

So I called our trusty mountain neighbor,
Chris,
 who used to be a nurse in the Navy to help me that first night.
He wanted to lighten the mood so this is how he arrived.
It worked.
We all had a good belly laugh.
And we wrapped up Jim's leg.
Of course by morning,
it had all leaked out over the bandages.
Yuck!

So above is about a week at home now and the fluids are drying up,
thank goodness!

For 2months, 
every single day,
 we had a wound nurse come
to check Jim's leg and change his bandages.
This was Ming,
one of our favorites.
We also had  a physical and occupational therapist,
a mental health worker,
and of course his Primary Care Doctor checking up on him weekly.
Thank goodness for Jim's Medical Insurance.
We both have Medicare Blue Cross HMO thru Providence Health.

This is Jim's surgeon checking his leg 
for the first time in 2 1/2 months after sending him home.
He's removing Jim's staples from not only his main wound 
but also from his harvest area.
Above he was doing a lot of de-breeding.
It was upsetting watching him do it with a sharp razor.
In several areas he scraped too harshly and opened up some healed spots.
And there were so many staples to remove.
The surgeon used the coolest tool for that so it wasn't super painful,
only a little Jim said.

Here is the wound after about 2 more weeks below.
It's finally starting to dry up and heal.
Jim was really scared to touch it and wash it in the shower,
so I did it for him. 
 Such a weird feeling as I soaped it up.

And after another 2 weeks.

Below you can also see how his harvest area is healing and shrinking.

And finally,
mid-December,
 it has completely closed up.
During this entire healing time,
because Jim is a diabetic,
he was not allowed any sugar to help speed up the healing process.
He also stayed away from all fast foods.
That was really hard.
For both of us actually.
Ha ha
Everyone asks what that large round lump is on the upper right.
The surgeon told us it was the only piece of Jims leg skin 
that wasn't ripped off in the accident and they really wanted to try to save it.
We are so thankful that the surgeons were able to save Jims leg.
And it's pretty much of a miracle that he is still alive after his horrific accident.
Feeling blessed that's for sure.

Monday, January 16, 2023

THEY'RE BACK...

from the mid 80's,
according to my daughter and our latest venture to the Mall,
Big Oversized Sweatshirts.
YES!!!!!
Cuz I still love wearing oversized tops.
They cover a lot of sins.

This is me either right before or after I married my ex,
a tiny size 3.
So about 1985 or 86.
Look at my 80's hair,
that's what my neighbor now calls "Big Hair".
ha!
Even though my hair has natural curly frizz,
back then I still got it permed for extra ump.
And look how leggings used to fit with so much more bag.
That's pretty much all I live in now are my leggings.
Can't remember when I put on a real pair of pants.
Any one with me here?

Sunday, January 15, 2023

IT'S STILL CHRISTMAS TO ME

Even my grandpup,
Miss Tatum,
got to see Santa with her pack walk friends.


And Santa brought our sweet Sophie exactly what she asked for,
a new coat for her expanding girth.
She is now 13 years old and really slowing down.
Her back legs are going out from under her when she stands up, 
and of course she can't jump up anymore.
I hope the day never comes when she can't get up the stairs.
I don't think I could carry her all the way up.
She is 45 pounds these days.
And it would break her heart if she couldn't sleep with us. 
But I know I'll try.
Maybe just take a couple of steps at a time.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

RECYCLING AT XMAS

For me,
Christmas Day afternoon is spent recycling tissue paper, boxes, bags, ribbons, 
even tags to be used for the next year,
organizing them and storing them away
while dinner is cooking.
And I'm thrilled to share
 that my daughter has started this recycling habit as well 
several years back now.
I guess because she used to help me wrap and clean up when she was little.

But at the same time we like to change up our wrapping styles for the next year,
so we plan and purchase only a few new items.
And each Xmas we love to surprise each other with our new looks.
My daughter went with a deer theme this year 
with softer colors that were so lovely.
All those different blush tones are so pretty,
and her tree was gorgeous!

This year I reused mailing boxes to put gifts in.
So not one single holiday bag was used.
Only one new item was purchased during the end of year sales,
a roll of festive tape that I wrapped around the boxes like a ribbon.
Last years black bows I had made were reused.
I learned how to make big beautiful bows when I worked at a flower shop 
when I was 17 years old and minimum wage was $1.63 an hour.
Ha!
Ann's Flowers in Buena Park Ca., no longer there.
In fact,
 all the skills I learned from the owners have paid off big time in my adult life.
Caring for fresh flowers, making corsages, bouquets, and arrangements,
and identifying all the various flowers and shrubs 
used to make those arrangements beautiful.
It's funny, 
I was recently asked to help out at a new floral shop in our neighborhood
because the owner found out from her boyfriend, 
a trainer at our gym, 
that I had floral skills
Now how did he know that?
My ex, who works out daily at our gym told him.
Hummm...
flattering,
but do I want to work that hard again on my feet all day long
in a refrigerated environment during all the Holidays.
Nope. 

And the tags are all at least 10 to 20 years old,
some possibly older.
Some were handmade when my kids were much younger, 
but mostly they came from Xmas cards that I cut up from the previous years.
That was a wonderful tradition I learned from my mother. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

ADVENT KNIT DAY 5 & 6

Finished up Day 5 here with a close-up below...
Love those tiny pops of color.

and opened Day 6 which looks so much like Day 5.
But after knitting with it I do see a subtle difference.
Above (from bottom to top) you are seeing the remainder of Day 4 & 5
with Day 6 not balled up yet.

Oh, and there was a surprise in day 6's bag,
the cutest little tin of rubber loops for putting on the end of your needles
to prevent the stitches from falling off.

Just finishing up Day 7 tonight.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

CORRALING THE GRANDS

Trying to get all 3 of my boys to sit and pose for a picture was hard
Xmas Eve night.
They were so wound up as you can see.

Then they were ready to bolt after the first try.

Ok,
so everyone look at me and smile nice like Syd,
please...

Pop Pop, you look really done with this exercise.
But,
we are getting close here.

Let's decorate Pop Pop some more.
Gee,
this is the closest we got.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday.
We did both the lighting of the Hanukah candles
 and the singing of Christmas songs.
Plus the unwrapping of a couple of excellent  presents.
Merry Christmas All
And Happy Hanukah!

Sunday, January 1, 2023

FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
Hoping 2023 brings us all healing, good health and much better luck.
Ha ha!

This is Xmas morning at my daughter Danielle's home.
From left to right,
Jim, myself, ex Inars, Nicole, Zach and Dani
Missing in this picture is Nicole's dad Nick who came down with Covid,
and Dani's boyfriend Aaron who had to work.

2022 was a rough year for all of us.
We lost our dear Mary in May after so many years of her fighting cancer.
Isn't she beautiful?
This is April 2019 with her daughter Nicole
 at Zach and Nicole's Wedding in Kona, Hawaii.
You would never know she was suffering from cancer in this pix.
I can't even begin to tell you how deeply her loss was felt 
during this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I miss her so much...

My ex husband who is still a very big part of our lives
 here with Bogie...
and cooking for all of us for a Xmas breakfast a couple years ago.
Inars had a heart arrest on the golf course recently 
and his two buddies saved his life because they both knew CPR.
He was without a heartbeat and oxygen for 30 mins.
Inars with our two children several Xmas Eve's ago

Thankfully he is back home now and continues to work on his recovery.
His long term memory stayed intact 
but he is still struggling a bit with his short term memory.
He is also waiting on his heart doctor to install a permanent defibrillator.
Right now he is the prisoner of a temporary one
 that he wears either over his shoulder or strapped around his waist. 
A 24/7 device that is heavy and causing him back and shoulder problems,
attached by a wire to a shoulder/back bra with 8 sensors 
that is highly uncomfortable.
You can see his defibrillator strapped around his waist this Xmas.
He is still going to the gym everyday
 to try to build up his body weight and muscle mass that he lost while hospitalized.

And now to update you on my love,
my husband Jim.
This is my honey in May
 up in the mountains waiting to play live music with his band.
Before the jeep accident.

And here he was on Xmas Day with Inars 
(did I mention they are buddies)
with his hair growing back in.
His leg wound is completely healed over now 
and continues to shrink and sort of look better.
He also lost a lot of his body weight and muscle mass,
so for Xmas I gave him the present of our favorite trainer,
Gelissa.
Right now she is working on stabilizing his core and doing a lot of stretches.
Sadly he continues to have severe back spasms and sleepless nites.
He has many appts coming up to try to figure out the causes and fix these things.

Oh,
 and here is me laid up for the past two weeks with a swollen ankle and foot.
I have always been a klutz,
and as I've aged I've taken several spills as I trip over everything.
Two weeks ago,
 as I was wrapping presents,
 I missed a step going into my workshop in my little house garage.
It was a bad one this time.
My foot completely buckled under me
 as my entire body weight landed on top of it.
Incredibly painful.
I stayed down for several minutes 
 scared to death to know how much damage I'd done.
More then usual.
Ouch!
Iced it and put it up for 3 days taking lots of Ibuprofen.
After a week my middle toes and both sides of my heels 
turned several shades of purple.
It's much better now and I'm able to walk on it with not a lot of pain,
but this week I will go have an x-ray,
just in case I fractured something.

We are thrilled to be starting a new year
and have a lot of hope that 2023 will be kinder and gentler.

HAVE A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR ALL!
 I hope it brings you many blessings.