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Sunday, March 5, 2023

Ugh... What's Going On??

Five days ago, I had a nice little trip to the Urgent Care and also arranged for a cat scan. Kind of like this:

Lucky me--- I came down with 2 kidney stones! On top of it I also had a pretty bad bacterial infection at the same time. So after starting a course of antibiotics and the luck of being able to pass pieces of the stones (without needing surgery!) I am finally on the mend. I am feeling better and moving around now.

And of course the week before I had oral surgery on my gums and now a couple of the sutures are coming loose. I'm supposed to keep them in until Thursday.  I get to go back to the dentist tomorrow afternoon to see if they need to be retied or resewn, or if we can just leave things go as they are.

Lots of fun, huh?

But I'm looking forward to SPRING. Although we are forecast to get 3 to 5 more inches of snow tonight, today's temperatures went to the 42° high. The snow on the road and the driveway has melted down to bare pavement. Although we still have a couple feet of snow in the yard, and the snow banks up front are three plus feet high.

I stepped back across the street to take a picture of the house. Little Binney didn't want to go anywhere with Steve and wanted to wait for me. Stubborn little cuss.

We took a walk around the block in the beautiful sunshine this afternoon. 

We have noticed that we have flocks of beautiful red winged black birds that have arrived, and some of the neighbors have seen robins already. It's too bad that we're going to get lambasted again tonight with another snowfall. I have no idea what they are going to find to eat other than the bird seed and suet at our feeders. 

But the Sun was shining and there wasn't any wind so it made for a beautiful walk. Didn't even need to wear a hat. We got around to the back side of our block and realized that the rest of the road was not plowed. 

We've been hoping somebody might have driven through with a four wheel drive so we could walk in the tire tracks. Cuz we were only in shoes and not boots, we weren't about to traipse through the deep snow. Instead we turned around and came back the way we came. 

The neighbor girls were out and about... the oldest even took out a skateboard!  Spring Fever has begun. 

Binney suggested that we sit out on her favorite front porch for a while and enjoy the afternoon.  She sure loves it out there.  She got to give a few woofs to passerbys, and made sure they knew she was on duty to patrol the neighborhood. 

Steve chose to set back and relax on the porch swing. It's been a long winter, and this porch is really an extension of our living space throughout the spring, summer and fall.  We missed it. It's like an extra livingroom. 

We didn't stow away the rocking chairs this winter, instead opting to leave them out on the porch.  They have come in handy a few times to sit on,  or for UPS to leave a package on.  During the holidays we set things on them while decorating and un-decorating the porch.  They are made for all weather conditions, so why not?  Ahhhhh taking a break. 

I noticed my Valentine's Day flowers are going on TWENTY DAYS!  I plucked out a few spent blossoms, but the rest of the beautiful bouquet is still going strong. Thank you, darling Steveio. 

Before I got too sick, I managed to get the quilt backing, batting, and pieced quilt top wound onto my frame.  With this newest quilting machine and frame setup I got in January, it is a lot easier to get the layers all rolled on and loaded evenly with no gaps or wrinkles. I'm getting ready to start the quilting process.  

I'm not exactly sure what pattern I'm going to use or what design I'm going to fill in the spaces with. I asked on my online quilting list for a couple suggestions. Some of the gals took the time to actually draw on diagrams for me with photo editing to give me some inspiration!

or this

I have a doodle book notepad that I work out various designs after I watch inspirational YouTubes of other quilters and what they do. It's all a learning process.  Here I am practicing "feathers". 

I had Steve cut me a 16-in square piece of plexiglass that I can lay it right over the quilt block. Now I can draw on with a dry erase marker and kind of work out a couple different ideas before I start on the big queen size quilt. 

The weather is so pleasant that we are going to grill out a couple of steaks tonight and make up some yummy salads and maybe some baked potatoes. We will eat inside, but it's great to cook out on the grill. Tastes so much better that way. 

Tomorrow, Steve and his brother Pete are going to help their dad again with some more assistance. I'm glad that we stayed home from our vacation so we can help out more and more as his Dad needs all of us. 

Friday, February 24, 2023

Got Buried In Snow (with 3 videos)

We didn't get buried, but our house sure did.

Boy oh boy did we ever get hammered in Wisconsin with this last snowstorm! It kind of made up for how mild this winter has been so far for us. 

It all started kind of nice on Tuesday into Wednesday.  It was very pleasant sitting in the She Shed looking out the windows at the snow as it started to fall. We knew we were going to get a lot. But at first, it was kind of floating down like a snow globe outside. Very pleasant.

It was so magical and gentle. It was almost to the point that I didn't mind that we missed out on our escape vacation trip a couple weeks ago. I do like looking out and how soft and white and beautiful it is. All of the sounds are muted and muffled. It's like in the movies.

I made this little video clip:

By dark, it started whipping up a little stronger. We snuggled into the She Shed with a couple good HGTV shows and movies on tv. I made up a hot steamy mug of Tom n' Jerry... which is an eggnog drink with some brandy or rum, plus a little sprinkle of nutmeg on top.

The winds started picking up. It was blowing in from the north and east. We were having a real "nor'easter"! And boy oh boy was it really crazy. The snow was blowing sideways!!! 

Before we headed to bed, I shot this little video clip out of the window from the She Shed. There was no way I was going to go outside in this weather!

Sometime during the night the wind switched and it now came from the South. This was a heavy wet snow and it was just splattering hard against the house. I got up about 1:00 a.m. and took a look outside. Here is the She Shed door leading out to Binney's little potty yard.

For the rest of the night, we could hear the winds howling and blowing. There were sounds of blasting sleet and snow hammering against the house from the south. Fortunately, our power stayed on all night. We snuggled in and slept the rest of the storm away until 6:00 a.m.

The sky was heavy and dark yet and we really couldn't see too well. I opened up the blinds in the bedroom to look out and this is all I could see! The winds that had been blasting across from the north and east blew all the snow down onto the little patio table and in front of the door to Binney's potty yard. Then the wet snow and winds from the south kinda froze it all into place. Look at that!  It almost looks like marshmallow fluff, but it's all firm and almost crusted over. 

Well, this poor little dog really had to go outside to the bathroom. She wouldn't go out the night before at bedtime so she was virtually dancing on her tippy toes to get out the door. I kept filming from the window with the camera while Steve took her down to open the door from the She Shed into the potty yard. 

He figured it would be too deep but she really really had to go. So he tried. Look at her reaction on this video clip!

Yep, that's as far as she made it. One plop in the snow and Steve had to dig her back out to bring her to the other doorway. 

We got up and made some coffee.... then I took a few more pics when it got a bit brighter out. 

When he had opened the door I noticed how much snow was clinging to the door lock and the door knob! This was really a wet heavy snow and it was stuck to everything. 

It was at least a foot deep in front of the doorway and closer to 2 ft deep on the picnic table itself. Look at how it molded and smooth itself out with the blowing winds. 

I looked out of the front windows and these are our stairs that go out to the mailbox and the street. I think we will have to do a little bit of shoveling this morning?

Amazing how much snow piled up on the front porch. Here is our porch swing! So hard to believe that last week we were sitting out here on a beautiful day enjoying the sunshine wearing just our sweatshirts. It was feeling like Spring was on the way. Even our apple trees and lilac trees have little green buds starting on the tips of the branches. All of our snow was gone and we were thinking of doing some yard work!  Mother Nature sure likes playing funny jokes on us. 

Look at the height of the snow on top of our coach lamp out in the potty yard. That is almost all snow, with just a tiny peaked roof on the light fixture itself.  Mother Nature IS amazingly hilarious!. 

The ones on the front of the garage were even more crazy....
 This reminds me of a gnome!

The drifts in front of the garage were two and three feet deep. But the wind whipped through between the garage and the She Shed...   it had literally swept the walkway clear down to the concrete pavers. But the snow then mounded itself up against the side of the garage in a high drifted pile about 3 ft up the siding. 

Steve felt so bad for little Binney that he trudged on through the yard and opened up the fence to get the snow blower into her potty yard. He cleared out a path over to her most favorite spot to go potty. What a guy. 

Since we were snowed in for the day and not going anywhere, I decided to tackle the painting in the bathroom and get a second coat up on the ceiling and work on the walls. I put on some soft music, and sipped my coffee in between sections.  

No rush, and it was transforming the walls and ceiling into something soft and harmonious with the accent wallpaper on one wall.  The wallpaper was put on by Peggy, the previous owner. She had personally ordered it from a place in Italy and begged me not to strip it down.  I am usually not a fan of wallpaper, but this textured thick stuff is soooo pretty! It's embossed and thick and has tiny metallic lines that almost look like embroidery to the surface of each leaf. 

The new paint is such a pretty green and I find the color soothing and almost reflective. It doesn't soak in the daylight, it kind of reflects it outwards and looks softer and lighter during the day. At night it seems to give a hush and a peaceful feeling to the room, that we noticed the effect in the kitchen. Now when I relax and take a bath in my tub, it will be soothing and peaceful and relaxing. 

Steve helped with the brush cutting in on the high spots and I finished rolling all of the walls. Made it right to the bottom of the can with none left over. I was worried we'd have to wait a couple days for the snow to subside before we could buy another can of paint. Soon we were putting back the little pieces here and there like the mirror and robe hook and pictures. We were done!

Now to take a wonderful hot soaking bath
 in my bubbles
 looking out over the
snowy terrain outside. 

Since it was a "Snow Day", the grandkids were out of school. The highways and streets were finally cleaned up. Towards later afternoon, we went and grabbed three of the grandkids because we needed to babysit them for the evening anyhow. Their parents had to travel to Oshkosh, and the roads were clear enough to go. 

We took a little detour to the grocery store to stock up on good things. They decided they needed garlic breadsticks and meatball subs and spaghetti for supper. They couldn't decide on which flavor of ice cream to get for dessert. So we bought two. Why not? 

A little unicorn headed girl
 got piled up with everything 
because she wanted to "help"... Lol

Clayton had already done the snow shoveling at his house and then decided to help clear off Grandpa's gas grill at our house. Yes, that is one big hunk of snow that solidified over the top of the grill. He actually picked it up twice and had to grab it again to pose for a picture. That shows how dense and thick this snowfall was.  That also means it was a lot harder and heavier to shovel.

Kids helped to make supper and we had a lot of giggles and silliness around the table. What a great way to finish up a "Snow Day"?

It was time to bake up some cookies, and all three took turns with parts of the recipe. Our granddaughter Whitney showed us the special technique of how to crack an egg. Clayton is using it in this photo below. It works so well and doesn't leave any pieces of shell behind.

Here's a video that the grandkids made on another day of how Whitney's Way works to crack an egg:

The house smelled so good with the aroma of baking cookies. The girls were counting them up and figuring out how many were going to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and how many were going to go back home with them. We doubled the batch so we had 4 dozen pretty big cookies. 

(the white chips get browned on top and taste almost like toasted marshmallows!)

The recipe is from my friend Hilary who lives out in New York. It works flawlessly every time and you have to use shortening, not butter. We substitute the dark chocolate chips with the white ones and we omit the nuts. The recipe is foolproof and they come out perfect and light brown when baked on parchment paper. 

The "Snow Day" was over, babysitting was done, and it was time for us to crawl in bed. The roads were cleared and the snow was taken care of. Time to get back to normal. This morning we woke up to beautiful sunshine streaming in. What a change from looking out of the very same window the morning before????

Notice that Binney now has a nice area all snowblowed out to do her business, and she does not have to get dumped into a puffy deep pile of snow any longer.

We left the snow on the picnic table on the patio. I think it looks kind of cool. We'll see how long it lasts. I'm sure it's very heavy. 

This morning the snow is all sparkly and beautiful like crystals or diamonds. It's kind of hard to capture in a photograph, but I think you can see it. More magic of Mother Nature.

And guess what? 

The weatherman just announced 

that we have 


snow coming tonight!!! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Snow Snow and More Snow and Oral Surgery

I guess that I really jinxed it when I wrote my last blog about how little snow we had. Remember that little last snow bank in our yard? 

Oh well...

This is what we are in for.... 

It's time to pay the piper. We got round one last night. It was only a few inches but a lot of blowing around. Right now we are in the middle of round two and the winds have really kicked up to 40 mph. We are going to expect another 4 to 6 inches today. Then round three is coming in overnight. They said in total we should have 12 to 14 in. I don't mind the snow so much, but it's the blowing that is awful! It blows into huge drifts which can make travel dangerous. It also blows over trees and branches on to the power lines that cause outages. Then the temperature is going to drop to below zero tomorrow night. That's fun. Then everything freezes solid and makes it difficult to snow blow or shovel. Especially the pile that the plow keeps putting at the end of the driveway!


Yesterday was an adventure. But it was all made better by getting to see this beautiful friendly doggie face at my dentist office! Meet George. He is a 1-year-old Irish wolfhound that is learning to be a good boy. He's behind the desk in the receptionist area. Quite a gentle giant. He is standing on the floor next to that chair with his head leaning up over the counter to get a sniff of my hand. Yes, he's that big already!

The rest of my dentist visit was not as much fun. I know I've been having trouble with some gums located underneath a bridge that I had put in over 10 years ago. They needed some serious attention. Since I was going in for my cleaning I asked if they should get looked at by the dentist. The hygienist rescheduled me for another appointment to come back in the afternoon because other people were all canceling their appointments due to the impending storm. No waiting!

On second thought, waiting would have been nice. Like waiting forever and not having this done? Lol. 

But seriously, I suddenly had oral surgery performed on six areas of gums above my teeth that were being affected. I had the bridge work corrected and ground down smoother to stop irritating the area. I also had a piece of cadaver bone mounted in to reinforce another area. Then I had dissolving mesh put in and sutured down to help the gums reattach back to the teeth. Sounds crazy hey? Also expensive.

With no dental insurance, our dentist kindly gives us a cash discount. So once we were done, we trekked on over to the credit union and performed a robbery to bring back a hefty amount of cash. Ugh.

Amazingly, I am not having any pain at all today. There is some swelling to be expected. But not nearly any of the dangerous pains that I was given as precaution and possibility of pain medication needed.


The other thing we took care of yesterday was voting. We had a state judicial race primary election in Wisconsin that was quite important. We were going to vote absentee if we were gone on our vacation. But since we were in town we were able to just go in person and do it the original way. 

Also on Monday we finished up the painting in the kitchen. I got this little section of wall completed with taping off and then two coats of green. 

Steve took care of unhooking our modem and router that are usually hidden up on top of the refrigerator. Then we moved that out, so we could get painting done behind there as well. 

And here it is now, all done and everything moved back into place.

I'm really glad we went with this soft sage mossy green. It sure looks a lot better than that previous beige/rose/mauve color. I think that color sucked in the light whereas this new one reflects it outwards. 

I put everything back in our little kitchen table area, including my hand blown glass paperweights and the cuckoo clock and my little 12-month quilted stitching hanging from my friend Patti.

Steve got the refrigerator back into place and put our modem and router set up behind my big platter from the kids. Everything is now back to normal. 

Well, it's Wednesday morning. Since this storm is going to keep us trapped in the house for a couple days, Steve decided that we should start painting over that same beige/rose/mauve color in our bathroom. So we started on the walls and I just rolled half the ceiling before taking a break. We might run out of paint so maybe I can only get one coat done. We will have to wait for the storms to subside for a couple days before we can go back and get some more.

Not about to risk going out in a blizzard 

just to get more paint!