Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dad's heart is busy

I was planning on a visit to Iowa this week but did not plan on Dad being in the hospital.
His heart rate got way too high and he went to the ER early Sunday Morning.
Then he was transferred to Mercy Hospital in Mason City, about 40 miles NE of Belmond.
Today he is during in a chair and the heart rate seems to be regulated.  Waiting for advice from the doctors as to what is next.
As with most cases I think, the care giver gets overwhelmed, so today Ev is home recharging her batteries while I am here at the hospital with Dad.  Once Dad is home again she will be on duty fulltime.

Wanda from my Android

Friday, November 23, 2012

First snow brings the birds back

This morning the ground is covered with about 2 or 3 inches of new snow, the first of the winter really.  As soon as I opened my eyes this morning, before I even got out of bed, I could see there were cardinals at the bird feeder in the backyard.  I also saw several little birds flitting around, and once I got out in the living room I was happy to see these infrequent visitors.
 The Tufted Titmouse is always fun to see at the feeder.
I am not sure what it is about these little birds, maybe because they are not often seen this far North, maybe it is their big eye, or maybe it is the lovely chestnut color under the wing, but not matter, I love seeing the Tufted Titmouse.

But the Titmouse was not alone.
I love diversity!
The male cardinal did not seem to mind that the gold finches were grabbing a snack with him.
The white breasted nuthatch is not nearly as social, normally he runs off the other birds at the feeder.
This chickadee stopped for a drink, too cold for a bath though.

The juncos do not normally come to the feeder, but this guy was scratching to see if any seeds were under the new snow.

This downy woodpecker was busy at the suet
And soon this hairy woodpecker took his place.  
Mrs. Cardinal stopped by
I rarely get Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal in a photo together and this downy woodpecker was keeping his distance.
I am not a shopper, so no early morning trips to the stores for me.  I think this is a good day to work on laundry and practice piano and maybe make a batch of cookies.
It feels like winter.
Just as I was about to post this entry, another pretty guy made a feeder stop.
I rarely get any photos of the jays as they are quite skittish, but this morning they were good subjects on the window feeder.
One jay showed up and I snapped a quick picture (through the window of course)

Then another joined in the snacking.  What pretty tail feathers they have.
I always love to see the bright blue flash of the jay against the winter landscape.
There was a house finch that stopped by too, I did not get a good photo, and it looked like he had an eye disease which concerns me as one of the dangers of the co-mingling at the feeder is that it could spread to others.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

2012 Thankful

Thanksgiving morning started out warm, like really warm, in fact I got busy and washed the front picture window while the sun was shining.  I was thinking I was kind of hot while I was outside doing that chore.
I had decided to stay home for Thanksgiving, although the Luck J's had invited me to come over there for evening turkey.  Sometimes the drive home at night, especially after a big meal, doesn't sound that good.  And then the weather changed, and I was very thankful to be home.  Safe and sound and warm is always much more relaxing that driving in a windy, snowstorm.
I had planned ahead for my menu.  I made a Brussel Sprout Casserole with a white sauce with Gouda cheese & onions and crab cakes.  The casserole was very yummy, 
my crab cake recipe is a work in progress.
I spent the day playing Scrabble and Words with Friends on my iPad, watching a marathon of Downton Abbey episode on PBS and NFL games.  Then, once the storm rolled in, I enjoyed watching the snow.
It was a fine Thanksgiving, just missing the family fun of the big gathering.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deer stories and such

On Friday before The Big Hunt, I took a drive up to our Sandcastle cabin to retrieve my trail cam, and since the hunters would arrive later that evening, I stayed long enough to start a fire in the stove and light up the cabin with the generator.  
I saw 3 eagles and 3 hawks just along the drive up and back, 
but took not one photograph.  
The annual deer hunt took a different turn this year.  Kyle has a new cabin West of Luck in The Barrens, so the Luck hunters went there.  The Up North hunters were only Dana, Andy and Glenn.
I was a little bit jealous of them to have such a nice weekend Up North, but with hunters in the woods, it is not the weekend to be lounging up there anyway.
As of today, successful hunters for this year are only Kris and Andy.
I know Kris is not crazy about me posting his deer photos on the web, but not that many will see it here (as opposed to FB) and I want it in the annual blog book, so please forgive me nephew.

This beauty was taken with a bow and arrow in early November.

This buck was shot on Sunday morning, 11/18/2012
The second weekend of the hunt is coming up, I hope I'll have more photos of successful hunters to post.
Dad and Ev are getting along okay in Iowa.  Dad has had a few issues, but now they have home health care checking in on them so I feel good about that.  I am heading down for a couple of nights after Thanksgiving and will see for myself how they are getting along.
I was given an interesting website, http://www.camerashuttercount.com.
You upload the last photograph you have taken with your camera, and it decodes the capture information to tell you how many total photographs have been taken with that camera.
My total is 40,390.
Wow, I had no idea.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fall into Winter Work

It was a nice day today, so I took advantage of the day.  I finished covering patio furniture, putting away outdoor cushions and stashing the many pots and worked in the garage to organize and make space for the Vibe.  I can't remember when I got this work done last year, but I feel like I am running a little late, lucky for me the weather was dry and not too cold today.
When Dad and Ev arrived at the end of June, we fired up Johansen Cabinetry in my garage, so the Vibe has been parked outside ever since.  We have had a couple of days with snow flurries, so it has been on my mind that I needed to make space in the garage again.
Once I had space in the garage, I ran into the house and grabbed my keys to pull the car in.
When I came out of the garage to snap this picture, I heard a cat meowing and much to my surprise, there on the front porch, stood Barley.
My cats never get to go outside except to hang out in the cat (cage) condo.  So, this was quite abnormal.
Lucky for me, she was very interested in getting right back into the house and didn't make me chase her.
I opened the door and she shot back inside.
A close call.
On another note, I upgraded my living room TV so that I could end up with a flat screen TV that will work for Dad and Ev.  So, I bought a SMART TV, but I can tell you it doesn't make me any smarter.  Any new gadgets are fun for me, and this one is no different.  I am not sure how many times I will need to surf the web using the big TV, but it might be nice when they live stream the St. Scholastica Saints basketball games so I can watch Cole & Alec play.
So now I am deciding when to run to Iowa to deliver the TV and check on Dad.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

An Ode to Bridge Get A Way 2012

 An Ode to Bridge Get A Way - 2012
Slim Lake Paradise
Just sit right back and I’ll tell a tale,
A tale of a trip of North.
A trip that was planned for Bridge and fun
And lots of laughs and mirth.

The plan was hatched to meet at noon
At a cabin on Lake Slim that day.
Five arrived as planned but two were late,
Bar stops the cause for the delay.

Beds were picked and suitcases stored
And then the cards were dealt.
The first bids were our usual, one and twos and threes,
But soon we were pushing for game as we got more games under our belt.

Cocktails were poured, and games were made
And many laughs were heard.
Suggestions for good play were offered by those with more bridge sense,
We played & learned until our eyes blurred.

Supper was pizza before Carmen left to go home
It was a welcome break for some of us.
But before long, we wished Carmen safe travels
And back to the cards, we were eager I guess.

We saw midnight and then called it quits
And planned for the morning meal.
At first daylight, the group was up
And soon again the cards did deal.

The six of us took turns at the table,
The two losers going on break.
After 4 hands it worked just fine to switch,
That way our back and brains would not ache.

Sometimes the losers lost by only a few,
But a few times their score was zero.
But the zeroes did not hurt too much,
Scoring high did not really make you a hero.

Squash soup & bread was our healthy lunch
And brownies baked by our landlord a nice sweet.
A few short walks out to see the lake and scenery were taken,
The view from the living room was hard to beat.

Our dinner out was at the Pine Ridge Resort,
For a place in the backwoods, it is quite a gem.
A good bartender, nice waitress and a fabulous chef
But those other customers…hopefully we did not bother them.
Carol K., Wanda, Karen A., Aggie C., Carolyn C., Carol D.

More cards played after supper and more funny things to remember
From brushing teeth with lotion to a new nickname “Da”,
Spirited discussions over those 1 no-trump bids and 1-club openers
Were all part of the conversations, oh & a few unmentionable topics too…ya.
Silly stuff 
On Friday morning, we started again, after eggs for breakfast we dealt the cards
Again planning to spend the day around the card table.
After more than 80 games a piece
To get our fill of Bridge we were finally able.

So, lunch and then packing and setting things in the house back in order
But then a few more hands, oh why not, the drive back to RL is not long.
Finally the last hand, and then the total points were tallied
And once averages were calculated, we found that all had finished strong.

So, finally we said our good byes and loaded up to head back to Rice Lake
Most went South but some went North to see what was to see in Stone Lake.
The two that were late had to find one more bar stool to sit on
And at the Hide A Way Bar one last sip of beer they did take.

With the weekend behind us, we all agree it was fun
And hope we can schedule another trip up North with these friends.
After all those deals and bids and tricks, we learned that regardless of our differences
As friends, we are a good blend.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Please Vote

Please vote your values on Tuesday November 6.
My vote will be for those who support women's health and the right for women to choose.
Please vote the issues not just the party.
Please vote.

PS:  Barack Obama was re-elected and several local contests were won by those who I hope will represent women's health issues fairly.  Time will tell, I'll be watching.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Back to Iowa

I thought I would send one final update on Dad's deal.

I drove them to Iowa on Monday and we had an uneventful trip.  We got to their apartment just in time to quickly unload the car and get sat down to watch the Dancing With the Stars show that they (and I) really enjoy.

Tuesday morning, Dad had an appointment at the Warfarin clinic there.  I was so pleased to know that they have a straight forward approach and I think Dad and Ev will manage this just fine.  Dad's INR (the measure of anti-coagulation) is now in the therapeutic range.  Good news as that reduces the risk of stroke and also makes managing the dosage of his Warfarin easier.

Glenn arrived while we were at the clinic.  Glenn got busy on the projects at the apartment and Ev and I made a grocery run.  After lunch, Glenn and I continued to do a few things around the apartment.  We drove home at about 4:30pm and made good time getting home.
Sunset in Iowa (out the back car window)

Dad and Ev will do fine in Iowa and of course, Ev's kids are there to help out.  


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