Friday, October 15, 2021

first look and when it rains it pours


Finally! I had a night where I didn't wake up with a long weird dream in my head. The one the night before was equally as weird as all the ones I've been having for the last several weeks. I had about decided that if this is what remembering my dreams is like I'd rather go back to not remembering them.

Short synopsis...I was late going to pick up Robin and was entering the 610 Loop in the city driving in reverse, couldn't remember the exit, then someone else driving us (me, Robin, and my sister's granddaughter (?)) going over an insanely high bridge, didn't have my phone, Robin had deleted the map app from her phone, Abby had so many apps we couldn't find the map app, realized I had my phone after all which turned into some sort of directory and no matter how many times I pressed the button it would not give me the dashboard. Woke up. Looked at the time, it was 5:30. WTF, I still had an hour of sleep, I wasn't in the city, and I know how to get to my daughter's house!

Finally got the trumpet flower piece out of the kiln (which is falling apart, the kiln, not the casting). Here it is with the plaster removed

and here after it's vinegar bath.

The small open flower came out much pinker than the color sample led me to believe but it's OK I guess. And the background came out grayer than I thought so I'm really glad I didn't go with the gray blue. And the green tone in the unopened bud is very subtle but may show up more after I do the finish work. I just never really know how these things are going to turn out.

This weekend would be a good time to do the finish work as a cold front (predicted low of 48˚ gasp! that's a winter temp though now they're saying 50˚s) is supposed to come in and not a minute too soon as the air conditioner crapped out yesterday. We had to have an expensive part replaced this spring to prevent this very thing.

So back to the kiln which is very old (at least 25 years maybe older as I don't remember when we bought it) and rusty and the two bolts that hold in the top hinge of the door no longer do that. We have another newer kiln that is not working. Early February 2016 a firing went haywire and the kiln temp shot up hotter than we thought it could even go (if you've been reading for a while you might remember this post) and it hasn't worked since. Marc made a couple of efforts to fix it, replacing various parts but apparently there's a wire that he can't get to that is crucial. We need to haul it up to the Dallas area to the manufacturer for repair if they can and are willing to repair it which I'm trying to find out. It's that or buy a new kiln and they are pricey. I could get away with a smaller one than what we have now which would save about $1,000.

And if all that's not headache enough the kitchen sink is stopped up again, draining very slow, and this time I'm calling the plumber on Monday.

Edit: the AC proved to be a simple fix, clogged drain line which disconnected the compressor so that the pan wouldn't overfill. All good now.



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

drawings and blooming things and more weird dreams


I had to take down the picture of Paisleigh in my last post for a few hours. It's back up now plus one more so if you missed the picture or if you only saw the one you might want to go back and look at her adorable little face.

The trumpet flower piece has cooled down in the kiln but we'll probably let it sit for a few more days to settle. In the meantime, I'm working on another trumpet flower drawing for the small stand. I was just going to do the two but I wanted to try a pink one so I'm using the drawing I did back when of just the bottom part of the flower, adding in a few leaf tips at the top to keep the eye from shooting off in space. Still adjusting the position of the leaves but this is essentially the composition.

Now I need to figure out the changes I need to make to the luna moth composition so that it will slide into its stand.

It was so hot out there yesterday. We're having a reprise of summer, as if it ever left. As soon as you walk out the door the heat just hits you. But, the orange cosmos finally is putting on blooms,


These things are at least 8' tall, at least.


the confederate rose as well but no open flowers yet. Zinnias, red salvia, white Philippine lily,



porterweed, mist flower, firespike are all providing food for the bees stocking up for winter and the hummingbirds and butterflies migrating through. We're supposed to get out first real cold front somewhere around the weekend, and it's a little breezy today, predicted low of 48˚.


So the weird and bizarre dreams and me remembering them has continued just about every night. I woke up from a doozy last night, similar to one several nights ago though completely different in location but the central motif was the same, rejection by the 'mother' figure. The first one I woke feeling sadness, rejection, of being unwanted and it took me awhile to come out of it, laying in bed knowing it was just a dream and not anything I experience in my life now. This morning's dream had the same rejection but it was crueler, like punishment, but instead of feeling sad, I was getting pissed off. I woke up with my first words being 'what the fuck'. The dream...we, the parental figures, another couple, and I (though it seems like at times there were a few more people), were at a fancy resort in three separate rooms but adjacent. The parental room was really nice with a small porch/balcony off it. They had all gone to breakfast at one of the restaurants there without telling me and when I got there they were halfway through their meal and I was rightly a little angry that they had not included me and the mother figure would not allow me to join them. When I tried to get a table of my own the host wouldn't seat me because my room had been included in the larger group. Went back to my room and decided I would try another one of the restaurants because I was hungry and went into the lobby sitting on the steps to decide where to eat when the other couple joined me. Then a woman came by with a tray of nibbles and offered some to every person sitting on the steps except me. I got up and followed her to a counter and asked why and at first she ignored me but then said because I looked like I wouldn't want any. You didn't even look at me, I told her! So then this other couple and I went to one of the other restaurants at this resort and were seated and we were getting served some small plates of things when a big guy came and sat at the table and apologized but he couldn't serve me because he was concerned about getting paid. When I asked why he thought he wouldn't get paid, that I had a room there, he showed me the reservation chart. The parental unit had already reserved a table including all three rooms. I got up to leave thinking I would go and get my things and leave the resort since they had brought me along just to deny me. That's when I woke up. I don't think the parental unit was my actual parents, I can't recall any specific faces and both my parents have been dead for a long time (and I very rarely, almost never, dream about either one of them specifically), but in reality, I did not have a good relationship with my mother ever, and for a long time not with my father either. There was a lot of emotional rejection from my mother when I was young starting with my birth when she told the nurse that dark haired baby (she and my older sister were blond) couldn't possibly be hers and it took my father to convince her I was. My early report cards, 1st - 3rd grades, frequently noted I was clingy and emotionally needy. Later in high school they denied me friendships because the people I liked were never good enough for them and then in college, they totally alienated me and I didn't really speak to them for a couple of years. But fer cryin' out loud, I'm 71 years old. I dealt with this shit long ago. Why is this coming up now? The guardian angel, dream catcher, and talisman bag hanging over my bed better start doing their jobs.



 

Monday, October 11, 2021

I'm a great grandma y'all!

Paisleigh Reese Russell, 7 lbs 15 oz, 18.5”, made her appearance before 11 PM Sunday night. It was a rough slow go and they finally determined a c-section was needed. Audra's blood sugar crashed after the delivery (she's type 1 diabetic) and they moved her to ICU but she's doing well now and mom and dad and baby are able to be together in her room.

Mikey was the only one allowed during the labor and delivery and no visitors because covid so us grandparents and great grand parents and aunts will have to wait til she's home to be able to see and cuddle her.




Friday, October 8, 2021

odds and ends

We have three wifi connections in our house via two different routers. I generally prefer to use the oldest as it's the fastest even though one of the new ones is supposedly 5G so you'd think that when I wake up my computer (it disconnects from the wifi when asleep) it would reconnect to one of those in the house. And you would be wrong. Often it connects to my sister's wifi across the street (I have her password from back when we were staying with her right after the Harvey flood), skipping our two routers in between my desktop and my sister's house. And that one is very slow.

I get notifications on my tablet. The two were Amber alerts and Severe Weather alerts. I finally turned off the Amber alerts because they always came in the middle of the night but I still get the Severe Weather alerts though at some point they segued into...

So is it going to start hailing stolen children?

Learned Wednesday that the birth of my first great grandchild has been moved up from October 13 to this Sunday if the doctor, who is concerned about her feet and sugar levels, can get an appointment.

Across the road that the west end of my street ends at is a railroad track, a corn/cotton field and then a county road that parallels that road and then the highway. Yesterday evening set fire to four big piles of trees in that field that must have been cleared from somewhere nearby. They were flaming up when we drove by on the way to yoga but never really caught as they were still there coming back and smoldering smokily. When I set out to walk Minnie it was hazy and smelly from the smoke that was drifting into our end of the neighborhood. Thursday morning it was even worse so I guess they smoldered all night.

Another mostly sleepless night Thursday night but boy did I have some weird dreams in the hour or two of sleep I got before I had to get up to get ready for my day at SHARE, part of which involved people milling around my house while someone, the maid/cook was fixing breakfast that these people had been invited for. When we were called to eat, a big table had been set and another table was laid out with a big spread of different food buffet style. I fixed my plate (can't say what it all was except for scrambled eggs, some bread kind of thing, and everything else was sort of fluffy sweet stuff) and decided my place at the table was too crowded so I stood/sat? off to the side and my mouth started watering for real while I was asleep and I woke enough to to know that while I was swallowing all that saliva in my dream, I was swallowing it for real. There was another one that involved some kind of animal, a dog that turned into a tortoise kind of thing later and a swimming pool and feeding it some weird snowflake shaped crustacean like things.

Also last Wednesday, I filled in the rest of the background color even adding a little more, if it's going to turn out darker then I might as well go with it but I don't think it will really be that dark, and then started back filling for the clear layer but ran out of time.

Finally got over to the studio this morning and filled in the last of the clear and then the final white layer and now it's ready to go in the kiln.


I'm sure everyone is breathing a sigh of relief that they don't have to listen to me moan about it, at least til it's fired and I see how it came out. The gallery in Dallas has already contacted me about having these two pieces for the Botanical show in February.

Another sign of the end of summer and the somewhat cooler weather, the Philippine lilies are starting to bloom. They can get to be a good sized shrub though this one is a volunteer I put in a pot and the single stem has shot up at least three feet. I have a white version too but it's not blooming yet.




Tuesday, October 5, 2021

why can't I make up my mind!

Sunday, when I went over to the studio to work on the mold it didn't take me long to think that I might have used the marigold powder instead of the yellow powder when I started backfilling the large flower. The reason I thought this is because when I added more of the 10/1 ratio color, it looked lighter than what was already in there. And if so then I've totally lost control of how intense the color I was trying for will turn out. Later though I thought surely I didn't make a rookie mistake confusing one jar with another. The powders both look the same but the marigold is in a small jar and the yellow is in a bigger jar. So we'll see.


Then I had to decide on a background. I was thinking a light blue, there are blues that don't react with yellow and decided on gray blue but after filling in two sections now I'm not so sure. It would be a pain to remove it without disturbing the yellow but I could do it, well most of it, probably not where the two colors touch.


The gray blue was the color I used for the first failed body for the heron box. You might remember that disaster from late summer 2019.
 Maybe I'll remove most of it and then layer in some of the indigo behind it.

Watching the bird feeder Monday morning, there's one male cardinal in particular that hangs out and chases off all the other cardinals that light on the bird feeder or the shepherd's crook it hangs from.

Coming back from our walk Sunday, I pulled up a handful of hay grass in the front and passed this plumeria to toss the grass in the garden cart and I noticed this grasshopper laying eggs in the hollow stump of a branch I had pruned back.


Ah well, of course I removed the gray blue Monday morning and I got almost all of it out replacing it with the indigo which looks fairly dark in the mold but I don't think it will be that saturated after firing, at least I hope not because I don't want a dark blue (I know you're thinking that indigo is a very dark blue but this is a tint, one of the very pale colors). It's only about a 3/16” thick layer and so should only be as dark as the tip of the sample after it melts down. But of course now I'm thinking I should have stuck with the gray blue.



gray blue on the left, indigo on the right

I don't know why I'm so indecisive about this but I'll just have to forge ahead as no way can I remove the frit from around the narrow tendrils without screwing those up but probably what I'll do is try and lift out some of the indigo in an uneven manner and put in a layer of clear so it will look slightly mottled. I have no idea how this is going to turn out.

We had a full class at yoga last night, 8, about average for that but sometimes a few more. I start out with breathing and a gentle warm up getting increasingly more difficult from beginner/intermediate to intermediate/advanced as the class is mixed in skill level. I'm not sure when Abby's coming back, maybe next week, maybe not but surely the week after that. It's challenging for me and maybe even a little fun now that I'm over my nervousness.



Sunday, October 3, 2021

the terminally stupid, dogs, birds, caterpillars


Someone reported a week or so ago that there was a new conspiracy theory on Breitbart (no I don't read it) that liberals were dunking on MAGAts and other far right anti-vaxxers so they will dig in their heels to 'own the libs' and die. Who knew their refusal to get vaccinated and wear masks is really a heinous liberal plot. It seems somebody finally noticed that most of the people dying from covid are the nut job republicans.

Yesterday morning Minnie started going nuts barking her head off. There was a big white dog over at the shop yard, very friendly and chill, totally unconcerned with Minnie, barking hackles raised, when we went out. Pam checked the tags on her collar, had a name and number so I called. By the time he showed up the dog had headed down the street and I didn't know where she was but told him if I saw her again, I'd call. A couple of hours later I was heading over to the house from the studio when I turned to make sure Minnie was following and she and that big white dog were nose to nose. So the dog followed us home and into the garage and I called the guy again and then closed the garage door, the dog was just laying down in there. Anyway, the guy showed up, a youngish guy, says he has a hard time keeping her in, spent a week looking for and repairing holes and tears in the fence around his 10 acres where she's getting out. She's a Great Pyrenees, guards his goats, has already killed two coyotes. She likes to range, he said, but you'd think 10 acres would be enough, said she was gone for three weeks once and someone found her in Richmond 33 miles away, took her to a local vet, she's chipped.

Saturday's progress on the mold. You can see some of the shading I'm trying to get this time. I've put in marigold yellow, which is a little more orange than the canary and the pale yellow. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the green tones in the barely open flower before I covered it with the yellow. Second photo I'm filling in with the yellow. I'm using a less intense yellow than on the first piece. I can get varying shades of yellow by mixing different ratios of the pale yellow frit with the very saturated intense canary yellow powder. In the first piece I used two ratios; 10/1 and 10/3; and got that deep yellow. This time I'm using just the 10/1.

Still getting some rain most days but thankfully without the lightning and thunder and intense downpours. It's very wet out there and very humid. On my walk around the yard yesterday early evening I spied two of these, monarchs in the making.

And the bird feeder is getting lots of action. I'm seeing adult cardinals and juveniles in various stages of getting their adult plumage chickadees, titmice mostly. The other bird feeder with the grain is not so I wonder where the sparrows are. Maybe I need to move it to a different location.


 

Friday, October 1, 2021

more progress, observing nature, and clueless people

Leading the yoga class on Mondays and Wednesdays is going well enough. I lead a different class than Abby does, more intermediate to advanced as opposed to beginner to intermediate, and people are still showing up though the number varies. Wednesday was iffy for me due to the thunderstorms we've been having this week but it cleared up in time and off I went. The thunderstorms seem to have passed but we are still getting rain, raining today, gentle but steady.

I made more progress on the mold yesterday, filling in the unopened flower but just to surface level. Still need to build it up. What you can't see is the green tones that went in first before I covered it up with the light yellow. I'm heading over to the studio in a few minutes to work on it some more.

I did finally get a good night's sleep last night. I woke up twice but was able to go back to sleep quickly.

There's a lot of racket out there this morning coming from the other side of the wild space between property lines. When I drove by to go pick up Robin and take her to work I saw that the house and garage of the junk man who gathered and recycled metal was being torn down. It's been fairly deserted for over a year now with someone showing up periodically to work and for a while the year before there was an RV parked in the front that someone seemed to be living in but not for awhile. I don't think they ever repaired that house after the Harvey flood and the guy had some health issues so perhaps he died.

Saw a dragonfly laying eggs in the water filled ditch the other evening slapping her tail against the surface of the water, dip down, slap, dip down, slap, while walking Minnie, a doomed effort as two days later the water had all been absorbed. And for the last couple of weeks when I close up the garage at night there has been one or two wrens in there, one of them the same wren I'm fairly sure judging by its sparse tail feathers. The other night when I pulled down the garage door it peeked out at me from behind one of the struts and I managed to get its picture.

A stroll around the yard and the confederate rose is finally putting on some buds, late from being frozen to the ground by the arctic freeze after it had started coming back after our normal winter, I'm getting no pecans again this year and have no idea why two years in a row, the bird of paradise has sent up a bloom stalk,

and the mist flower is blooming. The bees and butterflies love it.

Speaking of bees, the guy that bought Pam's old house completely cleared the yard of all her plantings and flower beds, most of which were bee friendly, and then he set up bee hives in the back yard after removing all the food sources. 

Today's progress on the mold. I know the frit in the small flower on the right looks pink but if my color sample and the formula for it are correct it will turn an orangey yellow after firing. I had considered doing it pink at one time but changed my mind. I just hope I have enough depth to get close to the sample color.



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

getting started and much needed rain


I have that mold over in the studio to fill and Sunday I even went over and pulled jars of frit off the shelf and onto the table and I sit here unmotivated. Today is my usual day to do the week's grocery shopping and again I sit here unmotivated putting it off til tomorrow. I've been having bouts of insomnia, did again last night, a couple of hours at least, which makes me sleep late and so I don't get my exercise routine in before breakfast. Add to that I had to jump start my day before I was even remotely ready, fixing my breakfast early so that I could go pick up my grandgirl Robin and get her to her first day of work on time as she doesn't have a car and the parents did not make any arrangements so that she could get to work, granted they do leave early to get to their own jobs in the city. I did volunteer yesterday to take her if need be when I talked to her but I'm not going to be available every day. I've bailed out my grandson many times, helped the twins now and then, but Robin has never asked me for anything so I'm glad to do it for her when I can.

I wrote the above yesterday and I did actually move my butt over to the studio and started on the mold. Didn't get far, just the green sheaths the flowers descend from but it's a start. Doubt I'll get much done on it today if anything as I still have to do the aforementioned grocery shop and the dishes need to be done and pick up Robin from work and take her home and it's a yoga class night.

In a show of good timing, my yellow trumpet flower has a couple of open blooms.

My white orchid flower tree made a couple of seed pods this year for the first time ever. It's getting big enough now that I'm going to have to think about planting it in the ground somewhere as it's getting too hard to move it around to protect it in the winter and unlike the purple orchid flower tree/shrub planted over at the shop, which has never bloomed because it has frozen to the ground every winter since I planted it, this one has thorns. A little out of focus but there it is.

We finally got some much needed rain yesterday, 1 3/4” - 2 1/2” depending on whose rain gauge, one at either end of the street. It dropped that amount of rain in about 30 – 40 minutes amid lots of lightning and thunder and high wind. I had to drive through it coming back from picking up Robin after work and it was raining so hard as I neared the house that I was going only 20 mph and still couldn't see a damn thing. Pulled in the driveway and had to wait it out in the car because I would have been drenched by the time it took me to go the six feet to the garage. The power was off when I made it in the house. A lightning strike...the flash and boom almost simultaneous followed by a sizzle had knocked out at least four transformers in the neighborhood but they had the power back on by a little after 6 PM. Bonus for me since it was my night to cook and we have an electric stove so I got takeout from the place down the road; fried catfish, bacon potatoes, mustard greens, fried okra.

Another thunderstorm came through last night dropping another two inches so I didn't get much sleep last night either thanks to a panicky little dog. Four inches in 12 hours and no standing water in the low spots, that's how dry it was and more predicted for the next three days and late afternoon today so I'll probably be canceling yoga class this evening.

I can't even read some days about our political situation with the republicans filibustering everything the democrats want to do for the common people and to rebuild our faltering infrastructure. Now they won't even vote for a stopgap government funding bill or raise the debt ceiling, something they did three times when Trump was in office after their massive tax cuts to the rich and greedy adding trillions to our national debt, just to make Biden look bad. They don't give a shit about this country, our democracy, or the other 98%. The only thing they care about is power. And the two democrats in name only who won't vote to get rid of the filibuster which was put in place to guarantee white men would stay in power are playing right into their hands. And what's going on with the 1/6 commission? They've issued subpoenas that are being ignored and it remains to be seen if they will enforce them. It's just all too depressing to think about
. 



Monday, September 27, 2021

another post about things I've written about repeatedly


Saturday I did something I haven't done in decades if I even ever did it before. I washed the car. It was so dirty it looked gray instead of the sparkly dark blue it is. Now I need to clean the inside which is also very dusty which I don't understand how that happens. We rarely drive with the windows down so how does all that dust get in there?

Look how shiny!

Sunday I emptied the truck of downed branches from Nickolas and swept out the leaves accumulating in the barn and garage before the leaves really start to fall again. I'm trying to stay on top of the barn after the hard work of cleaning it out and organizing it earlier this year. Then I filled and put the bird feeders out for the fall and winter. I bring them in in the summer lest the birds forget how to forage. It took a couple of hours for a lone cardinal to find it and this morning I see the titmice and chickadees and inca doves have also discovered that it's out again. So far the squirrels are oblivious but that won't last.

Stayed up late last night finishing the book I was reading and went and got my blood work done this morning. And really, that's all I've done.

The woman who leads the yoga class I go to on Monday and Wednesday evenings won't be able to be there for several weeks and she asked me if I would lead the class while she was out of pocket and so I did agree. Last Wednesday night was the first time and so I'll also be leading the class this week and next at least until Abby can come back.

I had two surprise lilies bloom this year. Some years I get a few and some years none.

And I saw this dying dragonfly in the street last evening when Minnie and I took our little walk. I picked it up and put it on a shrub so the ants wouldn't eat it alive.


------------

I want to apologize for being a little testy at the end of my last post. I was just frustrated that I wasn't making myself understood, that afib and stroke are two different issues though they are connected, and maybe a little upset that y'all would think I would trust my heart to a doctor that was blasé about stroke, though I know you were just expressing your concern for me and I do appreciate that you take time out of your day to comment on and read what I write.

Some more info: People can have afib for years, not know it, never get treated for it, and never throw a clot or have a stroke. They may just feel tired all the time or out of breath. The general consensus is that afib episodes need to last 12 – 24 hours before clots may form though some doctors think the threat occurs after about 5 hours. Mine typically only lasted 2 – 7 hours so these extended episodes are new which is why I'm convincing myself to undergo the other ablation, something I'd just as soon not do, but if my thyroid isn't contributing and the medication is no longer controlling it, then that is what I will have to do. Here's another fact that I didn't know. Beside the usual triggers, sleep apnea can also be a culprit. And, the older you are, the more likely it is to develop. Fun stuff.
 



Saturday, September 25, 2021

a break in the weather, Queen of the Night, Friday's appointment


We had our first cool fall day fall on the first day of fall. How cool is that? The last three days have been glorious; cooler (temps in the mid to high 50˚s at 7 AM), brilliant blue sky, and low humidity.

While I didn't get to see the cereus in full bloom Monday night, I did get out and see the last three blooms and just those three were scenting the air. If it follows the pattern of the last few years it will put on another big set of blooms in a month or so. It is truly the Queen of the Night.

Saw another little frog on the glass in my back door, this one a green tree frog. This one and the brown mottled one I posted earlier are the first frogs I have seen all year. Usually I come across them more frequently.

The last three days have been very busy for me. We went into Rosenberg and turned in a very old Apple computer with the heavy bulbous monitor and the tower that went with it and the TV whose screen went dark. We'd only had it 5 years but apparently that's sort of the lifespan. It was a chap ass TV to begin with. I expected to have to pay for the monitor as that's what it says on the Best Buy website about the recycling program but the guy didn't ask for a penny. I gather it was so old it didn't contain whatever monitors contain now that is expensive to recycle. And while we were there we bought a new bigger TV, a whopping 32”, the same size as the one we turned in. We just don't watch enough TV to justify getting anything bigger and having to clear wall space and rearrange the room. I also got a new tripod, one that will accommodate my iPhone which is the only camera I have right now. I'm so happy. Now I can take pictures that are level and plumb. That's really hard to do holding a phone camera. And then very busy at SHARE on Thursday, the work was non-stop either filling baskets or restocking my shelves and then took the recycling that had been piling up.

So yesterday was my appointment with the EP. I had been keeping a diary of my days on and off afib since about the 5th. The pattern is about two days on and two days off. If it holds I should go into afib later tonight. We'll see. Anyway, I was in perfect sinus rhythm during the appointment. Of course. I asked him about the sweating and whether or not he thought my flutter had come back (no, he said to that) but he did note that I’m on thyroid meds and thyroid malfunction can contribute to both sweating and afib, asked when my last blood work was done, December, so he’s ordered another thyroid panel to make sure there isn’t any easy solution to these sudden long episodes. Then we’ll go from there. If the medication is no longer controlling the afib then probably the best option is the ablation because he doesn’t want to increase my med dose as he feels I am on the highest dose for my body size and condition though if I want to put it off for a few months that’s fine. Once again he said the condition isn’t life threatening, just quality of life issue. I asked him about that, that I was getting questioned a lot when I told people that. He said that the irregular rhythm, rapid rhythm in and of itself is not life threatening. I asked about the threat of stroke, he said that strokes aren’t always fatal, that the usual effect is paralysis, and I’m on medication to prevent blood clots from forming. So, I will hear from his office when the results of the thyroid panel are back but I don't expect anything has changed and then I will have to decide if I'm ready to go through with the ablation. Probably depends on if this pattern continues (which it did, back into afib Friday night, still am, just irregular though, not rapid).

I did look up the fatality rate of stroke which was 1 in 8 people die within the next 30 days and my father's death certificate lists stroke as cause of death. He had an event in the middle of the night and died immediately but no autopsy was done because my mother didn't want him cut up. My father was a pathologist and one of his duties was autopsies and since he was a member of the medical community, the doctor acquiesced to my mother's wish and just listed stroke as cause of death based on his medical history, a stroke two decades or so previous and high blood pressure which he would not take medication for. So we don't really know what killed him. Could have been an aneurism or a massive heart attack.

Edit:  Let me reiterate since no one seems to be understanding...my EP does not take the threat of stroke casually or lightly. His father died of stroke and he is adamant about no strokes happening on his watch. It's why I had to have the interior ultrasound before I had the previous ablation to make sure no clots were in my heart and why I will have to do that again before I have the other ablation before he goes in my heart to do the procedure. It's why he insists on me taking the very expensive eliquis instead of any of the much cheaper ones because it's the best de-coagulent so that clots won't form. Also why he stresses quality of life. I'm not stupid. I read up on all this stuff. 




Tuesday, September 21, 2021

other weird things


Here's another weird thing, I've been plagued with ear worms for the last week and more. Every day some snippet of song constantly going through my head. Sunday it was 'strange brew, kill what's inside of you' from the song Strange Brew by Cream, a song I haven't heard in decades, many decades. Their first album, Fresh Cream, was the first album I ever bought though this song was on their second album, Disraeli Gears. Every day it's something different, from a song I heard on the radio or just something that pops in my head. Easier to ignore during the day but it drives me mad at night when I'm trying to fall asleep. Last night I tried to dislodge it by listing the sequence of yoga poses in my morning routine which eventually worked and I fell asleep. I'd only get through the first three or four before my mind would wander off and I'd have to start over again. Yesterday it's the refrain from Cindi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun which was replaced by 'we built this city on rock and roll' over and over and over. Drove me nuts yelling I don't care what you built it on. Thankfully nothing today.

I've mentioned that this has been a weird year in the garden. We had a heat spell early in the year, then the Deep Freeze, then an extended spring while everything struggled to recover. Some things have bloomed when they should like the poppies and the love-in-a-mist and the larkspur, some things bloomed late and sparsely like the yellow ginger which is just now putting out a few blooms and the zinnias, some things didn't bloom at all like the day lilies, the orange cosmos, the morning glories, and the lantana. Lantana, fer crying out loud, it's basically a weed, can't kill the stuff. The flowering senna froze to the ground then came back but then all the new sprouts died but that's OK as there are several volunteers coming up. And once again I missed the big bloom of the night blooming cereus. There were 15 buds forming but three dropped off. I knew they were going to open last night, even mentioned it to Marc. Did I remember to go out after dark to see? Of course not. But there are still three that didn't open. Hopefully I'll remember tonight.

Last Saturday was the town's once a year big clean up event where you could bring big heavy things for disposal, with a few exceptions like tires and old paint cans, that the regular trash pick up won't take. I had called to see if they would take old computers and TVs, yes they would, and do you trash them or dispose of them ecologically, yes the person thought those things would be recycled. So I loaded up the VERY heavy old Apple bulbous monitor and the tower that went along with it and the TV whose screen went black and drove them over to the spot and no, they would not be recycling those items, they would go directly in the landfill. So they're still sitting in the trunk of my car. We're taking them into the Best Buy in Rosenberg tomorrow because they will recycle them and we're going to look at new TVs while we're there.

Also last Saturday was the baby shower for my grandson and his SO which was very nice and they got some very needed items. She's type 1 diabetic and the baby grew a whole pound the previous week. Tomorrow they find out when the doctor wants to induce her and the baby is already over 7 pounds and she has previously had a broken pelvis so they are concerned not only about the size of her baby but her pelvis. She's at 35/36 weeks now so the plan is to let the birth proceed naturally after inducing her but intervene with a C section if necessary.

Coming back from the baby shower I saw this.


The yellow rain lilies popped up the other day which surprised me since we haven't had any rain in weeks. It rains around us but not on us.

And I spotted this little tree frog on the side of the house the other day as well. 




Sunday, September 19, 2021

weird dreams


image via: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/se%C3%A1n-moncrieff-have-you-been-having-weird-dreams-me-neither-1.4231563

It's been a long time since I've remembered my dreams, any wisp still remaining evaporating with my first conscious thought but lately I've been having doozies. I recounted one last Saturday and now these.

Friday night's dream: I looked out the door to see 8 or 9 people milling around in the yard. Went out and stood in front of the house staring at them and finally asked what they thought they were doing. Never did get an answer but there was a house for sale on the corner and somehow I thought they were from there and were looking around. Then one of the women walked out of my house and I started yelling at her what are you doing, how did you get in my house, you can't just walk in my house. so then several of them pushed past me and went in and up the stairs and I followed after them to the top of the stairs yelling that they shouldn't go up there, they didn't want to go up there, it was scary, something scary up there so I went back down. Maybe heard some screaming. Next thing I'm going around locking all the doors and windows, lots of french doors across the front and lots of windows on the side and back but at the same time caterers were there to prepare for a party for my son and his friends for graduating high school though I wasn't going to be there because I (we?) were going out that night and I cautioned them/him to keep all the doors and windows locked and when I was locking the last window in the kitchen I couldn't find the lock and while searching for it I noticed the wall underneath had a cut in it so I moved the small empty bookcase in front of it and saw that a square section had been cut and was removable and someone had cut through the outside of the house to the inside to be able to get in so I was trying to find something heavy to put in front of it when something/someone started trying to push their way in.

After that I don't know if this dream segued or it was a different dream but I was with some people and it was time to get dressed to go somewhere and we were supposed to wear dresses. I pulled one off a clothes rack and asked the woman next to me if this one would be OK, it seemed a little dressy but it was the only one I had so I put it on and then we had to wait and I was worried that it was getting wrinkled from being worn while sitting or laying around waiting and wouldn't drape as nicely as it had when I first put it on.

Weird.

I've dreamed about this house in the first dream many times before but it's usually 4 stories and the second floor is just a row of bedrooms mostly unused unless there is company and the scary thing lives on the fourth floor and I usually avoid going up even to the third floor. It's a big house with the row of french doors across the front and the big room on the end with windows on all three sides and a couple of sets of doors leading outside. It sits on a huge lot and no neighbors.

Saturday night's dream, just flashes: trying to find a parking spot in an airport parking lot, found a big empty space designated for Frontier, decided to move closer but that was designated for United, went back to the Frontier space but now there was a car next to me with little girls in it and four little boys around 4 years old all beat up and bloody from fighting with each other around my car and as I got out I told the attendant I was flying Frontier and I hoped those boys weren't going to get in my car. I went in the airport looking for someone who was supposed to be meeting me or was looking for me and went back out to the (now) parking garage, passed a meeting room full of people who were apparently waiting for this person/s to show up, went back in the airport and found the couple who I had already had a previous encounter with earlier in the dream that I can't remember now, and asked the woman 'do you know who I am?' No she didn't. I'm the person you are here to meet, and we hugged. There was also a part where I was driving around outside the airport in my search for these people. And something about taking a shower but that might have been a different dream. I've dreamed about trying to take a shower several times but there's no water pressure or I don't have any soap or shampoo or I don't really have time.

They all seem fraught with struggle though my waking hours are fine. Earlier in the week I intentionally woke myself up from a dream that I guess was disturbing me but I don't remember anything about it. I wonder if they're related to these ongoing extended afib episodes. If so, another reason to go through with the ablation. And here's another reason. I've written off and on about how much I've been sweating over the last year, can be sitting in the air conditioned house and just break out in a sweat. Well, I finally looked up sweating as a symptom of afib and guess what? Yep.


edit in response to Steve Reed's comment:  
I've read that when you dream of a house, it represents you and finding new rooms indicates growth of some kind. I can understand something scary in the house could indicate a fear but I don't think it's covid related. Probably more related to my pending decision to go through with the ablation which is certainly an invasion of the house if the house is me. 



Friday, September 17, 2021

afib, covid, stupidity, and seasonal things


I was all set to call the EP's office about the continuing afib and Wednesday after breakfast it stopped. Of course it did. So I transitioned into wait and see mode. Midday on Friday, today, I'm still good. But I did break down and call the EP's office anyway, explained what had been happening, when my next appointment was scheduled, that all was good currently, and didn't know what to do. He said he would relay the information, the PA would consult with the EP and call me back. I'm trying not to think about it, create stress to trigger it. Although I don't know what triggered these extended episodes. I haven't felt stressed out about anything lately. So then I tried to document the days on and the days off which was mostly guesswork from my posts and replies to comments but I think basically out of the 11 days between the 5th and the 15th, I was in afib for about 7 of them though not all in a row.

edit: talked to the nurse and I have an appointment for next Friday to come in and discuss options with the EP. She reassured me that it wasn't life threatening, just quality of life issue.

I think I mentioned that I've been wearing my mask at SHARE the last 3 Thursdays (not counting yesterday) because my neighbor and fellow volunteer has yet to get vaccinated, not a political position he says, just hasn't so I think he might be needle shy. Anyway, I walked in yesterday and to my surprise everyone was wearing a mask. Normally only the volunteers who deal with the clients wear a mask. One of the other volunteers, another of my neighbors, vaccinated, has covid, was exposed by her daughter/grandchildren, also all vaccinated, who also came down with it. So she and the unvaxxed neighbor volunteer who hang together are in quarantine. He's been tested but we don't know yet if he's got it or not. It would be a miracle if he didn't or he could be one of those who don't get sick, just shed virus. The good thing is that she was exposed after the last Thursday when we were all at SHARE. A new statistic popped up...1 out of every 500 Americans have died from covid. I wonder what the ratio is of those who have had it vs those who haven't.

My friend Denise in Canada sent me a link to an essay on The Third Force. The first two which seemed to rule us are good vs evil. Now a third force has emerged...stupidity. It's worth the read even if it is a little discouraging. First world human culture has become too easy.

My week break from the studio is going on three weeks now. Today is already blown, tomorrow is the baby shower for Audra, my grandson's SO, and the baby might come in another week. So maybe I'll get over there Sunday. I don't really want to lapse into another uncreative span of time but neither do I want to engage in pedal to the metal either. Surprisingly enough, a more relaxed pace takes more determination.

What else...it's dove hunting season with special days for white wing doves. Today must be one of those days as the birdbath in front was full of white wing doves, a dozen, more, with an equal number on the ground, hidden from the street by the row of red tip photinias across the front of the house. It's hard to get a picture because as soon as I move close to the window they scatter.

And it's oxblood lily time. Two days ago, nary a flower. More should be popping up in the coming week.




Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Nickolas and dogs


Well, Nickolas just skipped right by us. We got maybe a 1/2” of rain, maybe, and that was in the first half of the day Monday. Around 5PM the wind picked up and thrashed around but we never lost power though some people in town did, and the wind had died down by 1AM. The yard though is littered with dead branches big and small and tons of leaves. We've already filled the back of the truck and still plenty more to be picked up.

About the dogs...instead of replying to everyone individually, I'll just do it here. They've never actually attacked anyone that I'm aware of, if they had then I'm sure the dogs wouldn't still be there but I have no idea what their intentions are to my little dog. One bite and that would be the end of her, fearless as she is. She has chased many a big dog out of our yard. And it happens infrequently, maybe five times to me in as many years. I'm not really afraid of them but it's still unnerving when they charge like that and I always stand my ground fearful of turning my back on them. It mostly pisses me off that the people just stand there and watch instead of coming after their dogs. The first time there was a scrap of board on the street and as soon as I picked it up and raised my arm they turned around and ran back. When it happens, I'll carry a stout pole with me for a week or so and then I get tired of carrying it when I walk the dog. I've thought about carrying wasp spray too but again it happens so infrequently. There used to be three but Rocky shot one of them when it had one of his chickens in it's mouth. After that they kept the dogs penned up. But when the people are out in the yard, they will let the dogs out too. Mostly they stay in or around the big shop. They're at the very end of the street, have some sort of business in a big metal building on the corner and then they have another acre (lots here are minimum 1/2 acre). They originally only had one lot but after Harvey they tore their house down instead of fixing it up and bought a big double wide but the county wouldn't let them put in a new septic system on the half acre because there wasn't enough room for the spray heads so they bought the vacant lot between him and Rocky. That lot was vacant because the house that was on it was a run down rent house and the guy who was living there, well, his girlfriend torched it with him in it one night and it burned down. He escaped with his life and that's about all, ran over to Rocky's nekkid as a jaybird. Anyway, I was about at the near property line this last time and the adults were at the far side of the property. Anyone else would have taken off after their dogs. We're in the county, there's no dog catcher, it's a rural county, not highly populated. It's up to individuals to trap stray dogs and then the county will come fetch them. If you call and ask what you can do about dogs they'll tell you to just shoot them. It's Texas is all I can say.

The other thing on my mind is my slow reconciliation of having to go through the other ablation. I had almost two days respite this time but it's been active all day today. My resistance to the procedure is wearing down. The medication isn't working. Not life threatening he tells me, just quality of life issue. Well, this quality sucks.

And Minnie has been in my face all day, wanting something. Out, let's go. We go out, she runs to the end of the driveway, I pick up fallen limbs and sticks. I call her in. Soon, out, let's go. We repeated this three times. The fourth time I let her lead me over to my sister's house. I laid down for a while and and then she's in my face, barking, sneezing (one of her ploys for attention), biting, c'mon, let's go! It was a little after 5 so I fed her and she ran straight to the door, out! So we went for our walk down to the end of the street and back, slow, it started drizzling. I carried the pole, an old broomstick, but of course the dogs were in the fenced yard behind their house. Minnie's in her little bed, I guess she's finally satisfied.



Monday, September 13, 2021

two excitements



Tropical storm Nicholas is bearing down on the Texas Gulf Coast. The current prediction is we will get the edge of the worst part. Yesterday I figured I'd have most the day today to secure stuff outside, mostly bringing in the top heavy plumerias that fall over far too often and the umbrella and chairs. When I got up this morning just after 8 and looked outside it was dark to the east and dark to the south. Well, shit! So I dashed outside to drag stuff into the barn and bring in two pots to the garage and the chairs and umbrella. I could see it raining over the field to the east and it was coming my way and just as I finished it started raining and I got a little wet. And then about 10 minutes later it stopped and the overcast sky has lightened some. It's supposed to start coming in around 5 PM so not going to yoga tonight. I'm headed to the grocery store after breakfast and then probably won't go out again. I guess I'll work on the next butterfly design instead of starting to fill that last mold.

I did finally get over to the shop yesterday and finished the edge work on the trumpet flower piece so it's done and then I cleaned up and put away all the wax stuff in preparation to start filling the next mold today, but that's not happening.

The grocery store was packed but all the checker stations were open so no waiting. I had a short list anyway and got everything I needed but there were more than a few empty shelves. People are so crazy. This is supposed to be over by Wednesday evening but some people had baskets piled up like this was going to last two weeks or more. The only thing I wanted was for it to not be raining when I headed to the car and it wasn't. Got home, unloaded, decided to make a quick dash to the library which isn't far away. Didn't get far before the light sprinkle turned into a heavy rain so I turned around. Maybe later. OK, later. Got to the library and they are closed for 'inclement weather'. It's not even raining.

There's a neighbor at the far end of the street that has two dogs, fairly big dogs. For a long time they didn't keep them contained, though now they are mostly kept behind a fence, and more than just a few times they have charged at me and Minnie as I approach the end of the street. And when I say charged, I mean running full out and barking, not trotting all waggy tail and friendly faced. I snatch Minnie up and start yelling in my most authoritative voice, No, No and Go Home. So far I haven't actually been attacked, they generally stop about 6' – 8' away and turn around. They live on the other side of Rocky and he'll come out when he hears the commotion though I didn't see him last night. What really pisses me off is that when the adults are out and the dogs are out, they just stand there and watch. So this happened again last night. There were two adults in their yard and they called for the dogs once when they took off towards me full bore across their yard and into the street while I'm yelling no no and go home and holding Minnie who isn't helping one bit barking her fool head off at the approaching dogs once again they just stood there watching the whole thing! They made no effort to go after their dogs.

I passed Rocky in his truck on the street on my way to the grocery store this morning and we stopped to chat. So where the hell were you I asked him. He'd been relaxing in his bedroom watching TV when Melissa started hollering at him to get up and get out there, the dogs were after Ellen. By the time he got to the door it was over and I was already walking up the drive of my friends' house across the street from Rocky who were both out on their porch. I was coming he says.

So that's the excitement around here.


 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

a correction, weird dreams, and other miscellanea


Let me start out by correcting myself about the morning glory bush. It is in the morning glory family, Convolvulaceae as is the sweet potato. Family: Convolvulaceae, Genus: Ipomoea carnea. The Heavenly Blue morning glory that grows on a vine is Family: Convolvulaceae, Genus: Ipomoea tricolor (also Ipomoea purpurea). Sweet potatoes are also in the Ipomoea genus. So I was right and wrong at the same time.

The heavenly blue morning glory seeds I planted last spring still have not produced a single flower though the vines have taken over four of the five fence sections I put up between me and the neighbor in the back but the wild smaller flowered purple common bindweed that's growing on part of the shop yard fence is covered in blooms.

And this Saturday morning it is down right cool outside and low humidity. What a relief. Cooler even than yesterday morning though it's supposed to get to 90˚ today. It's nice to have the door open again to listen to the bird song. Next week our highs are supposed to be mid 80s˚ but it won't get as cool at night.

The afib had flared up again after only a day but it settled down Friday evening and seems to be holding steady right now.

Of course today is the 20th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Down here in Texas it was a distant horror but if I'm completely honest, we, as a nation, have wrought as much horror and more on other nations in our past and did again after. We just thought we were bullet proof. Less than 3,000 died that day and in response we killed hundreds of thousands, sent more than 7,000 soldiers and over 8,000 contractors to die in Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attack, and Afghanistan with over 30,000 coming home mangled, missing limbs and eyes. So which was the real horror. And that's all I'm going to say about 9/11.

Last night was one of my nights to cook dinner and I fixed Italian sausage roasted with apples and shallots. It was a bit late though as grandgirl Autumn FaceTimed me from Ecuador where she is doing a semester abroad when I should have started preparations and then her twin Jade FaceTimed me just as I was finishing eating so I got to see both of them last night.

Well, it's warming up out there so I think I'm going to finish the last dozen pages or so of the book I'm reading and then go over to the shop and finish the edges of the trumpet flower piece, and thank you all so much for your comments on that, and then maybe start on the next mold or maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

I did finally sleep well last night and my dreams were full of me trying to rally people to gather anything that could be used as a weapon like spears and baseball bats and stout limbs and the like and pile them all up to fight some sort of tentacled monster that was approaching and there were two tigers that I had to dispatch that came up out of nowhere which I did with a knitting needle-like thing by driving it into their skulls and what a crazy fucking dream.

A few pictures to end...yellow ginger, coral ginger, and a mass of baby spiders.