Pan-days

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Pandemic days…

An average day begins for me at 6 a.m. with coffee. If I am reading a book, I usually will spend time reading in the morning, with coffee. I am currently reading Pride and Prejudice. Somewhere around 7:30 or 8 a.m. I get motivated for a workout. A shower and house chores followed by errands or grocery pick up will normally complete my morning.

I like to sit for 45 min. in the early afternoon and watch General Hospital, (recorded) while I am eating my lunch. I try to text message a friend or two every couple of days, just to check in and let them know I am thinking of them. Pandemic or not, our friends are important and should be acknowledged and appreciated as often as possible.

Evenings are for relaxing and watching television. I go to bed routinely at 9:30-10:00 p.m.

If my daughter asks a favor or allows me to do something for her during the course of a day, I enjoy being able to help her.

The HIGHLIGHT of every single week since the pandemic and (home schooling) has been reading to my little guys in Torrance, once or twice a week. We visit and catch up first and then I read to both boys and Nico reads something to me. Nico will be in second grade this year and he is an excellent reader. Liam starts kindergarten this year.

IMG_0530No matter how down, sad, slow or tired of Pan-days I am…these boys brighten up my life. I am glad we can continue our “reading days” as home-schooling begins again for them, next week.

What or who, brightens your Pandemic-days and makes them easier to get through?

 

 

a fierce fight

The challenges of this pandemic came home to our family a couple of weeks ago. Our dad went to the hospital for exhaustion on a Tuesday evening and tested positive for COVID. His wife was admitted the following day, was also positive, and died four days later.

On Thursday, the hospital released our dad, because he wasn’t showing many symptoms. Unfortunately he got really sick almost immediately, and in his weakened state took a fall that landed him back in the hospital. He fell forward on cement and broke his nose in two places.

Two months ago, when I saw dad last he was in very good health. Other than elevated blood pressure and a slow gait, he is healthy for an 88 year old.

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ENTER COVID- Can you even imagine how aggravating it is, how terribly heartbreaking to not be able to get into the facility that your elderly loved one is in, to advocate for them. Dad is hard of hearing and does not have his hearing aides with him. He has been in that hospital for 10 days (the second time around). He is suffering from pneumonia, a brain bleed, can’t hear, had to endure a surgery for his nose, the loss of his wife, and hasn’t had one visitor to sit by his bed- not even for 30 minutes, to re-assure him that everything will be okay. It is HEART BREAKING.

My dad is fighting fiercely to get better, but he has a long way to go. In the meantime, we wait, we try to communicate on the phone. However this is what a simple phone call entails…

we call the nurses station and HIS nurse has to be available. They are busy, so often we don’t get through. Often, we don’t get a call returned. When the nurse can, she has to go “suit up” to be covid safe and then can either give dad the phone so he can chat, or for a face time call, (since he can’t hear), the nurse has to literally repeat everything we are saying to him. I have 3 siblings, so we try to alternate calling so we are not being too much trouble for the staff.

I know he is only one person to everyone else…but to his family he is EVERYTHING.

The status of ones life can change exponentially, very quickly!

Keep healing Dad, you have been brave, strong and determined. However this turns out, I will forever be proud of the fighter you have been.

all my love…to you!

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I can’t believe I have never…

IMG_0473I had to make an un-expected trip to California last week. Mom had eye surgery for elevated pressure in one eye, due to glaucoma. Her pressure went from 32 to 9. Isn’t that incredible? It amazes me how many things can be corrected with surgery. The second night in Sacramento I needed a treat and discovered a Toblerone bar in the Hilton’s snack shop.

How is it possible that I am 61, and have never tasted this deliciousness?

It’s always timely to go to Cali. at the end of July to get my favorite Faye Alberta peaches. I brought home plenty for a peach crisp or two.

IMG_0502It’s good to get a break and get away for a while, but I am always excited to return home. There truly is “no place like home”.

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change is fun, when we want it…

Change is fun. I recently re-did some things in our Master bedroom. At the same time my computer has decided to change my ability to edit photos and I haven’t figured it out yet. That change is not as fun. I was only able to edited one photo today. Tomorrow is another day to try again.

When changes occur that we don’t ask for or anticipate, we don’t like it. As the world is changing right now it is tough to deal with. We are having to live differently and not one of us asked for those changes, therefore, they are difficult. A month or two of hunkering down at home was fun. It was edgy (different), but after after almost 5 months of huge changes in socialization and normal living, it is becoming cumbersome and challenging.

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Since I have complete control over the way I decorate I am happy about it. However our loss of control over normal living, these past few months and so many changes in the way we are FORCED to do things, is tough.

My implicit thanks once again to all essential workers who are continuing to provide us with health care, protection, assistance, groceries, and all other basic needs, while we continue to walk down this road of un-certainty and frustration.

Stay positive, stay focused, stay safe. And remember to call a friend-if you feel frustrated and alone.

 

 

 

wise words…

“you may live in the world as it is, but you can still work to create the world as it should be”     Barack Obama 

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I recently read Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming” and this quote resonated with me. It made me realize that we never have to settle. We CAN settle, but we don’t have to. Change is never easy, but if it is important, then it is worth the process.

At the beginning of May, I was convinced we were going to loose a tree we planted in the corner of the yard. I stuck with it, tried a few things, and I am thrilled my TLC has paid off.

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IMG_0424It is hard to believe it is the same tree.

Don’t give up, until giving up is your only option. Have a great week, friends.

a cooler July

The idea of “Christmas in July” was created 84 years ago at Keystone girls camp in Brevard, N. Carolina, in 1933.

Since moving to Las Vegas I have become appreciative of Christmas in July. In mid-July the temps. are 80* by 6 am and it doesn’t cool down much below that. When we wake at 5:30 am, we have a couple of hours to workout or work outside…or it’s probably not happening.

Over the weekend the temperatures soared. By 1pm on Saturday we were watching a Hallmark movie and enjoying a delicious frozen treat. I saw a recipe for frozen hot chocolate and wanted to try it:

IMG_0375 (1)So simple and quite delicious.

Blend 1 cup crushed ice, 1 cup milk (I used oat milk) and one package of instant hot cocoa. Since I had mine in the afternoon I added one teaspoon of instant coffee. People, you must try this. The kids will love it as much as the adults. I added whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top. I recommend using a straw to avoid a sudden blast in the face and of course, no coffee for the kids.

IMG_0383 (1)So for a cooler July simply turn down your A/C, blend yourself and the kids a frozen hot chocolate and cuddle up on the sofa together with some books or a great movie.

 

diy projects

We have been working on ways to distract from the brown cement block fences in our backyard. We will never need to replace or repair them. With the Las Vegas heat and dryness, it is the only way. Some people stucco their fences which looks nice but is costly and you still have a solid color wall.

I got an idea and Brian carries my ideas to reality.

Outside our master bathroom window we now have this view! A small break from the solid brown and some greenery makes a big difference.

IMG_0310 (1)I wanted to do something a bit more special and colorful outside the America room window so when guests come (if that ever happens) they will have a little surprise when their blinds are open.

IMG_0317 (1)I purchased the antique, wood framed, (OLD) window at my favorite antique store for $35.00. Brian built the box out of plywood and I painted it white to match the window frame. The most exciting thing for me, will be to decorate this window box up for fall and Christmas. I can hardly wait.

IMG_0319 (1)Fun projects, not much money spent, covid19 induced entertainment.

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more than a book

I have attempted to read Pride and Prejudice but couldn’t get into it and gave up. There are tons of characters introduced in the beginning and that clogs my already small brain.

A young friend of mine collects copies of the book and has over 100 different covers. (I had no idea there could be so many). She received this copy as a gift from a student. When I saw the cover I had to have it and decided I would try reading it again. I am close to 1/3 of the way in to the book and I am doing better this time. The BONUS to this pretty copy is that Martha Stewart includes recipes in it. I baked the scones a couple days ago and had to share the recipe. It is quite simple and they were very good, more moist than a typical scone. I did make some adjustments. I used fresh strawberries instead of the currants. I also use gluten free flour. I highly recommend trying these.

 

IMG_0281 (1)There are other recipes contained inside this beautiful cover that I am anxious to try. What a treat to enjoy a new book AND some tasty recipes as well.

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IMG_0279 (1)Happy Friday, and Happy 4th of July weekend to all of you.

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Karma-(floor finale)

IMG_0231 (1)I looked up the word karma to be sure the context is correct. When I originally used it I was directing it (aggressively) towards everyone who contributed to the run-around with our flooring. Now I believe Brian and I (in the long fight and patient waiting), to the point of truly giving up and realizing we could live with the situation…are receiving our gift of good Karma. The Contractors Board ruled in our favor and although I want to hurl thinking of tearing this house up AGAIN, our builder has FINALLY agreed to a reasonable compromise. Materials are on their way to replace wall to wall, the flooring in the entry way, kitchen, dinning area, living room and the small hall to the garage. Basically everything, excluding bedrooms and bathrooms. What this should accomplish is the transition will be subtle, rather than obvious as it currently is.

We have done our best to disguise the mis-match and we hardly notice it anymore. We were truly ready to move on. Just in that instant when we resolve that something is never going to happen, it does. This was our compromise-it’s what we asked for. After a long battle and aggravation for 9 months, this compromise seems reasonable. It allows the builder not to have to replace the entire floor (2000 sq. feet) but about 1/2 of that, and is definitely, the right thing to do.

With our careful choice of a very large rug and placement of the furniture it isn’t noticeable. However, take away the rug and move the chairs from where they are currently sitting and the mis-match line is obvious. Our biggest concern was trying to sell, should we ever need or want to, and having the floor look so obviously wrong.

IMG_0230 (1)I have high hopes of having this work done before fall and the Holidays. The end of September puts us in our new home for 1 year, and actually having it all completed would be a welcome, 1st year anniversary gift.

It does feel like a victory and I can’t thank those of you, enough, who have continued to boo and cheer along with me (us) and encourage us to continue holding on, for a fair resolve. THANK YOU!