Thursday, January 22, 2015

Off The Radar

I will be off the radar for hopefully, a short period of time.  I have fluid build-up in my lower legs.  This has caused ulcerated areas to appear above my ankles where the fluid is draining.  These areas have become painful and no home remedy is helping.  There seems to be no sleep for me tonight due to the pain.

My children have ganged up on me and bawled me out for not going to the hospital Emergency Room before this.  So this is to my children:  You win.  And you are right.  I am as stubborn as you say I am.  If any of you read this before I call you in the morning, I am ready to go to the Emergency Room.  I ask that one of you take me.  The ambulance service charged me over $1400 for a ride across town for your Step-dad seven years ago.  Don't want to think of the cost now.  Don't want to have to pay that much for a five minute ride.

I need to get this fixed.  I need to get my life back.  And I need to let go of stubborn so my kids will quit yelling at me.  :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Good-bye Miss Lily

Today is not the best of days.  My little Yorkie, Lily, had deteriorated in health to the point where she was merely existing and not living.  My daughter took Lily to her vet today and she was put out of her misery.

Lily was a hoot.  She loved to chase a ball and would bring it back, only to veer off course at the last second and hide the ball in her kennel.  She dearly loved her stuffed animal toys and sometimes would gather them all into her kennel as well, other times hauling them around, play growling at anyone who came close.

Some years back my landlord installed an intercom system for security.  When the correct numbers are punched into a keypad by the outer door, my phone rings.  After finding out who is at the door, a button on my phone opens the door.  It didn't take Lily long to equate the ringing of my phone with the knock on my apartment door.  So whenever my phone rang, she positioned herself at my door, ready to challenge anyone who wished to enter.  She never did anything about it, just barked like mad.  My landlord called her my early warning system.

Unlike most dogs and their owners, Lily and I did not go for walks.  When we went outside, I walked.  She would not.  She was perfectly content to sit at the end of her leash and watch the world go by.  But walking on the end of that leash was something Lily absolutely would not do.  So Lily went for a carry!

I was so proud.  Here was this little 9 pound bundle of fluff, defending her master.  Right up to the point I realized that protecting me had nothing to do with her behavior.  But God help anyone who had designs on her food dish.

She was sweet and cuddly and obnoxious, all in the same package.  She was smart and funny.  She took to spending nearly all of her time in her kennel, only coming out to relieve herself and eat a little bit, and then refusing all food except the bits of chicken I finally started fixing for her to tempt her appetite.  Her toys stayed in their basket.  The small tennis balls she loved to chase stayed with the toys.  My phone rang, ignored by Lily.  A neighbor knocked on my door without rousing her interest.  She wasn't really sick, but not well either.  I think she was just old and ready to be done.

I do not take this decision lightly.  I don't call a vet for this last service if there is hope for good quality of life.  But Lily was 15 years old.  She lived a happy life, at least in the 7 years she lived with me.  And my life was happier, living with her.

Rest in peace, Miss Lily.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Seven years ago I was introduced to this young man.

And here he is now.

Happy Birthday, Jacob.
Love, Grandma

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Count Your Blessings

I am still housebound.  I have some issues with my legs that are keeping me in.  But it is slowly but surely getting better.  Nobody needs to feel sorry for me, though.  I can do a pretty good job of that when left to my own devices!

I was grumping about this morning, working myself up into a "poor pitiful me" state, when this little Sunday School tune popped into my brain:

"Count your blessings.
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done."

So I did.  Came up with a list as long as your arm.  Here are a couple of highlights.

I am blessed with grown children I can count on.  Even though Oldest Son now lives halfway across the country, I know he would be here if I needed him.  My daughters are only a phone call away for me, and will do whatever I ask of them, willingly.  Youngest Son is always available when I need him.

I am blessed with grown children who have good senses of humor.  Whether it is something they post on Facebook that makes me laugh or something they tell me when I talk with them, they can always bring a smile to my face.  That is important.

Even though I am sometimes grumpy about it, I really don't mind so much being housebound.  Were I able to leave right now, you would probably find me right here doing what I am doing.  Being alone doesn't bother me.  Some have to be around people much of the time, but I'm not one of those people.

I have lots of interests.  I bake and preserve food and sew and quilt and crochet and do genealogy research and read and scrapbook and blog and...     I never lack for something to do and I am never bored.

I have a deep and abiding faith that sustains me.  Even when things look dark, I know that when I pray, God hears me.  I know He answers prayer.  Took me a lot of years to figure out, though, that sometimes the answer is "No."

When I finished my list, the grumpy had given way to content.  My legs still hurt.  There are still things I need to do every day to get back my health.  But the good things in my life so far outweigh the bad that grumpy just can't exist for very long.

Well, that and when a son pops in bearing gifts of chocolate, fresh strawberries and a six pack of Coca-Cola in real glass bottles.  That helps, too!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Keeping My Town Safe

Even though it is winter, every now and then when the temperature gets up in the double digits, I'll crack open a window or two.  The apartment gets stuffy after a while and a breath of fresh air is welcome.

So I opened one of my living room windows late this afternoon.  The sun was nearing time to set so it was still light enough to see outside.  And as I crank the window open I hear a commotion in the street below.

I look down and there is a middle aged man named Billy whose claim to fame is that he can be found nearly any evening at one of the bars in my neighborhood and by suppertime he is usually happily sailing along on an alcohol induced trip.  He generally is harmless, but once in a while he gets feisty.  That would be OK except for the fact that Billy stands about 5' 4" on a good day.  And he usually picks fights with someone twice his size.

This evening Billy got lucky.  The fellow he chose to fight with stands maybe 6' 4" and is still reasonably sober and really doesn't want to pound Billy into the ground.  You've seen those cartoon fights where the little guy is swinging his fists for all he is worth and his huge opponent is holding him off with an outstretched arm and his hand firmly resting on the little guy's forehead.  That was the scene below my window.

About that time a cop car pulls up.  Two officers get out and survey the scene.  One of them says, "Now, Billy, I thought you promised me you wouldn't fight any more."

Billy answers, "Well, you know you can't believe anything I say when I'm drunk."

The officer answers that it was his mistake.  He forgot about that part.
And that's when I laughed out loud.

The evening was one of those that was quiet and sound carries easily.  The cop heard me and looked up at my window. "That you, Mrs. Miller?"

I said that it was.

"You doing OK?  Haven't seen you out and about for a while."

I told him that I was doing just fine and remarked that he seemed to have his hands full.  By that time Billy had a new set of bracelets and was having a bit of a problem remaining upright.

"Well,"  he said, "Billy and I are going to go check out a nice jail cell where he can get some sleep.  Shakopee will be safe for another night."

Sometimes this place reminds me more of Mayberry than of a Minneapolis suburb.  I know it's not, but now and then it is good for a chuckle.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ice, Ice and More Ice

The temperature in my area warmed up a little bit.  And some snow fell earlier today.  And the snow turned to ice as it came into contact with the highways.

I've had the scanner on this afternoon, listening to the police calls for my town and the surrounding area.  I have heard the highways described as skating rinks.  Several sections of freeway have had to be shut down due to crashes.  During the first fifteen minutes of listening to the scanner there were reports of 6 crashes - either rear end collisions or vehicles sliding into the ditches.

Two big trucks slid off the road into the ditch.  Another collided with a car.

As the afternoon progresses, it has gotten to the point where they can't keep up with all of the accidents, and are reporting them two and three at a time.  There aren't enough tow trucks.

I called both my daughters who were at their jobs, just to tell them about the roads, in case they didn't know.

OK.  I'm done with winter now.  Spring can come most any time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Police Brutality - Minnesota Style

This morning I'm taking it easy - sitting and doing a little bit of hand sewing on a quilt.  I've got the Internet scanner on.  I don't bother with listening to police calls for my little suburb as usually on a weekday the most exciting thing going on are the writing of speeding tickets.  The scanner is set for Minneapolis, which is usually pretty action packed.

When there is bad weather, particularly cold and wind, a dispatcher will periodically relay that information to those officers out in their squad cars.  About an hour ago the temperature was -9 with a wind chill of -30.

About 20 minutes ago one of the dispatchers called  a squad car that was close to the police station downtown.  She said that there was a homeless man wrapped up in a sleeping bag huddled in the doorway of the building across the street.  She said that it was probably the same man that usually slept in that spot, but he hadn't moved all morning and she was worried about his condition.  Would the officers please check on him.

About 10 minutes later the officers called the dispatcher back to report that the homeless man was OK.  They had tried to get him inside out of the cold, but he had refused help.  Apparently they had tried to help him on other occasions and the man wouldn't let them.  The dispatcher said she would watch to make sure he was OK until the end of her shift.

Now I don't know what the police are like in New York or Los Angeles or Ferguson, Missouri.  I just know what they are like here.  Here they check on homeless people and try to get them out of the freezing weather.  Sometimes they can help.  Sometimes the homeless don't want to be helped, but just want to be left alone.  But the police try.

So Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and all of those people who feel the need to protest police brutality, you might want to look elsewhere for a place to do your race baiting and your police badmouthing.  The kind of thing that happened today is not an isolated incident in my neck of the woods.  It is the norm.

All we ever hear about is the bad.  Maybe some of the good that most of these officers do should be publicized as much as the bad that the few do.  Seems only fair.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Time for Comfort Food

Woke up this morning to a temperature of -1 and a wind chill index of -19.  The temperature is still falling and the wind is still blowing.

It seems that when the temperatures drop, the craving for comfort food increases.  In my house that means biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast and a big pot of homemade chicken vegetable soup for supper.  With cornbread and lots of butter.

I live in an apartment.  I don't have outside chores to contend with.  At this stage of my life, I consider that a blessing.  The local weather forecasters are making noises about wind chill temperatures of -35 degrees.   Funny, when I was young there were farm animals to be fed and snow to shovel and all sorts of things that needed my attention no matter how cold or snowy it was.  That didn't bother me much.  Just added another layer of clothes and went out and did what needed doing.

But these days now that I have a considerable amount of age on me, I am content to stay indoors until it warms up.  No problem.  I have a rocking chair.  I have a heavy, warm crocheted afghan.  I have my books.  All I need is a fresh pot of coffee and I'm good.  Let the younger ones go romp in the cold and snow. where did I put that murder mystery I've been wanting to read.