Tuesday, January 31, 2017


It is Spring here! Warm days cool nights. some frost is still in our forecast.  Mom is improving  slowly, Doc says she doesn't need the sling now and it's healing well he wants to see her again in a month. She complains mostly of pain and being uncomfortable...I try to help but make little difference.  She is, in one word, Miserable!  I am, in one word, Exhausted.
 Mentally, not physically. Her Dementia/Alzheimers seems to have tripled since the incident.  Like today she told me she thought she spent t entire day with her cousins. (they have all passed) She was with me right here all day.  Some very strange things are going on in that mind of hers.   While she napped  

I did some work on my shed project I have placed the blocks in a trench I dug out and made as level and straight as it needs to be.  It took about 36 blocks, I had those and more around here... cost so far $0.  I had all these 2 x 6's (above photo) not all the same size, so puzzled out the foundation using what I had.  And then I put down the plywood floor and the back wall is in place, and one side wall is about ready to raise up and the front wall is partially assembled on the ground it will up after the side wall goes up. 

                                 3 sheets of plywood with my Lowe's discount and tax, $123.00

                                           the front framing

...and the BEST news is my older sister (E) has arrived to help out.  Thank goodness I'm now back at my house after 3 weeks of  nearly 24/7 care.

 I'm pretty shell shocked with the stress of dealing with mom and the executive orders flying out of DC-Comics, it has blind sided my January. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott are my new email buddies, they are both Republican Senators representing SC, and I surely did not nor will I vote for them, but at this point we need them to help us get through this horrible time in the history of our Government. I got some positive feedback some not so positive, but they are at least listening, not like the Whitehouse who has turned off their contact feature, and the phone directs you to the website where the contact feature does not work...so its an alternative universe up there.

Story time - sort of: This time it's a recent event one I hope none of you will have to deal with-

A near miss! My younger sister (M)'s dog Maggie had to be rushed to the emergency vet two weeks ago about 9 pm. Maggie suffers high anxiety when she has to ride in the car...and when she is excited she drinks way too much water...my sister fed her too quickly after  a water drinking episode, and she began to act weird...gagging but no vomit, pacing and restless, in obvious distress...so sis rushed her in and they did emergency surgery within  the hour. She had stomach bloat and a twisted gut!  Her very life was at stake.  She came through very well and is now home recovering...the one clue my sister had was Maggie's belly was bulging to one side.  So I hope this will help someone else save their dog.  It's more common in larger sized dogs, and a good piece of advice for dogs who like to eat too fast is to feed them small amounts say three times a day instead of once or twice, still no guarantee to prevent it.  During the surgery they straightened the stomach then stitched it to the abdominal wall to prevent this happening again.  

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


 NOT a good week for US here!

Since the snow last weekend, we have had beautiful weather 70's and even 80's, sunny and beautiful!! So why am I not posting progress on my shed project you ask?  
Life has a way of knocking the wind out of my sails and sends one challenge right after the other.

This past Tuesday evening my Mom fell at home and broke her left humerus right up below her shoulder joint.  She uses a walker full time in order to walk without falling, (supposed to stop her falling, but did not) She has fallen 3 times while using her walker. It is a balance problem since she has peripheral nueropathy meaning she has very little feeling in her legs, so she can't sense her feet too well...it creates horrible balance issues...so that is the problem exacerbated by having 2 hip replacements after spontaneous fractures due to osteoporosis. When you live to be 92 you will not go out with sound mind or body, trust me on this one. 

So she had her walker but she hung her toe on something and down she went her upper body slammed into the door frame on the way down and that fractured her arm...then she realized her "life line alert," I've fallen and can't get up button, was NOT on her neck...she had taken it off in prep for bedtime, she was not able to wiggle due to her arm being broken to get to the phone or the button....soooo

I was of course next door in my house, asleep...but I got up at 1:30 to shut off the ice maker which is quite noisy in my kitchen, saw her lights on and that is how I discovered her...she had been in the floor for 3 hrs! 

... I got her up but realized she had all the signs of a broken arm so took her to the ER and they verified it.  The orthopedic next morning said they don't normally do anything except put the arm in a sling for a humeral neck fracture...so that's all the care she received. 

Then her entire arm turned black and blue and swollen.  Since she can't walk without a walker and now she can't use a walker with one hand that makes her balance worse, she is pretty much out of commission, and she can do very little for herself.  I did get a wheel chair and that has helped ME to get her from bed to chair to bathroom etc...but now SHE depends on my help for everything...

My sister came down to give me a weekend break I go back to Mom's house tomorrow, I sure am happy to have the break...since the time frame is: the first 2 weeks are the worst, and then it's a 10-12 week healing process.

Just taking each day as it comes right now...I just want my mom to recover and hopefully be able to start walking again, she can walk as long as I am right there to insure she doesn't fall while using a quad cane, I can't hold her up by her left arm due to the break, so am using the tricks I learned while watching her in rehab before, a belt at her waist that I hold onto.

When something like this happens you start to second guess how the events could have been different, only if.  But we can't change anything that has already happened all we can do is go on, and wish for a better future. I know it could have been much worse, so thankful for that.

Hopefully during the coming days she will get used to doing things a little different, and I will feel like I can step outside to work on my project and get some well needed exercise and fresh air while she watches her westerns and naps in her recliner chair. 

Till then its a challenge to be cooped up inside.  

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Post this year!

What happened to the Sunny South?  It almost never shines in winter anymore when I look back through my blog and emails to friends I see over and over yr after yr how I comment on the gloomy weather!  No wonder I can't make any progress on my shed project I should have started in October but it didn't cool off this yr till a week before Thanksgiving! NOW this-

And the high today will be 32 with a wind chill making it feel like 22.  I guess all you can do about the weather is complain, and it won't do any good! Did see a couple sweet birds come in for food...

pine warbler

Between the rain and snow I got through the pile of 2 x 4's and pulled out the nails, saw off the rotten ends etc. and stacked them is a neat way...this is before!

                          (shed in process of being dismantled)

PHOTOS MISSING! Since I lost most of my Photos of the Shed prep,....I put one of the finished Project at the bottom of this post. 

these photos are low resolution so hope you don't mind the fuzzy...trying to stay within my "data"confines... I went through the pile some got the toss....others I pulled out the old nails and sawed off the rotten ends if it had any...some are good all the way.  Here is a tip if you ever find yourself needing to bang out old nails..
First I lay the board on my workbench and hammer the nail back through the board so it looks like this with the head up.

Reusing all I can of this:

It's easier to pull them out if you have them on the ground...more leverage that way and the longer your crowbar, the better! (TIP: if you have a piece of metal pipe longer than your crowbar that will slide over the handle of your crowbar you can make it longer and pull out LONG -- BIG nails with ease)  I use a wood scrap about 28 inches long to hold the board down with my foot on it and put it close enough to the nail I get even better leverage by putting my crowbar on top of the board like this...

you can pull it out with very little effort using this method....and if there's any nails on the edge of the board,  turn it on edge and do the same thing....holding the leverage board down with your foot really holds the wood steady for you to pull the nail out easily with the crowbar

No Nails!

Now, I've been known to straighten a nail and reuse it, not hard to do just lay it on a smooth wood surface you can hammer on, and put it with the arch of the bend UP rolling it with your index finger until it is firm and then not too hard hammer it till the crook is gone and it looks straight.  
Another tip for sawing off the rotted ends: to me the chain saw is fast and makes a straight cut! SO that's what I used on the 2 x 4's I will be making another cut when I determine which ones will be used where in the project. 

here is a rough draft of my "blue print"  The part on the left is where the riding mower will stay so I want a brick ramp for ease of driving it in and out..I have old bricks here and there probably enough to do the project and if not I know where an old house burned to the ground! The mower area is where the sliding barn door will go.  

I have "felled"one more of the big trees that had to be cut down...There is ONE more shown here that may have to go I'll see when I lay out my foundation...I think it's going to interfere with getting the tools in and out of my "Office" as I call it where all my yard tools will hang on the right...So you got your Right Wing where things get hung and Your Left Wing where things are mobile. Pun intended.....Cutting this tree will be tricky see how its bent... that's a 10 ft ladder in the background...so it is really tall. probably 60 ft?

              Reused the the siding by cutting it into 12" pieces
                                       And overlapped it 

...and now a new idea for my blog I enjoy telling stories, so this is my first installment of 2017, it won't be an every blog thing but heck it could be--probably should be another blog altogether but it will be as a footnote when one pops in my head for now.  You can or you don't have to read....
story time

I find myself thinking of Old Ms Hopkins a lot lately...here is her part in my life...
When we moved to SC from TN I was just a wee girl of 6-ish back in 1960  We played a lot with the two boys who lived next to the duplex we rented.  Just across and down the dirt road a bit was a house covered in grey asphalt siding, a little house surrounded by shrubbery, fruit trees, and a fence.  You could not see much of the house for the overgrowth. Inside this little tangle lived old Ms Hopkins. She had 2 daughters already out on their own, who came on weekends to visit their widowed mother. 

 They took her to church and brought in some necessary supplies. She was for the most part, a self sufficient woman. She had no car. What she did have was a large vegetable garden, a flock of laying hens, a well for water, and a simple existence.  She worked from sun up till sun down on her two acre place every single day even on Sunday...chopping wood, hoeing the garden, feeding her chickens, canning in the summer, and doing repairs around her place. She did all her wash by hand and hung it on the line about twice a month.  

Rumors of area kids stated, she is a witch!  She always managed her daily chores wearing a straight formed dress belted at the waist that hung well below the knee, a scratchy looking grey cardigan sweater, (way too big for her), some type of woolen hosiery,  and a sweat stained straw hat...she reminded me so very much of my own Grandmother back in TN who dressed the same and worked harder than any farm hand ever did. 

When we kids went veering through the shrubs to see "the witch" she would always yell the same thing, "GO SCAT YOU KIDS,"  and we ran as if she had a blasted us with that shotgun we knew she kept by the back kitchen door. We knew that because on occasion if a snake or a stray dog got near her hen house she would go a blasting till the danger was gone! I witnessed her kill a rattler with her hoe, then toss him into her chicken yard for the hens to eat!

We thought she was an evil witch, but when that duplex we rented caught fire and we lost most of our clothes, (a bedroom fire) she was the only neighbor who came with a cardboard box full of clothes that had once belonged to her daughters. My sisters and I worked on hemming, taking up sleeves, and making the odd bits of hand me downs work for us! I wore my share of those clothes for several years to come. Ms Hopkins was the only neighbor who understood the immediate need of three sisters of meager means who had school to attend and just lost the very clothes off their backs.

 Every time I hang up my work hats I think about Ms Hopkins, I wonder what ever became of her? Just in case you're wondering about who my role models were growing up...she was one of them.


Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.