Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The wreath ladies.

I spent part of today making wreathes with a great group of very creative ladies at the Hope Community Center.  It was so much fun!
Just look at all of these beautiful Christmas decorations!  The smell of all the fresh boughs was wonderful.  It really got us all in the Christmas spirit.
The Rise wreath!










We even had fresh holly from Rise's holly tree bush.











Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Onward to the next holiday season and celebration.

Time seems to move from Thanksgiving into the Christmas season without anyone hardly taking a breath.  At least it seems that way to me.   We no longer allow ourselves enough time to sit back and enjoy Thanksgiving and reflect on what we should be thankful for.  Black Friday, Cyber Monday.  Hordes of people crashing through stores......Really? Yes, really.  It's not for me.  

Retired Mountain Man and I had an unusual Thanksgiving to say the least.  We were fortunate to be driving home from his hospital stay on Thanksgiving Day.   We left home on the previous Sunday for his heart surgery, which was scheduled as only an overnight stay in the hospital.  There was a complication though and he went from his surgery to the Critical Care Unit for three days.  It was quite scary and stressful and an experience I do not want to go through again.  I can assure you that he feels the same.


We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday and enjoyed a very relaxing weekend with David and family.  Retired Mountain Man is resting and recuperating.  We are very thankful that his procedure was successful even with the complications. We were so fortunate that our friend Shana, who is a doctor at Kootenai Health, was there for us and helped us get through it all.

Julie did a lot of the cooking and preparation for our dinner and we had a very special day.  David spent the weekend doing all of the chores we can't do since there will be no heavy lifting, etc. for three weeks.   We had lots of phones calls and emails from family and friends and enjoyed talking to them all.    Thank you everyone.

As you can see from the photos, we do not have any snow on the ground yet. There's a small amount up on on the mountain, but not much.   The forecasters keep saying that we are in for a lot of snow this winter so maybe it's all going to dump on us at once?  I don't know about you, but I need snow to get into the Christmas spirit.


Later today I am heading outside to cut some boughs to make Christmas Wreathes and centerpieces.  My friend Ann and I have always made the wreathes together.  We cut loads of boughs and move them into my basement on tarps and then spend one or two days creating the wreathes.  We have Christmas music playing and drink hot chocolate or tea and eat Christmas treats as we work.   This year we volunteered to hold a wreathe making class at the community center so that we can share the experience.

I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving and aren't too stressed out trying to get ready for the next holiday.  It's time for me to start searching through all of my closets looking for those Christmas decorations that I need.  They must be in there somewhere.  Maybe behind the boxes on the right?  No, maybe I put them in the other closet?  I might have donated them to the thrift store last year.......


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Focused on the piano at the moment.

I have decided to deactivate my Facebook account.  If you would like to know what Retired Mountain Man and I are doing here on the mountain, I will be posting here on my blog every once in awhile.

I am continuing to work on my jazz piano studies and my guitar.  Finally got around to having my piano tuned and in the process learned so much from Kurt Kondratko, pianist and piano technician, who was so very kind to show me some of the mysteries of my Yamaha keyboard.  The manual was written in Greek or maybe it was just me and I just couldn't understand it.  He opened up a whole new world of piano possibilities for me.   If you don't know Kurt, you should know that he is also a very talented musician and it was wonderful to hear him play.

On another note......🎜🎝

Did you realize that behind every favorite song is an untold story? Maybe I will now have some time to tell some of my stories.  Many years ago one of my favorite songs was:  By the Light of the Silvery Moon.

The piano that I first took lessons on when I was in the fourth grade, was of course, an old upright.  I don't know how they did it, but somehow it was carried into our basement by (at least) four strong men and set up for all of the Reineke children to take lessons.   (I can't remember how many of us actually took the lessons.)  

My piano teacher was the organist at our church and she lived directly across the alley from us.  Lessons cost was 25 cents.  I was a rotten student.  I didn't practice.  When I finally did start to practice and could actually play something, I was determined to learn to play Silvery Moon.   Whenever my family got together my Grandparents liked to sing that song.  Either my mom or one of my aunts would join in with some harmony.  I finally did master it and that meant I got to accompany them when they sang.  Now I wish that I could hear them sing it again.   Sadly, they have all passed on, but what great memories.

We will be getting ready to make some more family music memories this week.   Our Thanksgiving turkey is in the fridge and I've bought some of the fixings.  We are looking forward to spending some time with friends and family for a few days.   Enjoy some good food, some music, visit and play a game or two.  

Maybe I should teach them that song.....






Friday, November 18, 2016

I will no longer complain.

One more item on the "getting old" list has been checked off.  On Tuesday I had a cataract removed from my right eye.  It was a very interesting procedure.  There were lots of eye drops to put in my eye for several days prior to the surgery and then many more at the hospital.  I could opt for sedation or not and chose not to.  That meant that when they rolled me into the operating room I was awake and got to look at everything on the way.

Wow!  There were a LOT of supplies and equipment.  Some in the hallways and several huge rooms with the doors open with shelf after shelf of supplies, etc.   It is no wonder that health care costs so much.  Everyone is always complaining about how much it costs, but maybe there's a reason?   Just for my cataract surgery, I had two nurses in the pre-op room.  I also had an operating room nurse and there were two others in the room besides the doctor.  I don't know what their job was.   The surgery itself only took 15 minutes, but I was at the hospital for four hours in the pre-op and post-op.  My doctor performed six surgeries that day.

I think back to my hip replacement last Spring, which was much more complicated and required four days in the hospital and home health and PT for two or more weeks.   I have decided that I am not going to complain anymore about how much health care costs.  I am grateful that I have Medicare and my supplemental insurance to help pay for the cost.  With the new Republican administration coming into power and their intention to repeal Obamacare, many people are going to lose their coverage.  It is unfortunate that we can't all agree that everyone should have good health care.

There were several times in the past when we could not afford health insurance so I know how they feel.  We were always so worried that one of our kids would need care and we just didn't have the money.   Luckily for us, we managed to get through those years without too many major issues although there were a few.
Thirty or more years later, our country is moving backward instead of forward, attempting to "make American great again".

My eye surgery went extremely well.  The doctor talked to me through the entire surgery telling what what going to happen next, etc.  My care both before and after could not have been better.  Kudos to Dr. George and Bonner General Health.

The improvement in my eyesight is amazing.  It has been difficult to drive at night because all of the lights had rings of lights around them.  Tonight I drove home and all of the headlights and taillights look normal.  One light each, not ten!

Unfortunately, I can now see all of the dirt in my house that I have been missing for the past ????

Whoa!  It means I have to clean house......

I am not going to complain.....

Monday, November 14, 2016

The nightmare is over and a new one has begun.

Yes, the new carpet has been installed and almost everything is back in it's place.  The fish tank has been moved to my hutch by the dining table and I have refinished my blond cabinet so that I could put the top to my hutch on it.   We couldn't have moved the fish tank without Travis and Daryl helping us out.  Thank you so much!



The carpet looks the same as the old one, just newer and of course it's really cushy underneath your feet.  The most noticeable change is the old carpet in the basement.  The installers did a really nice job and it looks great.  It also feels pretty cushy with a new pad underneath it.



We certainly had a lot of stuff that we no longer need and a lot of things went to the Animal Shelter Thrift Store and many books to the Clark Fork Library.

The refinishing project turned out to be more than I really wanted to do.  The cabinet was blond and not stained, just sealed.  I foolishly thought that I could get away with just sanding it down and staining it.  Unfortunately, the seal coat must have soaked into the wood  really well as there were certain spots that just wouldn't sand off.  I couldn't talk myself into the stripping it.  Too much mess.  It will have to do just like it is.

Now Retired Mountain Man and I are looking forward to Thanksgiving next week.  I bet you are too.  There's nothing as tasty as that Thanksgiving turkey with all of the trimmings.

My mom used to sing us this song:

"The turkey sat on the backyard fence and he sang this sad, sad tune.  Thanksgiving is coming, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble.   I don't like Thanksgiving Day.  Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble.  I don't like Thanksgiving Day. Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble.  I think I will run away."

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Things we said today....

nope,  it should be "things we did today".

Raked leaves, but mine didn't look this nice.  They are really wet and not pretty and not fun to rake.  "Ew"



Washed my deck and stairsteps with a bleach solution to clean off the moldy slime....  "Ew"  again, and my deck still doesn't look this good, but it's done.


I am finished with my projects for today so it's time for some fun which for me is to either play my guitar or the keyboards.  It's hard to decide which one to practice on.  How lucky can one get to have so many choices.

 The Epi, is a loaner....and it's really fun to play.



The J45, Paul's guitar....
(as in Paul McCartney)
Well, he played one.
At least once.


or the Parker 38...it sounds pretty good too.

Then there's the keyboards....

but I'm working on a Beatles song, "Things We Said Today".  They wrote a lot of really great songs.

Just in case you don't remember it.