Tuesday, October 25, 2016

H A R D W A R E...

Tis the season for projects and repairs around Dad's house. 
I learned how to install kerf door seal around the back door. Some rascally little dog (named Willie) had done a number on the old weather striping.
I sure miss the old Lyon & Garrett hardware store, where you could ask for darn near anything and they knew what it was, and where it was. It was a blessing, when you drove 15 miles into town for parts, the Cowman was waiting impatiently for.
Not so much these days with the Ass-ociates at HD. 
First item,
The kerf door seal: Fair warning, the Ass-ociates at HD don't know what it is, or where it is. (Message me and I can tell you.)
Next item, 
I needed stove bolts for a project of Dad's and that's what I asked the second Mr Ass-ociate for: Six stove bolts, and 12 hex nuts.
"Please don't tell me you have never heard of stove bolts, Mr Ass-ociate." 
You haven't, and you don't think they exist. "Can I spell it for you?"
"Sure thing bucko, err Mr Ass-ociate... S T O V E bolts." 
"You still don't think there is such a thing."
"Alrighty then, can you point me to the isle with the machine screws?"
"You can, because you have tons of them, great, thanks."
Next item, 
 "I need a roll of emery cloth, can you tell me which isle?"
You can't, you've never heard of emery cloth.  What is it used for?
"Sanding, If my phone was working I could probably find it myself."
"You are trying to find it on your phone, great! Sure I can spell it for you...E M E R Y cloth."  
"Oh you need me to spell the whole thing... 
E M E R Y  C L O T H."
"You are going to get someone in another dept to help me find it. Thanks."
Four Ass-ociates later, I had everything on my list and was out of there.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Sunday breakfast...

It has become a ritual for a few friends and I to go out to Sunday breakfast. When we started, mother was still alive, Dad was still able to watch over her for short periods of time, and I desperately needed those few hours away. With mother gone, and Dad less able, I have been taking Dad with me. He enjoys my friends, and getting out for something besides the usual appointments.
After mass I come back home, pick him up, and we head out to wherever the group is gathering. The airport cafe is usually his favorite as he is likely to run into a few cronies, and see some cool planes. Last Sunday the friends were out of town, so it was just Dad and I. 
As we started out to the airport, I told him the KOC were having their pancake breakfast at the parish hall just down the street.  I get a couple blocks past the parish hall and Dad says " Oh hell, might as well give the money to the church, where it will do some good. Let's go to the parish hall breakfast."  I have taken Dad to KOC pancake breakfasts before.  The food was plentiful and good, the price was more than reasonable, and the guys were very helpful, so he knew what to expect.  
Dad thinks of himself as an atheist, so anytime he's willing to give to church projects I keep my mouth shut, mostly.
We get there, pay up, and I stuff our tickets in the wine drawing jar. Get Dad seated, and ask him what he wants to drink. "I'll have coffee and orange juice, please, Sis."  
Off I go to find the beverage cart, it has two identical jugs of orange juice, and two of coffee. I hold up the one that seems like regular coffee, and one of the guys nods, yes.  Serve our coffee, and go back for the orange juice. As I'm pouring our glasses full I smell booze, laugh, and tell Dad, "Wow, they've started serving Mimosas!"  
One of the KOC fellas takes me aside and says, "One pitcher is Mimosas, but the fellow that made them forgot to mark it, so we don't know which is which!"  No worries! (I know which pitcher is the Mimosas.)
Dad tries it, not sure he likes it, and gives me his glass, sending me back with another glass for regular orange juice for him.   
When we have eaten our fill of the delicious fare, I go back for another Mimosa. (I still know which pitcher is the Mimosas, though I have observed some of the KOC fellas doing a lot of taste testing). 
I ask Dad if he is sure he doesn't want one, "seeings how he's not on the church's radar, and we are close enough to crawl home from the parish hall". 

"Did they know what they were getting when they accepted you?" he asked with a glint in his eye. 
"Of course, why I remember my MIL Mary telling Father Dillon there would be interesting times ahead and I was going to be his ticket to heaven."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

It was a good day...

Dad on the Columbia River 2016

Dad's 93rd birthday was Monday, the 26th. That's a lot of water under the gunnels. 

He didn't know that Marymine and the grands were coming up on Sunday to help him celebrate. I had told him I would be back from early mass in time to take him out for Sunday breakfast at the airport. "Be ready to roll, Dad." I got back and he was still asleep (those long nightly, late night phone calls with the girlfriend just plum tucker a fella out).

Just as he was finishing getting ready, Marymine and the grands showed up.  He was very surprised, and happy to see them. 

Ever the farmer, his first question to Colt was, "how come your not in rice harvest?" Colt said, it looked like another week and he would be. 
Many stories were told, much cake and ice cream was eaten, many sparklers sparkled, and the house rang with laughter. It was a good day.
Monday, on Dad's birthday, he got visits from friends, and calls from far and wide, and a call from my brother.  My Sean called to wish him a great birthday, and share remembrances of good hunts together.

Dad & my Sean hog hunt'n on the home ranch.

It was a good day.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Scattered pieces of fall...

In this house there is not really one good place to spread out what ever project I'm working on.

 Well, I could take over the den but, I leave that to Dad as he has his computer, desk, bookcases, and all his treasures in there. He needs that place to call his own, even if he doesn't know it.

So I take the pieces out of one of the hall closets and scatter them on my bed. Not ideal for layout, but it is what it is. If I lay everything from my little table (desk) on the floor I can sew on it.
Latest project is a wall hanging that has taken more turns than a new lady of the evening.
It started out as a simple mountain scene, then turned into "paddling home"...

Then deciding that "paddling" wasn't working, it was taken apart. After viewing five videos of a friend's recent run on the Rubicon, it turned into "the Rubicon"...

and then I got sorta side tracked by what to do with a couple of log cabins and the blue bird of happiness...

My pieces are as scatterbrained as I am, it seems, and I want to be outside. Pick it all back up, put it away in the closet, make my bed again (thanks to Willie), and I'm out the door by 5am.
Glorious fall morning, break a small piece off the cedar, rub it in your hands, breathe fresh air, and have a cup of coffee... 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Carrying on...

It has been a dizzy week...

Dad met with his ENT surgeon in Redding to see what the latest scan would tell about his loss of vocal cord mobility on one side. His voice has gotten worse since the radiation.  The radiologist is on vacation til the first of October, so she won't be looking at the scan to give her input.  Doc said he could do a chest/nodes biopsy to see what might be causing it, but it could be very hard on Dad at his age. Dad said no thanks! When I asked why Dad's voice had been better after radiation, Doc explained that the swelling from the radiation had made it work better, now that the swelling is gone, it isn't working like it should. Dad has another appointment in a couple months and we'll take it from there.
Then Dad had two VA eye doctor appointments in Redding. He is doing ok for his age.  I do see him getting closer to the TV and computer monitors.  He doesn't see things on the road like he used to, I could point out a deer on a hillside, and he would find it, not so much any more.
Thankfully he still likes to read. I got an extra paper copy of Jim's latest book  

and asked him if he would like to read it before I shipped it up to my Sean.  Now he is holed up in his bedroom reading away!  And has asked me to show him how to work my old Kindle so he can read others! Thanks Jim, for spurring him on to read more.

Book Club was here this month.  I served Brie, and Combozola with rustic olive bread, craft crackers, orange slices, grapes, strawberries, apples, & Greek olives. We burned through nearly a case of Costco Prosecco, except for the one member that had a long drive home.  Again this year there was no desert, and they were fine with that.  After we got through with the book, we moved on to state and local politics. All were in agreement that this state is run by those in So Cal that have absolutely no concept of what their wacko political moves do to the normal people that feed them, protect them, and keep the economy going.  

Dad's poker night was changed to last night because of the Book Club being here on their normal night.  I asked Dad if someone else wanted to have it at their place, just this once.  "Oh hell no, Sis, they love coming here to play, we'll just change the night."  So I had the poker group last night, they got the same menu as book club with the addition of popcorn shrimp, and a wide assortment of beers, instead of the Prosecco. The big winner asked me if I would escort him to his home, as he would feel safer carrying all that money knowing I was carrying. I laughed, he was serious. Now I'm the protection detail for the ol poker players...