Saturday, May 28, 2011

Appointment Overload

We've had appointments 3-4 days a week since I last posted. Between Sweetie's dermatology appointments and surgeries and his medical tests it seems we never stop sitting in waiting rooms. Now the bills are arriving too. Same old story: just as we get ahead and have a cushion there's another "due by" envelope in the mail.

In the midst of it all the rain comes and goes. The lawn dries out long enough to be mowed once a week. The flowers along our south side are nearly all in bloom as are the four lilac bushes and azelea tree.

A path has been cleared in our pole barn where all of Sweetie's John Deere equipment once stood: two riding mowers, rototiller, snow blower, cab and assorted parts. It was great to see a 4x4 truck pulling a trailer pull in the yard and haul it away.

We've spread the word about the rest of Sweetie's collection. A few more lookers and phone calls since and some of it will be gone next week.

Due to his declining health, Sweetie has decided to let go of nearly everything. A man on oxygen with limited mobility and stamina has no use for most of what he owns. He bought a riding mower with a few attachments with some of his proceeds. It's a good decision because I can operate all of it easily.

Our next art exhibit is being publicized now so I've been busy finishing some landscape quilts that have sat for six years. Meanwhile I taught myself how to crochet granny squares and will use left over yarn scraps to make an afghan.

We've invited my elderly woman friend over for a Memorial Day cookout. She's bringing the deviled eggs; we're supplying the rest. Her family is preoccupied as usual.

Well, time to fix supper. Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The roof is complete. The installers were conscientious and picked up the area when the job was complete.

We are very satisfied with their work and thankful we were able to pay cash for the job.

The Roofers Have Arrived

And Sweetie could not resist standing outside giving them instructions then climbing the ladder until one of the men had the sense to stand behind him in case he fell.

I was just waking up after going to sleep at 4 a.m. (what happens when I nap in the evening) and heard men talking in the living room. They had walked him inside and were asking if there was someone they could call.

Once I was upright, I walked into the living room, thanked the men and practically sat on Sweetie. He received a stern warning followed by a kiss. The sounds of men working and material either coming off the mobile home or screw guns attaching stuff is driving him mad. He wants so much to be in the center of it all.

"This is what life will be like now that you're unable to do anything," I told him a minute ago. "If you don't like it you need to follow the doctor's advice."

I know it's hard for him to quit smoking but it's equally hard to watch him die and stress both of us further while doing it!

As you can see from the photo, the old siding remains and to the far right is a peek at the pink insulation around the kitchen window. Six 4x8 sheets of insulation board cover the exterior beyond the window.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doc Visit

After doctor visit the suspicion is Sweetie has congestive heart failure. Lab tests and chest xray results should be back tomorrow.

Doctor said medications could treat CHF but - smoking will have to cease. Sweetie was resistant but doctor told him: "There's little point in seeking treatment if you continue to smoke."

He then went on to explain that Sweetie will likely be put on oxygen and, with some medication, will feel better and be able to regain some activity. "However, if you think you'll remove oxygen to smoke you're wasting every one's time."

Walking from the doc's office to the lab/xray area required three rests.

On leaving the hospital he stopped to buy tobacco.

Tomorrow the roofers are due here to install the insulated metal roof.

I put all tools and insulation/siding materials in the pole barn today. We have no funds to hire someone to finish the job.

Tomorrow I cancel my optometrist appointment and his dermatology surgery, both scheduled for Friday.

He is so weak now that he cannot walk 10 feet without holding onto something. He has begun talking about future plans with the preface: "If I'm here..."

Tonight, while he's sleeping, I hope somehow his unconscious self begins to change.

Meanwhile, it's hour by hour.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Doctor, Doctor

My surgery consult today determined I will not have gallbladder surgery.

On the other hand, Sweetie has finally consented to see a physician tomorrow. Since buying an oxygen meter Friday the record of his oxygen and heart rate readings has convinced him he's in dangerous territory.

Today, he got out of his recliner; walked to the coffee pot; poured his coffee & returned to the recliner. Total distance about 20 feet. Readings BEFORE doing so were oxygen 94, heart rate 84. Readings AFTER movement were oxygen 92, heart rate 118.

The oxygen sensor readings have convinced us he has a heart problem that takes precedent over the breathing problem - though they are connected. I am hoping this is a wake up call and that tomorrow will be the beginning of him heading doctor's advice.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Another Project in Progress

Today we removed 18" feet of aluminum siding from the south side of our home; checked the wiring, signs of any infestations and insulation and found no problems! Four panels of 1/2" polystyrene insulation board were nailed to the exterior. T-1-11 primed siding - bought at auction for a savings of $545 - will finish the job.

Notice the metal flashing turned back above the insulation board. In mobile homes, this is attached to the header PRIOR to the roofing; which explains why most exterior remodels retain the 4-6" metal flashing/siding & tuck the new siding beneath it.

Once we strip the entire home of its aluminum siding we'll continue the process pictured above. Along the way we have 6 more windows to install and must remove and re-install our new entry/storm door. ALL of this must be completed within the month so professionals can install our insulated metal roof.

Our new gas furnace was installed Sunday by our neighbor so Sweetie will be extra warm this winter. Our propane wall furnace will remain as a back up for heating when the electric goes out.

THEN, we rebuild the deck; gravel the drive & expand our west side parking area; haul scrap and maybe sit a spell in July. Gardening, lawn mowing, a field to brush hog, and extra curricular activities will fill out our days. But, they're good days and more and more we're reminded of that!

Take care everyone! Treesong

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Art Exhibit

For your viewing pleasure: art created by people from ages 5-58 and only one (me) has ever exhibited any art.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

City Views

Nothing like a trip to the city (Lansing, MI) to re-affirm our appreciation of the country and our nearby small town.

Instead of taking the expressway, we took a leisurely drive down Grand River Avenue. Along the way we admired gardens, a few fishing boats, a windmill for sale and the slower speed limit. Why drive 70-75 when 50-55 got us there in time and saved a little gas ($4.29/Gal)?

We were so early for Sweetie's dermatology appointment that we stopped in at Goodwill first. Huge selection of nearly everything but I bought two items - both for resale at my booth in a local gift store. My little 99 cent purchases have been selling for 4-6 times what I paid so no complaints here.

Today I'll be at the local library accepting submissions for our art exhibit. The response hasn't been what I would have liked so we'll display at three local businesses instead of five. I've learned there's lots of truth to the adage around here: "People are slow to warm up to change but quick to take bets on when you'll fail."

But, 6-8 people have stuck with the program and broadened their horizons so it's worth it to me. A few stragglers come and go and are welcomed and encouraged when they show up. When I announced I was taking time off due to health issues and a remodeling project the stragglers were the ones asking when we'd meet again. Last night, the mother of one of them called to ask if we would "ever meet again" because her daughter really needed it. Just goes to show you never know the true impact of things until its existence is threatened.

Going to be a busy day so I'd best get started. Treesong

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sales, Projects and Adjustments

I listed out boat on Craigslist Friday night. Last night someone called about it and will stop by to see it today. Would love to see someone else make use of it as it has become a storage spot for fence posts and a house for stray cats. Sweetie will never again take it out on the water as it's a deep lake boat and we're surrounded by rivers.
Of course, he has his eye on a 14' metal flat bottom boat.

I've removed the sod from 30 square feet of ground along the south side of our home and double dug the area. Have another 30 square feet to go so I can plant peppers, onions and tomatoes. The physical exercise has about sidelined me but if it takes me a week, so be it.

Flooding between the twin communities we live next to has covered an island, several corn fields and may have gone over the road today. We're up hill from the location but haven't escaped the moisture. A pond has developed between our home and the neighbors to the south and the corn field to the north trapped a deer for half an hour before it broke through the muck and retreated back toward the wooded rise where two companions waited.

Meanwhile, we're entertained by ducks on the "pond" that intersects our five acres. The elderly neighbor said he's never seen the "wet spot" flood for so long or cover so much area in all his 45 years here. No wonder the local weather man says April 2011 is the wettest on record.

Tomorrow we drive to Lansing for another dermatology appointment and a little shopping - and a reminder of how people crowd themselves into small patches of land amidst a landscape of neon signs, drive through menu lanes and five land roads. A supposed land of plenty with every imaginable opportunity to part yourself from your money - while people stand on street corners with signs offering to work for food.