Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NOTE: I wrote this before we had our first hard freeze this morning of November 13th, in fact the same day 4 years ago. Most of our 1st hard freezes are in early December.

It's time for the latest updates in my life. I guess I have been busy again in looking over the list I made to remind me.

I finally got the pillows finished for the 2 benches. And the pillows for the blue bench are just the perfect size for resting my head on while I take a nap on that bench. Especially peaceful now that it has cooled down into the 70's and low 80's and with a nice breeze blowing. I hear the birds in the tree carrying on and the flocks of geese heading southward and I doze off. (Note written in October)

Sifting the old bird seed from the gravel around feeding area.

While I was on the sewing machine, I hemmed a bunch of pants for Jim and just in time for the cooler weather of the season. I finally finished sifting old bird seed out of the gravel around the bird feeding area. I fixed a sifter using a large plant pot and some quarter inch wire mesh on top, shoveled the gravel & seeds on top, did some moving around so the old seed would fall through. Am using the old seed hulls in my alley garden to hold down the soil. Looks much better. I did have to work around all the ant nests I kept disturbing. It took me 6 to 7 weeks to get it done.

Jim now has some new grab bars in the bathtub that I put up. They were given to him by the home health service. He's doing pretty good taking his showers but needs to have someone present in case he falls. He can still do his laundry and shave his beard every now and then with a regular razor (hasn't cut himself either).

New swim noodle covering on stairs metal pipe railing.
I did get new swim noodles on metal stair railing that comes up from the street - dang that metal is cold in the winter and burns the heck out of the palm of your hand in the summer. I worked on the metal shed doors so they would slide back and forth better; made some "rain chains" for the gutter openings on the patio cover and to direct the runoff into my rain barrels and now experimenting with colors and size of chains to use, the chain idea was a suggestion from my neighbor Kim;
Rain chains with RAIN
and then there is the raking up of leaves from the mulberry tree (at this writing most of the leaves came down this morning after last night's hard freeze). We had some nice rain totals for September and October with each month coming in at 1.50 inches each. That's a bunch for us.

Got my "super dooper" senior flu shot in September and had a small reaction 3 days later; the winter jasmine shrubs got their winter "bob". Most of the hummers have left and there were a few passing through so the feeder was up until around Nov 10th. About a dozen gold finches are still around but will finish putting out their seed when the current bird seed bag is empty.  I did cut down the size of the birdio and it is much easier to clean around the area now. I have some rusted tools and am cleaning them up by soaking them in vinegar and brushing with old toothbrush or steel wool. Works really good. Have done some clean-up around the bird feeding area as was getting a big crowded with "stuff". Now we have a clear shot at watching the birds.

My big job was cleaning out the patio cover's gutters of bird nesting material and repairing the damaged gutter that I pulled down two years ago when I accidentally pushed the stepladder over. I instinctlly grabbed for the gutter and well we both landed on top of the ladder. The ladder was bent out of commission, I had black and blue spots from mid-calf to shoulder blade on right side and gutter was kind of bent. Last year I didn't feel like doing anything so this year I said "lets get her done". I made some "bird guards"
Sliding the homemade bird guards down into the guttering.
to slide down the undamaged guttering and put in the repaired section before putting up, from some more quarter inch wire mesh. With scraps of wire mesh, I made rolls and inserted in the raised sections of the patio roof to discourage the birds from getting in that way. Saw a couple of sparrows checking it out the other day and don't think they were too happy.
My bird discouragers - see mesh in raised part of roof?
With 4 days of rain coming, I did need to hurry and get the repaired section up and wasn't having much luck doing it by myself (it's the middle section of 3) and as I was doing a temp job of getting up and caulking the joints, my neighbor said "Can I help?". So he and I will re-do it in the spring.

Had my pacemaker checked in October and everything is AOK and an expected 2 more years on the battery life in the pacemaker. Visited the dermatologist for my 6 month checkup and had a low-grade tumor removed from my right wrist and 3 basal cell carcinoma from the back of my right leg above the ankle.

"Eggie" my little Casita trailer got an early Christmas present - a new cover.
NM sun is harsh on everything. Trailer cover tearing to pieces.
The old one just disintegrated in the harsh NM sun. It came with the trailer when I bought it over 12 years ago. I didn't really use it that much so that's why it lasted so long. I hope this new one will last 2, maybe 3 years.

Curtains have all been washed in part of my Fall cleaning, no window washing until Spring. Daughter will be coming down for a week at Thanksgiving so Fall cleaning will be done before she gets here. One of my favorite fabrics for curtains is one called Window Pane.
It brings back memories of my child hood days visiting Nana and Bopar in Norris TN, where Bopar worked as a chemist for the TVA. Nana loved the Window Pane fabric and it was in a lot of her windows.

My chile pepper lights ready to glow during the holidays.
I am putting up my Christmas lights while the weather is warm. I don't turn them on until Thanksgiving Day night. The rest of the decorations will go up around then.

I am having trouble with my left wrist and will be seeing a bone doc. Had some X-rays but they didn't show why my wrist keeps popping. Gets painful at times.

Still have the "bling" to do on my mailbox, fix the back door steps, paint the front door steps and re-finish my slat back chair.

That's it for now. As I noted at the beginning, we have had our first hard freeze and the leaves on the mulberry tree are now down on the ground just waiting for me to clean them up. The pomegranate bush is about as bare as the tree and I just noticed the winter jasmine bushes have buds on them - they like to bloom out with little yellow flowers in December through March.

"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds." ~Theodore Roosevelt

Our family wishes you the best for the Thanksgiving Holidays. 

"The thing I'm most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands." ~Author Unknown


  1. Good morning, Emily. Good to read that things are going well with you and Jim. You've been a busy lady. Take care, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving, also...jc

  2. WOW you sure have been a busy bee. I like the idea of the rolled mess for the gutters. The birds get in there and then when we have heavy rains everything included baby birds get wash out and are all over the ground or clog the drain pipes. I also love your curtains I don't have curtains just the 2 1/2 in blinds.

    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your daughters visit.