I am still here and takeaways

The end of January / beginning of February have been an interesting and sometimes stressful time for my family.  Here are some takeaways :

  • Don’t take your health for granted – We abruptly learned that one of our brother-in-laws was having double bypass surgery (with no previous health warnings).  I am so happy to report that he is doing fine and is healing nicely.  (And I can’t wait to give him a hug the next time we see him!)
  • Make sure that both the husband and wife have keys to the mailboxes.  I had to overnight our keys to dear husband since I had been out of town for a while.  Good thing I did since we had a package in the box.
  • Sometimes the ‘kids’ have to become the ‘parents’ to their parents.  My mom has always lived in her own house independently, but it became obvious a few weeks ago that it wasn’t the best idea anymore.  So, the last few weeks I have been trying to help my mom move into a Senior Living place near us.  When she is all settled I will post an update.
  • Dogs (especially Pepper the Golden Retriever) sense when a person is older and needs some company.  My mom has been at our house for the last week and Pepper will bring her toys, sleep at her feet and is very gentle and loving to her.  Now, that doesn’t mean that Pepper still doesn’t love to be hyper and run around, but it means she tries to not do it near my mom.
  • Plan for natural disasters.  We recently had a horrible wind storm.  The worse part was we were out of power for 27+ hours.  We have a well which meant we could not pump water.  I am happy that we had gallon bottles of drinking water in the garage, used the water in the hot tub (which had dirt and leaves blown into it) to flush the toilets and we were able to use our wood stove to heat food and drinks once the wind died down.  We know multiple people that lost part of their roofs (and/or trees).  Do you have an emergency stash  / plan??
  • Keep your mind active – Do you do word puzzles, play Scrabble, etc?  My mom has spent the last few years just watching television by herself (definitely not something that keeps the mind active).  Since she has stayed at our house we have been playing multiple games of Scrabble daily (not keeping score though).  She is amazing (and not even just for her age)!  I have already asked if there is a group of people at the Senior Living place that plays games.  If not, I will go and play it with her.  (She even has been asking me to play it if I don’t suggest it.)
  • Love and appreciate your family since you never know how long anyone will live (this one should be obvious).  I have been having a conversation with my mom this week since she is trying to figure out why she is still alive, but her parents, sister, brother, friends and two husbands have all died (and most of them at a younger age than her).  The only thing I keep saying is ‘God decided a long time ago the number of days you will live.’  I hope I am loving and honoring to my mom for the rest of her days.
  • If you see a problem then take action – I am so glad that I didn’t ignore the signs that my mom was having difficulties (or come home when she just told me to leave her in her house).  After having a doctor evaluate her (and having her eat good food and drink water) we determined that mom needed to be on medicine.  Once she started to take it she remembered that she used to take it ‘years ago’, but for some reason she stopped.  My family is noticing an improvement in my mom since she has arrived.
  • Housecleaning can wait – I am not saying to completely blow it off, but I have realized that my mom needs my attention also while she is here.  So, I have been randomly doing house work and trying to recover from being gone for over a week.

Until next time.  Later – H

 

 

Word of 2015 – Simplify – #2

If you saw a previous post  ‘Specials Words of 2015′ then you know that one of them is Simplify.

Here is the second project that I did that has simplified an area of my life (which in this case is the corner cabinet in the laundry room).

corner cabinet

We use the corner cabinet as an extra pantry area, but it was difficult to keep track of what was stored in there.  For years (and I do mean YEARS) I had a piece of paper taped to the inside of the cabinet with a semi-running list of what was inside.  I knew there had to be a better way.

Last fall, I found a roll of cork sheeting (on Clearance after school started) and cut a piece to fit the inside of the door.  One problem was it didn’t like to lay flat and the second one was I realized I couldn’t nail it to the door, but tape and glue would not make it stay.  So, that came down and I still needed a solution.

 

A few weeks ago, Hand Husband asked if I needed anything from Amazon since he wanted me to order something for him (and then we would qualify for the free shipping).  That is when I remembered seeing the

Fancy-Fix A4 Sized Weekly Planner Blackboard Sticker Memo Removable Vinyl Chalkboard Wall Sticker   

and

SuperChalks White Liquid Chalk Marker Pen (4mm Regular Tip)

I realized the A4 size should fit (or would be easy to cut down) and I liked the idea of liquid chalk (I hate using regular chalk, especially in dry Nevada).

Once they arrived it took me about 5 minutes to have three of the Blackboard Stickers installed.  It was tricky to get the Liquid Chalk Marker Pen to work at first, but then it went on neatly and dried pretty quickly.

corner cabinet, pantry list, organization

 

I also found an idea for a Pantry inventory sheet at Organized Home   Pantry Inventory

that used boxes and ‘/’ to show you have the item and ‘x’ to show when it was used to keep track of the inventory.  I thought that idea was brilliant!   (go check out the free printable at http://Organizedhome.com )

So, I will be taking everything out of the cupboard and writing it down on the sheets when they go back in.  Hopefully then we will be able to keep track of everything.

 

Now, to figure out how to do something similar with the regular pantry (which has bi-fold doors)…

How do you keep track of your pantry inventory?

Later – H

Word of 2015 – Simplify – #1

If you saw a previous post  ‘Specials Words of 2015′ then you know that one of them is Simplify.

Here is the first project that I did that has simplified an area of my life (which in this case is in our hall closet).

Inside our hall closet we had two baskets (on the shelf above my head) which contain the winter gloves, winter scarves, winter hats, gloves, rain poncho, baseball caps, etc.  Also, the flashlight is kept on that shelf or the one above, which I can’t reach (have I stated that Handy Husband is taller than me and can reach a lot farther up than me?).

inside hall closet door

 

This last summer I added one Command hook to the inside of the hall closet for our summer hats since they would get buried in the baskets (along with the gloves, etc).

 

 

 

 

The other day I bought an over the door multiple shoe organizer, but didn’t want it to be ‘over the door’.  I also bought a package of Command hooks.

filled inside closet door

 

After I hung the multiple shoe organizer up I loaded it with the light items that we would use the most (including the small flashlight).

It is now so easy to grab a pair of winter gloves when I am pulling my coat out of the closet.

Where do you keep your winter gloves, etc?

Later – H

Word of the year – Joy – #1

If you saw my post from yesterday, you know I am trying to find at least one piece of Joy each day.

Have you ever seen the Huffpost Good News (a section of the Huffington Post)?  Well, I hadn’t until I started following the blog Buttons and Birdcages .  She usually posts about the Good News of the Day and they usually (if not always) come from here.

Well, I happen to see this story before it was posted on Buttons and Birdcages (and of course I had to share since it is semi-nerdy – but, what do you expect from someone who thinks like an Engineer)?

Georgie Craig (3 years old), of Scarborough, North Yorkshire, in England is unable to stand or walk due to a disability.  But after using a type of Astronaut Suit he was able to take 11 unaided steps on Christmas Eve.

How cool is that?  You really need to go watch the video.

Astronaut Suit helps boy walk

So, what piece of Joy did you find this week?

Later – H

2015 – Special words of the Year

Have you seen where some blogs have selected a special Word of the year.  Usually it is something they want to do (find Balance, Complete projects, etc).

Well, I was thinking about this the last few days and realized I need two special words for the year 2015.

Simplify – I don’t know about your life / household, but mine has been crazy (for many reasons) over the last few years.  There are many areas of my life I want to simplify (some I will share this year and others, maybe not).  So, over this year I will share what I am attempting and if it works.

Joy – I am to the point I want to find at least one glimmer of joy each day.  It is so hard to find something positive going on (especially if you listen to the news lately), but there are good things happening every day (and we just need to look for them).  So, I will try to share some of the good things I find.

Have you picked a special word for the year?

Later – H

 

Happy New Year!

In some ways I can’t believe it is already 2015.  Like someone pointed out the other day we were all concerned when it was going to be 2000 (would the computers still work, etc).  Oh, and I remember those days since I was working with a lot of people who were testing code and making changes to make sure that critical computer programs did continue to work.  I think we all gave a big sigh of relief when it was 2000 and it appeared everything was still working correctly.

So, do you have any grand plans for 2015?  I realized the other day that I want to make goals (some big and some small) to work on in 2015.  I am tired of resolutions and usually don’t remember what I had (mentally) signed myself up for in a few months (other than the obvious like get healthier).

I will post my goals soon and then plan on making monthly updates.  Maybe that will keep me accountable.

Later – H

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

For those of us celebrating Christmas, I know this week is sort of nuts for a lot of us so I wanted to make sure I scheduled this ahead of time.

I am still working on Christmas cards, making treats to give out to the neighbors, cleaning the house, planning our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals, etc.  I also have a list of ‘non-Christmas projects’ that I want to work on, but they will have to wait.

I am hoping that everyone enjoys some time with friends and family.

I am looking forward to the New Year and hope you are too.

Later – H

 

 

New LG washing machine

Well, the new LG washing machine arrived at the beginning of December, but it didn’t come with LG water inlet hoses. The delivery people connected it to the water inlet hoses we had and started it up (empty) as a test before they left.  Pepper was freaking out!  We hadn’t had a working washing machine for almost a month and the last noises from the laundry room were when the last washing machine was dying (loud, horrible noises).  Pepper was trying to climb up on my lap while I was typing on the laptop!.  (Note: A 60+ pound Golden Retriever doesn’t fit especially when I am trying to balance a laptop computer on it also.)

So, we did a few loads of laundry, but the LG turns the water on and off so fast that we have had water hammering (it makes all of the house water pipes shake in the house) even after I turned down the amount of water coming in.

I did some searching and found out the LG water inlet hoses have to be used (per the manual).  So, I called LG and the water hoses are on order (and probably won’t be here until January).  I also went searching on the Home Depot site and found out there are water hammering arresters that are for going on the back of the washing machine so I bought two of those.

So, for now I am back to doing laundry at the laundry mat and waiting for the LG water inlet hoses to arrive.

I am hoping the problems go away once the new hoses and arresters are installed. I will update when it is back working.

I never realized how much I miss having a working washing machine.

Later – H

 

 

 

Dead front load washing machine

Well, this was going to be a post about how handy husband and I fixed our 12 year old Kenmore Front load washing machine.  One night a couple of weeks ago when it was near the end of the final spin cycle it abruptly made HORRIBLE sounds (turns out the tub was swinging around and hitting the side of the walls and front of the washer).  When handy husband and I took off the back we found that one of the shocks was broken.

So, I did a Google search on the model number and found out that RepairClinic.com had the shocks and a video that showed it was pretty easy to replace.  So, I ordered the parts and we waited.  While I was gone for a few days handy husband got the old shocks out (he said it was pretty easy) so all we would have to do was put the new ones in and start using it again.

The new shocks went in pretty easy and I tested out the machine by rinsing and spinning out a few towels.  It was semi-louder than I remembered, but we thought it was okay.  So, then I decided to wash the towels and a couple of pairs of jeans.  It sounded fine until it got to the end of the spin cycle.  I heard this HORRIBLE noise from the other end of the house.  I went running for the laundry room to turn it off.  I came upon Pepper (the Golden Retriever) in the dining room with her ears pulled back and running for the hall (which she has never been allowed to go down).

We first thought the washer was somehow unbalanced (which was weird since it was never unbalanced before).  So, we added foam between the tub and the sides, but it still was making horrible noises.  (The way Pepper was acting [ears back and wanting to leave the house] should have told us that it was making horrible noises before we could hear it.)

I did a YouTube search and found a video on how to take apart our washing machine.  They discusses that the ‘spider’ which is inside the tub breaks.  Uh, oh.  Between that video and a comment from a friend we decided that was what was wrong.  Since the spider is part of the drum it is very expensive to fix.

So, I went searching (Consumer Reports, Google, etc) and found out that Home Depot had the LG 4.0 Cu. ft. washer (WM3050CW) on Black Friday sale for $579 ($220 off).  To be safe I ordered the 3 year protection plan for $80 (it says they will replace the unit if it is a Lemon).

So, the washing machine is on back order so we are without a washing machine until December 3rd.  I am hoping we only have a few more trips to the laundry mat before it arrives and right now I am so happy that I don’t live too far from the laundry mat.

What appliance have you had to replace recently?

Later – H