I Have More Thread Than You

Unless, of course, you sew professionally. Now, for you non-sewing types out there, I have two kinds of machines. The first is a traditional sewing machine which requires just a spool of thread and a bobbin:

In the background of this photo are some much larger thread “cones” which are for my serger. This machine requires four large cones of thread to operate. Today I went through all my serger thread because I’ve brought home all of my mom’s, and I knew there’d be some duplication.

There was indeed:

I am happy because now I can give a bunch of thread to Lina (I already gave her my mom’s serger). It is expensive to have to buy four cones in every color. Now my cone thread stash just barely fits into the space I have for it, and only because there are already four cones on the serger! I have yet to even start going through the regular spools of thread.

Today Jasper had an appointment with our favorite podiatrist to see about getting his toenails taken care of. After waiting an hour, we were told the doctor had been delayed in surgery and we would have to reschedule. So I guess we will be returning on Monday.

Since we were on the other side of town anyway, we ran some errands before returning home. I had to buy ten new taper candles because the ones we had over the holidays burned almost all the way down during the power failure they had on the weekend. We have two candelabras, each of which takes five candles, and they are absolutely invaluable during power outages. I remember when I bought them thinking it was such an indulgent and frivolous purchase. Instead I pat myself on the back every time the power goes out and we have plenty of light.

Shortly after Jasper and I returned home, and Walter came home from work, Lucy shocked us all with the news that the university president has been “promoted” to chancellor and the provost is the new president. That was a huge surprise and we are anxious to see how it affects my husband’s job going forward.

Recovery Day

The day after a road trip is always a recovery day for me. Not that I loll about in bed or anything—but I do post-trip chores like finish unpacking and maybe do laundry. Today I also put away more Christmas stuff and put some pieces of furniture back where they belong.

I have some school reading to catch up on too and I made a big stack of waffles for supper.

And I made an appointment for Jasper to get his driving test. The earliest slot they had available was the end of May! That gives him plenty of time to practice.

In Which I Am an Idiot

I have made the trip to Tennessee so many times that I have a pretty good routine going. I know what to pack and I can do it without putting too much thought into it. This time, however, I found when I arrived in Tennessee that I had left behind my computer mouse and my phone charging cord and adapter. I was able to borrow a charging cord of my dad’s, but I was so mad at myself for forgetting my own cords after being sure I put them in my computer backpack. And I had to ask Spencer to get me a new mouse on Saturday because I am hopeless at using that touchpad thing. (I now have two “spare” mice because something similar happened before.)

This evening I arrived home after driving all day, and when I went to unpack my backpack, guess what I found? My charging cords in the bottom right where I thought I’d put them. I went through that pack multiple times and never found them in Tennessee! By now you’re probably all concerned that someone like me is even allowed to drive . . .

Parting Shot:

I saw this surprising vehicle at a gas station in Tennessee. It is from California, and it is very large.

Ephemeral

Yesterday morning dawned with plenty of snow still on the ground, but it turned out to be a spectacular sunny day with temperatures in the 40s, which meant the snow began to disappear quite quickly.

My dad and I went to church at the little church in his neighborhood which had just reopened for services. Afterward we had time for a cup of tea at the house before driving to town to meet his friends Stretch and Eunice for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. They have been so kind both to him and to me and I was delighted to have a chance to see them on this brief visit.

There were naps in the afternoon, followed by a Zoom call with several of my kids, so my dad got to see Paisley in all her 11-month-old cuteness. Later we talked to one of my brothers on the phone, so it was quite a sociable day.

Meanwhile, back home in East Texas, my family enjoyed a fairly heavy snowfall and a power outage! They had a cold dark evening and night until the power came back on at 3:40 a.m.

I woke up to more beautiful snow this morning, drifting down through the air and coating every tree branch and horizontal surface. I started off by making my dad a batch of pimento cheese, followed by a stock pot full of soup using the bone broth we’d made the last time I was here.

Then I had to get back to sorting through the boxes my dad had brought up from the storage garage. I went through quite a bit of my mother’s fabric, but I’m pretty sure there is still more. I also sorted through several other things, including the Christmas decorations. Talk about a walk down memory lane!

Meanwhile, the temperature had risen and all that lovely snow disappeared, to be replaced by thousands of crystal beads on the tree branches. That beautiful white powder was so short-lived. I should have brought my good camera to get a better shot!

Can you see all the tiny beads of water?

After dark my dad and I took a break to go out for a steak dinner in town. I feel like I’ve done nothing but eat here! It’s all been good food though. When we returned, I had a few more boxes to go through while my dad worked on disassembling my mom’s sewing table for me. I also reorganized and packed my stuff. I have a 700-mile drive ahead of me tomorrow.

In Affliction’s Valley

I grew up singing the chorus to this hymn and I still love it–maybe more now than ever.

Never Alone

Ludie D. Pickett

I’ve seen the lightning flashing,
I’ve heard the thunder roll.
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing,
Which almost conquered my soul.
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior,
Bidding me still to fight on.
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone!

Refrain

No, never alone, no never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
He’ll claim me for His own;
No, never alone, no never alone.
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

The world’s fierce winds are blowing,
Temptation sharp and keen.
I have a peace in knowing
My Savior stands between—
He stands to shield me from danger
When my friends are all gone.
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone!

Refrain

When in affliction’s valley
I tread the road of care,
My Savior helps me carry
The cross so heavy to bear;
Though all around me is darkness,
Earthly joys all flown;
My Savior whispers His promise,
Never to leave me alone!

Refrain

He died on Calvary’s mountain,
For me they piercèd His side.
For me He opened that fountain,
The crimson, cleansing tide.
For me He waiteth in glory,
Seated upon His throne.
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone!

Refrain

No Golfers Today

My dad’s yard borders a golf course, and normally on Saturday morning it is very entertaining to watch the golfers from the dining room while eating breakfast. Today, with all the snow still on the ground, there were no golfers at all, for some reason.

We had kind of a leisurely morning until almost lunchtime, when Spencer and Jade arrived. They drove up from Atlanta so they could get the packages I’d brought for them, which arrived after they moved from Texas. But first, we all went out to eat. The first place we tried wasn’t able to offer dine-in service due to frozen water pipes, so we ended up having to drive into town.

Afterward we came back to the house and had tea. But first, Spencer and Jade checked out the parcels and they weren’t at all what they were expecting/hoping for, so that was very disappointing. I’m not sorry they came though because I got to see them!

They left to drive the three hours back to Atlanta and we old folks took naps! The main thing I planned to do while here is go through more of my mom’s stuff in the storage garage that’s only a block away from the house. However, that garage is unheated and it is COLD here. I think the highest temperature I saw today was 28 degrees! So my dad went to the garage and brought back a bunch of boxes for me to go through here in the nice warm house. He went to take care of my aunt’s medications and I stayed here and did some sorting. There is plenty more for me to do tomorrow after church.

Parting Shot:

Spencer and Jade with my dad

Snow on the Plateau

This morning I got off to a slow start in my hotel. I showered and had tea and then had to psych myself up to haul everything out to the car. It was so cold and windy.

My dad had been worried that I might run into snow or ice on the road. I found the roads dry and clear until I got up to within 50 miles of my dad’s town, which is on the Cumberland Plateau. Then I started seeing some snow, which got heavier the closer I got.

I stopped to pick up a couple of groceries and found the grocery store overrun with people panic buying. I’m not sure for what occasion, to be honest. There were a couple of inches of snow on the ground but the roads were clear.

I was glad to finally make it to my dad’s house this afternoon:

Of course one of the first things I did was make tea! Later we went over to my aunt’s house for a brief visit. I’ve spent the rest of the evening visiting with my dad but am looking forward to a good night’s sleep tonight.

From the Cardiologist’s Office to Tennessee

This is last night’s entry that I wasn’t able to post at the hotel.

That pretty much sums up my day. I got most of my packing done last night, but still had plenty of little chores to do this morning before driving up to my cardiologist’s office for my first appointment since October. I didn’t see the cardiologist but talked to his nurse practitioner.

Now, I know I’ve had at least a couple of A-fib episodes during the last month. But today, my heart was in normal sinus rhythm. My blood pressure was on the low side so my blood pressure meds have been cut in half. The primary area of concern is my heart rate, which is artificially low because of the drugs I’m taking. It hovers in the upper 40s most of the time and rarely exceeds 50 beats per minute. This is why I often feel dizzy in the afternoon, especially when standing up after sitting for awhile.

Another concern is the side effects of the drugs I’m taking to slow my heart rate. After talking it over quite thoroughly, the decision was made for me to have a catheter ablation next month, which should enable me to get off the two scariest drugs. It’s an outpatient procedure which has a higher success rate than the drug treatment I’ve been doing. That doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to it!

I drove home after my appointment and Jasper helped load the car while I packed the last few things and made tea for the road and put an omelet in a thermos for later. I pulled out of the driveway at about 12:45 and have already realized a couple of things I forgot. Too bad—I’m not going back for them! I am on my way to go visit my dad again, and thanks to the late start I’m only going part way.

Since I normally take a nap in the early afternoon, that is a challenging time for me to drive. Over the course of the afternoon and early evening I drank three large mugs of tea and another more caffeinated beverage. I normally avoid caffeine at all times now, but road trips are an exception.

There had been talk of severe weather this evening, and it certainly was wet and cold, but there was no ice or snow. I was relieved to reach my hotel and get set up in my spacious room. One of the first things I did was make more tea! I also tried one of those “helpful hacks” to keep my curtains shut.

Works like a charm!

I know some of you are wondering why I didn’t mention the shocking events in Washington yesterday. That’s not what this blog is for. I can pretty confidently assert that not even one of my 1400+ subscribers reads this blog in hopes of finding perspicacious political pontifications. While I certainly do have opinions, I have yet to think of a single useful reason for airing them here or anywhere else on the internet. And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

Parting Shot:

Why yes, I did bring my Knot Dice with me.

Twelfth Night

Yes, today was the twelfth day of Christmas. Tonight is the last night the outside lights will be on. I’m guessing the tree will be up a little longer since I am leaving for Tennessee tomorrow.

Today was another day of constant rain and cold temperatures. On days like this my time in the sauna is very welcome.

I had my first tutoring session of the spring semester this morning. I had to scramble to get ready for it since I had originally planned on starting next week.

I was not at all thrilled about having to go out in the rain this afternoon. Jasper and I went up to a friend’s house to pick up some cinder blocks they were getting rid of, then stopped by the health food store for something I needed, followed by a stop at Lowe’s so Jasper could get a piece of lumber. I was ready for some hot tea when I got home.

One thing I did as soon as I finished my tea was to make our traditional Epiphany dessert, Galette des Rois, made with puff pastry and an almond filling. Walter got the glass token, making him “king” of the evening. We watched another video with Lucy and Tanner while having dessert.

Then I had to scramble to start packing. Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with my cardiologist, after which I’ll come home, load up the car, and head for Tennessee. At least the rain should be gone by then. . .

Extraction Day

Our little Paisley is 11 months old today! Hard to believe she is almost a year old already.

This afternoon Lucy had a dentist appointment to get her infected tooth extracted. It was a difficult and traumatic extraction, made worse by the dentist losing his temper when things didn’t go the way he’d hoped. We may be looking for a new dentist, in fact. I miss our old dentist SO MUCH. He died several years ago.

Afterward we went to Books-a-Million so I could get a couple of half-price calendars to round out this year’s collection. I could easily have got another half dozen if I had the wall space for them! Later I had to go to Walmart to pick up Lucy’s prescriptions. She’s on a liquid diet for a couple of days too, much to her dismay.

After supper we watched a video together. Since Walter is home in the evening now, we have started eating supper a little earlier, which gives us more time in the evenings.