Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Mystery Solved

     I think I may have finally solved the mystery of what Fanny's been barking at.  Yesterday after another restless night of coughing and little sleep, I got up around 6am to go to the bathroom.  As long as I was awake, I decided to make a cuppa and wrapped up in a blanket in the TV room to enjoy my tea. Fanny soon joined me...or at least tried to...ever have a 70+ lb dog sit in your lap?  Eventually she moved to Jeff's chair which also has a good view of the cemetery and trees and started barking.  I turned around just in time to see a deer go out of sight into the cemetery...and another come out of the woods behind Wally's garage.  And another!  A parade of deer!  7 or 8 in all!  They were smart enough to avoid my property... completely entering the cemetery on the Smallsbush Rd side of us and coming out of the woods beyond us!  No wonder it upset Fanny.  They were ignoring her completely.  She must have felt left out!  I promised to make it up to her so after the mail came we went for a pick up the mail and get some keeenix...and I got her some chicken nuggets (10 for $1.49 at BK).  It's snowed the rest of the day...about 6 or 7" worth...and Fanny's been sleeping...and dreaming about deer??   
   Today Jeff's been here clearing snow and he pointed out the deer tracks across the backyard, under the cedar tree...that's just outside the TV room!...and around the other evergreens that weren't here yesterday. The deer have been right up to the windows and deck nibbling on the lower branches of the evergreens!  Fanny's been spooked all day,too.  I won't be surprised to see deer outside the window.  The cedar's going to have to have a major trimming this spring.  I wonder if the deer are eating the lilacs and rose of sharon's, too.
   I think I'll try to do some knit on a pair of socks for Jeff's birthday next week.  College hoops on TV have been pretty bad this weekend. Golf's on now.   Hey, maybe Fanny's got the right idea. Napping by the fire may be the answer.

updated 4:14pm 2/22/2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cold Season

     The last week or so has been cold season...both inside and out.  I can't seem to stay warm unless I'm rolled up in bed fast asleep and that only works until my post nasal drip/sinus starts dripping and then I'm awake, coughing and cold again.  Jeff brought up his vaporizer and that worked a couple of nights.   But the last 2 nights the cough syrups (Robitussin last week, and Delsym this week) have worked too well and now I'm not  congested.  If I use  the vaporizer I eventually wake up with post nasal dripping...if I don't, I wake up coz I can't breath...with a stuffed nose.   Either way I sit in the armchair with a cup of hot tea until I fall asleep again.  I'm beginning to sound like Jeff...I don't think I've gotten more than 3 hours sleep at a stretch.  I was suppose to get my taxes done Tuesday at the Ilion Library but since I had spent most of the night coughing I called and rescheduled and went back to bed. I have a MD appointment next Thursday and I wouldn't be surprised if I've stopped coughing by then.  I can only hope.    
    Jeff's still fighting his cold and he went for the tests the neurologist ordered.   They take more out of him than people know.  Lying still for a CAT or MRI causes his back muscles to seize up and with his bathtub still out of order there is no way for Jeff to soak in hot water to relax them. 
   The only knitting I've gotten done in the last week or so is a pair of men's socks for a friend's husband. Got to get busy again!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


   We got plowed out again yesterday...another 10".  Actually Wally started on Monday but Jeff wasn't feeling good so Wally just did the straight part of the road...and blew his transmission again. (4th time in 4 days!)  Jeff came up yesterday and used the snowblower in front of the garage, between the garage and the house, around the house and down the hill to the driveway. (When the oilman came later he actually thanked Jeff for doing the path for him! Not too many folks do it any more and the fuel hose gets mighty heavy after a couple deliveries.)  Actually, Fanny thinks the path around the house  and back to the driveway is for her.  She enjoys being outside but being a short haired dog makes it cold for her.  She uses the path as a race course and can get 2 or 3 rotations in before she's cold enough to want to go in.
   I wanted Jeff to leave my car where it was and I'd worry about getting it another was facing in...but he wouldn't.  The car was stuck and I ended up going out there  to pilot it while he pulled it out with the Outback. Took a couple of tries  before it popped loose!  I ended up driving it down to Wally's to turn around and backing it into the driveway.  The first attempt sent me sideways thru snow towards a pine tree but the snowbank stopped me. The 2nd try got me over near the garage and I thought why chance a third try? Jeff brought in a couple of bags of wood, a built a fire for me and then went home. I watched NCIS and dosed by the fire before I took some cough medicine and went to bed. I knew I'd end up with a cold or worse with this weather!  I think Jeff and I will both hibernate for a few days and try to get rid of these colds.  Valentine's day will not be anything special this year.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Winter Rolls On

   It's still a little chilly inside today with the wood stove down.  Jeff found that the stove pipe had more than one rust hole in it and had to replace 2 pieces of stove pipe.   (We decided when we bought the stove for less than $300 not to use insulated stove pipe that would cost $2000.  We're very    
Stovepipe waiting for repair
Replacement sections
careful and clean the pipes often... and the section that goes through the wall is triple insulated.) Jeff also found that the fire resistance board that tops the firebox has a hole in it...from overzealous pipe cleaning from above he surmises.  It took stops at 5 stores before Jeff found someone who knew what he was talking about...even though he was carrying the fireboard in his hand!  He was told it would take 2 days for the fireboard to come in
but today George... from Mohawk Valley Hearth and Heating(stop #5) called to make sure he knew what Jeff had been looking for.  Seems the hard insulated board wasn't necessary...and it would have been very difficult to get in in one piece, anyway! George suggested a fire-resistant 'ceramic blanket' that was pliable and would work just as well so Jeff got that. He put the old insulated board back 2 pieces... with the soft blanket over it. George and Jeff agreed it would probably work even better.  We'll see.  Any way... come to find out, George had worked for Herkimer Home and Leisure and installed our old propane heater years ago.  Jeff told him we still had it on the porch and wanted to get rid of it.  Now they're working on a swap...the stove for split hard wood...details to follow.
   With the wood stove out of commission for a few days and temperatures near zero most of that time we've gone through fuel oil like crazy.  This house is not very well insulate!  (No wonder mice keep getting in!) Jeff checked and the oil gauge said 1/4 of a tank so I called HEAP to see if I could get an emergency allotment.  It took a day but they finally said yes...but the oil won't be delivered until Monday or Tuesday.  The wood stove will be back burning tomorrow and my fingers and toes are crossed hoping the oil will last until then.  If not, Fanny and I will be going to go to Jeff's for a couple of days but the water pipes won't be so lucky.

updated Friday, 2/6/2015, 4:45 pm

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Snowed In!

#2 Wally's house in the distance
T   We're still snowed in you can see from these photos.  Our little house in the little woods is surrounded with snow!  There is suppose to be a driveway in front of my car (#1) that leads down to a private road to my neighbor's (#2) house.  The next photo (#3) is 
from the back deck facing the woods and the last one (#4) is from the window by my computer also facing the woods.  It looks real nice...bright and sunny, but the temperature is -2!  Tomorrow it's suppose to be above freezing.  Oh, a heat wave!!
   Jeff and Wally...our neighbor...started at opposite ends of the driveway with both snowblowers and now we're open...with only 1 causality. Wally's riding blower didn't make it....and Jeff with the walk behind finished the job.   Freedom at last! (And I made it all the way to the mailboxes for the first time in 2 days!)  Good thing, too.  I've been calling the clinic and changing the appointment to have my INF checked for those 2 days!  Don't know how much longer I could put them off.  Unless we get snowed in again tonight I should make it tomorrow morning...and then a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home for dog food and bread, butter and milk.  Especially since there is suppose to be another snow storm in a day or so.  The cupboards here are nearly bare!  Good thing we put up a lot from the garden and what was on sale.  I'm sure Fanny's beginning to think Milkbones are special treats!  Oh, better pencil in a stop at the library, too.  I'm all out of books to read and there's been a lot of repeats on TV this week.
    I finished the sweater for the first skirt set last night.  Three more to do and then sew the buttons on the backs and do the embroidery around the keyholes on the fronts.  Then it will be time to do hats!  The shop opens for the season on Good Friday! Got to get busy!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ground Hog's Day

The view from the bedroom ...the edge of
the snow on the far right is Smallsbush Rd!
   Today is Ground Hog's Day and I don't think ol' Phil saw his shadow.  We're in the middle of a snowstorm.  Yep, we finally got it.  It's been snowing since last night and we've got about 6-8" so far and it's still coming down! The TV weather man says it will slow down around lunch and we may end up with 10-12" total.  It's pretty light fluffy stuff and I think I can drive thru it but I don't want to try. Hopefully, Wally from next door will have the road cleared by tomorrow morning when I have an appointment to have a 'finger stick'.  Otherwise it will be 'aim for the mailboxes and step on the gas!' We're out of dog food but Fanny doesn't seem to be complaining.  Last night we shared some left over chili and rice and this morning she had a slice of wheat toast with peanut butter.  I took some steaks out of the freezer yesterday so we may have them for supper tonight.  I wonder if that will be okay with her?
    Friday Jeff and I had a not so great trip to the clinic in Cooperstown for a follow-up appointment for him.   Rte 28 was wet, snowy, slushy and generally ucky on the way down (but dry on the way back). Remember when we went to the ER that night earlier in January?  Well, this appointment was the follow-up for that. The neurologist has just about ruled out a seizure but wants a couple of tests done to determine if Jeff had had a 'minute' stroke...a rather common occurrence for a man of his age with a life time of hard work, hard living and smoking. Most people don't notice it since there's no pain and the numbness/tingling goes away.  He's got to have a Doppler scan of his neck and an MRI.  The doctor thinks medication will be a baby aspirin a day to thin Jeff's blood. Getting old is so much fun...not.  We did stop for lunch at Liz's Diner in Mohawk.  Oh, the cheese burger was the best I've had in a long time!  Jeff and I shared a slice of apple pie, too. Ahh!
   Jeff's noticed that the pallets he normally collects haven't been available.  Someone else is getting to them faster than he is so we've decided to buy some split hard work.  I noticed an ad for a face cord available for $65 delivered or picked up.  He's going to check it out and we'll see about getting a one. Jeff's not sure the utility trailer can haul a face cord in 1 doesn't have far to go but it will be up the hill and pass the troopers so he doesn't want to take any chances.  Besides if the price is the same...delivered or picked-up...I'd rather they be delivered.  A little less work?
Wonder why the bottom of the T rusted?
Jeff  cleaned the stovepipe on Thursday and found out that the bottom T that he opens to let the soot etc fall out had rusted and had to be replaced.  Now the new T is in the TV room waiting to be installed but it's been too cold...below work with metal outside so it has to wait.  That also means the stove can't be used...there's a hole in the pipe!  The temperature is suppose to be in the 30's on Wednesday...hopefully, the T can be replaced then. The small electric heater that suppose to have replaced the wood stove hasn't. It's a waste of electricity.  Jeff thinks we should to get a Karo-sun heater as a back-up heat source but I put that on the same list as the chickens he wants...when he moves in for good we'll get it.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Now What?

   Wally...from next door...called a little while ago to tell us that our furnace was bellowing black smoke out the chimney and had been doing it off and on all week.  I tracked down Jeff and told him and he came back up and checked out the furnace...but couldn't find anything wrong.  He went down to Wally's and talked to him to get things straight in case I screwed up the message (I hadn't).  We decided to call the oil company and they sent a tech to really check out the furnace. We've got about a quarter of a tank of oil left so it wasn't sucking oil from the bottom of the tank.  The tech 'cleaned' the furnace...actually changing the nozzle and filters...but couldn't find anything wrong.   $176 plus tax but that's better than having the furnace blow up...isn't it?

Each skirt is folded into quarters
   I finished the 4 circular skirts in Comfy, a Pima cotton/acrylic blend from Knit Picks, and started the first sweater to go with them.  The skirts are soft and silky...much nicer than those done in acrylic. They still need elastic for the waistbands but at least they don't need to be hemmed!
  Jeff's got an MD appointment in Cooperstown tomorrow and I've yarn ready to cast onto short double pointed size 2's for socks for him to work on in the waiting room.  The yarn is hand-painted washable wool and the color is called Kindling, a blend of soft browns.