Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Alone for a few hours

I am alone for a few hours today as everyone is either in school or at work.  I'm just taking it easy and catching up on my email and things like that.

I went with Sandy yesterday to the Commissary at West Point.  It is a beautiful drive and I've always loved looking over the hills and imagining it years ago.   Sandy usually only shops there about every two or three months, so she really stocks up.  Graduation was last weekend, and a lot of the parents were still around the post.

This morning I walked a little over a mile on Mike's treadmill, and hope to do the same every morning.  I'm sure my legs are going to hurt by this evening.  Don't they say "No pain, no gain"?

Rhododendrons are blooming in profusion in this area and flowering in all the yards around, except Sandy & Mike's.  I think because their back yard is where the deer have always come down the hill and out into the neighborhood, and this is the first house they get to so they start eating in this yard.  I remember in past years seeing so many deer from morning to evening, but not on recent trips.  I really do  miss them.

When I arrived there was a bird nest (a robin, I think) on the front porch railing, with three baby birds.  I never saw them that they didn't have their mouths wide open and waiting for Mom to fly back with food for them.  Yesterday we noticed that two were gone from the nest, and the third looked big enough to be ready to leave.  I was hoping to catch sight of their flying lessons, but you can wait around for hours for something to happen, and it's all over with now.  When Mike was a very young baby I spent at least a week holding him while looking out the bedroom window, and witnessed the always-hungry  babies  until Mom took them out on our front lawn to teach them to fly.  I really hoped to see that with these birds, but I missed it.  I love all the sights and events in nature that I see here, but miss at home in California.  I'm sure the same happens there but just not in my space.

That's about all from here for the time being.  I'll be back again soon. 

A Few Hours Later: 
Regarding my post yesterday when I tried to explain the origins of Fishkill:  I'm reading a book in the Images of America series, East Fishkill, which has this explanation:

"Fishkill is a translation of the Dutch word Vis-kil, or "fish creek".  So Governor Fish had nothing to do with it, but I was correct about the creek.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day!

Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day):
Yesterday many of my d-i-l's (Sandy's) family came to celebrate Joshua's birthday, which is coming up in less than a week.   I was too exhausted by the end of the day to try to write anything.

This morning  we went to a small park nearby for a service of speeches, patriotic music, and tributes.  The parade came down through the community to the park and my grandson Joshua carried his boy scout troop's flag - he looks so good in his uniform, and it won't be long before he is taller than I am.

Mike had to work today, so after the Memorial Day events Sandy and I took the two boys shopping for shoes and hiking boots, and then to Barnes & Noble books.  I even bought myself a book in the Images of America series,  for East Fishkill NY, which encompasses about 8 communities.   I have visited so many parts of this large area, mainly to see places that figured so importantly in the Revolutionary War.   George Washington had a number of headquarters in the area.

Note:  "Kill" is the Dutch word for river or stream.  (If any Dutch-speaking folks are reading this and want to clarify this if I don't have it correctly, please comment and let us know.)  The Governor of New York in 1849 was a man named Hamilton Fish.  Thus Fishkill, is probably named after a river or creek on the property of Hamilton Fish.  I want to include this bit of trivia because so many folks from other parts of the country think it means something about killing fish!  Now again, I may be wrong about this but it seems logical to think that Fishkill is something to do with a river or stream, and Hamilton Fish.  I would appreciate it if those who may know, to comment and correct me if I'm wrong.  I absolutely LOVE this area, especially all the historical significance, and the fact that you still have small-town life only 60 miles or so from New York City.

I have had a lot of small problems with my computer since I've arrived here, and hope to get it settled without needing to buy a new computer.  My son has also promised me he would try to find a way to solve the photo issue so I can post some photos from my trip.

Going back to the to the day after my arrival, it was over 90 degrees.   Yesterday the temperature dropped to the high 60's and it is still very nice and cool today.  I'm enjoying that!

I realize I've jumped around a lot timewise, but since my arrival here I still haven't settled down to a good grasp of where and when I am!  Please bear with me as I get in the groove!

My youngest grandson is supposed to read out loud to an adult for 20 minutes each day, and when I'm here he reads to me.  I guess it's too late to ask my son about the photo problem, but I may take my computer to Best Buy in the near future to see if they can help me.  They are the official Apple dealer in this area.

See ya tomorrow.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

From New York State!

May 24, 2018:
I'm sorry I was unable to post day by day, but had no wifi from Sacramento to Chicago.  We left Chicago last night and are now leaving Buffalo - I think our route takes us up to Rochester and then heads east to Albany.  The train is split at Albany, with several of the cars going to Boston and the rest going on to New York City.

It is definitely not easy to take good photos from a train that is constantly rocking from side to side.  (It's also not easy to walk the narrow corridors of a train that is rocking from side to side!) 

The following pictures were taken in Blue Canyon in the Sierra Nevada mountains.   This is my first attempt to take photos from a moving train!  When I first wrote this I thought I'd be able to show you photos day by day.  This wasn't possible, so I'll try to post them when I'm able.

Saturday, May 26
I will have to get the photo situation resolved and find a way to put them in my blog.  I can see them myself, but haven't been able to figure out how to include them in the blog.

The rest of the trip was amazing, and we had a rather long layover in Chicago.  I didn't even bother to go outside as I've been to Chicago many times in the past.  I found the 1st class lounge and enjoy a comfortable seating area with a couple who were waiting on the same train as I was.  I also found a small bar in the lounge and enjoyed a good scotch (Dewar's) and water! 

The train to New York finally arrived and it was probably better than the California Zephyr.  The roomettes were the same size but had less free space and a slightly narrower bed, but included a sink and toilet in the roomette.  Much more convenient than having to go down the hall for those amenities!  The car attendant was the best yet, and they are all excellent!

I arrived at my destination about 45 minutes late, and my son was waiting as I got off the train.  I can say that I had much appreciated help getting on and off the trains with my luggage.  The large suitcase moved very easily on four wheels (one at each corner), but was heavy enough to be difficult for me to carry, and I received very good attention and assistance when embarking and disembarking both trains.  I also met some very nice folks in the dining car - they will seat people together which is much more efficient than having empty chairs at every table.

I am not plagued with the usual jet lag as when traveling on a plane.  The journey was comfortable and so enjoyable, with enough privacy as well as social contact - perfect for an introvert like me!

Later on this evening I hope to have some help with the photo situation, and will post the pictures as soon as I can.   It is so nice to be here again.   

I really appreciated the scenery from the train window all through the journey.  It reminded me just how wide this country is, and how beautiful and completely different each state is from the others.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Quick Update

I arrived in Chicago a little while ago.  There was no wifi or even an outlet to charge devices on the California Zephyr train.  Hope things will be better (device wise) on the Lake Shore Ltd.  The train couldn't have been better, otherwise.

I need to find a place to charge up the computer & phone, and I'll try to post a blog within another day or two.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

One Day Left!

Just one full day.  I can't get myself moving to clean the house, but I am mostly packed.  A few last minute items and I'm finished - if I didn't pack it I'll either buy another one or do without!

The weather has been beautiful today, breezy and not hot.   I can't figure out what they are trying to do to us with all the spraying in the skies.  Today the skies were full of weird patterns plus a lot of huge X's   The X's look really bad and out of place.

I think I have done just about all the things I needed to do before leaving.  I mailed my ballot in yesterday for the June 5 election.  I just know I'm forgetting something important, but I have one more day to realize what it is. 

I may not post a blog tomorrow, but will try to write something when I'm safely on the right train and we are on our way through the beautiful mountains.    With my memory getting fuzzier, I just hope  everything goes smoothly.   I think driving would be much easier until I hit the Chicago area, and then it would be tense the rest of the way to the state line of PA and NY.   I'm just having last minute jitters. 

I'd appreciate it if my friends out there would send me some good vibes to get me through this last day and a half!   

Thursday, May 17, 2018

I'll Soon be on the Road Again!

I've accomplished quite a bit today considering my slow start this morning.  Got my hair cut - it's been back before Christmas when I last had it cut.  It looks and feels great and I think it will be easy to take care of for a while at least.

I mostly have all the clothes packed in my suitcase, with a few remaining odds and ends including shoes.  My small carry on backpack is getting stuffed with still more to go into it, but I really don't want to have to wheel anything more than the large case.   Everywhere I look around the house are odds and ends that have to be packed - phone, computer, Nook, chargers, etc.

Still no sign of the new debit card, but I still have 3 more mail deliveries.  I'll just have to use my credit card if it doesn't arrive before I leave.  I won't have to buy much on the train - I guess beer if I want any.  They provide wine with dinner plus all meals for 1st class passengers, but I'll need cash for tips.  I have no clue how much to tip anyone - it's been a long time since I've needed to tip except for local restaurants and pubs once in a while.   I know I'll need to tip my room attendants and probably if anyone helps me get my big suitcase aboard.

I'm getting more excited about the trip by the day now.  At first it was an overwhelming thought and I didn't know if I could do it.  I still worry about tripping but I'll just be careful and will welcome any helping hand extended to me.  What a switch for me!  I've always been a do-it-myself inependent kind of person.  I'd help anyone I could, but rarely needed help for myself.  It's going to be a lesson in humility, but I'll smile if it kills me!

My oldest grandson will be 12 while I'm there.  I can't believe he'll be a teen ager next year.  Following right behind him  turning 12 in December is Autumn.  I hope I last long enough to see them all in their teens (and laugh when their parents complain). 

There are a few small items I wanted to buy for the trip but just don't like to shop these days.  All the time I've been at home with recovering from one thing and another, has been kind of nice, and I end up with spare cash at the end of the month!  I also enjoy it more when I do get out.

As usual I write too much when I get started.  This was going to be a short post!  As my kids would say, I have 5 more "wake-ups" till I leave.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Thunder and Rain???

The skies were cloudy when I went to bed last night, but the last thing I expected to hear this morning was thunder!  It normally never rains this late in the season. We had a very heavy rain this morning and now it's falling off and on, but more lightly.  I kind of like it and had to get my sweatpants and flannel shirt back out.

I picked up my car this morning  after having a new timing belt, water pump, and all that goes along with it done yesterday.  I hated to spend that much money especially right before a trip, but it needed to be done and my precious daughter will be driving my car most of the time from now on so I'm not taking any chances.

My eye surgery has been scheduled for the 31st of July, shortly after my return from NY (maybe I've already written about this?).  I'll be glad when it's over with, but my autumn and probably into winter will be mostly spent recuperating.   I'm swearing off any more surgery after this one! 

Is anyone else having troubles with all their websites initiating ridiculously complex security procedures?  Maybe a younger person would have no trouble with it, but I certainly am.   For some reason my aol website doesn't let me log in, so I finally thought of using Safari (the browser that comes with a Mac, and which I don't care much for).   Thank goodness I'm not having trouble loading anything other than AOL right now.  The biggest laugh is that they all tell you "don't write your password down".  I have 4 printed pages of passwords, some used very infrequently and many used on a daily basis.  And I'm supposed to remember them all?  What a joke. 

I can't figure out what to do next - I've been studying the voter registration guide and filling out the ballot to be dropped off or mailed in before I leave for NY, so this rainy chilly day would be a good time to finish it off and find the local drop box.  I feel pretty good about all the thought I've put into this election, and it is only a primary!

Ok, I'm outta here for now.  Hope everyone has a great day, and walk between the raindrops that may fall!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mother's Day

I had a delicious mothers' day dinner that my son-in-law (Donald) prepared.  I was at their house early enough to watch him make chocolate covered strawberries.  They fit 9 to a box, and he did 5 boxes:  one for Jeannie, one for his Mom and one for me, one for the next door neighbor, and the 5th one for their new neighbors at the end of the street.  The people who had lived in the house at the end of the street were definitely the "neighbors from hell!"  They did everything they could to make life miserable for the two other families on the lane.  Things will be much better now with the friendly couple who live there with their two children.

I visited my cardiologist today and I am always so grateful to have found such a great specialist.   I have yet to hear from the retinal group about setting a date for eye surgery, so maybe I'll call them tomorrow.  I'd like to have a bunch of little ends tied up before I leave.

I've started packing a few things and I don't think I'll have a problem just taking one suitcase (plus a small backpack to carry with me into the roomette on the train).  I will always pack more than I would have to, but being there for two months I don't want to have to do laundry so often.  Summer clothes take up less room than winter clothes, so I'm feeling pretty optimistic about getting everything packed efficiently.

I haven't had my hair cut since January, back before my cancer treatments.   I am going to get it cut this Thursday and can't wait, as it is constantly in my eyes and drives me crazy!

That's it for tonight!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Tying up loose ends

I am having such difficulty taking care of some important things, for one reason because my credit union has decided to change their credit and debit cards, one to a new format, and the other to a different company.  I've explained that I will be travelling across the country, and they assure me I will get my debit card in time, but I want the new credit card as well.  To make matters worse I am having extensive work done on my car next Tuesday that I'm not sure how I can cover if I don't get at least one of those cards.  I hate it when stumbling blocks like this come up.

The primary election in CA is set for June 5, so I will have to send in a ballot by mail.  I've been studying candidates for governor and senator, totaling approx 34 candidates in all, which I've narrowed down to 7 candidates.  I think now I've made one of the choices, and am waiting for email replies to my two possible choices for governor.  This is sort of exciting to me and surprising as well, as I've usually found the primaries to be fairly dull.  I remember years ago when there wasn't such drama in government and I really didn't want to bother with a primary vote.  Because two of my kids were in the car with me I decided to stop and vote on the way home so as to give them good example of civic responsibility.  I guess it worked as they have turned out very well in that arena.

I've been sneezing a lot lately and this morning read that this will be a very tough allergy season in most parts of the U.S.   I thought I was finished with that!   I'd better pack a few allergy tablets.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and stay safe!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


I'm sorry about my mistake in when to watch Jupiter - the article, which was posted on Monday, mentioned that Jupiter would be a spectacular sight all night long on Tuesday, which I took to mean last night.  Unless it was covered by a big cloud all night long, it wasn't visible to me!  Maybe next Tuesday.

My son Steve came by yesterday morning and did all the necessary switch & dial adjustments to run my swamp cooler.  I ran it yesterday afternoon, and Just now (at 3pm) turned it on.  Feels wonderful!  The outdoor temp is at 73 right now and shouldn't go past 80, so I'll probably be able to turn it off by 6pm or so.  I am worried about how hot it is going to get in the worst of the summer, when I probably will not be here and the house will be shut.

I got my new suitcase out and it is in my bedroom waiting for me to pack.  I've started gathering items and really am anxious to start packing them, but as soon as I do I'll have to get something out for some reason, so I'd be better off to just try to have some patience.

I'd better get something done so this day isn't a total waste.   See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Sill Watching the Skies

This  time it's not the moon but the planet Jupiter.  It is supposed to be at its biggest and brightest tonight, rising in the east and setting in the west.  That happens to be in  view out of my bedroom window facing south, so I am hoping to be rewarded with a beautiful sight!

I've been reading up on some of the literature given to me by the retinal specialists, as well as from a person who has gone through this same surgery.   I am not worried about having eye surgery.  But it is afterwards that is so strange as to almost be laughable, although I'm definitely not saying they are funny.  Weird is the only way I can describe them.

As it will be a long time before I can read anything, and since I am an avid reader, I am concocting what I think is an ingeneous plan to be read to and interact with my grandchildren as well.   I'm going to ask them to take turns coming over and reading to their poor old grandma!  I think it will be fun.  I will have to wait until my eyes clear up a bit so I don't scare them to pieces.  It doesn't sound like a pretty picture when reading the aftereffects of this surgery!   We'll figure it out as we go along. 

I'm also going to get over my preference for reading the book as opposed to listening to an audio version.  I much prefer reading to listening but in the immortal words of Mick Jagger (of  the Rolling Stones), "you can't always get what you want!"

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Moon watching

I'm still looking at the moon before I go to bed, and several days after the full moon, it is still a gorgeous sight.   I wish I lived somewhere there is less light pollution so I could enjoy the stars.  I will never forget walking to the village when I lived in Ireland, in pitch dark, and looking up and seeing the Milky Way.  It was the most beautiful and indescribable thing I've seen!  

I read more of the material in the packet given to me by the eye surgeon, and wonder how I'm going to survive this!  I'm not worried about the surgery, but afterward for 2-5 days.  I have to keep my head facing downward (how will I eat or drink?), sleep on my stomach in a weird position (I normally can't sleep on my stomach), and I have to have an adult with me the first night.  I am not going to stay anywhere but in my own home and sleep in my own bed the first night or any other night.  I'll be fine.  I just hope my daughter keeps her mouth shut about it!

I'm starting to make little stacks on one side of my bed for things I will be packing.   I'm getting excited about it, but have a little dread at the same time as to whether I will be able to cope with my luggage, walk down the platform and climb on the train without tripping and falling.  I'm usually very careful and take my time, and I will accept a hand if it is offered to me.  I love the stage of life I'm in (it wouldn't do any good to feel otherwise), but when I think of when I was young and strong (and maybe even a little bit pretty) I could cry!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Eye surgery Ahead for Me

I am so glad I took my opthamologist's advice and saw a retinal specialist.  I had an 8:30 am appointment and it's a good thing I always leave early enough so that I have time to get lost and find my way again!   The building was very difficult to find, way in the back of a parking lot with lots of separate buildings and I drove past it, requiring me to turn around on a divided street, in rush hour traffic.  

I was there about three hours, had yellow dye injected into my veins that would spread throughout my system, including to the veins in my eye.  Nothing was difficult except all the waiting between things happening, and moving from one room to another several times.   I really like the doctor that I was referred to, as well as all the people who I had contact with throughout the visit.  I wore jeans and a tee shirt, and one of the young guys who injected the dye asked me if I worked out, and commented on my arms!  That was pretty unexpected, and I'll have to admit I enjoyed someone noticing.  I am not really muscular although I will have to say the exercises I do produce results!  Now I have to wait to hear from someone in the office who will schedule my surgery, probably around the latter part of July.

The doctor told me that my eyesight in the left eye should improve somewhat, but not an extraordinary amount, and that is something I can accept.   At my age and stage of life I'm just glad they can do something to make things better for me! 

Surprisingly I don't feel much anxiety about it, although that might come later.   I've been so tired this afternoon but that is probably due to getting up so early this morning!  The weather is getting warmer which doesn't help.

Enjoy the weekend.  I'm sure going to try!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Nothing New Under the Sun!

I'm doing just fine and hope you are all doing well too.  I hope everyone has been able to view the new moon this month, which occurred on May 1.   I've been looking at the moon every evening before turning in, and it is still a beautiful sight.  On Tuesday (the 1st) it was spectacular.  I don't know when it's been so beautiful, and I guess the sky in my area was just right for it  to appear at it's best.

I'm a little nervous as I'm visiting an eye specialist tomorrow, as recommended by my opthamologist, to see what can be done for my left eye.  Whatever it is that he recommends won't be done until after my New York vacation, but at least I'll know.  I haven't had too much of a problem with eye surgeries in the past, and lord knows I've had enough of them, from cataract removal to cornea transplants.   As of now it's just one eye that would require surgery.

I miss the cooler weather although it is nice to have the windows open in the afternoon.

I wish everyone a good weekend coming up!