Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


This will be a short one to say that "It's Over!"   Surgery was easy  and painless and only took about half an hour; getting admitted and hooked up to everything, plus answering a lot of questions took longer than the surgery itself.  Holding my chin to my chest is the most difficult thing and I keep forgetting, but Drill Sgt Jeannie reminds me "HEAD DOWN!.  Thanks for all the good thoughts.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Can't relax today!

I don't seem to be able to relax much today.  I've taken care of most last minute details - walked up to the Park Office to pay my rent for August, and did a load of laundry.

I went with Jeannie to Costco yesterday but didn't buy many items,  but most of them were sweet - ice cream, cookies, biscotti, etc.  That's what I've been craving and I know I shouldn't be eating much of it, but I'm going to baby myself this week.

After Costco we made a trip with the girls to the Mall for school clothes.  They tried on outfits - skirt and shirt - meant as Catholic school uniforms.  They looked pretty cute - nothing that cute was allowed when I was in Catholic school!!  (Note:  they don't attend Catholic school and trying on the uniforms was just for fun.  As a parent I think it is a lot easier to dress a kid in a uniform for school however.)

Later on I stayed with the girls while Jeannie & Donald went out on a "date" - dinner for just the two of them.  I think they need that once in a while, to get away from the crowd and just spend some time together.  After I start feeling better post-surgery, I'm going to suggest that I spend an evening at least once a month so they can go out together.  They both do so very much for me, so it's the least I can do for them.

I didn't intend to write a long blog today - just a few lines or a paragraph - but here I am in my "Gemini mode", and when I get started I find it difficult to stop.

I hope to be back in a couple of days, so until then - 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Changing my ways!

I have noticed that many of you whose blogs I read, have gone back from using a dishwasher to washing dishes by hand.  I try to be very careful of my electric usage and am seriously considering joining you.  My problem that I recall from the past, is that when I wash dishes by hand I end up letting them sit on the countertop to dry, and then when I need something I take it out of the rack, leaving the rest of the dishes there until I need something else.  In other words, I always have a cluttered countertop.   I'd like to know how you manage that:  do you let them air dry, or dry them by hand and put them away.

Another usage of electric that I wonder about is my washing machine.  I don't have a dryer, so I wash the load at home and carry it across the street to the Park's laundry center, where I use their dryers.  It usually costs me 75 cents to dry an oversize load.  I used to put most of it in the dryer for 10 minutes to remove wrinkles (25 cents) and then dry everything on the clothesline in the courtyard of the laundry building.  Since the planes are spraying whatever they are spraying every day, everywhere, I no longer use the clothesline.

To cut my electric use I also unplug things such as floor lamps, computer, etc. at night when I go to bed as they say the electric use doesn't drop to zero as long as the item is plugged in. 

I would love to hear of any utility cost saving tips you may have.  As costs are continually rising it makes sense to reduce our usage when we can.

Jeannie and family took me to Costco yesterday afternoon to return the computer and backup device; I have several things I need from Costco, but instead, Donald bought a big pizza from Costco's food service which we took to our favorite local craft brewery to go with the beer.    We had maps of the southwest and went over the possible routes to the dog breeder in Arizona in the event I decide to get a puppy after my surgery.  This trip is growing a little at a time - now we are thinking about taking the cutoff to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on the way.  

I will probably go back to Costco this afternoon to get the things on my list.

I'm still undecided about the puppy, or puppy vs. older dog.  I am looking ahead to the possibility that I might need to train (or have a trainer) work with a young dog to be an assistance dog (or god forbid, a seeing-eye dog).  I haven't made a decision yet but am examining possibilities.  I would never get another puppy if I went out a lot and had to leave it at home alone, as I did when I was still working and got my first black lab, Smoky.  But I don't go out often that I couldn't take the dog, and I have the convenience of walking across the street to the dog park should I need to.   Many establishments here allow people to bring their dogs, although common sense dictates that they need to be well trained and well behaved, and there are some places I just wouldn't take a dog.

It gives me something to think about and to argue the pros and cons in my head.  My health has been so unsteady for the past few years I just wanted to be alone, but I didn't exactly feel lonely.  Now I'm improving at a rate where I realize I am lonely, and I am going to do something about it .   Since I'm not driving it means I am mostly at home, and I'm not really a "joiner" anyway.   So having another living, breathing creature to look after seems like a grand idea!

Enjoy the last day of the weekend, and I may try to post again before surgery, but if I don't I want to thank all who send good thoughts my way.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Lots to do in the next 3 days!

Donald took me to the lab this morning to get a particular blood test required for my eye surgery.  It was quick and easy, and most of the paperwork that I need is filled out.

We came back to my house and after looking at the Dell and my Mac, he suggested I return the Dell since I am not really comfortable with it.  We boxed it all up after he cleared the machine back to its pristine shape!   It might be different in the future, but right now the screen isn't as bright as the Mac and there are several features that I just don't like.  We then tried the Seagate Drive that I bought to back up my computer and it just wouldn't work on the Mac, although it is supposed to.   It wasn't worth spending any more time on as far as I'm concerned.

Although I will keep my driver's license current, I don't intend to drive until after my surgery and until my sight returns to a better state than it's been for a long time.  So I am going to transfer the title to Jeannie and I hope we can take care of that this weekend.  I believe AAA offers DMV services at some of their locations.  I have all but stopped driving the past few months, and when I did I tried to keep within 5 miles from home or less.  I don't want to wait until someone tells me I should turn over my keys, so for now I don't have the temptation.  If the hoped-for puppy works out I will have lots of time to walk and that will be good for both of us.  Note that I'm not even sure that I will ever get another dog, but I'm keeping the option open.  

I can't believe how I'm changing back to my former self after several years of becoming a grumpy old woman.  I think a pet will do me good, and I'm even thinking about joining the dog owners across the street from time to time!   After months of complaining about the dog park, I think I might be tempted to use it once in a while in the event I get a dog.  I'm not sure what is going on with me, but I wouldn't be surprised if the cancer hasn't been working against me long before anyone realized what was happening.  I'd almost forgotten what the real "me" was like, and I'm happy to return to "me"!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Flip Flopping again

I keep changing my mind.  Donald came over this morning to drive me to get my haircut, and I told him I was definitely going to send the Dell back, for x, y, and z reasons.  When we got back to my house later he fooled around with the Dell and changed many of the things I dislike about it.   I am a little more comfortable with it, but it's nothing like an Apple!   That said, I might keep it to use as a backup until I get the Apple diagnosed and fixed, or else have to buy a new Apple.  

I'm so anxious to get this surgery over with.  My sight is worse today than it was yesterday, and yesterday was worse than the day before.  I hate to think of what it will be like by next Tuesday!

The heat here is awful - 101, and on its way up to 106.  The swamp cooler just can't do much of a cooling job above 90.  I've been thinking about getting a small window a/c but it would drive my electric bills sky high.  I just keep thinking about Cincinnati summers when we had no a/c.  Even the first office I worked in had no a/c!  (That was with humidity, but hot is hot and dry heat just causes one to shrivel up like a prune!

The day has flown by, and I hate to see them go so fast!  Take care, y'all and I will try to do the same.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Decision Made

I think I've come to a conclusion about the Dell laptop, but I'll believe it when I actually do it!  I'm going to box it up and return it.  I don't have the patience it takes to get up and running with it, obviously.  That means I need to get to Best Buy very soon and have the Geek Squad diagnose what all is wrong with my MacBookPro and have it fixed (which is what I prefer), or get a new Mac.

I spent the morning cleaning the house where I left off yesterday, doing a bit of yard work, etc.   Now I need to declutter the end tables, coffee table, etc.  I don't know how I accumulate such a mess in such a short time.

I'm getting a much needed haircut tomorrow - Donald is going to drive me and maybe we can return the computer to Costco as well.

I am very ready for the surgery as I am l deteriorating rapidly now.  Just a few more days.  This may be the last post I make until after surgery as I am going to have this  computer looked at and hopefully salvaged as soon as I can.

Take care and I'll be back before you know it!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Getting back into life tires me out!

As if all the shopping didn't wear me out, I set out this morning to get my laundry as well as some cleaning done.  I'm not finished with the cleaning by any means, but I've reached my saturation point for today and will just take it up again tomorrow.

I started reading the book I bought for Windows 10, and I can't say I've learned much yet, although it's too soon to tell.   I'm trying to find a way to show some things in list form rather than pictures or tiles, such as the "Apps list".  That is just another way of saying the "Directory" which would make more sense to me than Apps list, but people today evidently like to talk about "Apps".  I don't want a screen with a bunch of Tiles/Logos cluttering my view, and it would be much easier to find what program I'm looking for in an old-fashioned list of titles/words.  I just happen to be a "word person" rather than a "picture person".  There must not be enough of us to matter to developers of new systems and programs.

I hate to sound grumpy but I just don't like the fact that if you stop to take  a breath of fresh air, everything has changed a bit since you exhaled!

I need to spend less time on the computer, obviously.   And the heat is getting to me.  I hope you all are having an easier day than I am :-)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A "Shop til you Drop Day"

No, I didn't actually do much shopping but accompanied Jeannie who did quite a bit.  Actually, she looked a lot, tried on quite a few, but actually  bought just a few things.  I helped carry packages and stood or sat around waiting for her to try clothes on and decide what to buy.

We stopped for a meal at Chipotle, and that is one of the few eateries that I enjoy going to.  The food and service are always superb.

I also bought a book, "Windows 10 for Seniors" (followed by the word "Dummies").  That is a ridiculous way to title a book in my opinion - does anyone enjoy being called a dummy, or reading a book for dummies?   But if I ignore that word and just read the book I think it will maybe help me with my new computer.  So far I haven't had the nerve to do much with it because the whole operating system is so foreign, and the screen seems to be so cluttered.  I'll eventually get it to my liking, I hope.

I need a nap after walking around all day, but if I can do without it another hour or two I'll just go to bed early for the night.  I hope everyone has a peaceful and restful night.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Weekend, Again!

I stayed with Jeannie's girls last night while she and Donald went out with friends.  I took tubes of acrylic paint and a couple of canvases, and they spent the evening painting some beautiful pictures.  They were perfect angels!

Today we took bottles & cans to a recycling center, and when we got back were debating when to go back to the Mall where Jeannie needs to exchange shoes she bought last week.  Then the girls started fighting with each other and I've never seen anything like it!  It kind of put a damper on doing anything, so I came on home and maybe we will run our errands at the Mall tomorrow.  I also want to see if Barnes & Noble carries some kind of book that explains Windows 10.  So far I just can't even get started with it.

My house had started to get hot from being closed up since yesterday afternoon, but I have the swamp cooler and a fan running and it should be ok in a short time.  I really do NOT like the heat!

I hope you all are staying cool (or warm wherever you live).  I'm told we are going into an ice age but it looks like California isn't going to be involved.  Wouldn't you just know it.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

What have I got myself in to?

Donald and the girls went with me this morning to Costco, where I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop.  The screen on my Mac is 13" and the one on the Dell is 15.6 (or something like that).  When we got it back to my house and started setting it up I realized what a learning curve I will be going through.  I doubt I'll be very proficient by the time of my surgery so I will be going through the period of recovery without using the computer.  I realize how much better my Apple screen is, but maybe when I can figure out the settings I want and how to keep them that way, I'll be ok.  For a little more money I could have gotten the 17" screen, but I find that my field of vision takes in the 15+" very well, where the 17 is a little larger than I can comfortably see all at once.

The new computer has a touch screen feature which I really didn't want but after using it a few times I realize how much time it can save.   It will take time to get used to but it might be worth it.  In addition I bought a Seagate backup device.  I've always been really lax about backing up my computer, but no more! 

I also disconnected that annoying voice that wants to help me with the computer.   I am not crazy enough yet that I am going to talk to a robotic voice, whether the name is Siri, Cortina, or whatever.   The only times I talk out loud when I'm alone is when I've done something particularly well, and I might say out loud:  "Damn, Marty, you're GOOD!" 

Well folks, that's been my entire day!  I'm really tired and it still isn't dark yet, but I will be in bed about the time the sun goes down.  I have to get an EKG tomorrow morning - Steve is going to take me to the clinic which is only about 15 min. from my house (but 45 min. from his!).  If I don't post tomorrow I will be back the following day.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A few more photos from trip

Here are more of the photos I took on the train ride back from NY.  Click on a picture to enlarge it.   I really enjoyed my approx, 7 wks with my son and his family, and a few days with Ara but I am ready to get my house in order before my eye surgery.  I saw the oncologist today and she was very happy with all the results of the blood tests - all were  in the normal range except for one, and it was very close to normal.

The first picture is of an apartment bldg just on the outskirts of Denver.  I thought it was so unusual in appearance I took a picture of it.  Can't say I like it, but then I'm not  a fan of Denver area architecture.   The newer "modern"  buildings seem  so uninspired and out of place.  I liked "Old Denver" much better but that is just a personal opinion.

Most of the following are taken along the Colorado River, and I really can't remember where Colorado turns into Utah.  The next two are photos of clouds that I liked.

 Morning sky.

I took way fewer pictures on the return trip but enjoyed the scenery nonetheless.

The cursor is jumping all over the place so it's time for me to quit.  If I find more photos to post I'll add them later.

Monday, July 16, 2018

You win some, you lose some!

I'm still having difficulties with my computer cursor - it jumps all over the place and it is almost funny how much it messes up what I'm trying to do.

So my son Joe took me to the lab to get blood work done this morning (I have a visit with the oncologist tomorrow), then to Walmart where I bought a $13 cursor.  I brought it home and it worked like a charm - for a time.  I just recently found that even with the new cursor the old one still calls the shots sometimes.  

While Joe was here he washed all the windows and took the screens out so I could clean them before putting them back at the windows.   The clean probably won't last long as I am situated in a dust tunnel - everything blows directly at my house and driveway - but for now the view is really good!

I just found out that my sister and b-i-l are in Sacramento and were planning to go back home (Nevada) but decided to stay another night and see if any of us could join them for Straw Hat Pizza.  While I would love to go to bed early, I don't want to miss the chance at being with the group.  I've enjoyed retiring earlier than usual and getting up early (NY time).  I get so much more done in the morning. 

 My return trip from NY was very tiring but I didn't spend a lot of time resting from it.   I seemed to jump right in and get back to normal.

I haven't been able to deal with the photos I took from the train window on the way back, but if I can get this computer figured out I'll work on it soon.  Right now I need to get ready for Straw Hat!


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Home again!

I arrived nearly on time on Friday afternoon.  On a cross country trip via rail you must always expect delays in the trains for one reason or another, but I think Chicago to Sac was only about 25 minutes late this time.

I haven't taken much time to rest and relax since I've been back as I needed to restock my food supplies, and it turned out to be a fun shopping day with Jeannie and Autumn.  This morning I was up early - Eastern time - and did laundry and several other chores at home.  My driveway was full of dried leaves and I even took care of that, although more will fall every day for a while.

I'm very discouraged about my computer which has been acting up constantly.  I believe it is a bad cursor but there are no doubt other problems with it.  I made a huge mistake in installing the latest update and subsequently find it completely changed just about everything on my computer.  I lost so many items and information, and they even deleted all past update versions from my computer so I can't reinstall a past version.  I am so angry about this because I am way past the stage where I eagerly look for positive change.  For the most part I feel
if it ain't broke, don't fix it!".  It wasn't broke and many of the changes seem to be at the whim of developers, who have to make even unnecessary changes in order to stay employed and busy.

I took some photos on the return trip, and will try to post them soon if I can.  I need to get something done about the cursor problem before doing anything serious, and I think I'm also going to buy an inexpensive Windows computer more as a backup.   I hate to think about doing without a computer for days or weeks at a time.

I had a wonderful trip but am relieved to be back home and get things taken care of here so that I won't be too stressed after my eye surgery.

Monday, July 9, 2018

All good things must end!

My wonderful vacation is nearly at an end and I will soon be boarding the train for my long journey across the country.

This past weekend Mike and I drove to Maryland where he booked rooms near the Baltimore airport.  He had meetings on Saturday; Ara met us at the hotel and on Saturday we drove to the suburbs of Washington DC to see my Aunt Lenora.  It was so good to see her again - I think she will celebrate her 88th birthday in September.  My first trip to Washington was to see her and her husband right after I completed the 8th grade, and I've been back often.  We saw a lot of each other for the years I lived in Northern Virginia.  This certainly has been a memorable trip for me, and I thank my son and his family for making it possible.

Before we returned to Maryland, Ara wanted to see my old condo, as she remembers visiting me there many times, so we drove to Tyson's Corner and walked around the condo bldg which brought back memories to both of us.   I have forgotten so much about the area with many of the roads turned into limited access highways, new bldgs that alter the skyline in many places, etc.  I was reminded of the saying, "You can't go home again."  I loved the area while I lived and worked there, but I'm glad I moved when I did.  I don't belong anyplace as "high powered" and  "fast moving" since I retired.

I started packing last night and have most of it done except for the "little things".  I'm going back with a suitcase that seems heavier than the one I came with! 

I hope I can get wifi on the train, but at least at the Chicago station where I'll have a fairly long layover so I might have a chance to post again soon.  Sorry about the lack of photos - I made the big mistake of installing the last upgrade on my Mac, which is absolutely awful as far as I'm concerned.  It changed everything including how I manage my photos, and many other features.  It also deleted every old version of updates, so there is no way to go back. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

One more short trip

This afternoon Mike and I are driving to Maryland, where Ara will meet us.  We'll spend the night there and tomorrow morning Ara will drive me to visit my aunt who lives in Virginia.  This aunt came to the hospital when Ara was born, and after Jeannie and me, she was the third person to hold the newborn Ara.  We all go back a long way!  We will return to NY on Sunday morning, and I will start my packing for the trip back on Tuesday.

I've really enjoyed this trip, and my son and d-i-l have made sure I got to see people and places I love.  What a vacation this has been!  I'm anxious to spend the two weeks after I get back home in getting ready for whatever the surgery brings.  The thing I just don't know about is what will I eat and how will I fix it.  I may live on salads for the most part because they will require no heating, and especially for the first week or until I can hold my head up, I'd rather not deal with the stove or even the microwave.

I brought way too much stuff with me but I wanted to be prepared for whatever or wherever we went.  I brought a fairly dressy dress and silk shawl, plus dress pants and top, but never had the desire nor the opportunity to put them on.  I think it might just be part of my generation to be prepared for whatever comes; people today figure, "Oh well, if I need it I can always buy it somewhere!"

So I will wish you all a great upcoming weekend.  I don't think I will take my computer this weekend, but will try to publish one or two short blogs before I get on the train home. 

Here are three more photos I salvaged from the visit to Boston.  Two are of the monument atop Bunker Hill, and one is a view of part of the cemetery on the grounds.  I think quite a few of the burials here are of free blacks who fought in the Revolution.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

What a mistake I made!

I really dislike updating sotware, but I eventually do it.  I've been getting notices of an update for the Mac operating system and finally decided to do it today.  WHAT A MISTAKE!  They have totally changed their update procedure it seems, and while in the past your computer kept the older version until you deleted it, this doesn't currently seem to be the case.  It looks like I'm stuck.

What don't I like about it?  For one thing Siri is mandatory and can't be deleted from my computer.  Siri is an "assistant", being able to give you the time, weather, etc., plus a myriad of other things you want to know or get help on.  It is a spooky application with a human voice that is listening to you 24/7.  To my knowledge you can't turn it off.  I live alone and don't normally talk to myself, but if my computer is on while I'm on the phone or have visitors, it hears and recalls every word that is spoken.  Instead of being helpful - "Siri, what is the weather forecast for today",- or some other innocent question - I feel it is an invasion of my privacy.  And I can't turn it off or dismantle it.  That isn't right!  And in addition, Siri shares whatever "she" hears with whatever entity "she" serves.  I think Siri is available on Windows also, so it's not limited to  Apple Corp. or Microsoft Windows.  What is higher up than these two computer systems?  I'd like to know.

If I am wrong about this, I'd appreciate it if someone would let me know how to get my older version of the operating system back.  If I had purchased a device called "Time Machine", and if I was diligent in backing up the entire contents of my computer, there might be a fix.  But I'm not diligent in much of anything, least of all backing up my computer.

As I've written lately, I've been going through the "Stay with Apple" vs "Go Back to Windows" dilemma.  I decided I didn't want to learn a new operating system (Windows) so I planned to update some features of my Apple.   Now I'm really confused as to what I should do.  I would hate to get a computer using Windows to find it has the same weird spooky voice listening (and keeping a record of) everything you say while the computer is turned on.  

On another note I will be returning to Sacramento next week, and will be running back and forth between various doctors, labs, etc. for two weeks until my eye surgery.  I am dreading it but I hope it heals fast and that the surgery actually makes an improvement in my eyesight.

Boston was a wonderful experience and I'll write more about it when I get back home and can retrieve the rest of my photos.  Unfortunately the memory card died and I didn't bring the charger along with me.  I don't often take photos these days and forget about planning for it.