Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘repairs’

The Answer

I’m always in search of the answer to so many questions in life but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why I wanted to give up blogging. I made lots of excuses.

It takes so much of my time and energy was a big one. Summer is so full of other chores that each summer I struggle to find presence of mind to write intelligently.

Remember this mystery plant?

Surprise! Mystery Potatoes.

Right after my last post in June, my heat pump stopped working. It didn’t make a sound. Just died a quick silent death. I have insurance on my appliances which saved me a great deal in the end but the time line was three weeks long and we had to tough out an excessively hot week. It took two different service men to find the problem. I was a puddle in the floor unable to think or do. At first, I thought it was just the heat that was slowing me down.

Yesterday I received a card from a former blogger. We have kept in touch and even met once. Jan from momermom said someone she knew passed on the phrase “Covid Fatigue” that really resonated with both of us. I’m not sure where it came from but after almost four months of home quarantine, I found myself unable to sustain the desire to sew, write, or do basic chores.

A tired neighbor’s car. She’s obviously a nurse

We worry about every exposure and at night, sleep is fitful and brief. We can’t plan anything or hang out with friends unless it’s just a few and we’ve taken “precautions.” Everyone is trying to find ways to stay upbeat, but the fact is, it’s taking its toll on us.

I was going to put just these 8 in a wall hanging. Have been persuaded to do a 9th.

I  recently had a nice call from another friend. Linne who blogged at A  Random Harvest and she spoke to this feeling as well with ideas and encouragement. Today I read another post from Sarah at Art Expedition  that addressed how she was handling the stress of this same issue. Another blogging friend, Sue at Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary has also found this to be relevant. She’s offered much encouragement.  Most of us are using as much humor as we can muster. I’ve read through book six in my cozy mystery series that was a mix of mystery, quilting and flat funny, devouring them like they were cookies. Well, yes, I’ve been devouring cookies too. Sarah has nothing on me there.

Albizia and hydrangea need trimming.

This weekend my daughter found one of our local breakfast places was doing take out so on our way home from grocery shopping, we ordered over the phone and picked up something different than we have been eating for the last four months. A simple pleasure but it helped. I’m still not getting a whole lot of sewing projects done but the work outside is coming along nicely and everything should be ready for the four-point inspection on each house in a few weeks. That adds a bunch of stress though now that the heat is back to normal hot, I think it will go well.

Since I realize now that I’m not just being lazy and this fatigue is something so many are experiencing, I’m relaxing a bit more between pushes to get it all done in time. Now to see if we can get the stubborn pressure washer started without pulling out my shoulder.

Tiny new hydrangea variety.

Are you itching to go play with your friends on your regular playgrounds?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself


It has been the oddest week. Monday started out playing musical cars with my daughter as we had used mine all weekend. She was on her way to work at 6:30 a.m. I pulled out and waited for her to pull out next, then I would back into the driveway as she went off to drive to the MAX for the rest of her trip into downtown.

I looked back and her headlights started flashing. Rolling down my window and backing up a bit, she got out of her car to tell me her battery was dead and her car wouldn’t start. The mechanic where she’d recently had work done on the car mentioned that it was weak and suggested replacing it. There would be no more procrastinating. She ended up taking my car to the MAX and picking up a battery on her way home.

It’s still pretty for a 1997 Olds Bravada.

I must say, I was impressed with her tenacity to struggle with the bolts that held the battery in place; hunting for the tools she needed in the dark and cold to get the job done.

The next morning, I was cautious as she started her car after I pulled out to let her head to the MAX but off she went. I put mine back in the driveway. We are not allowed to park in the street which makes sense to me because they are narrow and emergency vehicles need easy access. Ten minutes later, my daughter was back in the driveway. What was wrong now? She got out of the car and came inside but she wasn’t alone.

She witnessed a medium sized dog running around the streets of our neighborhood dragging its leash behind. What could have happened to its person? So, she pulled her car in ahead of the dog and called it to her. This sweet thing came willingly and once she had it in the car, she brought it home for me to figure out the next step as she hurried to catch the light rail.

I did what any dog mom would do, I fed her and spoke soft sweet words to her. She was curious about everything including the chunk of ham from which I had just cut a piece. She was tall enough to reach to top of the kitchen counter to retrieve it herself so I quickly put it back in the fridge and sat to post an ad in our neighborhood site with a fuzzy photo and my phone number.

Where’s the food?

She had no tags nor name attached and was not going to settle down so I quickly dressed and put her leash back on. After giving her a few moments to wander my tiny backyard, we hopped into my car and I began the search for someone searching.

Riding shotgun. I could have kept this sweet girl but she wanted her own people.

It didn’t take long after a couple of stops to ask a neighbor or two if they were missing a dog or knew of one, to find a car slowly driving up and down roads randomly. I flashed my headlights at the car and it stopped. A young man (by my standards) got out and came to my window on the passenger side. Dog was in the back seat. I asked if he was looking for a dog. He was. It was his parents’ dog and her name was Goose! She jumped into the front seat as soon as she saw him and responded to her name. Goose was quite strong and I could see her easily pulling someone over in her playful puppiness. She had apparently seen something that made her run after it and off went the chase. Goose was finally back where she belonged and my daughter was relieved no humans were left lying in the street injured somewhere. Another rescue with successful results.

Is your week going according to plan or have you also had things pop up unexpectedly?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

In Search of the Results

I was waiting for the final verdict on many things last time I sat down to write. You know how things come in threes, well that doesn’t always work for me. This time it was in a group of four. In a two week period, the engine in my car decided that 84,000 miles was all it had in it. I think it got some junk in the engine and it wanted a cleaner diet. So Wednesday afternoon my car was ready… finally.  It hums along nicely and I have a new 7 year, or 70,000 mile warranty on it. Guess which it will be. Was it worth it? When you realize that a new car would have been the price of many engines and a used car will come with its own problems, I can say emphatically, yes!

It's a working truck all the time.

It’s a working truck all the time.

I was also waiting for the eye appointment to figure out why my vision has blurred so much after the recent eye lid lift. The goal had been to get more vision, not less.  The ophthalmologist did such a thorough exam that I could see almost nothing when I left her office. There was nothing pathological going on with the vision.  No macular or retinal problems. The surgery had healed well and peripheral vision was markedly better. So the unknown blurriness has continued with varying degrees. Further searching for a solution will be required. New glasses are also on the to-do list.

Disappearing 4 patches. Something else I've never done

Disappearing 4 patches. Something else I’ve never done

I've never done any applique. Buttons will go in the center of some flowers after quilting. Another for a group member

I’ve never done any applique. Buttons will go in the center of some flowers after quilting. Another for a group member

My TV that had been having freak outs, finally lost it while scarring me half to pieces. I was ready to opt for no TV. The silly thing was not even 6 years old and had been in and out of storage depending on if I had a place of my own to live or not. Yes, it’s been that kind of decade. So my son decided to buy the new TV since his had not survived his move. He had help packing.

miniature apron in vintage fabric

miniature apron in vintage fabric

The second mini apron for a fellow quilter

The second mini apron for a fellow quilter

Last but not least, my refrigerator started leaking water behind it again. Manufactured homes don’t do well with water leaks. We had already tried a new motor but the fridge was 14 years old, not ten like I had “assumed”. So off to the discount appliance store we went. For half of what I paid for a fridge in 1998, I got a perfectly wonderful new one that will not leak, ruining flooring and walls in the process. I scored a good deal and it will add to resale value here should the need arise. I am old after all. Energy Trust got the old one to recycle properly.

These were the most fun for my quilt group member and neighbor.

These were the most fun for my quilt group member and neighbor.

The eyes, engine, TV, and fridge are finally managed and I’ve still managed to get a few projects finished. I can now enjoy the autumn weather that is peaking around the corner. Is your summer over and ending on a high note or just beginning? Are you ready for the change of seasons?

We each got 2 to make for a quilter in our group. A dozen of these will be so cute

We each got 2 to make for a quilter in our group. A dozen of these will be so cute

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Similarities in Boys and Girls

I’ve spent a great deal of time lately scanning old pictures into my computer. It’s a small step outside of the cave. I decided to share a few. While I was out of my cave, my daughter asked me to go with her to pick up a new battery for her car. It was recommended by the mechanic that changed the ball joints on her 15-year-old vehicle. She expected that buying the battery on her own would save her some money as the repairs had been quite costly. It never crossed my mind that Costco did not install batteries.

My daughter is what I think of as a typical girly girl. She was always very delicate in her manner and definitely not athletic in any way. Dress up was fun for her and tea parties were a favorite past-time. Nothing has changed in that area. We still hunt down tea houses where ever we go.

One of many dress up tea parties. Hats are essential.

One of many dress up tea parties. Hats are essential.

Her brother was always fairly typical of a boy. He loved to be athletic and climb things. Anything with wheels and wings drew his attention. Tearing things apart and putting them back together would entrance him for days at a time. There were a few years where he commuted between states weekly, rode a motorcycle and took flying lessons to get his own pilots license. I prayed a lot.

Most boys dream, playing with engines. No changes there.

Most boys dream, playing with engines. No changes there.

When my daughter found out they would not install the battery, my first inclination was to not buy it and go somewhere and pay the extra to get it done. My daughter looked at me and said “I can do it.” So out to the parking lot we went. She dug out her tools and started working to get the old battery out. Then there were bolts at the bottom holding it down. Her tools wouldn’t reach. Tightening up the battery again she drove her car up to the tire center to ask if they had a tool she could use. They were quite helpful but nothing they had worked either. I suggested taking the battery back. “No way” she said. “I can’t be caught without the proper tools to do this so we will go to find them.” Off to Sears we went. I leaned on my cane as she perused the tool aisles like she knew what she was doing. Obviously, she did. Within the half hour and well before dark, she used her new tools to pulled out the old battery and replaced it. We then returned to Costco to turn in the old battery for the core refund. I cannot tell you in proper words the look on her face as she completed her task. That “I did it myself and I can do anything” look, sent a swell of pride through me. There was no way to capture it on a camera. Besides, the hood was still up on the car.

Now to be fair, my son is no slacker. He cooks his own meals, does his own laundry, cleaning and dishes even while tiling his bathroom with skills he’s learning on the internet. I think there are basic differences. He’d rather do the tinkering on his car and she’d rather have a tea party. But when it comes down to it, they both realize it’s essential to know the basics of life. Know how to take care of your vehicle and how to feed yourself. There might not always be someone there to help. I wonder where they got that from?

Ok, I've changed the spark plugs, can you pull me up now?

Ok, I’ve changed the spark plugs, can you pull me up now?

“The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself