Friday, May 25, 2018

Interrogation

Medtronic pacemaker interrogator
May 2018
Every six months, I find myself sitting in a small exam room hooked up to this machine: it's what my cardiologist uses to interrogate my pacemaker to see if it is functioning as intended.

Since 2013, my heart has been paced by a dual chamber Medtronic pacemaker: it is not MRI compatible. Technology has changed a lot since 2013 and pacers are getting smaller and smarter. Now, some pacemakers can be interrogated wirelessly via an app or a device similar to a smart phone. I asked my cardiologist about the small devices, and he said they are currently only for single-chamber pacing and are leadless (no wires threaded through a vein and into the heart chambers).

My pacemaker has approximately 8 years of battery life remaining. Since the pacemaker is a sealed unit, when my cardiologist feels it is close to losing power, the entire pacemaker will be replaced and attached to the leads (wires) that are embedded in my heart's chambers.

Who knows what technological advancements will be available at that time.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Back in Time - Volcanoes

tourists examine a lava field in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
 June 1976
Forty-two years ago, I visited Hawaii for the first time, and the tour featured a stop at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It was a desolate landscape, filled with lava fields and very little vegetation.

lava mound
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
June 1976
Kilauea caldera rim
taken from the Kilauea Visitor Center
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
June 1976
It doesn't look anything like the images that are currently on the nightly news.

Those living in the path of Kilauea's recent eruptions must be terrified. Not many people think about having a live volcano in their backyard. Do you?

I live 240 miles from the world's largest supervolcano caldera in Yellowstone National Park and sometimes ponder the threat that it "could" present. The likelihood of an eruption is small . . . or is it?


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Square Dance - clue #5

sewing Clue #5 of Square Dance QAL
May 2018
Clue #5 for the Square Dance QAL was released on Friday. This clue involved sewing two units together.
oops - six units sewn together incorrectly
It was an easy clue, but somehow I got distracted and sewed six units together incorrectly.

 
Out came the seam ripper, and within a half an hour all the units were sewn correctly and pressed.

awaiting the final clue
Next month, the newly created units and the nine-patches will somehow be turned into a quilt top, and the Square Dance QAL will be finished.

If you are interested in making this quilt in the future, you'd better download the clues, because they will be removed from Carol's site after the reveal.

Square Dance clues 1 - 5


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Back in Time - Wedding Party

ring bearer and flower girls
near Kinnear, WY
approximately 1956
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex' wedding, an elegant and romantic affair, was the topic of conversation all weekend. Over the years, I have been in three wedding parties: as a flower girl when I was a child and as a maid of honor for two friends.

My debut as a flower girl almost didn't happen: I was a shy child and remember hiding behind a chair in our front room when it was time to go to the church. The photo (I'm in the middle) shows that someone managed to persuade me to go to the Mendenhall wedding.

Other than your own wedding, have you ever been in a wedding party?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Lone Star

Lone Star
56 x 67 inches
Quilt of Valor #143
This UFO can be checked off of the May UFO Challenge list. It didn't take long to make, but all the HSTs required tedious trimming and squaring.

I've cut the fabric for another flag quilt and hope to have it finished before the end of May.

Notes: As I stated in an earlier post, two vertical rows were added in order to meet the minimal size requirement for a Quilt of Valor.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mismatched Mitts

fingerless mitts
May 2018
While my knitting progress has slowed, my needles still hold projects. A set of needles in my knitting bag contain a stalled pair of socks. I'll pick up that project again once the fingerless mitts are finished.

A couple of months ago, a knitting friend (Julie W.) gave me some sock yarn. One of the skeins was Poems Socks by Wisdom Yarns (Universal Yarn) 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon - color #963 Girly Girl. The yarn has a different feel and has a halo when knit - almost like it contains some mohair.

one pair finished; another pair in progress
May 2018
It's self-striping, so the mitts will be mismatched. The 100 gram skein will easily make two pair of fingerless mitts - a pair from me and a pair for a friend.

Thank you, Julie for this colorful yarn.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

They're Back . . .


Maxine is one of my favorite cartoons because she doesn't mince words and often doesn't have much of a filter. While I am getting older and more irritable, my neighbors will be pleased that colorful geraniums will be back on my front step this summer.  

I didn't purchase any plants for my front step last spring because I didn't think I would be able to adequately care for them following my knee surgery. My neighbor commented that she missed seeing the colorful geraniums in front of my house. 

Last week, I had some annual appointments in Casper, and one of the items on my shopping list was to find some reasonably priced geranium plants. Typically, the cost of plants is cheaper around Mother's Day, especially at Menards, and I purchased five hanging baskets there for $46.

five hanging baskets of geraniums
May 2018
It may seem odd to some, but before I put the plants in my car, I snip all the flowers off for two reasons: one, to avoid having a mass of fallen petals in my trunk, and two, to allow the plant to rest. Removing the blooms helps the plants adjust to their environment and allows them to put their energy into growing stronger. Nursery plants get stressed, and a stressed plant can become diseased.

The plants will be loaded again with blooms.

What plants do you like to have near your front door?


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