Welcome to 'Attic of the Heart'!

Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is that an apparition, or did Mr. Bear really come to visit?

About a week ago, on a Saturday night about 9:30pm, while we were all relaxing in the family room, my DH and I in recliners, watching TV with Max on my lap, we heard a commotion on the back deck.
It sounded like something disturbing the bird feeders hanging from the gutter by the back patio door. I move them there at night from their daytime positions along the deck railing to keep the raccoons and possums out of them.
I jumped out of my chair (as poor DHubby was snoozing – oh excuse me – watching TV - through his eyelids – there we go) and ran for the kitchen to see what was making the racket. When I first turned on the porch lights, I didn’t see anything but wildly swinging bird feeders. I did see a rather large shadow over by the stairs, but didn’t think a lot of it, until it started to move towards the light.
Then, my chin dropped to my chest and I started shouting ‘OH MY WORD’ to alert my honey he better come running. In the meantime, I’m running back and forth like a ninny trying to remember where I last put the camera. I found it, and then tried to figure out how in the world I was going to get the picture through the window without the flash, and with very little light.
Well, to make a long story short, I did get this one pic. The flash came back on somehow, and it was a good thing, even though I have a fair amount of it in the picture. Otherwise, it would have been very dark indeed.
So while I’m running back and forth from window to patio door (wishing I was brave enough to open it and snap a picture – except the bear was about 4 feet from the door), he came back onto the deck and hesitantly went for the suet log, having given up on the bird feeders. Luckily, I don’t fill the log anymore, but use a basket feeder, which was hanging up with the bird feeders. I put it on the log during the day for my woodpecker friends. (I have nearly a dozen at last count) He stood up, checked out the log, and then wandered back towards the stairs, glancing toward the window, trying to decide whether the strange light and noise was intimidating enough to leave or not. He stopped for a moment, which is when I took the picture, then left.
What a beautiful bear! I wish the picture was better so you could see what he really looked like. He was large, round, glossy, and beautifully formed. Not scraggly or skinny, even though it’s spring. He looked so cuddly and pettable! We measured the railing according to the picture, and he measured about 5 ½ feet from tail to nose, and about 2 ½ feet tall. About full size, according to my research. I did report him to the CT DEP website. I don’t know if I’ll ever hear from them, but I don’t think he was tagged, from what little we could tell.
Was I scared? Well, I was very intimidated, and shocked that he would climb a full set of stairs to get onto the deck! We have a walkout basement below. Wow, huh? I was very thankful we didn’t live in a tent!! LOL!
The neighbor’s garbage was strewn around the yard the same night. Fortunately, the bear left mine alone. Had enough excitement with the feeders, I guess.
So that is my bear story. I have seen more wildlife in my 3 years here in CT than I saw all the years I lived in Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. Wow, huh? Keeps life interesting! :0)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Update to surgery...

Well, my Mom had her double mastectomy in February. We breathed a collective sigh of relief when she came out of surgery and was doing as well as could be expected. My brother, his wife and Dad were there for the big day. I am 10 hrs away and was unable to be there in person, but I can tell you, I worried, fretted, cried and prayed right along with them.
Praise God, she came through ok. She has had a few blips during her recovery, and it will still be some time before she really feels normal again. She feels a bit better almost every day. For awhile, it seemed one step forward, 2 steps back.

The visiting nurses came daily for 2 weeks. Bless their hearts, they were the most caring and thoughtful ones you could ever hope for. Their kindness and tenderness exceeded all expectations, and I commend them. This really helped my Mom's recovery, as she felt she could ask questions and mention concerns without feeling intimidated. They went above and beyond the call of duty, calling her during the more difficult times, and coming by an extra time or two just to make sure she was ok. THANK YOU, Visiting Nurses of Frederiction NB Canada!!!

Mom had alot of swelling and tenderness, and it was weeks before she could even lay on her side to sleep. I don't know how long it will be before she can sleep on her tummy. Removing her staples turned out to be mostly painless. She had 24 in one side and 25 in the other. I told her it shouldn't be too bad if they were gentle.
I remember when my hubby had his hip graft and hip replacement (now that's a story and a half for another
time - bone graft one summer, didn't take, so hip replacement next summer. What fun that was...sigh.) Anyway, I got to remove his staples with this nifty little staple remover. Pretty neat, and I went slow and easy, so it didn't hurt.

The drain tubes gave her alot of problems though. They removed one, but left the other for nearly another week. I think 3 weeks total, or maybe a bit more.
This one kept stopping up, and then would bleed quite a bit. First outing she went to town with Dad, and before the day was over, she had bled through her blouse and into her jacket. Not cool.
She is currently going to physical therapy once a week to improve her arm movements and gentle massage to deal with all the fluid buildup.
Her spirits are good though.

She gets a bit impatient that she isn't 'over it' yet, but then reminds herself that it hasn't been all that long ago, and that it was a major surgery. I remind her too, to count her blessings. THANK YOU GOD that she didn't have to have chemo or radiation!!! What a blessing that was. They found precancerous cells in the other side, but everything was non-invasive and contained. They caught it early enough. I don't think she would have survived chemo, and at this point, she might have just opted out. Thank the Lord we didn't have to make that decision.
She is feeling well enough now that she and Dad are coming in a couple of weeks to spend a week here during Mother's Day. It will be a great time to visit here, lot of flowers and trees will be blooming. Beautiful time to be in CT after a long winter. Especially for them, as they are about a month behind us in the season.

Today, I am counting my blessings once more. Often things don't turn out like we want or hope, I've lived long enough to know this.
So I'm extra thankful for God's mercy and goodness towards my family during this time. I am so very thankful.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Button Button, Who's got the button?

I recently went through my button box - an old yellow tupperware container from the 80's. Remember the orange, yellow and green line? Yeeaahh... me too. Not my favorite colors then either.
I thought I'd share some of my photos with you (while eating Gifford's Black Raspberry ice cream straight from the container! Yum! And no, I don't usually do this, but today it just seemed the thing to do... :0))

I had a good start on most of these buttons, if not nearly all, when I found a container of buttons in the attic of an old farmhouse we bought back in 1982 or 1983. It was a turn of the century farmhouse, and the lady who passed on was in her 90's. I think she had lived there most of her life, and when we bought it, there were a few neat old things left.

One was a very very old small Bible. I can't remember if it was in German or not, but it was very old. I haven't seen this for a few years, so I'm not sure if my mother has it, or I do. Since there are a few boxes I haven't unpacked for several years (ok, I really want to buy a house now!!), it's possible it's still in one of them, along with several antique dishes I forget I even have. It will be Christmas and better when I finally unpack them all for good.
Back to the attic. I can't recall much else, as we sold this house 3 years later, so it's been a long time ago, but I still have the button collection.

There are a lot of neat buttons in there, some I think might have some value, such as a few that might be Bakelite.
Now I don't know what these are made of - does anyone know? They could be lead. Did they ever made such a thing??
They are a heavy stone-like material. Perhaps they were covered once.
If anyone has any thoughts on these buttons, I'd be happy to hear them.

This is an odd assortment. Some mights be Bakelight. Acouple are wooden, the dark one of the left is metal. The off white/blue edged one is kind of funky. Any thoughts on that one?

(If you need to, you should be able to click on each picture to make it bigger.)

Are the red ones just plastic? How can I tell?

A bit of miscellaneous stuff found in the button box as well. Not sure what that round goldish metal thing is with all the holes...

And, we got your standard garden variety of whites, tans and torties...

and we got your standard garden variety of black and metals.
Oooh! Even a bone ring button. That is, I think it's bone...

And these very special buttons are...
Beans! Yup, that's right. I found these beans in there too! I wonder if they are magical...hmmm.....