Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Servicing and Fixing An Old Victrola Phonograph

As you know, I have been fighting some illness the past few days and the past 24 hours have been extremely difficult. 

I was hoping I would be feeling better but I feel worse and only found a few hours sleep over the past 24 hours. I am fairly sure I am fighting a sinus infection as well. I know I am getting better in some ways but think it just needs time to heal. 
I wanted to share these few posts with videos so I won't have to spend as much time blogging as I feel so horrible. 

I was playing a record a few months back and then something happened and it stopped and it would click and stop. If I wound it backwards it would work for a second. I decided with all the "time" I had on my hands, I would take apart the Victrola and see what was causing it to get stuck.

I took off all the screws from the top and pulled it out. I learned later that I only needed to take off the side screws that held it in the box and not the screws under the plate that hold the motor up. 

There are three little weighted pieces of metal that rotate around keeping the spinning even and the little screw it the picture above fell out and all I had to do to fix it was to reattach the screw and nut. It was an easy fix. 
I figured since it was already open, I would take some time and grease it to keep it working well. 

I had some grease handy and lubricated all the working and moving parts. 

It was surprisingly easy to fix and grease it and I am glad that I chose to spend my time fixing it so that I can enjoy listening to the records I am still sorting and cleaning. I am only keeping the one's that have any meaning or are "fun." 

One last thing, when you are lubricating it, make sure that you crank it up and let the grease get into all the moving parts but make sure that you move the speed lever back and forth as the parts are moving as it lubricates and if it is only on one speed, it won't lubricate the entire arm. 

Hopefully I start feeling better and can get back to "life" soon.

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's The Little Things - Post Surgery Task - Goo Gone

I have not been feeling very good the past week. I have been fighting some rashes, strep type throat issues, slow gut, sores, bruises, abdominal straining etc. I feel like I am fighting the flu. 

If you haven't noticed over the past six years of blogging, I don't "sit" well. I run until I drop and when I do sit, I usually fall asleep. I have posted about this in my blogs about "sititus" where I fall asleep every time I sit.

I am tired of sleeping and sitting. I decided to do something with my "down" time. I figured I could go through the records that came with my mothers estate items and clean them up and sort them while "sitting" so I could be doing something.   

When someone stored the original records, they used green electrical tape to hold the records in and over time, the tape got gooey and sticky on the records. 

I did some research awhile back as to the best way to "clean" old records and everything I found said that window cleaner is the best thing to use. However, I needed to get the sticky stuff off and my "go to" for that is always terpentine or mineral spirits. Of course, I tested it on a broken record and it didn't seem to do any damage to the glass so I used it on all of the sticky spots on the records. 
Check out the video I made on cleaning it and feel free to ask any questions. I have gotten through about 1/4th of the records I got and nearly 1/3 of those are cracked or broken. I am getting rid of at least 1/2 of those I cleaned as well so I will have a nice collection of music that is fun or I have heard of which will be nice. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Feeling A Little Blue - Bruises

I have been fighting wet lungs and a slight fever for the past few days and today, I have no voice. I think any type of surgery in the winter time has a risk of going bad when so many people are sick. 
I've been taking stuff and feel a bit more energy today which is good but the voice is still struggling. Also, the bruises are coming to the surface. My arm IV site is bruised and sore but I am healing and glad of it.  
The cuts are healing well which is also good.It is amazing to me that they can do surgery though all those little cuts. 
My muscles are still sore and sitting up is difficult but I can feel myself healing. I am excited to see if I feel better after I heal. I hope that I can actually eat more food and get back into a more normal life.             

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner - Day For Family

We had a fun Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family this past week. My brother had a new baby which they gave a blessing and name this week. One of his children got their eagle in Boy Scouts and another got baptized.  It was great that they were able to plan them all on the same day so the entire family could be there. 

I loved that I got to see all my family and especially Grand-Princess One and getting to hold Grand-Prince one! 

When Grand-Princess saw me, she was so cute running up calling me. 

Before the meetings, she took my earrings off and wanted me to put them on her. She is so cute as she calls them "hearrings" as you hear with your ears and wear earrings on your ears so she calls them "hearrings." 
It was wonderful that I got to see all the girls and my nieces and all the new "grandchildren" in the family. 

I had also never been to my brothers new house. It is huge and I loved that it has a window from the upstairs kitchen into the inside "game room." 

It was a super busy day but I enjoyed getting to visit with everyone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Blessed With Friends and Family

I woke up this morning to a foot rub from Princess Two who took two days off of work to help me when I had my surgery.
The girls were all good to text, call and let me know how much they love me along with my dad who called after surgery to make sure it went well. 
I was up at Princess Two's the day before and she bought and put up a smart TV. She looked up something on youtube and walked away. The next song to come on was....... "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by a Hawaiian man. They had rainbows all through the video. 
I felt like it was my mothers way of letting me know she was thinking of me. It wasn't anyone we had heard of and weren't sure why it was the first video to come up and start playing but I took it as a good sign. 
Princess Five sent some money with the other girls to get me some flowers and they combine that with Jr. Mints which I enjoy frozen. 

I had several neighbors and members of my church call, text or come over. Some brought over soup with a cute note. Another brought over juice. 
Yesterday a friend brought over a note and some orange sticks. I felt fairly good all day and haven't had any pain meds since this morning. 
I am so blessed to have so many people that care about me and take care of me. It has been a wonderful experience.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I Have No More Gall - Bladder That Is

Princess Two got up super early with me today and took me in to get my gall bladder removed.
We arrived right on time and got ready quite quickly. Everyone was so super and there were small miracles along the way that let me know God was watching over me.  
One of my good friends is an OR nurse and he is the one I call when I am going to a party and don't want to go alone. He said he would "take good care of me." and he did. 

The surgeon is the same one that did Princess Two's gallbladder surgery after she came home sick from her mission. Here is a link to that post. It was exactly four years ago this very week. 

I wrote a letter to the Pathologist explaining the rare parasite and hoped he could see if here were any living in the gallbladder that could explain my yellow eyes. 
The Dr. sent up half in saline and half in preservative just to give the Pathologist something "living" to look at if there are any in there. 

When getting ready for the operation, a nurse came in with a nurse in training and he introduced her but as you can imagine, I was nervous and tired so I didn't really listen to her name. 
He was charting on the computer and asked her how to spell her name and when she spelled it out, it hit me. She had the name of the woman in my "parasite" dream. The same dream where the lab guy I knew helped diagnose the parasite. 
That part had already come true as that lab worker was the one I gave the 8 inch parasite to that was finally diagnosed and I hadn't worked with him before that for the parasite. In the end of the dream, a lady (with this name) walked up to me.I was standing at the front of the hospital. She had something to do with getting more information on the parasites.
I looked at Princess Two and we were in awe at this event. Just then, the anesthesiologist walks in and shakes my daughters hand and talked to her like he knew her. I guess on Sunday, they met and talked as they were both talking to a mutual friend after Princess Five had a choir performance!
He knew where she worked and they visited for some time. He then introduced himself to me and told me that his brother had purchased my dear friend Ruth's husband's Eye Care business when they both died tragically in a car accident in NZ last year. Click here for a post about that.
I shared that my cousin happened to purchase the home of his brother who sold it to come and purchase the eye care business here! He knew my cousin and his family. It is such a small world!   

I did well in the surgery and my gallbladder looked fine which was good and bad as it may not be the cause of my problems then but good that the surgery went fine and hopefully I can start feeling better. I has nausea and lost my "coke" before getting some great anti-nausea IV drugs that made me loopy as anything. 

Throwing up my pain pill made it hard to get anything down and to control the pain until they got me something for the nausea and then re-administered my pain medication.

After that, I was great. I did have a horrible time breathing with the anesthesia until it wore off. I struggled lots for air and every time I would fall asleep, my O2 sats would plummet into the 70's. Princess Four was worried as when I got to the floor, I was blue and my lips were blue. She was concerned until I got some oxygen on and did some deep breathing but because I was struggling for air, I wouldn't let them give me anymore pain medication because I couldn't breath so I think that is why the pain got away from me causing the nausea. 

Once home, I am doing great. Not in much pain. Played a game with the girls and we watched a movie before bed. I took a 2 hour nap before that and ate as well. I am really feeling good so I think all the prayers and concern paid off! Thank you all for your prayers in my behalf. I continue to pray I have a quick recovery and feel better and that the pathologist can find something of worth in the end with all I have gone through, it would be nice to help others who are suffering as well.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Czech Republic Blue Crystal Chandelier Dilemma

My mother was a national beauty queen. During the year of her reign, she took a modeling job for a car company called "Skoda" in which she traveled around Europe and behind the "Iron Curtain" into communist territory and modeled it at shows. 

When she went to the Czech Republic, she said that there were no shops with anything in the windows or in the streets and that all the buildings were tall, square and of the same make and build. There was no color anywhere. She brought back a black wool skirt that was what all the women were wearing as the communists wanted everyone to look and live the same.  

She was able to purchase some Czech crystal goblets there and also, a Blue Crystal Chandelier. My entire life, this chandelier hung somewhere in our home.

My mother LOVED her crystal chandelier and basically, crystal in general. I think to her, it represented the only color and difference or originality that the country she visited had to offer as everything else had been stripped away. 

They took their culture from them in so many ways but since they were known for their crystal making skills, they were allowed to keep that as it would furnish crystal for the military and government needs. To my mother, I think it represented peoples freedom as that was about all they had left to control. 

When I took my mother back to Czech Republic a few years ago for the Skoda Grand Opening of their museum, she gave some of the workers a copy of a cd she had recorded when she sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for ten years. 

The women she gave the CD's to said they had never hear a choir sing in their entire life! They were about 30 years old! During the time they were occupied, they were not allowed to congregate and meet for church or choirs etc. so after the occupation was over, they had lost much of their culture, folk music, costumes, traditions etc. 

I was so sad that they hadn't heard choirs. Some of my fondest memories have been singing with choirs, touring with them etc. I LOVE music and don't know what I would have done without it in my life. 

I am still going through my mothers estate and found the box with the blue crystal chandelier in it. A few years back, she had a house fire and many of her things were in that house and burned. The chandelier had gotten damaged and crystals broken over the years and when I unwrapped it, I would say that at least 1/3 of the crystals are broken beyond help. Some of it was missing or perhaps broke and was thrown away. 

What was left probably wouldn't have been of value to anyone as there were chips in many of the strands that were there. 

I thought about making a Christmas tree ornament with a crystal for each of the grand children but then one family may get more than another and I don't think my girls would want a blue ornament amid their color schemed trees yet many of my siblings just have odd ornaments and colored lights so it could work for them. 

I personally thought it would be nice to hang it on a string and hang if from my rear-view mirror so it could catch the light while driving and would remind me of my mom often. Others didn't think they would like that. 

The other thought I had was hanging it on ribbon and using it as a window crystal hanging off one of the suction cups you put on a window. So, I cleaned the entire thing washing it twice with "Totally Awesome Cleaner" which I just sprayed on the crystals and off dripped the greasy, dirty mess from the fire and years of use. I then rinsed them well and hand dried each crystal and they came out sparkling!   

My siblings didn't give much input when I asked what they would like me to do but everyone wanted some of the crystals so I just divided it into even sections and gave everyone either one of the group with a pointed crystal or one with a round crystal tray type thing as there weren't enough of either for everyone to get one of each. I personally think I am going to make something to hang in my car since I don't have anything blue in my house. 

I think my mother would be happy to know that all her kids have a part of that item which brought her so much joy and memories over the years.