Monday’s Flowers

The cold weather last night was hard on the tulips. These photographs are from last Monday. I did get outside for photographs, also, in spite of the winds. Not all of the tulips had opened up, yet, and so I am hopeful that the next batch will bloom and be photographed in turn.

Today I am engaged in sorting, tossing, shredding, &c, to regain enough bookshelf space that I can organize and put away at least the books that have migrated to my bed sitting room. Before I get on my exercise bike, which lives in the gazebo (which is now minus Al’s mother’s one-seat balcony swing, having gone off with a sister), I must remember to turn on the space heater for half an hour. Otherwise I might freeze to death!

Lizl

P.S. I really do enjoy the sorting/tossing…but I don’t think I’ve done a thorough job of it since we got married, twenty-five years ago, and I moved from apartment to the house.

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The Week that Was…Sleepy

Charlie, Taking an Evening Nap

I have been taking a lot of naps, this past week. I also have not slept well during the night. Not sure which is the cause, and which is the effect. Sunday evening, I went to bed before nine o’clock and fell asleep directly. While I did wake up around two o’clock in the morning, I managed to sleep again until eight-thirty, when Al woke me.

The weather has been quite warm, this week. For a while it looked as though there would be snow accumulation by bedtime, but I don’t think it ever got cold enough. Mostly, there was light rain to help melt away the edges of the remaining snowbanks around the yard. Except for the north side of the garden shed, where because the sun never hits that side, the ice keeping the door from opening is the last to melt away in the spring.

I have been concentrating on not concentrating on anything other than chores and minding my diet. Saw the dentist, last Wednesday, and have to go in next week for fitting the crown and taking filling a small cavity. The numbness is only now fading from the local anesthetic. May try having the cavity filled without using the topical or local, since the cavity is small. Goes much better when it can be managed.

Tonight I am up late, once again. Reading, this time. The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, a change of pace, having reread The Others series (Anne Bishop) from beginning through Lake Silence.

Too much to think about, the lot of it distracting me, when I would rather relax and recuperate. And so I seem to be managing that. My last BG reading was in the 90s, BP 109/61, and my blood oxygen level is at 97% and holding up without breathing exercises, for a change. I even spent twenty minutes or so on the elliptical machine, this morning. (That would be Monday morning.) The day blends into the next without my noticing. Before I married, when I started freelance editing/writing, I would sleep when tired, work when not, and eat when I remembered to do so. Totally unstructured. It was so much easier, all boundaries but the walls, floor and ceiling of the apartment and contents seeming amorphous.

As during my college years. I wonder if I will attend the 50th class reunion events, come autumn. I floated through those years, also, and many years after. Unstructured. Absorbing. Writing poetry, constructing crossword puzzles, journaling…reading everything and playing the piano a lot. I think I didn’t pay attention. Not to the outside.

I ask myself if I would change that, were I able. And I think not. I have arrived here, and I like it.

I will like it if I go to sleep before two o’clock. That would be about twelve hours since I started writing this post.

Good night!

Yesterday’s Snow

Thursday night and Friday, we got a new coating of snow, which involved a lot of shoveling and snow-blowing time on my husband’s part. I got to spend some of that time visiting with my sister in New England by telephone. We have determined that we talk together more often. It was good to catch up on what’s happening with the family. Neither of us is an initiator when it comes to making telephone calls. After the snowfall ended, I got out into the back yard with my camera, and also took some shots from the front door.

 

Cotoneaster Fruit
Fruit and Branches
Snow on Top
Snow on Branches

Generally, things have been going well at our house in spite of stuffy heads and some coughing. The dogs are in need of a trip to the groomer’s shop. I had to trim the hair around Thadd’s eyes, so that he could see. Charlie’s hair is finer and straight, while Thadd’s is totally curling and bushy.

We went to a visitation, yesterday evening, and had planned also to attend the prayer service for a man who was pastor at the church we attended when we got married, +25 years ago. Unfortunately, the receiving area had a very low ceiling, and there were lit candles, and so we ended up leaving after ten minutes or so. There were too many people in line to talk with his widow. I slept okay, last night, but still coughing, this morning. Will send a note to the family, once I replenish my stationery supply.

Having no decent pens, I’ve mail-ordered a couple that should be the right size and weight for my hand. Larger ones, which I have not bought for many years, are better, because I don’t get cramps in my hand from writing, like I do with the skinny ones, which I seem to clench at to keep them from slipping from between my fingers.

Ah! The time has slipped away, and I must eat breakfast.

Best wishes for your day!

Time out

I will be taking some time off during December to focus on other matters than blogging. First, as I mentioned (elsewhere?), I bought a paper journal, last month, and I am working on writing more and more often by hand, rather than by keyboard. I am enjoying that, but want to get into the habit of writing on paper first, rather than “taking notes”.

That’s been reinforced, this week, by the hard drives on both of my laptops developing fatal errors that the recovery routine can’t repair. The newer laptop was injured on Wednesday in an encounter with the floor. I didn’t come into the room in time to discover which dog knocked it over. The second, the older one, had been developing problems years ago (which is why I quit using it so much), and it entered a death spiral earlier today.

I expect that I have all of the passwords, and I plan to get back into my email during the coming week. (I believe I have the essential accounts working.) The tablet (2-in-one) is awkward for writing and has no backlit keyboard, which lately has become a necessity. Using a USB keyboard in the interim. Not fun, but I can see these larger keys a lot better. 😀

Too, as you might recall, there were seven deaths in the family between October 2016 and September 2017. Both of my parents, two aunts, and three uncles. This week, we lost an uncle from Al’s family, and I lost a cousin with whom I had become reacquainted after 48 years, when we met again at her mother’s funeral in September. Which took place in old home town close to here; their family was established in the Seattle area, where I visited for some weeks, just out of college. I was so happy to see her (and her brother) again after all those years. I am so glad that she and I remembered each other—and fondly—and we enjoyed what time we had to be together, again.

I have not been sleeping well, recently, and I am quite tired. Looking forward to meeting with the bereavement counselor again between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We can talk about the continuation of deaths in the family and how I am coping. Not comfortably, but instead trying to be present to the pain and loss. Part of life…part of the richness in the tapestry of memories.

Best wishes for the holiday season!

Much love,
Elizabeth

Blue wild flax, work day

In the midst of the day’s work on the workshop in the back yard, I took out some time to play with the dogs and take photographs in the (now fading) wildflower garden. The night temperatures are pretty low, and there’s been relatively little rain. Rain and thunderstorms figure in the forecast quite often, but actual storms and precipitation just aren’t making it to our town very often.

I spent a lot of the day at the top of a tall ladder. There was wind, and so I have ended up with a sinus headache. The hot tea will take effect, soon, and I’ll be able to get back to sleep. (That is, soon after I heat the water and steep the tea.)

The first week of my four-week poetry workshop approaches, and I have to decide which of the haiku I’ve written, I should send to the instructor. Between my aunt Marion’s funeral and burial on Monday and acting as carpenter’s assistant, the week has been quite scattered. This coming week, I have to go in for a blood panel, and then an appointment with my doctor. Nine-month check-up on the progress with the type 2 diabetes. One needs the lab results to know for certain, but I think it’s going great.

Also, I am supposed to make appointments with eye and foot doctors. I am not ready for any new adventures, right now, and so I am not making those appointments yet. The past twelve months have held quite enough events as it is.

Now that Mother is no longer acting as gate-keeper for contacts with the broader family on my father’s side, I have gotten a couple of email addresses. I’ve gotten a response to the one email I sent out, this week, and a new-to-me cousin on the west coast is favorable to the notion of making and maintaining contact. By token of which, we are now “Friends” on Facebook. I still don’t have emails for the cousins that I met at the funeral on Monday. Hopefully, information on those will be forthcoming. Two of them are people that I met in 1969, when I stayed with the family for a week, and I also met the widow of the third cousin and their offspring, Monday. Lovely people!

Thursday – Before Friday’s Rain

I don’t know how we have reached the end of this month already! Today, we went shopping for meat, fish, and salad greens. Then Al started work again on the workshop, calling upon me sporadically to lift, steady and hold siding while he measured the boards for cutting and then trimmed and nailed them in place.

Yesterday, I got a couple loads of laundry washed. Still trying to make inroads into the dish-washing. The dogs are asleep on the sofa, right now, and looking so very peaceful. Charlie did find something inviting to roll around in, in the back yard, but I never did figure out what it was.

My current bed (recliner) is on its last breath of life, and I am still waffling on how I want to replace it. Al’s fell apart, last weekend, and so at the beginning of the week, we went shopping and found one that he likes. We’d thought to get mine at the same time, but I’m not feeling decisive, this week.

I did sign up for the 20-day Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration course at WordPress. That’s at TheWrittenWord.net. Also, I have made private the posts at TheArtOfDisorder.net before the summer, mostly. I am hopeful that I will begin using that domain (another WP blog) for challenges and such. A lot of that blog revolved around trying to cope, and then getting organized, and then tracking my health, and such. I decided to put a lot of that aside for the time being, as far as topics go.

The pollen season is back in full force. Spring = tree pollen, Fall = ragweed (and nettles and sagebrush). I long for the first snowfall!

snow piled on tree branches
Snowfall

Sunday’s Flower Art, 27 August 2017

At the middle of the afternoon, the sunlight and shade were such that I could manipulate the colors within some of the blue wild flax flowers.

The night felt too short, in spite of my getting right to sleep and staying asleep until eight o’clock or so. Before lunch, I lay down for a nap and slept for a few more hours. Nice lunch of cottage cheese, chicken breast with some garlic and herbs, baked with olive oil, steamed broccoli, and at midafternoon, I ate an apple. No idea what that will have done to my blood sugar levels by suppertime.

Al is applying wood filler to the siding and then sanding it. He seems quite happy with the progress. (See progress, two photos, through the twenty-fourth here.)

The end of the week and gardening

The reports of the Nile Virus on the news broadcasts sounded daunting. Since I can’t use insect repellents or insecticides, I may be spending more time indoors than I had planned on, timing my gardening around pest-free conditions. I expect that may involve being out on a breezy, dry day in long skirts/long-sleeve shirt and work gloves. I still have to improve the soil along the front and sides of the house, where nothing grows, now, but for the tulips in the spring. I’ve the “aged” used coffee grounds and the peat moss. I have only to dig out half a foot of soil all the way around (in sections), mix the barren dirt with the additives, and smooth it out, again. Then I can water the soil and tamp down the seeds. I’ve only the annual flax seeds, and only two ounces of those, and so I may have to order more for summer and autumn blooming.

The new garden is in shade more than I’d planned on, by the backyard fence. It catches tree and house shadows before 9:00 a.m. and late in the afternoon until dark. So, I must pick wildflower mixtures next year that fit better with that.

Tuesday Morning Photos

Some of the photographs that I took when the Scampers and I went outside after breakfast.

I got outside to exercise, later in the morning. Almost ready, now, to assemble lunch, not having been hungry for a mid-morning snack. Took note of some vitals at The Art of Disorder, making a concentration shift to cholesterol levels. The exercise affects both the cholesterol and the blood sugar levels. Now that I am “between” allergens and have an energy level again, I’ll be working on establishing exercise and sleep habits that will, hopefully, maintain in some form during the ragweed season.

A new week, new flowers

We’ve enjoyed a lot of rain showers, recently, which helped with keeping the flowerbeds watered, and also the grass seed that Al has added to the tracks made by the trucks and related equipment during the renovations the summer before last and the preparations for the wood-working shop that’s currently underway.

The rabbits are spending a lot of time in my wildflower garden before we get up, mornings. The Scampers enjoy the frantic races, first thing. Gives them an appetite for breakfast. I’ve increased the amount of food I give them, because they were losing weight.

This morning we got up early, so that I could have lab work done prior to my appointment this coming Wednesday. Just got a notice that the rest of the test results are waiting for me online. Suppose I should check those out. The new A1C and other misc. stuff are at The Art of Disorder.

Best wishes for the coming week!