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

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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!

A quiet Thursday (with wind)

There was far too much wind, today, for Al to continue the shingling, and so he put together the framing for the interior wall of the workshop. I helped raise it, and we figured out where we want the wall positioned (how large each room should be) and where the door should be situated. He’s off, now, looking at door frames.

This has been, I now realize, a tough week for me. Internal adjustments, the most profound of which is becoming aware that I really do not have to take my mobile phone with me as I move around the house and yard. There will be no more telephone calls from hospice, hospital, care or independent living centers concerning decisions to be made about my parents. My siblings all have spouses and in-laws to respond. Their children are grown and are themselves having children. Even when/if something happens to my husband, I have a whole raft of in-laws and siblings, nieces and nephews to call upon. Who have demonstrated their willingness and ability to handle things.

Does that leave me alone, here, to grieve about one more thing? Or do I accept being cherished by those who know and love me? There is not another, comparable burden to pick up.

What brought this on? I woke up, this morning, with no thoughts about what must be done, but instead set about a normal routine that included putting on coffee to brew, feeding and guiding the puppies, deciding not to eat breakfast, washing last night’s dishes, and wandering out into the back yard to catch up on what Al was doing. I had not put my phone by my bed, last night, and this morning I plugged it in to recharge and left it in my sitting room. Didn’t think about it. Sometime during the week I set my phone to “Do Not Disturb”, and it’s still there. And I can leave it like that.

I took the camera outside with me and took some photographs. The blue flowers in the upper right corner. I am wondering what they are. At first I thought perhaps a variety of oxalis, but the leaves don’t look right.

We’ve another bird nest above the motion detector light. Sparrows have moved in again, after the first nest disintegrated in the winds, wet and late snow of this dampish spring. I hope that this nest holds together.

Sparrows Nest

A not rainy day

The winds and rain bypassed us, today, although the temperature was not very high. Sixties (F).

Much time was spent in finishing preparations for beginning to shingle the workshop roof. A kind (young) neighbor volunteered his help in carrying the shingle bundles, which are quite heavy. I helped to lay down the starter stuff. I do not like balancing at the top of a ladder, but I managed to get up there and do my part for both the front and back sides of the roof.

Otherwise, I have exercised, gotten a letter out to a friend, although I did not do a proper closure or signature, because the mail carrier was approaching earlier than I had expected. I swept the front sitting room and the kitchen. With all of the disruption of the ground over the past few years, we have a lot of dirt, and the grass is not growing back as fast as we would have hoped. The White Campions et al. are doing well, however. Better than the thistles, at this point! Adding the dry to the dirt, I feel like I’m having to sweep out gravel, a couple of times a day. If I leave it for a day, it’s dust, gravel, and dog hair. Much prefer damp mopping the whole thing with frequent rinsing of the mop head.

Generally, everything is proceeding splendidly, however. Looking forward to running errands in a little while and coming back with more protein. I’ve lettuce and asparagus, but no meat, fish, or poultry.

Looking forward to the return of rain and some time to laze around.

Out in the rain

 

 

Our promised rain arrived! I’d gone outside, yesterday, with the spent coffee grounds from making Toddy coffee (cold-brew concentrate) at the end of the week, and mixed those with the sandy loam and more wildflower seeds along the south side of the garage, where I’ve been unable to grow anything but tulips since the addition of dirt around the house. Was that only last summer? I’ve lost track!

The rain started before eight o’clock in the morning, and I had slept in. By the time Al’s alarm went off, it was too wet for him even to think of starting to work on the workshop roof. I did help him carry the table saw out to the workshop (and back inside, afterwards), so that he could make a sliding panel to keep the dogs out of the workshop. That’s gotten me to wondering if perhaps a double-hung door would be a good idea for the workshop. Surely it would help to keep the workshop cool, adding another source of fresh air while keeping the dogs out (or in). Also, to keep the rain from splashing into the workshop while the door is open. It’s not going to be a terribly big room. I’d think that an open door would make the room seem larger.

I have gotten behind, here, with writing. Several spontaneous poems, this week, but no Weekend Coffee Share post. Time did not organize itself during the weekend, and I did nothing to try to tame it. I looked at Ronovan Writes Haiku, just to find out what this week’s prompt words were, and went on with rereading a story arc of books from Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series.

There is total silence in the back yard. I do not see my puppies anywhere. I must investigate!

Best wishes for your week!

Lizl