Some favorite photographs

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Pictures of September’s Last Days

A flight of fancy …

Autumn’s Garden
(False Colors)

… and some favorite photographs from September 28, 29 and 30.

I am now in the last week of the four-week “Introduction to Japanese Poetry” workshop that I’d signed up for in at the beginning of August. This week I am to write tanka every day and read essays that I am finding quite helpful in understanding the underlying rationale (?). My understanding of haiku has changed a lot during the course of the workshop, also. Very happy that I signed up for it, and I will have a lot to carry forward after the workshop ends.
I find that my joy in writing poetry is expanding.

These weeks have been, as I had expected, quite difficult to get through. My youngest sister died on September 30 in 2014, and the anniversary of her memorial service is Tuesday. Last year, these two weeks included my mother’s transition from the family home to hospital and when a bed became available, transfer to a care facility under hospice care. The feeling of loss contests with my joy in their present joy. And yet it’s not the one against the other, but both emotions, each a legitimate recognition of reality, coexist. Life’s texture becomes deeper, more intricate. Things are settling inside me. I think that’s a good thing.

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.

There has been rain…and flowers

Rain

Flowers after rain

The weather turned cooler, with rain, but progress has been made on building the workshop. I’ve found myself back in bed, however, after being up for three or four hours, because of cold feet.

Yes! Cold feet! I finally found an old heating pad, and I’ve warmed the tops of my feet. Now, I’m holding it between the soles. Should not have been walking around in wet moccasins, this morning.

Next on the agenda is to feed the Scampers their noon meal, find warm socks, and write my poem(s) for today’s National Poetry Writing Month ongoing event during April.

Accomplishments for today, so far? Fed the Scampers their breakfasts, cleaned up after them, took photos, and fitted in half-hour nap before lunchtime. (Have not yet made lunch.)

Easter Weekend

Fine Tuning the Framework

We spent some quality time with family, this evening, and then came home to play with the puppies. I’ve got a few photos from several days taken with my telephone camera. I also enjoyed having a telephone conversation with my sibling next in age to me, who lives in the Twin Cities.

The weekend has sped by too rapidly, and I am still one poem short in the National Poetry Writing Month activity. I did get my wildflower seeds sown, finally, and watered. Must do that again in the morning, so that they are not blown away by the wind. All in all, an enjoyable time.

two cocker spaniels asleep on the loveseat across the room from me
Sleepy Scampers

 

 

Frost & Scampers

Attention

Our promised storm was not visible here, away from the winds. I think that a No Travel advisory is still in effect in the area. The temperature is expected to drop after Noon with a high of -2°F for tomorrow. The out-of-doors is beautiful, but I don’t want to go outside again until April.

We were having a sleep-in, this morning, but I woke up an hour before my alarm. Got on the telephone to the clinic to find out what was about with my appointment times through March. Also, called the pharmacy to discover the why of a particular prescription oddity.

Still worrying the ins and outs of the diet, but now I do have an appointment with a diabetes dietitian, next week. I do hope that it is of some help. If I’m understanding this, the idea is to eat enough carbohydrates to avoid the “I’m starving” mechanism that sets off the liver’s manufacturing glucose, but not enough at a time to spur the pancreas into overdrive. I, who can forget to eat, … I consider purchasing an alarm that will ring when it is time for a meal or snack. With a variable tone, so that it will not fade into the background noise and , through familiarity, go unheard.

I have found some cookbooks that address gluten-free cooking for the diabetic diet, which I am finding helpful.

 

Changes No Longer Pending

My garden will be in a new section of the back yard, next year, and so I will have no more flower photographs from my back yard, this fall. Al has decided to build a workshop that will impinge on the garden and also some of the area that holds my gazebo. I do wonder what that will do to the pattern of snowdrifts, come winter.

I thought to share a few of the photographs that I took yesterday. The puppies are nine months old, now. They’ve had their first trip to the groomer’s, and we are late on getting them in for a second cut.

My mother entered a nursing home under hospice care, last week, and the first care planning meeting is to be next week or the week after. Between the ER, hospital stay and move to the nursing home, along with Al’s cataract surgeries and the permit for Al’s hobby outbuilding, there has been more excitement than I’m comfortable with.

On a brighter note, the pollen index has sunk much more rapidly than I had expected, and I am doing well with breathing. I am pedaling the exercise bike more consistently and with more tension, so that my muscles have more resistance. Thought that would never happen!

The construction folks are not to begin work before 8 o’clock, but I expect that I should now get up to feed and “out” the puppies, before any excitement begins. We didn’t find out until late yesterday afternoon that the work would be done before the end of the week. Weather permitting. And so I also have to get to my appointment for a haircut (rescheduled from the first of the month because of changes in Al’s surgery schedule) and visit with my mother in the nursing home afterwards. Al is dropping me off there, and then returning home to interface with the construction folks.

I am not good at being around people for extended time periods. Argh!

Rain and Flowers

 

After a rainstorm in the early hours of the morning, which woke my husband, but not me, I was surprised when my cell phone announced a Code Red Alert just after lunch. Simultaneously, the storm hit with winds and torrential rains, quickly interspersed with pea-sized hail. I got wet, going out to make certain the rain spouts were down to direct the water away from the house. I so very much enjoy storms, and I miss the storm spotting that we did over the years with the ham radio club.

While the dogs were in the back yard after breakfast, I went out also, the temperature’s being low, and pedaled another five miles on the exercise bike. I’d like to go out again, but the mosquitoes look ferocious … and they outnumber me.

Because of the rain overnight, there were few flowers in the garden, but I enjoyed playing with them before lunch, while the dogs’ bedding was in the dryer. I also played the piano for a while. I did not play very much during the last several days, but I have made some progress since the last time I played the exercises.

The Scampers (cocker spaniel puppies), sleeping on one cushion
Together

A new week . . .

Some flower art from photographs that I took yesterday and today.

I’m still getting back on track from my husband’s long weekend away. There is also a family gathering of folks from his father’s side of the family, next weekend, which I hate to miss, but spending six hours in the car with puppies in their kennel in back, even three hours each way, seems a bit much during allergy season. I expect to stay home and puppy sit.

The weather has been generally cool and comfortable, and I still am getting out into the gazebo to use the exercise bike most days. On Tuesday, 4.5 miles.

Quiet Weekend

We spent a quiet weekend at home, which I much enjoyed. Played with the puppies, took naps with them, and spent much time in the back yard and front sitting room just sharing space. I assisted with some tasks requiring more than two hands, setting up a new antenna for tuning (amateur radio operators, here). Wires of all sorts are attractive to puppies, as are shiny pieces of hardware.

And there were flowers to photograph and play with, which I also enjoyed. And cooking! A neighbor gifted us with four cucumbers from his garden, and so I made a cucumber & onion salad with sour cream and white wine vinegar, sugar and black pepper. Turned out to be really good. Also, a farmer friend ran into my husband at his favorite coffee shop and sent home with him four fresh-picked ears of sweet corn. Both made nice additions to the weekend menu.


I also put in six miles on the exercise bike during Saturday and Sunday, and I had a good time with the warm-up exercises for the piano. What I’ve always enjoyed the most is the feeling, the physical experience of playing piano. It reminds me of running. The rhythms of the body in motion.

Looking forward to a cooler, rainy week, here. Laundry, cooking and rereading some comfort books. If we get some steady rains, I’ll take my book and the puppies into the gazebo, where we can listen to the rain on the roof.