And there was a thunderstorm…

And so the garden was wet and windblown when I got outside with the Scampers, this morning.

Yesterday evening with the Scampers:

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I was awakened by a Weather Warning alert via my cell phone, a little after 4:00 this morning. Looked at the weather radar and decided that I would not be able to stay awake for the entire show, and so unplugged the electronics and crawled back into bed. I think I got another three hours of sleep before it was time (for the Scampers) to wake up.

Forecast for this afternoon is “30% chance of severe thunderstorms”. I am waiting inside until UPS delivers my book order (Red Waters Rising, by L. A. Gilman). The current temperature is 77°F, headed for 89°.

I am hopeful that I will get more seeds planted tonight, before the next rain showers move through. This evening, I can read some of the second issue of the Tanka Society of America’s Ribbons. I received the first issue for the year earlier and put it aside where I could read a little bit each evening. It disappeared before I ever got to it, that day. I have searched everywhere without finding it again.

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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.

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!

Supper is in the oven: Baked Chicken Breasts

Our butcher posted his weekly specials, this week, on his web page. We had been forgetting to stop at that store, somehow, without specials posted, even though we did not always take advantage of them. I had been wanting to bake chicken breasts, and that was one of the three specials, so we stopped by the shop before Al went off to his volunteer work, this afternoon.

With two pounds of meat, I washed and dried the chicken breasts, rubbed them lightly with olive oil, added seasoning to top and bottom (crushed peppercorns, sea salt, and cumin), and put the baking dish into the oven for forty minutes at 350°F. Twenty minutes to go!

The strong winds, combined with heavy rain, this morning, pretty much beat down and soaked the plants in the backyard wildflower garden. The ornamental clover is still doing well, and there are some Black-eyed Susan and Siberian Wallflower plants that still have blooms, but that’s about it. The blue wild flax … may dry out. If not, I will be taking photographs of fallen leaves until the snow flies.

In this morning’s rain, I saw two Northern Flickers hunting out bugs in the front yard. I’m glad that they are still around. I don’t imagine that the raptors do much hunting in the midst of thunderstorms or torrential downpours. (See Hunting Circles for background.)

Saturday in Sunlight

I have been out twice with the Scampers for flower photographs. The pollen count … is not so high today as is promised for Sunday. Got a shower in, last night, and hope to wash the dishes, today. Laundry’s caught up for a while.

Al is building soffits. The Scampers are fast asleep. I am behind by two assignments in Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. Again.

Maybe I’ll try for a nap, too, after a while.

Friday’s Rain and Flowers

About .11″ of rain has fallen here since 11 o’clock in the morning. The temperature has been cold for this time of year. Of course, the Scampers and I were all barefoot when we went outside and got wet. At some point, the puppies came in and took a nap. Thaddeus curled up on the loveseat with his toy beaver, where they fell asleep.

cocker spaniel asleep on the loveseat with his toy beaver

The rain has caused postponement of the work that we were going to do on the backyard workshop. Not really good for wood putty, sanding, or painting. Instead, we went to the store to buy the items that were not available from the butcher’s or from our primary grocery. Also, we stopped at the nearer pharmacy for their store-brand eye lubricant and medical supplies. I was right to think that each chain-store pharmacy would have single dose packaging for eye lubricant (without preservatives). I even took time to put in a couple of miles on the exercise bike in the gazebo, while Al was vacuuming his workshop. Lots of woodchips and sawdust in there.

The blue wild flax flowers looked so sparkly, covered in mist and raindrops. I hate to see them go, come wintertime.

Speaking of which, here are some photoart pieces showing blue wild flax flowers in new-and-different colors:

In the new garden plot

At last wildflowers are opening in the new garden plot. Most of what’s emerged, actually, is clover. Several different kinds. When I was a small child, I used to eat the sweet clover flowers. They really do taste sweet. California poppies are among my favorites, although they’re not great to photograph.

Last Friday, the Scampers finally got their summer haircuts. They’re looking really cool. Here are “before” and “after” photographs. And Thadd having a wonderful time rolling in the grass when we brought them home and let them out in the back yard.

I think that I’ve finally gotten my eating patterns squared away as I want them. I do forget to eat, more than I’m comfortable with. Trying to do better while not raising my blood sugar levels. Weight loss has slowed. Isn’t it such nice timing, our having to replace the bathroom scale when we did? The new scale shows the tenths of a pound! We can be really obsessive, now!

For tonight, assuming the rain holds off, I am planning to mix the latest batch of spent coffee grounds into the sandy dirt that contains little to no organic material (other than the seeds that I sowed, which did not germinate) along the south side of the garage. Then I am going to plant clumps of wild flax seeds with bricks on the downward slope to keep all of the water from running off and taking the seeds with it.

One of my husband’s ham radio buddies has come back into the area for a short visit with relatives, and they’re getting together for an evening out, whoever can make it. That will give me time for the planting procedures, assuming nothing comes along to interfere. Must check the radar before I get everything readied for gardening.

Later in the week, some of my husband’s family are coming over to help wrap the workshop building in with whatever it is that blocks the wind, once the inner and outer walls are up. Windows are ordered and a couple more things. Not getting ahead of what’s being used almost immediately. I keep thinking that June is the “rain” month around here and worrying that everything is going to either drown or blow away.

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