About a week in

I’ve been at my aunt’s almost a week, it’s been interesting. (For lack of a more complete phrase.) My cousin’s car has been difficult for me. It’s a stick (manual, for most people, stick for me) and not like most I’ve driven. It’s easy to not get into gear. Which makes it nervousing to drive. But, I did once and got a new pair of shoes. They are comfortable, but I think a bit too large. They have an insert, hard to adjust to. I think I walk wrong! But, I have been able to walk. So, for almost 200 USD, I guess they are ok. The store was very helpful. Place is run by a person with diabetes, because she was frustrated there weren’t any shoes for her feet. She gave me sizes for other brands that would fit, unfortunately those she didn’t have in inventory at the moment. 🙄 I can sometimes feel my feet sliding in these tenny runners, yet the first days, they were tight. The inserts can be removed for other ones, too. I walked further on Wednesday than I’ve walked in ages. It was lovely and blasted cold when I faced the wind! Lake Superior has a brisk breeze at certain times. My aunt’s house was my grandmother’s. It used to have a stellar view of the lake and aerial lift bridge. Unfortunately, this view she’s paying high taxes for is being blocked by trees that used to be trimmed down by city and citizens. And houses are, in consequence, getting taller. My grandma’s house now has a second story that’s pretty impressive.

Pretend this is a sailboat race photo! ⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️ can’t figure out how to add pictures via iPad.

I walked to a pair of connecting ponds in this city, known as The Twin Ponds. I didn’t learn to skate there, but I did skate on it as a little girl and my mum hung out there growing up. I’m going to put some of my mum’s ashes near or in it. The rest will go to the lake she stayed at extensively throughout her life. My favorite uncle and his ailing wife visited yesterday. It was nice to see her, I wasn’t sure I’d get to. My uncle is a character, he’s always been so. He was just over 3 pounds when he was born, his twin had died in utero. He was brought home to die, and obviously didn’t. I often wonder if his twin had passed on part of his personality to my uncle and that’s why he is so different from the rest of his family. It also might be because he was the only boy among 3 girls! He was supposed to help ‘toss’ mum in the lake, but he might not be available. They are putting new carpet in and moving furniture. (The new carpet is because his wife took off her shoes and walked all over the old one.) He did suggest a good place for some ashes might be where he got to help mum empty the “honey bucket” when the outhouse needed cleaning. (Unfortunately, my aunt can’t find where they might be at the moment. She’s definitely not remembering well today.)

I forgot the link to the fancy place we ate at on Sunday. Here it is. Or, I hope it is! On her real birthday, my cousin asked where she wanted to go. She suggested a place we went to when I arrived. My cousin said we should go elsewhere and suggested strongly another place. My aunt agreed, but it wasn’t a place I’d go again. Smoked bbq spots have too much sugar and I wanted to save for my dessert at the ice cream store. It was a very plain sandwich with a salad prettily prepared with not very fresh rocket greens and sunflower seeds and craisins. The latter I needed to remove because I don’t eat them. I like craisins, but there was ice cream! My aunt had leftover dip of some kind and said those blue chips would be good with it. So, that was on the agenda. The ice cream store was fun. It is all hand made and one kind was rhubarb! I had chocolate chip mint. Unfortunately, when my cousin got chips, it was in a gas station and they only had normal corn ones. It would have made too many stops to find a real store. 😟

My aunt has a hibiscus and what a great plant! It’s huge and has been flowering since my arrival. The blooms don’t last long, but even in death they are fascinating. Like tiny flower mummies with the tall stamens as crowns. I can’t find the one I saw this morning, my aunt is pretty good at picking off dead leaves and probably already plucked it. There are others I can photograph! It’s funny, she’s got tulips that are just finished blooming. Seasons are later here. In Oregon, my white poppies are the last poppies to bloom and the iris are done. Looking forward to going back. There are many places I see that I’d love to go to, but my aunt keeps putting me off. And I’m not sure about going alone! Small town girl here!

Mid West and Mostly Melting

I’m in Minnesota this week. Humidity isn’t something I’m familiar with! This close to Lake Superior is really sticky if it’s hot. Today is cool and breezy.

This is one of those lessons I learned caring for mum. Doing something when you can and not putting it off. Minnesota was something that I needed to do. My youngest aunt isn’t connecting well. Her youngest child, she’s been an adult forever, is taking on much of the responsibility. I was super sad to hear this. Her brother is nearby and a lawyer. You’d think he’d be responsible, but she did everything for my uncle’s funeral last fall, she visited him and took vacation to be with both parents, she has been managing her mom’s finances, appointments, and well, everything. Aunt D doesn’t think she needs help, but even my being here for three days has shown me she should not drive or be in charge of much. Makes me cry inside to see my favorite aunt forgetting.

Aunt D has two extremely elderly poodles. One is at least twenty. The other has a skin condition and needs bathed twice a day, she uses the kitchen sink because the other one has a leak and my cousin is hoping to get that and the unfinished bath completed at the same time. She’s yet to schedule that, she’s got many other things going on, too. Plus, there’s a lake cabin. Yesterday we went out and my girl cousin mowed and did weed whacking and I helped rake up debris from two seasons. Last year, while my uncle was so ill, they didn’t do much at all. My lawyer cousin, he’s been trying to get a pair of jet skis ready for the water. He’s doing it himself because he forgot to schedule maintenance before the last minute. There’s also a water leak in the cabin, it seems to have been fixed, but the tools are all over and it’s a mess. I’m hoping to stay the night one day this week. It was a place I remember from when I was little. Besides, mums ashes are in the pantry and don’t need to be there!

The lake made me sad. It has so many people on it now, the waterfowl has deserted the area. There are gulls, but no loons or assorted ducks. The landowners have destroyed habitat to make room for boats and jet skis and pontoons and the like. Or perhaps it’s the motorized things that have ruined the environment? Wish I could buy one of the 25 or 30 foot lots and revert it back to natural.

Last night was a birthday celebration for my aunt. It was definitely not someplace I’d go on my own. The dinner was set into 6 courses and was really good, but so blooming expensive! My responsible cousin paid for most of it. You do that in advance! I’ll try to link the location. My two favorite parts were the grilled melon with Brie bits and prosciutto and then the shaved asparagus salad. The melon had a sweet syrupy part I didn’t like and the mustard was too strong in the salad, but definitely very good. It was fascinating to note the textures and flavors melding with each bite. The salad had bacon at the bottom of the dish and mixing it up was heavenly! I’ll look for the menu and share that next post.

So far, the travel was the worst part. Because my sensors aren’t X-ray friendly, they had to check everything with hands and eyes. Including myself! I was really glad I’d not put my jacket on Little Bear’s hunting gear! Thankfully, no explosive residue or gunpowder was found on me and I was good to go.

More anon!


Have been attempting to shrink images already added in and every single direction says and shows it is easy as pie. Except, I do not make very good pie. Which might be the problem. Anyway, adding images has always been a favorite thing to do and now there is so little space I feel like I’m cheating my followers! Granted, there aren’t any more Alaskan pics. (unless someone sends me some via text!) But, there are other things around.

Like spring!!! OK, late spring. But, it is pretty exciting to watch out there. The lilacs were here and then gone, it got super hot and they literally faded!!! (as in F 80) I finally figured out how to get sweet peas to grow. I soaked them in water for more than 24 hours and then popped them into the soil. I have a lot of nasturtiums up and moved some hosta to the MiLs to grow up there-it wasn’t doing so well where it was. I, alas, found a pupa case of one of the poplar sphinx moths. It was full of ants, but I was able to help bathe a hummingbird with the shower feature on the hose nozzle. We have a nest of robins outside the window (Actually, had two different dear ones fooled when I told them we had new neighbors. A family of quadruplets in a DIY high rise. Made me giggle out loud!) and the babies are almost to the size of fledgling. They should take their initial leap/soar/flight this next weekend. This world is so full of so many wonderful things!

In a week, I’ll be heading to MN for 10 days. Minus two of travel. My uncle died last fall and my aunt is wandery. I want to see her before she forgets who I am. She’s the youngest aunt and was my main mom when I was in my first years. The link goes to a post with an image of the two of us. I do hope things get watered while I’m away! One of the most important things a plant needs in this dry hot area is water! Well, not all of them. I had planted a coneflower near my forget-me-nots and the latter likes water and the former doesn’t! Yup, killed it by drowning. And how on earth did I get from plants to MN to plants again???

Have had a slew of testing done and for the most part, I’m completely healthy. They are going to watch my kidneys and since my feet oddly swelled fast in two days and then went back to ‘normal’, I also have an appointment with the GP for that after my return. I do weigh as much as a female spotted hyena (do freckles count as spots????), but can almost get on a few of last year’s summer clothes.

Someone posted (I do read posts, even if I’m not in here!) that there are too many days for everything. I laughed. I LOVE days set aside for certain things. I sure helps me plan meals easier. National shrimp day was a shrimp dinner. Today is Douglas Adams Day and I made stuffed burgers replicating Algolian Zylatburgers. Am sure mine were more palatable and I don’t have any Vulcan Dodo Spit. Star Wars Day was Bobo Fettucine. On Earth Day I made chocolate cake and inside the slices stuffed gummy worms. June 2 is National Donut Day and National Rotisserie Chicken Day. (Unfortunately, that is the day I leave!) The 15th is Sneak a Kiss Day and I’ll make sure to hide chocolate kisses in several places. Unless it is too hot! So, lots of good reasons to celebrate and remember different days. Especially if you are the family cook! I think I’ll have something with tuna on Marina Day. Oh, the 16th is Sea Turtle Day!!! I’ve not made bacon turtles in AGES! We’ll see if I am up to that sort of cooking extravaganza after I return.

The kid is home and wants the desktop area. I’d post a song for you, but youtube isn’t always as helpful as it might be!! Thus, will just pretend and lip-sync (do dolphins lip-sync?) “So long, and thanks for all the fish!” (from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie)

April Snows help May Grow

Little Bear coined that phrase. It fits for the last two years! (Perhaps it should be the April snow may help May grow!) Outside, the yard has exploded in color-the snow wasn’t nice to the crocus. After it melted, the spent blossoms were flat on the bright grass like purple scraps littering the floor of a spring quilt. There are lots of violets in well, violet, and white. A few bright buttons of gold dandelions, vibrant trumpets of the big belled daffodils, jaunty scented bells of hyacinth in blue/purple and pink, and so many tender shoots of perennials showing up! As much as I adore and love winter, spring is so fascinating! (Even when it is lazy and slow to get going!)

One of the most unusual things found this month was a moth Little Bear discovered at work. (I know, another moth!) This is a tiny sphinx, it also doesn’t eat, but it has the oddest ‘season’. It is a winter moth! It usually shows up between Dec and April. The eggs hatch and somehow find something to eat. The moth captured was a male, but before we’d sexed it, I’d found some evening primrose for it to lay eggs on. And it was pretty difficult, even though these are a plant in my yard. (caterpillar eggs are hard to pry off of netting, it was done the last batches, but definitely not easy!) Anyway, these little guys are camo moths. The main name is Pacific Green Sphinx Moth. (Think they were named in the 1800’s, seriously boring!) They really look like they are wearing green military camo. Alas, the kid took photos, but they are still on his camera. So, will link one of the websites for them.

Yesterday, April 12, was Drop Everything And Read Day. So, I did. (Are you surprised?) And today I found a kindle version of Treasure Island with original artwork! I so do love words. Many of the bloggers I’ve met via WP are craftsman when it comes to words. Some have even written books I’ve purchased. Me? I just enjoy the words and collect them..actually, hoard them!

Absolutely have needed books lately. This week was even more odd. The Craftsman’s former boss from TX (really, Canada, but they moved to the OR coast and then TX. Lifestyle and politics are a better fit down there!) and his wife were driving through and decided they’d land at our place on Sunday. Easter Sunday. Thankfully, that fell through. The boss came alone on Tuesday. And he needed something on his truck fixed. So, The Craftsman fixed it. The next day, the former boss didn’t get very far before something else seriously broke (He is a mechanic and his son is a mechanic, the rig had been his son’s, but dad was using it and it turns out these problems hadn’t showed up when the son was using the rig!). So, he was towed back. 131 miles. He stayed the night again and the vehicle had two issues that were fixed. Now, it is night and he is hopefully, and finally, on his way. He’s supposed to visit another friend in Canada who is a mechanic, so that is handy if he needs it!

I also had a CT of my sinuses and might need to have my tear ducts flushed out this next Monday. (The latter sounds uncomfortable, so hoping it is not really necessary.) One reason I was thankful the people didn’t arrive was because on the Friday before Palm Sunday, my oven element sparked and ended up with a hole in it! No one around had an element (One young person in a store had no idea what the thing was when The Craftsman showed it to him with the part number.), so it was ordered online. And arrived in time for me to bake and bake and bake! Brownies and amusing little rabbit faces (Little Bear said they had blank stares, Ms. Monster said they looked stoned, and they tasted very good in spite of their looks!). The Easter morning muffins weren’t done in time, (I slept in for 20 min), and the cream cheese lemon ring was not near as pretty as the directions showed, Little Bear hadn’t told me he was tired of Snickers candies (he ate them anyway), and the movie set I’d purchased The Craftsman had part of the jewel case broken. BUT, the movies were fine and if you have not yet seen Ghostbusters, Afterlife, I highly recommend it. The best part was staying up later and reading about the Easter Eggs hidden inside. Perfect end to Easter Sunday.

Speaking of afterlife. Am off to find out whatever might be making itself known in the fridge. It is close to empty because I’ve been cleaning it, but there is something not right. Spring is a time of growth, but not in my refrigerator!!

Where did all those sentences go??????

On Thursday night, was typing away on my new chromebook (had to get a new one, Little Bear uses mine all the time and really wanted to get my mum’s journals and notebooks transcribed. I don’t like chromebook and would have gotten a laptop. EXCEPT I’d purchased so many gadgets that only work with chromebook and didn’t want to have that money just thrown away. Escpecially, the storage contraption-tried using it with the desktop and the storage unit now has a glitch. After telling me it wouldn’t work!) and when I opened it this morning at my MiLs (no internet, not even with a foil hat!), it was completely gone!!! When you work offline, my settings have the item saved to the chromebook til internet is reached. However, I wonder if I forgot to save the last things I wrote while online and assumed it did it automatically? It was an intriguing set of thoughts. Probably a bit controversial and the machine axed it! Let me try to remember……

Several of my favorite female authors, women who changed the world of writing in one way or another, have had their name removed from awards or had their works censored in one way or another. Dorothy Cranfield Fisher was repsonsible for Montesseri schooling reaching America, she battled for reforms in different walks of life, wrote a great deal of literature, and yet was once (briefly) on a committee that leaned toward Eugenics in Vermont. Vermont actually was a state that pushed ‘a stronger better people’ and even managed to sterilise hundreds of institutionalised patients and inmates without their permission. She also wasn’t kind in her writing to Native Americans and other people groups. Laura Ingalls Wilder also had her name removed from an award. She, also, wasn’t kind in her portrayal of Native Americans. Am wondering when Gene Stratton Porter, Kate Wiggins, and Francis H. Burnett will come under the knife of censorship. When authors wrote about life as they were experiencing it, people were NOT nice and often stories reflected that. It was just the way it was. Oddly, Mark Twain has a fairly new award that has his name attached and he also wasn’t kind in his words used to describe other peoples. He also wrote in the same time period as the authors above, but he’s male and much wider known. Although, that doesn’t seem to matter for authors like Giesel or Roald Dahl. 

The other part of my thoughts this last week were not written right/write. So, was going to edit them when I had time today. It was about ethics and legalities. One of my friends has a tendency to job hop. This last job she’s had for quite a while. She is getting paid well, but it is also getting very uncomfortable. She’s being asked to do things that are not illegal, but defiitely unethical in her position in insurance claims in a doctor’s office. When I started thinking about it, there is a lot in our world today that is not illegal, but defiitely unethical. Things that aren’t wrong, but just dicey. When texting with another, rather learned friend, this came to surface. He said, ‘There’s no real problem with ‘unethical’, because [they] can’t get into trouble with the law with that. [They] only fear illegal, ‘cuz they don’t want to go to jail. One difference between the two is that illegal is a lot eaier to dfine because it’s based on the laws which are written down and codified. Unethical is harder to define, because it’s usually based upon ehtical principles that are NOT codified in the same way that the law is. Therefore, there’s much more disagreement between people on what is actually unethical but not illegal.’ Can’t believe that people have always been currupt, although, when I was told in a grocery store that all diseases and problems in our society come from sin..well, that made me want to tear out the person’s hair!! 

So, what do YOU think about those two thoughts? Have you found favorite authors lost on the shelves? Do you find people today accepting of the unethical? Perfect thoughts for spring break!!! 

St Pat’s Day

Am always a fan of a holiday. Will celebrate even the ‘little known ones’ like Fettucine Day or National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. The 18th is Maple Syrup Day and National Corn Dog Day (We have had waffles recently and I make a super tasty corndog casserole often) and it is Sloppy Joes Day. So, reckon we’ll have those for dinner! This 17th, though, is not just St Patrick’s Day, it is also World Sleep Day (MUST celebrate that ASAP) and one of my favorite person’s birthdays. She’s a retired librarian and is spending part of her day planting (she’s in CA) flats of flowers, I did dig up some snowdrops and will transplant those into one of my lasagna beds. BUT, because it is my friend’s birthday, we will have a not quite Irish stew (couldn’t condone purchasing 24 oz of dark ale for over 3$ and only use 8 oz.), soda biscuits, and a chocolate cake from one of my favorite modern fantasy authors. It is kid lit and the recipe was a winning entry in a bake off for a frying pan of doom. The winner baked his entry in a shield, but I use a sheet cake pan. It is Quick After Battle Chocolate Cake. Not exactly quick as it takes 35-40 min to cook!!! Super sturdy cake and tasty. I did buy corned beef, will make that Monday in the crockpot since I’ve got a very late appointment that day. 

 This weekend starts spring break. We did have snow and rain in the weekly forecast yesterday, it has been changed to overcast and fairly warm (40’s to low 60’s F) with a thunderstorm in the offing!! Nights will be chilly with possible frost. Typical. Last year we got a LOT of snow in April, so am not going to get too excited about spring til it really arrives! A date on the calendar isn’t enough. It would be nice to get outside for a bit. Maybe I’ll not be so tired. One of my friends who has been an EMT texted me this to my response of being so flipping tired as soon as I wake up. ‘Have you checked your iron?’ Confused, I thought…’why should I check my iron? It isn’t on, haven’t used it in ages!!!’ That wasn’t what she meant! Referring to blood labs, it was fine my last lab at the end of Jan. Since I must go shopping on Saturday, will go in early to avoid the spring break travelers and hope to sleep later in the day. If I can make the time.

One of the hardest things about being in two houses so close to each other is not being able to stay very long at either one of them. The Craftsman got most of the sunflowers removed at the main house, the squirrels and birds picked the heads fairly clean, so it was 90% stalks. Actually, the squirrels took the heads off to eat elsewhere! Thursday, I noticed that the apple tree at my MiLs was pruned and the branches and yard debris left all over a sidewalk. Granted, the sidewalk is rarely used since the neighbor’s aren’t relations anyore, but it is still really messy. Yet, The Craftsman can only do so much. He’s getting pretty tired. Especially since the car he drives often, the one that was stolen last summer (the aged red escort that was spray painted with grey primer and has somehow faded to a nice robin’s egg blue), has something wrong with it and he’s got a few other things to mend. My watch needed a new band last week and it was baffling me how to get the old one off. Little Bear said he knew how to fix it. As I started to hand it to him, he added, “Have dad do it.” Thankfully, it didn’t take dad very long. 

It is much later here. Dinner wasn’t bad at all. Didn’t do the soda biscuits because I was the only one here (guys were busy elsewhere. The Craftsman finally arrived-the Snapon dealer gave him a new Snapon t-shirt in bright green!). Unfortunately, ate way too much. Almost 2 cups of the stew! The biscuits were in heart shapes since hearts point to point make a clover! The cake was fun. It has been awhile since I’ve made Patricia Wrede’s fine cake, forgot how long it has been since I’ve mixed up a glass of chocolate milk. The cake calls for 2/3 of a cup.

Now, am off to celebrate the rest of the holiday by enjoying as much of World Sleep Day as possible. Good Night and many blessings follow you. (and we missed watching Finnegan’s Rainbow!)


Discovred my media section of this WP is just about full. So, need to decide which photos to remove (delete) and how to keep the AK saga intact. Oddly, making the pictures smaller before popping them into a version of social media is the best idea. Some might have been, but definitely not enough! Looked at Kinsta, which is WP on premium (I think) and rather spendy. I’ve never ever ever been one to use a mini storage for longer than a few months and have no use for storing stuff in clouds. If I need dust bunnies in the sky, that just shows a need for minimalization! Don’t’ really see WP as storage, because I do go back now and then to see where I’ve been!

When Becky did a WP site cleaning, I was sad, but now absolutely understand part of why it was done! Although, hers was winnowing wandering wonderful words and mine is fairly frivolous photos. (ooooh!!! Alliteration!!) Thus, one of these days, when the MiL is able to be left a bit longer than an hour, will set myself down and start trimming things down.

Meanwhile, was thrilled to BITS to find two very favorite favorites books in E form. (One was republished and might be at Barnes and Noble, maybe.) The first is about a young teen who is a circus rider in the early 50’s (that is when the book was published, anyway). The circus was in OR when his dad, a ‘cat man‘, was killed by one of the cats he worked with. Because the boy, the main character, was only 15, he was in foster care and ran away. However, he landed on a farm and the family took him in and showed him that non circus types are not soft and that caring isn’t weak. It is called ‘Sawdust in His Shoes‘ and is by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. The second is another absolute favorite (did I say that???) kid book. It is called ‘Mr. Pudgins‘ and is about a family in need of a babysitter. They end up with this elderly, portly, pipe smoking gent and when he visits the most amazing magical sorts of things happen. Not like magic in Harry Potter or magic as in fairy tales, a bit more like Mary Poppins. Magic that is something extraordinary in an ordinary world. My favorite chapter is when the older son decides to have a lemonade stand. The younger two are popped into a bath because they got muddy playing with a hose in the garden area. BUT, there was an issue with the pipes and when the children emerge from their bath they are bright purple! The bathtub faucet filled the tub with grape soda pop. All over the house, different faucets give off different soda. The stand changed from lemonade to soda, and they cornered the market. Before the parents returned, Mr. Pudgins told the kids to choose their favorite beverage, fill two glass bottles each and then fiddled with the pipes, fixing them. The younger kids were popped back into the tub and all was well again. Except, one of the faucets had a bit of orange discoloration and the plumber couldn’t find out why it was rusty! This is by Ruth C. Carlsen. Both of these books are from days gone by. The circus book, well, can almost bet that no one under the age of 30 has ever seen a circus outside of a movie and there is a bit of brawling among some of the characters. The babysitting older gentleman pops the two youngest into tubs often and bathing boys and girls together isn’t all that common today. When the bathtub takes off out the window into the sky, Mr. Pudgins climbs aboard with the eldest (they did try to get it to stay put!) and they go for a jaunt. When the kids ‘drive’ it near where their parents are at a couple’s dinner, the mom sees them. However, the dad said she had been drinking too much, dismissing the whole idea. Modern readers are more comfortable with killing each other with wand death curses, instead of flying around in a bubble filled bathtub with a clothed old guy, a brother, and two naked kids, laughing at the world below. Both these books were purchases via an Amazon gift from Podman and Chirp. Love those two friends to BITS!!!!

Today was an anniversary. Oddly, The Craftsman not only took me out to lunch (got way too full), he purchased me a pretty opal earring (not dangle) and necklace set because opal is for 34 years. Kind of. There really isn’t a gem, but this is a token one! Later, I made an involved dinner, which was yummy. It was an easy butter chicken recipe with curried rice that I’ve made before. Also made a non-yeast flatbread. The restaurant was one we went to the night after we’d gotten married. We hosted a party and then retired to the apartment to open gifts. No honeymoon or night by ourselves. The apartment had my mom and two of my good friends and the two of us. However, back then, it was a pizza place. The owner got tired of making pizza (he did it all from scratch) and the place is now a breakfast joint with some lunches and abbreviated hours. The owner still makes his breads by hand and that is the ONLY reason I ate the toast that came with my omelet! The place had a couple of great signs inside. “Eggs sunny side up, Scramble on in!” and “After exercise, I always eat pizza. Just kidding, I don’t exercise!” The best one was handwritten on their wall menu. ‘We offer prompt courteous service, no matter how long it takes.

Then, today, The Craftsman learned his mom’s septic needs emptied because there was water in the yard where it shouldn’t be. I wanted him to call someplace today, but he didn’t. Because he hadn’t been near a computer-he forgot he could look up the place on his cell phone. (Actually, he’s never done that before and it’s not his first choice!) Now, many of you long time followers might recall my mum and septic systems. Thus, you might understand my stress in wondering why a call wasn’t made. And why my questions ‘Do you think it might back up into the bathroom?‘ or ‘Will it be usable after it is emptied?‘ or ‘Will it back up anywhere else?‘ were (pardon the pun!) pooh-poohed. I’d also hoped someone more in charge would be there when the tech arrived, if the tech gets scheduled for next week. I do NOT want to take responsibility for another septic fiasco! (note: some of those photos might be good to delete!) At least his mom gets a reprieve. There is a shower bench in her bath, she’s had one shower, and practiced fully clothed getting in and out with an OT person. Her PT person wanted her to take a shower before his next visit on Tuesday. Which she now can’t do! (is that saved by the septic?)

Have a great week and enjoy this last full week of Feb!

Love me some books!

On the cusp of the 14th of Feb. Most of the world knows this as Valentine’s Day. Some of us (and now, so do you!) know it is International Book Giving Day and National Library Lover’s Day. If you are in New Mexico, the second Tuesday in February, you also know it is Extraterrestrial Day. (As Little Bear said, ‘Only the not important things appear to be bipartisan.’) This holiday was voted in a few years back. Can you imagine the mottoes used this year? “Kiss me, I’m Martian.” “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one from Outer Space.” You want to watch a movie to celebrate? Time honored space romances like ones found in DC and Marvel (Superman and Lois, Guardians of the Galaxy), Avatar, and my favorite, Star Man. Or binge watch episodes of Star Trek (Pick your season and series!), 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dr. Who, and Roswell. New Mexico (of course!).

In my house, dinner will be accompanied by heart shaped biscuits (garlic and cheese) and my Valentine gifts will be books. As for me, this girl will be reading my absolute favorite Valentine book. L. M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. It was a book I’d checked out so often, I finally purchased off their discard sale shelf. It was then purchased new for a friend, who also checked it out often and looked for it on their discard shelf! So, this book fulfills 3 parts of the 14th. Books, libraries, and romance!

Meanwhile, made truffles from leftover birthday ganache (Little Bear was confused by the name. ‘Why isn’t it just called thin frosting you can do other things with?’). They were messy and not bad at all! The Craftsman gave me a late birthday gift he’d forgotten to give me for both Christmas and my birthday. It was something I’d asked for last fall and is also bookish!!! (cute, yes?) Forgetting things is typical in this family. Especially when you wash your ‘to do’ list! As one quip replied to my post on FB, ‘at least your laundry is done.’

Winter has abated for now. Which annoys me. It most likely will return in late March or April and discourage the vibrancy of the blooming spring bulbs. My MinL has snowdrops scattered in her yard (need to dig some of those up while they are ‘visible’) and my daffs are up almost an inch in some spots. Not impressed at all. Her cat, however, is liking the sunshine. (Suzy looks like a sweet fluffy cat, she’s not. She is fond of killing hands that get too close and catching small mammals to bring inside to play with and then kill in the bathtub!)

And for those of us who need things done now and want a giggle, am adding a comic strip I cut from the paper. Have a splendid Valentine’s Day.

And another trip begins

February starts with my birthday-it is also (depending on the site you visit) ‘Read Aloud Day’ and is a part of ‘National Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week.’ All good reasons for a cause to Celebrate!!!! (and now you, too, have that awesome earworm playing in your head! Hooray for Kool and the Gang! See below) Wore my favorite vest, favorite dangly amethyst earrings, a favorite amethyst necklace, and on my vest is a Birthday pin I’d made ages ago. Oddly, it wasn’t til much much later in the day that a discovery was made. My shirt was on backwards!!!!!!!!!

This is also my favorite day on Social Media. Yup. I adore birthday greetings and most of my greetings are found online or from friends I’ve never met in person, but would know instantly if I bumped into them. (Podman and Chirp sent me an amazing gift!!) The youngest built me a book holder from recycled materials at the last minute. It will come in handy when I’ve got printed pages of recipes on the counter. Seeing them in front of me will be much easier! The Craftsman gave me an obscure flavor of m&m (they don’t taste like a strawberry shake!) and a card telling me nice things and that he always has had trouble with holidays and birthdays and he wishes he was better. (which annoyed me. To get better at something, you do it!)

So, how was my day spent? Absolutely ordinary. Stayed with the MiL all day, except when I dashed the few blocks back to the house to sear and toss a roast and veggies in the crockpot. (actually, also visited the post. Needed to send off a Valentine to Rhapsody and picked up on audio book I’d purchased for The Craftsman. Reasons to celebrate are everywhere and this month is one where I spend several days leading up to our anniversary by gifting him fun treats of various kinds.) Got texts from my pastor, a super dear AK friend-who sent me the pic of home-, and my dental agency!! Strider called, too. At about 430, I normally leave and got to the house to finish up dinner. One of The Craftsman’s co-workers was in my hometown last summer and caught some red salmon. He gave us a few hunks and, so, I added Kenai reds to the menu. When that fish hit my tastebuds, almost cried. Could hear gulls, feel the Inlet breeze, and could almost taste the salt air. (also said something like this to another friend!) Rounded out the meal with a chocolate angel cake that almost wasn’t cooked properly. Thankfully, it was saved by sitting in the turned off oven on Tuesday night after cooking a batch of chocolate chip mini m&m cookies! Mine was a partial slice (about an hour ago, discovered that other bit of the slice was missing!!) with a bit of low carb ice cream treat. The guys and grandma had their slices with real ice cream. After the kitchen was tidy and everything was cleaned up and the guys left to do projects, had some of those new candies. Unfortunately, the several milkshake m&m’s might not have sat well when eaten late at night! (It is probably because I’m old!!)

Celebration, Kool and The Gang off of YouTube!

The New Year is blowing in HARD!

What a season! For a while we’ve had some serious fog (it was so bad when it arrived, once it spread out over almost 25 miles!) and it has been interspersed with wind and some rain. The oddest part is how darn dry it is! The short haircut I got in Dec makes me feel like that gone to seed dandelion too frequently. I’ve got a new ‘job’, too. The Craftsman’s mom is not as agile as she wants to be (are many of us????) and has fallen so many times, she needs constant watching. He’s been busy cleaning up her house and often reminds himself that it isn’t as bad as my mom’s! Anyway, he stays there at night and I’m there in the daytime hours. It has been hard, but we are thankful no one is commuting from AK to OR and back. A few blocks is much closer. When I return in the late afternoon, I usually make dinner and do some house chores and get baking done. Saturday, he’s there much of the day, Sunday, I am there only in the morning, unless he and Little Bear have something else going on and won’t be around. We had talked about moving her to this house (which would be grand, so do miss internet~ it is crazy how similar this household is to my mum’s!). However, moving her would mean making this house handicapped accessible. Including the only bathroom. Grab bars are handy, but the elevated toilet is not a logical thing for a short gal like me!!! Need a step stool to get into the bed, it would be ridiculous to need a step stool to reach the stool!! The first photo was pulled over on the ‘highway’. The town is on the right side of the road, but you can see the ‘river’ of fog moving in. The other photo is the really bad foggy day as I drove in onto main street. There is a town down there somewhere and the barely visible headlights are just after the HS.

The MiL has lived in her double wide since it was put in place when The Craftsman was about 8 or so. They used to live in a tiny one bedroom about 20 feet away, so the move wasn’t much of a change. The house was! The space in the ‘new’ place was more than tripled and The Craftsman liked not having to sleep in a crib in his parent’s room. (as he got older, they took the bars off, but it was still pretty small). The family ate around a tiny bar/counter in the kitchen for a while, but eventually that changed. He and his dad ate in the living room watching TV and his mom ate in the other room and watched her tv. Strange, but, they managed!! The place was a lot more crowded before it was cleaned up. Actually, the living room was rarely used after his dad died. His mom had no reason to go in it.

Since there isn’t a whole lot for me to do at the MiL’s, there are lovely wonderful books!!! Have picked up several L.M. Montgomery novels, most are in e form. (So adore that author!!) Magic for Marigold isn’t quite as good as the Anne series, but this page made me giggle. Marigold is a pre-teen and is a rather imaginative youngster. (I do hope it stays small, So annoying when you edit images and they turn out unedited once published!)

Have also found several books featuring cats. One was a pair by two favorite older authors (Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Anne Scarborough.) and the other is an odd series that I might not keep reading because it goes on and on and on. The latter is about a cat who ends up as a dragon rider in a fight against evil wizards. The former are just plain fun science fiction. While reading, realised one scene was legally borrowed from a book called The Abandoned by Paul Gallico. It lists absolutely the best reasons for cat grooming and even now (decades after first reading The Abandoned), I find myself thinking, ‘When in doubt, wash!’ The character of Kibble in the story is the token two legger owned by one of the main cat characters, Chessie. Because cats own people, not the other way around! The other book in the series is Catacombs. Mittens is following the protocol perfectly! And cat like, she’s on TOP of her slipper bed!!

Cooking is still fun, but a bit less so since it needs done faster–or seems to!!! One night made little ground meat Wellingtons (not the boots!) and needed to open up a tube of crescent rolls (will add the recipe link here, but honestly, it is used as a reference, not as something to actually follow!!). Eons ago, the little Pillsbury guy was poked in the tummy and had an adorable giggle. When this tube burst open, the dough was jabbed with my thumb, thankfully, there were no giggles!!!!!!! It was also annoying because the hole in the dough made it hard to pat together and fill. Then, The Craftsman brought me home some sf hot cocoa packets. The recipe on the back made me laugh. First, because it seemed entirely NOT logical for a recipe on the back of a box of low carb packages of cocoa and, second, because of the underlined word in the recipe. Little Bear wondered just what sort of equivalent a ‘whoosh‘ was! (deleted image)

The hardest part of being up at the MiLs is not being here at the house. The recent warmth makes me worry about the moths (they can get too warm and emerge early, but there is NO WAY they will be moved to the refrigerator like was suggested to me by a caterpillar guy!!), plus want to get the plants that are emerging covered because it is only Jan and winter is far from over, and not being able to hang out online is frustrating! Do not like the wind up there, either. There is literally nothing to stop it and it howls and shakes the dwelling. Another hard part is not being sure I can find a ‘babysitter’ for when I have appointments. She has PT twice a week and OT once and a bathing person once. The nurse has been coming out twice, but she may stop if she thinking mom’s leg wounds from the blisters are healed up well. (it turns out if your legs swell, the water needs to go somewhere and if it can’t find a place, it will make one!) The OT noticed a red spot in one of mom’s eyes and we were told to keep an ‘eye’ on it. The last fall she bonked her head and she has raccoon rings now.

Not sure when I can get back online, but meanwhile, will leave you with an easy game!!! Which one of these youngsters to you think is Kris?????????