Silly questions

Tired of those surveys made by high school kids? Here are 24 questions for Grown Ups. (I found this on Facebook. I thought it would be a fun post while I was north. Enjoy! Oddly, the last question formatted in a different way!)

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1. What bill do you hate paying the most?    Electricity in Alaska.

2. When was the last time you had a romantic dinner? Maybe early months of 2017. Not sure what would count as romantic. How about a completely enjoyable meal with one other person. October or November of 2018.

3. What do you really want to be? I’m not really very ambitious. Although, becoming a citizen of Alaska again would be stellar!

4. How many colleges did you attend? One. For 5 years. Graduated with one of those useless degrees.

5. Why did you choose the shirt you have on now? I wanted a shirt with orange and I fell in love with it at a thrift store.

6. Thoughts on gas prices right now? Not liking those summer prices in Alaska.

7. First thought when the alarm goes off in the morning? “Already?”

8. Last thought you have before you go to bed? “Why didn’t I go to the bathroom before getting under the covers?”🤔🙄🙄🤔

9. Do you miss being a kid? Some parts of it.

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10. What errand/chore do you despise? Picking up dirty dishes and napkins..Because I’m not getting paid!

11. Up early or sleep late? sleep late

12. Found love yet? I love Alaska. 💜

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Photo by TW

13. Favorite lunch meat? Roast beef.

14. What do you get every time you go to Walmart? Usually test strips and glucose tablets. I don’t get them every time, but it’s often enough!

15. Beach or Lake? Ocean waves are a favorite, but any sort of water is needed.

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16. Is Marriage overrated? Not sure yet.

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17. Ever crashed a vehicle? Unfortunately, yes. Hydroplaned at a stoplight. Still annoys me. My little car ended up under the truck back bumper and I was yelled at cuz their small child fell onto the floor off the back seat. My small one was in a car seat and his older brother buckled in back.

18. Strangest place you’ve brushed your teeth? Public bathroom. 😳

19. Name a place you’ve never been but want to go? East coast, most of Alaska, Canada, and definitely Europe. But, those aren’t exactly reachable! So, I’ll say the Woodburn, Oregon Tulip Festival. Ok, that’s probably not reachable either. The Walla Walla balloon Stampede in October during deer season. If I’m in Oregon, I could go by myself!

20. Do you have a go to person? No, I blog.

21. Are you where you want to be in life right now? No. I need to accept all of myself, not worry about what others think, and stop pushing her away. On the other hand, I am in Alaska, so there is that! 😍😍

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22. Growing up what were your favorite cartoons? In books, Tin-Tin and Garfield. On tv, Jonny Quest and Schoolhouse Rock.

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Monday earrings! 

23. What do you think has changed about you since you are older? A lot has changed in shape and health. With the rest , I am a stronger person than I was a few years ago, but I think much of me is fundamentally the same. I have grown more open in my thinking, I don’t react as much as I used to, I am more comfortable with being invisible, and have learned to let things be, rather than fret til they tie me in knots. Or I write about it!

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    1. What would you tell your younger self? Kris, after your graduation from high school, you will be given the uncertain gift of Diabetes. It’s awful, you can manage it, and over the years, it changes every part of your body. Take care of it. Oh, and that birthday cake your senior year? Don’t give it all away, save a piece for yourself. It’s going to be the last guilt free birthday cake you’ll ever get.
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A bit overwhelmed.

Friday and early Saturday afternoons.

I’m in such a quandary. I don’t know how to start getting rid of stuff. I have a box started for donations, but of that what might my sister want? Then, she offered to have her daughter help me. Pippi needs exact directions and supervision, I’m too busy for the latter. So, I thought I’d have her box up lighthouses. But, there are houses in every room! Some you can see and not get to. Many are sets. They are almost all needing wrapped. Should the sets and collections be kept together? (I’m often a bit particular about keeping stuff organized.) In the photo with the arrows, each arrow is pointing to where a light house is. (it was super bright with sunshine, so the photo is horrible) To be fair, the ones on the right are lighthouses on photo frames of her oldest grands. But, they add to the abundance of lighthouses!! It is the same with the stuffed critters, they are all over the place. And those, should they yard sale or just end up donated?

I don’t know how to start selling this stuff. I’m not sure what will appease the IRS. This house is such a money pit and I’ve run through the annuity and am digging deep into my half of the investments. I meet with mum’s tax person in early June, meanwhile I don’t want to just sit around buried in crap. (My sister did suggest she needs to pay me for her part of the memorial services last fall. Because that will help me out..I suggested she pay for the memorial plaque for mom on dad’s bench. I think it is under $100, but I honestly don’t have it right now. Gas to fill mom’s Pacifica was a bit over $50. The kid is a bit like mom, unfortunately,  and it won’t get done. She’s doing other things right now.)

Jake annoys me. Ok, she’s my baby sister and was born annoying, but still. She sorted through the stuff she wanted and repacked a donation box better. (She made sure to say she took some things and helpfully minimized the chaos in the box.) I noticed something, though. It’s about money. She wanted name brand items (Pampered Chef or Wilton) and often said, “Ill take it, it’s an antique.” (I kept out some of the very old muffin tins to pack up later. I probably don’t need them, but they are rather cool)

Today is Saturday, I was in tears. It’s too much. I thought taking care of mom was hard. This part is just stupid. In order to find what she has, I have to excavate. Sorting the good from the bad from the very good. I’m not even sure how or where to get help. I just want to walk away. I’ve had persons say they’ll help, most of the time it is just a phrase. Often it is to give me advice where I can go for paid help.

On the positive side, it is surprisingly lovely being completely alone with rare texts or phone calls, (and more rare visits), I have gotten all the kitchen drawers and cupboard doors to close properly, the septic will get pumped on Tuesday, the digger guy wants to be here (think he’s wanting to take this personally, the pumping secretary can’t believe it either. But, it’s nice to be recognized and chatted with!), I can talk to the WP world without judgement, and almost every other night I sleep like a proverbial rock for 6-8 hours pain free!

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She did take about half of this stuff. 

Outside/Inside (part 2: a game, and a lesson)

A long post on STUFF. Also written on Thursday.

When I got back to the house after my beach visit, I began to sort stuff. I found many an interesting thing. Some of them I know what they are. Others..well, I posted them elsewhere, but perhaps you might help identify them! I will mark the ‘odd’ ones with letters and you can answer in the comments with your memories and knowledge. (Or guesses!)

Under mom’s kitchen sink were more crazy things. Six containers of kitchen cleaning stuff, several not opened, plus many other assorted bottles of most likely hazardous flammables. (The ancient almost empty bottle of lighter fluid I’m sure wore dad’s fingerprints!) I’ve tackled the junk drawer. It held everything! Three packages of sparklers, three spools of fishing line, two cribbage boards, an unopened deck of cards, numerous batteries, tape of all kinds (new and used), at least a dozen different kinds of screwdrivers, and much more. I was looking forward to emptying it so I could get it closed. Unfortunately, the darn thing won’t release!!! So annoying. I do love getting doors and drawers to close! (TnT managed to fix one in the bathroom. BIG hugs and kisses!!!) I also learned Windex works very well when it comes to removing sticky things from where they don’t belong. (It appears to be like duct tape, only in reverse!)

Now for the game. What are these things in mom’s house??? This first one, it looks like a bottle opener, but twists around. She has two of these.

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This next thing was really popular after cans went from the classic pull off tabs to the ones we use now. I never used one of these, but they are all over the place! I learned some people would put advertisements on them or even use them for campaign ads!

This one is completely beyond me. It is a very tight spring loaded sort of spiky thing.

I fell in love with this find. I wish I could send it to Little Red Dot and GH!

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Another crazy odd thing. It looks a bit like a sea shell we’d find on the beaches called a china man’s hat, minus the point. It looks well used, whatever it is!

I’m pretty sure this is a handle. I might be able to google it and discover what it is, but…Anyway, parts of the black end twist and doesn’t seem entirely secure as a handle for anything made by Corningware.

It is a lot more fun cleaning mom’s house without her hovering. It is also a bit sad. It is definitely an exercise that makes me mad (most of mom’s ‘I’ll get to it later’ makes me angry.). However, I learned something while shopping today from my 7th grade math teacher. She was talking about her deceased husband and thought it might fit mom. ‘There are good people who are always busy and doing. Yet sometimes those people don’t know how to get things done. They mean well and want to, but they never do, because they’ll get to it later. And we have to pick up their slack and forgive them.’  I’ve been hit on the head often these last weeks with lessons on forgiving. It will be something to remember as I continue to delve into mom’s debris.

Outside/Inside (part one)

(written Thursday night)

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I’m sitting at a folding TV tray overlooking the lake. I’m inside, but my view is most wonderful. I do prefer a larger spot to ‘write’ from. I have a good sized table in the basement and upstairs in Oregon I use an old dining room table. Yet, here, it is what is in front of me that is huge. (Although, to be honest, if I’m here much longer, I will definitely put something else in front of this window and I will also have my tall niece clean them. She won’t like it, but I hope I can keep her doing it for more than 15 minutes.) At the moment, it is raining. I’m not sad. The ground off the drive is an expanse of nothing due to last year’s septic excavation. So, I purchased a bag of seed. (I was a tad skeptical. The bag came from ‘that store’ and is 100% guaranteed. If you follow the directions! It also has ‘sparkly’ bits that change color to tell you if the ground is wet enough or not. Those can’t be safe for fowl!) At any rate, the rain will mean I don’t need to attempt to dig out the hoses from where they might be stored.

My trip up, as I mentioned took ages. I was incredibly glad to have on warm leggings. In the 80 degree temps, it was too much. In ANC, it was just right. I’m not sure if I mentioned in my other post how I was sitting under a vent. SEATAC didn’t have on air-conditioning, but Alaska did!!! Arriving home, I found just a smidge of snow, an incredibly tidy house with a lovely guitar on a chair (not mine, but it adds to the room!!), and nary a domestic creature to greet me. Definitely odd, but soo nice and quiet!!

I was able to get to the beach this week. Twice. In the same day! The first time, I brought back a few rocks. I was careful because rocks can get away from a picker upper! (They are as addictive as chocolate, but the heavy ends up in your pockets, not on your hips.)  The second time, I was drawn to green rocks. Over and over I thought of different friends and picked up green rocks. I also found some other really nifty ones and had a bag with me. The tide was out a bit, I had to be careful because the silt was not only mucky, but gave one uncertain footing. (Nor did I want to bring home inlet silt on my shoes!)

On that inlet visit, I attempted to record the sounds around me. I’ll need to try it again and set the phone so it records more than balancing on my jeans leg! I heard so many different parts of life. Liquid sounds of ravens and song birds and the props on a plane lifting off from the water. There was the thrum of the big boats or something nearby and the gentle lapping of waves on the shore. It was a superb calm day on the water.

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Lucky?

 

In the North!

By the time you read this (cuz I will post it for a later publishing due to the beverage post!), I will be home. I mean, back in mum’s/my house. Probably sleeping or shopping for groceries. At the moment, I’m freezing my nose and ears off. Literally. I’m sitting in the airport under a freaking air conditioner!! In the other two airports it was too hot and now I’m so glad I wore my fleece jacket! (I also need my mittens that are in my luggage…) No, we don’t have snow outside in this city. :o)

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The first flight, I sat next to a lady flying standby. She was super kind and I was glad to have her for a seatmate. Then, in Seattle, I met a lovely lady who not only watched my hand luggage while I went to the bathroom, but she also GAVE me a gift. She gave me a hand held fan to keep. (you wear it around your neck). I was stunned by the generous gift. That flight was long and tiring. I sat next to a young man who spoke poor English and slept much of the flight. (I read)

When I got to the airport, I decided to get a snack and some diet coke at McD’s. Then Strider called. He had sent a text earlier and I had my phone off for a long time. When I saw the text, I decided I was going to eat and call him later and sent him a text to say this in not so plain words. He called me. Thus, we sat and chatted about End Game and the rest of the MCU movies. Fun fun fun!!!! After we finished, I decided to wait where my next plane was. Unfortunately, the spot where one boards the planes is closed!! So, I’m sitting in the main, very quiet, ticketing area. There are sleeping people all around me. One is on her phone. I really should have stayed in the busier section of the airport. It was warmer, too-

Saturday of this last weekend, we went for a drive in the 56 Mercury. It was lovely sitting in the back seat of a vintage car. We ate at a drive in that was a smidge older than the Merc. The rest of the weekend was spent packing and unpacking and repacking. I finally ended up with a large bag and a smaller one. (Ridiculous!!) I got most everything done by myself. I was getting stressed because I kept finding things I had to take and forgot. (like mom’s paperwork and the like, I usually make extensive lists and this time I don’t know what happened!) I’m pretty sure the guys were doing their best to stay out of my way!

I had to laugh when they were chatting at the airport trying to decide who was going to cook. I suggested they should share days. Little Bear looked at his dad and said, “you get all the days ending in ‘y’.” I figure they have til maybe Tuesday night before they run out of leftovers.

Sweet Drink

One of my favorite drinks to make is messy. For some reason, the people who make them in videos never seem to have the problems I have!! Yet, it is totally worth it. The very first time I made this frozen treat, a younger Little Bear almost refused to try it. ‘Mom, it’s pink!’ After his first sip (I told him to close his eyes!), he was hooked. It is also super simple. The concoction I make is basic. Frozen watermelon (about 2 cups) and about a 1/2 a cup of diet lemon lime soda. It is like drinking summer! (Below is a video from Fifteen spatulas. Super fun gal to watch.) There are many recipes out there, I like this one.

I pretty much do what she does, but I make more of a mess. I am also a bit picky about seeds. I get how the white seeds are ok to eat, but the gum up the straw, so I try to pick them out.

I only use the soda for extra sweetness and flavoring. A good watermelon has more than enough of both!

The cubed melon melts rather quickly (or it can!). The author of Fifteen Spatulas has a lot more fun drinks to try, I might just do that sometime!

A Bit

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Just a short note. I’m a bit annoyed. A bit really busy. A bit tired. OK, most of those are more than a bit, but whatever!

I have been going full tilt most of the day. I did take a break and read while I had lunch and sat in the sunshine for 10 min after clipping my toenails (amazing how much better I can see in full sunshine!! I didn’t snip anything but nails. Very cool!). Anyway, we were sitting down to the dinner I’d made at the table I’d set. The Craftsman asked if there was anything I needed done. I mentioned after dinner the dishes needed unloaded before I could completely clear up dinner and the kitchen, I said the stuff in the dryer needed folded and put away, the shower curtain outside needed brought in and hung back up, I’d purchased some plants that needed planted in pots (one I still need to put dirt in, I’ll do that after I get done with my rant!), and then I’d need to sort what I need to take with what I want to take and what I have to take and pack it. His response? ‘Those are things you need to do all the time, what can we do to help you get ready to leave?’ (he did say he’d help with the shower curtain) Needless to say, all of that except the plants and my packing, is done. I did it by myself. The guys went up to Grandma’s. Little Bear needed to mow and it is finally cool enough. They did take up the trash (grandma has a dumpster), but I put in a new trash bag. (It is the little things that take the time. Le sigh!!)

It appears they are spending all day tomorrow with me-I know there is a drive to the next town and a meal at an old drive in. We are taking the Mercury and they might go shopping somewhere. I hope I have everything done by tomorrow!!! It is 8 pm now…. Yup, running out of time! (that was an EXCELLENT book!! Margaret Haddix. it’s about a family who were living in a historical post Civil War town. Some of the children in town were catching diphtheria, so a mom sent her daughter out for help.)

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What is health?

I’m constantly tired. My body often aches. It hurts to move. I have care professionals who ordered tests and I am fine. It is like I’m my mom all over again! On paper, mom was great. It was in reality where she failed. (OK< that was actually true in more ways than her health, but I digress!) I found out today from my endocrinologist that results from my blood and urine showed I’m perfect. Cholesterol, thyroid, not my A1C (that was a bit higher, as is my weight), but all in all, I look good. I was told not to eat much at dinnertime (it appears my best glucose tests from the report downloaded from my machine are at ‘lunch’. Since I don’t usually eat anything from 8 pm to 11130 am, it turns out food is the main culprit in glucose). There is a meme I love–I fixed a type in it, so I love it even more now!!! (I may post infrequent Diabetes memes instead of cooking while I’m north!)

And this experience. I’m still annoyed about it and I’ve shared my frustration in a couple of places. I mentioned I’d gained weight, well, I also mentioned that to a well meaning male individual (Not The Craftsman. He doesn’t acknowledge it either way.) This person wanted to know how my appointment had gone. So, I shared the information. Then, I get the response back. ‘I thought you looked bulgy the other day.’ This is the SAME person who told me I looked puffy after seeing a winter photo I’d taken. I know I’m fat. I’m not fond of it, but telling me so isn’t going to endear me to you, either.

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On the positive side, I have a doctor appointment in AK. My endocrinologist suggested I see my Alaskan primary to try and get MS assistance. I called that clinic today and they will see me next Thursday and we’ll see what they can do in a few months! Especially since, due to my own stupidity, I won’t be able to see one til the end of November.

So, I arrive north on Monday morning at midnight thirty (why I keep scheduling these ridiculous flights when I hate them, I’ll never know!) and arrive at the home airport at 7 am (I believe). I’m a tad nervous because the gal picking me up is supposed to work that morning, but she is insisting on picking me up. I hope nothing has gone wrong up there, but I reckon I’ll find out in a few days! I have an appointment with the bank on Wednesday and then the doctor on Thursday. I’ll see if I can consult with a tax person and the financial person, too. (It is as if mom is still there driving me bonkers!) The clock is ticking!!!

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Cat in a Hammock Cat Nips

A cat knows how to be comfortable, how to get the people around it to serve it. In a tranquil domestic situation, the cat is a veritable manipulative genius. It seeks the soft, it seeks the warm, it prefers the quiet and it loves to be full. It displays, when it gets its own way in these matters, a degree of contentment we would all like to emulate.”  Roger Caras

Moses wasn’t impressed with the empty hammock. He did better a few days later when I was in it. I was reading, so he sat on my chest so I couldn’t see my book. (typical cat!) Mittens gets out now and then, usually in an escape mode. Little Bear does haul her from her window box and will cuddle her outside til Mittens decides she’s done. Maxwell, however, is a connoisseur of comfort in his ripe old age of 16. (hmmm, I thought he and Moses were older..We picked up Moses in 2004 and Maxwell a bit earlier) At any rate, Maxwell T. Silverstone was absolutely fine with being perched on top of Little Bear for as long as possible!

Sunshine and cats. Perfect summer afternoon.