Flying Days

Wrote a rant and opted to not publish it. Whine only goes with cheese and crackers. The Craftsman has been working on so many projects. The dishwasher was fixed a while ago, this week the washer was fixed (it was so odd needing to go to his mom’s to wash clothes and bring them back to dry here..a lot like being in AK!), and now he’s working further on the window he started on Monday’s holiday. Alas, this house is a bit of an onion. It was supposed to be a fairly simple fix, replacing a window. However, the window he’s putting in is smaller and when he took off siding, he discovered no wrap had been put under it (he had found this elsewhere, but he was really hoping the previous owners had done a little !), and he found some boards rotted. He also learned the old window had been put in by someone who had, semi-neatly, cut off two supports that were supposed to be load bearing. He replaced those first. If we ever sell this house, I’m not sure how I’ll keep my mouth shut about the stupid things that have been found. We cannot afford to have the siding all removed so the house can be wrapped and then have the siding replaced and repainted. It will be spendy enough to put in a new foundation. He’s fixed a few things, but we need a contractor. I realise the house was built in 1910, but seriously, if you are going to do work on a structure, do it right!!!!!!

The eldest is having house trouble, too. He’s on the East Coast where there was flooding. His house wasn’t ruined by weather, though. His basement was flooded by a burst septic pipe. (sound familiar???) He figures that when his house realised it was ‘safe’ from the elements, it would make something happen anyway. (yes, he is certain his house has an evil sentience) When the plumbing company arrived, they discovered the pipes resembled that old windows pipe screen saver, some even going uphjill!! And his insurance company is doing some of what mom’s did. They won’t cover fixing the problem, they will cover the damage made by the problem. Hopefully, Strider will have much better contractors than the ones I did in Alaska. 

This last week, I learned two good friends had died from Covid. One was a couple of years younger than myself and the other a nice, older lady. Both died a week agao Friday. Thankfully, my two got vaccinated on the Monday after. I get how many people don’t want vaccinations or hope that herd immunity will eventually kick in and are sure masks are useless. I agree it should be a choice and a person should have a waiver card to say it was opted out of. Yet, we get flu shots every year (most of us). This last flu season was so light, I’ve heard folks say it has been eradicated (maybe from wearing masks and washing hands so often??). Many of us have shot records from when we were kids and I needed both my tetanus and flu shots when in Alaska with mum (the former because mom’s house was rather icky in spots!). I never managed to get vaccinations for mumps, measles, or chicken pox..because I actually got them. The boys did, though. Well, Strider didn’t get the chicken pox one, but he managed to escape into the military without that disease and the shots he got there probably killed anyting living or planning on living in him. He figures those were good for at least 10 years. Those old fashioned diseases are back in our nation and that makes me sad. They also kill and maim. Little Bear did get fairly sick for 24 hours from his Covid shot, but he’s always taken everything to the extreme. (He’s never been in love before, hoping that experience is positive! Is there a vaccine for that???) 

Meanwhile, the caterpillars are growing like crazy. Charlie and Alpha are a bit large and Pee Wee is catching up!! I was a tad annoyed to realise that although they are eating maple, they won’t eat just any kind of maple. So, the little tree in the yard is slowly getting snipped away to feed 3 caterpillars! I’m so glad not all 12 survived. I think the neighbor has a big leaf maple, but she had hers trimmed this spring and the leaved branches are a million miles up now. The Cats are fun to watch. You can actually hear them munching and crunching. They are so big, though, they are too heavy for the smaller leaves on my young maple and they droop to the floor of the container! Charlie and Alpha are almost ready to cocoon for the next 9 or 10 months, Pee Wee has a stage to go yet. Hoping they hurry up, the locust leaves are scattered in the grass like tiny gold coins, pocket change from hot summer days, surrounded by sunflower sentinels attempting to hold back the autumn.

Makes me smile

After Little Bear got back from the mountains Saturday night, I mentioned he looked nice (compliments are a good way to encourage people) in his matching camo. He did, too! Little Bear looked at his tucked in shirt and tidy pants and insisted, it didn’t match! Apparently, the shirt was Camo D3 and the pants were Real Tree Break Up. (I rolled my eyes!) He later shared a video he’d been watching. It was about an invasive species in FL called lionfish and how people are encouraged to catch them. They are also poisonous and most likely were first released by people who used to have them in tropical fish tanks. (obviously before Disney’s ‘Finding Nemo’) Except, they are incredibly prolific and rarely travel. He said when they procreate, the female releases eggs that float to the surface and the male releases stuff that also floats and the substances meld into each other and as soon as the babies are born, they fall to the sand and there they stay. My nose crinkled and I said, ‘Sperm?’ He responded, ‘Yes, stuff.’ 

Thankfully, he’s pretty on the ball with technology. (although, he hates it and even with the amount of cash in his various bank accounts, he hasn’t paid a bill yet. Because he has to do it online!! Oddly, he shops online, but that isn’t a bill!) I had three persons interested in mum’s rig in AK and was texting each of them and talking to them. The first person, M, said he’d give me 1600..which amazed me. I’d put 2000 in the window advertisement because I didn’t remember The Craftsman told me 12-15. Person B, contacted me close to the first person, who at this time hadn’t done more than text me about an interest. Person B was strapped for cash and I told him I”d drop the price. He then texted me he had 631$ and would be doing a job that would bring it up to $831 and then he sent me a photo of his baby!!! (this practice of tweaking the sympathies of a seller is just creepy!!! Oregon realtors finally disabled this practice in that business. Other places still use it and it is called writing ‘love letters’. Needless to say, it made me uncomfortable to recieve the picture!) Person C didn’t text me at first. He called and waffled on and on and on. He seemed my age, single, and I had to keep hauling him back to the vehicle by the proverbial scruff of his neck! He said he’d see what it was like to drive and contact me with what he felt was fair. Then, suddenly, MY PHONE STOPPED WORKING! I went online and tried different things and nothing solved the issue. All I wanted was to get it back so I could write down the phone numbers of those 3 people, the person who had the title, and the person who had the shop where it was stored. Little Bear had the afternoon off and after he ate his lunch and fed his rabbits, he helped me out. He not only removed the battery, but also the sim card. Huzzah!!! It started working again!! And later in the evening, it was sold to person A for 1600!!!!!!! Now, all I have to be concerned with is mom’s leftover debris here that I need to sell online. (Hallmark ornaments and so on.) And I should do something for the kid who helped me get my phone back so the Pacifica could be sold!!! 

He drives me nuts, is a sometimes clone of Jeremy in the comic ‘Zits’ or even Calvin of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’, but he’s someone I’m entirely thankful for. You do NOT want to watch a movie with him, though. He’s watched so many reviews, he tends to tear them apart as we are entertained. Granted, WW84 did need torn apart. How disturbing was it that Diana’s BF, the BF she kept dreaming about after knowing him for about a week 7 decades ago, came back in someone else’s body????? VERY! I’ve never been comfortable with long term possession in fiction. And WW84 was complete fiction and too long. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are much better actors than the script gave them credit for.

Geraniums and other growing things

My vine geranium, Pink Tornado (I named it Nicole), is vining like crazy, but not a single bloom. It is a vining plant, so that is good, but it really should have pink flowers on it somewhere! Researching geraniums, I learned there is a lot about those plants! They originated from Africa and are (to me) one of the most cheerful flowering plants around. The outside ones never did make it out of the laundry room this year. First, it was too cold and then it got way too hot! (Although, now I know they are from Africa, they most likely would have survived the heat part of the season.) So, why isn’t Nicole blooming? It can’t be because she doesn’t have enough sunshine, since she is in the kitchen window and gets full sun til the orb moves around the house about 3 pm now. Then, Nicloe has a lot of light ti,l well, it gets dark!! The plant may be getting too much water. I don’t usually water things because most of the plants are too high for me. This one is within reach, but letting The Craftsman do it makes him happy. However, it could be the soil in the pot. One of the things the plant needs is ‘friable’ soil. Which I had to look up. It is  not soil that you can cook with, it means it is soil that is crumbly and doesn’t clump when you squish it in your palm. (Unlike snow, which is best when it squishes into a ball with your hands, but I digress!) So, will need to see if that is the case..Bloom or not, Nicole does have an amazing length of vine! 

Was outside on Saturday doing some trimming in the yard. The lilacs often have dead limbs that need removed. After the first year living on this property, lilac trimming has been something done with great caution. The first year, The Craftsman cut and trimmed and shaped and there were not very many blooms the next couple of springs. Turns out a lilac needs a third cut at a time, so the other two thirds keep blooming and your lilac hedge doesn’t end up looking dilapidated! This time The Craftsman was cutting back chokecherry (which appears to have choked out the spice bush that had been growing-super amazing flowers and the plant smells like cinnamon! This pics are from the yard so long ago) and a pine that sheds needles like some cats shed hair and created a huge pile of branches. So, while the guys went up to the Blue ‘Mountains’ (yes, in the middle of a project), I decided to use the heavy duty clippers myself. Lilac is super hard, so I needed all the help I could get! I was almost finished when the darn things slipped from where I’d decided to cut on a trunk a bit above my head and bonked me HARD on the side of my noggin. (It still hurts and today is Monday.) Decided about then, I was done. I also didn’t clean up my mess, but it was very sore!!! The hauling debris truck is here today (not to be confused with the huge trucks or the Ranger truck, it is the normal pickup truck because the old debris hauling truck is still full of debris..go figure!) and so I’ll help load up some branches in a bit. 

Had to call The Craftsman down from his mom’s Sunday afternoon (where he got the debris truck) because I smelled a yucky smoke-like scent from the laundry room. Little Bear was doing laundry and had left (of course). I walked out to the laundry room and about gagged from the odor. It appears it needs a new belt. It is the oldest washer and has truly been the best spite of the squeaking and what not. The newer one that died ages ago is wrapped outside (totally redneck, but it IS wrapped up in plastic and has been for more than a year) and he said he’d get around to fixing that soon. 

Charlie, Alpha, and Pee Wee (in order of photos) are still eating away and growing fast. Little Bear said these were a lot more fun to watch than the Painted Lady cats I ordered. Probably because we are getting to watch them from egg onwards. Although, he did admit, they were a lot more work to feed and a lot more work to keep track of when they were smaller!!! It is a bit difficult to get photos, since they prefer to snack from underneath the leaves, but every so often I’m lucky. I was surprised at how hard it was to find them even when they are over an inch long, but they are mostly green and match the maple leaves. But, I managed and wow!!! A super fun part of the cycle of life. Especially as they are still alive!!!! 

To do, or not to do….

That is truly the question.

First, expanding a trifle on a response I made to M Monster. I enjoy caterpillars because they are almost magical. These teeny little zillion legged bugs eat and eat and eat and eat and get more ugly in every stage (I really don’t care for bugs with legs!!) and they eventually hibernate for months (or weeks) inside a sleeping bag they have made all by themselves. While they are ‘sleeping’ they turn into goo that is apparently tasty to squirrels and woodpeckers and mice. Eventually, they wake up, emerging as creatures with wings that you cannot even imagine how they folded into that little changing room! At this moment, there are 3 instars (names for the caterpillars) still munching away in their little plastic house. I was skeptical for several days since two appeared dead. However, this is something else they do normally. They don’t have skins that grow like ours and they need to shed in order to grow. Since squiggling out of their old skin takes a bit, they need to rest for quite a while. I was worried because you also should not touch them during this time and I did..thankfully, they are still alive!!! I’ve finally named them, sort of. Charlie (C), Alpha (A), Tango (T), and Pee Wee (it is the littlest one). Tango seems to have disappeared. I most likely tossed it out when changing out the maple leaves last week. I am soooo annoyed! Pee Wee was probably one of the last eggs to hatch and so is a bit behind Charlie and Alpha. I can’t tell them apart (except for Pee Wee), so naming them is a bit silly. But fun!!! I am doing with these guys because it is a task I started and I really want to see it finish well. They have several weeks left (still fairly small and hard to photograph) before they hibernate til next June.

This crazy block thing in WP is also a pain to work with..I think it is on par with the chromebook!!! I used to always type my documents and then copy and paste them into WP because it was simpler. It still is (am not doing it at the moment, though) and i have come close to trashing this post several times!!!! (I sincerely hope Ms. Monster’s link works without it looking as funky as it does in this editor!) It seems illogical to take 45 min to type in a single paragraph! No matter, with change comes a need to be flexible! Reluctantly!

Am also working on a project. I’m not sure how it is going to turn out. I had this brilliant idea to make throw rugs out of old tshirt scraps I’d cut apart to eventually someday probably make blankets out of. Anyway, am not sure it is worth it. Tshirt scraps make great oil rags for mechanics and there are still a lot of them left. The rug I’m making needed a crochet hook, which was more than 5$ (I think) and it has taken me hours to get very far on this rug since I keep needing to tear it apart and put it back together and it is BORING! I could have purchased an old towel at a thrift store for less than a dollar and taken little time at all! This particular ‘rug’ is for the bathroom, so a towel is an easy to wash idea I’ve used many times. The coolest thing I’ve learned, however, is how to make a single strip of fabric out of the bottom half of a shirt. Unfortunately, you are not supposed to cut apart that bottom half and most of the rags I made are.

Mixed up another batch of essential oils Alaskan Sunset. I don’t use it much because of the animals and now the caterpillars, but it is nice to put on sheets or other out of the way areas. I was going to do it outside, but remembered the little house is tidy from when we had visitors from TX earlier this month. I really wish I could work out there. It is a super nice hangout and as much as I don’t mind not having a bathroom, it is impossible to use a chromebook out there since it can be used offline, but it is not efficient. The little house is a good spot for the oils, the only thing out there are spiders and the odors can’t get to the rabbits (who also can die from inhaling the concentrated scents). Mittens rarely goes out there and she’d probably just leave if the scent was too annoying! Which makes cats smarter than most other animals…which a good portion of the internet agrees with!

Watermelon has been the go to snack lately. One of the neighbors is a volleyball ref and at a training session for refs, someone brought in a LOT of melons. They sent her home with three and as her household consists of herself and several large dogs, she brought us one. I think we’ll finally have it finished by Sunday!!! The biggest container is the only one left and we’d already emptied 3 of the medium containers and refilled them by this photo time. Not a lot has been doing well here besides melons. Little Bear has brought home cantaloupe twice from work. Once we just didn’t get to it in time and had to mulch it. The garden beans have tiny little bugs (don’t think these are very nice ones, nor will they become something lovely!), but I can usually get almost a cup a week from the vines. I even made my kind of Pork and Beans!!! Some of the sunflowers blew over in a windstorm we had, but the gold finches and red winged black birds don’t seem to mind. This time of year is truly a time of the singing of the birds! The squirrels usually just yell…and eat.

Find Out!

In the last while, I have realised research is not really a thing anymore. (I can already feel the outrage of readers as I type. Readers who use google or another search engine to go and find out!!) But, it it true! Many of  us use a search engine for hours to find information, yet we often don’t look at more than what we are looking for. (unless we stumble upon a cat video or an ad for a movie we might be interested in-Little Bear was doing something and ended up having ME attempt to look for information on the Dune movies!)

Time after time, on FB or WP or elsewhere, I read a post and the following comments to find out what is being said. If I see a news article, I read from other sources on the same topic. (although, news is more often than not slanted towards the hopeful ingesters to give them the pap or possible meat they may be able to digest without discomfort!) 

There is a blog I follow about moths. The original poster has left it up and running and someone else, I think, has adopted it. One of the links is for questions and there are over 190 comments. Comments that almost always are absolutely identical! No wonder the original blogger bowed out. “I found a moth and it has been laying eggs everywhere, I want to keep some. What can I do?” The answer is written out plainly. Two posts further you run across someone else who needs to know ASAP and cannot take the time to see if someone else has asked. “I found a female moth laying eggs and I want to raise the caterpillars. What do I do?” A fairly similar answer is given. Two more questions later is another query on what to do with either a caterpillar or a moth and the same answers were typed in. Then, you get the folks who seem to think they know what they are doing and the poor blogger has to rephrase the original answers to fit those circumstances! I found dates on these queries from 2012 to just recently!! If people would only take the time to read. 

That reminds me of a podcast by Mike Rowe. (similar stories to  ones shared ages past by the American radio host Paul Harvey) He mentioned how he’d write thoughts on FB and over and over find the response of ‘TLDR’ under it. Finally, he had to ask a young friend what the heck that meant and he was stunned. Why would a person follow someone, like something that was written, and comment that it was too long and not read???? I think it is because most people just don’t want to look further than their immediate desire. In our world today, answers are at our fingertips, so why would we look further than we need to? And why on earth would we think that anyone else might have had the same questions and thoughts we have? 

In some books I just finished, the main character kept jumping to conclusions. They were almost always wrong, but since she was protected by plot armour, she could do whatever she wanted and get away with it for the seven books in the series. She’d usually get others involved in helping her find out how those wrong conclusions fit together and eventually she’d get to the correct answer. Alas, real people don’t have plot armour and in our leaps across information, we can often fall short. Thankfully, there are also tiny blobs or crumbling information around that rock we are aiming for and can scramble around like goats on a mountainside. (goats are more sure footed than humans, more annoying, too!) 

Meanwhile, I still have 4 caterpillars as of yesterday, and need to find them fresh leaves again. I hope they will survive until this evening. It is over 100 degrees F outside at the moment and I would prefer to pick the leaves when they are pre wilted!! According to what I’ve read, these are the easiest to raise, but dang, they are a lot of work!!!!!!!! Especially the finding out part, but they ARE growing, so that is grand.

The Bright Side?

There was a song I was thinking of about my latest experiences, but I cannot recall what it was! I’ll just hum that great tune from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, ‘Look on the Bright Side of Life’.

Today is Monday. I hope to get this posted today, but as Mondays go..well, it is one of those Mondays!! Although, to be fair, it probably started on Sunday. I was sorting photos using the storage drive I’d purchased (my passport, nifty little doodad!). I have taken a lot of photos of home the last years and was hoping to get them all organised. (a friend asked what was so important about them? I guess for some, photos from ages past aren’t that big of a deal, but for me, they show milestones and experiences I’d like to remember. And learn from, if necessary!)At any rate, I could not find images from 2014 anywhere, except on a camera chip. I knew I’d sorted them previously, because I had found a record of those pictures. But, after looking, I determined it would be necessary to copy and paste them from the camera chip and sort them again. After sorting almost a month of Alaskan pictures before mom was so ill, I realised I needed to find some photos of Mom’s. She’d taken photos during the same excursions and it is always interesting to see another’s point of view. While looking for mom’s pictures, I found my sorted photos. So, yeah, copied and pasted the sorted ones (that also had mom’s) and deleted the ones I had been working on from the ones on the chip. 

Then, it was Monday!!! I managed to almost burn a fried egg for breakfast (which was nasty even at almost! ewwwww!), drove for the first time longer than a few blocks and was a nervous wreck. Got to my dentist appointment and discovered it was not a cleaning, like I’d thought, but an appointment that had been rescheduled twice for a sore tooth. I didn’t know I had a sore tooth!!! So, the doctor smoothed down a sharp filling, which was really nice. Now, it doesn’t catch on my tongue! Had a super low glucose, that went super high after treating it in a parking lot. Couldn’t find what I wanted at Walmart, ended up at Safeway and eventually got back to the house. Little Bear came home from work and told me a large shipping containment finally arrived after several months and is slated to be sorted on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Except, Wed he was going to drive me to my appointment in Wenatchee!! 

One of the blogs I follow suggested paying attention to the magic in the mundane. I used to pray and focus my thoughts on the person who belonged to the socks I was folding or who had used the dishes I was washing or on the person I was addressing an envelope or an email to. Making meals with love instead of with ‘because it needs to be done.’ Can I turn Monday around with that point of view? Let me do and not just try!

 Off to finish laundry and dinner and perhaps I’ll get this posted before it is ‘old’! Although, quite honestly, the bright side should never be old! (all photos from 2014

Heavens to Betsy! (and where did that phrase come from???) I managed to leave a tissue in a pocket, which put bits all over that particular load of laundry. Then, at dinner I found out that Mittens had cornered a mouse, but Little Bear didn’t know that and let it go (The Craftsman had noticed it after his first alarm went off, sort of helped her, and then went back to bed.). They didn’t tell me cuz they didn’t want me to ‘freak out’. I then emptied out drawers I keep bread in and covered bins of bagged flour, bagged sugar, and chocolate. Because I don’t mind mice in movies or books or outside, but I do NOT like them in the house. (Note, now Little Bear has messy basement bunnies, their spilled food is a draw, too.) And my glucose keeps dropping and I’ve already eaten what I thought was a lot of carbs! Piffle!!! (but it is all sort of funny, cuz Little Bear wanted to bring me a glass of diet pepsi instead of milk to raise my glucose. He did bring me milk.) Definitely a Monday!!  (And I really really wish I could figure out how to smallerize photos on Chrome!)

The Eyes Have It

My eye is slowly seeing clearer. It is crazy how important one part of a body is. I am constantly running into things like a slow pinball in play (have you ever played pinball and managed to start one that ends up moving slowly. Frustrating!!!) or missing what I am trying to grasp or move. I’ve only driven once. It wasn’t bad, but no one seems to want to let me drive more than a few blocks. The last appointment scheduled has been changed twice. Thankfully, Little Bear will take me on that journey. He’s looking forward to a long road trip (to be honest, he’s a GREAT road trip person. He often stops for photos and enjoys seeing new territory. The Craftsman likes road trips, but he just drives to a destination.). 

Little Bear has 3 weeks off this year and a passel of days that carried over from 2020. So, he has quite a few to use up before his ‘year’ ends in mid October. Because his job site has an odd wind tunnel and lights that are on all night, he finds unusual critters. Lately, he’s been bringing home moths. Often they are dead and dehydrated, but one was alive and spreading eggs as it was trying to find a place to deposit them. They have all been some of Oregon’s largest moths. The first one is a Pandora Pine moth and is actually a pest. The caterpillar eats pine needles and denudes trees. (although, it isn’t a pest that is deserving of being destroyed) The other is a Western Poplar Sphinx Moth. It is considered a fast moth when flying, like a hawk. Which is another name for the moths in this category. The last moth Little Bear brought home is a giant silk moth called Polyphemus. They are named after the most important cyclops in Homer’s Odyssey. Polyphemus lives on through many other stories of mythology, but I like his name was given to this moth with giant eyes. It is the large moth in the further down photos, it has blue and yellow spots or ‘eyes’ on the lower wings.

So, at the moment, the moth in the house is terribly tattered. They don’t live long as adults, they don’t eat, and they basically emerge to breed and die..and look beautiful! Oddly, they have a mating curfew!! Apparently, the females release their pheromones for a few hours in the dead of night. Other giant silkworm moths mate at different  times, thus keeping the species from crossing. (Scientists study the oddest things!) She has laid about 11 eggs, so far. Now, I need to see if I can find something to keep the tiny first stage in and find a constant, consistent food source the caterpillars will eat (probably willow or apple or maple that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides). Was also looking at making housing, the small container I have won’t hold that many caterpillars as they grow. Even if only 5 survive, it might get terribly crowded! This brood will overwinter in their cocoons, so after 9 weeks or more, I’ll put them somewhere safe and cool and let them do their thing in peace. I will need to visit them every so often to mist them, so they don’t dry out. Then, in May to July we will see if we can witness any emerging. 

Thankfully, these particular large moths are fairly common in North America and many people have raised and blogged their experiences. So, I should do ok with this latest project. Unlike the time when Strider brought home a mating pair of Ceanothus Silkmoths when he was about 9. The male flew off after copulation, the female was tattered and torn and ended up laying a million eggs that hatched into itty bitty instars before she expired. The majority of the tiny critters died and eventually there was only a single cocoon made. I moved it outside because the caterpillars creeped me out and the protected pupa ended up eaten. (silkmoth cocoons hold delicacies for woodpeckers and squirrel and mice

I prefer when birds eat suet or seeds. Like this adorable goldfinch on the sunflower right outside the kitchen window. A bit of a snack and it’s gone! 

A Month of Madness and Sad

My last post and the last time emails were checked was about a month ago. So, let me share what has happened in these weeks. It is VERY long, with two main topics!!!! 

June 18 was the day set for my second covid vaccination. I noticed a shadow in my left eye, but managed to get errands done, visit the library, and get that shot. When out in the garden, it was almost impossible to do anything. My vision was incredibly screwy (and even now, it isn’t easy to type or see the screen!) and since I couldn’t see which were weeds or which might be plants, I opted to ditch the garden and move back inside. It has been incredibly hot (the news has likely mentioned the PNW heat wave and even the squirrels have been leaving the trees to spread out on the ground!), Little Bear had to move all the adult rabbits to the basement in this house (grandma’s was a bit too far away to keep hauling bunnies to) and the critters have not yet moved back to their yard cages, and my eye kept getting worse. I called my eye clinic on Monday, June 21, but wasn’t really wanting to. I’ve been at that clinic twice this year and didn’t want to go in for yet another ‘not problem’. However, a physician called me back (after hearing the symptoms via the receptionist) and suggested I wasn’t ‘taking this problem seriously enough.’ I needed to get in ASAP that Monday. Frustrated, I updated The Craftsman, and he took the afternoon off because Little Bear couldn’t take me in til after 330, when his own work day was finished. 

Well, it was more serious than I’d ever anticipated and The Craftsman ended up taking 2 more days off. Monday, the doctor (and another, who was brought in for verification) diagnosed me with a torn retina and Tuesday we were on our way to the nearest surgical eye facility in a place called Wenatchee, WA. Close to 180 miles away!!!! To be fair, I had no idea what this was going to entail and was certain sure we’d be on our way back to the house after my appointment and some kind of fast surgery. Nope. the doctor looked at me (after a bazillion eye tests and photos) and checked both eyes and had me wait til he saw me again and scheduled me for surgery by 530 that evening! I don’t recall much after that. We did stay the night in some hotel, I had a dickens of a time taking my shots (still do!), it was highly uncomfortable, I recommend taking adequate supplies for overnight stays when visiting with a far off doctor for a surgery. (Taking care of mom taught me this was a good idea, but I forgot jammies!) The discomfort lasted quite a while, wearing an eye guard to sleep and staying on my tummy most of 24 hours for 2 weeks was incredibly  boring. I’m not supposed to bend over, lift, and need to be incredibly careful with washing. The last shower I took, I must have gotten soap or something in my eye. It was goopy for several days!  The follow up visits are in Wenatchee and we’ve had to find persons to take me, cooking has been impossible (the guys have helped me by putting things in the oven!), and many of my regular chores I just cannot do (hand eye coordination is abysmal and technology screens cause discomfort). I’ve not been outside except to go to appointments or in the evenings, it is just too blasted bright! (Even with the giant sunglasses I was given.) The whole procedure was interesting, and I’ll read up more on it after I can focus on a screen better. I do have a gas bubble inside my eye and it appears that eye had a cataract forming that will now need taken care of before Christmas. 

We didn’t do much celebrating for the Fourth of July. It was super hot and it was too difficult to ‘look up’ at the pretty colors illegally erupting all over town. Then, the evening of July 5, the saddest thing happened. Our beloved Moses Mc Connekitty of the 24 toes, crossed over the rainbow bridge. He’d been sick, losing weight, and we’d have taken him in to be put down peacefully, except he was still eating and being his bully self until Saturday of the holiday weekend. Moses was a part of our family for 17 years and there is a definite blank spot in our lives without him. Mittens, however, doesn’t mind being an only cat. In the last few days, she’s become a living room lap cat, she comes in the bedrooms and sleeps on the beds, and in general, goes where Moses wouldn’t let her!!! 

Hoping the next weeks are less hot/sad/bothersome!!! 

Where oh where, are those seedlings?

Packets of seeds can be addictive. It seems so simple to put seeds in the ground when the little map on back says it is best and wait. Except, waiting can often go beyond the seedling should appear dates. The worst part of seed packets are the ones that don’t have an image of what the seedling may look like. I recall dozens of weeds I pulled up one summer. They had edgy looking leaves and white sap inside. Then, I saw one had bloomed and realised I was determinedly removing small red poppies I’d seeded in the spring. I’m pretty sure I know what many seedlings look like, but I planted 3 packages of cosmos in my iris bed and have not seen a single one. I pulled up quite a few little plants (see first photo below), but after online investigation, they were not cosmos. Not sure what they are!!! I’ve been dusting the taters and the green and yellow beans with diatomaceous earth because the bugs have been having hefty meals off those. Hoping the stuff ‘works’. I’m trying to be cautious where it is used because I don’t want to kill off ‘good’ bugs like ladybugs or butterflies or bees. It needs reapplied after being rained on (unless it dries out again), so anticipating something survives!! Some of the beans are barely an inch tall. I think the sweet peas I planted were sterile or died. The seeds, I mean!! The nasturtiums came up, but not a single sweet pea. Reseeded them again among the forget-me-nots. The orange poppy seems to be expressing my flower face perfectly!!!!!!

On the great side, however, my nursery purchased rosebush has flowers on it! It has been awhile since seeing them in person. It is a sharp, pokey plant with tiny scented flowers. It is also one of the few expensive plants purchased for this yard in EO. Most of them have been picked up from box stores or out of neighbor yards. The yew, cedar, juniper, and not so dwarf maple were purchased, too. But, those are trees, not what I consider a plant or bush!!

The funniest thing this week are the robins. There are many young ones, they have been out and about, so was certain sure they knew how to eat on their own. But, this parent was being worn out by the young! Was fortunate to be able to capture them through the kitchen window. I think I was being looked at, but work went on anyway!

The freezer was picked up, the last crate from AK was emptied and the stuff brought back (did get a mini storage to put some of the debris in. There is a table we brought back set up in it, too. It will be much easier to sort stuff in that little room than trying to find stuff scattered all over the in law house!), and discovered a night light I’d asked for!! Some of the stuff from the container are already being used. Like the saucepans and my shorts. Wore a summer dress today for about 3 hours. It was a perfect day for temps, but it didn’t last. The black clouds rushed in, temps dropped 20 degrees, and it poured and blew and rained! There was also thunder. Last night there was thunder and sheet lightning, but not sure if there was the latter today. Little Bear was listening to news from E. Washington and heard some little planes blew over! We didn’t get winds of that strength here, but YIKES!!!

I’ll leave you with my elephant light and then a video featuring a composer from more than one favorite movie.

Weather and Relevancy

This last couple of weeks has been beyond bizarre for the weather. We had chilly days with spots of torrential downpours and then ‘hotter than hollerin’ hell’ days (quote from a book about the Tillamook Burn and the hot summer before the fire), which brought our temps up to 100 F, followed by serious wind and now they have fallen back to the lower 60s. 

Little Bear had to move his rabbits to the basement at his grandma’s. The mister and fans weren’t doing enough for the furry four leggers. They went from yard bunnies to cave ones for several days. The guys went to a car show this last weekend when it was blowing. EO has a lot of dust and the car show was right next to a rodeo grounds that was being prepped. The Mercury still looked fairly nice, but the aged Toyota Land Cruiser with the Husqvarna in the bed was perfect! Old, rusty, well used rigs are always popular and the duo caused a lot of excitement. 

The poor garden is absolutely confused. Especially the cucumbers. One plant drowned and rotted away and the other one started to thrive, then the edges crisped, and one of the main stems broke almost completely away because of the wind. (I wonder if I could have taped it together, except bugs love hiding inside stuff like that…) The peas look fairly nice, the beans started to pop out of the ground (they also prefer heat), and the poppies danced away faster than Murdock dodging BA in an A-Team episode. (ok, that dates me, but I adored that silly show!!!) There are two colors in the yard. A pinkish white that just budded for the first time this summer and orange. The orange ones are in a spot that is too shaded, but they seem to do ok. (there is talk of trimming the trees back a bit in that area. Talk….) The pinkish white poppies burned to almost a crepe paper consistency in the heat. I managed to save a couple for a vase, but I must have done something wrong with the procedure..although, the orange one looks splendid. Poppies should be cut in the cool of the day, popped into a container of cool water and left in a cool area for several hours. Then, you cut the stems again and sear them with flame and then dunk them in just boiled water. I used to only do one of the heat sealing things, but the flowers never seemed to last very long. So, now I follow all the steps and things look like they work. (I shared orange flowers in my previous post) The pinkish white ones fell apart not even 36 hours later. Although, I did fall in love with the poppy ballerinas. Carefully dying in center stage (of the window), petals falling one by one from a delicate frock, and leaving this lone dancer to say goodbye in a swan song of beauty. 

The house next door is being sold to a couple with a pair of littles. Ages 2 and 4 or is it 3 and 5?? Anyway, the owner and I were talking through the fence (she JUST noticed I’d put marbles in the holes in the fence!) about being irrelevant. She’s a year from retiring as a science teacher, her kids are both in a different state, she is finally getting her mom’s house sold (Tex died about two years before mom), and she’s feeling displaced. (she was teaching college classes online, not sure if she’s still doing that. She had issues with one online course she had to take before she could teach. The college insisted she couldn’t enroll until she sent them her vaccination records!! She sent them, but she was disgusted because it took her a while to find them.) I absolutely get where she’s coming from. It is so hard to not be needed anymore except as a cook, dishwasher, and house keeper. Even the garden is not entirely mine to manage. (Although,The Craftsman IS the son of a farmer and grew up in a farming community and knows a lot more than this Alaskan.) I miss being alone on a lake or in a place where being alone is the norm. Being alone in a busy town when living with a kid and a spouse seems backwards. I did so much in AK and here, I can only do what is expected. I know what happens if I try to do more. It gets redone ‘properly’ or I start something hoping it will galvanise someone into doing more and it stagnates (such as digging up the bulbs along the sidewalk so the walk and porch can be replaced. I dug up a section and found out they are now going to wait a while before doing the walk). They are going to get the freezer I researched and got the numbers for The Craftsman to call, so he could purchase one. They tried last week, but he forgot to let them know he was going to be there at 530 and they had closed early.  

Piffle and nose crinkle. Reckon this gal just needs to remember to be content where she is and be thankful for the small things in the world. Like chocolate chips or poppy seeds that become plants with beautiful flowers or spoons to eat ice cream with! And roses. This plant is AMAZING this summer!!!! (won’t bring any of these little blooms inside, though. Aphids are also small things, ones I’m not thankful for!)