Raindrops are Falling on my Head

This is another favorite song from a while ago. If I remember the movie correctly, it was one of the first ones to romanticize bad guys. As a teen, I fell in love with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, carefully mentally editing those scenes where they shot people who bled graphically! (in the photo below, raindrops weren’t falling at that moment, but you can tell from the sparkles on the fireweed that they had been falling!)

Mum’s SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy) sale has been completed. There was a good sized crew of amazing women (and a few men) who helped this all come together. I woke Saturday night wondering if it was really done! I must admit, I’ve been second guessing some of the things I did (like NOT putting the expensive priced knitting kits with the regular yarn. I am certain they walked off in bags of ‘choose your own price’.). And with the rain, I was worried about the fabric and remnants of the stash, left under tarps in trucks til Monday morning. (The latter was done by the nice people who came to get it for a second hand store.) Yet, it isn’t my responsibility any longer and I have other things I need to do! As for the yarn, as a friend said, ‘People come to these sorts of events for steals.’ (So, I reckon a few got some, like the pick up full of bags of yarn!!!)

At 9 am, the doors opened and those queued outside came in and quietly packed up bags and bags and bags of crafting supplies. Some paid generously and others didn’t. I’m sure it all evened out (it was a donation sort of payment thing, except for those few things I knew had worth). It was odd the women with fancy nails, very nice clothing, and blinged out handbags were less open handed than others who dressed like ordinary folk. I’m glad it is done. Now, I can get to the real part of the house and it is so cool my bedroom echoes!!

When things were being unpacked before the sale, the ladies found some super awesome things and gave them to me. An Eskimo yo-yo (not made overseas!), some more of a ceramic chess set mum made that is in the shop of the garage (why it was in crafting stuff, one can only imagine!), and a million unfinished projects. I only cried a couple of times. Once when a nice lady offered to finish up a project and take the aprons to the Oncology centers (mum had been making them for the nurses, but didn’t count right. Now, the places have been partially restaffed, but it was a beautiful thing to choose to do). The first time was when a man came in with his wife and said to me, ‘I worked with your dad, he was a good man.’ I left the table and ran after him to talk about dad for a minute.

There were so many stories told to me about mum. (One lady I sincerely hope remembers to friend me on FB.) I’d mentioned I wanted to take mum to Homer and she was surprised mum had never been. I amended my comment and said, ‘Oh, we started there in the 70’s, but mum wanted to go back the last couple of years and we didn’t.’ The woman was very surprised cuz SHE lived in the same town at the same time we did and hadn’t known. I told her mum was pretty closemouthed about her early years in AK. We talked about where we’d lived and places we both remembered. Then, I mentioned we’d lived in an area of town that was pretty remote with my third dad. Her face was shocked. ‘Your mom was married to that B..….’ She paused. ‘Man? He was one of the scariest guys in out there! We were told to stay away from his place!’ I laughed and agreed, but she was floored.

One question that I realized the answer to Sunday morning in the shower was this. Q: ‘Why don’t you do any of these things.’ It dawned on me that I did not do the same sorts of crafts that mom did because she was so critical. Jake had trouble with that, I wasn’t going to even go there. So, I didn’t. She could guilt me for many things, but she couldn’t criticize me for my knitting or crocheting or sewing. Although, she did often say it wasn’t right I didn’t do it because if I did I could help her. (insert mega eye roll!)

These next weeks will be more difficult. I need to get the line dug up (or should I just keep having it cleaned out, expensive band aid?), talk to someone about buying it (gods, I do NOT want to do that…), and sort for the sale of more personal things. I also need to stop whining! If I get too horrible, please pull me up shorter than I already am. (thank you!)

I’ll close with a moose playing peekaboo last week! (I wasn’t THAT close–)

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Melting in the North!

This last week our Northern temps have been out of control. I honestly don’t recall being here with the thermometer rising up to 80 or more F. It is nasty icky hot. It is as if I’m in Eastern Oregon, except I have trees and a lake here. Haven’t seen any moose in a while, I did see an eagle fly low over the lake, and there are a few ducks still. I think the moose are keeping to the woods. I did get some shots last weekend of them in the lake—they don’t like being startled, though. We also had a mild quake the other day, 4.7, but I didn’t feel it out here.

 

Strider’s birthday was on the second (the first photo at  11 pm), I texted him. He’s been a bit busy! Then, today. (I’m rolling my eyes!) I didn’t sleep very well, I’m not entirely sure why. I had been sorting more stuff in the basement and had to stop. I wanted to cry, so that might be why I slept badly. (she has entirely too much stuff. Now, I’m to the older kits and craft materials. 10 years or more. The second photo is a fishing sinkers container that now has sequins!) I finished up a story I was working on. (it is a bit odd, even for me!) But, the day dawned bright and if the red skies in the morning are an ill omen, it didn’t pan out that way today! (I did think I might go out on the lake sometime at 4 am, it was so pretty and still when I got up for some reason) I was going to help with a project that I am entirely on board with. I’ve helped a bit with this, but not to the extent I did today (and I still skipped out before I was done!).

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It is called ‘Days for Girls’. It is a mission to put sanitary pads in the hands of girls in places where they can’t get them. These were headed, I think, to Ecuador. Often when a girl has her period, she is not only considered unclean, she can’t go anywhere because she is bleeding. Now, I know there are women today who believe in ‘free bleeding’ and others who use cups or alternative containment sources (I wrote this awhile back), others don’t have any options. This gives them one. (Follow the link for more information.) Anyway, the lovely woman who takes these overseas has had a recurrence of her carcinoma. She was told she couldn’t travel. So, rather than let it worry her, a few of us decided to compile the kits into the bags and give her a bit of help in that area. She will still need to shrink wrap them all and get them ready to be sent off to Las Vegas (I think) where they will be taken further by others on the team.

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I didn’t help as much as I wanted because the other reason I was in town was to see my niece in the parade and listen to my BiL play. Except, I could have helped! Pippi was late in the parade, after number 90 and her dad was gigging ALL day, not just the hour I anticipated. I walked all over and wore myself out in the heat trying to find them. I talked to several people and only my sister told me I had a white smut mark on my face from something. (Of course, I don’t know when I got that!) I needed to get more packing tape and finally got back to the house. I was so tired, I changed into almost nothing and fell asleep with my bear!

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I’ve been entirely unmotivated on this hot fourth. I remembered the guys had the day off and so I called. (more eye rolling with a bit of thinning of lips in a frustrated grimace.) Maxwell T Silverstone is in really bad shape. He pees everywhere, he has a lump under his jaw, an eye is bulging, and the vet said it would cost 95$ to put this 4 pound cat to sleep. They had discussed what to do. The Craftsman said he couldn’t do it the ‘farmer’s way’, Little Bear said he could. I got mad. I do not want my baby to shoot one of our oldest family members! I wanted to discuss this and The Craftsman didn’t really want to. He said he shouldn’t have told me cuz he knew I’d get upset. Which made me MORE upset! (If I can’t be told little hard things, what about things that are bigger?) I realized I’m not there, I can’t do anything. However, I did suggest looking in the cupboard for pet pain meds. (I know I had some, I’m not sure if I tossed them in a fit of downsizing, though!) I was told Max was hungry, he just can’t eat and he is a mess. So, I do hope they try an alternative sending him to sleep with the medication way of giving him rest. Little Bear is one of those odd people. Compassionate and practical. (The last death he was a part of as a fireman was harder on me! He and our neighbor were trying to resuscitate a guy and finally were told to stop. When I asked him about it, he said, those things just happen. He does show more emotion when it is drunks causing wrecks and death.)

The rest of this week and end, I am moving more stuff upstairs and more sorting. As we compiled the kits, I realized how much easier it is to organize something prior to doing it. I think that moving things here will help me be able to have a better idea of what mom actually had and how to get rid of it. Meanwhile, here is a young bull moose!

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Smoke & Sunshine

There’s a favorite classic piece of music I like. One version is by Henry Mancini, it’s called Smoke gets in Your Eyes. Beautiful and romantic. I am thankful that here, in my neck of the woods in Alaska, it’s just in the sky and not my eyes. So far! We’ve had some gorgeous days, almost too hot, because the entire area is on a fire burn ban! I’m not sure how large the nearest fire is, but it has changed the sky. Our sunsets are orange, with a hint of mauve. Pretty, but I miss the blue skies.

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I have been sorting and tossing the last few days, mum’s church is (this is so kind, it makes me want to cry in gratitude!) hosting a craft fair sort of thing. Jake nicknamed it SABLE, Stash acquired beyond life expectancy. I’ve had so many ask if this sale will be all her belongings. I laugh and gently tell them, “No, this one will be like a Joanne’s basement sale.” It’s definitely a stash! The last thing I’ve found today, all in the same carry bag, was a read aloud story she told at a local story telling gathering about a fishing trip. There also was a publication of poetry and prose, one of the teachers in my high school was in it, and a couple of special photos all by themselves in an album from a long ago trip to Hawaii. (Do you recognize him?)

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One thing KK said to me about tossing, eventually you just get so tired you just throw it all away. He was right, I tossed out things today I would have saved awhile ago. I have asked Jake to come out and get help or get stuff, but she’s pretty busy. I have a few others lined up. (I’ll need more flexible bodies than mine to get stuff up from the basement, I carried a few totes up the other day and it was not pleasant. Dragging them down the stairway was much easier than carting them up!)

It’s not all work, though. In the evening, about 5pm, I have been going outside to sunbathe til 7. (It’s been that warm out!) It’s absolutely apparent which portions of me are more visible to the elements. (No, not showing that photo!) I do keep a cover up near, the road has a lot of traffic about dinner time! I’m probably overly cautious, I rarely get visitors and most of them text or call first! (And Jake milks goats at that time!)

I’ve only been out in the kayak once. It was to retrieve a dead duckling in the weeds. I didn’t like leaving it near where the others usually roost, but I hope to get out soon. I was surprised yesterday to discover it was the weekend, it was as if the week melted in the heat! I’m looking forward to meeting with high school friends Sunday afternoon. Some of us haven’t seen each other, except online, in over 30 years. I wonder if I can look 98 pounds again? (photos: Shadows in orange sunshine and just me!)

Offline and, perhaps now, On!

I had started a note on my ipad, but realized I needed to add pictures. So, I’m going to write a sum up and add the photos later, when I can get online again. I did post a family blog post while at the laundromat, but since I only did one load, I didn’t have time to write for anywhere else. I am not ‘gone’ or too busy for writing (Last week I was too busy!). I’m just not able to use the internet at the moment. Let me ‘splain.

I have MISSED this blogging world!!!!!!

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Squirrel who climbed into feeder on window in ’17. 

Mum’s been feeding squirrels since we moved to this house in the later 70’s. I’m not sure when the fuzzy tailed rodents decided to move into the garage attic, but it was at least a decade ago. (Probably) So, the work the guys were going to do got slightly derailed as they cleaned up a spot we had no idea needed that much work. (they took 3 truckloads of destroyed things to the dump!) The attic had become a subdivision. Complete with an empty karaoke box partially filled with nuts, bread, and pine cone bits (party house) and a sign asking for votes for a certain individual to become mayor (squirrel politics?). They even did some dubious house flipping by fully insulating the first floor of an unfinished doll house.

My ancient extensive boxed gerbil habit trail had been put to some use as well (more than likely it was a playground for the younger squirrels). They’d also partially filled an old food saver box (Cache?).  I know they had been eating gourmet. Not only did mom feed them a variety of seeds and nuts (the latter which do not grow locally up here), she had collected pine cones from all over the United States (most of the cones were stashed in the worn out old greenhouse). (I could envision a squirrel potlach with jolly dances mimicking the first snow and the sharing of tasty treats from all across the nation. ‘Mabel, try this one. It is from Colorado.’ And ‘Do brush off the insulation from your whiskers, Sammy. You’d think we were pigs and not rodents!’)It astounds me how humans cannot be around insulation without serious consequences, yet these creatures have lived in the stuff for years and are perfectly fit.

The Craftsman was determined to replace the board they’d chewed exit and entry holes in, but needed to get to the back of the garage. There were years of twining baby trees, mosses, and bushes growing up next to the building. And at least 3 black cables about 100 yards long hidden inside the forest litter. Those cables were for mom’s TV and, later, her internet.  One was clipped during the pruning, thus making us a bit more off the grid than I’d prefer. I had imagined I could live without the internet, I have before. In 2014 when I was here, I drove all over seeking wifi nodes so I didn’t muck up mom’s dial up with trying to do anything too exciting (like log onto FB). But, I wasn’t in charge back then, or incredibly busy cleaning (and looking for the pen I’d put down a second ago), nor did I have almost all the bills sent to me electronically. (I paid my power bill a day late because I knew, for the most part, when it was due, but I always got a notice in my emails and since I can’t check those, I wasn’t positive. Thankfully, the cycle hadn’t twigged me yet and I got in just in time!)  I also realized how seriously annoying it is to be on hold with a company and have the automated voice tell me to go online to access my accounts for faster help.

So, that is what is going on up north. I do have my phone, so can get texts and calls. I hope to have the internet fixed by Wednesday night (if not, I’ll drive to town and post this from the library!) and then I’ll share this from here, as is!  (NOTE: it appears I do have internet for the time being. The cutting cord fried the router, so was sold a new one of those. The modem is also spotty. He’s working on getting me another one. It will be awhile-no one in the state has extras!) The guys are back in Oregon, the place is a bit emptier, they were a tremendous help and I was entirely thankful they were here, and I’m not looking forward to my own return sometime before the cold. (I was glad I sent them out fishing, so they had a bit of a break from the drudgery at the house!) The septic line has a break, hoping to get it fixed soon, I found one of my favorite story books from days gone by (Raggedy Ann and Andy),  and there is a darn eagle looking for a snack of young duckling diving onto the lake as I type. When the kid arrived on the 8th, we had so many babies on the lake. One mom had 11 and she was down to 4 earlier today (June 25). Nature and the neighbor’s dog are both rough on littles around here. I wish I could figure out how to share the kid’s videos. He took some incredible fun fowl footage. Nonetheless, here is a still he took of a bathing loon.

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Cat in the Hat Kind of Mess

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The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss

I have been incredibly busy this last week. Little Bear arrived on Saturday last and we have been busy getting stuff sorted. In spite of the several bags of clothes donated, more than a dozen carrying sized boxes of books (or grocery tote bags), and MANY large bags tossed in the trash, barely a dent has been made. I’m sharing photos so you can see what it looked like on Friday, June 15, 2019. Our original plans were to get a Ubox crate thing and the guys would get it ready to haul to the states. I’m pretty sure we won’t be able to do that. We are having a fabric, craft, yarn sale in July, which will help in the house debris immensely. I wanted an estate sale after that here at the house, in spite of the difficulty in finding it! But, I’m getting tired and I’ve not even been in Alaska a month yet! Having the youngest here has been helpful, in spots! He’s mostly motivated, but has a tendency to get side tracked.

He found some old VHS tapes (ok, that was redundant!) and is having so much fun watching life before he existed. (oddly, I’ve also realized how very similar my dad was to my youngest. They are not genetically attached, the last time they saw each other my youngest was almost 12, and they have the same kinds of humor and way they talk. Even Little Bear noticed it as he watched his Papa discuss juke boxes. ‘Mom, Papa sounds like I do when I record my shooting videos!’ They are both dry and amusing.) I have to rein him in when he wants to toss things. He’s learning to ask first! Lol

However, when his dad arrives, they have several chores to do. A part of the garage roof needs fixed so the squirrels won’t nest up there (see photo! Little Bear noticed they took at least 7 feet of fiberglass insulation and moved into the bottom half of an unfinished doll house. They are also gourmet squirrels as mom collected pine cones from all over the US and it looks as if they have been snacking on many of those finds!) The dripping sink still needs addressed. The kid did fix the screen door cuz it was driving him nuts (it wasn’t on my list, but I am more than happy it is done!). I need to find out if any of the juke boxes work anymore so I can sell them (they did in the tape Little Bear found!). We need to rearrange things so the house isn’t a disaster, which will not be easy!

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My sister came and got the table, buffet, and hutch. But, as the kid said, she had a box of stuff and only took the box and now we need to find spots for the stuff. I have cardboard boxes of mom’s mismatched china, assorted glassware (she wanted the silver coated china from my grams and is going to hopefully try to sell the crystal), and a bunch of dishes. She came out three times to get each large piece. The first time, she was miffed at my son because her table got scratched (Little Bear was unimpressed. It did get scratched, but it can be buffed over and she’s going to keep it covered with a protector and tablecloths anyway. Then, he said, ‘It isn’t as old as she thinks it is. There are staples in the paper underneath and plastic bits on the drawer slides.’ I think he said they are probably innovations from about the late 50’s). The second time, she jumped out of her large F250..or is it a 350? And hurt herself. (once again the kid was unimpressed. She’s shorter than you mom and she’s not got a step on the truck. Of course she is going to land wrong sometime when she jumps out.) Anyway, she’s now on crutches and was told not to do very much. (since she is more my mom than I am, she will milk it and do beyond what she’s told. She also said her daughter has no muscles and her daughter proudly raised her bent bicep to prove her mom right! Which also didn’t impress Little Bear. If she wants muscle, she needs to use them to make them.)

This third trip out, she brought her spouse. Who spent most of his visit sitting in a chair on his phone. (granted, he had apparently not eaten and our dinner was in the crock pot. Pork, which is not on their menu, since becoming Jewish.) At any rate, Jake was picking up a few things. A white dresser she, for some unknown reason, had chosen at a yard sale years ago for mom to put in her room to hold fabric (see first room photo, which has changed a bit from when I showed a picture of that room earlier. It has a smidge of floor space now!)  and the hutch. Music Man was not thrilled at all with the ‘armoire’ Jake wanted back. He told Little Bear it was going to get donated (it was pressboard, but fairly sturdy until it encountered his hammered fists. Music Man didn’t want it anyway and he was irritated with his beautiful wife who was moving old furniture into their house when they had no room.) His daughter was scared, Jake was wet cat mad, and Little Bear and I were very glad to see them drive away. He took the doors off the hutch, which was odd. They latched closed and a blanket could have been put on top to protect it since it was flat on its back on the covered pickup bed. Instead, the doors were off and wrapped in a flannel sheet. (Little Bear was also unimpressed with that. Music Man stripped some of the older screws and as said, he could have transported the hutch in one piece. But, it isn’t his responsibility and after they left we had our pork and watched ‘Milo and Otis’.)  The second photo is totally different now. The dark shape is gone (that is the hutch) and the card table has dishes and vases all over it that I need to fill boxes with.

These two photos

are a part of the family room and the store room. I’ve not touched those rooms (except to take out a LOT of books from the family room) and Little Bear is sleeping on the hideabed  now. As to the Ubox, the guys want me to put anything I want to have in the states in that box by Thursday of this next week. It will leave for the Northwest the next week. Little Bear was shocked when I told him I didn’t want to have everything there. I want to stay here. And honestly, WHY do I want to move some of these things anyway? I can live in Oregon perfectly fine without most of them. Just cuz some of them are things I’ve always liked or wanted doesn’t mean much. It is just stuff. (note: I did find 5$ in the stuff I sorted today!) I’d rather leave it here. And if we do not take the box this summer, we’ll have to do it next and it would be much more efficient. By then, I’d have things sold off a bit easier and maybe even figure out a way to keep it! (I’ll talk to the financial guy next week, too)

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The darn skeeters were all around me! 

UGH! This is really long. I’ll stop now, but I’m not sure when I’ll get back to blogging. We didn’t go out (we also didn’t feed mosquitoes. Little Bear thinks vampires like mosquitoes since vampires also turn into bats and bats are huge mosquito predators. I think if vampires eat mosquitoes it is more like a sunflower seed where they suck out the inside and spit out the ‘hull’…)  tonight to watch the sunset, which turned the lake to fire. We need to leave mid-morning to get The Craftsman from his journey north and we are both very tired. I also think I’m getting a cold of some sort. My eyes are all goopy.

I’ll leave you with a pretty photo from this week!

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Aging

I am a tad disgruntled this evening. I was out shopping. I wore a short skirt and I felt like I looked nice, even with the teddy bears on my top. (they were not overly cute, just colorful and on either lapel) Being friendly, I was sharing my need for purchasing windscreen fluid. I noticed the little light was on and thought I had some in the garage. After a couple of days, I went to get it from the garage and realized I didn’t have any. So, it was on my list to get the next time I went to town. She laughed and said, ‘Suburbian Mom Emergency.’ (I felt decidedly matronly when I heard that!) Then, I was putting away receipts and found on a fast food one, I was inadvertently given a senior discount. (I’m fond of discounts, but I didn’t think I looked all that old yet!) Anyway, I’ll wear a more modest skirt and the rest on Sunday to church. With the advent of my family. , I’ll need to wear more instead of less.

We’ve had some super nice days lately. As many of us remark, our week of summer is here! We’ll see how next weekend looks. It is the Fun in the Sun festival (I’m collecting stuffed animals because I was told they make good awards for the kids in the events), but it almost always has at least one day of rain during that weekend! I forgot this weekend we are in now is the River Festival, I’m too tired to go. Little Bear will be here Saturday and the house is a mess. I had four ladies sorting Friday. One purchased a bit and next time I’ll make sure she spends more money, I was being nice and gave her several free things. (But, at least they are gone! And if Jake wanted them, so what.) Anyway, the place is a wreck of bags to get donated, bags to keep (yarn was all bagged and it does take up less space that way! We are hoping to sell it the second weekend of July at one of the churches.), full trash bags were taken to the garage, and I have to tidy the basement for the kid. As TnT said, ‘you often make a bigger mess before you get it all cleaned.’ I did find a passel of Beanie Babies in what I think was mom’s hope chest. I’ll look thorough them later, there are a few I’ve never seen before. (I’ll wait til Little Bear can manhandle the chest from where it is sitting in my sister’s room, I can’t get the darn thing open all the way. There are also some really scary looking angel things, too. I’ll post pictures when I finally am able to get into it.)

I was to take mom’s machine to the fabric center, but I’ll do it on Monday. I need to find a box and I am betting it is in the storage shed, that was where one Husqvarna (I’ll be jiggered, spell check didn’t underline that, but WP did!!) box was. Thus, I surmise the other is in there somewhere. I’ll look when I have someone spotting me in case I end up buried! I’ll also take in some golf clubs to the local golf course(Thank you SSC) and the stuffed stuff to the Rec Center.

I’m looking forward to showing Little Bear Alaska when it is light almost all the time. He’s only been up in July or September. So many amazing sights up here. Right now, a jet is overhead and his trail is pink from the sunset (it is almost 1 am). I finally got out in the kayak this week and was fortunate enough to see a mallard family. (by the by, it makes me giggle to know GH is actually a Duck!) Later, I was reading and heard smashing sounds in the woods. I turned the kayak and spied the young bull. He was headed to the lake and wasn’t impressed by the orange ‘log’ with the odd thing in it! I was a bit sad, a moose in the lake would have been a cool photo.

I think he (or the older one) was splashing in the lake around midnight. I did dash down to see if he’d stepped on the kayak while it was beached on shore. (we had that happen to a rowboat one winter. Dad had overturned it and the snow covered it and the moose walked over, on, and IN the plastic boat!) Thankfully, it was ok. I’m seriously going to get more silver and aged keeping an eye on things around this place!! (I was eating a couple of Kit Kat snack bars this evening. Each one has two small bars stuck together. I realized I’d eaten half of each one, which is why I opened two! Lol) At least none of the wrinkles I’ll get in the next couple of weeks will be from sunning! (I’m not showing my topless part and I’m using a towel in the lawn recliner if I’m able to get out again!) I kept thinking what Gaz has said about too much sun, but living up here, I’m betting I won’t have the same experience he did growing up in Australia.

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Midweek

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One of the two things I did on Saturday was attend a Relay for Life gathering. I was disappointed in the turnout, but was told it has dropped in the last couple of years. (some people don’t like participating because of who the money goes to, corporations and not the people. However, much of the stuff raised here stays here.) I did pretty well til the reading of names. Hearing ‘In memory of my mum’ was hard. (even if I am mad at her!)

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Later in the day, I took another photo of the old bull (you can see how his antlers are starting to look better!). He’s the old bull since just a few car lengths down the road was a young bull!! Much less, ummm,…worn and he just looked younger. Then, on my way to the inlet, I saw a LIVE porcupine. This isn’t all that common, generally there are corpses on the side of the road. So, I was excited to discover this critter scurrying along.

I also caught a couple of gulls on a different day, the landing one I’m pretty impressed with. I take no credit for it, the sun was in my eyes and I just wanted to snap a couple of photos of gulls, so I did.

I’ve been going through more of mum’s debris. Cards sent to her over the years and the like. I’ve found several books of stamps, lots of old pictures (many of people I don’t know, some I hope to discover the history of. Like is the lady in the turquoise in white and the beehive hairdo, mum eons ago or someone else???), and a small booklet I opted to read.

Every so often, life tosses things in your way and you have the choice to see them or not. Well, this one, I saw. It was rather along the lines of things I’ve read from Rhapsody, Collette, Amanda, Jack, GT, and many others. As you know, I tend to accept what is in front of me as the way it is. (too much 70’s music in my past?) Let it be, Que sera, sera..(OK, Doris was much older than the 70s), and to try and look on the bright side of life (When was MP and The Holy Grail??) while still being certain that nothing I want matters since it probably won’t anyway. The author Patricia Briggs said in one of her books, ‘All things happen in their own time whether we want them to or not.’ BUT, as I was reading this little Guidepost booklet in mom’s debris, I also realized I need to actively accept that miracles can happen to me and will if I let them. It was sort of rather startling, in a way. Granted, I need to do what I can to make change. Yet, if I can believe that I am worthy of good things happening, that they will happen, then, they will happen.  There is evidence this is true in other lives. We’ll see it happen in mine.

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photo I took while writing to Rhapsody-about 1030 pm

I never make goals or extended plans, yet yesterday I decided I needed to. The first thing I wanted to do was manage a fishing trip for the guys when they visit. I did and ended up chatting to reservation lady for quite some time. (we knew some of the same people) On Monday, I met with mom’s accountant. Not a whole lot was accomplished (at the end of our visit, the IRS lady hung up on mom’s accountant. Something that was not only highly rude, but startled us both. Mum’s accountant was asking a question and the woman kept repeating her rote answer and not actually answering. So, when the accountant asked for the lady’s name, asking her to speak slowly, the woman hung up! She may have been having a bad day, but no one on our end was being mean or snippy…although, I imagine when mum’s accountant went back after lunch to reach the IRS with the lady’s ID number, some snip may have been involved!!), but we did a few things. Later, I managed to get our bank account put in just my name and chatted with TnT and made several phone calls to get help on Friday. So, things for the next few days might be hopping. I also talked to my sister and asked if she could come by on Sunday to get some of the things she wants. Jake said yes, then asked if I wanted her to come by on Wednesday or Thursday. (I guess the syllable for ‘day’ threw her into confusion, she is going to be here on Sunday. Probably!)

All in all, there is hope. Throw in a stack of pancakes and life is pretty darn amazing!

Although, when I found this card in mum’s stuff with the words ‘Get well soon’ inside, I kind of wondered. Those eyes are NOT health encouraging!!!!!!!

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Learning Goes On

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I feel like poor Ned in the Dr. Seuss book ‘One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish’. I don’t know what to do! I kept putting things off so I can talk to the accountant, but really, I just need to dive in and get the debris packed/sold/gone. As much as it breaks my heart, I cannot keep this place. (I’m starting to cry as I write) I cannot feasibly afford it and it is like experiencing my dad’s death all over again. (oddly, not mom’s. Mom left me with so much of a mess, I miss dad more right now. He brought us to this house and was our dad and it was home.) Yet, it isn’t the actual house I’m going to miss so much, or the lake (although, I will miss that. Dad’s ashes are in it-I need to add mom’s sometime), or watching the saga of life unfold outside the window (there is a fight commencing between two male common golden eyes for the same lady!). It is this amazing place where I belong. Once I actually leave, I can only return as a visitor. And, honestly, I’ll have no real reason to. My sister isn’t a large enough of a reason (she didn’t come south for anything in my family, although she might since her daughter is in Seattle and that is fairly close to where I live down there). This place is in my bones and blood. I may have lived in Oregon for most of my life, but not much of it counts for anything other than a place to have and raise the boys. There is a line in the book of Ruth-‘Your place shall be my place and your people shall be mine’ or something like that. I used that in my wedding, but my mindset wasn’t right. I was always the interloper, the outsider, the one who came in and stole a town icon and even the town icon seems every so often like he got into something he didn’t expect (of course, most marriages have that tendency!!!!!). Another thing I’ve learned, being up here, in my own house, I can act and do exactly what I want without having to worry about how people see me or gossip and I can dress in the way I want to. (small towns are very knowledgeable. In fact, out here, there is a giant network of information-right or wrong-, but I’ve not found it as wearing.)

This week has been educational in many ways. I’ve realized being alone is incredibly peaceful. Walking on the beach, spying a very young eagle overhead, and chatting with a fisherman who has a house with many of the same problems mine does! (must be a thing out here!) He has a wife who is dying, has 8 kids (that isn’t the same as me, thank goodness!), and goes to the inlet to find rest.  Although, he takes a pole and I just look at the mountains and find rocks.

I went to a bridal shower and found it entirely too loud! (I also thought about how different showers were in the late 80’s. Or at least mine. Mine was guested by mostly older women who gifted many utilitarian items that were doubled or tripled. Not a speck of lace unless it was on a throw pillow, or silky stuff or gift certificates for anywhere. Not a smidge of anything even slightly inappropriate!) This shower had things that made the older than I am bride to be blush like a full blown rose all mixed in with utilitarian. I admit,  I didn’t take one of the cupcakes. Mostly because I’d had a sliver of cake and was trying to keep the carbs down. I was also given a bag of kisses and a lovely cookie on my way out the door! (the elegance of the candies on the glass plate with the cupcakes nearby made me laugh!)

Friday was pretty busy with running around. I finally got the estate check (I hope) taken care of, I don’t know if there are any other checks in Oregon that might be estate. I hope not. (no one has notified me of any mail I might have gotten. I know I got an invitation to the wedding this weekend, but I’ve not been told yet. Thankfully, I asked what time it was while at the shower!) I also found out how very horrible technology is. Let me ‘splain. Mum had an expensive sewing machine. (If the price she wrote down is any indication, it was around 5 thousand US dollars) She didn’t use it much. (I found out later, my sister used it after it was purchased and broke something with the needles-of course. I believe it was fixed, as mom used it a few times before she died and  I was told that sort of thing happened often.) When she was in the hospital that last time, she kept telling me to sell it. l found out today it might be worth $500. Just before 6 pm, I called the Fabric Center where it was purchased and after exchanging more information, found out it might not even be worth that. You see, when mom purchased this, it was new and top of the line (that is actually in the name!). However, part of the fancy technology was computerized. Floppy disk computerized. If it had a USB port, that would make it more user friendly for today, but as my youngest said, it will need remodeled for the new era.

(OH! UPDATE: there is one male golden eye bobbing in and out of the water right near where I sit when I am down by the lake! I don’t see a lady. I wonder if he’s the spurned lover? Or perhaps he’s showing off how well he can dive in the same spot? I see the other male across the water, but the female is not visible. Of course, she’s not in bright white and black!)

One of the best parts of Friday was meeting an author. Patience Griffin not only creates chaptered designs with words and syntax, but she creates quilts and (I believe) the fabric she makes the quilts with that go with her books! I was honestly glad mum wasn’t with me, she’d have purchased all of Patience’s books and fabric and patterns online! (Actually, there may be some of the novels in mum’s stacks and boxes….) I need to find one to read. AFTER I get done here. I’m taking ages to read anything I have with me. Crazy!

The very best part of today was seeing twins. I think they were probably a couple of days old, I wasn’t able to snap their photograph. Babies even the size of a tiny horse move fast! I did take a fleeing photo of a single baby with a mom on my way to the wedding shower. I’ll work on getting better photographs of babies!

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Dirty Socks and Tears

The last two days my forgiveness tank has been empty. I’ve cried hard twice. Screamed at mom, yelling that I hated her, until my throat was raw with anger. It was almost like I was 16 again, except I’m up against the wall alone. Gasping for understanding. And it isn’t a play I want to be in or a date I want to go on, it’s the sheer amount of things left undone. I have a quote I favor by Brene Brown (it needs a ‘over a letter, but my keyboard won’t let me!). “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” I have these words on index cards on walls of the house. I have them on a paper in my wallet. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the US Treasury Department does. (And I’m not entirely sure it is accurate in this place where I’m at!)

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Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

I have paperwork stating the IRS has taken funds from different areas, but there are still monies owed. Then, the last couple of years, not a single letter. Which is crazy. Mum saved EVERYTHING. I have no idea why some of it even mattered. (one of my helper friends suggested that in the past many items were allowed to be deducted and sometimes, we just keep saving receipts to do so.) I didn’t want to get up on Tuesday, because of sorting papers. When I did get up, every time I looked at the mess, I got all teary.

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Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

So, I decided to sort stuff in the drawers. Now, I’m itchy. One of mom’s drawers was full of hosiery and rolled up belts that match dresses in the closet. I only hope the dresses are still there, because taking a dress in to a resale place is a grand idea. Yet, most people don’t want clothing that isn’t intact. The worst thing I sorted were socks. Old sweat filled, nasty, many worn out, dirty socks. At least 3 of those plastic grocery bags full. (socks are easy to squish into bags) I can’t imagine why she didn’t put them in the basket for me to wash. Many of them looked like ones I’d watched her put on.  I found many new things, several packets of hose that she and I could have worn in my early teens!  There were things for the plays she was in, slips and tiny camisoles, and oddly a brand new t-shirt with a spot on it. It read ‘My favorite team is the Vikings and anyone who beats the Packers.’ The odd parts were why on earth was it in with the hosiery and slips and tiny bras she hasn’t been able to wear in decades? Unless it was for sleeping, because there were a few of those sorts of things in the drawer. And how did it get a spot in the middle of the words? Was she given it by another Viking fan while watching a game? Stories I’ll never know. I’m surrounded by those.

I often wish I’d have let her tell me more, but I was too annoyed with her. Stories are fun if the star isn’t the same person in each one. Or if the characters do the same thing they did in a previous story. (one of my pet peeves when it comes to book series!)

Later, my day improved. Slowly. I went to the post and visited my favorite people. And cried and hugged and was given tissue (sturdy soft stuff I bet would wash well!). I was complimented on how I looked in spite of my tears, I went and got ice cream, my earrings were admired (swag an author friend sent. She graduated from my high school before I did), a friend called, another old one texted and sent me pictures from where he fishes (he lost his dad months before mom died), I put away dishes (I didn’t mean for those to rhyme!), I talked to TnT, and napped with my bear. Now, the sun is setting and I’m going to skip it to take a shower. Hoping my frustrations will wash away with the soap and not back up into the basement again (it hasn’t done that in a week!!).

Tomorrow a friend might be coming over to help me add up numbers. After, there is a chance I’ll head into town to see about selling mom’s snazzy sewing machine, visit the library and their better internet, and probably purchase some more ice cream. (Carb Smart, so it isn’t as bad as the ‘good’ stuff) Then, again, I might do the town thing on Thursday. Which is also the day for a wedding shower. I’m not sure when the wedding is, I think the invite was sent to Oregon and I wasn’t told about it yet. I believe it is on Saturday. I meet with an accountant on Monday and Little Bear comes up for two weeks on the following Saturday! His dad comes up the next Saturday. I have so much to do before then.

Yikes! I feel tears again, so I’m going to post this and sign off… (I’d have one of the beers in the fridge, but I’m too worried about carbs!!)

While out

I really have been able to get outside now and then. Mostly to drive from the house to town and back. However, I was texting Ms. Monster (she may be in her cookie jar, but my view is much better!) about getting out  more. Then, she felt I was being disparaging about a certain bull moose hanging around the house. So, I am posting a couple of photos of the horrible looking moose. (If it was at all possible, I’d take a brush to the creature and feed it up on grains!) So, since I took the photos with the camera and not the cell phone, I am sharing this way. He was across the road and since I’m a smart lady, I used my telephoto capabilities. (He definitely wasn’t impressed with my watching him, either!) So, my dear Ms. Monster, here is a frightfully sad Bullwinkle!!! (note: I love that lady and she’s a darn good wordsmith, too!)

 

I also was able to experience my first shaking since arriving back north early Memorial Day morning. I had turned over in bed and noticed it shaking. I wasn’t sure if it was vertigo or something else. I was sleeping with my bear and he is NOT one to make the bed shake!  Then, I heard the wind chimes in the living room. (Many Alaskans keep wind chimes inside as earthquake notifications.) It didn’t last very long and I went back to sleep to the sound of quieting chimes.

I’ve managed to find half of the paperwork I need, so I’m making progress of sorts. I was sad her church could only give me records from the last three years. (it appears the treasurer changed programs or computers or something and lost most of her records) I’m not even sure the work I’m doing will make a dent in her debt, but I’ll find out in a week. No matter, as I told Ms. Monster, at least I have great views from where I’m working on the living room floor!

I did realise, too, that Gaz was right. The chicken breast I purchased and cooked (I admit, I cooked it too long. I even forgot my tea and it was truly tepid!) had a too dry mouth feel. I should have gotten thighs. I’ll crumble it up for my salads.

My sister gave me some goat cheese the other day. It was very crumbly and tasted a little of lemons. (she made it) I don’t think I want any more, but I’m not going to post the photo I took on FB. She’ll interrogate me on how I ate it. (on salad with chopped ham pieces and a lot of regular cheese. I did add seasonings. I don’t put dressing on salads. Ever. Naked all the way!)  I think I’ll share that picture here!

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And I will leave you with another shot I took. This was later than the moose ones, it is after 1045 pm on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. (I needed some large envelopes to hold mom’s receipts, so went to town shopping. I should have gotten ice cream, but I was too stingy!)  There was a break in the rain clouds, letting the mountains peek through!

 

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