My sister is annoying, frustrating, and cracks me up.

As you can see, digging has commenced and will continue for quite some time. At this juncture in the hole, it appears the septic tank is not sitting on the ground evenly. The hole is more than 8 feet deep and, well, pretty damn long and wide. (There is an old church tune with the topic of deep and wide and a fountain, but I’m not feeling very churchy at the moment!)

Today was actually not that bad. TnT came out and rearranged a section of the basement, making it incredibly organized. (we also put up the kayak. The lake has only one tiny section clear of ice and I can’t get to that area.)  One of mom’s friends popped by to see what was going on. Later, Jewel arrived and asked The Excavator some queries that were ones I should have asked if I’d known to ask them. (he even asked me if she was my sister! I wish!!!!!)

I had sent out several photos of what was going on.(I didn’t realise til I saw them on the laptop how bad most of them were!!!!) Jake responded by text hours later that living off the grid sounded better and better. Then she talked about how there are many seasonal homes which do that. She explained how in Costa Rica ‘human waste is in big clear plastic containers trapping gas. The gas is then piped into buildings for cooking.’ She also texted about ‘batteries that are charged with urine.’ ‘you can run gray water straight into a leach field-no septic required. The humanure produced can go on non-produce plants. The problem is getting the manure to heat properly to kill bad bugs.’  I then suggested tossing used toilet tissue in the trash instead of flushing. Her response to mine? THAT’S NASTY! I laughed so hard, I almost couldn’t type to text her I needed to take my insulin.


Anyway, I’m pretty resigned about this entire process I’m watching from the edge of the hole. July 2016 was when the septic was put in. It should not need leveled, there should not be broken pipes 8 or more feet down, and my portion of mom’s annuity is literally going down the drain! As a wise man said to me earlier. ‘Ownership is a different place of responsibility.’ GT

Anyway, I’m going to bed. I’ll get up after a bit, the northerns are supposed to be active tonight. I might be able to watch them from the living room instead of on the bench next to the house. Mom used to leave on lights so I’d have to find spots outside to sky gaze where they wouldn’t shine in my eyes. I’d rather sit in a comfy chair inside. It is COLD out there!!


A week or less in review!

Tuesday had a lovely afternoon and Wednesday, I got a great deal done. Mom has a lot of things I want to move out several places if someone stays here. Besides, it is nicer to sit in a house with less debris. (Granted, it is just moved to the shed or the garage, but it isn’t stacked against the piano or elsewhere!) I had my niece visit for a bit on Wednesday. Pippi ‘helped’ me move some rocks out of the way of construction (She used her feet to move single larger stones because it helped her ankles get stronger and her shoes were used to getting dirty. She frowned at the suggestion of gloves, which I understood. Thankfully, I used my two hands and got most of the rocks moved fairly quickly).

That was the day I got the water heater mended. It was funny, we don’t have a hardware store out in this area anymore and Pippin had to dash back into town to get some parts he didn’t think he’d need and did. After he left, I got a text saying my niece was walking toward me. I was slightly confused, Jake had said she’d bring her daughter for the afternoon. Soon, my sister texted to tell me my niece was walking to mom’s and she kept texting as she drove to ask if she was there yet!!!!! (it is about a half mile, maybe, from the main road to the house) It appears Jake was late for work. (insert eye roll!)

I picked the kid up (I needed to go to the post), got us a lunch we shared and she also wanted a shake (I got her a small one) as well as delicious tooth rottening confection called a cup of cake (layers of mint frosting with chocolate cake and lots of mini chocolate chips. I tasted it and it was very good.). Jake was annoyed I didn’t ask her what to feed her daughter, but I figured the girl is almost 14, she should make her own choices. I had her sort some more jewelry for me (mom has a LOT of baubles!) and we did a few other things before we were done. I opted to use her help to get some recycling dropped off and then I took her to the pool where her mom works. Her mom was so glad I brought her in, Jake really didn’t want to drive all the way to our mom’s house after work. (it is less than 10 min)

Thursday, I met the guy who said he’d do the septic and did a great many town errands. I also met with TnT briefly, inadvertently also meeting a very lovely woman and a gorgeous wandering cat that wasn’t hers. (you will meet that cat in my next Cat Nips post) I am getting a great deal done here and there, but it is much easier to do things when motivated with or by someone else.

Friday I thought my septic was going to get dug up, it was absolutely beautiful out! I dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans and ended up in capri pants and a tank top. I didn’t go out on the lake cuz I was expecting the dig to start. But, I misunderstood. That happens to me a great deal. I don’t listen very well.  No matter, I got so much done!! It would have been lovely to have stronger arms and backs and organizational skills in the garage, but it worked out. It was so nice that day, I even took my top down and let the girls out for a bit while I had a bite to eat outside.


I also fed the birds and one of the squirrels. He carted off almost an entire pack of dried out burger buns! I didn’t break them up, just zinged the rounds up onto the garage roof. He was too fast for photos, though. I might get some seed for them for the winter. I’m not going to be here, but if someone is, they might want to put some seed out! I laughed at this large plant growing by the shop door. I was told, emphatically, that packaged bird seed was guaranteed not to grow.

I also had a spot of trouble with some spray roofing stuff. Literally. (I know, but I had to see if I could use it!) There was a spray can of black mending stuff in the shop and mom’s old aged greenhouse has some tremendous leaks in it. I didn’t think I could actually fix the roof, the whole thing might fall over if everything was removed from inside! However, when my aunt and cousin were here, they filled it with all sorts of things and I noticed many of those things were filled with water from the recent rains. I managed to turn myself into Lady Mac Beth again. But, I also got those damn spots out with the stuff I used to get the adhesive off of mom! (I’m so freaking thankful I didn’t get any of that guck in my hair!!!!!) I also think I sort of fixed things for a little bit. I know I can’t keep all of the weather out, but even a smidge of it not getting on the tools will help. (I also got the snow shovels out from where they are stored all summer and moved them to easier to get to locations!)

Mom’s room is closer to mine than hers now. I’ve been moving her stuff out, putting pictures I like up on the walls, and cleaning. I love sleeping in a real bed (I even picked up her down comforter and the duvet from the cleaners. I felt bad cuz it took me a couple of weeks, but felt better when I was told they have some things waiting for months!). I love looking out the windows and don’t close the curtains, I like to see the moon and clouds and I discovered I wake up better upstairs. Downstairs, it is very dark. The window in my room is super small and there is so much debris, it blocks most of the light. I also love the down comforter. I have one in Oregon and it is upstairs on the extra twin bed. (I like it, the cats like it, but no one else does!) Mom’s was ridiculous and isn’t as thick as mine. Let me explain.  A duvet (doo-vay) is a very thin, fabric baggie for a down blanket, usually closing on one side with buttons. Inside the duvet are supposed to be ribbons to tie the blanket that goes inside to the sides of the duvet, keeping things in place. (that was a confusing sentence. Sorry)  Supposed to be. Mom’s blanket has loops, but the inside of the duvet has a seam. (I bet she bought them on sale from some shopping catalog!) No wonder the damn thing used to slide all over the place til she anchored it in place with stuff. So, I found a tapestry needle and some yarn and made a few ‘ribbons’ of my own! It appears to be working. I also add a small down blanket mum used as a lap blanket, I do love sleeping warm and cozy! Oddly, Mittens hasn’t quite decided to sleep with me on mom’s bed yet. She will sleep on the basement bed with me, though. Crazy cat!!!

Rock on!


I knew Saturday would be busy. I had purchased a ticket to go and see Rocky Horror Picture Show again at midnight. So, most of that day I rested and sorted more of mom’s jewelry and what not. I am looking for something I cannot find and opted to move some plastic drawers to get into a some not used much. Oh My God!!!!! (smiling note: those three words sound best in a sexy Canadian accent.)  Below is the photo of what was in the open drawer and still in the drawer. I did find a lot of fun and odd items. Among them were a super cool gold sequin bag that expands and shrinks (I remember it from when I was little, it fascinated me), a bunch of teeth imprints, some lovely crystal baubles, gloves, belts, scarves, and nylons. I managed to get most of it back in the drawer, the rest I moved elsewhere.


When I decided to create my wardrobe for the movie, I was glad I’d gone into that drawer. I needed a black wide belt and she happened to have one in there! I also had found a black bra I liked. These were added to my Rocky wear and below are a few steps of the costume from start to finish. I did wear my sparkly leggings and my cut up t-shirt from last year and the crystal bat in my cleavage, but everything else was different. (I did miss having the help I had last year. I texted friends who suggested things for me. This year, I had one friend who helped me by saying it looked good.)

I enjoyed putting on my makeup and doing my hair in a bathroom instead of the back parking lot at the grocery store in the front seat of a car. Although, I think glitter spray in the parking lot wasn’t as messy as on the bathroom floor, my walls, the cat……(yeah, she got in my way when I was using it!) I discovered, too, that the fake eyelashes were not compatible with my new glasses. They were brushing against the lenses!!! (this photo is from when I got home, pardon the vintage 70’s lamp in the background-) I had put my hair in a twisty high pony tail, so it was a bit of an updo! (not that it came out in photos!)


It was just as much fun to sit with people I knew, as it was to sit with the total strangers from last year. The audience this year was a bit smaller and only a few of us actually attempted to Time Warp. I managed to step on one of my friend’s feet just getting in and out of the row, I was glad I wasn’t near her as I was ‘dancing’!!! (and the row was a wide one to accommodate tall persons) There were a great many added in comments, I almost think this audience was more intellectual. If one can use that word for movie goers dressed in slut wear screaming profanities and blatant sexual phrases at the tops of their lungs. The winner of the door prize this year was a lovely VERY tall man in a full beard in drag. He was wearing a short maid costume, heels, and fishnet hose with a terrific shoulder length curly wig.

After, I needed to get something with sugar in it (my glucose was dropping, in spite of the high carb protein snack I’d had a bit earlier) and no one batted an eye when I went into the store or when I put gas in mom’s car at 2 am. I also had a snapped up jean jacket on, so all you could see was the hair, skirt, boots, and leggings. Thus, I looked mildly presentable!


When I got back to the house, it was nice to shower. (My septic will allow me to shower and use basic water, remember, just nothing else!) I did miss the shower I used at my friends’ last year. THAT one has great temps and pressure (things that weren’t changed much after the water heater was mended the other day.).  I really needed to wash my hair, I think I used a bit too much hairspray and glitter!!

At any rate, it was good experience and probably my last ‘fun’ time up north.  I’ve crowded in quite a few since mum died. I do know, I would like to see this live in a different city with a different cast. I also need to learn those call out lines better! I missed quite a few.

Backsliding again


It is Sunday. I’ve enjoyed a fairly fun week til today. Today’s been really hard. I went to mom’s church for the first time since her service and what might be the last time until I return. I understand change has to happen. I understand I should be able to shake off my sadness and not experience despair at the oddest times. I realise I should not expect people to give more than verbal assurances of help. It does help to know people want to do things. I’ve been in tears off and on all day. This afternoon wasn’t too bad until I was picking up some dirty things and had to put the jammie top mom took off to go to the hospital her last stay back on the doorknob of the bathroom door. I was huddled on mom’s bed in tears (it was mom’s while I was crying. I’m slowly taking over, unfortunately, I backslide.) when The Craftsman texted me some lovely photos of leaves in Oregon and to tell me he was barbecuing pork chops for dinner. I had to focus on texting, so the tears stopped for a bit. I mentioned I was crying (I didn’t tell him I’ve not eaten much today) and his response was that he wished he could help. I didn’t say much more than it didn’t matter. (if wishes were horses, we’d all have barns and probably own all of Garth Brooks music or Jim Reeves..wait, I think Dad did have his!) Then, he texted he should have sent Little Bear up this week to help me. That would have been nice. I need bodies to move boxes, help pack stuff in totes, and organize things so I can put the garage in the car. Jake says she’ll be here tomorrow with Pippi (By the by, Jake is my sister, Pippi is her youngest daughter. The Craftsman is my spouse and Little Bear is my baby…ok, he’s 24.) Unfortunately, she and her daughter are not altogether efficient workers. She also wants mom’s Pacifica. I’m not leaving her the car, neither of her vehicles are in good shape because she tends to use things up very thoroughly. I spent a lot of money on mom’s car this year and now it is mine. I use things, but I also try to care for them so they last. It would be bad stewardship to let Jake borrow the car for several months. Oddly, The Craftsman asked if I wanted a different car when I return. The owner of the shop he works at picked up an Escape with a tranny problem. (the owner thought it would be a nice rig for me!) I told him if he wanted to do that, it was up to him. As long as it drives well and doesn’t end up needing towed after a several hour trip, I’m good with it! (I did laugh a bit, the older Escort I normally drive was a new to me rig that was picked up while I was in Alaska when my dad died.)

I’m hoping the septic will be started on Monday. It would be nice to get it fixed. I have also looked into security for the house. However, those fun inexpensive home security things almost all use things like reliable internet or cell service. One system called Ring was very interesting and remarkably affordable and easy to install. Alas, when I called to ask more questions, the young man who answered told me it probably wouldn’t work. He’d recently talked with a customer, elsewhere in Alaska, who had to eventually return his system to the store. At least the salesman was honest. I’m now looking at something else and am waiting for a call on that. I also might have someone stay here off and on, but that is sort of uncertain, too.

I may have adopted mom’s learning disabled friend. She used to call mom all the time, she can’t write very well or manage much. Mom was supposed to send her a doll after it was fixed. I cannot find the doll anywhere and have tried to give this girl my cell number. I might need to send it to her in a card. Although, she won’t be able to read it. Anyway, she won’t answer her phone if she doesn’t know who it is, so if she has mine, I can let her know if and when I find the doll. It is supposed to be ‘mannequin sized’ and ‘bald’. (yeah, YIKES! Mom had a habit of collecting dolls that need work, doll heads, and assorted body parts for them. I found a glass fairy leg in her jewel box, plus other small broken bits of porcelain dolls.)

It is getting colder. There was snow further north today. Not here, although it is expected. I should turn up the heat, unfortunately, I’m also sort of in a stalemate with the electric company. For some reason they won’t let me take care of mom’s account, except to pay it. Getting into it or changing the house into my name is becoming uphill work. Thankfully, her annuity is in the bank and came to the right address in Oregon. Most of it appears to be spent already! I need to pay the lawyer, a few bills (her medical and credit card ones will come from the estate, thankfully those are smaller than the septic and security and..), the tax consultant, and something I’ve always wanted that is almost frivolous.

I’ve had some well-meaning souls tell me it is time for me to put everything aside and move on. I logically should sell the house and car and put all of the money into the house in Oregon, where I live. I need to realise my life is there and not in Alaska anymore. Besides, I could stay for a couple weeks a year in a hotel, with a car rental for much less than I can by having a house with the things it entails. I let them talk. It doesn’t matter.

I’ve also had a tummy ache for most of today. I am going to see if mom has some ginger tea in her stash of boxes of tea!

Well, I’ve waffled on for longer than I should. My next posts will touch on last week and Saturday, which were much more fun. (Plus, I’ll add more photos.) Oh, I didn’t mention the frivolous thing I wanted to get. I want a passport again. I know I will most likely never ever need it and it would be better to spend that money somewhere else, but I did say I wanted to do something completely frivolous, but relatively useful.

Moving On-Cat Nips

“As we count up the memories from one journey, we head off on another.” Hiro Arikawa

The last couple of months have been a bit difficult. Mum’s gone and I’m working on returning to Oregon for a bit. I’ve already furever homed her dog. The cat my youngest wants me to bring back. I took Mittens to the vet on Monday of this week to get her ready for her journey. It appears that the shots I was certain I’d taken care of in 2016 were not taken care of, so that was the first order of business. Actually, the first thing I needed to do was to get her in the cat carrier. Not a happy circumstance. Getting her to the vet was a trial, but she did get to meet her old friend, Obi. I think Obi was more excited than Mittens! (I was only able to get a back photo!) Mittens was updated in shots, checked over, and curled up in the weigh basket once the stressful bit of being caged was over. Her Alaskan vet is a phenomenal woman, delegating Mittens to a less stressful feline category. She did prescribe Gabapentin as a calming med for her and suggested not to feed or water her during the 12 hour journey. Mittens will be traveling in the cabin with me and as I was told by the woman who sold me the carrier (she’d previously worked for Delta Airlines), ‘What goes in, must come out.’ The vet then told me of a relation’s cat who ejects everything possible from each orifice when traveling, as well as screams. (I was grateful I had Mittens!)  Dr. Mary also told me the actual change in destination is harder on the cats than the travel.

Back in the carrier, Mittens once again objected and took it out on me. I tried to convince her the carrier was a good thing. She yowled an empathic, ‘NO!’ (the other two leggers in the office laughed.) Poor furkid. I apologized although, she didn’t seem to buy it. She did get in the carrier once we got home to get the snacks I’d tossed inside. But, the carrier was open. I think it is the enclosed experience she feels uncomfortable with. Cats don’t like being forced to be somewhere without an exit.



How can I like a place so much and hate it so thoroughly? Or is this the universe telling me to sell it as soon as possible? Today wasn’t a bad day, it was fairly balanced with junk and joy til about bedtime.

I took Mittens to the vet this morning, she did NOT have a good experience in the cat carrier. I ended up with this nice marking. (I sent the photo to The Craftsman and captioned it with the words Mittens objected to the carrier. He asked me if she’d scratched me. I need to be clearer in my communications.) She did get to see Obi again and he’s doing great! He’s lost 3 pounds, had six teeth removed (I understand this is a good number for a dachshund his age—I spelled it right without help!), and can now climb stairs. The house his forever friend is in has stairs and all the animals could use them (even the house pig), except Obi. He hated being alone at the bottom til everyone returned, so he decided to learn how. C even said he’s pretending to jump into the car, as long as she lifts him up. I think he was sad to see me leave, though. He was behind the pet gate whining as I exited with the unhappy Mittens.

I went into town to go to visit the lawyer, fax some papers, and check in with mom’s financial person. I failed to remember it was lunchtime, so stopped at the library to look up names to call for digging while everyone was out. I called several and one of them is selling his business, but chatted for quite a while with me then said he’d call back to see what I’d found. At the law office I was told me not to fret about people who are overzealous in their duties. He said they exist to annoy us and help keep lawyers employed. (It wasn’t said exactly like that, but my version is close!)

 GW…I am not sure who was more annoyed in that office!! I was able to get a few things sorted, then I we called the annuity place. They could talk to me about my portion and they said they were cutting a check Tuesday. However, they could not answer the general question about the oddity found on my sister’s papers. It was a general query and the answer to that was ‘NO, you don’t need signatures.’ But, they would not share why they rejected my sister’s paperwork because it needed my signature.

Once home, I called more people for digging. All total I think I’ve called seven different companies. Unfortunately, it is the end of October and winter is on the way. Most places are almost done or done for the season. One man called back. I mentioned him posts ago, the older gentleman I met at the dump who gave me his card. He lives not far away and came over this afternoon to look at the site. He, too, was on his last job before working on his own driveway. But, as he looked around, he said it would take two days and he’d take care of it for me at the end of the week.  I almost cried! He also said he’d wait for the money to get here (I told him it might be next week, but I didn’t know what I know now…).

Then, I woke up. Literally. I had taken a nap and The Craftsman called. He said the annuity was there. I misunderstood, it wasn’t. It was the same exact paperwork my sister got last week. Sent to my in-laws house. We last lived there in 2008. I’ll call GW in the morning and tell them. How freaking stupid. It is just a simple halving of a policy. They had everything they needed and where on earth did they get that address??????? Do they add an internet search and choose the least likely place of residence? It is like they don’t want anyone to have the money they are holding.

While Track Man was here, I noticed water in the laundry room. It wasn’t (at that time) obvious where it was coming from. He told me not to worry. (insert eye roll) Well, tonight I found out what was going on. It appears there are valves and whatnot on a water heater. The leak is coming from the top of the less than 10 year old contraption. I went online and it said to turn off the power to it and tighten the valve. I’ll have to wait til daylight cuz it is pretty black down here without electricity! Or maybe I’ll wait for Pippin to visit again. (although, he’s busy all week in a different city right now)


So, the money I need might or might now show up eventually. Once it gets to Oregon and is deposited, it needs a couple of days to clear before it can be used in Alaska, but by then I might be back in Oregon. It may all go towards the house with the water heater and the pipes and everyone else who needs paid. Not sure how I’ll manage property taxes. I could sell the house as is, sell the belongings ‘as is’ separately, but it needs sorted more carefully. I really need to wait til spring.

I’m not sure spring is going to arrive this year. I’m not sure that sun is going to come out tomorrow. (looking at the forecast, I think it is supposed to rain!) Promises seem empty in the face of more. Yeah, I’m a bit down at the moment. But, it will all go away. Maybe. Crying right now seems like such a good idea, my teddy bear is used to it.

Storm clouds and Rainbows


SUNDAY!!! (not Saturdaywas one of those squally rainbow days. Literally and figuratively.

I drove down the inlet after all (didn’t get the ticket to Rocky yet) and had a ridiculous time getting out of the house. I wanted to wear a skirt I’d not worn and felt it needed something to make it fit better. After ages and a bit of elastic that didn’t work, I discovered exactly what the missing item was. Another button. (I felt like that nursery tale about for want of a nail the shoe was lost!) I was a bit annoyed to discover when I got back home the skirt looked like I’d sat in spots of powdered sugar! (I’m not entirely sure what the substance is, but I’m tossing it in the wash!) I’m also VERY glad I didn’t have it on very long and that I’d brought jeans with me.

It was a nice drive until I reached my favorite stomping grounds. I am so thankful I didn’t bring mum’s ashes. I was a mess of tears! I think it was because this little town always had something in it that was the same. The Restaurant and Bar and Inn had been owned by my (step father’s) family since the late 60’s I think. It was sold this month and the new owners are taking over. I was used to knowing the liquor store and market were on the lot where we used to live, but everything was still owned by people I knew well. It was a bit of a shock (even if I knew it was happening) and I wonder if they’ll let me put some of mum’s ashes under the Inn porch were my gerbil is buried.

Going thru the town where most of mom’s ashes will go was less stressful. That place has changed so incredibly much, about the only things the same were the skyline and some of the shoreline of the Spit (the piece of land that juts into the inlet).  Most of this visit seemed to be for me. I went to my first grade school. I was sad the fence and trees are in the way of the super cool hill that went down to a local lake (it was a GREAT place for the bigger kids to sled down at recess).

I also was a bit sad they’d built up the area by the ‘forest’ where I’d found my first kiss! (I was 7!) I met with a friend and as he’d lived in the town since we were in kindergarten, he knew things I barely remembered. Parts of the afternoon were a bit disturbing (I am pretty sure I saw where we lived with my 3rd dad-At least the house I thought was his gave me shivers!) and most of the rest was comforting and fun. The rainbows helped me remember joy from those years in that town we lived in when we first moved to Alaska. The Doctor’s Son even fed me! (actually, we shared the ticket cuz he discovered his card was out of funds and he didn’t have enough cash. I laughed and cheerfully handed some of mine over. I think he returned most of it, but I’m not sure. It wasn’t a big deal and it was a tasty lunch.)

The absolute worst part was driving home. It was getting dark and I stopped to take a photo and send it to my friend in Minnesota cuz she sent me their sunset today. (they had snow a few days ago, so maybe the lake reflections are from ice?) Mine was taken in the wind. It was so breezy the cell phone almost was knocked out of my hand!

Then, I drove on up the road and was seriously concerned. It was as if my glasses didn’t work. I was not able to see much and my driving was drunken. I was scared and worried and when I finally got to familiar roads I almost cried with relief. I pulled into the local Arby’s parking lot and checked my glucose. It was quite low. I was shocked. I haven’t had a low while driving in years! I went inside, got something sweet with my meal, and ate in the store. I finally was able to leave and realized I had gotten a cat carrier with The Doctor’s Son, but forgot litter. At Safeway, I also got more sugar. (I was NOT feeling like Kris yet) I laughed to myself when I got to the cashier. Her name was Cat.


While sitting in the parking lot til I felt better, The Craftsman called. He wanted help identifying a bird that he found in his mom’s pellet stove pipe. It managed to fall down to the bottom and was rescued. The poor thing was probably thankful it was Sunday. That is the day the stove gets its weekly cleaning and isn’t turned on til that task is finished. I think it was a juvenile meadowlark. But, it flew from his hands and into the sky after the first blurry photo was taken. So, we don’t really have much to go on for identification.


The cat carrier which the incredibly helpful sales lady checked over to make sure it was put together right, wasn’t. (not her fault, I didn’t notice part of it wasn’t in the proper place until I looked at it from the top down) It took me AGES to get the dadburn thing together and Mittens is NOT impressed with it at all. I left it open upstairs and sprinkled catnip inside. The directions said it was ok for airline travel, we’ll see if the airlines I’m taking think so.

Thank God for rainbows!


The last week


In the movie, ‘Finding Nemo’, one of the most famous tag lines is ‘Just keep swimming.’ There are so many moments in the day where I want to stop, but I’d probably get eaten by a shark (fish are friends, people are not!). One of the persons who spoke at mom’s service said mom envisioned rocks in the road as stepping stones. That lady left me a significant number of stepping stones with which I could pave a nice path to hell and back.

Mom’s estate got a letter today from her insurance company. It stated that since the changes made earlier this month (I sent in her death certificate), my mom would no longer have me as her authorized representative and my access to information they may have will be denied. If mom would like to add someone else, she was given a number to call. Completely confused, I called the number and reached a woman who was just as confused as I was. She forwarded me to another helper with all my questions typed in, so I’d not have to repeat myself. The next person had me repeat myself and agreed with my mom’s name and information. But, she couldn’t tell me more than my power of attorney papers were void now mom was gone. When I asked her if that meant there was no more need to communicate with the company, she told me to follow the directions on the letter. I read her the letter (it was fairly short and said not very much). Her reply was more helpful. It appears since I sent the death certificate, I now need to send (not fax) a copy of the pages in her will stating I’m her executor. Then, I was given the address not included.

I’ve called 3 different people to dig up the septic line (it was discovered it is full of rocks, meaning a break somewhere.). Thankfully, the nice man who discovered this problem told me to be very careful and I could shower and only pee, being nominal with suds and don’t flush the TP. The messages I left have not been answered yet, but I’m not worried. I have two weeks. (OK, I’m worried, I just can’t let it get to me!) At least, I am clean and a friend did my laundry this last week. (NOTE: I need to return some coinage to SSC, I had used some of his quarters for washes when I was elfing. I just found the remnants of a bag of coins!) At least the leak in the stove pipe appears to be fixed. My ‘pretend’ brother, Pippin, came out while I was gone one day (in the pouring rain) to apply sticky goo and it looks to be mended. (He cracks me up. He contacts me every so often now. Not to see how I am, but to share silly things. He was supposed to be feeding a dog for someone while they were gone and sent this photo to me with the caption, I forgot a couple of days!)


I took Friday off. Literally. I got to drive to ANC and back with TnT. It was splendid fun and we ran into snow, almost had an accident, the car about ran out of gas, and we stopped to look at swans. I had to laugh because I was trying to focus on swans a bit away when there were some much closer. They were hidden behind the sign I was standing next to! I looked a bit for a cat carrier when I got back to town, but didn’t see what I might need. (She goes to the vet for shots I thought I had gotten her already, but since there isn’t a record, she gets them on Monday.)

Saturday was interesting. I ran trash to the dump and then decided to tidy in Dad’s shop since it was nice out. I’m glad I can shower, I got completely filthy! There were mice droppings all over the place, it was icky! I even found the trap that went missing a while back. It was under the wall heater and was complete with a dried and preserved mouse. (I tossed the whole trap away!) The oddest thing was the unsprung trap near dad’s model airplanes, wiring for the juke boxes, and small stuff. There was mouse sign everywhere, very few sunflower seed hulls, and nothing on the workbench with the bigger tools. It was very Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Only without the rats! I did notice they seemed to like the paper covers on the juke box records stacked on the shelf, so maybe a few were musically inclined.

The worst part of this week has been mom’s finances. It seems (from information gathered from the year I took over) things are not even close to good. I reckon I didn’t manage as well as I thought. Being a gal who squirrels away a single twenty in her bag as emergency cash and spends more than I imagined, I should not have tried to balance things for mom. I’m sure she is annoyed with me right now, because she could have managed better. (not that she could, but she always thought she could!). On the other hand, as I told my little sister, if mom’s investment legacy can pay for her mistakes, then the two of us will be just where we were when she died. And that isn’t a bad thing!

On the K front (not that kind, sheesh people!), I’ve been learning about being safe and self-aware and loving that person who makes mistakes and learns from them. I had about 40 carbs to eat today, I believe that is more than enough. Which is good, the breakfast bar, sugar free popsicle half, low fat mozzarella stick, and two chocolate kisses are about all I can handle today. Oh, I did have a bit more than 12 oz of Diet Pepsi! I might have half of a breakfast bar before bed, to make sure my glucose doesn’t go funny. Hoping to go down the inlet before the 31 and am thinking I will get a ticket to this year’s production of Rocky. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I hate spending money, I don’t want to take it from the house account (It isn’t house stuff. I don’t like spending The Craftsman’s hard earned money for trivial things!), and the account I share with mom is dedicated to paying off bills and laying new lines.

I did get out on the lake this last week. It was in between rain drops, so I wasn’t out for very long, but it was lovely and I texted SE from the water. (she was jealous!)

Today is Done

When I typed in the title of ‘Today is Done’, I laughed at myself. Of course it is done, it is almost 1130  at night! But, I’m actually referring to mum’s memorial service. I was a bit sad at the low numbers of persons, but I need to remember that there were several other large things going on at the same time. (And if I could go back and do one thing over, it would be to MARK the venue and the halls inside with directions. Outside the old school is signage and it is highlighting an event at the end of the month. I could have asked them to add mom. They might have….) One hundred and eleven or so people were there (two came at one pm instead of 11 am, but they were still counted!). I believe it went well. I wasn’t able to get very many photos, I was more of a participant than an attendant. However, I got a couple of clear ones. (Why are the cell phone photos better on the phone than on the laptop??)

The day started out in rain (NOTE: my internet is finally up again. There are tons of emails!!!), my skirt was too tight (I’ve lost only 2 pounds. Two.), and I was a bit too bossy in spots. The rain eventually stopped, I changed into jeans after everything was over (much nicer!), and I think I managed to be workable instead of super bitchy. I ended up sitting between my sister and my eldest niece, Jake kept trying to hand me tissue. (I had my own.) Her spouse was remarkably helpful (although his comments in the service were dubious for the event. It was sort of funny, though. He was impressed with the beer garden at the ball games in town and mentioned that twice, he was probably nervous. When we were sorting thru photos of mom, many early ones had her holding a beer can!) and her girls were helpful as well. I was concerned about Princess. She is not well (often has digestive issues) and at one point hid under the library counter. She’s almost 30 and is in the process of adopting a baby girl.

Mum’s car ended up filled with leftovers since we had less people than anticipated. I drove to town to give it to the church for after the service on Sunday. When it was empty of foodstuffs, I went to sit with dad. It was a gorgeous afternoon, warm in the sunshine, with a soft breeze. Completely different than the last time I was there in the storm after mom died. I got home and discovered I lost almost 15 minutes just sitting in the stopped car next to the house. I wished I hadn’t come home alone. But, I did NOT want to go to my sister’s house! I’ll take the cards over there tomorrow, they are to the both of us and quite a handful are specifically for her family.

Of the ones in the post, a couple were for me. One was curious. It was from my evil aunt. The one no one quite knows how to handle. (kid gloves and shells on rotten eggs) Oddly, she sent me a good sized check. I called her and we talked for more than an hour. No one really communicates with her anymore, she really was horrible to my grandma and her other siblings. I usually send her a Christmas letter and we get one in return and my uncle keeps in touch with them. I almost wonder if she wants to bury the hatchet, but I’m kind of nervous the hatchet might get buried in us eventually! (she is really an uncertain person!)

Jake wants to go with me when I take mum’s ashes down the Peninsula to some of her favorite places. I was sort of annoyed. I wanted to go alone or with someone else. Jake really drives me nuts and she’s been around almost every day in some form or another since mom died. (She probably needs me, but she has an entire family!) Besides, when we lived further down the inlet, Jake was small! (OK< she’s always been small, but she was barely in grade school when mom married dad!) I was also a bit annoyed (it wasn’t for too long) because she wanted me to save some ashes in case her girls wanted jewelry with ashes in them (lockets) and Princess might want to put some ashes in the lake. While doing this, I accidentally put a hole in mom’s bag, spilled her on the floor, and had to duct tape patch it together again! Sheesh! (Did you know body ashes when you clean them off of carpet tend to look a bit like cat litter????) Then, I find out today the girls do NOT want ash jewelry or even a fingerprint one. Nor does Princess want to put anyone in the lake. My sister obviously does not know her daughters as well as she thinks she does.

So, here I am at the end of a very….a day I cannot even describe! (AND I HAVE SPOTS !!!) I have found some clothes for church tomorrow. I may look like a moose, but I’ll be a colorful, well-dressed moose and my hair bun won’t be as conspicuous as this young one’s antlers (Between the arrows)!


There is a scene in one of my very favorite books, A Little Princess, where Sarah shares that everyone is a story. I’ve been thinking a great deal about this as I finish out mom’s physical story and watch how it continues to intersect my own. There is so much no one tells you about when a person dies. You don’t have time to grieve when you must address things like bills, Medicare, or simple things like laundry. (Bank of America is best reached via FB. Odd, but true. They are also the only credit card who wants an original death certificate…)

Mom’s been gone a bit longer than two weeks now. I lose track of tasks and end up doing something completely different from what I intended or I just find I’m gazing off into space, generally with tears dripping down my cheeks. (I’ve caught myself doing that while writing this!) Eating is tiring. I did make one meal, it was more work than I anticipated (thankfully, I did what Gaz suggests in his posts and washed as I used the dishes) and most of it is still in the fridge. I’m not really very hungry, which is ok since I’m so chubby and eating causes elimination, which is something else I hate dealing with. (Next summer I’m having an outhouse put in. I may not need it, but I probably will) There are people who volunteer help, most of those are kind gestures. Those people have their own stories and helping doesn’t necessarily mean getting involved in mine. I absolutely understand this. Mom left me one hell of a mess and I can totally get how people end up in a slough of despair when confronted with handling a death by themselves.

Having help, unfortunately means visitors and visitors mean conversation and a chipper Kris. I can do this most of the time. Last week there was a dinner for a family who is moving, they have been an incredible help to me. I drove to town to say goodbye, but I didn’t stay. Finances aside, I just couldn’t visit. (I probably looked like crap anyway!) I did go to my sister’s for dinner on Friday night. She sent me home with photos, a bit of meat, and some bread. I was able to add to the one’s from Jake’s a few more pictures I’ve found of mom. Plus, some scary ones of  the fashions way back when. (I loved that plastic-like jacket!)

I was also able to attend a bridal shower for another friend. It was such an out of the box experience for me. I laughed, won a game (see loot below!), and had a pleasant time being myself and not living in the shadow of mom. (I was also completely terrified when it was suggested a group photo should be taken on the deck. If you notice in the picture, the bride to be was holding me firmly and the lovely woman in front of me was an angel. I stared into her brown eyes as I gripped her hands and backed up against Celisa, scared to my toes we’d fall. I wasn’t impressed when a partier commented it was only 12 feet to the main ground.)

When I left, I had to be responsible again and do my laundry. (Jake had said I could do it at her house, but I forgot it.  TnT met me in town and donated a quarter, since I had 20 and not 21-it is a large washer.) I avoided church (besides, I desperately needed to wash my hair!), I’m having trouble sleeping, my mouth hurts where it was worked on last week, I ache all over, my feet are swelling when I stand or sit, I get light headed at odd times, my glucoses are not bad at all, Jake’s daughter will be here this next weekend (no one from my family will. The Craftsman did say they’d come up if I wanted them to. It doesn’t make sense, they’d only be here for Saturday and part of Sunday cuz they’d need to drive down from the city on Friday and be back there for a Monday flight. The expense would be ridiculous and I don’t have a working septic system) and that will be good for my sister, I lose my place in conversations and life (I was positive the friend who hosted the shower was moving and quitting her job and she’d given me her new address. I couldn’t find it this morning. I called the office where she works and it turns out, I’d DREAMED the whole conversation at the party, she’s not going anywhere!), but nothing matters. It really doesn’t. What is in today’s paragraphs only reach into tomorrow’s as building blocks for the future. I can’t see past the next day, anyway.

I am entirely grateful for the blogs I’ve been reading, those stories aren’t mine and are much more interesting. I’m sorry I’ve not responded, I want to and then I realise I don’t have the energy. I’m so thankful for the texts I have gotten from Podman, messages from GT (those have been beyond wonderful!), letters and a package from SE, and TnT stopped by briefly and helped me see how I could do something I’d been unsure of. People have been helping me organize mom’s service for Saturday, I don’t know how we managed to put together dad’s in so short a time! (If the weather doesn’t deteriorate, this service may become an event, she’d like that.) There is so much to not forget. I have notes on napkins, scraps of paper, and even in a notebook! I just need to remember to remain the rock and not hide in my blankets where no one can find me. (note: I would absolutely love to be taken care of and not need to be that strong, responsible person. Great, now I’m in tears for the 5th time while writing this!)

In just moments before posting, I have an update. The woman who is doing mom’s washing dropped by with clean things and took some more dirty stuff. She told me there had been a tribute for mom on the local radio station! I had no idea. People truly loved her a great deal. It is sad her daughters didn’t get to know her like others did.