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!)

black and white picture of a crying child

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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.

pair of blue socks hanging

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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!


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!




I was awake quite a while on Friday night..Saturday morning. I wanted to sleep, but kept thinking. (Those nights when your brain is keeping you awake are incredibly annoying) Anyway, I was thinking about how life is not ever the way you imagine it might be. I love being home. I am almost constantly alone. I get texts once in a while, sometimes phone calls, but I am so thankful! I’m not worried to bits about mom, I’m not concerned I’m in anyone’s way, and I love how I can dress or speak or act how I want to and there isn’t anyone to offend. (I may have said this before, but it is incredibly relaxing!) I was kept awake by the frustrations of not having this ever again. How expensive this house is to maintain, how odd it is that I don’t mind being alone, how I had hoped to hang out with friends and don’t and it is ok because they are going in different directions than I am, how I don’t know my direction and it is not that important, how much stuff mom had and how on earth I’m going to get rid of it, and my brain cycled on! (I think it was in one of those French Bike marathons!) I finally dropped off to sleep when I realised I cannot make anything happen. I can do things to push them into where I want or need them to go, but I cannot change anything other than what is in my own sphere. So much of what I am doing here depends on others, I can’t make them do. The idea of herding cats is pretty apt! (the video is from youtube and an ad, but it makes me laugh every time!)  I only hope, when the town comes into view, I’ve got all the cats and not lost a single one. I won’t even mind if there are a couple of litters of kittens!

Memorial Day Weekend

Most of the people in the United States use this weekend to party and remember the reason for this particular holiday all wrong. It is a time to remember and I’m doing that in spades this weekend. I sat on Dad’s bench with a pint of ice cream and talked to him. (no, there wasn’t anyone around to hear me talking in my ice cream cup!) It was a lovely day, so I sat outside for a bit again. (photo of me is from the first time I got to enjoy sunshine up here!) AND I got to see part of my own air show. I was inside and heard a plane that sounded odd. When I looked out the window, I noticed it ‘smoking’ and then I realized what it was doing! So very cool.

Afterwards,  I went back in to start seriously sorting mum’s deductible stuff. I wanted to cry. (I still do.) I decided to sort all the receipts by year and then I’ll make sure there aren’t any duplicate receipts (it appears pharmacies use a lot of dated paper to give you medications!). I’m also hoping I get someone to stop by and help me figure out which ones are more important and add them up. Mum actually did a couple of years and hers have numbers I’ve no idea where they came from. (But, I can hear her saying they are correct.) I was also annoyed with myself. If I had just paid closer attention during the last three years…I did ok, but not as well as I could of.

Jake came by with Pippi Saturday evening. She brought me (us) dinner, because she said that is one thing she can do. (I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything about how hard it was for her to bring us meals when mom and I were in town and much closer) She made potatoes in her air fryer. (She told me  how she had just gotten it on Sunday last and dropped it. It was broken, but still worked. She breaks EVERYTHING!) Anyway, she was supposed to pick up her apple dishes (an old dish set with apples on them. I had no idea they were antiques til I was in college. I was in a shop and saw prices on a stack of plates and mentioned, ‘Those are antiques?’ The lady proceeded to tell me all about them. I responded, ‘I grew up using those. We ate off them all the time and put them in the microwave and dishwasher.’ I thought the poor lady was going to faint!) Anyway, Jake has always wanted them. She is also ‘supposed to get’ my Grams’ china with silver or gold around the edges and some blue stuff called ‘Fentonware’. She only took home the blue stuff because I didn’t have any boxes to give her. However, I must admit, she and her daughter did help with another project.

I had decided to clean off the bay window shelf with some of the lighthouses. I started with a rolling coffee table mom purchased in 2015 that was in front of the window. (Both my sister and I were thankful mom never filled the drawers in the coffee table!) Everything was dusted, wiped off, I got rid of most of the candles (mom loved candles!) and Jake found an antique cup and saucer she took home. We then proceeded to clean off the window shelf and the windows and the frames. Poor Pippi, since she is acres taller than everyone she got to do the ‘top’. She was mortified when she sprayed on window cleaner and it dripped black! Jake was upset because if she’d just come in once a year to clean, it wouldn’t be as bad. I reminded her mom wouldn’t have let her.

So, now two windows are cleaner. (I think they are a bit streaked, but at least they are clean streaks!) I got rid of a few more things. (Jake also took home the candles to see if she can sell some of them. Some were really pretty once they were dust free) We did notice the side windows on the bay window are skewed. It could be from an earthquake or from mom falling onto the window shelf. I’ll have one of the guys look at it when they are here.

I also did a couple of loads of laundry. They were for the person who had stayed here off and on during the winter. It was so cool, I opened the dryer and bills fell out! (I’m not keeping them, it was a nice amount) I must admit, having them fall at your feet is much nicer than discovering them inside the machine. And it was tons better than discovering tissues were stuck in a pocket! I much prefer laundering money.


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Second Week

Monday was spent running around from place to place. Oddly, it was tiring and not as bad as it might be. I first went to Wells Fargo and that was a bust. (I was trying to get an account opened, but I needed something from the courthouse I couldn’t get. A letter of administration and all they’d give me was a copy of the will or another paper referring back to an affidavit for collection of personal property. Which wasn’t the right form.) They did, however, make a copy of mom’s death certificate! 🙄🙄🙄🙄

One pharmacy said they’d help in my collection of mum’s pharmaceutical receipts. The bigger one where more of our shopping was done,  said I’d need mom’s signature to release those. (They know she’s gone, it’s just policy).

I did see many dear people for long and short visits. Then, when I was shopping, I decided to get flowers and ice cream. It was a good idea I opted for floral fun. I met a former teacher a bit later and gave them to her. She’s been such a blessing to me and she was so surprised!  (I kept a broken stem and it’s cheery!)

I got home and sorted paperwork. I’m pretty sure the truly odd banking things I found are no longer active, but I’ll need to make sure. It would be lovely to have money pop up that I can use for my own life instead of mom’s debts and the money pit I love. (I have a definite love/not like much relationship with this house!


It’s now Wednesday night. (I actually thought today was going to be Thursday!) I visited Obi at the veterinary clinic and he looks so good! He even recognized me! Yesterday the septic was pumped again, hopefully it won’t need done for awhile. So, I’ve washed me and clothes and dishes. The clothes are folded in the basket, the dishes are still in the dishwasher. I’ve done a little outside. Tuesday was nicer, I almost fell asleep in the quiet sunshine in very little! 😳 I’ll post pictures of my sunny day and some of the waterfowl later. I did make chicken soup today. I might need it! Tonight, I feel awful. I think my walk in the rain on Sunday was a bad idea. Thankfully, I’ve not seen much of anyone else, so probably won’t spread my whatever around! I did think it would be nice to be taken care of, but even in Oregon that doesn’t happen, so I’ll just take care of me myself! Anyway, I’m going to bed. Xoxoxo all.

Silly questions

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

abandoned antique architecture building

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

11. Up early or sleep late? sleep late

12. Found love yet? I love Alaska. 💜


Photo by TW

13. Favorite lunch meat? Roast beef.

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

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


16. Is Marriage overrated? Not sure yet.



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

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

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

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

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


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


Monday earrings! 

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

black and blue plastic pen non top of black covered notebook

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

A bit overwhelmed.

Friday and early Saturday afternoons.

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

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

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

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

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


She did take about half of this stuff. 

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

A long post on STUFF. Also written on Thursday.

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Outside/Inside (part one)

(written Thursday night)



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

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

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

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