Thankfulness

After the last not so cheerful post, this one is full of thanks. Not because of the US Thanksgiving holiday, but because there really is a ton to be thankful for. Have so many friends from far and further who are held safe in my heart. Ones who are hurting badly, others who are managing grandkids, and more who are juggling living in a world of isolation. You are all thought of and prayed for as I go about my day and night. Bless you,, each and every one.

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Looking at the guys, as lonely as this girl is sometimes, The Craftsman really is very kind and Little Bear is a young man who vacillates between driving me nuts and being wonderful. The Craftsman has been busy putting up lights, he’s still quite a ways from finished, but at least the outside is and will be festive! Inside, well, tall things are difficult for me. One of the oddest ‘new’ health problems is looking up. Leaning my neck back to look up makes me incredibly dizzy!! (Very annoying when taking photos of critters in trees or trying to look at the moon or stars) So, not sure if the garlands will stay in the tote or get hung. (Little Bear did say I should decorate one and put the name Judy on it and see who ‘gets it’. I groaned.) Not even sure if they will even be ‘dug out’ of storage!! The Craftsman is still looking for the winter snowman dishes. Amazing how after a season or two, things are put away and end up in black hole!! Perhaps Kirk or Picard could find them…

One of the best things about being back in the states, besides the working water system, is the lovely kitchen. Some people have told me it is small. Personally, it is the largest private kitchen I’ve ever worked in and it is well used. (which just goes to show that even if the user doesn’t do much at all towards the creation of a space, it can be enjoyed!) In October, The Craftsman purchased me some small pumpkins for decorative purposes. They were a bit large for décor and finally decided to cook the medicine ball sized one down to make pie. After making the crusts and gathering all the ingredients in a bowl, I was ready to mix in the punkin. Except, I was short 5 ounces!!!! I was so disgusted!! I had everything ready to make two pies and didn’t have enough pumpkin because I forgot to measure it prior to mixing. Little Bear told me to just make one and use the second crust for something else, until I explained that the bowl already had enough sugar and spice and everything nice for two. Thankfully, during one of my shopping forays, a large can of pumpkin had been added to my cart. So, it saved the recipe. Although, it was a totally different color, it blended well!! Needless to say, it was a bit worrisome. I coerced Little Bear into tasting a sliver with me before Thanksgiving dinner and we were very impressed!! The Craftsman’s mom took home 3 pieces and The Craftsman had two for dessert the next night. (Little Bear filled all the ‘empty’ spaces of his pie with canned whipped topping. He’s pretty sure a pie shell full of topping is a great dessert!)

My dough for the rolls rose WAY above the pan, both in and out of the machine. (those photos are very odd and blurry) Thankfully, those were super tasty, too. The bird was almost too long for the pan (long legs), but also tasted rather good. The green beans were odd, no photo, but they did not look like anything on the can. (guys prefer canned green beans, nasty, but made sure they filled up on sliced veggies at lunch. Little Bear did say if you didn’t look at them, they did taste right! Most of them were flat, which I’ve seen, but they had not.) Did make an odd dessert from a Keto recipe. My ingredients weren’t Keto, but the bars were not very sweet, so that was a plus. (I’ll add more spices next time). Also found a recipe for pumpkin twists that I may try. I do have the remainder of that can of open punkin to use!!

After dinner, Moses hopped up on my chair and was definitely put out when he didn’t get a plate to himself.

My sensor finally expired on Friday night, but waited til Saturday to replace it. It was nice to roll over and know it wasn’t going to pull off. It was also nice to change clothes without worrying, too. Showering and using my towel properly was absolutely wonderful! Am also looking forward to a Hitchcock movie The Craftsman recorded. (reckon it was a good thing he let the Dish account stay!!). When Little Bear was a toddler, we were loaned a movie that was so much fun, but I couldn’t remember the title, only that it was Hitchcock. There was a marathon on TCM of his work and ‘The Trouble with Harry’ showed up as The Craftsman scrolled through the movies. The little blurb about it made me realise that was the title and the movie!! So, hoping we can watch that one before the weekend is over. I do love those old Hitchcock movies, although was so glad Doris sang more than ‘Que Sera, Sera’ in the one called ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’.  Even if it is still one of my life mottos! Do you have a Hitchcock favorite? Pretty sure ‘Rear Window’ is mine. So darn creepy and realistic and Raymond Burr as the killer is stellar! He plays such a great villain.

NOTE: not impressed with the ads in the blog, I’ve never paid attention before and I’m sorry they are there!

I tunes

This is more an ‘I’ post. And why I chose Elton John’s song. Life sometimes hurts.

My tummy aches, my head aches, my throat is sore, every so often there is a coff, and my joints hurt. It is probably a cold, but it isn’t much fun. Then, the house money has appeared in my savings account. It sounds good, but it needs to be apportioned out. Yet, little of it will be for me. The house in OR needs to have a lot of the mortgage paid for (Little Bear really thinks all of it is a good idea, because then his dad can save for the future. BUT, I know The Craftsman will not do that, so I’ll pay a poart of it. He says he will do things and doesn’t. He’s been talking about canceling the Dish account for 3 years and finally just paid off the late account again.) Some of the money will go towards mom’s bills and misc things and taxes for her and for me (the house will cost a not so pretty penny. Pretty sure I will NEVER end up gaining more than I give out). The Jukebox Kid still owes me 400$ and the OR house freezer died a few months ago and the desktop the OR household uses doesn’t work as well as it should by freezing (perhaps I can use it for a freezer?!?!?). Now, in addition to the loss of my iPad last winter, my beloved laptop is about to give up the ghost. It also needs a new battery, so I’ll see if one can be found for this 2013 little worn out piece of HP technology. The Craftsman told me to use some of the AK money for myself. I will. Had forgotten, some will need set aside for my cell phone (he’s got TracPhone and that is one plan I seriously do not care for! So, will pay for my own. Although, he robably thinks we should share. He’s been paying for my account since Dec 16, when that stopped working in the north. Granted, it is rarely used in the states, but that and my meds and the lovely gold nugget and jade watch being worked on should be enough of money spent on me.) Mom’s old kindle is a pain in the butt, but it works for the most part, at this time and was told the household kindle is available to use. (Although, I’d need to delete from my account anything “inappropriate”, which is probably a good thing, anyway.) I’d hoped to visit my relatives in MN, but The Craftsman says he won’t go and Little Bear says he has everything he needs right here in EO (he feels well-traveled since the couple of trips to Washington DC and the ones to AK). I suppose that is where I belong, too. The time I had to find myself and the experiences I’ve had are held in beautiful memories. Must keep reminding myself of this. I am not a mama squirrel reaching for unattainable seeds. Or am I???

Squirrel hanging around in the yard.

With the laptop, paper is still a very viable tool. Journals are supposed to be on paper anyway! Plus, it will help me curb my more fanciful thoughts and words since notebooks are everywhere in the house and are easily opened up by anyone. Mum’s laptop is usable. It has been how the taxes were filed the last couple of years, how online banking is done in the house and her journals and datebooks are being put on that. (Slowly….) The photos on my laptop can be transferred to more thumb drives. Many places visited online can also be terminated or put on hold indefinitely.

It is funny. The iPad was a gift that helped me survive the last years of mom’s life. The laptop was a gift my first summer in AK and helped me discover many new things and brought me into WP, also sustaining me while I was north. With the house gone and the car with a potential buyer, all my tangible ties to home are gone. It makes sense the laptop and the iPad are going away, too. I fully expect my cell phone to give up the ghost, soon, too!!! Was sad when my eldest mentioned he’d accidentally deleted our conversation history. It hurts to lose some of those, especially when a person dies. There are two short conversations on mine that belong to dear friends no longer on this side of the sun. They will stay as long as possible. This cute bit I’ll also keep. It is from a friend I was discussing a project Little Bear was doing and the dinner I was making with. Sleep check is sooo annoying!! Lol

All in all, my Tuesday will be busy. Need to call my Alaska bank and see about a phone appointment-perhaps they can help me instead of the one in the city we’ll be passing through on Friday. Several immediate bills need paid and the utilities to the house need terminated. Not sure how to responsibly do that. The realtors told me it’s no longer my responsibility and to just do it. However, my own sense of responsible suggests a need to contact the buyers to let them know so they can get them turned back on ASAP. With the temps up there, an all-electric house without power could freeze fast!! Not to mention, if there isn’t any security on it, someone could get into it. Granted, it is empty, but it is also out in the middle of close to nowhere (not Know Where, as the place where the collector lived. Although, mom was a collector and had a few things of value and lived in an area where natural resources were being mined…..). At any rate, it is a dilemma. Do I ditch being responsible and act in a selfish manner or do I try to figure out how to reach the buyers and let them know? So annoying. I know exactly where they live, I know where their main business is in town, but I don’t have any actual contact information!!! I’ll try to see if I can leave a message at the main place. CRAZY!!

Photo by Markus Distelrath on Pexels.com

Where am I?

One of my hardest things to do is to write without using the word ‘I’. When writing in a journal, it is well-nigh impossible to erase that tiny little word that stands so tall.  So, it is used. Often this blog is called ‘My Unfiltered Facebook’, so it is also where that word is over used. Will try to see where it can be replaced and where not!

At the moment, Oregon is going into a several week lockdown. Almost everyone is angry because it is infringing on their rights to live the way they see they should. There is no reasons for a police state. If I wat to do what I want, I should.  Americans have never been very good at following rules, which is why (in a small nutshell) we broke away from England in the first place!! The good old USA is also, as our local librarian said, ‘going bonkers’. (she is bringing me Michele Obama’s book ‘Becoming’. Which I will keep from Little Bear’s view as he detests anyone on the ‘other side’) I’m also waiting for a book, ‘Election Meltdown’ by Richard Hasen. That one looks fascinating. It intrigues me to follow our current POTUS. He’s so selfish and narcissist and it is so hard to understand why anyone trusts him. Although, one article suggested it is because he is the quintessential white guy and thus he fulfills the manliness of men. Shudder!!! Give me a man like Bond!!! (almost any of the Bond actors would be nice!)

The last weeks have been difficult. One of my dearest friends from the north unexpectedly died. The one who kept me the last night in my hometown. Who had the cool creepy glow in the dark angel that was shared a blog post or so ago. She gave me a chocolate chip cookie recipe that has been made 3 times since my return to the states. Twice since her death. Tasty little treat legacy.

Sent my sister a treasury check from the post office for her birthday, she’s not responded. In all honesty, there is a good chance she’s not checked her mail. (it is a cluster box about 20 feet from her drive) It was sent before the 4th. The house in AK had another extension filed, but yesterday sent off MORE notarized papers to the title office. By this time next week, it might be a done deal.

It has been educational. The last time a title exchange was made, with me as a participant, it was in an office and involved two of us. Most of my actions were listening and signing when told. So, a lot of this was new to me. Thank goodness for the internet!! (The Craftsman wasn’t exactly sure on many of the questions that came up, either.) One of the oddest things was something called a FedWire Routing Number. Now, on every checking account there is a routing number, had no idea they were the same for each branch AND that there was a different one for something called a wire transfer. If the wrong one was written, they’ll contact me to let me know and more pages will need faxed back and forth!! Once it is a done deal, then the power company and security company and the phone company can be notified. A relator friend reminded me to do that as soon as possible. She told me it is amazing how many people take advantage of a person who hasn’t disconnected utilities yet.

The weather here has definitely dropped into autumn. Not the vibrant dress of late summer (as in the first photo-my friend who died gave me that bra. comfy and cute), but the stark lines of almost winter. The trees have been now stripped by high winds and water is dripping from limbs like ink from too wet calligraphy. There was snow, the neighbor’s down the way had their kids build a snowman. It was about 4 and a half feet tall before it melted into the grassy sward. Perfect outdoor exercise! Building snowpeople is one of my favorite things, unless I’m under the weather. Which has been the case. Between glucose and some kind of cold and tired to bits and achy, staying inside and doing a few household chores is about it. Plus, missing my friend.

It is odd. Losing her is harder than losing mom. Granted, this lady was much nicer than mom. She helped me, commiserated with me, and encouraged me. She would also tell me grieving is important, but then, if she was here right now, she’d laugh and tell me to suck it up, buttercup and live. Ran across this quote on a pancreatic page from FB. “We are not promised tomorrow, so let’s love with all our hearts today.” It needs amended to this, “We are not promised tomorrow, so let’s live and love with all our hearts today.”

Selfish.

Being a selfish human being, I understand why people are. We like what we want and tend to go out of our way to get it. Yet, it isn’t a nice trait to have. My writing a blog about myself is selfish. It started, as many of you know, because of mom. Now, I just write.

mom and my sister’s old dog.

I’ve been avoiding FB due to the upcoming election in the US and popped online for a moment and found my sister’s dog had been put down. But, I was confused. She had told me weeks ago they were going to do this and then I see her post shared from a lost and found pets page talking about horrible injuries! So, I sent a message and she called. To tell me that he had been run over in the road (the dog LIVED in the road and people stopped to give him treats or honk or yell) by someone who gave him a treat and then the dog had bled out in the yard, so they took him in because he couldn’t do much but drag around on his front legs. Confused, I asked how come they took him to a vet if he’d bled out. Well, it appears it was just seriously bleeding for four hours and he wasn’t eating or drinking and his bones were crushed in a paw. She then told me Gigman didn’t want to add to 2020 by having the dog put down and since their daughter was having her wisdom teeth out, it was just too much for this year. But, after they did, FB ‘blew up’ over it. I asked why she posted the old dog’s passing on such a public venue, because that is probably why it ‘blew up’. She then said the dog was a community dog and people in FL who visited would ask about the dog online. I suggested a sign saying the dog was gone would have been less stressful, but she said people would come in the drive and honk to give out treats or ask how they were (she has two) and FB is the fastest way to share information. Then, she got pissed at me for trying to understand why she was upset at how fast it spread after sharing it online and hung up. I’m sorry the dog was finally put down, I should not have tried to understand her point of view, and I should have been more caring and reasonable. Especially as the responsible older sibling. She already sees me as selfish because I didn’t leave her the car and the house is in my name. Now, I’m even more awful.

My fancy new sensor failed this morning. A bit more than 24 hours before the 14 days. However, I understand why. I’d caught my arm in doors twice and the door of the freezer section in a store once and snagged the sensor on a towel once. I find it funny I go through doors now trying to keep my shoulders in, when I’m not exactly The Rock. It is nice to have it gone for now. I’ll see if I can afford more.

The house is still pending. I e signed another extension. I’m trying to get the guys to plan out their next month instead of waffling along saying they have to do things and not getting them done. I tend to not be incredibly organised, so I’m not sure why I want them to try it. I reckon it is cuz I get frustrated with their whining about not having time to get things done. Someday it would be nice to not be so responsible. (I am not getting the laundry done today, Little Bear hasn’t quite got his done yet and I am waiting it out. I did put his dishes in the dishwasher so I could run those…)

Then, there is the most selfish man of all, hell bent on another term in office. Apparently, he’s well liked by most men. Not entirely by all women. This person has polarized our country so much there are marriages and families and friendships that have been torn asunder. It is like being in a modern civil war. Where is grace or forgiveness or gentleness in mankind when it comes to religion or politics? Is that core of selfish so strong within that we don’t see sunsets or the petals in a flower or the flavors in chocolate?

Mon’s photo from when I was probably 8.

Bed Work

Halloween morning was beautiful. Little Bear had decided to leave spend the day up in the mountains and he left before sunrise (to get sunrise and sunset photos in the same day. I’ll see if he’ll ‘give’ me some of his stunning captures), leaving his parents alone for the entire day. (except for the cats, of course!) I had set aside this day to spend in a bed, not the one in the house, but one in the yard. In fact, after he found me outside, The Craftsman joined me and laughed at the quip I’d made concerning our endeavors. I’d mentioned it was ‘nice to be doing something active together, in a bed.’

Joking aside, it was nice. I have been wanting to get the iris beds cleaned out and, with his help, they were complete before 4. He even removed the fast growing vine maple from everywhere!! I spent a small portion of Sunday afternoon planting the yellow iris and cleaning up and putting the burgundy ones on top of the soil (Saturday was warm and sunny, Sunday was sunny and very cold-I had to put on a jacket over my hoody!).

Moses hung out in the yard on Saturday, too. He stayed in the sun while The Craftsman did a few more projects. At one point, even Mittens was outside watching The Craftsman while he was fixing the cat window box (the temporary roof, put on several years back, blew off a few weeks ago and we learned Mittens could escape from the house if Little Bear had the window open. How on EARTH she managed to climb up and out of the box and then jump 8 feet down to the ground, we can only imagine!). It was a good day for cats. In fact, after the few trick or treaters stopped ringing the doorbell, we watched The Aristocats. By then, Little Bear was home and watched it, too. (So far this week, we’ve watched ‘Cats Don’t Dance’ and ‘The Aristocats’. Thinking about ‘Bed knobs and Broomsticks’ with Cosmic Creepers!)

Kila (cat from ages past) in the window box that lost the roof. It is VERY high off the ground.

I kind of dressed up. I was in 50’s casual mom attire. Capri pants, a sweater, flannel shirt, pearl beads, an apron, and a pony tail. I was going to wear glow stick earrings, but it was a bust.

The package specifically says there are two of everything. Except, there was only one ‘adapter’ piece. I then decided to improvise with duct tape and tiny safety pins. Alas, only ONE glow stick worked!! Glow sticks have tiny glass vials inside that needs broken to release one chemical to make the other glow. Well, I cracked the heck out of the vial with pliers, but all my force only caused the stick to leak! Yikes!! Still no glow, but the idea of leaking orange goo was a bit disturbing, so I tossed that stick in the trash. The other tiny stick, I left on the counter. Wearing one odd earring is ok, but it is more 90’s than it is 50’s!

I enhanced my 50’s mom motif by baking butterscotch oatmeal cookies. It was a fiddly recipe, but oh my, are they delicious! The original recipe calls for baking the raw oatmeal for a bit and then taking a half cup and pulverizing it into a flour. I’ve never done either of those things and was pleasantly surprised. I’ll see if I can find the recipe and share it. Little Bear said the cookies looked strange because they were all bumpy (note: I rarely make oatmeal cookies), but they tasted good! I think having a lovely scent waft out every time I opened the door was nice, too. Only 22 kids stopped by, a huge drop from previous years, but Covid is still the very real lynx on the porch in most areas. In preparation for the dressed up beggars, The Craftsman bought quite a bit of candy and one of the bags was annoying. If you read the label, it appears there are 4 kinds of candy in the ‘giant’ mix. When it was opened, there were the caramels and the Dots. The caramel candy tastes fruity!! Very odd. Candy isn’t what it used to be. Kit Kats are broken, Milky Way are crushed and stick to the wrapper, and sizes are changed.

All in all, it was a surprisingly pleasant Halloween and Saturday.