Lovin’ It and Hope

One of the nicest things about a time of giving is being able to give! When mom died and I had a portion left of some money us girls got, I bought gifts for Christmas. This year, I did the same thing. (Now, this may sound like I’m trying to look good, but it isn’t. I’m just thankful!) Little Bear wanted a certain hat and books on rabbits, so those are under the tree (ok, he did get one bunny book early and is completely fascinated. The Belgian rabbit was brought over to the US in 1888 and they took off with clubs and breeders, but are now considered rare!). The Craftsman wanted a warm work vest and listens to audio books, so those items are under the tree. Was also excited that all three books ordered for Christmas Eve have arrived! (We used to have Santa gifts in the house, but I opted to just do Christmas Eve books instead. I think it is Iceland that does that. Much easier and more fun..although, there are two small boxes of Lego bricks wrapped, as well!) I’ve made the guys mad, because there really isn’t anything I want this year besides the ipad or the laptop and those are WAY too expensive for them to choose for me. I’d mentioned I really didn’t want kitchen things this year, my kitchen was too crowded. Little Bear remarked that I needed a new can opener and when my nose crinkled, he said my Christmas kitchen gifts were things they wouldn’t use, so it was ok to gift them to me. They’d use a can opener, so they’d just get that. I laughed!!!

 The Craftsman is working on one of those library boxes that is put up next to a sidewalk. I was with him when he was purchasing clear material for door windows. Many of mom’s books were put into little book kiosks along hiking trails. (Never quite understood why books could be found along hiking trails, but they were restocked with romances and mysteries and even cookbooks every week!) I’d love to add to the world a few of mine, I’d even order some specifically to give away!!! Giving is one of my favorite things! It is lovely I can afford to this year. He’s also almost done with a bannister he’s been working on for close to a decade!

Pretzel Faces!!!!!

Made cookies and candy coated pretzels and need to make more. They don’t last long when they get passed on to others. Will also purchase some flowers to give to the neighbors. One of the local stores has bunches for $5. Sealed up quite a few Christmas cards this week, some of the cards that need special letters are not yet done. Those should be completed this weekend. Sent off a package to Strider full of treats (not for him, he says he won’t eat sweets anymore. However, his roommates will!!) and Tillamook cheese and beef sticks (which he WILL eat!). Was also able to purchase him books from Amazon. Unfortunately, with the weather on the East Coast, his holiday gifts may be extended a bit into the 12 days of Christmas! No matter, it was super wonderful to be able to purchase them. The Craftsman got him a power tool. Unfortunately, the power is from a lithium battery and mailing those requires a lot of paperwork. However, I’ll get that out next week, after the appropriate pages are printed off and affixed to the box. Apparently, once the paperwork is completed, the box will only cost about 20 dollars to mail. A single battery purchased by itself is generally over 75$, so it is a good move. Crazy, but good.

Just got another package of things for the kid today. He’s been getting scratches from his rabbits and wanted Kevlar sleeves like he saw on the arms of a woman who has a rabbitry in OR. They came and I was completely confused. They SAY Kevlar on the fingerless sleeves, but they look and feel like socks with holes for the heel and no toes! I thought they’d be similar to leather or something. They fit The Craftsman, so maybe they’ll be ok. We’ll have to see. (At least they will slip easily into the kid’s Chrsitmas stocking!) He also caught a possum last night. It was lurking around the rabbit cages. Usually rabbits aren’t fair game for these scavengers, but caged bunnies are like meshed taste treats. The fanged marsupials have been known to climb up and bite off bunny feet..which isn’t very lucky, if you are the rabbit! Possum are not a very pretty creature, but they are fascinating. They hiss and growl and have five fingers and toes and very very sharp teeth!! He may let it go out near the creek going through town, but they are supposed to have a territory of 30 acres, so that is a LOT of ground one of these will cover! However, I feel skeptical of that particular stat since one of the things about possum is that they tend to hide like someone during a political survey and refuse to be counted! Little Bear and his dad are taking it across the hiway and into the fields outside of town. Relocation and hopefully, no returning!!

Couldn’t find the flowers I was looking for, so purchased tulip and daffodil bulbs for the neighbors, instead. Dead and yet alive. Tucking hope into today’s soil for tomorrow’s blooms. Perfect for the end of 2020. 

Make Woom for Wabbits

Due to illness, faulty internet, and trying to keep up with the holiday decorating season, my correspondence has been spotty, at best. Working on Christmas cards this week..probably! So, this is from LAST weekend.

This might disturb some readers, but sustainable healthy meat harvest is part of the lifestyle of this family. (Little Bear says, ‘Kind of.’ He’s got to feed and care for and keep the genetic diversity strong, but at this point, the outlook is rather good.) At any rate, a few weeks ago, we drove across Oregon to get rabbits for Little Bear. They were all does instead of two does and a buck. So, he needed another buck. He was looking for Chinchilla, which are supposed to be an uncommon breed. For all the Chinchilla crosses he has found and the pure bred breeders in the area, they aren’t as uncommon as they might be! On Thursday he got a call from the daughter of one of his bosses (there are 3 ladies in the office. Little Bear doesn’t really think it is right to say one is boss over the others!), a lady he also works for. She was with a friend who jokingly asked if she knew anyone who wanted rabbits. Immediately, the woman called Little Bear and handed her friend the phone. The friend had a Chinchilla Californian cross pair she’d purchased several months ago and now she wanted to get rid of them. Two cages (although the rabbits shared one) and food and dishes and bunnies for free. She’d spent a great deal of money on these pets, they were getting larger, and it looked as if the female might be pregnant (go figure!!). Little Bear decided a nearby Chinchilla mixed pair for free was a lot less expensive than driving across country for a single male. He was sent a video of the cages and those also looked good. (when we arrived, he realized we did not need more than one vehicle for the cages and the rabbits and the cages had been lovely things with wood all over the place..that had been seriously chewed upon.)

Unfortunately, the new rabbits were going to live next to the other rabbits and one of my lasagna gardens needed moved pronto. (In retrospect, this was not a surprise. It was just something to hem and haw about before it really needed done and should have just been done! Kind of like the roof doesn’t leak when it’s not raining theory) Thus, I spent a couple of hours in a breezy freezing fog moving a garden. Little Bear asked if it was traumatizing. It wasn’t, not exactly. The Craftsman moved the frame for the garden, allowing me room to carefully shovel out with a square shovel sections of earth layers. Careful was the name of the game, since there were thriving bulbs in the bed and metal chicken wire on top of the yard soil. One of the worst parts was missing tulip bulbs. There were a few dug up, but by and large, they were absent. This bothered me. Hyacinth and daffodils of all kinds were full of delicate white rootlets and making new bulbs, but where were the tulips? Once the soil was shoveled off and placed in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp, the wire was fully exposed and able to be lifted. Yup, it had a couple of holes in it! It appeared the ground critters may have chewed up to the wire where the tasty bulbs were and gone through to get the treats. The few bulbs found were near bulbs considered inedible by rodents. (Completely annoyed, even as this is being typed!)

Thankfully, the metal mesh part was salvageable and with scraps from around the yard and shop, it was ‘fixed’. A layer of cardboard was put on top (usually you use newspaper, link is for other post) and then soil from the previous lasagna garden. This wasn’t layered, but just dumped in a barrowful at a time. The beautiful bulbs were tossed in the bed in a naturalization pattern and covered with more soil, the frozen topmost layer, and a nice sprinkling of leftover dirt and garden debris. From 1:30 to 3:10, less than two hours, the garden was moved and put back together! At this time (1030  pm) the rabbits are in the unheated addition to acclimate to the idea that they don’t need a heat lamp at 20 degrees F because they have very warm and soft fur. They will also be separated as soon as possible. If the lady (named Zsa Zsa and renamed Maude) is pregnant by Jimmy Bunny (renamed Bucky), they can’t stay together. Female bunnies are territorial and kits are a part of that territory. However, there is now room for their homes and if this keeps up, Little Bear is going to be top dog in a wabbit empire in record time! Six adults in less than 3 weeks has got to be a record.

The Last Month in 2020

This is a month dedicated to festivities. The house here in OR is no exception. Mostly. The yard is surrounded in lights, but it isn’t one of a handful this December. It seems EVERYONE has put up lights and yard decor. Granted, the wind we’ve had has been rather negative towards towering air filled characters (This afternoon, I passed a smiling Santa flat on his nose!), but by and large, most of the items are things that shine. The Craftsman finished the wooden tree that went out partially last winter (he was not happy, it seems he zip tied the string to the board and removing them was a lot of work. However, it did let him paint the board and change the dull plywood brown for plywood green which looks much better under the fluorescent bulbs.) and he put out another one of the spinning lights that makes lovely fairy lights in the trees. Little Bear did move it because when it spun ‘low’ it was shining in the rabbit pens and he didn’t want his rabbits to have lights in the cages. (would they chase them like cats do???) Something I wondered was there is such a chasing after this holiday (“I need this after the year we’ve had around here.”), what will happen once January 6 hits (traditionally when decor is put away)? Coloring is a good idea to while away the new year!! Found this image under 5th grade math. (I texted Podman the wrong age, told him it was 2nd.) Between you and me, not exactly sure what math has to do with a busty lady wearing a corset while playing with her hair!

Moses isn’t as impressed with the decorations as he is with filled bird feeders. Now that it is colder, the little birds are even more eager to visit. We weren’t sure if Moses was a cat in a crime scene in this picture or if he was baiting the birds! (there are empty sunflower seeds in front of him) The squirrels have decided to munch on The Craftsman’s lights. We aren’t sure why, perhaps the little colored shapes look edible? He sprayed them all with a mix of Tabasco sauce and water and a smidge of dish soap after he needed to repair several strings days prior to their Thanksgiving Eve debut. (my mix came off in the rain, the night it was applied!!)

Inside, not much has gotten done. All the nativity sets are out, my adorable Holly is on her stand and half dressed. The fronds that make up her skirt are unpacked, but the bungee cord used in 2018 to hold the fronds on her waist is missing (bungee cords do wander off!!). (photo is from a couple of years back, the nose is NOT something I put on her.) The shelving unit in the living room is also decorated. Little Bear sort of objected to my balanced display of candy around the tree, he insisted that food can’t be art. Which is NOT true!!! All I wanted was candy to put in the container and the sweets The Craftsman found were favorites for the guys, but not entirely filling to the tree shape!!

Odd, those two photos are a lot larger than they appeared after being shrunk. No matter. My little technology device just told me my glucose might be high, so need to go and verify that. This one has been on for almost 7 days and the ‘people who use this device approved‘ sticky patches arrived today, so there is a much more confident feeling as I go into this next week! Did make another pumpkin pie to use up the last of the canned punkin the fridge, the tiny ones still awaiting being cooked down are wearing Santa hats. (Wanted to text Ms. Monster a photo, but my phone is being VERY annoying and failing to send even 4 word texts unless I was outside in the freezing fog next to the car!!) If you make pumpkin pie, what kind of fluid do you use? I use a mix of reg milk with powdered milk or canned evaporated. My sister also adds rum! Another friend uses cream. More use only sweetened condensed milk. (which I only use for fudge!!) Had no idea there were so many things you could add to a pumpkin pie. Little Bear prefers whipped topping.

An invitation to stop and listen

This information is not mine. It was gleaned (for the most part) from NPR articles that will have links attached. The information is because of an intense discussion conducted with my family about the current US POTUS. They don’t like the man, but they like what he’s done and voted for him. So, asked them to convince me why he had been so good for our country. They didn’t have much time, because they were headed to meetings (it was a dinner discussion), but Little Bear cited an article on T and racism and how he wasn’t. Curious, I also looked after they left, and found some thoughts I felt worth sharing.

Now, the current US POTUS is an interesting character. In an article I didn’t actually complete my reading of because it got too technical, even for a gal with a basic college education, I learned something I felt was curious. The society of today likes to be entertained. They enjoy the messier bits of reality TV and seem to prefer a fast pace o anything visual where results are in a short time. There is an appeal in T with this. He has gotten some things accomplished (his first term was rather changing in the conservative movement of the US, because he axed many things, added others, and pushed through his agenda fairly quick) and absolutely no one has a clue what he’s going to say or do next. He is like a fast moving powerful train on a busy track that hasn’t got a stopping point to actually become a wreck of itself.

After reading Michelle Obama’s book, ‘Becoming’, I realized there was a lot more to being a person in power in the US than most of the biographies I’d read shared. Perhaps, it was because those were biographies and M’s book was autobiography from the side of the president. Reading her book made me realise how complacent I’d become towards the world in general and the US in particular. Granted, most of my time in the last 7 or 8 years has been wrapped up in my mom’s life and debris in a different state where I was disconnected from almost everything but mom, but still, not an excuse!

Looking at T and racism, I learned he was and is not the most racist president the US has had. He couldn’t be, he has no actual slaves. However, three things he has done are call to African nations ‘sh**hole countries’, he was an instigator behind President Obama’s birth in Hawaii not being legal, and he has referred to Mexican immigrants as being ‘rapist’. During one of his ‘debate’s, he touted White Power and The Proud Boys. “In 2020 for a person to be defiant of White Power, that is exceptional”. The article went on to say you could not compare post 60’s presidents to this one or you lose the perspective on why his comments are so dangerous and off center for what we should expect in this period. For past 60’s presidents, we know many were starkly racist in private (Lyndon B. Johnson and Nixon). Yet, there is a difference even there. Nixon, in particular, “understood the importance of governing. He was committed to the idea that the president presides”.

In T’s America First, he’s actually leaving the US on the sidelines. He wanted to use the leverage of the US being #1 in the market and that is waning. Making us ‘Great Again’ or ‘Keeping us Great’ isn’t happening. What was so great about the past? OK, besides 80’s rock and Bugs Bunny and Pac Man? Looking past the trends, I’m kind of fond of progress and normal changes.

Last, I meandered over to election news and started to cry. People encouraging someone else to do violence hurts my soul. During the election itself, a Biden bus had been shoved off the road and T thought it was funny and tweeted for more. Then, just this week, in GA, more of that anger was promoted. It does need to stop. Yes, both sides have broken out in crazy. Both sides have been wrong. But, someone from a place of responsibility needs to take a stand and stop it. Not necessarily police or military, but a voice of reason. Unfortunately, I’m not sure a voice of reason will be heard in this world of liking wound porn (sports injuries) or exciting dissension. However, I’m taking a stand in my spot against it and hope some of my followers will, too.

Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then, we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases, the stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and to hear others.” Michelle Obama

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.

Back in the 70’s, again.

Back in the 70’s, again. No, not talking about television (‘Welcome back, Kotter’ or ‘Emergency!’ or the original animal show of ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’). Definitely not talking about clothing (hot pants and bell bottoms were nice, but no no no!). Not thinking about the politics (speaking of, what was so great about the past that we want to get America back there again?) or those most adorable Volkswagen beetles. This week, our temps went from freezing to the 70’s again!! So, since my debit card is still not in my possession, I opted to work outside instead of going shopping! (Alaska house is still pending, too)

A neighbor told me she ended up getting a dumpster to clean out her iris beds. I don’t want to throw them all away, but they are in serious need of work. However, the yellow flowers are finally cleaned up.  The bed needs smoothed and the best rhizomes need put back. Unfortunately, there is still the burgundy bed to dig up. The ground is so dry. I had assumed that the rain we had might loosen things some. Alas, there are too many grass roots and very little of the soil was moistened by the crazy rain and odd snow bits we had last week. I have an entire garbage can full of heavy roots and broken rhizomes. Sincerely hoping The Craftsman can help me this weekend. Not betting on it, we never did go for a ride anywhere together last weekend. No matter, I’ll do what I can. (I did get VERY dirty on Thursday, although you can’t really tell.)

The kid is going to avoid town on Saturday because of Halloween. He’ll go up to the mountains, but I reminded him if he comes back, he’ll need to be careful of wandering trick or treaters. On a usual year, kids are out and about all over town from about 4 til 9pm. With this Halloween on a Saturday and with a full moon, he may decide to stay all night up in the mountains and return on Sunday with Day Light Savings Time. (except he just remembered he has to work on Sunday afternoon!!) Covid hasn’t really done too much disruption in town. Truck or Treat is still happening and I think I just heard yells and cheering from the local HS football field this evening. I also saw advertisements for coaches when I was at the post office. Basketball, I think.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I so do love dressing up. I’ll be doing well if I find a silly shirt to wear this year! Since I’ll only be answering the door and passing out candy (and maybe glow sticks), basic attire is the fashion. Maybe I’ll make cookies and wear a skirt and apron! (late 50’s?)  I believe I have some glow stick charms that I’ve been thinking might make a good pair of earrings, too…..I’ll look into that. I did discover the tiny punkins The Craftsman purchased are pumpkin pie punkins, so as soon as this holiday is over, I’ll cook the three down for freezing and eating later. Fun fun fun!!!

If you were alive in the 70’s, what do you remember best? If you were still a twinkle in your parent’s eye, do you have a TV show from then that you watch in reruns?

Frosted Japanese Lanterns