Changes

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!

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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!

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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!)

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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.

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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. 💜

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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.

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16. Is Marriage overrated? Not sure yet.

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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! 😍😍

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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)

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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.

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Lucky?

 

In the North!

By the time you read this (cuz I will post it for a later publishing due to the beverage post!), I will be home. I mean, back in mum’s/my house. Probably sleeping or shopping for groceries. At the moment, I’m freezing my nose and ears off. Literally. I’m sitting in the airport under a freaking air conditioner!! In the other two airports it was too hot and now I’m so glad I wore my fleece jacket! (I also need my mittens that are in my luggage…) No, we don’t have snow outside in this city. :o)

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The first flight, I sat next to a lady flying standby. She was super kind and I was glad to have her for a seatmate. Then, in Seattle, I met a lovely lady who not only watched my hand luggage while I went to the bathroom, but she also GAVE me a gift. She gave me a hand held fan to keep. (you wear it around your neck). I was stunned by the generous gift. That flight was long and tiring. I sat next to a young man who spoke poor English and slept much of the flight. (I read)

When I got to the airport, I decided to get a snack and some diet coke at McD’s. Then Strider called. He had sent a text earlier and I had my phone off for a long time. When I saw the text, I decided I was going to eat and call him later and sent him a text to say this in not so plain words. He called me. Thus, we sat and chatted about End Game and the rest of the MCU movies. Fun fun fun!!!! After we finished, I decided to wait where my next plane was. Unfortunately, the spot where one boards the planes is closed!! So, I’m sitting in the main, very quiet, ticketing area. There are sleeping people all around me. One is on her phone. I really should have stayed in the busier section of the airport. It was warmer, too-

Saturday of this last weekend, we went for a drive in the 56 Mercury. It was lovely sitting in the back seat of a vintage car. We ate at a drive in that was a smidge older than the Merc. The rest of the weekend was spent packing and unpacking and repacking. I finally ended up with a large bag and a smaller one. (Ridiculous!!) I got most everything done by myself. I was getting stressed because I kept finding things I had to take and forgot. (like mom’s paperwork and the like, I usually make extensive lists and this time I don’t know what happened!) I’m pretty sure the guys were doing their best to stay out of my way!

I had to laugh when they were chatting at the airport trying to decide who was going to cook. I suggested they should share days. Little Bear looked at his dad and said, “you get all the days ending in ‘y’.” I figure they have til maybe Tuesday night before they run out of leftovers.

Sweet Drink

One of my favorite drinks to make is messy. For some reason, the people who make them in videos never seem to have the problems I have!! Yet, it is totally worth it. The very first time I made this frozen treat, a younger Little Bear almost refused to try it. ‘Mom, it’s pink!’ After his first sip (I told him to close his eyes!), he was hooked. It is also super simple. The concoction I make is basic. Frozen watermelon (about 2 cups) and about a 1/2 a cup of diet lemon lime soda. It is like drinking summer! (Below is a video from Fifteen spatulas. Super fun gal to watch.) There are many recipes out there, I like this one.

I pretty much do what she does, but I make more of a mess. I am also a bit picky about seeds. I get how the white seeds are ok to eat, but the gum up the straw, so I try to pick them out.

I only use the soda for extra sweetness and flavoring. A good watermelon has more than enough of both!

The cubed melon melts rather quickly (or it can!). The author of Fifteen Spatulas has a lot more fun drinks to try, I might just do that sometime!