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.

Steps in August

So far, August has been (I just crinkled my nose and that sums it up!) not what I thought. If I had arrived in AK in April, I’d be done with this job by now. Well, I didn’t and I’m not. I did run away on Wednesday, but not like I did last fall when I took off for a mini vacation. Wednesday was busy, sunny, and so after I did chores, I played.

My chores involved the dump and visiting the post and scrubbing sinks and sorting through the mouse papers I had boxed last year. I did find some rather fun things, plus a donation to the American Heart Society or somewhere that hadn’t been sent in (as one of my older friends said, ‘That 90 days has come and gone.”). I also discovered I was the one who wrote dad’s obituary, created the slide show, wrote thank you cards, and realized mom spent a LOT of money on froo froo for dad’s service. I could have used the memorial guest book for mom, too. (Jan 2006 wasn’t that long ago, I should have remembered…)

Later, I sunbathed in a chair because the table wasn’t efficient (I did scrub the oils off Thursday, since the rain didn’t!). I took photos of critters. Moose showed up before I left and after, the birds were the most fun, and the adorable vole (like a wild hamster) that walked across my sandal was more startling than fun! After that, I went inside to finish making cookies (they were the very best cookies I’ve made in forever and I’m the only one here to eat them!!), make myself dinner, hang out online, and watch it start to rain. The sunny day clouded over FAST with short showers. I had planned on walking outside in the moonlight buff, but didn’t for long. Not because of the wandering moose or thoughts of bears or even mosquitoes. It was just too darn chilly to be outside with less than jeans and a sweatshirt! Not to mention no moonlight!

The best part of Wednesday was discovering it wasn’t Thursday. I had an entire whole extra day I hadn’t known about!!

I spent my Thursday emptying bookshelves and finding more odd things. Did you know there was (not sure if there still is) a genealogy site that has information on deceased persons which includes SSNs??? I’ve been destroying that sort of information and it can be just googled???? I also found another gorgeous scrapbook from 1945. It was my grandmother’s ‘wedding album’. Oddly, the wooden cover has a bird hunting scene motif which seems odd since Grandma was a nurse and Grandpa was a baker!

I did text my sister to see if she was going to come out and get the things she wanted. (one of my dear friends said I need to light a fire under her.) Alas, the kindling was probably wet. She called me back to tell me her youngest is not home at this time, plus Jake took away her technology. This confused me. Can’t she come out without her daughter and I thought the kid was out in the wilds with her best friend’s family having a great time? I think the lack of technology is harder on my sister than my youngest niece! Then, my sister said my eldest niece was visiting on the 23rd for 10 days because she needs some time away. I’d love to have been 31 and able to ‘go home’ when things were hard. (I’m trying to be charitable and not mean. I love my niece and I’m not very good with people fragile in health or soul). I was also told my sister lost her key to the house. Meanwhile, this has nothing to do with her coming out and getting stuff.

I seriously think I’m going to watch a movie tonight. I haven’t yet, I keep thinking I will, I really should!

You can’t choose your relatives

I’m annoyed with my sister. But, let me go back in time a bit..I woke up feeling a bit better. I have a sore throat, but not much dizziness. Definite confusion, still, otherwise ok. The bumps on Moses’s back were apparently pus filled goo balls and broke, he’s feeling more himself as well!!! (Trying to keep him off of blankets and away from laps and bedding is a chore!!) I decided to make chocolate chocolate chip cookies today and in the middle my sister calls.

photo of man siting on the ground

Photo by joeypistachio on Pexels.com

I don’t know where she was calling from, probably work. The pool is closed, but not for employees who are cleaning. Anyway, she called to tell me she sold mom’s new in box seam binding machine. She reminded me she had gotten it last fall before I left to sell on Ebay, but hadn’t done so. Now,  it is something everyone wanted. She sold it for $100 to a friend who will pay her when she gets paid. (which I can only hope happens) Then, she proceeds to tell me she needs to ask the guys in my family how to get the goat taste out of goat hamburger. I reminded her they’d never had anything to do with goat and deer wasn’t quite the same. (I guess since it was not from a store red meat, they were supposed to know what to do) I suggested going online and she said that wasn’t any help, apparently you are supposed to castrate male goats before butchering (the faith they follow doesn’t allow them to castrate anything.) Anyway, she then said wild goats that are killed aren’t castrated first. My imagination went wild with the picture of folks scrambling around in the hills in cammo trying to castrate goats months before culling them from the herds.

While I was trying to continue to make cookies, travel came up. I told her I’d canceled my first ticket, but would most likely be up sometime in May. She postulates that I’d need to go into quarantine and others would have to bring me groceries and meals. I told her the rules for AK travel were in review and I was pretty sure by the end of May, rules for travel and quarantine would be changed. I did say that right now things were slowly opening up and while a week ago you couldn’t travel to ANC if you lived in Wasilla to get groceries, yesterday several restaurants were seating folks tables apart and she did take her teen to homeschooling PE riding lessons.  Jake, “my friend in Cordova has shopped at the ANC Costco all this time.” My response was she’d broken the rules. Jake didn’t like that a stateside person seemed to know rules. Then, she breezily stated, ‘well, we’ll figure something out.” Jake hasn’t gone out to the house but once since I left last fall and why on earth would I have her help me or bring me meals?? She had trouble bringing Mom and I meals or to wash laundry when we were staying 10 miles closer to her house than usual!!! Not to mention, last summer she came out rarely! Sheesh. She ended the conversation with laughter with people in the background and that she had to go.

However, I have an appointment in a little bit (I’ve not driven in several weeks!!) and the sun is shining and the starlings are stealing all the suet from the woodpecker’s snack bar!! (I’ll share my photos when I get back from my appointment)

black and green humming bird perched on wood branch

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

The Ides of February?

Friday was a crazy day. I had prepared some cookie dough the night before and it was not exactly what I had hoped it would be. It was a Pinterest fail, even if I don’t do that site! Even Betty (of the house of Crocker) would have probably been surprised. I have wanted to make checkerboard cookies for years and decided to try them for this holiday. (I even toyed with using m&m candies for the tokens) Most of the recipes for these cookies are mathematical in nature and I don’t do geometry well. Some of the more simple ones don’t make many cookies, something I feel is silly. (If I make a cookie, especially one that is time consuming, it better be worth my while!) So, in the one recipe I felt the procedure might be doable, I opted for a cookie recipe in a worn out Betty Crocker cookbook instead of the one listed. (not a coffee fan) I think the dairy sour cream made the dough too sticky, but I sallied forth. (Insert eye rolling!) I’ll need to find that other recipe online…

I’d mixed the dough on Thursday night and stacked it and stuck it in the fridge. It looked like a rectangular snake wrapped in cellophane. On Friday morning, I started to bake them. But, I was interrupted by someone. (I realized ignoring a person isn’t nice, especially if you don’t have a good reason. So, I prattled on til he felt better knowing ‘all’ about me—he doesn’t! lol) Eventually, I got back to the baking task and opted to make heart cookies. Not checkered, but more variegated or camouflage or even marbled. They taste good, are soft, and will probably not be a recipe I’ll use again!

My glucose kept dropping during the day, nice, but not always useful. I had errands for the afternoon, including a therapy session. I carefully removed things I needed to do from my list til I finally just stayed put. (Part of that was cuz I had also fallen. Granted, I was sitting down, but I did fall and was in a small bit of soreness. I had been sitting at the computer for a few minutes. When I finished, I scooted away from the desk. I was on a rolling chair and when it rolled, I didn’t go with it and landed ‘PLUNK’ on the floor! Entirely ungraceful. I didn’t want to admit to the therapist how I’d fallen and why I didn’t use my cane while sitting. I’ll tell him next week.) I did visit with TnT by phone and went to see and talk my neighbor’s ear off (she’s going through cancer treatments, special gal). I also laughed later, cuz Little Bear was going to go shopping and he opted not to and I’d asked him to get me a couple things.

I made some terrible canned tomato soup for supper (store brands are often not exactly as good as name ones) with what Little Bear calls a shrimp boat. (the shrimp dish might be why he stayed home!) I cut a loaf of French bread in half lengthwise, slather it with garlic butter, lightly warm it in the oven, cover the bread with tiny shelled shrimps, cover those completely with layers of shredded cheeses, then pop it back in the oven til the cheese is melted and slightly browned. This paired with green salad and the soup was a good choice (a better brand or homemade soup would have been better!).

We finished the evening with watching ‘The Princess Bride’. I love that movie! (I may have mentioned that in here before!) I also read my Feb 14 book. Seriously, a favorite read.

Gifts? I gave the guys magazines and sweets (The Craftsman got packages of his favorite cookies, Chips Ahoy original, plus quite a few others over the course of the last weeks). I think he sort of feels badly. He gave me my favorite flowers on Thursday night and then I was given potted tulips on Friday with candy. He gave me MORE candy on Sunday (it was discounted and I was sort of frustrated, I had planned ahead several gifts and got him the same kind, but it is still hidden away). I reckon I’ll give him his Monday gift on Tuesday (our anniversary). He’s also working on projects in the basement. I’m hoping one of them is something I’ve wanted for the last couple of years. (it has been in the works for that long!) The other, I was told, is something for me for the kitchen. As mentioned before, it is my favorite room in the house. But, most of it wasn’t my idea at all and I just sit back and he does what he thinks is a good idea and I learn to like it because they usually are.

Anyway, that was Friday. Saturday was crazy, too. I am completely positive that CRAZY fits this year of 2020 perfectly. I keep shaking my head and laughing at things that happen. Because it makes no sense and little sense at the same time.

I do hope YOUR 14th wasn’t quite as convoluted!!!

A year later-

I was pretty apprehensive about Sunday. My sister and I were taking mum’s ashes down the inlet and well, yeah! Many people sent prayers and covered me with care and love. It was absolutely beautiful and I thank those on WP who did this for me.

Sunday morning, I got a text from Jake asking me to meet her in a park. Not at her house. I was confused, but did so. It appeared Gigman wanted to sing to his MiL for one last time (I’m pretty sure mum didn’t like his voice!) before we went and scattered her ashes. I had NO idea he was going with us. (I was fortunate I’d made up 3 bags of ashes and one bag I made little peat pellets into ash holders for Pippi cuz ashes gross her out a bit. Except Jake told me the poppy seeds I used were invasive. So, those didn’t get planted til I got home).  I was actually glad Gigman went. I think it annoyed Jake, but we found a lot of the same sorts of things funny and laughed about them. Anyway, we were looking for a cemetery to put the rest of dad’s ashes with his mom and missed the first exit, thankfully it had a loop. We never did find our Grams. We aren’t even sure she’s in that cemetery, Gigman scattered dad’s ashes anyway. Then, we went down to Homer. The tide was out, that meant mom’s ashes would settle into the muck and get picked up later. Perfect.

 

They also decided they wanted to eat at mom’s favorite place, I reminded them it was fairly expensive, but they said it would be ok. (I meant to pay for my dinner, but got sidetracked by going outside) I’d asked Pippi to take photos of me scattering mum’s ashes and showed her how to use the camera. Except, I told her to press the silver button..I should have said to DEPRESS the silver button. She was excited that she’d taken several and didn’t get a single one. I laughed. (OK. Depress means press harder when it seems it should mean to unpress something. Oh dear, then we get to repress, which doesn’t mean at all what it sounds like it should.) At any rate, it was an entirely amicable event. Probably one of the best times I’ve had with that family.

Monday was slightly irritating, so I was glad Sunday went so well. Jake is a managing sort. Sunday, when we were choosing meals, she asked her daughter what she felt like eating and named off menu items. (Pippi is almost 16 years old!!!!!) When the girl’s burger arrived, Jake asked if she wanted it cut. I defended Pippi and my niece ate more for dinner than she has in ages (because Jake says Pippi doesn’t eat very much). So, Monday Jake calls me. It appears the oldest, Princess, has shingles. I commented that it unfortunately happens when a person has a low immune system. Which got her defensive because her daughter is as healthy as she can be (she wears the same size as her 15 and a half year old sister). Then, she went on to say that Princess wanted Mommy time and wasn’t feeling good and couldn’t get a hold of her all day on Sunday. So, once again mom got in the way of her family. I got mad at that. (I even said a bad word!!!) I replied that Princess is 30 years old, you guys talk every day, she knew you were doing something you will never get to do again, she has been married for at least 10 years and has a husband. And a cat and a dog. She could certainly be ok for the 6 hours you were busy with mom. (I wanted to say, ‘I know this is a horrible disease, but don’t complain about mom when I’ve been doing stuff by myself for the last month and more.’ I refrained.) I was glad I wasn’t seeing them for a while. She did invite me over for dinner Tuesday after I posted that morning how odd I felt on the ever sharing FB, but thankfully I was doing something else. (she said it was one of mom’s favorite dinners. I had no idea mom liked dinners at my sister’s.)

Tuesday. Mum’s been gone an entire year. Her hairdresser (who also spoke at mom’s service) came with me to a different portion of the inlet to scatter a few more ashes. She also prayed with me and reminded me that I was the favorite child. (apparently people tell hairdressers everything!!!) I knew mom ‘liked’ me the most, it is why I was allowed to live with her.(Jake is not an easy sister, I can imagine she wasn’t an easy daughter!) I’m still tired and ready to cry from too much.  I am going to try to distance myself from everything for a day or so. Leave the house and my sister and Oregon. I’d say I was looking forward to it, but I’m only thinking it is a good idea at this moment. I wanted to leave Wednesday. Any time much later, I won’t have the chance!

Except when I was speaking to The Craftsman about mum’s car, he reminded me it’s been a while since the oil was checked. So, I will look at that tomorrow and top it if needed and hope it doesn’t need anything else. Living with a mechanic, I don’t think of these things. Sometimes I think I’m not as responsible as I believe I am.

Ongoing Care

As I was cleaning today, I ran across an envelope that I was about to toss. I opened it up (it was addressed to me) and the first page was The Caregiver Bill of Rights. Rights that I was supposed to hold to as best I could while caring for mom. While reading it over, I realized my caregiving isn’t over. I alluded to this in The Long Goodbye, but damn it! I am still taking care of mom at the cost of my own life. I leave Alaska in a bit over a month and, in a small way, I’m glad. I have a ton of crap to go thru once I get to the states, but at least it is crap I’ve already sorted once. Stuff I can decide to sell or keep or recycle into something else (like the sweatshirts made for mom and dad with handprints from the grandkids. Jake doesn’t want them and suggested garbage.). As much as I love and need to be here, I’m so sick of waiting for things to happen or opening up a closet and discovering I hadn’t emptied it yet. I am going to do that next week. Just empty closets and take stuff somewhere. I’ve been doing it slowly cuz there is such a clothing glut in the few stores we have. I have cookbooks I’m taking in and the most frustrating part is storing it to haul off! (I do not like clutter and piles for this and piles for that makes me want to just walk away! Note: That is an ELO song from ‘Xanadu’. Fun musical! Gene Kelly, ONJ, and some random dude that apparently roller skated in from somewhere.) I need to make some more cash before I leave in October. I am sure it will show up from somewhere. It is obviously NOT going to be made this fall from selling these things.

The lake is gorgeous this month. In between raindrops, it is frequently calm and often glassy. I haven’t seen the bulls lately. But, it is still moose season for a few more days. I wish the guys would just bed down in my yard and hide out! Others are scared of the critters, but if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. (Generally!) I had to laugh last week. The neighbor’s dogs ran to the lake edge barking like crazy. I figured there was a moose around and walked down with my camera. A cow was on my side, not very close, but I got her photo. The dogs continued barking and two of them were wagging their tails. I think they wanted to play! There are still loon, I hear them often and I just looked up to see a flotilla of mallards paddling past. Last night, I was out on the water and spied three golden eye. (Oh, I just noticed there is a single out there on the water! Poor baby. He doesn’t fit with the others, but there is probably safety in numbers. Picture is of golden eye diving-) 

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Bloop!

Speaking of mom and this incredible place, when her ashes were put in the lake after the sale, no one took photos and the single picture I thought I took, didn’t take. It is sunny at the moment, Jake isn’t due to be here til after one … I saw her briefly at a party we were both at, but otherwise I have not seen her since the sale. She called to say she needed her folding tables. Tables that when she left were covered in things that needed put away. Which I did. There is still a lot to tidy, but I’ll do it when the drive is getting dug up. (yes, it might really happen the end of this week!!!) BUT, the lake has been beautiful, so I am going to wait for someone to visit, do ashes again, and have the person take photos of the experience. (Hoping the whomever will visit when it is daylight, not raining, and the lake is calm!) I won’t do it when Jake is here, she’s too busy. (she has arrived and gone again. She’ll see me probably around the 24th when we take the rest of mum’s ashes down the inlet) I’d do the photos myself, but the swirl of ashes will look better from up high. Or at least, I was told it looked interesting when it was done the first time.

I keep wandering off into bunny trails in this post! And I completely forgot to mention my busy Sunday or that I made the scrumptious halibut! (I am sure you are all waiting on tenterhooks to find out what I did.—Tenterhooks sound extremely uncomfortable!) Sunday I did sell some rolling carts that were stashed in the rig. (They take up a lot of room, I needed to move the carts and so, and I put them in the vehicle!) After church, I dashed off to the store, met a gal and then TnT in the parking lot and chatted, high tailed it to my next engagement, realizing I was not going to have time to put gas in the Pacifica, and got to the church anniversary in time to miss most of the service. (yup, after church, another church had an anniversary party at 2pm.) I sat with some stellar older folks and the majority of us left around the same time to attend a retirement party at 5pm. Where I sat with some of the same people (Jake was at this one, she sat elsewhere)! I love the people in this area! I learned ‘Poor man’s lobster’ is a delicious old fashioned way to cook halibut (since I didn’t have any clean forks, I used chopsticks to dip it in a butter that definitely needed flavoring), the icing on the cake I sampled (I like tasting how different people bake!) was ridiculous, and the donuts had WAY too sweet toppings on heavy rings. The desserts were very pretty, though!

These last two pictures are ones The Craftsman took. He went to a car show this weekend with over 600 cars and found a 56 T Bird to match the 56 Mercury. How cool is that? A turquoise T Bird!!!!

I have been thankful to thread many golden pearls on my string of memories the last couple of days. I’m going to need them to roll in my fingers when things are less bright.

Annoyed By Debris

You would think after getting stuff ready for a sale, most of the debris would be tossed or sorted and only the cream would be left. Not. Jake said she was going to go through and ready the shed for use for the sale. She had the shed and her bedroom to do (granted, the shed was a HUGE task!). The room was pretty much full of lightly organized boxes, except where I had officially organized things. The shed looked ok, but when I went in it to clean it up, I was startled. (I have to constantly remind myself. My sister gave me as much time as she could, it must be enough. She came over the other day while I was gone to take down the old tent she used for books. I am glad I had her move the books to her bedroom, the tent was wet inside. I’ve not seen her since last Saturday.) Anyway, I was consolidating boxes and sorted an entire large garbage bag full of junk. I also found stuff I’d made mom that I wanted to keep. (One was a tiny wooden nativity set I seem to have made for EVERYONE except myself or my boys!) I hope most of the jingle bells are gone, I did find a few more. A rather disturbing Santa candle was gently placed in the garbage (gently, so it might not haunt me!! I have read way too many stories in the Deathlehem anthologies to treat even a candle badly!). Some horrible, mostly stuffed, snowmen were sent to the garbage bag. One adorable small one I kept because it matches a larger one I decorate with every year. I put all the winter/Christmas dolls in one tote. Gathered up more light houses of different kinds (she has a large one, NiB, identical to one in her bay window!) to bring inside and hope I can do the other holiday stuff this next week.

I’m also throwing away kitchen things. Ages ago, I shared a post about spiders in a toaster. Mom’s toaster stopped working, so Jake gave us theirs. It was filthy, but usable after being cleaned. Mom had a blender in the cupboard. Way back in the cupboard, covered, and it looked ok. I took it apart to move it, since it had not sold, and was appalled! It was very dirty and gross. I’m not even going to try to clean it. (Why on EARTH can’t people clean things before putting them away? Although, there is a cute coffee pot I am sure I cleaned after its last use that doesn’t look like it has been cleaned….)

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I was thankful mum’s car didn’t look like this one I parked near when I had to stop at the Sr Center. This one made me cry. There was barely room for a driver. From the scissors among the papers on the dash to the empty drink containers stashed everywhere, it shouted negligence. The Craftsman said he has had to work on cars like it. It makes me wonder. Do those people have no children to keep an eye on parents? Do the adults need housing? Mum’s rig is bad now, mostly cuz it is full of things I hope to sell on Sunday after church. (that sounds blasphemous!)

I have trash outside in bags getting rained on (hooray for rain!!). I made the decadent canned cinnamon roll pull apart cake today and have eaten about half of it (BAD) because it was cold in the house and there is just something comforting about warm cinnamon bread. I am going to make halibut for dinner tonight. A friend texted me a recipe that sounds easy and scrumptious. She called it poor man’s lobster. You boil halibut cubes in water with a smidge of sugar and then serve it by dipping it in melted butter. I’ve never cared much for lobster, but I absolutely love halibut! I’ll see if it needs garlic and lemon. Now, my phone has lost signal. I can’t text my neighbor across the lake! (definitely a modern problem! lol) I reckon that means I should probably go and move some more stuff. I need to do a paper chase and see exactly how much cash I have. (I also just discovered today, I don’t have a receipt for the digging work done last fall.) BUT, first I really want my dining and living room somewhat tidy looking. Then, I can move the stuff that got stashed in mum’s room (where I’ve been sleeping) because it was the catch all for important stuff. (did I mention I’ve been hiding the estate cash not deposited in a drawer, under my ‘toys’?) I’m sure my bear (I end up sleeping on him!) is helping keep an eye on things. Even if I did dream last night about burglars. I think I woke up after I hid in a pile of stuffed animals—very ET! (although, I AM home!! If you look close in the lake picture, you can see a small garden light reflecting in the water, not a heart light. A garden one. I was in the kayak around 9, just as it was deciding to get dark.)

Melting in the North!

This last week our Northern temps have been out of control. I honestly don’t recall being here with the thermometer rising up to 80 or more F. It is nasty icky hot. It is as if I’m in Eastern Oregon, except I have trees and a lake here. Haven’t seen any moose in a while, I did see an eagle fly low over the lake, and there are a few ducks still. I think the moose are keeping to the woods. I did get some shots last weekend of them in the lake—they don’t like being startled, though. We also had a mild quake the other day, 4.7, but I didn’t feel it out here.

 

Strider’s birthday was on the second (the first photo at  11 pm), I texted him. He’s been a bit busy! Then, today. (I’m rolling my eyes!) I didn’t sleep very well, I’m not entirely sure why. I had been sorting more stuff in the basement and had to stop. I wanted to cry, so that might be why I slept badly. (she has entirely too much stuff. Now, I’m to the older kits and craft materials. 10 years or more. The second photo is a fishing sinkers container that now has sequins!) I finished up a story I was working on. (it is a bit odd, even for me!) But, the day dawned bright and if the red skies in the morning are an ill omen, it didn’t pan out that way today! (I did think I might go out on the lake sometime at 4 am, it was so pretty and still when I got up for some reason) I was going to help with a project that I am entirely on board with. I’ve helped a bit with this, but not to the extent I did today (and I still skipped out before I was done!).

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It is called ‘Days for Girls’. It is a mission to put sanitary pads in the hands of girls in places where they can’t get them. These were headed, I think, to Ecuador. Often when a girl has her period, she is not only considered unclean, she can’t go anywhere because she is bleeding. Now, I know there are women today who believe in ‘free bleeding’ and others who use cups or alternative containment sources (I wrote this awhile back), others don’t have any options. This gives them one. (Follow the link for more information.) Anyway, the lovely woman who takes these overseas has had a recurrence of her carcinoma. She was told she couldn’t travel. So, rather than let it worry her, a few of us decided to compile the kits into the bags and give her a bit of help in that area. She will still need to shrink wrap them all and get them ready to be sent off to Las Vegas (I think) where they will be taken further by others on the team.

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I didn’t help as much as I wanted because the other reason I was in town was to see my niece in the parade and listen to my BiL play. Except, I could have helped! Pippi was late in the parade, after number 90 and her dad was gigging ALL day, not just the hour I anticipated. I walked all over and wore myself out in the heat trying to find them. I talked to several people and only my sister told me I had a white smut mark on my face from something. (Of course, I don’t know when I got that!) I needed to get more packing tape and finally got back to the house. I was so tired, I changed into almost nothing and fell asleep with my bear!

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I’ve been entirely unmotivated on this hot fourth. I remembered the guys had the day off and so I called. (more eye rolling with a bit of thinning of lips in a frustrated grimace.) Maxwell T Silverstone is in really bad shape. He pees everywhere, he has a lump under his jaw, an eye is bulging, and the vet said it would cost 95$ to put this 4 pound cat to sleep. They had discussed what to do. The Craftsman said he couldn’t do it the ‘farmer’s way’, Little Bear said he could. I got mad. I do not want my baby to shoot one of our oldest family members! I wanted to discuss this and The Craftsman didn’t really want to. He said he shouldn’t have told me cuz he knew I’d get upset. Which made me MORE upset! (If I can’t be told little hard things, what about things that are bigger?) I realized I’m not there, I can’t do anything. However, I did suggest looking in the cupboard for pet pain meds. (I know I had some, I’m not sure if I tossed them in a fit of downsizing, though!) I was told Max was hungry, he just can’t eat and he is a mess. So, I do hope they try an alternative sending him to sleep with the medication way of giving him rest. Little Bear is one of those odd people. Compassionate and practical. (The last death he was a part of as a fireman was harder on me! He and our neighbor were trying to resuscitate a guy and finally were told to stop. When I asked him about it, he said, those things just happen. He does show more emotion when it is drunks causing wrecks and death.)

The rest of this week and end, I am moving more stuff upstairs and more sorting. As we compiled the kits, I realized how much easier it is to organize something prior to doing it. I think that moving things here will help me be able to have a better idea of what mom actually had and how to get rid of it. Meanwhile, here is a young bull moose!

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Cat in the Hat Kind of Mess

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The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss

I have been incredibly busy this last week. Little Bear arrived on Saturday last and we have been busy getting stuff sorted. In spite of the several bags of clothes donated, more than a dozen carrying sized boxes of books (or grocery tote bags), and MANY large bags tossed in the trash, barely a dent has been made. I’m sharing photos so you can see what it looked like on Friday, June 15, 2019. Our original plans were to get a Ubox crate thing and the guys would get it ready to haul to the states. I’m pretty sure we won’t be able to do that. We are having a fabric, craft, yarn sale in July, which will help in the house debris immensely. I wanted an estate sale after that here at the house, in spite of the difficulty in finding it! But, I’m getting tired and I’ve not even been in Alaska a month yet! Having the youngest here has been helpful, in spots! He’s mostly motivated, but has a tendency to get side tracked.

He found some old VHS tapes (ok, that was redundant!) and is having so much fun watching life before he existed. (oddly, I’ve also realized how very similar my dad was to my youngest. They are not genetically attached, the last time they saw each other my youngest was almost 12, and they have the same kinds of humor and way they talk. Even Little Bear noticed it as he watched his Papa discuss juke boxes. ‘Mom, Papa sounds like I do when I record my shooting videos!’ They are both dry and amusing.) I have to rein him in when he wants to toss things. He’s learning to ask first! Lol

However, when his dad arrives, they have several chores to do. A part of the garage roof needs fixed so the squirrels won’t nest up there (see photo! Little Bear noticed they took at least 7 feet of fiberglass insulation and moved into the bottom half of an unfinished doll house. They are also gourmet squirrels as mom collected pine cones from all over the US and it looks as if they have been snacking on many of those finds!) The dripping sink still needs addressed. The kid did fix the screen door cuz it was driving him nuts (it wasn’t on my list, but I am more than happy it is done!). I need to find out if any of the juke boxes work anymore so I can sell them (they did in the tape Little Bear found!). We need to rearrange things so the house isn’t a disaster, which will not be easy!

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My sister came and got the table, buffet, and hutch. But, as the kid said, she had a box of stuff and only took the box and now we need to find spots for the stuff. I have cardboard boxes of mom’s mismatched china, assorted glassware (she wanted the silver coated china from my grams and is going to hopefully try to sell the crystal), and a bunch of dishes. She came out three times to get each large piece. The first time, she was miffed at my son because her table got scratched (Little Bear was unimpressed. It did get scratched, but it can be buffed over and she’s going to keep it covered with a protector and tablecloths anyway. Then, he said, ‘It isn’t as old as she thinks it is. There are staples in the paper underneath and plastic bits on the drawer slides.’ I think he said they are probably innovations from about the late 50’s). The second time, she jumped out of her large F250..or is it a 350? And hurt herself. (once again the kid was unimpressed. She’s shorter than you mom and she’s not got a step on the truck. Of course she is going to land wrong sometime when she jumps out.) Anyway, she’s now on crutches and was told not to do very much. (since she is more my mom than I am, she will milk it and do beyond what she’s told. She also said her daughter has no muscles and her daughter proudly raised her bent bicep to prove her mom right! Which also didn’t impress Little Bear. If she wants muscle, she needs to use them to make them.)

This third trip out, she brought her spouse. Who spent most of his visit sitting in a chair on his phone. (granted, he had apparently not eaten and our dinner was in the crock pot. Pork, which is not on their menu, since becoming Jewish.) At any rate, Jake was picking up a few things. A white dresser she, for some unknown reason, had chosen at a yard sale years ago for mom to put in her room to hold fabric (see first room photo, which has changed a bit from when I showed a picture of that room earlier. It has a smidge of floor space now!)  and the hutch. Music Man was not thrilled at all with the ‘armoire’ Jake wanted back. He told Little Bear it was going to get donated (it was pressboard, but fairly sturdy until it encountered his hammered fists. Music Man didn’t want it anyway and he was irritated with his beautiful wife who was moving old furniture into their house when they had no room.) His daughter was scared, Jake was wet cat mad, and Little Bear and I were very glad to see them drive away. He took the doors off the hutch, which was odd. They latched closed and a blanket could have been put on top to protect it since it was flat on its back on the covered pickup bed. Instead, the doors were off and wrapped in a flannel sheet. (Little Bear was also unimpressed with that. Music Man stripped some of the older screws and as said, he could have transported the hutch in one piece. But, it isn’t his responsibility and after they left we had our pork and watched ‘Milo and Otis’.)  The second photo is totally different now. The dark shape is gone (that is the hutch) and the card table has dishes and vases all over it that I need to fill boxes with.

These two photos

are a part of the family room and the store room. I’ve not touched those rooms (except to take out a LOT of books from the family room) and Little Bear is sleeping on the hideabed  now. As to the Ubox, the guys want me to put anything I want to have in the states in that box by Thursday of this next week. It will leave for the Northwest the next week. Little Bear was shocked when I told him I didn’t want to have everything there. I want to stay here. And honestly, WHY do I want to move some of these things anyway? I can live in Oregon perfectly fine without most of them. Just cuz some of them are things I’ve always liked or wanted doesn’t mean much. It is just stuff. (note: I did find 5$ in the stuff I sorted today!) I’d rather leave it here. And if we do not take the box this summer, we’ll have to do it next and it would be much more efficient. By then, I’d have things sold off a bit easier and maybe even figure out a way to keep it! (I’ll talk to the financial guy next week, too)

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The darn skeeters were all around me! 

UGH! This is really long. I’ll stop now, but I’m not sure when I’ll get back to blogging. We didn’t go out (we also didn’t feed mosquitoes. Little Bear thinks vampires like mosquitoes since vampires also turn into bats and bats are huge mosquito predators. I think if vampires eat mosquitoes it is more like a sunflower seed where they suck out the inside and spit out the ‘hull’…)  tonight to watch the sunset, which turned the lake to fire. We need to leave mid-morning to get The Craftsman from his journey north and we are both very tired. I also think I’m getting a cold of some sort. My eyes are all goopy.

I’ll leave you with a pretty photo from this week!

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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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