Bits and Bobs

In light of the recent posts I’ve made, I have decided to share pictures of different things that have been done here and there. First, I am showing off a contraption I may use maybe once or twice a year..if at all. Earlier, in February, I shared some pictures of projects The Craftsman was making. This was a wooden piece on a lathe, later cut apart. It is now a holder for an angel food cake. When you bake one of these cakes, it is supposed to be cooled upside down and it is difficult to find a proper sized item to suspend it. So, one was made out of a section of black walnut. (Granted, it isn’t done yet, but it is almost finished!) I liked the shorter one since it fits in the cake pan to store.

The second project made was from recycled wood. It  holds all my hook earrings, not the ones with posts. (those are in a compartmentalized box) The black plastic mesh isn’t as helpful as I thought-it looks good, but it is difficult to see the earrings. I’m not going to change it, although I was told it would be easy. Removing all those earrings would be annoying!

As I mentioned previously, growing things are everywhere! I need to trim this kerria japoinica, it has been left alone for too many years and is literally out of control. It has lovely tiny rose like yellow flowers all over it in later spring. (I’ll be gone by then)

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Speaking of out of control, Little Bear was given a tiny cacti while in High School. It has literally grown into something you might find on Loony Tunes!! (The Craftsman planted the odd looking little things at the base)

Along the walk, I’ve planted bulbs. Some are the most adorable daffs, they are known as Tete-a-Tete’s. They are a smaller flower, but some of them are VERY tiny!!! (yes, I once lived in Tillamook, where they make cheese and ice cream!)

I did pick some regular sized daffodils. They were facing the house and annoyed me. I much prefer flowers facing the public!!! The crocus are looking incredible, finally. I might need to pick some because it is supposed to snow and rain this weekend. Which will turn the poor flowers to mush. (I mentioned this elsewhere, but mushing is what is going to happen this next weekend. Go, Iditarod!!!)

Last, but  not least, it was warm enough to read outside. Unfortunately, I forgot that an Ereader isn’t as easy to read in bright sunshine! No matter, I had a hard back book, with me as well. Also, thankfully, there is only one sick person in town. The other two were released after intensive checking. The casino is open again and, hopefully, the cycle won’t continue…hopefully.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my world of cooking, bling, gardens, and books!

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Gifts from the Past

It seems logical that today is the birthday surrounding another favorite author (the artist, not the author). I can get completely lost in the words of Carroll as Alice wandered through Wonderland. This musing is one of those things I thought was ‘Curiouser and curiouser.’

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One of the things I try to do each day is write down blessings in a notebook. Ages ago I read a book by Ann Voskamp called 1000 Gifts, it spurred me to write down three blessings or gifts a day. I used to post them on my blessings blog frequently and put them in the notebook daily. I left the notebook in Oregon when I went north to care for mom and it has been hard to get back into doing either one!  Anyway, one of the prompts for this week was ‘gifts from the past that help you trust the future’. I was stumped this year, so I went back to see if I’d written anything down for that date before.  I had.  Something I love was scribed. Bulbs. I have so many flowers given to me by others and when they bloom, they remind me of that person. Yet, how is that trust for the future? Perhaps it reminds me that life goes on after death? Gardens are HUGE for showing the cycle of life. There is every stage in a garden from sex to embryo to death and coming back to life again. Especially with a bulb. I have tiny Tete-a-Tetes blooming at the moment.

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Thinking further, I definitely have a problem with trust. (More than likely from deep seated bits of my childhood.) Most of the people I have trusted fade away, they are still trustworthy, but their mindset has moved from being close to me. That is part of that life cycle thing, yet it still presents a skewed outlook in my Kris world. I push people away, too. (I have a tendency to be rather naive, but that is totally different from trust!) I was trying to think of persons I trust at the time of this typing and there are several who hold parts of me, but I’m not sure if anyone has all of me completely. (Let me wax even more philosophical!) Does anyone know all of anyone??? I am reminded of that line in ‘Ground Hog Day’ where Phil says ‘Maybe the real God knows so much because He’s been around so long.” When you are around someone a lot, do they know you? I can honestly say The Craftsman doesn’t know all of me. Some of my readers know more of me than most and probably more than my family! (Blog babbling can be a bit much, I’m always humbled by people who read and respond to me!) However, this relates to trust in people. It isn’t where the prompt was going, I don’t think!

I reckon continuity is what I see Around the Korner of this mind wander. A noun to depend on.  Birds are migrating, plants are growing (albeit not when expected), my boys are level headed (for the most part!!), and when I mix certain ingredients together, I manage to get cookies. The different things may not be exactly like they are supposed to be, but they show seasons and growth and seasonings following a plan. And this Friday, when I looked out the window, I saw some of my purple crocus in bloom. Finally! (the catmint is showing and tiny violets are appearing in the yard..still too early to do any digging, the soil is incredibly chilly.)

So, what is something from the past that helps you to trust in the future? Do you have a crafted item that reminds you of this? A plant? Does your family? A pet? It has taken me more than two hours to come up with this post, I’m curious as to what others might hold as a promise for tomorrow or beyond.

 

Ides of February

I got side tracked and didn’t write up the rest of the weekend! So, I’ll do it now and post accordingly.

Saturday was a busy day. I planned on cooking a ham for dinner that night and decided to add whole wheat homemade rolls. They had sage and thyme and a bit of shredded Parmesan as ingredients. However, I’ve not made whole wheat before and the rolls I made were cute little clover leaf almost weapons. Soft deep inside, but quite sturdy on the outside. (I had made a larger loaf so I’d have extra dough to wrap around hotdogs for dinner on Sunday and those were waiting in the addition overnight.) I was also going to make cookies for a church potluck, but needed sugar. The guys had planned on going out on Saturday afternoon, so I had asked them to pick me up some.

By the time dinner was on the table, I realized I needed to find a cookie with just the ingredients I had and not ones I was used to using since they had NOT left. Dinner was interesting, my tiny Yukon taters exploded in the pressure cooker (It has been a while since I’ve used the pressure cooker for tiny whole taters!) and made a bit of a mess and those paired with the rolls, well, aesthetics aside, it did taste good!

The Craftsman watched TV with Moses on Saturday, and did a lot in the basement. He finished an earring holder I’d planned on making. Mine was going to be much simpler and from recycled picture frames. You can see the one he made (also from recycled wood) is definitely not simple, but that is why he’s a craftsman and I’m more of a dabbler in crafting! It will be nice to have most of my earrings hanging where I can see them instead of in boxes. I’ll still need to keep some in boxes, but they won’t be all jumbled together with the earrings with hooks. (and yes, I do have that many!! I love earrings!!!) The hooks on the frame are for necklaces. He actually finished this on Sunday, was going to hang it on Monday, it is still in the basement with this other item on the lathe he said is for the kitchen and I’ll use it the most. (run on sentence!!) I’m not entirely sure what it is, besides pretty.

So, Saturday night, I needed a sweets recipe without white sugar and found a different sour cream cookie one, once again it is one of Betty’s. It is also fiddly, but I might make it every so often anyway! Little Bear tried one when they were just out of the oven and decided they were a ‘cookie that was trying to be a cupcake and only made it halfway.’ After I frosted them, he enthusiastically decided, ‘these are like pancakes with syrup and butter!’ At church, one youngster said they were like little maple bars. I was intrigued by the change in the glaze color with a difference of a single ingredient. The recipe called for butter, melted until slightly browned. Also adding powdered sugar and maple extract. I did this with margarine (yes, I know there are evils in margarine, but all cookies are evil from the first pan pulled from the oven, so I tend to go cheaper instead of buttery) and it wasn’t that good. I ran out of glaze, (the recipe made around 60 cookies, so that was good) and made it again with butter. It was lighter in color and the taste was much better. (also didn’t take the time to let it cook to the darker hue) I’m not a fan of maple bars, but I do like maple. Once this extract is gone, I think I’ll make them again with real maple syrup in the glaze. I wonder what that glaze would be like on a cinnamon roll????

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I didn’t get to bed til early Sunday morning, I had toyed with putting the glaze on in the morning, but realized it WAS morning and figured I’d just do it and get it out of the way! Which was good, Sunday morning brought its own chores and duties! After church, I did more things around the house and the guys left to go shopping (Grandma needed pellets for her woodstove). I got the wrapped dogs out of chilling and hoped for the best. Oddly, after rising for almost 3 and half hours, they were beautiful. I wouldn’t have done that if they had been something other than very good highly processed meat wieners. I hate leaving food in unsafe conditions! (I even bleach down my sink and cutting boards after working with fowl!) The taste of herbs inside the wheat was perfect! Little Bear didn’t care for them, but he prefers his wheat white and colored only by chocolate.

I finally finished the last Witcher book I had checked out. I’m done with those for now. (I’m shaking my head as I type!) In the first pages of the latest book I read, a main character (I’d not met before) was sighting in carefully with a bow on something and in between waiting for the object of her intent, reminisced a LOT, catching the reader up on things. For more than a chapter! The end of this book an old man was telling the story I was reading to a group of children and they were demanding more, so after choosing what character story to share, he did. Completely confused me! However, I did love the vampire. He was of a race of peoples who don’t drink blood to live, but for enjoyment, like a party beverage, and this particular vampire tended to get ‘drunk’ on it, so he didn’t drink it anymore. He pooh poohed vampire regeneration because anyone can regenerate fingernails and hair and skin, vampires just do it better. He scoffed at sunshine melting folks because most peoples fear the night and his own people had to adapt and mutated to live in it comfortably. He did believe sunshine is a killer anyway and in another thousand years, most people would be nocturnal anyway. This particular vampire was a sort of a doctor and very good at it. As stated, I liked him. But not enough to keep reading the rest of the series any time soon!!!

Which brings us to Feb 17 and Random Acts of Kindness Day. I hadn’t realized how hard it is to randomly act, most of my day has planned portions and random ones will need to wait til I leave the house! Actually, today is the 18th in Oregon and I should probably do some chores after posting this! May your week be filled with sunshine and laughter! (photo from Alaska in feb 2018)

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One more sleep til…

Happy almost Thanksgiving from the Pacific Northwest, the Eastern Oregon side. It has been an week full of odd things. Some have been good. I can finally actually walk and move. After a day of busy, I am beyond tired, but am managing quite well. (so far!) At least in the physical realm. Spiritually and in actually getting things done….not as well.

I’ve been absolutely angry at my family. Every year I am here, I start my holiday decorating around Thanksgiving. The holiday dishes are on the table, everything is spick and span, and there are just a few things left to put up. This year? Granted, I haven’t been feeling good, but I decided to try and do a speck of decorating and discovered it was going to be impossible. The Craftsman is not done with lights yet. (he goes all out in the lighting department and takes up the majority of the unfinished addition to empty his several totes of lights) I managed to put up a couple of things, Little Bear helped me when he heard a crash. After a bit, I stopped being angry. It just isn’t worth it. Perhaps it will get done on Saturday after Thanksgiving. (The Craftsman did find some holiday décor from Norway and Sweden that I’d taken from mom’s stash. I’m thankful to have those! I also have a mini nativity and a Russian doll nesting set from mom’s—I made her the nativity). It’s been horrible to clean, too- The funniest thing? Little Bear drives me to frustration and then does amazing helpful things. Two of the photos he’s shared with me:

I want another nativity in the shape of a cross (I collect nativities). I’ve wanted this since spring 2014 and it’s been thought about. I was hoping for help and was told ‘he had some ideas’. It is still not done. Nor is a giant earring holder I had started and The Craftsman took over last spring. He’s been busy with other things. (I think) Yet, in the larger scheme of things, I’m sure they will get done eventually and there are many other things much more important.  Like walking without limping, being able to purchase groceries, water (even if ours here has been doused with a percentage of bleach because a new well was opened), gas heating, inexpensive electricity, cats (usually), and so much more.

This Wednesday, I did manage to get out and about. I went shopping for last things I forgot (and completely didn’t realize I needed nasty white sugar!). I bought myself flowers (it is a friend’s birthday tomorrow, so I decided they were for both of us. She’s hundreds of miles away and so she won’t mind me keeping them in the window!). I went to a movie all by myself (as usual). For $5 I saw ‘The Holy Grail’ on a big screen and completely loved it. (the guys are at the movies tonight. The Ford vs Ferrari one. I could not watch that. I get vertigo with Wii golf! Cars racing on hills is a bad idea.) I stayed home to bake a pie.

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Photo by Malidate Van on Pexels.com

I’m rolling my eyes. I panicked because I noted I didn’t have the sugar AFTER I got everything measured and ready to mix. (I used brown, we’ll see how it goes) I made a whole lot of extra crust for decorations on the pie, too. I checked it and they looked almost done. The next time I checked, not more than two minutes later, they were overdone and on the extreme dark side of brown. So annoying! I did get most of the downstairs vacuumed and the dishes done, regular activities, but still they are done.  I’m going to post this also. Because I am on the desktop and Little Bear uses this to watch videos. (he’s been watching animal ones lately. Hilarious!)

For those in the US, may your plates be empty and your tummies full. For those in other places, have a splendid rest of the week!!!! (and be careful with those deals on Amazon!)

Wondrous and Weird.

I tried to log into WP on the desktop and ended up on an obscure site–it didn’t like my name and password, so I hope it didn’t ding me for some scam!!! However, that is not what I wanted to share today. There are a lot of odd things in this world. Some of them are fascinating and others are just absolutely crazy!! Be amused and enlightened. (note: there are a LOT of links!)

First is one of my heroes. I’d love to have been her or like her (except for the way she died!) Lou Graham was a woman who changed Seattle or at least she helped shape it. Yet, she has been ignored. I think I’ll add this author’s book about her to my want list! Madam Lou definitely wasn’t weird, but the way she was lost in history is.

Now I’m going to move on to something I thought was only found in another favorite book series. Glasses and birds. Dr. Doolittle often prescribes glasses for animals. I had no idea it was a real thing, though!! Yes, there really are and were spectacles for chickens!! The wiki link has a bit about them, but the video from YouTube and television…I’ll be jiggered!!!

Rolled sandwiches. I have read about them in old books, in our modern day tortillas are used. I found the original version, but gracious! It definitely looks like way too much work!! Actually, most of the sandwiches made before the 60’s appear time consuming. I’m a fan of easy and delicious. I have also learned from Yummy Lummy to clean up as I go. (I didn’t do this as much, but do now..and I think of Gary as I do it!) As I get ready for the holidays, recipes fascinate and intrigue me. Especially when I read about something I’ve not heard of before.

There was something else that struck my funny bone, but I cannot recall what it was. No matter, I’ll probably remember when I post this! I’ll leave you with a couple of rather barbed comebacks from history.

 

 

 

What an Afternoon!

A super long edition. Again!!! And I just realised I’m on the desktop and not my laptop and so the picture of the ‘rules’ won’t be in this post! (I’m rolling my eyes at myself!!) So, will add a picture Little Bear took one November years ago.

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Tuesday of this week I had an MRI.  I wasn’t really looking forward to this experience, I’ve been in a bit of pain lately and lying still for a few minutes is not easy, this MRI was supposed to last a couple of hours. It was, thankfully, less than the 3 they set aside! (Plus, the MRI I had when they put the clip in my left breast is not a fond memory!) The last week hasn’t been easy for any kind of movement. Because of the lack of coordination, I didn’t really want to drive. Thankfully, a friend took me in after The Craftsman said he could pick me up after. (huh, this has happened more than once. She’s picked me up and he’s taken me in or vice versa. I think I should get her flowers as a thank you!)

Tall Man and Shadow came to get me from the waiting area almost immediately. (Tall Man was a nice, delightfully bearded man who, I think, did most of the imaging. Shadow was also tall and she was shadowing him that afternoon) I was surprised, even though I’d been warned, by needing to change into hospital issue. (I not only took a picture of the informational note on the wall, I read it carefully!) I did stop in the bathroom first. Since I was having an injection, I had consumed bottles of electrolyte water to fatten my veins. (It didn’t seem to work very well) After I changed, Tall Man taped Vitamin E tablets to my back on my spine (it has something to do with marking where the imaging is supposed to be. I forgot to have The Craftsman remove them and ended up bullying Little Bear into doing it. He was incredulous when he saw them and asked ‘What kind of Dr tapes pills to their patients???’)

Tall Man suggested putting my bag in a locked cupboard (I almost couldn’t lock it, it hurt so much to reach the darn thing!) We slowly walked to the room, me clutching the key so hard I thought I’d have imprints!! I’d forgotten how tall the beds are for the machine and should have asked for a step stool. I was being tough (that didn’t work very well either!!).  Tall Man helped me up and got me situated. He was incredibly kind at helping me get comfy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I was squiggling around like a worm on a hot sidewalk. Tall Man stopped the test and after a few tears from me and the suggestion from him that we postpone it to get pain meds from my doctor (I really should have taken something while in the car, I didn’t want them to interfere with anything, though. I should have known better.), it resumed.

I tried focusing on anything but the intense pain in my right arm and shoulder. Kissing, floating in the kayak in the sunshine with a book, soaking up sunshine in the yard, experiences I’ve enjoyed, people I adore, book scenes I’ve read, and the inlet. Underneath was the pain, so I think I managed. I do wish Tall Man would have commented more on what he was doing. At one point a different woman came out to adjust me before imaging started again. I think she tried to find a vein for the dye injection, I’m not positive.

They ended up getting someone from the emergency department to stick me. Fortunately, that person was able to use an inner wrist vein. It still hurts and I wasn’t entirely reassured by the brief conversation I thought I heard, ‘Does she need all of it? I’ll keep pushing.’ The dye wasn’t near as painful as the poke!!! Thankfully, the warm blanket they gave me to help heat the veins also helped a little bit with the pain in my arm and shoulder. Which was a positive thing!

I did have to stop thinking about the inlet or the lake, too. The bed area of the machine was warm and shaking under my lower back. It was like sitting on a bench in the sunshine in a bouncy loud vehicle and my bladder was beginning to object!! Thinking about water only made it worse! Tall Man did talk a bit more often the latter portion of the MRI. Although, when he said it would be only 20 more minutes and there were only a couple of pictures left, I am pretty sure he was being overly optimistic.  After two shaking cycles, it started up several more times and it was the LONGEST 20 minutes ever.

Finally, it was over. I had a dickens of a time getting up and was seriously dazed. I did smile when he noticed I had blue and purple hair, although I’m not sure my quip about it matching bruises was as funny as I thought. (I do love how surprised people are when the ‘see’ my hidden locks!) That pinball game walking I’d mentioned previously? It was just as bad. Tall Man was a bit concerned and I did grasp his arm firmly as I staggered down the hall. After a bathroom break, I checked my glucose and found it was much lower than it should have been. (Another reason for disorientation!) I slowly dressed after crunching three glucose tablets and honestly thought about trying to doze against the wall. I knew I couldn’t, but I sure wanted to! Tall Man had a wheelchair outside the door and after a moment of tough Alaskan girl, I caved and climbed in. He did move the footrests for me to place my toesies on, although I couldn’t reach them anyway!!

Once in the waiting area, I decided I’d be ok and sat down on a bench seat. The Craftsman said he’d be about 45 minutes, so TnT and Podman kept me entertained with texts and I had a book.

In retrospect, the bearded Tall Man deserved a hug, shoot they ALL did! They were so kind and helpful. The funny odd part of these tests is that not a single one was for my sore arm and shoulder and none of them will be interpreted to me til sometime in January when I have my follow up visit. I only hope I don’t need to go back anytime soon. I’d not mind seeing them again, I just don’t want it via the imaging department!! (I’d probably not recognize them. Like when you were a kid and saw teachers in the grocery store and didn’t know who they were!)

The Electric Company

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What a crazy run of days. Until Wednesday it was a series of Mondays that started on Sunday! I had the yard dug up again, but the problem still isn’t fixed. Digman thinks it is, I’m fairly sure it isn’t. He dug down, cut open the pipe, cleaned it out, sealed it back up, and filled in the holes. And also knocked the power line over the house. I thought it was an earthquake! The house shook! (he asked if I had power and when I said yes, he said it was ok. A couple of friendly souls suggested I call the power company, and I did.) So, I give you the couple of hours with two Power Rangers, or maybe Chip and Dale, or better yet, Ground Man and Sky Man. There was also another character I’ll call Odd Man, for obvious reasons!  I told this story in text to TnT, so I’ll go back and read the texts to see if I’ve forgotten anything!

When I was a kid, I watched this GREAT TV show called ‘The Electric Company‘. These guys were about as much fun. Plus, they were in my yard and cute. Win/win.

I was in the process of waiting for the electric company when someone drove in the drive. I thought it was my friend from Anchorage who said she’d visit. Nope. It was Odd Man. (I thought this guy was in his 70’s..it appears he’s not even in his mid 60s! He says he is handicapped, wears flip flops cuz his feet are swollen-they are- and knows almost everything.) I wasn’t sure what he wanted, I first met him during the estate sale. He is a neighbor, so to speak, and was asking me if I had sent him a friend request on FB. He said he didn’t accept requests unless he was sure the person was a real request. He knew my avatar and he knew my name (that isn’t a surprise, but I had NO memory of his! I’ve had some odd fb issues since trying to sell stuff on fb, so problems didn’t surprise me either!). I hadn’t and figured he’d be on his way, but he came inside and STAYED. I explained what had happened and he decided to wait with me. (I am still rolling my eyes!!) We chatted a bit and finally the electric company arrived.

These two men were wonderful and absolutely hilarious. (Perhaps working in hazardous situations means silly?) I got outside as Sky Man was getting into the basket.

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Ground Man looked up at the lines above and said, ‘That doesn’t look good.’

Sky Man responded, “I don’t think she wants to hear that!”

He went up into the air and Ground Man shouted that he did NOT want to open the breaker box if it was hot. He wasn’t sure what had happened and was nervous about checking. Sky Man shouted back down that the third foot looked like it was secure (whatever THAT means). So, Ground Man gets out this funny yellow pole from the back of their rig. (Odd Man had pulled a yard chair from his car and was sitting down while I was taking pictures.) While he was doing this, I told him a bit of what had happened. I named no names and said my excavation worker snagged the line. He stopped mid pulling of his extension rod, looked right at me, and said ‘Digman?’ It appears Ground Man is familiar with Digman. I laughed.

Anyway, Ground Man tells us that this pole is new, each emergency rig gets called out frequently and has an extension pole. But, the one that was in this particular rig had a sticky section and drove them nuts. They finally told their yard crew guy to get them a new one or they’d break this one on purpose. They got a new one for this run. The pole is rather clever. It is used to unhook the power thingy so it is safe. Much faster, easier, and safer than climbing poles. Unless you have a guy like Sky Man on the other end of the lines. Ground Man extends the pole and attempts to hook it on whatever he was trying to hook. Sky Man starts tugging on the lines he’s holding on the house. This jerks the entire power pole back and forth. Ground Man starts yelling and the rest of us are laughing. (Odd Man suggests this is better than Laurel and Hardy) Eventually, the power pole stills and the crucial piece is unhooked. Ground Man now heads for the breaker box. He’s pretty worried. The loop in the wires was large and that might mean something in the breaker box was loosened or worse. Sky Man thinks it looks ok from his end, Ground Man wants to make sure. Sky Man moves his basket to wrap the wires, you can see in the photo where one was nicked. Ground Man is relieved to discover everything is ok.

Soon they were both standing on my freshly dug up drive. Ground Man kept reminding me to call the power company and tell them this wasn’t my fault. Then, Odd Man piped up. I was a little bit irritated anyway. At first, the two linemen thought we were together cuz we both came from the house. I soon sorted THAT thought, but Ground Man kept looking at Odd Man when he spoke. (It is a good thing Ground Man was cute and entertaining!). Odd Man did ask some questions I’d not have even imagined to ask. Yet, if it had been any other male in my circle of friends, it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. One of the questions he asked was if the seals on the pipe holding the power lines had been compromised. Ground Man laughed and said Digman should check that out and since his tractor was still here, I could keep it as collateral. Sky Man took pity on me and shared that the seals and shingles looked secure. (since it is raining, this is a good thing) Once more Ground Man told me to call and Sky Man reiterated it. Sky Man also smoothed out the divots in the soft sand of my excavated drive and told me to call if it got messy again. I just laughed, hugged them, kissed them on their cheeks, and waved them away. Odd Man finally left so I could call since it was getting close to 5 pm. (I was so glad.) Before he left he wrote down his name and number, in case I needed someplace to stay!!! (I said thank you, but knew that wasn’t ever going to happen in a million years!)

When I called, it turned out the operator was waiting for me to do so. It appears Ground Man had called him to give him a heads up I was going to call! He was glad I was prompt. I still have a tractor in the yard, I think Digman might be mad at me for calling the power company who charged him for their visit when my power was working just fine (He left before the linemen arrived!), and my drive appears to be stable at the moment! I’m not putting the rocks and plants back, I think it is going to need completely dug up again next summer.

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Offline and, perhaps now, On!

I had started a note on my ipad, but realized I needed to add pictures. So, I’m going to write a sum up and add the photos later, when I can get online again. I did post a family blog post while at the laundromat, but since I only did one load, I didn’t have time to write for anywhere else. I am not ‘gone’ or too busy for writing (Last week I was too busy!). I’m just not able to use the internet at the moment. Let me ‘splain.

I have MISSED this blogging world!!!!!!

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Squirrel who climbed into feeder on window in ’17. 

Mum’s been feeding squirrels since we moved to this house in the later 70’s. I’m not sure when the fuzzy tailed rodents decided to move into the garage attic, but it was at least a decade ago. (Probably) So, the work the guys were going to do got slightly derailed as they cleaned up a spot we had no idea needed that much work. (they took 3 truckloads of destroyed things to the dump!) The attic had become a subdivision. Complete with an empty karaoke box partially filled with nuts, bread, and pine cone bits (party house) and a sign asking for votes for a certain individual to become mayor (squirrel politics?). They even did some dubious house flipping by fully insulating the first floor of an unfinished doll house.

My ancient extensive boxed gerbil habit trail had been put to some use as well (more than likely it was a playground for the younger squirrels). They’d also partially filled an old food saver box (Cache?).  I know they had been eating gourmet. Not only did mom feed them a variety of seeds and nuts (the latter which do not grow locally up here), she had collected pine cones from all over the United States (most of the cones were stashed in the worn out old greenhouse). (I could envision a squirrel potlach with jolly dances mimicking the first snow and the sharing of tasty treats from all across the nation. ‘Mabel, try this one. It is from Colorado.’ And ‘Do brush off the insulation from your whiskers, Sammy. You’d think we were pigs and not rodents!’)It astounds me how humans cannot be around insulation without serious consequences, yet these creatures have lived in the stuff for years and are perfectly fit.

The Craftsman was determined to replace the board they’d chewed exit and entry holes in, but needed to get to the back of the garage. There were years of twining baby trees, mosses, and bushes growing up next to the building. And at least 3 black cables about 100 yards long hidden inside the forest litter. Those cables were for mom’s TV and, later, her internet.  One was clipped during the pruning, thus making us a bit more off the grid than I’d prefer. I had imagined I could live without the internet, I have before. In 2014 when I was here, I drove all over seeking wifi nodes so I didn’t muck up mom’s dial up with trying to do anything too exciting (like log onto FB). But, I wasn’t in charge back then, or incredibly busy cleaning (and looking for the pen I’d put down a second ago), nor did I have almost all the bills sent to me electronically. (I paid my power bill a day late because I knew, for the most part, when it was due, but I always got a notice in my emails and since I can’t check those, I wasn’t positive. Thankfully, the cycle hadn’t twigged me yet and I got in just in time!)  I also realized how seriously annoying it is to be on hold with a company and have the automated voice tell me to go online to access my accounts for faster help.

So, that is what is going on up north. I do have my phone, so can get texts and calls. I hope to have the internet fixed by Wednesday night (if not, I’ll drive to town and post this from the library!) and then I’ll share this from here, as is!  (NOTE: it appears I do have internet for the time being. The cutting cord fried the router, so was sold a new one of those. The modem is also spotty. He’s working on getting me another one. It will be awhile-no one in the state has extras!) The guys are back in Oregon, the place is a bit emptier, they were a tremendous help and I was entirely thankful they were here, and I’m not looking forward to my own return sometime before the cold. (I was glad I sent them out fishing, so they had a bit of a break from the drudgery at the house!) The septic line has a break, hoping to get it fixed soon, I found one of my favorite story books from days gone by (Raggedy Ann and Andy),  and there is a darn eagle looking for a snack of young duckling diving onto the lake as I type. When the kid arrived on the 8th, we had so many babies on the lake. One mom had 11 and she was down to 4 earlier today (June 25). Nature and the neighbor’s dog are both rough on littles around here. I wish I could figure out how to share the kid’s videos. He took some incredible fun fowl footage. Nonetheless, here is a still he took of a bathing loon.

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Cat on the Prowl Cat Nips

“May you find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when you sleep. ” Erin Hunter

This is the neighbor’s cat. (We are pretty sure it lives next door.) Little Bear woke one night to noise on his bedroom roof and discovered it was this cat. It ran off to the house next door. At any rate, this beautiful Siamese feline is a hunter. Little Bear saw it in the locust tree and proceeded to snap a series of pictures for me. The cat is investigating a squirrel feeder The Craftsman put up. We are not sure if it has actually caught a squirrel, but it is very interested in the idea!!!!! We did see it haul off a wounded starling, which was incredibly brave. Starlings are not docile birds and have formidable beaks. But cats have teeth and four paws full of claws! (the starling did escape under the neighbor’s fenced in porch.) I love Siamese cats, but I’d not adopt another one. They are even more snooty and sweet than most ordinary cats! (music video from Youtube)

What I’ve wondered lately

One of the blogs I follow, Diabetes Stories, shared something a bit ago that surprised me. I thought I was the only one who wondered about ‘wasted’ insulin. As she writes, when persons with Diabetes use a pre filled pen, you need to ‘prime’ the pen prior to the poke. (ooooh, alliteration!!!) EVERY shot. Thus, insulin is not used in the way insurance companies think it should be. I shared this with my family and The Craftsman was visibly upset at my ‘throwing away’ insulin. He soon realised it was necessary, but 50$ for 3 pens is still frustrating when not all of it is used in body. Crazy, but true.

I also wonder why our bodies are so different! Swimsuit duos are sold in a set. Yet my bottom is nowhere near as small as my top! I finally ordered a ‘retro’ suit bottom. (I hate ordering clothes off line. I hope it fits!) I found several bikini type tops in a thrift store. I’ll model if it works out! I was also impressed by purchasing two skirts and two tops for just over 6$. The skirts were marked $3 each and the tops had no price, they were just hanging up neatly. (I didn’t mind, it was just interesting!) I also was going to wear one of the tops and could not find it!!! Since I’m not really supposed to wear such things in town, I need to put them away til I get to Alaska. However, I really really wanted to wear one of them cuz it was so warm out. (I eventually found it deep in one of my drawers!)

The most unusual thing I have thought about lately is body hair. One story (fiction) suggested we don’t need body hair at all. The stuff on our heads is just vanity. (I nose crinkled about that!!) THEN, one of my Alaskan friends posted she had gotten her nose hairs waxed!!!!! When I suggested there might be a reason for those, she responded ‘Halloween?’ I often divest myself of much of my pubic hair, I’ve trimmed the nose hairs and other assorted stray bits that seem to sprout, but holy heck in a hand basket!!! Waxing internal nose hairs seems a bit much. I’ll let you decide and follow the link on your own.

I found a leopard slug in the yard while weeding. Most people cannot stand slugs, but living on the Oregon Coast for almost two decades makes you see their beauty and worth. They are land sharks. I did toss it in the road, but I recall feeding a pair that hung around on our back porch. They make great mostly dry aquarium pets, too. I prefer the leopard ones, which are spotted. The yellow banana and boring black ones are just icky. (although, there was a team-not in our district- stuck with a banana slug mascot.) The boys never wanted me to make the slug coff syrup. A layer of slugs, a layer of sugar, and so on til you had a nice melted goo you added flavoring to. Kids!

A thunderstorm is expected. I love a good thunderstorm! One of the few good things about Eastern Oregon is being able to watch lightening in the hills and overhead. The kid took a super awesome photo of lightening a summer back. Thus, I’m going to attempt to schedule this and log off! Have a great weekend!