Tedium or Contented?

Trying this post again, the previous one had pages worth of indents and as I had not saved it elsewhere, I needed to find the words and copy and paste into a document and THEN we’ll see if it works!!! 

A FB friend asked today what tedious task can we make joyful. I am not sure I’m entirely joyful when I fold socks or put away clean dishes (NOTE: I need to do that!) or cook dinners I know were similar to ones I just made. But, I do find contentment in seeing those piles of tidy laundry ready to be put away, the dishwasher empty for a brief few moments, and the feeling of accomplishment when a dinner turns out like similar to the recipe. I was reading parts of an old book, The Feminine Mystique. I am so akin to those women. I do like being a stay at home mom, I actually like some housework, but is that all there is?? (isn’t that a song?) Is contentment joy? I like rain, so maybe I need more of it?

I do think I’m not feeling entirely joyful at the moment. WP is going wonky..or is it the computer? At any rate, I’m going to post this and hope it does so!! Besides, Little Bear is due back soon and I need to ask him to get me some thumbtacks for a project I’m working on. I’ll share that in my next post!

I did have a surprisingly nice mom’s day. It was better than any ‘holiday’ since my return last fall. One of the most awesome things happened even before I got out of bed. The Craftsman, who is 6’2″, decided to finally clean the kitchen and laundry room windows both inside and out. WOW!!! What a difference! Little Bear has commented on it often since the cleaning and even The Craftsman wondered why it took him so long to do it. (He’s also decided he might clean the other windows, I’m not going to hold my breath! I wanted these done after I got back when Mum died. I’m a tad short to reach most of the inside windows and well, heights are a bit unnerving!) The rest of the day was nice, but wonky. I had planned on having the MiL come down for dinner, the son decided to have his mom come down for lunch. So, at noon, I rushed to get it ready and we were able to eat by 130pm. My glucose had been low and then jumped very high cuz I was busy and I’d crunched glucose tablets so I could do stuff. I’d also told Strider his grandma would be at the house for dinner (she won’t answer his calls, she doesn’t recognize the number!) and he wasn’t able to talk to her.

Little Bear purchased me a tiny point and shoot. I need another camera chip because the little one is good for some things, the older one is better for others. Moving the chip back and forth makes the ‘information’ on the chip difficult to decipher (I need to look carefully at the dates to open up the right files of photos). I took a LOT of photos to play with it, I need to take more. The allium in the window is rather good, although I’m not sure why the water in the glass turned brown!!! The older camera, by 9 years, did better with the bees and the kerria japonica.

 

Mother’s Day-again.

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A year ago this minute, I was having lunch out with my guys. We were driving the ’56 Merc and visited a drive through restaurant that was almost as old as the car. The next day, I flew to Alaska. It is truly a different world today. My guys went off to a nearby town to scrounge through old stuff to purchase and bring some home. (I don’t exactly know what they are getting, they enjoy bargains that often don’t work well) I am hanging around thinking about cleaning the dining room table off. (why on EARTH does the dining room table always end up covered in debris??? Oddly, most of it belongs to the kid. The Craftsman actually tidied a lot the other night looking for a tax form!) We ae supposed to have the MIL down for dinner on Mom’s day. I figured it doesn’t matter. They go and see her every day and she’s been out and about herself. I’m the only one who was in the most isolation and I got some kind of flu the start of April. At any rate, in order to have more than the dad and the kid here, I need to make sure things are a bit cleaner. I hate mussy and this is a mess!

I have some things I want to do outside, but I need to wait til Monday. If I work outside today, I’ll be worn out tomorrow and will be unable to cook. (Why is it on certain days when the ‘dad’ cooks on a grill, the mom still needs to set the table, plan the menu, make dessert, the side dishes, and clean it all up when it is done? Yet, the dad gets all the credit???) OH, I don’t need to make dessert!!!! I asked The Craftsman to buy a coconut cream pie cuz Friday was coconut cream pie day. He purchased a chocolate cream pie, which he and Little Bear and the MIL very much like. Thus, the strawberries he also bought (I was going to make chocolate scones with whipped topping and berries) can be frozen, except for a couple I’ll eat, and they can have pie!

I do hope they remember to buy some petunias today. There is a container..well, it is not exactly a container, I’m told it originally was a very old street lamp. At any rate, it is super cool and is a good sized white bell shape that cries out to hold something. I have often tried to keep plants in it, but the one area I wanted it was a bad area. The yard is squareish and in one of the corners there was a sort of empty spot. Last spring I buried the end of the bell in that corner (the shape has a bit on the end that sticks out, probably where the actual light was), popped a flower pot in it, added flowers, and left for the north. Unfortunately, the corner is in sunshine close to the entire day and Eastern Oregon summer sunshine can get up to 80 degrees a couple times a week. I thought white reflected heat, but it is a metal shape and the poor flowers frequently fried, even with underground sprinklers every other night. So, I am moving it. At the back of the square yard I have a pink metal bathtub (The bathroom in this house was all pink before renovation. Seriously. Pink tub, toilet, sink, and walls. The junior high boy’s budding man card was disturbed. Actually, so was the mom!!! Thus, we removed the pink and the tub was mine to use as I wished. It has finally graduated to having flowers planted in it, most of the bulbs didn’t bloom this year, but it was a bad year for bulbs anyway!). So, next to the tub, I had a hops plant that after several years, it was determined was too much for the neighbor on the other side of the fence and us. (The darn thing would clamber into the filbert tree nearby and removing hops from a tall tree is ridiculous!) The empty space needed something. I did purchase a white poppy, but then I remember the light case. I am going to put that there with petunias again and add climbing flowers like nasturtiums. That area is cooler and gets water from the neighbor’s yard as well as the UGS. After weeding past the ‘tree’ (it grew out of the container!), I realised I will put the poppy where the closer plants are (see photo) and leave around the tree….or maybe I’ll put the container there….Oh, the ideas one can have in a garden!

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I also have discovered this week, critters. The honeysuckle in the bath has aphids and holy heck in a handbasket!!! Do you know how many ‘tried and true’ ways there are to eliminating aphids??? Granted, you can use ladybugs. But keeping the ladybugs in the area you want..well, they don’t make leashes for ladies. (OK, they DO, but that is totally different!) I visited a Farmer’s Almanac webpage and learned you can also use these methods to deter aphids: brake fluid (you need to be careful with this…insert eye roll!), nasturtiums because the aphids love those and will leave the other plants alone (I also love nasties!), catnip (which is already growing nearby), and one that Little Bear was startled by (How would you collect that, mom???) a ratio of 1:5 cow urine and water. Soapy water is supposed to be good, but the day after my application of that, I went out, flicked a leaf and watched tiny bugs fly off. Blasting the plant with water is not entirely useful either, because the bugs land elsewhere!

There was one ladybird on the honeysuckle the other day, no spots, but I do hope it reproduces fast!! And in one of the white lilac trees, robins are building a nest. Not much cover, but the fragrance must be divine! Imagine being a mom living in a lilac!! Speaking of lilac, check out the itty bitty tiny bit of purple. Flowering in spite of being just a stem. What a world this is!

First Friday in April

I’m still under the weather, but I was online for a few minutes and felt maybe I could write up some thoughts for ATK.  I was actually online cuz of the bank. I have a bill due in a few days and wanted to see the balance of my account. Once I logged in I was greeted with an odd screen.  A note read that to keep online and mail information, I needed to scroll down and click cancel. But, when I got to the bottom of the page where I was supposed to click cancel, this statement came to mine eye. “Deposit accounts require you to stop receiving statements by mail before you can view their online version.” Since it was odd, I thought I’d call. I hung out on hold for over 30 minutes (they said it would be 10) and then I accidentally hung up the phone when it started to beep to tell me the battery was dying!!! I managed to log off and log back in and almost looked like a different site and was much more familiar! I seriously hope I didn’t muck up anything. It was from an email and looked right, except for the redundant odd information which I cannot find now when I use the same email to ‘log’ on.  I just called back and the phone person is what I am used to and not like the last one. I hope I didn’t tell the call automation anything I should not have. I just can’t remember!! I honestly cannot remember what I did just hours ago, I really need to go back to bed, but now I’m worried!! I did manage to get a portion of the bill paid, it showed the last time I logged into the bank and I tried calling their phishing line (I had to wait 30 min again, I had to do something else). I’ll call back in a bit.

As you can tell, I’m really not myself. I have been making simple meals for the guys, but I am nervous about anything very complicated! Like the fun pasties, I marked mine with a ‘K’. (Did any of you play patty cake with your kids or when you were little?? Before the baker puts it in the oven, you marked it with a ‘B’ for Baby and Me.)  The Craftsman didn’t want to eat the tiny pickle cuz it looked like a slug, so I ate it with my dinner a while back!  Little Bear just ordered take out, thankfully. I don’t need to make their dinner tonight. I’m too tired. It is wearing to make food for others when you don’t want to eat it.  I was going to make them a cake for snacking, but maybe later. I need to get some oomph to fold my laundry. (I sneezed all over two of my always wear shirts and decided to wash my jammies, too.) The best thing I’ve found this last week is the growth in my lasagna gardens!! (I wonder if Garfield would like a lasagna garden flower bed???) Little Bear says the hyacinth are odd plants. When the first appear they look like pine cones on a stick. (That young man doesn’t mince words when sharing his thoughts!!!) Moses was also incredibly interested in a lobster Little Bear purchased. The kid determined it was just a bigger, expensive crawdad. He’s now interested in rivers in the area that might happen to hold crawdads. (He used to catch and eat them on the coast. My boys are of the survivor kind!)

I’m getting chilled and my throat is starting to hurt again. Yuck. I don’t think I’m liking this at all. I almost always feel better in the morning than in the afternoon and evening. At least I think I’ve lost a few pounds. I’m not positive, though. I was naked when I weighed myself and I’m never naked in the doctor’s office when I get weighed there! Saltine crackers and dry toast and tea with jelly beans when my glucose drops (The tablets I usually eat taste terrible right now.). I fell yesterday, thankfully the couch caught me. It was sort of odd. I’ve often had dizzy spells when I get blood drawn, but those are slow whirling experiences. This one was FAST and black. Like being inside an invisible tornado. Scary. I also had a glucose that was 37 after midnight. (not sure what the numbers are for non US meters). That was also scary and I wasn’t that dizzy, but with jelly beans and spice drops, I pulled out of it. (I LOVE the orange spice drops.) This is depressing, so something fun again! A squirrel up in the tree that was watching me inside the window.

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Virtual hugs to all!

Bridal Game?

In looking through mom’s stuff, I found a bit of paper saved. (Not a surprise, she saved lots of odd things and bits and bobs) This intrigued me because it had one of my step dad’s names on it and seemed a random list of words and sentences. I also saved it, because it was so odd. Finally, just recently, I realized it was a game! I’m not sure if it was a Bridal game or what. It may have two games on the sheet, but I’ll share the one I’m fairly certain was for fun. As you can see, it was printed neatly. (Not entirely sure this was mom’s printing, it almost looks like hers, but not quite!) It might be found on FB,, today. Back in the olden days, people used paper and pen!

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I believe she was asked questions and I’ll write those with her answers:

Are you good natured?  YES

Do you like sweets? YES

Who is your favorite boyfriend? BARRY

Are you healthy? YES

Are you rich? NO

What is your favorite number between 1 and 10? 7

Do you like sports? YES

What is a number between 1 and 12?  5

Name a fruit.  PINEAPPLE

What is your favorite color? BLUE

What is your next favorite color? GREEN

Use the responses above to answer these questions:

Did you do it much?

Did you like it?

Who gave it to you?

Were you tired the next morning?

Did you get enough?

How many times did you get it?

Was it good?

How long did it last?

What did it look like?

What color was it in the morning?

What color was it when through?

Now, I grew up with Madlibs. So much fun to add words into a story! So, I think this needs a bit of a story. It may have had one, I can just imagine the giggles in the early 70’s among young 20 something ladies as mom answered these questions. I remember Barry (my second dad) having parents that seemed well off. I was barely 5, so it might have been my imagination. However, I am pretty sure the wedding was fancy! I reckon the shower was as well. I’m betting I didn’t attend that gathering, though!

On the back of the page, there are just words. They are probably also for a game, but appear incredibly random. Especially as the first three and the last three are almost identical. (see photo) Strange, yes???

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This is a bit funny. I’ve written so many stories where people in the audience were chosen to shout out or speak a word or sentence, but for some reason, my brain cannot create a madlib for the above words and questions! Granted, most of the stories I wrote were for audience participation around kids and this one is less kid friendly. Still, it is odd my brain isn’t able to create anything. I’ll definitely keep it on the back burner after I share this in a post.

 

The Kid

Tuesday was an interesting day. 26 years ago, my baby was born (he knows he’ll always be my baby, he’s resigned to it!) and he hates having himself being in the limelight. Last year there was a snow storm and we had a party anyway. It was great fun. Tuesday morning, I made chocolate moose mud muffins for him to take to work. (The treats stayed in his Bronco because he HATES people knowing anything about him!!) We’ll have pizza for dinner and I was baking a chocolate cake while I typed up most of this post! When he came home for lunch, I thought I’d warm up the fries he had leftover from Sunday in the air fryer. He had on the microwave, the washer and dryer were going, and just in the last seconds of the microwave and air fryer time, a breaker went off. (no storm here, just a cool electrical picture from WP free photos)

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Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

The air fryer on the other side of the kitchen went off, as well as the microwave, the fridge, the washer (not the dryer), and the kitchen radio/CD player! The dryer is on the same side of the house as most of the appliances which stopped. It was odd. Now, fixing this is normally simple. Except in this house. We have lived here for at least 11 years, the electrical was all odd when we moved in and The Craftsman (who likes working with electrical things) went on a fixing spree. But, he did not label the breaker box. Little Bear had to carefully turn switches (none were off) til the off things popped back on. His place of work gives them an hour for lunch instead of 30 min with two 15 min breaks in the day. He often takes that time to nap or read, both of which were missed today because he gave me power again. He also said he’d go with me to buy pizza. His cakes had  ‘outies’ and fell, one of the two pizzas slipped to the bottom of the oven, turned into a calzone and was opened back up, and it was a ridiculous day. Except for two phone calls. One from my uncle in MN and a brief one from TnT. I also got a text from my Alaskan neighbor. She’s in Hawaii with her spouse to celebrate her birthday, she texted cuz someone put piles of snow in front of three different drives! Her son was going to move them. Crazy!!! (The Kid’s cake with nipples and decor of chocolate curls on top made with tater peeler shavings from a candy bar and inside the two layers is raspberry jelly with mini chocolate chips)

Saturday was interesting. I haven’t checked emails and after opening up one, haven’t again!!! The power bill for $730 was more than I wanted. (it has been really cold up north. Not sure at my house, but my sister 20 miles away had -23F) I was busy all that day with baking and cleaning. The Craftsman helped vacuum the downstairs before he left for things he wanted to do, so that was different and nice. I got many FB greetings and several cards were mailed my way along with texts. For a birthday, it was really nice. It is all in your attitude. I could have whined cuz my family didn’t ‘do’ anything to celebrate me. Yet, they did. The Craftsman gave me a bag of Christmas Kit Kats he’d saved to give me (I did say something about chocolate and he popped them in front of me!), Little Bear purchased me a lovely soft blanket I didn’t need but appreciated, my aunt from Minnesota called, and the three of us did spend part of the evening watching a movie together. On Sunday, we took Grandma and went out for our annual February Sunday birthday lunch (photos are my lunch and Little Bear’s) and I bought a pair of earrings.

 

(My sandwich-above next to my ice cream for breakfast- was grilled chicken, blue cheese spread, and bacon. The kid had two patties of burger, a layer of roast beef, and ham and bacon!!)

I have almost a dozen Valentine’s almost ready to mail, I’ll do those later this week. Today has been too convoluted to visit the post!

The end of the beginning

It is the end of January. The month opened with the promise of a blank 365 days to fill and learn and grow in. We’ve already enjoyed almost 31 days of this new year and not a lot looks much different from previous ones!

Little Bear has determined he wants an ordinary birthday cake this year (two layer chocolate-which made me laugh, I very rarely make a two layer cake!) because many other years had cakes that were labor intensive. (he was right!) He also said a nice gift would be no party (last year we had quite a few visit, in spite of the new snow that fell that day). He has also thought a bit about joining a shooting and fishing club near here, he has actually investigated it online and so his thinking is a bit more proactive than usual! (If he can manage to part with $100 for fees to be around other people, I’m of the mind this is a good idea)

My therapy is going ok. I may not do the twice a week since each visit is $40 and I can take what he’s teaching me out of the germ infested facility (it is a very busy spot with people of every age and health) into my own house. My recent visit was definitely interesting. First, I had to find it. Last time I got turned around inside the center. This time, I got turned around trying to get into the parking lot! To be fair, the sign is visible driving up the hill, unfortunately, I was looking for it from the other direction!

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Once inside, I shared more information on my sore arm and leg and the therapist started working on me. He gently pulled my right arm and pressed on the shoulder. He called it shaking loose the rust inside. It felt amazing! In fact, it didn’t hurt as much as usual for almost 40 minutes. I was rather impressed. After the appointment, I thought I’d check my glucose before driving off in the dark (lately, driving in the dark is more difficult for me than it has been previously. It seems to get worse every year. A good reason to NOT live in the land of my soul!!). I was fortunate I checked. It was very low. Thankfully, I had stopped at the store before going to my appointment, where I had purchased those cute little fruits about the size of my breasts (probably not, but they must be close!). The oranges are super easy to peel, another good thing when a glucose is low and one is less than coordinated! (the blog highlighted is an old one of mine-I ditched weebly for WP)

I have an appointment for Friday, but don’t think I’ll make it to that one. I was going to do both therapy visits this week, but while I was low my cell rang. It was the bank. Looking back, I realise I was confused not just cuz my glucose was low. I had just visited the bank. I wanted to set up an appointment for next week. I had told the lady with the sticky note and pen who wrote notes that I was unavailable the rest of that day, but Wednesday would be a good day to call and I gave her times. I gave them the landline number and blithely went off, confident I’d get it sorted the next day. The baker and I ended up getting the appointment for Friday, three and a half hours before my PT appointment. Color me unimpressed! I wish I could visit the Alaska bank.

The worst thing that happened this week could have been a lot worse than it was. As Little Bear and Strider said, ‘Dad gave himself a new project.’ I was talking to Strider on the phone, The Craftsman was in the bathroom getting ready to shower. I heard the water start, a crashing sound, then silence. After a short bit, I told the eldest and he said to check. We both heard an aggravated, clipped response of, “I’m Fine.” Well, after being around mum for so long, fine is not a word I appreciate. Thankfully, he really was ok, but somehow his wet foot on the edge of the tub slipped off and struck the inside of the tub. He’s darn lucky he didn’t hamstring himself or slice something important. Bathrooms are a very dangerous location in a house. Always keep a towel with you—especially if you need covered up! (carrying a towel is from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) I’m incredibly thankful we didn’t have to rescue that 6’2” guy from the floor (so is his youngest!).  (you can see the crack running up and down alongside the yardstick I added for perspective)

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Writing of bathrooms and needing to fix them reminds me of some pictures I was sent. My good friend, TnT, just finished tiling a shower area. I wish he was here, isn’t this lovely?