Debris or not debris???

I started a handwritten post a while ago, but didn’t manage to get it typed up. I’m constantly tired and find myself mindlessly playing games on my ipad (note, I play til I lose lives or win one level completely on word games). Sometimes I read, I often sit outside in the sunshine, every so often do a spot of yard work… I am not really as brown as the second picture (photos were taken a day apart), but I am enjoying the sunshine! When I return to the states (Oregon), I’ll not have this sort of tan again. Here in Alaska I am out the boonies by myself. Naked is pretty safe! (I do keep an oversized shirt close, just in case, but I’ve never needed it!) Safe isn’t what I need….

 

What I need is more time. (and money!)

As you can see, I am surrounded by debris. Piles for donation, my sister, myself, to sell, or whatever. Most of the closets and cupboards are almost empty. Or at least they have been gone through! I’m still living here, so I need to keep some things. I do NOT want to go and live with my sister for a month or so and drive out here to work each day as has been suggested. (I’d go batty at her house!!)  Her spouse hates I’m sending stuff back with her and there is shouting and noise. I like it here.

In fact, that is the hardest part. I do not want to leave. I want to keep so many things. But, I cannot. There are four things a person can do with stuff. Keep it, sell it, donate it, or toss it out. I’m astounded by how much I’ve tossed. In fact, the other day I hit a low because I got all guilty about getting rid of pictures. I blamed myself for not realizing others were a part of mom’s life. As I was sorting photos I put them in three sections. Me, Jake, and WTF is this? (who, not what). Thankfully, my sister has a memory like mom’s. She knows and recalls every single thing that ever happened to her from diapers on. Me? I have difficulty remembering if I’ve taken my meds! So, Jake can usually figure out who is in a picture and if it should be saved. Anyway, I laughingly mentioned on FB how mum had pictures of everyone from birth. One relation asked me if I could save the ones of her family and mail them. (I had JUST thrown them away!) I went through a bag I’d not tossed and found a few, but gods, I felt so horrible!!!

On Wednesday, a friend will visit who will help me pack up things for posting to Oregon. It is going to be so freaking expensive! And I still need to pay a few big bills that are mine and not my sister’s. (house insurance and what not, I’m using more electricity with darkness falling earlier…) Then, selling bits of lives isn’t as easy as I’d hoped. The jukeboxes are worth much less than we thought. (Specialty items generally are!) People often say they ‘want’ something if they see it on FB, but they don’t come through. Frustrating. The Craftsman still thinks I should sell mom’s beautiful watch if I need to. (I really really don’t want to. I’ve never gotten mad at him before, but this is starting to frustrate me more than anything else I’ve managed to adjust to!) I think of ABBA’s song and just cry inside. If I had a little money…but, if wishes were horses, we’d all know how to ride. And shovel manure!

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Thankfully, I keep finding interesting or good things. This black and white is wonderful. Mum has a large framed colorized version of it, lots of singles of people in the photo, and there are no names or dates anywhere to be found on any of them. It was driving us crazy!  This one, however, has all of that information on the back! I was so thankful. Another thing I’d forgotten was my real dad had a nickname. It shows up on many pictures. The first time I read it, I was so confused. In fancy cursive, Sonny looks a smidge like Harry and I knew the man was Harry, but some of the other photos had a definite ‘S’. That is another funny thing. My sister suggested to me last week she wants to have her DNA tested. Because she believes she’s my half-sister!!! (She looks like my mom’s side, not much like our birth fathers. I look like both, but more like his side.)

I have also found little special moments bringing a pause in my stampeding passage of time. A group of ducks wisely staying away from a lone loon, white fireweed fluff (seed) separating from the stalk to create more flowers next year, a mama moose with twins stopping for a drink at the far end of the lake (those were too far away to photograph properly), and a piece of petrified wood I placed on a beach log for perspective. It really is a beautiful world!!

Smoke & Sunshine

There’s a favorite classic piece of music I like. One version is by Henry Mancini, it’s called Smoke gets in Your Eyes. Beautiful and romantic. I am thankful that here, in my neck of the woods in Alaska, it’s just in the sky and not my eyes. So far! We’ve had some gorgeous days, almost too hot, because the entire area is on a fire burn ban! I’m not sure how large the nearest fire is, but it has changed the sky. Our sunsets are orange, with a hint of mauve. Pretty, but I miss the blue skies.

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I have been sorting and tossing the last few days, mum’s church is (this is so kind, it makes me want to cry in gratitude!) hosting a craft fair sort of thing. Jake nicknamed it SABLE, Stash acquired beyond life expectancy. I’ve had so many ask if this sale will be all her belongings. I laugh and gently tell them, “No, this one will be like a Joanne’s basement sale.” It’s definitely a stash! The last thing I’ve found today, all in the same carry bag, was a read aloud story she told at a local story telling gathering about a fishing trip. There also was a publication of poetry and prose, one of the teachers in my high school was in it, and a couple of special photos all by themselves in an album from a long ago trip to Hawaii. (Do you recognize him?)

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One thing KK said to me about tossing, eventually you just get so tired you just throw it all away. He was right, I tossed out things today I would have saved awhile ago. I have asked Jake to come out and get help or get stuff, but she’s pretty busy. I have a few others lined up. (I’ll need more flexible bodies than mine to get stuff up from the basement, I carried a few totes up the other day and it was not pleasant. Dragging them down the stairway was much easier than carting them up!)

It’s not all work, though. In the evening, about 5pm, I have been going outside to sunbathe til 7. (It’s been that warm out!) It’s absolutely apparent which portions of me are more visible to the elements. (No, not showing that photo!) I do keep a cover up near, the road has a lot of traffic about dinner time! I’m probably overly cautious, I rarely get visitors and most of them text or call first! (And Jake milks goats at that time!)

I’ve only been out in the kayak once. It was to retrieve a dead duckling in the weeds. I didn’t like leaving it near where the others usually roost, but I hope to get out soon. I was surprised yesterday to discover it was the weekend, it was as if the week melted in the heat! I’m looking forward to meeting with high school friends Sunday afternoon. Some of us haven’t seen each other, except online, in over 30 years. I wonder if I can look 98 pounds again? (photos: Shadows in orange sunshine and just me!)

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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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Favorite Morning Song

I was blessed to see a “Silver white winter melting into spring” this morning, I went outside, dancing dodging drips from the icy branches, and grinned! A million songs popped into my head to celebrate the morning. Church ones, pop and rock tunes, and of course, my all time favorite whistle. “Sunny day, keeping the clouds away…” Yes, the Sesame Street theme song. (Or it was a million years back, it’s probably changed..) No matter, when you see a beautiful morning or day in front of you, do you have a song that jumps into your mind?

(I’d highlight and italics words, but I forgot til now and trying to go back and select a section is proving ridiculous. My last post on costumes, the WordPress site tweaked it horribly. I didn’t notice til I read it much later.) 

 

Saturday…

in the snow, it’s definitely NOT the fourth of July!!! (the fourth has less darkness and more mosquitoes.) The above truck is out near where I get pizza. I’m thinking it may stay put til July!

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My first errand today sidetracked all the rest of them. Sir Wrench had finished mum’s car early! I called the SC (by rights, he was a knight first so I’ll remember that in the future. Damsels can knight anyone they want!) and was once again rescued. He waited at the airport for me while I filled the car with not even a gallon of gas (mum’s car needs a lot more, I forgot to fill it….) and dropped it off. I am going to miss this car more than I thought. Of all the rentals I have had, this Subaru Outback is my favorite vehicle. I parked it next to a car which had been rented to a woman with a small child. (I overheard her telling the gal at the counter that her son ate in the backseat and it might need scrubbing….) I did eat the ice cream in mine, but it is still very tidy and the only ice cream dropped was on me. (of course)

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After I got mum’s car, I drove back into town and looked for two things I didn’t find yesterday. Glucose tablets for me and medicated soap for mom. I finally opted to get some stronger than usual anti-bacterial hand soap. (you’d think the hospital might send a script or at least tell me where to find the stuff they wanted her to use before her surgery. I’m going to assume this is ok.) The glucose tablets I got were in tubes of 10 or so. They are hard to open and I’m going to transfer them to older tubes. (when a low blood sugar happens, the last thing I want to do is drop glucose tablets. I did that once, it was not amusing.) I also these soft, squishy toys and decided to add a comment to the photo.

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A best part of today was this:

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It’s not summer at the moment, but I consumed part of a glass of it and brought some home. For real, I drank a wine that reminded me of kayaking on sparkling lake water in the summer sunshine. I can’t remember the name of it. It was a white wine from France. I don’t know what it actually tasted like as to distinct flavors. I do remember I closed my eyes as it balanced on my tongue and saw and heard lake water and felt a breeze and sunshine. I really liked it!

Two other photos are of my new cape and the two flamingos I was able to bring home. The pink one looks to be a bit of a coquette. The purple bird seems a bit more responsible and appears to be larger than the pink one. I reckon that is the male. They don’t have names yet.

In other news, one of my yahoo mail addresses told me via the iPad that it had ‘expired’ (thankfully, it is NOT the one connected to WP), I can’t get google chrome to pop up on my laptop in less than 10 minutes, and my camera chip won’t work the laptop properly. Mum is going back and forth in pain and glucose levels, I’m toying with the idea of some piercings, and learning stressful experiences can cause one to gain weight as easily as ice cream. (Guess which of the two I tend to have more of? I wonder if I can get chocolate caramel flavored stress.)

I am sad-

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I am sad because, after the brief interlude of sunshine during lunch (we didn’t go in to the luncheon mum was to attend, she was in a great deal of pain), the rest of the day went pretty much as the morning had. Horrid.

I am sad because I spoke to a friend and found bruises all over her arms, from her husband’s dog. A dog his daughters gave to him and he cannot control and who ate one of the medicines he is supposed to take. A whole bottle. And her expensive bracelet when she was jumped upon. (and this is just today!) I am sad because on my long drive to get mum’s prescription, I realized how expendable bobbers are. I am sad because I am alone in the caring for my mum and it hurts. A lot. I am sad because I wasn’t trusted to be strong enough to realise I didn’t really need someone I depended on. I am sad because I had no freaking idea a debit card with a visa stamp wasn’t both. (That one also made me feel like an idiot.) I am sad because the line at the first store I visited was very long and I’d left my book in the car. I am sad because when I used the bathroom at the store where I dropped off mum’s prescription, there was what I hope was water on the floor in the stall. I am sad because I CRIED out in public, in the sunshine, while sitting on the bench with my dad’s memorial plaque on it. (it isn’t easy for me to cry, tough people can’t.) I am sad because I don’t want to keep doing what I am doing and I’m tired and daddy can’t do a damn thing from his side of the curtain. I am sad because when I left the park where dad’s bench is, I delicately put the pointed toe of my best dress boots into dog crap. (In the park where there are clearly marked baggies for pet refuse.) I was so sad I ate all the servings in the bag of mini chocolate covered hostess donuts. (6 servings of 3 donuts each) I was sad when I drove past the lake where the swans hang out and didn’t see them. I was sad when I drove past the Senior Center where mum used to go, because she doesn’t go there anymore and she is forgotten. I was sad because there is a dinner coming up and we won’t be there. I want to do something fun and slightly fancy. (OK< that is just whining. I’ve had the chance to watch two movies in the theatre and two at a friend’s since last November and fancy is not something most people think to do with me, even if I could go! I’m ordinary and a bit immature and I HAVE had two ‘fancy’ sorts of experiences. Once around my birthday and one last November.) I am sad because when I made dinner, I dropped two pieces of fried halibut on the floor (mum’s dog was very pleased!).

However, besides the sun break around lunch time, there were a few other bits of good things scattered in the day. When I met my friend with the bruised arms, I also got to squeeze hands with one of the postal workers..thru a mail box! (I felt quite like I was being introduced to a roving female ‘Thing’ from the Addams Family). At the first store I went to, two VERY nice ladies waited in line while I dashed to grab two movie size boxes of Jr. Mints. The two young men ahead of me were also incredibly kind, and funny. (I guess those good things came in twos!) In the bathroom of the second store, there was one paper towel container still holding paper towels. While I was at the park, a man was listening to music and when he quietly broke into song, it wasn’t off key. I decided I didn’t need to go to the bank and get a credit card, the man at the rental place said I could use mum’s if I had POA papers. (I don’t think I could get a card by Monday anyway) I was able to clean off my boot thoroughly with one of those floss tooth picks when I got home. I got to text a friend for a bit. My fried halibut was ok, mum didn’t complain about it to me. (HOOORAY!) I read outside for 30 minutes after dinner, it was too cold to stay out past 730. (I had forgotten my coat and something to sit on.) But, I came inside and finished my book.

So, even with the ridiculous things that happen in a day, you just gotta count the positive ones. No matter how small. Otherwise, you are going to roll over in the waves and drown.

Fleeting

Here comes the sun….nope!

I really need to learn to sleep before mum’s morning appointments. Sunday night, I slept little and Monday I was knackered. She walking better and was able to hobble in to her blood draw. I found out why she was so annoyed with me about it. Mum HATES having to wait and be a part of a queue. (funny, as a teacher type, you think she’d be used to lines!!) When I was called to bring her in, I should have made an actual appointment, so she wouldn’t have to wait. Thankfully, it was a short wait. The young man drew her blood, took a urine sample, told her the urine had sugar and no bugs for a UTI (I was surprised, I thought they needed to let those cultures cook, but I guess not), and dismissed her. Mum was sad. I understand that, so was I. I wish she could see someone who could put everything together. Each person she sees focuses on one segment of her health and cancer takes away all the segments. Her diabetes dr sometimes looks at everything, but not often. And since I am always bleating like a baby, they are starting to dismiss what I note. Crazy!

So, after doing a couple of errands after lunch, I decided I wanted to go out on the water and in the sunshine. Earlier, I had gone to the post and picked up some ice cream at the store. It wasn’t my favorite, I thought I’d branch out in my disgust of a very long week. (It was ok, but the other flavor will be chosen next time.) I sorted mum and headed for the lake. The wind made it a bit bouncy at times, sort of logical for my week, but I berthed the kayak on the edge where I was safe. I wore my new string bottoms (didn’t remove them, it was such a short lake time!) and enjoyed the sunshine with sugar, then read a favorite kid book.

While reading, I was seriously drifting. Lost in words, I wasn’t paying much attention to anything else. The wind pushed me out of my haven and into the open water. I was being shunted to and fro rather quickly.  I finished Miss Pickerell, noticed where I was, and situated myself to actually paddle, when it got dark! I blinked and looked up at the sky. One half was bright blue with the other half, completely cloudy. Clouds which extended to the horizon, enveloping the bright sun! I was so annoyed. I had counted on a lovely sparkling afternoon of reading. I’d even brought two books!  No matter, I high paddled it for land. It was time to give mum meds anyway. On shore, I lifted the kayak against my thighs to turn it upside down and noticed creatures scooting across the bottom. Yup, leeches. I even had a teeny one on my leg, which pinched when I plucked it off. Next foray out, I’m taking a salt shaker with me!!!

I don’t remember much of the rest of the afternoon. I did make meatloaf for dinner with mashed potatoes. Mum chose WAY too many of those, I’d have given her maybe a half cup. She took about two. It is her body! I know mine was tired. I was so tired I took two Tylenol at 830 and slept and slept. (I did wake to take my bedtime shot) I was also sore. My wonky right knee often aches and lately, the small of my back has been hurting. This, in turn makes my legs ache more. Real relaxation seems to help. As fleeting as everything seems to be, except this very long week!