Monthly Archives: May 2016

Memorial Day

(c) NorthstarMLS.com

(c) NorthstarMLS.com

Happy Memorial Day.  Enjoy the weather, the family, the picnic – whatever you have planned.  I’ll be gardening and taking a long leisurely bath.

Remember those who served with their lives.  Remember that many have sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy.  Remember the families of those who have served.  And in remembering, think about all of those whose service was dismissed, or uncredited.  There have always been women serving alongside the men, but because they were not “official” were not counted.  There have been blacks and Native Americans in service for this country whose “special units” were often placed in the most dangerous situations.  Japanese American families lost loved ones in the internment camps in the US during WWII.  There are many kinds of service, many kinds of sacrifice.  Let’s honor that in gratitude for what we do have.  Let’s remember.

 

The First Decoration Day

Resolve

20160522_190956Resolve:  verb  with obj. ] settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter): the firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days.

The solution to the problem in the kitchen is clearly to do a remodel.

no obj. ] decide firmly on a course of action: [ with infinitive ] :  she resolved to call Dana as soon as she got home.

That means calling contractors and getting bids to take to the bank to get a loan.

chiefly Chemistry separate or cause to be separated into components.

Components:  Contractor, Banker, Clear the deed, Subordinate city loan, housing for Orion and I while the work goes on.

So far, so good.

Got some tomatoes caged

Got some tomatoes caged

• no obj. ] (of something seen at a distance) turn into a different form when seen more clearly: the orange glow resolved itself into four lanterns.

Contractors don’t want to waste their time writing up a bid on work that I 1. May not be able to afford or 2. May hire someone else for

The season is upon us and contractors already have work (with a GO) lined up.

There is probably more to do than I can afford and I have to prioritize.

This isn’t going to happen quickly.

The contractors who could do the work faster have larger teams/businesses and also larger prices.

The peony (and other perennials) need some attention!

The peony (and other perennials) need some attention!

Resolve: noun firm determination to do something: she received information that strengthened her resolve | she intended to stick to her initial resolve.

The only way this is going to happen is if I just keep plugging away at it.

Actually my whole life seems a little like this right now.  I put the gardening on hold, not knowing what will be torn up.  I can’t take it so I spent the weekend planting.  I’ve mostly got things in containers, so they could be moved.  But if this isn’t going to start until August I want tomatoes and basil!

The lawn has been mowed. That required having the tractor overhauled.  The blades needed sharpening and there was a nut that disappeared.

The hose has a huge hole in it.  It actually has for sometime.  I bought a new hose long enough ago I can’t remember.  I dug it out of the garage and hooked it up.  It actually reaches everything!  (Bonus, it doesn’t leak.)

Bills still need to be paid, and credit cards paid off – going back to the issues with the bank.  I need to find time to write, time to garden, time to tend to Orion, time out for myself.

It all comes down to resolve.

I still have a ways to go

I still have a ways to go

When the sun is shining and the breeze is keeping the bugs away I have to remember not to play hookey from my life.   I also have to remember to take a minute and appreciate the day.

I resolve to do both!

 

Definitions from the New Oxford American Dictionary

Back-up

This isn’t the post I was going to write today.  I was going to write about being outside.  I was going to write about enjoying a campfire.  I was going to write about going sailing.

Then I spilled a full mug of hot tea into my lap.

Besides worrying about getting burned and changing clothes and what a mess I made I also worried about what was in my lap.  My laptop.

I threw rice at it (because that’s what you do) but I didn’t have much in the house.  I’m not really eating rice since the bariatric surgery.  I went on my way and enjoyed the day on the water without thinking too much about it.

Monday morning, the time of reckoning.

It turns on, which is a good sign.  It seems like there’s a key stuck.  There’s all sorts of things being entered even when I’m not touching the keyboard.  When I try to type in something there are all kinds of extra characters.  I can’t log in.

I have my fingers crossed that there’s a piece of rice stuck under a key rather than the keyboard shorting out.  I’m afraid I’m not very hopeful about that.  So I have to think about what’s next.

My website designer is reading this shaking her head.  She pretty much tells me to back up every time we talk.  It didn’t come up yesterday, so this is the first time she’s hearing this story.

I recognize the importance of backing up.  I’ve done it now and again.  I don’t have an automatic set-up.  I don’t have a “system” where I back up every Friday (or whatever).  In fact, despite the regular reminders from my tech support I’m not really sure when I did my last back-up.

Not only am I unsure of when, I’m also not entirely sure of where.  There’s got to be a thumb drive somewhere in the house with my files and photos (at least from maybe 6 months ago?)  I’ve got a few thoughts about where it might be, but they’re tenuous at best.

Even if I find them I know I’m missing most of my latest book, photos that I’ve deleted from the phone and not shared on the web, and several recipes. I couldn’t say for sure what else, because my computer is the brains of this operation.

The stuff on the internet is redeemable, but it’s not in one place.  There’s no guarantee I can find it all or get it all back.  There’s a photo I’m particularly grateful I put on my phone under my parents’ number.  There’s another of Karina and my recent haircuts that if I didn’t share it on a blog may be lost forever.

So if I go to the genius bar today (you know they require you make appointments on line.  That’s a challenge when your computer is broken!) wish me luck.  And BACK-UP YOUR COMPUTER!

Hello/Goodbye

20160507_204506It’s always bittersweet coming to recognize that it is time to let something go.  Drawing the line in the sand and saying, “enough” takes courage and strength.  Being able to walk away when something you care about is no longer willing or able to receive help from your presence is heartbreaking.  Moving on, knowing you’re doing what you need to do, and being free from those obligations that have become burdensome is freeing.  Being grateful for what you have, what you’ve left and learned, what opportunities that freedom opens up, is healing.

Neither my Mom nor Karina was available on Sunday

Neither my Mom nor Karina was available on Sunday

For whatever reason I seem to be participating in various stages of this process this month in multiple arenas.  I have friends both walking away, and unable to walk away from toxic relationships.  I have friends in desperate need of medical support some choosing to get it, others in vehement denial.  I put  lot of volunteer hours with an organization shutting it’s doors, and more hours with another involved in a large fundraising drive.  It was Mother’s Day weekend, and my Mother was out-of-town.  It was the weekend the family chose to celebrate my ex-father-in-law’s 90th birthday.

Volunteering at Gilda's Club

Volunteering at Gilda’s Club

This appears to be a year of transitions for me.  The slow process of getting my house in order is the physical manifestation of what seems to be going on in my spirit.  I have opportunities.  I’m writing another book, I’m looking for speaking engagements, I’m trying to figure out what a career will look like at this stage in my life.  I’m also struggling with letting go, setting boundaries and managing my time and resources.

It’s all up in the air!

I’m grateful that it’s spring.  Although my gardening is going on “hold” again this year, the season still carries all that potential.  The lilacs and apple trees are blooming.  The birds wake me up in the mornings.

Saying goodbye to our Local Council supporters

Saying goodbye to our Local Council supporters

I’m setting seeds into my life.  Some will sprout, others won’t.  Some will come up, and then need pulling. Others will thrive.  That is what I’m hanging on to.

Culling

Radishes can only be sprouts this close together

Radishes can only be sprouts this close together

One of the aspects of spring, easy for urbanites to ignore, is the culling.  The birthing season for many farm animals means deciding which of the newborns will live, which will be sold, which will be food for the family.   With gardening, the sprouts need to be thinned, the weeds need to be pulled, bushes are pruned and flowers are picked or left to bloom and eventually seed.

Part of the process of dealing with my kitchen cupboards falling off the walls is preparing to have my house torn apart for months.  This isn’t just a kitchen project.  It also involves the bathroom, the basement, the driveway, and some of the yard.  I have water issues, mold issues and years of neglect.

Mold everywhere and bookcases falling apart

Mold everywhere and bookcases falling apart

My basement has been the land of denial for more years than I can count.  I spend as little time as possible down there (because I have massive allergic reactions if I stay).   There’s a lot of plain trash.  Paper and fabric and wood that has been ruined by water and eaten by mold.  I haven’t been able to deal with it because I can’t:

  1. touch it (without breaking out and/or having an asthma attack)
  2. haul it up the stairs
  3. stand to be there long enough to see what is salvageable

So, in fits and starts, I have someone (equipped with gloves and a respirator) doing steps 1 and 2 for me.  Step 3 is a little more difficult.  There is a lot that I never have to see.  It’s undeniably trash.  It walks out my door in a bag.  I may sigh at a loss, but mostly it’s good riddance.

But there is plenty down there where the distinction is not so clear.  Mostly that would be books.  The books in bookcases are probably a little (or a lot) moldy.  The bookcases themselves are falling apart.  But the books look okay.  The books are my references, my treasures, my comfort.  They’re books!

"To sort" (and more to come!)

“To sort” (and more to come!)

If I’m a hoarder, it’s about books.  There is always money for food, and books.  There is always room for food, and books.  There can not be enough bookcases.  As soon as I get a new one, it’s full.  I’m a writer, which means I’m a reader.  My basement is full of books.

They come up the stairs box by box.  They are no longer in any order, packed more for viability than placement.   I have to sort, and cull.   Do I really need 3 large boxes of children’s picture books?  My children are 23 and 27 and I have no grandchildren on the way.  How many herbology books do I need?  When do the mythology references just become an indulgence?

There are memories in those books.  Some of them survived the house fire when I was a teenager.  I open them and smell the smoke, but they also hold the memories of childhood escapes.  I spent late nights under the covers with a flashlight, long afternoons in hammocks, curled up on the limbs of a tree with these books.

“Declutter” is the catch word of the day.  But this is not clutter.  The books without places went out in black trash bags, damp and falling apart.  These are the ones that had places on shelves that will no longer support them.  These are the curated books that survived multiple moves and life stages.  This is culling, and it’s necessary, and it’s hard.

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