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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Cha-cha-changes!

 



What is that saying?  The only thing constant is change?  My little family is gearing up for a big one.  Due to lots of factors, The Sisters have decided that we should move north to the parental house in Vermont.  There is much to be done in order to get it ready to sell and we did not want to leave it vacant (even though my sister lives two houses away - another plus!).  As you can see, Officer Peanut is practicing neighborhood watch.  We had the occasion to stay overnight (sans Slimmie) and it was quite the experience.  If Slimmie wasn't such a siren in the car, we could ease our entire pack into the move, but it would be too traumatizing for all of us.

That said, I still have to deal with clearing out my house and selling it - and it's totally skewed my gardening efforts.  I opted for containers - I don't want to leave vege behind.  There is no set date at this point, but it will probably be towards the end of the summer.  With gas prices rising with no end in sight, I will not miss all of the driving.

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Lots of this and lots of that.

 

As spring seems to refuse to assert herself, I doggedly keep starting seeds and accumulating plants.  My lemon tree looks longingly out of the window, wondering if she'll ever feel the soft breezes through her leaves (me, too).  All my window sills are full.  My dining room table is carpeted in green sprouts.  I've turned off the furnace and added a few dozen fleece blankets to the dog beds.  I refuse to turn the heat on past April 30.

After last October, when I discovered a tick a week for four weeks attached to various parts of my body.  I find myself hesitating when having to venture off the deck.  It's amazing that something so small can strike fear into something so large (damn pandemic pounds...)

My favorite farm store has opened.  My sister is experiencing an open schedule and freedom to do what she wants, when she wants, for the first time in seven years.  We are beginning to organize the parental home, although we can't get further in than the garage.  It doesn't seem right.  This is not too much of a problem, as the garage is full of 35+ years of flotsam - Dad saved everything.  We are starting at the bottom and then moving up.

Meanwhile, I am still finding myself getting the wellies on to go out and shut the chicken coop.  Of all the crew, I miss the chickens the most.  I do get to go and visit them and they are living the chicken dream, bless their hearts.

I am wading into the territory of estate lawyers.  I am the executor of my parents' will, so...hi ho.  Luckily, the house was deeded to my sisters and me, so it should (fingers crossed) be less involved.

Connie and I made our way to the Peace Pagoda, one of 3 (or 4?) in the United States.  Sunday was the Flower Festival, celebrating the birth of Buddha.  It was a glorious day and just what we needed.


P.S.  It finally happened.  I overheard a conversation where the ratio of words to "like" was, like, 1:1.  I was so fascinated and mesmerized by hearing "like" every other word, that I couldn't really tell you what was being said.  Like.  You know?

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Mom. 1923-2022. Still not long enough.

What a beauty.

 Mom passed on to her next adventure on April 9th.  It was both expected and a shock.  The three of us are feeling rather untethered from reality at the moment, but we are so very lucky to have had so much time with her and to have so many wonderful memories.  And to have each other.

My favorite photo of the two of us.
Wish I could remember why we were laughing.


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Still here. More or less.

 

One of my favorite photographs
of my mother


My mother is on her way out of this life and onto another adventure.  From her long, one-sided conversations that seem to take up all of her time, she's going to have to work hard to straighten everyone out.  I'll be off-line for a while - until we've seen her safely off.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Thar she blows!

 It's been gloriously warmish and sunny over the past few days.  So, so difficult to keep from running amok with spring fever.  I've started more seeds - flowers this time - three kinds of sunflowers, sweet peas, zinnias, and balloon flowers.  I allowed myself to be thrown under the power of the poppies in the Bakers Creek catalog.  There should be a warning label on that catalog.

Of course, our forecast calls for ice, sleet and snow tomorrow, into Thursday.  Le sigh.  However, today the sun is out full-tilt, but it has gotten pretty nippy.  I was out with the garden cart earlier, starting on the megajob of hauling out a few (hundred) loads of chicken flotsam from the coop and looking forward to a cozy fire in the fireplace, when a hellish dry wind whipped up and distributed most of a cart load in every direction for miles (my neighbors can thank me for the free fertilizer).  It's one of those dangerous zero-humidity high winds that can take a spark and create an inferno.  I'm hoping none of my neighbors decided to burn their Christmas trees today.  There's a steady wind, but there are also gusts that are strong enough to blow the hair off your head (especially if it's loosely attached...)  No fire for us tonight.

I had forgotten to keep track of my Defensive Driving discount on my auto insurance and was shocked into action when I received notice that my monthly bill was going up.  I signed up for the AARP course because, as a member, I get a discounted rate.  The downside is that you are constantly made to feel that you have one foot in the grave and are a danger to all on the road.  Fergodsake.  They give you little pop quizzes to judge your level of decrepitude - totally bogus.  I answered all of them correctly and was treated to dire warnings that I need to see my GP about my declining mental and physical health.  The nerve.  Quite frankly, the only interesting nugget of information that I came out with at the end of the (brainfreezingly long) course was that tires have a shelf life of six years and you should ask your mechanic how old they are before buying them.

Speaking of cognitive health, I am taking a Spanish course online.  I know I am getting better at it because I am no longer answering in Anglo-Dutch-Spanish.  This reminds me of the time I went fly fishing with a girlfriend off the banks on Long Island, many moons ago.  We completely missed the LARGE no-fishing sign and were merrily casting away, when a F and G officer swaggered up to arrest us.  Probably not to arrest us, but he looked a bit menacing.  When he pointed out the sign, I started babbling in a mixture of Dutch/Spanish, nodding and smiling.  P followed suit, without the babbling.  He slowed his speech down to mono-syllables and upped the volume - NO FISHY HERE.   I babbled some more, both of us nodding and smiling, and we scampered back to P's car.  La phew.

For those of you who requested it, here is The Table:

It is presently, as you can clearly see, the hub of my garden-planning/seed-starting activity.


Friday, March 18, 2022

Spring is coming in on a musical note.

 I am basking in the glory of birdsong this morning.  Robins are everywhere, I have heard the all-important-to-spring redwing blackbirds, and today I heard my first bluebird.  O frabjous day!  I also noticed that the red squirrel has been chewing on the opening to the bluebird house.  Bloody rodents.

The back deck has received its first brooming and I hope there is time for it to dry before the rain starts tomorrow.  Both dogs are comatose, having spent a good half hour racing through the sheep paddocks, enjoying the space and smells.  

I am contemplating a gluten free Irish soda bread for Sunday dinner with my sister and mother.  Speaking of which/whom (mother) things are definitely on the downward slide.  It seems like someone flipped the dementia switch and there is very little conversing with her now.  There's a lot of back and forth to VT now and I'm trying to support my sister as much as possible.  Mom is going into comfort care at home and I am very grateful that Vermont has such a great elder care set-up and that my sister is such a rare gem.

Meanwhile, I've been starting seeds and just standing outside, taking deep breaths.  And trying not to think of ticks.

Another entry into my wacko life journal - yesterday, when I went to drop off Mom's tax info, I aimed my key fob at the door to unlock it and, instead of hearing the usual beep, I heard a Canada goose honk.  Pause.  Tried again, same thing.  But it was all in the timing - I looked up to see two geese flying overhead.  It made me think that Subaru should offer various animal sounds on their remote devices.  You could recreate an entire jungle in a parking garage!

My Irish wish to you all:

May the wind be always at your back and up your nose, and may your blessings outweigh your woes.

(Sometimes I just kill myself...)

Friday, March 4, 2022

Note to self: Act your age

 My wifi mysteriously went out a week ago and it's taken until today to solve the problem.  Let's not even consider how many hours of phone-hold time were involved.  At least Verizon has bearable hold music.  Or should that be bare-ably music...  In any event - here I am!

Not much of any significance has been going on.  There has been some knitting.

Matchy-matchy!

One pair down and another on the needles.

There has been cooking.

Sauteed mushrooms,  onions
and spinach

On a polenta base

There has been a lot of driving.

There has been Mom-sitting.  This also gives me more time with my middle sis, so all is good.  But, crikey!  Just shoot me before I hit 90.  The lifestyle is so slow, it goes backwards.

I have also been working on little projects/chores/niggly bits.  I repaired the squirrel damage (for now) to my squirrel proof bird feeder (an oxymoron, if I ever heard one),  I repaired the coop hen door, just in time for their exodus.  I started pepper and scallion seeds and am gearing up to start some early kale.

Speaking of kale - there will be something new in the garden!  If these babies come to be, I will be pinning a blue ribbon from the county fair on my lapel.,

Photo from Rareseeds.com

Oh, man, I can hardly wait to plant this!  Think of the salads!  I could feed the town - town, heck.  With enough of these, I could feed the state.  Especially since I doubt most of my neighbors would eat kale.

Since I was so wound up about my burst of get-er-done energy, I decided to tackle one job that has been on my list for far too long - tightening the legs on my dining room table.  The dang thing has been heaving and leaning in a most alarming manner for months.  I rooted around in my tools (organizing and downsizing of same is still on the list) and got my wrench kit.  Then I flipped the table on its side.  Oy.  Then I flipped it on its top/back.  Oy VEY.  I crept around all four corners, tightening bolts and whinging and whining, then realized I had to put it right side up.  This is no sissy table.  This is a bespoke (sorry, couldn't help myself) table built from Mexican door parts, with neato drawers for napkins.  It weighs a TON.  I managed to ignore it for a while, lying on it's back/top like a big pine turtle.  I vacuumed around it, made a cup of tea, did some knitting, but there was no getting around it (literally and figuratively).  It had to be righted.  I was having my neighbor over for dinner and it's the only dining surface in the house.  I doubted he would take to a picnic on the floor with the dogs.  At 88, it's not feasible to get up and down without help.  Heck, at my age, I have enough trouble myself.  So.... I pulled up my BGP and woman-handled it to its side, then braced a leg with my foot and heaved.  I managed it, but SweetLouise.  I do tend to forget that I am not 30.  Or 40.  Or 50.  You get the picture.  In my mind, I am ageless and invincible.  But that is the only place where those two qualities reside.

I administered Ibuprofen and adult liquids before bed.