Bleeding Hearts, the flower and the feeling.

What I love about my bleeding hearts is they are reliable, prolific, and long lasting. These have been in bloom for at least two weeks. Pictured is Baby, the big offspring of the mother plant. She was placed in a trashy corner of the yard and has begun to thrive.

So, my personal bleeding heart. I had a good moment this morning, I stood up, and I was thankful I was able to get up by myself, in my own house, with delicious coffee nearby. Realized my haves are beginning to counter my have nots. They are not equal, and never shall be, but the emotional balance is stabilizing. Acceptance according to the flawed grief stage propaganda. Those stages are an outline and suggestion, and often a lie.

So my have nots are big, and in one word, Larry. My friend, my lover, my companion, my caretaker, my strong back, my handyman, chauffer, and landscaper. I have lost couple vacations, road trips, camping, and spontaneous outings. Really miss rides and road trips, I have loved those forever. I am frustrated I cannot run errands when I wish. I really miss common touch and sex. My reason to exist, my why, has fundamentally shifted to an unknown quantity. Well, I am not getting that back. I will always be sad about that, not even part of any equation. So here I am, sad, but lately, feeling like I am not entirely done.

My haves are varied and complex. My health, such as it is. My senses. My sanity (shut up). I have been vaccinated. My house, and an income to pay the bills of said house. My cats. My vacation points and Massage Envy membership. My stuff, clothes, jewelry, toys. My internet and Amazon to bring me things. My working appliances.

I have Desi, who is a treasure. Jeremy calls when he can, and that is a lovely connection. I have other friends and family who love me, although visits are sparse. If I cannot garden or drive or fix things, I can pay someone.

I can get up in the morning, and as long as I feed the cats, or do not have an appointment, or it isn’t trash day, I can pretty much do as I please. I can binge watch shows online or my DVDs or TV reruns. I have a Kindle and an Audible library to enjoy. I can sew, bead, or paint. I can garden. I can cook and bake. I can nap or I can get up at midnight and have tea and listen to music. I can go for a walk, although physically, that’s terrifying. I can ride my trike, also terrifying. I could restart my movie membership and go watch movies at the mall when I wish. I do not have friends in town, but I have always been rather solitary as long as I can remember. I even had close friends at times, and still was content when solo. I can do solo.

Perhaps my bleeding heart is coming back, blooming a bit. Transplanted to a trash corner of life? Let’s see what takes and what returns.

First of May, First of May

This morning was water the grass early, pull a few weeds, and plant some seeds. Pulled up a patch of weird grass in the patio bed to clear the sprinkler head, transplanted that to the back containers. Not a clue what it is other than prolific. I probably will get the shady flowers seeds in the ground today. Maybe even weed whack all the sprinkler heads so they are not overgrown. Someone needs to take me to the nursery to buy all the plants! ALL THE PLANTS!!!

The weather is warming, means I have the little fan going in the bedroom. A little squeaky meant a few drops of sewing machine oil, so it smells like mom when she was making dresses. It’s a cheap fan, I dream of owning a snazzy Dyson bladeless. This one was advertised as bladeless, but they’re simply covered.

The outdoor and Big Chores list is revamped. Surprisingly, a few items from the last list got done. A very few, but still, done. My little weekly list has been updated too, time for swap outs, stuff like sheets, silk flowers, clothing. I did get into the workroom and put boxes on the shelves in the closet, tidy the fabric totes, and move stuff around. If I had less stuff, I would have less to fuss with, but that’s another matter entirely.

I put in for a quote from TruGreen. After two years of no love, and no water, the front lawn is a mess. Lots of dandys, way to much bindweed, and not enough grass. No way I can salvage my front lawn myself. Chemicals it will be. Not the backyard, of course, I am actively trying to grow clover back there, and I have lovely lawn violets. Sure, there’s crabgrass, but not more than I can handle. The thing with the front yard is a combination of city ordinances and property values. Green grass is visually desirable. Noelle from Om and Garden will mow every other week, so that works. Hopefully the mower holds up! It’s 20 years old at least, a Craftsman.

And this is the good section.

Thor’s Day is Chores Day.

I try to do a little something every day. I have the usual stuff like feed the cats and do the dishes, but I try to tackle something mundane daily. Cornbread waffles was first this morning, I as hungry and it is good to dip into the pantry staples and use dry goods up. Dishes, of course. I emptied the whole wheat flour container, it smelled off, and flour should be replaced when it is well over three years old.

The yard was next, a little leaf sucking near the back door. There’s crud on the patio, but the battery died. The solar spinner came in so I had to put that together. Pretty, the color and design are nice, but the support tubing is crappy. A couple shepherds crooks next to it and some electrical tape solved that. I need to go to the nursery and get plants now, I hung the little teacup planters on the hooks. Got the weed whacker out so I can get it going for Noelle. The yard is looking very nice, most of the sprinklers are alright although the main valve is leaky. I can deal with that at the end of the season.

I washed my hair. This does not sound like much, but it’s a chore. So much hair. I also scrubbed the tub a little. I cannot do the whole thing at once, but I got the most visible grunge gone. I cleaned the toilet yesterday, a chore I find it easy to neglect.

That’s not much right there, but now my back and hips feel very weak and I am wiped out. I hate my lack of stamina and the constant exhaustion. Probably need vitamins. I suck at that too.

Spring Forward

For the last two weeks, Noelle with Om & Garden has been helping to clean up the flowerbeds. First was the north side of the house, so those little raspberry canes are in the bed instead of the grass now. The west bed is tidied, as is the bed right behind the house and the one alongside the patio. We worked it out so she can do the mowing and edging too, using my mower and whacker. I won’t get a weekly mow, but every other week should be sufficient. So wonderful to have someone who loves to garden work with me, instead of a guy who just wants to get the grass done and go on to his beer. She doesn’t mind if I hang out and chat; the sun and the company are good for me. I did get a lot of little bells hung on the crooked fence, my hope is to get it repaired next year. There have been high winds on and off, so I have not gone outside as much as I usually would. The water is on, I think, but I have not tried my system just yet. Soon.

I gave Noelle Larry’s hammocks. They have hung in the patio for three years now, no need to hang onto them. Rather, she can hang them and her family can enjoy them. This feels right. I also had a couple Bleeding Heart starts she took to transplant, the large one behind the kitchen window is a natural naturalizer.

Stella unplugged the downstairs freezer. I have it fixed so she can’t get back there now, but I lost about $50 in chicken and bagged meals and turkey burgers. The two little pork loins were thawed but still chilled; I got them into the slow cooker overnight and now have a LOT of pulled pork. The stuff in the bottom was still icy, so I didn’t worry about the meat and the butter. Gah. Fur jerks.

I am picking away at the house chores, right now the downstairs bathroom needs love and is the focus. My energy and stamina are way down, and lots of aches and stiffness. That’s uncomfortable.

And so it goes. Time rushes on and I am in my little capsule.

And now for something different

I have not worn make up for years. An ad on FB piqued my interest, Lady Gaga’s cosmetics line, Haus Laboratories. I splurged and got a matte lip crayon, and a small “collection” of Goddess hues in eye sparkle, lip gloss and lip liner. This spurred me to get blonde/brown brow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, and new blush, intended for “mature” skin, by L’Oreal. I tossed a lot of what I was hanging onto but not using, including 30 year old blush and some very old lipsticks, and novelty stuff meant for Burning Man but never used. Dust was enough. Oddly, the matte crayon I chose is called “Dust”. Perfect.

Not that I was ever great with make up, but now I am badly our of practice. I cannot see well even in the magnifying mirrors. Still, I think I did alright. We shall see if my intention to wear color on my lips and eyes holds up. I know how I can get enthusiastic about an activity, then fail to follow through after a little while.

I have been doing a little outside daily. Today was VERY little, but I did pick up sticks and trash, and looked over the north flowerbed. I got wildflower seeds and seeded a couple raised beds, and put harvested seeds into containers. I have decided what I need from the nursery, I just need a ride and a little help. There are raspberries coming up in the side yard grass, I need to get one those soon.

Egging Myself On

This morning was pleasant, I sat outside and had coffee. Fresh soft air on my legs, listening to the birds, watching a crow worry a hawk. Gulls and geese too, migration season is upon us. No kids out and about, I blame General Conference. Not bad considering I slept poorly, woke up with a headache and raging tinnitus.

The yard guy showed up last Thursday, did a fairly professional job. Did a few things I did not care for, but hey, nothing major. My lawn will look nice enough. Pineview water comes on the 19th, which means that even with drought conditions, I can have something other than weeds and dead gray grass. I need to get out to Valley Nursery and pick up some sand to mix in my strawberry bed, some creeping thyme, and a few annuals. Lowe’s would do too, but I know Valley has a more intriguing selection.

Today I got the Christmas silk flowers back into the shed’s loft, took down the big bag of packing peanuts, got the small water container on the small loft. Tidying up. I have decided what needs to go into the trailer to go to the dump. The peanuts for one thing. The shelf on the patio fence, it is too weathered to save and I do not need it. The PVC hoops for the trailer, I know that set up is never going to happen again. I want to get rid of the ugly metal office table on the patio. When Larry brought that home, I was quite annoyed. That was one of the times I gave him the “quit hauling crap home” lecture. There’s a small wooden mantel which I can use as a side table. Reducing the amount of stuff is necessary.

I did rake up some leaves, futzed with the wedding bouquet bushes. Got the old sunflower seeds in a planter, and was surprised to see I have no wildflower seeds. There are snapdragons and pansies, although I have doubts about how they will do. A handful of morning glory seeds got tossed around, they’re weeds, they will take or they will not. That doesn’t sound like a lot of activity, but it wiped me out. A look at the veggie garden and I have an idea of what to do in dribs and drabs. The plan is to do something in the yard each day, anything. Pick up sticks and leaves, work on the bushes, weed, general tending. I will get there.

Where’s the Fun?

I have been chipping away at the yard. Get up some mulch, look for the sprinkler heads, put out the gnomes. Booked a professional lawn mower. I got some nails to put up the license plates on the shed, but wow, the wood is hard. I got the crow silhouette nailed to a stump, so there’s that.

My neighbor is taking out all the grass in their backyard. I do not want to be the nosy neighbor, I do not. But he hates yardwork and gardening so I would be shocked if he xeriscaped. I would not be shocked if he paved it all over. I have my fingers crossed for new sod. I feel like I am obsessing about it and have no one to talk to so I can settle down. I hate the hampster wheel thoughts, round and round. I just have to wait it out. No, I cannot ask him. He already thinks I’m crazy, so the self-doubt gnaws at me. ARGH.

I did update my DeviantArt page. Noice. What in the world are llama badges? I feel so old.

I want to go for a drive up the canyon. I want ice cream and Chinese food and pizza. ARGH.

Whew.

Odd what trivial things have changed without Larry around. I need to be mindful of the laundry, so my baskets don’t get heavier than I can handle easily. My bedroom is on the opposite end of the house from the stairs to the basement. To get a basket down to the laundry room, I have to carry it through the hall and kitchen, and lift it up over the narrow pinch point between the stove and the counter. Some days it is easier to do than others. Today I dumped out the laundry on the back landing, slid the empty basket down the stairs, and then kicked the dirty laundry down a few steps at a time. Next I had to chase Gemma around the house to get my socks back. The laundry is in the washer, there will be two loads.

I went outside to drink my second cup of coffee with the sun and the birds. The big blue egg and the turtle went out into the front flowerbeds, and the plastic drain pan. That meant pulling more old iris rhizomes. There were rocks which needed moving, small ones. Almost time for the rain barrels, and past time for flowerbed clean up.

There’s a wooden chest on the patio, nothing special other than it is the one dad made to go on the ocean liner as luggage. Still has the Matson Lines luggage tag. It’s plywood, and in sad shape after 50 years. All that was in it were mom’s two rose prints, and those are beat up too. I got them out, after move the stuff on top of the chest, and took them off their pretty backing boards. Those are too far gone to save, but I can tidy up the prints. Someone put nails through the back, which poked through the prints. I can fix that. I will use the chest to hold furniture covers and the rose wraps. I was going to put chair cushions in, but the dimensions are wrong. Now to get rid of the stupid big stump. Not a clue how to do that.

I did hang two small pictures yesterday, picture day has become picture week.

Progess and back

I had grand plans for doing stuff Monday. I did get the two signed Burning Man prints into frames. I found the command hooks I was looking for. The rest of “picture day” fell through. I played a lot on my favorite phone games. Didn’t do much in the way of watching my media either, and it is piling up. I was watching an old women’s prison movie. A lot of bad stuff happening to a good woman tropes. I turned it off when she was in the prison yard, in the snow, and picking up a tiny mewing kitten. Nothing good could happen to that kitty, so I turned it off. I haven’t returned to Fear the Walking Dead because they’d separated Daniel from Skidmark, and while I bet it turns out well enough, I just cannot right now.

The weather had been nice, but I have not gone outside to begin the gardening. It is time, but I’m stuck again. I just do not want to do this without Larry. I ordered a small deck bin for the faucet and hose reel covers and will get rid of the black shelves. Maybe that will get my outdoor juices flowing. Almost time to plant strawberries, once I get the mulch up.

I did get out the beads and made a hanger for the cobalt uranium sun catcher. There was a broken evil eye hanger in the box, so I fixed and hung that too. I cleaned the vitamin basket area, and the top of the microwave. Swapped out the placemats I keep there. I cleaned the top of the trash can, it was ooky. Used the carpet sweeper, although I really need to vacuum. I cleared away the paper pile at the end of the kitchen counter. Tossed expired coupons and old paid utility bills, city newsletters. Found my mammogram reminder and the old American Express cards, the blue ones with one for Larry. cancelled the cards and made a mammo appointment! Yay me! Sorted the papers in my lap desk clip.

What’s up, Doc?

Spring is grudgingly arriving. I have some yellow crocus blooming, although my purple out back seems to be missing. Those were in the bed which was crushed by the tree. I could get dressed and go look, but it is a dreary day, damp and too breezy to be comfortable. I feel rather dreary and damp myself. My mood is atrociously low.

I did get my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine. Yay! Utah opened up eligibility for adults over 50, and I was able to get an appointment right away. The clinic was held at the big Dee Center, aka the Super Dee. It looks like a hamburger, and the Dee family used to own a burger chain which eventually became Hardee’s. Their deluxe two patty burger was the Super Dee. So there. They had a clown too. Anyway, the event center is circular, with the lines in the wide halls, spaced apart, and the registration, shots, and exit area in the lounges around the outer edges. A sensible and clever arrangement. I get woozy after shots, so a nice National Guard wheeled me out to Desi’s truck in a wheelchair. I assume it was sanitized…

What else? The neighbor is trying to remove his tree stump by pulling on it with his pick up. No comment. As long as it doesn’t careen into my house.

I baked a pie. There was a jar of mincemeat in the pantry, well past the expiration date. That’s okay, it’s mincemeat. It ages if airtight. I got the pie crusts a couple months ago, and they’ve been in the fridge. I know for sure I wouldn’t do a from scratch crust. I can, but I know I would not. I did the egg yolk wash, the finger crimping, the Demara sugar on top. Used my pie crust ring, so the edges didn’t burn. I put some diced candied ginger in the filling, which makes it health food. Uh huh. The pie is beautiful. So yummy. I will be eating pie for breakfast all week.

I spent too much on a frivolous thing on ebay, but it is a very cool frivolous thing. I made a list of chores. Is it cheating to add things you know you’re going to do just to cross them off? Bake a pie was on the list.

I have been painting. Not much, but some. Some is more than none!

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