Mabon Greetings.

First day of Autumn arrives, the wheel turns as it ever does. Warm outside, but noticeably cooler. I’m seeing down leaves already. Noelle didn’t garden this week, but I have does a few dribs and drabs. Move the cute little hanging pots, put the swirly balloon spinners in the back. Clear off the black table, put away some of the summer silk flowers, swap out the garden flag out front to the Pumpkin Cat. Use rainbarrel water for the container plants, scoop the raccoon poop. The squirrel came and yelled at me, so I put out some nuts. Found a wasp nest, but it is empty. Still, yikes. The birdfeeders need filling.

The house and kitchen look okay to me, although I know I always need to dust and vacuum. Laundry is in mid-cycle of sheets are done and put away, the towels are washed but need to come up and be folded, and are there enough clothes for a load? Trash and kitty litter boxes are right where they should be in the cleaning schedule. The tub nags me, as usual. I hate scrubbing the tub, that’s a physically painful chore.

Over the last few days I have done a bit of tossing out. I was putting stuff away in the pantry under the stairs, and I finally checked the dates on the canned fruit. 2017? GONE. The old bar chocolate Larry got to make cereal bars? Gone. The beans in the rack probably should go too. In the bathroom, I was putting away my canisters of fiber powder and decided to toss all the sunscreen and sunblock. Some of it was from 2017, others, I was not sure. All gone.

In a similar vein, I have been eating up the frozen stew and slowcooker leftovers. Even moving to the smaller crockpot and giving away the big one, any time I cook a pork loin or chicken thighs, there are tons of leftovers. Enough so it is not safe to just leave them in the fridge, so I put them in the little Pyrex containers and freeze them. Over the past year I was up to seven or eight of them! One holds two cups, which is two meals for me. The rice I have been using is in shelf stable pouches which need to be used up. I don’t think I have any “real” rice right now. I just bought fresh flour, all purpose and wheat. Sugar too, but that doesn’t truly go bad. Yeast is next, and stick butter. I plan on some baking when the weather gets even cooler. Use up all those chips in the freezer. There’s a lot. I am sure I will cry; baking was something I did for Larry, truck cookies, or treats for him to share.

Modern Medicine, Huzzah.

Doc Jones prescribed an antibiotic, and it is working nicely. My tummy and gut are not even upset, which is pleasant. The face pain is nearly gone. Yay. I love the small pharmacy which filled the call in order; they do free home delivery and keep my card on file. A ten day supply was less than a dollar.

Speaking of medical, my Medicare card arrived in the mail, effective in January. I need to not lose it, I need to update Tricare when the time comes. Most importantly, I need to make certain I renew my ID card on time so there is no lapse in coverage. My brain fog still rolls through, so that’s going on the Important Shit List.

Desi took me to the commissary, I did a stock up on staples. Flour, sugar, oil, a little meat, canned foods, frozen meals, kitty litter and food, and La Croix. I forgot the Smart Balance, but I can get that delivered. It’s no longer trauma to go shopping on base, but still tinged with sadness when I look at foods Larry would have bought. My nightshade sensitivity is not so bas, so I indulged in a bag of BBQ potato chips. Eight servings the label proclaims. Ha, I will be lucky to get four. Yummy, but the Private Selection brand at Smith’s is a superior chip. I did not buy ice cream, cookies, or pop tarts. A win. Granola bars and jerky are in between. I got a nice bottle of organic Mezcal I intend to drink once I finish my course of medication.

My new jam I am trying to set as a habit is meditation. The Loki bead strand helps with that, it’s in different colors and textures and 12 beads have specific meanings to contemplate. Usually the setting is ritualistic, with a candle and incense, and a bell, and offerings. That focuses me. Rune stones and tarot cards are a form of meditation for me, and I am learning those. I want to concentrate on my health a bit more, and using the chakras as check in points feels like it may work. I love the stones, I have some, so that is where I will begin. All of that sounds very Woo, and it is, but for me, there is not much literal belief. Maybe there is. Clarity of mind, exercising calm, awareness of self and body are the goals. Perhaps this will open me up to more physical works such as yoga, dance, walking, and even exercise.

My spending is not under control. Self-control is not impossible for me, but once I latch onto a new interest or hobby, I overspend in preparation. I have been this way a long time, and Larry reinforced it. He was much the same way, and loved a good sale. Retail therapy indeed, and online shopping truly is an enabler. From crafty stuff such as sewing, beads, painting, miniatures, to self indulgences such as food, art, and jewelry, clothing, shoes, to travel, to home decor, I overspend and I know it. I never carry a balance on the credit cards, and that strains my savings accounts. I must stop. Admitting I have a problem and identifying my pattern was a good start. Even typing this bit out feels stressful and I want to go browsing right this moment. I will not. No, I will not give up the credit cards, they’re useful tools. I need to set guidelines for myself, for in person shopping, for online shopping, for Instacart, for Etsy and Amazon and Ebay. Schedule my impulses as it were. And we are back to meditation… I order a few worry stones so I would have a chakra set … shopping as preparation for something which might not stick. There’s a circle, a pattern and creating mindfulness for control is very much needed.

Stupid Nerves

Argh. So, I have a tooth implant, just the screw part, not the toothy part. Upper left, in the middle. It hurts, but not so much on the inside. My face hurts, on the outside, with pressure. It could be a sinus infection, but I doubt it. Just saw Dr. Jones because a tooth cracked in half on the other side. He put in a temporary, it’s blue. Bluetooth. Huh. Anyway, I will call on Monday and have him order antibiotics in case it is an infection, but I am not happy.

I guess soft foods are on the menu. Michelina’s mac n cheese, or eggs and toast, or even little chicken nuggets. I guess I could eat dal and rice, I have plenty of shelf stable packets. And soup, I have soup. I’m simply annoyed.

I misread my concert ticket. 2022, not 2021. Ah well. I had a nice night in a hotel downtown. Learned that Lyft is a LOT cheaper when you can pre-schedule the ride. Ate at a place I had not been to in decades. Yummy in that overly greasy fast food way. Upset my plumbing to no end, which was unfortunate. I can close the door on that part of my past and not look back.

The weather is turning, although still setting record highs for September. Fewer wasps and hornets, some rain, and the yard water will be off soon. I suppose I can swap the face of the house decor now. I want to get the patio clear and be able to enjoy it, but I need help with that.

I guess life just goes on and on. The wheel turns, hang on for the ride.

Half-Life

Well, the sprinklers are fixed. I should have checked the front sprinklers along the street, of course one is smushed from being driven over. Sheesh. The ones out back are great though, and the main valve will be fixed once the irrigation water is off. The front can be fixed up in the spring. I watered, which I have not done for ages, I hope it carries the lawn through. There are so many mushrooms, crazy. They look yummy and edible but I am not going to try. Had a family of magpies fussing for snacks in the maple. Hung a wasp trap, but they have all fucked off.

Fussing in the bedroom like the magpies in the tree, I noticed the rune stones weren’t on the side table. Hidden, of course. I did what I do best, ramble around online, then order stuff from Amazon. I chose red jasper for Loki, and ordered a nice bag on Etsy. Ordered a few touch stones too, peach moonstone, black tourmaline, and bloodstone. Also a few leaf and autumn toned beads to make Desi’s charm and crystal hanger. I promptly found the bloodstone runes in a drawer under some panties. The bag they are in looks dusty or mildewed, so I will wash it. I hope the gold foil Slepnir holds up.

Looking for the runes, I came across my tarot deck. I have not touched them in ages. It’s an older Waite deck in the original cardboard box, kept in mom’s pink nylon stocking pouch. A gift, but I can’t recall who or when. I fiddled with the cards, did a spread. First card was Death, some of the others were the nine of swords, the Hermit, the three of cups… and the final card was an inverse two of pentacles. Ah, false happiness. A need to find myself. Nothing I didn’t know. I can rarely read, so maybe I should practice. Had the pendulum out, it’s bloodstone too, and is now on Loki’s altar. I gave him a new candle. The unsettled feeling is hanging around, the sense that I am living some sort of incomplete life. Am I filling in the gaps, or am I moved to exploration? Does it matter which? The cards would say the second, I think.

Dreams with Larry in them have been around nightly. He wants to get me to go somewhere with him, or wants to fix things in the house, or has people to see. Disconcerting, but pleasant, and welcome. On the news tonight they talked about Hurricane Larry, how it was going to be nice to us. The weather guy said every Larry he’d met was nice. Made me smile.

The Surreal and the Mundane

Daily stuff is just stuff. The sun is red, the air smoky, it’s hot and the stinging bugs have chased the hummingbirds away from the sugar feeder. I brought it in and have hung a trap instead. I was going to order more traps, but everything on Amazon is backordered or tripled in price. Homemade traps it is.

Had to take the small cacti outside, the cats were playing in the dirt. Ended up cleaning the entire kitchen table, arranged all my art stuff. Actually was able to work on the leaf stencil stuff, the bird painting, and the Kochina doll. Made a horned helmet for my house hippo. Painted the globe bottle with chalkboard paint.

Had my monthly massage. This therapist is better than the rough one, and works pressure points beautifully. Apparently I can release tension well, so that’s fortunate. I use visualization, seeing my muscles untie like wide pink silk ribbons.

Noelle came and cleaned my gutters, got all the dirt and maple seeds before the autumn leaf drop. She found my little cotton koi fish string in the gutter. I thought I had brought them in.

Finally went to get my hair cut. Desi’s stylist cuts it while waiting for Desi’s color to set. As usual, once my hair dries after a wet cut, it looks a lot shorter than anticipated. I can still get it up, so it is alright. Growing it out is not a problem. It’s cute.

Waiting for my glasses, waiting for my rings. I should order groceries as a commissary run isn’t feasible just now. Waiting for the sprinkler guy.

Had yet another vivid dream about MyLarry. The last one involved looking at a vehicle with him. This one had a long preamble about living in a new house with a lavender living room, a bar with a digital jukebox, and a nice kitchen where people were cooking pasta. A noise made me go outside to check around, same yellow brick exterior, but graffitied in mud… huge Capricorns, some type of threat? Larry came up the sidewalk, and told me I was in danger and had to come with him. He had a green rental car, cute little thing, parked a couple houses away. We got in, and soon were being chased by the jerks from Tooele in their pickup. I could see their faces… and then the cops got involved, and a train or red light let us escape the pursuit. I was going to ask him why he was back, but I woke up. So strange. No sleep after that, so coffee at three AM it is.

Day One of Year Four

I don’t know exactly how I feel, but I can feel another shift. I had dreamed about Larry, and Jeremy called to tell me he had too. That Larry was happy and needed to get in touch with me. Mine was he needed a new vehicle, and event though I showed him the new tires on his truck, no, he needed something different. He was done with being dead and was coming back. He needed an … art car? It was odd. On reflection, as if he’s headed to new frontier. As someone who does not believe in the afterlife, I have doubts, questions, concerns. Whatever this is, from contact to my brain sorting out memory, emotion, and subconscious, it makes me feel … not the same. Not exactly. Like another chapter in the same book, but I have lost the bookmark.

In several places online, people had asked about everyone’s plans for the weekend. I never have plans. Scoop the litter boxes, vacuum the front room, fold the socks and underwear, do more laundry, water the plants. All chores I would be doing if Larry were alive or dead popped into my head. Yeah. Oh-bla-di, Oh-bla blah blah. And I will do these things, today or tomorrow. I began watching my recordings of the Walking Dead, catching up. I have FTWD too. I lost interest while grieving. A couple episodes and yeah, I want to see what’s going on. I couldn’t, but now I can. A shift.

Shower, pills, clean clothes. I can do what I like. I like being clean. I like lotion on my arms. I could paint the Alligator Lokis. I could finish the paintings on the easel. I could start a whole big whopping canvas. I could sew, I could mend and patch, I could finish the muumuu. I could work my way through the entire fucking fabric stash. Mom’s raw silk is nearly as old as I am. I could use the Loopy Loom (but probably not, I should offer it up on Buy Nothing). I could use my seed bead loom (but badly, my eyes are not what they once were). I could make jewelry and suncatchers and pretty things, I have So Many Glass Beads and Gemstone Beads and Pearls. So Much. I could finish my miniature Hippie Bus. If I do that I could bust out the trailer kit and start it. I could finish fixing up my farmhouse dollhouse. I could make the teeny tiny dollhouse which fits in my palm. I could write to people. I could clean up Larry’s work table stuff, put the pub table and tall chairs in its pace, and get a big cat tower for the south front room window instead. I could.

So much potential. Not so much “Yay, I can do things”, rather “Hey, I could do stuff if I want to”. That’s an improvement. Subtle, no great leaps, but there it is. I’ll probably watch more TWD, then nap. When the toaster oven is delivered, I will clean the counter for it, wash a few things, and toast some sweet potato fries. Scintillating.

I will still have bad days, I will forever miss the life I should be living, but Year Four already means less grief, a little relief, and just maybe some belief in myself.

Seattle Success

Home again, home again. Seattle was wonderful, even with my lowkey visit. My friend Holly picked me up from the airport, very wonderful of her to do that.

I had the very same room in The Camlin as the time before, the studio in the back on the tenth floor. I call it The Fishbowl because it has seven windows in three walls. I love it. Played spot the kitties in the apartments across the way.

My activities were few and low key, I had some great meals, and got in the hot tub and pool at least once a day. I love being in the water, and the jets in the hot tub did good things for my back.

Holly went with me to the Chihuly Glass Museum. Amazing. There are eight rooms, each with a different theme and style of his works. There’s the icicles, the Navajo inspired pieces, the sea creatures, the Persian ceiling, the Mille Flori, the Floats, the Venetian chandeliers, the flower-bowl things. Then there was the little cafe, closed for food service, but open to show all his collections. Accordions hanging from the ceiling, a wall of radios, glass topped tables, each one with a collections… glass flasks, fishing lures, tin toys, pocket knives … just everything. The big glass house with the 100 foot long floral garden. The the gardens, with glass seemingly growing alongside the plants.

The other museum I went to was the Seattle Arts Museum to see the Monet exhibit. Interesting and informative, but the Northwest Native arts were far more spectacular. Also, I should not be left unattended in museum gift shops. I got a wonderful Raven carving from a First Nation artist in Canada.

Meals… Dough Zone, of course. Mango curry and samosas at Dawaat. Brunch at the Cheesecake Factory. A meat pie at the Armory next to Chihuly. I ate a lot of leftovers.

The Usual, Please

I am prepping for a trip, a real do nothing vacation. I have done my laundry, been eating up the perishable food, packing. Today is tidy up day. I need to pick up a prescription, get new tires on the truck even though I am not driving, and get some cash. Cat boxes, mail hold, water the plants, put away things on the kitchen counter and the art table. Stuff stuff stuff.

I tried on one of my nice summer dresses, and it still fits perfectly. It is a bit flowy, so no surprises. I tried on my swimsuits. Oh my. One fits, and the three one pieces are too tight, which pulls the shoulder straps down. The swim skirts are okay, and I have one top which is fine. Another top is just an ill fitting mess, and the two piece suits are just sad. So, two things to swim in, because I know things do not dry fast in humidity. I have a couple cotton shifts to lounge in, a pair of hobbit pants and nice tops, and a bunch of t-shirts, as well as flip flops, underthings, and a wrap/throw. I need to decide on jeans. Nice, or patched and comfy. Snacks and coffee too. Aunty Aloha is so much better than Folgers!

I need to lose weight or my clothes will not fit at all. Not having that!

A trip to the theater was in order because I wanted to see Suicide Squad II. Luxury loungers, masks, and social distancing meant I felt okay about the experience. A stupidly fun film, over the top characters, so much action, and people getting ripped in half. Wild ride, turn off your brain and hang on. Loki came with me, we had lunch. The fortune cookie was wildly inaccurate. Lyft was okay getting there, but going home, it cost half again as much, and was a thirty minute wait. Not reliable or affordable if this keeps up, and I think it will. Darn.

Pride and PoleDancing

My friends from Salt Lake came to Ogden for our little local pride celebration. They brought along the adorable dog in a rainbow tutu, and their remarkably calm bunny. We looked at all the booths, checked out the art, saw old friends, and posed a lot with the dog. I used my wheelchair just in case, which meant I had to take off my nice rings and put them in my purse so I could wear my green crocheted wheelchair gloves. I looked at art, and really wanted a painting with robots and coffee cups, but didn’t have a clue where I could fit it in on the walls.

We had a nice brunch with mimosas at Warren’s Craftburger. They have a nice patio out back. I was boring and had the regular burger, but it’s still quite nice. I was naughty and ate fries. Loki did a tabletop pole dance.

Everyone says try CBD oil for my arthritis and depression. Beehive Buds had a booth, and they sell a local product of good quality. I got a bottle unflavored oil, as the mint wasn’t to my taste. It’s labeled pet, but that’s the same as for humans. A mild formulation. A little heart shaped tin of CBD balm was included. This stuff is not inexpensive. I have been using a dropperful in the morning, sublingual, swallowing the last bit. The hempy aftertaste is unpleasant. Washes down with coffee. I skipped yesterday because I had a dentist appointment. So. It might help the arthritis, maybe. Perhaps. However, I get a horrible headache which persists through the morning not long after it settles into my system. My tummy is undecided whether it is queasy or burny. Thus far I am underwhelmed, inclined to say this is not working. I will give it a try through the week, but yeah, nope. Figures.

Lost Week

I was trying to sum up last week, and came up with a lot of nothing. I did the usual stuff, the choredoms, but not much else. Noelle came on Tuesday to do the gardening, and that was awesome as usual. Julio did not mow the yard, and the front lawn began looking rather meadow-y. Looks like someone mowed out front, but the money envelope has not been touched. Huh. Made egg salad sandwiches and limeade, so that was nice. Folded some laundry, but which day, I can’t say. I got some cute windspinners shaped like hot air balloons, and glued them together. Maybe they’ll hold up for more than a year, maybe not.

Ginger, the neighbor dog, has been out without her collar. She was in the back and went to her own yard when I walked her over, she’s a good girl who obeys me, and I latched the gate better. She is a hazard though, she attacks other dogs and mail carriers. One of the adult sons lets her out but then goes back inside. Poor old girl is coughing, like she is ill or has heart trouble. Just more sadness in the mess next door.

I have painted a bit, working with my new firefly glazes. So much sparkle. I did finish a jawbone (resin) in purple with a blue violet overglaze. Got a burner painting done, and paint down on several projects. Just too warm in the kitchen if I don’t catch a few hours in the morning.

Desi and I went for our massages on Friday. My favorite therapist has moved on to other things, and I do not care for the new lady. She digs too hard and hurts me, even though I explain what not to do, and then during the treatment I keep asking her to ease up. Her hands are rough, like she has hangnails or ragged fingernails. When we booked for October, I got someone else. Desi and I were doing couples room, so she heard me and is concerned that I am getting a bad experience. She is going to play the heavy for me and call and get someone else for the next two months.

Oh, there is a good thing… Alligator Loki arrived. The paint job is acceptable, the eyes are good, but you know I will be upgrading his colors soon. He’s just a bit too dark, need lowlights and highlights, and a creamy dreamy belly.

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