Harrison Buttlicker passed away Wednesday during dental surgery. His heart just stopped. He was a wonderful kitty, loving, a loud purring fuzzit. Poor old guy had arthritis, and was limping around the house. He wouldn’t use the stairs up to the bed, so I stopped lifting him up with me, it hurt him when he jumped down. He pooped next to the box and not in it, now and then he’d go in random places on the floor. He went on the cat bed next to me once. He was diabetic, two shots a day, and if I traveled, he had to be boarded. He only liked soft food, so his teeth were bad. At 17, I knew there was a risk, but his teeth were so bad it was necessary. The vet assured me they would take every precaution, and I know they did, but he was too old. (Still freaking expensive).

He was a tiny starving kitten, all head and bones, when I got him. Desi and I were in PetCo, and two college girls came in with this scrap of cat. They had found him near Weber State, on Harrison Boulevard. Hence the Harry. I agreed to take him, and I still had bottles on hand, so I bought formula and added him to the family. He never went outside, hated going to the vet, and was definitely my cat. He got to be a big boy, over 18 pounds! Good old Harry, I will miss you, but am glad you are not hurting.

I will have a glass cat made with a bit of his cremains.

Calm, Doldrums, or Apathy?

Matt came up with a couple of the kids (they’re young adults, but kids are kids), and mowed the grass, cleared the garage/patio gutters, and chopped up the downed branched behind the lean to. I got the veggie beds cleared of weeds and topped with new raised bed garden soil, now the grass clippings are a layer of mulch. I even dug out the African daisies which had colonized the grass and moved them into containers. I don’t know if they’ll establish, but it was worth a try.

The yard water is off, so I need to open the valves. The main valve stays open all winter, then gets closed in April before the water comes back on. I am using the rain barrel water for now, and a bit of house water. I might do the spray on weed killer, but it is a bit late in the year. The roses need deadheading and their “trunks” wrapped in burlap. The yard ornaments, what few I set out, need to go back into the shed. The leaves have not really begin to drop, but they will. I have an appointment with the swamp cooler guys tomorrow. The rain barrels and raspberry canes and hoses will need doing, but not until a frost.

I even wrapped up the remains of the tiny Japanese maple with the tree tape. We shall see if it survives. I hope so. Larry’s gift means a lot to me.

Winterization was primarily Larry’s job. He loved our yard and made it into a warm and welcoming place. Everything was well tended , nicely done, and no chore was too big or too small. I am trying, but it is difficult both physically and emotionally. I do like working in the yard, but I can scarcely get an hour in before I am wiped out. If I pace myself, I can do two or three throughout the day. The next day is a bust though. Larry used to put in 12 hour shifts out there some weekends. If I had an idea, he’d carry it out beautifully, such as the beer bottles buried in the ground as edging.

I’m sad, but no longer anxious about the yard. My fears were everything in the yard would go to hell and I’d be forced out of the house as incompetent. It’s not entirely far fetched, but it isn’t as dire as I was imagining. I have settled down, I suppose. Tears still happen daily, although not choking sobs, more a misty feeling, and a good cry about every three or four days. A lot of moping and procrastinating. All perfectly normal, even if The Bitch would say I am wallowing. Grrrr. I do feel calmer, but is is just lackluster doldrums, stuck in limbo? Am I really improving, or is apathy taking over? I am not sure, but isn’t trying to get stuff done the opposite of apathy? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

I’ll be alright. I don’t have to like it, though.

Laying the patio stones.
Setting the shed foundation.

Happy Freaking Birthday

He would be 61. We would be on vacation somewhere, maybe Mexico or Hawaii, but the last bug trip was to Victoria B.C.. It was a marvelous adventure. Our autumn trips were always so great.

The first year, friends took me up to Crystal Hot Springs as a diversion, and for a burger and shake at Peach City in Brigham. A nice outing. The next year, Matt and I went to Kona to scatter ashes at sea. It was sad, but a solid trip making good memories. This year I originally has Vancouver booked for a solo trip. My biggest goal was a couple meals at Tim Hortons. COVID cancelled that, I couldn’t even get into Canada at this point. I am safer at home, I suppose.

No one has noticed. Maybe they don’t want to make me sad. That’s silly, I’m always sad, you can’t make me extra sad. I didn’t expect anything, but in reality, that stings. He’s being forgotten. Sure, I’m not the only widow, I am not the first nor the last, but that doesn’t diminish my personal experience. It sucks. There’s no way around that. It would suck less in a nice hotel room with good food and new to me TV, maybe a rental movie.

There’s yardwork to do, and house stuff, packages to assemble and label. I am still in bed watching Let’s Make A Deal. They’re all reruns, this week all the Breast Cancer Awareness episodes. I’m a survivor, but he is not. It’s a weird place mentally.

Maybe I’ll go out and throw cats at the neighbor kids. (Ask Reddit …)

Saturday is a special day…

… it’s the day we get ready for Sunday. That’s the song we learned in church when I was little. Only the girls sang it as far as I remember. Ha.

I have the front room nicely tidied, although it always needs more dusting and vacuuming. Behind the big desk it still messy, but that’s nothing new. I need to dust and rearrange the cover for the dollhouse. that will actually be a pleasant chore once I get to it. Getting to it though, ugh.

Today I got outside, finally. Rolled up the big hose and got it into the lean to. Got the bucket of small rocks over to the main water valve heads under the bushes and spread around, broke up some of the dirt on my scalloped flowerbed border. Tossed the broken bucket they were in. Weed whacked along the back beds, and even “mowed” with it a little. I wore my new padded gloves, took breaks and did hand stretches. That helped a lot. I filled a bin with leaves and twigs from the west bed, pulled some grass. It’s not perfect, but it is better. More raccoon poop than I like, so I sprayed the minty pest repellent. Hopefully it helps. The neighbor is working in his yard, fence posts are being dug, and that cheers me up. The sooner their fence is up, the happier I will be.

There is still so much to do. I need to get the hooks up on the garage for the Tibetan flags, clear the low garage gutters, get all those twigs and branches disposed of, do something with the ancient cardboard. There’s the roses, and the rain barrels. Unfortunately, my simple hour of work has given the tendonitis in my right hand, below my thumb, the signal for a flare up. I had to dig out the hand brace. Annoying, and so restrictive. I can’t do anymore yardwork today, no sewing or painting. I might be able to get the laundry folded. It’s clean, at least.

The washing machine is squeaking. The swamp cooler needs to be winterized, the lawn mowed. These are things I cannot do myself. I guess I make calls on Monday.

And like that, I have The Sad. Not unexpected, but it sucks. Time for a cup of tea and TV.

Boring is Good

Nothing exciting going on, and that’s great. I got Yard Masters paid, so yay. My checking account is not so much yay. I spend too much too easily. Adagio teas, expensive Kauai coffee, Mrs. Cavanaugh’s chocolates, Undersong Art prints. A new noren, a Raven Lunatic mug.

I got the spring and summer silk flowers put away, all the way out to the shed put away! The autumn flowers are in place, and the skeletons, and the pretty porcelain vase and bowl from Japan. The concrete pumpkin is out front. The purple pumpkin bin is down out of the loft, and I can get to the big bin to get the windsocks and signs out. So, that’s progress.

My new doorbell is driving me crazy. Seems I have set the motion detector on the front bell. Ooops. In the evenings, the windsocks or car headlights set it off. I have to unplug it or I get a chime version of Memories from Cats as I am dozing off.

Once More.

I have been picking at the yard for days now. Every day I do a little something, with emphasis often on the “little”. It is overwhelming with a yard the size of mine. Some days it is sweep the gutter, sometimes it is pluck all the giant mushrooms, but mostly it is pick up sticks. Sticks, twigs, leaves, branches, so much downed debris. I found a bag of small rocks to go near the main yard valve, and a paver. Now to get to work when the dog won’t come menace me.

The sprinkler guy was here this past Wednesday. He replaced four valves, a couple sprinkler heads, and the stand up faucet by the bushes. I dropped a penny in each one of the holes. It’s a thing. Apparently the last guy who screwed up my system installed used parts, and the entirely wrong type of valve. He was using leftovers and big box store stock, instead of proper fittings from a real landscaper supplier. Means I wasted over $500 last year on a crap job. Yardmasters did fine work, very professional. Now if I could only pay them. The worker expected a paper check, which isn’t happening. I haven’t gotten an invoice yet. I have sent an email, saying I very much would like to give them money. People like money.

Almost time to get the autumn silk flowers swapped, and the Halloween decor in place. A chore I don’t mind too much.

Front yard, view of the crappy job.
Main yard valve and the lower yard valve, under the bushes.
South yard and top yard valves, and hose valve.
Before the digging. he got all the stones back in place, although the dirt is too low now.

Oh my.

So, that whole positive post last time? Ha. Hahahahahaahahahahaaahahahaaa.

Monday evening into Tuesday morning, and through Wednesday, the Wasatch Front experiences hurricane force Eastern downslope winds. The damage was considerable up and down the valley, with Ogden being one of the cities hit hard. Power went out about three in the morning. That place where my tree had dropped a branch? The neighbor’s tree came down there, right on top of all the new landscaping. Toppled over from the roots, the whole big tree. Missed my power line, but ripped the Comcast line apart. Smashed the blue bottle tree, and killed the Japanese Maple which MyLarry had planted for me. I still cry over that.

Branches and leaves everywhere. Our street was blocked at both ends by downed trees. Many streets were. I could see six mature trees down just from my front porch. There are still trees down in private yards.

I was without power for five days. I lost all my frozen and chilled food. I have a gas stove I can light, so I was able to make omelets and coffee. Stuff like eggs and cheese can survive less than optimal chilled temperatures. I charged my phone with our Goal Zero power station, but even that started running low. Several of my flashlights had rechargable batteries. Ha. Hahahahaaa.

I don’t know how long this will take to clean up. Quite the set back. I am distressed but just exhausted. So tired. I do not want to deal with this, it sucks. Oh, I’m okay, but not as okay as I was last week.

So much for the sprinkler guys.

As it was, just days before.

Changes and momentum

The panini press does indeed cook steaks nicely and in minutes. Burgers too, so that’s nice. Not too hard to clean either. Genius and Rarity came and took me on a picnic, we took along my new portable propane grill. Easy to use, cooks tasty fancy sausages in a flash. Nice.

The family room is done! The rugs are down, I have put up the art, and am working through all the stuff. I even emptied some drawers. Tossed out our flight papers from Japan in 1995. Got the girls a cute new scratching post, and am sorting through the ceramic miniatures to gift away.

I hired actual landscapers. Meggio, a burner, has started a new business, Om & Garden. They really made a dent in the yard weeds and overgrowth. The back yard looks fantastic, they did a thorough and meticulous job. Matt came and did the mowing, because the yard kid ghosted. I have been doing work myself, although a simple hour of work puts me down for a few hours after. No stamina, but I am chipping away. Got rid of Larry’s recycle station, and the pile of stumps and branches. It’s sad, but practical. I organized a lot of the random wood pieces for projects, and sent a lot of scraps to the dump. Matt will be back to sort the trucker items, and he can sell some of that. The sprinkler guys will be here tomorrow to properly repair my yard systems. Not inexpensive, but something I must do if I want a decent front yard.

Meggio has listened to my plans to put rock in the tiny side yard, and behind the lean too. Why have grass in unused areas, hard to maintain? And I may get a front yard island next year with a tiny tree.

Matt took the Harley. He will pay me, of course. I am just sad we never rode as much as we could have. There’s a lot of baggage in the emotional warehouse with that bike.


Using the new laptop now. I was right to mistrust the old one, it crapped out as I was trying to transfer my data files. I now have the pleasure of allowing PC Laptops to do a data recovery for me to my external hard drive.

Trying to get the truck registered. Turns out if you turn off the battery, the truck loses its mind and will not pass emissions. So it has to be driven around. We went up the the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. Desi had never been there. Larry and I used to drop in now and then. Dad used to take me fishing out there when I was a teenager. Summer is not the best time, but the usual suspects were there. Lots of swallows, pelicans, loons, grebes, ibis, and the majestic Blue Herons. And wasps, angry aggressive summer wasps.

Still waiting for the family room to be finished. All I need is the furniture to be moved, get the rug down. I cannot do that alone.

Picking away at the yard. Slow going, but it goes.

I used the new panini press today. It is a little large for my counter, but a cutting board helps. My learning curve commences; my grilled cheese was a bit soggy. I have tiny thawed steaks, perhaps they will be dinner.

No pictures, sorry. I have not put on the phone sync app yet.

A little over a week, and look, another entry.

Still hanging in there. Desi took me to the commissary, and I did a nice stock up. I have a new laptop; it is still in the box at the foot of the bed, but I have it. This one has issues, I dare not trust it much longer. I cannot remember how old it is, which is weird. If I power up the one I had before, I could tell by the dates of the photo albums. Meh.

I try to do something each day, preferably both inside and in the yard. Watering if nothing else. Weeds, every morning, even if it is only a few. I’ve looked over the north side of the house, there’s a lot there to be done. Big weeds, taller than my head, a couple young maple trees. I did cut back one of the two bushes this morning, right down to twigs and stems. The gas meter was being blocked, and I know Dom Energy hates that. Most of the branches are on the grass, but that’s dead anyway. Must be chopped up and put in the trash bin. I can get after the dead dry leaves by the meter with the leaf sucker soon. So that’s a thing completed. Half. Ish.

The basement ceiling tiles arrived, but are still in boxes. No word from Tony. I need to take the Dali Alice lithograph and have it rematted, it did take water damage after all. I mopped the floor, washed the gazing ball and the big crystal rose bowl. Still dusty as heck down there.

All my beads and beading things are now in my closet rather than in the basement. I made two Loki meditation strands to help me focus. Promptly redid the glass one two days later. I like them and it felt good to make something. I need to make a sun catcher for Desi, and am resisting the siren call of Swarovski crystals online.

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