March On In.

So, February just floated by. I didn’t go to more movies, Lyft is simply too unreliable.

The neighbors left me flowers on Valentine’s again. they are so sweet.

Mostly I listened to the Dresden Files until I ran out of books in the Audible Library, and credits. I get a new credit, and a new book, on March 19th. Listened to a lot of music, with bouts of intense concentration on one song or another. That would be Hallelujah performed by Pentatonix and Dos Oruguitas from Encanto. Lovely songs, and sometimes I listen on repeat.

I dove in with fan stuff, as is my usual modus operandi. Made a Bob the Skull, bought a cute Blue Beetle, a Stars and Stones mug. Also got a fantastic silver and ruby pendant. it’s licensed by Badali Jewelry in Layton. By random happenstance, that is the Paul Badali who was friends with my brother Larry, and who I apprenticed with briefly one summer in the 70s. The coincidences are wild. Oh, and Winter Knight opal earrings. I am such a sap.

Winter’s Icy Grip … Where is it?

Usually February is chilling, snowy, and iced over. So far we’ve had chilly, leftover ice in the shade, and a valley inversion making the air just awful. Nice cosmetic sunshine.

Not doing a lot here, not much art, some cleaning, laundry of course. I did go to a movie, The King’s Man. Only one other person in the theater, which was nice. Odd movie, it wanted to be silly and over the top like the previous films, but had a serious anti-war message and a very sad part in the middle. I enjoyed it, but it was all jumbled up.

I got a new crown on a molar. Been working on my charm bracelets. I seem to have lost my antelope charm somewhere in the house. It should pop up when I quit looking. Bought some Blue Mermaid Waffles. Burped up blue raspberry all morning, like a Jolly Rancher hangover. Got a tiny cheesecake for my birthday. I am now old, whoot whoot.

Been listening to Larry’s Audible library via Alexa. Working through the Dresden Files, and enjoying them quite a lot. Jeremy likes them too. He has Larry’s black leather duster, was born on Halloween, and my name is Margaret. Fun. Polka will never die.

Tomorrow is or will be/would have been our 35th anniversary. Fuck Cancer.

Work In Process

Knock knock Melon Farmer

Finally, after years of wistful wishing, I was gifted a giant metal chicken. Granted, it is a rooster, but for some reason all metal yard fowl are called chickens. Inspiration came from a blog I read long ago about drunken shopping and bringing home a giant metal chicken. Hers was named Beyonce, mine shall be Rufus. He sits where I can see him from the bathroom window.

Ford and Krista and Desi made this happen. We planted painted handprints on him. I added fingertip tippy tappy speckles, pupils and eyelashes, and a shiny top coat. The top coat was tricky, the weather is a bit chill for that, and Jewels the Dog Next Door was threatening to eat my face at the low spot in the fence. I would like to paint the inside of the comb too, but that must wait until spring and real sunshine.

I was exposed to people who were exposed to covid. Noelle took me for a test, negative. I still canceled my trip to San Diego. Seems imprudent to get in a big metal tube in a crowd.

Slowly taking down the Christmas ornaments. Only the tree and window lights remain. My toilet in the basement is busted, so there’s that to deal with. Lolo has taken to peeing in the laundry basket, or on my nightgown slung at the foot of the bed. Weirdo.

New Day

Well, we certainly have had snow! Lots of smaller storms and at least one hefty one. Power has stayed on, which is good as it is so cold. The Comcast cable crapped out, I felt bad for the tech who had to climb two ladders to replace it in the wind and snow. The house is cold, even with the gas fireplace and the furnace cranked up.

The kitchen remained undecorated, other than a few velvety silk poinsettias in the picture on the fridge, and in the vases on the kitchen window ledge. That’s fine, I got the tree up, and lights in the front window. The sheers had to stay closed as Lucy Furr wanted to chew the cords. Silly girl. Loki’s Party got a holiday theme, as did Lucky Barry.

I got a nice stuffed stocking form my Reddit secret Santa. A crow call, a feather pen, some coffee and chocolate, and a set of delightful Deadpool enamel pins. I was thrilled.

No Way Home lured me out of the house. Fantastic Spiderman movie, and now I have rewatched all five of the older films. So good. I am very excited for this new Marvel phase, infinite possibilities. What If? and Hawkeye were excellent, and Venom is getting closer to Spiderman. Nice.

On the health front, my blood sugar is too high. I have lost a couple pounds, but am still far too heavy. My sodium benzoate sensitivity has expanded into foods rich in benzoic acid. That’s apples, cinnamon, cranberries, yogurt, and plums. So many of my favorites. I had some lovely apple butter, it made me quite ill, even running a fever of just over 99 degrees. Insanity, and confusing in this age of the new Covid variants. I cleared out those foods, and a lot of the sugar. I still have some boiled cider in search of a new home. The up side is my chronic nasal congestion is lessening. My left knee hurts a lot, which limits my desire to go up and down the basement stairs. Gah.

Stella on top of the fridge.

Hold, hold, hold …

No snow yet. The great autumn to holiday decorating transfer has begun. All the kitchen silk flowers, garlands and gourd shaped ceramics are downstairs. Norens are close to swapped out, they’re upstairs at least. The holiday metal stars on up out front, and the big wreath. Noelle will bring in the tree from the shed on Monday, and the bin o’ bells for under the eaves. The solar cat tails and the bench cushions get put away this weekend. I’m not bringing up the indoor holiday silk poinsettias, beads and bows until I talk to Noelle about patching the kitchen ceiling. Why put things up when they’ll just come down?

Ah, Black Friday sales. I ended up shopping on Thursday, we know that’s what I do when depressed. Found a lightweight battery operated mower for under $200, fantastic. Got socks, silicone trivets (I don’t really need them and the pattern is not as shown, boo), a cat toy basket, a cat basket which the cats love but is not for them, a green water bottle for more Loki stickers, and an octopus mug which has Seize the Day on the inside rim. The mug is twice as big as the vintage Fire King, but fits my hand beautifully. The Raven Lunatic mug is retired, it is developing a bad chip/flake under the glaze on the rim. I got a few other things a day later, a tarp, landscaping nails, spring loaded curtain rods. Needful things as it were. A gift for Desi for Yule. Oh, and a new auto cat feeder because I broke the old one. At least they were on sale.

Also ordered groceries from Instacart. I was excited to try a new recipe, Major Grey’s Mango Curry. Simple recipe, and the first one I have been excited to try since Larry died. There was a delay, that’s fine. Shopper substituted apricot spread for passion-pineapple, that was fine. Delivered to my back porch, they even took a picture. Fine. One bag must have been missing. No canned peas and carrots, well, okay. No chicken. Um. Not fine. Can’t make a chicken curry without chicken. I got a credit but am very disappointed.

On Sunday and Monday I felt quite sick. My hernia had been hurting because I had been moving things around, cleaning, working in the yard too. I went to bed early both days, aching and exhausted. Mentally flat, and frightened in a nebulous way. Running a fever, low grade at 99 degrees, but concerning. Sore throat and headache. I figured it out, benzoic acid reaction, this time to freaking apple butter. I had also put the last handful of diced dried apples in the pecan pie. Apples do me in now. Big nope on apples now, which makes me very sad. I love apple cider, and apple pie, and dried snack apples. Dang it. I have another pie crust and can make a walnut ginger pie.

And then there was the FB incident. I posted the picture of my kitchen with all decor down. A lot of it was still on the counter, I clean it before taking it back down and storing it. The garden tool batteries are on the counter, my lunch plate, and a few random things which are usually put away. In other words, a working kitchen in use. Shows my glass collection though. My carefully curated glass collection. One of my “friends” on FB, someone I know from Burning Man but am not close to, had the gall to suggest I was hoarding, and posting a Marie Kondo link. Said that 95% of my things would just be put in a dumpster. When challenged by another friend, he did the Yes, but, but thing. Fuck you buddy, you are no friend of mine. And no, my things will not simply be trashed. My heirs know to have a big old estate sale, and even which company I prefer. ARRRRRGH. Made me feel shitty though. I have had real hoarders in my life, the trash on the floor types, the compulsive shoppers who had rooms full to the ceiling, the ones with trails through the boxes and bags, the ones who could not toss empty containers or used foil. That’s not me and shall never be.

Damn, Skippy

Three in the morning is early to be awake, but there I was, all sleep fled for the night. Alrighty then, coffee and donuts it is. I was full of plans for the day, fold the clean clothes, fold the towels. Bake a pie or maybe two. Work on the Loki I am painting. So close to finished, yeah. Patch my jeans. Watch the new Hawkeye. Maybe even take a walk.

I did not. Fiddled around online, fed the cats. Played phone games. Showered and dressed, went into the yard to find the one spinner which got away. I did give away the Vegas reservation, so that is done. Looked at bills, all caught up. But somehow, I did not want to get off the bed. I wasn’t IN bed, I had brought up the pet covers, I was dressed, I was ON the bed. Let’s Make a Deal came and went. Switched to the comfort of TVLand, MASH, Bonanza, Gunsmoke. Even made it to Andy Griffith. That’s a damn lot of sitting. When the mail came in, I got the very disappointed metal Trees of Life wall art. Poor packaging, bent, thin metal with a printed design, a pale copy of an actual piece. Hammered it flat, went out and hung it, Covered the little table between the chairs by the back door. There’s no snow forecast for a couple weeks, I didn’t really need to, but it’s done.

Looked at Doordash for dinner, but there’s no dashers and everything is pick up. Had a hot dog. I did wash the dishes because nothing says depression to me than a sink full of dirty dishes. Cleared the noodle board on top of the stove. Brought up the Karo syrup and set out the blue glass pie plates. I will get a pie done tomorrow. I could do two kinds, but … there is no one to help me eat them. No Thanksgiving invitations, and with Covid, I do not feel comfortable asking. Not a peep from family. My one neighbor who would invite me has moved away, she’s the one accused of domestic abuse.

I am trying to be philosophical and reasonable. My own fault for not reaching out? I think so, but it is hard when not one person asked. Even if I decline, I could at least be asked.

I am trying not to wallow, not to play the oh poor me pity party soundtrack. Not like I have not spent Turkey Day alone before, I have. Now that I think of it, not often. Larry and I would do an alternative day if he were on the road or on duty. So many wonderful Friendsgivings in the past. This Great Silence is hurtful. Paired with my existing poor mood, it’s a rough evening. Survivor and Tough as Nails on tonight, so there’s my scintillating plans. More TV. Whoot. Lean Cuisine tomorrow. And maybe pie.

Shoes

I finally gave away the big box of Larry’s shoes. Tossed one pair which was more worn than a stranger might want. Lugged them out into the family room where they sat for a couple weeks. Took a picture and posted on Buy Nothing. Put them in smaller boxes and a couple bags. Brought the jungle boots and the boondockers back inside from the porch. Reminded myself I cannot wear them and no one I know wants them. Set them back with the other shoes. Took three days for the person to show up, but now they are in the hands of someone who might use them. Promises were made to donate or pass them forward if they were not needed. Anyway, out of my hands now.

This hurt. A lot. No one could fill his shoes. Well maybe now someone can. I like to think of it as Larry still helping others. Still hurts. I still have his motorcycle boots, the red satin pumps (missing a few rhinestones), and Lucky Barry wears a pair of Larry’s cowboy boots. There may be a pair of boots in the basement closet, and probably a pair of shiny Bates which went with his dress uniform. I don’t want to look.

I’ve been eyeing his ball caps by the back door. They’d go into the hall closet. Perhaps. Not yet.

Long time…

Nearly a month between entries, I am slacking off!

Austin was nice enough, I signed up for Doordash, and used my Instacart for groceries. I got to see two old friends, one a burner and one from way back in Japan. Both friends of Larry, so a lot of good memories. I also met up with an internet Navy mom friend. The trip was low key, got to drive around a bit, had some good meals, including Terry Black BBQ. The room was bigger than I anticipated, but that urban industrial look is dreary. I had a bad day, sat around and watched home improvement shows and a whole season of Below Decks.

Jeremy’s visit was delightful. We ordered pizza and watched the entire season of Loki. Such fun.

The leaves are mostly up, some still need mulching. but they’re behind the lean to, out of the way. Noelle and I are going to shift things around in the compost heap, and they can go there. November was so warm the roses were blooming until a couple days ago. Now that there’s freezing temps, I need to prune them, and a few other things which didn’t have the good sense to stop growing. The yard is not nearly as bad as the last couple of years, thanks to Noelle. The lean to needs a tarp, I have one, just have to get it installed. Most of the Halloween stuff is put away, although the Thanksgiving and autumn decor is up for another week.

Noelle and I went to Beyond Van Gogh. Wonderful. Full of wonders. An entry for later.

Love Autumn, Hate the Fall

My trip to Austin was supposed to be first, and Jeremy’s visit, but this is pressing. I obviously love the pretty autumn, the cooler weather, the colorful leaves, my cute hats. All the Halloween, the skulls and spooks and frights.

What I do not love is this is a difficult time of year for me. September is just more summer. Heck, I still have roses blooming. But Larry’s birthday is in the middle of October, and while I try for a trip or distraction, depression creeps in. Or slams me like a hurricane fed by climate change. This time it was a Onedrive memory of our wonderful trip to Victoria B.C.. Gah. Beat me with what was taken away. I hate The Fall.

I am working on the sheet swap, I did get the nightgowns 92% done. Once the clean laundry is folded, I can finish. I did not put out the Halloween banners or pumpkins, just not up to it. The wild winds would have taken a toll anyway, just as well. Exhaustion does not facilitate frippery, as much as I love fun decor.

I decided to go out and try to get the leaves up. The maple out back has not dropped, but the neighbor trees out front certainly have. I got the patio and the front walk sucked up, filled the catch bag on the leaf vac twice. The driveway leaves were too wet, that’s not good. I used the yard tote and one of the old snowshovels to get those up, and the leaves in the gutter in front of the drive. That was two totes worth, which means the trash bin is two thirds full. There’s a lot of leaves in the gutter in front of the yard, but that is not happening tonight. I am shaky weary, and things ache already. I know if I push it, I will hurt myself or I won’t be able to walk tomorrow. I have not finished the rainbarrels or winterized the flowerbeds or mulched the lawn. These were Larry’s chores. Every dead leaf is a memory, every drooping plant a rebuke. I cannot keep up.

And no firepit. I got the stuff for s’mores, but solo it isn’t appealing.

I did have a nice moment. Before I decided to do leaves this evening, I was watching the news in the bedroom. The front bell rang. There’s a note taped to the front screen, took a while to decipher it. Luke up in box, Margwet. There was another piece of paper in the mailbox, a drawing by Kathryn. That’s one of the little girls across the street. How very sweet! So that was a high point. Yay.

Transitions into the Dark of the Year

This morning is marked by rain, a cool house, and arthritic pain in almost every joint. Even picking up the coffee mug was painful with stiff fingers. Makes me wonder what it would be like if I couldn’t lift a simple cup of coffee. Ah well. The Tylenol and the caffeine should help. My neck and back are screaming though.

Yesterday the swamp cooler got buttoned up, the water line rolled up, and the diffuser in the hall closed, shaft stuffed with the plastic pillow and the rigid square of truck insulation. I unplugged the window AC, and got a new indoor cover for its face. The exterior cover should arrive today. I haven’t covered the unit before, but it seems prudent.

All the fall foliage is up in the kitchen and front room, very pretty. My enthusiasm was waning, I faded before I got the pumpkin tea set and the ceramic gourd pitchers up from the basement. They’re on the top shelf in the laundry room, and involve a step ladder. Mmmm. I will get them in place, and soon, but I am not overly thrilled about it. I did get my amazing vase and bowl set out in the living room, and my menagerie of skeletons.

Thunder and wind and hard rain last night meant I brought in the streamers and flags. The Halloween ones are still in the bin in the shed loft. I am going to Austin for a week to see friends, so I think I will not set out more decor in the front yard until I return. I did get the skeleton and vampire flamingos in place, and even fixed up the blinky solar ghost flamingo. Been three years at least since I bothered with them. Jeremy will be visiting, so perhaps he would want to help with setting up my spooky stuff. My rather mild spooky stuff, because there are so many little kids. I’m not into gorecore.

I know, I should wait to get the tea pot and such swapped, but here we are.

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