Ice, Baby, Ice

The ice storm came and left its mark. Though I do appreciate sparkling landscape when the sun emerged; I do not like that a large limb broke part of the fence and landed on one of the lilac bushes.

Yesterday the husband ventured out as we had run out of milk and the road was a solid sheet of ice. The trusty rusty Jeep managed to make it off the gravel and the roads in town were mostly clear. Later the sun came out and now most of the ice is gone. I won't miss it.

During the time of Ice-solation I managed to totally reorganize and declutter the closet in the husband's office. All of my yarn is in boxes, sorted by weight and labeled. The challenging part was what to do with the toys. Some of them belonged to my youngest daughter. I allowed myself to keep one teddy bear that was made by my mother and one Care Bear (Grumpy) because he reminds me of Erin in her childhood. Next step is to check with granddaughter and see if she wants any of the castoffs and then donation time. Daughter no. 2 is coming today and she is going to check to see if she wants any of the games or toys. I just want it gone.

Slowly crocheting on the egg apron. Maybe I'll get faster soon. Got out my drawing supplies and hope to get started on some sketches tomorrow. Today is family food day, but keeping it simple. Husband bought an air fryer. I have not, thus far, been impressed with it's capabilities, but today will try some frozen french fries.

Watched some episodes of Wayward Pines which just kept getting weirder and weirder. Watching it on Hulu which I find to be the most difficult of all streaming apps to navigate. I can never get back to where I want to be. Will be asking for assistance from kids when they visit today.

Guess I'll do the writing prompts:

17. Can you accept people for who they are? Absolutely. The good, the bad, the ugly are who they are. I don't have to hang with those I don't enjoy, but accept them, sure.

18. Do you have non relatives you consider family? Of course I do. The young man my daughter semi adopted is as much a grandchild as my biological ones. Through the years I have taken in many folks and brought them into the family. We are all one after all, right?

19. Who knows you the best? I think that no one really knows me, but there are some who sure think they do. A couple of my daughters would swear they know my every thought, but they don't. The husband might know me best, but he wouldn't be able to articulate or act on that, it's just not in him.

It is 11 degrees F outside, so I'll not be going out again today. One more day of frigid weather, then a bit of a warm up. It is nice and warm inside and I've books to read, crocheting to do and a potential sketch in mind, so it's all good.

I Have a Cute Cat Too + Trivial Pursuits

I think Harold is exceptionally cute in this pic. And, since I don't often feel that way, I thought I'd save the moment here.

Yesterday was spent recovering from the trip to the city. Way too much stimulation for this old lady, who spends her time in solitude and quiet surroundings. So, I basically fucked off. Watched some of the new season of Grace and Frankie. Since this will be the last season I didn't binge on it, but strung it out. Also worked on getting caught up on "Vikings", nothing like some brutal sex and violence to spice up the day.

I am glad that I finally bought myself a yarn basket for the living room. At the moment it is filled with books plus the cat toy. The baskets are Fair Trade, made in Africa and there is a leather tag inside with information about the artist. I have wanted one of these for any years and only when we were in a store in the city did I realize that I could actually have one. I simply cannot move past all the years I had to live so frugally it seems. But, I do love the basket, so I am making progress.

I was at last rewarded by making the right number of double crochets for the beginning of the egg apron. How easily skills slip away when we do not practice them.

Today I am somewhat more energized and plan to attack the task of organizing the closet in the husband's office. There are still toys in there that belonged to our youngest who is now 41 plus enough yarn to supply 3 knitters for a considerable amount of time. Who knows what I'll find?

And now for the exciting part of this entry - writing prompts:

15. How comfortable are you meeting new people? Another less than straightforward query. So much depends on environment, circumstances and my own state of mind. Generally, I have not difficulty in meeting new people. I am no longer shy and turn on my extrovert side if I don't have to do it for too long. Of course, since I rarely leave home, the actuality of this happening is slim, so it is not very relevant in my life.

16. Are you a frequent user of Facebook? Define frequent. Yes, I do check it at least once a day to see if any of my children have posted new pics and to check on relatives to live at a distance. Do I hang out there, have chats, post much. NO. I prefer Instagram, but really LJ is my favorite social networking site.

Oh good, I'm caught up again. I do like that the writing prompts keep me posting on a more regular basis. Though why that matters, I have no idea.

The Eyes Have It

Just back from seeing my ophthalmologist who gave me a good report on my eyes. Pressures in the normal range. Everything looking static, just like we like it. Go back in May.

Ate some great Thai food at a favorite restaurant. A good thing about having doctors in the city is getting to eat out.

Having a hard time staying awake so here's the prompt:

14. 3 words that describe you: Brainy, Beautiful, Bitchy...

I hope there is something to eat around here that requires very little effort on my part to access. I am hungry enough to look, but too tired to make much effort.

Lest I Fall Behind

Sundays are nearly always too busy to post in LJ. Family dinner with varying numbers of hungry people. I fried catfish for what seemed like forever. But, admittedly it was delicious. We accompanied the fish with smashed potatoes, kale salad and cornbread. Everyone seemed quite pleased and ate heartily except granddaughter, Lainey, who was having stomach issues. Talked to her mother and she was feeling better this morning, though not excited at having to go back to school. We were all glad that she did not have the dreaded stomach virus that is "going around" in the schools.

I'm still trying to get the first row of crochet to come out correctly. Somehow three times, my count has been off. GRRR.. I don't know how many more times I will rip it out before I abandon the whole damned project. Apparently I still require lessons in Patience.

Today has been quiet. The husband and I cleaned out a couple of cabinets in the laundry room. UGH! It has been centuries since that had been done. I may not live long enough to see it happen again.

And now for the two word prompts.

12. You receive exciting news, who do you tell first? My decision would rely heavily on the content of the news. Most often daughter no. 2 is the first recipient of all good news because she is most likely to respond cheerfully.

13. What qualities do you like least in others? Dishonesty, can't stand liars, followed shortly by lack of compassion. I don't care for gossips, nor loud rude people either. I could go on as there are few qualities I do admire in most humans, which is why I spend most of my time alone. Not to say that I am some shining example of how a human should behave, as I can certainly be not very kind at times. But, I have found that I can't get away from myself, but can escape the formerly mentioned "most humans."

And, now, after crawling around on the floor cleaning out the bottom cabinet, I think a long hot bath is in order. Eye doc appointment tomorrow, so it is best to be clean and tidy if possible.

Haunted House Update + those word prompts

I took the haunted house down from its perch and looked at it for a while. Decided to hang a couple of curtains. I have an ancient diaper that have used for a rag for nearly 40 years. It is a great rag. And I found it made some pretty good curtains for the house.

I have some paving to do around front and some more painting, but would like to feel as if it is complete ( as finished as might be possible.)

Oh, and the word prompts:

9. What hobbies would you like to try? Oh lord, this one is a challenge. I've had so many hobbies already, the field is narrow. So, I'll go with water color.

10. A type of food you really hate: I'm tired of sitting here trying to think of something; which leads me to believe, that since nothing stands out, I must be quite tolerant in the food arena. I could be said to hate spicy food because it hurts my stomach, but I do like the way it tastes.

11. Do you prefer a small or a large group of friends? Easy. Small. Very small, tiny, wee, itty bitty, like one on one.

And now, I'm caught up.

The ice did show up and I as look up, I see the snow has begun now.

I appreciate a big pot of soup, all done.

Hunkered down till the storm blows through. Crocheting next on my agenda.

Double Up While Waiting for Bad Weather

7. Something that annoys you.

Too bad it didn't ask for someone who annoys you, then I could simply said: my husband. After nearly 50 years there are any number of things he does that annoy me, but I will go with leaving his dirty dishes on the counter when the dishwasher is right there. I cannot grasp why he cannot simply bend down and put his dishes in there. Somehow, he just doesn't.

8. Something new you tried this week. Since I can't remember the first day I started Qigong, I'm going to say it was this week that I started, and it may well have been Monday. I am still super pleased with adding this practice to my day, and still hope to make it a daily experience.

On the weather front, snow forecasts still looking yucky, up to 6 inches some say and with ice underneath. I am actually looking forward to it as I have to do that requires going out and a good snowstorm makes for time to cuddle under a blanket with a book or a movie.

Yesterday was actually quite nice with warm temps and lunch out. I especially enjoyed the lemon blueberry scone with a cup of chamomile tea.

Today feels like a good time to do some house tidying. I may also start working on a egg gathering apron for my oldest granddaughter, a cute thing and quite practical. It is crocheted and my skills in that area are rusty, but the pattern is simple enough.

And hey, it is Friday for all of you to whom that matters. Being old, one day is much like another for me.

Two Prompts to Catch UP

5. How you met your best friend.

Nearly 50 years ago we met at a gathering of local hippies. We have children the same age and they were about 4 at the time. Her son and my daughter really were the ones who brought us together. We were standing close to each other and glanced over to see my daughter inside a hollow tree and her son handing her a flower. Needless to say, that sparked a conversation and we became fast and loyal friends. Though I often find that triads can be a tough dynamic, my friend, my husband and I made a great trio and had many adventures in our youth. Though, we no longer see each other much, when we do it is as if no time has passed and we are as bonded now as we always have been.

6. What skill have you always wanted to have?

I would love to be able to sing well. Not that I don't sing, just not as euphonically as I would like. I once took a few lessons, but my teacher moved away and I did not pursue it further. I am content with singing along to favorites tunes in my living room.

In local news, weather forecasters are predicting up to 1/4 inch of ice by the weekend. Can't wait lol. Today we have high winds with even bigger gusts, tossing things about outside. Rain is on its way, but I'm not letting that keep me from going out to lunch with No. 2 daughter and hopefully walking the indoor track again

Tragic Revelations

4. What has been the most challenging part of your life to date?
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I struggled to decide whether to blow this one off or not. Decided it might be good to write about these things, though I know that won't delete my pain. While there have been any number of challenging times in my life, there are two that brought me to my knees. In my mind, they are forever entangled so I will tell both stories.

1968- He is just back from Viet Nam when we meet and fall in love. I am 21 years old, newly divorced with two small children. We are still in that giddily high place of new love. It is a day like any other. Mid-afternoon I get a call from my doctor verifying a pregnancy test. I call my husband, and he is so happy. The last words I speak to him are "I love you."

He works in a town about 30 minutes away. Time passes and he doesn't come home from work. Darkness falls. The little girls are sleeping. The phone rings about midnight and a voice first verifies that I am indeed, Mrs. Roger Wright. The next words take my breath, break my heart; and my world starts to crumble. "Mrs. Wright, your husband has been in a car accident and is not expected to survive. You need to come immediately." My father, a policeman, had heard the license plate being called in and is on his way to get me. Though, I am there before Roger breathes his last, he never regains consciousness. I am stubborn and insist on identifying him. Unrecognizable except for the tattoo on his bicep;that image is a permanent imprint in my brain. He lives four hours. These are the longest four hours of my life ever. The death certificate reads: cause of death 95% third-degree burns. A challenge, oh yes.

The following event is forever linked to the first for me because Sarah was Roger's granddaughter.

1992-February - Another phone call in the middle of the night. My daughter's voice hysterically screaming, "There's been a fire. We are at the hospital. They won't let me see Sarah (her two-year old daughter)." Though never burned, Sarah died of smoke inhalation. My daughter was burned trying to save her.
March - My mother has her first heart attack. She is hospitalized off and on until October 18 at midnight when she dies in the ER.
October 19, 9 a.m. at the same hospital, my husband is diagnosed with cancer and soon begins a long series of chemo and surgery.

Certainly all lives hold challenges. These are the most powerful of mine. They changed and shaped me in uncounted ways. And, maybe now you understand my struggles with anxiety a little better. And, maybe now I do feel a release at putting this down in words. Maybe.

The daughter that Roger and I made grew up and is a nurse. She has 3 more children. My husband survived and is healthy.

I hope the next prompt is more cheerful. I have disabled comments for many reasons.

A Yummy Subject

3. What is your favorite dessert?

Without a doubt that would be creme brulee. Something about the silkiness of the custard and the contrast with the crunchy browned sugar on top appeals to the pleasure center in my brain. The husband is quite talented at making this dessert, though he doesn't do it often which is perhaps a good thing because I would be eating it all.

Glad I chose to do the word prompts because once I am here at LJ I find other things to write about. I do see, however, that (duh) the prompts are connected to dates so soon I will be writing two prompts to get caught up.

Went for that walk I talked about yesterday and it kicked my butt, quite literally. I am still sore today and trying to decide whether it is best to sit out today or work through the pain. At any rate, it will be afternoon before I decide because yesterday nothing got done after the walk as I was too tired. Serves me right after doing virtually nothing in the way of real exercise for a couple of months.

Continuing Qigong and still seeing great results in the emotional department which for me is more than half the battle.

Reading: "The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon," #13 in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith and " Rules of Civility" by Armor Towles.

Happy to see sunshine this morning. It has been gray for too long to suit me.

Summer Sucks

2. What's your least favorite season?

This is an easy one. Summer, hands down, is my least favorite season. At the beginning it seems just fine, still a hint of coolness left over from spring, but by July when the temperatures and the humidity soar, I am in the house enjoying the A/C, but as surely trapped there as I am in the winter when it is cold.

At least in winter I can dress warmly and go out, but if I am not in the water in mid-summer, I tend to get to feeling sick. And, then there is the dry time when everything withers and turns brown, and I am watering the gardens just trying to keep them alive.

I do love to swim, and that makes summer at least tolerable. I catch a lot of grief from family who find it their favorite season, but even as a child I did not like summer.

On the family front, yesterday we celebrated the husband's 72nd birthday with lunch at a favorite restaurant and then a drive through the countryside. Loved seeing an old cabin where I lived for a short time, though it is now falling down. We didn't stop so no picture, but I am determined to get back there and get some shots as it will be perfect for a sketch. Youngest daughter and I shared memories of the old place where many interesting and exciting adventures occurred.

Qigong routine complete. Today marks the first time to go walking on the inside track at the local community college. Still feeling much better. I'm hoping this is a trend for 2020.