Getting On With It….

I am starting to stitch bits and pieces on my my hemp strips. It feels good to be doing it.

So far all the episodes of The Great British Bakeoff have been watched. Couldn’t help it…addictive and there seemed to be nothing else to do. It didn’t make me want to bake, just pay attention to how the bakers responded to utter failures in the kitchen and take that British thing of keep calm and carry on to heart and pull themselves together. Now I have moved on to The Crown where it is such a scrumptious set of actors and costumes and castles…..even more stiff upper lips, but a beautiful production.

Aside from that more walks to the dam.

And the wonderful sunlight….

And the operations of the dam doing its job with beautiful reflections.

Tonight Patrick and I meet friends at a winery. The past couple of days we have been helping people clean out a family home of not exactly hoarders, but those who just cannot decide whether something should find a new home, and then wait a bit too long. A good lesson for all of us. Patrick now has an old kayak to take home. I turned down an exquisite piece of art glass that was left to me from the estate and hope to just take one wine glass to toast the two generations that lived in that house and poured my wine with good cheer, good company and fine food.

My closing on the loan to build the next house went swimmingly (too much British television reflected there) and now I just wait for the next closing so I can officially start.

The laptop is fixed to where it can be trusted until a new one arrives.

I am fighting the urge to go to the cat shelter to get a new companion for Sadie. Not sure how long that will last. When Lee and I lost a cat we were at the shelter within days to make sure there were two and sometimes ending up with three cats at one time in the house.

All for now…

Til later……

Sometimes It Is Painful, Sometimes Not

Patches has gone where good kitties go when they are through being good kitties here. It was a large tumor on her stomach. I miss her, attitude and all.

It has been busy here this past week.


Fog that never ends at the dam and the riverwalk until long after I have returned home.

A few phone calls from the Care Center letting me know (gently) that things may be heading down hill a bit for Lee. No way to know how far and for how long. It is dementia….no answers.

But I did decide that since I know nothing about funeral arrangements it would be a good idea to get an idea. One quick appointment and an hour and a half later decisions were made. It was not what I expected. No old mortician trying to sell coffins of the high end, no organ music in the background, no sad looks. It was actually quite enjoyable having a chat and explaining quite clearly that there was to be a cremation, no obituaries (anyone that has been close to us knows where Lee is and what the outcome will be) and who wants phone calls after the fact.

I did ask about ashes being turned to stones and the director never heard of that but a quick check and we found a place in New Mexico that does it….stones that look like skipping stones…..perfect! So Lee and also me when the time comes.  The ashes are mixed with something else and a box comes back with many stones of different sizes to go wherever the survivors would like to put them. And they actually look like stones.

The funeral director had also never heard of “Daisy Boxes” that friends in Australia are painting on.  He said I had given him lots to look into as more possibilities.  We parted friends and I have full confidence that all will be as Lee and I would have wanted when the time comes.

There has been no drawing, no stitching, not much of anything. BUT this morning I had the closing on the loan to build the new house. My lawyer is quite satisfied with the terms. So as soon as I can get the next closing on the purchase of the lot, the builder can start the house. Speaking of the builder, I had a good sit down with him and picked out several of the options open to me. It felt so good to talk about building materials and room sizes. I now know every measurement inside the house and can plan on what goes accordingly. Nine foot ceilings are a very good idea to help with artworks.

Patrick arrives tomorrow for a week to go over what will be going home with him. He wants his dad’s chair and one more from the house now. We will definitely be having some scotch and good talks.

Wish I had more pictures. My nasty, simple0minded lap top is deciding not to cooperate with me so I am downstairs in the office getting this overdue blog out.

I will do better next time. Now I need to explain again to Sadie that Patches has found new friends and it is down to just her and me.

Til later….

Trying to Focus Today

I did fix a somewhat decent meal for myself. It was just ugly plating.

Speaking of food, the Great British Baking Show has lost its appeal with the changing of two female hosts to two tiresome/annoying male hosts. Mary Berry appears to have left and another competent woman judge has taken her place. But the new season of contestants must have been selected for their incompetence. Not one could even bake a simple brownie. I think the show has become dumb and we have more than enough of dumb going on, especially in the US.

Still the walks.

And another inviting door into fairy land. This one with a latch.

After cutting out the bad piece from my strip of hemp I decided to fold over the cut edge, steam it in place and then stitch it down by crossing over the raw edge with a double row of stitches.

I noticed in the stitching that there is definitely a right and wrong side to the hemp. The wrong side where the hem is has loose ends and frays in the weave. The right side is much more finished and smooth.

In cleaning out my studio I noticed how many old wooden boxes I had been using to hold bits and pieces. Now I have quite a collection ready to be reused one way or another. These two long strips when stitched together end to end will give me over fifteen feet to stitch on. I will roll the strip like a scroll and place it into one of these boxes. It will keep my hands busy while my mind tries to focus on what will be happening next……. closing on the loan and start of the new house. And Lee’s continuing decline.

The sun is trying to get through this interminable fog. I meet a friend for lunch tomorrow and others next week for a good beer and dinner out. That part of sharing meals with friends seems like getting “back to normal”.

But there really is no more normal. Life with Covid has been a filter of so much that seems quite unnecessary and ridiculous when compared to the necessities of now.  At least one good friend, lovely walks, calls from family, a good book, some stitching, and a nice beer will be enough to get me through….more than enough actually.

Til later….


Beautiful October

I am doing nothing. It is a bit like Spring Fever. Once my early morning walks are done and I am back in the house, doing nothing seems the better option.

I tried sewing on my strip of hemp, not linen, but then cut out the section because I hated it and tossed it in the bin. It had too much color. It was too patchy. I even painted over the cloth patches and stitched some more. It was dumb looking. Good idea to pitch it. Start again another day.

And then with a new television and more options to waste time, I got hung up on The Great British Baking Show. I like how kind they are to each other. And one episode leads to another just to see what they will bake next. It has not inspired me to bake. I am even having to remind myself to eat lately, let alone cook. Last night it was a small plate of leftover rice from last week. Even the cats wouldn’t help me finish it off. Tonight I am promising myself to fix flounder with asparagus and cheesy grits. If I make enough for two meals then I won’t have to fix anything tomorrow. That seems appealing.

I am not even drawing. It is hard to be enthusiastic about anything here at the house. It is like I have left the place without going anywhere. Here there are mostly walls surrounding things that need to be packed up. I am ready to move. But for the next several months or more here is where I will be, sitting smack dab in the middle of memories that are fading as they brush past on their way to a safe place where they can wait for me to cherish them again.

My god, it is quiet in here! We should have been dog people. At least they make noise with their barking and begging. Our cats don’t even think of rousing from their slumbers unless they sense I am somewhere the treats cupboard.

Anyway here are some images from those perfect walks.

With the darker mornings and me having to feed the deer and birds before I set off for my walks, I am later getting to these lovely places.

And the Riverwalk hasn’t got much in the way of drama. The river is very low and this fall is offering little color.

And this one that made me wish I was Alice and could grow small just to walk up to this door and give it a good knock.

I come back from these walks and wonder how to plan my day. Some days I throw myself into something like sorting and packing bits in the studio. The other day I made decisions and packed up papers I may use from both of those large flat files. That felt good, just thinking I might someday use them for something.

Lee’s birthday was last week. He is now 84 years old and needed to be put on a medication to calm down his abusive language toward those taking care of him. Unlike the last place he was in they are very used to handling this kind of behavior. It is not uncommon for some of their dementia patients to turn on bad language when they hardly ever used it before. The staff just have to call whenever there is a change in medications and assured me that he only talks this way to the ones trying to give him a bath or help with his eating. Most of the time he is content talking with one of their stuffed cats on his lap.

When the weather is this beautiful I will walk down to the mailbox and back up to the house…this quiet, quiet house.

It is now four-thirty and I will pour a glass of wine, maybe get back to writing my next short story,……

Til later.