Picking Back Up Where I Left Off

October is coming to a close. It was Lee’s and my fifty-fourth anniversary this past week. Not many can say that even in our circumstances. They continue to look after him at the Care Center during difficult times. When they call to give me updates it is to let me know in so many words that he is failing. And so it will continue.

Here is the view from the deck off my studio.

I like the modification of light and perspective that shooting it through the screen have done to “out there”. It is almost like a story book image that fits my disconnection to my place of so many years with Lee. I think about walking the trail but find an excuse not to every day. Maybe tomorrow I will go out there and pick up some leaves to place in a bowl on the table.

Besides watching every episode of The Crown this week I managed to get back to my stitching and drawing.

I would like to find a way to put drawings into the stitched panel but so far have not thought of how to do that. I am such a poor embroiderer that stitching the drawings would be pretty sad. So I will continue jabbing the needle in and out in some sort of semblance of order. Placing bits of cloth next to each other and holding them in place first with a pin and then rows of stitching seems to be such a nice thing to do. Completely useless but pleasing. These patches are me I think, holding things together and moving on to the next bit that needs some control.

And back to the Bird Stories…

I did not like those eggs unattended so yesterday gave them someone to watch over them. Bird feet are so interesting, so fragile. Today I will draw some more bird things in the book because it is rainy and what else is there to do? I would work more on my short story but unfortunately my laptop has decided yet again to go black and deny me access. A new one is coming by next Friday that will be so much more cooperative.

The builder called me yesterday morning to ask if he could make a change to the window by the front door. Seems that there is now a shortage of windows and I will need to go to a side panel by the door rather than a separate window. It ended up me making a trip over to meet up with him in his office and making the decisions on everything pertaining to the new home. White kitchen cupboards, mottled grey and ochre granite counter tops, sage green house with white trim, a certain number of canned lights in the ceilings, what kind of faucets, door and drawer handles, and on and on. The only problem I reminded him was that the closing with his lawyer was not scheduled until the end of November. To this news he promptly went across the road and asked them to move it forward. The answer was they would try to get it in before Thanksgiving. That is the best that can be done but I don’t think there has ever been a builder and homeowner more in sinc in our shared desire to get going on this project. It will take eight months from the time of our closing before I can move in….all due to shortages anticipated in the process of getting materials.

So I continue to walk in the mornings when few people are out and about. I am able to put my mind to something and figure things out on those walks. Sitting at home I am lured into watching British drama and turning my mind off completely. What I really need to do is go into the studio. Stop avoiding it and DO something. I think the last of my autobiographical heads needs finishing. The Homemaker just sits there with all her paraphernalia gathered around her. When all are complete and my son will make the glass specimen cases for each, I plan on placing all four on top of the old wooden post office table in my new house. Then I can see myself for what I am and was, something to be closely regarded behind a piece of glass. I am fascinated by the prospect of having that perspective.

Anyway here are some pictures of my walks.

When I got home yesterday morning I was struck by how beautiful Lee’s grape vines are this year. He ripped out most of them close to the ground in a fit of frustration shortly before he left last Spring. I think he would have liked the result.

Such a dull and colorless fall we are having this year and then suddenly a reminder of what is possible when the temperatures and humidity combine their efforts. I like the dark beckoning of the forest beyond the deep reds of the dogwood trees. Whatever is there seems to be comforting. Maybe a small fire with a stump just the right height to sit on, and a large wool blanket to wrap around myself holding a small cup of something warm to drink. Or maybe just more cold dampness and soaked shoes while I cling to branches wondering what the heck am I doing out there. Best to just stay inside today and watch the woods….it is dry and warm here with things to do.

Til later…..

Such a Busy Week!

Another trip to a favorite winery while Patrick was here.

He left for home early this morning hauling this behind.

We started packing the things hw wanted in there yesterday late afternoon.

Lee’s recliner, my large reading chair with ottoman and a bookcase Lee made several years ago was the first to go in. Then a belt sander and wood turning lathe from Lee’s shop, a slew of air compressor tools, with a finish off of a used kayak he was given this week from a dear departed friend’s estate.

I rearranged the living room so it did not look like too much was missing.

And the walks have continued even in the very cold trip to the dam this morning.

And Monday’s Riverwalk had a bit of color.

While Patrick was here he got our old power washer running so I could do the whole side walk, stepping stones and deck over at the apartment. Another job done!

I did get in a bit more sewing but Sadie put an end to it because she likes the old wood box I keep the project in.

I have not been to the cat shelter….yet. Still thinking about it though. Patrick helped me decide where the artwork I have will hang in the new house. He will be making the mantle for the stone fireplace in the living room when he returns for Thanksgiving. It will be made from a long thick board that Lee saved with many others and will be a wonderful way to take Lee with me. The builder is fine with the idea and will let us know the exact length to make the mantle.

That’s about all the news for now. Patrick is keeping in touch with his progress hauling the trailer back to Michigan….already well into Kentucky four hours after leaving here with a super powered expresso.

Til later….

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….