Sunday, October 24, 2021

John Prine - Boundless Love - The Tree of Forgiveness

 Dear friends-

Milo and his auntie Eden are coming here to look at schools from the 11th to the 15th. To say I am excited would be an understatement. 

Fully dark here. Wild and stormy. 

Thinking about the last few years of my mother's life. She was 'no trouble', according to the nursing home staff. She smiled a lot. She said 'thank you' a lot. She was undemanding. Dignified, as she had hoped. Tonight, my thoughts of her are soft. And that is an improvement. 

There is a large hole in my front yard. There were hordes of ants under the hot cover. My beloved grandson is coming here, all tall and skinny of him. And Eden!! How did I get to be so lucky. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

 My sister married her 75 year old Steve yesterday. We were all virtual and I missed the whole thing. Funky wifi, couldn't access my password, you know, the usual. So this morning I called her and we told stories and laughed and laughed. Stories about getting lost, making mistakes, going in the wrong direction. Her wedding story, so beautiful and too much food and sweet wedding bands and her 6'4" husband who has to lean way over to kiss her. She comes up to his chest. 

I cried too. For all that we have lost, collectively. All the weddings and funerals and birthdays and graduations and new babies. All the events that make a life. When we are together again a common refrain. I've never even met Steve although he has made my troublesome wonderful sister so happy. So happy. 

Right now, the dog and cat are just not enough. Annie has a video on her FB feed of a woman in France in a town square standing with a blindfold and arms outstretched to give hugs to random strangers who pass by. So many people approach and they hug. Left me a puddle. 

It is Indigenous People's Day or whatever. One day, huh? Wow. 

If the pool is open, I'll swim there. If not, will I go to the lake? It's mighty cold and I don't like to swim alone. 

My tenant is gone and Jim just dropped off a new window for the basement apartment. Yes, friends, a wee remodel. You know I love those. But the basement with have light! and a window the tenant can crawl out of if the unimaginable happens. It will be splendid. In the meantime, dig a giant hole! Obliterate the interior wall! Don't run into the gas main! Cut a square in the foundation with a concrete cutter! Mess! Dust! Noise! Yeah!

Can't wait. 

Now to roll down the hill to see if the pool is actually open. 

May you all be well and safe and hugging the ones you love. Be kind, always be kind. 

Saturday, October 02, 2021

 It is beautiful today, clear, crisp, red and yellow leaves. Clark and I swam this morning toward a rippling shining path made by the sun on the water. I have acclimated to the cold with my wetsuit. I wonder how much longer I will swim this year. Clark told me he swam until 12/21 last year. Brrrrrrrr! 

I have also figured out how to don my wetsuit without help. It is a sight, I'm sure. It would help if I were double-jointed. 

Dear people. I danced in a room with others for the first time in forever last Wednesday. It was heavenly and boyoboy was I creaky and sore. I hadn't realized how much stretching is, um, vital to the body. Our teacher gave each of us a bag of epsom salts at the end of class. Most appropriate. 

My tenant is indeed moving out. I want to enlarge a window down in the apartment and my contractor/friend Jim says that windows are back ordered 3-4 months, like everything. And apparently the price of wood is astronomical. Well, we've burned up millions of trees. Nervous about no rent money for several months. And $$ for the window install, including concrete cutting. That aughta be fun, not to mention the mess. 

We're hit the grim milestone of 700,000 dead of covid in the US. Amazing for a virus that was "just gonna disappear, like magic."

In other news, please watch "High on the Hog" on Netflix. It's wonderful. 

I've taken to carrying my laptop around with me, like a baby. As choices have gotten skimpier and skimpier, I still need to have voices. I mean, really. How many times can I watch Outlander? 

I've started a quilt for Eden. She does not want a 'traditional' quilt. Sheesh. I gave her a Jacob's Ladder when she left home. Blue and White. So this time I'm making something up. At the moment I don't like it at all. We'll see how it goes. Quilting is very much like painting, many colors and shapes and fretting and walking around etc. And they take a while. I have no use for machine quilting. I'm down with doing it the old fashioned way. Besides, sitting under a quilt all winter sewing little stitches is one way to stay warm. 

Today there's a rally for reproductive rights downtown. I have a new baby to visit, ironically. Feels like all the progress we've made is being undone. 

Time for me to get into horrid traffic to see the new family. In the midst of all the troubles, new babies are so delicious. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

It's a fall kind of day. I got my teeth cleaned. My dental office is  a lovely place. I listened to folks laughing behind me as I sat in my chair. Both dentists are so nice and their staff seem happy to be at work. Not a usual dental atmosphere. 

My friend Frog was here for a few days. Came up from Eugene on his motorcycle. Big ole bearded guy who looks 70 now because he is. 

My tenant is indeed moving out. Time to go into further debt to get mold abatement services in there and hire Jim (!), my former contractor to build out a new window or enlarge an existing one. Involves concrete cutting, among other things. Fun!!! Beth, my gardener/painter friend will help restore order and repaint. I have the several many cans of leftover paint in garage and cellar and maybe some of it will be of use. 

Fall is well and truly here. The leaves are turning and we actually got rain with more on the way. We've been so dry, so dry. The grass is as brown as California, kinda scary. The fires have started to die down too, at least up north here. 

I've already swum (swam? swimmed?) in the pool today but meeting friends for a lake plunge at 4 because I AM CRAZY.  

I have figured out that swimming is the antidote to anxiety/fear/despair. At least in the lake I am concentrated on ***damn it's cold***and if it's very choppy and rough***damn, don't drown***

I'm not planning to drown, I promise. 

My blood sugar is not budging. Try as I might. I may have to go on meds (shit). I just might be that person. Too many years getting up at odd hours, stress of my baby-catching job, and disrupted sleep. Messed up my cortisol levels. 

Ah well, Reading Ted Koozer the poet who has a recurrence of cancer (age 82) on Rattle, a platform that sends me a poem a day. Bless him. 

At the Cancer Clinic

She is being helped toward the open door
that leads to the examining rooms
by two young women I take to be her sisters.
Each bends to the weight of an arm
and steps with the straight, tough bearing
of courage. At what must seem to be
a great distance, a nurse holds the door,
smiling and calling encouragement.
How patient she is in the crisp white sails
of her clothes. The sick woman
peers from under her funny knit cap
to watch each foot swing scuffing forward
and take its turn under her weight.
There is no restlessness or impatience
or anger anywhere in sight. Grace
fills the clean mold of this moment
and all the shuffling magazines grow still.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Hello dear friends-

My tenant has informed me she thinks her physical issues are due to mold in the basement. After a bit of reading, I'm not sure that mold is much of an issue as mold is everywhere but what do I know. I have never seen mold in the basement either before or after the remodel. There are services that diagnose and treat mold so stay tuned. 

Anyhoo. If she moves out, I will be 1.) alarmed as I depend on her rent. 2.) relieved, as I can install a larger egress window and bring in more light, which will cost $$ but will give me peace of mind and 3.) I can find another tenant who is less noise sensitive. Housing in Seattle is very difficult, esp with animals and I"m fine with tenants having, there you have it. 

Ah, the joys of home ownership. 

In other news, there is no other news really.

Clark and I have a standing date to swim in the morning. He couldn't make it the other day so I went alone. I wore my wetsuit for the first time this season and it was weird. Wetsuits make you very floaty and it's hard to kick. I'll have to remind myself how to swim when I'm more buoyant. 

The garden is winding down. Leaves are turning colors. Both my kids are in Croatia. Haven't heard from either of them. I hope they are having fun and are staying safe in this here old suffering world. 

Waiting on my health care office to answer the phone. Booster shot? Flu shot? I'm here in the neighborhood so would be convenient to go now. I could grow a long white beard like Rip Van Winkle waiting for them to answer. 

This post might be very boring. Casey has moved from a houseboat to a step van to -poof-. She's waiting to emigrate to Portugal. I just bought her paddle board and I'm not sure I'll ever use it. I'd rather get rid of stuff than acquire but I'm helping her get outa Dodge. She' taking off for Colorado to see friends, no real responsibilities or belongings. 

Hope you are all well and vaccinated and enjoying another season is it comes to a close.