Tuesday, July 07, 2015


Good Morning!  This is a shot from my garage door yesterday.  Was so glad to see actual clouds and some blue sky peeking around them instead of the solid grey smoke-haze from Canada.  Those had to be some monstrous forest fires!
I was out in the garage yesterday afternoon because Lois from the bird rescue place came to pick up the cage, playpen, and aquarium.  They just got calls on a Military and an Amazon, too.  So that made me even happier to see them go.  And Lois remembered me from years ago when she came to take poor, miserable, nasty-tempered Gracie (cockatiel) if any of you have been around long enough to remember poor Gracie.  Anyways, this spot is now empty in the garage.
Then Dagan came by after work and hauled boxes and bags to the garage for me.  (You'll see why I couldn't lift anything anymore and couldn't even walk out there with him.)
First of all, I took a couple days off completely (Fri-Sat) until I felt well enough to continue packing. 
Miss Karma...
...well, don't let her calm demeanor fool you.  There are new barf spots every other day and she is in need of much more cuddle time than this aloof roommate normally requires--LOL! 
Oh--do you think somebody may have celebrated the 4th a little too much?  Despite the crowded parking lot in the evenings nobody parked on either side of this car--and in the morning, as you can see, still no one near it--LOL! 
Sunday I started packing away the paper bookcase.  No purging to do there, so it went slick as can be into boxes.  Got all done except for the satchels at the bottom.  I didn't have any boxes in here large enough to hold any of my many satchels. 
Then I emptied the art wall shelf unit.  So much less colorful without all the paints and sprays lined up in there.  Really feels like I am moving now that the art and craft supplies are disappearing. 
I finally had to move the folding table into the bedroom to make room for more packed boxes. 
Karma had to investigate the empty art bookcase, of course.  That was taken with the flash... 
...because it was actually dusk.  I worked into the evening...
...with black coffee keeping me going (and many breaks).   
Yes, I remembered to take a picture of my red thermos cup this time for T Stand For Tuesday over at Elizabeth's.  
Hi, Ladies!! 
The pile kept growing.  Many of the boxes were packed right on the spot over there because I knew they'd be heavy--but I did miscalculate a couple times.
I also went through and purged all my clothes and coats!  Half my wardrobe is now gone to the donation pile in the garage.  (I wasn't actually wearing half that wardrobe--so out it went.)
Finally, I had used every box I had inside here except for one really small one.  Dagan came over last night and made three trips to the garage with their huge cart--whoohoo! 
I'm surprised I got that much done--still dusty, but paper bookcase emptied and packed... 
...wall shelves and art bookshelves empty and packed.  Except for all the satchels, of course, but they just go in boxes as is. 
Next on my list is the craft bookcase.
Dagan brought me in a whole bunch of boxes from the garage that Caroline brought over for me when she went grocery shopping on the 3rd.  They just moved into their new house last month so she has a lot of boxes I can use.  Nice!  And I think I can say now...Caroline is expecting!!  So happy for her!!  :) 
    So many changes this past year.  
Mr. Ian has been sick again for a couple days-fever this time.  Leah had a touch of it, too.  If he's not better he might be going in to the doctor today.   Dagan will drop off some more packing tape for me in the next couple days before they are supposed to leave for Canada on Thursday.  I'll just keep packing in my little sessions.  
I work for 20-30 minutes at a time (depending on the old bod) and then take a break for a good hour (or whatever I need) and repeat...till I can't do any more that day.  I am really proud of what I have been able to get done!  True--the sciatica has been behaving darn well (knock on wood) and that makes a huge difference as to how long I can stand and walk...and I bought up a freezer full of entrees I can nuke so that I don't have to cook...and, believe it or not, I am in waaaay better shape (exhaustion and pain-wise) than I was the last two times I moved.  Plus--I've had ten years of being able to self-regulate my activity and get used to having all these various cranky-body flare ups.  I know I have to stay calm and move slowly--even put on my new age instrumental music if I need to--because any body tension adds to the pain.  My body is the (vindictive) boss of me and I have learned to pay close attention to it.  ;)  If I have to take a couple days off...I just have to.    
In two weeks--Monday the 20th--we will be getting ahold of Linda the moving lady and make arrangements for them to start coming over to start packing whatever is left to pack.  So I plan to do very little that week before I move.  Being able to have some recovery time before the actual move--priceless!  Three weeks from today folks!  :):)
Well, my mom is doing better.  At least she sounds better, anyways, and I am getting her on the phone almost every day now.  I have not heard from my brother or sister since they arrived in Florida last Wednesday other than last week my sister texted me to tell me that Mom's roommate wanted to talk to me about fibro.  (I haven't yet, but plan to one of these times when I call mom and her roommate isn't busy with company or nurses.)  Renee did say this rehab place was a lot better (which I figured because they often take Mom twice a day for physical therapy and she is up several times sitting in her wheelchair every day).  I did tell Renee I wanted her to call me, but she hasn't.  Apparently my family is getting back to our normal.  Can never accuse us of being close--LOL!  I'm taking it as a positive sign that Mom is improving.  And I'd like to think that they know I am in worse shape with all the packing and they've decided to not bother me because of that or something more positive than they just never even think to call--LOL!  ;)
Anyways, that's about it from Fargo.  Karma is relaxing in the sun on the porch.  It suddenly cooled way down yesterday (upper 60s) and I've been able to have the place opened up.  I love it!  Was down in the 40s last night, I believe.  Ahhh!  Supposed to be in the low to mid 70s for a couple of days and 50s at night.  Perfect weather!!  And we even have had sunshine again.  Good packing weather, eh?
I'll be slogging my way through the mess of boxes and bags...will continue to discover spots that have dust bunnies the size of hippos...and that haven't known the touch of a human hand for years...LOL!  My home has to be dismantled before it can be reassembled, right?  When you move your life is gradually torn down to the bare dusty bones...everything you own looks like a cluster of chaos.  And then you haul it away to build a new nest.  ;)
Have a scintillating week!  :):)
"There is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created."
Parker Palmer

Thursday, July 02, 2015


Back already with a quick post.  I have been just terrible at remembering to take any before pictures.  This was my storage area down in a room at the other end of the hall.
Dagan and I finally got it totally emptied last night--tada! 
This plastic set of shelves was in the storage area...now is in the garage to eventually hold packed boxes (and will live in my new garage).
I grabbed a couple pictures as we were working out in the garage under the orange sun (yup--still orange from the forest fires in Canada, but more light is getting through sometimes). 

Wasn't as hot as it has been, thank goodness!  All the boxes on the back shelf are now packed, labeled, taped shut, and ready to go--tada!
We did finish up with what we could do.  
All the trash went to the dumpster, all the empty boxes are on the plastic shelves now... 
...and Dagan did a quick sweep down the middle.
I sent an email with a picture to the lady who was listed as in charge of donations on the bird rescue group's website but I haven't heard anything from her yet.  If I haven't heard from her by the time the holiday is over I will call them next week.  I know they will want the big cage, playpen, and boxes of toys.  :)
This is the pile of give-away stuff.  I have to call next week and see if somebody will take it--New Life or Goodwill or somebody.  They're getting pickier and ask all kinds of questions before they will come out these days.  Whatever I can't give away will go in or next to the dumpster...unless there are a few specific items that don't go that I might want to list on freecycle.  I just don't have extra "spoons", you know?  (See last post for "spoons".)
So, the storage area is empty...the garage is basically cleaned and ready for more packed boxes...and I just have donations to deal with out there.  More boxes and "stuff" came into the apartment last night from the storage area that I need to sort through, though--LOL!  You know how things seem to shift about quite a bit before you get a real handle on them. 
Miss Karma...laying on my table easel bag.  
I called about the AC not working and they traded mine with one from an empty apartment--so I have AC again--tada!  And I found out why they have been cleaning it every year for the past 3-4 years, too.  Dirt!  He showed me the layers of dirt from all the construction going on around here.  It's very windy here all the time and the ACs on this side of the building that face the construction get clogged up with dirt.  No wonder mine only worked better for a while after it was cleaned.  Duh! 
Dagan and Leah's sprinkler system for their yard was finally installed!!  So now they can order sod--tada!  They have stone to move around, raised garden boxes to build, and will have sod to lay when it arrives, too.  I hope they don't have to wait too long for the sod.  (So much building going on up here!)
Leah is planning to make a trip over tonight to help.  But after tonight I will take the weekend off.  McFamily will also be going to Canada for a few days to visit friends and I can take all those days off, Dagan said.  I can putter, purge, and pack (after some recovery time) whenever...because everything that is left to go through is now here in the apartment.  :)  Awesome!!
Speaking of...I decided to take a video of the whole apartment in the middle of the packing mess before Dagan arrived last night.  A goodbye video of sorts to this apartment I've lived in for over ten years.  Sorry about the sound.  I held the camera with my fingers in the same position and didn't think I moved them and they were not covering the speaker that Leah showed me in the first place...so no clue why I had fluctuation.  I think I need to use something where I don't even have my hands on the darn thing at all--LOL!  
OMG!...I just thought!  I have a little "gorilla" tripod!  I could maybe hold it by that...but I digress.
Okay...(and--yes--I promise to take a tour video of the new place once I am moved)...here's the tour of the moving mess!  Oh, and Miss Karma thought it was time for her evening tablespoon of canned food--LOL!
I will try using the little gorilla tripod next time and see if the sound is better when I don't even touch the camera at all.  It is several years old...and techie years speed by so much faster than dog years.  ;)
I am on R&R collapse mode all day till Leah comes tonight.  Whew!  Funny how shot I can be when Dagan did all the heavy lifting and I basically only moved rolling carts, made sorting decisions, did very little lifting, and labeled boxes?  LOL!  Man!  Am I happy to have helpers!!  ;) 
Well, I am off to try to call my mom to see if brother, SIL, and sister made it down to Florida last night.  :)  Have a great weekend, one and all!!  Happy 4th to those in the US.  Hope you get to spend some time with loved ones.  :):)
"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there." 
Robert M. Pirsig

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Good Morning!
It's taken me 45 minutes just to get the pictures up.  I think Blogger got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  Oh well...here we go.  :)
Ian McGregor turned one year old last Wednesday and had a birthday party on Saturday.  I got these pictures from Dagan.
Looks like Ian had a wonderful time! 
Mama was there to help him open presents. 

His cousin, Julian, wanted to help, too, looks like--LOL! 

His first birthday cake! 
I forgot to ask Leah what kind it was and if this was his first cake ever or not.

Looks like he was enjoying himself, though.

I'm so glad they took some pictures since Gramma missed the party!  :)
Meanwhile, Miss Karma had the best of both worlds for a while.
Both the memory foam... 
...and my grandmother's doll. 
Karma got bored with her after a few days and the doll is packed away now with my grandmother's old salt and pepper shakers. 
Dagan, Leah, Ian, and Leah's youngest sister, Ariel, came to work on the garage for a couple hours on Sunday afternoon.  I didn't take any before pictures.  Forgot the camera.  But it was hot--around 84-85 is melting weather for us.  We even had a fan running out there.
Okay.  Truth.  
I was terribly sore...totally exhausted...it was so hot (was 80 degrees in my apartment with the AC on--no point in running it anymore so I have to call them about that)...I thought Dagan and Leah were going to be there earlier and stay longer...was too miserable to make Ian's birthday party the day before...so I was cranky and short with them and wasn't feeling my usual self.  We did get a lot done, but didn't quite finish the sorting of the shelves.  Dagan or Leah said they will be coming over in the evenings to help every night they can from now on until we get done or it's time to move, whichever comes first.  Yippee!!
  But McFamily will be busy, too, because the sprinkler company is supposed to FINALLY show up to install the sprinkler system in the yard this week and then they can FINALLY order the sod after that!  Whoohoo!!  And they have rocks to spread around and garden boxes to finish... busy, busy summer for us all up here.
After they were here Sunday I was so sore I couldn't sleep...not even on the delicious new memory foam pad.  I was feeling so badly for being bitchy that I wrote an apology email to the three of them at 3:30 in the morning.  I think it was just everything--feeling awful...the heat...frustration over not being able to do more myself...my dad...my mom...moving...and then, to top it all off, being so ashamed of myself for taking it out on them.  I try never-ever to take my pain or worries or sorrows out on anybody else.  Not that I deny them or don't talk "about" them--but there's a difference between that and actually acting or speaking negatively, you know?  Well, I just sat here and cried for a while in the middle of the night.
I hadn't ever cried about my folks being in the accident...my dad dying...being worried about my mom.  Was trained from a very young age not to cry.  Stoic Swedish blood, you know?  And, yes, I've had a counselor tell me years ago that it's not healthy...that I shouldn't feel it's a sign of weakness or vulnerability...blah-blah-blah.  I don't feel that so much as it is just something ingrained in me...a combination of genetics and training.  
And it has served me very well, to be honest.  I was responsible for other people at a young age.  I didn't have anyone else to lean on or depend on.  So you don't waste time getting emotional when there are things to be done, people (or critters) to take care of, and no one else to do it for you.  Any crying I did was alone, later, on my own time.  (Put your tears on hold for too long, though, and you can forget how to cry.)  But this made me alert, level-headed, and good in a crisis.  Since I had a life filled with various crises (up until I moved here ten years ago), I survived them all very well and was able to help & be there for others.  
Having all the compounding health issues gradually take me down...like a buffalo being slowly forced to its knees by a pack of hungry wolves...well, that was the first time in my life I needed other people to help me just to function, you know?  And, grateful as I was for the help, I was very angry about needing that help for years.  I was the one who always found a way.  Mind over matter.  Figured it out on my own.  Could take care of myself, you know?  People came to me.
I think I have still been kind of trying to do that since the end of May--with the cleaning, purging, and packing.  But no matter how carefully I have been playing the pain dance, I have slowly been physically going down the tubes--LOL!  There's still that part of me that doesn't want to ever ask for help...that expects to be able to take care of myself, you know?  Yes, I know--not totally like I used to, but I still seem to fully expect to be able to bite off a bigger chunk than I can actually chew.  Optimistic?  Prideful?  Stubborn?  Foolish?  Don't want to be a bother, for sure.  It is still uncomfortable for me.  Even after over a decade.
Well, luckily, they didn't seem to think I was all that crabby or bitchy and all told me they loved me...but I know I wasn't myself.  I had lost my inner calm.  I felt I had reached the end of my physical rope that day.  No spoons left.
Have any of you ever read The Spoon Theory?  I read it many years ago when the wolves were dragging me down to my knees.  It is hard to explain to other people about having to think through priorities and dibbying out your good time and energy just for daily living tasks.  I had everybody read it years ago and used to talk about my spoons a lot back then.  Now that lovely Des from South Africa sent me the link and I have read it again...you can bet I shall be mentioning my "spoons" again.  You can read it here if you want to know what I am talking about.  It's not terribly long.  :):)  Right now today--I am using a spoon to write the blog and I am conserving spoons the rest of the day for when Dagan comes over again after dinner to help me clear out the storage area and work in the garage.  ;)
Dagan came over yesterday after dinner.  Here I thought it looked like it might rain because it was so dark out...but Dagan told me that it was smoke from Canadian forest fires!!  I tried to take pictures of the sun. but my camera shows the sun as white with an orange ring around it.        
 It is actually a solid orange ball in the sky!!
I took pictures of the garage when Dagan and I got down there last night.
Here's the bird stuff I am going to donate to the bird rescue group in town.  *sniff sniff*  Just needed to find the boxes of bird toys. 
Keeper pile.  Cannot get rid of my massage table I used for years when I did Healing Touch/Reiki/Soul Comfort.  It does have the open ends so that you can sit on a chair at the person's head or feet, so it's not like I couldn't ever do it again.  Just can't let that go yet.  (I would actually sell it, if I ever do, and not give it away--which would have made my dad very happy--LOL!)  And for the T Stands For Tuesday ladies--I thought I had my water thermos on that folding chair, too, next to the zip lock bag of cookies from Leah, but Dagan's lemonade jug with the teal cover and handle will just have to do.  ;);)
Empty boxes--trash pile to the left and give away pile to the right. 
We were down to the last shelf at the bottom to go through. 
My bike hangs from the hooks on the ceiling.  Silly as it is I just cannot get rid of my bicycle, either.  That would be like admitting I will never, ever get any better.  (Did I mention stubborn swedish genes?)   
This morning I walked down to the garage... 
...(still an orange sun ball)...because I forgot my camera out there--ROFL!! 
And I had to show you all my pictures, right?  :):)  It would just seem wrong if I didn't have any pictures, wouldn't it?
Make that two spoons for the blog--LOL!  
It is now 11am. 
I will use a spoon (or two) journaling, emailing, and writing letters today...and save my few other spoons I have left for tonight.  This works much better.  Like I told Dagan when he said they'd be coming over to help me--what we can get done together in 2-3 hours is what it would have taken me days to accomplish by myself.  So that takes the pressure off and I feel I can take more recovery days.  I've been starting my days with less and less spoons as the month has gone by.  I don't want to push myself over the brink and wake up with no spoons...for days and days.  It's horrible.  Been there.  Done that.  And I have been skating too close to it lately.
 Dagan brought empty boxes for me from home--but he put them in the garage--ROFL!  He said he knew I would be more tempted to fill them if they were in the apartment--LOL!  True.  True. 
So, I will actually be able to take some R&R time in July without worrying about getting the purging done.  Well, or not worrying as much--LOL!  Today--this exhausted lady is going to take some extra cuddle time with Miss Karma, who will be glad to see me in slow motion for the day.  ;)  
Have a good one!!  :):)
"For myself, I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else." 
Winston Churchill