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

Friday, June 26, 2015


Too early.  Been up since 4am and couldn't get back to sleep...again.  So, I figured I may as well get out of bed and fill you in on what's happening in my corner of the world.
I know you can't see them, but there are two more matching apartment buildings behind these two.  I wonder what they will be building across the road in the field behind our garages?  They've been hauling in more and more dirt to fill in the natural marshland.  Big plans afoot.  But I shall be long gone.  ;) 
Pretty skies, but too hot for me. 
We've been in the 80s.  I know.  That's decently cool for some of you, but for me up here...I am melting!  As you may recall, I have been complaining for years about this old air conditioner.  They just haul it out, clean it, bring it back, and it works about the same.  I can run it on high 24/7 and it runs about 75-76 degrees in here and is still sticky as can be.  So, basically--pretty useless--but they never give me a new one.  Dagan thinks I should complain anyways, but I am not sure it is worth it.  And right now--the maintenance man couldn't get his cart in and out of my place to haul it out of here, anyways, with all the stuff piled here and there and everywhere.  It might drive me crazy during the coming month enough to call.  We'll see.
I had my appointment at Federal Housing with Ashley on Wednesday.  Didn't think I was going to get the car out of the garage.  (It goes up and down partway--we've had this same issue a few times now.)  I finally got it to go up far enough to get the little car out...and then it wouldn't close.  So, I had to run over to the office to tell them...and as long as I was there I picked up the departure checklist and found out for sure that I am also responsible for having the carpet cleaned.
Anyways, off I go--84 degrees--in that little car with no AC.  Talk about melting!  Got stuck waiting in the sun for a very long train in Moorhead.  I haven't driven there in 2-3 years because I have been doing my annual review by mail and phone.  A police car was taking up two of the five spaces in front of the building so there was no place to park there.  I go around on the side street and they have changed it from angled parking to parallel!  I don't do parallel parking.  So I ended up driving around and had to park about two blocks away.  Of course, by the time I am hobbling my sweaty body up the block to the door the policeman is leaving...just backed right out into the waiting traffic enough that this car he almost bumped into was forced to let him in (don't you love the privileged people)...and I was ten minutes late.  I am usually early to everything.  They wondered what happened to me--LOL!
    Anyways, I got all the paperwork started for redoing everything for the new place...and then I'll finally find out what my share of the rent will be.  One more thing to check off the endless list.  ;)
This was a picture I took this morning at pre-dawn.  The sun is up now and the birds are filled with joy at the new day.  :)  
My mom has been transferred to a different rehab place.  She said they were working her harder there than at the hospital and I was thrilled to hear it...even if she didn't sound happy about it--LOL!  She's just feeling so weak and tired.  But I told her that's the only way she'll get her strength back--to move and eat! 
She's excited that Blaine & Kathy and Renee are coming down on the first.  They'll be there a good week.  We'll know more then.
Dagan stopped by yesterday over his lunch to take away all the books to donate to the library.  I told him that I am not going to be able to make it over to Ian's birthday party on Saturday.  (Good thing Ian's too little to really notice this year--and I won't be in the middle of moving next year.)  I am not in good shape from all the purging and packing in the first place and we are going to tear into the garage on Sunday.  If I went--well, I am usually in need of a day of rest the day after and would push myself over the brink working all day on Sunday.  This is my chance to get the garage sorted, which I can't do on my own.  We need to get it cleaned and purged so that I can haul boxes out there as I pack them.  I already have a few boxes and bags that could go out.  Need to see if there is any evidence of mice yet out there when we tear it apart, though.  I haven't seen anything, but they hide, of course.  ;)  That will make the difference as to what goes out there and what doesn't.
Another thing on my list--I decided I really do need to buy some plastic lidded tubs for my garage storage after I move.  Get a few tubs here and there and slowly switch them all over.
I set my Grandma Johnson's (dad's mother) doll on the floor amidst the cleaning and sorting in here.  Karma came around the corner and froze with all her hair on alert!  I think at first she thought it would move like scary Ian--LOL!  She crept up slowly--gingerly sniffed it all over--and decided she really liked it.
You know how Karma likes hard pillows--LOL! 
Notice the untied bonnet ribbon? 
Yup, she's been using the plastic doll's stiff little legs as pillows and her hard little hands for automatic head scratching.   
Sound asleep with her new friend. 
Boxes and bags are everywhere. 
 There are slowly more and more blank spaces, though, too.  On top of dressers...
...in closets. 
Found out I have a white chalk pen that works on the big black trash bags. 
Seems like there's always something drying on the counter... 
...or waiting to be packed... 
...or to be scrubbed down.  This little shelf/rack will go in the "studio" closet along with the shoe rack for more storage space. 
Oh, remember I went to Target with Leah and bought cat food?  I thought Karma might not mind some beef and chicken puree along with her usual fish (she prefers salmon and prefers puree).  This is her reaction to beef in the front bowl there.  She took one whiff, backed away, and is patiently waiting for this faux pas to be remedied.  (I swear she really has eaten beef in the past and chicken, too--just different brands!)  *sigh*
Well, Karma has been sitting here on the floor beside my lap table staring at me ever since I sat down to type.  She can't believe I have done such a dreadful thing to her...ruined her morning tablespoon of canned treat...and she has been whining about it and trying to talk me into going and getting her some salmon.  I keep telling her--No, go eat what you have.  She finally threw herself down on the floor and is now pouting with her ears back.  I just know she's thinking--Stupid humans!  Well, I am thinking--Stupid cats!  I can't read her fickle mind!  Good grief!  Wonder if she'll do the same thing when I finally open a chicken puree?  She's will be going without her special morning and evening treat for a while, I guess.  One of those small cans last several days.  Karma is as stubborn as I am.  ;)
Well, she decided to go out and catch some morning rays on the porch.  Life with Miss Karma.  
I am so sore right now that I can't imagine getting out of this chair, let alone doing any purging...but after I have thawed out a couple more hours I usually feel a bit better.  (Mornings are usually not good in the first place.)  I gaze about this messy room and it makes me smile to see I have gotten so much done already--for me now, anyways.  Years ago I would have had the whole apartment cleaned, purged, and packed by now.  But life changes.  Your body changes.  Moving doesn't change much, though.  It's a huge undertaking and I wonder how I used to do this every time I turned around for so many years?!  (I lost count at 30 moves since I left home after I graduated.)  I've been spoiled since I moved up here to Fargo-Moorhead in 1999.  I lived in Moorhead for six years (twice as long as I had ever lived anywhere) and then over ten whole years here in Fargo.  I have definitely, shall we say, gotten out of the habit of moving.  You forget what a pain in the pa-toot it is.  ;) 
But it is always a delight after it is all over with...especially when you are moving into a place you know you will like better than where you were.  I enjoy the settling in and organizing.  I bet you could guess that--LOL!  Well, I'll have to get something done today because I should take it really easy on Saturday so that I don't do myself in on Sunday when we organize the garage.  Everything is coming along really well, though.  Looks like another hot sunny day.  I'll have to close it up pretty soon and turn on the struggling AC.  Just wanted to pop in and say hi and hope you have a great weekend!  :):)
"I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be." 
Joseph Campbell 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Goodness!  It's Tuesday already!
Blogger was being obstinate this morning and it has taken me 45 minutes just to load pictures.
It was the deck pics I got from Leah that were causing Blogger's heels to dig in but I finally got them.  They look like Blogger shrunk them, though.  I hope you can click on them to enlarge them.  ;)  Anyways, I see Ian was supervising Daddy dumping gravel.
After that got spread around the post bases... 
...the fun began--LOL! 
Leah tells me Chuck did most of the work and she was the Tool Girl assistant.  Dagan and her sister, Michal, were necessary help, too.   
Looking good!! 
So that is the main project that has been keeping McFamily very busy.
While I've been busy purging, Miss Karma has been soaking up the 80 degree heat.  Will be her last month on the porch.
(Just between you and me, she doesn't stay out there for hours and hours like she used to, though...gets up all stiff-legged and hobbly.)
Most of my before and after pics would be like that dresser I showed you previously--LOL!  But I have made it through the two bedroom dressers, three cabinets in the living room, the nightstand, and (no before pic) this craft bookcase in the bedroom.  I keep plugging away.
Leah was babysitting her nephew, Julian, so Dagan and Ian stopped by Saturday night for a little while (and Dagan hauled home some stuff, too).  Dagan suggested I take a video to show Leah "Crate Baby"!  (This is what we get up to when Mom's not around--LOL!)  Ian was on the tired side but he loved being driven around my apartment in my new cart & crate. 
 The video was taken when we first started.  I should have taken another one because the game got wilder and faster!  Gramma sat down and every time they went in my bedroom I'd call--"Where's Ian?  Where did Ian go?"  They'd come around the corner--"There he is!"--and Ian would smile and laugh.  And Daddy went faster on the living room stretch.  Zoom!  Zoom!--we'd shout!  It is so easy to entertain them at this age.  
Of course, now Ian probably thinks this is his private toy--LOL!
Dagan packed up all the books in Cashwise bags.
After they left Karma checked them out, of course.
She had been hiding behind an end table watching the Crate Baby game.  Fun for Ian, but there was cat-barfing during the night--LOL!
I chopped up the old memory foam mattress pad.  I had this idea that maybe I could trim these down, make some washable pillowcase type covers for them, and they just might work for cat beds/mats since Miss Karma's arthritis is getting to her, too...and she apparently LOVES the new memory foam pad on my bed.  ??
So to see if it would actually work for her (you know how particular she can be) I wrapped an old towel around one just to see what she'd do.  She will not step on naked memory foam.  Or the new red bathroom rugs, for that matter.  No clue why.  
I think it will work?
Don't you?
Sammy and Annie might like one, too.
Yesterday I emptied the curio cabinet...even the drawers...
...and packed my first box!  TaDa!!
I heard back from Pam (outreach library lady) and Dagan can drop the books off at the library's front desk any time they're open.  So he will do that this week, I hope.  I haven't talked to Pam for about a year, but she was so happy to hear I got in at North Sky and that I have a new grandson.  Sweet lady!!
On the other hand.
Not that she's not sweet or nice...but.  
I called her to find out if I had official approval yet and to arrange a time to sign the lease and pick up the keys (27th at 1:30pm).  She asked me if I had gotten the bank form because she hadn't gotten that yet.  
(Heart in my throat.)  
Yes--signed it and mailed it out the very next day.  
Oh...well, I haven't checked my mail for a week or so over at the main office...must be over there. 
 Yes, that's the address that was on the business card you gave me.
Don't worry.  You are approved as far as I'm concerned.  We just need to dot our Is and cross our Ts because in a brand new building they audit each new resident's paperwork.  I'm sure the bank isn't going to tell me you have a hidden million dollars.  
Miss Sheree has a much more casual attitude than I am comfortable with...but I am trying to just ignore her.  I told her I am moving in on the 28th and picking up the keys on the 27th, so I hope you have all the paperwork in order by then.  And I do hope you are going to BE there on the 27th...(add a hollow half-chuckle).  Sheree was typing the appointment into her computer calendar while we were on the phone.
Meanwhile, I meet tomorrow afternoon with Ashley--my Federal Housing worker--to start the paperwork process for the August change over.  So, I am off duty on purging today so I can manage to drive over there tomorrow.  (Boy, I am glad I hung on to those two Percosets.)  Leah and Ian are planning to stop by after they run errands this afternoon.  I will still make another trip to the dumpster and garage, though.  Getting too crowded in here again.  ;)
Supposed to be in the low 80s again today.  I know that's nothing for a lot of you...but I am definitely a northern girl.  Gets much over 70 and I become uncomfortable.  Always easier to add layers.  Can only take so much off without getting arrested--LOL!
I talked with my mom on the phone yesterday and she sounded so much better than the couple other times we have connected since she's been in the hospital again this time.  She's still very weak, but is going to physical therapy now.  Has no appetite, but we are all bugging her to eat--and not skip physical therapy no matter how tired she is.  :)   She told me Blaine, Kathy, and Renee are flying down July1st and she sounded so happy about that!!  Nice!!  I hope she continues to improve and gets up to family in Minnesota.  :):)
Well, I did not make it around last week for T Stands For Tuesday, but several of you came by to visit me, anyways.  Thanks so much!  It might be hard for me to spend as much computer time for the next month or two, but things will get back to normal after I am moved.  Once again, I even forgot to get a what-I-am-drinking photo.  Sorry.  (My red thermal mug is standing right next to me filled with hot black coffee as I type.)  Life gets like this sometimes.  I will try my best to make it around today since I have to take it really easy so I can even get over to my appointment tomorrow.  ;)
I have a feeling this time is going to speed by.  Isn't that the way it goes?  When you have lots and lots to do and a deadline--time seems to just fly past.  Me?  I will probably get to see that giggling little boy again today--hurray!  And Leah, too, of course--LOL!  ;) ;)  Have a wonderful week!!  
"Laughter is carbonated holiness."
Anne Lamott