Monday, February 25, 2019

2-25-2019 Monday--10:45am

Good morning!
Hard to believe this is the same cat who arrived skittish and, shall we say, not too social--LOL!  I can reach over and rub her belly.  Not that she's the least bit more social with anyone else, but she has learned to trust me.  I think Karma would approve.  ;)
Been snowing every other day it seems. 
They barely get the sidewalks cleared and they get covered up again. 
I love all the critter tracks. 
The snowbanks are so tall. 
Somebody woke up disoriented--LOL! 
Tuesday was the perfect day for Leah to drive down to Minneapolis to pick up the new car.  It was above zero and sunny.  She stopped to pick up her sister, Ariel, and they headed for IKEA.
Leah was able to pack this new vehicle quite full for the trip back to Fargo--LOL!
Caroline came to clean on Tuesday.  She told me about some Thomas The Train movies on Hulu for Ian.  (We all got the one year for 99 cents a month Hulu deal after Thanksgiving.)  Caroline's boy, Parker, loves Thomas The Train.
Wednesday it snowed all day and night--but quite gently...for here.  ;)  I had put out some seed that was quickly covered with a layer of fresh, fluffy snow.
Everyone was perfectly willing to dig for it--LOL!

The cotton tail was so funny.  Dug a hole down so far once that nothing but that white tail showed! 
Snowy face. 
Rare to see two jackrabbits and the cottontail eating together. 
But one jackrabbit caught the eye of the other and munched a little too close.
I caught the face off before they both stood up and scratched the air at each other and then pounded the ground...and one retreated a few yards.  Note the cotton tail ignored them both and kept right on eating.  
That little cottontail is brave as can be.  I have seen it get up on its hind legs, hold it's ground and scratch back!  Even if she retreats she comes right back.  Feisty little thing.
Thursday I made some potato and veggie soup.  I had tried these (fake) beef tips by Gardein before and didn't care for the texture.  So I thought I'd thaw them out and cut them down to smaller chunks to throw them in some soup.  Still not a fan.  But I will eat them...this time.  
Love everything else by Gardein I've tried so far.  And am always using their (fake) ground hamburger.  Regardless, hot soup is so darn good in this kind of weather.  :)
I was so tired of my humidifiers being on their last legs...of bloody noses...electric hair and clothes...that I finally ordered a couple new ones from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Half the price of Amazon, free shipping, and 20% off coupon on one of them.  I can hardly wait till they arrive.  Dry skin is a problem in the winter with the heat going all the time.
While I was making soup I went to run the garbage disposal and it just spun and backed up.  I tried letting it sit a couple of times, but same thing.  So I called and left a message for the office.  First the toilet and now the disposal.  
On Friday while I was working on the memoir questions from the book the maintenance man came to fix the disposal.  It was fine--just plugged up.  He informed me it was the potato peelings!  ??
All my life I have put down potato peelings, carrot peelings, egg shells, and never had a problem.  I had no idea you aren't supposed to put any of those things down the disposal.  Am I the only one?  I knew not to put down bones or rinds or anything hard...but I have always put down peelings and egg shells.   I went online and you aren't even supposed to put pasta down the disposal (not that I ever remember wasting pasta--LOL!).  There's a long list of what not to put down a disposal.  I think I need a list of what you CAN put down one--LOL!  Did you know about this?
So this time it was my fault something needed fixing.  Not that I had a clue.  Lesson learned.
Saturday was Gramma Day!  
I had to laugh.  After Leah had dropped Ian off she was helping me online with something before she left while Ian got settled in for lunch...and then we heard a slightly sorrowful..."I thought this was going to be Gramma Day."  Ian thought maybe Mama was staying again like she did for the valentine making--LOL!  I guess he likes our time together.  ;)
I do, too!  :)
Ian seemed pretty tired.  He wanted to just chair-cuddle and watch shows after lunch.  Didn't even want to do puzzles or any artsy stuff--just wanted to watch Maru, Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, Katy and The Big Snow (thanks Joyce F.), and one of the Thomas The Train Movies.  He was fighting sleep for a while there, but stayed awake until Mama came to get him for dinner.
The rabbits are much braver than the birds about seeing us inside the apartment.
Ian got to get some real close up views. 

Was a fun, lazy, hanging out day with Ian.
Then yesterday we had a ground blizzard.  No snow, just the high winds to blow it all around.  For those of you who don't get snow or don't get this kind of wind I took a couple short videos.
Annie was really wound up over the snow swirling on our patio.  She'd stare, race around the apartment, and beat up her toys.  Was so funny!
This one was a couple of hours later, but pretty much the same view outside--LOL!
Today...things have calmed down.  Everyone has eaten their fill twice over and one covey of grouse have settled in for a snooze over on one of the growing snow piles.
My memoir questions for this past week were about the time period from when I had Dagan until we didn't live with his dad anymore (1974-1978).  Also a turbulent time.  Dagan's diagnosis.  Jerry and I were married, separated, divorced, moved in together once more, and finally split up.  
Dagan was born with a rare series of heart defects (only one girl was still alive at five in France at the time--rest had died before two years old--most in the first few months and days).  The only thing I have written about that time is Soft Breaths.  We had split up when Dagan was about nine months old.  Dagan and I were living in an older apartment building in Fridley.  
College (2001) creative writing class assignment.  Supposed to write memoir piece.  Well, I was at a loss as to what to write because I had too many choices--LOL!  My professor suggested--have you ever had an epiphany moment?  
I picked this one because it was a core issue for me and had longer reaching effects than I would have ever guessed.  
When I made this decision I fully expected to be shortening Dagan's life, but I wanted it to be a good life--however long.  Always was more concerned with who he was while he was here than how long he lived.  Sometimes you just can't possibly know what results you might get from following your gut feelings about what is right.
That story has been published four times in literary magazines and my professor asked if he could use the story in future classes as an example of something or other.  Was the first story I ever got money for--won a first prize at the college for $60.00.  Whoohoo!  (Lit magazines pay you in copies.)  First time I ever felt like an "author".  :)
Speaking of writing...I have a couple of people I have owed letters to since Christmas--sorry.  Been a real snail snail-mailer this year.  You will hear from me--eventually!  
Anyways, that's it for this week. 
Thanks so much to any of you who have been reading the stories.  Even if you haven't, thanks for stopping by and/or commenting.  Means a lot to me. 
Here's to epiphanies!!  :) :)
"The trick, it seems, is to be able to hold both things very close--the gratitude and the misery--and then, with a semblance of faith, to let them fly."
Elizabeth Aquino

Monday, February 18, 2019

2-18-2019 Monday- 12:15pm

Good afternoon!
Once again--a ton of pictures from both Leah and myself.  I'll try to have them in some kind of sequential order, but I am draggin' today.  Or should I say a little more than my usual draggy self--LOL!
Oh, and if you're not interested in the pictures you can skip to the bottom for some more of my life...the memoir stuff.  ;)
The girls crack me up digging holes to get to seed or grass after it snows.
The two coveys exchange members now and then...
...but they are never all here at the same time.
Okay--funny!  I took a picture to show big the snow pile has gotten...
...and a little while later... came a front loader... dump more snow behind the garages!
Can't see the first and most of the second floor apartments over there anymore.  The snow was missing us for a few years but not this year!  LOL!
Ian said he had a surprise for me.  
I told him I had a surprise for him, too.
I had ordered him some kids jigsaw puzzles!
...and Cars.
There are three small puzzles in each box.
Ian had worked on finishing up his valentines at home for his party last Thursday.  Pictures to follow when I get to Leah's pics and a video.  Sorry--too tired to move them around--LOL!
Dagan came over on Tuesday to fill the seed bin.  The Prius was totaled so they needed to buy a new car.  The Galant started up with a new battery.  I was going to take Ian after school on Friday so they could go car shopping...but that was cancelled because Leah already found a car.
In Des Moines, Iowa.
She wanted a small SUV type of vehicle so they'd have more room.  As it was with the Prius it would only hold two adults in the front and the two car seats in the back.  If her bother Aaron wanted to go out to dinner with them they had to take two cars.
BUT--Leah wanted a hybrid again.  Better for the environment.  And they wanted a used one.  That was the nearest one.  The dealership agreed to drive it 250 miles to Minneapolis and meet her half way.  They'll be doing that tomorrow.  Leah will drop off the rental car in Minneapolis.  The new vehicle is a 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.  Can seat seven!  Whoohoo!
I talked to Ian on the phone when Friday was cancelled and he told me my surprise was a crayon heart.  He assured me it will still be a surprise...even though he told me.
When he came over Saturday I found out how Ian does surprises now.  I got a valentine, but NOT with a crayon heart.  It was a heart he had colored and Mama had cut it out for him.  He put it on my refrigerator for me--LOL! 
I assure you there is a valentine envelope under all the magnets and that's the heart he colored above it.  Ian obviously loved my new magnets I bought to put up his artwork.  (I put cards and other assorted stuff up on the frig, too.)
Leah says he does things like this now for surprises.  Like he'll say he is going to get ready for bed and put on his train pajamas and then come down with a different pair on--surprise!
Ian and I spent all day after lunch putting together the puzzles.  I had him work on the Nemo ones and then surprised him again with the Cars puzzles!  We cuddled up in my chair and watched Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and then an episode of Mighty Machines all about snow removal.  Then it was time to go.  Another fun Gramma Day!
Meanwhile--the Galant died again.  Dagan had a friend come over who knows about cars and they found a bad wire to the battery.  Only $7.00 to replace it.  It's running again!  So, now we hope it is fixed and will keep running.  :)  They have really had a time of it lately!

Ian and I had just watched one of these big snow blowers on Might Machines.  This morning was the first time I have seen one here!  I knew something strange was happening because I saw grouse and sparrows dart away across the sky and rabbits fleeing for their lives.  I ran to the window to see this huge machine coming down the sidewalk blowing snow across to the snow piles.  It stopped.  I grabbed the cell phone to take pictures.
He got out to try to pull up the orange pole that was put in to show where the sidewalk to the building is.  Yes, he was in a short sleeved t-shirt and it was -2 F...-25 wind chill.
He pulled and pulled.  No luck.  Threw up his hands...
...pulled up his pants... back into the snow blower...
...continued to inch his way along the sidewalk...
...and part of the grass, too!
Spraying snow all over the snow piles along the way.
Almost looked like a huge water hose...
...but that was snow blasted out and over.
This is where the orange stick ended up.  Can you see it in the middle of this picture of the side of the snow pile?
Didn't take the girls too long to return.
Man--between the rabbits and the grouse they have really dug up my pretty snow drift--LOL!  Rabbit poop like confetti--ROFL!
Okay--I asked Leah to get some pictures of Ian working on his valentines!  He was still getting over pinkeye and the cold/cough.  
Oh, and he told me he wants to grow his hair out long like Mama's so he can tie it up so Liam doesn't pull on it.  Will there be a man-bun in Ian's future?  LOL!
The crayon hearts were attached to that card with a circle of red washi tape.
The card says "Hope your Valentine's Day is colorful!"
When you pull off the crayon inside the heart outline it says "Color Me!"
Ian learned a lot about assembly line craft/card/art projects--LOL!
Leah had a brilliant idea.
Being new to writing, Ian was having a hard time knowing where to write on a blank piece of paper.

So she took a post it note that is sticky on the whole back and cut a rectangle for him to write inside.
A lot of work. 
After he signed them all... 
...he put the cards with the crayons inside...
...and then folded them up and sealed them with the tabs.

The bigger heart stamp was under the flap.

Kind of fat with the crayons in them but the tape kept the crayons secure.

He had 24 of them to make.

Did a really good job!
Well, I did finish week four on the book last week.  Took me three different days to write about the memoir part.  Let's just say that from graduation (1968) to when I was married to Jerry and Dagan was born (1974)--OMG!!  Was one crazy roller coaster ride!  It started with being raped a month after graduation.  Kind of changes your life trajectory, shall we say.  I wrote something one day on my blog when I was reviewing a movie.
Rape and Love
It messed me up more than I knew.  I was wounded, aimless, suicidal and self-destructive.  Trying to pull myself together.  My escape--learned how to drink, smoke grass, pop pills, and swear.  Didn't think another living soul cared whether I lived or died.  Was deeply, deeply saddened and yet touched to my core by human beings.  Looking for purpose.  Even tried running away to Canada to start over and join a commune.  (On our way north we heard that somebody was murdered at the commune so we changed out minds about our destination--LOL!)
Helpful Hooker (Running Away To Canada-Part One)

Innocents On The Road (Running Away To Canada-Part Two)
Was even a vagrant in Anoka the summer after Canada.  Had several jobs: waitress, sales clerk, factory, bindery, pet shop...and lived in many places.  (People wrote me in pencil in their address books--lost count at around 30 in the early 90s).  So many stories.  Many different people and circumstances...many different lessons.  I have felt since I was a child that I was on some kind of spiritual quest.  Many of my spiritual lessons were hard earned.  Tough but wonderful.  Silver linings I couldn't see sometimes for decades.  Having a sense of humor, optimism, and living in the present moment has gotten me through.  I always found things to laugh about--even if it was sardonic much too often.  Was focused on survival and the big questions--the whys. 
Oddly, when I thought my life had reached the worst end ever...being unable to support myself any more with my body being a daily pain trial...that has turned out to have a silver lining, too.  I have had the most peace and moved the least in my entire life since I have become disabled.  Truly turned out to be a blessing!  Nothing better than calm, boring days of joy and gratitude.  :) :)
So, until next week...look for the silver linings...look for the lessons that are the gifts from the hard times...appreciate any love in your life...keep laughing.  That's the only advice I can give you today--LOL!  ;)
"Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats."