Saturday, October 18, 2014

end of the cleaning binge

Storage tubs are the spawn of the devil. At least for me they are. I fill them with stuff I never use and then they disappear into the morass...never to be seen again. Or at least not to be seen for a long, long time. This is a pile of storage tubs that I cleaned out and delivered to my friend, Mary. She has a weekend home and wants them to keep mice out of her stuff. Good luck with that. I'm happy to be rid of them.

I am happy to report that I am approaching the conclusion of my cleaning and sorting binge. I'm tired to doing it and I'm tired of thinking about it. I was walking around the house with a dust rag, cleaning bookshelves at 9 o'clock last night. Then again this morning. The two big shelves we have are done. Ta da!

The mess has been localized. Instead of being spread over the whole house, it's in the dining room and on the dining table. Manageable. I will finish it up today.

Of course, there are other parts. The front closet needs a paint job and a new plan. It is big enough to hold about three coats, max. It's dark and pretty much worthless. I'm thinking about taking the door off, painting it a bright color, and installing hooks, The small hall between office, bath, and bedroom needs a paint job, a new light, and a set of knobs for the cabinets and drawers. I am sure they are original to the house...and not antique or even retro either. Just old and ugly.

The unfortunate part of this is that it kind of gets in your brain like a tiny weasel. I woke up at 4:30, thinking about things I wanted to sort and organize. Holy crap. What has gotten in to me?

Our off-spring are coming over today for dinner and a trip to Grandma's Little Acre for a hay ride and pumpkins. We went last year and it was so cold and windy...hoping for better weather today.

When I woke up this morning, Woodrow was nestled into my side with his head on my shoulder and his arm across my chest. Aww. Kitty Cat.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

dear reader and my poetic license

Dear Reader,

Last night I posted something on my blog that was meant for another blog. I do that sometimes…cut, paste, copy bits of this and that from place to place because I am a prolific spouter of information and it can’t all be spontaneous and wonderful. I realized it this morning and took it off the place it was and put it on the place it should have been. It started me thinking.

I meant to write my annual note about my poetic license anyway so I will combine the two cautionary tales.

If you have ever thought as you read something here, that I tell too much or over-share as they call it, I would suggest that you, dear reader, over-read. I am going to write what I write so if anything makes you cringe or weep or wring your hands in despair, stop reading. It’s simple.

Also, I do have a poetic license. It comes in the mail with my driver’s license and it says I do not always have to write the truth. I do not have to label my untruths or half-truths as such. I am only obligated to let my readers know from time to time, that they should not use anything they read here in a research paper or probably not even in a legitimate news source. I only write about my observations, my perceptions, and my life through my rose-tinted glasses.

I also exaggerate, embellish, overstate, satirize, minimize, equivocate, abbreviate, and tergiversate. I do not deny it.

So, there you go. You have been warned.

Sincerely, Me

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

fall in minnesota

It is spectacular here. There are no other words. I was driving down 169 today and was staring dumbly (as opposed to awe-struck) by the colors, when I saw a flicker of white, then another. It was a bald eagle, drifting on the air waves above the car. A miracle, no matter how many time you witness it.

I have a sleep disorder so call to make an appointment. They can't get me in until February. I ask if it would help if I called and acted as cranky as I get when I don't sleep so they knew I was serious. Nah...not really. Apparently sleep apnia is big right now. Big like People magazine. What did people do in the Dark Ages, Mary Powers? Cover their eyes?

Beautiful deep woods on French Hill today. My idea of an autumn photo shoot is a leisurely drive to a spot, an ambling walk, a couple dozen photos. My husband, Philly Dad, has a different idea. We drive like insane people in rush hour traffic from spot to spot, idle the car in traffic, shoot pictures out the window as he mutters the F-bomb. Try not to think about that as you view the serenity of this photo.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

sunday morning

I have been crazy busy. Crazy busy but wonderfully crazy busy. Last night I went to dinner with two women friends. We had a great meal, lots of laughter, story telling, sharing, fun. Then we went to a magic and comedy show where we did lots of good old belly laughing until you cry and shake. When we came out, the almost full moon was rising over the Minnesota River. It took my breath away. It was magic magic magic... in more ways than one.

I have been working a few days a week. It's good money and I enjoy the kids...and best of all...I don't have to give a big rat's ass about the politics. Wahoo! I realized yesterday though, that I have apparently agreed to work three days this week which seems excessive. I might take November off...just to get caught up, you know.

I have been baking bread which seems like a very healing thing for me and a way to reach out to people who need me right now. A lovely couple in town who I only know through acquaintances have both been diagnosed with cancer and are going through treatment at the same time. I could barely do it when it was just me, not working, no small kids, and a husband who doted on me. I wonder where people find the strength. Anyway, today, I will take them a loaf of bread. That's for you, Hugh Sutherlund.

I love the Nordic runes and became a believer in their power about two years ago, in the beginning of my healing. This morning, as I cleaned off my desk and started organizing for the week, I found the rune bag and the little book that describes what they mean. I almost didn't pull one...I don't very often anymore. But something drew me to do it. I felt around, felt around like I always do and then pulled one. Blank. I almost dropped it back in as I have never drawn that one and thought it must be nothing. It does, but not nothing in the way I thought.

The blank ruin is Odin, the unknowable. It is blank the ending, the beginning. I had goosebumps. Even though this rune draws to the surface my deepest fears, I should know that the work of self-change is progressing in my life. In one sense it represents karma, the sum total of what I have done and the limits on what I am and will become. It also teaches that the very debts of old karma shift and evolve as I shift and evolve. What beckons is the creative power of the unknown.

I had a hard drive melt down on Thursday night when I wanted to listen to an interview on the web. I'm talking about my own hard drive. The one between my ears. I was downloading things like crazy which is never a good thing. End result: epic fail on that one. I hope it is archived so I can listen to it today.

Regis drove the Gus bus until 2:30 am this morning. I slept a little before he got home and not much after so I am feeling a little brain-smacked. Ah, well. Nothing that a little coffee won't cure. I love a coffee company that names it beans things like WTF and Wake the Dead.


Happy beautiful October day! Go outside in the sunshine with your coffee, kick some leaves, sing and dance. What the hell.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

a dog and his lost ball

Gus is very particular about his balls. If Regis opens the trunk of the car to take one on a walk, he will get up and nose around to make sure it is the right ball. When they walk by the hospital, Gus loves to run into the meadow and drop his ball into one of the mounds made by whatever burrowing creatures lurk there. It's usually not a big deal because the hole isn't deep and Gus can retrieve it or Regis can snatch it with the ball toss thing. Not so the other day. Gus drops the ball into the hole, Regis tries to snag it, the hole is too ball. Gus in inconsolable. He won't leave the ball behind. Regis tries to walk on but Gus keeps running back to dig at the hole to retrieve his ball but no luck. Eventually they come home. The next day they take a garden trowel. I say to take a shovel but they don't listen to me. No ball can be found with the trowel. Gus is unhappy. This morning, finally, with the aid of a shovel and a bit of digging, the ball is unearthed. Gus is happy. A dog can't just chase any ball, you know.

middle of the night and the next morning

What a busy such a beautiful way.

I won't even be able to remember all the nice things that have happened.

Tiffany came the other day and we cooked up a storm. I guess I did write about that.

Today, I had the maiden voyage of the writing group I have organized. It was small but lovely. I read the new beginnings poem, Michele, and we talked about our process and out plans. I said friends are welcome but only if they are not sticklers on rules and such. Who needs that?

Then I had a lovely massage from my friend Cheryl and made it just in time to make it to my sub job. My favorite gig is when I work one hour and get paid for half a day.

I had to bust up one group of little recidivists who were intent on causing trouble. Apparently, they had no idea who there were dealing with as I can isolate the ring leader in thirty seconds flat and take away his power and then they got nothin' on me. This little squirt, when I asked him politely to move to a different desk had the audacity to ask why, I gave him a very minor stink eye and said we needed to speak in the hall. I think he knew then he was dealing with a new sheriff who was packing heat in the form of a pretend pearl handled Luger that shoots blanks. He whined a little but eventually did what I asked. He didn't realize I had experience going back to before hi daddy was born. He knows now.

My only regret is that I forgot to wear leggings. I hear they are frowned upon which only sparks my rebellious side.

The massage meant my hair was in a minor state of disrepair. One sweet young girl said not to worry...I was working it pretty good so I acted the part.

I raced down to to the MoFo liquor store to buy a bottle of Apothic Dark while it as still available. I asked the fellow working if he had any idea how long it would be available, He explained to me the meaning of "seasonal". that, Dude. Doh.

I came home from school, picked up a necklace at Patty's Stone Throw Gallery, and got the Cuban bread in the mixer for Cheryl's dinner party. Cuban bread is a hand kneading, all done in the machine or the mixer, two hours start to finish, Of course, do not ever bake your bread in a bread machine, Ugh.

When I took the bread to Cheryl's, I met up with Stan and Betsy. Even though I had made a list, I had forgotten things so I had to tread home to collect them. And then, when I returned, had a lovely visit with their guests, one of whom knows Gus and Regis from the dog park. Her parents who were there also, are from the South. Like Oklahoma. We had a funny chat about accents and North Dakota and such. They suggested that when we colonize Mars, Siberians, North Dakotans, and Alaskans could be among the first to go as they are so hearty.

Well, I' m off to bed,

Just got done editing this. Apparently, commas and periods look a lot alike in the middle of the night.

I have another nice day planned. Peter and April are stopping by this morning to pick up an errant pair of swim trunks that ended up at Betty's house. I posted a photo of them on FB and April said they had been searching high and low for them...and needed them today.What amazing forces in the universe.

Other random October photos...

I would love to be bundled up and pushed around town like this!

I remember this elation so well!

And look at Zoey's joy at riding her bike!

I love this photo! It reminds me of ET for some reason.

More pics today. Such a beautiful October!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

very yearly Wednesday...forgot to publish

A friend of mine writes on a morning check in thread on one of my forums and I see we start our day at about the same time! It's 4 am here and I just had a piece of toast and fed the cat, but I think I will go back to bed for a few hours. My daughter (love her to pieces) is coming at 9 to cook with me all day so that will be a high energy event!

I meant to go to do something online at 9 pm last night but my stupid laptop updated and I got the boot with no password. Then really wanted to do something but fell fast asleep with a book in my hand and a bowl of popcorn in my lap. Both signs of weariness...

We're meeting good friends for dinner at a funky old Bridgeman's ice cream building that hasn't been updated in a long time but the food is killer. The chef is a Vietnamese fellow trained in France. My first experience with butternut squash soup was there. They make amazing fish so I am thinking about sea bass or crab cakes. This is Minnesota after all...the choices are not unlimited.

Friday, I have yoga and my newly formed and very random writing class. I have asked about ten people but I just want them to show up...or not. I am not keeping track of who comes when or what they do or don't do. We'll meet every Friday at a coffee shop...rain or shine. Show or don't show. No rules. Currently, I am thinking about the mercy rule in sports and how it could be applied to many situations in life.

Morgan Creek Grape Stomp

Teresa becomes part of a work of art.

Woodrow editing my writing.

Peter and baby.

Brown Bread was delicious!

Tiffany and Elliot at the party!

wonderful day beginning to end


My sweet husband woke me at 5 this morning so I could see the eclipse of the red moon. I stumbled out to the street with one eye open so I could say I saw it, then went back to bed.

I got up for good at 7 and started cooking. I thought my daughter was going to work over-nights in October so we planned this so she would have lots of good food in the freezer for her family. Turns out, she doesn't have to work over-nights but we made a day of it anyway. We made gallons of butternut squash soup, baked a chicken, made two dozen chicken drumsticks, baked two batches of cookies, baked two giant pans of vegetable gratin, and made three dozen meatballs. We packaged it up in meal size portions so she can freeze it. All the dishes were done and the kitchen was clean when she left, too!

A lovely package came from my mom late in the afternoon with a beautiful fall scarf, a Halloween scarf, and a lovely lace table cloth that I will either put on the table or I will wear. I'm leaning toward wearing it. Life is too short to wear boring clothes. I will call you later, Mom. Busy morning and heading to Mankato now.

I took a relaxing bath when Tiffany left because we were meeting friends for dinner, about a half hour's drive away from here. We had a wonderful three-hour dinner...crab cakes, walleye, bread pudding, squash soup. It was delicious. The chef is Vietnamese and trained in a French culinary school. I have never had such amazing food. We laughed and talked and ate and told stories. So good to see dear, old friends.

I have spent all morning catching up on correspondence with cyber friends. I started a cancer support writing group and I am a part of another online support group. All of it takes time but I have met the nicest people in far-flung places that I never would have met otherwise...Karen, Suz, Lynne, Gary, Mike...and on it goes. The world is a big place but the connections can be close.

A sweet young friend of mine sent a message to ask if I would consider working at a day care 10 hours a week. I am trying to think of a polite and diplomatic way to decline. I would only consider this if they had an endless supply of sedatives available. I taught 4-year old Sunday school once and it was the worst job I ever my whole life.

There is more but I am nearly out of breath from all this talking and writing. 

Saturday, October 04, 2014

for a new beginning

For a new beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

John O’Donohue
To Bless the Space Between Us