Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Days Getting Longer, Covid Getting Weaker

Do I dare pull my head from out of the covers?   Winter is still here ( and actually as a climate change worrier, I am really glad we have freezing weather.)  There is no snow, but we may get some this weekend.  Great timing, because we are getting ready to take the baby crib from storage in our basement and drive it up to my son and DIL's house in the city this weekend.  They have a tiny room off of their two bedrooms, which may work as a nursery.  Now I prepare for more head colds in my life.   AND keeping germs away for my new grandchild visits.

Luckily my DIL's Father is wonderful at odd jobs, such as putting together a crib---he built the deck on his house!  Luckily my daughter is wonderful at details, as she packed all the hardware into a large paper bag when she moved the crib to my house for storage.  My son's in-laws will be visiting for the weekend and we will just stay for lunch and try to avoid the weather on the way back.

Oddly my fear level has dropped regarding COVID. I may no longer die! I might just get really really sick for a week.  Boy, have I lowered my concerns.  I remember those days, although I must admit I have not had even a cold for years!  When my grandchildren were young, I would get cold after 50% of the visits. 

We also are preparing for a trip to San Diego at the end of the month.  This will be a grand last call for hubby.  He is losing his memory ever so slowly and giving a speech to an international crowd has him elated and nervous.  I told him to type out the whole speech, but we will see!  We will stop and visit my relatives in Colorado, whom I do not see nearly enough, on the way back! My brother, who is a few years younger, has also been diagnosed with encroaching dementia.  My brother is an extremely quiet man, so we would never have known until his car accident.  We are slowly working on accepting these issuese, and maybe in the future when I feel stronger of character, I can share.

Now, since we really are not so busy (!) we have also decided to foster a foxhound mix from the local shelter with a plan to perhaps adopt permanently.  This dog has several health issues which are being treated and she also is 3 years old.  We have had only puppies so actually training a full-grown adult to live in our house will be a challenge.  She will return to the shelter when we head to San Diego and by then we will decide whether to take her back on a permanent basis.  My husband is already in love!

We are already attempting to make our home (which used to seem so much larger) more accomodating for a dog!  Everything I read about aging says to take on challenges...but I think they are supposed to be small challenges and also spread out over our limited years remaining.

Please wish us luck and I am open to any advice on any of these challenges ahead.  The snow has melted from the bench, but the cushions are still wet, so please bring snow pants when you sit down to chat.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Giving Up On Redefining Myself

The world is my oyster. I have lots of time on my hands, although I see February and March trying to clutter my calendar with some stuff. I worked many years to be able to have days that I can own and fill as I choose.  I am trying to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, but I do find that both exercise and being social are challenges as I love wasting time: reading, birdwatching, blogging, taking pictures.

Above is a one-thousand-piece puzzle that my husband bought years ago and which I ignored until I cleaned out a closet and found it.  I bought myself a puzzle table for a Christmas gift from me (hubby is not into buying gifts over the holidays) and I set it up in my bedroom where there is good light.  It is mostly in soothing shades of blue, as you can see, and I am working on it daily.  Usually an hour or so in the morning.  

Above you can see that a few days later and I have really been 'ripping' along.  It took me most of one morning just to sort out the straight edges and sort certain colors/patterns into plastic bags!  The perfect activity for the anal-retentive.

Perhaps my readers have watched the British mystery series called Wallendar, which was adapted from books written by Sweden's Henning Mankell.  Oddly this activity reminds me of  Detective Wallender's father who in great senility ended up painting almost identical tree scenes again and again.  We self-soothe in many ways. Accomplishment is very important in old age.

I also just finished reading the first in a series of spy books written by Dorothy Gilman about a 50 something woman with no spy skills called Mrs. Pollifax.  I will probably not read more after this first book because, while a fun read, it just did not flow for me and was a bit old-fashioned.  Anyway, our middle-aged spy spends parts of her capture playing game after game of solitaire which helps soothe her.

What do you do regularly to pass the time?  Do you ever do anything that others would consider a waste of time but which you find helpful getting you through your week, your day?

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Summary of How This Year is Starting

Well, everyone, I am thinking, was glad to kick 2021's butt out the back door and welcome in 2022. And 2022 has not been shy. He/She(they?) arrived on time and semi-quietly in my neighborhood.  I arose early since I was too rude and lazy to greet it at midnight.  The neighborhood was quiet and actually not too cold. I was surprised to see roses still in bloom.  And the hellebores were forming buds just a bit early.

Unknown to me 2022 had invited a jet stream of cold air just to the north waiting to collide with the warmer rainy air that we were getting.

2022 could hardly wait to say "Boom!  Gotcha!"  The snow was fast and heavy and powerful and up to 2 inches an hour. ("Betcha wish 2021 had stayed longer!")

My neighbors to the north got 8 inches.  We got 5.  And by mid-morning, we also lost power.  I had not bothered to fill the buckets with water.  Since we are on well water that is pumped by an electric pump, what does this mean?  Having lived many years overseas with periodic power outages, I knew and quickly put stickers on all the toilet seats.

We have a wood fireplace and can keep reasonably warm, except for the fancy high ceilings which we designed into our major living space!  We have a gas range and can cook food in pots when needed.  I made soup.  We were without power for 24 hours.  A baby inconvenience from when we were out of power for almost a week due to a hurricane many years ago when we lived in the city.

2022 got bored with our neighborhood and stranded hundreds of automobiles for well over 30 hours on a major highway north of us.  People were stuck in their vehicles in the cold, many without water, food, medications, and warmer clothing.  One truck was a bread truck and the owner told the driver to distribute the bread!

My daughter and her family made it home from Colorado the night before the storm, so I guess 2022 was distracted and decided not to strand her for hours in that Denver airport that is so dysfunctional in so many ways.

Yesterday our friend who is a local nurse called to tell us the COVID-Omecron wave had hit big in our little county and the hospitals were packed.  She insisted we stay home as much as possible as this new version was 3 times as infective even with the milder version. 

Yes, there is another snowstorm about half the strength on its way tonight.  My holly trees have lost their crowns in the weight and my neighbor just got a mid-sized tree off the back of her truck.  At least the sun shining on the fresh snow is beautiful.  2022 is not done with us yet as it is only(early) January.

The winter is still beautiful with all its dangers.