Friday, August 26, 2016

This and That

Here it is. Just what you wanted. A small sample of the thoughts swirling in my head this morning. I'm trying to include only ones that might make sense to the outside world--meaning no explanation of weird dreams although I have done that before.
A few of my swirling thoughts
(or what happens when you drop your camera in water.)

--The paperwork on the house is slowing down. Yesterday, there were only two emails concerning the purchase, and two phone calls concerning work to be done. The day before we took a break with only one email. I've talked with several people and no one ever remembers having this much paper work when they bought a house. There seem to be a lot of new regulations, both local and national, to protect us--or annoy us depending on your perspective.

--The getting-rid-of-stuff continues in full force. Since we signed the contract for the new house almost three weeks ago, we have given away four loads to various thrift shops, two loads to charities who sent trucks to the house, 14 boxes of books to the library, various items to friends and family, and a truckload of things, including a boat, to a scrap metal yard. We are not being brutal with giving away our things, but after 19 years a in house, even with regular purging, stuff accumulates. There is plenty more to do in this area.

--Whoever thought hot flashes were a good idea? Probably the same people who thought up menstrual cramps. Sometimes these natural processes are not so fun.

--My book club recently read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, and it got a thumbs up from everyone. It's hard to describe the plot without giving too much away or without it sounding like a depressing book that you wouldn't want to read. (That's what happened when I tried to tell Aunt Martha about it.) It is an easy, humorous read with a feel good message that just happens among some depressing situations. The main character, Ove, has had some back luck and decided that life is not worth living. However in his attempts to end it all, things happen until his life is transformed for the better. Ove is the type definition for the word curmudgeon, however I loved him. This was a book I read a little at a time because I wanted to come back every day and have a visit with him. As you can tell I recommend the book, but it's pretty popular right now, so it might take some time for you to find at the library. You might want to put a hold on now if you're interested.

--Oh my. I've just gotten started and my computer time is up. Time to get the recycling out, feed the cats, and get ready for work

Have a great day. That's my plan.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Second Look--August 24, 2016

We had a break in the hot weather this week and it was wonderful. With temperatures in the low sixties at night and 80's during the days, it felt like fall was just around the corner. And I guess it is. The heat is returning with temperatures in the 90's for the next several days, but I enjoyed the break while we had it.

I learned something new about cicadas this week. There are periodical ones and there are annual ones. I had only ever heard about the periodical ones--the ones that come out every 13 or 17 years in great swarms with deafening mating calls. West Virginia and surrounding areas had one of these events this summer. However, there are also annual cicadas that appear every year. The life cycle of these are 2-5 years, so that there are some hatching every year. The periodical cicadas only occur in the Eastern US, so the rest of the world only has annual cicadas.

Now the reason I bring this up is that I've been seeing a few cicadas and occasionally hearing them recently. I assumed that they were out-of-place, leftover ones from the big swarm west of here. Thanks to What's that Bug, I learned they were annual cicadas. It all makes so much more sense now.

Here are a few things I saw this week 
during a Second Look.

Zinnia. You are seeing pictures from this planter every week because it's one of the few things with color these days.


Notice the delicate pink and white flower among the coreopsis. It is growing on a "weed" that I usually pull before it blooms. However, this one got away from me and I'm glad it did. It was a nice contrast to see this among the surrounding yellow flowers. 


Another "weed" I enjoyed seeing was red clover.


I will miss seeing the cows behind us when we move.


This day lily continues to produce one bloom at a time. It's the only day lily making a showing in this heat.


Torenia. This is my first time trying this annual. I think I will use it again.


It's molting time for blue jays as you can see with this bald one.


Cicada 


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My father's boat

Ward and I are in the process of buying a house. As part of this, we are getting rid of many things in anticipation of a move. With this discarding comes a whole set of emotions. There's the good feeling of cleaning up and organizing things. There's the angst of wondering if maybe we should have kept something for future use. And there's the sadness and nostalgia of letting a part of the past go. My father's boat is a good example of this.

My father was an avid fisherman and spent most of his life fishing on the local creeks and rivers. He loved being on the river in his john boat whether he was with a friend or by himself. However the last few years of his life, he was not able to go fishing any more and his boat sat in my parent's backyard under the walnut tree. As my father became more and more feeble, my mother fretted more and more about how she was going to get rid of the boat. I think it was easier for her to worry about the boat than it was to think about my father's declining health. So during one of our visits, we said that we wanted the boat and would take it home with us. We didn't really want the boat, but we'd figure out later what to do with it.

And there it sat.
So we loaded the 160 lb, 14' long boat on top of our van and drove it across the mountains to our house. In hindsight, that was not a very smart thing to do, but everyone and everything made it in one piece. We put the boat in the backyard and there it sat.

At first, we asked around if to see if anyone wanted it. We asked Ward's family, we asked the neighbors, and we asked friends. Then I started asking every repairman that came to the house. Several people said they were interested, but never got back to us. So after a while, we moved onto other things and there it sat. Then after a while longer, it became part of the landscape and we forgot about it. That was until recently when we started to think about selling our house. If that was going to happen, the boat was going to have to go.

My first thought was to give the boat away to a charity because I didn't want to have to deal with people coming by to look at it from Craig's list. After a talk with a friend from work who is training to be an EMT, I found the perfect place. I could give it to the local water rescue team to use in training. My father would have loved that idea and actually would have loved being part of a team like that. I called the station and they said great. They could use the boat. I told my sisters and they were thrilled with the idea of Daddy's boat being used that way. It even brought tears to Miss Lander's eyes because it was so perfect.

The next Saturday, we borrowed Uncle Billy's truck to take the boat to the rescue station. I called before we left to let them know we were coming, and they were surprised. They didn't know who I talked to, but they couldn't use the boat. What a big disappointment.

Back to the drawing board. I started calling charities that took cars to see if they wanted a boat. No such luck, because as it turns out, we didn't have the title. We had done a fair amount of looking, but never did find it. So with no title, we couldn't sell it or donate it. What to do now? The best and only suggestion at this point was to turn it over and make a planter out of it. I didn't think that was going to help sell our house.

Then Aunt Martha had the idea that finally worked. Sell it for scrap metal. I hated the idea of scrapping a perfectly good boat, but when you're discarding things, not each and every piece is going to find the perfect home. The local scrap yard would take it without a title, so again we borrowed Uncle Billy's truck to transport the boat. However, I was not ready for the flood of emotions I had as they put it in the truck. All I could see was my father sitting in that boat and fishing. He's been gone for three years, but the memories were still fresh.

The trip to the metal recycling yard went without a hitch (except a pulled muscle Theo got lifting the boat). We were able to get a little money for the boat that we put in an account for my mother's care. I think my father would have approved of what we did with the boat. Because what he would have wanted more than anything is for my mother to be taken care of.


Monday, August 22, 2016

House Changes--Part 6

So Ward and I have decided that it is time for some changes and are in the process of buying a new house. We have a contract on one and are in the process of doing the thousands of details involved in buying it. It has been a short week (or long, depending on how you look at it) since I gave you an update on how things are going. So here it goes.
When we weren't signing papers, we made also some
 tomato sauce last week

We've had a septic inspection and a termite inspection and the house passed both with flying colors. The appraiser has come and gone with good news, and we've gotten a new home owners insurance policy. We've been drawing floor plans and contacted our contractor about doing some work. In the middle of all of these, we have signed dozens more papers from the bank. I think it must be someone's job there to figure out how to put the same thing on paper after paper in slightly different ways.

Back here we have been getting rid of stuff in anticipation of moving. There's nothing like the thought of moving something or paying someone to move something to motivate you to purge things. And we've been experiencing a whole set of emotions that go with this process. There's the good feeling of cleaning up and getting rid of things. There's the angst of wondering if maybe we should have kept something for future use. And there's the sadness and nostalgia of letting a part of the past go. And nothing typifies this more than my father's boat.

Unfortunately, I've run out of time. I've gotta go to work, so I'll tell you about Daddy's boat next time.



Sunday, August 21, 2016

Thankful Sunday--August 21, 2016


I am thankful for surprise lilies.

Every year in August, when everyone and everything is getting tired of the heat, surprise lilies pop up. They faithfully made their appearance again this year. Seeing them brought a smile to my face and for that I am thankful.

FYI: They are called surprise lilies because their foliage happens at a different time than their blooms. The leaves come up and die off in the spring and the blooms pop up a couple of months later seemingly overnight.  Surprise!