Friday, January 18, 2019

Tidying Up

I'm documenting my work here, for myself perhaps more than for anyone else. The top of this cabinet was covered in papers, dog medicines, receipts, a dog brush even for the longest time. Yesterday, I cleaned it all up. And purged my jewelry box. 

When visiting Christina and Inga's country place in Sweden, I went under a birch tree and took this green picture. I look at it fondly when nature here dries up and turns brown. The girls are my great-nieces when they were younger. They are older now, Jasmine is in Junior High and Jackie is eight. The Dobermans are Gypsy and Red, the first two dogs of the ten we lived with during our marriage. 

The lamp was my grandmother's. My mother as a young woman and my two cat angels, Samantha and Sindbad. 

Errol and me on our boat and in Mexico, where we spent a lot of time and had a lot of fun. Pedro, the guy whose land we stayed on, gave Errol the horse.  Errol named him Renegade and was a wild rider, bareback always, with just a rope around the muzzle. Not my cup of tea, having grown up riding English saddle with all the appropriate gear. Pedro gave me a saddle but no bridle or anything just the rope. Since the horses were as mellow as Pedro, only problem I usually had was to get a horse to move at all.

I have this huge jewelry box, someone gave to Errol and he gave to me. I never thought I would fill it up, but somehow I did over the years. I don't wear jewelry much here, and had no idea what was in it. I sold my good stuff years ago when the economy crashed and gold was valuable. I have a few good things in my box at the bank, the rest, was in here. 

Those of you who have read Marie Kondo's book or seen her Netflix show about the magic of tidying up, know that the criteria for what to keep is this: An item must "Spark JOY." I'm using that part of her method here, but not taking it too seriously. Though it is helpful.

This is what I kept: The bracelets all come from local thrift stores at $1.00 a piece, the two necklaces are from Chico's in Los Angeles (yes, they all spark Joy).

The little round box contains a small gold four-leaf clover that someone bestowed on me when I was baptized. The Tiffany thingy and the red box are empty. None of this sparks any joy, so probably should be gone. But at least it's empty all around.

The large chunky necklace was a surprise. No idea where that came from. It may look OK on me, but no sparks of joy are flying. The one next to it I love and wear often. The other things are some pins that can stay and a couple of rings. 

The elephant earrings have a story: Errol and Glenn had a small construction business, while I had a good career at UCLA. Sometimes, usually depending on the economy, we had little money. At one such point in time, Errol decided, unbeknownst to me, to take what little money he had left and drive to Las Vegas to see if he could win some more. Most such wild ideas don't end well and this one didn't. So nearly broke, he spent his last money buying those earrings for me. I don't remember if I was angry or not, but I will never part with those elephants, that I know for sure.

 And these are the necklaces I'm keeping. Not sure about the JOY, but they will all stay for now,

I'm packing up some of the things I'm getting rid of and sending them to my great-nieces. They can either wear them or Jackie can play with them, dressing up her Barbies.

The rest goes to our Hospital Guild thrift store in town, where someone else can pay $1.00 and enjoy my old custom jewelry.

Finally, it brought me so much JOY to post again, to visit you, and to hear back from you my dear blogger friends. Buttons and Feral Woman too!! Friends bring more joy than all the stuff one ever will accumulate, for sure.....

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

We Are OK

winter has arrived in the canyon and I'm happy. It's been raining with a little snow mixed in for several days. Thick fog covers the mountains, hiding their snow covered peaks. Thick mud covers the ground and gets dragged into the house by the dogs.   

I know it's cold when I find Samson on the couch. 

In Sweden, we have faeries; my New Orleans relatives have something too, some kind of belief in the supernatural. For example, Errol had me sprinkle salt around this guy who had stolen his old truck and wrecked it. I, not believing such nonsense, did it. He was a neighbor and was on the sidewalk talking to some other guys. So, giggling, I just walked around them, sprinkling a little salt. No harm done, thought I. Believe it or not, but in the next few days the guy broke his leg and within a month or so he moved from the neighborhood. I was really upset and never did that again, for sure. 

Why am I bringing it up now? Look at Faith above. She's a fey dog. She sees things that aren't there. Sometimes in the summer, she scares me. I think there must be a huge spider in the ceiling, but no. She is focusing with such intensity on something I can't see. For the longest time she does this.....

Faith: Mommy, you can see my ball, can't you? 

The weather was bad on Christmas Day, so I spent the entire holiday at home. Not alone, but with my dogs. It was very peaceful and nice. Sometimes I think I love being home alone a bit too much. I caught up with my relatives after the holidays and my grand or is it great-nieces were delighted with their gifts. So all was well there. So important. 

What else? Oh, after the holidays, when I thought I was done spending money, everything that had not broken down recently did. Broke! First my phone. It just died. After three and a half years, after good money spent on it! 

Then my printer went. Well that wasn't as bad since they are pretty inexpensive, but still. After I installed my new one, the internet went. I tried everything, but finally had to call my computer guy. He charges a dollar a minute, but doesn't charge for the mileage coming out here. He determined that my modem was the culprit and fixed it for now, but said I should replace it. He also made sure the printer was set up correctly. And taught me a few new computer-related things. 45 minutes - $45.00. 

Then finally, my DVD player broke. Joyce lent me some movies and I couldn't play them. But she had an extra DVD player that she wanted me to have. So that was really great.  

I just took this picture. It's raining again. I'm hoping for snow. Last time we had a really good snow was Christmas 2015. We have had a little every year since then, but nothing like it used to be when we first moved up here. Still, as dry as it has been, one has to be grateful for the rain. 

Finally, I have been working on a project, not a fun one, but one that had to be done.  A paperwork project. 

I have also worked on getting my house the way I want it. And I'm still going through things and getting rid of a lot. But it is going at a slow pace as I have had some really bad times with my diabetes control. I finally had to take several days documenting everything, what I ate, how much insulin I took, and so on. Oh, and when exactly did I do it and how did it affect me. At the recommendation of my nurse educator, I also added protein powder to my diet to balance out the carbs better. And beans. I had forgotten that since I don't eat meat, I really need beans. And that, together with my research has helped a lot. 

Feeling much better. Will catch up with all of you in the coming days.

My dining area. More or less finished.


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