Sunday, June 14, 2015

Torrential Rain and A Mini-Flashflood

(if there's such a thing) finally inspired me enough to take some pictures. Once I got the camera out, I just continued. 

The much needed rain washed my road out some, but not as bad as it could have done. As dry as it is here, seeing the force of that water was amazing.

It filled up my wheelbarrow in just a few minutes. I know this is not as bad as in other parts of the country, but as dry as it has been here for so long, Mother Nature put on quite a show.

I haven't posted anything for a long while now because losing Errol has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to live through. The way it happened has been most difficult for me. I have guilt about many things I know shouldn't have. I know none of what happened was my fault, I know I did the best I could, I know you cannot make another person do what they don't want to do, like seeing a doctor sooner rather than later. Still, I have questioned myself and my actions. 

I have also had to fight to let my anger with hospital infections go. I worked at UCLA for over 30 years and being angry with the place would not do me any good. I feel the infection was an accident, but I feel they discharged him too soon back in early February. The kindness of the nurses and doctors at the liver transplant ICU, where he spent his last months, helped me let go of my anger. They were truly wonderful there. But still, he beat HepC, he beat cancer, he got a new liver, he fought so hard, and it wasn't enough. 

Just wanted to let you know what I have been feeling. It's all getting much better now and I'm beginning to just miss him. The other morning, hanging laundry on the line, I saw him doing it, as he so often did, and started to cry. I said, "please hold me," and as I looked up through my tears, a small feather danced in on the wind and fell to my feet. I picked it up, as if it were a message, and I have felt much better ever since. 

I have also been really sick with a horrible chest cold, a temp of 103.2 and coughing, coughing and coughing some more. I'm much better now, but still coughing. It's so very tiring and, at my age, you just don't come back as fast. 

And now some domestic updates. I have permanently moved into the guest bedroom/office. My friend Lin gave me this antique bed when she moved into a retirement home. I'm working on creating moments of joy for myself and this bedspread from The Country Door is something I bought with that in mind. JOY, lucky me, I find such joy in little things. 

My blogger friend Bobbi and her dog Gracie (Samson's love) sent this heart. It was difficult to hang on the wall, but I found the perfect place for it on this post. Much scratched up post by Lin's beloved cats, Siam and Metoo, long gone now, but not forgotten. Not by me, I look at the scratches and smile.

I'm making the master bedroom into a guest bedroom. I washed my Martha Washington bedspread and put it on the bed with some pillows. (This picture is for my friend Carol, so she can see what I'm doing on the domestic front.) My cousin's son and his girlfriend are coming from Sweden in a couple of weeks to spend a few days here with me before going to Palm Springs for a family event. 

You may recall I said I didn't want a smart phone. When I called to cancel Errol's phone, the ATT guy was so nice, so sympathetic about my loss, that I let him talk me into one. (One can only wish they would be that sympathetic at Social Security, but no, that woman was really awful. I have a phone appointment with them on June 23rd, not looking forward to it.)  I'm not crazy about the smartphone. I've turned off all the pings that notify you of emails, and other stuff. I just kept the ringtone for an actual phone call. The phone is not working well for me. I need a small one to keep in my pocket, this one fits, but I can't bend over and work with it in there. So if I fall, the phone may not be within easy reach and that bothers me. But I will keep it since it's the thing of the future.  But then Amazon had a sale on the Kindle Fire, $99.00, so I bought one. And I love it! Right now, I'm reading books and also watching The Roosevelts, a series I missed on PBS. So much fun!

I thought you might want to see Samson, so I went to take his picture and woke him up. He was not pleased. Problem with him, right now, is that he didn't shed his undercoat. The vet said this may happen as they get older. I have raked and raked, but gave up yesterday and started cutting. So I will cut this week. Rachael is coming up for my birthday (I will be 75 Sunday, which seems unbelievable to me, of course), and since my own hair seems to have stopped growing, I suspect from stress, I will ask her to help with Samson instead. A neighbor gave me an airconditioner, it doesn't fit my current windows, but I'm getting new windows put in soon, so that should help Samson a lot. Poor boy, I feel so bad for him in the heat.

And then little Miss Have To Be Number One woke up and jumped up to make sure she would be in the foreground of the picture. 

And that's how it is, here in the canyon. One day at a time, one foot in front of other foot, creating little joyous moments for myself and the dogs. 

And finally, finally, hiring the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band to play at Errol's funeral was truly the best! They helped to make it a celebration of his life. And they helped me feel the joy of the 30 years I spent with Errol.


  1. First of all I hope that you start feeling better.
    Secondly, we all know how much time and energy you gave to your late husband, when he was hospitalized.
    Also, no matter how much the family tries for a loved one, we can not do anything when God wants to call some one. Never the less God also gives us strength and comfort slowly but surely.
    It is good that you are finding solace and comfort in little things.
    Please take care of yourself and don't let the fever get the better of you.

  2. oh, the nola jass band must have been awesome! what a great send-off. :)

    happy birthday to you, inger. i know it will be a tough one, but also happy you're getting over your tough cold and hopefully feeling better by then, too. good luck to rachael with samson's haircut. :) faith is adorable and so pretty. hoping you can get the a/c unit in soon to help you all with the warmth. as for the rain, i wish you could have gotten a good soaking instead of a flash flood, but any rain for you is good rain at this point. i'm glad you've gotten some new gadgets and are enjoying the kindle. i like my smart phone a lot and use the camera a ton as it's always in my pocket. i hope you'll learn to like yours more.

    so good to see a post from you. i know you're still going through a lot - and will for a long time. don't rush yourself. the feather message brought tears to my eyes. :)

  3. The American Indians believe that finding a feather means that a loved one who has died is thinking of you. Reading that bit about the clothes line and the feather gave me goosebumps.

  4. It's so good to hear from you. I think all of your feelings are perfectly normal and it's OK and healthy to express them ...maybe the rains can wash some of the pain away. And I do think the feather was a beautiful sign from your husband.

  5. Happy Birthday to you! 75 years young, good for you! Your new bedspread is lovely. It is cheery indeed with all those colorful flowers :O). Your telling of the feather made me get teary eyed, but it was wonderful. Sending a hug ((()))

  6. Dear Inger, you have been through so much for a long time and I'm so glad to see an update on your blog and to learn that your life is starting to gently move forward. I hope that you'll feel all better very soon.

    I love the sign of the little feather falling at your feet and I'm glad that it made your feel Errol's presence. Your bedrooms looks very nice and fresh. Enjoy your visitors.

    A smart phone would be a bit much for me as I'm so not techie.

    I've been too busy lately to even post on my blog and I've been wanting to post but there is always something that happens to get in the way.
    Happy Birthday Inger. I'm looking forward to more posts in the future.

    I'm so glad that you had some much needed rain. Poor Samson, he must be so hot. He'll feel much better with his hair cut.

  7. Dearest Inger, I'm such a rotten blogging friend. I'm just now catching up on your blog and your news about the loss of your husband. To say that I'm sorry, seems so trivial, given what you have been through the past several months. But I can relate with what you are going through, on a different level. I don't know if you know or not, but I unexpectedly lost a brother in February. Settling his affairs, selling and emptying my parents home in April, made life an emotional roller coaster for me. I finally feel like my feet are back on track ... I'm grateful that you've found support and kindness from friends and family near and far. I'm grateful that from within you're finding that peace and comfort from small moments like the feather. Again, I am so sorry Inger. Know that from my corner in northern Virginia, I'm sending prayers for you as you find your way in this new chapter in your life. Take care...

  8. Hi Inger,

    I was just thinking about you this morning. Sorry to hear that you have been sick and it does sound like some SICK. Yes, it does take longer to get well. Hoping you get well sooner.

    I hope that soon the pain and anger over Errol's death will ease up. You wouldn't be normal if you didn't feel the way you do. They tell us it's part of the grieving process. I was encouraged for you when you found the feather. The jazz band had to be special.

    Glad you had some rain, too bad it all came in one big dump.

    Good idea to move into different digs. Sweet bed! Lovely, bright spread!

    Company coming hopefully will cheer you up.

    Poor Samson, maybe a shave - like they do sheep? He's got to be miserable.

    Faith has really grown. She is turning into quite a pretty young lady.

    DH has one of those phones - I don't like it. Kindle Fire - super!

    So, is your birthday today? If so, Happy Birthday! If it's next Sunday - Happy Birthday! LOL.

    I'd hold you if I could, so would he.

  9. A feather from Heaven, I'm sure it was meant to fall right there. Flooding, all things in moderation are OK, but a giant deluge, too much. So lovely to read your words, knowing you are making a few changes, lovely bedspread, and the heart has a lovely place to hang. I am sure so many of us have doubts afterwards, did I do enough, why wasn't I there, did they answer my questions adequately, but, Inger, be assured you did more than enough, infections happen even with utmost care, discharges occur regularly, down here too, and if, with Hugh, the ortho surgeon had done a referral way back in March of last year, things might have been so different for him, I am sure Errol would have enjoyed the Jazz Band, what a wonderful farewell. Take care, honey, lemon, hot water, sipped slowly, with Faith and Samson keeping their eyes on everything too.. Happy 75th, a milestone, mine is in July, Hugs and love from NZ

  10. Bless your heart. It's never easy to say goodbye and it's natural to gather blame. I gathered much after years of caring for Mom and Dad, although not the same as losing a life mate, I have some inkling of your emptiness. Know he is with you and the feather was a sign.

  11. There is NOT a doubt in my mind that Errol sent you that feather; death does not end love. I found this quote for you:

    Grief never ends… But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith… It is the price of love.

  12. There is a book that my sister gave me called The White Feather. It is a collection of stories from people who have lost loved ones but in the days after the death, they find white feathers in their pathway. When our parents died, my sisters and I were constantly finding white feathers for months. I am not saying that I believe in this, but it was both strange and comforting.

    Both your rooms look lovely. Just changing a bedspread or moving a bed can uplift one's spirits. I hope you enjoy your company and I am sure they will love sleeping in that pretty room.

    Take care of yourself, Inger.

  13. I read this post with interest, Inger, as I have been stopping by to see if anything new popped up on your blog. I am glad that you're feeling like posting, and I do believe things like that feather at your feet are signs from the ones we are missing. I love that you had a New Orleans jazz band at the celebration of Errol's life. I saw the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans, years ago, and they put on a great show. I like the idea of playing music to help usher those who have left us into the next world. Take care of yourself, you know stress affects our immune system, and probably accounts for your being ill. Hope all is better with your health very soon. Email me any time, if you feel like talking over the net. We have finally sold, and found a new place. Am in packing mode now.

  14. I like your bright and cheerful new bedspread and the old four poster is lovely. and a good idea to shake up the rooms and move things around. Samson and Faith look wonderful and so glad Rachel will be there to help get Samson comfy for the hot summer months. do hope you get the AC to work soon. I am so glad you shared all of today's post with us. i believe it is good to share your feelings, no matter what they are... i was so happy to see your post pop up to give us and update. i can't imagine the struggle, but you sound like you are dealing with it well.
    the jazz band was a really good idea. hugs from florida

  15. Dear Inger,
    I, too, was just thinking of you this morning. I have no words for the loss of your husband that haven't already been spoken. You are a wonderful, strong woman who will carry on. Yes, please take care of yourself. I had to care for my mother, who had dementia, and it nearly destroyed my immune system, and I'm 63, so it took YEARS for me to recover. Bless you.

  16. Thanks for the update and the heartfelt honesty. I know my mother did and still does struggle with guilt about what she could have or should have done. It is a hard thing to let go of. Blessings to you.

  17. I don't see that you have a thing to reproach yourself for. I think you held up wonderfully and were a heroine.

    I have two Kindles and I love them. I buy lots of magazines, and they get stored in the Amazon "cloud" so I can always go back and find articles I need. Better than stacks of magazine holders on a book shelf.

    You are doing well, keeping your spirits up, and accomplishing things. Your husband was a lucky man, to have such a loyal and devoted wife. Rare today.

  18. My dear Inger,
    I have been thinking so much about you and I thank you for your update post that let us to know what you have been feeling. I am sorry to hear that you have been sick, with chest cold and coughing. I hope you will be well very soon!
    I had tears on my eyes reading you wrote about hanging laundry on the line and saw your husband doing it... so helpfull to have a small feather that fell to your feet and this message, that did you felt much better ever since.

    I am glad that your cousin's son and his girlfriend are coming from Sweden and will spend a few days with you.

    Thanks for the photos of your house and your new bedroom that looks very nice.
    Love also the pictures of adorable friends Samson and Faith.

    Happy Birthday to you my dear Inger.
    Take care of yourself.
    Lots of hugs and much Love to you my dear friend.

  19. Sorry I missed your birthday, Inger. I drove over 750 miles this weekend and stopped counting the hours once I limped over 20!

    Oh, those crafty AT&T tele-representatives. I loved my Kindle Fire, its audiobooks capacity made those 750 miles easier on me.

    The New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band must have made the moment more bearable. I wish I had been there ... not for them, but for you.

    Keep that feather, knowing that reality is not the linear experience many believe it to be, holding mystery and love in the shadows.

    Watch that cough and get attention for it!!! Love the photos. especially those of poor Samson. So? You are going to be his Delilah by cutting his hair? Take care. I think of and pray for you daily. Roland

  20. Happy Birthday.

    Thanks for commenting on my bit of fiction.

    I am glad you got rain. After our abundance of rain through out the spring we were beginning to get very dry again but have had a few showers scattered here and there that leaves things refreshed.

    I like your new bed and bedspread.

  21. Happy Birthday!
    I am happy you got rain. :-)
    I will be praying for you. I do understand the anger part of things. I have walked that path too. It is hard! Time helped me heal.
    Sending prayers,

  22. My dear Inger, It was wonderful to open up my reader today and see that you had posted. I have thought of you often. I know exactly what you are going through and it brings me pain. My dear Richard will have been gone a year next month. I cannot believe it is a year! One of the hardest years of my life. He visited me recently in the form of a white butterfly so your feather story made me smile through my tears. I wish we lived closer. I would love to spend time with you. Happy, happy birthday. The pictures are beautiful. They dogs look like they are doing well. And I love your beds!!

  23. I can hear that jazz band playing happy music in celebration of Errol. It makes me smile. I love what you have done around the house. I'm so glad that you can find things that make you happy. You have had such a rough time - take care of yourself.

    1. Oh, I forgot to mention that I'm sure the feather was certainly a sign from Errol! I'm a huge believer in things like that.

  24. It was nice to see a post from you to hear how you are doing and feeling. I think of you each morning when I'm on my walk and say a prayer.

  25. I hope you start feeling better.
    You gave everything you could to your late husband.
    I can't make my hubs go to the doc either - I think that is men.
    God is with you. I hope you get stronger and stronger - but you will always hurt too..
    It is good that you are finding some things to do and changing up things.
    Take care of yourself.
    The band must have been awesome!
    Happy birthday to you,
    It was good to see you and the dogs here.

  26. Happiest birthday MONTH to you my friend! you deserve a month long celebration! and Im so glad that your determination is such a part of you. Not the whys' but the hows'...xoxoxox

  27. Happiest birthday MONTH to you my friend! you deserve a month long celebration! and Im so glad that your determination is such a part of you. Not the whys' but the hows'...xoxoxox

  28. Wishing you a Happy 75th Birthday, good to see you taking one day at a time and will have company coming for a visit. No rain here just lots of 100+ days in the upcoming forecast. did have wildfire mile up the road two weeks ago but Cal Fire did a good job contained at 65 acres. Take care

  29. Dear Inger – I was so pleased to see the post and to read your thoughts on recent times: you can’t feel guilty you did so much, and no-one can help what happened … serious illness is just so difficult and so difficult to carry with you, when it’s not yours but your loved one’s. Sadly things happen – I feel for you, though your post sounds as though you are able to move on … I love Fishducky’s quote … a great one for us all to read and connect with.

    Your story of the feather is lovely and I’m so pleased you felt Errol with you … you’ll never lose him as such … things happen that we don’t understand, though perhaps those with ties to the earth understand better than we do … there is so much we don’t understand and I’m sure Errol is there with you.

    How lovely to have Swedish relatives visiting … that will be a great opening up of new thoughts for you, and catching up on your homeland. I love what you’re doing with the two rooms ... the golden wall colour … and your new bedspread in your bedroom – is just beautiful. Isn’t that antique bed lovely … what a wonderful gift.

    Good for you for keeping Errol’s phone and the new Fire … they grow on you! Perhaps you can find a small cloth bag, or sunglass case, that you can hang around your neck to keep the phone in, while you’re outside or working in the home.

    Lovely seeing the photos of Samson and Faith … I too hope the windows and new A/C come soon for Samson … he must be ‘H for Hot’ poor chap. The rains must be a blessing – not enough and too stormy … but at least rain …

    The NOTJB was such a good idea … and I’m so pleased you felt they were truly the best … and helped you celebrate his life, with family and friends around you, and those 30 years you spent together.

    Have a peaceful day with Rachael and the two four footers on Sunday – many happy returns for turning 75 … I shall think of you … with big hugs and so good to read your post - Hilary

  30. Inger, I have been checking your blog often... waiting on your return... and praying daily for you. I am so glad to see you back and with so much beauty in your words, as always. The hearts are perfect there!! I hope when you look at them, you think of Gracie and me and other friends as well, a reminder of how much you are loved by all of your blog friends. What a wonderful tribute and celebration of Errol's life! I can almost feel the honor that was present that day... as Errol's life was celebrated. Oh Inger, the feather must have been his way of holding you... How perfect is that! I love the changes that you are making. Hopefully you will get used to your smart phone and begin to like it. It took me a while to get onto mine (my iphone) but now I wouldn't go back. Gracie said to tell Samson he is looking good and to not let you cut too much. In her words: My mom started cutting one day and I looked like a rat after she was done. Just sayin'. Of course, Inger, those are Gracie's words. Haha! Please take care of your chest cold and be better soon! We love you so much! Good to have you back.

  31. Good to hear from you. You don't need me to tell you that the guilt feelings are natural but totally unfounded. I saw a feather hover by the bedroom window as my Mum died. I'd been holding her hand but I knew she had gone. Then the feather appeared. I waited until it continued to float down and out of sight before I pressed the buzzer on the care home wall. Take care.

  32. It's good to hear from you Inger. Sounds like you are doing the best you can considering. Also glad you guys got a little rain! If I could I would send you some from Michigan as we have been getting a ton!

  33. Lessen att läsa om din förlust av Errol. Har inte varit inne på ett tag och visste inte. Förstår din ilska och din frustration. Hoppas du reder dig och kommer igång med bloggen igen, det hjälper en vidare.
    Kram från Lasse i Sverige

  34. Inger I'm so glad to read your update - and i enjoyed the photos and all. all the best to you in this new (difficult) period of your life.

  35. Inger, it is SO GOOD to 'see' you here. We have been thinking about you often.
    Your mantra for getting by is perfect.....'one day at a time....'
    The funeral must have been lovely with that jazz band being there. Your husband was smiling for sure.
    The dogs look good and I hope Samson gets some relief soon.
    That 'feather' that fell to your feet was very moving. It brought tears to my eyes. Your husband was sending you a message and you have noticed and listened.
    So good to know that life is becoming a little brighter for you.

  36. What a beautiful and heartfelt post, Inger. Thank you for sharing with us the stages of grief you've been experiencing. I know one day I'll most likely be feeling so much of these same things, since I have longevity in my family and my husband has already lived longer than any male in his family has for several generations. I'm glad you are finding joy in the small experiences of your daily routine, and especially the rain! It's good to know that California is getting a bit of relief from the long drought.

  37. Hello - I am a new follower of your blog - coming over from Happy One's blog - so sorry to read of the loss of your husband. I seems like you are taking things one day at a time and doing your best to find a bit of happiness in each day. I admire you. Sometimes, life is just really hard and we just have to grieve and pray and get through it some how. I totally agree with you about Smart Phones and Kindles. I don't have a Smart Phone because of the cost and also the size. I need a phone I can keep close at hand in my pocket. I recently purchased a Kindle Fire just like yours and I am really enjoying it! It is fun to down load the apps and books - so far I am only downloading "free stuff." I will come back and visit your blog again. Hugs and prayers to you from Arizona!

  38. Many good wishes for your birthday Inger. . Guilt is natural we all have those thoughts when we loose someone. What we don't have is hindsight or the decision we made would probably be different. You are doing all the right things and I love your new bed and cover. One foot in front of the other is all there is to do. I hope you feel better soon. The Jazz band was a great idea.

  39. So excited to see your name!! You have been missed.
    One comment about a feather is a message from Errol. Finding a penny with a significant date is also a message. Take all the messages your heart can hold!
    Faith and Samson are quite the pair.
    Don't let guilt block out the process of grief.

  40. Oh my goodness, Inger! I'm just so "tickled" that you hired the jazz band for Errol's service! That had to be a very moving and beautiful and yes, joyful, experience. I'm really quite amazed that you are already able to make some nice changes around the house. Creating a guest room and looking forward to visitors is a sure way to keep the joy coming. Now, please be sure you're taking care of that chest cold. Make sure you continue to get better every day, or if not, see a doctor. Here I am at a distance giving your orders! :-) But I truly care that you do well. I'm so glad you see the joy in small things. What a blessing that is. I hope the Social Security office gets their attitude adjustment soon, and gives you the help that you need. Bless you, Inger. ox Debra

  41. Lovely to see you back posting again, Inger. I have been thinking of you often and I am sorry to hear you have not been well yourself.
    The feather definitely sounds like a sign, I'm a real believer in things like that and I'm glad it gave you some comfort.
    Samson looks ever so fluffy, well, he always does but more so than usual, maybe it's because I haven't seen his face in a while and in comparison to my small dog he is a huge bear!

    I hope you get some nice weather soon. Sending lots of hugs x

  42. It's so good to hear from you, Inger. Take care! ~Jeff

  43. Inger, you are in my thoughts...just about daily...and am glad to hear you are taking care of yourself (only lets focus on the cough now, OK?). I know already about feeling guilty since I bugged the Pres to go to the doctor in Dec and he didn't listen...perhaps we could have avoided what is coming up, who knows? Rest easy, my friend...:)JP

  44. Happy Birthday, Inger. I have it on good sources that TODAY is the day! Everyone seems to miss you to pieces, even on fb. Have a great day! (Well, a decent one, anyhow)



Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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