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Archive for the ‘Personal Ramblings’ Category

Changes

It is a cool crisp and wet morning here in St. Louis.  Summer has decidedly turn to fall.  I pulled my terry cloth bath robe on over my pajamas and sat with my coffee in the sun room this morning.  I love this time of year.  Most people I have talked with do.  At some point in almost every conversation this past week, the change in weather and how this is the favorite time of year has come out.  This morning, as I was sitting with my coffee, in my robe and pjs with the screen door between me and the outdoors, I thought about how difficult most change is for people – myself included – but the the change in season is almost always not only welcomed but celebrated.  Something to ponder as I drink more coffee, exchange the pjs for sweat pants and a long-sleeved tee… and robe, and relax, knowing that there is nothing so earth-shatteringly important to do outside that it need be done in the on-again, off-again rain.  I love those lazy days.

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Yesterday was a magnificent 76 degrees out at its high. Blue skies and just incredible for playing hooky. Unfortunately, I was not able to do that (although I know of others who did!)

Last night it rained. This morning, almost magically, everything looks so much greener outside. The lawn (even though it is still covered with leaves and gumballs) looks green, the iris and daylilies have joined the daffodils popping through the earth toward the sun. Even the mum plants are producing little green leaves.

The sky is a beautiful blue and it is another incredible day outside… and I am hoping to be able to enjoy a little of it later today.

Everywhere it is GREEN – and I love it.

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Three weeks out with the flu, a week and a half well, than another week and a half sick with a nasty cold. I feel like I have spent much of this year in bed or on the couch.

I’m awake again, and have noticed it has gotten nice outside. The weather has been in the 50’s for a few days, and today it is raining lightly. I stepped outside for a few minutes and just breathed in the smell of spring. I just LOVE that scent.

I would very much like to be outside raking up the gum balls (hundreds – no thousands of them!) and the leaves that fell after my last clean-up in the fall – even in the light rain. I have discovered the daffodils popping up around my yard, and think about clearing away the leaves and mulching so that the green of the stems and eventually the yellow flower will be the clear star of the yard. I’m awake and moving and getting work done in the office, but my energy is still not 100%. This yard work will have to wait.

On Saturday I have a friend coming over to help me tile my laundry room (with leftover tile that was given to me), and will probably post a “How To” blog on tiling. I have finally finished painting the laundry room (I started before the flu hit), and pulled up almost all of the current flooring – several layers thick. It will be nice to put the room back together and actually be able to do laundry again. Last week I took all my laundry to a friends house to use her machines since my laundry room had been completely out of commission for over a month and I had already resorted to buying more “essentials.”

Enjoy the spring!

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I spent much of Saturday cleaning carpets throughout my house. After the Friday fiasco, I decided I just needed to bite the bullet and rent a steam cleaner for the day and clean the carpets that had been “effected.” While I had the cleaner, I decided to shampoo all of the carpets in my house – and, well, there went most of my Saturday.

One hint, I did find industrial carpet shampoo that said it worked with residential steam cleaners in the cleaning products aisle at my local box home improvement store. There was twice as much product for almost half as much money as the name brand solutions sold next to the steam cleaners. I think it worked better than the other cleaners as well… so consider checking out the cleaning supplies aisles if you need carpet shampoo.

While at the home improvement store I also purchased tomato seeds. I still haven’t had a chance to plant these yet. I need to move some of my house plants to another room so I can make way for the seed starting trays I am recycling from last year (and get away from my computer long enough to do it.) Last year I started my seeds on January 15th and the year before it was only a week later than that – so I am behind on this planting.

I’ve calmed down a bit since my rant last week – but I did turn up my thermostat from 52 degrees to 58 degrees (still a very reasonable temperature), and I am feeling much more comfortable. And, in an attempt to clean out my laundry room so I can empty, paint the walls and tile the floors – hopefully very soon – I washed the rest of my laundry and took it all to the laundry mat to dry early Sunday morning.

I still skip a flush (or two) when I can, I don’t need to commute to work, so my driving is limited, I try and grow what food I can, and I am trying to be as aware as I can about how my actions impact the planet – but I am going to try and be less austere about it.

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I have tried for nearly a full year to do without a dryer. I have frozen fingers and waited six weeks for a dry day to dry my laundry outside. I have had underthings hanging all over my laundry room and sun room to try and keep my carbon footprint low, but today I have had it.

First off, my toilet overflowed… (yes, here it is appropriate to say “gross!”) and I didn’t realize this for several hours (Ewww!). During these lapsed hours the “overflow” saturated a good chunk of my bedroom carpeting. It took EVERY towel in the house to sop up the bathroom floor and affected carpeting. I ran a load of laundry but it is WET outside, and cold and neither of these two things look to be changing soon. I broke down and did not only a load of wet icky towels, but also a load of jeans, swear shirts and pants. Then, I headed to the laundry mat.

I also cranked my heat to 70, hoping that the heat (without the humidifier) would help dry the carpet. I am roasting – way too hot in here – trying to fix this problem.

I tried… and I am weak. I throw up my hands and say “that’s enough!” I want to live in the land of the indulgent again. Screw the environment! I don’t have children… I don’t care if there is a planet for them to live on once I drop dead.

It’s almost 4:30 – I think I will fix myself a drink and try to forget this day.

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Death

On Sunday I fulfilled my second term as a warden of my church – first junior warden then senior warden. I am happy to be done with that, and was really looking forward to being able to fill my now freed-up time doing more fun things. Instead, I am thinking a lot about death.

Yesterday and today I spent time researching medical supplies to keep an elderly (almost 101 years old) friend in her home as long as possible. More and more often I have been getting calls from life-line (the “help I’ve fallen and can’t get up” folks) after I am asleep to go pick up this friend off the floor because she has fallen. The doctor seems to think her body is breaking down and it will just be a matter of months, but it is heart-wrenching to hear her cry in agony as I tend to the scrapes on her paper-thin skin that have bloodied both arms – “Why don’t I just DIE!”

On Sunday I attended a memorial service for a person I knew fairly well a decade or two ago when I was very involved in the lgbt community. I realized that his memorial and that of a good friend who died just five years ago were probably on the same date (or off by just a day) – just five years apart. So I have been thinking about both of these two individuals, as well as my chosen dad who died just three weeks before my friend five years ago.

Yesterday I received a notice from my church that the wife of one of our members had just died. It seems like it was just two or three weeks ago they learned that the cancer had spread throughout her body. I didn’t know her well, but she was very helpful in creating a pattern and templates when we made the pads for the “Goods for Girls” a year or so ago, and as an employee of a fabric store, she got us a discount from the store manager so we could create the 73 cloth sanitary pads to be sent to Africa. I remember her as being a wonderfully energetic, happy and caring person. My thoughts are with her husband today.

I am also thinking a bit about next week, which will be a full ten years since my marriage ended – which in a way is a kind of death… I’ve had a new life since then, but thinking about the good, the bad and the ugly of an eleven-year relationship does stir up quite a few emotions.

Today I think I would like to climb back into bed. Perhaps what I really need to do is plant something soon so I can be reminded of life. We’ll see what actually happens.

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Today I stepped outside my comfort zone as I promised I would with one of my New Year’s Resolutions, and I was rewarded with a great time, the renewal of old friendships, and the possibility of future gatherings – some that include canning and gardening. I had an INCREDIBLE time!

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