Category Archives: The world and my place in it

End of May and a clean patio

Although we have been sheltered in place for 11 weeks, I have kept putting off cleaning the patio. There was always something else to do. Like I’ve said, I never run out of things to do around here, and the patio cleaning seemed a good thing to just keep pushing to the “back burner,” along with a few other large cleaning tasks.

The patio cleaning is a multi-task job if it’s done right, so for the last few weeks, I just move the furniture around and do some sweeping. Every time I swept the cement floor out there, the winds would blow more leaves and dirt back on it. It seemed ridiculous to spend the time to really clean it, only to have it dirty the next day. Nor was I spending much time on the patio, just passing through it to the backyard where I was doing more serious work with pruning. Oh, and then it got really hot this past week–over 100 degrees–which made the job of cleaning outdoors even more onerous.

Saturday was cooler, so I decided I would start the first step in the patio cleaning project. I hosed off the greenhouse pad so I would have a clean place to put all of the patio furniture. I know I’ve written about the greenhouse pad before. It was here when we bought the house, started by the original owner but never completed. It’s very large and probably could be renovated into a guesthouse as the utilities are out there, but since I have no need for a guesthouse, nor do I want to invest that kind of money, it has remained a large cement pad with a low wall around it and two very tall vertical pipes that would have been a sprinkler system for the greenhouse. We’ve set up tables out there for the parties we once gave.

Sunday morning we got up at 5:30 so Terry could mow the front lawn and I could work on the patio project. I removed all the fabric coverings from the furniture and put those in the washing machine. I cleaned each piece of furniture and then moved it to the greenhouse pad. Swept the patio floor and then power washed it to really get the winter dirt off. Swept the water off and left it to dry.

So, am I done? Nope. I’m just sitting here on the couch, writing this post. The furniture has to be moved back and recovered with the fabrics that currently sit in the dryer. Will I get it finished before the sun sets on this last day of May? Maybe, maybe not. It’s as I’ve said before, I have all the time in the world.



Not complaining, just explaining

I’m writing this at the end of the first full week of May, on Friday, but it will post as Saturday, May 9. That whole sentence sums up my week. Each day ends before I’m ready. The tasks outrun my energy, though, so I often just give in and call it a day. My brain isn’t as sharp in the evening as it is in the morning so I haven’t taken the time to write and put the days into words. But, I’m not complaining.

I’m reading so many posts that speak of boredom. Guess I’m fortunate as there always seems to be something else to do. Like yard work. So much didn’t get done this week. Maybe next week. Like laundry. It just piles up since we change clothes after every trip out. Towels get changed three times a week. Kitchen towels, daily. Along with all that yard work, I’ve been washing the patio furniture covers. And cat bedding. Then there was the ant plague in the middle of the week in the kitchen. We seem to have it under control with heavy doses of essential oils.

Meal prep takes up much of my time. I shop once or twice a week for food and supplies. I buy what I find and fix meals around what I buy. We did splurge this week and got takeout at our favorite Chinese restaurant. The family had closed the restaurant when shelter-in-place took effect, knowing they weren’t able to do takeout in the manner directed by the city. After two months, closed down and making changes, they reopened this week for very short hours for takeout only. I ordered on their second day and drove across town to get dinner. Actually, enough for two days’ worth of dinner and lunch on one more.

Phone calls, FaceTimes, note writing…all of these take time. Good stuff and I’m thrilled with the technology and the ability to connect with people. I also like keeping the postal service busy!

Online purchases. Yes, me, doing something I haven’t done much of before. I prefer going to the store and picking out what I want to buy, but life has changed so I have changed that behavior. It was like Christmas on Thursday–coffee, chair, computer–all delivered to our door. Then Chinese food for dinner. All ordered online. I am still awaiting one more online purchase that may take awhile to get here–face masks. These are special ones, with big smiles. I hate face masks but will wear them and if I can add a bit of levity with one, I will.

And with that, I will end the explaining of why there hasn’t been a post all week. Just a lot going on. No complaints.

Yay, it’s May

I have no idea where April went. There was Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Spring break was in there, too. We had lots of cool showers here. Everything grew out lush and green and vibrant. I still have chocolate bunnies and eggs from Sees Candies because the school shut down right before I would have handed out all those treats.

My pile of books for March storytelling still sit in the family room as we’ve had no meetings since February to return or replenish our supply. And now it’s May, the last month of the school year. A time for awards and goodbyes. The month when we would turn in all of our books and materials. But not this year.

The last week of April has been so busy that I didn’t even realize I hadn’t posted here all week until I turned the calendar and saw that today, May 1, is Friday. The end of another week. Remember when you had a job and Friday seemed to come so slowly? We were always cheering for Friday because it meant the end of the week and two days away to rest and recuperate. Now, every day can be Friday. There are plenty of days to rest and recuperate.

The Ladies Who Lunch will again be the Ladies Who Zoom later today. It will be interesting to see how many show up. Even though we have all the time in the world, some of us are still “busy” doing whatever it is we do. Just like when we would meet for lunch. It’s all about priorities, not whether there is a pandemic or not. I am staying very busy, never bored around here, but I always have time to stop for a moment to write a note, a card, a blog post, or to visit with friends. Hope you are doing likewise. No matter what month it is.

Yard work accident

I had no more finished the last line on Saturday’s post than Terry came in from the backyard, rushing past me on the couch, down the hall, to the bathroom. I found him washing the wound on his hand. While cutting up the branches from the mulberry tree pruning, he had jammed the pruning shear blade into the area of soft flesh, near his left thumb.

I remembered getting an email last week from our medical group about a new service, video doctor’s care in case of an emergency. I dialed the number and an hour later the doctor from the urgent care center near our hospital came on the screen to get a look at Terry’s wound and give his advice.

He felt the wound was not severe enough for stitches but needed to be pressure bandaged. Terry would need a tetanus shot. The doctor could do all of that if we came into the urgent care office. We did. Or, I should say, I drove Terry, and he went in. I stayed in the car. Terry stabbed himself at 2:30, and by 5:15 we were back home with his hand bandaged.

Like his recuperation from the heart surgery he had in 2018, Terry will be unable to do a few things like all of the cleanup after meals. Like showering. He will need help with some of his clothing. And, he won’t be able to do any more yard work for awhile. At least until the hand is healed. The timeline shouldn’t be as long as the heart surgery recuperation, though.

Turning the calendar

This morning I turned the calendar page to April, or at least I tried to. The page for April stuck to May and wouldn’t let go. It’s like it was trying to tell me, let’s just skip April, okay?, and go right to May. I have a hunch many of us would like to do that, but I convinced the calendar that we needed April.

March has not been an easy month, and I cannot make any promises for April except that the beauty of spring will help us. I am hopeful that there will be warm days, blue skies and lots of sunshine. All of the trees here have already bloomed. Now they will get greener every day.

There is promise of the future in those green leaves. That’s the reason I love spring and summer so much more than autumn. Autumn depresses me because I know the cold weather is coming. Instead of a beginning, autumn marks the beginning of the end. March, April, May have always been wonderful months for me, full of promise. I’m clinging to that promise today as I turn the calendar from March to April. I am counting on better days.

Cleaning out the files

Do you ever go through your old document files on your computer’s hard drive? With the time I have right now, I decided to do a bit of that on a Sunday afternoon when it’s still too cold to  go work in the backyard. I deleted about 10 files that I know will never be used again. I reread some of the short stories I have written over the past decade, did some editing, and liked them too much to toss out, just yet anyway.

I found this file titled Life. In opening it I found I had used it on another platform in 2013, and perhaps I’ve even shared it here back then, but decided to put it here now:


Indecision is a great way to block the flow of life energy. 

Time to do my morning practice: journaling, prayer, quiet time, exercise….all those things I know are essential for my well-being.

“Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.”

 I want to live a spacious life. That is the primary feeling I’m going for. Spaciousness to me is about feeling at peace with myself, feeling free to make choices and follow my heart, feeling abundant and healthy and feeling connected with myself so I hear the whispers and can follow my inner wisdom. It’s about inspiration and passion. Cutting the busy, busy stuff that keeps me distracted.

It’s about conscious spending. Living with less stuff than we’ve been taught we need. Treading lightly on the planet. Taking time for what’s important. Living my values…..

It takes courage to:

  • Cut the stuff that keeps you bogged down
  • Dial back the busy-ness
  • Live true to yourself
  • Release the stories which no longer serve you
  • Examine your relationship to material possessions

So, there it is, the thoughts I had seven years ago. In looking back, I can see I have been fairly faithful to these words. 

A day of bungling

It is a rainy Saturday here in the central San Joaquin Valley. We need rain so that is a good thing. Bill the Cat, though, went outside and dug in the mud which meant his feet had to be cleaned when he wished to return to the house. It took both Terry and me to do this task. One to hold him, one to clean him.

The towels were filthy when we finished so that was one more load of laundry to do. I had already made an additional load to the laundry piles when I finished unloading the hamper and realized the liner bag did not smell very good. We have a tall wicker hamper that has been around for decades. The linen liner that came with it wore out pretty quickly but I was fortunate, one time when traveling, to find a very heavy duty bag/liner at Potterybarn. I took the liner out to be washed and Terry vacuumed the hamper.

Terry unloaded the dishwasher, run after breakfast, and broke a dinner plate in doing so. I made tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and put the butter on the wrong side of the bread. Terry changed the sheets on our bed and when putting them in the washing machine, poured the detergent into the softner dispenser, not a new trick as I’ve done that before.

It’s been a day of cleaning up messes, changing things around, redoing what we had started. A day of bungling. But it’s okay as we have no demands on our time, no obligations to fulfill, no place to be. Even the yards must wait for us since it is raining.

Addendum:  Remember I wrote on Friday that if we had a motorhome we could take off for Yosemite? That got changed this morning when the park service closed the gates to Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks. Guess it’s a good thing we didn’t buy that motorhome.