7 February …

This morning is clear and crisp.  Temperature is chilly, but not cold, at 42°.


Paul’s birthday dinner didn’t go quite as planned.  We got home early and went about some chores. 

Mark and Kamille watched the slash fire while Paul and I went for a couple of walks to see what was there to be seen and to start collecting lichen for John’s plant pot surfaces.  This is the best time to collect lichen because snow has broken it loose and there are clusters on the ground.  We already have an ice cream bucket full.

In addition, I found a moss covered stone I’d like to move to the courtyard this spring to be part of the waterfall into the pond.  That should keep it moss-covered.


The radio class at Sisson middle school seems to be going well.  Before the class started, Mark was told there would be 13 students so he got 15 textbooks.  He has had to order 4 more books. 

He is hoping to have 4 or 5 new hams out of the effort.  I am hoping for a couple more.


Last Friday was my first foray out shopping by myself.

It was strange (at least it seemed strange to me) that after George’s death I wasn’t sure what I was capable of on my own.  I was fearful over driving.  I was sure I wasn’t able to navigate a store alone (and the experience in the new CostCo didn’t help that).  Most anything outside my safe house and yard was anxiety provoking.  I wasn’t sure I knew who I was so how could I know what I could do?

It seems a bit silly to be proud of doing the household grocery shopping alone, right?  But I was.  The anxiety is improving to the point that I am planning ahead to function on my own again.

Of course it couldn’t go eventless.

As I was putting the groceries in the truck (I was driving the Mitsubishi pickup), I tossed my keys onto the driver’s seat. While loading the grocery bags into the truck cab, I must have hit the door lock with my elbow without noticing, and since locking one door locks them both, as I closed that passenger side door I was locked out of the car.

A young woman stopped and asked what was happening and when I told her she asked if I needed to call someone.  Naturally, the list of phone numbers (family and triple A) were in my purse inside the truck.

But she said “No problem”, crawled up into the bed of the truck, slid the tiny windows in the back of the cab open, crawled nearly completely inside, and lifted the lock.

Now I know not only how to get into the truck if I ever do that again, but that any small to medium sized person can get into the truck even when the doors are locked.

Lesson learned.


In looking at works by Van Gogh this last month, I found a couple of unexpected pieces.  They both caught me by surprise.

When thinking of Van Gogh, a lot of people instantly think of “Starry Night” and the swirling lights.  But there is also a darker side.  I remember the first time I saw “The Potato Eaters”.  It seemed so heavy and grotesque.

The painting that caught my eye now was “A Pair of Shoes” painted in 1887.

It seems sad … as if the person to whom the boots belonged was having a sad, heavy time.  It will take some contemplating.

And as I was contemplating, I ran across another picture of shoes.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Another lesson in the grieving process …

Having the kids move back home to live with your family (which by then is probably just you and your spouse) is a whole lot different from losing your spouse and having the kids back with you, except now it is their family and you are living with them. 

There is a whole different set of dynamics … a set of expectations you hadn’t counted on … trying to settle in your place without causing too much disruption.

Some sections of adjustment are easy and smooth. 

Others can be jarring.  The big hurdle is learning to not take it all personally.

Easy to say …


As a final thought for this week, here’s a prayer for the new month based on a Jewish site I read regularly …


“May it be Your will … to make this new month one for goodness and for blessing. Give us a long life, a peaceful life, a good life, a life of blessing, a life of sustenance, a healthy life, … a life in which there is no embarrassment or humiliation, a life of … honor; … a life in which the requests of our hearts will be fulfilled for the good.”


So … ‘til next week …