Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Crazy Weather

Half the nation is suffering through a long, drawn out spell of winter. In fact it's snowing right now. Areas north of me could get up to 11 inches! In April. We could get around 3 inches or so. We will have a break in the weather on Friday, which is great, because that is the day we get the keys to our apartment. There is a small chance we could get the keys on Thursday, if it's cleaned by then. We hope so, because I could get my plants and a lot of smaller boxes moved over and out of the way.

This morning's weather was gloomy with a misty rain. We had a 9 am appointment to sign the lease. A pair of Sandhill Cranes were trumpeting in the field. Red-winged Blackbirds were calling. The misty weather lent a mood to the fields and distant hills. I felt like I was at the cottage. It was amazing! Anyone who knows me well enough knows how much I hate looking at the clouds through power lines, or missing sunsets for lack of windows with a view. They might know I feel boxed in and claustrophobic when surrounded by too many buildings, too much noise and too much city. They might have heard my sob story about having to sell the cottage. I feel like this place is a dream come true.

We looked over the lease and asked plenty of questions. Yes, we can put up a Shepard's hook and a bird feeder. We can place flower pots on the gravel area, meaning I can finally grow some sun-loving flowers again. It already feels like home and we haven't even moved in. We get 2 months rent-free and a $250 gift card.

The next time I write will probably be after the 6th. Catch you on the flip side!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Move-in Date

It looks like we will be moving April 6. There is a slight chance it could be sooner, but not by much. We were hoping it would be the end of March. Don't think that will happen. April 6 is 18 days away.  Thankfully the noisy people upstairs will be moving out the end of this month. Sure, I could complain, but most of the problem is construction, the walls, ceilings and floors are paper thin. The floors creak and every footstep is amplified. I guess we were lucky the bird woman was quiet, even though she hated everyone for no reason.

Not a lot going on today. It's sunny, but then it has been. I saw a Robin today. It's been so dry I don't know how they can find anything to eat. It usually starts raining in April.

I did some re-potting yesterday. The African Mask (alocasia) that belonged to my daughter isn't doing very well, nor is the prayer plant that was in her funeral arrangement. They might be a lost cause. Don't know. I gave away the NOID African Violet that came with the funeral arrangement from Walmart (where she worked), but I kept a leaf. The baby is growing well. I have no idea what color it will be.

For the most part I've stopped crying, but my heart is heavy. I have a profound sadness cast over me that no doubt will be there for quite some time yet. I hope the new place will help. I will have a patio, and can place flower pots on the gravel along the apartment, so I will be able to grow sun-loving flowers again. I haven't had Marigolds since 2014.

All these years I have kept one miniature named African Violet, Optimara Rose Quartz. I was shopping at Frank's Nursery and Crafts with my mom in the 90's when I bought it. She bought a blue one, which she kept for years. I inherited it after she passed and gave starts away to several people before we moved. They promised to share it back, but they all lost it. That made me really sad because I would have loved to have both of them. At least I still have my original plant. It's very dry in the apartment, so I've been keeping it in a ziplock bag. Yesterday I was looking in the cupboard and noticed a big pickle jar. I'm happy my violet has its own terrarium now.

Here is another plant I like. It belonged to my daughter. We were shopping together at Stein's Garden Center when she bought it. Sanseveria Mikado. It's a miniature.

My plants are full of memories. Plants with stories. Memories of people I love and miss. I still can imagine my daughter fussing over her plants, asking advise, sharing her discoveries and us going out to look for succulents, all laughter and giggles and girl stuff.

I wonder if anyone else does this...when I read a date or write a date I am suddenly transported in my mind in thoughts to that time. When I wrote about Marigolds and 2014 I suddenly thought of summer and my plants on the porch when we still lived in Indiana, and a panicky feeling because my daughter was still alive then. I'm still depressed. I know that. It takes time.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunny, With Teeth

My hubby told me that one, before he came to the US. It means the sun is shining but the wind is cold, so it's like the sun has teeth. That's how it's been for the last week, sunny, with teeth. We tried to walk at the Horicon Marsh. We were bundled up but not enough. Long johns might have made it doable. Horicon is northwest of Hartford.

 Just before we got to Horicon Marsh I spotted a pair of Sandhill Cranes

The marsh was frozen and the mid-morning light did not add any interest for pictures.

A beaver den next to the boardwalk

We left after a short walk and went to Harrington State Park Beach instead. With a light offshore breeze it was tolerable there, so we took a long walk. 

Intricate clouds

I couldn't stop taking pictures of this. 

Rock portraits

Waiting for spring



My hubby was feeding them sunflower seeds :)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

It's March Already

And I'm not writing much. I've been impatient to move, a bit moody when alone all day, and really enjoying time with hubby on his days off. To top it off, my stupid left shoulder is acting wonky. I thought I was getting it loosened up, but I'm just managing to mess it up. It hurts and looses power in certain positions. It hurts a lot when I put on a coat. It clicks. And when I lie on it, it pops. I suppose I will need to mention it to my doctor.

In other news, the construction on our new apartment it now ahead of schedule. We might move by the end of this month, so I am stepping up the packing again.

The bird lady upstairs moved out the last day of the month. That meant the maintenance man and his wife had to shampoo and paint as soon as she turned in her key, so the new girl could move in the next day. They were up there painting until 1 am, trying to be quiet, so we could sleep.  The new girl moved in March first. It has been noisy most of the time. Well, the floors creak, and I think she spent the last two days unpacking, so there was a lot of clunking, stomping and creaking. Our new apartment will have extra thick, well insulated and sound-proof flooring, so, peace at last!

Hubby is off tomorrow! Just checked his schedule. Yay!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pike Lake

My neighbor and I had another Girl's Day Out. We decided to go to Grafton. On the way there, I wanted to stop at the Pike Lake office and purchase a 2018 State Park sticker. I asked the lady, "Who posts to the Friends of Pike Lake facebook page?" Turns out she does! We chatted awhile, and she said I am her biggest follower. How cool is that!

My neighbor and I had a good time shopping in Grafton. After we came home I started dough for homemade pizza, and had her and her husband over for dinner. We all told stories, looked at pictures, ate pizza and laughed a lot.

I came home with two more plants. I honestly don't know how I keep fitting them in my overcrowded light stand.
 Haworthiopsis coarctata var. greenii

Haworthia pygmaea

My neighbor scored a miniature Gasteria.

Count Down

Tuesday.....4 days!

My hubby really needs to be home. He has done all he can. His mom is going to have a tough road to recovery. I am not going to elaborate, because I know he wouldn't want me to. Allah willing, God willing, she will recover and walk again.

We are getting warmer and sunnier days now, after 9 days of snow storms. Chicago and Indiana got hit the hardest. Milwaukee got a lot, too, being next to the Lake. Here in Hartford we had about the half the amount, and a couple sunny days in between snows.

Tomorrow my neighbor and I are having another Girl's Day Out. I am driving to Grafton and we are going to shop. Then I'm making home made pizza for her and her husband.

I also need to stop by the Pike Lake ranger's office and buy my sticker for the car. It will be good for the year, and for every State Park in Wisconsin. I was thinking to drive up to the road where I took a couple pictures last year, so I could capture the trees with the winter snow.Not sure that road will be open.

I am mesmerized by these two pictures. They must subconsciously remind me of some special time in my past Wisconsin adventures. I first set foot in Wisconsin the end of August 1969. I have loved it ever since.

The pictures were taken in November 2017, in this location (see red circle). If the road to the campground is open, I will be able to drive to the location. If not, I will just wait. I'm not planning to get stuck on any snowy roads.

In case you want to see the full map, it is located here:

I am off to bed.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Home Soon

My hubby will be home late on the 17th. We miss each other, a lot. He has done double duty caring for his mom, and has ensured someone will be there to help after he leaves. His mom still needs a lot of help as she still cannot put any weight on the ankle that was cracked. In 3 weeks the cast will come off and hopefully, gradually, she will begin to walk. We all know it will be painful for some time.

Speaking of pain, a week ago or so I became inspired to start exercising. It's been a long time. The way I exercise would be described as some sort of combination of repetitive movements and interpretive dance. I just make it up as I go, to music I like. My first go at it sounded like a fifth grader cracking their knuckles, only it was every joint in my body. Honestly, I've been frozen in grief for a long time. I had to get moving. My left shoulder was hurting and loosing mobility. I've got it unstuck now.

I gave up butter, again. I gave it up years ago when it caused pain. I was told I had an inflamed gall bladder. I stopped eating butter and the pain went away. For some reason I thought I could start eating butter again, with disastrous heartburn. I'm on PPI meds for 90 days.

In a previous post I mentioned I needed an estrogen cream. Not going to happen. My insurance won't pay for it. I read that coconut oil is soothing. Will give it a go.

I've been trying really hard to stay within my calorie allotment. I use MyFitnessPal on my phone to track my food. It works well. The belly must go. It's not good for my health. I'm diabetic, and bellies don't bode well for diabetics.

I think I have lost a couple pounds. I see my doc again the end of this month, and I will have an accurate measure. I'm going to talk to her about my digestion, and why I'm having a difficult time with it. Maybe I need digestive enzymes. Or she will order some tests. We will get to the bottom of this.

Yesterday I ate an avocado, the first one I've had in maybe a year or more. Since avocado usually make my mouth itch, I made guacamole out of it, and ate it with some crackers, since I didn't have chips on hand. I did that at 6 pm. I was still burping avocado at 2 am, however I finally felt like I was able to sleep by about 2:30. About a week ago I made sour kraut and onions with a hot dog. That also sat on my stomach half the night. I've been eating early but some things seem to sit.