Monday, April 30, 2018

The New Place

We completed our move on the 6th. The morning started out sunny but with a biting cold wind. By the time we were done, snow was swirling and the weather had deteriorated into icy rain and snow. We went back to the old apartment to clean but couldn't finish, so we went back on Saturday. It was not easy but we did it.

The new apartment is spacious, and all new. I have 2 sunny windows for my plants, all new electric appliances and a great view. I'm really blessed with the view. It is helping to heal my heart from the loss of the family cottage all those years ago, and is providing a distraction from the loss of my daughter. My blood sugar has improved. I'm walking on average a mile and more just walking back and forth in the apartment, and that's when I remember to carry my phone to record my steps.

The main issue now is getting settled in. In our former apartment there was no room for my hubby to have a computer desk, so he is still using the kitchen table, which means there is nothing but a storage bin under the chandelier where the table should be. We sold our glass coffee table and end tables. We were tired of bumping into the corners. So now, until we find new tables, we have a bin in the middle of the living room floor. Honestly we didn't want to buy all new stuff because, well have you seen the prices? It's just going to take some time, and a friend with a truck. Also, since the old apartment was very small we never completely unpacked. Now I have a second bedroom but other than the closet and one shelf, no place to put stuff. It's a work in progress.

Here are some various pictures I've taken before and after we moved.

Before the appliances:

Master bedroom with bathroom and walk-in closet

Dryer in unit 

Washer and water heater in unit 

Kitchen 

Patio 

Drinking tea on the patio

We had a lot of cold and snow in April 

I love the view

Tree line between farm fields, view to the south

Goose flying by. We also have Sandhill Cranes, and we have seen wild turkeys and deer in the distance

This is actually a breakfast nook but I get to use it for my plants, and the chest freezer

I can relax and look out at this

Yesterday I was putting in screens. The maintenance man was going to do it but hubby was asleep, so I told him I would. Here is the master bedroom, with awesome view

The rocky area adjacent to the patio. They said we can set flower pots on the rocks. The grass is just beginning to grow where all the straw is

The weather is looking like it will stay warm now. Maybe we can get some flowers soon :)

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

Nuthatch

 Chickadees

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.