Three Survivor Stories

This year I read three stories of strong women from the Middle East who survived great hardship. Two received the Nobel Peace Prize. I think I needed to read of their resilience. Lest we say their stories are unique to the Middle East, I would point out that there is sex trafficking in this country, domestic violence, and rape. Until we can solve our own problems here, I would avoid pointing fingers elsewhere! The first …

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Lap Swimming – Reaching Goals

I find lap swimming a good exercise for me. I swam laps before I met Ken. I used to teach swimming and work as a lifeguard. I love water. With a bad knee and previous rotator cuff shoulder problems, it’s a good choice. I have been inching up the number of laps to avoid injury. And yesterday with the threat of a large storm keeping me home later in the week I pushed to 50 …

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Morning Chores in the Winter Light

This morning I awoke to snow. It was dark later than usual, so I did chores later than usual. It was that beautiful blue winter morning light. Geese love this weather. They were waddling, chatting, flapping wings and saying it’s party time. Since it is above freezing now, there is rain. So we will not get the one foot of snow here; maybe someone elsewhere will. Oscar is glad to be outside, but he wonders …

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The Tree this Year

I wanted a tree this year.  So I walked south of the house with a sled with bow saw, loppers, measuring tape, and rope.  I found a tree with few branches on one side (it could go by the wall), cut it, pulled it with the rope, loaded it on the sled, pulled it up to the house, measured it, and cut to length and lopped extra branches.  It came in the house and into …

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A Quiet Holiday Season this Year

Transition.  I am in transition.  For over a decade prior to 2017 my holidays were spent with my in-laws.  Nice people, but we have never become close.  By the time I entered their world, they had their traditions and daily lives, and I was not a part of them. I always felt like I had entered someone else’s high school reunion; I rarely knew the verbal shorthand or got the inside joke.  I was an …

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Wood Progress

During Wednesday’s sunny weather I sorted wood.  Friends had cut 40″ wood to shorter lengths that would fit in the cook stove.  It isn’t an even division, so I sort longer (but short enough to fit in cook stove) and stack.  I am on the second rick of that wood.          Short pieces go into bulb crates and come into the house for burning.            I filled not …

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Winterizing Alone – Last Task

Before I left to visit my parents, I had been doing winterizing tasks to keep heat in the house  (plastic on French doors appears as an earlier blog post). The last task was getting the hard sheets of plastic to act as a storm window over the screen door.  So I got out the screw gun and a step stool and went to it!  Done!

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Cleaning and Clearing

Since Ken’s death I have been cleaning, sorting and clearing.  As I planned to visit my parents, I decided to skip to the top floor and clear a nice space for my farm sitter to sleep. The area was all torn up as I had given away a queen sized futon from a double bed frame (it was as Garrison Keillor would call it a deep valley bed).  When friends took the futon, they offered …

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Wood, Wood, Wood

Friends have been helping me cut wood for this winter – and maybe winters to come!         When Ken died there were several piles of wood split and cut to 40″ for the side stoke holes on the wood pottery kiln.  I had never used a chainsaw. Ken had bought a small one for me, but I couldn’t start it;  Ken would start it and then use it…   Since 40′ does …

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