Stockpiling or the Toilet Paper Story

I have been laughing and telling people how Ken was a pack rat – not that I am not one – and how just now, over a year after his death I was down to the last five rolls of toilet paper he had bought.  It did not fit in the closet, but was piled on the upper floor by a shelf.  As the Japanese would say, a toilet paper yama (mountain). Yesterday at the …

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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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The Necks Project – aka Neck – a – Thon

About a month ago I was at Depth of Field in Minneapolis.  One side of the store  is a futon shop, and the other is a fiber shop.  I was there for a futon frame and then a futon cover.  After making those purchases I walked over to the fiber side.  They told me the store was closing and the yarn was 50% off.  I bought the wild colored Merino wool that remained.  First I …

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Memories from a Year Ago

This time last year Ken was visiting friends in New Mexico at the advice of one of his alternative health care providers.We spoke on the phone daily and each day he told me he was weaker.  While he was gone I was lining up things he could no longer do – plow the drive, get wood cut and stacked.  Friends helped with all these things.  I am grateful. People asked how I could “let him …

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A Deal is a Deal

Ken always liked a deal.  I also like a deal.  Within a couple weeks two places have offered yarn discounted at 50%!  That is a deal.  And I took advantage of it, and bought several skeins of Merino wool for projects.             When Ken was alive he held skeins so I could wind balls.  Now he is gone, and a friend showed me her basic swift and ball winder.    …

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Soup

I love soup.  Since Ken’s death I like making batches of soup.  I can heat up a bowl and return quickly to the task at hand.  Last Tuesday I made three batches: squash from a bland squash, cream of broccoli from some broccoli on the edge of freezer burn, and some chicken wild rice. Today it was lentil with onion, tomato, bell and hot pepper, carrots, and soup stock

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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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Missing Ken on His Birthday: Many Reasons for Gratitude

Thursday was Ken’s birthday.  It was a tough day for me.  As I have said often this year, the firsts and the lasts are the most difficult: the first time I do something alone that we had done together for decades, the last time I eat something Ken grew or raised for example.        Thursday I was coming home from visiting my parents.  It was so good to see them.  There was much …

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Finding Continuity in Baking Bread

As I re-construct my life as a single person I search for continuity.  Swimming with distance goals is one aspect. Baking bread is another.  Ken left me a sourdough starter and a friend, Sylvia brought it back to life and showed me how she bakes bread.  I shall be always grateful. Baking bread, like any skill takes practice.  After a few months of practice, I was not satisfied.  Then I ran out of my regular …

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Pets Rule

It rained last night.  It is cool, cloudy, and damp.  I was thinking about staying inside today, making bread, working on sorting paper,  and maybe taking a nap.  Once I fed the dog, cat, and chickens I headed over to make my bed.  Oscar and Big Red had claimed turf for napping and were giving me the Do Not Disturb looks. So I left them. After getting the bread dough mixed, I checked on them; …

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