The Bedroom

This morning I read a post by Gobblefunk Words, who got it from Sparks from a Combustible Mind, who got it from Pressing Patience – reminds me of that old game we used to play when we were kids called Post Office – that I thought was fun, so I decided to join in the crowd. Once again, me avoiding something that needs to be done.

Do you have a “before bed” ritual that you do, well… before going to bed? If so, how long have you had this ritual? How uncomfortable are you if you cannot, for some reason, perform it? Not really – although I do take the dogs out before heading to bed in the eternal hope that they’ll let me sleep late. Otherwise, it’s just get me into bed before I fall asleep.

Does sleeping in someone else’s space make you uneasy? or can you sleep anywhere? Not usually, although sometimes it might take me longer to fall asleep.

Where is the strangest place you’ve spent the night? How well did you sleep there, if at all? Gosh, have I slept in a strange place? Define “strange”. Perhaps many years ago when I was very pregnant with my daughter and we decided to go camping – although we had only rudimentary camping equipment. Of course, it rained, and we ended up sleeping inside our station wagon. Three of us, husband, son and me – one very pregnant. Did I tell you that? I slept, but I cannot say I slept well.

When you were a child, did you have a preferred blanket or toy you couldn’t sleep without? Not that I recall, but then it’s been a very very long time since I was a child.

If you could build the perfect mattress for you, what would it be made of? I sometimes think a feather mattress would be heaven – in the winter especially. Probably not so much in the summer, because in my imagination it would envelop my body.

Do you sleep with your bedroom door opened or closed? or does it matter? Although I don’t like closed doors, I can sleep if I have to close my bedroom door. I just do it only when absolutely necessary.

What is the longest consecutive period of time time you’ve gone without sleep? Probably about 36 hours, only once. It was not a happy experience.

Contrarily, what’s the longest consecutive period of time you’ve slept? Hmmm. Probably about ten or eleven hours. My body seems happiest if it can have about 9 hours of sleep, but I usually only get that if I take a nap in the afternoon. Those dogs I mentioned – or at least one of the dogs.

Have you been informed that you snore? or do you sleep with someone who snores? What, if anything, do you do about it? I do snore, and so did husband. When the other person’s snoring disturbed one of us, we’d poke the offender. Now, the dogs don’t seem disturbed about my snoring, and if the one that sleeps with me snores, I poke it.

Everyone dreams, it’s a scientific fact, but do you — in general — remember your dreams? I often remember at least parts of a dream when I first wake – but that memory leaves very quickly normally. I more often will remember the feeling of the dream, whether is was peaceful, happy, frantic, frightening, stressful.

Do you think that the dreams you remember are significant in any way? Yes, I do think dreams are significant. I’m just not sure how to interpret them. I remember once reading something that mentioned dreaming in color, and that night I dreamed my mother got a new pair of shoes, which were a bright turquoise. Everything else was black and white.

How difficult/easy is it for you to go to sleep once you lie down at night? and/or wake up once you get out of bed? I usually fall asleep immediately when I go to bed, and generally am awake as soon as I get up, although that doesn’t mean I move quickly. One of the treats of retirement is not having to move quickly in the morning, and I take advantage of that to its fullest.

Have you ever had an episode of sleep paralysis? Not that I know of. Although if some part of me was paralyzed it would probably be the brain, so I wouldn’t remember it.

Do you wear bedclothes of any kind? or do you prefer to be au naturel when slipping under the covers? Underwear with either a tank top or short, light gown. When staying in a hotel, I wear pajamas or a longer gown.

If you have pets — cats, dogs, and the like — do they share your sleeping space or is it a “humans only” area? I have two dogs, and I don’t think there is a single human only space in my house. When my old furry girl was younger, she slept with husband and me. Now she is too old and arthritic to get on the bed, so she sleeps nearby and her younger sister sleeps on the bed. Good thing, because they’re labs and two of them on the bed would mean I’d have to sleep somewhere else.

When it comes to going to bed and waking up, are you on a schedule (bed by X up at Y) or do you just go with the flow of your body’s rhythms? Being retired, I can now go with the flow of my body’s rhythms, which seem to be pretty consistent. To bed somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30 normally – although getting up in the morning is dictated by younger dog – left to my own devices, I would sleep at least another hour I’m sure.

Have you ever had hypnagogic hallucinations? They’re very common… Not that I recall.

Can you sleep without blankets? or must you have something covering you when you sleep? When I was very young, I always had to have my feet covered because I just knew there were things under by bed that would grab my toes if they were exposed. If it’s very hot, I will sleep mostly uncovered now, but usually need at least a sheet over part of my body.

Do you need silence to sleep? white noise? or do fall in the middle and can sleep no matter what’s going on in the background? If I’m tired, I’ll sleep no matter what.

Do you have any superstitions or taboos regarding the bedroom and/or sleeping? For example, no shoes and/or hats on the bed. No, no superstitions. I just try not to put any dark colored clothing on the bed, but that’s because it will immediately be covered by white lab hair.

And that is that. Just a quick update on the internet situation – after an hour or more of the repair technician checking this and checking that, it was determined that my iMac is the problem. Okey dokey then. After he left, I did some Googling (because how else am I to learn anything?) and it appears it might be the result of a recent operating system update. I found suggestions to resolve the problem, which involve removing some files from the operating system. Scary stuff, but I’ll give it a go and hope for the best. In the meantime, I have turned the wireless on the Mac off and disconnect the ethernet cable when I am not using it. That works – last night I was able to watch some more of Longmire.

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Share Your World – May 22, 2017

I’m sitting here waiting for the internet repair guy to show up – because the new modem arrived yesterday – after nearly an hour of me trying to get it set up and connected, another one-hour call to tech support to get it connected was required because although their setup page said it was connected, the internet light on the modem continued to blink red and loading a web page was not an option. The outcome was that they got me connected – at the same turtle-slow speed I’ve been experiencing, which prompted a repair ticket order. So here’s hoping it’s an easy fix of their equipment in the box at the edge of my yard, and not something that will take forever and a day and cost an arm and a leg. Hoping. I am hesitant to start anything with the anticipation that the repair guy will show up as soon as I get involved, knowing full well he will not show up until I am involved in something.

So – I will play the sharing game with Cee, jumping forward to this week’s questions with a possibility that I may go backwards to last week’s questions at another time. Maybe. No promises.

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? Take a road trip through the British Isles and western Europe, as well as a Mediterranean cruise. I want to visit Santorini, Greece.

How often do you get a haircut? That varies, depending on my mood, as so many things do. Since I had chemo, my hair has never really come back, so although I used to have very thick, heavy hair, I now have very thin, fine hair. Frustrating, to say the least. For a long time, I kept it short short short, so I was able to cut it myself using clippers and the 1″ attachment. Now, however, I’m trying to let it grow a little longer, so it will be back to the salon for haircuts. How often? When it starts to make me crazy, however often that may be. Perhaps I should say crazy-er.

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search or numeric puzzles? Well, here we are again – it depends. Sometimes I’m in the mood for jigsaw puzzles, sometimes crossword, sometimes word search – never numeric.

How many cities have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities. I don’t know, I really don’t. I’ve been in 35 states (or was it 38? Or more?), lived in many of them, sometimes more than once. I’m going to pick a number out of the air, and guess around 50. Or it could be 75. Or any other number around there. I can only say that when I applied for a civil service job many years ago and had to fill out the paperwork for a security clearance, I had to have my mother send me a list. Not sure how the heck she remembered where we’d been when.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for a safe return home from our trip to Santa Fe. I am grateful for the opportunity to make that trip to spend time with special friends. I am looking forward to more spring weather, getting more yard work done, enjoying pleasant early evenings on my deck.

Today, a few photos taken in Santa Fe, focusing on food and drink. I have my priorities.

We had delicious drinks, an amazing hot chocolate on our first day there when the weather was showery

And of course, a margarita with a late lunch and wine with cheese and crackers later in the afternoon

And we ate – brunch or late lunches out and snacks at home later in the evenings.

That’s all for now. I’ll share more photos of our trip another time.

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Cheers and Grumbles

Or should that be Grumbles and Cheers? At the moment, it feels as if there could be more Grumbles than Cheers. But let’s start off with a cheer: our weather has finally turned to spring, although it does seem to be on a temporary mad dash to summer. The skies are blue, sunshine is bright, and temperatures are where I like them – in the mid 70s, although we are to hit 80 for a couple of days. I’ll take that – green is a much lovelier color than white – then again, white is not a color, is it?

Grumble: I am on eternal hold with my internet provider right now. I have been on the phone with them for nearly an hour already – first with an obviously low-level tech support person whose accent made it difficult to understand her – then off to another person, who was very clear, but could not do what needed to be done, so now I wait – for one more person. Since I’ve returned from my trip to Santa Fe, my internet speed has been horrid – bouncing around like a maniac, but rarely ever hitting even .5 Mbps – out here in my rural area, the maximum available is 1.5 Mbps, which is not great, but if it would stay there, I could live with it. So – the first tech support person said I either need a new modem or I need to upgrade to a higher speed – I’m not sure I understand that rationale, but okay. Transferred to Douglas, who said a higher speed is not available (I already knew that, really I did), and I’m leasing the modem so why they didn’t just arrange to send me a replacement, he could not say. Transfer back to a person who can arrange for a new modem. Here I am, on eternal hold. Have I told you before that calling tech support is probably my very least favorite thing to do? Have I told you it’s even lower on the scale than cooking or cleaning house? That’s pretty darn low.

Cheer: I roasted a chicken yesterday, made a fruit salad and a green salad, so my dinner is set for a couple of days anyway. That’s the way I like it.

Grumble: the grasses are doing a great job of growing – in my flower beds.

Cheer: I’m breathing.

Grumble: One part of my sprinkler system seems to be not working as it should. I’m trying to understand why with little success.

Cheer: Maybe the pine cones are done falling now? Maybe.

Grumble: I seem to have had no time to play with my inks since I got back from my trip. Why is that? I think it’s called laundry, yard work, housework, lower back killing me.

Cheer: Tomorrow I go see my chiropractor to see if she can make my lower back stop killing me.

Grumble: so far I have not managed to get any photos of the trip to Santa Fe together to do a blog or two to share our adventures. I’m trying to get my photos into iCloud, unsuccessfully, probably because of my internet.

Cheer: More or less cheer. I finally got a tech support person who was easily understood and who actually knows stuff. Of course, we had to redo the things we’d already done, and she says the modem is getting the speed it should, although the speed is not making it out of the modem. I’ll be getting a new modem tomorrow. We will hope that solves the problem.

Grumble: Why can’t we just be put through to a person who is competent in the first place? Oh yeah, I know – there are many of us out here that think the CD holder in a computer is a cup holder. Sigh.

Final grumble: why is it third world countries have faster, better internet that rural areas of the U.S., which is supposed to be so far ahead of other countries?

I shall end this now, offering apologies, and promising better posts in the future. Near future, I hope.

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Share Your World – May 8, 2017

I’ve been sitting here at the computer, checking Facebook, reading and answering my mail, telling myself it’s time to get moving – after all, there are things to be done to prepare for my trip that begins tomorrow. Ahhh, yes, but just one more thing. . . so this final (maybe) thing before I get busy will be sharing with Cee for this second week of May.

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot? That depends on the temperature. In the cold of winter I usually have socks and warm slippers on. In the spring, I will usually wear just slippers, and when it warms up more to say, the mid 70s, sandals. On really warm days, I might go barefoot, but there will always be something with hard soles nearby in the event I have to go outside, where there is a lot of gravel.

What was your favorite food when you were a child? Mashed potatoes topped with butter and peas, or corn. Suspect that is still one of my favorite things to eat, although I have mashed potatoes less frequently now. I don’t need gravy and rarely make it.

Are you a listener or talker? Depends on the situation. In a group of people I’m comfortable with, probably a little of each, although sometimes I think I should listen more and talk less. With people I don’t know well, I’m more likely to be a listener. Most of the time. Just don’t push any of my buttons, because then I might say more than I should.

Favorite thing to (pick one): Photograph? Write? Or Cook? Oh gosh. Photograph or write. Although my photographing has taken back seat to painting of late – or maybe there’s just not been a lot to stir me to take pictures. Of the two, I doubt I could choose my most favorite.

What is the easiest way for your to learn something new? By reading, by seeing and doing, in a classroom? I am a written instruction person. I need to read, watch videos, then try it. Once I’ve read or watched the basics, I will go on my own and learn more by doing. When it comes to something like driving to a new place, if I’m a passenger I will not be able to tell you how we got there. In order to do that, I’d need to be the driver – with either a GPS giving instructions or written instructions (thank you Google maps) nearby for the first time or two.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for the few days we’ve had that felt like spring. I am less grateful for the pine cones that just keep falling from my trees. I am looking forward to the trip to visit a friend with another dear friend, and I am grateful for having a dog sitter for my furry girls.

To me, this is one of the sure signs of spring:

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The Mind Wanders

Originally I was going to post yesterday – with nothing in particular to say, just letting my mind meander as it chose. But I wanted to add some photos and since my Android phone is usually in my pocket, it’s become my go-to camera of late. A professional photographer, I am not. I had it set to upload to Dropbox as a standard thing, but for some reason it seems to lose it’s connection to Wi-Fi and the last several photos I’ve taken did not upload. After spending Friday afternoon and a good part of Saturday morning trying to get them uploaded, I gave up and went to Google for answers. First thing – had to download an app, which downloaded fine, but seemed a bit unwilling to actually perform for me. That obstacle overcome, the pictures were finally available for me on the Mac, but by then I was irritated and frustrated and decided I needed a walk around the yard.So much for posting!

All of which was the nail in the coffin for keeping this phone when I am eligible to upgrade my device in a week or so. This phone does strange things now and then – it certainly can’t be anything I’m doing! – like move icons off my “front page” when I’m not looking, take me to strange places when I haven’t asked, occasionally ask me from my pocket what it was I said because it didn’t understand, when I didn’t said anything to it. Does it have ghosts inside? I got this brand, which I shall not name, because comparisons I read between it and the iPhone put it just a wee bit over the edge in some areas that I thought mattered. However, I have an iPad and a Mac, and they don’t play nice with an Android. So. Next phone will be an iPhone, and photos can go into icloud – and if they don’t, I promise not to say the words I will be thinking – where they can be accessed from all of my gizmos. Hopefully my carrier will have a deal available for me.

In my walks around the yard, I have found signs of life, signs that spring will settle in here once Old Man Winter decides it’s time for him to hibernate – he’s a grumpy old man and does not give up control easily. There is the Oregon Grape Holly planted several years ago that has decided to bloom for the very first time. The blossoms will be followed with little purple berries (hence the “Grape” in the name), and I will share a photo of that when it happens.

There are the little white daisies (English Daisies, perhaps?) that pop up here and there in the lawn – I think these are hangovers from a seed mixture we once spread that was supposed to be a no-mow grass/low flower mixture and might have been had our native grasses not been so aggressive and intrusive. Anyway, I love these little daisies, and last time I mowed, I mowed around them – I don’t think I’ll get away with that this time.

Yesterday I caught a photo of two of our Orioles, and posted it on Facebook, referring to them as a “pair”. Because before the photo they were engaging in an activity I viewed as romantic – after I posted (because you want to take every opportunity possible to appear foolish, so don’t check details before you speak), I looked at the photo more closely, and realized the Oriole only partially in the photo at the top is not a female, but another male. Hmmm. Guess that “romantic” activity was really a disagreement of sorts. Just proving I’m human, people!

There have long been little chipmunks in my yard over the years, but a friend has another kind of critter that I’ve always thought was a larger chipmunk – a Golden Mantle. Googling it, however, it is referred to as a ground squirrel. I suppose chipmunks are also ground squirrels though, so perhaps they are related. In any case, last week one appeared on my front deck for the first time

so to encourage it’s presence, I put out a tin with some treats in it.

The next day I had to go to town, so I picked up some unshelled peanuts for it, which I’ve been putting in the tin – they’ve been disappearing, but I’ve not seen what was taking them, so I opted to believe it was the Golden Mantle. Yesterday, however, I caught sight of the diner. Not the squirrel at all, but one of the Blue Jays. Yet he has taken none of the other seed, which is what made me think it was the squirrel. So much for my good intentions.

Very soon, Tuesday actually, a friend and I will be getting on a jet plane – but we do know when we will be back again. We are going to visit another friend who lived in our neighborhood for a few years and then migrated to Santa Fe, New Mexico. You may recall that I visited her in March of 2015, but my traveling companion this time has not been there yet. So we are off on a week-long adventure, one in which I suspect there will be more that we want to do than we have energy for. We are all excited, although the actual flights are less exciting. To be clear, it’s not the flights that I’m not looking forward to, it’s the process required to get on the flights. The skies are not as friendly as they used to be. My furry girls will be staying home with their dog-sitter. I’m sure I’ll hear about it when I return, despite the fact that they do like their sitter.

If I do not play with Cee tomorrow, I wish you all enough until I get back. There will be no posts other than on Facebook while I am gone, because the process of getting the photos from my phone (which will serve as my camera in an effort to lighten the load in my purse) to the iPad is more than I want to deal with. Correction – I wish you all enough always.

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Share Your World – May 1, 2017

Somehow another week has passed – and the world survived. My foot is improving, and I have hopes that it will be “normal” by the time I head out of town next week. In the meantime, before I must prepare myself for a trip to town – because my body deserves a massage – I want to share with Cee, and all of you, one more time.

Would you rather live where it is always hot or always cold? I know I am not the first to say this, but I would prefer moderation. I do not like extremes in much of anything, but certainly not in weather. Mid 70s to 80s works fine with me, although I don’t mind 50s and 60s for short periods of time. I could probably deal with a one-month long winter with cold temperatures – after that, it’s outstaying its welcome.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself? I prefer short hair for myself. However, my hair has never returned to the thick, coarse texture of pre-chemotherapy, and I am most unhappy with the thin, fine hair I’ve got now. Although I guess I should be glad I have hair at all.

What is your favorite month of the year? Probably May – depending on when spring decides to show up where I live. And October – again depending on when fall decides to appear. Some years it could be September. I can never decide whether my favorite season is spring or fall, because by the time each rolls around I am grateful. Spring, because it means the end of winter, and fall because it means the end of yard work.

What is the easiest way for your to learn something new? By reading, by seeing and doing, in a classroom? I am a follower of instructions, although once instructions have been read, I need to do it myself to really learn it. Whenever something new crops up that I decide I want to learn, I immerse myself completely. Although I am a half-way person when it comes to chores (like housework and yard work), I am definitely not halfway on things that really interest me.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for the improvement in my stupid twisted foot that has occurred during this past week. I am grateful for the sunny days. I am grateful for the arrival of our summer birds and flowering plants. I would be grateful for grass that would grow to a length chosen by me, then just stay there. In this week that has now arrived, I look forward to more sunny skies, getting the phlox plants I ordered and the crocosmia gifted to me in the ground, and life to continue peacefully.

Now I’d like to share a few spring photos, taken as I wander about my yard. The first is a branch of one of my aspen trees – I’ve never before seen the fluffy little whatever it is.

And one of my favorite gifts of spring, the American Goldfinch.

Finally, the awakening of the Maple tree.

That’s it for now. I wish you all enough of everything.

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Share Your World – April 24, 2017

I have been fighting with my printer this morning – lately, it’s decided not to connect with the network to allow me to print things when I want to or need to. It’s really very annoying, and I’m resisting the urge to throw it to the ground and stomp on it. My right foot, the one I twisted so energetically, would not stomp well, but I can lean on something and stomp with the left foot. Instead, I think I’ll share some more of my world, then do a shut down and restart of computer and printer, just to see if that works.

Wanting something to quench your thirst, what would you drink? To really quench thirst, I’d go for water. It has to be cold though – in the winter just out of the refrigerator without ice is fine, but in the summer, ice is a must. In warm weather, I do enjoy a cold beer after working outside, but nothing really quenches thirst like water for me.

Complete this sentence: Never In My Life Have I…. Won anything. I finally gave up on buying into opportunities to win that golden prize, or the million dollars, or even a set of knives, because it’s just not going to happen. If I want it, I’d better work for it. I guess I was not born with the winning gene.

If you could be given any gift what would it be? That’s a tough one. I have the gift of my children, my friends, life, a home, my furry girls, space to call my own. I think I’ll go the greedy route and say the gift I would like would be enough money to travel more; enough money to donate to those causes I view as worthy.

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something productive? I usually don’t have a problem sleeping, but sometimes I will wake in the wee hours and sleep does not come back to find me. I lay as still and quietly as possible, because there is that eternal hope that sleep will find me soon – although it usually takes a couple of hours to do that. I try to keep my mind blank while I wait, but generally sleep isn’t returning because my mind thinks it needs to worry about things that don’t need to be worried about, at least not in the dark hours of morning.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful that life as I know it continues. I am grateful that I have been able to divorce myself, at least separate myself a little, from our political climate – a self-preservation separation. I am looking forward to the sunny days the forecast says are coming, and the continued healing of the pulled muscle in my foot so that I will soon be walking normally, rather than almost normally. I am grateful for the young man I was able to hire to rake up the pine needles and pine cones in my yard because that’s something I no longer care to deal with.

Now, I want to share my alcohol ink painting of the Homeless Man, from a photo my son took a few years ago. My Facebook friends have already seen this, so they can go no further if they choose.

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