Saturday, November 17, 2007

Love for sale

Well... not really, but we did have a patio sale today! I went in with Rob, Ione, Steve, Harold, and Kathy, and we got rid of some things. I made $15 which was the most of anyone in our group. YAY! I sold the old lamp that I took out of my kitchen, some DVD's and CD's of Michael's, and some other miscellaneous stuff.

The day was perfect -- just a few wispy clouds, no wind, and temps in the mid-70's.

After the sale, our group went out to lunch at Chuy's where I got chicken soup and delicious crusty garlic bread. Then we went to a small outlet mall on the south side of town. I bought some new soft, warm jammies and a robe.

I didn't get any photos taken today, but I'll do it before any work gets done. I am still collecting visions of the sort of thing I want to do for my walls around my little patio. I'm pretty excited about all of this. They promised me mid-December for completion of my awning, and I'm going to be even more ready for it by then!

I was a little bit sad during parts of the day today, remembering Michael and what it felt like to be with him. I was looking at what has become my favorite picture of him with me:

.... He looks so healthy here in early 2006, (and he was then), and tonight I miss him so. I just want to look into those adoring eyes again, to hear his voice, to feel his hand holding mine. And I want his assurance that I'm going to be ok, that the pain will ease, that I will be able to somehow find real joy in my life.

Whew! That was a sobfest. Now I'm back.

It's not that my life is a whirlpool of despair; it's not. I am getting into some new routines, new habits, and I am taking some pride in the life that I'm making. I'm doing things that I've never done before, and I'm accomplishing them with a sort of timid grace that I never knew I possessed.

But I have fears that I never had before, too. I worry too much about what people are going to think or say. I worry about my taxes. I worry about not being able to give enough.

I am worrying about my upcoming Thanksgiving trip to Denver. I have flown alone - once for a teacher convention - but I don't remember what that was like. I am sure that Michael made my arrangements for me and I do remember that he took me to the airport and back home. I'm just a little frightened.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Raindrops on Roses

Today we had just a wee bit of rain! I counted 12 drops on my deck. :) It is the sort of rain that makes me feel like going out in it so that's what I did. Of course, then it stopped.

After my walk and shower this morning, I did laundry. Then John came over and helped me to finish up the light project. And it is finished and the lights look grand! The pendants we put on the track lighting fixture needed to have pole extenders and so I found aluminum tubes at Lowe's. Some sandpaper roughed them up, giving them a beautiful brushed finish like the other lamp's extenders. So I'm happy!

Ok, you want to see a pic of the lights. In these photos, I have on only the new lights in the kitchen. There are other lights in the ceiling and in the beams. It is a very bright room. Please click these photos to enlarge them.

In this next photo, you can see the enclosure that I made for Maddy under the desk. She has her own window, too, under the desk. There are privacy panels around under the desk for all the other windows, but not at Maddy's window. I made her enclosure with a baby gate and friction-fit curtain rods. It closes with a small bungee cord.

And here's another couple of bonus shots from the kitchen toward the living room. In this first shot, you see my computer. That's where I have been sitting to do all my blog entries since I got here. The computer is sitting on both of the wood boards that Bob made for me and Michael. The space in between the boards helps to dissipate the heat from the computer:

And here's another one of me. :)
I am working on some landscaping for the new place, now that I'm all moved in! :) I am going to be putting in a sort of little patio in the front, with small tiled block "retaining walls" and some kind of paver blocks for a floor. I have a fellow engaged who is going to do the excavating for it, including taking out a weird extraneous piece of concrete that was mistakenly poured there.

I'm also going to be putting in more decking in the back and then an awning over all of the decked areas. As it is now, my deck gets to about 800 degrees when it's noon. Adding the awnings will increase the amount of time that I can be outdoors, and that's good.

Tomorrow, I'll take some "before" shots of the outside of the cottage.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Don't let it be a crappy day

I post frequently in a brain tumor spouse support group online. This group has been very helpful to me over the past many months, and I have striven to give back when I can. Here is something I just posted to this group, in response to someone who said that, if you're having a bad day, just let it be bad:

Please don't let it be a crappy day if you feel bad. Please do what you can to lift yourself and your spouse to a new place, if only for a moment.

The fact is that today may be the last day that he can talk. It may be the last day that you can get into a car together. It may be the last day that you can go to a restaurant and eat in a civilized way in public. This may be the last day you can laugh together with friends.

If you do what you can to turn negative thoughts into positive actions, you are going to be happier, and your spouse will be too. And, at the end of the day, please smile at yourself in the mirror and whisper, "I did it!"

What you're doing a great thing. When this is all over, you will be the hero or heroine. You'll have no regrets. You will have done all you could to take the best care of your sweetie. This is your moment in the sun! This is your chance to really shine -- to be the best person you can be. This is the day that you can prove to yourself and to the world that you're a fine person, and the very best spouse.

Every little thing you do is part of a bigger picture. And those little things are adding up to the experience that is your life. While it feels like your life is "on hold," -- and I know what that feels like! -- this IS your life, as real as any other part of it. Make it good!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hiking day

Today was hiking day, and the Hardy Hikers from Far Horizons did the Bajada View Trail in Saguaro East. It's a pretty challenging hike, with some fairly steep ascents, but overall not a huge elevation change. The heat of the day made it a bit more difficult than it might have been. The hikers were (L to R) Bob, Janee, Bob, Dawn, Duane, Earl, Rob, and Duane. (Two Bobs, and two Duanes!)

After hiking, I did email, took a shower, talked to some friends, and then went to Casa del Rio for supper with the group. Good time, good day!

Here's a pic of me hanging my new lamp in my computer area. I did this a few days ago, and I love the lamp!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lazy Sunday

Lazy day today! I began ambitiously walking with Maddy on the east side of Pantano, across the street from the Village. I have always liked walking around in neighborhoods, and this one is a good one to walk in. I like to look at how people landscape their lots in this desert climate.

Only a few people landscape with grass, which they fertilize and water constantly. Most use small reddish granite gravel, which they rake into place. They position large smooth river rock (probably harvested from the Wash) in circles, and, inside the circles, they plant a cactus, palo verde tree, or a palm tree. Variations on this are interesting.

After our walk, it was housecleaning day! I dusted, vacuumed, and took the trash to the clubhouse. I stopped in and talked to John while his Denver Broncos played, and then went back home.

Lew and Margaret came and spirited me off this afternoon for a latte. We went to Starbucks on Old Spanish Trail, and, since I don't do lattes, I got apple slices with caramel for dipping. Mmmm! Very tasty, and it was fun, as always, to banter with Lew and Margaret.

I made another origami box after my supper of soup, and then went through some email and my groups.

By the way, I have a MySpace page now. I am not sure what I'll use it for, but I think that it's a requirement if you're single, and I guess that's what I am now. (In their Marital Status choices, they don't even list "widowed." Sheesh.)

And here I am! I sort of miss TV and I may go on and bite the bullet and get cable installed. It bothers me that I forgot to uninstall the cable TV at home first, though. :/ Hmm... maybe I can do that over the phone? but then... last time, when Michael and I did it together, we had to take the box thing back to the cable co. Oh well. I'll do something, even if it's wrong! :D