Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Planning the day and hoping for a January thaw

Just wanted to say thank you for your prayers and condolences. I was amazed at how much press Jim got world wide. He retired when he was 55 and I never expected the flood of flowers, cards and letters, and tributes that followed . It was very moving to hear from people we never knew, but who were touched by him and his work over the years.

I'm still trying to catch up with all the paper work and unpacking. The kitchen is organized and now I have to figure out what to do with all the surplus stuff!
Much of the excess furniture is now living at my son and daughter-in-laws Oregon house and my cleaning lady's house.

I've been using our local Freecycle to give other things away. It's a great resource that I continue to use as I go through all the surplus kitchen items, books, etc. etc.

My son and family are in town for the holidays and Bodhi, my Jack Russell and I spent a couple of days over Christmas at their ranch on the Rogue River. It was good for me to get away from the house and all the work still needing to be done; and my daughter-in-law prepared some amazing meals and Sean, as always shared some of the best from his wine cellar. That rich food brought a flare up of the diverticulitis I was recently diagnosed with, but a couple of days on a liquid protein diet and using the Edgar Cayce castor oil pack seems to have taken care of that problem at the moment.

This is the first year I haven't had a Christmas tree. I just wasn't up to it; but I finally just put a string of white lights on my bamboo tree in the living room. Before Jim passed away last month, I put up a swag on the fireplace and got out his favorite Christmas lead figures and set them up on the mantle. That and a wreath on the front door was all of my Christmas decor.

Last night I actually took time to draw out a temporary veggie garden plan for spring. Looking at the current seed cataloges threw me for a loop. Some packets of seeds were five and six dollars. Luckily our local farmers market has one grower who has a large selection of teeny blocks of seedling starts that they sell for 50 cents a piece, so I'll be able to just buy a couple of brussel sprout plants and other varieties I'd like to try without have to store all those seeds or give away the excess plants in a six pack.

The grand kids are skiing at Mt Ashland today with their new ski gear and the family will be stopping by afterwards. So time for me to retrieve the morning papers, and get on with my chores. It's too cold for me to go down to the unheated basement and work. That studio to be will just have to wait till the January thaw or whenever the universe sends some warmer weather our way. That's going to be a monumental task that I'm not looking forward to. Meantime there is plenty to unpack, sort through and organize in this little cottage.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Life can change so fast

I should be dealing with the huge pile of paperwork waiting for my attention; but needed a break and thought I'd visit my blog and read some of the blogs on my blog roll; and I'm glad I did. It was like visiting friends I hadn't seen for a while.

My husband Jim passed away three weeks ago, after a five year bout with cancer, and life right now seems so empty other than all the necessary busyness I have to deal with. We were in the middle of remodeling the kitchen, which desperately needed better working, modern cabinets, and were both looking forward to it's completion. I so hoped that Jim could make it to see the end result; but that wasn't to be.

We were here two months when Jim had to be placed under hospice care at home and at that point, his care was my top priority and it took most of my time and energy.

Our children were and are my rock during this journey. They've gone back to their lives and their families now, and I need to learn how to live without the man I have loved so deeply for over fifty six years. At the moment I have so very much to do that is both overwhelming as well as  a blessing. I trust that eventually I will get all this paperwork done, phone calls made, get the house unpacked and organized and eventually make choices about what direction I want my life to take when all of that is done.

Monday the cabinet people come back to finish the cabinets and counter top installation. Then I'll have the job of completing the filling of the cabinets, and finish the unpacking I haven't been able to do the past few months.

With Jim's health deteriorating so rapidly right before we moved here this summer, I didn't have time to get the house settled. The garage is filled to the max with antique furniture I need to sell, as well as some pottery equipment that's too big to fit in the tiny basement space I can allot to pottery making. The large Bailey slab roller and table will have to go and so will the larger cone 10 Skutt kiln, as well as my ware cart that is too tall to fit into a hundred year old, low ceiling basement. At this piont, I'm not even sure if I will go back to making pots, or at least making them and firing them at home.

There is a studio/gallery here in town that has rental space, and gas kilns, etc, so I may just save my wheel and pugmill, throw at home and fire pots there until I can figure out if I want to set up a studio in my small, low, unheated basement. If I do get another electric kiln it will be a much smaller, front loading one that I can fire more frequently. It doesn't seem likely it can fit in the basement so it will have to go in the workshop section of the garage. I'll have to explore all these options this spring or summer.

Once I get all this banking and other paperwork organized, I need to clear out that garage of the furniture and pottery equipment that needs selling, so I can get my car in there. The next few months are going to be spent thinning out everything!