summersgate: (eggshells)
Life recently has been:
Feeling anger at liars and addicts and how they make life difficult for the rest of us.
Working at letting go of anger and trying to understand.
Driving long distances with Dave to funerals or family visits.
Keeping up with the animals we have - making sure the cats are fed everyday, the cat litter is cleaned, the dog is fed and cared for, the bird feeders outside are filled, and Yoshi! (silent lizard in a glass box - easy to forget).
Bills are paid, mail looked at.
Tried to get the car inspected before yesterday - now it is illegal to drive it.
Wishing I could sleep a full night so I won't be so tired all day. I am happy if I can make it till 5 - even 4 looks good.
Finding proper foods to eat - not doing very good at that - my breakfast that I am eating as I write this is what is left in the bottom of a bag of SunChips. I long for apple pie.
Talking to people - minimizing my feelings, watching my words and guarding myself - very tiring.

Yesterday we took Andy with us to State College rather than leaving him in his box at home (with the grandkids coming over after school to let him out). He likes car rides and I almost think the excitement of riding in the car tires him out as much as a big run in the woods would. We needed to take along his travel box and put him in it while we were inside talking to Dave's family and when we ate in a restaurant but most of the day he got to sit in the backseat watching for things (at one point 6 deer ran across the road in front of the car and Andy saw them!), sniffing the air from the window or leaning his head on our shoulders. The day was very rainy. Driving at 70 mph in heavy rain on an interstate highway (or driving at less than 70 with everyone around you passing you at 70) is stressful. There was a place when we got to the top of a mountain nearing State College where there was thick fog - actually I think what happened is we got up into the cloud layer that was raining on us before cause the rain seemed to stop then. Difficult driving - good to get home and finally relax last night. I'm hoping we won't have to deal with any more of the problems that Dave's brother left behind (for a few weeks) and maybe we can get back to a normal life again - work through the grief of losing him without other issues.


Mar. 29th, 2017 08:12 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Nothing like a death in the family to distract from a cancer diagnosis! We have been very busy with lots of phone calls and then between phone calls trying to blank our minds, forget it all (or put it into some kind of order) and get some rest. One thing Dave and I did in the last few days was make a handwritten will (which is legal even if un-witnessed in PA) and make 3 copies of it, one for each of our kids. There are big problems with the will that Dave's brother wrote (part of the reason there are so many phone calls) and we do not want anything like that to happen when we die. I just this morning copied our will and put the copies into envelopes to give to the kids. It is bad enough dealing with grief without adding all kinds of drama. Today we will be busy with the funeral and tomorrow I see the surgeon - finally I will know more and hopefully learn the next step.

Here is a photo that I liked of Bruce. Taken a few years ago while on a fishing trip to the Atlantic with Dave and a friend. Bruce's beloved dog Maggie was still alive then - she went everywhere with him.

If such a thing is true then they are together now.

PS - thank you all for your recent kind words and good wishes. I just haven't had many words lately.
summersgate: (this is death) pours. We got bad news last evening that Dave's brother Bruce died in a car wreck. He was on his way to our house (from State College where he lived, planning to go fishing with Dave this weekend) and went off the road on a sharp curve and hit a tree. Only about 3 miles from here. Things are under a pall here. You never know - life is precarious.


Dec. 16th, 2016 06:46 am
summersgate: (eggshells)

I woke up troubled this morning and was trying to figure out how to let go of some resentments and anger I was feeling. As I was pulling a card from the deck I was more curious than usual what kind of image I would get that would help. Kind of a shock to see this. But then it makes sense. The keywords for Death are traditionally supposed to be: endings, beginnings, change, transformation, transition. But of course to get there (to transformation) one has to let go (die). The ego (in me) has to die so I can finally let go of this resentment and attitude of blame. Treasures form underground from the rubble of past things and new growth comes up from there. I can hope anyway.

Death has another meaning for me today. Kathy told me about how one of her friends was killed yesterday in a freak accident. One minute everything is fine and the next moment her life is gone. Really makes one wonder about life. We have no control! We think we do but we don't.

Very cold this morning. 5F. I suppose I should put that in perspective as later this winter I'm sure it will get even colder - getting down to 10 or 20 below - it always does at some point.

We will be bringing Johnny home for holiday break today. Yay - it will be good to have him here for a while. Though we need to accept that all our monthly internet allowance to be gone as soon as he gets here. His computer seems to suck it all away almost immediately. It's at 68% right now - will see what it is tomorrow at this time. I hope I am wrong.


Dec. 13th, 2016 07:42 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Getting one's feet wet.

Here is the card that I looked at first - too much going on - so then I just narrowed in on the feet:
Queen of Cups from the Pearls of Wisdom deck.

I can relate to putting a toe in, getting one's feet wet. Wanting to make a change, try something new.

Dave did get the snow blower going yesterday and did Jules' driveway and ours, and made a path between the two houses. I shoveled the sidewalk and where the mailman would need to pull in to leave the mail. It's supposed to get much colder and the snow that is left will freeze hard into ice chunks.

I dreamed last night that I was at a mall with the kids and we had gone to a movie. It was after the movie and we were supposed to be picked up by my mom. There were 2 entrances to the mall movies though and I wasn't sure if she knew which one we would be at so we kept going back and forth through the mall to check. When I woke up I thought the fact that mom was the one picking us up was of interest. Dave and I went to Helen's funeral service yesterday. Mom and Helen had been very close all their lives. I probably wouldn't have gotten to know Helen much at all except that she was close to mom and I was taking care of mom in her last years so Helen started to take an interest in me too. I reciprocated and learned a lot about the family history though Helen. Of course going to a funeral puts you in a frame of mind about how fragile life is. I think the dream is about death coming to pick you up after the movie (life). You aren't sure when or where you will be picked up so you keep waiting and being watchful. Yesterday the priest referenced the Byrds (for some of us who might remember them) and the song, Turn! Turn! Turn! and then read from Ecclesiastes 3.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I liked the priest. He had a good way about him and seemed like someone you could talk to about anything without negative judgements. A down-to-earth kind of guy.

It is interesting that it seems the older you are when you die the less people are at your funeral. All your contemporaries are gone (or if any are still alive then they are too weak to make it to the funeral). All that is left is your kids (if you had any), and maybe a few of their kids if they haven't scattered too far away.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Just now listened for the first time to Leonard Cohen's farewell album. It is a good as anything he has ever done - but different - quieter, slower, letting go. Inspiring, beautiful and sad too, cause you know he was saying goodbye for real. Cohen has always been one of my guiding lights - still is.

On a different subject.
I really like it when I look out the window and see we are being visited by a flock of busy sparrows - 28+:


Dec. 9th, 2016 05:45 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Inspired by The Emperor card from the Zerner-Farber tarot.

Helen passed away last evening around 5.

I have never liked The Emperor card much. He always looks aloof and full of himself (to me). So it is interesting that I got that card today. I think I am numb right now. Protecting myself from feeling much about Helen's death. Separate from it. She was 95. I do think she was very ready to leave this earth. She wasn't afraid. In many ways she is a model to me of how to age gracefully. But I can't reach any sadness in myself at the moment.

I think I see this drawing as saying that the emperor thinks he is master of all, but the mountain is greater than he and the sun is higher than the mountain and the great mystery is greater than them all.

Snow last night. About an inch. Still coming down.
summersgate: (eggshells)
"Pondering" at the Greenville cemetery. Berdella and I took a walk around there today.

Thinking of death lately - that's what going to a funeral home visitation yesterday, taking a walk in a beautiful cemetery this morning, watching the documentary "White Light, Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" this afternoon and now finishing it all in a lighthearted way by watching "Waiting for God" a British comedy about a living in a retirement home. I guess ignoring death is like being in denial. But one can't live with it on one's mind all the time either. Some more cemetery pix. )


Sep. 19th, 2016 09:39 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
Candy and I biked around Lake Wilhelm today. I was able to peddle up every hill but 2 - that is the best I have done in a while. I noticed how strong the smells are right now. Smells of autumn, the woods, cut grass, mold and mushrooms, fallen leaves, fish near the lake, smells that I don't recognize at all but they are so intense right now. The trail is littered with millions of little hard seeded cherries that crunch under your wheels. I thought how wonderful it might be to be blindfolded and to pulled in a little cart - to just be able to hear the sounds and smell the smells without the distraction of vision overpowering everything as it usually does.

The docks at Launch #4. Two more pictures taken at the boat dock. )

I loved that it started out foggy and then when the sun broke through later everything was sharp and lacy. After biking we stopped for lunch at Grantham's Landing and I had my usual - seafood salad. They have the best coffee - or maybe it is the best creamer - anyway, always so good.

While biking I got a phone call that my friend Ron's mother had died so after I got home I changed clothes and went to the funeral home for the visitation. Deb was there with Ron. Visited for about an hour or so and then came home from that and took a tiny nap before Hazel and I went out to Walmart to get her some shirts she could wear when she starts school on Wednesday. So that was my day. Too tired now to do anything productive.


Sep. 4th, 2016 08:01 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
After I wrote my entry here at 7 last night I went to bed - just felt exhausted. Slept all night. Made me wonder if I had been exposed to something - some germ - yesterday that I was fighting off. Dave felt very tired for the first couple days that he had the shingles - before we found out that he had shingles. I don't think I have shingles but I do believe there are all kinds of viruses and germs we are fighting off all the time and we don't even know what they are because we have no other symptoms than the tiredness we have from fighting them off or maybe a headache or something we can't figure out.

Dreamed this morning that I was living in my parent's old house next door with my little sister - our parents had passed on. I suddenly got the idea that I wanted to bring my brother John home from the rehab center/nursing home that he was living in. It was really far away and would take many hours to drive and get him. My sister was glad to go along and we were getting dressed and ready to go but then I remembered that we didn't have a wheelchair van anymore so there was no way to get him. Woke up sad.

Not sure who my "little sister" was in the dream. She was similar to Chloe, my daughter. Chloe is entering an art show called Heal: An Exhibition on the Journey of Healing in Oil City this weekend. She and her friend Kiyomi who is the curator were trying to get me to enter something. I thought at first I might be able to make a new artwork for it but I just didn't feel inspired. Yesterday Chloe texted me encouraging me again. So I am going to see if any of my jewelry pendants would be appropriate. Some are on the theme of healing I think. Kiyomi will be coming to a birthday party we will be having here tomorrow for Dave and Jules. I will see if she thinks that would work. Or I could clean off my art table today and see if there is anything inside me on the spur of the moment. Hmm - I just now thought of the collage book I made after John died. That might be very appropriate! Thank you John for (possibly) sending the dream.

0 book-and-milo
The book "Returning to Our Mother's Arms" and Milo. Random pictures from inside the book HERE )


May. 15th, 2016 12:38 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
Raining today. Snow now and then.

Blaa. But it's not the weather - the snow is actually beautiful as it slowly falls - like a curtain moving to the side as it falls. Blaa because I just feel blaa today.

Going to the memorial service for Sally later this afternoon. Going to wear a sweater that she gave me a few years ago. It always makes me feel good when I see Chloe wearing something that once was worn by mom.

I got a camping hammock with built-in mosquito net in the mail yesterday - looking forward to good weather to try it out. We made the decision to get a larger tent and use that for this summer's camping rather than put money into a popup camper. They have tents now that are "instant" - they have the poles built right into them - kind of like a big umbrella that you can open and lock into place. I want to give one a try.

Trying to stay in-tune with my eating and my stomach right now. Not overeat - not eat to stuffed fullness. Leave food on my plate if that is the right thing to do - I could always save the food for later if that seems proper. Trying to decipher exactly what I am hungry for. Not let sweets put themselves forward to the exclusion of other foods.

I have had a strange kind of headache for 3 days now. It feels like the hair right behind my left ear is being painfully pulled every once in a while. When I touch that area the skin right on the surface feels very tender and tingly. The first day it started I had phantom tickle feelings on my upper lip too. I've had this before but it's been awhile. Maybe it is the nerve pain that makes me feel blaa.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Yesterday I had a busy day - OA in the morning, lunch at Eat-n-Park with the OA ladies, home to get Dave and then we picked up Nancy and went to Jill's visitation and funeral service. Thoughts on the viewing. The funeral home did a good job I suppose in making Jill look like herself but it was hard to connect with the body till I looked at her hands - they had put all her rings on that she was known to wear frequently. One of them was a ring I made for her. Then it was real to me - this was Jill. I felt overcome when I talked to her son - he is the same age as Jules. Afterwards we came home and I took a nap. Later I went out in the back yard and noticed that the sycamores had chosen that day to release their seeds. 2 photos of seeds.  )

After dinner we took Andy for a walk on Oak Hill. They are starting to do a timber cut there and the areas where the trees tops were laying helter-skelter all over was barely recognizable. I would have been lost there. It seemed like all the jumble of tree tops filled my eyes and I couldn't see the little streams, hills and gullies that used to be my frame of reference in those areas. I didn't take any photos of that. But I did get some photos of the snow and paths in other areas where the cutters haven't been yet.

Blue paint slashes mark trees that will be cut. Goodbye trees. 2 more HERE )

tarot today

Apr. 8th, 2016 11:31 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Death XIII - the Hermetic tarot deck

Kind of ironic that I got the death card today cause I have been thinking about death so much lately. Thinking about Jill, who was only 3 days younger than me. We came into the world virtually at the same time - had many of the same experiences in life - wild child teenagers during of the 60's, we both worked at Polk with the mentally retarded and for the last 5 years of my mother's life we were both there for her. Looking through the old stuff in the basement makes me think about death a lot too. The death of people and the death of parts of me. How there have been holes in me but then I have moved on and the holes have healed, pretty much. There is truth in the tarot Death card, which is about endings, and beginnings. As a project I have been wanting to make some art from the tarot card that I get each day and I thought cause the hermetic deck was in black and white it might be easier to relate to. I really did not want to do anything with the ugly parts of this card - the scorpion like a big fat worm, the broken bones, the snake sitting like a pile of shit on that one skull. So I saw the phoenix rising on the upper left instead.


Apr. 7th, 2016 09:52 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
I found out today that Jill, the woman who helped me at the end of my mother's life, between 2007 and 2012, died this past Sunday. She was only a few days difference in age from me. It's so hard to believe. She did have serious health problems even then and missed time because of that but she was so loving and patient with mom. I was glad to have her. She will be missed now by so many people.

My day:
This morning Dave and I watched the documentary Blackfish - about Killer whales at SeaWorld and places like that - how awful the lives of the whales are and how some whales have killed their trainers out of frustration and because their entire lives have been perverted and ruined. I would never go to a place like that or support it. Lunch with Nancy [ profile] kyana. We ate eggplant parmesan at Benjamin's. Then I went to the post office and got new stamps:

Colorful spring forever flowers and Andy.

Raining. Came home and took my usual nap. Before dinner I spent an hour in the basement. My plan to abandon going through stuff (and just dump it in protective tubs) isn't going to work. I still need to pick up the stuff before I put it into the tubs so I may as well sort it into appropriate places. I started a tub for things I imagine no one will ever look at again, at least not in my lifetime. Things I can't let go of but no one will ever need. I put some of my own art in there - stuff I don't need to see again. At one time I made a lot of little collage books, polymer clay dolls and pins. I put them all in there along with memory stuff from mom, dad and John. Dinner was a bean burrito with chips and dip. After dinner we took Andy for a walk to the creek and lake, more practice with whistle training. Still raining. Read some more in a book about dreams analysis, "Dreams - Doorway to Emotional Health" by a reverend who is also a counselor, Lloyd E. Shaw - actually quite insightful. Watching the movie Pitch Black at the moment.


Jan. 1st, 2016 09:53 pm
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
Photo by Dave. On the way into the funeral home tonight for Jan's dad's visitation. I'm glad we went. Jan and her husband Leon are such good, real people.
summersgate: (eggshells)
24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?

Well, 2 things pop into my mind. One was when I was a teenager and walking Lady, my dog down to the creek. A tattered monarch butterfly took a liking to me for some reason and followed me, sitting on my shoulder. I could get her to come to my finger and hold her there for a while, then she would fly up and go back to my shoulder. I had a feeling that she wouldn't come home with me even before I came up over the hill. I knew I could capture her and take her to show the family but it wouldn't be the same as what was happening when she did it willingly. So we parted ways at the top of the hill and the magic moments were over.

The other thing that comes to mind was the night my older brother John died. When I was with him in the hospital that evening I felt my grandmother's presence and saw images in my mind of my brother as a very little boy running and my grandmother saying the name, Little Johnny. I didn't know then that my brother was going to die later that night but maybe part of me did know it - felt it's close possibility because of this presence. I am not one to usually pray aloud, or do formal praying, but I did say a prayer out loud with John cause I knew that was what he needed to hear as a Christian. I was saying things like life and death don't matter - it will all be okay no matter what. Not something I would normally be saying to someone - I would usually want to give them hope and want them to fight for life but I felt that that was what I should say. As the night went on John wanted to take a sleeping pill cause he was exhausted from trying to cough and feeling like he had to cough but there was nothing there to cough up. After he took the sleeping pill he calmed down and was talking to someone (not me) and reaching his hand out to them. I couldn't understand what he said because of the oxygen mask over his mouth. I talked to him and asked him what he was saying but he ignored me. After a while he seemed to be sleeping but his eyes were open. I thought that was strange but he was peaceful and breathing normally. I was very tired myself from the long night and said goodnight to him and put the nurse call button where he could reach it. About a half hour after I got home the hospital called to say they had gone in to check and found John had died.

Thinking now of why these kinds of thoughts are in my head. If I remember correctly tomorrow is the date of my dad's passing in 2006. Maybe when that is over a weight will be lifted. I always feel darker before the anniversary of a death.
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
Goodbye Indy - we put you in the creek after you finally died.

Then we spent the rest of the afternoon playing cribbage - one of us ate pie a la mode.
summersgate: (studio pix)
Making things in batches - fabrication done now - next will be oxidation of the metal and setting the stones.

Indigo the beta fish is dying I think. I found him laying on his side on the bottom of the tank this afternoon. I tapped the glass and he stirred a bit but not much. I changed the water just to see if that might help freshen him up (more oxygen) but I don't think it did much for him. He hasn't been "young" or interested in making bubble nests for a while so I guess he is "old". Looking back on tags I see I got him a little over 2 years ago but I don't know how old he was before I got him. Oh well, a good and bad to everything. When he's gone I will have more room for plants in that window. Just makes me a little sad anyway.

My big beautiful grandson tonight:

And another thing that has a good and bad side to it - winter's coming (baa) but alcoholic eggnog has arrived in the state store (yay).
summersgate: (eggshells)
Today is the 3rd anniversary of Mom's death. In a way that is recent I suppose but it seems a world away now. I still have a backlog of stuff to clean up from those days of Mom, Dad and John living next door - in their garage (Jules' garage now) and in our basement. Yesterday I did make an attempt to deal with the basement and worked a couple hours there sorting things. It involves so many memories. Not sure that I will ever want to see that stuff again but later generations might so I think I should save some of it. But we need to make room for the living to live in! That means Jules' garage should be usable for him and his car and our basement needs to become a bigger workroom for Dave. Living! Life! Live! That is what I want to do. And that means we need our own space to live in - no more storing of dead people's things. I was thinking some of these thoughts yesterday as I worked down there and I could feel their (Mom, Dad and John's) souls in agreement with those ideas, they were spurring me on. I love them still and they love me too, but they WANT me to move on and live life to the fullest.

This morning - the cafe table set up as a place to work on state sales taxes. Another backlog of things that needs dealt with. It's always there now and I can sit down and write in a few entries whenever I have a moment. There are 6 months of receipts to go through at the moment.

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny (not too hot) day. Walked with Berdella in the morning and made progress in the basement in the afternoon and then in the evening Dave, Sebby, Rossy and I biked. Today it's overcast and much cooler - only mid 60's.

"Earth Grass and Sky" pendant - sterling, sky blue topaz, tiger eye and nephrite jade Listing HERE

That is supposed to be a little abstract biker figure in the middle. Something I thought up as I was biking last week.

We watched to movie "The Woman in Gold" yesterday. I thought it was really good. Recommended.
summersgate: (eggshells)
1. Ironed 18 pieces of handmade paper twice.
2. Ate yogurt for lunch to counteract the antibiotic I'm taking.
3. Visited with Chloe and Mike.
4. Watched the movie "The Savages".
5. Went out with Dave, Chloe and Mike to The Commons for a belated Mother's Day dinner and ate fried chick peas for the first time and a fish sandwich and fries.
6. Went shopping with Dave at Giant Eagle - hardly any one there on a Sunday night.
7. Went to bed and had a dream that I was watching a movie where the whole world was falling very slowly and gradually into a black hole and the people in the movie were glad at the end because they were all going together. When I woke up I realized it was true, we are all falling into a black hole together - it is called death - and it is so slow (to our individual viewpoints) that it seems we are falling separately but that is an illusion - we are all together in this.
1. That my brother-in-law is a handsome man in the right light.
2. Two orioles visiting the feeder out front while Chloe and Mike were here.
3. The sun slanting across the gravestones and making shadows in a very pretty way at the Franklin Cemetery
4. A pile of pink and blue clouds built up in the eastern sky lit by a sunset light.
5. A new magnetic sign I had made to tell people if the dishwasher is clean or dirty - saw that it was working to keep the counter nicely clear.
6. A person on a mast of a ship in a dream who was pointing off into the distance in a brave way.
7. That Mike and Chloe are managing quite well.
Mike playing a made up tune on the marimba.

PS - My spellcheck seems to be gone now for writing on LJ. I am on my own and that's not good.
Edit - found out it had accidentally gotten set for working with Russian - got it back to English and it's working now.


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