summersgate: (eggshells)
Today would have been the 43rd anniversary of marriage to my first husband if we had stayed married. Thankfully we didn't. I knew it wouldn't last even as we were standing there in front of the magistrate. But we tried to make it last as long as we could. I was pregnant with his baby and we wanted to "do the right thing" - apparently the right thing in 1974 was to get married. When the anniversary date would come I would always think of the old quote, Beware the Ides of March. His mother chose that date for us - was she even aware? My parents were of the mind that I should not marry Pat and should come back home to live with them. It took me 9 years to come to that same conclusion. We divorced in 1983. A big year for me - later that year I met Dave.

Anyway - after not being married to Pat and not needing to cope with his way of life anymore I found I could be much friendlier to him. Near the end of his life he even came to live with Dave and me and sleep on our couch for 6 months while he got his living arrangements figured out. I was very glad we had that chance to do final repairs to any hard feelings and put the focus on being grandparents together.

~
BTW - I see now that a person can get The Red Book: A Reader's Edition (Philemon) new for only about $25. It doesn't have the pictures but it is smaller and much easier to read. It is highly recommended (if you don't care about the art).

Still snowing. And cold. Supposed to get windy later. We didn't get a lot of snow like they did to the east. Only about 6 inches here I would say. Decided not to make the effort to drive over and walk with Jan today. I just want to stay in and get caught up with stuff. There are 5 old bananas in the kitchen that need made into bread...

ha!

Jan. 23rd, 2017 08:15 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
I was cleaning off my art table this morning and came across an old notebook I used to carry in my purse probably 15 or 16 years ago. It had notes about craft shows I was going to, sketches of jewelry I wanted to make - scribbles that were probably made by little Gabe and some drawings that Chloe did to pass the time while she went to the craft shows with me. I just thought this was neat - her version of me and Dave:

mary-and-dave-as-simpsons
This must have been from the time I was growing my hair back out from when I cut it in 2001 and wearing dresses most all the time. Dave looks pretty much the same - still has holes in his clothes and wearing his ball cap. We didn't have cable or satellite TV when the kids were growing up and John and Dad had taped all the Simpson's they could for us so we would have something to watch. The Simpsons were like part of the family to Chloe and Johnny. They played in the background of the living room all day long. I know some people would frown on letting little kids watch the Simpsons but I thought it was pretty perfect for all of us to watch together and comment on.

Plans for the day:
The weather man says rain again today but I'm hoping I can get a walk in with Candy before that happens...
Work on the art project.
Continue on business book work for the taxes.

ha!

Jan. 8th, 2017 12:44 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
Done with printing year 2007. I think I will stop there for now. It might be a good early January activity each year to print the journal off from 10 years before. I can really see the changes in our lives in a 10 year time span.

eggshell-2007-printed-pages-1-8-17
Now I need to punch holes in it and find a 3 ring binder...

Though, this is making me think more about what I write and show here - what would I want to re-read in 10 years time? What do I want to see in 10 years time? What would anyone else want to see or read? I am enjoying reading about what happened each day and I like seeing photos of the people in my life - my thoughts about what things mean - the feelings I had as things were happening. I might try to be more mindful of the "10 year vision".

sunday

Jan. 8th, 2017 09:20 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
1-8-17-skye-sleeping-summer-dreaming
I started out drawing a picture of Skye sleeping on the table in front of me but that wasn't going very well cause as she was sleeping she was moving - her head was falling off the edge of the table and the angle of everything was changing. I quit. Then thought maybe I could add something to the drawing and found a tarot card. It was a card of summer and showed roses with twining vines and thorns. So maybe Skye is dreaming of summer. I am. I am suddenly very tired of winter! It has gone on long enough as far as I'm concerned. Maybe that's cause I haven't been getting out in it. Just staying inside a lot. It's 10 F right now but with a wind chill of -4. 10 degrees is when the hair in your nose freezes as you breathe. It looks nice out cause we have a little sun today but the temps don't make me want to go out and walk around that much. Oh well.

I have been enjoying printing off the year 2007 of my LJ journal. As I print I reread and reminisce. In 10 years lots has changed. The grandkids have grown up a lot in 10 years time. Rossy was only 3! It was just after dad's death and we were getting ready to move into mom's house. There were many pictures of mom looking alert and smiling. I see the kind of jewelry I was designing then and it gives me ideas for the future. Kathy and I flew to California to see our cousins and Aunt Rene. It was also the year our art group traveled to New York City. It was the year too that Jules got divorced and he and the grandboys came to live with us. I had the attack of pancreatitis and had my gallbladder removed that year too. Looking at these old memories is a good winter activity.
summersgate: (eggshells)
After I tried to draw a map of the backyard this morning I became obsessed with trying to make a better version. It's a little large so it's behind a cut. )
summersgate: (eggshells)
1-3-17-pathways-and-people
The card I got today was entitled "Crossroads" but the picture on it reminded me of how it looks down in our backyard - the little hills and gullies, trails leading randomly through the woods, open places and thick woods intermingled. So I decided to try and recreate a map of what it is like over the hill (the walk to the creek and to the lake). After I was done drawing I knew it wasn't quite right but I would need an overlay of an actual map to do it right I suppose. My memory and experiences make some things more prominent. I put a star where I stand to take the photo looking up the creek and I drew in Grandmother Sycamore as a special larger tree. Interesting that the collage image of the old man and the little kid was there on the page already. My dad (though he didn't look like that old man) took me for a walk to the creek nearly every single day when I was a kid. It was just something we did. We took Trixy along too. I can still smell the smell of the rusty chain on my hands from his leash. It was the most wonderful time. Walking, talking, me asking questions - though my dad had a way of asking me questions that made me think deeply, made me feel like maybe I could figure things out too if I just looked closely enough at things and studied them. Usually we followed the same basic path but that was not set and there were many deviations into the woods on each side. But the main thing was we would go down and see the creek. That was how we talked about it - do you want to go down and see the creek now? It was the highlight of my day.

friday

Nov. 25th, 2016 09:25 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
11-25-16-rest-&-soul-cards
Rest - inspired by a Soul Cards card this morning. Today will be a good day for rest. I woke up with a very stiff back this morning. My feet and back were hurting last night too. Not used to all the stooping and cleaning and standing on my feet I did yesterday. But I feel our birthday party/thanksgiving dinner was a success and I'm glad I got the house spruced up as much as I did. It had fallen into a pretty dusty grimy state of disrepair. Hazel helped a lot. Dusted things and helped me cut up celery and apples and pare potatoes. Reminded me of when I was young and helping my mother in the kitchen. I definitely helped her a lot on the holidays but also helped her most afternoons just with little things like preparing vegetables, cleaning carrots, shucking peas or corn and paring potatoes for dinner. At the time I felt like it was interrupting my *busy* life of sitting in my room reading but I'm glad now I learned how to cook from her this way.

Andy was VERY good with all the company we had here last night. He was a little too excited when Chloe and Mike arrived first but we held him in one spot away from them till he got calmer and then let him go to greet them. He wanted to jump up a bit but soon got over it. I'm glad they were the first arrivals cause they are used to dogs and Chloe has special charming abilities with most animals. From then on as other people arrived he became calmer and calmer with each new arrival. David Z brought his little sister Lori who has Down's Syndrome. She walks with a walker and Andy was very respectful of her - though after about an hour and she didn't eat the cheese on the plate she had set on a low table beside her (the usual table that Andy is allowed to sit on and look out the window) he gently reached over and ate the cheese. Lori and I looked at each other and laughed. Hazel brought out the laser light after dinner and Andy chased it for us. Very funny.

So - back to my usual life today.
summersgate: (eggshells)
Finally got all the ceramic parts glued down on the mosaic. Here's a photo of it transformed by the "percolator" app:

mosiac-ceramics
Looks better in percolator than reality (in my opinion). I think I will like it better when it's all filled in with stained glass. The original photo. )

Watching "Harry and Tonto" at the moment. 1974 - Art Carney and his cat. I remember 1974 - I was hitching across the country to California with Pat, living on the Russian River and becoming a first time mother that year. We just got to the part in the movie when Art gets a car, meets the girl hitchhiker and they are making a side trip to see his first love - I'm liking where this is going...
summersgate: (eggshells)
I did find one little gem of a memory maker yesterday. This was found in the bottom of my dad's financial file box. It looked like he had hidden it there, wrapped up and secured in another sheet of plain paper.

Abe-and-Mary's-marriage-certificate-smaller

There is a story about the date that they got married. 1932 was during the depression and since they both worked for the highway department and the rules then were that only one spouse could work for the state (cause jobs were so scarce) they kept their marriage secret for the next 8 years. My mother needed her job so she could take care of her elderly mother and she kept living with her while my dad lived in a rented room and saved money. The only person they ever told was her mother. To the rest of the world they just looked like a couple having a very long engagement. 1940 was the year that they "took up housekeeping" and announced that they were married. They ran away to Buffalo to get married so it could be a secret and I think that must have been why they gave their places of residence as Pittsburgh to help keep that secret.

Anyway - today...
Andy is at the vet's now and I will be waiting till 2 to call and see how he did. Till then more BASEMENT. But it doesn't seem so hard anymore. Later I hope I will be able to show a nice photo of it ready to be a work space.
summersgate: (eggshells)
From a big jumble - to - some space. )

And on another subject - Andy goes in early tomorrow morning to get neutered. Nothing to eat after midnight tonight. Poor pup. But it will be for the best.

thursday

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 [livejournal.com profile] kyana. We ate eggplant parmesan at Benjamin's. Then I went to the post office and got new stamps:

forever-stamps-4-7-16
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.

keepers

Apr. 6th, 2016 07:23 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
After my big announcement that I was going to quit going through the boxes in the basement and just pack it all up in tubs and forget it, I ended up going through a couple boxes anyway.

1952-John's-bricks
John's wooden bricks - in the days before legos. When I was a little kid I thought he was so lucky to have them. As my big brother, 6 years older than me, he lorded it over me that they were his and rarely let me touch them. We fought bitterly over them - probably it was my whining and complaining and his stubborn refusal that prompted the last time we ever saw them. My dad took them away to the garage where there was a wood stove and said he was going to burn them cause we couldn't get along. I was probably around 7 so John would have been 13. Last year when we were cleaning out the garage next door Dave found them up in the rafters. More stuff.... )
summersgate: (eggshells)
john-around-1990

Another photo I found today that nearly stopped me in my tracks as I'm going thorough stuff in the basement. This is the John that I knew for most of my life. Wearing his brace that held a pencil - his main tool. There were so many pencils around the house that had chewed up middles from where the screw on the brace cinched down and held it in place. He used the eraser end of the pencil to turn pages in books, manipulate papers and type on his computer keyboard. The computer was such a godsend to him. He spent many hours of the day writing his thoughts, designing church bulletins and just reading and surfing the internet. He learned German by himself and then was a member of a small German club - and helped others learn it. He spent most days in bed - it was easier on his skin to be in a reclining position and the bed had an oscillating air mattress. He had very few bed sores. Just out of sight behind his head you can see a hook that held a jug of water and a straw. During the day, so he didn't need to bother anyone, he would throw his right arm back and catch the jug to bring it forward and get a drink. Our dad was very ingenious in figuring out tables, computer stands, forks and spoons for eating and any apparatus that would help John. He made that swiveling yellow stand in front of him. He also had a huge floor-to-ceiling window put in the wall beside John so he could have a good view of the birds and yard.

Seems like lately I have been thinking about John a lot. This is the time of year when there are many anniversaries that pertain to him - the date he was injured in January, his birthday in February and his death date in March. Going through boxes of stuff in the basement brings him to mind frequently too.
summersgate: (eggshells)
The only bird cage I ever had to deal with was lived in by a canary that my brother used to have. He originally named the bird "Carol" after his girl friend at that time but after she broke up with him he renamed the bird "Rocky". I was the one who changed the papers in the bottom of the cage and fed and watered him and put him to bed by covering him at night. I can't remember if he sang much. I wish I could ask John - he would know. Not sure how long Rocky lasted or even what happened to him. Did he die? Did we find him a new home? Finding a pet a new home doesn't sound like our way though. Our family usually kept every pet we ever got to the very end.

john

Feb. 21st, 2016 07:36 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
john-wrestling-team

Finding things like this is why I don't like going through things in the basement. Makes me sad to remember those who are gone. Look for the handsomest boy and that was my brother John. This was taken not long before the accident. At the time of this photo they were still in practice - he never got to wrestle in a real match. (If you don't share my idea of handsome, John is the 3rd from the left, top row.)
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
2-19-16-waiting-for-the-school-bus.jpg
Watching Rossy wait for the bus.

I felt moody yesterday - did nothing constructive. I should have been in the basement but I didn't go there. I did take a walk to the creek and to the lake with Dave and Andy. This was our 3rd walk down there since the big snow and the trail gets easier each time. I was supposed to take Gabe to Meadville for a school tour but it was cancelled. But Dave and I did go to Gabe's Swim Team Banquet last night.

Since I am already here writing maybe I could write on yesterday's prompt: play a game.

I'm not much for game playing. I'm not very competitive - or maybe I am too competitive so I manage it by being consciously non-competitive. I prefer to play games with others for fun and for the chance to be silly and say silly things. I prefer to play games of chance rather than games of skill so that when someone loses they can't feel bad. My favorite game of solitaire that I play in the evening is called Tapestry. I found it in a book of little known solitaire games and it is so easy. I probably win 1/4 of the time. But to me it is more about just playing the game, finding a place to put the latest card and checking over the tableau. I enjoy losing as much as winning - losing tells me that I can and will lose sometimes so all the winning I do is deserved. I never got the hang of video games so I know nothing about how to play them. Rossy has tried to teach me but the controller just feels too foreign. I'd rather read a book. Or play the game of writing an LJ entry. This is a game too - trying to organize words to make sense and have the right grammar and spelling (I don't always succeed).

Today's prompt is: apple tree.

Instantly I think of an apple tree that is on the back hill of the property. My mother pointed it out to me as a little child - my first apple tree. A yellow transparent - it was the first of their apple trees to give fruit in the summer. The apples were so delicious. And the tree was easy to climb. The tree is still there but no longer produces fruit - it's slowly dying. Here are 2 infrared photos I took of it back in 2010.

appletree-9-18-10
Our pet cemetery is just to the right of the tree.

IR-down-back-5-22--10.jpg.sm
The spruce trees have overgrown it and it is fading away. It just looks like a scraggly nondescript tree now, but I taste delicious apples when I see it.

dancing

Feb. 17th, 2016 07:01 am
summersgate: (eggshells)
Food yesterday:
package of breakfast cookies
1/3 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup jambalaya and 1/2 cup cooked greens
tiny piece key lime pie
1 piece pizza
1/2 tangerine
1 piece pizza
1 cup wine

Today is my brother's birthday - he would be 68 if he were still alive. He's been gone 12 years now.

Dancing. I do like to dance and move. Not that I am a good dancer. I suppose I might look silly. But it feels good to me. I took ballet and tap dancing lessons when I was a kid. They were held in a huge upstairs room above where my dad had his office at that time. I remember climbing the wooden stairs and being in a room with a wooden floor. I remember the windows that ran along the front of the room. It was cold up there in the winter. Actually I don't remember it very well but those are my "memories" of it. It seemed gray and dusty up there. I do remember my black Mary Jane patent leather tap shoes with the ribbon ties. I remember my pink ballet slippers too. At one point the dance class had a recital that was held at the local Moose Club. My mother made me a beautiful satin costume - royal blue with glittery silver stars on it. And another native american style costume that was made from brown, yellow and orange striped cotton material.

Sometimes I break into dance when I feel good. Or a song comes on that stirs up my blood. The family usually looks away when I do - or laughs. I wish they would get up and dance too but at this point it seems I am surrounded by non-dancers. When my mother was still alive and sitting in her wheelchair in the kitchen she would watch me though and smile - happy to witness a dancer in front of her.

I used to listen to reggae music a lot when Jules was a baby and I would dance and dance, dipping him and moving him to the beat around the room. He laughed and loved it too.

I wrote down my food during the day yesterday cause I would like to get a handle on what I eat. Writing it down and being honest is always a start. Could I eat less? Could I lose weight and become lighter - more buoyant? Could I try dancing more?
summersgate: (self portrait a day)
The writing prompt today is "a gray coat" so I thought I would put on my gray jacket and get a spad photo in it. My down coat that I have been wearing the last couple days might work for "gray coat" too - but is more of a greenish gray color.

2-14-16-gray-coat

This photo was taken in a mirror that came with a little old trailer I got in 1983, the year my first husband Pat and I divorced. I got the trailer and had it moved into my parent's backyard so I could have a place of my own while I was living with them and getting my life back together. Jules (age 9) slept in the bed in the bedroom up in my parent's house and I slept in the bed in the trailer. It had no running water (I carried buckets of water) but it had a gray water system that emptied the kitchen sink so I could do very minor cooking there. Mainly I heated water for hot drinks and went up to my parent's house to eat my meals. I worked night shift and slept there in the day time. There was a bat that slept there too, hanging from one of the screen doors. The trailer came with a folding wooden table, a couch, a wooden chair with cushions, an old steel office chair that was made by the Harter company and this mirror - I really treasured those few pieces of furniture. They were the beginning of starting my new life. I loved that old trailer even if it did smell like mice. It was the first time in my life that I was living on my own. I made ecru colored curtains from doilies that I crocheted and then set the doilies into muslin fabric. It just felt so good to me to sit in my little living room down in the pines and BE there. I had chickens too at that time and the chicken house was down near the trailer so I could hear them during the day. My goats lived in the goatshed and my dad helped me put up a fence for them that was between my trailer and the house. I had a new puppy then too - Teddy - a cockapoo, who lived with me there. It was during that time that I met Dave. Walking back to my little trailer holding hands with him and passing under the chestnut trees in bloom during September - that smell will always take me back to those days.

~
This morning Dave and I took Andy for a walk down to the creek and on the way back I took this photo of a chair I have sitting at the top of the hill. I call it dad's chair - a place for his spirit to rest and look over the lower yard. The goat shed is in the background. The old trailer would be to the right of this chair if it was still there.

ghost-of-dad-2-14-16

wild child

Jan. 18th, 2016 03:58 pm
summersgate: (eggshells)
I'd say that the closest thing to a wild child that we have around here now is our kitty Skye. She is young and acts young. It is very common to see her galloping through the room for no reason. She doesn't have control of her urges yet. She will sit at the window watching the birds at the feeder - every once in a while she will charge at the glass and then look around sheepishly to see if anyone saw her hit her nose on the window.

skye-1-18-16
Skye looking serious.

Though, I suppose back in my day I was a wild child. Running away from home without telling my parents I was leaving first. Calling them from half way across the country to tell them I was on my way to California with a guy they couldn't stand. Calling again from California to tell them I was pregnant - weren't they happy? They were going to be grandparents! Lots of hallucinogenic drugs and pot. Way too much drinking. A cigarette smoker. Getting pets I couldn't care for and then leaving them for my mom to deal with. It's really amazing that I turned out as responsible as I did. But I didn't even start to grow up till I was 30. I think of that when I see troubled kids or kids who are breaking their parent's hearts - I turned out okay - those kids very well might too.
summersgate: (eggshells)
36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you?

I am the youngest of three. I am 8 years younger than my sister Kathy [livejournal.com profile] earthmother45 and 5 years younger than my brother John (now deceased). I kind of slipped in there by accident - not planned. I feel like as a kid I was a silly, strange child - the "baby" - maybe I was comedy relief. Though I think I was my father's favorite - I hung out with him a lot in the garage helping him fix things and build things. He knew I was the child that was left out cause I was so much younger and he made a point of spending time with me - a daily occurrence was our walk down to the creek and back - exploring the woods. I spent a lot of time alone drawing in my room and outside playing with the dog. Our birth order also affected me later when my brother John broke his neck in a wrestling accident at age 15. Kathy had gone off to college by that time and since I was 10 it seemed natural that I became a part of the team to help take care of John at home - being at his beck and call for all the little things he didn't want to bother our mother or father for - putting on the hand brace that held his writing implement, in the beginning getting him books or a tablet to write in and later setting him up with his computer and keyboard, bringing food and drinks, feeding him sandwiches. I also did daily physical therapy exercises to keep his hands and feet limber. Later the local Elk's club bought him a golf cart that he could drive around the yard and I spent many hours with him as he drove it to the creek and back at its highest speed - careening around bends in the trail. Because I was the youngest I became a "helper" - and I still get a lot of pleasure from being useful. As a follow up: even though Kathy and I were not close as children (she seemed to be in another world from me) after we both grew up we have become very close - sharing many of the same interests (art, photography, glass, mosaic, musical tastes) and having similar personalities. She is one of my very best friends now.

~
Today Dave and I go to have our eyes tested. I am looking forward to new glasses. I never liked the look of this pair very much.

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