Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween!

 Well, the graveside service went okay. We were lucky that the rain held off despite the weather people saying it was going to rain all day. After saying our goodbyes we went all went out to eat. I can't remember the last time we did this. Obviously it would have been nicer to have Jane with us, but we were thankful to all be together to be able to say goodbye. Daughter drove back to Minnesota yesterday so that she could have today to relax before going back to work. The drive was 10 hours long, a really long drive to make by herself. She had to stop for a while as she was feeling sleepy. She rang me - hands free - for the last hour of the drive so she could have someone to chat to so she could not feel too tired. It was a relief when she made it back to her home. I am sure her new husband (and the other two huskies) will be glad to have her home again!

Today is Halloween. I had been planning to get a pumpkin and have husband carve it for me (he does a half decent job lol) but with the way things happened it completely got forgotten, so no pumpkin this year. We won't be doing Trick or Treating either. We don't usually get many children and well, I just haven't got around to getting anything to give out. I just looked outside and it is starting to rain (again). Poor children.

We did manage to get out for a walk today. We walked up in the sand dunes. It's been a while since we've done that. It wasn't as bright as promised but, at that point it was dry. Tomorrow will be back to going to Jane's house to do some more sorting. 

A couple of phone photos from today. There wasn't as much colour in the trees as I'd hoped for. It was very spotty. Still it was nice to get out and walk. Husband and I haven't been out for one of our walks for a while. 

I'm adding a photo of a pumpkin from a couple of years back just because 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Busy Busy Busy and Sigh - not the best news

 Tomorrow we say goodbye to Jane. It will be just our family - me, hubby, two sons and daughter, MIL and FIL. We will miss her a lot. 

This is a photo of Jane along with a bunch of lighthouse photos I took. She really loved lighthouses and inspired me to start visiting them 

We've been really busy this week starting to sort out her house. Jane was a collector/hoarder and though her house is clean it is filled to the brim with things. The house has three bedrooms, a family room and a full basement. It is full. We have got a skip/dumpster delivered so it is easier to get rid of things. She was a teacher and a genealogist and has a lot of books and papers and research. It really is quite overwhelming. Daughter has been a great help this week. 

Between MIL, myself and daughter we managed to get 5 large black rubbish bags of clothes out of the house for donation and 18 black bags of rubbish for the skip!!! I am pretty sure this is going to take us at least six months to clear the house. We are all really tired after just one week!

Although I was hoping there would be no more bad news this year my sister tells me that my neice (who is pregnant), her husband and one of their children have Covid. Please keep them in your thoughts. So far the 17month old is negative as is my sister and her husband (who hopefully have a bit more immunity as they had covid at the beginning of the year along with Mum). The adults have all had their vaccinations so hopefully they will only have mild cases. It is such a worry though. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Start of a New Week

 Yesterday morning started off beautiful. Husband and I got out early and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise. Unfortunately the rest of the day wasn't so beautiful. Rain set in and it rained and rained and is still raining Monday morning! It's supposed to continue the rest of the day. 

Daughter drove from Minnesota yesterday in all that rain. Not a fun drive. It takes about ten hours. She's very brave to drive all that way by herself (with lovely dog Shasta). She took bereavement for the week so she can be here for Aunt Jane's graveside goodbye on Friday. She's going to try to help us with the Jane's house too. It's lovely to be able to spend some time with her, but I'd rather it not be because of this. 

I sorted through another of my storage cubes. I've started a box of books I've found tucked in random places (there seems to be a lot of them!). I will either read promptly or donate. There are too many books in this house (is there such a thing?). I think that, going forward, I'm going to get rid of the things I find easy to let go of and others I'm not sure of I'll hang on to for a specified period and then revisit to let go of. I would rather donate than just put things in the bin as this makes it a little easier to let go of things. 

Sunrise from yesterday morning

Friday, October 22, 2021

Just Everyday

I thought today would be one where I wouldn't accomplish anything. The three month anniversary is today. When Mum passed we had a memory page made, so today I left another memory there. I think it helps. It's like talking to her. My sister had left one too. I know she is missing Mum. She was her primary caretaker and the one who visited her in her bubble all this past year plus with Covid. I know she has people supporting her. I worry about her. I think the one good thing - if there is one - to come from Mum passing is that my sister and I have strengthened our relationship. There is more to her than I ever thought or imagined. I think she feels a little responsible for me as I am the baby in the family :)

Sister sent me flowers yesterday to cheer me up after Aunt's passing. We had talked about Aunt often. Although my Mum had only met Aunt Jane (she is on my husband's side) a handful of times, Aunt Jane had sent my Mum cards every Christmas and when Mum had cancer she sent her cards to send her well wishes. I think I remember seeing one Aunt Jane had sent Mum after she had Covid this past January (before Jane fell ill).  Mum always asked after her. 

On a house note, as I mentioned at the begining of the post, I thought I wouldn't get anything done (except household regulars that I am managing to keep up with) but I was watching telly and decided to take a break and pulled out just a small storage box. I threw out quite a lot in it, silly things I was holding onto - not sure why. Makes me feel as though I've sorted something lol. 

I think tomorrow I might - might! - sort through one of the boxes I put things into when I came back from England. Daughter is coming on Sunday and I'd like to share some of the photos I brought back. 

Laugh of the day - funny squirrel. A little baby. I have photos of the Mum with baby and another with babies, but one day this one ventured into the garden by itself. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Plodding Along

 Thanks for all the wonderful thoughts/good wishes on my last post. It just seems to be one thing on top of another. I want the year to be done.  Tomorrow it will be three months since Mum passed. I've been regularly messaging my sister and she says she is still having good and bad days. She also said she had heard that the plaque for Mum's bench in Felixstowe has been finished. There isn't a date when it will be installed as they are short staffed. We are hoping it's before the weather gets too bad and sister can't get to Felixstowe to see it. 

It seems an odd thing to say, but with the losses in our family and the things that follow it has got me thinking about sorting out some of my own things and decluttering. I probably shouldn't be thinking of tackling it when we have a whole (somewhat hoarded house) to sort through, but I'm going to do a little at a time and work on getting rid of things that I 'might use someday' or haven't used in a while. 

I did well enough this week that I sorted all the post that needs to be shredded and recycled or put in the bin the things that didn't need to be shredded. The shredding is on the list for next week. I have also started getting together a box of books that will be donated and have even started another box for misc. donation items. I felt quite least for a few hours. 

Photo - things that brought a smile to my face. 

Daughter sent me a photo of her nail art. She's started doing her nails with stick-ons. I thought these looked quite fun. Not sure I could do a lot with them on though lol 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Sad Day

 Sadly we lost another member of our family early this morning. Aunt Jane, my husband's aunt, passed away this morning. I don't think I've mentioned her illness, but she fell unwell back in April.  It's been another of those things that has been getting me down. Seems so much of it. This year, for us, has been really terrible. 

Jane was a wonderful lady. She never married or had children of her own so she was an extra special part of our family.  She spent her working life teaching other children. When our kids were little she would do things with them, take them places and as they grew older she 'employed' them to help in her garden. She was a passionate geanologist and loved lighthouses. I think she visited every lighthouse (or most of them) in Michigan - there are 129. I think it was her love of lighthouses that made me want to visit them.  She'll leave a big hole in our lives. 

This AR emoji of her always makes me smile. We were playing around with my new phone (a couple of years back at Christmas) and I was showing her the AR emoji. We made one of her and it made her laugh!

I hope she is at peace and out of pain. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Sigh - more time passed/ Happy News

 I'm getting through the days but some are more difficult than others. 

Last weekend I managed not to cry sad tears (it was a struggle but I did it). My wonderful daughter got married!!! It's been planned for a while. I just haven't wrote about it as I've just been...well, struggling. I put my happy face on, was as social as I could be (I'm an introvert at heart) and had a good time. I thought about Mum a lot. I would have loved to chat with her before the wedding and shared photos after. 

The wedding took place in Minnesota. The North Shore. Added time to the usual daughter drive. It took us about 12 hours! A looonnnggg drive! We survived it. The wedding was on Sunday. We drove up Friday, had Saturday to spend with daughter, had the wedding Sunday and drove back on Monday.  The wedding was lovely.  Her husband is a great guy and I'm really pleased for them . 

I did not take wedding photos. My daughter wanted me to enjoy the day. I did take photos of her getting ready and I took a few later on in the reception (after the photographer had left). I did get to go along with them when they were having photos done pre-ceremony. 

I did take this one from afar with my phone. I can't wait to see the photos. 

The area up there was beautiful. I really would have loved to stay longer so maybe a return trip will be in the future. 

These were taken with my phone too. I - as always - have some catching up to do!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

It's the weekend again. We did a short walk today. We found a new-to-us nature walk and enjoyed walking the short trails. It was a really pretty area and I'm sure we will go there again when the leaves start to turn more. There are a couple of places there that I'd love to photograph with colour. From there we drove up along the lakeshore to South Haven, a lovely Lake Michigan town. I must admit that I enjoy it more in the off-season. It gets quite busy in the summer and can be packed with people. It was a fairly warm day today and there were people around but we managed to avoid most of them - ha ha. 

It was quite pleasant outside today. The forecast called for rain and there were a few showers, but mostly it was sunny and mild. I wish I had gone out for an afternoon walk as tomorrow doesn't look good, but I stayed indoors and did a couple of things I've been meaning to do. 

This cartoon really made me smile today. There were a few leaves turning on our walk and a few more that had already fallen. 

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2021

New Month - October Joys

 New month, fresh start. 

I usually love October. The shorter days bring cooler weather. I can have the windows open in the daytime and let some lovely fresh air inside the house. The mornings are cool, but not yet cold enough that I need to turn the heat on. It's that lovely in-between time. It's also a great month for energy bills as neither the air conditioner or the heaters are on. I love the changing of the season too. It's lovely to see the beautiful colours starting to take over the trees. Even now some trees are beginning to change. 

This month I'm going to try to look on the bright side of things, look at things that bring me joy, whether they are big or little things. There is so much beauty around. 

You can just see the few trees on my morning walk are beginning to change. I must admit that I haven't felt much like walking lately - I haven't felt much like doing anything - but I have been getting up each morning and going walking with my friend.  I've been taking photos - a lot of animal ones, but I'm growing a little restless with those and really want to find a photo project that I can sink my teeth into. 

Something I will get done this month that I've been putting off - I brought back a lot of pictures and other mementoes from Mum's house. I unpacked my suitcase and have just put them all in a box. It seems so hard to go through them. I know I am not honouring them by just keeping them packed away but I'm finding it difficult to go through them again. So that is something I definitely want to get done this month.

Thanks for all the support. I really do appreciate all the comments.