Monday, October 24, 2016

Good girl, getting better

At my friends' urgings I'm returning to my list-making for daily accomplishments.  Today's list was maybe a little too long and too enterprising, but I DID do 3 things at least.  Feeding the dogs doesn't count, but changing the bed does.  Watering the plants doesn't really count but I put it on the list anyway.  I did NOT clean the living room.  I did do more of the camp laundry, which still isn't finished but I've made great progress.  I did go to AuSable, hit the bank with a DEPOSIT, not a withdrawal, and I hit the grocery store but limited purchases to $30 worth.  Limiting expenditures should count as an accomplishment.

I moved a fair amount of firewood, which probably shouldn't count since it's a necessity.  I made a vat of chili, which wasn't on my list but was just a bonus.  I went to see P&J, had a nice time with them but did not have a drink.  Good girl.

Weather forecasts have us getting snow (more snow) tomorrow and Wednesday.  Swell, just swell.  Only a couple-few inches, and I have to admit I'm used to this weather pretty much already.  High today was 39, with a constant and cold wind.  A little bit of sun but a lot of heavy gray clouds.  Boy does the sun make a difference.  Looks as if we won't be having much sunshine this week, rats.

Tomorrow I guess I'll go to Plattsburgh, buy a new smoke detector, pick up some meds, maybe have lunch with a friend.  I need to have my snow tires put on, must call the car place this week to set that up.  Must check in with the well driller.  Must call Vermont to schedule my mammogram.  Must must must.  Do phone calls count as achievables?  Probably not.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

It always snows in October

Yes we always have some snow in October, and it always melts (except for one year) so I wasn't shocked or stunned when I got up this morning and there were inches of heavy snow bending the trees and covering my geraniums.  I was surprised that it felt so cold, it was 30 and in a couple of months that will feel like spring.  But it's NOT a couple of months from now and it's been very, very warm and lovely.  I never really put my winter things away, including boots and jackets, so getting wood was only a problem because I suffered so much.  We had no power.  No phone.  No Internet.  But more than television.  No water.  My house is incredibly silent where there's no TV and the fridge doesn't run.  Spooky.  No, peaceful, really.  It was cold, in the 50's, but the fire helped with that, I'm lucky to have an alternate source of heat.

I got up around 7 (boy it is SO dark then), stoked the stove, lit my Coleman lantern and assessed things.  OK, Fred and I had planned to share coffee at his camp at 7:30, so I went to the closest convenience store (10 miles), bought 2 coffees, Pop Tarts and lottery tickets, and delivered them to Fred.  His camp was very, very dark and very, very cold but we sat in front of his fireplace and had a good visit.  Much discussion about "what are we going to do when we get older?"  What, indeed.  I think about this fairly often: how much longer can I live in my house in Hawkeye in the winter?  Who knows, and it's not something I fret about, I just wonder.  In 10 years I'll be 73.  Fred is 75 and he can manage fairly well on days like today but it's not comfortable or swell.  Anyway we enjoyed being together and laughed a lot.

Later in the morning I went to Pat & Jim's, they had no power either and their house was getting pretty chilly.  The sun came out and warmed us all just before the power came back on.  We don't know how long it was out for, we all went to bed with power, heat, television and very strong wind, with sleet.  My guess is that it was out for about 10 hours.  This isn't a problem when it's 30, but it can be scary when it's well below zero.  We were all surprised at the outage, the power company has been around for at least a week, clear cutting along power lines.  Oh well, crisis averted, life back to normal.

I have little planned for the week, my calendar is woefully bare.  Dinner Thursday night with Fred, Bill and Pat and maybe Jim to celebrate Pat's birthday, which is Saturday.  We used to go to Big Daddy's, our neighborhood diner, but Big Daddy's is closed.  Rats, how we miss that place.  No, the food wasn't particularly good but it was convenient and OK.

Tomorrow's list includes putting plastic on the back door, feeding the birds, cleaning the living room (when will that black dog stop throwing her hair on the floor?), dumping flower pots on the deck and doing some more laundry.  Camp laundry, it's taking forever to do.

The weather for the week looks pretty benign.  40's, maybe some sun but also maybe some snow.  I don't have my snow tires on yet, I suppose I should start thinking about getting that done.  Oh winter, oh winter.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Flue and flu (shot)

Went to Plattsburgh this morning, got errands done and as a bonus got my flu shot.  Good for me!  I'm not one who cares much about needles, I have my blood tested 4 times a year and get shots for this and that, so it was no big deal at all.  They scare you, though, by asking you to stay in the store for 5 minutes after the shot in case you have a reaction.  All the way home I thought "Am I having a reaction?"  Well of course not.

I bought myself another mum but had to search for one that was mostly buds and not blooms.  Since they were only $3.50 I thought it was OK to treat myself (I didn't buy any Halloween candy at the drug store while waiting for a reaction to the shot)(VERY proud of myself for that one).

It's absolutely beautiful in the hills between here and Plattsburgh, the golds and yellows are blaring.  Wow what a treat.  Can't see the mountains, though, because there are low-lying clouds.  That makes the colors bolder.

Started a fire when I got home, the house felt chilly and damp.  It's slow to warm up without sunshine, my living room is mostly windows with good southern exposure.  I'm trying to adjust to cold even though it's barely cold either indoors or out.  It's 48, which will feel tropical in a short time.

Yesterday my only human contact was a phone conversation with someone.  Today was much better, I talked to people at the post office and stores, plus just had a nice phone conversation with Annie.  Now it's just me and the dogs.  I have a friend who has lived alone for the nearly 40 years I've known her, without any pets.  I rely on my dogs so very much for companionship and (one-way) conversation (no, my dogs don't answer me when I ask them questions), I wonder what it would be like to live without pets.  Not even a fish.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Autumn full bore

I need to remember to take off my glasses for selfies.  This was this morning when I was closing the boat house and camp

The final burst of color on the mountain, a gorgeous vision.
The far shore.  Lots of bare naked trees, but still some poplars, birches and aspens in living color.

It's been a funny week, one of adjustment for me.  Linda left Sunday, arrived safely in Ann Arbor on Monday.  That means I have a very different life now, all the summer people are gone.  I'm having a good time, keeping busy and feeling very, very lucky to live here, be retired and have the life I do.

I still have water issues, am doing my laundry at the Holts (which is a huge blessing) but I shower, do the dishes and flush the toilet here at home.  Ahhhhh, life sure is good.  There's not a lot of water in the well but there's enough for one person who doles out water drop by drop.

I went to Plattsburgh on Weds., had lunch with Julie and ran some errands.  Got some groceries, couldn't believe I would need more food but there's always a need for dog food.  I went to the orchard, got myself some Macoun apples, my favorites.  Did I need more apples?  No, but those are my very favorites and this is the time to eat them.  I got some cider too, again, this is the time to have it.  Yum.

I slept most of Monday, I like to think it was recovering from the summer.  It felt wonderful.  Tuesday I felt sick, had intestinal trouble, slept a good part of the day and spent the rest of the time back on the couch.  I did have coffee with Fred, in front of a dead calm and still-colorful lake.  Very nice.

We've lost a lot of leaves--it was warm but really windy this week and now there are bare trees around my house as well as a few (very few) brightly colored trees.  It's still gorgeous here but is supposed to rain heavily for the next few days, with maybe some snow on the weekend.  It always snows in October so this is no great deal.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Bucklet list check-off

Every now and then (and 3 times this summer) people see a moose in my neighborhood.  Well fan me with a brick yesterday I saw one.  I've always wanted to see one up close and personal, and what a bonus that it was 7 miles from my house.  They have a range of 50 miles and have been seen nearer my house than that--moose prints at the end of my driveway, and in the bog next door to my house.  This was way cool.  I was on my way to the dump and she came out of the woods, trotted to the middle of the road (I was parked on the shoulder), looked around then turned back and trotted back into the woods.  She was beautiful, shiny and relaxed and looked just great.  I've heard reports that ticks are a big problem for some mooses, they get such bad infestations, but this one looked wonderful.  Oh I'm a happy girl now.

Other than moose musings life goes on.  Linda is the last of the summer friends to leave, she leaves later in the morning.  We had one final dock-sit Sat. afternoon in hot sun.  The water was tempting, we almost went in, but thought better of it.  I've helped her a bit to close up her camp, hating to see her go but also looking forward to getting back to my REAL life.  This week the weather is supposed to be wonderfully warm.  It wasn't warm Sat. morning, temp was 25 and we finally had a heavy frost.  Killed my impatiens but not the geraniums.

I still have water coming out of my faucets but I'm using as little as possible.  Yes, I flush my toilets, and the other day I bravely took a shower here.  No problems so far.  I'm not doing my laundry at home, I use the Holts' washing machine (which is way better and bigger than mine anyway).  I suppose eventually I'll have to stop using their machine and go to a laundromat.  Back to that, I've been in this position before.  Time to start saving quarters.

The dogs are just fine--it's 3 a.m. and they're snoring in the bedroom while I'm in the living room writing this in front of the fire.  I lay in bed, awake, for an hour or so before deciding to get up.  I don't often sleep through the night but am trying to stay up later.  When I retired I started going to bed early, 8:30 or so, but that just means I wake after a few hours, as if I've just had a lovely nap.  I have trouble getting back to sleep.  Ideally I would sleep until 6 or so and wake up refreshed and ready for the day.  I am extremely sensitive to morning light, I wake when it gets light outside without an alarm.  I have my nifty "pretend sunrise" alarm light and it wakes me at 5:45 or so, but sometimes I go back to sleep until it's light outside, which is too late or me now. 

I've been retired for nearly 2 years and am still getting used to it.  I worked full-time for 40 years, will it take that long for me to get used to not working?  Oh I hope not.

End of fall color

 Silver Lake Mountain bluffs, just past peak color.  What a year it's been.

Not exactly next door to my house, but not far.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Well well well

It's been quite a week and it's only Tuesday.  I had a plumber come today, he took the well cap off (oh the magic of a lever) and we looked into the way-down well tiles to see about a foot of water at the bottom.  That was better than I'd expected, but still not great.  This great plumber said "I'm not leaving until you have water" so he worked and finally diagnosed the problem as, yes, the pump lost its prime, but there was a warped fitting that was leaking air into the line.  YAY.  "Plastic fittings, those are the worst," so he replaced it and the pump came up to pressure, and, miracle of miracles water came out of the faucets and the toilet tank filled with water.  It's only been 10 days without water but I'm ready to be able to wash the dishes under running water, and to use my own toilet.  I'll still use my friends' house for showering and laundry but my oh my how easy it is when you turn on the faucet and water comes out.

It's still beautiful here, wonderful color in the woods.  We're losing leaves but it will be a while before we get into the monochrome that is November.  I like November, you can see into the woods and there are very few people around.  Don't mean to sound anti-social, I just like peace.

It was a busy weekend, a lot of god friends visiting.  We watched the debate but not all of it.  We had dinners together and good visits.  Tomorrow I'm cooking dinner for the book group friends, Thursday is one of my last Linda/Erdvilas dinners.  Friday is lunch with a friend in Plattsburgh then dinner with friends.  Tomorrow Linda and I are hoping for a dock day.  We may swim, but then the temperature was 29 this morning so the water no doubt is a tad chillier than it was last week.

Dogs are fine though Treasure took off when we were leaving Linda's this evening.  She was chasing something, a rabbit or deer or her imagination.  My plumber has coonhounds, hunts raccoons but doesn't kill them. 

Life is good.

Fall color

 The Silver Lake Mountain bluffs, lots of color at the foot of the bluffs.  There are mountain lions, eagles, bobcats, but no Labrador retrievers in those bluffs.  No trails going along the crest, either, it's a way cool place.

Miss Linda on her dock, my chair is empty because I'm in the water.  Water is cold but not impossibly so.  No color because those are cedars on the shore.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Good looking autumn

 Linda's dock, ready for 2 fat old ladies to plop down with their Manhattans.  This was late yesterday afternoon, a spectacular time.  So very pretty and peaceful.
The far shore from Linda's dock.  Not sure we're at peak foliage just yet, but we're sure getting close.

The view from my bedroom.  Yellows, lots of yellows.

Still dry but with promise

I still don't have running water but have been in touch with well drillers, who say there's a month-long wait before they can come.  That's OK, I'll have time to figure out the money part of it by then.  The question is: will I just go without water for the next month, or will I ask for help?  These well people don't work on hand-dug wells, rats.  I have contractors who are friends and would help me but I know they're all very busy and I don't want to impose or interrupt their work so I doubt I'll call them.  I'm such a jerk.

We're having a good fall, it's warm and sunny today, just lovely.  I went to the dentist this morning, just a cleaning--very successful except that I have to return in 6 months to have a filling replaced and maybe have a crown put on the tooth.  Well hell.  My teeth are in good shape, though, so I shouldn't complain or suffer.  I am very lucky.

Tonight Linda is having a dinner party to celebrate Bill's birthday, 8 people for pork (Bill & Fred's favorite).  I'm not making anything to take (whew), I bought wine.  Tomorrow there's an exhibit opening at a gallery in Lake Placid--it's Jamie's brother, the artist, so I may try to go.  Some friends want to have dinner with me in a nearby restaurant so I guess I'll go to the opening then to dinner.  Saturday night I'm having dinner with the Holts.  I've been using their water, shower, washing machine.  Will I use their shower while they're in residence?  I doubt it, I'm too self-conscious.  They'll be here until Monday so I may just wash up in the lake.  Brrrrr, but it's sunny and warm right now.  Tomorrow Linda and I are planning a dock day.  May be our last one, she's leaving next weekend.  Boy will I feel that change.  It will be good for me to get my life back into some state of normal.  Joe & Martha left this week, they made it home to Georgia but have been evacuated because of the hurricane. I'm thinking good, positive thoughts for them.

Life continues for me.  I made phone calls for our Congressional candidates one morning, I went to Plattsburgh a few times this week, I'm living comfortably without water but will soon be very tired of that for sure.  I started knitting an afghan for a baby due in February.  I love knitting baby things, especially blankets or afghans, I always feel productive if I'm knitting while I waste time watching TV.

The dogs are well.  Tess still itches, presumably from the ragweed.  We should have a frost one of these nights, which should end that.  They ran off this morning while I was getting ready to leave for the dentist.  I got upset but they came home soon enough so that I was only 10 minutes late.  duh.