Sunday, September 27, 2015

Quiet day

Yesterday I tackled a big job of mowing my lawn. I had kept waiting for a dry Saturday to mow, with the result that it had been probably four or five weeks since I mowed--certainly not since before I went to Ashland. The grass was crazy long, and even though it didn't rain yesterday it was still quite wet. But I couldn't wait any longer.

I went to the gas station and bought a couple of gallons of gas for the mower. Before mowing, I used an electric leaf blower to blow leaves off the driveway and steps onto the lawn so that the mower's mulching blades could chop them up. My deck had lots of leaves on it, too, and I blew them into piles then used a broom and dust pan to pick them up and throw them over the retaining wall.

When I mowed, I set the blades three-quarters of an inch higher than I usually do, so that the mower would not have to handle as much wet grass as all that. It was plenty as it was. I went over some areas twice, especially in the front yard, if some parts looked rough. The mower would dump a lot of wet clippings on the driveway and yard, but one of the girls from the family that lives upstairs was kind enough to use the blower to clean up the driveway while I was still mowing the back yard. So it was an intensive session of cutting, but at last I got it done. Then I took a shower because I always smell like lawn mower exhaust after cutting the grass.

In the evening I visited my folks.

This morning I slept long and woke up slowly. I made a pot of coffee and, while it was brewing, took the dog for a walk. Weekends are hard for him for the same reason they're nice for me: because I sleep in and get up slowly. He does not get his walk and breakfast as promptly as he does on work days.

I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it is outside today. Sunny but crisp, with touches of fall color. I left my big door open so fresh air is coming in through the screen door. I love that. And the coffee was brewed.

After breakfast, I knitted a row of my secret knitting project, but I was getting to the end of a ball of yarn. I have a second ball of yarn, so I looked up on youtube how to join a new ball. Typically, there were many methods. One person says, "I start here at the end of a row and do such-and-such." The next person says, "Now it's important not to start at the end of a row." The several methods I watched left the tails of the old and new balls of yarn dangling out of the work with the remark, "Later you can weave these into the fabric." But then I found a lady who knotted one ball of yarn to the next and cut the tails off. She also had the charm of delivering her instructions in an Irish brogue.

So I carefully followed her instructions, and it worked just like she said. I even made it go "sproing, sproing" when I snapped the yarn tight, like she does on the video when she says, "Can you hear me?"

When I got up to get a scissors to cut the tails, I saw out my window that a hummingbird was at one of my hanging baskets. Another beautiful touch to the day.

This evening I will go to my small group and I will lead the Bible study discussion, so I'm pondering that while I knit and have coffee.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Be it ever so humble

I'm back home again. I got home last night. I went back to work today. On my way home, I picked up my dog from my niece's house.

Earlier this evening, I was feeling chilly. I put on a robe that was still warm from the dryer. I sat down to knit, but my dog got on my lap. He was extra cuddly, I suppose because of our time apart. So I stroked his head while he lay against me with his eyes closed.

Soon I'll go to sleep for the night. While I was in Ashland, I didn't sleep very well. Everything else was great, but I have my ways of getting comfortable in my home environment that didn't translate to where we were staying. I wasn't comfortable enough to drift right off; I would only fall asleep when I was so tired I couldn't help it, and I'd wake up as soon as I'd had just enough sleep that any lack of comfort would wake me up. So now it's nice to be back in my own "nest," as my sister called it.

Nevertheless, I loved my time in Ashland and hope to keep going back.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Off to see the bard

Today is the day I head to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I'm driving, and a couple people have asked if I'm leaving early. Um, no. One co-worker asked when I would start driving. I said, "As soon as I can."

My sister, who has a 6-hour drive from her California home, was planning to start at 7:00 a.m. I, who have a 9-hour drive from my Washington home, still have not left at 9:30 a.m. My sister and I have many things in common, but she is a morning person and I am not. She is a lark and I am a night owl.

Right now, at almost 9:30 a.m., my last load of pre-trip laundry is in the dryer. I still have to take my dog over to my niece's house. She and her family will kindly take care of him while I'm gone.

But packing for a car trip is not like packing for an airplane. Things don't have to fit into a compressed size, and if you miss your planned starting time it doesn't mean you can't go, it just means you'll go pretty soon.

Last night when I got home from work, I knew it would be a good idea to take my dog over to my niece's during the evening and not have to worry about that this morning. But I did need to wash some of his blankets and towels that go inside his crate. And I was tired, very tired. I was hungry when I got home from work and needed to fix something to eat. My accomplishment for the evening was doing enough laundry that I have clean clothes to wear on my trip and all I would have to do in the morning was put the last load in the dryer. Which I have.

And I turned off my alarm. To me, one thing more important than getting started on the drive is getting sufficient sleep before the drive. So I allowed myself to sleep out my full sleep. That way, I'll get there alive (I hope and trust) no matter the time. Our activities in Ashland start tomorrow morning at 10:00. I have plenty of time.

I might think it was unwise to write on the internet that I'm leaving, but my home will not be unoccupied, so if any malefactor out there was thinking of breaking into my home to steal my 1998-model giant tube TV that is definitely not high-def or my non-functioning PC, think again. But if you do stop by, would you do me a favor and unload and load my dishwasher?

Oh, and yesterday on my way home from work I stopped off at the eye doctor's to pick up my new glasses. I took a picture last night, with poor lighting and messy hair.

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When my sister was here recently, she helped me pick out the frames. I need that help because when I am trying on glasses that don't have my prescription in them I don't see well enough to judge my own appearance. So I need someone who loves my face to be with me to tell me what looks good on it.

And, now, "On to Oregon!" which was the name of a book I liked in grade school (about kids whose parents died while the family was on the Oregon Trail so they had to complete the journey themselves). I shall be on to Oregon after I take my dog to his sitter and throw my stuff in the car.

The dryer is done.