Sunday, February 11, 2018

My Ladybug

There has been a ladybug floating around my Mother's bedroom and plants and window in her room for a couple weeks.  I watch it while I feed her and talk to her.  I love Ladybugs.  My Mom's nickname is Ladybug.  She had a gold ladybug watch that she wore around her neck for years when I was young. The watch wore out but she kept it in her jewellery box for all these years. I would look in her jewellery box and that ladybug would be sitting there for as long as I can remember. When I moved her back here and I put her jewellery box in her bedroom. I took the ladybug and put it on my bedside table along with some objects of my Dad's too. I have always thought of Ladybugs as these beautiful sweet creatures who were delicate and frail and you had to be so careful of taking care of them and not hurt them. I know of their symbolic nature. I can't help but feel overanxious constantly right now.  For Valentine's day, I made some mini cupcakes and had a ladybug and heart theme. Tim made an amazing lunch - baked ham, green beans and twice baked potatoes to take her for lunch.  I hope it's a nice day.    

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Dongtai Antique Market

I have been to Shanghai many times for work.  It's an amazing city in many ways.  However, one of the things that I don't like about it is that they have destroyed so much of its architectural past in pursuit of industry and the future.  The flea market on Dongtai street used to be one of my favorite things to shop while there. Unfortunately, it has disappeared slowly block by block.  Old residential neighborhoods being torn down for high rise "Transformer" styled buildings. I had a free Sunday and walked over and couldn't believe how much of the market was gone. All of the tables are no longer there and just a handful of shops still open. I love looking for old Transferware while there. I love mixing old and new Ironstone, my Grandmother's blue Spode pattern, my Mother's white on white Noritake and my own blue vintage dishes. I bought a couple pieces - a vase and bowl while there.  I got home and unwrapped them and they look great with our assortment of dishes.  I like things you can use.  They will get a workout with us.


I needed to take a break from posting for awhile. I feel blessed for last year.  However, things got a little too heavy as well. Hippy talk. Starting fresh with the New Year.  Went to Shanghai and got caught in the middle of that terrible snow storm in New York.  After a bad start and a delay of two days, I left for China.  Working with my team in Shanghai.  We had a great time, lots of hard work, lots of great eating.  I discovered what a Hot Pot is and loved it. Awesome hosting by our CFO, Stephen.  I was over there for 3 weeks and got back last weekend.  Came back to snow and more political garbage. Ready to go back to Shanghai.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Funeral Pre-Arrangements Part Three

I am sure there are many books and websites devoted to preparing you for all of this but I haven't looked at them. Maybe it's time.

I knew this day would come as well. I knew it was going to be delivered. I was on my way to the post office and saw it from the road. I look towards the plots as I pass by the cemetery a couple times a day.  Suddenly, there it was. I slowed and pulled in the driveway of the cemetery.  I parked the car and just sat in the car looking at it.  It was a gorgeous sunny day. I got out of the car and walked over to the headstone.  The dirt around the stone base was fresh and there was grass seed sprinkled on it. I don't know what I expected and didn't know what to feel. I was overwhelmed simultaneously by sadness and the beauty of the day. It was a strange combination.

I looked at the surrounding graves and made a mental note to dig up some Shasta Daisies and Black Eyed Susans and plant them on either side of the grave before it got cold. I walked back to the car with the sun shining brightly on my face.  I got in the car, drove to the post office and picked up my mail.  I stopped by Russells and decided to get an ice cream. I guess I didn't realize that I had been crying in the car because Bea just looked at me funny.  Maybe, I just looked stunned or something? My eyes burned. I paid for the ice cream and stepped back into the sunshine and got into my car. I unwrapped the ice cream and started the car and drove slowly back home.

Funeral Pre-Arrangements Part Two

I knew this was going to be a very difficult day for me.  I thought I had prepared myself to go and make the funeral arrangements for my Mom.  Step one was buying the cemetery plots.  Step Two - to meet with the funeral home director and make burial arrangements. I drove over to Delhi to Macarthur Funeral Home and met with Paul.  I realized I had seen him before.  One night, as I was dropping some stuff off to my Mom at her home there were an ambulance and gurney out in front of the building.  A tall man came out of the building and took the gurney inside. Someone must have died and I sat outside waiting. I did not want to go inside and witness this.  The man re-emerged from the front door with a covered body on the gurney and loaded the back of the ambulance vehicle with it. That man was my funeral home director, Paul. 

Paul was a very nice guy, a little long-winded, but that was part of his charm.  Paul was great. We talked about the arrangements and picked out a burial urn, signed papers, wrote checks and got to know each other. He was so considerate and I got through the entire conversation without my lips trembling, crying or shaking.

I thought the worst was over when all of a sudden he asked, "now, what about your Dad?"  I didn't know where he was going with this as we had discussed the headstone and I gave him both my parent's information.  He asked me if my Dad had been a veteran and I told him he served in the Air Force and in Vietnam for 20 years.  "Then, he will get a Veteran's honor guard and burial," he told me. I guess I had prepared myself for my Mom but I was completely unprepared to discuss my Dad. My poor Dad's death has been totally upstaged by my Mother's illness and care.  I don't think I have been able to grieve for him properly because of everything I have gone through for the past three years. When he started discussing what the government provides Veterans, my chest started heaving and I started crying in front of him. I guess the gesture of kindness from any stranger at this stage in the game would have set me off but I wasn't prepared for this.  After I stopped crying, I apologized and tried to explain myself. He passed me a box of tissues and I have never been more grateful.  He was extremely polite and nice about it. I was mortified. We finished discussing Dad and I walked out to the car. I sat behind the steering wheel and didn't move for what seemed a very long time.

Critter Moment

Taking time off to be with my Mom this summer has given me quality time with her and time for projects. However, I miss Tim during the week and our babies. Tim sends me pics that our cat sitter takes along with ones he takes as well. Here are some of Atticus and Sookie just being cute. 

Florida Room

I keep a massive workbook list of projects. In that book, for every project, there are lists of to-dos, to buys, to research, and how to build.  We have these two large outbuildings on the property which were originally the two cabins we camped out in before we built the house.  We finished the first cabin interior and insulated it and ran electric to it.  The second cabin was not completed.  We used the first cabin as a seasonal fourth bedroom when we had parties at the house and needed it for the overflow of house guests. It wasn't the best use of the space.  When I inherited all of the wood shop equipment, we put all of it the second, unfinished shed because we didn't have time to finish out the second cabin. I have been working with electricity run from a power cord from the other building.  Not good. Over the summer, we discussed how we could better use the two cabins.  So, next Spring, we will move all of the wood shop equipment to the first building which has a substantial floor, insulation, walls, and electricity already installed.  This will solve two problems. We will have electricity for all of the saws, sanders, and routers.  It will also allow us the time to finish out the second cabin as we have time to do it.  We decided that in order to get more use out of the second building was to make it more of a Florida room rather than just an extra bedroom.  It has a porch and patio door window but still, needs additional windows.  On the way home from Delhi this week, I passed a house on HWY 28 that was being remodeled.  The contractor had put several large windows on the curb to discard.  I picked out three windows and threw them in the back of my pick up.  The windows are the perfect size and proportion for remodeling the shed.  The three were part of a set - a large picture window with two book-end casement style windows. I will use the large picture window for the cabin to add to the existing windows and will use the two additional windows for when I enclose the back porch.  I love when my hoarding instincts kick in.  I love a good bargain.  This will save me hundreds of dollars on windows for both remodeling jobs.  So many projects, so little time.