Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Saturday, March 30, 2024


I normally post in the morning but my morning was otherwise occupied in the kitchen. I made a large pot of chicken and dumpling soup, which I had intended to do several days ago, and a loaf of bread. Job well done!

My mental/emotional health is much better, leading me to much more engagement in life than I've had in three years. Pain still plagues me, although it is significantly reduced. I can honestly say I almost feel okay. The dough for this bread spends 14-18 hours in the bowl before using. Then another two hours covered after a loaf is formed. Crispy outside, soft inside. 

It's interesting how life changes and suddenly I'm delighted I had it in me to make soup and bread in the same morning. Feeling rather full of my often sorry self! 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Popping In

Another day. Another loaf.

March has flown by. People always said time goes by faster the older you get. It certainly seems true, even though it's not in actuality. Did we simply not pay attention when young? Probably.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Down That Lane

Remember when girls had "Hope Chests"? A cedar chest given to the girl, in my family, on her sixteenth birthday. She was to fill it with linens and needle work and such, for the day all proper girls longed for.....that walk down the aisle. I highly doubt this tradition carried on beyond my generation, and I doubt it was as strong then as it had been in the generations before. Good riddance for the meaning behind the chest, but they are a handy thing to have for storage.

This belonged to my mother. After she died I brought it home. I have sentimentality for items passed down through generations, even one that was hers. It was given by the grandmother I loved. The interior is so pretty. I use it for blanket storage and as a furniture piece in the living room.

I took a quick photo of mine, disturbing Frieda's morning rest. I had French provincial furniture, which I still have, but I painted it years ago. Except for the chest. I never did fill it with the proper items, but the stuff of a teenage girl who'd never even had a boyfriend. Marriage was not on my mind. It makes a good platform for a cat bed. It seems so much has changed, and yet, when you look, not all that much. The pressure to move backward is no joke.

When my mother died in 2020 I brought boxes and boxes of things home to go through. I did some, but most were deposited in my office and left to gather dust. I still have her beautiful china packed in a box. These past several days I have been tackling that task. Lots of photos, her family were pathological about photographing their lives. I came across this school photo of me. Can we say 1960s look! I don't remember this photo, so I don't know how old I was for sure, but maybe around that sixteenth year? Can you dig those cat eye glasses!

I believe I was born with that look on my face. I see it in many childhood photos. Sort of a go-ahead-try-it-look. I could have been the murderer in a Perry Mason episode. My god, that was a long time ago. I don't even remember this me.

The work in my office is moving along, when I'm not finding items that send me back into memory to mull over. We are having more snow after the undramatic rain yesterday. I continue to feel much better, so I am hopeful it's not temporary. It would be wonderful to engage in living again. I may be able to drive to my next medical appointment myself. I haven't driven a car for three years. I couldn't walk very far, meaning I needed to be dropped at the door. I lost independence, something I never would have anticipated happening to me. I am doing my limited version of a happy dance.

Take care, dance if you feel the urge.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Snow. Rain.

We got a foot of snow yesterday and then overnight rain. Rain is supposed to start again around noon. Kind of a mess, but we need the moisture so I won't do the usual complaints. The horses get a day in the barn, I don't want them out in cold rain. They are my barn puffs.

We had leftovers from the evening before. I had some pork chop leftover that I made into a kind of Alfredo casserole meal on the stove top. It was good and I like turning one meal into a different thing altogether. Grilled chops become Pork Alfredo!

If it's Monday, it's laundry day. It is Monday so that will take up the morning. I plan to make ciabatta rolls this afternoon. We all know what generally happens with my plans, but there it is. I am feeling so much better. The dopamine in the Wellbutrin has perked me up and the Celebrex is really helping my back. I'm not pain free, but it's a level of pain I can deal with. I've made headway with my office. That is very satisfying for me. The best thing is, I'm able to do this without feeling like I'm dying a slow death of torture. Most welcome.

Off to laundry duty. 


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Sunshine. No Lollipops.

Good late morning from the Northland.

Sun is shining, snow is melting. We are expecting 6"-12"of snow starting tomorrow. We need it. I had done some physical work on Thursday, so I gave my back a rest yesterday. I made white bean and bacon soup, which will be today's lunch, and then a loaf of Italian bread in the afternoon. That was the excitement of the day. More clearing out and cleaning up in my office after lunch. I'm pretty much useless until afternoon, don't ask me why. But I am.

For several years my office was unused. After I stopped running a business of horses I gradually stopped using it. I had a laptop, so I generally used the kitchen table. My laptop aged out and I didn't want to spend the money on a new MacBook, so I began using the iMac that had been languishing on my desk. I now find I prefer this. So, the repository of all things dumped must be cleared. It's been awhile, but I have not been up to the task. I am now. I think. So....that's my story of the day. 

Friday, March 22, 2024

Let it Snow

It snowed!

There is more to come. We had a snowless winter so I have to say I don't mind this at all. Snow, when there was a normal, was always a given in March. Usually a lot of it. We badly need the moisture.

I made chicken stock a couple of days ago so I think I'll make soup today in honor of snow. I made headway yesterday on the Great Office Cleanup, never fear, there is much more to do. I am so much more mobile since I started taking Celebrex it's hard to believe. I am struggling with the question, why? Why wasn't this mentioned to me three years ago? Two years ago? One year ago? Last month? Why did I have to ask about a prescription pain medicine? Something is very wrong with our medical system. As if I and many others did not already know this. I'm not one to easily forgive, but I do need to just accept it is done and I must move forward.

Anyway, life in the slow lane has improved, fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Rocky Racoon and Other Things

This large fellow sure does enjoy his comforts.

The afghan my grandma made for me is hopelessly covered in cat hair. She made this in the 1960's and it's still hanging in there. I saw Mark's raccoon stroll across the deck last evening toward the cat food for the strays. He got big! He saw me, went off the deck, then stood with his paws resting on the deck and looked at me. Love 'em or hate 'em, they sure are cute. He moved in last year as a youngster. He grew. He and the barn cats coexist peacefully.

We are in for a snow storm tonight and then through the weekend. That's what they say. These things have tended to go around us, so we shall see. We desperately need the moisture. We haven't plowed snow at all this so-called winter.

I am feeling better, the Celebrex has helped with the pain. Why did no one prescribe something like this three years ago? I had to ask for a prescription pain med to get this now. Oh, well....I am better. Slowly, slowly moving toward improving strength and balance, but I need to be patient and take it slow. It took three years to get here, it's not getting better in a week. I did start on my office yesterday. It has become the repository for all things not put away. How on earth did my persnickety self allow this to happen? Only the shadow knows. That's a reference a lot of people wouldn't get. How did I become old? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Monday, March 18, 2024

Frieda and Flowers, Again

Frieda does enjoy my flowers.

I took the photo with my iPhone at night, from a distance, so a bit blurry, but then so am I. Sorry, Frieda. The day began dreary, now the sun is making a welcome appearance. We are to get measurable snow this week. It has happened once, in this part of the state, the entire winter. We desperately need moisture.

Yesterday was a quiet, comfortable day of guilt-free leisure for me. Mark can't do leisure, he's too nervous/anxious, whatever it is. I have been forced into it and sometimes, when I feel it's my choice, I enjoy it. Monday = laundry day, so that is happening. I found a recipe for simple Italian bread I may make after lunch. My bread making has come down to the simplest of loaves. Life is narrowing down to the simplest of things and I'm allowing myself to realize that's ok. In case it isn't clear, I am by my nature a driven individual who has had a habit of forward motion. Maybe the fates forced me into slowing down and smelling the bread baking! I am learning to accept that which I cannot change, but to attempt to change to a reasonable degree. Such a philosopher.

The washing machine has given me the ding-ding signal it is finished, so I'd best be off to my scheduled duty. May you all move onto your own ding-ding signal.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Pizza. Flowers. Cats.

I disappeared from the internet yesterday. 

We had a good afternoon with Matthew and Kelly. It was really enjoyable. They brought pepperoni pizza, vegan pizza, a fantastic salad and ice cream! Gatto made a nuisance of himself, Frieda and Jiggs stayed incognito. And.....they brought me flowers! We had a fun and happy time. Also a very good lunch.

Frieda decided to taste test the leaves of the flowers. When I attempted to get better photographic evidence of her crime, she jumped off the table. Brat Cat.

As soon as the invaders vacated the premises Miss Priss came out of the bedroom she was considering a jail cell. Wide eyes scanning the scene before clearly establishing it was all clear.

Now it's time for some porch therapy to calm herself after the invasion of the strange two-leggers. Seriously......what were we thinking?

It's been a long time since we have had company. Mostly, I would say this is due to the problems I've had the past three years. Also a change in social dynamics. I never had a lot of people in my life and as time goes on it dwindles. Mark has a LARGE family, but I was considered unacceptable by his mother, being divorced with a child, urban and NOT CATHOLIC. The behavior was unacceptable, so that is his world, not mine. It is not a sore spot, not any longer.  We do need to make more of an effort to see my only relation and his wife more often. It was a pleasant day, indeed.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Soup and Cats and Vacuums

I found out it's Pi Day when the nerd I married starts rattling off the numbers. I asked him what in this world he was doing and he said, like I should care, it's Pi day and I'm remembering the numbers. As I often say, I married him voluntarily. 

Math Guy also thought it might mean I would make a pie. Fat chance, buddy. All I had in me for today was soup. I have obviously been off my game when it's mentioned to me that we haven't had soup in a long time. I made enough for a week of lunches. So there, put that in the ol Pi hole!

I think I may be feeling a little feisty today. The pain med may be working. Which is good, as I am having company on Saturday and I haven't so much as looked at a vacuum nor a broom. As it's six years since DIL has been here, I think I should maybe fluff the homestead up a bit. We are very close.

Mark has headed to Fleet Farm to buy the grain for the equines and chow for the cats. I'm not only feeding our six kitties, but two strays that have been giving me sad, hungry eyes.There's food and water on the back deck and on the front porch, as well as Howard's old doggo bed. Mark has repeated a few times we don't need anymore cats. One of them is very friendly. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Gatto finds it all so interesting.

This fellow is an intact male. I need to decide if he will live here or if I'll take him to a shelter. If he lives here, I'll need to neuter him. The other is likely male as he is orange and I think over 50% born are male. He is not touchable. He does stare through the glass at me, though. I did have seven large dogs at one time, so what's a few cats? 

Anyway......I should probably grab a vacuum and pretend to be cleaning my cat house. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Grumble, Grumble. Life is a Tumble

I had an appointment yesterday with Mark's primary. I saw her once before about six weeks ago. We are trying Celebrex for pain. She mentioned seeing someone in pain management. I had done that at the prior clinic and it was a joke. She assured me this would be better. We agreed to wait on the results of the new pain med. I am cautiously liking her, I don't know if she is doing the same!

The social butterfly that I am, I'll be venturing out two days in a row. I need to renew my drivers license, which is expired. I have an appointment today, an opportunity for a new mugshot. Joy to the world.

The time change has me out of sorts, more than usual. I am a proponent of staying on standard time year round. It does give us something to grumble about for at least a month (the whole time we are on DST). We are both excellent grumblers.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

I dreamt last night I was out walking my deceased dog, Howard. Somehow he got into a pasture with cattle and was not listening when I called him. Imagine that, a basset not listening. I was upset with him, he was enjoying his journey among the steers. Then I see Diamond Rose and her foal, Zing, in the same pasture. This is weird because Mama Rose died at Zing's birth, but there they were, cantering along the fence line like it was a perfectly normal thing. The dream suddenly transitioned to Jesus winning a beauty contest. Everyone was so happy. OK. Where did that come from? This was the pretty blonde, blue-eyed Jesus that's in so many paintings. It was a seemingly normal event. What happened to Howard and the horses, I do not know. If there was a celebration after the beauty contest, I must have missed it. I decided to write about this because Boud wrote about a dream she had that was right out of left field. Maybe there was something in the atmosphere last night?

Howard B. Hound

Friday, March 8, 2024

Spark of Floral Color

Sitting with my heating pad on the other side of the room, I get to see these lovely geraniums, which have been blooming all winter. Aren't they pretty. As you can see, yesterday was dreary and windy. We have sunshine today and strong wind. The geraniums and rosemary are oblivious.

I texted the son yesterday to see if we could move to Sunday, giving me one more day to hopefully improve. He has plans so he said let's just do next Saturday, what's one more week. I agreed. That takes pressure off, I'd like to be good company. We could wait till June and do my half birthday!

I missed the State of the Union address last evening. We forgot about it. I did catch the last ten minutes, looks like it may have been interesting. I think it's going to be a bumpy ride.

In the meantime, have the best day you can muster!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

After the Fall

The last couple of days the pain from my tumble was bad. Today is somewhat better, thankfully. It's no surprise that I hurt, I landed on a wood floor with a clunk. It's a sunny, mild day and I was just informed by Mark he is taking the afternoon off to strip some stalls. This is a fine example of our lives.....take an afternoon off to do a different form of work! I do not know how we manage such exciting lives!

This poor photo of last evenings dinner is not up to how good the food was. I had a small amount of leftover steelhead trout I used with asparagus, garlic, tarragon and red peeper (came back to edit this but who wouldn't like red peeper flakes!) flakes in a wee bit of cream. I do love a simple meal, easy to make and good to eat. I bought prosciutto and fresh mozzarella for pizza, something I haven't made for quite awhile. I can tell I haven't been interested in cooking, pizza is normally a regular item. I'm going to go all out and make a dough that spends a couple of days in the refrigerator. I usually don't plan ahead, so I haven't ever made one. Stay tuned.

I'm expecting the son and his wife on Saturday for a delayed celebration of my birthday. He is bringing the food, which makes me very happy. It will be nice to have company. We always saw Bill at least a couple of times a week but he is going through some things and has been absent most of the winter. I realize in his absence how much we enjoyed his visiting. It's been about 18 months since we have seen the DIL and it's been six years since she has been here! They are busy with jobs and life and time can slip away. I do need to remove cat hair before they arrive. Life in a cat house.

May we all take the time to say hello to those in our lives.


Monday, March 4, 2024

Took a Tumble

Last evening. A hard one. Ever since the brain injury I have had poor balance. I stopped riding because it felt unsafe. I'm now older and I have been inactive for three years, making my already poor balance worse. I wear sliders, comfortable, thick soled footwear which is proving unsafe for me. The sole is about two inches thick, so I need to pick my feet up higher than is my normal, which I don't always do. I have a step-up from the living room to the kitchen, this time I didn't pick my foot up high enough and snagged the sole on the step, sending me backward in a clumsy fall. The worst part was Mark. He was a hot mess, hovering and sure I was taking my last breath.  Long story short, nothing was injured, I was quite sore, but all parts worked. This morning I was fine, my back hurt just a bit more, but that was it. Lesson learned, no more sliders.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Hard Headed Woman

I have tinnitus, very annoying, but you get used to it. If you didn't it would drive you mad. I also hear songs, ear worms I guess they are called. One will stick around for awhile and then be replaced by another. I have had this song in my head for way too long. I like the song. Cat Steven was one of my favorites and still is, even though he became a fundamentalist Muslim and stopped his music for decades. That made me sad and probably a little angry. I guess he was searching for something and that's where he landed. He's back to music again. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway.....last night I was thinking about this so this morning it becomes a blog post. I would like a new tune running through my muddled brain. Maybe this is payback for likely being a hard headed woman myself. Mea culpa, now go away! BTW, Tea for the Tillerman, imo, is a flawless album. I'm sure not everyone would agree, but I am a hard headed woman.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Bounce! Go Ahead....Bounce!

Can you guess his name?


My good friend, who kept her mare here, named him. He came out of the womb with a bounce. He was probably a weanling, perhaps a yearling in the photo. He's now 22, I think. I had him saddle trained and was ready to sell when we had the market crash and everything went to hell. So he lives with us, along with many others. He and his brother are mischief makers, I think you can see that in him in this photo. Scamper (Judy also named him) is a real naughty pants! They do not grow out of it.

We are breaking temperature records. Sunday will be 70F. In March. In Minnesota. Not good. I blame this weather for my constant sinus problems. It's a misery, let me tell you. Mark is also have trouble with it and that's unusual for him. My son is having a tooth extraction at an oral surgeon today. We wish him luck. They are planning on visiting next Saturday, so I need to start feeling better.

That's all, I guess. I just thought I'd give your day a little Bounce!