Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harvest Moonset

With coffee this morning, I watched the Harvest Moon setting into a purple haze.  I awoke with no knee pain for the first time in weeks.  My old trick knee has been up to its old tricks.  I'll walk gingerly, grateful to be feeling better.  I'm ready for fall, autumn leaves, bird migrations, perennials dying back. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A little progress on projects

I have to say, it has really been a tough summer.  I'm sticking close to my dear friend as she grieves.  She said the other day, she wondered if she would ever feel happy again.  There is no medicine for that problem except time.  I feel so sad with her, it is affecting me 24/7.  I, too, long to feel happy.

But we press on.  I have put myself back to work on my projects and today I will finally finish my goal of cleaning out and reorganizing every closet in the house.  Just one hall closet remains.  With this done, I will call my contractor on Monday to set in motion the replacement of all the upstairs doors and a minor remodel of one upstairs shower.  At the same time I will get his advice on a project to replace some rain gutters and install heat tape on the eaves where ice collects.  I also want to initiate construction of a new retaining wall on the west of the house and at the same time, bring in dirt and top soil to build that up where it has eroded so much.  Those are my October aims:
  • Replace upstairs doors and shower
  • Repair/replace rain gutters, and add heat tape
  • Retaining wall and build up on west of house
 I hope writing these specific things down will help me focus on them and get them done.

I haven't decided whether to replace the carpet upstairs or not at this time.  Wood (or laminate) floors would be elegant and pretty.  But the truth is, the grandkids love playing on the soft carpet.  It is old but was very high quality when I bought it and is still in rather good condition.  It is a very dense plush that doesn't mat down at all.  It is somewhat dirty in high traffic areas and I haven't been able to really get all of the dirt cleaned with my home carpet cleaner.  I'm thinking of having a good quality professional come in to clean it.  The one thing I don't like is the color--teal.  It's so out of date now.  But it would cost a lot to replace living room, dining room, hall, and stairs.  And I hate the thoughts of moving my piano, china hutch, and server.  So I remain undecided for now.  I am definitely replacing the couch and chairs.  I'm thinking if I go with solid, neutral colors it will help tone down the effect of the teal carpet. You can tell I'm leaning towards keeping the carpet

Of course, there is the usual fall cleanup outdoors.  I have a week without grandchildren this coming week and I plan to spend that time doing some fall planting, transplanting, and cleanup.  What I can't do myself, I will hire Alberto's guys to do a little later.  They will also winterize the sprinkling system for me.

I hope to have all of these things completed before Thanksgiving.  It will make for a more peaceful and enjoyable winter to have all of that done.

And today, my friend and I will take in a movie.  A comedy because we both want to laugh.  And that will be a small step in the right direction, too.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sadness continues, and a month of unbelievable sunsets

Oh what a sad summer it has been.  Another loss--my dearest, closest lifetime friend's husband died this week after a short battle with cancer.  We feel we are too young to be widows, but life keeps giving us hard lessons.  I am glad she lives close by and I can help her through the coming tough days, weeks, months.  Life has taken a decided turn and I begin to realize the best days are probably behind us.

I'm having good success at tackling my latest projects.  And I've added a new walking schedule every morning after dropping the kids off at school.  I've been feeling so down and my body was getting new aches and pains, and the long walks do help at lot with both issues.

Every evening I take some moments with a glass of wine on the patio, while the hummingbirds and other feathered friends desperately feed before dark falls.  We have had the hottest July and August on record, and it's still in the 80's at sunset.  But even in the heat, I love those few minutes at sundown.  I've been pretty crazy at taking pictures of sunsets this year, but honestly it is spectacular every night.  The colors are enhanced by the many range fires, dust and pollutants in the air.  Not a happy thought, but there is something thrilling in watching these amazing sights.

This isn't even all of them.  But prepare to OD on sunset pictures.  The dates are above the photo.  All but one were taken from my patio.  For some days I've posted multiple pictures to show how the sky changes dramatically over a short half hour or so.
July 28, 2013
 Great Salt Lake, August 5, 2013
 August 11, 2013
 August 12, 2013
  August 12, 2013

August 19, 2013
 August 25, 2013
August 27. 2013

 August 27. 2013
 August 27. 2013
 August 28, 2013

August 30, 2013
This last photo was with my cell phone, so quality is not as good.  And the sun was actually a huge red orb, but I couldn't capture that color.

So goodbye to August, goodbye to summer.  I consider September the start of autumn, although our high temperatures remain in the 90's, well above normal, and the nights do not yet cool down.  I know the opposite extreme is coming before we know it.