Friday, November 20, 2020


Our national election mess continues to disappoint.  I am amazed daily at how thin a facade of democratic principles our elected politicians had and how easily and publicly that facade has been damaged.

I have been keeping busy with little tasks, continuing our quiet life of isolation.  I bought a stamped embroidery sampler and a random assortment of carded embroidery floss from an etsy shop called Dropcloth.  If I finish the sampler, as I hope, it will be sewn into four little ornaments.  My hands are so frozen up by carpel tunnel and arthritis that even a few stitches are enough to start them burning.  It is frustrating; I used to do some pretty nice embroidery, if I do say so myself, and made several large pieces, but of course I gave them all away.  Now it is a challenge even to hold a needle still in numb fingers long enough to thread it, and my stitches, when I do try to make the effort, are uneven and disappointing because they are generally made with nerveless fingers.   But the Dropcloth samplers, which I first saw on Spiral, really spoke to me because there is something primitive and non-judgmental about them.  The artist says in her post,  "I used back stitch, couching, and french knots, but you can choose your own stitches to suit your own taste."  Somehow that simple permission, which I should have given myself long ago, was enough to convince me to put in the order.  I am stitching away now, using mostly running and back stitch and stopping about every six inches of thread, but it is giving me something new to do when I don't feel much like doing anything.  

Today, as I have been threatening my husband, I put up our christmas tree. I know it is awfully early, but it is that kind of year.   I have not decorated it yet (it is fake and prelit), or hung stockings; I will wait a bit for that, but now I have the fairy lights near the fireplace where I can enjoy both for the next few weeks.  

And although it is warm-ish today and not Christmas weather at all, I picked up some "cocoa bombs" from a local candy maker who works out of her home.  I haven't tried them yet, but the idea is to place one of these candies into a mug of hot milk (or almond milk, in my case) and the chocolate melts into a chocolaty drink while the melted sphere releases a handful of mini marshmallows.  I bought them for my grands, of course, but I will keep one or two to try myself and I am looking forward to it!   Even if the idea is cuter than the result turns out to be, this is exactly the kind of little thing that makes me feel pampered.

Speaking of being pampered, November is my birthday month and Jack has already surprised me with flowers.  It's funny, this is a month I have dreaded for most of my life, but he has put the fun back into it.  Living with him has turned me into something out of a high school musical, I find myself singing and dancing around the house with no care for how I look or sound.  I have never behaved that way before unless I was alone or with my young children, so perhaps I am regressing.   It is not, I think, that we are deliriously happy, it is more that we are deliriously comfortable.  Whatever the reason, I like it, and he likes it, too.   I suspect that other men in my life would have enjoyed this freer me, but those relationships somehow never sparked the trust that made it possible.   I hope young people find it sooner, seventy years is a long time to wait.

Our backyard continues to provide a limited entertainment that truly brings us joy.  We had a visit this week from a pileated woodpecker, a fairly rare sighting in our yard although we know there are many of them in mid Michigan, just not usually within the city limits.  We also had a hawk stop by and window-shop our bird feeders.  I did not see him strike, but he got a good look at our rodent and songbird buffet.  It will be there all winter because we keep our feeders full when the weather is cold.  We have not seen deer since hunting season began, but we are sure they are out there.  There is no hunting behind us but if I were a deer I wouldn't trust us, either.    I put some "deer candy" out to try to tempt and comfort the city deer, but it appears that they are either watching their weight or are more into health food.  It was not until after several  hard rains, presumably washing away some of the sweetness, that the squirrels were finally willing to taste the "candy", which consisted of corn and pellets and molasses.   We would like to avoid having any of our local deer starve to death this winter, so I will continue to experiment, as with picky children, to find out what they are willing to eat.  Next up is likely to be sugar beets, a local crop, and hay.  Hopefully we will find something that helps them winter over when the cold temperatures are finally here for good.


Tomorrow is the three-year anniversary of Jack's strokes.  This is the end of the heightened "danger period" the physicians warned us about.  He will always be a a higher than average risk for another stroke, but we are grateful to have gotten here without further incident.   We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season.


Julierose said...

I love that you sing and dance around the house--I do that, too.;))) Tom and I are both musicians...I am (or was when I could still play without pain)a pianist and he a jazz guy (clarinet, and saxes and flute)...we often make up lyrics to fit funny!!

We are waiting to set up our bird feeder until we have had snow...the birds completely ate about 1 lb of seed in two days ($$).

I am trying to hand quilt the last Dolly piece for my granddaughter for Christmas...My hands cramp up, too so I empathize...

Stat safe and enjoy your time together...hugs from afar julierose

Barbara said...

Really enjoyed this happy newsy post. I’m sympathetic about the carpal tunnel. I had the surgery many years ago, but it was extremely painful before that. It was so bad at night, I didn’t even want to go to sleep, and then wake up in agony with it. The stitching looks wonderful! I’m so glad you found something you could do, even if briefly. The chocolate “bombs”...oh my. I’m sure that is something I would love. We tried feeding the deer here, although we don’t get the cold weather you do. We put out a salt lick, which is what someone recommended, hoping it would attract them. We never saw a single one, until we removed the salt lick. Then the very next day, two were sniffing the ground where it had once been. Maybe they came when we weren’t around. Oh well. We gave up after that, so I hop you can find something they’ll like. Good news about Jack.

Marie Louise said...

I don't know when it is your birthday exactly but I will raise every night for the remainer of this month a glass of wine in your direction and wish you a good year.
I am so happy for you that you have found happiness later in life. I guess you appreciate it even more then.