January 27, 2024

When life gets a little too real

The last week or so brought some of the most difficult days I've lived through. The Lord of the Manor fell seriously ill and was transported to the local hospital by ambulance. His diagnosis was both simple and complicated -a UTI. 

For most people, that's serious. For him, it's deadly. We're still waiting for word as to whether or not his kidney transplant was affected. I'm actually reassured that his kidney specialist didn't blow up his phone trying to reach him. 

I brought him home and he promptly pulled a stunt that landed him on the floor. Harsh words ensued. I didn't want to bring him home. I wanted him to do a stint in rehab where he would get better care.

It's not that I don't look after him, but I needed a respite. Not that anyone cared, obviously. 

It's very difficult to care for someone who fights you every step of the way. I've lost some respect for him, and certainly my feelings for him took a beating. One shouldn't abuse the person who feeds you (and does a whole lot of other things for you).  There will be repercussions in the coming months, although none of them will be life-threatening. Just annoying and very frustrating. 

It's easy to excuse the behavior and the words by telling oneself "he was sick." He was. But I believe he counted on that and used illness to drop the filters and say things he'd thought for a long time. 

In the early stages of my mother's dementia, she said things to me that I recognized as the filters giving way. She said the things she really thought about me and it hurt me deeply. The repercussion of that is that she is in a total care facility. I handle her affairs, but not her. 

Will this difficult time pass? Yes. They always do. But I am already changed by it. Too many of my "what ifs" came to life this past week and the events didn't leave me where I thought they would. I'm in an entirely different space. 

Sometimes a woman needs shelter when life gets too real, and the pity is when there is no shelter to be found anywhere. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, illness, dementia, infection, country lifestyle, rural living, healthcare, hopelessness, depression, emotional abuse

January 20, 2024

Another day of snowy weather followed by sunshine

Yesterday was one of those days that we didn't bother to dress in street clothes. Yes, the Lord and Lady of Manor spent the day in flannels and slippers. I think it did us a world of good to take a day off from everything, or almost everything. He watched an old movie and I "worked" on the computer. When the snow stopped, I ventured out and took a measurement.  So add this to what we got a few days ago, and it's eight inches for the week. That's pretty good for us. 

Today dawned bright and clear! Lots of sunshine and only a few fluffy clouds. I hopped on the John Deere 1023 and ran the snow pusher in and out the lane a few times, cleaned off and started the vehicles, took Deuce on a walk-about, and shoveled the sunroom porch for His Majesty Loki. The cat wants out, but let his furry little paws touch the snow? No. 

Deuce is a different matter. He wanted to go romp so off we went. I even managed to get a video of our short stroll and get it uploaded. The link to it is below. 

A couple of snow days a year are good for my soul. I always resented having to drive to the day job when it snowed. The last ten years I worked, I didn't. I worked from home. Some change in the world is good. 

Snow falling is beautiful and peaceful. In the woods, everything stops to watch, eve the squirrels. I stepped out onto the patio (it's covered and screened) for a few moments just to listen the quiet, and to reflect on how very blessed I am to live on the mountain. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, black Labs, snow, snow days, rural living, country lifestyle, snowfall, a writer's life, Deuce's Day, KC Kendricks, YouTube video of black Lab, John Deere 1023

January 16, 2024

A real snow day

The weather guesses got it right! I woke to snow - real snow - on the ground. We had about three inches at nine o'clock this morning, but the forecast for my location is up to six inches. We'll see. It is still coming down. 

Snow on the ground means it's time to burn the brush pile. So I did. It's still smoldering, and I should put my jeans and boots back on and go shove everything back to the center of the burn, but I don't think I will. The recent winds brought down a lot of small limbs and the brush pile will grow again. 

There are a lot of things I could accomplish today. The current work-in-progress is at chapter ten. The writer side of me is pleased it's that far along and says I should work on it. 

The retired me says it's a snow day and I should READ a book, not WRITE one. The retired me says put on a pair of warm flannels, fix a cup of tea, and simply watch it snow. 

But I think the me who likes to work on her family tree is going to win. I've collected a lot of obituaries over the years, and I'm on a mission to see where they fit in the genealogy. I think if I work on that for a couple of hours, I'll be ready to settle down and write for a bit. 

Unless Deuce and I go play in the snow. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, snow, black Labs, genealogy research, a writer's life, rural living, country lifestyle, family tree, snowstorm Heather, weather guessers, KC Kendricks, Rayne Forrest, gay romance fiction

January 9, 2024

Dreary days

It's a given that our Mid-Atlantic January will be full of dreary days. We had a day of sunshine yesterday, but we knew this storm system was coming. I'm grateful it's rain and not snow, although I am seeing the occasional odd snowflake. 

We're warm and dry. The woodstove is cranking out the BTUs, but since the Lord of the Manor isn't feeling too well these days, we've cycled the heat pump to bump it up a notch. 

We doggy-sat Sadie this morning, and I think the weather brought out an entirely different side of the dog. She was not her usual nice little girl. Ohhhh, no. She paced the floor, refusing to sit or lie down, and trying to use telepathy on us. She stuck her head through the cat port to try to get to Loki's feeder and getting her loose wasn't fun. I took her outside for her outside activities, and she almost pulled me off my feet. It was so bad I did give her a yank, which she ignored. 

But not even Sadie was a diversion from the weather. I spent some time writing, and then an hour or so doing some promo while I had that "forbidden" third cup of coffee. The wind is constant, and my sunroom office gives me a good view of the treetops swaying back and forth. So far, only one dead stick has hit the ground. The rain is good for the trees, though. 

With the rain beating on the windows, I got this notion I should take a picture of the raindrops. It was harder than it seemed, but it's a good record of this dreary January day. 

It does make one appreciate the sunny days even more.

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, rainy days, winter storms, January weather, rural living, country lifestyle, a writer's life, sunshine, high winds, maple trees, coffee 

January 6, 2024

First snow of 2024: Recollections of days gone

The weather forecast was, as usual, all about *could*. We could get snow. We could get rain. We could get a mix. I didn't doubt we were going to have precipitation because Loki the Cat took up residence on the corner of the bed and would not be roused even for a hit of his cat crack (Temptations Mix-up cat treats). 

It's actually snowing - the first snow of 2024. Part of me wants to bundle up and go outside with the dog, and another part of me wants to go downstairs to the den and read beside the woodstove. Since I'm blogging, it's a good guess I'm doing neither.  

At this hour, the forecast stands at 4-8 inches. That's quite a spread. They always leave themselves room to be wrong. I'm not too worried about it. I have a well-stocked pantry and more than enough firewood to make it through a day or two. The snow-pusher is mounted on the John Deere 1023 but I doubt I'll need to use it. The Colorado is 4x4, and eight inches of snow won't be a problem for it if some emergency happens and I have to go out. 

Back in the days when my mother was herself, snow was the impetus for phone calls. As soon as one of us spotted snow, we called and when the other answered, we did a little sing-song of "it's snowing, it's snowing I saw it fiiirrst!". It was something we did, without fail, and Alzheimer's took that from us. 

They say with Alzheimer's the person is still inside there, somewhere. I don't see that with my mother. Who she was is gone, and who she is now is a stranger. 

The snow is lovely as it falls to ground. Even the sad memories can't detract from its beauty. It tears at my heart to remember how much Mom loved to see it snow. She won't even see it from her room in the nursing home. 

So I take a deep breath and let go of what I can't change. And I watch the snow fall and I remember for both of us. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, snow, Alzheimer's Disease, mother, memories, cats, games, rural living, country lifestyle, a writer's life, loss of parent

January 1, 2024

Honey Bee jars

I confess. I love the Ball Keepsake jars.  I scored eight of the Honey Bee keepsake jars and now I need a special project to use them. 

Part of my garden plan for 2024 is to grow more herbs and freeze-dry them. That may be the perfect use for these honey bees. We'll have to see as the season develops. 

It's never silly to use and enjoy the things you like. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor/The Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, Ball jars, Honey Bee, gardening, herbs, home food preservation, collectors