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stumbling along

April 5, 2011

(please ignore the messy table and instead focus on the giant bouquet of amazing lilacs which are in full bloom!)

I have to be honest here. I’m really not at my best lately (is anyone? seems like a trend lately). I think actually I may have to change my idea of what my “best” is; that might be the kindest thing to do, really. Otherwise I’m just going to get lost in feeling bad about all the stuff I am totally not doing (or doing badly).

Kitty grief continues and is difficult. It’s not like it’s constant all the time, but I’m definitely feeling a bit depressed and sometimes very sad, and I’m really tired (which I know can be a side effect of both grief and mild depression). Someone sent me a sympathy card for Cleo, and it just made me cry tonight. We don’t have any kids, so these kitties are our constant companions and we feel like they are family. Losing Cleo was terrible and I’m just now sort of coming out of shock about it, and so feel drained and sad in waves as the new reality without her sets in. And then Katie, who is doing pretty well but getting more frail and fragile by the day — it really does feel like too much. I feel bad for Thomas, who is bouncy and adorable and full of life — we are spending most of our time with Katie, and I know he’s lonely. So we try to compensate when we’re out in the house with him, but it’s not enough. (we have them separated as Katie finds a big, young, bouncy kitty kind of stressful. can’t imagine why that would be…)

Katie wakes us up at intervals all night, demanding food and water. We have them available in multiple places, but she is having some dementia or something and needs us to show her where they are (or maybe she just wants the attention; can’t blame her). So we aren’t sleeping well. Although the way she wakes us up is awfully cute, I wish I had a recording of her little chirps. It’s like, “Hello? Um, hello? Anyone awake? Hello? I could use some food, here, please?”

So we are sad and worried, but glad to have this extra time with her, however long it might be. She has been nothing but sweetness lately, making this even harder.

Terri spends most of her time laying down with Katie, or doing research of various kinds, or doing bits of chores as she can. I stumble around, going to work and doing errands and (barely) making meals. I worked on the raised beds this weekend, but I bought the wrong kind of fill dirt so I have to return all the bags next weekend and exchange them (thankfully it’s only 3 bags this time). People: dirt is heavy. Also, sand is heavy. Really heavy. I bought one grocery-bag sized bag of sand to fill in between the bricks on the back patio, and it weighed 60 pounds. I actually think I might start lifting weights because I haul so much heavy stuff around and it would be useful to be really strong. Also we need a wheelbarrow.  I would have some dirt delivered, but somehow that sounds like a pain and I don’t know who to call. One has to ask: is it less of a pain than hand-hauling 20 bags of dirt all over the yard? My brain isn’t working correctly because somehow that seems like less of a hassle than figuring out who to call and what to have them deliver.

I spent much of Saturday afternoon hand-sawing through 4x4s, 2x4s and 2x6s. I really need a power saw but I don’t know what to get, and most of the ones I’ve seen are really heavy (again, I need to lift weights). But the handsawing: now that’s a good exercise.

By Monday I had had enough and spent a good portion of the afternoon in the hammock with a quilt and a book. Mostly I napped. The raised bed (#1) is set up, waiting to be bolted together (I petered out after I determined where it needed to be.) The garden is planned. It’s probably overly ambitious, but oh well. So that’s the plan for next weekend. Putting it together and getting some dirt. Then I work on the second one. I’d like to have them both done by the end of April. Tomatoes and such need to go in now so I need to get at least one done ASAP.

You know, it’s not so much that there’s anything particularly wrong, I’m just a bit emotionally overwhelmed, I guess. I’m not really sure what to do about this except keep things simple. We are having a hard time coming up with meals lately so I think we might just throw in the towel and Terri will have a bowl of quinoa every night and I’ll have veggies and a veggie burger or tempeh. Boring, but really that’s about all we’re eating anyway, with the occasional cereal night tossed in for variety. Terri is having digestive issues (part of the CFS) and I’m just tired, so we might as well keep it easy for now. Although yesterday was so nice out, we got a small charcoal BBQ and had delicious grilled vegetables. So we’ll do that when it is nice out. But I’m sort of giving up on the “creative dinner” thing at the moment.

So, things are not bad. But I am struggling a little bit. Gardening is so therapeutic. But can someone please come over and help me lift all those bags? Thanks.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 8:29 pm

    you definitely need a real saw! have you thought about investing in a table saw? a bit pricier than most, but if you plan on doing a lot of projects it might be worth it. hand sawing is for the birds. and yes, definitely get a wheelbarrow, or a gardening wagon. in a few years once you actually own all the right supplies, these home improvement and gardening projects will be so much easier.

    lucy had a sandbox back in gainesville and i used to HATE when i had to go buy sand. it was cheap but so so so heavy. if jay wasnt with me i had to have someone take it out to the car for me. then when i got home i had to pull my gardening wagon up to the back of the car and just push the sand from the car into the wagon. then dumping it in the sandbox was another story all together.

    i really am sorry about all your sad kitty stuff lately. 😦

    • April 5, 2011 8:47 pm

      I have a section of the garage that I think will be turned into a miniature shop table. But I have to finish putting everything away first! But yeah. We need a real saw. And a wheelbarrow, or a wagon.

      Who knew sand was so freaking heavy? Crap!

      Kitty stuff is way too sad and is totally bumming me out.

  2. April 6, 2011 9:05 am

    The joys of gardening! You probably want to stick with the bags of dirt. That way you get just the amount you need. Usually when you have stuff like that delivered it’s a big truck load. The first year of setting up a garden is always the hardest. Next year it will be easier.

    Give Katie a little ear and chin rub for me.

    • April 6, 2011 2:11 pm

      Good point. Yes! My somewhat wobbly gardening instincts were correct!

  3. April 6, 2011 1:55 pm

    Wonderful bouquet!

    I bought potting soil and fertilizer this weekend. I knew from experience not to lift them, and had to wait for my lifter to get home before I could get into them. But then I realized I could have flopped the fertilizer halfway out of the the back of the car, cut it open and poured part of it into my plastic fertilizer-holding box to reduce weight, then hauled the rest. I used to do this with 50lb bags of duck food, but I forgot about that.

    I LOOOOVE my wheelbarrow. It took me 10 years to get one–ten years of using the crappy broken ones sitting around our rentals, so silly. I recommend the kind with the non-popable wheel; they’re filled with foam or something.

    Once you’ve got your dirt sorted out you’ll be flying.

    Kitty chirrups are so cute. I wonder if they know it.

    • April 6, 2011 2:13 pm

      I think I’m going to get one of those dumpable garden carts. I can lift a bag by myself, but 20 times? It might take me awhile. I’m thinking we might need to hire our nephew for the weekend. 🙂 Actually, I might just do one box per weekend. I can probably handle 10 bags at a time (in succession, not all at once). 20 is a bit much. But we’ll see.
      Katie definitely knows how cute the chirps are; she knows that that particular vocalization gets results! So adorable.

  4. April 6, 2011 4:02 pm

    Thanks for coming by my humble big mouthed blog : )

    I’m sorry about your sweet kitty cat. I had to put my 12 year old Boxer Brandy to sleep on 3/22 just one week after my sister died of lung cancer.

    You see now why I make sarcastic dumbass humor on my blog? If I don’t laugh, I’ll slit my wrists : )

    Beautiful lilacs by the way. I have two lilac trees in my yard, one purple one white. I love their scent, it’s intoxicating…almost as much as a good batch of xanax.

    • April 8, 2011 2:04 pm

      It’s so hard! What you went through sounds horrible. I’m so sorry.

      Yeah, lots of sarcastic dumbass humor helps.

  5. April 9, 2011 7:34 am

    I hope life eases up on you guys. But until then, keeping it simple sounds like a very good plan.

    I’m excited to see your gardening adventures. I was so in hopes of getting started over here. But some unexpected medical bills earlier this year and a couple of projects that really should be moved to the front of the line are delaying my progress.

    But it’s Houston. We have a longer open window than most.

    • April 9, 2011 8:57 am

      We have a pretty long window too, but tomatoes need to be in this weekend! Sorry to hear about the holdups… gardening takes some effort to get started but I’m hoping after this year, it will get easier.

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