Passages: Mentor

My friend, Denise, has passed on.

I hadn’t seen her in a couple years, except for once at my school last year and once at a restaurant this summer. She was busy with parenting and teaching, and so was I. She was terribly ill, I was trying to recover from the fire. So many regrets…

She was a kind person, an excellent teacher, and the best mentor for a mid-life new teacher I could ever have had.

This is a hole in my heart, and a crater in the universe.

Today in the garden

Tom cleared more of the veggie garden today, and so did I.

Grant weeded part of the pond garden today, and I helped.

The deer have all-but killed one of the smaller Asian pears. The crows are ravenously grabbing all the possible upper fruits…

We have blueberries, blackberries, red huckleberries and pears coming on. Plums are done — made three batches of plum jam this year.

Earlier this week, my dear friend Dorothy brought some lovely plants — a jade plant, some coleus and a pink oleander (never knew how beautiful they smell!). They look lovely in front of the house.

Below are a few pics.

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Shelf Elf

Two actually — my shelf elves put up the last shelves in the linen closets over the weekend.

Here they are, hard at work.

working in the hall closet

Master bath linen shelves

The process is getting easier, as we learn more about the Closet Maid system. The best part is, once the horizontal hang tracks are in place, the rest is very easily reconfigured as our needs for storage change. We are starting with just a few shelves in each location, and will add in or move them around as needed.

Today in the garden…

(Pictures are from yesterday)

I woke up around 5:30 this morning, managed to stay in bed until just after 6 — couldn’t sleep, didn’t want to stay in bed. So I wandered out to the hardware store to get some hoses and hose materials (mostly connectors so I don’t have to have a single, 300-foot hose), and some more shelving pieces. Now working on the two linen closets, and trying to figure out a way to have taller items on the floor but sufficient shelf space. I like the closetmaid system because it is pretty easily reconfigured if I change my mind! Which I tend to do.

The rest of the day was spent looking in some boxes, found a couple books I thought I had discarded after the fire. They still need to be discarded, but since I had forgotten to get the title and author names, I am glad to have had the reminder. Also a lot of of miscellaneous items that I want to keep “for now” but not forever, and will simply box up again until I need them. I’ll put labels on the boxes this time, after I sort them into the appropriate piles! Someone seems to have mixed up some of the items; I find cleaned items next to soot-covered items, which is disconcerting and means I have to be very careful when lifting things out so I don’t smudge the clean ones. {note: I made a couple editorial changes when Tom suggested that perhaps some of the items were “scrambled” by having been taken to the apartment and hastily reboxed at some point}

And then I spent some time sitting with Mother on the little patio Grant built me, just visiting and talking about how things are going. Little by little both the house and the yard are taking shape. Here are a few pictures I took yesterday. I’ll post a few more of the patio and front entrance once I have cleaned it up a little more. I finally have some ideas that will better define the “drivable” and “off-limits” areas, and will get that finished over the weekend.

Here is my official “greeter” who used to sit facing south, but now relaxes under shelter as people walk toward the door. She was a gift from my mother in law when we first moved here.

the hens-n-chicks have been replanted since we moved home

the hens-n-chicks have been replanted since we moved home

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Senior Prom

This is my boy, and his girl. Dapper and Elegant. What a cute couple they have made for nearly 4 years.

The picture was taken outside the State Capitol building.  It has a lovely rotunda, but the feature that always intrigued me were these amazing bronze doors with scenes from Washington State in bas relief...

The picture was taken outside the State Capitol building. It has a lovely rotunda, but the feature that always intrigued me were these amazing bronze doors with scenes from Washington State in bas relief…

So proud of these young adults!

Occupancy Permitted

We have basically finished the shower, there are some trim pieces to finish in the master bath still, and a shower curtain to install… and some closet fittings to obtain and put in… but otherwise the immediate building needs inside are complete. The yard needs work still (and will, for some time to come!), and there are some accoutrements outside that I need to put up (dragonfly door knocker, plant hanger, family “name plate” that I made for Tom).

But today the county signed off on the “Certificate of Occupancy.” So tonight, for the first time, Tom and I are sitting in front of the fire, NOT urgently trying to install, finish, polish or fix anything.

It feels so very good. We will move this coming weekend, clean the apartment and be done with being “city people” for a good long time, forever I hope!

Here are a few pics.

The first is from last weekend, when Grant and a friend were enjoying watering the front garden. It is taking shape, and I want to post about it, but so far haven’t had light when I had a camera.

Watering before the rain

It did, of course, rain the next day!

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Progress. Finally, visible progress.

We have worked on the master bathroom almost every day this month. I was sick for two weekends, once with a migraine and once with a virus, which set us back a lot.

I kept taking pictures intending to document the work. However, it seemed that although we put in dozens of hours each week the actual progress was so slight from day to day that it was not worth mentioning.

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