May

Washed, dried and folded 1,242 tablecloths.
Brooke & Corey got married.
Corbin & Nancy got engaged.
PAP normal - yay, another year without cancer.
Oh, but wait - mammo abnormal.
Right hand surgery.
Mother's Day - text only from Nancy and Corbin.
Came down with massive cold/bronchitis.
Angie's husband died.
Mammo re-check - mammo, mammo, ultrasound, biopsy, mammo.
Pause 2 days.
All clear.
Three year anniversary of Dad's death.
Steve moved out. I kept Lydia.
Doobert transport - Steve had to help because of my surgery.
Sick as a dead pig.
Stitches removed - healing well.
Picked Lainie up from airport. Loaned her my car for a week.
Mike's memorial (couldn't go; still sick + no car).
My 59th birthday. Text from Brooke first thing in morning, and from Corbin last thing at night.
In re severe depression, made appointment for psych intake/evaluation.
Treated to dinner by Steve, Lydia and Bill.
Janet turned 33.
Joel & Janet's 3rd anniversary.
Still coughing.
Took Lainie to airport.

Working hard to hold up that patio roof

Confused as to why it's all my responsibility

Ketchup

Life's been wacky so I haven't written much lately. Steve and I have been having some really great conversation lately, studying and evaluating who we each are right now, what we want from our individual lives, and how all of that is reflected in our relationship. I dated; it ended. He's dating; the jury is out. Whatever happens, we're cool with each other.

As for DIY, I have a couple of small projects in the works but am not yet ready to post pictures. I'm rebuilding a garden bench that rotted out and ditto a wind chime that kept losing more pieces every time there was a strong wind. Both of those projects are nearing completion.

I've also been working on producing a genealogy report for my second cousin. It took three weeks of fairly intense work to make it reader-friendly and then said cousin had to cancel our planned visit for this past weekend. Oh well. It's ready for the next visit.

I continue to pine for Armenia but haven't yet found anyone willing and financially able to go with me this year.

There was something wonky in the universe, I'm pretty sure, over the past several weeks. I managed my way through a pretty deep depressive episode and I've heard from others in the world who were experiencing the same thing at the same time (completely unrelated to my own life). Thankfully, it is now lifting. Yay.

Here's a face for you:

Rifle Forend Cap

is devastated by the gunshot

It's been month?!

PAREIDOLIA

It took me a minute to see this one

Judgy towel dispenser

 
Zen garden bathtub

Happy threshold is happy you've arrived...or are leaving

DOOBERT

This is Tully, a sweet and docile pointer.

MARIN JOE'S


In February I was, once again, Nancy's grateful guest at a Veteran's retreat in Mill Valley. Our trip actually started the day before the retreat, as I decided it would be more relaxing to have a hotel nearby rather than have to get up at the crack of dawn to get to the coast by 9am.

Nancy and I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Marin Joe's! I used to love going to the Joe's in San Jose when I grew up there, and when we first moved to Sac there was a Joe's here but it has since closed. I was excited to see this Joe's right near our hotel, and happy that Nancy enjoyed it so much!

 Shrimp and avocado salad

 Nancy's first-ever REAL Cesar salad

Veal piccata with spaghetti

 Spaghetti and meatballs

 Limoncello granita

 Tiramisu

Having this day ahead of the retreat -- driving, dining, sleeping and a little bit more driving -- was a welcome bonding time for me and Nancy. She has been through hell lately and I was happy to play a part in some welcome R&R for her.

ZEN RETREAT

The retreat was held this time at Green Gulch Farm. What a lovely place!

We spent the morning in meditation and conversation. Each participant was given an opportunity to share a little bit about themselves. This time the guests were split about 50/50 - veterans and those without military service. Some we had met last month, and some were new friends. Each was encouraged to say what they wished about their service (or not), what changes they are currently facing in life, and what they are using to work through those changes (meditation, journaling, gardening, exercise, etc.)

An assistant then put a blanket down in the center of the room and laid out rocks that had been mindfully selected for us from the surrounding gardens. We were asked to choose a rock (or let it choose us) and then, since this retreat was very much about communing with nature, our rock was used in our next meditation. This was the first time I had used a "prop" during meditation and it was an interesting new experience.

At noon we moved to the dining room where we were served yam bisque, green salad and fresh bread. Everything was delicious and sourced from the farm right there. The first ten minutes of lunch is always spent in silence. It is a big challenge for some.

After lunch the group walked through the gardens, pausing to experience the moment each time the Inkin was rung.

Entering the garden path - the Ōgane

Herb garden ready for planting

My favorite flower

Helleborus foetidus, aka stinking hellebore

Potting shed

Entrance to the circular meditation garden. 
There was one of these at each of the north, south, east and west points.

Center of the circular garden

Spring flowers under the tree

I really like lichen





A hint of things to come

After our walk we returned to the yurt. The group did some more guided meditation, played an "awareness game" with cushions and nerf balls, and then found words or pictures in magazines to glue to our rocks. Mine was simple and to the point. Based on what was on my mind and the changes I've personally been working through lately, I felt this was all I needed to say that day.



Baseboards...

...are in.
 
Refinishing of the dining table has begun.
 
My goal here is to get it back to as like-new condition as possible so I can sell it. The stupid thing is a nagging reminder of how much of the family refuses to sit at my table. I'm going to rid myself of this behemoth and get something smaller, more practical, and easier to dust!

Hall update

Huzzah! The floor, it be finished! I applied the final coat of Polycrylic yesterday afternoon.

It looks nothing like marble, but at this point I couldn't care less. 
I don't even care that this picture is crooked.

Now all that's left is to buy baseboard material and get that installed, and then buy something out of which I will create thresholds at each doorway.

I looked at marble thresholds today but they are too think and would be a tripping hazard. I'm thinking something very, very thin. I might go with pieces of laminate flooring in which case I'd have to cut off the tongue/groove nonsense and then paper and poly them to match the floor. Maybe I can find similar material that doesn't have the tongue and groove nonsense. 

In any case, as I said: Huzzah!

Women's March Sacramento

It's only 4:30 pm here and the news is still developing worldwide, but I am completely jazzed that I (we) participated in this peaceful global demonstration! There were 19,000 people expected but I'm sure that swelled to a gazillion!

Lydia and I, just prior to commencement of the march



There were a lot of children participating in the march. Some had made their own signs ...



and some were still drawing them while in the stroller...




Beautiful view of the cupola as we approached the capitol building. 

Very clever to bring sound! Everyone sang along.

 
My sign

#WomensMarch, #WomensMarchSacramento, #PussyhatProject