May 2, 2015

Lots of Chores

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

The above image is the one that made the Smokies workshop instructor say that he was going to break his foot too. Funny guy! I’m pretty critical of my work, but this photo did turn out very nice. Nobody would ever guess that directly below the frame is a road. No hiking was involved! I only had to mosey a couple dozen feet from the parked car, set up my tripod and camera, compose, and snap. Of course, digital editing always helps to bring out the details and contrast too.

It’s been almost two years since my life began to spin out totally out of control, and Jim’s been gone now for over four months. It seems like there is an endless amount of chores that I need to accomplish. I use spiral steno notebooks to maintain daily task lists. It’s been immensely helpful! Very little productive work got done around the house during Jim’s illness. Caregiving and ferrying him back and forth to medical appointments and the hospital took up every bit of my time. So I am faced with a huge backlog of projects, in addition to routine household chores and maintenance. With a solo life and a bum foot, I am slowed down further in trying to dig out of the proverbial hole.

Everywhere I turn, it seems like I am tossing and cleaning out different nooks and crannies. I plan to have a separate post sometime just about flinging outdated food in the pantry, kitchen cabinets, and freezer. The latest items to bite the dust and get donated to charity are a couple of pieces of luggage that I used for the Smokies trip. They weighed too much. I thought I was going to bust a gut trying to get them in and out of the car by myself.

I’ve had neurological damage in my arms since my late 20s, and I simply cannot lift things that weigh a lot. Travel items have to be significantly paired down. A friend helped me picked out some new luggage this week that weighs half of the older stuff. Yeah! And I am going to replace my big toiletry bag too with a small, zippered Eagle Creek bag. There are more pieces of heavy luggage in the storage room, and I will drag them down the stairs for donation after my foot has been declared healed.

In fact, my planned summer project is to clean out and organize the walk-in storage room upstairs. While I did consulting work, it was something that Jim was going to tackle. However, it wasn’t a priority and it simply did not get done. So we were going to work on it together the summer of 2013. Of course, those plans got flushed down the toilet with his cancer diagnosis.

I will visit the foot doctor again next week and get new x-rays. Let’s pray for a good report! The trip to Wyoming in late May will happen regardless, but a healed foot would be preferable. Next week will also include a visit with my estate attorney. The flurry of tax season is over (he’s also a CPA), and the estate tax forms and county deed paperwork will be ready for my signature. Those legal filings will conclude Jim’s estate settlement. I’ll be relieved to get that chapter closed.


  1. truly hope you get a great report on your foot re-check! even so, you need to take it easy for a while, just to make sure it is good and healed. the photo did really turn out beautifully! of course, i think all of your shots are magnificent. :)

    glad the estate stuff is almost done. i think you attended to things much more quickly and thoroughly (and prepared as you could be) than most, and for that, i'm glad. the clearing out of stuff will take time, but sounds like you're already beginning to tackle that, too. even with a bum foot. ;)

  2. It sounds like you are keeping busy for sure, Donna...and that's a good thing! I do hope you get good report on your foot and it will be completely healed before your trip out west. The photo is absolutely stunning and very soon I will hope to be experimenting with capturing moving water. God bless and have enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  3. The photo is beautiful!

    Like Theresa, I hope you'll get a good report on the foot. The only way I can relate to that was having surgery on my feet, and wearing those heavy boots. Not fun.

    You are a marvel, and I love you.

  4. I have the same problem with a backlog of household chores but I have no good reason for why I'm not getting to mine. You've had so much going on it's no wonder. It will sit there patiently waiting for you to get to it though :)
    I love that photo, it's beautiful.

  5. That picture is stunning! You have a busy summer ahead of you catching up on all those projects!

  6. That picture is beautiful! Glad the trip went so well, and hope the next one is just as good.

  7. Beautiful photo! The water turned into milk ...
    I wish good news in the doctor!

  8. Wishing you all the best with your doctors report, and sending you any energy I have left for your overwhelming task of "cleaning" it does get to one doesn't it? Hugs, Irene.

  9. This photo is gorgeous Donna. I'm glad to hear you are staying busy and accomplishing the things you can. Hope the Doc gives you good news and you'll be fine by the Wyoming trip!! Sending big hugs and always have you in prayer :)

  10. That is a beautiful photo. I've not learned how to make the water look that way....yet. A friend from church is going to help me with how to use my camera better so I'm looking forward to that. I just hope I can remember what she teaches me. I'm glad you are getting through all the paperwork dealings. I think of you often and pray your foot will be healed and the doctor's report will be encouraging. Sending hugs and wishing you blessings. Pam

  11. So much to do! Sounds as if you have tackled quite a number of things. Yes, will pray for a good report from the doctor. BTW, I am so glad that you did not tackle these choes any sooner. You chose wisely and well! If you ever want to give us a little lesson on "smooth water." Nah. Put that one way down at the bottom of the list.

  12. Beautiful photo with that silky soft water. I hope the doctor will give you a good report. It sounds like you are keeping very busy with lots of chores and things. Don't over do it. Glad to hear the estate dealings are nearly finished with.
    Hugs and prayers.

  13. Only four months out--it seems to me you are doing very well. I had hip replacement surgery 5 months after Fred died and it sure was difficult trying to live alone and do all that had to be done AND recover. YOU are doing great! The photo is lovely!!

  14. That is a gorgeous photo!

    You're doing well Donna. Just take it a moment at a time.


  15. It seems that I am learning more all the time that I can accomplish more in baby steps than I can in one huge push. It used to be exactly the opposite. I am imagining that baby steps are even more necessary for you as you have lots to do and are learning to work alone. Do what you can and give yourself permission to go slowly.

    Your photo of the waterfall is gorgeous!! A photography hiatus does not seem to have affected your artistry!

  16. So glad you are discovering what you need to do to travel well. Your photo trips are an important part of your life - no need to struggle with heavy luggage. I'm glad to hear that the estate will soon be settled. I'm praying that you will get good news about your foot and be able to move around more soon.

  17. That is a magnificent photo. The waterfalls and river in the Great Smokies scream for that slow shot. Very nice. I'm glad to hear you are managing what needs to be managed, even with a bum foot. I scrolled back and really enjoyed the photos! Take care.


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