July 5, 2015

Skidding into the Year's Second Half

Fallen Rock Park, Brazil, Indiana

Yes, I’m still puttering around. I’m just not spending much time puttering around on blogs. Building a new life continues to take priority.

I went to Indiana for a few days and got back last Sunday. I stayed with my sweet sister-in-law (separated from my oldest brother), and we had a wonderful time. We talked a lot. We laughed a lot. And once we laughed so hard that we were in tears. We had fun! She has been very supportive during my troubling times. I just wished she lived closer. We could get into so much trouble together! I briefly met up with three of my brothers during the visit too. They were reserved but cordial. My family never has gotten the knack about how to be affectionate and compassionate, but that is a whole other story.

I’ve been helping my SIL get set up with a Fuji mirrorless camera system over the past few months. In-between rain showers, we went out for photo shoots with our Fuji equipment, cruising the backcountry roads and searching for covered bridges. I gave her a crash workshop course on the fly! (Do you wish you could have tagged along?) I even went through several digital editing jobs with Photoshop, explaining as I went and showing before/after differences. She has a keen eye and will do very well in her newfound hobby. As a retired teacher, she knows how to be great student!

My birthday was Tuesday last week. I turned 63. It was my first one without Jim. And Jim would have turned 71 this past Friday. I visited his gravesite on the way home last week, and I saw his marker had finally been installed. I was going to get a bouquet of artificial flowers for the marker, but the cemetery already put a pretty one out.

Needless to say, I miss Jim terribly. The six-month anniversary of his death occurred while I was traveling. Milestones like birthdays can go by now, but they just don’t mean the same when you are a widow. I got together with some local friends this past week for various meals, and that helped. And my SIL checked with me regularly too.

I spent a quiet day at home on the fourth. Well, it was quiet until dark. Then some neighborhood yahoos decided to shoot off HUGE fireworks down the hill from the back of my home. It sounded like a war zone, and Angel was scared to death, shaking and whimpering for hours. She still wasn’t doing well by bedtime, and crawled underneath my bed for a while before deciding it was safe enough to sleep in her own little bed. I’ve registered a complaint with the HOA, but I’m not holding my breath that anything will be done about it.

I broke down and got a new coffeepot. Yep, I caved and got one of those single-serve ones, and it has a handy water reservoir. I know the coffee is more expensive per cup than drip coffeemakers, but I was getting very tired of making up pots of coffee every day and then throwing most of it out. The single-serve unit is just a whole lot more practical and convenient for me.

I also treated myself to a new iPod nano for my birthday. I used Jim’s ancient iPod (8 years old) for the Indiana road trip. It skipped and acted up something awful. I will keep the new one in my car and use it for future road trips.

All of the estate settlement work has been completed, including a notice filed with the county for my house deed. The legal bills are all paid. I’m glad that whole ugly chore is over. Next, I will need to amend all of my legal documents and get them up to date. But I will take a breather before tackling that trouble and expense.

I am attending another photo workshop this month. It will encompass Americana photography in the Nashville area. The workshop leader has told me that Ricky Skaggs will be one of the participants. Is that cool or what? I’m looking forward to the trip and fellowship.

That’s enough jabbering for now. You can look forward to more “photo of the week” postings that feature Wyoming scenes. I really appreciate those of you who still visit and take the time to leave sweet comments. I’m sorry that I’m still not in the groove with blogging, my friends. My head will either get in the game someday down the road or else it won’t. Your guess is as good as mine.


  1. Glad to hear you got away for a few days. Sounds like you had lots of fun with your SIL. I think when you get to a certain age, fireworks just aren't that important. I don't have a dog, but Gracie the cat goes into hiding on the first blast. Hope you are having a good day!

  2. I think you sound like you are doing very well, considering its only been 6 months. You and your SIL sound like good friends! What a blessing.


  3. Good to hear you are moving forward. It really is too bad your SIL was not closer during the worst of it. It sounds like you two can be very close. It,s sad how most dogs suffer during fireworks. My kitty, who's afraid of nothing even gets beside herself. She was in the closet last night. Oh, yes... A belated Happy Birthday to you!

  4. I'm so aggravated with blogger/google right now. I had written a fairly long comment, and then lost it because they made me sign in. It happens that way on some of the blogs. UGH

    Anyway, I'll just say - so happy to see you, and glad you made the trip and had good moments with your s-I-l. Also, I'm jealous you're going to Nashville. LOL I'd never drive in that traffic again though. I'm sorry I didn't realize last week was your birthday! At least, I would have sent you a card. You and I are almost exactly ten years apart in age! But, I'm not OLD dammit.

    Sending you lots of love.

  5. I want to say Belated Happy Birthday to you too Donna. I'm so glad you got away for a few days for a fun visit with your SIL. Sounds like lots of fun was had! Glad you have treated yourself to a few new things and you'll be taking in another photo workshop soon - something to look forward to! :). And we will all be looking forward to any photos you care to share with us. Don't worry about not getting around to visiting blogs. You have other more important things to look after, and one of these days maybe you'll feel like checking out the bloggy world again... We'll all be here wait in' for ya! With open arms!

  6. Nothing at all wrong with being busy building a new life and not reading blogs! I had a sister-in-law like that. She loved me even after I divorced her brother and we always had a great time together. You are lucky! My family tends to ignore any subjects that would elicit their affections or compassion--I think it scares them! Did you know that people born in June are BY FAR the best people ever? (June 21st is mine) :-)

  7. Sounds like a fun trip spending time with your SIL. It was a quiet 4th here. We pretty much just hung out at home. I wasn't sure how Gibbs was going to react to fireworks but he seemed to be ok with them.
    Your upcoming photography workshop sounds like a good one. Can't wait to hear about that one .

  8. Love the shot Donna!
    SO glad you got to spend some happy time with your SIL...She is an answer to a lot of prayer. Nothing better than laughter!
    Scaggs huh? What a treat... He'll probably want you to take a few personal shots for his portfolio when he sees your work! :o)
    Didn't hear one firecracker...
    Your Birthday!! And I missed it! SO sorry...Hope you spent it knowing you are loved...

    1. Thank you for the birthday love! And yes, I will get to take portraits of Mr. Skaggs. The workshop includes a photo session with him and attendance at his concert at the Ryman Auditorium.

  9. Dear Donna, sending belated birthday wishes and so happy to know you are getting out and about more, which also must mean your physical problems have improved and you can walk and drive easier - great news that!
    Awesome pic, look forward to more, and do have fun at the upcoming workshop. You appear to be coping better although I know sadness must creep into many ordinary daily moments which you shared with dear Jim. The coffee maker sounds like the right move, I've been using my Keurig single serve to save on coffee while Bob's away in NH celebrating his 75th with his brother - baseball/beer/beef - all things not on my 'to do' list, haha!

    Thinking of you - wishing you well.
    Hugs - Mary

  10. Donna, so good to hear you've got a SIL who you can be close to, even though she's far away. I'm talking to my cousin and sister myself far more often than in the past, and it really helps. We talk to our son and daughter almost daily now. Glad you're still doing the occasional post too, 'cause whenever I see one from you it's the very first one I open to read, just to see how you're doing. Glad to see you're posting about photography too. It's been a tough 6 weeks here, but we're learning to live in the new reality with a more positive attitude. We finally have the memorial service for Will organized for next week; getting beyond that will help. Take care, and enjoy the photography. I will try to write again.

  11. I'm still here reading and wishing good things for you.

  12. It's always nice to hear an update, Donna...and I am especially happy to hear that you were able to spend some time with your sister-in-law! You needed to be with someone who is compassionate and caring, so I am glad to know that you were able to make it happen. I am sure that your shared time filled your heart.

    Oh, this year of "firsts." Hard stuff. May God's grace keep helping you through them...

    Belated birthday blessings to you, friend!

  13. OK can I just say that I would LOVE to tag along with you during a crash workshop course! You take the most beautiful pictures! Saturday night sounded like a war zone around here. All five of my cats were freaked out. We had to close all of the windows on such a beautiful night and that still only muffled the sound. Ever since Michigan legalized fireworks this time of year gets louder and louder! I'm glad you are close to your sister-in-law and can spend some happy time with her. Have a good week!

  14. Oh and a belated Happy Birthday to you!

  15. Happy birthday - a bit late! The wishes are still the same. And - YES - I do wish I could have tagged along. I'm so glad you were able to have time with your sister-in-law. Your travels are a good thing. Poor Angel - what a scary night for her. So glad you are posting here - I'm hanging in there with you, my friend. Will be excited to hear about your class.

  16. Sending belated Birthday Wishes, Donna. I'm so glad you were able to spend a few days with your SIL. I would have LOVED to tag along on the photo instruction tour. 6 months - wow. Time seems to go by so quickly, but at the same time, it seems like yesterday. Hugs to you!

  17. Same thing happened to me. Typed out a bunch and Google ate it. Happy Belated Birthday hon! You sound a little perkier since your trip. Glad you had such a good time with your SIL. Poor Angel and those meanie fireworks people! Sending you big hugs xoxo

  18. I'm imagining that you and your Sis-in-law have so much common ground that it is easy to get back to visiting as if you had never left off. Ricky Skaggs, eh? Sounds like fun! Don't worry about blogging. It's the least of our troubles.

  19. Happy Belated Birthday, good to hear you had a few laughs.

  20. Well, Donna, once again I lost an entire reply to you. Let me just say, then, Happy belated birthday wishes, and I continue to keep you in my prayers. :) Hugs!

  21. I'm sending you some birthday hugs, too. I'm glad you were able to get away and enjoy the company of someone that you enjoy so much. What a difference that makes and the time flies by. Have a good week sweet friend. Hugs, Diane


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!