Monday, May 21, 2018

Dimes, Wool and So Many Other Things

It is mid-way though May, and I hardly know where to begin. So I'll begin with the primary reason for my extended absence on this page.

My mother-in-law was afflicted with a rather aggressive form of cancer, and so there was much to-and-fro from January onwards. In mid-April, she ended her sojourn in this life at age 87 and moved on to her next adventure. And we, her survivors, are dealing with the dismantling of an earthly life.

As it is 140 km of mountain roads each way, from our place to hers, the logistics have sometimes been daunting. My sister-in-law and I are now cleaning out a house that has been occupied for 25 years without much going out the door.

Each time I feel a little overwhelmed or uncertain, I find a shiny dime, and I know it's all good. One on a sidewalk outside a store where I was getting empty boxes for packing; a second in the house itself; a third a few days later at the bottom of a box of empty bottles after a fractious exchange; the fourth in a very old apple basket in an overflowing storage room. Each little coin lifts my heart and brings a smile to my face.

And meanwhile, life moves on.

I spent a day at Historic O'Keefe Ranch, helping with shearing their small flock of rare breed sheep - Jacob with their multiple horns, and Shetland, with their luxurious yet troublesome fleece. As a result, the stash of fleeces in this house increased somewhat...

Bags of wool. Don't count them. Don't judge.

There are now 18 fleeces of varying breeds, in varying stages of unwashed, cleaning, cleaned, combed, stored and spun in this house. It is - or was - shearing season, after all.

Jacob fleece, about to be sorted and washed.

Wool drying in the warm breezes

The Husband is up north working for a few weeks, which allowed me time to temporarily stash bags o' wool in the garage whilst steadily working through the cleaning process. Also perhaps binge-watching Netflix online while combing out locks. Maybe.

The Husband worked on finishing a second bedroom in the basement of our house. It was framed in but needed actual walls and such. He did the drywall and taping before going north, and The Daughter (who is a former professional housepainter) is painting the walls.

The walls needed a few coats of primer and sanding, so I got to hang out with the little guy. It's been so lovely and warm that we spend a lot of our time outside, even nap time.

Playing at Grandma's house is exhausting.
The final coats of paint are being applied, in a warm honey colour. So happy. The Husband is expected home later this week, and soon will complete the  flooring and baseboard. Then room can be re-assembled and I can reclaim my sewing room (currently held hostage by the furniture and fixtures).

We've had a young fellow in the basement suite since late April; he's a project manager for a construction project close by and will be here until the end of the month. As the second bedroom is still under construction, that leave only the upstairs room for airbnb bookings. 

Shin Jin was our latest guest, visiting from China and staying with us for two days. He picked a good time for it as it's rodeo weekend here in town. He walked throughout our small burg and took many photos of the bucking stock in the pens down at the rodeo grounds, including two bison who are part of the half-time show.

We spent time the second evening hanging out on the deck.

That about sums up the last seven weeks. More or less.


  1. Sending love and light for this difficult time.

  2. Your grandson looks contented. I was hoping to have my Boo Boo with us this Summer, but alas it'll be another year.

    1. Oh. Too bad you're missing out this summer. They grow so fast.