Sunday, January 26, 2020

Dear Journal...

Sunday Jan 19, 2020.
...reading Mom's journals this afternoon she had a gift...It's cold and windy so I'm inside after getting my wood in for the night.  I plan to watch Colombo later, that is my normal Sunday night thing to do after a simple home made meal, tonight: rice n bean burrito and tossed salad.  

One of Mom's Journal Entries.

"This is my sixtieth wedding anniversary. Happy Day H.B.  I am sitting here all alone...but me and Jesus been looking at the trees, so wilted for water. So I asked God for much needed rain to stop their tears, so they can play music again..."

                                 This was mom's window to the world

Monday Jan 20, MLK Day: I share in his dream.
The mail won't run today...I have 2 letters stamped and waiting to go in the mail box, nothing really important, just some cards to my lovely sisters.  

Another hard week spent trying to come to grips with my reality if one ever really comes to grips. I wanted to get a lot done this week, no call from the mechanic.  I'm afraid to call him.
Bright spot:  look who decided to come visit, since it got colder.

                                                               two American Goldfinch so far

Tuesday Jan 21, 2020
Got my van back mechanic was able to replace the 2 plugs I couldn't budge, but the original problem is still there.  He said that plug had not been removed in a long time.  I had the plugs done 5 yrs ago...Looks like they didn't replace the ones they couldn't get out!! So original problem was a jerk and slight deceleration up hill with a ticking sound.  So back to the guessing phase.  One more thing I can do without any help (very simple to do)  is replace the plug wires in case one is grounding out.  I have ordered a set and can pick up in store tomorrow. Had a 20% off coupon so used that.  Fingers crossed.  I will pick up some fuel injector cleaner also.  Made a pot of very hearty veggie chili and now have a blazing fire in the fireplace.  The dogs are fed and sleeping peacefully in front of it. Later at 8 pm I will watch Jamie's 30 Minute Meals, and This is Us on the boob tube. Bed by 10!

                                                                     my 3 best buddies

Wednesday Jan 22, 2019
Picked up the plug wires, and back home had to allow the engine to cool off so I decided to do it tomorrow.  I felt tired.  I won't be venturing very far until I get this auto problem solved!  I made a wonderful salad of green leaf lettuce, with baby spinach along with black olives and some nuts on top..a nice dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey.  I had some seasoned crusty bread, and later 2 donuts HAHA.  COLD so once again I have a warm fire burning yet my feet are cold!  I watched the latest episodes of my favorite You Tuber, Chrome, of Vancity Vanlife from Vancouver Canada, and of course his dog Cruz, they are trying to figure out where to mount their solar controls to go along with the huge array of new panels on top of their home/van. 

Thursday Jan 23rd, 
Clouds are rolling in just in time for the weekly rains.  I got up early already had my head in the engine of my van by 09:30.  When I say in, literally I am on my hands and knees with my head in the engine, as most of the engine is inside the passenger compartment.  Here is what I found!  The Ignition coil wire was corrupted!


 the outer sheath had a huge split and was melted to the valve covers.

So no wonder I was getting that jerk and performance decline!
YES.. problem solved, I replaced all 9 leads, and now it runs like a 19 yr old top again, which means its still a rolling time bomb...could die at any moment. 

This time there was more than $80 saved probably 3 times that much, even with the $60 I forked out for the 2 difficult plugs to be done by the mechanic. 

arrow points to the bad spot in the wire

Later I rode over to one of my favorite sparrow fields...and found even more American Goldfinch.  A very productive day.

Seven in one shot!

Friday Jan 24, 2020
MY sis's birthday It's your day SIS!
Chore day for me.  Laundry, vacuuming, run dishwasher, fill the bird feeders, bring in wood, brush the 3 hounds, and more that I've forgotten already!
It rained early and now at 6 pm it's raining again, but the entire day was ok!
I checked out another Sparrow area in the afternoon Fox, Field, White- Throated, Song, Chipping,  E. Towhee and others present. Must have been 20 Field and 25 Chipping Sparrows flush out of the field as I walked by. This is not one of this is a Dark Eyed Junco I found one day this week...

Sat Jan 25, 2020
Today it cleared off, and got a bit cooler.  I went in search of my Mom's oldest and dearest friend.  She is 96.  We lost track of her when she moved in with family and we didn't know where they lived...We were not able to let her know of Mom's passing so I did a little detective work today and I found her!  Of course my message was not a good one, but it was still so good to see her.  She would call my mom but she didn't know her own phone number as they had given her a cell phone to use to receive calls...each time we asked, she was unable to tell us, so I knew sooner or later she would try to call Mom and find her phone we found when she left her home.  When your memory goes, you don't think to let friends know where you are...and you can't remember how to dial the phone so you have to keep asking someone else to do it for it was so great to see her she is being well cared for by her daughter in law. Along the way I spotted these guys in a I pulled over There was a male and a female Hooded Merganser. 

So a little different format on the blog this week, and that's my week in nutshell.   

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Major Fail

This has been a week of rain and even tornadoes.   The high school where my son graduated was practically destroyed by an EF 2 tornado that touched down...that is too close for comfort.  We have had some very strong and powerful storms with thunder, lightening, and torrential rains...and it's been like 7 days since I've seen the sun until today!  Winter is on the way back so they say. 

Got Spring?  This is about the earliest I've seen this! These are some of Mom's flowers, the great thing about life is we do leave a mark of some kind as we pass thru on our own trips around the Sun.  Her bulbs continue on.

SO I decided I could tune up my van..why not.  Well I need longer, skinnier, and more flexible arms to actually get all the plugs changed...I got 6 done and the last 2 whipped me, and those 2  are still in there! There is no way to get a tool in that small space...  I broke one also, but it came out...the thing was: there was a lot of rust that had accumulated around the plugs and it made it hard to get the socket to seat well in order to break the plug loose. 

I numbered the wires on the new distributor cap so I wouldn't get mixed up but still I did----> my attempt at this tune up was today the van is in the garage to see where I went wrong! One thing was a vacuum tube I broke, I fixed that simple enough..the other was I cross matched 2 plug wires  and possibly more and the motor was jumping and sputtering...SO I took it down and they are going to try and right my wrongs...I didn't think about down loading a firing diagram before hand.  I am not ashamed to admit that I make mistakes! Here's 4 of the 6 plugs I got out...that one that is so rusty can you believe that?  My numbering system by the way is NOT according to the firing specs, I simply started at 1 and went clockwise in order.  I have since then downloaded the correct number firing sequence..and NOW I know where they should be. 

The mechanic drove the van with it hooked to a code reader and he says it's number 1 and number 3 that are not firing correctly...that's the two I couldn't get out....SO Monday he plans to try and replace those...hopefully he has just the right tool to accomplish this!

With the rain steady coming down it's hard to get anything done...but the sun came out today (Wednesday) for the afternoon. 

I haven't seen one single American Goldfinch this winter!  Its so warm they are not coming South.  I hung my finch feeder, it sits empty.  Just because you fill it doesn't mean they will come. Earlier in the fall a few stopped by but I haven't seen any since October.  Our world is changing in leaps and bounds due to climate change.  Our weather patterns are no where near normal for this time of year.  There is more of a Tropical feel in the air.  

Did have more Hermit Thrush show up in the yard...3 so far


this was taken thru the window glass you can see the cinnamon color of the tail...and another via the window is this very well hidden White Throated Sparrow I'm happy to say have finally arrived to the yard. 

Another little brown beauty the Carolina Wren, stopped for a moment 

So with the impeachment articles now in the Senate we will see if the Republican Party will do what they have sworn to do...or not.  The wretched Lindsey Graham is leading the puppy pack that has been licking Trump's boots since he was elected...WHY I don't know because in the beginning he actually told the truth about how he really felt about Trump.  I feel they will railroad a vote through while Trump screams about how it's all FAKE and his mindless supporters agree...I may not be on top of my game at this moment...but I have enough sense to know he is
GUILTY! --->Major Presidential Fail ....and you thought I was talking about my tune up!

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Each One an Individual

There is no going back and sometimes looking forward feels like giving up...I am trying.

Yesterday I traveled to a nearby town to do some errands that I couldn't accomplish here in my town.  So once the chore was done I stopped at a local garden and checked out the collected swans that live there...some had cygnets.

And others are sitting on eggs.  




Not all the birds there are part of the collection like this Great Egret....he comes and goes as he pleases...

And this Hermit Thrush also...

And this Wood Stork, ebird says rare, If I'd known I'd have taken a better photo of it!  

After leaving there on the drive back I spotted a HUGE mixed flock of Black Birds, like Common Grackles, and Red Winged Blackbirds I think I saw some Brown Headed Cowbirds, along with European Starlings too...I think there was easily 1,000,000 birds in this flock!  They were in a field where p-nuts have been recently harvested...

...seeing all these birds reminded me of how each being on this planet is going thru their own personal experience...some good some not so, but each one counts, and each one matters. 

So I'm trying to reach beyond the fog of grief, it's been 60 days now....but bear with me, it won't happen soon, and thank you so much for all your kind words of encouragement.  I took everything said to heart...and It helps me to know people do care and understand.


Taking One Day At a Time 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Starting Over

I had big plans for a post but since my last post I've been knocked down by what I am guessing is the FLU.  I have been barely able to sit up for days...and although  am trying to focus it's impossible.  I hope at some point the fog will lift and my life will resume.  Until then I hope all of you are well...and starting your year off with a bang.  I am alone now as everyone is gone.  It's pretty devastating.   I have some chores to keep me busy as long as my stamina holds up and it will be a while before it does that.  I had Mom's phone turned off this week, that was like the final straw that broke the camel's back..and I spent an entire day crying.  Now I just have to encourage myself to get up and face each of these days the ones where I have no one around me and nothing seems real...pretty depressing.  I tried to go into the yard and look up at birds and that made me feel faint.  

There is no food in the house so today I must go into a store and be around cheerful normal people that is going to be very hard, because I want to scream...I don't know if I can even do that but I will try..I guess Im starting over from the ground up...reality is only just now sinking in.

Every day is a new Adventure.