Monthly Archives: November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m off to a friend’s place for the meal. I don’t know if there’s much of anyone that reads this blog, since it was down so long. But if you do, I hope you have a good day too.

I’m going to change the site a bit. I’ll be moving the blog to the main spot on I’ll put up a redirect, in case anyone has just the blog bookmarked. My focus will be changing too. There probably won’t be any homesteading posts any more, although I think I will try to keep the place. I’d like to build on it, but I think my goat days are over. I just can’t do it alone. I’m doing a little better these days. I will be glad to have the holidays over. I’m working Christmas and the day after and will be working tomorrow. It’s easier to maintain if I do.

For those of you in the Portland, OR area, I’d urge you to go see the exhibit of historical pictures of the Columbia River Gorge at the Portland Art Museum. It’s going until January 11th, I believe. I went last weekend and the pictures are wonderful. The biggest thrill for me was the picture of John W Stevenson’s home and orchard. We lived on the Stevenson place for a few happy years. The homesite is covered with rock and I’d heard about it. Had no idea there were pictures of it. The exhibit brought back a lot of happy memories for me.

It seems…

Like I have two different people living inside of me. One seems to be about four years old and prone to hysteria. The other is a very pulled together 16 year old. That’s the one that can handle anything. I had someone write me from the ARDS site, where I’d written when Jeffrey was in the ICU. The woman’s mother had this and she wanted to know how Jeffrey was doing. I had to write and tell her he’d died. One of the women on a grief list said something similar had happened to her too. The reason we go to those sites, she said, is because we want them to tell us everything will be okay. Unfortunately, a lot of times, things aren’t okay. It made me slightly hysterical, thinking somehow that Jeffrey was alive and still stuck in the ICU. I don’t think I could have stood that. In many ways, it’s easier to deal with his death than to think of having to deal with that.

So I had that 4 year old near hysteria over that and managed to finally talk myself back down. It was really just a matter of telling myself that Jeffrey was okay and wasn’t in the ICU any more. I tell people that there are worse things than death. Watching someone you love with tubes in their throat, kept alive by a machine, is the most awful thing you can imagine. It becomes even worse when you hit that spot where no hope is left and you have to let them go. At least, the suffering for them is over and they are at peace. I work towards letting myself be at peace with the loss of my love.

I bought a new old car this week, an ’87 Mazda 323. I need a backup car, something cheap with less mileage on it. Still trying to get it home, but might manage that tomorrow. I think it will be fun to drive. I haven’t owned a stick shift in awhile. I feel good about making that decision, although I still don’t know if it was a wise one or not.

Another Sunday

I think Sundays are really hard for me. We did so much together at the church. It’s hard when I attend and hard when I work, like I am today. The people at church miss Jeffrey too. But, I guess we will all adjust sometime. I’m not sure what is going to happen. Jeffrey was president of the Executive Board and the Building and Grounds person. He cleaned the church every Saturday. I don’t know if they are going to elect someone new to those positions or not. I’d like to do it, but I don’t know if they will consider me. I guess I’ll find out in the next month, when we elect new officers.


Now, I’m dealing with kiddies hacking into my site. Not what I want to deal with right now. If it continues, then I may have to rework the site, maybe go back to blogger.

For now, I want to talk about grief. I wrote in a letter today that losing a spouse is so awful that it’s a wonder anyone survives it. The least thing sets off a round of grief. I took Loretta in to be spayed today. We’d planned to let her have a pup by Wallace, to keep and raise. But I can’t do that now. By myself, I don’t have the time to raise a puppy and she was already bred. So there’s grief from that. I went to our doctor yesterday for a physical and spent most of the time talking about Jeffrey and crying. (He was Jeffrey’s doctor too.) I went for a walk today. I felt the wind brush my neck in a way that felt exactly like Jeffrey’s touch. I was in tears over that too.

Grief doesn’t go away, but you learn to live with it. I am trying to sort out the brave new life I want come spring. And I think, just maybe, it still involves that yurt. I also think it involves keeping the place and going back home. I’m just not sure exactly how that works out just yet. But somehow, someway, I have to forge ahead with my life and see what I can accomplish in the time to come.

Life without Jeffrey

I’m sorry the blog has been down for so long. I’ve been through hell, to put it mildly. Jeffrey was badly sick at the end of September. Bad enough I took him to the emergency room on October first. He spent two weeks in the ICU and died of pnuemonia on October 13th. We were married for 37 years and had a wonderful life together.

Everything has been turned upside down. I was lucky enough to have someone take all the goats. Another friend took the geese, chickens and rabbits. My neighbor let my dogs out while I spent every other night away from home. I have been blessed by friends I didn’t really know I had. The people at church have been true family. Pastor and my neighbor were there when I had to make the decision to take Jeffrey off life support. (And I couldn’t go in to make that decision. As long as I heard the machines making him breathe, I could not have had him taken off life support.) Even the company I work for supported me. They paid for the time I took off and will cover with additional sick leave if I need it. I pity people who have to go through this without the kind of loving support I have had.

I’ve had to move off the place for the winter. I’m staying at a house the church owns. It has electricity and I’ve put in a phone. It will be “easier”, I guess. The dogs and cats have more room and seem to be adjusting a bit. I went back to work, after taking off the week he died and I seem to be holding up. So life goes on. I don’t know yet if I will be able to move back to our place or not. It is my plan to do so this spring. I can’t think of how hard Jeffrey worked to dig that garden and just let it all go. I will need to have something besides the trailer to live in and that is the sticking point. I may still build that yurt. Right now, I’m just trying to sort out what life without Jeffrey will look like.