Printer problem fixed! I finally found a place to download the patch to the computer update that screwed up my system and made the computer unable to connect to the printer. Why the fix wasn’t automatically uploaded like the original update, I don’t know. I have a hunch it would have uploaded in the July updates, but now I don’t have to worry about the printer not working. At least not until the next update.

I’d received five lilac twigs from the Arbor Foundation a few weeks ago, and they were all alive and all doing well, and for no reason that I can see, one died overnight. (In case you haven’t noticed, plants are as much of a mystery to me as everything else.) On the other hand, some old morning glory seeds I strewed out there have started coming up, so at least that’s something.

There’s been no further activity on my garage. That’s disappointing, of course, but at least it’s enclosed so the wood and tools and such that are inside won’t go missing. Admittedly, most stuff is too heavy to be casually carted off by the larcenous folk in the neighborhood, but I wouldn’t have put it past someone to pull up in a truck and load it all up. They’ve done that before. It was just a board they came and got, but other people have lost workshops full of tools.

My knee is doing better. I wear a brace part of the time (until it starts digging painfully into my leg), and that seems to help. So does massage, isometric exercises and the herbal poultices I have been using. (Frankincense and myrrh are a couple of the ingredients, which tickles me.) I even walked a bit outside until the pit bulls running loose had me scurrying back inside my fence. (Too many people around here don’t want to walk their dogs, so they let them run loose for a while, which is a real problem, but since they are back in the yard by the time the code enforcer goes on duty, nothing is ever done about it.)

I’m still working my way (again) to the last battle in The Wheel of Time series. It’s odd how the poor fellow who was born to fight the dark powers and save the earth is so underappreciated by everyone. They all think they need to control him (they think they know everything, and they think that if they don’t force him to go, he won’t do what he’s supposed to). What I’ve been thinking about this time through is freedom. The world of the story is a sort of chivalrous feudal matriarchy, with women asserting their rights and men trying to protect women at all costs. What it comes down to is all the disparate factions, as well as powerful individuals, are trying to control everyone else. It seemed weird to me, all this insistence on obedience, until it dawned on me that modern society is rather unique where individuals can try to form their own destinies if they will, rather than conforming so much to the will of the powerful.

I think these are all the recent updates to my life. Well, the tarot. Today’s card was the two of pentacles, which told me to be flexible and adaptable. Good advice, especially in light of all these updates.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

An Exciting Life

I spent my allotted writing time today responding to the very interesting and thought-provoking comments people left on my latest blogs that I forgot I hadn’t yet posted a new blog. I’m glad I finally remembered, not just because I’d hate to break my 256-day streak of daily blogging, but because this has been a rather momentous couple of days for me.

It started Thursday afternoon when I went to a friend’s birthday party in the park. Since there were more than ten of us, I said that if anyone asked, to tell them it wasn’t a party — it was a protest, a protest against getting older and against isolation. I doubt that would have held sway with any arresting officers, but luckily, no one showed up but us. And oh, it was so wonderful seeing people! I even hugged a couple of dear friends, holding on as if we were saving each other’s lives instead of perhaps endangering them. (One friend is recuperating from a severe illness, and even though she isn’t contagious any longer, I couldn’t take a chance on hugging her, and I feel bad about that, but I was  very glad to see her up and around.)

Despite this one lapse, I will be more diligent about isolation for a while longer. Many rural communities that managed to avoid The Bob when larger communities were suffering, ended up having problems when they opened up again, and I have a real issue with being a statistic. But that’s for the future. Now back to yesterday.

Yesterday, the contractor came to get the carport that has been cluttering up my backyard. (And brought me some fresh farm eggs!) They worked so hard taking the metal carport apart (the entire day in 100+ degree weather) that I felt as if I should be paying them, when in fact, the carport was payment for some work they had already done.

It is such a joy to have it gone! It opens up my yard and makes this place feel like an estate. (Not bad for someone who thought she’d end up living in some sort of subsidized housing.)

Even better, the garage door, opener, and the rest of the OSB board for the inside walls of the garage were delivered while they were here!!! Oh, my such excitement.

And that isn’t all. The library called. Well, the building didn’t call; a librarian did. My email from the end of March asking for books via their curb-side service apparently got lost at the bottom of their email list. The poor librarian was embarrassed and apologetic, though there was no need. Still, since I couldn’t get to the library to pick up the books, she delivered them to my house. Wow! My own private bookmobile! Luckily, they aren’t going to be charging overdue rates because I won’t be getting to the books until after I finish re-re-rereading The Wheel of Time series. I have a lot of the story in my head right now, so I’m able to find answers to various plot points and to see foreshadowings that have previously eluded me, and I don’t want to halt the momentum.

The library is aiming for a July 1 reopening, which will be nice. More than nice, actually. The only change they will really have to make is to curtail computer usage (the banks of computers are all real close to one another), which doesn’t affect me at all. I seldom see anyone in the stacks anyway, so I’m not worried, even if I’ll still be in my self-imposed isolation.

I should have babied my knee today after all that activity, but I took the time to pull some boxes of stuff out of a closet that I want to store in the garage when it is finished. And those boxes were heavy!!! They weren’t heavy the last time I lifted them, so what I have been suspecting is true: I am getting elderly.

Which reminds me of another “elderly” example. I haven’t been using the back door because the step is much steeper than normal steps and it really strains my knee, so I’ve been going in and out of the front door. Yesterday, I went out to check on the work the guys were doing, and when I tried to get back in the front door, it was locked. It confused the heck out of me because the only way to lock the door when leaving is with a key, and I didn’t have the key. I hobbled around the house to the backyard, and mentioned my dilemma. “I don’t understand how I got out here,” I said.

“You came out the back door,” one fellow said. “It didn’t look like you had any problem, either. You just came out.” Then he kindly went in the house and unlocked the front door for me so I didn’t have to navigate that step. (Apparently, going out is a lot easier on my knee than climbing back in.)

Yep. Old. I don’t remember going outside. Not at all. I know it’s easy not to remember things you do by rote (which is why if you want to remember locking a door or some such, you need to do something different, like patting the key when you are finished. You still won’t remember locking the door, but you will remember patting the key.) But it’s been so long since I went out that door that I would have thought I’d remember not to go out that way, if nothing else.

Oh, well. Such is life.

And what an exciting life it has been the past couple of days! That, at least, I remember.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.