Friday, January 13, 2012

3 in 30 Check-in - Week 2

Last week I didn't make much progress towards my goals because of my father's death on January 5th. This week, I am trying to create some sense of order now that visitation, prayer service, funeral, and burial are done.

3 Goals in January

1. Remove photographs from all photo albums and put in photo boxes. I began this process in 2011, but never completed it. My goal was to remove all the photographs so that the photo albums wouldn't continue to damage the images. (Many of the photographs are in albums that are not acid-free.)

In creating display boards for my father's visitation, Sophia, Olivia, and I removed all the photo albums from the closet. Initially, we went through them to find pictures of my dad so they could be used on the boards. 

This board was one of six that I did.
It shows pictures from my dad's early years and
those related to his time and/or interest in the Army.

The next step is to go through the photo albums and remove the pictures and put them in photo-safe, acid-free boxes so the pictures stay safe. During the next two weeks I'm hoping to complete this goal.

As a side note, seeing them the photo albums out in one spot made me realize how much space they take up. It will be nice to have extra closet space once this project is done.

2. Thoroughly clean and repair the master bedroom. Unfortunately, I did not have the time this week to do any work towards this goal. Other matters had to take priority.

3. Spend 15 minutes outside each day. I was able to meet this goal on some days, but not all days, given the circumstances. On Saturday, I spent no time outside. The entire day was spent indoors going through numerous photo albums, sorting photos, and selecting 90 photos so a DVD of my dad's life could be made in time for his visitation on Monday afternoon.

After that, I began working on the display boards that would reflect the full life my dad led, and the impact he made on so many lives.

On Sunday, I spent about 10 minutes outside working in the barn and spreading down new wood chips for the horses. Since I was still preparing the display boards for my father's funeral, and it was taking much longer than anticipated, I didn't spend any more time outside.

Monday was spent indoors - with only brief periods outdoors as I loaded and unloaded the car at home, my father's church, and the hotel. Otherwise, the focus was on setting up and attending my dad's visitation and vigil service.

Tuesday I was outside for more than 15 minutes at Fort Snelling where my dad was buried. The burial included full honors - meaning there were flag bearers waiting for us as we arrived; active and retired military men who folded the flag and presented it to my mother as well as saluted my father's casket; and rifle men who shot three volleys, and two men who played taps on bugles.

A veteran presenting the flag that draped my father's casket
to my mother.

It was a touching and meaningful ceremony followed by a prayer service led by a family friend who is a priest.

The flag bearers were in front and
the rifle men further down the street.

On Wednesday I spent about 15 minutes outside with the horses - feeding them, working in the barn, and making sure everything was okay. Sophia and I did some errands, so we were outside for short periods of time as we walked from the car to various places (e.g., stores, library). The weather changed from being in the 40s and 50s (on Monday and Tuesday) to overcast and much cooler - in the 20s.

On Thursday, Sophia, Olivia, and I took the dogs on a walk. It was 12 degrees today, though with the wind, it felt like -5 to 0 degrees. It was bone-chilling weather...especially with the wind. The girls did half the walk and then walked back home while I took the dogs for a longer walk.

There was a dead Virginia Opossum in the street which was of great interest to the dogs. Kept them back from that it so they wouldn't drag it home with them.

Since we homeschool, things like this always turn into a lesson it seems. The girls and I read more about opossums from the book Mammals of Minnesota - Field Guide by Stan Tekiela. Some interesting things we learned:
- They can get to 25-30" (this one was about 27" long - not including the tail which was another 6" or so).
- The feet have five toes. The first toe on the the hind feet is thumb-like and lacks a nail.
- They only live 3-5 years.
- It likes to live in deciduous forest, farmlands, wetlands, and prairies - all of which can be found in the local area.
- They live in a leaf nest in an underground den or hollow log.
- They are omnivores.
- The gestation period is only 8-14 days during January-February. At that time, 2-13 offspring (usually 5-6) will be born and be the size of a navy bean. They crawl to the mother's external fur-lined pouch where they stay for up to two months.
- This is the only marsupial found north of Mexico.
- It has 50 teeth - more than any other mammal in Minnesota.

Came back and watched the horses gallop in the pasture. They kept coming back to the gate to be pet, so I did that for a while. Then they made their way to barn...looking back at me as if saying, "Come on...give us an early dinner!"

Bailey with Sunset in Background
Bailey in the pasture. (You can hardly see her -
she's in the lower right corner of the photo.)

So, I fed the horses and checked their water which had frozen slightly despite being in heated buckets (realized the plug had come partly out of the socket).

By the time I came back in, it had been 45 minutes. It felt so good to be outside for that period of time...despite the cold weather. I guess wearing a shirt, two sweatshirts, two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, a heavy coat, hat, mittens, and scarf was worth it...just to stay warm.


Fairy Tale Mama said...

I'm so sorry about your father, Ann. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Remember to be kind and gentle to yourself and take some time for you. You deserve it.

sara said...

Your dad's photo board looks wonderful! Great memories there.

Stay warm! Hearing about your horses, and frozen water buckets, and all of the clothes you had on is making me feel a little chilly down here in Virginia!

What Remains Now said...

My thanks and gratitude for your father's service to our country.

Jeanine Byers Hoag said...

Ann, I'm sorry to hear about your father! I loved hearing about how he was honored. Good work, too, on your goals!

Rita said...

I hope your mom is coping okay with the loss. And all of you, of course.

I like your 3 in 30 idea. I didn't even know we had opossums in Minnesota! Honestly! Never have seen one and grown up and lived most of my life in Minnesota. I learned something new today. :):)

Meredith said...

Oh what a gift-- those photo boards and the movie you made.

I hope and pray that the time preparing them helped you to say your goodbyes.

Sending prayers for all of you as you discover what your new normal is like.