Daisies, River Forks Park, Roseburg, Oregon 2011

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I'm going to close my Meandering blog sometime this year.  I'm working on how to save the photos and posts as there are so many, many things here that I want to keep.  Years of my life with Alan, and our adventures and travels that I don't want to lose.  I've heard the whole blog can be put on a memory stick or USB, but I'm not sure how that works, nor have I figured it out yet.

It's been nearly a year since last October when I went back to Edinburgh to see family and friends.  It was a painful, sad, tearful journey, but also filled with love and kindness.  After I returned, I started a new blog:  www.justone-terlee.blogspot.com where I write about this new life: being on my own.  There are stories, sometimes poetry, lots of photos, a tear now and then, and often a laugh or at least a smile.

Stop by sometime...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Memory...

Alan Alexander Gilliatt

January 28, 1944  -  April 23, 2011

I hope your light is now shining in a place of beauty.
  I will miss you love, so much , every single day.  
Be at peace, my dearest man.

It is with the greatest sadness in my heart that I write this.  My irascible, vibrant, cantankerous, lovable, generous, kind, stubborn, decent, funny, playful, hard-working husband left this world last Saturday, at 2:30pm, on a lovely warm afternoon while we worked in our garden.

It was the most shocking and horrible experience of my life.  I will never recover from the unreality of chatting away as we worked side-by-side one moment, to losing him the next.  My only consolation is he died instantly, and painlessly, from cardiac arrest.

I feel so sorry that this happened here, in America, rather than in Edinburgh where he lived all his life.  I have talked to his family and several friends in Scotland, but for now, being so far away, there will be no memorial service for him, no celebration of his life amongst the family, friends, military and work people that he knew over his lifetime.  It breaks my heart he won't have that.

We haven't lived in southern Oregon long enough to make friends, become part of the community, so other than myself and small family, there is no one here to mourn him.  And as if my heart couldn't break more, it does with this thought:  After all our months of work on the new house, we had actually arrived at the very last day--house finished, work done, only flowers to plant--and were both eagerly looking forward to a wonderful summer of relaxing and enjoying our labors.  And that's the day he dies..??  I can't fathom the unfairness, or comprehend the timing.

My mother and sister came immediately, but after a week, they are gone now, and it's just Ozzy, Max and myself.  Ozzy is taking it very hard.  He wanders back into Alan's room expecting to find him on the computer; he sits at the window waiting for him to perhaps drive up in the car; he stares at me, his big brown eyes asking where his Dad has gone.  Max is less bothered because he's only been with us for a few months, yet he's still unsettled and worried.  Somehow I have to find a way to relieve their fears and figure out how to care for them on my own.

But that will perhaps seem minor compared to the magnitude of how I will ever learn to face the silence, and the pain, and the deep, wrenching loneliness of losing Alan.  He filled the house, and my life.  It is unbearable that he is gone.


I have no idea if I will ever blog again.  I have so many difficulties ahead dealing with two different countries' red tape and rules; and frankly Alan dealt with the UK things so I'm virtually clueless.  But even if I had no worries or confusion on that score, I am too numb and hollowed out to imagine ever having anything to write again, once I post this.

I would like to say one last thing:  Treasure the people in your lives, hug your loved ones, talk to them, smile at them, appreciate them, every single day.  Don't think there's plenty of time, or put things off for another day, or imagine for a moment you can wait to tell them you love them.  In the blink of an eye, your chance could be taken away.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blooming Saturday

Yesterday was Spring Cleaning Day...which totally wiped me out, not only because I hate loath detest abhor don't like domestic chores, but it's hard work with the lugging of the ten-ton vacuum, hands-and-knees mopping of floors, crawling under furniture to dust, etc., etc.  When I was younger I had pretty much decided that when I got older, I would have a housekeeper.  Hmmm.  Whatever happened to that plan..??

In any case, by the time the SCD was over, so was I.  I could barely lift my arms last night.  And that would explain how I smashed my thumb between the underside of the dining room table and the arm of my chair when I sat down to eat dinner.  Holy Crap, did that hurt.  I thought the thumb was a goner for a minute there.  It's now totally black & blue, swollen and won't quite bend properly, but hey, at least it happened after all the work was done, right..??  Yeah.  Right.  Lucky me.

Here's one really cool thing:  Amidst the cleaning and sweating on a glorious, beautiful Friday, we decided to stop in a Kruse's Farms after the dogs' walk.  The market has been closed for the winter, but they've just reopened and we wanted to see what they had as surely it was too soon for veggies, or their usual produce.


What they do before the vegetable and produce season begins is supply the most amazing potted plants, hanging baskets, and container flowers you can imagine.  They have four greenhouses, all full of just stunning plants.  There were several enormous baskets reserved for the city to hang along the main street, and we saw more than one winery with huge, gorgeous potted plants set aside for them, no doubt for their front entries or wine-tasting patios.  It was mind-boggling and beautiful to just wander from greenhouse to greenhouse, and around the front parking area--all filled with blooms and color and fragrance.

We bought two hanging baskets, originally to hang off the front deck, but they are so big, only one will fit.  The other we plopped into an  oak barrel just to keep it safe while we decided what to do with it.  It looks so great there, we're leaving it.  We also bought some other plants, including three different varieties of Coleus that are just too cool, and some geraniums--one of my favorite plants.

The oak barrel at the top of the back garden, just off the deck...now filled with the hanging basket flowers.  Is that the most epic bunch of blooms ever..??!!

Next are the three varieties of Coleus.  These were so interesting, we couldn't decide which ones to get.  This first one is my favorite.  The red is so deeply red, with a lime-yellow edging.

This is Alan's favorite, and again, so cool and colorful...

Alan didn't particularly care for this one, but because it was so unique--looking like someone had just splattered it with paint--I couldn't resist.

A couple close-up shots of geraniums.  The bottom one, with the white-rimmed ruffles, is one of my most favorite.  They bloom like a weed and look brilliant all summer long.  Course, the red one is just as beautiful.

Here is the other hanging basket, which will go on the front deck...or, hang under the front deck to be more accurate, though how we're exactly going to accomplish that is still up in the air.  These are monumentally heavy containers--we could barely lift them in and out of the car, let alone lift them over our heads whilst standing on a ladder and trying to slide them into a hook.  Once this Herculean feat is done, I will definitely take some photos.  I may need them to console me while recovering In the hospital from back surgery.

So, though I labored for the better part of yesterday on the Spring Cleaning, I did have some time to stop and smell the flowers.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jazzed Up Thursday...

I haven't posted a Coffee Break for awhile, so here's a short one.  Grab a cup, sit back and relax for a minute or two this morning--or afternoon, depending on where you are.

This is good, and hopefully if you click on the picture, it will show up larger/clearer so you can actually read it.  The last sentence is the best, of course.

 Courtesy of Jet


The Inexplicable Sign o' the Week.  LOL.  You gotta wonder at their public relations department, don't you..??

Via DH


I found a really great video this morning that I just have to share.  It's from the UK, music by the Jive Aces, Britain's premiere swing band.  It starts out all doom and gloom and then...

There's just something about music, isn't there..??

If you're at work, you might not be able to really hear/feel the music.  Maybe at lunch...or better yet, turn UP the volume and get your office jazzed on a humdrum Thursday...

Via Flixxy


That's about all I've got for today.  The sunshine is streaming through the windows, and I have to get going on the day.  Though really...??  I would rather hide out here, with a good book and no distractions or chores.

Thanks to DH

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slow Day...

Not much going on today, so I'm just going to post a few things and call it good.  Yesterday was really busy, with all kinds of running around things to do, and in fact we made three trips down the mountain which I think must be a record for us.  It was a wonderfully beautiful day however, so in between the running about we took the dogs to the park twice.  They didn't complain.

In case you haven't had your lunch yet today, you could perhaps try this soup...it might even take care of the midweek slump of Wednesday...

This is a good one.  I really had to smile when the dog commandeered the blanket...too funny.

Via Miss Cellania

Here's an amazing thing:  A true look at the vast underground world of an ant hill city.  Since I only saw one or two ants hanging around, I hope that means the colony had moved on to build another city...and weren't buried in the tons of concrete.  It's also just a bit creepy at the end when you realize the magnitude of their endeavors...and just how industrious tiny insects can be.

 Via DH

Well, like I said, it's a slow day.  The weather is sort of gloomy too, which really makes me want to take a nap, but instead I should get on with some work I have to do, so...yawn...The End.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A New and Better Week...

...I hope.

To recap my Time Out of last week:

On Tuesday Alan and I had a major disagreement, mainly because of his disagreement with the landscape guys.  I won't go into the particulars as it's too boring, to say nothing of painful, to relive the experience of dealing with a bull-headed horses's ass.  All the yelling and shouting upset the dogs, of course, so for a couple of days I was taking them to the park by myself to give the three of us a quiet peaceful break, away from the turmoil and tension.

Wednesday as I was trying to navigate the car down the driveway between tractors, wheelbarrows, tools and assorted flotsam from the landscaping, I heard this horrible bang that scared the crap out of me.  I stopped the car and jumped out.  Matthew and Rusty came running, and we discovered that I had inadvertently run over one of their tools--a pick axe.  This is one of those aggravating moments where you shake your head in total disbelief, knowing that if you tried to do this, it would never happen again in a million years.

I hit the very edge of the pick axe head, which flung the handle up, and did this to my beautiful, pristine car:

Imagine how perfectly my tire had to roll over that axe head to have just the handle fly up and do this.  Here's a closer view of the damage.

I immediately took it to the Chevy dealership for an estimate.  Get this.  $550.00 for the repair, four days for a rental car while it's being repaired.  Hell's Flaming Bells.

Moving on.

By Thursday the guys had fixed, finished and resolved everything, apparently to Alan's satisfaction.  I was no longer involved at this point as he made it perfectly clear during the Tuesday altercation that since he was paying for the landscaping, I had no say in anything.  Uh huh.  And those of you who know me can just imagine how that went over.

I had a nice, farewell chat with the guys late on Thursday as they prepared to leave.  They did an amazing job, under what I deem very adverse conditions--and I'm not just talking about the weather.  I'm confident the landscaping will look wonderful as time goes by.  Though I will miss them being around every day, I'm glad it's over.  So, as they drive off into the sunset, I heave a sigh of relief and make plans for Friday and the first day in two and a half months that is free of chaos and confusion.

And then I get called for jury duty.

Friday morning, up at the crack of dawn, I have to speak to Alan--who I've basically not spoken to since Tuesday--because he will be in charge of both dogs for the day.  Flurry of activity ensues, quick dog walk, breakfast, etc., and I drive off with my mind in a froth of anxiety about the jury crap, and leaving the dogs with Alan for the day.  I have concerns on both fronts, believe me.

Naturally, I get picked for the first round of jury selection.  It takes all morning and into the afternoon while the two attorneys go through the process to narrow 18 of us down to just the 12 jurors needed for this felony case; a case we've been told will carry over into the next week.  Crap.

Then a miracle happens.  They reach the point where the two attorneys "challenge" each other, which means they each can get rid of 6 jurors of their choosing.  I'm chanting under my breath the whole time (pickmepickmepickme).  Interestingly enough, they both must have wanted a predominately male jury because they excused 6 women before they got to me...

...and YES...barely able to contain myself, biting my tongue so I wouldn't whoop with joy, I was one of the excused.

Once I left the jury box, danced walked out of the courtroom, made my way past the security checkpoints, and hit the fresh air, I couldn't contain myself another minute.  I whooped, then ran for the car in case there had been a mistake.

So, one good thing to come out of a truly wretched week: My civic duty jury crap is over for at least the next two years.

And there you have it.  My week in a nutshell.  And though it might not seem like a total crap week to any of you, trust me, from my perspective, there's no doubt. 

The weather has been pretty bad as well, especially over the weekend, with lots of rain and wind.  This morning is nice and sunny however, if a bit cooler than normal.  We went to the garden center yesterday and I might plant at least one of the oak barrels this afternoon.  The other barrel I think will become my tomato barrel.  It's still a bit early to do this kind of planting, though once we get into May, I think Roseburg will have fewer and fewer cloudy, stormy days and get warmer and sunnier.


As I was writing this, I looked up as some shadows went past my window.  There is a spectacular--though dead--oak tree just across the road that I love.  It's gnarly and Halloween scary, and seems to be a perfect landing platform for all kinds of birds.

Three turkey vultures swoop onto the twisted branches.  I grab my camera and snap this shot just as the third one touches down...

They don't stop for long.  I managed to take this shot just as the topmost bird lifts off.  Check out that wingspan.  These birds are so big, it's just amazing to see them soar around the Valley and over the ridge and above the house.

Then the middle bird takes flight...

And finally, the last bird, with a great flap, dives off his limb and soars down towards Roseburg in the distance.

Very cool.  And makes my usual blah Monday a bit special.  Hopefully that means a good omen for a better week than the last...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cinema Sunday

Back from the worst week on record.  Details to follow tomorrow.  For today, I just want to post these two short videos of the landscaping project...

The first one was taken on January 26th, just before the project started.  This is just a refresher really, as I've already posted this on the blog, the same day I filmed it...

Okay...the Big Reveal.  This clip was taken yesterday, April 16th.  It's a bit long, and in fact was too long for YouTube so I had to chop off the ending to keep it under 10 minutes.  (Which is originally all the upload time I was allowed.  I've now upgraded to 15 minutes--though only time will tell if that's a good thing.)

So, forewarned on the length, make sure you have a cuppa at hand, settle in for some Sunday viewing...and here goes:

The difference is pretty astounding, isn't it..??  Course, you really have to use your imagination to "see" the landscape as it will look in time, not particularly how it looks at the moment.

Tomorrow I will do a recap on my wretched week.  So, again, forewarned:  You might want to go shopping, or read a book, or forget my blog link.  I know I would...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Time Out

I'm taking a few days off, maybe longer, I'm not sure.  Things aren't going well in sunny rural Roseburg of late, and I need some time to navigate through the dire straits of my detrimental relationship with Alan, his meddlesome and ruined relationship with the hapless landscapers, and all the rocky shoals in between.  And that doesn't take into account that both dogs are suffering from the turmoil, or that my number is up any day now for jury duty.  Wow.  Where did I go wrong--was it that left turn I should have made instead of the right..??  Makes you wonder sometimes how you end up where you do...

Here's what I'd really like to do.  Though, on the other hand, maybe this is what I have been doing and that's why I find myself right where I am at this moment.  Ah hell, whatever.  I'll be back, I just need a time out.

Monday, April 11, 2011


What is it about this day..??  Years and years of getting up for school, then work..??  The start of a new week should be...what...invigorating, energizing, exciting..??  Why isn't Monday any of those things..??  Or maybe it's just me.  I have never, ever liked Mondays; the rest of the days don't bother me at all, though late on a Sunday afternoon the "oh crap tomorrow is Monday" mindset kicks in, which makes part of Sunday tainted by that nasty Monday.  I do think it's sort of weird, now that I don't have to go to school, or work for that matter, that Monday is still my least favorite of the seven.  Conditioned response, I'm sure.  I mean really, years upon years of school and work will pretty much ruin a Monday for all time.

The guys are here, bright and early this morning, raking and digging and doing who knows what.  I will be soooo glad to see their trucks drive away down the mountain for the last time.  They are really nice, hardworking guys, but enough already.  Once the landscaping is over, I'm taking a good long breather from workmen, projects and chaos.  I hope.

Here's something to occupy a minute or two of your time this morning.  Can you spot the kitty..??  I swear, I almost lost my eyesight trying to find it.  I enlarged the photo, shrunk the photo, stuck my nose nearly into my laptop screen...and still couldn't figure out where the cat could possibly be.  When you do spot it, it suddenly just jumps out at you, and you wonder how you couldn't see it.  Really cool...

Inexplicable Sign for the day.  This is a great, though scary, photo.  It took me a second to get it.  Then I wanted to pull my feet up onto my chair while I cringed in horror..!!   Move to the side of the road..??  I'd rather take my chances with a speeding vehicle.  And seriously people, would you really be walking along this bit of highway in the first place..??

On that note--and since it's fairly early in the day and I don't have anything noteworthy to post so far--I'm going to get on with things around the homestead.  Have a good Moanday folks...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cinema Sunday

Well, I say Cinema Sunday, though what I'm really going to do is post some videos I found throughout the week that I haven't had time to put on the blog, rather than a feature film/movie.

Mostly these are funny dog vids--my favorite--though there is also a beautiful rendition of Swan Lake...the music, not the ballet.  So, settle back on this quiet Sunday afternoon, and watch a few short films.


First up is this hilarious vid of Poncho, the Dachshund stuck in a sweatshirt sleeve.  It's really funny, especially every time he wags his tail, though I think the best part is how clueless the guy is in getting the dog out of the shirt (don't yank from the top, pull up from the bottom), and the "mom" isn't any help as she's laughing and filming.


Snuggles, the Chihuahua apparently has a deep aversion to the remote.  The best part of the video is towards the end when she starts talking about how much she hates that thing...


I loved this one.  It's a video from some kind of Japanese TV show.  And I can only wonder how the dog was trained to do this most clever thing.

Dog barks quieter brought to you by Funny Videos


And last, but truly not least, here's the Swan Lake video, played by Robert Tiso, with wine glasses and water.  It's really stunning, and eerily beautiful.


Okay.  That about covers it for our Sunday movie viewing.  Tomorrow should be the last week of the landscaping, so by Friday, I should be able to do a video of the "After".  At some point, either late Jan or early Feb, I did the "Before" video; I'll have to look in the archives for it.  It would be interesting to see them both together.  I'm having a hard time remembering how things used to look, before mud and chaos.

In any case.  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday...