Thursday, December 30, 2010

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

I know - five gold rings. And there are some gifts more precious than gold that make an appearance out our window. This little one lives under the neighbor's house. This is the first winter appearance we have seen. He looks round and furry and fine so I take it he is a winter mountain rabbit who is doing just fine in the snow and cold. Blessings, little one.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

This is really the 5th day of Christmas - and the birds arrived yesterday so the song works. I also figured out that with 4 Calling Birds, 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge, that's 10 birds (I know, they increase every day) and we have one more thrown in for good luck.

I have been looking for some kind of art work to help fill in the expanse over the mantle for a while now and this year, in a catalogue I found the birds. I think they are nice. Not as large as I thought and still, they swoop and float and come sailing into the room, drifting on the wind that so often wafts (or roars) over our mountains. I am pleased ~ Merry Christmas to me. :D

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Spontaneous Christmas

When you reflect on the first Christmas, it held some degree of spontaneity. Although the census was organized by Rome all the rest was chaos. No vacancy in any hotel or inn - have to sleep in a barn. Baby born in a barn. oops. An ordinary night of shepherding interrupted by Angels and an unexpected rush into town to see this baby. A long, long trip across country with the surprise at the end: the king didn't know who was being born and dreams sent you home by another route. It all looks so peaceful and organized in our pictures and the reality was probably a little less so.

Since then Christmas celebrations have become organized within an inch of their lives. Presents are bought and wrapped months ahead. Meals are planned months ahead if not so traditional that no one needs to plan: Aunt Mary's pies, Uncle Bob's roasted chestnuts, Mama's dressing, mashed potatoes for Cindy, sweet potatoes for Jane, and it wouldn't be Christmas without Clara's green bean casserole. And the guest list is set and you know exactly who will be present and there is always enough for another family to drop in. Except they rarely do.

What a delightful, lovely, Spontaneous day we had yesterday. Dean and I were going to have the day together. Daughter and her family were "alone" as well. About nine o'clock when I knew the presents would have been opened and the games begun, I sent her a text and said, "It is a gorgeous day. Bring your pie and your family and come to dinner about 2." Imagine my delight and surprise when she said, Yes! :D :D

The only excess was meat: they brought their ham, we had our tri-tip. We had both planned on sweet potatoes and a vegetable so I furnished the potatoes and she the veggie with cheese sauce and she already had her wonderful pecan pie made. The meal became a feast, not because there were so many dishes but because there were people together who love each other and were excited and pleased to be together when we weren't expecting it.

A very merry Christmas ~ and blessings all around

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The morning star shown bright ~ a beacon in a lightening sky beckoning us onward to better things: new birth, hope, peace, love and joy.

A blessed and very Merry Christmas to you all ~

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve, 2010

Christmas Eve dawns in a spectacular fashion. There are just enough clouds scattered across the sky to light the sunrise fire of orange and gold for those few privileged seconds. Then the gentle glow of pale gold surrounds the mountain tops in the distance and a little pink dusts the snow. The fire crackles and snaps in the fireplace and we know it is a special day.

My Uncle Bill was born either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I have written the family to be reminded which. Whichever, we celebrated his birthday on Christmas Eve. Aunt Maud would have the family and a few friends gather at their home. She always had custard for drinking - no liquor in it I am sure - and homemade cake. White cake with very white icing which she decorated with Boxwood leaves. Somewhere along the line, I remember learning that Boxwood leaves are poisonous. Ah well - we never ate them and none of us got sick and Aunt Maud's cakes were delicious. Happy Birthday, Uncle Bill.

I have decided to get out the few Christmas dishes I have - dessert plates, compotes and napkins with a Christmas tree on them. It is not much - still more than I have out now - and will be just enough to make me very happy.

You know what else makes me happy? Presents. There is something about the giving and receiving of presents that is So Delightful. I Love shopping for books for my grandchildren. And it is ok to say that even for the ones who read my blog because they Know - I am the book giving grandmother. The surprise is which ones. It was a wonderful surprise to receive gifts for both of us from good friends in Virginia. We are good enough friends that I do not have to rush out and buy them gifts because they gifted us. Their package has already been a surprise and I look forward to seeing the surprise tomorrow morning.

I am learning I need to get to the boxes before Dean does because he opens them Now - whenever now is. I realize everyone has their own tradition, and mine is to wait until Christmas morning to open gifts so when he opened one of the two in a box from the littlest granddaughter, I made him wait on the other one.

We will go as late as possible today to the PO to make sure we get the present from the daughter who lives far away.

I have been looking for a piece of art of some kind to hang over the mantle. Our mantle comes to a point in the middle - distinctive yet hard to decorate around. This year I found a sculpture of flying birds which I think will look lovely on the blue wall and be the crowning touch. When I showed it to Dean, he agreed, smiled and said, "buy yourself a Christmas present." :) And so I have. I am looking forward to its delivery after the first of the year. Pictures then.

And then there are my snowshoes. No - they aren't new. They have been around for years and we keep our boots in them and they hang outside the back door. And this morning mine are hanging there - and I have professional permission to give snowshoeing a try this weekend. My Big gift of the season is going to be snowshoeing without pain. I am ready and can hardly wait.

Presents come in all shapes and sizes at all times of the year. Those that come around this time are very special whether they come in a box, a stocking or on the trail behind the house. May you enjoy your presents ~ whatever they are. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas ~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice, Eclipse and a Snow Plow

Did the driver of the snow plow in the street at 10:30 last night realize he was plowing under cosmic history?

Did he look up to notice the shadow on the moon?

Did he notice that the sparkling snow was turning a pale grey ~ and did he wonder if it was cloud or mystery?

Was he grateful that he has a job that brings him outside on a mid-winter night when the clouds part and the sky performs and he can stop for a moment and look up?

I don't know. I do hope he saw what was happening over his head.

One daughter was able to lie on her driveway. Four feet of snow prevented that particular scenario for me. The other did as I did and saw it from her window. We scientific citizens of the 21st century know what is happening: earth moves between sun and moon. Won't happen again on the solstice for another 372 years. Ah ~ and we scientific citizens still wonder at the mystery of the cosmos. Grounded in our time, our roots reach into the past to join those of our ancestors who lit the bonfires, danced with torches and cried to the Goddess to bring back the Light and show us a Sign that all will be well.

We continue to look up in fascination and in awe to the heavens from which comes that energy that stirs our souls and holds the promise of Light and Hope. Continue to be blessed by that Light and Energy as you live into the Mystery ~

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent 4, 2010

The waiting continues.

And the expectations are growing. Something will come. Something will happen. Changes are already taking place.

I have a young friend who is expecting her second daughter soon. In the three days between seeing her last week, she expanded by inches. Change.

I suddenly started walking up and down the stairs in normal fashion. Still with the cane and rail and otherwise normally. Change.

In the middle of snowstorm last night we had a thunder storm complete with lightning and hard rain. All the snow left the trees and the deck rail. We woke this morning to heavy wet snow on all the trees and a good 6 inches on the deck rail. Change.

Tomorrow the Solstice comes. The shortest day of the year will pass by and suddenly it will be light a little longer. Noticeably longer even in one day. Change.

Lame Duck Congress suddenly isn't lame and has legs and Acts. Children's eyes get wider. Parents have a hard time keeping the lid on. The Post Office tells us that children's requests to Santa are very practical this year indicating that the economy may not be quite as good as we would like. People still await jobs with the expectation that 2011 will be better. The expectation is for Change ~ and already the signs are there.

The gifts of Advent are Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. For those to come with us into the new year, there will have to be changes, small and large. May those changes ride on the wings of our Advent expectations and find home in our hearts as well as in the world ~ with blessings to you and yours

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pictures to go with earlier blog

OK - the lean's a little weird ~ otherwise, this is me, folks ~


I feel like a teenager - I am ready for tonight's party three hours early. On the other hand to do laundry and make pies, I had stayed in my night shirt and robe so it is nice to get dressed. Now the interesting thing about being dressed is that I haven't worn these shoes and slacks for over a year because of feeling so lousy and not being able to walk at all except in sneakers -- oh, and the slacks still fit beautifully so what looks to me like too much weight is just fine -- and of course I have on my new red sweater which feels lovely and fits beautifully as well. :D :D :D

I am wearing the 30th anniversary bracelet - which won't quite fit over the long sweater sleeve and so sometimes gets hidden - and I know it's there and it will flash a bit of glitter occasionally. :)

And I Have On Make-up!!! I haven't forgotten how either. I even have bright red, match the sweater, lipstick -- I really do look good. heheheheh

I am taking the camera over so maybe I can get someone to take a picture just of me and I will post it. I am coming back and it feels So Good. I didn't realize all the things that had been effected by the pain.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent 3, 2010

With many thanks to Dr. Seuss for pointing this out so clearly!

I am still not bending. I am working on stepping up naturally. So the decorations are still in the window seat, there is no tree anywhere inside, and the Advent wreath is still the little makeshift one from a wonderful nativity and 4 mismatched candles. And guess what?

Instead of being all bent out of shape because of this, I am actually enjoying it. If I am truly into Advent waiting, then what I am waiting for is going to come regardless of what decorates my house. The Baby will be born. The world will be Blessed. Angel choirs will sing and the Wise Ones of the world will contemplate the nature of the universe and the fate of humankind. It will all happen with Joy and Delight and my house will have nothing to do with it. :D

On the other hand, my heart and yours may. That is where Christmas comes, dear friends. And if you are Jewish, that is where the true Hanukkah Light shines. If you celebrate Kwanzaa, that is where true Unity is found. And if you celebrate the ancient rituals of the Solstice, it is in the heart that the true Light returns to the earth.

Blessings as you go about your seasonal celebrations ~ may your heart be full

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Patient with Patience

I am sure I am not the first to point out this connection between the noun and the verb.

Patient: a noun, a person being treated by a doctor
Patient: a verb, to wait with calm for a certain outcome

The first has to have the other to survive the healing process. They are so closely connected that somewhere in the foggy past of language development, they came to be the same word.

I am finding the connection a blessing as I continue this healing journey, one step at a time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

There's Always a Story

The title of this blog is something my daughter says often. And she's right - there always is.

On August 23rd, I talked to a hip and knee replacement institute during my research for a surgeon. I was very impressed with this institute and their doctors. The woman I spoke to said, send your xray and I will hand carry it to the doctor. So - on the afternoon of August 23rd, I wrote my letter, enclosed it with the xray and mailed it. And waited. And waited.

Of course I wasn't Just waiting. I continued to do research and found two other hip and knee replacement offices that impressed me. I chose the one closest to home - and as you know had hip replacement surgery on November 10th and am a whole new woman, kicking butt in PT and recovering beautifully.

Today - December 7th - I get a phone call from the institute to which I had sent my xray. They had Just Today received the xray. It took 3 1/2 months to make it down the hill - and if I recall I put it in a two-day envelope. The woman who called me was both terribly embarrassed and very glad I had had my surgery and was doing so well. I bragged on my surgeon of course. And it makes me feel a LOT better about these doctors. I had sort of shrugged and let them go - with of course the intention of never mentioning them to anyone again. They did call the day they got the xray though -- so that pleases me. And I was honest with her about that. Now they are at least possibilities if anyone ever asks me about my research before my surgery.

Now if the envelope could just talk and tell us its story - because there's always a story.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent 2, 2010

Today is designated Peace Sunday on Advent calendars around the world. And we are still waiting for Peace.

Sons and daughters are still on foreign battle fields. The Earth itself stirs and rumbles and destroys homes, whole villages and lives. Brothers fight each other in towns whose names we can't pronounce and yet those mothers mourn with the same intensity as we ourselves. Families are shattered by sudden death, alcoholism, drugs, poverty, anger and violence.

And still we wait for Peace.

One of the powerful messages of Advent is that God did not wait for a world at peace into which to send the Christ. This baby was born into a world torn apart by oppression and Roman Rule. Clans fought each other. Rome collected taxes, held slaves, installed despots and fought with a heavy hand any attempt to rise and claim freedom for oneself or one's people.

Peace is here ~ we wait for it and then find it where we can: in the heart of a mother, in the smile of a baby, in the care and concern of a father; in an act of generosity or kindness to or from a stranger; in the welcome by thousands of volunteers to people in need in shelters across the land; in the attempts of parents to teach their children how to play without bullying or arguing. On and on the list of those small times and places and situations where Peace is present and glows in the sometimes frightening darkness. Those places are here - even as we wait ~ with blessings

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Morning Sky

I noticed the star first. It gleamed brightly between two pine trees, a clear, white glistening diamond surrounded by just enough deep blue to make the pines visible on either side. I stopped walking and just looked.


Later I moved to where I could see the moon. Thin, clear and still so bright. By now the sky was a deep, rich blue ~ the kind of blue a designer for royalty would try to copy to make a cape or uniform. The star and the moon were not close ~ I had to adjust where I was standing to see them both through the same window. And yet there they were.

And were I a wise astrologer and had been searching the heavens for a Sign, I just might follow that star to see where it led and whose birth it heralded.

The rising sun dimmed the rich blue. Its rays lit the scattered clouds with deep orange and pink brushing the paler blue with glorious color.

It is a morning when the Heavens are declaring the glory of God. I am grateful to be up to witness such glory. ~ with blessings

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent 1, 2010

Advent ~ from the Latin adventus meaning to come or to arrive. In Christian tradition the four weeks before Christmas have become a time of waiting for the coming or the arrival of the Savior.

I like Christmas, the whole Christmas season. I like the reflection and preparation of Advent. I like the shopping. I like Santa (actually I Love Santa). I love the carols whether in my home, around a friend's piano or wafting endlessly through a mall's musak. I love the energy, the decorations, the family gatherings, the traditions and the excitement. I love children's services and telling the nativity story over and over.

And given all of that, this year . . . ah, this year . . . something is different.

Truthfully, I think it has to do with the very personal healing of my hip. I am still a little sore. I don't move as fast nor as well yet as I will. There are certain bends and step ups I am not allowed to do yet no matter how well PT is going. And I just don't have my usual energy.

So this morning I surrounded a nativity scene that stays on my shelf all year with four very odd and different candles and lit one of them. As I did, I said a prayer for a younger friend who has had two serious surgeries in the last week. His family is certainly waiting - waiting for major healing, for the tubes to be removed, for all to be well. I thought of his little girl, waiting for Daddy to come home and her family to restored to some sort of normalcy.

Waiting. Waiting for the job interview or the new job to materialize. Waiting for word from the doctor. Waiting for the baby to come. Waiting for the plane to arrive. Waiting for the snow to fall. Waiting for the snow to stop falling. Waiting for the test results. Waiting for the college acceptance letter. Waiting for the hip to heal enough that I can bend over and take the decorations out of their storage and climb the step stool to decorate the tree. Waiting.

Advent helps us see waiting as a blessing, a sacred time. May all our times of waiting be seen in that Light. As you wait, take a breath. Acknowledge your waiting as blessed and sacred. Do not rush into the answer or the result. Waiting is a part of the journey too. ~ with blessings

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Midnight's blog updated

I did it. I stayed awake and moving until about midnight and then went back to bed and slept really well. Now I know I can take my pain med if I have pain and otherwise, I am ok. :D

Friday, November 26, 2010

So What's Going On?

I am basically pain free. Hurray!!

So - I should be off pain meds. Right?

And basically I am. I had tapered down to one Percocet at night and then to 1/2 the transition tablet doc had prescribed - a very mild form of Vicodin I think. I had a kick butt PT session today and have been tired all day - even dozed a little after lunch.

So what happened between 9:30 and 10 tonight? Well, first of all, I woke up. Still no pain. Very comfortable actually - just awake. Then the legs became a little twitchy. *sigh* So here I am - 11:30 pm, late for me, not so much so for other folks, walking, walking, walking. Cleaned the kitchen a little. Walked and walked. Now I am writing my blog and then I may watch another movie. And . . . I see no reason to take a pain med of any kind or strength. A sleeping pill maybe except I have none of those specifically. I am also beginning to get drowsy again so maybe these few minutes up and about are really all I need. I have to get over this hump of needing meds to sleep. Remember, I have been taking pain pills to sleep long before surgery and I really was taking them for pain. No pain - no pills. Hang in there, ole gal. You'll make it. ~ with blessings

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A little Thanksgiving miracle

A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to you all ~

There is a grand sweep of things for which I am thankful. Family, friends, caring and compassion in the world, ideas, books, my life in general, on and on. And this morning I am especially thankful for one tiny little event. This morning I rolled over.

Dean and I were both awake about 5. I was returning to bed from a trip to the bathroom and he asked if I had seen the moon ~ Gorgeous, flooding our white landscape with sparkling light. I commented on it being Thanksgiving. He reached out and gave my arm a pat ~ and I rolled over toward him. I Just Rolled Over.

I didn't think about it. I didn't wonder if I might, could, should try. I didn't latch on to something and pull. I Just Rolled Over.

It has been six months or more since I have rolled on that side without a squeak, squeal or even scream of pain. And this morning I Just Rolled Over.

Wow! A little tiny Thanksgiving morning miracle.

And having commented on that little miracle, we both rolled over in the other directions and went back to sleep for a while. :) So goes the way of miracles. Still, I am Very Aware that something has changed. Just like the first time a baby rolls over and mom knows everything has changed, I know things have changed. The new hip is more mine now. It is going where I want to go without as much thought on either of our parts. How nice.

Thanksgiving, 2010: the day I Just Rolled Over.

~ with blessings for a lovely and very special day

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How Many Degrees of Separation?

Grandson's girl friend is working in a orphanage in Cambodia. I have been following her blog and enjoying the pictures of the happy children who have found love and family in this place. We have been emailing about Thanksgiving and what it would be like for her to be so far away during this American holiday. She was looking forward to attending the Water Festival and celebrating with her new friends. And then came the headlines:

345 People Killed in Cambodian Stampede

First I give thanks for modern technology. I read the headline. I email: Are you alright? Are your children alright? Back within the hour is the good news that yes, she is fine and as far as she knows no one she knows has been injured or killed. And they are all "reeling" - of course.

And then I think about Thursday. In this country an amazing day of celebration, giving thanks for all our blessings, being aware of those, eating, gathering with friends and family. In Cambodia, it has become a national day of mourning. A recognition that a festival of celebration and prayers for a good rice harvest has turned deadly and the whole country is reeling from the tragedy.

Yes, I know someone there. I can email and find out news. I don't know anyone in Indonesia or South Korea or other places in the headlines where tragedy and violence of many kinds abound. I can however remember those places in my prayers on Thursday. I can be grateful for my life, my family and friends and at the same time pray with compassion and caring for those in the world who are only an email away.

There are no longer any degrees of separation if we really care and are aware. ~ blessings

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tahoe Update

Usually this is an email to the family ~ and this afternoon you all get to hear and view it.

Hurray! There is more to talk about this week than the Tahoe Mom's surgery. Although you won't escape that topic entirely.

We have a snowmobile!!! And snow to ride it on. The pictures are of Dean learning how to ride the machine. I must admit, it is not as easy as I thought it would be. I thought he would just get on it and go. No way. The young man who sold it to us was over this afternoon putting the machine and Dean through their paces. I think he has learned enough to be able to bring up the groceries in the snow which is one of the First Big Reasons for having the thing. We bring them up by bobcat in the summer and as of yesterday the snow was deep enough that even the bobcat with chains doesn't come up the drive.

It will also be nice to start a snowshoeing trail. The one thing we both have trouble with now is cutting that trail when the snow is powdery and you plunge up to your knees with every step.

The snow started Friday morning and sort of spittered and spatted all day and on Friday morning I was wondering if the forecast was just plain wrong. Nope - I was. Snow came again about 10 Saturday (yesterday) morning and it has snowed continuously since. This is the most snow we have had in November for over 12 years. It is a Huge storm and is supposed to continue for a while.

Which means we are not sure Daughter and her family will make it up for Thanksgiving. And it really doesn't matter. We will have a special family dinner whenever they can make it and we are always thankful as a family for each other and the love we share that if we have to miss the day itself, it will be ok. The ski slopes on the other hand are Thrilled!!! The Season has begun.

I've been tired today. I guess this last week just caught up with me. I continue to get better though - almost hourly. I made it downstairs to watch some tv yesterday. Stairs are a piece of cake given what they felt like before surgery.

Dean had a small crew work with him Friday and they closed up all the holes outside the house and redid the insulation under the house. No more critters spending the winter sleeping on or in the insulation. The front deck is piled with wood - almond (hard) and pine (soft). Morning winter fires will burn brightly. We are ready for winter.

Good thing as winter is here -- may you have a safe and snuggly one, with blessings

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Little Things that Count

I wrote the other day that although I could do certain things for myself, like make a cup of tea, Dean had to bring me the tea cup. Wafting through the brain came a sentence I had read in my workbook: wear an apron with large pockets. Aaha! I have an apron with three large pockets across the front -- it's even Purple. Now I wear it all the time.

One pocket usually carries the cell phone. Another the water bottle of ice water. The other - a book, a hot bottle of hot tea or soup for lunch, even my purse when I go out to physical therapy.

If you Ever have to be on crutches for any length of time, Wear an Apron with Large Pockets. If you have a thing about aprons, wear a tool belt. Get Something around your hips that allows you the independence of carrying your own drinks, food, phone, whatever. Someone else can bring you the plate of spaghetti and large pockets are a cosmic gift.

I also wrote about the Reach Bar. That has become invaluable and I have it with me All the Time. It is slender and I can tuck it in my hand that is around the crutch. If I happen to leave it behind, something will fall -- a crutch even that hasn't fallen from there ever, down it goes when I don't have my bar to pick it up. So - the bar comes along. I dress myself. I reach things here and there. Even a jar of soup from the lower shelf of the fridge yesterday.

Physical independence is a blessing and a gift and I am learning Huge compassion for those who do not have it. Little things count and make a world of difference ~ with blessings

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

To Take or Not To Take

Drugs. Meds. *sigh*

Drugs as medicine were designed to be good for you. Helped control pain, nausea, infection, whatever. Then came misuse, overdosing, addiction. Then came frightening and scary. And Now, on a very personal level comes, well, how much is too much? How much is just enough?

If I'm edgy and have tolerable pain but can't sleep, does that qualify as a time to take another pill?

I think I have it figured out. The other night I looked at the prescription and counted the number of pills I still had. The prescription was for one or two every four hours as needed. I was taking one every 10 to 12 hours. I decided I would be ok, not become addicted, and took another pill. :)

If the edginess comes in the middle of the day, I can usually walk it off, eat protein, breathe deeply and in general take care of it naturally. And there was still that little conversation from all the communal history: does this mean I am having withdrawal symptoms? How do I know?

When I had problems (light-headedness) with morphine in the hospital, Meredith said, "Well, mom - your biggest drug intake has been two tablespoons of Bailey's on your ice cream twice a year. They gave you Morphine! No wonder you had issues!" :D The doctor took me off the morphine as soon as he heard and I have been fine ever since. Except I still worry - and I am on my own here. No nurse checking on me every couple of hours just to be sure - or encouraging me - or answering my questions. Just me - having read the issues, having seen the tv documentaries, having heard the horror stories - and not wanting to be caught up in any of it. And also not wanting to hurt any more than I have to until I am healed and well.

I guess the answer is right there on the pill bottle: take one As Needed. Maybe life doesn't have to be so complicated after all. ~ with blessings

Monday, November 15, 2010

"On My Own"

You will discover the reason for the quotes when I tell you that no matter what all the literature, books and friends who have had this surgery say -- the first few days at home, you are Not on your own.

First there are The Rules! Posterior surgery means don't turn your toes in, don't cross your legs and Do Not under any condition Break the 90 Degree Angle. That's the biggie, folks. Keeping legs apart is no biggie once I learned to keep a pillow between them at night. Keeping toes turned out - first position - means pivoting to the left (for me) even when turning right is easier. That 90 degree angle is a bummer. Sitting up right is fine. Standing without leaning forward means squooshing down in your chair, reaching out with your injured leg, then sitting up again and standing so the injured leg stays forward. phew! I have to think it through Every Time.

Second there is Life. If I walk "on my own" I walk with a walker (not often) or with crutches (most of the time). I can carry Nothing Else but me on the crutches. I can stand in the kitchen, remembering to turn to the left, and make a cup of tea. Dean has to bring it to the table. I can get out of bed, put on the kaftan I am living in these days and walk into the living room. Dean has to bring along my reach bar, water, book, cell phone. And even if I can carry something, I have to remember to pick it up Before I stand because I can't bend to get it.

I know it sounds like I am complaining a lot and really I am not. These are the facts as I am faced with them today. I am So Grateful for Dean who will take a little list in his head and follow through to get me settled. I think my friends who said, "I walked out of the hospital with no pain and went on about life" steered me just a little crooked. And maybe they did. I am just having a bit more of a time with it.

Showering is a two person job -- not a sexy, sensual, aren't we having fun job. A very serious, how should we do this and not crash into the floor job. Michelle helped me through the first one yesterday afternoon. Now at least I know what I'm doing. Every step is a new learning. And I am So Glad I am Not 'on my own' -- if anything proves how often we need each other, it is a time like this. Give thanks for those who help you with the little things whenever ~ with blessings

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Journal of the Journey

Wednesday 11/10 ~ Went to the hospital, was welcomed well and then waited for a while. I was called in, prepped and Dean came in. I had a paper gown that hooked up to a hot air blower - ohhh Nice!! The blankets were also heated. Very nice indeed.

Doctor came in and I requested that everything they say be positive and he absolutely agreed, sharing with me a story of when he was in training. He took care of a wounded man for 4 months while the man was in a coma. He talked to the man day after day. When he met him and his wife 4 years later in an airport, the wife introduced them and asked if the husband remembered the doctor. "No," he said, "and his voice certainly sounds familiar." :D So that made a believer of him.

The anesthesiologist asked how I was handling the drug - I haven't been given any drug - oh, yes, he says, "for the last 4 minutes I have been giving you something through your iv." :D That was the last thing I remember until I woke being told to breathe. Unfortunately I woke crying because my hip hurt and they didn't like that. Things eased up almost immediately and I got lots of attention. Michelle arrived. Dean left. I slept well.

Thursday 11/11 - I had a morphine drip in my iv and could give myself a click when the pain was creeping up. That was nice -- until I tried to do Physical Therapy Thursday morning. Got up, two steps, oops, need to sit down. Sat down, breathed, drank water. Got up, three steps, oops, need to sit down. Well rats. No PT on Thursday so I was frustrated and trying Very hard to turn that in to fascination. Wasn't really succeeding. The the dr arrived and I told him. Let's get you off of morphine he said, and off I was. At midnight I received a Percocet. Slept well, didn't hurt and on

Friday 11/12 - I walked with both walker and crutches and No Fainting. Dr. took all the tubes out this morning so I was much freer. Some time in time during these days I discovered that Walking is the Modern Medical Miracle. I was feeling lousy, feverish and just plain yucky -- and I had to go to the bathroom. By the time the CNA had me in the bathroom I was feeling better. When done, I asked if she had time to walk a little. She did. We did. By the time I had walked down the hall, around the corner, back passed the room and back to bed, I felt Great!!! I left an order to be walked twice again last evening before 10 pm and bed time. Amazing!! Much better than any drug!!! Good night's sleep.

Saturday 11/13 - up and dressed before breakfast this morning. Had more PT. Worked on stairs and learned a lot. Dean arrived about noon, had his own class with the PT and now knows how to help me for the next little while. We were going to drive straight home -- and we decided to fill my prescription in NV and to stop at Home Depot and pick up some pavers to raise a couple of chairs and a shower connection for the shower. Oh - and for Dean to get something to eat - he hadn't had anything since breakfast. So it was a bit longer coming home than I had planned.

So - I am at home. Dean has set me a "high" chair in the living room with my computer where I can visit with folks that I have been told are going to be dropping by. That's the adventure. Oh, here's a little aside showing how amazing this is. My right hip was also very arthritic. So - when the surgeon took bone out to put in the handle on the prosthetic, he took my own bone, cut it to fit the arthritic holes, put it in. sanded it down and put on a metal plate to hold it all in place while the blood vessels grow back from my bone to my bone. :D :D :D Incredible? Right?

So, there we are. Quite a journey - glad this part of it is over. Time to start the physical therapy healing. Walking on crutches is the first step. Lots of new steps these days if you will pardon the pun. ~ with blessings

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

Scripture tells us we are surrounded by "so great a cloud of witnesses". I can attest to that this morning. Over the last few days my witnesses to Light, Healing and Health have come from everywhere. By tomorrow afternoon's surgery I will indeed be surrounded and blessed by that cloud.

At least two of you have lit prayer candles for me. One has danced a healing dance on my behalf. Two of you will be sending long distance raike during surgery. Many, many of you are praying for me, sending me healing Light, thinking about me. Tonight my women's group will do a healing service for me ~ whether I am present or not. Dean and Michelle will be at the hospital tomorrow. Others have said they may drop by on Thursday and Friday or come over once I am home. Calls have come in from town and across the country. Even across the globe as Welsh friend Gill has figured out time difference and will be sending healing prayer and energy and awaiting an email asap. The church I attended in Virginia has me on the prayer list and I was even mentioned in service on Sunday. I am also going to tell my anesthesiologist and surgeon that I have read the studies that say people under anesthesia can hear and understand so . . . will they please couch everything they have to say in positive, healing terms.

Michelle has given me a mantra/prayer which I have already started using ~ feel free to say it on my behalf if you want:

Every word and sound I hear during my surgery
promotes my perfect healing
and complete well-being.

This is a time of healing adventure. I am crossing a bridge to better health and strength. I am So Grateful that I am crossing it surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses to Healing and Light and Love ~ Thanks to all of you ~ with blessings and butterflies

Monday, November 8, 2010

Spider Knight

Spiders and I do not get along. I was able to deal when I had young children. I can even deal now. And I don't like them and I want them out of my house. So ~ I have a Spider Knight. When one is too big or in the wrong place or I am barefooted or just feeling vulnerable, Dean comes to the rescue.

This morning I decided it would be good to elevate my leg with some ice in order to start the day well. I did it all by myself: gathered everything needed, brought over the Reach Bar to help adjust the ice pack and blankets, arranged the pillows for my leg and head. Even made it onto the window seat, stretched out, looked up and . . . there it was. Against the light Right Over My Body. And it was BIG. All I could do was exclaim something out loud and reverse all my process and move away.

Dean set his computer aside and said he would get it down. He moved the blankets and pillows, got out the long cleaning pole and swiped. Down it came. Stomp. Into a tissue, into the fire. All was well and I returned to my window seat and icing my leg. Phew. And to all my Friends of the Earth friends, I apologize. If you are here, you may put the spider outside. If it is just me and Dean, the spider disappears.

I am very grateful for my Spider Knight who understands and is willing to ride into the fray on my behalf. ~ blessings

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thrift shop shopping

We have a very nice Hospice thrift shop (one outlet in Truckee, one in King's Beach) and we often donate there. Dean was very pleased with the help hospice gave him when Nancy was so sick. And we also shop there.

Today: 4 books, two of my favorite authors (who weren't there when we were in several weeks ago); a long fleece robe that zips all the way down and has bears in the pattern. I may hang out in it a lot until the swelling in my leg goes down. Snuggly. Dean bought a perfect fit pair of 501 jeans, a fleece vest and - hmmmm - something else.

I am very pleased. I now have the books I need to go to the hospital and to stay in at home for a little while - not for long though. They are determined I will be up and going -- I keep reminding them of all our stairs and they sort of hem and haw and indicate that I need to do them as soon as I possibly can. And until I can, I am ready to cuddle on the window seat and read. :D ~ blessings

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Little Things make for Happiness

It doesn't take much sometimes, does it? Today is a Ta-Dah!! day for me and all because of two little devices.

One is a Sock Pull. Next time you pull on your socks, recognize how your body bends or your legs lift. Just be aware. Now think of every one of those little movements Hurt. Like. Hell. That's the situation I have found myself in -- and the pain has increased so that for the last month, Dean has had to put on my right sock. This morning I put it on By Myself. Yay! :D The Sock Pull was given to me after a wonderful class about hip surgery yesterday. Usually they give it to you after surgery. I think the nurse realized I was probably hurting more Now than I will after surgery so she gave it to me now -- and I have started using it. Yay! :D

The other is a Reach Bar. Simple little bar that has a gripper on one end and a handle that opens and closes the gripper on the other. Yes, you can reach things on upper shelves and pick up things from the floor without bending. And . . . you can also pull on your underwear and slacks without bending!! Ta-Dah!! I feel like a three year old - I dressed myself, Mommy! :D :D

The true blessing in all of this is that it is a temporary situation. Less than a week now before surgery, about 6 weeks afterwards and I can take the little devices and tuck them away on a shelf. :D I am very blessed and feeling good this morning. Will be glad to have it done - and this is already a good step. Happy, happy. ~ with blessings

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ancient Blessings

Samhain ~ an ancient Celtic festival meaning roughly "summer's end" and celebrated as a time between the light and the dark. Bonfires lit the night. People dressed in masks and costumes to remember the dead and sometimes to laugh and mock ghosts so they would not return to haunt. It was and is a blessed ritual.

All Hallow's Eve ~ a more modern Christian celebration of the saints. For a long time "saints" were very specific folks so declared by the Catholic church for miraculous works of healing both before and after their deaths. Scripture speaks of saints as very ordinary folks who believe and are part of the "household of God." Whoever the saints are in your belief, this is the time of year to remember and bless them.

Halloween ~ a modern celebration of fun and delight for children and adults alike. Decorations go up earlier each year; little ones choose costumes from their imaginations; trick or treat brings in lots of candy; gentle pranks are laughed at; squeals of psuedo-fright are heard through out the neighborhood. Parties are held. Town centers and malls hold trick or treat times to insure the safety of the kids. All in all a fun time.

As I have pointed out in these pages before, there is much more that joins us than divides us. Early Christians heading into northern Europe found people celebrating the dead and decided to fit in by using the time to celebrate the saints. The masks and costumes never went away and come to us today in the fun of our children and for adults who enjoy parties and scary houses and horror movies.

This weekend no matter what you do, you participate in an ancient and blessed tradition. May you be aware, enjoy and be blessed by it all ~ blessed be

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Local Bookstore

For over a year we have been worried that our local bookstore was not going to survive. Rent where it was located was going up. Foot traffic was not what it had been. Tourists aren't coming to Tahoe in the droves they used to. So the store's owner was conflicted: to move? to close entirely? to sell to someone else?

Finally last week word came through their newsletter that they would be closed for two days in order to move to a smaller, more convenient location across the street and down a bit from where they were. Yay! :D

Dean and I dropped by late yesterday afternoon. There were still boxes stacked here and there. Shelves were still being installed. They had yet to find a place for the crossword puzzle books. And they were open!!! And settling in. I like the space. Smaller yes and with good energy. On a lower floor right off the parking lot where folks walking around this little area can just drop in without having to climb stairs and "find" them. (No, that opinion has nothing to do with the way my hip feels climbing stairs right now!)

Bought a couple of books for me, a couple for the grands and just enjoyed getting to know the new space. I look forward to going back when I can wander pain free. By then they will have found the crossword space. :) -- with blessings

Thursday, October 28, 2010

mmmmmm Tea and Scones

This summer we learned to love the coffee cake and scones from a caterer who came to the Farmers' Market. Breakfast on Thursdays. On the last day of the market, she told Dean she was going to try being open to the public from 7 to 2 on Thursdays.

Last Thursday Dean went for his coffee cake and she was very glad to see him. This Thursday he went for coffee cake and a scone for me and bought her last two slices of coffee cake. Now I don't want Dean to be without his Thursday coffee cake, and I am So Glad she is doing so well with this new venture.

Which brings me to tea and scones. Today I decided to splurge and have a goodie for breakfast instead of the good-for-me oatmeal. Dean brought home a raspberry scone. Oh my. Tea and scone for breakfast. Delicious! Her scones are soft ~ more like the scones I have had in England than some I have had over here that are more like little hard rocks. It takes so little to make me happy these days. :D ~ with blessings

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Love Compliments However They Come

Sitting with the admitting nurse at the hospital and she is doing all the pre-op questioning and teaching two weeks from surgery. Looking down all my files and health history, she says, "You are very healthy. I am not used to seeing such good health in a person your . . . uh . . . uh . . . "

"My age?" ~ then we both laugh. She agrees. And I am flattered by the compliment.

After all, even though I am presently walking most of the time with a cane, taking pain meds, and doing as little as possible, if you ignore my right lower quadrant, I am Fine! And two weeks from today, I understand from those who have had this surgery, I will be better. Sure I will have to recover from the surgery itself -- and the pain in the hip will be relieved. No more bone on bone. The surgical assistant says I will probably be snowshoeing before the season is over.

So - yes, I am very healthy and will soon be active again - :D :D :D ~ with blessings

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sitting in the Dark

If I look closely, there is a tinge of light against the clouds.

It looks really dark out there though with only three points of light in the room: the glow from Dean's computer bathing his face; the stark light of mine into which I look to write; and the warmth of color and feel from the fire between us. All around is dark and the rain drums steadily on the roof of the solarium.

Sometimes I need a morning like this. I like it when it comes on a Sunday. Makes keeping Sabbath very easy ~ :). I breathe into the sound and the dark and the glow of the lights. A little chill runs through me. Time for hot tea and maybe a move closer to the fire. Nice ~ with blessings

Friday, October 22, 2010

Theatrical Surgery - or Surgery Theatrics

I feel like I have returned to theatre and am working on a production.

Rehearsals include: chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and physical therapy, hypnotherapy and even a haircut. Major crew meeting coming up on Tuesday when everyone who will be present on stage meets with me and we discuss the whole production. I also have a meeting at the theatre where we will make sure all is ready for the upcoming production.

Final dress will be attendance at my women's group who have promised me a group healing.

Opening performance will literally be that and the director will rebuild one quarter of the set in the middle of the performance. As this is a rather unusual occurrence in my experience, I am grateful that the director, although young in my eyes, is very experienced and has done this type of performance many times before. 150 a year he says.

I am ready - well, I will be come November 10. You never want to peak too soon. ~ with blessings

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Too PC Even for me

I was raised by a lawyer father who Loved the Constitution of the United States. I remember being "taught" that we had freedom of speech and that was a wonderful thing. It meant you could say anything you thought without political consequence. However, there often were consequences and that was ok because you took responsibility for what you said ergo for the consequences as well. So - Daddy, what do we say about the fact that Juan Williams, a respected, well-liked, intelligent, thoughtful news commentator expressed an opinion and was Fired by another news organization?

All he did was express an opinion. And according to the article I read, NPR called him. He wasn't even given the courtesy of a face to face with the people who had employed him for ten years or more.

Wait - I listen to and read NPR to have a good, strong progressive view of what is happening in the world. I expect to hear several sides of stories we don't hear on other news channels. I expect in depth reporting and analysis. What just happened?

Have we become so PC that a respected commentator like Mr. Williams cannot express an honest opinion or even feelings? If I keep writing, I am going to blather and go around in circles. I am not completely sure how I feel about this except that it bothers me, hurts me and makes me sad for my country. I have a feeling you will hear more about this in the future. We are Not pleased. ~ with blessings

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Kitchen Toy

I mentioned in an earlier blog that Dean has a new kitchen toy: an electric pressure cooker. What fun! We are eating well and quickly. No more questions about what to have for supper when we should have started cooking an hour ago. Be a bit creative with your vegetables and whatever meat is available and dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes. Having talked about this to everybody I see, I thought I would give you a link to this amazing product.

It is a Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker. Sits on the counter - we even created a special counter space for it. Pressure Cookers were something from my childhood, something that aunts and my grandmother used. My mom was the youngest of her sisters and she didn't have one. Pressure cookers were old fashioned even for her and by the time I had my own kitchen, they were from the distant, ancestoral past. Until last week.

Suddenly it is the latest thing - in this family at least. Quick, easy tasty meals on very short notice. Yes, sort of like a crock pot, except with a crock pot, you have to decide at 6:30 in the morning what you want for supper when you come home from work. This way you can decide when you come home from work and still sit down to eat almost immediately. And Dean tells me that if you put it on low pressure, it does work like a crock pot. The best of both worlds.

Anyway - give it a look. The Costco price was $20 less than the on line price and even at the on line price it would be worth every penny. Dean is even learning how much food to cook so we have nothing left over. We eat fresh all the time. Right now he is the pressure cooker chef. He also is the one with the creative ideas about what to prepare. I am very happy being the sous chef. ~ with blessings and good eating

Sunday, October 17, 2010


The day is grey;
the clouds are too.
Except for the cracking of the fire.
Early morning peace breathes its gentle energy through the thick air.
Time slows down.
All is held in abeyance waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting . . .

Even pain slips away on the waft of medication.
It is a time of waiting . . .
and of knowing all will be well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


To be married to a man who cooks may be one of the gifts from the gods ~

To be married to a man who buys his own cooking appliances is ribbon on the gift ~

To be married to a man who is so excited about his new toy that he prepared dinner last night and lunch this morning ~ the perfect wrapping paper ~

The appliance is an electric pressure cooker.

Delicious rice pilaf last night and chicken soup for lunch - both dishes perfectly cooked in less than 15 minutes. Yummy. And all I had to do was show up at the table. Dean may take more care of me Before the surgery than afterwards. For now, I am very happy with the gift that has been laid at my feet. ~ with blessings

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And So I Wait Some More

The good news is: I really, really like the hip surgeon.

The bad news is: he is probably scheduled out three months in advance. His booking agent will call toward the end of the week and we will schedule surgery. He is telling the lady who schedules to get me in asap. He understands.

The in between news in no special order:

Of 150 hip surgeries he does per year, I am in the top three of Bad. We both regret we weren’t doing this from 10 years to 10 months ago. I finally said, and we aren’t so let’s go from here.

We ignore the knee until the hip is done. About 98% of the time, the knee problems will disappear when the hip is done.

Surgery will be a little more complicated for him (ergo for me) because he has to do a bit more extensive repair/rebuilding work because of the extreme arthritis.

Stairs will not be much of a problem. He will tell me about how much pressure I can put on the right leg - from 30 to 50 to 100% depending on surgery.

Dean was already thinking about buying a used snowmobile for transport up the drive in winter and he says this will probably bring this about because 3 months from now there will be lots of snow on the drive.

If necessary, I can stay with Michelle and family for a while.

Between now and then, I am to lay off my wonderful shot and otc anti-inflammatories and take the Vicodin I have been prescribed but not taken. He says I won’t become addicted and it won’t effect my liver and kidneys like the other stuff will.

That’s it from here. I will let you know when the surgery is -- and I intend to ask her to put me on her call list if they should Ever have a cancellation between now and whenever mine is scheduled. ~ with blessings

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reflections on Books

I read The Great Gatsby for the first time the other day. I was not sure it was for the first time. The book is so iconic that many images are in the social narrative: the parties of that era, the callousness of society, Gatsby looking across the bay at the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. These are references we know without "knowing." Nonetheless, there is more to the story than these and it is good to have read it even at this late date.

The Remains of the Day won a Booker Award and I didn't even realize it was a book and not just a movie. *sigh* This one was a bit hard to get through just because Stephens is So dense that I wanted to shake him out of his complacency and lack of understanding. It is a fascinating view of societal transition after WWII. We have watched a lot of WWII documentaries recently and this added some depth to my understanding of that time in Britain.

Pride and Prejudice is an old friend. It gets read about twice a year followed by the viewing of the almost 6 hour A&E production starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Or sometimes I watch the movie first and then read the book. I am always amazed at how modern script writers can take a book with very little place in it and create very natural places for people to say a particular piece of dialogue. Jane's famous first line, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." is given to Lizzie as the family returns from church where Mrs. Bennett has learned of the letting of Netherfield to Mr. Bingley. It is perfect timing in the perfect setting to leap the story forward even as it does at the very opening of the book.

Enjoy the books you read, whatever they are - and let me hear about them sometimes - with blessings

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Aroma of Homemade Soup

Maybe the title of this blog says it all. When there is soup bubbling on the stove the entire house is permeated with the aroma that makes the mouth water and the lips turn upward in an anticipatory smile. The next meal is going to be Wonderful.

Dean has a meeting here today and they have had homemade muffins and fresh fruit for breakfast and for lunch they will have soup ~ wonderful vegetable soup made from Farmers' Market bounty and other good things. I can make other soups and this one is so easy and has a wonderful history.

It has been taken to grieving families when something warm and nourishing sitting on the stove is just enough in spite of the abundance of other food that graces the tables. The morning our grandson was born, we stopped at the store for some ingredients and this soup became the sustenance for a laboring mom and her amazing mid-wife. (And for dad and grandmother too of course.) It has fed cast parties, friends having lunch, and folks gathered around the fire on cold winter evenings.

Usually it is a cool to cold weather dish and that makes today the perfect day to inaugurate its season. We have had lots of rain and today the sun is out, the temperature is warming, and although we will have lunch on the deck, it is still cool enough to make a big bowl of soup just the thing to see a busy bunch of folks through their afternoon session.

Yummy ~ and with blessings

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Act and Art of Listening

Had a conversation this afternoon about an actor who doesn't listen. Oh, I am sure he listens to his director and other people around him. The point is, when his character is supposed to be listening, you can tell he (the actor or the character) is not doing so.

Listening is a hard trait to portray on stage or in the movies or tv because 1) you, the actor, actually has to listen and 2) your character has to give some indication of that happening. And if the actor is not listening, just hanging around waiting for the next cue, it shows in the character. Even if the audience is not aware of what is (or is not) happening, there is a feeling of dis-ease, of something being just a little bit off. And the show or the scene is not quite as good as it might be.

We can learn something about life from this little theatrical example. It is important that when we listen, we really listen. We hear what the person is saying to us. We aren't just hanging out trying to think what we should say next or "waiting for our cue" as it were. Otherwise there is something a little off. People around us, and especially the person speaking, can tell we aren't totally present.

We like to think of ourselves as good listeners - I mean, weren't we taught that in kindergarten? Nevertheless, it is a skill we need to cultivate all our lives in order to stay in the moment, living and listening every moment to the fullest. ~ with blessings

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Forty-one years ago today

Happy Birthday, second Daughter!

Three back twinges and a baby - 19 inch baby, 19 inch snow storm. But let me start a little earlier. I woke that morning saying that I would have back labor again - in two weeks or more. I dressed in a sleeveless jumper -- later as it got colder, I put a long sleeve shirt under it. When I was taken to the hospital shortly after noon, I was wrapped in a heavy wool poncho and snow was falling.

First we went to the doctor's - although I had a 2:30 appointment, Rex insisted we Go. The doctor didn't believe such a light contraction could do anything but I better go to the hospital. He would be over later. Oh, please - I had guests coming to dinner. But we went. While Rex was checking me in, the nurse examined me and called the doctor. The only words I recognized was 10 centimeters. The doctor got to me before Rex got up from admitting. Like I said, three back twinges and a baby.

Finally had the nurse wheel me into a room with a telephone so I could stop the guests from coming in three hours. It was a Friday so they fed me a salmon croquet for dinner and I didn't eat salmon again for years. Still don't like it very much. Rex's mother came from Texas on a moment's notice (you could do that in those days) and smuggled warm prune/apricot stewed fruit into the hospital for me. Pastor and his wife drove through the snow from 30 miles away to bring me a plant and say Congratulations.

Lots of good memories for a life time -- and a second wonderful delightful daughter. ~ with blessings

Fall Has Come

I realize I write a lot about the weather. Weather in the mountains is always with us. Between June and the end of September, there is not much to say. Gorgeous, warm to hot, sun shiny days. Cooler nights. Only once in a while some anomaly arises.

Come the middle to the end of September, weather becomes a major topic of conversation. When will fall arrive? Is snow really forecast above 9000 feet? And in the case of the last couple of days - Rain! Rain is a rarity. And so it has been a real joy to experience the sound and fury of the storm two days ago, the gentle steadiness of rain yesterday afternoon and evening and again this morning.

It is one of those days. Cloudy. Rainy. Cool. Just right for reading in the corner of the window seat with a cup of tea at hand. We haven't turned on any lights and don't really need to - and it is the sort of grey day when we could very easily and appreciate the warm glow. I think we can safely say that fall is here. We may have some warmer days again, just like in summer we have cooler days occasionally. For the most part though, fall is here. Even sunny days will be cooler. We will appreciate the rain when it comes. Aspens are turning yellow. Maples the red and gold I love so much. Tiny new pine needles clatter against the roof in the least breeze. The aroma of wet pines fills the yard. Fall in the mountains. Lovely. ~ with blessings

Friday, October 1, 2010

It Rained Like Hail

If you are old enough to remember Lil Abner, you will remember the character that went around with a rain cloud over his head. It rained all the time - and just on him. (Anybody help me with his name?)

Today our house was like that - except this was Wonderful. Suddenly it was raining, Huge, thudding drops. From where? Out the front windows was blue sky. From the west a ray of sun right in my face as I sat at the computer. And still, there it was: rain, rain, harder and harder until there was Hail. Both peppering down, making enough noise that we had to shout across the room to each other.

Slowly the air turned cooler and cooler. I walked out the back door to stand under the deck eaves until thunder and lightning struck at the Exact Same Time. Sent me scurrying back inside even though I didn't close the door. Did affirm that the storm was Right Over the House. I called downstairs to Dean, "Come up and share this with me." For the longest time he didn't come and when he finally did, he admitted he thought I was popping corn and didn't really understand why he should come up when I would bring him a bowl.

I think the thunder clap got his attention though and up he came. We wandered from window to window checking out the blue sky and fluffy white clouds in front, the stream of sunshine across the neighbor's back yard and watching our roof and our deck as well as the neighbor's side yard turn white with 1/4 inch hail stones.

Dean had on shorts. He put on sweats. I closed the deck door. The temperature dropped and is still dropping as I write. Slowly now the noise recedes. The silence has its own "sound" when it has been missing for so long. The drumming of rain and hail is gone. The gentle drops have moved outside instead of surrounding the inside space with powerful sound. The blue sky and white clouds still hang over the front. The western sky is bright with a setting sun. The few houses on the block and the land up the back hill are covered with a rapidly fading grey as the blue sky comes through again. The white blanket of hail is gone as quickly as it came - except in the cushions of deck chairs where it may take just a little longer to melt.

What an amazing hour (or less). Pictures wouldn't work. Neither do these words really. You had to have Heard it ~ and heard the silence that is now settling in and around the house again. Peace ~ with blessings

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aunt Lalah's Topping for Fruit

Yes, there really was an Aunt Lalah in my life ~ and yes, I am going to make her topping for fruit for a pot luck tonight. My fruit this time: peaches - fresh from the Farmers' Market.

I had to look for the recipe ~ and I didn't have to look far. There it was where it has always been, in an envelope that is torn and held together with a rubber band and labeled "up to date recipes". Hah! Also on that large brown envelope is a hand-written "address": Susan Mix, Director of Oklahoma. I directed Oklahoma in the early 70s at Fredonia High School in Fredonia, New York.

This envelope brought thank you notes from a third grade class perhaps who practiced both etiquette and writing by thanking the cast for the fun show. Somewhere along the line, I put the letters in a scrap book and used the envelope for some newer "up to date" recipes and so it stayed for all these years. And one of those recipes is Aunt Lalah's topping for fruit.

The dessert is going to a pot luck where we will be talking about the future. And the past will meet us, comfort us, and continue to push us forward with warmth in our hearts and in our stomachs for both what has been and what is still to come ~ with blessings

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Missing the Moon

There has been a Gorgeous moon this week -- a low hanging, huge Harvest moon.

Last night about 2 I was up and looked out to the deck. Everything was clear and lovely and moon washed. And I stayed inside. Why?

When Cowboy (a 4-year-old yellow lab) came to live with us, he needed to go out in the middle of the night and I started going out with him. First I put him on a leash. Then I just went out with him and waited. Then I stood at the door. And finally I would just go back to bed and he would wake me again when he came back. As this was an almost every night occurrence I am sure I started staying indoors just because it was easier. And -- standing there last night, I remembered the mystery and bliss of sitting outside in the moonlight or on a moonless night, covered with a blanket of stars. Magnificent.

And so last night as I crawled back into bed, I wondered why I didn't slip on shoes and a robe and step out on the deck for a few moments and bask in the moonlight. Such glory needs no reason, no dog to share it with. The doing of it is enough ~ with blessings

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This, That and The Other Thing

Good drive to San Jose yesterday. I settled in the back seat where I could stretch my leg and even get ice and drinks for us without a lot of effort.

How nice to have my cell phone pick up my emails. Meredith and I emailed a couple of times - I more than she of course because she is deep in writing. Still I knew she was receiving and I was glad to get what she did send - all while zooming down the highway.

I also listened to the News from Lake Wobegon a couple of times. Very nice - and time filling.

Dean pleased me: if I see the surgeon on the 12th and he can do surgery right away, we won't go to Texas. It helps I think that he is thinking of not going anyway - and it was good to hear him so positive about getting me well first and foremost. I also know he is as tired of this as I am.

Supper at Fresh Choice - and back there again tonight with Mindy's family. It is one of those places where I could eat several times a week.

Dean bought a blue blazer at the outlet stores. He really needed one. His present one is shiny. And like a woman's little black dress, every man needs one. I bought a classic blue button down oxford. Do you realize how Hard those are to find?? I've been looking for several years. Nice.

After checking into the hotel we ambled over to the bookstore where I picked up several new mysteries and a Starbucks hot chocolate. :)

Today I am thinking Mexican for lunch - and maybe tomorrow and Friday as well. Unfortunately the place I had hoped to go is closed. Thank you, Google - I am not in shape to walk over there and have to walk back without lunch in my tummy. There is one right outside the hotel however and I will enjoy that for three days running. I can even sit on the patio. Lovely weather in San Jose -- even if they think it is chilly. For mountain folks it is very pleasant. I had just hoped to mix up the menu a little.

When Dean made the reservations here, he requested a first floor room. We are on the second and I am waiting to hear from the front desk - hoping to move and not really necessary. Just more convenient. Less steps for the ole hip. And I will make it.

Looking forward to seeing two of our grandsons tonight. We will also see them play soccer on Saturday. Don't know how often in between and I hope to take them to the bookstore sometime while we are here. That is always fun for the Mama Susan ~ with blessings

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Woman has to do What a Woman has to do

I have always said, they will never write on my tombstone, "She suffered in silence" - HA!

And last night and today I was certainly living up to that prediction. Every step, every Move Hurt and I was in tears and crying and making noise and in general being totally non-functional. Not Fun!

Dean was wonderful, making breakfast, seeing to me, helping when and where he could.

Finally I decided this was crazy. My body is fine. I will now take the anti-inflammatory pills with a meal to off set the possibility of an ulcer - and at lunch I went back to my regular dosage of the pills that had worked. I will be fine. Certainly more fine than if I had spent the next three weeks screaming in pain, crying and not wanting to move.

The first dose started to work almost immediately. I was also able to take a Sunday afternoon nap - slept really well and woke feeling better than I had since Thursday. With dinner I took another 2 pills. I'm back. Phew!! Of course I still hurt - and hurting and being in pain are two Entirely different things. So for now I am happy again - functioning again - and able to live and even travel between now and surgery. So many blessings for which to be grateful ~ and I am!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


So - here it is. My dilemma.

I can take this wonderful shot once every week to ten days and it helps lower the inflammation in my leg, around my joints and takes away a Lot of the pain and makes movement easier ~ for about a week when supported by an otc anti-inflammatory round the clock. That's the biggie -- Around the Clock.

An otc anti-inflammatory can mess up your liver in as few as three to five days -- and give you bleeding in your belly if you take them long enough.

OK. So now you get it. I can live until hip surgery either in constant and sometimes almost debilitating pain or get a bleeding ulcer (maybe). And there is no way of knowing until it happens. You know you have internal bleeding when the outward symptoms appear - no bell dings to say "10 minutes to ulcer. 10 minutes to ulcer, please." *sigh*

So - what's a person to do? I have found an answer to being able to sleep: a teaspoon of Bailey's in a cup of hot chocolate before bed. :D

I'll just keep on keeping on - keep doing my research - stay as comfortable as possible - and make it through. Dilemma or not, the appointment with the surgeon will finally come, the surgery will finally be scheduled and the hip will finally be replaced. It will all happen and in the meantime, there are lots of blessings to keep me going.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Journal

First of all ~ journal is a noun, not a verb. I do not journal. I write in my journal. *sigh* And that may show just how behind the times I am.

I have a shelf full of thirty or more years of hand-written journals. Then I switched to writing on my computer. Not quite as convenient has having the journal in my hand, my purse, my bag so I could jot down thoughts whenever. Still I was writing daily.

Then folks began to say, "you write in a journal. You should blog." I realized many people who blog do so as a journal. And so I began to blog. Except now I realize that there are just some things I don't want to say for public consumption - even my very small public who read this blog. What I write in my journal is for me. If it is philosophical enough or can be public thinking, then I will copy it and paste it to these pages. I connect this blog to my Facebook Account - or sometimes I just jot a quick thought on FB.

And so I am back to writing in a journal. There is now a September page on my desk top and a Journal 2010 folder in my document file. I have already written a page and feel very good about it. It felt good. It feels good. Three places to write different things in different ways. That's good. It may even mean I write here more often because the things that show up on a journal page just happen sometimes without my having to think, "What shall I blog today?" ~ with blessings for your own writing

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hope for a bookstore

Sadly, we have been thinking our local bookstore was going to close.

This morning an email said they were having a downsizing stock sale - in order to stay open in another smaller location!! Yay!!

I don't like for this to have to happen to them and at the same time it is better for us and them if they can downsize, move and we can still have a bookstore in town.

I know the state of the world. Kindles and all other electronic readers are going to make holding a paper paged book obsolete very soon. Still the state of My world is that I like to hold the book in my hands, turn the pages, mark significant passages -- and yes, I know I can do all of that on an electronic reader. Still -- I like wandering through a bookstore and I am glad my local one will stay open for a while even if it is smaller. I plan on taking advantage of the sale and doing my Christmas book shopping for most of the grandkids early this year. :D

Friday, September 10, 2010

Professionals 3

Today it was the Window Cleaners. Like ants on an ant hill, they swarmed over this house. Not only are we on a hill but we also have windows, windows and more windows.

They were great -- good, efficient and sure-footed.

Luke is the leader and boss - although also an ant - and he knows his stuff. And he's getting married in a couple of weeks so he wanted to do our work before the wedding.

Happy Wedding, Luke! And thanks for being a professional ~

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Professionals 2

Today it was Bruce the Chimney Sweep.

I made no comment about Burt from Mary Poppins nor did I ask him to sing for me. I did ask him to carry a load of corn to the lower floor so I could put it in the fridge down there as the one up here is Full. Otherwise, he and a young man did their job and didn't leave an ash or grimy film anywhere.

Yay, Bruce!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Professionals who know and do their jobs well come in all areas and industries. This morning it is Steve, the Orkin Man.

Best news: no termites
Not so good news: carpenter ants, mice, spiders and rampaging squirrels.
Really best news: Steve is on the job - now and every three months from now on. :D

Friday, September 3, 2010

Old Books

I have mentioned re-reading books in my library. I enjoy re-reading. Authors like Agatha Christie, Phillipa Gregory and Andrew Greeley get read and read and read again. Now I know who done it and I don't care. I enjoy the language, the plot twists, the character development even though I know the outcome.

Yesterday we visited a little used bookstore where I had turned in for credit a lot of books that were either doubles or I really didn't like enough to read again. I came home with some old delights - in my case mysteries only this time; Dean bought hiking, mountain type books.

Immediately I began to read one of my very favorite detectives ~ an old friend I had not visited for a long time, Henry Tibbett. I also bought three Miss Seeton books - and will share them with my daughter once I have read them because she loves Miss Seeton too. I also bought a new one - an author and detective I do not know. I will fit them in between two old favorites.

I always carry a book with me ~ to any appointment, to anywhere I may sit while Dean does something, to . . . anywhere. Just have the book with me and I never mind a wait of any kind. That also helps me read a lot more than I might if I waited to be able to sit down at home and read. I plan on doing that this weekend though -- surrounded by old and new friends, I will enjoy the warmth of the deck and time to visit again. ~ with blessings

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hey, sometimes meds Work!

Yesterday the pain in the leg was Just Too Much. Appointments with surgeons to view and discuss the x-rays were weeks, even months away. Something had to be done.

So I called my doctor and asked for a cortisone shot. My doc wasn't in and wouldn't be until mid week so saw another dr in the practice. When I told her why I was there, she said she didn't give cortisone shots to the hip. My whole being Sank. Why was I there then??? *Deep Sigh*

She went through all the same things with me - asked all the same questions - did all the same checks - all without the x-ray because no one could find them (my first dr having sent them to radiology). *Deep Sigh*

She asked about the level of pain on a scale of one to ten. I had said a 7 but had no idea really because I had never had a lot of pain in my life. Had I given birth? Yes. Labor is a 10. I laughed out loud. Not my labor ~ three back twinges and a baby. Hardly time for the doctor to arrive or husband to get up from admitting. Glad to have made it to the hospital. The leg's a 7!

Then she said, "OK - we have to get you feeling better." Yes. Please. Thank you.

One shot of a Huge, Powerful anti-inflammatory drug that went to work in Minutes. Yay!!
Two Advil every six to eight hours for a "while" - we will work out what that means.
Vicodin "as needed". So far No Vicodin -- even though it scares me a little, I am willing to take it "as needed" under the watchful, careful care of my own good sense plus Dean and the doctor watching out for me. I have seen folks addicted - and last week Grandson took it Exactly as ordered for pain after dental surgery and was fine - is fine - and had a great time telling me how to take it exactly as ordered. :)

This morning the world looks a Whole Lot brighter. There will be more to talk and write about than my pain. (Phew - as there is nothing worse than someone who can talk Only of their pain - and yet I understand why now. It can be all consuming.) I can wait more patiently for the appointments with the surgeons. And I can face my day without dreading every step - and yes, I did dread walking. Now I don't.

With blessings and gratitude for good doctors, good meds, and a brighter day - plus, summer has returned after two days of late fall weather in August - :D :D :D

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Things that make for Peace

Some very interesting things make for peace ~ especially this morning.

1) Meditation

2) Quiet ~ whether because the windows are shut or the weather is keeping people indoors or for whatever reason, it is Quiet. No breeze, no traffic sound, even the fridge seems to be extra quiet this morning. And so it penetrates the soul and helps create peace.

3) Researching cortisone to discover it is a naturally produced element in our bodies and is a very good thing with very few side effects to reduces swelling ergo pain in joints. Interesting isn't it, that finding out it is good makes me more at peace about asking for the shot.

4) Sitting in the window seat and just being.

5) Dean's building a fire. It is the 29th of August and Dean is going to build a fire. I am going to find a book - sort of wish I had a new one, and a re-read will be fine - and snuggle down in front of it and again be ~ in the quiet and peace of the house and my soul.

6) Being rooted, grounded and centered.

Peace ~ found in lots of ways all coming together this morning to make for a good day in my soul ~ with blessings and the hope that you too may find peace ~ like a river . . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Checking off the list

Three things that we needed to get done: write an article, change over car insurance, check one more thing with the insurance company. Having been inundated this last week, it was after lunch and even a bit of a nap that Dean sat down and reminded me of these three things.

Ta-dah! They are Done! Yes!

The article is written and looks good. I have been trying to write it for about a month and it finally came together in my head this afternoon and it is Done.

Found what I needed and whom I needed to contact about the insurance and will finish up that on Monday. There is still the sense of Done.

That feels really good on a Friday afternoon. I have had a good week: cared for grandchildren, hosted a meeting, made sure everyone ate well and the extra-meeting times ran smoothly, went to Tai Chi class, and finished up my list of three. A good week indeed.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Continuing Tai Chi

That first class in so long was wonderful. The second one was too. :) I am glad to be back.

I had x-rays taken and in spite of Tai Chi, massage, chiropractic, physical therapy and acupuncture, it looks like I will be having some sort of surgery on my hip. There is no space between the leg and hip bone. None. On the left hip you can see the space and whatever fills it to soften the walking and being. On the right - none. No wonder all those good practitioners were becoming frustrated because their methods weren't working.

Now their jobs (and mine) will be to have my body in the best shape it can be before and after surgery.

Meantime, I am doing my research: showing the xrays to all the aforementioned folk; getting recommendations for surgeons from both my doctor And my friends who have had hip surgery; checking out all sorts of information on line and anywhere else I can get it. There is even a presentation in Reno Wednesday night that I may attend. Might as well have All the information possible. We do have lots of ski injuries up here and so our little hospital has some of the best orthopedic surgeons around. It would be nice to stay close to home. The highest "friend" recommendations are for a surgeon about 4 hours away. We will see. It is nice to have a choice.

For now, I keep on keeping on - it is another beautiful, coolish day at the lake. Family will come up tomorrow probably. Good food in the fridge from the farmers' market and a great meat sale at the grocery store. It will be a yummy weekend. :D ~ with blessings

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to Tai Chi

I Love Tai Chi. The first time I ever did it, years ago, I realized I could move energy in those patterns easier and with more grace than any other way. And then I quit.

I have dabbled a couple of times over the years but never seriously.

Today, I am back! I am tired of hurting so I took my very sore leg and went to a Tai Chi class taught by my acupuncturist, Mark. I hurt so badly there were moves I couldn't do. That didn't seem to bother Mark or anyone else in the class. He just set me to doing something I could do and off I went. When I could join in I did. There were 6 of us and we were all over the map in terms of experience and ability. I still hurt . . . and I feel So Much Better than when I forced myself to go to class earlier this morning.

Plus ~ I have an appointment for x-rays tomorrow so that we can look inside the lumbar, hip and knee and be sure what is going on -- or if not sure, at least get an idea. If there is nothing there that isn't supposed to be, even that tells us something.

Oh - and I have started a little "step" program for myself. Dean had the Perfect board in the shop - big enough for both feet, about 4 inches high. And I am stepping up -- 10 at a time so far. Once my leg lets me do that without pain or at least with very little pain, I graduate to stairs. :) I am on my way.

This has gotten almost silly. I have complained, been stoic, expected things to get better - and now I feel like I am actually doing something about it and things Will get better! Yes! ~ with blessings

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This, That and the Other Thing

1) I have a date today with my Sweetie. :) Last night he said he really wanted the two of us to take the boat to West Shore Cafe for lunch. Of course I said yes. Actually, I suggested another place and he said West Shore was classier ~ and I was a classy lady. How can a gal resist? It's nice to have a little romance in your life no matter what your age.

2) Watched John Stossell last night. His program was on all the nit picking little laws that can get us into real trouble, that have been eating away at our freedoms, especially our freedoms to try. Although I am neither young nor an entrepreneur, it scared me. Makes me think I just may stay in bed, except I might get arrested for sloth.

3) On the other hand, I know at least two families who have filed for bankruptcy. Written into our Constitution is the ability to fail, start over and get a second chance at making it. One couple said they raised a glass to this country for that possibility. No debtors' prison, no harsh penalties ~ just folks saying, let's help get you back on track and on your way again.

4) Planning ahead: Dean's son has emailed and asked if we were willing to host "the Whole Gang" next July 4th! This is the old neighborhood gang from his childhood who used to come to Tahoe almost every summer. They haven't done that in a long while and the time seems right. So the calendar is already filling up for Next summer and this one isn't over yet. :D

5) And when did summer get busier than fall? My friend and I are trying to get together for lunch. Last week was Packed for me. This week is Packed for her. Next week is Packed for both of us! Maybe in September????

6) Being made aware of the problems of others heightens your awareness of how fortunate you are. Dean and I are Incredibly blessed. I live in gratitude for that every single day. May you too be in gratitude for the good things in your lives ~ with blessings

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Positive networking

I'm beginning to really enjoy Facebook. If I don't have time to read all the comments on other friends' sites, that's ok. If I don't post my own updates very often, that's ok too. I like it.

Just the last couple of days I have: supported a friend whose mother died; celebrated two birthdays; sent an update about a long time friend to my daughter; and created an Amazing salad dressing recipe based on ideas from a FB friend's friends. Now how nice is all that? Pretty nice.

I understand there are folks who have real rants on their FB sites. Not mine. My friends - and their friends - seem to be respectful, funny, serious is good ways and a delight to be in touch with. No, I Do Not do games or farms or fuzzy animals. Just not my thing. So I ignore those posts. I read what they have to say about their lives. They are all over the map politically, racially and in age. Sometimes they disagree with each other if I make a political comment ~ and that's ok. They do it with respect.

And I get to be in touch with my grandkids. :) We will even chat occasionally and that is So Good. So I am having fun with it without letting it take over my life. I like the networking. Be with your friends however you can ~ with blessings