Monday, March 29, 2010

How True

"Ah, well. He could muddle on about the fire, or he could look at what had risen from the ashes. Wasn't that the gist of life, after all, making the everyday choice between fire and phoenix?"
(Jan Karon, "Out to Canaan")

That the fire or phoenix is an everyday choice is interesting. And it is - over and over again we are faced with deciding whether to be bogged down in the ashes of some decision or situation, or whether to learn, grow and move on. Sometimes they seem so ordinary that it is almost impossible to think of the alternative as a phoenix, glorious, bright, full of life. And yet even the little results can indeed be glorious if looked at with gratitude and blessings.

I'm going to try to opt for the phoenix just a little more often. ~ blessings

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Death in the family

There is the death of someone close, immediate family, the pain, the heartbreak, the numbness, grief and slow, slow recovery.

Then there is the death of a sort of distant relative - someone that you haven't been in touch with for years for whatever reason. And yet family is important. And in this case, I was the one whose name they had and who they Googled to find.

First of all, the church has come through like only the church can - and is able. For that I am grateful.

And slowly the stories have come out. There is another cousin. He and I are in the story telling mood and so cyberspace is full of emails. There are estranged sons and an ex-wife, and yet we have had the conversations and they have been in touch with the pastor. There is the friend, almost like a grand-daughter, who has cared and searched and found us because this cousin was important to her. There will be a nice service, filled with grace and gentleness.

And there are memories - not just of him, but also of our parents, aunts and uncles, reminders that family can stretch beyond the immediacy of home, back in time, the time and space of the heart. With gratitude and blessings for family - whoever, whenever, wherever with grace ~

Monday, March 22, 2010

Catching up 2

Tessie's problem is her thyroid. Her pills are to raise her low thyroid. And her activity has slowed Way down since she started taking them. Sometime between her last blood test and last week, she built up too much in her system and just went crazy. We have quit giving the pills and will do another blood test in a month. Phew -- she is almost the same ole Tessie! :D

Dean repaired the plumbing!! Yay, Dean!!

We were without power for 9 hours on Saturday, so today, just to be sure, I took all the little dibs and dabs out of the fridge and threw or poured them away. Given we just had the stomach flu, I prefer to keep our tummies calm.

I think that catches us up on the catch up of the other day. It feels good to be coming back to normal ~ with blessings

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Surreal Hours

Wed: put Dean on the plane to Houston, took overactive dog to the vets, slept well
Thurs: 5 am - Wham, the stomach flu - while trying to recover dog-sitter reports that Tessie has taken apart her house - we're beginning to think it may be thyroid
Fri: try to summon enough energy to re-make bed, clean up in kitchen a bit; 5 pm - sink stops up.
Sat: feeling good, Liquid Plumber hasn't worked over night, sink still stopped up; Tessie comes home, back in jeans after nearly a year, feeling good; 3 pm - area wide power outage
4 pm - attend book signing in the semi-dark, power comes back on in the mall
6 pm - come home, still no power here, settle in with candles and book light
8 pm - Dean calls, plane an hour late
11 pm - Dean calls, finally here and can't connect with friend picking him up
11:10 pm - Dean calls, he has walked, she has driven around - they finally connect
midnight - Dean arrives home, power comes back on, a degree of normalcy returns. Phew.
Sun: Dean is able to repair the sink himself - and I will never put rice down the disposal again!
~ with blessings

Friday, March 19, 2010

Catching up

Dog Tessie has an imbalance in her Yin and Yang according to Chinese medicine so the vet has ordered some Chinese herbs to help with that balance. Meanwhile she is taking Valium. I Love having a doctor (even a vet) who is willing to prescribe Chinese herbs And Valium!!

Stomach flu caught up with both of us at the same time - except we were two hours apart in time zones. Good people both at the hotel and here at home helped out and saw us through 24 hard hours. Now we are both doing better and feeling good.

Sink chose this afternoon to stop up so badly that even the neighbor and I together can't get it unstopped. It may be Monday now - isn't it interesting how these things happen at 5 o'clock on Friday afternoons?

Glad to be feeling good and no longer contagious. The family will come up for a while tomorrow - let the kids play in the snow - enjoy being together. Hugs from the grands. :)

~ with blessings

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Our lovely old dog Tessie wandered off this afternoon and couldn't get back in the house (and we were even here) and so went looking for us. By the time we went looking for her, she was across a busy road and wandering in another condo complex looking very lost. A Very Nice lady called us while Dean was still in the car looking. We had driven to town, back up the hill, walked and walked and called and called. Finally the call came - and we were/are So Grateful!!!

We are the kind of folks whose pets are members of the family and to have one lost is incredibly hard. She was Very Glad to see Dean and scrambled into the car. When she got home, she just couldn't make it up the hill and allowed Dean to carry her. Both of things are anathema to Tessie and she relaxed and let it happen. She is as glad to be home as we are to have her here. We will all sleep well tonight. ~ with Thanks to Margaret and blessings to you all

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Filling the Empty Spaces

I was reading a Lenten devotional that reminded me that we cannot just "fast" whether from food or thought. We also have to fill that empty space with something of value. If we only fast from chocolate, once Lent is over we will return to eating chocolate - maybe in greater quantities than before. If we only fast from judgment, and do not fill the spaces of judgment with gratitude or affirmation, we may just return to our judgmental ways.

My question this morning for myself and for you is: with what are you filling your empty spaces? If you are releasing judgment, are you filling that space with gratitude? If you are releasing anger, are you filling that space with affirmation?

We have to stop and think of course. When judgment rises, we have to be aware and stop and decide to be grateful, forgiving or affirming instead. Eventually, judgment won't rise as quickly and we will find ourselves being grateful and forgiving first. :) ~ blessings on your journey

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Southern Cooking

Although raised in Texas on lots of beef, baked potatoes and salads, my mom came from a very southern family in North Carolina, and oh, my, could those aunts of mine cook!!! And naturally some of that came my way.

In the 70s we began to learn that all that bacon grease and lard wasn't so good for us. We learned that veggies could be steamed and taste good instead of having the life cooked out of them for hours. And that red meat was not as good for us as we might like.

So - along with many friends and even the country in general, I began to change the way I cooked and the food the family ate. I was still a southern cook at heart though so once in a while we ate the old fashioned way. And last night we did it again!

Daughter and Son-in-Law came to dinner. This was SiL's first visit to our home. I asked D if she had any preferences - something she remembered from mom's table that she might like to have for dinner. She did. We had fried chicken, cheese grits, salad, biscuits, gravy and chocolate bread pudding for dessert. :D :D Forget calories. Forget arteries. We just Ate. And it was Wonderful ~ recalling many dinners around many tables, even ones where we hadn't been. We ate, we talked, good food, good conversation, lots of love ~ and they even left and made it down the hill before the snow started to fall.

Neither Dean nor I are used to that much food at night any more so sleep didn't come easily for a while. That's was ok. While I lay awake, I thought about how good the food was, how lovely the evening, and how important family and family traditions are. It was a Very Special evening ~ with blessings

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We Get What We Need

The Universe does indeed supply our needs ~ sometimes more emphatically than we might like.

The other day I blew it with one of the daughters. She called me on it - said we had been talking about this for a while and I Still did the wrong thing. After dealing with that, I opened an e-zine I receive on Fridays and there was a list of Listening Rules. How to Really Listen. Now I consider myself a good listener - and yet the Rules right on top of her email made me realize, I had listened but had not really heard her. Finally that seemed to be resolved. And the universe wanted to make sure ~ so I opened a dance email I receive and it was about dancing in Silence. Then I opened a Lenten devotional I have been following and it was about knowing when to speak and when to be silent. I wanted to say "I got it already!" And let's be sure. Only time and my actions will tell if I have indeed Really listened and Really heard.

My last entry here made note of the fact that I have not been doing the stretches I know I should do to keep my knees limber. This morning a friend sent a knee exercise ~ and very gently pointed out, it wouldn't help me if I didn't do it. She also mentioned (ever so kindly) that we are at the age when we need to support our bodies through stretching. Again with the implication that knowing the stretches doesn't help if I don't do them. And again the Universe decided to validate the learning. My Lenten meditation dealt with the difference in Knowing the scriptures and Acting upon them. Referencing the Good Samaritan, the writer acknowledged that knowing the answer to the question we ask with no intention of acting upon it is not the way.

So ~ the Universe is right with me, helping me manifest exactly what I need whether it is exactly what I want or not. Listen, not only to others but also to my own body ~ listen and Do. ~ with blessings

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Old Knees

I have one very sore knee. The whole leg is sore actually because I have not done the stretching and walking I need to do and one particular muscle has tightened up and it has effected the whole leg. So walking is painful - and I await tomorrow's massage with great anticipation.

Meanwhile, I have started using a walking stick/cane to get me started when I have been still for a while - say when getting out of bed or standing from a chair where I have been reading or working on the computer. It Works!! The cane helps me get started without too much pain and once I am started, I can go. :)

Still using the cane makes me feel old. Except that using the cane makes me feel movable again. Old and movable! I can take that ~ with blessings

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pink Haze on the Mountains

There is a pink haze over the mountains this morning. Not Above the mountains. Not reflected On the mountains. Rather enveloping the mountains so that across the lake the mountains are a hazy pink ~ a color quality I have never seen before. Lovely.

I miss the Olympics. There is Nothing on television these days. Oh, I tivo a movie occasionally, Dean tivos other sports events and a commentary or two ~ but as for just turning on the tv and finding something to watch ~ no luck. I guess the Olympics were reality tv at its finest.

I felt sorry for those for whom a silver medal was not enough. To get a silver you had to be there and work very, very hard. I was sorry when they couldn't smile and be pleased to have received that. I know - coming in second isn't easy and my goodness, they were in the Olympics And got a medal. Good for all of them!!

Wind is up - another storm coming in. Having been sick and having had the weather we have had, I haven't been out of the house much this last month. I'm having to remind myself that spring is still a month or more away in the mountains.

Loved the full moon snowshoe hike Sunday night! Delightful. Even before the moon rose to its height, we could see because of the snow. A thin cloud cover kept it from being spectacular and like the folks in the Olympics, we were there and it was great!

Neighbor Dianne and friend Lorrie had prepared a wonderful fondue dinner for us before the hike. Delicious! Dianne is one of those folks who hosts with what appears to be great ease. Even though you know she has taken lots of preparation time, she makes it look easy and comfortable for her guests.

Dean came home last night with Girl Scout cookies! :D

The morning fire burns brightly and makes the grey day cozy and warm. It is time for a lovely cup of tea ~ with blessings