Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sometimes It Is Hard to Stay Healthy

Dr’s app’t yesterday and of course, just as I expected, my cholesterol is still up - actually going up instead of continuing to come down. So. Time to do Some-thing. Really do something. And prove to Paul come September that I can lower it. Maybe if I blog about it - or at least write about it in my journal.

First: oatmeal for breakfast - and a note to Anne asking if oatmeal has the same cholesterol lowering properties when included in other dishes like waffles. Dean had asked and I don't know.

Second: have asked Dean to cook up some beans, no flavoring, so I can have some good, home-cooked beans around to add to different meals. I can put in taco seasoning if I want to wrap them in a tortilla, add other seasonings if I want to put them with chicken and rice, sprinkle them on top of a salad. I like beans and I don’t want canned ones if I can help it.

Thirdly: just ignore the cheese. Dean says it is not so much what I eat as it is what I haven’t been eating ~ and that I need to add more whole grains, beans, etc. He says this is Mark’s take. So - here I go. More grains and beans. And I still intend to ignore the cheese ~ most of the time. :)

Wish me luck. I have no desire to take meds for this ~ and I want to stay around for a long time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Midwinter March

Another really grey, cold, snowy, blustery mid-winter morning here at the end of March at altitude. I stood at the step into the solarium and looked up through the glass ceiling and watched the snow bombs being blown off the really tall pine next the Angel’s house down onto the roof. Great huge globs of snow, plopping hard from a great height. Nothing dangerous so fun to watch. And watching helps me realize why they make so much noise when they fall. That tree is really, really tall. They have some momentum on the way down.

I wrote a blog with pictures one time about seeing what Tessie knows. In the summer she would put her nose to the ground and run and we would have no idea. In the winter, there were tracks and we could see the trail she was following. I feel that same way about the wind this morning. When there is no snow, we can see the trees move, feel it, hear it. When there is snow on the limbs or falling, we see the wind much clearer as we watch the snow go horizontal and block out vision and swirl around and through. Depending on the angle, some snow drops in great blobs from the pine boughs while some clings tenaciously to its limbs weighing down the branches and holding on for a more opportune time of warmth to melt away.

The snow is heavy and hard. I hope Dean is safe out there today. It is a day for staying in.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Answers Come in Interesting Ways

from my meditation on Hildegard's words this morning:

O Beloved,

your way of knowing is amazing!

The way you recognize every


even before it appears.

The way you gaze into the face of a

human being

and see all of your works gazing back

at you.

O what a miracle

to be awake inside your breathing. (Hildegard of Bingen)

Well, that certainly speaks to the prayer dilemma, doesn’t it? “Your way of knowing is amazing.” Pray for the best for someone and God will answer from God’s way of knowing. We cannot know what is best for another ~ even one who is sick or dying. God knows. And God will provide that Best. I like it. And I trust it. It also speaks to the Divine mystery of why my friends I wrote about in my last blog continue to be in this world.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Divine Mystery

I have two dear friends who are 90. One is a cousin. One was a special friend of my parents and was with us the day my mother died. Both remember when I was born. I am thrilled and comforted by their continuing presence in my life though neither of them has a very good short term memory. They are more likely to remember who I was as a child rather than know who I am as an adult today. I would like to think of them around forever but that is not the way the world works and so I wonder about the divine, mysterious big picture that still has them here. They are in poor physical health ~ one never getting out of her wheelchair. They hardly remember the second before although they do have flashes of the past. This is especially hard on their children who live at a distance and yet try to stay in touch, visit when they can and are aware there is nothing they can really do. All any of us can do is trust in the Divine mystery of life and death, of loving power and let it be. For now, I am grateful for both of them as I always will be.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One of Those Days

It was one of those slate grey mornings. The cloudy sky had no breaks, just a solid blanket of grey. The lake reflected that sending back an even deeper grey although broken by the tiny waves that rippled on the surface. Oso cast no shadow as he ran up the hill and through the woods. I cast no shadow striding up the hill on snowshoes. The pine trees gave neither shade nor opened to a clear space. All was the same. Even the snow was a pale grey rather than the crystal white it would become when the sun comes out. The green of the pines was dark, like the Painter had mixed some grey onto the palate. The world seemed flat.

As I turned around and headed back down the hill, light had appeared over the distant mountains. Not blue sky yet. Just a thinning of the clouds so that they began to appear white instead of persistent grey. The mountains below them began to have some definition. Perhaps there will be sun today after all.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Waffles for Dinner

Dean’s son fed us an easy and quick breakfast several morning we were there with waffles made on his new waffle iron, a gift from his son at Christmas.

We were talking about the nice waffle iron and I said, if we had one, we might even make a sweet batter and serve dessert waffles. Dean grinned and said, well, I have ordered us one and ordered some batter as well, one package is a sweet batter. Oh my. Bless his heart.

The waffle iron came this afternoon and of course we had to have waffles for dinner tonight. Yum!! Dean worked off the recipe that came with the iron and the waffles were delicious. I have a feeling we may be having a lot of breakfast waffles and I am going to find out some nice dessert ideas ~ although a scoop of special ice cream and a lovely chocolate sauce sounds good to me. Yummy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

“Hildegard saw all living beings as ‘sparks from the radiation of God’s brilliance.’ There is no place in creation that does not radiate divine light. Therefore, we must seek God through beauty, and especially cherish ‘greenness’: seeds and buds and blossoms. In this way, we restore our connection to our divine source." (Mirabai Starr, Hildegard of Bingen (Devotions, Prayers and Living Wisdom) )

Although these are the writer’s words and not Hildegard’s per se I think I will stay with them this morning. Hildegard is obviously going to be very appropriate for this day and age when “green” has become the password and we are so aware of what we have done to and need to do for the planet. With every mystical movement holding that we are one with the divine, how can we not come together as a people around what we need to do to help the planet, to help the Divine live and be. I keep thinking back into history. What would we be like today if our ancestors, instead of just creating, inventing and assuming the earth would supply forever, had thought about the earth as divine, as one with us because we are all created by the Divine. If the industry of growth and creativity had thought that way all along, we might be in a much better place. And we would be able to see in all things our connection to our divine source.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fun to Hear Again

Two fb friends said the same thing yesterday in different contexts. What makes this interesting to me is that the friends are so different. Different generations. Different parts of the country. Different political views - I think. And yet in relating something about their day, they both wrote, “ . . . the good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”

This is a wonderfully southern/Texas phrase that I haven’t heard in years and certainly not since moving to California. And yet it is obviously out there, holding its own and having a long idiomatic life. May we all have the same, “the good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Saga of the Traveling Dog

I have loved my dogs. I got my first one when I was eleven. Since then there have been only short breaks without one. I have never traveled with them.

One of the nice things about being dogless was our ability to hop in the car or on a plane and go. However, we knew that if we had a dog, we also had a Wonderful dog sitter who keeps dogs at her house, takes them on long hikes and loves them like her own. I even checked to make certain she was still in business before we said yes to Oso.

After a month of having Oso in the family, we planned to go to southern CA to visit family and for Dean to do business. No problem. Oso would go to Camp. Now hindsight is a wonderful thing and I can think of a number of things we might have done even in the moment to change things. As it was, we arrived at the gate and four dogs came barreling out the door to greet Oso. They started running and around and seeming to play. So we left him happily as we had our other dogs. Shortly down the road, we received a call from an almost frantic dog sitter. I had Never heard her sound this way. Oso would not come to her nor let her get close to him. After several phone calls and suggestions, we turned around, went back, picked him up and took him with us.

He lived in the back yard. We took him on lots of walks. Threw a frisbee for him. Found a ball under a bush and threw that to keep him moving. One night it was colder than Dean was comfortable with so he was talking about putting him in the garage when it was suggested we just let him sleep in our room. So we did and we all slept Much Better. I stayed home from one family event to keep him because he couldn’t go to this particular park. I would love to have gone and was in no way martyred to stay home. It was a lovely day and I was even able to be barefoot in the grass.

Grass needs to be mowed and one day I looked out and there were two men in the yard mowing it. I went out and called Oso and he was no where to be seen. “Where’s the dog?” One man points down the side of the house. I go around the corner and sure enough there is Oso. As far down the walk as he could go, back against the fence, sitting straight up, rigid, defying the noise to come at him. I wish I could have taken a picture. I took him to the bedroom, sat on the edge of my bed, Oso at my feet with his chin on my knee. I stroked his head and held a trembling dog until the mowing noise went away.

Today we came home. On the way down we had found several good places to stop and let us all walk around ~ our knees needing it as much as Oso’s. We are all glad to be home. Oso has run up and down the driveway several times; leaped on his frisbee and bouncing in the snow. He is staying close right now. Our wonderful dog sitter has promised to do what she can to make him comfortable with her. I think we will start with a walk with just the three of us.

It was an interesting week.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Random Thoughts

1) Ladies, ever notice how nice a touch of lipstick can make you feel even if you are staying at home all day?

2) Dean, who doesn’t like pizza, has discovered if he makes his own, he loves it.

3) When I lived in Lynchburg, any snow was amazing, wonderful and called for a snow day for schools. In Tahoe, Lynchburg snows are a dusting, hardly worth mentioning, and would leave us wishing for more. Altitude makes for a real change in perspective.

4) On the other hand, spring in Lynchburg comes at the “right” time, while spring in Tahoe may not arrive until late May or even mid-June. Ditto the previous. . .

5) Bare feet in cool grass, a wonderful sensation bringing memories of childhood.