Thursday, December 29, 2011


Winter.....We recognize it's value, that it is necessary in the cycle of things. But why?  Maybe I need to remember the value winter brings... I know the plants need this dormant period to build their energy for all that is called upon them in the spring.  Birds use this time to travel the world, finding winter homes better suited to their slight forms--
If we are not athletic we don't change our cycle; we don't treat a winter's day as anything more than a drearier time of the year.  We continue to work, go to school, use our energy up yearning for the sun.  We may read an extra book.
But, do we adapt to the cycle of winter?  I know I don't.  I don't find snow strewn paths to walk.  I seldom monitor nature to learn about the dormancy period in it's lifecycle. 
Perhaps I could take time to see the rosehips that grow from the spent rose blossoms, or maybe watch the birds that are spending more time at my bird bath after they eaten.  There's a definate desire to feel the crackle of the leaves on a pathway......if I would ever do it.
I love to 'pay attention' to the days getting longer, to notice when we have 15 extra minutes of light.  It is the season of writing for me.  With winter come ideas to develop.  This past fall I got what I thought of as a good idea, and I roped the family members that are writers into joining the project.
Then there is my book list; I think there are definate winter books, spring books, sum--you get the idea.  My favorite classical winter book is Little Women;  it is time for me to pick it up again.  But it is also time for me to treat winter as something I could join into -- the walk with nature, maybe a book club.  But mostly I think I need to use this dormancy period for what it is:  preparation for spring.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Testing....testing......all in fun

For me winter is a time for staying warm, family and games.  We love puzzles and word games.  I created one for you this week.  The references are either movie, novel or song, some are obvious, some I tried to make a bit obscure.  So, ten questions, ten answers, all with bird references, of a sort.

1.  Alfred Hitchcock famous movie        _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _
2.  Nature's marchers?                             _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
3.  Yearly Trek                                        _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
4.  Faithful to Professor Dumbledore     _ _ _ _ _ _ _
5.  Final movie of Bruce Lee's son         _ _ _   _ _ _ _
6.  Alcatraz bird of choice                      _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
7.  Jonathan Livingston,                         _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    bird by Diamond
8.  He flew too close to the sun              _ _ _ _ _ _
9.  Don't think it would really fly          _ _ _ _   _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
     up your nose 
10. Judy Garland dreamed of one         _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _
      over the rainbow

Ok, so it is all in fun.  I am not going to give you any hints





for the  a

1.     The Birds  (no points for this one..........easy peasy!)

2.     Penguins

3.     Winged Migration

4.     Phoenix

5.     The Crow

6.     Canaries

7.     Seagull

8.     Icarus            (remember, he made his own wings and held them together with wax)

9     Bird of Paradise    (showing my age with this song of the 60's)

10.   Blue Bird      (I wanted to be more obscure and do a biblical reference, but the dove never
                               flew over the rainbow, which was God's promise -- so blue bird it is.)

So, give me a response post so I know how everyone did!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

                                                       There was a time when I loved life.

 Amazing that mom thinks that it doesn't matter that I don't have so much of my own stuff, or that what I do have is crammed in corners, laying on the floor in heaps, as she jokes about my recent frivolous purchases.  (I reminded her that when she used to get out and shop she would come home with items that had nothing more valuable than the aesthetic feel it could provide.)  She commented to my son that I would probably not notice it if he cleaned my stuff out of the garage, it had been so long I probably wouldn't even notice.

Amazing to think it doesn't occur to anyone that I hate not having my own car.  This thing that I drive around is what dad chose because he liked the last car he owned so could get in and out with minimal fuss.

Amazing, as well, that she thinks I spend my money on frivolous stuff, junk if you will... (self preservation ?) just because I don't have areas that I have staked as things that I could organize and decorate myself has never stopped me from accumulating the silly.

...and amazing to think that I still feel like I am living on the fringe, utilizing someone else's space even though she truly doesn't mind that my things get left on the dining room table or stacked in the corner, and after all this time, I have not managed to organize the space I do have.

She recently made the comment that her house doesn't feel like her home anymore (missing dad).  I understand the feeling, its been so long since I have had the freedom of privacy, or the freedom to decorate a wall the way I would like, to display the paintings I have done.

Why have I needed permission to set the kitchen up the way I wanted?  Because she still uses it occasionally, and doesn't know where I or Dawn or Darcie puts things.  It is still her kitchen, I am just the chief cook and bottle washer.

Why did I stop painting? As far as the paintings go, I have nowhere to display any of them, and it doesn't feel okay to 'create' then toss them around to be ruined.  People don't realize that we sometime allow the minor comments or observations affect what we do.  Guess I let the comment 'don't know what you are going to do with all of those....' bother me.  They could have been Christmas presents.  But they are not painted, because I allowed the comment to influence me.

I am amazed that I have allowed myself to feel this way.  No one would mind if I claimed my life back, staked an area to reflect my personality, actually said, no it isn't okay that my stuff gets lost, ruined or neglected.  After all, don't we control our own lives?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So those of you who know me are aware of my deliberate addiction to the Twilight series; not because they were great books, but because having them and being able to pick them up and read them instead of gambling saved my life.  I know that is melodramatic, however it is pretty close to the truth.

Anyone who has an addiction can relate; when you can't stop there is a feeling of wanting to end it all just to break the craving.  The knowledge that you have no control over your own desires or abilities. Hopelessness.

There were times that I thought if I was in a car accident it would be the easy way out.  Looking for a way to escape is a constant mental litany for most addicts.  All I could think about was the fact that I was gambling and couldn't take care of myself, that I was going to be one of those little old ladies that wear Depends so they don't have to leave the machine and go to the restroom.

I hid it from my friends and family.  I know the kids were pretty irritated if they found out I was sitting in front of a machine, so maybe I wasn't that good at hiding it.  But I don't think they realized the extent of it.  I could describe my behavior and specific situations, but that is baring more of my soul than I want to.  Suffice it to say I experienced one of the most extreme addictions to gambling
that I ever saw. I seriously didn't see a full paycheck for years, and the moment the check was in the bank I would be in the hole, to cover what I lost when I gambled. The only reason it didn't get worse is that I never owned anything I could pawn or outright sell.

According to Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney (Australia)  "A new guideline for doctors published on the Medical Journal of Australia’s website calls on practitioners to treat gambling addiction as a medical problem and recommends the use “with caution” of the drug naltrexone.....The drug, usually used to treat problems such as heroin and alcohol addictions, can help to block the overproduction in the brain of endogenous opioids and to assist people to control their impulses."

Addictions can happen to anyone; it has less to do with intelligence than it does state of mind.  You see, there is an area of the brain that is stroked, no matter what the addiction is, a feeling of being able to do anything, accomplish anything.  It puts you in a state of false well being we can't extend to our
everyday life.  Then it turns to a feeling of hopelessness and the knowledge that you are not strong enough to overcome what is happening to you makes you feel even worse.

Anyhow, my original intention was to comment on the latest movie of the Twilight series.  Yes, I have read the series about 12 times, over the period of a year.  I guess I needed to explain why I read it that many times.  To be able to fixate on something long enough to overcome the desire to go gamble (drink, do drugs) until the next time the need hits.....well, it was a blessing.

The first movies were pretty good if you like that kind of thing, but they didn't really approach the reality of being sucked in like reading them did.  This last movie was completely the opposite.  I felt almost vindicated that this was a series that helped me so much, thankful that I could connect and become absorbed in Breaking Dawn, Part 1 the same way I did the written series.  Thank you
Stephenie Meyer, from my heart.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is Change Really all That Good?

I started typing and realized what I was writing was just a lot of whining.  No one wants to read that unless there are great pictures to go with it.  lol

So, my initial question, is change really all that good?  my ultimate answer (without the whining) is yes.........

Maybe I will get around to writing what I like about change.  But some days.............
Instead of writing, I think I will just share some of my favorite photos, and remind people that if things didn't change they would forever stay the same.  Even a rock changes; just not on the same time frame that we live.

Proud as a peacock
Wish we could have gotten a 'fan' picture. But I love this one.
This is one of the pictures I will need to include on my Domesticated Wildlife Wednesday.  Working on editing some other fun ones, but I am afraid the quick sister took all of the good ones, I will just have to set it up and share, allowing everyone to view things from yet another set of eyes.

Wacky Wildlife Wednesday

First, let me share a couple of  links, first to the bird and blooms blog I posted this evening and second to a post that shares the love of nature:      Fun times at Bauman's Farms.  Gonna do it again with yet another sister.  (Picture me smiling, quite satisfied.)   This is a post that shares the love of nature, and a good way to get yourself out there.

Now, today was spent with Dawn, driving around (one of our favorite things to do) taking pictures, enjoying each other's company.  I am not sure about Dawn, but I know that our biweekly jaunts tend to fulfill a desire nestled deep within, to make something in my life fun.  Aw, I realize that being able to play on the computer, being able to spend time with family, sharing the photos and the funnies of our family and friends may be enough for a lot of people.  But for me there needs to be a recharge point, something to plug into.

Today that something was going up to the reservoir (I know this spelling looks wrong, but its what the computer told me, so go figure!) to find birds.  Unfortunately there was only one, and he wasn't remotely interested in us:

We really had to zoom in so this isn't all that much
But is was a gorgeous day for our Wacky Wildlife Wednesday, and if that was all the wildlife we could find, it was worth the trip.

Here's a couple of more shots we took while hoping for a closer glimpse of our fine feathered buddy.

Should have been teeming with wildlife, instead all was peaceful, as you can see.

So it begs the question -- where have all the birds gone?
At some point I am going to hit the jackpot, I am going to stumble upon (I said it, too, Dawnee!) a flock of geese, or a kingfisher or a bald eagle soaring across the fields, but until then, I will use the days to recharge, learn to appreciate the gifts I have been given.
Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reference to my other blog.               

This should be a connection to the  blog I wrote tonight.  I would love if you all checked it out and left comments.

Its after 2:30 and I gotta work tomorrow...........

Friday, September 16, 2011

Off with Summer, on with Fall

                          Wonderful finds as Dawn and I attempt to make the counter 'plant worthy'.........

Something old, something new...............or at least new uses for old things.
 Found this candle thingy tucked away, the candle only burned once....the theory was good, but the actual product didn't work for us, so taking out the wax and putting in the rocks and crystals---which are supposed to be good for the mental and physical--goodness knows I could use some help with both mental and physical.  
And now I am wondering how to go about spending the time to organize and emphasize the sweetness... I remember years ago being able to take a spot and decorate it the way I wanted, then going to the next. and then the next, until, ultimately I had a wonderful relaxing place that felt special to me.

So this my goal.....find old things that are new to me, or find new things that would fit into the 'old' atmosphere I am interested in.  Enjoy what I have accomplished, learn from other bloggers, and quit sitting back waiting for things to happen.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ramblings on this first day of September.........

I don't know if it is plagiarism to describe my favorite Far Side comic; it completely describes my life.  I know we cannot post any of the comics (Gary Larsen has full rights and approves no posting, so I have read); but to describe it, well maybe that's a different kettle of fish.  Here goes.  (Bear with me, oh friends that have heard me go on about it before.)

.....Picture a flock of geese walking south for the winter.  They are in perfect formation, with the leading goose being the lookout, staving off the headwinds that may make it difficult to make progress through the fields and across the roads as they make their way south.  The leading guy looks up and sees another flock flying overhead.  Caption reads simply:  "Say, look what they're doing."

The story of my life, always looking at what other people are doing.  Choices we make.  Hmmm, sometimes we play the mental game of wishing. "Wish I could do that." or "Wouldn't it be cool to (fill blank in with your own desires)."  That comic completely describes my way of living.  I have lived my life as a watcher not a doer, one that secretly resents all of the contestants on any reality or game show.  All I thought of was how much more I could use the money.  I mean come on, really!! You really want to win a million bucks to pay for a wedding?  Psht!  I have better uses for it.

So, learning is difficult, and sometimes we travel the pathway around the mountain more than once before our reality sinks in.  We really can control what we do, or how we handle a situation.

Here's an example:  I have always wanted to be a writer.  Never mind that I have never finished a story; never mind that I couldn't see an end to my own plots.  But, we started a writers group with my favorite people in the world, and it reaffirmed my ability to write.  So, okay, I can do this.  Then I joined a writing class where we pick a topic and write, usually something personal, reflections on our lives in relation to a spring day, or a tree from our past.  Nothing fake.  Then my sister says I need to start a blog.  Well, okay, but who would be interested?  Doesn't matter.  It's writing that matters.  Here is what I gain by writing:  I see what I want, instead of think about it.  Seeing something is one step closer to reality.  Putting things down on paper is one way to set goals.  Pretty soon the pathway is there.

Now my reality includes two blogs, one personal, and one that is read nationally by anyone so inclined.  The shadows and the lights surrounding my desires have firmed up into the lines of something I can touch.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Managed to finish my first blog for Birds and Blooms.  Had to work with one of the editors closely to get to know the program.  And the original item I had written, which I love very much needed to be pared down.....after all, I wasn't writing a story, I was highlighting an anecdote.

Kind of like life:  sometimes we are very dramatic and we feel that the whole world needs to hear our version of life, in minute detail.  In this case, paring out the fluff parts worked.  I have definately learned some focusing lessons.  But......

Improved living?  Sure, buying that camera was about the best personal move I have made in a long time, and I am really enjoying the learning part.  I am sure if I hadn't had that ability to take great pictures I wouldn't have the nerve to speak up to Birds and Blooms when the invitation showed up.  Found some terrific websites with wonderful information.  This blog is awesome.  Take some time if you want to check it out.
And now to show off some of my pics: 


These are all just for fun, haven't done any editing yet.  But it was great trying to get the shots.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Birds and Blooms

I am excited today because first of all, Harry Potter!  What a visually amazing conclusion to the series.  Just awesome.....but I digress before I even get started.  Second, and perhaps more important, I am going to respond to a request for a blogger from Birds and Blooms.  And yes, I am blogging about it to mentally determine if I would even qualify as a blogger for my favorite magazine.

The original purpose here was to give myself a sounding board for my watercolors, but I haven't picked a paintbrush up for a couple of months.  Instead it has been a good way for me to clarify my feelings about my surroundings, and with what goes on in my life,  facing changes I may need to make.  After all, life is too short and this latter half  is about doing what I love, or trying new things that I think I will love.  Thus a writing class this year, the new camera and teaching myself how to watercolor...and now, responding to a request from Birds and Blooms.

As a 'when I have time'  photographer I wonder if I would even qualify as a part time blogger for Birds and Blooms; after all, I am just learning how to use a decent camera,  and I just recently learned how to blog. Still, I love to write, I love my home with the plants all around, and the deck.  I love the hummingbirds approaching me when they are ready for more of my homemade nectar and I spend so much time looking at the magazine wishing I could do what those people do that I think well, why not?

If you know me you know my favorite thing is to sit on this deck to watch the hummingbirds and the finches; I keep the water hose handy to spray the neighborhood cats that also enjoy watching the hummingbirds and the finches.  For now Dawnee has  the camera that we share; hopefully when I get it back it will come with a new lesson from her on the next thing I should try to make the photos great. So I will need to wait for my weekend to take anymore pictures (Monday and Tuesday this week).

When it was my turn with the camera last week I took an awesome photo of a hummingbird resting in the nearby trees.  I am fascinated because his beak is parted, wings are ruffled from the breeze, and he just stayed there and posed for me.  I have included it with this blog.  It is my goal to paint this one for myself.  But the beauty of it as a photograph is breathtaking.  I fear to touch the paint with this task in mind and  I intend to study the photo while I am on my deck, protecting the birds from the cats and designing a painting that will display what I see in the photo.

I am excited about adding photos from surrounding area, with the idea of  visiting Chris and Lisa in northern Washington and perhaps traveling down to crater lake.  Blogging for Birds and Blooms would just give me the excuse I need to meander the valley and coast with camera at hand.  I could say it was for Birds and Blooms, but I would be able to take pics of things I want to paint and actually get to write about them!  Sounds like a win-win from my viewpoint.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Food, Cameras and Hummingbirds

So, spending my weekend with cooking and the new camera.  Cooking comes naturally to me, and I know when to glean ideas from my friends and family, and then put my own spin on them.  Thus, tonight I ate the best pasta salad I have ever had.  I am including the recipe, a form of bragging.
I think the key to the flavoring was in the marinated chicken and the use of the tuscan italian dressing.  Awesome.

1/2 package of pasta shells
three chicken breasts, cubed and marinated, then saute'd with mesquite and  cilantro and olive oil.
Sliced radishes
Cut up roma tomatoes
Blanched broccoli, cut very small
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
Can of  olives
Beau monde, salt for seasoning

Used David's recipe for dressing, chose Tuscan Italian Dressing, Cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of sour cream, mixed, blended, mixed again and blended until creamy.  Use as much as you want.  I like a lot of dressing.  That's why I am so hip, or hippy.....or a hippy.  Don't know which.

Then, to the camera.  I have always been intimidated by cameras that were more than point and click.  Give me a dial with choices and the freeze is in me, not in the shot I have taken.  So, Dawn dumbed it down for me and the first efforts were using just the basics.  People have no idea how difficult it is to stay still and try to operate a camera which is virtually a right handed piece of equipment using my left hand as my dominent side.  Thus the use of the tripod was an advance into the 21st century for me.  Who knew?

(And for those of you who don't understand the difference, try borrowing my left-handed scissors to cut out a pattern.  You will know what the meaning of a cramped hand and frustration.)

So, I am attempting to include examples of the pictures I was taking today with this wonderful canon camera.  Feeling goals come on for some of the painting ideas I have.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tracks of my life

Mom does a good job at not complaining about the 'tracks of my life' left around the house.  She will generally allow me to take my time to do the dishes without rolling into the kitchen to tackle the job herself.  She is relieved that the dirty clothes don't leak out of my bedroom, but rarely mentions it.  There are clumps of me here and there:  bags of things that follow me home from work; opened envelopes which I don't feel like dealing with right now.  It is a kindness on her part to not treat this woman as a teenager.  I am sure she has had to bite her tongue frequently.

I have spent so many years in this house which is settled around mom and dad, no room for the many years of my memories or creative inclinations without feeling like I am encroaching on their space.  Sublimating,  no space to 'do my own thing' outside of my room -- which has no room for creativity, I have allowed my creative side to decay.

At some point I realized I was going slowly insane.  Sadly, I don't think I am overstating my mental frame of mind too much.  So the solution was to pick up with something I have always wanted to do, because after all, I live here too.  Never mind the mess because, well, I live here too.

We compromised (unspoken) with me using the dining room.  Truly the last time it was used for anything was jigsaw puzzles, which we lost heart over after Dad died.  That was what I would put out to try and keep his mind active.  A bonus for it was Mom would do them too.  It got her away from the TV, away from the computer.  But it has been a couple of years since we attempted one of those.

I love to paint, to create.  So I dived in with a series of lessons at quite a financial deal.  I roped my sister into joining me.  We enjoyed the time together, even though our inclinations went in slightly different directions.  I found I have some talent with the water colors; it is untrained and I have so much to learn. Her talent leans toward drawing; she creates some beautiful scenes with her graphite.  However, life has interfered and we no longer have the time to share while we create.  Someday....

It is easier when there is more than just me painting, someone else to critique, encourage.  But I could still focus on my own if I would just make the time for it.  Or there hadn't been that stray comment (by me, I am sure) of what was I going to do with all of this.  There is no room on our walls for my creations, so they sit stacked in a corner.  I actually bought a table to organize the bits and pieces  so it doesn't take up the dining room table when I am not painting.  It sits in the corner of the dining room, waiting, calling me.

Since I have invested time and money into water colors, mom has understood about leaving the dining room to me.  However, the stray thought about what I was going to do with all of the paintings stopped me cold and I haven't picked a brush up for a couple of months. There is talent, then there is ability.  Practice feeds the ability, talent needs to be encouraged.  But there must be a lot of practice.....which leaves a lot of stray (oh my gosh, what am I going to do with this?) paintings stacked.  In the dining room.

Mom tries to be subtle.  Tonight she said that we could clean dad's side of the closet out and have an area to stack my paintings (a place to put away my mess?) and things.  Perhaps I read more into things than I should.  She was being kind.  I see it as a failure.  I really want to paint.

I started this blog to display my paintings, brainstorm on what I am trying to learn.  I don't want to put it away, even if it is another two months before I pick up another brush.  I really want to paint, to create.  So, I have decided that my room will be my gallery.  I have felt better since I decided this. No more stacking in the corner.  My mind is, once again dissecting images, wondering how to approach an idea with water colors blending together.  Never mind the offer of the closet.  I can't wait to begin again.

Friday, June 24, 2011

One year later

Today is the first anniversary of Dad's passing away.  We didn't speak of

it at home; I didn't want to put it in Mom's mind, then leave her alone

while I worked all day.  However, though I wasn't exactly sad, I did think

of it off and on throughout the day.  My heart was heavy, but my

thoughts were mostly content, feeling like he was approving, and proud of

how we are doing.

It took awhile, but Mom has mostly come out of her depression, the

missing of her 65 year companion.  Yeah, he died the day after their

anniversary.  There were times that I didn't want to leave mom; us girls

had to make Mom promise not to take the easy way out; we are not ready

to lose her, too.  However, she could pull herself out of the sorrow to

enjoy when family came over; I wish there could have been more of that. 

I am sadly lacking as a companion.  Grief makes me uncomfortable in

other people.  So the past year has seen me sitting on my computer when

I am not working; or teaching myself how to paint.  Quiet for the most

part while Mom watched tv or read her book or even sat at her own


We have had to convince Mom that since she is sticking around, she

needed a new wheel chair.  She could also use a hearing aid.  If you come

and see her, you will find she laughs in all of the appropriate places,

smiles and nods her head, but if she attempts to join the conversation she

is sometimes hilariously out of sinque.  Movies are watched with closed

captioning.  But I have noticed she is enjoying watching the birds, playing

with her great-grandchildren; she will even take a turn at doing the dishes.

Time plays tricks on us; is seems that it was no more than 3 months ago

that he died.  So much has happened to our family in that time:  weddings,

babies, engagements, separations and growth.  All of us grow.  We suck it

up and do the next thing; we stretch and like (mostly) the way we have


For example, Anna has created a world in which she can take a photo and

make someone very excited with what she can do with it.  She has even

begun to see an income in this creativity.  Darcie is another one who has

been able to take an idea and run with it; the recipients of her efforts

are enthusiastic.  The thought that both of these girls can generate an

income from something they love doing is wonderful.  Or, look at Becki

going back to school to learn how to do better at the thing she loves most

outside her family.  Watching her develop (pun, in case you didn't catch it)

has been awesome.

Grandpa would be proud.  He would have opened his arms to Nick's new

daughter, and Darcie's new son.  He always found joy in his family.  But

he wouldn't have pulled punches in telling each of us when he thought we

could do better.

So on that note, I am going to look at myself and see what it is that I can

do better.  I am going to acknowledge to myself when I am 'a good boy';

I am going to give myself permission to start living outside the box.  There

are things that I want to do and places I want to see.  The same effort I

encourage in others also needs to be directed to myself.  I need to stop

sitting back and watching the rest of my family live and begin to take

part, take action.  The choices I have made have turned into

commitments, but that doesn't mean I cannot make this commitment to

myself.  The only chains around me are the ones I have in love placed

there myself.  Dad never would have wanted me to not love my life, would

have encouraged me to be happy; find that something that gives me joy.

What would he have asked of you?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two Dimensional Connections

My granddaughter tells me what I write is depressing.  She would protest and

disagree denying that 'depressing isn't what she meant' , however I see her point.

 When I write from 'around' myself it does come from my darker side.  So, keep

that in mind as you read my blog today.  It wasn't intended that way, in fact if I

spend some time on it the tongue in cheek part might come out.  (sigh) But I don't

wanna.  Sometimes things just need to come out with no fixing.  I love you all. 

We are all okay and will continue to be okay, but you may not think so after

reading the drivil spewing from that tiny portion of my brain that says 'poor me'.

I have shut down, gone into hiding, at least mentally, and partly emotionally.   I

work, I putter about the house, help my my mother, my children and

grandchildren when I can.  But sometimes there is so much love inside of me that

goes absolutely nowhere.  A seriously selfish love; the kinds that says 'you should

love me back'.  But we never love people in the way they want to be loved.

I am sure my daughter Marnie wanted my love to take care of her problems.  But

I could only support from the sidelines; this is her life.  People know I haven't

made the right choices over the years, certainly not an actively 'proper example'

of how to solve problems.  So she is doing the best she can.

Darcie and Mondo try very hard to make what they have work.  It is so difficult

to pull yourself out of a (valley), a (pit), a (funk).  But again, I can only be there

on the sidelines. 

I am not and have never been the center.  Or, perhaps I have been the center

and I screwed it all up, the issues other people experience are just the tendrils

extending from my core.  (oh my gosh, I have caused hurricaines, and I have

created tornados and all of those wonderful people are  ...!  if I had only......)

And regardless of the issues I experience (or create as the case may be), the

world has bigger problems than I do.  I am one of the million masses of people. 

We all know we are important.  But we live in a two dimensional society.  Everyone

knows the world revolves around me, or me, or me.  If we can absorb and

integrate all of the other 'me's' in our own sphere, view and accept a three

dimensional connection then the world we live in may excel.  What do I mean by

that?  and maybe it is only me that views our connection as two dimensional.  No,

a three dimensional connection would recognize the rights of other people.  The

best creed written is the oath a doctor needs to take, and should be our mantra: 

First, do no harm.

I don't see that happening.  If the world had ended in May, if the world does end

in October then I want to go out listening to the sounds of Coldplay.  They make

me cry, they make me feel; they touch the love inside me and give me a

connection.  They create a connection to a three dimensional universe, and if

there is any fairness in life, this should carry on.  For some people, a three

dimensional connection may be felt through the song of the Beatles, or Lady

Gaga, the Doors.  The point is we feel a connection through music, through

writing, through sharing our love.  I am part of something just through the act of

absorbsion.  Is that about right, Dawn?  The essence of being connected to the

universe.....there really is electricity in everything.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Walk

For me the reward for being a mother and raising 4 children has been the grandchildren I get to play with, talk to, and mother.  While I love all of the kids Patience is more than just a grandchild for me.  She has always been precocious, and we are of like mind spiritually and mentally. 

For example when she was three Patience had an invisible friend named Patricia; they argued constantly, and Patience bossed her to the point of being intolerable; in fact, if she hadn't been an imaginary friend, I am sure Patricia would have moved on to a more courteous playmate.  Once I walked in to find Patience yelling at Patricia.  I told her if they couldn't get along Patricia would have to leave.  I forgot I was speaking to a three year old and I told her I didn't like Patricia.  Paysh immediately responded:  Gramma, you don't have to like Patricia, I like Patricia.  Fine.  I told her they needed to knock off the arguing and get along or they would stand in separate corners for fighting.

Needless to say,  Patience is the grandchild of my heart.  We watch movies together, critique each other's writing, laugh and argue companionably.  We have even attempted to take walks together.

When she was  5  or 6 years old I described a flock of sheep which I would drive by either going to work or driving home from work.  She immediately wanted to walk out to see them.  It was a beautiful day, late spring, lots of sunshine.  I agreed that it would be a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, walking out and showing this child what a field of romping lambs and grazing sheep was like.

Each part of a walk (the beginning, the middle and the end) has its own challenges.  Until this day the most difficult part of a walk for me was the start.  To get to the middle of a walk you must make it past the pathway which would easily lead you back to the house.  I had used it often.  Game called due to rain.  However, it wasn't raining, and I made it past the treacherous part, left at the corner and a short uphill walk toward the Abby.  I remember the fragrance coming from the trees we walked past, the blooming rose bushes, azalias and numerous other flowers scattered from yard to yard.  Once we made it to the corner by the Abby the first part of the walk was over and I was in no danger of caving in and turning back to the house.  Our  right turn would lead us past Treager's, a couple of farm houses and fields of hops.  There was also a lovely tumbled down barn which always called  to me.  One of the minor regrets in my life is that I didn't take enough pictures of it so I could paint my own rendition.

Once we reached the barn I began to feel like I had bitten off more than the little tyke and I could chew, but a great view of the field of sheep was only about two short rises and a curve in the road away.  We had been walking for about a half an hour at this point, stopping to look at everything.  But in addition to me wearing out my granddaughter I was beginning to feel the call of nature.  But to have come this far and have to give up?  The child wasn't even complaining.  It was all me.  So, a compromise.  We wouldn't walk all the way to the sheep, but we would stop at the turning point in the road with a view across the field.  We could always see  across to the farm where the sheep resided from there.

At last the point was reached and I was ready to lift Paysh up so she could see what we had come so far to see.  It had been a couple of days since I had driven out that way, but normally the only thing about the scene that changed was the weather, so imagine my surprise when the view was of the grass waving across the acres  and then to the farm across the road to the field, sheepless.  Gone.  Just gone.  They were not in the barns sprinkled among the buildings. In fact, the flock that had been there just the prior week was the last one that farm tended.  There hasn't been a ram, a ewe or a lamb on the property in all the years since then.  We were less than a week too late.

We were disappointed, but this was only the middle of the walk.  I still needed to get to the end and make it to the bathroom.  While it took most of an hour to get to the view point, the walk -- part run -- back was much quicker, Patience really had to move her short legs to keep up with me.

Finally, exhausted, we reached the corner by the Abby, and home was just a short two blocks away.  I count this part as the end of the walk, the part which takes forever to get to: home stretch.  Down the hill, under the cover of the blossoming trees to the street before home.  At last the short cut pathway.  No, not short enough, instead I would cut through the neighbor's yard and make it to my backdoor.  Thank goodness we didn't have fences.

I remember this as my long walk, the stress, although minor, and the physical pain anyone goes through when trying to cut off the urithra tube (do women even have one?) until a more convenient moment.  My walks now are smarter, taken a short distance from my car, which is never out of sight.  I love being out of doors.  But I prefer the comfort of my home.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Dogwood Tree

Dogwood Tree

I am oh, so happy to report Dad's dogwood has made it to it's first spring.  Having gone out to place the spinner I bought at the coast yesterday -- something with a hummingbird on it, of course -- I noticed the dogwood, standing where it has been since we planted it last September.  With all of the hopes, prayers and positive energy aimed toward this tree my thinking was 'How could it not survive?'

But for me, so much was pinned on the tree emotionally, this gift of love from my work friends, planted in Dad's memory.  Mom and Dad had tried more than once to place a dogwood on this property.  They said the trees wouldn't survive; but I wonder if they just weren't patient enough to wait for delayed blossoming.  Who knows? 

My sister Dawn, my dear friend and brother-in-law, Yo, and I planted the tree in a place where we hoped mom would be able to watch it as it blossoms each year.  I have spent countless times (well, at least 5) touching the branches, checking for life.  There had been definate changes, but no real sign of growth to my uneducated eye.  Pods on the tips of the twigs connected to the branches, stretching forth from the small (oh so small!) trunk which reached down into the earth with the tendrils of roots going where no man could see -- how could I really know if this design, which works so well for thousands of other people, would work on the property so lovingly tended by my father for twenty years.  The man had a light green thumb, great ideas, not a lot of follow through on anything other than pruning.

So this morning, having gone to place the spinner, I turned around and could see a spattering of leaves on this little guy.  It caught my breath.  And, while I have no proof, like the theme of The Titanic, I must believe that the heart does go on.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Sun Is Shining

Autumn Day

The sun is shining.  As the rays streak across the yard something needs to be done where ever I look.  The lawn needs to be mowed; rose beds are choked by weeds and tall grass.  The feeder for the hummingbirds is freshly filled, but I can see cobwebs glinting in the light across the deck.

The sun is shining.  It's reflected on the broken glass all over the garage floor.  The concrete merely helps the shards hold their position.  I know where the broom is, but what about the dustpan?

In the house the sun glints through the windows, highlighting the unwashed laundry; clearly the carpet needs to be vacuumed.  A couple of coffee cups, liquid drained out earlier in the day, sit quietly on the counter, waiting for a worthwhile amount of dishes to fill the sink.  The bathrooms?  Well, that calls for plain old elbow grease.

The light almost glows as my daughter and grandchildren walk to the park to spin in the sun, or swing in the breeze.  I take the opportunity to sit on the computer for one to compete with.  When the they return I step up to start dinner -- Thai food this evening, but I hear  Paysh and Darcie banter with the words 'addiction' as they back out of my Facebook page and do some computing of their own.  I am not sure if their words appropriately refer to me.

I have looked forward to my 3-day weekend.  I have longed to paint, to study techniques and try my hand at a couple of new steps.  Such ideas I thought through the days as this welcome break approached!

My 'zone' is the dining room table, computer on one hand with an instructional dvd playing, or paused so I can keep up.  The rest of the table would be littered with books open to appealing lessons, my water color paints waiting to feel the brush coax them gently onto the paper, 140 lb cold pressed is easiest.  I lose time and listen to myself while sitting there.

But, as the saying goes sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or in this case, the needs of the one.  I feel the beckoning of the life altering warmth of this day.  After all, the sun is shining.