Up the street from us is a Christmas house, full of lights, music, the spirit of the season. To tour it helps bring the season alive. Music, hushed voices, children's laughter adds to the sparkle of the lights. My holidays are quiet this year, full of thanks. Gifts impossible to put a monetary value on. My list of thanks is long. And on that list is the friends of my blog, I'm grateful for everyone of you. I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season, full of love, family and kindness.
As Christmas fast approaches I find myself thinking of it less and less. This year there is no family involvement and so it is quiet. Work is busy, the days there long and tedious there is no thought for anything but the job. But it is peaceful and I'm tired from days at work, and the cold weather keeps one under wraps. Today I worked on my journal. It was fun. I went to my best friends house (who is taking the FTB class also) we drank coffee, chitchatted and explored our way through the instructions. I finished my first book, and started a second. As I write this post I realize that even if I'm not celebrating Christmas this year with lots of gifts and parties, I am celebrating it with simple times of love. Wishing you all much love.
Things did not go the way I planned this past week. One in particular big expensive money bump in the road. Several thousands of dollars later and all is well, but it was not easy. I had to be a grown up and take care of adult responsibilities. It is hard to sometimes realize that you are it. You really are the one taking care of yourself. Somedays this comes as a big surprise to me even after all these years. My network is small. Slowly I work at growing that network. Trust is difficult, to put yourself out there to expose your heart to others. Today I had coffee with a group of women I'm learning to trust and like. It is a small step but big for me. When I was younger the friends I had were casual and fleeting but now I look for something deeper. There are fewer to love as we age and the importance of family and friends takes on more meaning. I hope you all treasure those close to you.
Better late than never, I enrolled in Mary Ann Moss's Full Tilt Boogie online journaling class. I'm sure you have all checked it out all ready but I'm singing its praises. I've not started any actual work yet, just been assembling supplies and watching the many videos she provides in the class. I spent the week-end going up and down the isles of ebay and etsy looking for photo albums, shopping for watercolor paper, waxed linen and book needles. Today presents came in the mail. I keep journals, using my photographs, adding poetry, quotes and some writing, I've used spiral bound books in the past but they fall apart and I'm left with a mish mash of pages, this class has me excited about putting together a book that will hold up and not fall apart. I'll keep you posted as to my progress.
Shades of grey. That is what greeted me on my morning walk. The skies are heavy and full of moisture, the air thick with mist. Fog horns bleat their sad lonely song, keeping ships safe from the shores. The call of birds is muffled and they tuck their little heads into warm wings. My feet trip along the graveled path. I'm alone but not lonely. My face is damp with cool moisture from the low lying clouds, I'm glad for a warm home to return to and hot coffee. Enjoying the day and the grey.
Like the weather I'm in hibernation. My mind is quiet and mushy. All I do is curl up under a blanket count sheep, pet my dog, mindlessly wonder the number of rings in a tree trunk, try to find the needle in a haystack-mindless activity. This is the season of gratitude, of family, and of giving. My heart is full of gratitude for so much and I live that every day. It is like a prayer for me a thank you for what I have. When one fills up with what you have it is easier to live with what is missing in your life. No life is perfect. My quiet time is reflection, simple rest for the busy active times that are ahead for me. May you all find time for quiet and peace this busy season.
Faded pink, left over colors of summer. Fall is in full swing, what colors have been in the trees are faded and rain has come to wash the landscape clean. Cool air is creeping into the corners of the house. And with the setting of the clocks back, evening arrives in the late afternoon. Winter is not far away. I love this time of year, the settling in, a cozy fire, warm bath, flannel sheets. I hope you all have a good week.
Open spaces, that was all that greeted me this past week. Traveling through the Eastern Sierras down highway 395 and down down down into Death Valley. What a beautiful desolate place. Hundreds of feet below sea level, dry, windy and warm. Driving Titus Canyon, with steep rocky walls so close one could reach out and nearly touch them. Over mountain passes so steep one slip could send you to a tumbling grave. Viewing mountain sides a glow with evening sunlight, full of an artist pallet of color. I needed this hugeness, this bigger than life canvas to let me know I'm a tiny thing. Quiet days, starry nights, morning hikes were all medicine for a searching soul. Knowing my place in the scheme of things is so important to me and being out in the largeness of nature helped me with that knowing. It was a good place to spend time.
Red berries, cool nights, golden leaves a tale of fall. It is my favorite time of year. The crisp air, the low hanging sun, the rustle of leaves. In California at least where I live it is not a bold colored fall, but it is a season just the same. One knows that change is in the air. Change with the seasons is acceptable and welcome in my life, but I resist change that comes to me otherwise. It was spending part of the day with my best friend-"brewing hope" (as I read on ornamental). I realized that I did not need to be afraid of change that I could see doors opening instead of closing, a glass half full instead of empty-that my life is good. I hope you all have a good week-end enjoying the fall weather.
I'm back home. My journey consisted of a long winding path these past two weeks. At times I never thought I would find my self at home and feeling good. But that is where I am. My mother is settled into a rehab hospital, she is less confused daily, has accepted she needs to be there and is content with the choice we made. Every one is happy to be home, especially Penny the dog who's barking did not go over well at the condo we were staying in. I am learning the difficult lesson of letting go-to release my mother to the universe, the care of others and have faith that they will do good by her. I am not a parent and can only imagine how difficult this must be to do on a daily basis but also how important it is to do not only for the child but for the self. Both parties must be given space and time to grow and flourish. Again, I want to thank you all for your words of support these past weeks, they have really helped me get through this difficult time.
Some peace at last. My mother is back, at least most of the time. She has moments of clarity and this gives me hope. It is good to get out of the hustle and bustle of a busy impersonal hospital. With a clean bill of health we can get on the road to recovery. What a test this has been for me. Major fears have plagued me moment by moment. I've been afraid I would lose my mother, I've been afraid of making choices, I've been afraid of not being enough. It has been awful to say the least. It has really been a lesson in staying in the moment, and being present. Although I wanted to run away and hide many times. My prayer through all of this was "Thy will not mine be done" and that helped keep me grounded. Again thank-you for listening to me, I use this blog as a sounding board and your comments are appreciated.
I can't say as if things have improved any since I last posted. It is rocky, there are no soft spots. I do have faith that if I do MY best then things will turn out the way they are suppose to. I've given up control, that helps me to sleep at night. Although I sleep a restless sleep waiting for the phone to ring. Watching my mother go from a frisky determined little lady to confused and weakened has been difficult. It is frightening because I'm so afraid these changes are permeant. That I have lost the mother I knew and gained a responsibility that I have no idea of how to deal with. I wish I could take my brain out of my head and wash away the fear an anxiety, it is crowded in there. Thank you for all your words of support.
It has been a rugged rough past few days here in sunny hot Scottsdale. First my mothers surgery was not the success we had hoped for, her bone quality is poor and so the surgeon could not fuse as many levels as he had planned. Her first night in the hospital she overdosed on pain medicine and stopped breathing-fortunalty things were caught quickly. But since then medication has been given out sparingly. In other words my mother is in much pain. It is difficult to sit there and watch her clench teeth, groan, and furrow her brow. I feel like the hysterical mother in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT-but my pleas seem to fall on deaf ears. Today when I went up my mother was feeling better, enough so to ask for a Starbucks hot chocolate! She is to be discharged in one day! She is weak and hardly able to move herself around in bed, although with help she is sitting in a chair and taking short walks in the room. It has been decided that she will go to a rehab hospital for a few weeks until she is stronger. This has caused emotional distress on my mothers part since she feels she is going into a "nursing home." But this is more than I can handle and I've told her so. I spent part of the day touring homes and found a lovely one not far from where we are staying. All in all it has been stressful, sad, and has left me feeling rather desperate. Thank you for listening to me vent.
There is much going on in my household during the next few weeks. On Tuesday I leave for Scottsdale-a 12 hour drive. My husband and the dog Penny are going because we are going to be there for 2 weeks helping my mother. She is having major back surgery and will need someone with her to help with her recovery. It will be nice to be away from work, but I wish it was under different circumstances. My mother is a frisky 74 year old lady. She is basically healthy, but has some underlying issues that make taking care of her difficult. It is basically that she is the MOTHER and I am the DAUGHTER. No matter what the age that never changes. Wish us both luck, I'll keep you posted.
"ALL OUR FINAL DECISIONS ARE MADE IN A STATE OF MIND THAT IS NOT GOING TO LAST." marcel proust. I've made a rather major decision about my life. When I first made the decision it felt right and perfect, I was excited and anxious for it to happen. Now that time has gone on and I wait for the event to occur I've had time to think and I've started to "what if" myself. There are no answers to the questions I have about my choice I just have to walk through believing in myself. In reading this quote I realized that life is fluid, it is constantly moving. What may seem totally acceptable one day may not be quite right the next, one just has to keep moving forward and making constant adjustments. I could live in the frozen world of "what ifs", hiding behind every excuse, and problem. Instead I'm going to keep my head in the sun moving forward looking for answers and solutions.
''YOU MUST HAVE BEEN WARNED AGAINST LETTING THE GOLDEN HOURS SLIP BY. YES, BUT SOME OF THEM ARE GOLDEN ONLY BECAUSE WE LET THEM SLIP." j.m. barrie. Work was slow this week so I took an extra day off. I did get up enough gumption to mail a package, and visit the farmers market but other than that I did not leave the house. I love cooking shows and got caught up in Master Chef on Hulu. It is so fun and addictive to watch episode after episode, before I realized it the whole day had gone by-guilty pleasures. Today I plan to spend one more day filling it with guilty pleasure. I hope you all have a great week-end filled with guilty pleasure.
"NO GREAT THING IS CREATED SUDDENLY. THERE MUST BE TIME. GIVE YOUR BEST AND ALWAYS BE KIND." unknown. We drove past a wonderful cottage garden a few days ago. It made me envious, wishing I could get such beautiful flowers to grow in my back yard. I realize it is not my back yard, but the time I'm willing to put into gardening that is the problem. I love the results but not all the work. Time is the secret in many things. Learning a new craft takes practice and practice. Making a marriage work takes time and effort. Being good at a job does not happen over night. One must always try your best and be kind, not only to others but to yourself. It has taken practice for me to be kind to myself, something I still work at. But I do find that the easier I am on myself the easier it is to be good to others. May we all practice being kind to ourselves.
One can not be living and not be aware that this weekend marks the anniversary of 9/11. A tragic event that has changed our country and the way many of us live our lives. I did not know any one who died on 9/11. I knew people who got their airline flights cancelled, that was the biggest inconvenience. My family was lucky. Our country has been at war ever since. I have developed a general sense of fear and unease, especially in crowded spaces, big cities and watching airplanes in the skies. It is not enough to deter me from doing things but leaves me with a question in my mind. I dislike this suspicious feeling but have not come up with a solution for it. I wonder about those who suffered real losses and how they cope. My heart goes out to them. I think about the people who fight the wars for us. Maybe I think too much. I just know that I am thankful to live in a country that provides me with the rights and safety I do have. Because even if I have fear I know it is less than many and that I have more than most.
Labor Day week-end was spent on the ridge, up in the mountains away from it all. I like to think that I get away from it except that my husband has a tv antenna, gets reception and watches the evening news. I try not to pay attention because there is little positive in the world these days, 9/11 anniversary, unemployment at 9%, flooding and drought, fighting in the government. Being in a little trailer I was unable to get away from the depressing broadcast, and it made me afraid and sad. I got to spend time on my favorite forest trail, taking in flowers, fresh scents, sun on my back, sweat on my brow and for a while everything was ok. Nothing is wrong in my world, I have much to be grateful for, I just wish I could spread it around. It is difficult to live in these troubled times.
"ALMOST ALL WORDS DO HAVE A COLOR AND NOTHING IS MORE PLEASANT THAN TO UTTER A PINK WORD AND SEE SOMEONES EYES LIGHT UP AND KNOW IT IS A PINK WORD FOR HIM OR HER TOO." gladys tabor I worked another one of those long days at work yesterday-14+ hours. So today I am resting. Sunday I went to the farmers market. Summer vegetables are in full force, it is wonderful to fill my bag with tomatoes, basil, squash, figs and peaches-all of my favorites. Still being fascinated with the color pink, the flowers caught my eye. Pink that color that can raise blood pressure yet relax at the same time-such a mystery.
"PINK IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. PINK WHEN I TURN OUT THE LIGHTS AND PINK GETS ME HIGH AS A KITE. AND I THINK EVERYTHING IS GOIN G TO BE ALL RIGHT-NO MATTER WHAT WE DO TONIGHT" aerosmith. Even though fall is approaching and colors are turning those warm shades of gold. I was able to enjoy a pink fix today on a morning walk. Naked ladies, one of my favorite lilies was growing just two houses down from ours. I love how they poke up from the ground with no foliage sort of as a surprise. They also seem to be a hardy flower growing out of the driest ground-I love their tenacity. Enjoy your week-end.
Lupins, daisies, queens ann lace, sage, columbine to name a few. The forest and meadows are bursting with late summer flowers. Hiking along a forest trail a gradual incline follows the shores of alpine lakes, crosses snow feed streams and ended for me in a little fairy meadow of grass at the end of a waterfall. Gentle breezes kept me cool and sunlight filtered through the trees filling dark corners with bits of light. An old log cabin leaning and listing in a dusty square. Busy squirrels and chipmunks building nest and feeding themselves, getting stuffed on pinecones. No better way to spend a long summer day than hiking a forest trail. My heart raced as the incline increased, but Penny kept a merry little pace a head of me and I could not let a 14 year old dog out do me! One of the ways I've kept busy during the past five days. Hope you are all enjoying these final days of summer.
I got to practice my slowing down yesterday. A garbage truck hit a power pole, knocking out power at my place of employment, we all got to start our weekend early. I heard the expression "falling upward" yesterday and I like it. I use to think of problems in this life as horrible and something to avoid. It isn't that I embrace pain, but I try and think of difficult times as learning periods. Knowing that at the end of a bad experience I'm going be wiser and smarter. Instead of "falling down" I "fall upward" into a better place. This weekend I'm getting together with my art girl friends, we are meeting in a local park, it will be nice to see them since it has been a while. I hope you all have a good weekend and find some time to be creative.