Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flying time...

    Although things have been  pretty crazy here for lots of reasons, not much has been happening. 

   All the regular dramas keep  spinning out their plots.  A few new ones appear on the horizon, or at least new variations on old ones. The weather keeps bouncing from one extreme to the next. Chickens get tended, suppers get cooked,  houses get cleaned. Sometimes.

    I am sitting at the computer with an ice brace on my knee.   That's probably not what it's really called, but that's what it is. It has 2 pockets that hold long reusable ice packs, and it has flaps and velcro to wrap the terrycloth side around your knee and hold it all in place.  Ice seems to be the key.  I got my first Hyalgen injection Monday.  They normally give you a needle full of lidocaine to numb it nicely and then shoot the Hyalgan into the joint space. This is tricky, but they look at it with an ultrasound to make sure it's in the right spot and sploosh!  This was my first shot of the stuff. It took 3 (THREE) needles full of lidocaine to be able to numb it enough to try to shoot the stuff in. The first time they withdrew the needle because the new PA couldn't get it in there right.  It hurt like hell, but I was tough.  He kept hitting the bone. There is so much arthritis in there that it's mucking up the works.  The regular doc took over, and injected a second lidocaine in there, all around the knee.  As her poked and prodded the knee cap area and I flinched and jumped and said "Ow, ow,ow" he just shook his head and asked for a third lidocaine needle. So, it was finaly pretty dang numb when he finally went to shoot the good stuff in.  It was a harrowing experience.  But of course, the lidocaine made my knee not hurt, so it was all good. I finished up and left for home. When I first got here, it was feeling a little achey, the lidocaine was wearing off. I made supper (a nice [home canned] turkey and noodle casserole with a fresh baked artisan baguette) and by the time we were sitting down to eat, it was starting to hurt. I expected it to...you can't jimmy around with needles and knees and not expect some kind of repercussions.  lol By the time the Irishman went to bed, it was killing me. I came in here and put the tens unit and heat on it. It felt better for a minute.  I went to bed and spent the entire night whimpering and crying out every time I moved my leg. My darling husband got up at 5 and fixed me an ice pack and brought it in, and offered to stay home and take care of me. (I declined).  I could barely move my leg. 

  The night before, he had gone out to the garage and brought in my old crutches. I absolutely could not walk on that leg. Taking my weight off the knee helped and they're propped up here in the corner.  I didn't sleep much last night, and after he brought the ice packs in and we put them on my knee, I got another pillow and propped myself up some so that my back wasn't so twisted, and actually slept for a couple of hours.

  Today my son drove me to town to get some groceries and toilet paper. Staples.  lol  We had breakfast out and I was not feeling too bad. After I got home and put things away, I decided I'd go lie down again and put the ice on my knee and the heating pad on my back. I've been having some nasty back spasms the past few days and they were starting again.  I slept for about 3 hours. The knee has felt pretty good all evening. So, I thought I'd ice it down before going to bed and see what happens. I've cleaned up my kitchen after a nice supper of bbq'd ribs, mashed potatoes and gravy and a delightful big green salad. (I've been wicked hungry for salads lately). And though my knee felt a little stressed, it hasn't been awful (knock wood) and I'm afraid to even talk about it as not to jinx it. lol

  My son has had a few days of, and has really been great about helping me with the chickens and stuff--especially great, since there's still SO much snow out there and it's slippery. My husband has been wonderful as well, very supportive and sweet. I did venture out this afternoon, slowly and carefully, and went down to the mailbox and out back to see my girls.

  I had today off, but go back to PT tomorrow. And then again on Thursday.  I won't have to cook supper tomorrow as I have a lot of leftovers in there.  

  My sister-in-law is doing well and starts chemo and radiation next week.  Her sister is here for another 4 days...I may try to go down there this weekend.

  And that's been the story for the past few days. I kept meaning to get back here and blog about my pathetic little life, but just couldn't focus. lol

   Not sure what kind of nasty weather is coming, but I guess we'll know tomorrow. Possibility of more snow the next 3 days.  We had quite a lot of rain today, and I'm  not complaining about that. But I am surely ready for spring. 

  I surely am.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Snowpocalypse 2013

  This picture was taken about 2 hours after it started snowing yesterday.  We were lucky--no sleet or ice hit us, just a 7-8 inch blanket of heavy wet snow.  Cities around us weren't so lucky.

    The Irishman is out there now, trying to dig out the driveway.  The boy cleaned off all the decks this morning. The road has been plowed a time or two, and it looks pretty clear. I'm sure the roads in town are all fine. Like always, it's getting out of our driveway and up the hill that poses a problem.  Not for me. I have nowhere to be. I can just sit here in my warm little house and do whatever I want, which mostly includes NOT going out in the slippery cold stuff.  lol  I have cleaned up from breakfast, taken a shower, made myself a nice cup of chai tea, and read some blogs. I really should make my chooks some oaties and get something warm out there for them, since there is not much in the way of greens to be found.  I've been making their oaties with instant milk in the water for a lilttle added calcium and protein. They appreciate it, I can tell. lol

   In it's own inimitable way, life continues to roll along. No matter what.  I talked with my SIL a bit yesterday and again last night...she's doing okay. I am worried about her daughter and we talked about that a bit. I just keep reminding her that we hang on to each other and just take this all one day at a time. That's what we do. She said that her daughter knows all the "facts" and that she is terrified beyond belief at what the future may bring.  I thought--aren't we all?  She said something that really struck me: "With God's amazing Love and time, it will all be okay."  I wish I had that kind of faith...some days I kinda do, mostly I don't.  Maybe this road is about that. Whoever knows?

  My dr appt on Wednesday was another nightmare of EMG and nerve conduction tests, sprung on me at the last minute after I arrived. This time on the upper half of my body. I have bruises on the heel of one hand and up and down both arms where he punched those needles into my muscles. The nerve conduction wasn't quite as bad. I look like a junkie. lol  The ones on my hands hurt the worst, I think. And those bruises are startig to fade.   I think the PT is helping, but I am having pain in my knee again pretty bad after Monday's injection. Not sure what that's about, but I asked him when he was doing the muscle test. Told him that it hurt like hell and that the pain killer in that anti-inflammatory didn't seem to be doing any good.  He said they don't last very long. I said this one never lasted AT ALL.  He said next one be better. Arrgghhh....

  Checked on the Irishman out there. Said "You're not overdoing it, are you?" He kinda growled at me, so I came back in. lol  (I'm thinking if I bake some of Beth's banana bread, he'll like me more.)  That man does like a good banana bread. (Or zucchini bread, or pumpkin bread.--he's not picky.)

  Okay. Guess I should get off here for a bit and try to accomplish something.  I didn't do much of anything yesterday except make french onion soup and granola.  I should at least vacuum. Dog hair is rolling across the hallway like tumbleweeds.

  Have a grand, warm, dry day everyone.  Hopefully this will be winters last fling before spring sets in. One thing--this storm settled the dust of all the garden fantasies I've been having...lol


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This life of mine...

Yesterday, this little warrior cat went to meet his Maker.

  Earlier in the day he had caught a big mouse and was strutting around the porch showing it off to anyone who'd look, and hissing out the corner of his mouth at the cats who thought they might like to take it. He was so proud of himself.

  This kitten was one of a litter of 3. The other two kittens died within days of each other, right after their eyes opened and they'd started wandering around the room a little. They were fine (seemingly) one minute and dead within half an hour the next. It was baffling. This little guy was the runt of the litter and he was looking bad and I had a thought that Mama cat wasn't feeding them  right, or her milk was bad, or SOMETHING.  So I scurried off to the vet and got some kitten milk replaceer and started dropper feeding his little fuzzy butt...about every 2 hours. He thrived and we bonded and he claimed me as his own.

  Yesterday I was baking/frosting a spice cake to take to my sister-in-law's for my niece. We were going to meet there after I got out of physical therapy. I heard my little white dog out in the driveway howling softly. It was a strange kind of howl, almost melancholy. I wiped my hands and went to the door and saw her sitting out in the middle of the driveway, facing the road. I hollered to her "What's the matter, baby?"  And she stood up and looked over her shoulder at me and then turned back to the road and howled again. I walked out a little further and then I saw  the little bundle of grey stripes laying right at the bottom of the driveway, where it meets the road.  Oh no....no, please....was all I could think as I slowly walked down to where he lay. And he was dead. His neck broken. Hit by a car or one of those damned four wheelers that fly up and down the road all the time here. He wasn't mangled, there was only a little blood at his mouth...so I suspect it wasn't anything s big as a car that hit him.  I carried him around to the back of the house and wrapped his body in black plastic and turned the wheelbarrow over on top of him.

  I am grateful that he died almost instantly.  Not much suffering.  We should all be so lucky.

  So far, these past few weeks have been awful. I can't take too much more, I don't think.


  My sister in law is doing okay, everything considered.   I spent a few hours down there with her (she's home) and came home when she started getting too tired. She looks pretty good for someone that just had brain surgery. The family is ...I don't know what to call it besides terrified.  The stress level is palpable, which is the last thing her body needs right now.  And though I know that nobody means to be snapping at each other or not asking for help or feeling so hopeless right now, it's kind of where they are.  Not her so much, but my brother for sure. He is so scared, I know he can't control himself.

  Today they had to go for an MRI and to get a face mask made. It will cover all the parts of her head and face (I guess) where the radiation is not supposed to go. She was worried about the MRI because she nearly had a hissy in there the last time...but she was just out of surgery and confused and phlemgy from the anasthesia so she felt like she couldn't breathe.  And her head hurt. I really hope it will go better tody...haven't heard anything yet.  Her sister is here from California, so that will be very comforting to her, I know.


  It was a nice day mostly at home here today. (Yesterday, now, lol)  I'm having a hard time getting this post done. Anyway, I had a nice day that included a little cooking (red beans and rice and cornbread), a lilttle hoiusekeeping (very littler, but I did at least sweep the floors and straighten a few things).  No PT yesterday, but I do go back this afternoon.  I'm supposed to go tomorrow too, but we have a big storm coming in tonight or tomorrow, supposedly, and I already told them that if it happens, I may not be able to get out.  I'm going to stop and pick up a couple of things at the market before or after the dr, depending on how it goes.  I'm completely out of garlic. I've been up and about since 7:15 this morning...took care of my animals and the neighbors animals (they may be coming back today)...and still need to shower and stuff. I got a chiropractic adjustment on Monday--much needed.  Today I am scheduled for a massage and PT.  I got the second injection into my knee on Monday too--given by the dr instead of the PA. She is much better at it. And it hurt when he was doing it and it hurt all night. Like there was no painkiller in it this time.  I was almost thinking that I might leave early and go have lunch out before going to the clinic. Or not.  lol

  I picked up my new glasses yesterday.  O.M.G.  I can't believe how badly I needed new ones. lol  I can see so much better...the good news is that the tiny cataract is not noticeably bigger than last time. The bad news is that my distance vision has deteriorated.  But new glasses has made that better. Yay! And the computer isn't making my eyes so tired either.  Don't know if that is the Zeiss lenses or just a proper prescription.

  The only thing I really need to do this morning still is vacuum the furnace filter (dog and cat hair require constant maintenance on things like filters and computers...) AND I think I'll make some rice pudding. We are officially out of dessert I was informed last night. I'm trying to get back to cooking a little more healthy...so a brown rice pudding, sweetened with honey and raisins and made with rice milk instead of dairy. OR--maybe made with coconut milk. hmmm...I just got a new case of that too, nice organic coconut milk...I use iot to make different soba noodle dishes and brulees and stuff. So, it's much cheaper to buy it by the case.  I'll bet that would be good in rice pudding...sometimes I add a bit of dried fruit from my pantry, but I think I'll just stick with raisins this time. And maybe a little coconut...It's a good dessert in the wintertime...comfort food, with lots of yummy goodness and really no bad side.

  Alright. Off to see what fresh madness may be lurking around the next corner.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

I've fallen off the love wagon...

Oh, dear.  Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...

 And so I try to accept that things change and it isn't easy to let go and that holding on is one of the things I do best.

  My intentions of a love fest here for the month of February have gone awry.  I have fallen off the wagon. I feel sometimes like I can't write anything at all and other times I feel like I could post 3 times a day. Maybe I will just untangle myself from any rules or expectations and do what feels good. Hmmmmm...

  So anyway, here I am. Not feeling particularly loving. Or maybe it is, just covered in a blanket of fear. Or ego--like any of this is about me. But it is about me in a way...me very possibly losing someone I love.  Me having to watch others I love deal with their fears and grief.  Me, me, me.

I spoke with my brother finally and he told me that the tumor she has (had) is a GBM. He talked for a while and told me about having to tell her it was malignant and how it went.  He sounded uncharacteristically hopeful, for him.  When I got off the phone, I googled the GBM tumor. The results were not what I wanted to read.  And I sat here at the computer and cried like a baby.  Things like "invariably fatal".  Things like "life expectancy 1 year".  Things like "grade IV on a scale of I-IV."

  But, not being the type to believe much of anything the medical association says about health, I am refusing to condemn her to a life sentence. They did catch this early. That's a plus. And miracles DO happen.  And I will do everything I can from my end to make sure that she has everything she needs.

  It's just been a really trying week here.  But it's surely been worse for her. And her daughter and son. And Husband. I emailed my niece and asked how she was and if she needed anything.  She wrote back: A spice cake.   LOL  So, I'm going to bake her a spice cake with cream cheese frosting and take it to her tomorrow. This is the family I love. A spice cake.

  So...for now, I'm going to give myself a break about falling off the love wagon. I'm going to practice loving my family as much as I possibly can.  I'm going to bake a cake and I'm going to go to physical therapy and I am going to be the person my dog thinks I am.  And the world will keep on spinning and the sun will come up again and again, and God can work whatever miracles She sees fit. And I will trust that everything is going to happen exactly the way it is supposed to.

  Signing off...with much love in my heart for all of you.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

The dead center of February

  I missed posting last night, the 13 th day of the month of love.  it was a long rough day on so many levels that I cannot begin to explain.  I was in bed by 10:30  (yes...me. Who tries really hard to make it to bed by 1 usually.)  I was worn out, emotionally exhausted,  and every muscle in my body hurt. 

  Today isn't much better. lol

  My dear sister-in-law went into surgery yesterday  morning at 8 AM. At 4 PM she still wasn't out.  When the dr finally came out at 4:40, he said they couldn't get all the tumor out.  They got as much as they could, and now they would start an aggressive course of chemo and radiation to tryu to kill the rest of it.  This will start in 2-3 weeks.  She will stay in the ICU for 4 days and then come home. My brother is coming apart over it all and won't talk to anyone. My niece is terribly upset and my nephew is scared, but at least he's able to communicate.  Her sister is coming in from Callifornia on Monday to be with her for 9 days or so.  I am very concerned about my brother...

  I had my first physical therapy yesterday, after the initial consult and evaluation with the head guy. It almost killed me. By the time I got home, I could barely walk and stand up. I hurt really bad. When I got up this morning, my back hurt so bad I had to put my back brace on and hobble around the house. Felt like I was about 102 years old.  I slept with a wrist splint on last night to help combat the numbness in my right hand that wakes me up every night over and over. That did help. So I'm afraid that means it is carpal tunnel;, and not a pinched nerve in my shoulder like I've thought.

  Today, they did the nerve conduction test on my low back and legs. If you've never had one of these, trust me when I tell you it is not fun. They hook you up to electrodes and shock you. And as uncomfortable as that is, it's nothing compared to what they did next.  They tested the muscles using EMG--electromyography. In a nutshell...

The health care provider will insert a very thin needle electrode through the skin into the muscle. The electrode on the needle picks up the electrical activity given off by your muscles. This activity is displayed on a special monitor called an oscilloscope, and may be heard through a speaker.

 It was a nightmare. Either I couldn't feel it at all in places, or I was nearly coming off the table. My hands were sweating and I was clammy...I won't know the results of it or what it means until later, when I meet with the doc again. And they only did my legs and lower back...I still have to have my arms done. 

  Happy Valentine's Day to me.

And the PT I did today, which included 12 minutes on the bicycle, almost tore me up again.  On the bright side, they gave me a tens unit and I have that at home now to use. I am falling apart, one piece at a time. lol

 I have to go back again tomorrow, but at least I will see the chiropractor and get my self adjusted.  Not sure what else is on the menu...besides more of this soul crushing physical therapy.

  Please forgive me if my love posts aren't all they're cracked up to be.  

  My husband got me a beautiful card and we are going out to dinner tomorrow (if I can walk).  I got HIM 4  one gallon pots of blueberry bushes and a big bag of organic sulpher.  Nothing says LOVE like a bag of organic sulpher.  lol

  I am going to have to pack it in and go to bed.  I feel like I've been rode hard and put away wet...need sleep so I can do it again tomorrow.

  Happy Valentine's  Day, everyone....  and sweet dreams.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

12th Day of the month of LOVE


23. Practice “being” and have nothing to prove. Know your own value with or without results. Your value is in your human being-ness not your human doing-ness. In a society that is wrapped up in image, this is sometimes difficult to practice. People ask what you do, not who you are. But a person who knows their own value, does not have to prove it.

24. Be of service. Offer your help where you can and do your part in making the world a friendly place. We are all in this together. As Gandhi preached: be the change that you wish to see happen. You would be surprised by the impact you have.

25. Love generously. Spread random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. Hatred is already rampant. We need to tip the scales the other way. Love is a far more powerful emotion and has far reaching consequences. Living out loud means loving Out loud. And ironically, the more you love, the more love you have to give.


Live Your Life Out Loud: 30 Ways to Get Started

by Sonya Derian

  These are some  wonderful ideas for spreading love and kindness in a woprld that certainly needs as much as it can get ! GO ON---LIVE YOUR LIFE OUT LOUD !   

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I will tell you, I came to live out LOUD.” ~Émile Zola


Monday, February 11, 2013

That didn't take long...a basket full of love

Here's the beautiful basket I made last Saturday.  Am going to stain it a golden oak color I think. Wondered what I was going to use it for...

Guess that decision got made for me.  Now this is a basket of love !!  Jinga squinting at the camera flash.
 You all know how much I love my pets. You've seen pictures of some of them over the past few years. They afford us a lot of love with their companionship, their affection and their antics.  We have had quite a few pets over the past 20 years,  whenever we lived somewhere that allowed us to have them, and then of course when we bought our first house where WE made the rules. lol

  Our very first dog together was Delilah. I got her as a tiny pup at a flea market in California. Her mother was Rottweiler and Doberman and her father was Sharpei and Black Lab. She was gorgeous.  She also grew every time she inhaled. I don't have any computer pictures of her...but she was something else. She once ate an entire Norfolk Island Pine I had in a pot on my front porch.  We also caught her carryingold bricks into the yard from somewhere...and she ate those too. Chewed them until they disentegrated. LOL

  We had cats too, from the beginning.  Our first cat was a feral mother with kittens that had taken up residence in the big berry bramble in the back yard. One night she showed up at the door crying and I fed her. The next day she showed up again, with a kitten in her mouth. Uh-oh. Eventually she and 5 kits made their home in our laundry room.

And there's the three current keepers of the hearth...Molly, Caylee and Bella.  I have other pictures from in betwen, but most of them aren't labeled and I haven't got the energy to hunt them down right now. lol

 The point is this:  Love wears many hats. It shows up in our lives in a myriad of ways and personas and spirits.  Thanks goodness--we need all the love we can get !


 An update--my sister-in-law's body scan showed no other tumors. Thank Goodness!  So, the plan right now is that they will perform surgery on Wednesday to remove as much of the one on her brain as they can, biopsy it and go from there. The prognosis is good.  Thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts.


 On another note. Today I had my second day at the doctors group who say they can have me walking like a normal person (sort of) again.  We finished up the digital x-rays and did another bit of testing, and I had the first anti-inflammatory/pain shot into my knee.  Tomorrow I go back in for another test on the muscles and nerves. I go every day through Friday ...they will start an integrative therapy of PT, Chiro, and knee injections and massage. Then I will go 3 days a week for a month and a half.  I get 2 or 3 of the anti-inflammatory shots and then they start the Hyalagan treatments. I believe it is a series of 5 shots of that, which is injected directly into the knee joint. 

  I was very impressed with the treatment plan they have for me, everything in writing. They worked out an affordable financial plan for me too. The people there have been so kind and helpful it's unbelievable. I almost cried.  After todays first shot I have less pain in my knee than I have had in the past 2 years. I know it's going to be work, but I am so happy I can't tell you. I am walking better and the knee is much less hot to the touch. I have gotten up and down all evening with just a couple of grunts. lol  Before the shot, I would have to get up out of the chair, stand for a few minutes while I tried to put weight on it and then limp across the room.  They gave me a new knee brace to wear if I'm going to be out and about for any long periods.  I have osteoarthritis in both knees.  Bursitis in both elbows. If I was a horse, they'd shoot me.  lol

 Happy 11th day of love !!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

For love of family....

 This is a photo from my family reunion last summer. Two of my sisters-in-law having a good laugh about something. We always have a good time and I always feel so blessed by these get togethers.  The SIL on the left has suffered a massive seizure this morning and is in the hospital in St Louis.  They've found a small mass on her brain, behind her ear, I think.  They are running a bazillion tests and tomorrow will run more.  I think the doctors are afraid there are more tumors and are being diligent about finding out how this has come upon her so suddenly.  I was able to speak with her tonight and tell her I loved her. She was able to talk, although her speech was a bit slurred--I'm sure that they've got her really medicated. She is responding well to the anti-seizure medication.

  We are all rallying 'round my brother and his family. Phone calls have been flying from brother to sister to brother to sister to brother to sister. I talked with my niece this afternoon for a bit too.  I tried to talk to my brother but he is beside himself with worry (that's how I got to talk to the SIL--lol--he handed the phone to her). This is the love of family...reaching out, holding up, being there...whatever is needed.  All the petty squabbling put on the shelf for now. All the personality  quirks and the politics and the stupid little things that everyone does that drives SOMEBODY nuts...all that evaporated into thin air.  Everyone is worried about her and about my brother too...they have been married 30 years or so I think and I know he is lost without her.

 Such a fragile thing. And at the same time, one of the toughest, strongest things we know. Love makes all things possible. I am choosing to believe that love is going to carry everyone through this.  The strongest intentions bring the most certain outcomes. We are all focused, in our own ways, on sending her healing and love and light.

  Love is the answer.  Please send a little love our way...my family could sure use it.

 Happy 9th Day of Love, everyone !!

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's My Irishman's Birthday...

  And one of our favorite performers/songwriters is this other Irishman. This is a picture of a young Van Morrison, doing what he does best. 


Songwriters: MORRISON, VAN
Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the nights magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush

Can I just have one a more moondance with you, my love
Can I just make some more romance with a-you, my love

Well, I wanna make love to you tonight
I can't wait 'til the morning has come
And I know that the time is just right
And straight into my arms you will run
And when you come my heart will be waiting
To make sure that you're never alone
There and then all my dreams will come true, dear
There and then I will make you my own
And every time I touch you, you just tremble inside
And I know how much you want me that you can't hide


Repeat 1st verse

One more moondance with you in the moonlight
On a magic night
La, la, la, la in the moonlight
On a magic night
Can't I just have one more dance with you my love
 Happy 53rd Birthday to my Valentine ...  my love.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A week of LOVE..

 Is the world your Valentine ?   Can I split myself wide open enough to have room in my heart for everyone?  Is it posible to love everyone that crosses your path, never worrying about the risk, or what's in it for you or whether you will get hurt ?  We think there are degrees of love, when really, there is either love-or there is not.  We can try to think our way out of this point of order. It won't work.  We can try a number of ways to make this more comfortable. In the end though, love wins. Either we love everyone as though they are oursleves, or we don't really love anyone. You either are a being of light, or you are not. NO wishy washing here. No fence sitters. 

  I struggle with this stuff sometimes. I think there are people who are not loveable. Or not worthy of my love. Or  not capable of returning love. But real love is non-conditional. It matters not what happens once it leaves me. I feel like that about giving money to people too. Especially homeless people and panhandlers. People say to me all the time--you KNOW what they're going to do with that! You should never give them money!  I always say, it doesn't matter. What matters is that I gave it away. I thank people for giving  me the chance to be loving. To be generous. It enriches my life way more than it does theirs, probably.

  And this is how I learn.  The incredible feelings that loving gives me encourages me to be more loving. And love wears many masks...the mask of compassion, the mask of generosity, the mask of romance.  The mask of tenderness. The mask of virtue. And every single time I get to do something for someone, or let someone do something for me...my awareness grows. Awareness of how we need more kindness in the world. More givers. More takers. More everything.

  And in the end, all that really matters is how we have treated each other.

  I hope that I can remember all this when I am out in the world, making my way.  It bears remembering....


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 6...

One of my favorite singers of all time (and I know I'm dating myself here...)  is Anne Murray. Over the years, there's been nobody who can comfort me, touch me or bring me to tears like she can. SO...for this 6th day of the LOVE month, I give you a link to a few of her best love songs...


  Ahhhhh...love.  Get yourself a nice cup of tea, turn up the volume, close the door and sit back and enjoy....

You're welcome...


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day 5 of the month of Love

 I picked this particular graphic, because when I saw it the first time, I immediately thought of how often we forget to be in love with ourselves.  We find ourselves innundated with those emotions of loneliness and longing and yearning...always looking for something outside ourselves to fill that vast emptiness we experience. Something, someone...anything.  Comparing our insides to the outsides of everyone we look at and never measuring up.  Never realizing that we are worthy of love, just the way we are.  Never looking at the intrinsic heart of the Universe that we all are. And we get sad and we get depressed and find ourselves spiraling down the rabbit hole. 

  All because we forget what remarkable human beings we are.  We get caught up in the world we have created  and we forget to take care of ourselves. We forget to love ourselves and nurture ourselves. We put ourselves on the back burner...over and over again. 

  I had a moment of insight once, a long time ago, and realized that if I was of no value to myself, how could I possibly seem valuable to anyone else ?  If I don't think I'm worth taking the time to care for me, why would anyone else?  I was in my mid thirties when I had that AHA! moment. I was married, had a houseful of teenage boys, was in college, owned a business and ran a household. Pretty much by myself.  I hadn't had the time to do any kind of nice things for myself in a long time.  It was all I could do to keep up with my schedule (which I had made).  One day when I was cleaning, I had a meltdown and started yelling and crying and the 4 men in my house looked at me like I'd lost my mind. (I had.)  In that moment, I knew that I had done this to myself. That I had set standards that I couldn't maintain, as much as I tried.  And I took a long time trying to figure out why I thought that my home needed to be spic and span, or if it was even possible.  And what were the things that mattered?  Was it dust free bookshelves?  

  And ....(wait for it...)...WHAT ABOUT ME ?   Everyone else in my home had everything they needed. I made sure of that. THEY made sure of it. They didn't miss out on anything they thought they needed or had coming.  But here I was...exhausted, stressed and pathetic.  I shut off the vacuum and walked out the door. I sat on my beautiful deck for about an hour, trying to figure out how this happened. Who was I trying to impress? 

 I realized that if I needed nurturing, it was my responsibility to make sure I got it.  If I needed a break, take it.  The very next day, instead of running home after work/school to do laundry, shop,cook,clean--- I scheduled a massage.  I have to admit, I felt a little guilty.  But it passed.

 I started taking long hot baths with candles lit all around the tub. Peaceful classical music playing.  I locked the door and just luxuriated in the fragrances and steam and relaxed.  I decided that 2 nights a week I wasn't cooking. One night we could have pizza or takeout, and one night...they could cook for me.  I didn't know how long that would last, lol, but hey--it couldn't hurt to try. 

  I started thinking about what I needed. What were the things that were important to me?  What are the things that feed my soul?

  Time alone is crucial for my well being.  Quiet time to be creative, to visit art galleries or museums...I need these things.  It was a lot to change, and it took years for me to find that place in my life and my world where I could love myself the way I loved others. To show myself compassion and affection.  To find the things that made my Heart sing.

 These days, I love myself, warts and all. I can be gentle with my shortcomings. I can honestly say that I am a precious being, worthy of love and happiness.  Worthy of long hot baths with candles and soft music playing. Worthy of being cherished. 

How about you, you glorious child of the Stars?? Are you loving yourself and caring for you the same way you care for the most beloved person in your life?

  Might be time to start....


Monday, February 4, 2013

All you need is love...

I loved the scene in Love, Actually where the wedding ceremony is over and all the musicians start standing up in the pews with their instruments and playing All You Need Is Love...a Beatles song. Even more, I loved the Beatles rendition of their song :


  Todays dedication for the Love month, Day 4...is to the Beatles, who wrote a lot of music about love. Here's a list...

In My Life
Ask Me Why
Here, There and Everywhere
Don't Let Me Down
Let It Be
Anna (Go to Him Good Night
Got to Get You into My Life
A Day in the Life
A Hard Day's Night
A World Without Love
All My Loving
And I Love Her
Come Together
Cry Baby Cry
Crying, Waiting, Hoping
Don't Bother Me
Don't Ever Change
All Together Now
All Things Must Pass
Another Girl
Baby It's You
All I've Got to Do
All You Need Is Love
Don't Pass Me By
Every Little Thing
For No One
If I Fell
I'll Be on My Way
I'm Only Sleeping
Free as a Bird
From Me to You
Hello, Goodbye
I'm in Love
It Won't Be Long
How Do You Do It?
I Call Your Name
I Don't Want to See You Again
I Feel Fine
I Got a Woman
I Want to Tell You
Bad to Me
Can't Buy Me Love
Come and Get It
Cry for a Shadow
Don't Let Me Down
If I Needed Someone
Little Child
Love Me Do
For You Blue
Hold Me Tight
Honey Pie
I Lost My Little Girl
I Got to Find My Baby
I Should Have Known Better
I'm a Loser
I'll Get You
I Need You
I Want You (She's So Heavy)
Lonesome Tears in My Eyes
Love Me Tender
Lovely Rita
You're Going to Lose That Girl
Love You To
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
Come Together

  How's that for a tribute to LOVE  ???   John, Paul, Ringo and George~~~maybe 4 of the greatest lovers the world has ever known.  They were in love with the world, in love with love.

  And we loved them back with open hearts.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Today is my dad's birthday

This is a picture of my dad, taken in New Mexico, (I think)  when he was a sargeant in the US Army.   It's an old grainy picture, like most of them  of him are.  He never talked much about  his time in the service, fighting in Italy as part of a battalion known as the Blue Devils.   He would have been 87 years old today, but he died when he was 60, the same age I am now.

The things he did talk about though, were things like how important family is. How important it is that you find a relationship with your Creator, whatever  that means to you.  How important it is that you do your part and find meaningful work and be responsible for taking care of yourself.  How important it is that you are kind to people and to animals. That you help the less fortunate. That you learn what humility is and you practice it every day of your life.  That you always ALWAYS spend time with Nature, out in the woods, at the river, wherever you could find the peace and quiet of nature.

 My dad taught me everything there is to know about love. 

For a man of his generation, he was incredibly sensitive and loving and affectionate. He had 6 children that he loved with a ferocity that was unlike anything I'd ever seen.  He was always in our corner, he was always our biggest cheerleader, he was always pushing us to bigger and better things.

He was born during the Great Depression, and his country parents had next to nothing. He would tell stories about the hardships and the scarcity of food and how lucky we were that he was going to make sure that we never had to know that kind of want and poverty. And make sure he did. He had a father that was a pretty useless alcoholic and a mother who worked herself into an early grave. He and his brothers were always hunting and fishing and doing anything they could to bring food home for the family...there were 8 children in his family.

He and his brothers and sisters loved each other madly. They all depended on each other all their lives, and they set a great example for their offspring. We have a family reunion every year and all us cousins know each other and where we live and what we do. Some of us only see each other once a year, but we all stay in touch.

My dad dropped out of school in the 8th grade to support his family.  He never regretted it. But he always made sure we knew how hard it was for him and how important an education was. When I finally started college, you'd of thought it was the greatest thing that ever happened to anyone anywhere. He told everyone he knew.  He was like that about every success I ever had during his lifetime, no matter how small. When he held my newborn son for the first time, he cried like a baby.  He went on and on about what a gift this baby was...

It was the compassion and the kindness that my dad practiced every day of his life that made the biggest impression on me. He would give a homeless man the shirt off his back. He was always there to help anyone with anything. He gave people money that he probably couldn't afford to give. He shared his time and his heart with anyone who needed a shoulder or an ear.  He told us kids over and over, "everybody has something to share with someone who's in need."  He said that he felt like the richest man on earth when he could give someone help.  I never forgot that.

So, my post for today, the third day of the Month of Love, is dedicated to my dad.  He was Love personified.  I loved him to the moon and back, as he would always say to me. I miss him terribly, and I hope he knows that all the really important lessons he taught me about love are in practice in my life today.

Happy Birthday, Daddy.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dance me to the end of love...


"Dance Me To The End Of Love"

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love 


 Another magnificent love song by the venerable Leonard Cohen.

  I have decided that every other day I will share some sort of  "love" that I have been gifted with from other sources besides myself.  Something that has moved me, made me cry, made me smile. It might be a song, like today (because, if I were Queen, I would gift Leonard Cohen to the whole world ! ). Or it might be a piece of poetry or a photograh or a painting. 

 There is so much love in the world.  So much.... 

 Happy Love Month, everyone !! 


Friday, February 1, 2013

A new month...

February.  Heart month.

 Music is the song the heart sings. All beautiful, yearning, tearful, happy, tragic  melodies.  Our hearts swell with gratitude and love. They break with sorrow and loss. They patch themselves back together again, stronger than ever. And always, always, willing to risk again.  Willing to open as wide as possible to let the love and the life in and maybe even the pain.  And they physically pump the blood and oxygen around to feed all parts of our bodies to keep us going, until one day they don't. I had a friend who used to say there's really only one thing people die from.  A broken heart. One that doesn't work anymore. No one is dead until their heart stops. 

 We are really afraid of the risks that we take a lot of the time, but we take them anyway. Because we have the faith that there is something better, something magnificent waiting for us on the other side of fear. Sometimes we are right. Sometimes we are not. But we don't give up, not us, intrepid beings that we are --always hoping, always believing, always trusting.

And as a result of that blind faith ...something that we don't really share (I don't think) with anyone else in the animal kingdom...we carry on.  We try again.  We yearn for the eternal spring --a time of regneration, new growth and new beginnings.  And we make our lives work and we nest and we take one step at a time, one day at a time...and we don't give up. 

Unless our hearts get broken beyond repair. Then we say goodbye. Either temporarily or forever.

My dad's birthday was February 3rd, 1925.  Our dad is always our first love, I think. Our protector, our rock, our provider. Usually. Mine was, and I'm grateful for that. He's the measuring stick we use to size up every other man in our life forever.   My husband's birthday is February 8, 1960. He is a lot like my dad in some ways, not so much in others. My dad never knew him, but I promise you he would have loved him. So, 2 important men in my life, both with connections to this heart month. He was not my first husband, but he will be my last. He was my only dad.  Both of these men have filled my heart with equal amounts of love and pain, and  both have shown me love like nothing I can measure. 

 This post hasn't been what I thought it was going to be, but I think that I will spend the entire month of February posting about love.  I think that I will sing my love song as best I know how, and trust that it will nourish me in ways that only love can.  In the end, love is all there is.  Can I post about love for a whole month,  even a shorter-than-usual one ?  Maybe.  Can I write love letters to the ones I care about and even some to the ones I don't know yet ?  Probably.  Do I want to believe that love is the answer ?  Definitely.

 Most definitely.