Archive for April, 2013

The Earth Laughs In Flowers

April 28, 2013

I read that quote a long time ago and it has stuck with me because it makes me smile.  Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote it.  At this time of year, Earth is laughing her a**  off because everything is blooming now.  I picked some lilacs the other day – unfortunately John has trimmed it to be more of a tree, so most of the blossoms are on the top.  There is no way I am going to climb a ladder for them.  They were still not open and I wasn’t sure they would. they are on the dining room table and they are beginning to open.

100_5346smI must thank Sherry for the photo – http://terra4incognita.wordpress.com/2008/04/19/lilacs/

The wisteria is getting ready to bloom – I love the lavender blossoms and their lovely fragrance.  but when it finishes blooming, I am going to have John dig that sucker out of the bed – it trails all over everything and is making its way to the other end of the bed where the blueberries are.  If I don’t cut its little tendrils all the time, the thing overpowers everything.  Even when I do keep it clipped, it sends shoots out to other places I don’t realize it is going.

Chinese_Wisteria_Blütentrauben                                                                                                                                                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisteria

I will admit  cutting down things that have been here since we moved in is still a little hard – guess I still don’t quite feel it is “my” house.  I think when the kitchen is done and we have our own furniture upstairs, it will be more our house.  We finally got the appraisal on Friday, looks like the loan is moving forward.  Tom warns me there will be more paperwork – I already have 2 or 3 file folders on it.

The Gravenstein apple tree is loaded with blossoms, as are the  2 pear trees.  We had wild wind yesterday and I was concerned it would blow the blossoms of before the fruit set.  It was supposed to rain yesterday – it was dark and dreary all day but nothing ever came.  We had sun this morning and now Eddie noticed it is raining; no telling what it will be in a few minutes.

We have pink snow in places because the wind is blowing the petals off the puffy cherry trees.  Things used to come in a certain order in Spring, now it is every plant for itself.  They seem to bloom when they please and bloom their hearts out.  I love this time of year.  As soon as the weather is more conducive, I will take some pictures of my own and post them.   I appreciate the people who have lovely photos on the web and want to share them as well as give credit where credit is due.

We have most of the beds filled with scillas, when they stop blooming I am going to dig things up – small space at a time, put Preen in and see if I can put some colorful perennials in so it doesn’t look overgrown with grass and weeds.  It will probably take me all summer since it will be a little at a time – then it will be time to start from the beginning again.

I also bought some morning-glory seeds to put on the trellis at the back porch, I love them when they trail up.  I had a trellis built for our house in Bethlehem and planted them, loved it.  I also had a wisteria tree in the back garden, I was forever trimming the tendrils and had trouble keeping up with them.   I had a great guy come to mow the lawn for me – an off duty Bethlehem police officer – don’t think they would appreciate having one of their officers strangled by the wisteria.

I remember one day I was driving along the street somewhere and saw him.  We both stopped and talked about gardening, wonder what the people going by were thinking.  It felt a little odd, but also a bit of fun as well.  A couple of weeks ago we were driving out and saw a squad at the old bus stop corner and I told Eddie to go over to him – he didn’t want to but I insisted.  I wanted to thank him for being out there and for the great job he does.  So we had a nice conversation and Eddie gave him his card to come up to the future of Flight.  His name is John Holland and he really appreciated it.  I do that when ever I see an officer – I even got a hug from a female officer once.  They don’t get many compliments and I feel it is important to know there are people out there who appreciate them.

I am watching to see what’s next to bloom, I think the rhododendron.  Whatever it will be, I will definitely enjoy it.

Angel Card

April 25, 2013

Monday turned out to be a really good day.

Monday was Soul Card Reading and the cards that came up were so welcome.  The first was:

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First Card is from Doreen Virtue’s Healing With The Angels Oracle Cards:

Listening:

“This card is a validation from your angels that you really are hearing them. You have been receiving repetitive messages through your feelings, dreams, visions, inner voice, or knowingness.

By drawing this card, your angels ask you to give all doubts or worries about Divine guidance to them.”

Soul Guidance:

Are you listening and trusting the messages?

I always ask the Universe for signs to confirm my inner guidance. Request a clear sign to show you that you’re on the right track.

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The next was very thought-provoking, it didn’t fully hit me until later.  So I am pondering this one.

Second Card is from Esther and Abraham Hicks’s Well-Being Cards:

Anything I can Imagine being, doing, or having – I can be, do or have.

“As you ask yourself why you want it, the essence of your desire is activated – and the Universe begins to bring it to you.

 (It’s as easy to create a castle as a button.)”

Soul Guidance:

Wow, that seems so easy! What do you want to be, have or do?

Why do you want it, why is it important to you?

With that cool start to the day, having a day of lovely sunshine was a real bonus.  It is still chilly with the wind from the north, but it felt more like a Spring day and gave me hope the real Spring weather will be here soon.  Certainly the flowers have been blooming whatever the weather has been.  I went to see my chiropractor Dr. Cheryl – I always enjoy working with her because she is very gentle and I have come to trust her.  She has been working on my right shoulder because it is the one that doesn’t work too well, I can’t raise my arm up with out compensating and I need it to work as it was originally designed to function.  That may also be why I have had trouble with my right shoulder and the right side of my neck.  I can now put my arm up a bit higher, it took time for it get that way, it will take time to get it back together.

Funny, now that I look back at the day, I didn’t spend much time in the sunshine.  After seeing Cheryl, I met my friend Patti for coffee and lunch – I haven’t seen her in quite a while.   I met her at NWPMA – that is my Northwest Promotional Marketing Association – at one of the Fall Showcases in Bellevue.  She focuses in gold mining supplies but also does t-shirts, rubber stamps and whatever people want.  She has taught me a lot and she says I have taught her – I don’t feel we are in competition.  She and her husband have had so much going on – they have been trying to get a loan modification, what a nightmare.  She also has had a lot of family problems and they continue.  Gosh, I don’t have anything to worry about next to her.  lately she has been doing a lot of the talking, quite fair since I have done a lot of talking in the last two years.  She had to deal with her Mom, not sure exactly what the problem was, but she certainly understood what I have been going through with Mom.  That helped so much!

I left about 3 and went home – I had to make my bed before Eddie came home.  It was lovely driving in the sun. my window open.  I will say, we have had sun the last 4 days and it has been great but there is cold wind from the north, so the shade isn’t all that balmy.  It was in the 30’s in the morning for Eddie at work – standing on the Stratodeck is cold!

We are both really glad we have the new shades.  I left them up in the morning so the sun would come in and warm the house.  It certainly makes a difference and also keeps the warmth in when it is cold and rainy.  It’s been a few days since I turned on the furnace.  Monday was a delightful day and I am feeling better.  Not anywhere specific, just all over feel better.  I’ll take it!

The Queen’s Birthday

April 21, 2013

This week Charlotte, Joyce, Lois and I had lunch on Thursday.  We have been doing birthdays, but the group is now down to 4.  Plus Joyce has a birthday on Dec. 31, Charlotte has hers at the end of January and mine is mid January.  So I suggested that I could do a Queen’s Birthday.  The Queen wasn’t born in June, but they celebrate her birthday at that time because the weather is better.  Imagine Trooping the Colour in the poring rain or snow!    So instead of having two birthday in january, we are able to spread them out – we can just go out to lunch just because also.

I went up with Eddie that morning – yes, up at 4:00 in the morning – still dark as a pocket – and we drove up to Lynnwood for a bagel and coffee at Panera.  Then I used Eddie’s computer to check my email – then he needed it.  So I took my book up to the balcony to read for a while.  The Stratodeck was closed because they were putting up the canopy for summer – they didn’t want visitors going up there in case somebody tripped or hurt themselves.  I have been reading a book that really hooked me, so I wanted to finish it to see who were the bad guys.  Not quite the ending I expected – I like it that way.

I left and went to see the  metaphysical bookstore I had visited quite a while ago – a dangerous place because I saw things I wanted to buy.  I did buy something – a Spirit Cat.

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Spirit-Animals-English-Cat

There is a card that goes with it to explain.  I tried scanning it but the post won’t allow it – not sure why.  It says on the card:

           

The Cat Spirit brings intuition, autonomy and gives access to the supernatural.  Cats can see in the dark and are very magnetic and sensual.  Your Spirit Cat Cats can see in the dark and are very magnetic and sensual.  Cats can see in the dark and are very magnetic and sensual.  Your Spirit Cat can help you develop your intuition, remain confident in moments of darkness                                                                and overcome challenges with agility.

I will admit I am not sure how all this works or what I need to do, if anything.  I am glad I bought  the cat, it was the last one and it was one of those moments when I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t.  I also bought a small leather pouch to keep it from getting scratched – I don’t know if Dolomite scratches or not.  Wonder if I need to give it a name and decide what sex.

After that I went over to Pacific Fabrics to drool over fabric – I found some I really liked but don’t have a project for it.  I just want it.  I didn’t buy any but it was hard to walk away without any of it.  I also checked out some patterns, but didn’t buy – I haven’t done any quilting in a long time.  I am beginning to miss it.  By then it was time to go meet the group for lunch – I was also hungry so I was ready.

They chose a pizza place called Sparta’s, not my favorite but I was glad to see them.  I had a sudden yen for lasagna, it’s been a long time since the last one.  I was able to get the one on the senior menu, the smallest and by George I finished it.  But I felt so stuffed, it will be a long while before I feel like have it again.

They brought me gifts and they were great.  Charlotte gave me the Queen’s Touring Kit.

       $T2eC16JHJFoE9nh6m9qIBP7JRoEy3!~~_26

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It’s a small box with some great copy on it.  The front says Whilst Parading About the Kingdom.   It has three pieces inside:

Body Mist to Exude an Air of Authority with a Spritz of Royal Rose

Royal Decree Tablet – Rule the Roost with 32 Crystal White Pages.  That means I get to write my own decrees, not have to follow someone else’s.  Cool!  On the back  it says:

Uncommonly Convenient Crystal White Paper

For your Highness to

1  Bequeath Servants with Royal Commands

2   Leave Behind Praise for Excellence in Servitude

Soap to Reign Supreme whilst Squeaky Clean.

But Charlotte wasn’t quite finished.  She had a great card as well.   There is a picture of a tiara and underneath it:

If you think of birthdays as diamonds, you have quite a tiara.  In side is the kicker.

Under Happy Birthday Your Majesty, she wrote “Of course I have one more diamond in my tiara than you do!”   That’s because I always kid her she is a year older than I am – she got me good this time!

We had such a good time I was sorry I had to leave.  I had to leave about 2:30 to go back to the Future of Flight to pick up Eddie.  There was more traffic than I expected so I was 2 or 3 minutes late.  He said he had hoped I would come by 2:45 because there was so much going in the office it was driving him crazy.  I know my first thought was to feel guilty and say I’m sorry – but I caught myself and decided I wouldn’t.  So we went to the car, wouldn’t you know it began to rain.

I had a fun day I am glad I went up early so I could do a couple of things for myself.  I was really tired when we came home and I slept 12 hours that night.  Fortunately I didn’t have to be anywhere early in the morning and it was a delicious sleep.

Good Days, Not So Good Days

April 13, 2013

I haven’t been writing lately, seems as if things have gotten in my way – or let them get in the way.  I just put up a new post that I have been working on since the last one I wrote about it.  Could be a matter of Life happening while I am planning.

I have noticed in the last 2 or 3 weeks that Mom has been having more not so good days – or is that simply my connotation of it.  Last week I went to see her and brought two long sleeve tees for her and another pair of slippers.  When I had seen her the Friday before, she had lost one of the ties and was having trouble keeping that slipper on.  So I was going to bring the reds – both pair my sister Ellen had given her for different Christmas presents.  When I arrived, she was asleep, so I checked with Judy to see what was happening.  She said Mom hadn’t been sleeping very well at night – still haven’t quite figured out what is going on or what to do – so Mom sleeps during the day a lot.  I didn’t want to disturb her rest so I didn’t go in.  Judy told me Mom had taken the slipper without the tie and torn it so it couldn’t be worn again, then put it in her pillow case.

So I left the things and said I would be back Friday.  When I came back, Mom wasn’t there – she was at the Center for a UT test that Didi had ordered.  I decided to call on Saturday before I came – good things because Mom was resting.  I called on Sunday morning because Eddie had gone to the Museum Flight to do his docent stint and it turned out to be a good time for Mom.  So I went and had a lovely time with her;  we laughed,  remembered things and it was really good.  She seemed in good spirits and I was glad.  We talked about her walker, that she hated it.  When I asked her why, she said it was ugly.  So I suggested I would get some red ribbon and see if I could make it less ugly.  I told her I had to learn to use one in rehab and I didn’t like it, but I knew I had to so I could get better.  not sure what registered with her.

Tuesday I called before I left o see how she was doing; she had slept late and was eating breakfast.  Delores next door wanted visit so I took her over to see Mom.  She was sitting in the dining room and didn’t say a whole lot.  She had that old woman look – I am going to have to come to terms with that – and a somewhat defeated look.  Delores and I did a lot of the talking, Mom didn’t seem interested in saying much except a few responses to things.  She was cold so we got her the pink shawl and that helped a lot.  But she seemed to tire quickly, so we thought we should leave.

I asked the caregiver if she would help Mom get up and use the walker so she could rest a bit.  The older lady came and Mom took one look at her and told her she didn’t want her near her, to go away, the woman had hurt her and scratched her.  I am not sure how much is true, but I asked the younger woman to watch to see what happens.  I said I thought possibly someone who had helped her up and been too firm on Mom’s hands and had inadvertently caused the bruises.

I am going this afternoon and bringing the sugar-free cookies that I forgot to take on Tuesday.  Friday Jan gave me money to buy them since there are three who are diabetic and sugar isn’t good for the other three.  I was so embarrassed I had forgotten to take them Tuesday – I am upset when I don’t do what I promised – and they were disappointed.  So I have two sets – oatmeal and chocolate chip – and I will give Jan her money back because it was my bad.  I will update this post when I come home this afternoon.

Later that night:

Actually the visit went well, one of the good days.  I suspect the cookies helped as well.  They were all happy with cookies as well.  I tried to give Jan her money back but she wouldn’t take it – I told her it was my bad for not keeping my promise so the cookies are on me.  I found Mom in her room sitting on her bed hugging two of her bears.  The big one now named Marigold after her dad’s middle name.  Now she has another smaller bear, so I asked if it was a girl so we could think of a girl’s name.  I happen to look up at the butterfly hooked rug and suggested calling her Butterfly, but that didn’t go over at all. So I suggest a flower name, by then I wasn’t sure she was interested.

I talked to Didi and found out Mom has been very contrary for a while, not wanting anyone to help her bathe, put on clean clothes, etc.  Apparently she also will pull her hands away in mid lift, so far she has been close to something to sit back on.  Even at the Center she won’t let them near her to check to make she everything is all right.  I asked Didi if it would help if I was at the Center when they want to check her to see if she would be more willing.  We’ll see what happens.  Didi said that farther on she will be at peace with the situation but right now she fights them at every turn.  I have no idea what goes on in her head, I can’t imagine how confusing and scary it is for her.

I wrote this after I came home from seeing Mom, I wanted sleep on it before I published it.

Stubborn – Another Viewpoint

April 12, 2013

Since I wrote the post on stubborn, I have learned a few different ways of looking at it from other angles.  My sister Candy sent me this after reading the post:

“Perhaps stubborn could also be strong with the ability to hang in there. That’s the positive flip side and that’s what I have seen you do in the last few years, especially with all you have gone through helping Mom and healing from the hip and making huge changes spiritually. There’s always a flip side to the negative. Julia Cameron has an exercise where you take the negative labels and turn them into their positive opposite. I don’t see you as a victim, but a victor. You are empowering yourself by changing your limited thinking for new ideas and new ways to look at old situations. And that takes a bit of stubbornness and strength to do that in spite of all the doubts and people who do not support you in the changes you are making.”

I heard someone on the radio yesterday illustrate stubborn as not listening to one’s inner self.  She was working as a nurse in an Alzheimer’s facility and kept hearing “Go to Evergreen Hospital”. She kept putting it off until she broke her wrist rollerblading. She decided to go just for the heck of it, they hired her as an oncology nurse on the spot and were also willing to wait 6 weeks while her wrist healed.  It is knowing something to do that will make a difference but putting it off for every reason that one can think up.

I know I need to clean out my office and not only organize it but also throw things away that no longer serve me.  I know I  have a pack rat mentality; I come by it honestly from my parents.  I realize I keep waiting to have energy to do it, something that is taking a long time to arrive.  The practical part of me says I need to just start small and the energy will come.  The other part of me keeps saying how tired I am and I just want to sleep.  The negative part of me seems to be the louder voice – it takes more practice to listen and pay attention to the positive voice.

I also need to clean out the house, now that my Mom no longer lives here, and make it our home with our furniture, etc.  Talk about a daunting task!  My husband and I keep saying we will do things after the kitchen is done.  But I also realize we have to clear out the kitchen of everything in all the drawers, cabinets and pantry.  My positive and negative voices are shouting at each other.  Positive says most of it needs to go; the negative side says we might need it later so it is better to keep it.  Yes, I know I have to decide which voice to listen to in spite of knowing both sides have some good reasons.  I don’t want to expend the energy to reenforce more of the positive  voice,  though I know  the good points of the negative voice.

I keep saying to myself and focusing on how tired I am and how little energy I have at this point.  Certainly I know those negative messages keep piling up and definitely keep me feeling tired.  It’s looonnnnnng past time to change my thoughts and focus to  being ” wide awake, full of energy and ready to go”.  I have noticed the sunshine helps lift me to have more positive thoughts and feel energy.   Instead of just waiting for the energy to come, I know it is important to make different choices.  Yet it feels as if it takes too much energy and effort to start it.  So here I sit, knowing it is my choice to do what is required and not really doing anything about it.

The positive of all this is that I may actually be changing my thoughts and focus already, it may just be slower than I want it to be.  I tend to want visible, measurable change rather than waiting for the gradual change to be noticeable.  I am feeling that way about Orencia – I had my 3rd infusion on Tuesday but there doesn’t seem to be a discernible difference, just bits of well-being occasionally.  Is it stubborn or just impatience?   Seems this is still a developing  process – it will be interesting to see what else shows up to show other kinds of stubborn.

A Year Of Challenges

April 2, 2013

I have been thinking about a year ago at this time – I was still in rehab with a broken hip and waiting for the doc to tell me I could have full weight-bearing on my right leg.  When Feb. 24th came around, I wasn’t sure I wanted to think about it as an anniversary, but what would I call it?  Marking of a milestone or event?  Still haven’t figured it out yet – fortunately the world won’t come to an end if I don’t have a name for it.  The other weekend Eddie and I were on  Pacific Highway South, we passed Stafford and his comment was “I don’t ever want to think about that place again!”.

I had a different feeling about it – I think of it fondly because of the people I met and who were so good to me as I began to recover.  I think about my room on the first floor – all my own, not having to share with anyone.  It had a view west and I saw Puget Sound and Vashon Island across the way; plus I saw the planes landing from the south and taking off to the south.  There were lights on at night, plus I looked down on Pac Highway South and saw the traffic and the lights.

I was the first time in a long time the focus was on me, healing, therapy and just doing normal personal things.  I was alone in my room – I had books and writing material but somehow I was too tired to touch any of them.  I was tired all the time but still was able to laugh with the aides, the therapists, the staff in the dining room as well as the doc and nurses.  I still had to deal with stuff for Mom and for Eddie as well – plus listen to him complain about dealing with Mom as if I had no idea what it was like.  I did spend a lot of time in my room with the door closed, it was great.

One thing I learned was that when I ask for something, make sure it is very specific because I don’t know what will show up otherwise.  I kept thinking and saying, I need a break – I see now I needed to say 2 weeks in a spa because I ended up with a broken hip.  In some ways it was a bit of a spa but not in the usual way.  I remember when I went up to therapy there was the smell of newly baked cookies – they had a jar on the front desk for anyone who wanted them.  It was easy to recognize the peanut butter cookies, but not always other kinds.

What I remember most are the aides who were always there for me.  Eleanor usually came in to help me get dressed – a tall, well endowed black woman not only chewed gum but also snapped it quite often.  I thought that would drive me crazy faster than anything.  Strangely it didn’t.  Eleanor was like a mama bear, she took care of her charges and defends them , even going up to therapy to make sure they weren’t terrorizing her charges.  She had a great sense of humor and we laughed a lot.  I think she was from the South somewhere – for some reason Alabama comes to mind.  One day she was helping me put on my bra and  I said something about “the girls” were in all the way.  apparently she had never heard that expression before and found it funny.

She didn’t suffer fools gladly but if I needed her, she was there for me.  About three weeks after I arrived, I woke up with a terrible flare-up, I hurt all over and she came in and found me crying on the john.  She was a very comforting mama bear and was so good to me.  When I went upstairs to therapy, I was still having a miserable time, so Carol, my OT, put on hot packs for shoulders and dipped my hands in paraffin.  It helped and as usual, by afternoon I was more comfortable.  It wasn’t the only time I had trouble, it wasn’t until I was able to take the Methotrexate again for three weeks before I began to feel much better.  They had stopped it so my incision would heal well.  I don’t remember the doc telling me that, though I was pretty doped up in the hospital for a bit – not sure I remember very much of that part.

I remember one time when I was working with Sabrina, a PT, and I was having problems that day.  I finally told her “I don’t mean to be uncooperative, it just hurts more than usual”.  Her reply surprised me – “Uncooperative!  You have never refused to do anything we have asked!”.  They could tell  when I was really having trouble and not just dogging it.  There were times when I was there and someone would refuse to do things, kept saying it hurts.  Or refuse to work with a particular therapist, though no one was sure why.

I am forever grateful to every one at Stafford, they made it possible for me to leave on my ow two feet and a wheely walker.


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