Archive for October, 2013

The Maginot Line – Without A Blueprint

October 27, 2013

It’s been foggy for at least 2 weeks, yesterday was only cloudy and for a short space of time we actually saw the sun.  Then back to cloudy and there is supposed to be sun today – maybe that quick ray of sun was it for the day, we’ll see what develops.

The fog hasn’t been so thick I haven’t been able to see the front yard.  I came out one morning not too long ago to find four mole holes in a row.  My first thought was the moles are building a Maginot Line of their own – for what purpose is a mystery.

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It is probably a little hard to picture because Delores from next door has been putting her mole pellets in and tramping down the mounds.  The moles have gone nuts lately with their little and big mounds.  In some places they have pushed up another mound on top of where Delores had a;ready put pellets.  A kind of adding insult to injury.

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It’s a little hard to tell but these are on the side of the hill, about 2 or 3 feet down the bank.  That I didn’t expect.  It has been interesting to see where they pop up.  They have been doing it over by the garage in the area where we had the boat – no idea why that part, though one was a large mound and the other a small one.  Do you suppose that is the training ground for the young?  Mom encouraging the little one as she gives instructions through the tunnel?  No answers so far.

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As you can see, we don’t have a golf course/putting green lawn – in some places it is 50/50 lawn and dandelions, other places it mostly dandelions.  Our “Mr Dinh” mostly  mows the dandelions and some lawn.  So having mole holes in the yard doesn’t make it any less in need of help.

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They have gone nuts in what’s left of the rose bed and all around the outside.

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This is one at the corner of the rose bed that has a pile on top of a pile Delores already put mole pellets.  Do you suppose the pellets are like an overload of caffeine or Viagra that hops them up to dig so many holes?

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All this just in the area of the roses, though the overgrown raspberry bed is also getting them too.

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They are a busy little family – hyped up on mole pellets.

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This is on the opposite side of the raspberry bed.   Certainly isn’t a putting green.

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There doesn’t seem to be any particular plan, rhyme or reason for where they dig – maybe they have a wrong map of the Maginot Line.

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We plan to redo the lawn one of these days and landscape – way in the future.  They will need to dig out the old lawn and put new soil and level it out.  Wonder what will happen to all the tunnels?

The weather has been quite interesting so far – clouds, bit of sun, fog, toolie rain, sun over in the West and can even see the mountains.  Wonder what else will come.  We definitely don’t have boring weather.

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I Am A Scenic Route, He Is A Point A To Point B

October 20, 2013

When I was married, I was 22 going on 16.  I was very naive and inexperienced, so I didn’t think about things in terms of likes and dislikes, ways of doing things and certainly not ways of thinking.  Boy, was I in for a surprise!  I suspect Eddie was also, though he doesn’t really talk much about such “inner” things – we were brought up in two different cultures.  Yet in many ways, we were brought up with a lot of the same values; that is very important in a marriage.

It is only as I have gotten older that I understand the kind of things I would look for in someone.  I remember being told that when I found the right man, he would make all my dreams come true.  WOW!!  What a trip to lay on a guy!  At 22 I wasn’t sure what all my dreams were, though I always knew I wanted to find someone who would love me as much as I love him.  Score 1 for our side.  I also know a lot more now; age, knowledge and experience changes what is important as the years go by.  What seemed so important in my 20’s doesn’t seem that much of anything at 66.

What does that have to do with Scenic Route and Point A to Point B?  It took me a while to understand my husband and I are  very different in some ways.  Physically I like to wander around and see the sights, even get lost once in a while.  I would do that each time we moved to a new place – I would find the major North to South road and a major East/West road as reference points.  Then when I checked the map, I would see what road was close to my destination.  Sometimes I would just head off into a direction to see where it took me; sometimes I came across a familiar road and I would see where it went.  Yes, I would get lost, but it was fun and I eventually found my way back home.  I would find things or places I wouldn’t have found if I had just gone the usual way.

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Now my husband wanted the shortest route between 2 points – no muss, no fuss of wandering around all over creation to get there.  Yet, there were times when he would decide to go the “back way” – he does have a little scenic route in him.    Figuratively he also talks in a straight, to the point way; I tend to go all around different subjects to arrive at the same destination.  Maybe I can chalk it up to being a motormouth – I take after my Dad a lot.

I wonder if being a scenic route helps me to be more into woo woo, goofball and hocus pocus?  My other half tends to see New Age, holistic or metaphysical as goofball stuff.  His Point A to B  means he wants to see evidence he can see or hold in his hands .  I suppose it is called linear thinking.  I am learning that there is all kinds of things in this world and other worlds; so when something or someone comes along with a “harebrained idea”, I now more likely see it and not automatically think it’s crazy.  I may not understand or believe it, but I am willing to learn more about it.

This certainly is no criticism of my husband, I’d say we keep each other balanced because we are opposites in some ways.  We have learned from each other and  then not agreed after, but there is some give and take between us.  I will admit, woo woo tends to make him dismiss out of hand – his choice.  He doesn’t have to agree with me, nor do I have to agree with him on everything.  We will agree to disagree on some things.

This is one of those times when I have run out of steam – no doubt later on I will think of more to say.

Past Data

October 17, 2013

I was just in the shower and it hit me – I associate walking with pain.  I went with Eddie to the Car Show yesterday, he always likes looking at cars and always goes back to Volvos.  All I thought was “I really don’t want to go but I will do it for Eddie.  There is a lot of walking and I still I run out of energy  quickly”.  As I had my shower, I realized that part of it was I don’t really enjoy the Car Show and want to wander all around.  I am interested in how comfortable a car is, can I reach, pull, push or adjust what I need to with ease?  Is it comfortable to sit in it and easy for me to drive – make and model are not a big factor.

I realize the interest factor isn’t there for me as it is for him.  I will admit that I can walk around one grocery store on Saturday and then another later after a chance to rest.  I realized that when I think about physical movement, I have programmed myself to expect pain and discomfort.  Can’t blame anyone else for this one – it is all on me.

I have been reading Neale Donald Walsh’s book “When Everything Changes, Change Everything”.   It has had a lot of insights and “aha’s” for me, but at the end of the first part, he sums it up that when you experience something, it isn’t  what’s in the moment.  It is all the past experiences the mind and ego bring up to explain it.

I was in shower a week or so ago and I could feel a sharp pain building in my left temple.  I am getting better at thinking “Hmmmm, this is interesting, I wonder what is happening”.  I am learning to look at it with curiosity and think “This is interesting, where is it coming from?”.  I started to remember Neale and thought about what does this trigger?  It hit me – it feels like a migraine coming on, bringing a miserable sharp pain in my temple, eye stinging and watering, stuffy nose and if it goes on too long, I feel and am sick to my stomach.  where’s my bomber?  Shit, I only have one left!

I remembered, that is Past Data from another time, it has nothing to do with right now.  I am not sure where this comes from or what it is, yet here I am thinking in terms of Past Data.  That certainly brought me up short!  I began to be curious about it and also set an intention to release, let go and clear out all that Past Data and fill the empty spaces with Divine Love.

I realized this current thing isn’t a migraine, I haven’t had them for quite a while.  Okay, so what is this pain?  I have been having more sinus headaches and study nose with a dry, scratchy throat – is it coming from sinus?  I still don’t quite know that this stuff is, it’s been hanging on for a long time.  What I noticed was the pain in my temple eased a lot – I have to remember to do this more often!

Lately, the other thing I have learned is to be with what hurts, seeing if I can describe it to myself.  It seems to lessen things a lot.  I know I have to come from curiosity and be neutral, otherwise it doesn’t work.  I also have to ask  myself “What is my body telling me?”.  Now that one is harder to do because I am still learning to listen and hear what she is telling me.  Sometimes it comes through intuition, sometimes I have to ask for help from someone I trust who is not as close to it as I am.  That usually involves more questions, but it helps quite a bit.

Now I have to look into the Past Data on walking or anything physical – my first thought is “Hell’s Bells!  I have had to deal with RA for 43 years, doesn’t that tell me!”.   But I know it is more than that and it means I will have to be more of a detective with a mountain of evidence to sift through before I will see my light bulb go on completely.  Right now it is a little dim, but I expect it will slowly brighten into full tilt with work.

I saved this draft and was ready to put it away to finish, then I realized I don’t have much more to write at the moment.  So I am sending it out and see what comes up next for me.  And since I don’t really have anything to illustrate it, I am going to add a photo my sister Ellen sent the other day.

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There was a Nor’easter earlier and this was how it looked afterward.

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She sent me this the next day.

Local News

October 13, 2013

I have been lucky to write once a week lately, but that doesn’t stop the mind from thinking of things to write about – unfortunately I am on the freeway, in the shower, it’s 3 a.m., you name the inconvenient place.

It’s been a busy time for the moles, all sized mounds in the yard – I noticed a small one out by the garage; one of the youngsters must have been out trying those diggy feet.  It was a little mound, but he or she has the hang of it already.  That summer holiday must have energized them no end.  Bob next door suggested pumping some gas into the holes and lighting a match – wouldn’t that be something!   As it is, Delores puts down her mole pellets but can’t find an actual hole.  The battle continues.

Mon had her 95th birthday on September 24th.  Delores sent a plant, Ellen sent Mom’s favorite maple sugar candy and a dozen roses and Candy sent chocolates and a lovely teal hoodie and a sweatshirt to keep Mom warm.  I had a light purple knit top and pants with some embroidery.  It was a Tuesday but I had gone for my infusion in the morning and had an appointment at 1, so I didn’t stay long.  mom seemed rather sleepy, so I came back the next day for a bit longer.

I have had some  difficulty finding things to talk about because I understand the first 3 or 4 words she says, then it is mumbling and repeating words.  I haven’t a clue what she is saying.  She doesn’t talk about her mother or father, maybe once in a while.  She doesn’t remember as much of her childhood as she did – we went through the album I brought but she only remembered a few things.  My sister Candy solved the dilemma for me.

She has written an ebook called “The Translucent Heart” and had sent me an email with the book.  So I copied it from the library and have been reading it to Mom.  She seems alert and interested, I don’t always know how much goes in and sticks, but because Candy wrote it, she is interested.  I am on page 93 or so right now – my voice gives out sooner than she loses interest.  When we are done with that, I am going to bring Rosamund Pilcher’s book “Winter Solstice” to read.  Mom loves the book and has read it every Fall since my Dad died.  At one point she asked if I could get her a new copy, hers was falling apart.

Mom is still doing pretty well even though she needs help with everything.  she is aware of some things around her and the people, but she fights Judy all the way when it comes to any caregiving such as bathing, washing her hair or anything like that.  Maybe she feels that is the only things she has control over now.  She still goes twice a week to the Center and as long as she is able to that, it is a very good thing.  It gives her another situation and context to her life, plus her doctor is there as well.  There are times when I don’t really want to go, but she is always glad to see me and I don’t want her to think she has been abandoned.  It is not an easy situation for any of us, but at the moment things are going smoothly.

I finally finished Eddie’s new Round Up design and he will be sending out Monday.  the people in the office have seen it and love it – his boss told him he should charge money for it.  He has been bugging me for the last 3 weeks about when it would be ready to go.  I have been working on it in Group Training for Pages at the Apple store – they have helped me so much with design, learning to use the program and all kinds of other things.    It will take another couple of issues before I really have it down pat.  Eddie is pleased with it and finds it is much easier to do on his MacPro than on the PC.

To see his other ones, PNAA has it on their website.  Click the link here, click News and then Local News.  On the right is a box where his Round Up is listed as The Kaplanian Report.  His new one should be up  in the next week or so.  I am interested to hear the comments on the new design.

I’ve been debating about mentioning this, but putting it out there means actually doing it.  While I waiting for the editing from Toni on his Round Up, I started a book with posts from this blog.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to us Gift of RA because I have also written about Mom and dementia, my own personal development as well as writing.  What happened was a vision of four complete books in as a set.  I decided to call it “Finding the Gift…”; this is “Finding The Gift in Rheumatoid Arthritis”.   It may not be the same in the end as it is in the beginning, but I know I have to do something about this since it has been simmering on the back burner for several years.  I have the journals that I wrote for several years with things that have happened – a lot of information without an idea how to corral it.  Baby steps and see where it goes.  There, I said it!!!

It’s Gonna Rain!

October 6, 2013

I know that is a ridiculous statement from some who lives in Seattle.  But it comes from my body telling me it is going to rain, not because the weatherman said it will.  Besides, how often is the weather prediction right?  There are times when the barometer goes down and do I feel it!  But not every time, I’m still working on figuring out why certain times my body  wants to lie  under the covers and not be disturbed.   The odd thing this time is the parts that are bothering me – ones that don’t normally protest at the falling barometer.  My tooth hurts, my knees are bothering me – maybe that is from standing too long on Wednesday.  My toe next to my big one hurts – did I stub it and not remember?  This is also the one I broke a few years ago, yet the finger I broke is fine.  I have been having pain in my left bun and down my thigh for a couple or three weeks – still doing exercises for that.  Just places and stiffness or discomfort all around.

I remember  when I was living in New Jersey – my first experience with humidity.  That first summer was hard to adjust to and I spent as much time in air conditioning as I could.  Then towards the end of September it cooled and dried out and I felt really good.  October 1st it went humid again very suddenly and I felt as if I had been run over by a freight train.  I couldn’t remember a time when I felt so terrible and uncomfortable.  I finally came out of it after a couple of days, one memory I still remember vividly.

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I was bowled over by the colors and just driving around the two lane roads in the area.

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I had seen pictures my parents took on a Connecticut trip and I didn’t believe how blue the sky was.  But it truly does become that gorgeous blue.

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I really liked driving around, I never knew what I would see.  There were places like this and then along the residential streets with the older houses and tree-lined streets.

We’ve had 2 days of sunshine and low 70’s after a lot of ran and chilly weather.  I didn’t want to put the heat on until October, but last Saturday we did – it was cold.  It has been raining steadily for a couple of weeks with breaks every once in a while.  It has felt good to have my winter nightie on and need all the covers, warm and cosy.  Now if I can figure out how to go straight to sleep instead of lying awake for an hour or two, I’ll have it made.

It is definitely Fall, the leaves are turning and the strong wind and rain has taken most of the leaves off some of the trees. Some are still green, while others are green with the outer parts dark red.  I love this time of year because of the colors and the weather, but more importantly it reminds me of living on the East Coast.  My first trip was to New Jersey in October when I went with Eddie to look for a place to live.  He had just started a job at the head office and while he was working, I was looking for a place to rent with an agent.

Bergen County is the Northeastern corner of New Jersey and most of the roads are two lane country roads – that makes it so cool.  We lived in Westwood, they call it the Hub because it is right in the middle of the county.

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This is how it looked at my end, we were on the other side of the commuter train tracks – they went across the back of our street.

Act-Rn-WW-Center-of-Town1This gives you an idea of the main street, most of the towns are like this.  No high-rise, no city feel; it was like being away from the hustle and bustle.  But it you took the train, it would have you in NYC in no time.

Now when Fall comes, I remember my visit and how special it felt.  I had never been back east before and I will admit, I sounded as if I had just fallen off the turnip truck.  The Volvo chauffeur picked us up at the airport – I was fascinated by the car phone.  This was October 1977, so there weren’t really cell phones then, what he had in the car was huge and bulky.   I’d never seen one before, except maybe on tv.  Even so, it felt magical to me and any where  I am in the fall with the colors, it feels like the first time in New Jersey.

I didn’t think they had much color in Atlanta, then when my parents came to visit, we drove to Nashville to see my sister Candy.  Wow!  There was color all over the mountains on both sides – what a delightful surprise.  I was especially interested to see the colors in Connecticut, especially after seeing the pictures Mom and Dad took on their trips.  Mom grew up in Connecticut and we ended up living there for 10 years with SAAB.  Some years the colors were spectacular and it was pure joy driving around.  Other years, not so great.  Sometimes it would rain and it seemed to drain the colors from the trees.  There is nothing like a clear, sunny day to enjoy the leaves


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