Sunday, January 29, 2006

Time to Stop and Breathe

I found myself stretched pretty thin
this week, especially on Friday.
It took some fairly constant effort
to not just sit and cry
in my car or at my desk at work.
I made it through the day.

The combination of my Grandmother's death,
a persistent head cold,
my brother's news that he
and his family are moving
18 time zones away,
and just general overdoing it
finally all closed in.

So I stayed home Saturday
and groused
and weeded the asparagus bed
and painted a birdhouse.

I stayed home from church this morning
and watched CBS Sunday Morning.

I feel better.

Gardening and cooking hashbrowns
for supper last night
made me feel more connected
with my Grandmother's side of the family,
along with a phone call from my aunt.

I'm starting to remember
how very much I enjoyed
my trip to New Zealand,
and how nice it might be
to go back and visit
Steve and his family.

And this cold
has been asking me
to stop and rest
for long over a week.

Sometimes it pays
to listen to the good advice
of snot.

I'm cleaning house today
and spending
some very special time alone.

If I keep it up,
I might be fit for human company
by tomorrow afternoon.

Already I'm feeling more
like myself.

Monday, January 23, 2006


While I was visiting at the Specialty Hospital today
a patient's wife talked to me
about using visualization
and meditation
to decrease anxiety
while trying to go to sleep at night.
We talked about remembering a place
like the woods, or a beach...
and thinking of every sight
and sound
and smell
in all the detail possible.
Even if you don't succeed
in finding sleep,
it is more fun to think about
beautiful places
than all the stresses and worries
of the day.

Sometimes I wonder
who is the chaplain here?
She couldn't have known
my recent bent
toward insomnia and worry.
Nor did I tell her...
we just stuck to sharing
our favorite scenes,
places of retreat
in the quiet depths of our minds.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Thoughts of Summer

Here is a picture of 2004's garden, in its young and tender early days. Before the beans became jungle growth and produced food for hoards. Before the corn grew tall and bore wonderful sweet ears. Before the squash took over.

When the scarecrow was still young
and pretty.

Wow. Look at the green on the surrounding trees. Ooh. Summer.

It is cold tonight. Tonight I just browse seed catalogues and dream.

This year, I've already bought peas in two varieties. Various greens. I'm still pondering tomato types. Going to try the beans on towers instead of in rows this year. Will need a new scarecrow for the corn. Okay, for my amusement. Pie tins hanging from twine off sticks seem to actually do better at keeping the birds at a distance. Maybe. Or it could be that the pie tins are also just for our own amusement.

This year, some of the things I planted in 2004 will finally get their groove on. The asparagus bed will put food repeatedly on the table for the first time. The grape vine, which last year bravely bore three bunches of grapes, will begin its formal training.

I actually ate out of the garden this very January week. Cilantro for my omelet...young plants coming up from seed after coriander fell to the earth and began the cycle of life again. Mmmm.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Okay, I know we are
more than halfway through January.
...But it is never too late
to get started on the year.
Calendars are arbitrary, anyway.

I resolve
to spend less than I make.
Starting in February.
Maybe March.

I resolve to save six months salary
for a rainy day.
(I did this once...and behold,
I lived on it for six months
between salaried positions.)

This will take a while.

I resolve to play in my garden...
to can and freeze more vegetables
for better eating in the winter months.

I resolve to avoid cursing,
biting, and generally loosing my temper
while holding a leadership position
at my church.

Okay, cursing in public.

I resolve
to play my guitar
and my mandolin
and to sing loudly
(but again, not in public
if I can possibly help it).

I resolve to live with less clutter
to dig out of some of the paper
and books and general mess
that cover the surfaces of my home.

Hmm. I think I'll start on the clutter

Less resolving,
more house cleaning....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Goodbye to Mental Acuity

I've noticed with age,
that my mind clicks more slowly
each day.

But this week takes the cake.

I always tell hospice families
that grief will take
a lot of mental energy,
but it is another thing
to experience it.

I find myself oddly dislexic,
(and uncertain I spelled that right),
mixing my numbers
when performing simple tasks
like writing down a phone number
or writing a check.

My train of thought
keeps derailing.

Everything seems to take
more effort than usual.

On the whole,
I feel pretty chipper
(except when I don't)
and expect to feel even better
when we finally
have a day without clouds.

Oh, well.
Keep the dark chocolate coming,
hold the purring kitten,
and wait for sunny days.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I Happy I Home

My parents tell me
that my first complete sentence
was after a trip.
We pulled into the driveway
and I said,
"I happy I home."

Truer words, I've never spoken.

Apologies for the faithful few
who kept checking my little blog,
only to see the same ice pictures.

I've spent the last three weeks
in Florida and Georgia,
on an unexpected, extended "vacation."

I went down to help bring
my maternal Grandmother
home from the hospital with hospice.

A different side of the hospice experience
than my day to day work.

Still, everything we hope for...
she was happy to be home,
surrounded by family and friends,
in no real pain,
and gave every sign of being at peace.

Meanwhile, my nephew was diagnosed
with mild epilepsy...see brother's blog
for more details and a really cool
Christmas tree.

I bought a new camera
after new year's
just in time to take pictures of family
and Grandmother's farm
after the funeral.

I'll upload some pics
just as soon as I install
the new software.

But wanted to go ahead
and send greetings
and thanks,
for kind wishes and prayers.

It was a very special Christmas.