Saturday, February 24, 2007

Out With the Old

For Lent this year,
my spiritual practice is one of

I started with light bulbs.
Out with the old energy hogs,
in with the new energy savers.
They look odd, with their spiraled glass,
but they save significant energy.

If you have not seen the documentary
"Kilowatt Ours," I highly recommend it.

Begin with conservation.
In the long run, I'm researching
replacing the oil furnace and air conditioner
with a geo-thermal heat pump system.
Don't know how affordable that is...
time will tell.
But light bulbs are definitely within my range.

The second piece of streamlining for me
involves digging my way out of the clutter.
Not a new idea...
it showed up on my 2006 New Year's Resolution list.

But this Lent, I'm decluttering with new gusto.
So far a whole box of paper has gone into the recycle bin...
some of it moved from state to state and home to home
in boxes never before unpacked.

Yesterday I deleted 500 emails...
Only 1500 to go.

Perhaps the most profound step...
this week I put four years of hospice timesheets
into the shredder bin at work.
They had filled my file drawer,
representing to me
my four years of work,
my four years of names and faces
and experiences.
It left me a little winded and queasy
to throw them out.

But better to carry those folks lightly in my heart
than to live with the anchor
of a foot tall stack of paper
in my file drawer.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Valentine, Daisy the Destroyer

You may remember Daisy

from her funnel headed days of youth

or from her exploits with beanie babies.

She has been healthy and funnel free

for lo these many months,

but the beanie babies still migrate around the house

when no one is looking.

She's an odd cat...

she plays fetch,

drools when you pet her,

loves her belly rubbed,

has never met a stranger...

is she a strange looking cat

or a stranger looking dog?

The household debate

currently in progress:

Oh, Daisy, do you need a sister

or is the whole household happier

with just one cat?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Changing Perspectives

Thought I would add
before and after pictures
from my day traversing the cliff...
the moment I first went over the edge
and a moment several minutes later
as I neared the bottom.
The bottom pic, unfortunately,
shows that my camera
peed itself, being so close to the edge and all.
A little light pollution...
but still a good picture
to get a bit of a sense of the cliff
and its size.

Like the views that day
changing so drastically
as I bounced my way downward,
this week has brought
many different perspectives.
Today, a quiet day off...
my repaired mandolin sings,
my surviving cat purrs mightily,
and again,
the harness and ropes hold firm.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Buckle Up

That little slash of red, blue and green on the side of the cliff...
that's me, around seven years ago.
One small problem.
I'm really not good at coping with heights.
Standing at the top of that cliff filled me with anxiety.
My feet and hands sweated,
I wouldn't walk close to the edge.
The teenagers I took on this Tennessee adventure
had a really hard time talking me over to the point
where the camera could take such fine photos
of folks on their way down.
They got me there, but it took persuasion.

Here's the irony....
once I strapped on my harness,
I was fine.
I backed right off that cliff with no hesitation,
and enjoyed the whole trip down.

Today, about halfway through the morning,
I found myself feeling like I was teetering
on the side of a cliff.
Too much sorrow and bad news.
Ernie died on Saturday afternoon.
My mandolin (number one stress reliever)
went out of whack last night with
buzzes on the G and D strings
and a blowout on one of the E strings.
(We go to the shop later today for repairs.)
Then, some awful news this morning...
a friend with a dreadful medical diagnosis.

I muddled through the morning,
then came home and cried in my soup
and watched Mr. Rogers.
I'm taking a REALLY LONG LUNCH today.
I felt a need to retreat,
to get back in my harness,
to get reconnected to the ropes
tying me securely to the tree.

I felt a need to buckle up.

I'll be back at work this afternoon.
I'll be back, swinging merrily down the cliffs
of everyday life.
But for a while, today,
I'm going to take the time I need
to tie the loose pieces back together.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hospice for Cats

Well, the winter storm avoided us entirely, except for about ten minutes of sleet. On the weather map there was snow in a doughnut all around us, and we were the doughnut hole.

While I'm glad my power stayed on, and driving was not dangerous and we escaped difficult winter conditions, the ten year old within me is seriously disappointed.
Instead of snow, the storm came from an unexpected direction. Ernie, pictured on this blog earlier this summer, has continued over the past six months to have periods of health, and periods of not so good.
A week ago, Friday, I took him to the vet, because he was losing weight again. We went back yesterday, because he was dehydrated and weak. Today he is actively but peacefully dying. It is some help working for hospice, and knowing the process. Mostly it is just sad and hard, losing my friend of the last 12 years.

Today's pictures date back to the late 1990's,
when Ernie was young and full of vim and vigor.