Sunday, January 02, 2011

2 January 2011

It's been awhile since I posted last . . . much has happened . . . much upheaval . . . many changes. Life goes on, even when we think we can't. Once on the other side - gratitude becomes the focus for all. No matter how bad a day I believe I am having, no matter how hopeless I feel, I can always find at least five things to be grateful for.

Not so long ago, I finished Bubba's fingerless knits. Year before last she saw the wool and wanted something from it. I created the pattern and knit these up rather quickly. I think of the wool as Orange Creamsicle. I am nearly done knitting a pair for me - in shades of purple.

My heart is still in Arizona with my brother. It was hard leaving him and all the lovely places we hiked, behind . . .

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hiking in the woods

Sunday, July 27, 2008


It's interesting how grief works. It stores in your body, you know. I had read that somewhere, but I never really paid it any thought.

I barter sometimes for massages. I don't like to admit that I have fibromyalgia, I prefer to live life as if I do not. Yoga helps, living as healthy as I can, taking my supplements, and a positive attitude. But there is a cycle to it, of sorts, and every so often the pain is just crushingly overwhelming. Massage sometimes helps - 'tho' it is a double-edged sword. The massage can be excruciating, but some release and muscle relaxation does occur and then my pain level is lower.

I had a massage scheduled today. It was awful. So painful. At one point, as she was working on me, pushing down with both hands, I was overcome by an intense desire to weep, to sob. I managed to keep it in but, much to my embarassment, let out a whimper. I was just overcome by such a rush of anguish which did not dissapate during the remaining half hour. When she finished and I dressed, I was shaking, cold, anguished. And confused. I was confused why I was feeling such powerful emotions. I spent the next three hours on the couch with my heatpacks, morose, dozing. And then I got up, my muscles were less stiff and sore and I felt better. I realized then that my grief for Jake was so intense, so overwhelming that I had been storing it in my muscles. All of my muscles. My face, my arms, my feet, my back, my hands, everywhere. And some of it was released today, not by choice, but by necessity.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

5AM Wokeup - can’t go back to sleep. Anxiety about wedding? Not sure. Lie in bed trying not to be anxious, trying to relax, knowing that it will be a long day.
6:30 AM Shower & dress in comfortable but nice dress. I will change into my Mother-of-the-Bride dress later.
7AM Make list of what needs to be done. Breathe. Stage everything but dresses by door for loading into car. Have breakfast and coffee. Breathe.
7:30 AM Get Bubba off to salon with hairdresser to prepare First Baby for her big day. Get my big sister up. Breathe.
8AM Have a cup of tea. Breathe. Begin boutenierres. Making doubles of all, just in case.
8:19 AM Barn Owner calls. First Baby’s beloved horse Jake is down and not doing well. Blood coming from his eye. I ask him "You’re kidding, right?" No. Drop everything, run downstairs to grab jeans and boots to go over to barn to see horse and call vet. DH stops me, calls back barn owner and asks what symptoms are. Calls vet, vet away, another vet on call. DH tells me to stay saying that I am needed here to make sure everything is all set for the wedding, he will go over and take care of Jake. I do not want to, but I agree. DH calls First Baby to let her know and tell her that he will take care of everything, she is to stay where she is and prepare for the wedding. Through tears, she tells him where the Banamine is and how much to give Jake. DH leaves, I try to breathe, focus on just one thing - finishing the boutennierres.
8:30 AM DH calls to ask for names of any other vets. Jake is not ok. The Banamine is not helping. I give him the numbers I have, he instructs me to focus on the wedding.
9AM DH lets me know they are working on Jake and can’t get a vet. I call the photographer. She has horses, maybe she can recommend another vet. Get her voicemail. Go back to list. Focus on only the next thing to do. Boutenierres done, prepare 4 gallon jugs of fresh flower petals for flower girls/junior bridesmaids. Begin loading car trunk, then lay sheet over back seat of car so that wedding dress will not be marred. Load bridesmaid dresses, wedding dress and veil into car. Get neighbor to bring over table to wedding and reception site for guest book.
9:30 AM Florist calls - where am I? Not at wedding site to meet her to get the rest of the flowers! I explain, she agrees to meet me there in an hour after she delivers her funeral flowers. I arrange with neighbor to transport my sister and brother when they are dressed and ready.
9:45 AM At site, unload car. First person there. Lay out wedding gown, hang up bridesmaid dresses. Put boutenierres in fridge. Lay out makeup, toiletries, shoes for bride and bridal party. Kind of glad to be alone at this moment, as I feel on the brink of totally freaking out and collapsing. Take some deep breaths, get control. Just focus on one thing at a time. What is the next thing?
10 AM Meet florist. Try to engage. Mercifully short. Segregate flowers for First Baby’s bouquet, make floral arrangements for head table and guest book table. Lay out ribbon for bouquet and scottish sixpence. I am told that First Baby has left the salon and is at the farm trying to save her horse. She refuses to leave him. I remember that DH was to pick up coffee pot from church and make coffee for reception. Call DH’s friend to see if he can - no answer. Call DH’s best friend - he is a saint! He says without hesitation that he can pick up the coffee pot and come over and set it all up. I’m so grateful.
10:30 AM Groom’s father arrives, we hug and try not to cry. We will be doing this a lot this morning. He lets me know his wife is over at the farm trying to help with Jake. Bartender arrives, we negotiate kitchen space. Caterer arrives, I let him know that there may be a delay in the ceremony and therefore a delay in the reception.
11AM DJ arrives. I let him know that there may be a delay in the ceremony, and why. Ten minutes later, he yells at me because the ceremony site is further away from the carriage house than he thought. I politely encourage him to deal with it in a professional manner. I scream at him in my head as I smile sweetly at him and walk away to deal with the bartender’s emergency. Which isn’t one. I smile sweetly at him, too.
11:30 AM DH’s best friend Jim and his dear wife Claudia show up, 80 person coffee pot in tow. I am so very glad to see them and hug them. Claudia exudes calm and sweetness, Jim exudes calm and strength. Just what I need. Jim goes to work on the coffee. Claudia helps me with myriad little things, but most importantly is just there. DH calls to ask me to get First Baby to leave because no vet has come yet, it is looking worse and they are pretty sure they will have to put Jake down. I talk to the mother of the groom first, she adamantly wants First Baby to leave. Then I talk to the groom, he disagrees. He just wants to be there for First Baby, and when I ask him to be honest with me, he tells me that he is certain she won’t leave, that she’ll want to be there even if Jake has to be put down and he just wants to be there with her. I ask him if they think they might not want to get married today if that happens and he says that no, they’ll still get married, one thing doesn’t have much to do with the other. I appreciate his pragmatism. I talk to First Baby then, telling her that I am with her and Jake and I ask her how things are going. She is so sad, but so calm. They are working so hard with Jake, but she knows it isn’t good. She is prepared for the worse and wants to be there with him in the end if that is necessary. We hope it isn’t, we’re holding out hope for the vet who still hasn’t come. (Unknown to me, DH has called every single vet - small and large animal - in the state over the last three hours trying to get someone, anyone to come out. Finally, one is on the way.) This whole thing makes me sick, I just want to scream and sob, I want so much to be there with them. I wish someone else would take over so I could go to her. I stay calm, I tell her I love her again and that I am there for her, with her, praying for her and Jake. And I tell her that I will let everyone know to leave her alone and let her stay with him. She knows everyone wants to protect her from this, but she insists she needs to be there. She thanks me and gives the phone to her fiancé who passes it back to DH. I let him know that she has to stay to the end, she’s an adult and she needs to deal with this in her own way. And we need to stand by her and let her, no matter how hard it is and how much we want to protect her. And then I go back to managing and organizing. Things are falling into place. The groom’s aunt and father are most helpful. The photographer comes, I fill her in. She is generous with hugs.
12 PM The cake lady shows up. The cake is leaning like the Tower of Pisa. She is not doing things the way they were agreed upon. I tell her I will be right back as I need to deal with something else, because I am afraid I will scream at her. I take a moment to breathe and then I go back, speak to the caterer, enlist his wife to cut the cake (which the cake lady was supposed to have done and delivered precut cake for the guests, only the very top layer and a small cutting portion were to be real, the rest of the cake looked real, but was to be fake), get the cake lady to straighten the cake and put the topper on and then place some flowers and petals around to make it look pretty. Somehow, I’ve managed to do this with a smile. My sister comes with the things I left behind but needed. She is very helpful.
12:18 PM DH calls, the vet came, he could not save Jake. They had to put him down. He is going back to the house to shower and put on his tux. He will be there as soon as he can. I tell him that the coffee is all set, thanks to Jim. I take big gulps of air and try very hard not to cry. Claudia and Jim hug me, I get control. I go tell the groom’s father. We hug and try not to cry.
12:30 PM I ask Claudia to help the flower girls spread the excess flower petals in the pathway under the tent. I make First Baby’s bouquet. That’s a good thing to do while crying - it doesn’t matter if the roses get wet or my hands shake. Bubba is here, she and Claudia pull pictures of First Baby from the scrapbooks and put up with pictures of the groom near the entrance. The bridesmaids get dressed and ready. First Baby arrives, we cry and hug and cry and shake. And then she goes upstairs to put on her dress. The groomsmen dress. The Groom’s mother arrives, we hug and cry. I give the groom’s aunt the boutenierres. I get dressed. By about 1:15, all the guests are seated, and the procession begins.
I’ve never been one to cry at weddings. I did tear up when the Pastor took a moment to pray for Jake. I cried when First Baby danced with her father and the groom danced with his mother. And then when the newly married couple had their first dance together. DH cried too. For the first time in his adult life. And the father of the groom came and sat with me and we cried together as our kids danced. Very powerful, very emotional stuff. First Baby was so beautiful, what a lovely bride she made. She was so graceful that day, so engaging. She mingled and talked to everyone. In spite of the tragedy, it was a beautiful day.
I think Jake left her when he knew she had someone to care for her. He was there for her during some of her roughest times. He helped usher her into womanhood, helped make her the confident caring person she is today. He was a good friend, a great teacher. He loved her wholeheartedly and really liked her fiancé. He turned her over to her future husband, and in the weird way of the universe, it was good that she had her wedding right after he died. She had to focus on something else for six hours, she couldn’t fall apart for that time, but she got to be surrounded by family and friends and caring people.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Only 9 RSVPs. Three more weeks until the rsvp deadline. So much to do.

The girls and I are planning a bridal shower and bachelorette. Bridal shower invites will go out soon - we have to finalize a place and menu and theme - eeks!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Successfully mailed the invitations! Very happy to have them on their way.

Now I will just have to wait for the RSVPs - stressing about numbers . . . costs . . . space at the reception . . .

. . . breathe . . . breathe . . . breathe

All will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well.

I am so very glad that it is a three day weekend. I am going to fall over and sleep now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I got home from work tonight to discover that the wedding invitations had arrived a full day early! So, I've spent the last 5 1/2 hours hand addressing them using calligraphy and stamping half. Bubba kindly helped me fold and stamp the other half. First Baby couldn't come help, she worked her first day at the new job and then went home to nurse her sick guy. Bad timing to be sick - First Baby picked up the sample cake for tasting. It is kind of hard, I would imagine, to adequately judge your wedding cake when you have the stomach flu. She promised me she would save me a taste - so I look forward to that! I am beat. I am going to crash. Work has an unpleasant way of coming around each morning . . .

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's been a bit of a bumpy road the last year or so. I just realized today that I have been saving my posts in draft form instead of just publishing them. Smart. Smooth.

Took a long bike ride up north this morning to meet up with DH's sister and her husband and brother and his wife to take out the brother who lives in a nursing home to lunch for his birthday. An unpleasant chore, but one done for the parents. The things we do for our parents.

The ride up north was lovely. It began at 52 degrees, the trees are greening up and the fruit trees and honeysuckle are blooming, so the air is sweet and scented. The temperature rose as we went further north and lower in elevation.

After lunch, we headed back south to home as a good sized rain front was headed our way by 4. We wanted to be well home by then. the ride back was even better - warmer, the scents of warmed fertile earth, fresh, clean running streams, newly mown lawns and sunwarmed flowering bushes and trees. It had been 72 up north, but back home, although down south, we are at a higher elevation, so it was 65. Beautiful all the same.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day dawned clear, mild and sunny. I had my tea in the sun on the deck, then DH made me an omelette.

I had thought before today that I do something different - I would make demands for Mother's Day - go for a hike, or ride bikes on the bike path, maybe get some tea or lunch. And then I thought I would just accept whatever came my way, no demands, no expectations.

So I sat in the sun and did some writing. Then I dragged my mattress out into the sun to purify it. I had slept on that mattress both times I was sick and then recovering from the surgeries to remove the tumors. A lot of fear, anxiety, misery, sadness, despair and hopelessness was in that mattress and I am not nearly wealthy enough to buy a new mattress, so purification it was. DH then thought he would help me clean the room, so the bedroom benefitted from a thorough spring cleaning. Nary a cobweb or a dustbunny in sight. Next, I burned salt to purify the room of negative emotions and energies. Last, the mattress came back upstairs to be covered in clean sheets and blankets. The room feels different now, more peaceful, empty in a good way. A few years ago, I would have laughed if you suggested that I purify my mattress and bedroom. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

I made an enormous greek salad for dinner with roasted garlic bread, and first baby showed up with her fiance for dinner. Much to my surprise, all three children had gone in on an edible arrangement and very nice card for me. We all enjoyed the edible arrangement - mmm, chocolate covered strawberries - and just hung out together for a while. Nice, laid-back, loving evening. I am so very grateful for my three children, so very happy for each moment I get to spend with them.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I was feeling blue and sad, so I bought myself something pretty. It was extravagant, but it worked - the beauty and simplicity cheered me up!

The very first ever baby sweater I knit

Knit for first baby's best friend's daughter, a lovely little irish lass just 13 months old. Knit from Debblie Bliss washable (!) cashmerino yarn. I was so nervous about sewing it together, but it came out really quite lovely. Reports are that it fits well and Ellie May likes it. Whew!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Little Eye Candy

Monday, April 28, 2008

Comfortable Tombo

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Boy is 17 today!!

RABCHUCKOR: A superhero, with the body, skill and brains of Chuck Norris, the head, ears and front paws of a rabbit and the wings and talons of a condor. Most fearsome. Often seen near a damn dear dam.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tombo and Boy

Tombo protests

Picnic at the dam

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Early Spring Sky

It's raw and chilly and rather damp today. Looks it, doesn't it?

The buds are popping!

See the little red fuzzies on the end of the branches? The maples are getting ready to pop!