Friday, May 31, 2013

Chat Noir Writers Circle End of the Year Extravaganza

Today was "recital" day. My friend Mary says recital are for little girls. But I don't know what else to call my writing group's  end of the year gala. I guess gala would work! 2 days ago I didn't think I was going to make it.  I'd written and rewritten my story and just couldn't get it right. Not to mention short enough to fit into a 5 minute time frame.  Yesterday, I woke up with an idea made it work. Then I had to read it and read it and read it - changing a word here and a phrase there right up til 5 minutes before I left this morning.

My smart daughter gave me a pep talk last night. Don't be a Rigid Reggie, she said.  My new mantra!

Once at the venue, I got a little crazed, not about the story, but about the seating arrangements. Talk about transference. All my anxiety became irritability when it became clear there were not enough seats. And for some reason people were asking me what to do. Carol kept telling me everything would be okay. And it was, when they added another table. Finally, when everyone sat down, I relaxed.

Well, relax might be stretching it some. I didn't dare eat. But I began to enjoy the day. Let me just say, that these writers with whom I'm associated are good. Really good. And they are not just good writers. They are great performers. They soooo know how to "tell" a story.

Once in front of the audience, I no longer felt nervous. Note to self - it's the lead up not the performance that is so scary.  I read my story. Didn't stumble over words. Paused for laughter. Finished up feeling a) relieved b) proud and c)grateful.

I noticed:

  • The tired, harried, stressed out look in Diane's eyes and how it eased some with the help of 2 lemon drops. For a couple hours she was able to think about something other than her husband's illness. I remember the way that feeling. I'd been in her shoes.
  • The smiles and hugs of friendship walking in the room. 
  • What a calming affect Sweetie has on me.
  • How some people look so stylish when they wear hats.
  • The bright yellow and blue of Brooke's outfit.
  • Colorful jewelry.
  • How good stories grab my attention and hold on tight.
  • How blessed I am to be part of this group
  • How tired I felt when it was all over.
What have you noticed lately?
Merry ME

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Feeling Anxious

Today I noticed how anxious I get when I don't have a handle on what I'm going to read/say in public. I noticed when I'm anxious my first reaction is to buy something, then cry. Or maybe it's the other way around.

I've told this story (for my recital) a kazillion times, in a kazillion ways, wondering why it's not so problematic.  It's supposed to be funny (tho I don't recall the original happening funny).  Right now it's got some funny parts, mostly it's pitiful.

Where or where is my inner Erma Bombeck?

What do you do when you get anxious?
Merry ME

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SubAcute and Rehabilitation Care Facility Rant

Today I noticed things about the rehab place where Mary has been a patient for 2 weeks. For a few minutes I considered calling the local TV guy you call when you have a problem - like if you call a plumber and he floods your kitchen, then skips town with your $$$ and leaves you up to your ankles in water.

I just didn't have a good feeling about anything. Mostly I was concerned that Mary wasn't getting the care she needed with bathroom issues. And then I learned she's had sponge baths but no shower since she's been in the place. Oh I know there's no way she could stand in a shower, but now that they can get her out of bed, surely there is a way to wheel patients into the shower.  And if ever there was a day she needed a shower, it was today.  If they'd let me, I'd give do it.

But just when I was about to lose my cool, this tired, stressed, but still trying to keep it together CNA came in to clean Mary up. Oh god, what if that was your job day in and day out? How would you remember to smile, and say be nice? And then Mary's nurse came to check on her.  If I called Ken Amaro to complain, I'd have to call someone to compliment this nurse. I had just watched her talk a patient (who has lost some of his brain cells) off the floor.  He was holding a sit in right in front of the nurses station. I was expecting to see men with big muscles come down the hall, like in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. But what I saw was 3 women, cajole then lift the guy back into his wheelchair.  Anyway this nurse, spoke to Mary respectfully, calmed her down, brought her some prune juice and smiled.

Back in bed, Mary settled in. Does God answer prayers about poo?

In the parking lot, I noticed a man in a wheelchair, sitting under a tree, all by himself. I got in my car and drove off, but thought as I passed him I should have stopped to say hello. I wonder how many of the mobile patients seek out a quiet place outside to breathe in some kind of peace so obviously missing inside.

There has to be a better way.
Sorry for the rant,
Merry ME

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Today I noticed that I didn't have that stabbing pain in my chest when I went to visit the cemetery. 
I noticed the blue the sky, the white and puffy the clouds, and the soft, yet scratchy the grass. Any other place it would have been perfect for a picnic. 
I also noticed the people. There are the standers, the kneelers, and the sitters. 
I'm a sitter. 
I noticed two men, like me, who might have been remembering a buddy. And an older man, head bowed, who might have been spending time with a partner that died before he did.  

Sweetie and I watched the PBS Memorial Day special last night. At one point I wondered why we tortured ourselves with the sadness of it all. The pictures, the letters, the music. I told myself I watched out of respect and gratitude. A small sacrifice of time and tears. I noticed, as the camera panned the audience, how old men, who were probably just boys when they learned how to be soldiers, or sailors, or Marines, could still stand at attention, back ramrod straight, shoulders back, head held high, eyes focused forward.  There's something about that that makes me weep.

When Sweetie and I were leaving the hospital after Ayslin was born last week, I noticed this saying on the wall. I don't recall ever hearing it before.

"The difficult we can do at once, the impossible just takes a little longer."
U.S. Seabee Motto.

May the day soon come when we celebrate an everlasting peace that so many men and women have died to procure. Merry ME

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nose Prints

I was in the far right lane, stopped in a  line of traffic. Couldn't help but notice when I looked at the truck next to me that there was a smiley face on the window.

Not an ordinary smiley face. In fact I wonder if it was meant to be that at all.

You know how when your dog sits in the passenger seat and sticks it's nose on the window for a closer look outside and it leaves little round smudges.  Well, right in the middle of those smudges was the smiley face - two circle (smudges) eyes and a line mouth.  I really don't think a dog could make a smiley face so maybe it wasn't nose prints at all, but little kid pb&j fingers.

Anyway, it caught my eye and made me smile.

I meant to say this yesterday but got carried away writing the world's longest run-on sentence. I've noticed how much I love comments on my blog. Thanks to all you faithful followers and commenters. And thanks to the peepers who come visit. I hope you like what you read and will come back. My blog is kind of like a box of cracker jacks. You never know what the surprise is going to be. Sometimes, I write something sweet or funny or both. Sometimes I just ramble like the title suggests. Anyway, if you visit and comment, I hope you know I appreciate that you took the time.

May you find smiley faces where you'd least expect them.
Merry ME

Steve's Citizenship

Today on the way to work, I noticed a billboard that said:
Congratulations Steve for becoming a U.S. citizen today.

Steve's citizenship is reminder to me that even with all the negative stories we hear on the news; an economy that still kind of sucks even if the numbers say different; too many people and not enough houses, or schools, or jobs to go around; acts of nature; acts of terrorism; and way too much attention (my opinion) paid to Lindsey Lohan and Kim Kardashian when the real celebrities are the people who respond first in a major catastrophe and the ones who stand on the front line of defense; and the ones who lead their students into a bathroom or closet so they can be safe; and moms and dads who do their best even if their best isn't always that great; and the teenagers who see really scary stuff every single day; and people who rescue abandoned dogs and cats and oil-covered sea birds and seal pups and beached whales;  and daycare workers and nursing home workers; and people who answer complaint department phones; and mailmen who lug a kazillion catalogues around everyday; and garbage collectors; Wal-Mart greeters, the woman who hands out numbers at the DMV; and kids who work in fast food restaurants, especially the guy who remembers when I buy a triple berry shake it's for my friend Mary and says, "I hope she likes it."

Yeh, America has it's share of problems, poopoo heads, and a screwed up health care system, but for all that, it's still a place people, like me and Steve, want to call home.

I don't know Steve or what country he came from, but I'll add my congratulations.  
May you find happiness in the land of the free and home of the brave. 

May you have a safe Memorial Day weekend. Remember to thank a vet.
Merry ME

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More Noticing

Today two different noticings have really caught my attention. Right now I can't see a connection. Maybe more will be revealed as I go through the day.

First, everywhere I've turned today I've heard the phrase, "tell your story" in some form or another. I really feel this has become my new mantra. Well, not new, exactly, but up there in the front of my consciousness. Terri wrote about Story Corps on her blog. Alana's interviews are basically about people sharing their grief/loss stories. And I saw a video about a B-29 flyover at the funeral of a WWII navigator. How his time in the military had played such an important roll in his life, and that of his children, grands and great-grands. It reminded me of a man from church who passed away last month. I'd known him for several years, though not really known him at all til I looked at pictures of his life a couple weeks before he passed away.  He too had been a pilot in WWII.

Most of the people I know like to read. Some are great storytellers - fiction and non-fiction. Others create life stories through art. But I don't know too many people who's lives are an open book, who open up and tell their story.   I wonder, is that because we've been taught it's egotistical or braggadocious to talk about ourselves?  Is it better to keep our losses, griefs, fears, under lock and key and only tell the joyful stories?  I'd be the first one to admit that there are journals full of my unshared parts of my life story. They had to come out somehow, somewhere. Many have been shared nowhere except the safety of a trusted therapist's office. As I've gotten braver, more comfortable with my own truth, I've been able to share them in writing and in person. Next week I'm going to read a story about one of my least favorite vacations.

Over the years, I've told the story with anger oozing from every pore. I've told it with tears running down my face. I've told it with humor. The real story had all those emotions and more. What I've learned with the version I'll share next week, is that in the years since it's happened, I've grown. The story is true, and painful, but it no longer holds me captive, stuck in that VW feeling depressed and furious. Yes some not so fun things happened. Yes, it might very well have been the beginning of the end of my marriage. But  with 20/20 hindsight I can hold on to some of the beautiful memories to. Better than that I can admit there were beautiful memories.  Along life's highways, there are straight roads that get you from place a to place b. But there are also winding, curvy roads, rain slicked roads, roads that hidden roads that take you to surprise places and there are roads that lead you home even when you didn't know that's where you were headed.

That's what a good story does. Takes you to those places, and leads you home.I think it's important to tell those stories, over and over again, embellishing where you want, adding new truth's as you become aware of them, before you're lying on your deathbed, or sitting in a wheelchair at the door to a nursing home.

My writing coach has many great suggestions to her friends and clients. One of my favorites is to keep a place on a bookshelf ready for the book(s) you will one day have published. Write it and it will come. The other is to take your first publishing paycheck and buy yourself something really special. Last week I ordered a necklace from an artist I found on FB.  It has multi-colored beads on it, and a charm that says, "tell your story." Every time I wear it I will be reminded that stories are important. Your story and my story. It will remind me to ask you about yours, and be willing to tell you mine. Maybe in that way, the walls and barriers, that we have built up against each other will come tumbling down. Maybe we'll discover we all walk in the same sized moccasins. We just take different roads to get to the same place.

When I went to visit Mary today, she was sitting up in a wheelchair, facing a tray full of whatever the lunch du jour was - pot roast and rice, I think, with carrots. She did not look happy, or hungry. But she was out of bed, in a chair which is a major change from when I saw her last. While Mary struggled with the hard-to-chew meat I watched what was going on across the room. An therapist, and two family members were doing their best to get a rather large woman in a wheelchair to do some menial task - move a ball from hole to a basket, of some such thing. I'm guess the woman had suffered a stroke. I didn't hear her speak. And it was obvious she was not interested in doing the task. I think she'd dug in her heels and was displaying the only control she had left in her life. Whether or not to move a stupid ball.

Now I know that in order for people to get out of rehab, and hopefully get back home, there is lots of hard, painful and stupid stuff they have to do. Even Mary admitted today that she understands why they keep pushing her, even though she wished they'd just do their job and shut up. I wonder if that's what was bothering the other woman. The way people were talking to her, like a child.  I am guilty of doing the same thing. I nearly did a somersault - okay, maybe just jump and down - when I saw Mary in the chair. I'm all about high fiving and "good girling."  It's one thing to do that with a kid, but with an adult woman who is aware she can't move a ball from here to there, I can only imagine the scream inside that can't come out. Is there a happy medium? Does encouraging and cajoling have to be condescending?

I also noticed as Mary carefully used both hands to pick up her glass of pink lemonade. They looked so fragile. I saw the same thing when Bella reached for a book. The fact that I'm spending lots of time with two friends at both ends of the age spectrum and how much alike their challenges are, has not escaped me.  Both of them smiled big "glad to see you smiles" at me when I walked into their line of vision. Be still my heart.

What's your story? Want to share?
Merry ME

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Helping Others

Today didn't start off so good. My alarm rang, I turned it off and fell promptly back to sleep. An hour later Sweetie woke me up with a reminder that I had writing group. I was deep into one of those creepy dreams that hangs on, and even when you wake up it seems there is still creepy all around.

Since I was late anyway I made a quick stop at the bank before going to my meeting. An older lady,  all in white from her hair to her shoes and I walked through the door at the same time. Then, after our business was completed walked out at the same time.  On the way in I'd kind of noticed her black bag. Mainly I noticed the butterflies on the bag. Going out, I got a better look. Made of nice black leather, worn to a soft touch, the butterflies were appliqued on, and studded with beads and sequins. It really was stunning. What made it even nicer was the fact that the lady bought it at the Goodwill where it was priced at 4 dollars. When she pointed out the zipper was broken, the price was lowered to 2.50. It's hard to know which the woman liked more, the bag or the deal.

"Thanks for asking," said the woman as we parted ways. I noticed, that people like to be talked to. It doesn't have to be long conversation. So many of us hurry through life, our minds racing and our feet moving on to the next "to do " thing on the list.  A simple howdy do, or I like your purse can make people feel "seen." I've noticed it's as nice to be spoken to as it is to speak to someone else.


After our meeting it was pouring down rain. We tried to wait it out, but all of us needed to be somewhere else. Diane went to get her car while Carol pushed Amy's wheelchair to the door. When Diane was out front, there was nothing to do but "go for it." I held the door open, Carol pushed the chair and a nice man with a big umbrella stepped in to help. Standing under the building's eave, while we decided if Amy could transfer from the curb or not, we got pretty well soaked. But the man stayed the whole time trying to keep the water off Amy. I couldn't help but notice how rain can bring out the best in people. Oh sure, there are those who only want to streak into the closest, driest place. But there are also those who don't mind getting wet when they are helping someone else. I like that.

What did you notice?
Merry ME

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Last Friday when Sweetie and I were on our way to the hospital to welcome his newest granddaughter into the world, we drove along 8th street, not one of the nicest in town. I was pretty excited and focused on the idea of babies and new life and how God can weave tremendous blessings into an otherwise ordinary day, so I wasn't paying much attention to our surroundings. When we stopped for a red light, I looked out the window and noticed, a tree next to the sidewalk.  Someone had planted some flowers at the base of the tree. The yellow blooms stood out among the beer bottles, and other litter lying lifeless in the gutter.  A little further down the road, I noticed one of the old Victorian homes of the neighborhood had been painted half yellow and half purple. And after that I noticed a huge metal horse sculpture in front of a house that had been converted into an art museum. It's not every day you see a larger than life silver horse in someone's yard.

That's when I realized I sort of got out of the habit of looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary. My focus turned inward, and not surprisingly, a tad negative. I reminded myself that attitude is a choice just like planting flowers along a litter strewn street. Opening one's eyes to the wonder and glories of each day, then feeling grateful for blessings, both large and small, go a long way towards turning a frown upside down.

Today I noticed that my hip is giving me fits. I think it's bursitis. I've had it before. It feels like a charlie horse, only it's in my hip (glutes?) and it causes a cramp down the side of my leg. It was giving me a fit as I stood over Mary's hospital bed feeding her some chocolate pudding. Then I noticed the grimace of pain on her tired face and had to say a prayer of thanks that I was not in that much pain.

I also noticed how, no matter, what I feel like going in, I always feel better after a couple hours with my writing group friends.

I'm rededicating myself to a Year of Noticing. Won't you join me?
Merry ME

PS. Ayslin Marie Cook was born on Friday, May 17. I noticed a real difference between the grandparents and friends on one side of the nursery window and the nurses on the other side. It was another reminder of how something can be just another day at work, or it can be a celebration of the Divine One's most precious gift.

Tying Up Loose Ends

Jazzymouse is the winner of my quilt giveaway. 
Thanks so much to everyone who participated. 

According to the SWIF Facebook page
 "Mitchell and his dog, Iroquois, won't have to 'live out of a shopping cart' any longer 
thanks to your help.
Mitchell has a place to live now. 
Our friend has his own small one room place to call home."

Back in April I wrote about sending a surprise to someone. Here's the rest of the story.
My friend Terri St. Cloud shared with her followers on FB about her friend Sue who's been really, really sick. The kind of sick that makes you jump at anything that might help, even clinical trials of new medications.  The bad news, she was feeling pretty icky for awhile. So Terri had the idea of picturing Sue full of stars instead of alien germs. People from all over started picturing Sue full of stars. They prayed star-filled prayers, and wished upon stars til the wishes almost outnumbered the stars. The good news is all that medical stuff mixed with all that star stuff and Sue is doing way better. 

My contribution, my surprise, was a star quilt for Sue to wrap up herself up in. My buddy "She of Many Names" joined the surprise by doing the quilting. It was a joint effort by two Cohorts in Cahoots. We sent the quilt to Terri who sent it on to Sue. Boy was she surprised! Here's what she had to say: 

"The quilt is so beautiful. And star-tastic! And love filled. I had a friend here visiting when the UPS man walked up onto my Mama's porch, where we were sitting and crying and talking. He handed the box to me and seeing that I had eyes stained with tears, he said "it's a gorgeous day today----ENJOY IT, ladies!" It made my friend Catherine and me chuckle. He didn't know we'd been crying tears of joy and relief and hope and friendship. The good kinda tears. We were already following his directive, he just didn't know it. I gave him a warm "thanks so much! You too!". Catherine and I giggled and then my friend helped me tear open the box. We didn't bother to get up and go get scissors----nahhhhh----just kept tearing at it with our bare hands together. Opened the box and shared the note from Terri with my friend, to which she replied "how cool! The Internet is such an awesome connector of people---and hearts!" Then we saw the quilt. And my friend held it up for me, so I could see the whole thing in all it's star-shining, love-filled glory. And I just started to sob. Sobs and uncontrolled tears. My heart runneth over once again. To think of the time and energy and forethought and love investment these 2 quilters and my TerBear had made. Well, I'm not sure I'm worthy, but I certainly am so heart-fillingly grateful. I will have it proudly flung over the back of the couch (and on me!) in my den."

But that's not the end of the surprise.  

Last week I came in from visiting my friend Mary and there was this big ole box in my chair ... from Sue. When I opened it, it was my turn to cry.  Did you read that part in her comment, where Sue said, "I'm not sure I'm worthy" well that's what I was feeling. I "noticed" just how easy it is for me to give and how hard it is for me to receive. She of many names said she felt the same way upon getting a similar thank you. Guess what was in the box, a whole host of children's books. I've never met Sue before, but it's like she knew me. Children's books, my all time favorite thing(s). Velveteen Rabbit, Seymour Bleu, The Hole in the Ocean, On the Day You Were Born.  It doesn't get much better than a box full of picture books.

Something magical happens when you reach out a hand to lift someone up. Surprises, I've found, are circular. There's no beginning and no end - like bubbles floating in the wind, or ripples in a pond, or butterfly wings flapping in another part of the world, or the stars shining in the night sky. 

Feeling grateful tonight for surprise blessings,
Merry ME

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes

(Love is where you find it. A heart-spot left on the driveway from the sprinklers.)

When I walked into Mary's room today she was sitting up. A far better sight than when I left last night.
She was still somewhat confused. Trying to make sense of her crazy drug-induced dreams from the last two days. Hard to decide what happened and what didn't. When she told me one of the sweetest men in the whole world (besides my own personal Sweetie) looked at her with pure hate in his eyes, I knew she was talking about a dream, and I could unequivocally tell her so. I'm pretty sure the two nurses who made her stand in the parking lot were dreams also.

When I talked of her being moved to rehab she asked me several times if they were sending her there to die. I told her no, just to regain her strength. How sure are you she countered? 98.76% I told her. No one ever knows 100%, right? Well, she said, that's pretty good. Then she flashed me the toothless grin that I've come to love.  That's when I knew she was on the road to recovery.

My friend, Amy, from writing group asked me to help her run errands today. She has just moved into the apartment she had added to her mother's house. You know how that goes, you have to keep returning to Target and Bed Bath and Beyond to find all the stuff you need to feather your new nest. Amy drove the mechanical cart, while I followed behind her with a basket. Transferring from the car to the cart (and vice versa) was kind of scary to me. But she just grabs a handle and sort of throws herself out of the car onto her wheelchair or cart. She must have the upper arm strength of Arnold Swartzenager.

Once inside the Super Target we wandered for about 3 hours, comparing baskets with boxes, looking for trash cans, picking father's day cards. Even though Amy was driving herself, I was an extra pair of arms that could reach the top shelves.  She picked out this compartmentalized shelving unit that says right on the box, TEAM LIFT. But by the time we were ready to go, we were tired and hungry. I wasn't waiting around for someone to help. I hefted that box up and over the side of the cart. Guess I still have some upper arm strength, too. The problem was, it sat kind of wompy-jawed in the cart and I nearly wiped out the whole wine section when I got a little close to the shelves. You know what's fun about shopping with a girlfriend? The laughing.

We had just about checked everything out, had a helper to get the box out of the cart and into the car, when the check-out person asked for my ID. Huh? Yeh, I had to prove I was old enough to buy a bottle of wine.  The girl was embarrassed, but Amy and I gaffawed. She tried to figure out the last time I might have been carded. Hell I can't remember the last time I bought booze, except for my Dad. A rule is a rule, and the computer wasn't going to budge until it had proof of my age.

Later, after I got home, Sweetie's son called to say his very pregnant wife Kellie's blood pressure had spiked and they were going straight to the hospital. Looks like we're going to have a baby in the next day or so. So much for a June due date. I've noticed lately that whenever I get overwhelmed by life's trials, I'm reminded of the good things when I look into a baby's eyes. Babies really are the Creator's way of saying "yes." Yes to life, to love, and to keep going at least 98.76%.

Thanks to  Mary, Amy, and Kellie who reminded me of that today.
Merry ME

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Scared and Grateful

Whoa! Life got away from me for awhile. Seems like when I'm not going full-tilt, I'm asleep. Probably doing too much of both.

In the past few days I noticed how quickly things can change. I took my friend Mary to her doctor on Monday afternoon for a physical. Then we did ran a few errands and I left her sitting at her table writing a check to her yard man. At midnight I got a call from the ER that she was being admitted to the hospital with a possible hip fracture.

In situations like that my body responds like I've just chugged a double shot of expresso. I noticed a real difference in how fast I wanted to go and how methodical (sane) Sweetie wanted to be. I wanted to speed to the hospital, run red lights and swoop into the Mary's room like only her Angel Girl could. Sweetie wanted to follow all road signs, stop at Mary's son's house, pound on the door and wait for him to answer.  All of which could have been avoided if he'd left his cell phone on.

It became painfully clear to me  today that I do not have the power to work miracles, control situations or save anyone from pain, or themselves. I noticed how upset that makes me. Poor Mary. She's in a lot of pain, had to be drugged into calming down, then couldn't be awakened. Thankfully, she did not break any bones, so her main recovery will be lots of rehab. Only she hasn't eaten or gotten out of bed in two days.  She is one tough lady, but she has to get herself together before she can focus on getting well. Fear, I think, is as harmful as pain.

Sweetie reminded me this afternoon, that in all things gratitude is the key.
So tonight I am grateful that Mary has no broken bones.
I'm grateful that the Divine One has invested in me the ability to help others.
I am grateful for what I can do and what I can give.
I'm grateful for the responses I get.
I'm grateful to have a husband that can talk me down from a window ledge, even if he has no idea what kind of frozen vegetables to buy.
I am grateful for the time Mary and I have shared, and look forward to a new normal.

May you have a grateful heart no matter the circumstances of your life,
Merry ME

PS. I was supposed to draw a name for the quilt today. It's on my list of things to do. So you still have time to donate.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Black and White and Pink All Over

The quilt and doll I made for Sweetie's granddaughter, 
Ayslin Marie,
who should arrive any time now.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Today's Noticings

I noticed today how active Baby Bella has grown in the few day since I last saw her. She kicks her feet, rolls over, grabs shiny objects, makes new noises that sound like a cross between a scream and a laugh, and is beginning to laugh at all my jokes. I think I've fallen in love.

I noticed Panera Tea makes me feel all jittery inside. Goodbye caffeine. Hello decaf.

I noticed I'm kind of weepy. Think there's another layer of onion about to be peeled off and I can't say I'm looking forward to it.

I noticed how awful I felt for smacking the dog. Before you go calling the Humane Society on me, I reacted in self-defense. She saw a cat across the street, took off after it, with my arm at the end of her leash which basically means my shoulder was yanked forward until the rest of my body could catch up which happened to be when Maizey (John's dog) decided she wanted to join the chase and wrapped herself leash around Suzi's leash. There was a moment there when I thought all four of us were going down. So I gave the dog a whack and she looked at me like I was the meanest human in the land, with brown soulful eyes that had no understanding of the relationship between a good chase and a whack.

You're wondering, aren't you, about all that dog training Suzi has been given.  Let's just say the dog has not yet grasped the idea that I am the leader, not she.

I noticed that I'm no longer carrying around anger about something that happened 25 years ago. It is still a powerful memory, but no longer festers.

I'm noticing how tired I am. Think I'll head for bed.
Merry ME

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Getting Old

Today I noticed how quickly my elder friend tired out.
To be honest she looked pooped before we ever left the house.
One dental appointment, and a stop to get a watch battery just about did her in.
We stopped at Popeye's for some fried chicken and I suspect she'll fall into bed and sleep for the rest of the day.
She's losing weight too.
I worry.

I have an arthritic thumb that is giving me fits from cutting and sewing. I knocked it this morning and when I said "ow" Mary told me what her father used to tell her. "Don't cry, Pie. It'll feel so much better when it stops hurting."  A far cry from what my father used to say, "let's cut it off and let it drip in a bucket." Funny how things come back to you when you least expect it.

My father's birthday is coming up. And Mother's Day.  Wish I could take my pillow and blankie and lie down next to their headstone. The National Cemetery is pretty picky about what is left on the graves. I'm not sure, but I bet the rules say no napping.

Today I'm grateful for the cool breeze. No A/C. It could be a long hot summer.
Merry ME

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tonight I notice the sense of satisfaction when completing  the top of a quilt. I also notice the pain in my back from leaning over the sewing machine all a day. A little more stitching, then off to the quilter. My other muse wants me to get back to writing.

What have you finished lately?
Merry ME

Friday, May 3, 2013

Letting Someone Else Do the Crying

Anyone who knows me, knows I can cry when I'm sad, or when I'm happy, or when I'm man (especially when I'm mad),when good things happen or bad things happen and when the Holy Spirit washes over me. Show me something sweet and I'll tear up. Show me something icky and I'll fill a bucket with big, bold tears. I'm no longer shy about crying. It's just the way I'm wired.

Yesterday I noticed, other people crying.

My friend, Mary, got weepy when talking to me about "elder care." She asked me to be with her when "her time comes" to shut her eyes.  She told me about the vision of Jesus her mother had just before dying. "I hope I have that," said Mary, tears running down her face.

Even though I feel a little like Andrew in Touched by an Angel, I don't have that much experience with people passing over. Still I am pretty sure that each of us has a "knowing" when it's our time to return home. I have nothing scientific to base that on, just a strong belief that it is so.

If I can be, I'll be with Mary when her time comes. And like she asks, I'll hold her hand and close her eyes.

Later that same day, I spent time with Bella. Poor little girl, has her first cold. The whole shebang - running nose, stinging eyes, slight fever, can't breathe and feeling crappy.  As I massage lavender lotion into her skin after her bath, she let me know she didn't like that I was being so slow. She wanted to go to bed, and she wanted her mommy. So she did what babies do. She cried. The first time, in three months, I've ever heard her really cry. It was pretty pitiful.

Sometimes, the only way you can express yourself is to let the tears fall. Like watching another person yawn, when I'm around a person who is crying, I usually shed a tear or two myself.

Thinking I should own stock in Kleenex,
Merry ME