Saturday, December 9, 2017

Focus on Gratitude

Yesterday I felt discouraged with all the messiness and corruption going on in Washington.
Having a quick breakfast with a friend helped me refocus, for I dearly wanted to get to the YMCA exercise class, and I did so!  Movement sure helps shift things, and being with others also not as fit as we'd like to be.  It was a sunny but windy, cool day and on the spur of the moment, I chose to join  the YMCA Senior potluck, realizing how lucky  I am to live next door, so it was easy to go home for my bag of chips and a drink, then just show up.  The atmosphere was very festive thanks to Laurie and Genia's good planning, and I sat next to a lady from Connecticut, quite new to Ashland. 
   I am good at befriending strangers, and hope to see her and her husband at Jeff's Glass Sale on Sunday.  Happily, there were a couple of gluten-free dishes, and even a touch of pumpkin pie.   I left before the White elephants as I had not brought one, and came home to a rare but so special treat, a newly formed Brass Quartet (SOU students) was playing delightful music in our commons area.  Glad I'd cancelled my dentist appointment, as I need to breath more easily before having a new filling is a good idea.
   Needed a nap when I returned home, and had my last hour with Megan, my newest caregiver who drives to Portland Saturday to be with her family till Jan. 8.  She made a tempeh/veggie dish to get me through  the weekend, and just smelling healthy food helped me rest.  Then I took a short walk to the bank to deposit Xmas money I can use toward my GoFundMe account, and I even made an appointment to schedule the surgery in January, though I still need another $900 to be able to get the special lenses I need beyond regular cataract ones.  Helps to focus on what I hope can come true!
  Megan helped me correctly use my new inhaler, so I have more confidence and won't use it again at bedtime, when it's a stimulant and I didn't know that (phoned the pharmacist Friday am to find out).
  Then Megan fed me a yummy salad about 5 pm, and together we drove to the high school-I was treating her to The Winter Fine Arts Festival where each year they have an auction  and performance to raise funds for their arts programs.  The cafe "dinner" was soup and bread, so glad we'd  had something before hand!  I did enjoy their coconut, corn and red pepper  soup, and Megan liked the potato leek soup with a rich cream base I cannot enjoy with all this mucous in my system.  The displays of art work were amazing, from murals to lots of photos, drawings, paintings, and many gifts from local businesses for the auction.  We stayed for the first half of the performance, but I began coughing too much to stay the second half. 
   The MC was a 26 year veteran of the Shakespeare Festival, and he mentioned The Guardian recently had an article about one of Britain's worst high schools with a high drop-out rate.  A new principal chose to be sure every student had six hours a week of music instead of adding on a new math and science teacher.  Within a year, this school was 25% above the norm in Britain in their overall scores.  The school had many immigrants who didn't know much English,  so music was their common ground to begin assimilating.  I recall how crucial the music programs at AHS had been for Neal to feel motivated, too, and even at MIT, he chose to sing with the Boston Pops as well as be in their Gilbert and Sullivan plays; strong musical talent needs to be nurtured, and many of us didn't have such possibilities in our high  school experiences.  Jeff, too, started to really thrive when music became a big part of his life, and continues to be so. 
   Grateful to get a sweet Facebook photo of Meagan and Lara with their mom, Linda, starting to enjoy their Christmas holiday time together.  So glad the girls no longer live in the LA area, but are thriving in Chile and Argentina!
   So a day that began truly depressing to still be so sick, ended on a higher  note.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Bella: I wish you well on your Journey!




Dear sweet Bella, I shall never  forget you, but I've finally come to realize  I cannot afford to care for a cat who is sick, and  in  her own way, unhappy being confined to this small apartment when  I  am gone so much.  We made it over a year, but in recent months you've been  peeing on the very rugs that I need for my own comfort.  I've tried natural remedies, even white vinegar, but it  feels like a way you are protesting being  here, and you have this need to really run.  This isn't much space for your wild side.
     I am sad we could not find anyone to share you with, but I've yet to find an eager neighbor, or friend.  I feel badly when I get so angry when you keep peeing outside the litter box.  The animal  shelter will not take an adult cat back when they still have many kittens, and even then, they'd charge me $60.  I tried finding you a home on  Craigslist,  and got no local responses, even  offering all your familiar stuff, food and litter to go with you.   My life has felt very stressful trying to find good new caregivers, and that is still not totally settled.   I don't feel you like it when Jerry comes even though he tries to play with you, you don't appreciate that I do want to be with him too, and that often means leaving you overnight more than you like. 
   So today when a doctor  I trust suggested letting you be free by taking you out to Emigrant Lake, since there  is no place for you that I have found in a  shelter or home, I realized this felt right.  So thanks  to Deborah helping  get you in your carrier, I drove to the Lake and let you go near the old cemetery,  a place where you may find a new family while we're having good weather for a few days here, without rain.  Or you may want  to enjoy your  freedom and learn  to use your eager hunting skills.  I have made an altar with plants and your photo, and I envision after you get over the surprise of being somewhere so new, your curiosity and friendliness will serve you well.  My hope is you'll find a way to survive and even thrive or find a new home.  I needed to let you move on so my living space is more manageable.  We had a sweet cuddle as I napped with you this afternoon, and we may both miss that part.  I love you, Bella, and I've learned it is better at this timing in my life to not have  a pet; my circumstances don't allow you  to be indoors and outdoors, and I suspect you would love a situation  where that is possible. Thank you  for being such a sweetheart, but I cannot tolerate the peeing, nor am I prepared to deal with  the cost if the vet bills start to add up.  I  hope you enjoy your new life and I shall never forget the time we have been able to share together!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Missing our Clear Skies

   It has been a challenging summer for many of us, unable to even see our beloved nearby mountains.    Yes,  the smoke shall leave,  but it's been oppressive for many of us to not enjoy being outside.  It's another day going to 105 degrees-I am sure ready for some cooler, clearer weather!
   On  the gratitude front, I met a lovely woman yesterday who is likely to be a good caregiver for me.  We'll both need to be flexible, and  I like that she is such a warm-hearted, resourceful woman who has lived many years in  this valley, so it feels like home for her too.  That is my week's  best news!
   Missing seeing  the sunshine,  bright and clear
   Missing a good view of the mountains, and chance to enjoy being outside
   Spending so much  time on this computer as my way to connect with folks
   Missing  the clarity that comes with being  able to enjoy simple walks
   A certain sadness comes over me to realize how much global  warming is already impacting us
      and we have leaders so unresponsive to concerns about our climate and the well-being  of this planet.  Like Louise Hayes says, we need to trust life, create a circle of friends we admire and enjoy.  And I am doing so, even though it can feel very slow lately.  These are intense times on  the planet,  and we need to share our concern, share our  gifts.  Which is why I am reaching  out today!  What is up for you this Labor  Day Weekend?  I'd  love to know!




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Guardian Angels

Guardian Angels can give us comfort, or signs they are with us.  For me, it was a sign of the angels being near me when I found a large feather at Hyatt Lake, and watching the Canadian Geese move quietly in formation, as if to say, "a divine order is at work" in what felt like a horrible tragedy to have two innocent men slain by having their throats slit last Friday night, as they attempted to calm a man harassing two young Muslin girls on  a Portland commuter train.   The brave mother below knew her son acted in love, and would be a hero across the veil, as he had been to many in his short 23 years,  inspiring  and encouraging so many people he met.  She must be clear the angels are with her and all her children.  With no fear or hate, she wrote our president a letter on Memorial Day, asking him to not add to the flames of hate and bigotry, but realize love is more powerful, and needs the support of our world leaders at this time.  It was a short and deeply heart-felt letter.
     May we all rise above our fears, and find courage to voice what we know to be true.  In  her own unique way, Asha embodies the Feminine energy of a woman who spreads good with her Pacific (peaceful) Domes  that are now given and sold where they are most needed.  These domes  provide sanctuary, shelter, warmth wherever they are across our globe.  They can  be accompanied with solar panels and are readily assembled.

Please, Guardian angels, continue to make your presence felt so we humans are aware we can  call on  assistance, and  know we have your support when  we call on you.  Muchas Gracias!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Change is Gonna Come-YES!

   Twas another Friday night, my body tired and discouraged by the return of COLD weather and  a night of driving rain.  It  was fun to begin a class this morning on Broadway Dancing for Beginners, and be with 28 other  seniors still wanting to learn to dance despite our various challenges as we are aging.
     Suddenly, not just reliable Rachel came inside, but her two delightful daughters, Alice and Celia, both eager to come with mom while she  focused on my dinner and making a new soup, I had sweet company!  They each came with homemade  birthday gifts, and were delighted with Bella, who was somewhat wary at first, then  realized these girls were way more  friendly  than Rose's little hyper-dog, Pearl.  She welcomed their attention, people who immediately were at her eye level and wanting to engage with her.  We put on the Raffi music on Pandora, and to our delight, they had a new "Grandma" who lives close by, and I had fun being Grandma.  I've been missing this more than I knew with my own granddaughters living far away, and not coming to visit this summer.   I am  beginning to see why several friends so adore being  Grandma.  It can  be lovely to be Grandma  more than once or twice a year!
      We are off to a lovely start, and as the weather is warmer and brighter, we shall find ways to have fun that we all can look forward  to.  Change can be lovely, not just what we are seeing on our political front.  That too shall change!  Hopefully more sharing our love and concern will help turn  this world around, and we can find better ways to engage in this world than creating war and discounting what is happening to our future for all generations.  Never give  up!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

My Buddy Bella

She waits, ever patient, hoping I'll begin this day with a bit of play.
Alas, Mom washes her face, plays on Facebook, drinks her water
Bemoaning yet another dark and rainy day.
   She hunts for my photo and cannot find it, so posts one of Abbie, another cat
Yet here I am, her buddy when she's down, present when she cries
I comfort her in bed at night.  I have no concern for the political scene
  that weighs heavy on  her in recent months, for I live in the present moment.

Bella has seen  me at my worst, which is often the first hour of the day.  But there is a hint now of spring in the air.   Trees are budding, and in some gardens, crocuses are already starting to bloom.  It has been a long, crazy winter, and Bella has been a mellowing influence on me.
   She remains curious, loving to sit in the window in all kinds of weather.
   She is ok with only a few sticks with string for toys, and boxes with strategic holes.
She demands far less than I of the day, and our silent love grows.  I have good company on my home front, beyond the computer and plants,  a sweet being who adores attention, but can mellow out with  her many naps when mom is busy elsewhere, or exercising, or eating.
   She loves people, anyone who shows up at the door she will gladly explore with her nose.  The real enemy is the noisy vacuum, or maybe Rose's small dog Pearl; she claims her turf, and Pearl backs off, aware those claws can do damage.  For the most part, my Buddy Bella is a friend I can count on even in sickness, and that has been such a blessing this winter!  We are learning one another's routines, and she can run like a mad cat in  the night all she wants, as long as she leaves me to sleep.  She knows I am not in a playful mood when I get up at night for water and a bathroom break, but she still leaves me a stick with string in case I change my mind.  And now it's time for some pre-breakfast cuddling, so I shall say good-bye here!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

WE LIVE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

     WE LIVE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
No longer assured we have a functioning democracy
For suddenly, to the shocking  surprise of many of us
We have a president bent on supporting  corporate interests
  Ignoring the  dignity, rights, and concerns of women, most minorities, and immigrants
  disdainful of caring for our planet with measures to curb global warming  or cooperating with other nations,
       He chooses to not protect our  waterways,  national  parks and forests, clean up our atmosphere, or have the EPA  do its job.
He  has no intention of getting our energy from solar, wind and thermal, but delights in using more oil even when the risks are truly  scary with  the track record of pipelines.  His invested interests are his bottom line.
   He cares more about his investment in pipelines than in protecting Native American’s sacred lands or sacred anything.  We obviously need to be resourceful and get organized without our president-elect on board.


He wasn’t prepared to become our president, and we sure aren’t prepared to live with his agenda as it is unfolding with his transition team.  THESE ARE NOT ONLY UNCERTAIN, BUT DANGEROUS TIMES UNLESS WE STAND UP TO THIS MAN WHO HAS NO QUALIFICATIONS TO BE LEADING  OUR GOVERNMENT, despite winning in the Electoral College.  Changes need to happen.