Monday, July 27, 2015

oh deer


It's complicated. Ok?

We've had a deer problem regarding our garden this year. It's always a problem, but we've been able to salvage a fair amount of the tomatoes and peppers, even if the deer take a few. We've tried a variety of repellants over the years, and, except for the commercially available, they've all worked, some more, some less. Human hair has been the best.

This year? Nothing works. Sigh.

Then one day I saw a doe with three (THREE!!!) fawns. No wonder. She's trying to feed three babies, and is apparently willing to endure any repellants we throw her way.

Then, one day, I watched the doe walk up to our bird feeder just outside our kitchen window, and munch some bird seed. She was beautiful - golden brown on top, pristine white underbelly. Graceful. To us, she and her kin are pests. To her, we and our kin are pests. The deer were here before we were.  Like I said, it's complicated. I'm not a Bambi lover, but I do enjoy and appreciate wildlife.

I also appreciate tomatoes and peppers. Next year we'll have a fence for our garden. A very tall fence.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

another day, another ride



We changed our plans just so we could take this ride with our grandson. It's the first time he wanted to ride with us, and we were delighted. He even knew which trail he wanted, and that's what he got.

We drove to his house, my plan was to plug in the directions to the trailhead from his house once we got there. The app didn't work on my phone, for the first time ever. So we fiddled around a bit; never did get that app to work, but used another map app to get where we wanted to go.  I love technology...when it works.

Arriving at the trailhead, the first thing that greeted us was a man down. Flat on the ground right on the trail. I rode over to see what kind of assistance might be needed. The man had fallen and was shaken up but not hurt. His companion, his brother, asked if I'd stay by the bikes while he walked him back to the car. Certainly.

And then we rode. Turtle Pond at Three Creeks all the way to Pickerington Pond. 9 miles. After a couple of wobbles as Nick got used to his dad's bike, he was styling. We took a longish break at the shelter house at Pickerington Ponds, then 9 miles back to the car. Then to Wendy's. Hoo boy a 14 year old can certainly chow down!

And that was it. The misbehaving app? Turns out it was time for me to pay for another year, and I hadn't. Didn't know the year was up. Couldn't they at least have sent me a notice before turning it off? Sheesh.

It was goodness riding with Nick. It was also goodness that we could maintain a decent clip just two days after our 36 mile ride. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

holey moley what a ride


Such a ride!

We hadn't been on the Richland B&O trail for 2 years. 36 miles there and back, one of the longest, if not THE longest ride we've ever attempted. Yesterday was the day. High of about 78, low humidity, beautiful skies, and no conflicting appointments or responsibilities. I wanted to see how well I could handle this trail with my handy dandy 21 speed bike.

We started at the Whiffletree Restaurant in Butler, Ohio. First mistake. We didn't know they were closed on Wednesdays. That was truly disappointing, and we were hungry. Rather than ride around and hopefully find something else, we spied a Duchess and purchased their pre-packaged sandwiches, which we scarfed down in the car. That was probably my second mistake, as I just dearly love egg salad sandwiches, and by the end of the day.....

But hooray for the ride! The sky delivered on its promise to be beautiful. The corn was high in the fields, the trees provided lovely shade, the varied scenery on the trail, from hilly farmland vistas, to somewhat looming cutaways in the rocks, to listening to babbling brooks, to the sweet sweet smells of summer; it was a joyful ride.

Riding through Belleville, we saw a sign pointing to a restaurant, which we decided to try on our way back. We still had those sandwiches working their way through us. (No problems at that time...). At the YKnot bike shop we stopped in for a restroom break and purchased a bike reflector for me, and ice cream sandwiches for both of us. They even keep cold water in their cooler for bikers to refill their water bottles.

Back on our bikes, we continued on to Mansfield. At the very very end of the trail there's an access trail to a park. We were glad to get off our bikes for awhile and rest by the lake, munching granola bars, resting our butts and legs, checking our phones. We were beginning to look forward to returning to Belleville for dinner. What the heck! We live, we bike, we eat!

The ride up to Mansfield was a slight uphill grade; not significant at any point, but constant. I knew on the way back, when my legs were getting tired, I'd be glad to let gravity lend a hand. Matter of fact, I rode the entire upgrade distance in either 1st or 2nd gear. Thank goodness for 21 speeds. It was never difficult. But on the way back? Wheeeee! Third gear almost all the way. But whether working on pedaling or not, the sit bones got achey, the knees weren't too happy to be constantly in motion.

We got to Belleville. The restaurant? No longer exists. But George got out his cell phone and told it to find us something close. Sure, we could have waited until we got back to the car, but we really needed to be off our bikes at that point. I asked a rather ditsy old lady on her bike if she knew a place, and she did, but she kept forgetting just exactly how to get there. George found the place she was referring to, and knew how to get there. But I didn't want to be rude to the old lady, so I paid attention as she kept rambling on, editing her earlier comments, trying to stay focused. Finally we had to leave, and she was still talking. We thanked her, said good-bye, and heard her STILL talking about how to get to the restaurant even while we were riding away on our bikes. Dear old lady, how to you ever get your bike back in your car and find your way home? You must have angels around you.

At the restaurant, we walked in and saw that lots of old folks ate there. Well, ok, and we're kind of old folks ourselves. The food was a click better than decent, and all was well. We saw two men who had each lost an arm for one reason or another, figuring it was accidents with farming equipment. One of them talked to us as we were unlocking our bikes. Nice old guy. He said he'd like to get back on a bike again; I decided to not tell him we have a friend in his 80s who is still riding his bike with only one arm (which he lost in a farm equipment accident while still a teenager.)

And then, finally, the last 7 or 8 miles to get back to the parking lot and the van. George braked, stopped his bike, and promptly fell over. Lordy! He was ok, but I'm glad we had antibiotic cream and bandaids on hand. It's good he had his helmet on, too. Asphalt isn't very soft, ya know. We knew we'd have to ice a couple of places on his leg when we got home, but still he was ok. Still did the driving.

And now for the last mistake. George didn't want to take the freeway back, and the maps on the cell phone weren't quite making sense. But we got something decent figured out, drove to Mohican, picked up route 3 to get home. Oh! Wait! Route 3 is closed to traffic in Centerville. And now, with George sort of grumpy because of his fall, me with my very slow map reading skills, and now me with that egg salad sandwich giving me some ominous warnings, we had to navigate unknown back roads to figure out how to get home. And we did, with too many extra miles on the car.

It was still an excellent bike ride. For me, it affirmed that I continue to strengthen. For both of us, we will definitely ride this one again, but never on a Wednesday. TheWhiffletree was supposed to be part of the plan. And yes, George is OK, just trying to figure out why the heck he fell.

Last night I had significant empowering dreams that sprung up from the joy of the ride, but that'll be a post for another day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

3 x 3

Photoshop fun with the neighbors.




Friday, July 17, 2015

quality time



Relief. My friend does not have cancer...yet. She will be watched like a hawk, though. That should be the end of my talking about my friend. It is her story to tell, or not, as she sees fit. I'll honor that.
Yet, at the same time, that part of her life that interacts with my own is fair game.

I think about her and her probable future, which probably includes cancer.
And yet.
Nothing is certain.

I was told my lymphoma would come back in my torso.
It's been 30 years, and it hasn't come back.

I was told my bladder cancer would undoubtedly return, given the extent of the tumors.
It has been over 20 years. it hasn't come back.

I was told my breast cancer would have to be monitored carefully, the tumor was large.
It's been 9 years. It hasn't come back.

That doesn't mean hers (if/when) will be the same, but I do suspect kickass attitude helps. And I have enough of that to spare.

There is no adventure quite like that as spending time as a human being, yes?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

good news bad news



good news...it's not raining in this moment
bad news...we've had so much rain our yard is swampy
good news...tomorrow will be a dry day and we can take a bike ride
bad news...and then the weather turns hot and humid
good news...tomatoes like hot and humid
bad news...deer like the tomatoes
good news...George has a way to repel the deer
bad news...but it won't work with the snails devouring our lettuce
good news...I'm harvesting the garlic
..........
there's no bad news about garlic

Sunday, July 12, 2015

rainrainrain



rainrainrainraingrumblerainrainrainrainrainarghrainrainrainrainrainsheeshrain

Friday, July 10, 2015

and now we wait



My friend may have cancer.
Or not.

Now comes the hard part. Waiting for the results of a biopsy. I'm quite familiar with that wait. It's probably the hardest part of the journey - depending on how one's imagination is wired. For me, it seemed like I was standing at a fork in the road, trying to see the path ahead to the left, trying to see the path ahead to the right. You know, it's hard to know how to prepare when you don't know where you're going.

If it's good news, then "whew"!
If it's bad news, then at least you can start making plans.
Action is always easier than passively waiting for the shoe to drop.

I don't want her to have to take the hard path. Even though there will be treasures not dreamed of to be found if she can journey with her heart and eyes open.

But I still don't want her to have to take this path. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

not whining about wine



Seven bottles of pear wine. Corked. With a hand held corker. I did it. I've been eyeing that corker for awhile, intimidated by the words of a friend who said corking wine is difficult. Well guess what. It's not. Maybe she used a different corker. Maybe she just didn't have the arm strength.


Monday, July 06, 2015

home again home again jiggity jig



It's so good to be home. I'm certainly glad to visit Pittsburgh again; I got the photos I wanted to get, plus many more. I'd love to spend several days just knocking around the city without having to follow another agenda, but that's not likely to happen.

Contests. They are problematic. Competing at the technical level? Sure. That makes sense. Either you can do something...or you can't. But competing at the artistic level? How does that work, anyway? Creativity comes from the heart or soul, and one person's creativity isn't to be compared to somebody else's. Some forms are more popular, sure, but none can be deemed "better." I wonder if these singing conventions would get as many participants if it wasn't a contest at all - just a gathering and sharing.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

day 7 Saturday



Knocked around the point with lots of others on this 4th of July.
Found the mile 0 marker for the Great Allegheny Passage.
dinner with the Core family
and then the quartet finals.

I wish I could say how much I enjoyed the quartet contest...but in all honesty...I didn't enjoy it. For my ears it was more of a lung capacity contest. Who can sing in tune with the most decibels.

Even gathering in one of the hotel rooms afterwards with about a dozen of us old farts was too much noise for my ears. I don't know what that's about. Well. We did get a knock on the door from the hotel manager, say we'd have to tone it down - too loud for neighboring rooms. A dozen old farts. And the young'ns think the old farts are boring..

Friday, July 03, 2015

day 6 Friday




Chorus contest tonight. The Alliance placed 7th. Everybody seems happy with the score. I'm just happy the contest is over with. I've had enough barbershop singing, but still have tomorrow to deal with. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

day 5 Thursday



We wandered the Strip today, then watched the semi finals in the evening. The Core didn't make the cut tonight, though we hoped. Had a great Polish meal somewhere in the strip. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

day 4 Wednesday



We moved from the Day's Inn to the Wyndham. Got in early, but they found a room. Perhaps its more like a closet, but oh well. Also, the free wi-fi? What a laugh. But quarter finals were today, and we got to listen to Core sing and make the cut. Good! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

day 3


What a glorious hoot! We drove through the tunnel and over the bridge to get to the downtown portion of Pittsburgh. George mapped out where the parking garage was...supposed to be. It wasn't there. Well, actually it was, but it wasn't public. See what happens when maps aren't updated? So we spun around the block for maybe a dozen times trying to get it figured out. Drove into a couple of garages and immediately backed out. Just don't ask, OK?  We eventually drove back over a bridge and landed in a more residential area where we actually found a place where we could pull over and look at the maps on paper, rather than on our cell phones. Then, refreshed, we drove back over the river and tried again. Finally after pretty much giving up, and knowing we'd have to bleed a bit with the high parking rates, we actually found the garage we were looking for.

We met our friends and walked over to a hole in the wall pizza place. I love these local places rather than the sterile franchises. We had a few laughs because one of the men thought he was being charged for having sauce on his pizza. He was in a quiet snit, and we three ladies were not being very kind about it. Our basic response was "just deal with it. Pay the price. It's not worth the trouble." And then, when he got the bill, it turned out he was wrong. He was charged for extra pepperoni. Oh well. We had fun with it for awhile.

We parted ways. George and I went looking for a place I'd remembered from years ago, a plaza surrounded by beautiful buildings with many wonderful windows. Back then it felt like I'd been standing in the middle of a diamond. Well, we found it. It wasn't the best time of day for the reflections I'd yearned to see again, but nevertheless we found it. And then, after schlepping around that part of town, it started to rain. We didn't have umbrellas. We needed to get to that parking garage a few blocks away. So we hopped from one sheltered overhang to another. At one point we waited inside a convenience store where there was an argument heating up and we sort of felt like we should get out of there, given the insane violence always making the news.

And so here we are. Back in our motel room. It may be a two glass of wine night. But what an adventure! And I love an adventure.

Monday, June 29, 2015

day 2



Wonderful boat ride on the rivers. The sky was delightful, the temperature was just right, and there were so many bridges! What fun to take a series of pictures approaching a bridge, then going under. Can't post them now, don't have the capability to put photos on my laptop.

And then off to "The Strip". I could have stayed there all day and gone back again the next day. Kinda hippy-ish.

Pittsburgh is hilly, so driving is an adventure. So is sitting in the passenger seat...
Scary times.
But good times.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

day 1



In Pittsburgh. Not much to report. Tomorrow we take a boat ride on the river(s). We drove around a bit and got as lost as you can get with a gps in the car, which isn't very lost. S'ok. With all the hills, I can't imagine driving around this city in the winter. But for now just chilling in the motel room, drinking wine out of a Day's Inn plastic glass. Plastic glass? Is that a thing? Should I call it a plastic tumbler? If nothing else, it's kinda nice to just be chillin with no chores and responsibilities staring at me.

Friday, June 26, 2015

just another day in this amazing universe



Life is such a patchwork!
One patch: awaiting an important SCOTUS decision today, one that will affect the lives of my gay friends.

Another patch: awaiting President's Obama's eulogy in Charleston. Historic.

Another patch: watching and listening to my son's quartet. They make me cry (in a good way.)

Another patch: watching and listening to my 14 year old grandson singing solid bass in an adult men's chorus, plus having quality front row moves.

Another patch: how do you communicate to the guy front row center that his zipper is down? Without causing him embarrassment?

Another patch: sitting by the kitchen window listening to the owl behind our house plus the hawk calling overhead.

Another patch: another day of weaving a very large and beautiful patch; woven of both burlap and silk; the patch of our love for each other.

Monday, June 22, 2015

choosing how to die



Ania was telling me about her cancer. She was young, strong, and hadn't lost all of her hair from chemo. She actually kept about 50% of it. She cut it short, but she kept getting hairs in her mouth. And then she cut it all off. Why? She said if she's going to die, she'd rather die of cancer than die of a hairball.

I'm still laughing. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

an answer



One of my former students (from 30 years ago) asked me publicly (on Facebook) to come back to the Church. The Catholic church. How did he know? And yet, I don't hide it. He's a fine young man, but not deep into introspective thought. I want to answer him honestly, but in such a way that I don't diminish where he is on his own spiritual path.

Here is my answer. Did you ever have a set of nested boxes given to you as a gift? You unwrap the first one to find another smaller box inside, also wrapped. You unwrap that one, then there's another. And another. And so on. Well, the church, for me, was the first wrapped box. Eventually I found another wrapped box hidden within and unwrapped it. I'm not opposed to what is good and true about the church. It's just that, for me, I've found a treasure within it that speaks more to my yearnings. And those nested boxes that keep getting smaller and smaller? In this spiritual journey, it seems like each nested treasure is larger than the box it was within.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

today



Well, that happened.
Today was my annual visit to the oncologist,
and I was so sure it was the 10th year
and he'd say I'm fine, don't come back.

But he didn't.
It's my 9th year.

Ya, so all the tests came back good and all, but what happened????
I asked George why I might have thought it was my 10th year. He said it was because that's what I wanted it to be.  So. "Create your own reality" doesn't always work, it seems.

Having said all that...
I'm doing just fine, thankyouverymuch!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

happiness is



...as happy as a snake soaking up warmth in the compost bin.
????
really?
I suppose that's better than the very fat wolf spider in the compost bin...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

distant horizon



There is no better phone call than the one I got yesterday. The cardiologist's office called - the nurse wanted me to know that my heart is very, very strong. She was impressed.

You see, for so many years I've dealt with cancer diagnoses, gall bladder complications, vision concerns, and just the aging process in general, enhanced by some pretty grueling chemotherapies. But yesterday? Your heart is very healthy, she said, especially based on your medical history. Keep riding your bicycle.

Yes, I know my cycling has improved, but there's been this undercurrent...time is running out, and I don't know when the final curtain is going to drop. Fact is, I still don't know when it's going to drop, but on my bicycle, looking into the distance, that horizon is now very, very far away.

Life is good. It always is, no matter what.
But sometimes life is even awesome. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

feathers on my mind



I pulled a feather out of my down pillow.
A chicken gave its life (unwillingly) so that I could have a chicken sandwich in the daytime
and a comfy pillow at night.

I wonder if that chicken had a name known only to its mom.
Did that little chickie even know its mom?
Or was it taken from her as soon as it left the cramped comfort of the egg?

Do chickens recognize each other? Seems to me they do. And do the hens recognize their chicks?
Do hens grieve the absence of chicks that are taken from them?

Etc.

We are such relentless omnivores.
There are times I get really tired of being a sentient biological, thinking I'm a higher life form.


Sunday, June 07, 2015

amazing grace



Amazing grace
how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
but now I'm found
was blind, but now I see.

What is it about that song?
The haunting melody, the deep feelings when both listening and singing.
I cannot deny the feelings on one hand. On the other hand I recoil at the words.

I never was a wretch.
And what was I supposedly saved from?
Nobody saved me.
When I was lost, I found my own way back.
Yes, of course, with some help.
Help I asked and paid for.
Blind?
Yes and no.
Our vision expands as our heart matures.
So yes, in a sense, I was blind...
and now I see.

Which is why the words bug me.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

la la la I'm not listening



It was a very good ride. The weather was cool, I concentrated on staying hydrated. We rode 11 miles to Granville, had a decent lunch, then another 11 miles back. Though the return ride was a bit of an uphill grade, my new bike handled it quite well, as did my legs. Not a problem. I was tired at the end, but it's that good buzz tired. Every time I have to get on and off the bike, my awkwardness decreases just a bit. All in good time, I say. Life is good.

And then. I'm resting in my chair, he's at his computer looking at the numbers. Telling me that I won't be happy with the numbers. I did worse today then the other two times we rode the trail.
Two things: his numbers were wrong
and
it wasn't worse for me. Because it's not about the friggin' numbers.

I just hate how numbers can do that. Although I loved the ride, the numbers tried to tell me I was inferior to whatever I was before.  Sigh. Just another voice I have to ignore. Seems like there's a lot of voices to ignore these days. 

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

just don't get caught



I can talk about it now.

Yesterday I had a med check with my doctor. I told him about my somewhat minor bike deal last Friday. I wanted him to confirm that I was correct in deciding dehydration and a bit of a panic attack were to blame. He wouldn't give me that. He ran an EKG. It looked good. We talked a bit, I told him I had a goal of doing a 50 mile ride before the year was out. And then he said he wanted me to see a cardiologist.

What? Why?

His words...heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. I have two risk factors. I protest, saying these two things are managed with relatively minor meds. (which is why I was in for a med check in the first place, dammit.) No matter, he says. Let's just get you checked out so we can be a little more comfortable with your goals. He says my assessment of last Friday's event is probably correct, but he can't confirm based only on heresay. So ok, I relent. Yes, I'll go.

For the rest of the day I was depressed/pissed. I'm just about to have my medical file closed from breast cancer, and now we have to open another one? Seriously? Am I ever going to be able to get to 50 miles? Do I spend the rest of my life guarding against a heart attack? Bummed.

But today the sun rose, I got a good night's sleep, and I can look at these things with my normal philosophical, attitudinal, humorous, life loving heart. The doc didn't say anything was wrong. He actually said many things were right. He's with me, glad I'm active, wanting me to get those 50 miles. But I'm also 71 and have some medical shit in my history. He's actually my advocate, helping me reach my goal. A good doc, if there ever was one.

Our final conversation, on the way out:
"Stay out of trouble, Pat."
"Awww. Do I have to?"
"Then don't get caught."


Sunday, May 31, 2015

riding stupid



It was a 20 mile bike ride, which isn't even difficult. I did it last year on my "little" bike, which is harder to ride than my new bike. But 3/4 of the way through it I dropped. Not literally. Absent blood and broken bones, dropping off your bike just requires getting back on and carrying on. But my energy bottomed out, and that was worse. Why! My new biking companion, who is still building up endurance, sped past me. I struggled. Pedal once. Pedal again. Repeat ad nauseum. Speaking of which, nausea introduced itself. The last half mile I just got off my bike and walked. It was easier.

We packed the bikes back in the car, stopped locally for something to eat, then came home. I crashed in my recliner chair until bedtime, then crashed into bed, where it seemed like I might be having early heart problems. And yet, my respiration and heart rates were the same as they've always been, and I've always been declared healthy.

So. Next day. A call to my young professional bike fitness friend. We discussed hydration, electrolytes, calories, yoga, core strengthening. She explained that yes, dehydration can do that to you, and, if you don't drink something until you feel thirst, you've already waited too long. Unfortunately, I never really feel "thirst". And yes, I was dehydrated. And electrolytes. She explained that if I ride hard enough that conversation is difficult, then I also need to pay attention to electrolytes.

Bottom line? I'm fine, now. I have a scheduled doctor visit tomorrow anyway, so will mention this event.
But here's what I know for sure: I'm too damned old to be riding stupid.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

see you on the other side



Sometimes the only thing worthwhile is the cup of coffee in the morning and the glass of wine at night.

No, nothing wrong here. Just tired. A good night's sleep (which didn't happen last night) cures all kinds of minor complaints. Tomorrow I put the finishing touches on our next bike ride. Xenia to Yellow Springs. A nice ride, and I especially like oh, all of it!

On our last bike ride, she and I looked at the bike bridge that arches over Rt. 33. It would be a push to get over it without walking, so my parting comment was "see you on the other side." I've thought about that phrase, thinking it's a bit like what we'd say to each other when one of us is dying. See you on the other side. Not a whole lot different from contemplating the bridge. Effort, but the passage would take place one way or another. By the way...we both were able to pedal to the top. It was effort. But so what. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

not much to say



I'll just say this...

I'm glad I don't live in a family where the parents hire a stripper to appear at their son's graduation party. And then I hear the stripper drove up to the house, saw the condition of the party goers, got back in her car and drove away. Wow. I'm glad I made the obligatory appearance early, ate some food, chatted with a couple of folks, and returned home.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

oofy stuff



I was at a party - celebrating the high school graduation of the son of  one of our neighbors. I don't speak much to the younger set living around me, mostly because I'm not good at sitting out in the evening discussing sports et al. But we all get along, so it's all good.

Anyway. One of the neighbors asked me to say "hi" to Mr. Denino. I corrected her by suggesting she can call him George. She responded with words to the effect that she wanted to respect us as the matriarch and patriarch of the neighborhood. Yes, we're certainly the oldest. But I suggested that if she wants to respect us, then respect our wishes to call us by our first names.

Oof. We're the old farts of the neighborhood. A generation older than all the others. Oof.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

magic


a magical day
clear skies
trees in early leaf
a bicycle path

the love of my life
he'll ride ahead
and always know where I am
keeping tabs on me
with his rear view mirror
counting the miles
noting and remembering the details

and my sister soul friend
new to bicycling
stops
breathes
gazes
proclaims this as sacred

Sunday, May 17, 2015

renewal





A writing assignment on renewal and home...

Where is home for me?
Where do I go to renew my spirit?
Sure, my house, shared with my husband,
provides a place for rest and renewal
in a temporal kind of way.
And it is good.
Very, very good.

But sometimes "things" invade this house,
this shelter of roof and walls and favorite things
and the arms of my lover.
Things that generate sorrow,
or anger,
or fear,
or any number of other difficult feelings.
His arms
give me comfort and strength
while I ride out the storm.

My soul needs more, though.
And so I go out to the universe itself.
Out to where my understanding of  divinity resides.
Out there,
in here,
everywhere.
Because in the beginning...God.
Or the big bang. Same thing.
And in that beginning,
even if it wasn't the first beginning,
God created the universe.
Since there was no other "something" with which to create,
 God created the universe from Herself.
In fact, my mythology says the Goddess and the universe are the same thing.
Science informs us that all the subatomic particles
that exist today
were formed at the time of the big bang,
and I am made up of a portion of those particles.
So in one form or another
I was present
at the very beginning.

How does this renew my spirit?
It reminds me that I'm part of All That Is.
I am part of the Goddess.
And, since the universe,
or the Goddess (whichever mode you prefer)
is without boundary,
then wherever I am
I am in the center
because the center is all there is.

Here I am!
Part of the Goddess,
residing in the very center.
My current pain,
or sorrow,
or anger,
or jubilation,
or tenderness
are opportunities for the Goddess
to experience Herself
in the human form.

And so. While I experience those difficult things,
I also willingly offer them to the Goddess within me,
adding to the fullness and creation of the universe.
My home.

I remember who I am.
I am renewed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

stormy weather


A powerful spring storm blew though yesterday; possible tornado in Pataskala. Not like the storms in the plains, of course, but damage is damage, regardless. Fortunately, no damage for us. But tomorrow's bike ride should probably be adjusted to accommodate any flooding.

The storm was good, though. It blew away the heat and humidity, and probably cleaned the air of pollen, at least temporarily. I mention this because it seems both weather related storms and emotionally charged storms both clear the air. Good.

As my son says, "fractals be".

Sunday, May 10, 2015

pain revisited



That familiar pain came for a visit again today. I've written about it before; the pain of feeling like I mean nothing to somebody I'd like to be close to. And again, I've had to accept that it is what it is.

But this time another voice joined the conversation, a voice of power. It reminded me of a quote, that it's none of my business what somebody thinks of me. True that. And besides, I don't really know what that person thinks - or doesn't think. I only know what I know based on my own perceptions.

But that voice of power...I was admonished to fill that hole I feel with a focused passion of doing what I love. Steeping myself so deep in that passion that I have no room for perceived hurts.

I can do that.
I should do that.
Anyway.
Thanks for the kick in the ass, muse.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

passages



prom dresses
graduation gowns
graduation robes
wedding gowns

rites and apparel of passages

for the rest of our lives
we bumble around
doing the best we can
learning
observing
doing
until our final passage
in our last bit of apparel
a burial shroud

and yet...

Friday, May 08, 2015

prom girl




I get at least one of these every year...

Prom girl comes in with dress and shoes. Dress must be hemmed.
Prom girl stands on the platform so I can mark her hem.
Prom girl then takes off her shoes, because for most of the prom
she will have kicked off her shoes.
Did I mention her shoes?
1.5" platform plus 4" heel.
And now the dress is all over the floor.

Dear prom girl; you get to decide when you want the perfect look. Either with shoes, or without.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

turtle whisperer



Why did the turtle cross the road? Or did it?

We came across a turtle on the bike trail today. Me, being who I am, talked to it. He stuck his head out just a tiny bit, knowing there were big moving critters (us) nearby. But I complimented him (her?) on her beauty. She had lovely markings on the side of her head, so I asked her if she could show us more. And she did. She stretched her head and neck out as far as it could go, apparently, and showed us her beauty spots, the yellow and red ones. I thanked her, and we returned to our bicycles so she could return to her own adventure. That's all.

I wonder what a turtle blog would look like, and what she would say...

Monday, May 04, 2015

pain



pain came flying in a couple of days ago
pain and anger and hurt
sometimes words hurt, but this time it was silence that hurt
exclusion
information was not shared with me
by someone I care for
about something I care about
it wasn't malicious, just...thoughtless,
or so I assume

it spoke to me of this...that I don't matter to them, to her
yet when the silence was delivered, I was doing a favor for her,
because I care about her

unbalanced relationship, yes?
unreasonable expectations on my part?
and on her part?

well, it is what it is

I held the pain, quietly howled my hurt
and gave pain a voice that also spoke from my past
when I felt like I didn't matter to anybody
even to myself
at a time when I didn't recognize the pain
and just swallowed it

but not now

the pain has now receded
my eyes are more open than before

and new adventures await

Friday, May 01, 2015

joy


Joy snuck in first thing this morning.

My 82 year old friend, caregiver, tired, cranky, my friend. We laugh together once in a while, have lunch together less often.

This morning we talked a bit, and next thing we knew, she decided to get out her bike, look it over, and bring it to my house so we can ride together on the local trail.

Joy!

And then I looked at Lady Joy a little more closely, as she began to sing to me...

joy
joy when you wake up in the morning
because it's better than not waking up

joy
joy when you go to bed at night
because sliding under the blanket and closing your eyes
feels so good

joy
bigger and deeper than happiness
sometimes even in the face of pain and sorrow
simply saying yes to life

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

there's no wrong way



We have another kind of bicycle adventure in the works. My very dear friend is now retired, has bought a bicycle, and loves riding as much as we do. So now we have to get her up to speed (actually, endurance) to ride with us on our longer journeys. She even bought a bike rack for her car! Wow!

She came over today and the two of us rode the kitty bench trail. It's a nine mile ride, and was the longest distance she'd attempted so far. We made a couple of stops to shake out our legs, and on the trail I cruised slowly so I wouldn't tire her out. Actually, that's rather nice to know I have to slow down for somebody else. With George, he has to slow down for me. It was enough of a ride for her.
But we'll keep doing this as long as it takes.

She was concerned that she was "slowing me down" and being a burden. No. You're not. For me, there's no wrong way to ride a bike. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

contrasts




A day of contrasts.

We rode the Kokosing Gap bike trail today, and I soaked up the beauty of early spring. The air was still a bit chill, the sky was blue, and the cycling itself was divine.

And then, home, resting in front of the television, watching the news reports about the rioting in Baltimore. I am angry that the violent protestors are called thugs, but the powerful manipulators of our society, those that make the playing field grossly unfair and unsustainable to the poor, are not called thugs.

And the contrast between the righteous protestors and my own life dampens my joy. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

mirroring



I suppose it's human nature to (sometimes) take definition of ourselves by what other people think of us. So in a perverted way we are mirrors for each other.

Yet when we are looking at imperfections in the reflections of ourselves in the mirrors of others, are they actually our imperfections? Or are they imperfections in mirrors?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

bonehead



She brought me a dress that needed to be taken in. It had a zipper in a side seam, which makes taking in the seam more of a hassle. In addition, the dress had horizontal stripes, which must be lined up accurately along that seam. In addition, the stripes alternated as fabric and lace. It really doesn't get more complicated than that. At least there wasn't any bling on the dress.

First, the zipper must be removed. Carefully, especially difficult from the lace stripes. Then, the new seam must be pin marked. Next, the zipper must be pinned in place. Very carefully, being careful to not stretch the fabric, because that's when the stripes won't line up. Finally it was ready to sew. The first line was a basting stitch just to make sure I got all the alignments correct. That done, the serious sewing began. Sewing slowly, removing each pin as I got to it, carefully, carefully.

And then, done.

Except I forgot to check for enough bobbin thread. All those pins removed...argh!!

Starting all over again, measuring again, pin marking again, cursing my most boneheaded mistake I've made in a long time in my workroom.

Yet, if this is the worst problem I have today, it's nevertheless a good day. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

not as hard as chemo

 






It was cold. I didn't care. I wanted to ride my bike. So I studied the weather forecasts and cherry picked the best parts to convince myself and them that we could do this. I ignored that a high of 49 means it's more often colder. I ignored the fact that just because there isn't a wind advisory doesn't mean it isn't windy. And, I ignored the fact that my favorite weatherman said that maybe we'd even see a few snowflakes.

We drove to the Kokosing Gap trail, hoping to log at least 20 miles on it. that would be 10 miles in, have lunch, 10 miles back. Well, a little more than 3 miles in I stopped to take a couple of pictures. While stopped, we got a bit of rain. Then we got a bit of hail. then we turned around and rode back to the car. Note the gloves and ear warmers on my two companions!

Will I be trusted again to assess the weather forecasts? Who knows. but at least we have a baseline of what is acceptable...and what is not.

It was a great ride with lots of good conversation and laughs. I explained that if it's not as hard as chemo, then it's not too hard.