Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I send my wish to each of you for a peaceful New Year. May all your dreams come true and may we build community together in this difficult time. Hope abounds - blessings to you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

This photo is my friend A - who is the son of my business partner. He is a beautiful boy with a sensitive soul. The candlelight and expression on his face say so much. Hanukkah the festival of light.

I am finally on the mend. Today is the first day I have felt better. I am preparing to depart for Seattle early tomorrow morning.

I send you good wishes tonight. Love on wings of gold. Merry Christmas. Happy Kwanzaa, and may we all have a blessed New Year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Musings


I continue to battle this cold or whatever the bug is - good lord, I have been home recuperating for half of this week - again.

Yesterday, I finally filled the antibiotic prescription given to me last week. That is real desperation, as I rarely take any prescription meds let alone antibiotics. I am being hopeful tonight that I will wake up much better in the morning.

It surely is cold - recently the Twin Cities broke 40 year low temperature records! Between snowfalls, the sun shines brilliantly everyday turning our world into a sparkling wonderland.

I am beginning to prepare for my trip to Seattle - I depart December 25 and will be there until January 3. Woo Hoo!! A real break - not a trip to take care of someone else, which has been the case most of the time this year. We have lots of fun things planned - I will be sure to take photos and post while there.

It has been such a strange time - I just saw a piece on the evening news about the jacking up of interest rates by credit card companies. In the piece, a women who looks like your local retired librarian, said, "I would be better off going to the mob to borrow money." Truly a sign of the times.

I here, just here ----- staying warm and healing. Talk to you soon........

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter in the Northland


It is just downright cold here in the Upper Midwest. I have been home all morning working but now am on my out to a meeting. It is 2 pm and it is minus three degrees!!!!

It is beautiful outside though. Pristine white - sparkling and clean. I am dressed in layers and am actually feeling better for the first time in nearly two weeks - glory be!! We Minnesotans are a hardy lot!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Just a quick drive-by! I am slowly healing - back at work yesterday and today (so far). It is bitterly cold here in Minnesota - below zero this morning in my backyard. It feels so good to be up and about after nearly a week in bed!!!!! I was boring myself. Still moving really slowly and taking a bunch of Chinese herbs and such. I will kick this entirely - I am committed.

For those of you in the northland - stay warm. For the rest of you - we don't want to hear it :) - more to come.

Monday, December 08, 2008

We Are One People



Filmmaker Mark Johnson traveled around the globe getting street musicians and others to record part of the track for Stand By Me. Using battery powered equipment and a pocket full of Frequent Flier miles he got tracks from dozens of performers. Each one was able to wear headphones and hear what the other performers had done.

Friday, December 05, 2008

What is Your Blog's Myers-Briggs Type

I found this cool little website, Typealyzer. You input the url of your blog and it gives you a little Myers-Briggs analysis of your blog. My blog is an ESFP, which is different than my personality inventory when I took it as part of my job in the early 1990's. The site is just for fun - try it if you need a quick little diversion.

I am still sick and stayed home from work today - spent the day in bed, napping, reading, sipping tea and playing with my new (gasp) IPhone!! I so hope I awake feeling much better tomorrow. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

New Look for the Diningroom

I have wanted to "finish" the diningroom since the remodel in 2005 and just didn't get to it until November. I think the new area carpet really finishes the room. (Can you see Miss Kitty under the chair?)

I have an icky cold and am trying to kick it for the second time in as many weeks. I am taking another round of Chinese herbs and have an acupuncture appointment tomorrow afternoon. Here I am - in my fuzzy slippers and big warm sweatshirt just sipping tea and making a big pot of Chicken Soup!!

My time with my friend V was really nice. I am looking forward to my trip to Seattle.

Good news about my mother. She is now out of the walking cast and can move about without the aid of a walker. She also says the doctor doesn't want her to use her cane either. I suspect the doctor told her to use the cane at times but she would never share that with me.

She will begin in-home rehab shortly and has been told that she can no longer do outdoor, fitness walks and should never kneel again. She has healed much better than they expected at her age. I am grateful.

She says she will slow down now and "stop running around like a crazy person" - what that means is Mother spends a great deal of time moving so fast that she is out of her body a lot of the time. For instance, you cannot put even a used tissue in the bathroom waste basket and expect that it will be there in half an hour - she runs around and picks the tissue out of the basket to throw in the trash. Sigh.

Things feel so much better now that I have just relaxed into the now with her. It is her life - these are her adult decisions - there are things she is doing that are dangerous and can have far reaching negative consequences for her - still, those are her adult decisions.

It is very cold in St Paul - we are back in our boots and gloves. I put the small shovel and the window scraper in the car this afternoon. Winter - I love living in four seasons, it is good for the body and soul.

Talk to you soon...................

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Time to Relax and Enjoy

I am taking nearly one week off from work and it is glorious. My friend V is here and we have been having a very nice time together. Thursday, I cooked a wonderful small dinner for just the two of us. Friday, my dear friend Lisa came for dinner and we laughed, talked, ate and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Exercise is important to both of us and nearly everyday we have done a good joint workout - cardio and pilates.
,
It snowed overnight and we awoke to a beautiful world of a quiet, white landscape. Deb is here doing a massage for V right now and I am going to roast a lovely boneless prime rib and open a terrific bottle of Cabernet for dinner. Just some quiet time of talk, laughter, watching movies, reading and relaxing.

I have decided to go to Seattle in December. We are closing the office between Christmas and New Years Day - it is the perfect opportunity to visit. I am flying on December 25 and returning around the New Year. A friend will stay with Miss Kitty and enjoy the house while I am gone.

My mother is mending but slowly. She has a life line button now - the thing you wear around your neck and can push if you need help. That is good. The doctor really wants her to go to in-patient rehab for a couple of weeks but she refuses. We do have a social worker now and that is a comfort. He and I talk frequently and he now visits a couple of times a week.

Mother is certainly not incompetent but she is not displaying good judgment in many of her recent decisions. While I was in California, she began to talk about selling the house - we even met with the realtor. She began to tell her friends and others that it was time to move somewhere that was more accessible given her eyesight and the isolation of Yountville. Now she tells the social worker - she only said all that to make me not talk about the future. These are her adult decisions - she has fallen many times, the next time could be even more devastating. I have stepped back again - I call everyday - I give my perspectives, when asked. I have stepped away from the drama.

I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend. More later.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gratitude

Fills my heart and soul. In this time of uncertainty and fear, I am blessed to be surrounded by abundance in so many ways. If you are reading this page right now - I am thankful for you and I send my love and care to you.

Talk to you soon................

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday

I awoke yesterday to our first measurable snow - it was a nice surprise. It has warmed up again into the high 30's and so the snow has disappeared - however, it will return - that is one thing you can be sure of here in Minnesota.

I do want to blog about my visit home - there is much to say. I am still reflecting and processing a lot of information and emotion. My friend V arrives from Seattle Tuesday night for Thanksgiving and a week-long visit. I am so happy to take s few days off. Days that are indeed a time of relaxation and fun, I need the respite.

I will blog about my visit to California soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home

I am back in Minnesota. I had an uneventful flight and am happy to be home to sleep in my own bed tonight. The time at home was very stressful but I think we made some progress. I have photos and more to write but not tonight. Tonight my little kitty is happy to have me home. I have a good book and an early to bed evening planned.

Talk to you soon...........

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Forever in Our Hearts



What a lovely smile. Tom was as nice as that lovely smile. A true gentleman. We all have so many terrific memories to hold and comfort us. This photo was taken one evening after work as Tom and I were preparing to have a little cocktail and talk about our day. The little rituals that made life so worthwhile. It is a pleasure to share this photo.

Thank you my sweet blog friends for your love and support. When I look back to mid-2005 when I began this blog, I was one big open wound. The pain leaps off the page and sears the skin off my face.

You have stood witness to my growth and transformation. You have held me in your thoughts and cyber-arms. I am so fortunate and I am filled with gratitude that I have found this community.

Thank you and I send my love to each of you. The adventure continues.........

Friday, November 14, 2008

remembering...............


I looked at the MRI again - with Lisa and with Joan, after her arrival, at least half a dozen times. There was a decision to be made. The neurologist was quite clear, they would do whatever I decided, including a feeding tube and long-term care.

She and our family doc believed that Tom was incapable of regaining consciousness. He had a small amount of brain damage on the left side from the first stroke and devastating damage from this last incident. The bi-lateral nature of the damage was one of the reasons the neurologist doubted he could wake up. She also felt that if Tom regained consciousness, he would be profoundly deaf, blind and physically and mentally incapacitated.

Tom and I had discussed our feelings and preferences if either one of us were ever incapacitated. We promised that we would not let the other live in a vegetative state. It is one thing to have a hypothetical conversation while you are doing your will - it is quite another to be faced with that decision. Remembering our conversations, pacing the hospital corridors, holding Tom, asking for spirit guidance. The decision was made.

I do not remember which day we removed the apparatus that was breathing for Tom. They asked if I wanted to step out - NO! - I stood and held his toe while they took the tube out of his throat. Once that was done, the room became very quiet - only the occasional beep of the heart monitor.

Friends and family started to arrive and spend their final time with Tom. I would leave the room and give each person their private time. Each night I "slept" with Tom - they let me be in the bed with him, with his arms arranged around me. We "talked" long into the night. There was no sleeping - just dozing - being together. The last night, Cheryl, our night nurse, came in to check on us and as she left the room, she said, "enjoy his warmth." It was much later that the full meaning of that statement hit me.

Early on Sunday, November 14th, Cheryl and I bathed Tom and changed the bed. It was still dark. I asked for a razor, Cheryl went to get one for me. While she was gone, I put the bed railing down and held Tom's head in my arms and said, "I love you - you are the love of my life." I kissed Tom - his eyes slowly opened (the first time since I found him) and a golden light shown out from them. Tom took one deep breath and I felt his spirit leave his body. My lover, my friend, my flyboy, my husband - the love of my life.

I have walked this path with the love and support of so many. I wept; I denied; I fell down; I got up; I honored my grief - I walked through it.

I honored my husband and our love. I have come to a place of acceptance. I always will love Tom - death does not end love. I am whole and forever transformed and yet, I will forever have a crack in my heart. I always will have moments that sneak up on me and I will cry out his name. I am grateful that I gave and received unconditional love. It is all that matters in this life.

I am alive.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why?

I had no idea that I would recount the last days with my darling Tom. Here I am in California with my mother. I have not shared this until now. I am moved to do so. It is simply the title.........remembering.

remembering...............

After I consented to the DNR - Dr. D and I went to the nurse's station and began to call the children. I called Paul first - he was not home. I called Mark next. Mark is a doctor - we talked and then Dr. D. and Mark talked. We all agreed to the DNR.

Our ICU Room was dark and calm - broken only by the sounds of mechnical breathing and heart monitor beeps. At one point, I had my head down on the mattress, holding Tom's hand, chanting I love you, I love you, I love you. A hand touched my hair and a soft voice murmured, "and he loves you too." It was Cindy B - our friend and the Director of Nursing at the hospital. I must have mentioned to the staff that we knew Cindy (and John) (John gave the eulogy at Tom's funeral) because she got dressed and came down to the hospital to sit with me.

Through the long night I sat and dozed, I sat and held his hand, I prayed, I sang, I pledged, I slept fitfully in the reclining chair by his bed. I walked in the hall. Is this real? Wake me now Spirit. Oh Tom - my love, my friend, my husband. Only the inexorable beep of the heart monitor answered my pleas.

At dawn, I waited to call my friend Lisa - when she answered, I blurted it out. I told the story, finally I said, "will you come?" Lisa replied - "I dressed while we talked, I will be there soon." She must have come on a low flying jet.

Lisa scooped me up in her arms and touched Tom in her loving and inimitable way. The neurologist arrived - it was early - she showed us the MRI. It was devastating. Even the top slice of the MRI had an infarct - from the bottom of his right ear to the top of his head. I remember small, intense jolts of that first encounter in the small consultation room. Lisa asked the questions - I probably did too. Oh Tom - what does this mean?

I called Joan in Florida - Steve answered, she had gone to work. I will never forget, Steve broke down and wept as we talked. He called Joan. Ten minutes later she called - "I am arriving tonight!"

Lisa made me go home - the nurses said, "it's OK - we will call you if anything happens." Lisa drove - when we went inside, there was messy on the floor where I found Tom. I went downstairs - Lisa must have cleaned things up. Oh Spirit, is this real?

I got some clothes - I selected music and family photographs to take back in the room. I don't remember much of anything else - other than my life was not there right then. We returned to the last home Tom and I would have together.

remembering................

remembering...............

Dr. D looked very solemn as he entered the room. I had seen him a mere 7 hours before at my own medical appointment. At that time, we stood in the hallway and joked lightheartedly. Then we talked about how well Tom's cataract surgeries had gone - I told him Tom had received a clean bill of health from the Ophthalmologist the day before and now needed only reading glasses.

Oh the conversations we have every day - unaware that our lives are headed for sudden destruction.

He told me the Cat Scan results showed Tom had suffered quite a large stroke. He indicated that Tom was stable and that "only time would tell" if he could awaken and if so, what would be the prognosis for recovery. He also asked me to list Tom "DNR" that night. I remember feeling like I had been socked in the gut. Dr. D did not think anything was likely to happen but if it did - the damage Tom had sustained was such that it was probably better not to resuscitate him.

I was numb, looking back it was like I had been thrust into an alien landscape and everyone was speaking a strange language. It was as if the room was filled with clear gelatin, all movements were slow and exaggerated - all speech grated on my ears. Tom was there, yet just beyond my reach.

Up until that moment, I was busy holding Tom's hand, telling him I loved him, praying and planning the rehab and recovery.

Oh, weeping shadows on the wall.


remembering................

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

remembering...............

when I opened the door, with the exception of the water running in the kitchen sink, the house was dark and quiet. Not a good sign.

I called, "Tom? Tom?" No answer. I turned off the kitchen faucet and began to go through the house calling his name. When I got to the doorway of my home office, there he was, laying on the floor, still in his pajamas. I ran to him - his eyes were open, he was still breathing. I turned his head to the side to prevent aspiration and ran for the phone.

Our home is one quarter of a mile from the firehouse. They were there very quickly. Tom was taken to Woodwinds - a beautiful holistic hospital near our house. I did not go in the ambulance - I had done this before. I knew I would need my car. I started to think of rehab and the path back to wholeness. I was so upset at finding him, a couple of weeks later I would discover I had chipped a tooth, probably by snapping my teeth together.

When I arrived at the emergency room and they took me into the treatment room the first thing I saw were the glen plaid pajamas, cut off his body and thrown on the floor along with all sorts of medical detritus.

Tom had been intubated and they were preparing him to have a cat scan. The emergency room nurse let me stand at the foot of the gurney and hold onto Tom's toe. I asked, "this doesn't look good does it?" She told me no. However, hope abounded - we had done two strokes before this incident. I knew we could do another recovery.

We were transferred to ICU and at 10:30 pm I looked up to see our family doctor walk into the room. That was not a good sign.

remembering.................

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

remembering...............

my cold had hung on for two weeks - enough - i scheduled a 3 pm doctor appointment. I was busy at work that day and did not call home. on the way to the doctor i called, no answer. doctor cathey prescribed an inhaler. i left his office and headed towards target. on the way to pick up the meds - i called home. again no answer.

while they filled the prescription, i shopped and called home, no answer - i felt uneasy.

checked out at target, headed for home - called again from the car, no answer - felt nervous now. when i pulled into our drive it was dark outside and not a light shown inside.

it was no longer a normal day. remembering...............

remembering................

when I left Tom this morning, 4 years ago - he was wearing glen plaid flannel pajamas and Minnetonka moccasin slippers. Those words, "you look beautiful, I love you honey," were the last words I ever heard Tom speak. remembering...............

remembering...................

I awoke early on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - Tom had moved upstairs sometime in the middle of the night because he was coughing. Upstairs, I sat on the edge of the guest bed; we commiserated over our colds, hugged and made plans for our respective days. I made coffee and brought it to him in bed. We talked about Thanksgiving. It was just a normal day.

I had a meeting with my business partner so I hopped in the shower and got ready for work. It was a chilly morning, I wore my nice black sweater and black pants. I was thinking about my meeting with JSB and listening to Public Radio. Tom had moved to his big chair in the den and I refilled his coffee. It was just a normal day.

I was to meet JSB for breakfast. Tom was still saying his nose was "running like a faucet." As I was gathering my things to leave, I asked, "do you want a hot breakfast?" His answer was,"that would be good." Tom usually had a roll and juice with his coffee and prepared his own breakfast after my departure. However, this morning he wanted a breakfast meal cooked by me.

On the spot I decided that fixing Tom breakfast was more important than being on time. I cooked: steel cut oatmeal with blueberries, juice, whole grain toast with butter and homemade jam - all on a nice wooden tray with a cloth napkin. He ate on his TV Tray in the den. He gave me a delighted smile. I sat and we chatted for a bit. It was just a normal day.

When I left, Tom reached up his arms with a smile and gave me a big hug and kiss. His last words as I left were, "you look beautiful; I love you, honey." It was just a normal day. The last normal morning we would ever have together.

remembering............

Monday, November 10, 2008

remembering...............

Four years ago tonight, this was the very last night that Tom and I would eat dinner together, hang out, talk, laugh and do the mundane things of life = together. November 10, 2004, everything was just our life. We both had colds - Tom kept saying, "my nose is like a faucet." We went to bed early - remembering.................

Autumn All Over Again




Here I am in the beautiful Napa Valley where it is Autumn - the second time around for me this year. (Lucky me!) I will take photos of the vineyards soon; the harvest is over and the vines are every brilliant color you can imagine.

The balloons flew over the house this morning and I ran to snap this picture in the driveway on my way to bring in the newspaper.

This time with my Mom is going to be difficult and yet, it is good to be home. The family friend who was helping out has returned to the City and I am her caregiver this week. She is happy and so am I.

I am off to Napa now to meet with the Social Worker - that is the best thing to come out of this terrible accident - she has a social worker!!! Hooray, someone to help as we move forward.

Talk to you soon.............

Thursday, November 06, 2008

November


I cannot help but begin to mark the days now - 7 days until the fourth anniversary of the day that launched this journey. Each year it is different but inexorably present. No longer a gaping wound - ragged edges barely held together. The pain of loss now is a new type of cell that flows in my veins.

I have integrated my loss - I have walked the path - I have not denied my grief. I have not walked around it. I have walked through it. I am forever changed.

Each year, bring different reflections. Each year, the pain is lessened. What does integrated mean? Tonight, it means that I know death and life are inextricably linked.

Oh, how I miss my tall, tall husband. How I miss the long stride in the hall. The hearty laugh from the den. The kisses from behind. The dancing in the kitchen. The unconditional love. Oh how I miss...................you. Tonight. Forever.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hope and Grace

It is humbling to be a witness to history. I am so happy for my generation to pass the torch of leadership to the next. Many blessings to President-Elect Obama and VP-Elect Biden and their families. Let the healing begin.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Belated Pumpkin Day

Here is my Jack O'Lantern that my friend V and I carved. I know Halloween is over but I couldn't resist posting this photo of "Fred" since I was off line on the actual day. Happy Belated Halloween.

Talk to you soon.......

After Nearly Five Years........


.......and 100,000 miles of love and devotion, I traded in my G4 for this yummy, new Mac Book. It is so speedy that things happen on the screen faster than I can see with my eyes.

My laptop is a constant, it is with me most of the time - our business runs on technology. Shared calendars, intranet, online time and billing, private client collaboration site, our own online store -- the computer makes our little team function so well.

This is the reason I was offline for two days - I had to leave my little G4 at the Apple Store for the transition. Very strange how connected and computer-dependent I have become - it was very difficult to walk out of the Apple Store without my notebook.

It took me 2+ hours to make my decision between this 13 inch and the 15 inch Mac Book Pro. The 15 inch is a gorgeous piece of screen real estate - but in the end, the smaller computer won me over - I have been carrying a 12 inch G4 for too long. I did upgrade my Mac Book and took the RAM to the top. Hooray - I feel so blessed to have this new tool.

Talk with You Soon.......

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Rest in Peace


My dear brother, friend and mentor Michael died on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 - he has been battling brain cancer for the past year. He is now released - free from pain and all limitations. He was a brilliant man - a charismatic person that attracted people to him everywhere he traveled - a truly unique individual. I will miss him so. Death and Life inextricably linked. Michael, you will be forever - in my heart - I am filled with sorrow and with gratitude for your friendship.

Not only was Michael my friend - he was my teacher and guide or many years and in so many ways - he was a strong support and ongoing encouraging presence when I stepped out to leave my "paycheck" job and become a consultant. He was one of the best organizational development consultants on the planet, working nationally and internationally.

There are other reasons I have not posted for a few days, besides being crazy-busy and talking to my mother every two hours and I will update the blog again tomorrow.

This post is at the center of my heart tonight. Michael loved the Southwest and spent lots of time camping, hiking, and communing with nature in those amazing spirit-filled hills. He was a musician and loved music - so, here is a song, for Michael, with love - Shalom.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where in the World is Suzann?


This has been a hectic time. My client work is interesting and fulfilling yet very time consuming. My friend V arrived from Seattle late Thursday night and we are having a nice time just hanging out - talking, laughing, cooking, watching movies - yesterday, Deb came and we had massages - a nice relaxing time.

My mother had surgery last Tuesday night and was released from the hospital yesterday. She ripped the tendon loose from her knee cap = ouch! It was reattached and she has a cast from her hip to mid-calf. She is getting around with a wheel chair and a walker. Our family friend R is there caring for her right now. Blessings abound! She will have a home health care aid beginning next week. The cast will be on from 6 to 8 weeks and "then we will see." At her age, one does not heal as rapidly - we are all hoping and praying that it heals and she is walking again in a couple of months. We just don't know.

I was scheduled to depart for Colorado on November 9th for another week-long grief seminar at the Center for Loss and Life Transition last night I changed my reservation (Wow, was that expensive!) and am leaving for California on November 8th - I am needed at home. I have no other time on my calendar that I can be away without compromising client work.

I am disappointed about my training - I was so anticipating this next intensive course in the series entitled "Counseling Skills Fundamentals." I was also looking forward to seeing my teacher and being in the community of learners. No biggie, this particular training topic will be given next year - my mother needs me now.

The time has arrived to have the conversation no one wants to have with their parent - we need to make plans for her to sell the house and find a smaller, one level place to live. Of course, the current real estate market makes for a less than optimal time to sell but it needs to be done. I don't think we have to put the house on the market the week I am there - she needs time to heal and to adjust to the idea. There is no more denial - it is a matter of identifying the time frame and getting the real estate agent working on it. I will look at different types of housing options while I am there this time.

This is the thing I most feared, some type of incident that would force the issue. I watched and played a major caregiving role with my dear MIL - she stayed and stayed in her house, refusing to consider a move and when she finally was forced (by dementia) to move out, she could not adjust to the assisted living facility. The end came quickly.

In my mother's case, I think it is prudent to see how she heals, that will inform the type of housing she next needs to find. I have worked very hard at trying to understand - my mother is not incompetent although she has been in denial - she is walking a path that I have yet to traverse (if I live that long). I treat her with dignity and respect, she is not a child. I keep in mind how I want my own children to treat me as the years progress. Oh how difficult it is when you see some things very clearly - I have said for a very long time, "Mom is one accident away from bigger changes that she knows." I am truly sorry to have that come to pass.

The Autumn continues to be spectacular in the north country. This morning we are going to church and then out for brunch and a quick stop at the Farmers Market for the last corn of the season and a big ol' pumpkin for a Jack O'Lantern. Have a wonderful Sunday. One terrific thing is - there is wireless internet at mother's house - I will be able to post some great fall wine country photos.

More to come..........

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Night

This is a very busy time for me. I have been working on a new client project for the past month - I finished the internal interviews and the organizational assessment and delivered the Report to their board via overnight mail today. It is always a relief to finish this part of a transition client. The board is having their retreat on Monday night - many tough decisions to be made and then on to the future.

My time in San Antonio was stressful and successful!! We have been able to get my son the treatment he needs right now for serious emotional issues. His very life hung in the balance. Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers that flew across the miles.

Today my mother fell and hurt her knee - ratz! She was in the hospital for x-rays and now is home. A friend of the family is coming up from the Bay Area to stay for a few days until we find out the extent of the injury. She is in a "walking cast" and has crutches. However, she is immobile without assistance. This may be the beginning of the end of mother in the two story house.

Tomorrow morning is my workout with Suzy, my dear, tough personal trainer and then Farmer's Market. Lots of things to do this weekend including some down time and some blog time.

The leaves are in full glory - peak color - I will have lots of photos to post soon. I hope you have a terrific weekend planned. More to come..................

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Change


Last Saturday morning I drove down this street to my personal trainer's house/studio and all the trees were green. On Tuesday, I drove the same route to her studio and presto! The trees are beautiful. Change we really can believe in..............mother nature's amazing cycle of growth, death, renewal and growth.

I am on my way to San Antonio tomorrow. I am going on family business again. Please do keep my youngest son JAE in your thoughts and prayers - I cannot "talk about it" yet - just keep us close in your thoughts.

My best friend and JAE's Aunt J is meeting me in San Antonio and so I will have a lovely weekend with my oldest friend. We will talk until we have no breath left in our bodies. I return to Minnesota on Tuesday. I will try to post at least once while I am in the lovely City of San Antonio. More to come................

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Bounty of the Harvest





Here are the weekend photos from the Farmer's Market - the next to last photo is of the veggies I brought home. I cooked a huge pot of Ratatouille, roasted a piece of fresh lamb and made a nice yogurt sauce. Very yummy - harvest time - such a delight.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Late Summer Weekend

Autumn is definitely on its way. Our trees are barely tipped with gold yet the socks and sweaters are out of their summer storage drawers. This weekend I wore socks with my moccasins and a gorgeous knitted scarf - so warm and cozy. I love living a four season climate. Happy to see my sandals each spring and ready to wrap up in my big wool shawl as winter approaches.

I have a set of late summer photos to post - the bounty of harvest at the Farmer's Market, the changing sky and others but blogger is being touchy this morning and will not allow upload at this time.

I am working in my home office today and will try to share them later in the day. Happy Monday.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A New Week Ahead

Those of you who visit here may know that I love the Daily OM - in fact, I receive an email from daily om each morning. Today's email resonates with me and so I share it as I begin a new week.

Heart-Centered Generosity
Cancer Daily Horoscope

You could feel a great amount of warm-heartedness when welcoming others into either your home or your life today. This desire to be toward other people may be due to your recognition that it is through kindness that you can truly connect with those around you. If you can imagine today that as you allow people into your physical space you are also allowing them into your emotional space you may notice that it becomes easier to really greet others with open arms. Maybe you could try thinking of your heart as having a door to a part of yourself that is full of unconditional love and that with each person you encounter today, your heart-door opens, bathing them with the limitless love you have within you. Bathing your hospitality in this love might make it easier to give of yourself fully to others.

When our giving comes from our heart, it is complete and pure. Welcoming other people into our homes is often an act of opening ourselves up to them – making ourselves somewhat vulnerable in the process. Letting our hearts work for us, however, allows us to give without thoughts about what will happen when we let others in – it also takes the focus off how we express our generosity, and instead helps us to concentrate on those we have invited into our lives. By opening your heart, you will give the people you bring into your life the best that you have to offer today.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I FOUND IT!

Just don't ask where the camera appeared because of course it was hidden in plain sight. There are new photos in this blog's immediate future. I am off to the Farmer's Market, the personal trainer and errands. Happy Saturday! More Later..........

Friday, September 26, 2008

Standing in the Here and Now

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that I have integrated my grief and mourning into the fabric of the life I am living today. I am more externally focused and looking into the future after such a long time of being internally focused and longing for the past.

It is with great joy that I make this post standing firmly in the here and now.

There is an alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.
Pearl S. Buck

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Transitions

Farewell Summer.

It has been such a busy few months that I have not taken much of a break at all. As wonderful as a little vacation would be - I am deeply grateful to be busy with good work - especially in this chaotic economic time. Many people are suffering. Our company is maintaining old relationships and starting new clients - blessed be.

While summer is still here in force (it was over 80* yesterday)the signs of season's change are everywhere. I love Autumn. Bittersweet - memories assail me. Anticipation - winter beckons on the other side of dry leaves and wood smoke. Here I stand in this moment - filled with gratitude.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy, Happy 3 X 20

Today is Anna's 60th birthday or as Tor (that erstwhile Norwegian blog brother) is saying, "her 3 X 20." A big party is going on in Norway today to celebrate this most wonderful and important day for lovely Anna. Although I have only talked by phone once with Anna, I feel as though I know her. One of these days we will meet in person -either here in the US or in Viking Land.

Anna loves cats and hence the photo. I send my best wishes across the miles between us. May all your dreams come true this year. Happy Birthday Anna and welcome, the decade of the 60's is very different and very wonderful. Love and Hugs.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Has Anyone Seen My Camera?????

Boooooo - I cannot find my Canon digital camera. It is just not around! I guess I need to make a BIG search for it this weekend. This is what happens when you get too busy. Ratz, I love that little camera. It is here somewhere.......now, let's see, where did I put that camera????

Today I bought a wonderful book that I learned about from Fran yesterday over at Sacred Ordinary - stop by for a visit and read the post for yourself. Fran is one of my favorite bloggers.

I went to Common Good Books to purchase,"To Bless the Space Between Us" by John O'Donohue, who is one of my favorite authors. The book itself is a blessing. Now, I am going to go light a candle, make a cup of tea and read for awhile.

Thank you for your support and your kind words - I am blessed to have each of you with me in my heart and spirit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

and it comes again when you least expect it

So here I am today - driving and crying in the car. Grief - the gift that keeps on giving.

There are those moments when I miss my old life. I howl - turn back the clock - driving with tears running down my face.

Yes, I have forged a new life from loss - yes, I am externally focused and looking toward the future - instead of internally focused and longing for the past - but damn, I miss my husband. I miss unconditional love. I miss being with someone who loves me for my heart and spirit and being.

Just like before - it is the smallest things that one misses - holding hands, cooking early morning oatmeal for two, watching a sunset, sitting in silence - being together. So, just when you are moving along quite nicely - BAM, there you are crying in the car.

A comfort is that Tom did not live to see the mess that our country finds itself in - what chaos - what greed hath wrought.

So, here I am living in the moment.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain and More Rain

I had a picture and a particular post in mind for tonight but blogger has not allowed me to upload photos all afternoon and evening. So, here are Sunday night ramblings. It has been a very rainy weekend in St. Paul. I love it. Having grown up on the west coast of the USA - rain is a dear reminder of winter days playing inside all warm and cozy and then running outside in slickers and rubber boots to splash in puddles. Besides my personal predilection for rainy afternoons - the weekend's precipitation has been a gift. It has been a very dry summer and we truly need the rain.

Last night I had a party here for 30 people to celebrate my dear sister-friend V's birthday. She lives next door and we look out for one another. It was a lovely party - the most important thing being V was just thrilled. We had lots of yummy food and the biggest and most scrumptious carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Everything was a hit.

Life is moving fast for me right now - too fast for my taste. I have grown accustomed to a much quieter life. I am grateful to have new opportunities to meet people, be of service to others, and pursue new interests. I just need to be mindful of not over-committing myself.

The week ahead will usher in even more of Autumn's days. Those delicious mornings, cool and crisp and tinged with the smell of crimson and gold. Oh how I love putting on a little sweater in the mornings - knowing I will be in shirt sleeves or a tee shirt by noon.

The seasons change - the wheel turns. Om Shanti

Friday, September 12, 2008

Inner Peace

I have been attending the Unitarian Church this summer. I find it inspirational and important to my new life. One of the things I value about Unity Unitarian is the amazing music, the poetry, and other readings; they help to create context and provide focus and food for personal reflection and growth.

Two weeks ago, I attended the first in a series of three classes to explore joining the congregation. Justin, who is the church staff person leading the workshop, began our session with this poem:

The Art of Disappearing

When they say Don't I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say why?

It's not that you don't love them anymore.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

- Naomi Shihab Nye



My dear friend and mentor, M is dying with a tumor growing in his brain. He is only 64 years old and one of the more brilliant people on the planet. I spent time with him this week - sitting and talking and listening and honoring his journey - one he is approaching with curiosity, with acceptance and regret that he will leave his family and friends behind at this precious stage of our lives.

"Know you could tumble at any second - then decide what to do with your time."

Today is Friday - have a wonderful day - we choose our lives moment to moment.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Today

September 9th is the anniversary of the day Tom and I were married.

This morning, I went to Fort Snelling National Military Cemetery. And tonight - looking back to my blog post last year and how far I have come on this journey.

Oh My Darling - Forever in my heart.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Still on the Planet

I have been really crazed between work and getting one of the duplex units ready to rent after some tenants who left the unit not as clean as it needed to be. I have a really cool new client - it is an Art Museum - how fun!!!! Getting around in the Twin Cities these days is just difficult, which adds to my current busyness. I promise I will have a long post with photos soon.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Barricaded Town




These were taken on Saturday morning - today there were lots of really big helicopters circling the city, and cameras mounted on sides of buildings and light poles. There are police cars, officers and men in black suits with earpieces and sunglasses everywhere. The core of St. Paul is like a town under siege. Of course, the Republicans have canceled most of their public/televised events (the parties will go on) due to Gustav, the storm that is headed for the gulf coast. Interesting to see the lengths to we go to these days in the name of "security."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Guess Whose Coming to Town?

The RNC is in the process of taking over our town. My home is less than two miles from this spot - the convention site is also between my house and my office - should get really interesting.

I will have more photos later today. I understand the barricades are up - the freeway exits are blocked and the Secret Service is in town. More to come..............

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dreams

Please visit my blog-sister Rain today - her blog is so thoughtful and her photos so captivating. The last two posts about the power of dreams touched me deeply. Change is in the air.




Forty-Five Years ago today. I was in High School. Where were you?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Little Slice of Life





Yes - here are photos from my travels around the Twin Cities the last few days. The table is at my Acupuncture Clinic - Julie is an amazing healer and I am so grateful to have her on my wellness team. Unity is where I have started attending services - it is really nice to be part of a spiritual community, I am taking the orientation, "Welcome to Unity" next Sunday after the service to explore joining the congregation.

The third photo is of course, the famous Mall of America that I referenced in my last post and the final photo is Garrison Keillor's bookstore, which is located in the lower level of the building in which our business resides.

So, there you go - just a little slice of my life.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Autumn is in the Wings

That's right - the past two mornings have been light jacket days. Fall is my favorite season - always has been. It seems that summer is careening to an end - there are dry, fallen leaves in my backyard - enough to rake a bit and sweep quite a few from the deck before my patio dinner last night.

It has been a lovely weekend. I had a great acupuncture session; entertained a friend for dinner on Saturday night; and went to the Mall of America after church today. It is rare that I go to the Mall of America but I needed something that is only carried at Nordstorms. So off to the Temple of Twin Cities Retail - I got a great outdoor parking space near the North Entrance and was in and out rather quickly.

My trip to San Antonio was exhausting. The gold in the experience was to spend time with my friend Missy. We walked the Riverwalk, ate in nice restaurants, curled up with room service and watched the Sex in the City movie and talked and talked. Just had a great girlfriend time. Missy and I met in Washington DC in 1980. Nothing like old friends.

Here in St. Paul we are preparing to have our city taken over by the RNC for the Republican Convention - the convention site is square in the middle of my short drive to the office - should be interesting. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

San Antonio Riverwalk








I departed for San Antonio on Monday evening and had a whirlwind trip - the ostensible reason to go was very serious family business. I am so fortunate - one of my oldest and best friends, Missy came from New Orleans to lend moral support and hang out for a couple of days. That is Missy in the black and white dress strolling down the Riverwalk.

I am home - it is early afternoon in St. Paul and I am going to have a little nap. More about the lovely City of San Antonio and our girlfriend time later.......