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Friday, September 30, 2011

The Secret Place

There is a place I love to go, where I dance or I lay under the sky looking straight up into the night. I see the stars and tree branches,  I feel the rain and the wind. It is a secret place in my own backyard where I wonder how did I get so lucky to live here. I was listening to the radio where the woman was talking about having her own paradise place, and how they had to work so hard to get such a home only to loose it when this economy went belly up. Then she realized it was her attitude that could make her situation better or worse. Now she blooms where she is planted and I thought the same for my home. It isn't everyone's dream home but I LOVE IT.....I like to look in from outside while walking the dogs and see candles burning, fresh flower vases and bird feeders. We all need a secret place of wonder and love...full of magical things like fire flies and soft green grass! Last night when I laid back looking up at the stars I had a cat and 2 dogs join me as we relaxed and felt together in that moment. I know I have been sad lately, I know I have been processing so many things in these last several weeks.......but I have a secret place that always brings me back to myself, to my inner hope where this strength and joy comes from.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Goodbyes still live on...

It was towards the end of April this past spring that my mother took me to visit her Aunt in the nursing home in Caldwell Idaho. My father-in-law still lives in Caldwell and his wife Teresa invited me to help her setup the gardens and let our dogs play together once or twice a week. I was in the middle of getting ready to move, dog-sitting and really wanting to garden. So it was a wonderful spring to help out my second mother-in-law Teresa. When I was house sitting in Caldwell for a week then I was able to see my great aunt several times. What I loved about seeing her was how spunky she was! Great Aunt Mary Evelyn was almost 88 years old and lost the control of her legs, in the nursing home she had pictures of the Oregon Coast and places she had lived there. As a mother of almost a dozen kids, she lived a very tough life without the support of her spouse. I grew up on the farm where she came by every week to see her brothers and visit. She also loved gardening and playing the piano. In fact she gave piano lessons in the small town of Homedale. I didn't stick to those piano lessons because I noticed when my mother took my siblings to their piano lessons to see Aunt Mary Evelyn, the whole house was quite and I got to just be there in the peacefulness. Mary Evelyn told me memories and stories when I visited with her this past spring and early summer in her nursing home bedroom. I would go and sit with her for the afternoon laughing and chatting, she loved all my flowers and we talked so much about gardening, for she knew everything about it! I also was struck by how much she looked like her brother my Grandpa Ansel, they had the same chin line, nose and eyes. I would help rub her feet while we talked about the news or the beauty of the ocean. When she would cry I would hug her and cry too.....seeing my aunt come to the end of her life was both sad and peaceful as she said that she had lived a rich full life. It always made me chuckle or smile at Mary Evelyn's clever comments about the people around her or how she liked her privacy. On those afternoons when we talked about my Grandpa and her, or about the orchard farm and of where the family is now.....I thought to myself that we never really say Goodbye when these people who have gone, are still remembered!

It was a warm early summer afternoon as I slipped into Aunt Mary Evelyn's room to instantly feel death was there.... I know death becomes I have seen it face to face as it claims the souls of the people I love often......Once again it was here in her room, hoovering over her bed like a shadow. I felt instantly shaky, I took her hand and watched her breathing heavily. I whispered "Sleep well my dear." then silent tears slid down my cheeks. I stared a long moment at the blank wall thinking of how GRIM stood there, he wasn't being mean. He just came to claim her soul and move on into the next world. I was shaking because I was so sad but I was also wondering why did I feel it was very important to see her that day? When the nurse told me that Mary Evelyn might not live to the weekend I really cried on the way home. Death comes to us in many ways, sometimes it is nice to have someone hold our hand as we leave on that journey.....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Weeping Willow

The road was normal, wide open and clear as I drove along in my car with the 2 dogs in the backseat. I felt confused by the sudden change in weather as it went from sunshine to gray instantly and snow covered my windshield. I griped the steering wheel as it felt like the car was driving faster, I moved my foot around quickly to find the brakes but then I noticed the oncoming traffic was doing the same thing as the other cars slid and spine out of control in front of me! I wanted to scream but instead I swung right then left sliding all over the road too just seconds in missing the other cars, there was glossy ice EVERY WHERE?!? I looked to my left the drop off was steep with broken trees in a racing river, then I looked to my right as it looked like the ocean but it had frozen over into loose ice banks. I wondered if this was where I had come to died, but I kept driving fast and steadily. At one point I put my hand up to stop a big red car from slamming into me as the shadowy sky lead me through this chaos to a willow tree. A huge tree with big raised roots that saved my car wheels from floating out into the ocean, it saved me. I got out of my car shocked over all those cars flying around but they never actually crashed into me! "What IS happening?" I asked out loud as I noticed a hippy rainbow van full of kind looking people that had been already parked there under that huge tree. The hairy old man hugged me saying "You are safe now, you made it!" I wiped tears from my cheeks with the back of my long sleeve, He looked out over the sudden empty earth in front of us saying "You are the only who survived it, though." I felt instantly scared to death in realizing the only ones alive now where under that willow tree with me. And I woke up with a start this morning and sad over how real that dream actually was to me.......So what could it mean?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mums The Word

It is every where in grocery stores, it is that time of the year again......FALL comes to us in such colors as this flower. MUMS, they are such a vibrant hardly flower for the changing weather and cozy season. I always have my mums next to pumpkins as I staged my home for the harvest colors. What I love about mums is that they are full of blooms and gives us color when everything else begins to pale away. Each visit to the store I notice my eyes are drawn into the baskets of mums and fall decor. I think that is the same reason I love marigolds so much for they hold such bright full color into winter! Since I have some new room to decorate this year....I have MANY ideas and plans for my home in these approaching holidays, It is what gets me up excitedly every morning! I have ripening pears, weeds to pull and a lawn to mow among all my creativity and homemaking passions. I am hoping to setup my garden really good for next spring as all my peppers and squashes have been harvest. My mums while decorating this cottage help fill the hours with a sense of a new season, a new list of activities and a true beauty to behold!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pear Butter

It was such a fun event learning to make Pear butter with my second Mother-in-law Teresa. I have this very big and full pear tree in the center of my backyard that we needed to do something with all those fruits! We cooked 2 batches of pear butter all day long with lattes and lunch, with radio programs and our shaking the tree for the ripest pears to use. We had such a wonderful time and I learned so much! The nice thing about our ripe tasty pears is that we didn't add any sugar to the canning process. We added freshly grated nutmeg,zest from a lemon and orange, then slow cook the juices down to a very thick texture. My house smelled like the fall season for the rest of the weekend! I am now thinking up ideas for even more pears, but there is nothing as good as pear butter! I really need to make some more......

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Pop-in

When it comes to the "Pop-in" no one did this more that I know of then my own mother. It's an old school style of visiting neighbors and friends....that really now with email or cell phones visiting or going to see someone is much faster or easily planned. I do remember all the caught by surprise looks friends or family gave us when we stood at their front step to hang out at their house for the day. Even though I was just a kid I got the feeling at times our "Pop-in" wasn't really welcomed. I had to figure out my own rules on the pop-ins and what other people preferred once I grew up. Some friends like a text message tat I am on my way or others just call when they arrived in my driveway. With our modern technology nowdays socializing has never been made so easy! (AS long as we are willing to leave the technology alone long enough for a visit one to one) My Mother use to come into town and call me saying she is here and I can meet up with her right then. It got a bit stressful or frustrating if I already had other plans. Although the few times she just pop-in to my home, I usually was still in my house coat drinking coffee trying to explain nicely to her that I do not EVER go shopping on the weekends. Maybe it was the crowds or that weekend time was when I saw my hubby but in the last 10 years it is a rare weird day if I am shopping on the weekend. Although I did go shopping with my mom on her pop-in the last time she was in town. We actually had a fun time with her big sale coupons, in many ways it wasn't for me that I was that now I have those good memories of her and I trying on the same clothes in the same fitting room and laughing! THAT was a pop-in by her to which I will enjoy.....This morning when my father called to say they wanted to pop over I was THRILLED and excitedly setup a tea cup set with ripe sweet freshly sliced pears. Mom sat in her wheel chair on our patio and we visited....I was sad to see her leave back to the hospital. I just want to give my Momma even more flowers and gardens to enjoy! I realized her way of "Popping-in" has changed, and it was truly sweet to have her in my home for a little while...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Book Review "Katz on Dogs" by Jon Katz

This is a book full of thoughtful dog issues and situations, the importance of how society functions around our four legged friends. How easily dogs are misunderstood.....or worse neglected. I love how Jon addresses normal family situations with a energized dog or the lack of attention that creates social problems. When dogs come to our homes it is often surprising how little we the owner know about our pet's needs and when we put our own emotional spin to the dog's actions we can truly mess up the relationship. I like how Jon writes in this cute titled book "Katz on Dogs" his approach is honest and humbling. I like how he helps people with their dogs in this book. I also like how he knows some people won't take his advice and he lets that go without trying to save the dog from an unhappy situation. Although he writes about how hard it is to see dogs be mistreated or struggle, he also knows how owners have to learn the hard way at times about who their dog is.....I use this book often but I am far from a dog training guru. I have had my mini-schnauzer Oscar for 5 years now and when he chase my neighbor's backyard chickens a couple of weeks ago I was applauded at how Oscar didn't listen to me, at how he raced around trying to eat a chicken!!! There are moments when we are embarrassed or humbled by our dog's actions.....where for myself, that I realized my dog training never ends as long as I don't become a lazy pet owner.  Thankgoodness my neighbor was understanding and no chickens actually died by terror of silly drama queen Oscar. So I am planning on re-reading this book on training over and over again because it is good to keep focus and live happily ever after with our dogs!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Full Circle basket

We got our first Full Circle Basket yesterday! My husband was so excited and knew everything about Full Circle Farms. I loved how easy it was with no long lines at the grocery store to get our fresh produce. Reading about the local organic farmers makes me feel excited to see what we will have in our next basket! I want to support all local business and I also enjoy shopping when it is beneficial to local artists, inventors and creators! I realize the economy is struggling, but I see in awe how creatively people are becoming, how they can earn a little extra $$$.....Maybe out of these stressful situations in our country, we can see such beauty and happiness in what we make? I encourage everyone to give more to each other as we live with less! I am excited to see what becomes important to us in such changing times and maybe we will ALL come full circle in how we enjoy our lives! 
ENJOY this Harvesting time of the year!!! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No Absolutes

I know I said this often, that I have no absolutes when it comes to claiming who God is. When it comes to saying life is this way or that. I honestly sit here typing this tonight thinking over my own absolutes. Like I will absolutely protect my pets, love my family and be brave as life unfolds. But really what else can I be so sure about? In debating tonight with my husband on issues like the death penalty, child abuse or murder. I found myself debating, getting fired up on what I really don't know for sure...that is how to fix such things in our society. While I was debating these things, I noticed my arguments were not strong. But they were filled of hope to better the world around us....yet how do we really DO THAT when faced with such deep dark situations or sadness? I don't know. I don't know really how just one person so sure of a possible, hopeful, peaceful world can overcome the dark souls out there creating evil......In debating I noticed my unsure ideas of what answers I give that felt really open to still looking for a solution to so many bad things that happen in our society. I thought to myself "We are looking for an absolute, something that says if society worked like this or that then nothing bad would happen." Ironically, I say there are no absolutes then I try to find an answer for one......When I was a christian I had all the absolutes, all the answers to this "Sinful world" and tonight I realized just how much I miss that easy system to answering a debate. I miss it because it was nice to feel like I was absolutely right! NOW I realize I have so much more to learn, that society isn't easily fixed by my own personal point of view. NOW I have more questions then answers .....especially with no absolutes.   

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hyde Park Street Fair

Every year I make my way through the hundreds of cars, the narrow streets of the north end of Boise Idaho to the corner park. As a small child I remember playing on the swings of Camel's back park. With Hyde Park just down the road you can get a coffee with a friend or sit on the patio of a restaurant. Camel's Back park has the most amazing view of the valley below when you hike straight up that hillside with your dogs. Every year I make my way through bikers and strollers, through young and old and find myself waving back at the security police. The bands play among the dancing spectators, as I look on in awe at how each year this event grows! The hippy happy days of summer come to a close bringing out the most colorful of people on this weekend. And the local vendors bring business with such color, with such fun! I LOVE this festival!!! Maybe because I am very much a happy hippy, but I feel like this event has a small town feeling in a big city....It was on such a perfect night, clear sky, sweet end of summer scents and I just loved.........loved it all....the people, the colors, the music and well the WHOLE world!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My front yard

What is a front yard for? Why do we have them? I see many front yards in my neighborhood that are either picture perfect or completely forgotten.....
What do we use our front yards for???
No one likes to sun bath out front where strangers whistle nor would reading a book out there be any better. My dogs can't hang out in the front yard since it is without a fence! I'm spending extra on watering the front yard for no real reason then to look good as people (LIKE MYSELF drive by and judge if it is a loved front useless yard or not, HA) I wish it was a front garden, then the lady chickens would love on it as I would benefit more from the cost of watering. I still make my front yard look good, I pull scary Canadian thistle weeds out from the fresh laid sod. I plant flowers and even put a chair out by my front wind chimes remind me that I have a front yard all together!
I think there are many ideas for a front yard, but mostly it is a space of land many people ignore or stage. I never notice many lawn parties out front, mostly because where ever you put your BBQ that's where the crowds will hang out! So maybe I should spend more time in my front yard just sitting, not weeding, not talking to the chickens. But just enjoying my lonely yet perfectly loved front yard. Maybe I will answer my own questions if I do!?! Really what IS a front yard, if it isn't used?!?

Monday, September 19, 2011


I haven't been a big shopper my whole life, I grew up as a kid always wanting to go to the mall and see what everyone else was doing. Then this morning I realized that I was very excited to go...yes that is right.... SHOPPING! It was my mother's first shopping event outside of the hospital in over 60 days. My sister Dana and I met up in her room with coffees and plans to take Mom out. My car worked easy enough for the transfers from seat to wheel chair. Once we got to Ross, the clothing store I carried the clothes Mom wanted as Dana pushed her wheel chair....every so often Dana shot me a smirk while piling on the clothes in my arms. I was starting to get worried that I added up the clothes we were almost at 200 dollars......then Sis and I cleverly reduce those purchases a bit more. It was such a fun time, but it was different. Mom use to be a frugal shopper so watching her grab everything she liked was a surprise. We will see changes like these as a result from her stroke. Then Mom was ready to take on another store but we had to get back to her therapy classes. It was a really good first time outing and great to get out of the hospital too! My dad did mention we might need to schedule our shopping days out more for the budget and Mom explained that she had no budget hahahaha Ooooh dear.....I thought to myself that I may need a bit more practice on how to shop again.....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crazy Crocs

    When they first came out, I laughed at them! I made fun of such "smurf" looking feet because I thought they looked like jell-o molds flopping out as we walked. In all the advances we have made in our shoes, that such rainbow colors in crocs created a simple structure of foamy feet! I had vowed never to wear a pair especially out in public......then I moved to a place with a garden. It was crazy trying to flood the backyard and pull weeds while soaking my feet in my sandals or tennis shoes. SO I bought purple crocs to easily drain off the water and mud while gardening then slowly I wore those shoes everywhere!  
Who would have ever thought walking on marshmallows would be so much fun!?!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Words of the song "Paradise" by Coldplay

Oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo.
Oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo.

When she was just a girl,

She expected the world,
But it flew away from her reach,
So she ran away in her sleep.

Dreamed of para-para-paradise,

Every time she closed her eyes.

Oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo.

Oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo.

When she was just a girl,

She expected the world,
But it flew away from her reach,
And bullets catch in her teeth. 

Life goes on,
It gets so heavy,
The wheel breaks the butterfly.
Every tear, a waterfall.
In the night, the stormy night,
She closed her eyes.
In the night,
The stormy night,
Away she flied.


I dream of para-para-paradise,
Whoa-oh-oh oh-oooh oh-oh-oh.

She dreamed of para-para-paradise,

Whoa-oh-oh oh-oooh oh-oh-oh.



Still lying underneath the stormy skies.

She said oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh.
I know the sun's set to rise.

[Chorus x2]

Oh, oh. Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo.


Oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo

Oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo
Oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo
Oo-oo-oo, oo-oo-oo...

Friday, September 16, 2011


I really do get upset, angry and can loose my temper! I get annoyed and instantly alarmed when I am surrounded by deep negativity....I can get preachy and bossy just like anyone in my family too! Sooooo how can I change these things in me that I do not like??? I already explained how I hide away in my happy go lucky world thinking of ways to create beauty and love....BUT I still get mad, I still get sad! I am exactly what my father calls me a stuck up spoiled brat.....(he means that in the most honest way of course.) For I DO put my chin up higher when I see him, because he has no respect for me. because he and I have battle scars. Because we have 2 very different ways of looking at life......or interacting with my mother. I know exactly what it is when my chin goes up and my eyes stay steady. I was taken by surprise when my brother Derek chewed me out for telling my mom that she will get to drive by her home on a more sunny his mind he was right and in my mind I was ready to fight to stand up for myself! and once again I was angry!!! Most of my family can hold their own in arguments, conflict and judgement....I however have been out of practice for a few years and can not really win in these battles or maybe I don't care as much as I use to on being "In the right"? What is this anger in me, what is the drive to fight back? Maybe I have sat silent for way to long now......maybe I realize I can not fix anything so I might as well just vent!?! There is such a strong control over protecting my mother or handling her in certain ways that my family will correct a good deal of my conversations with her or get frustrated at me! I think my mother needs all the honesty, all the respect and most importantly the hope that everything will get better......If I have to fight, if I get angry over and over again then that is just what these situations create and most importantly I am not afraid, to be strong isn't really about having it all work out. To be who I am isn't to get walked on or be controlled. To help out my family isn't be around them all the time, it isn't to teach them, it isn't to fight with them or help peace make all their dramas. It is to be Honest about our problems and issues, I know I can get so angry lately! .....AND MAYBE IT'S ABOUT TIME......

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Butterfly Kisses

In my backyard I love escaping there into my own utopia! I have humming birds, many different kinds of birds, along with squirrels and the neighborhood cats. I have my fully sprung garden and little flower plants here and there. I have a ripe pear tree with just as many worms in the fruit as in the dirt....Ha!
I enjoy the grassy lawn as the evening pops out sparkling stars and I think about how beautiful the earth truly is! But what I really enjoy are the magical visits of the butterflies! The very first time a tiger swallow tail flew by me, I stood in awe! It was the very same moment I declared my big backyard my personal utopia, my refuge and a place to think. I may dance or sing, or I may just watch the butterflies!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Surrounded by LOVE

The truth is simple. The truth is this.....I am surrounded by LOVE! I am not so alone as I first thought during the first days of drama with my mother's stroke. I have never actually been accepted in my family growing up, I don't "Fit In". This can be a lonely position, I was surrounded by my family members, 5 strongly opinionated siblings and one easily upset father, naturally I was lonely. I was surprised by being "cultured shocked" in not knowing how to talk to them, how to see the world through their eyes or to at least understand where they were coming from.....I would  be thinking "I can't ever say the right thing or I don't know what I am suppose to do with this?!?" Because the reactions or conversations ended with eyes rolling at me or snorting angrily. I felt like I was not doing any good at all. I was starting to fall into a dark hole of great negativity, an old feeling from my childhood. So while this was all going on, one late summer evening I was pulling weeds thinking over this exact bad feeling in my stomach, this anger and negative mood resulting from my family drama. I pulled weeds feeling worried and trapped again like I was 12 years old not really 32. (How funny/strange life is to throw us into our unresolved issues, our unfinished battles with our parents or siblings.) I stopped pulling weeds in my struggling to watch the sunset feeling desperate to understand forgiveness.
In that very moment my good friend Betty Jo pulled up to my new cottage with her granddaughter TaylorAnn to give me goodies and a loving hug! I was completely relieved to see them and realized that I am not so alone after all! It is a wonderful feeling to have friends no matter the situation! Moments like that have flooded my life since this has happened to my mother, since I have gone to the "battle field" with my family... I think the most important thing for me to remember, to always remember is that I am surrounded by LOVE! That is the simple truth!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lunch on the Roof Top

Today was such a good day for my mom to eat her usual Cafe Ole with her friend Cindy on the roof top garden at the hospital. It was great weather as we sat over chips and salsa, Mom loves her cherry cokes and getting back to feeling more normal again. she told us about all her classes and all her plans to learn to walk. I loved the whole event because Mom had this endearing way in trusting to visit, while leaning in close to joke with her life long friend Cindy. I was thinking about how several weeks ago they said my mother may never eat real food again and now as the water fountain moved in the center of the garden she ate happily away! I am so proud of all she has done to work so hard to get this day and then on the next day even! It is amazing how she cant move her left side and still gets around! Mom smiled and share so much of herself today that I ate it all up and enjoyed watching her be truly happy! When I was about to leave I heard Mom say to the nurses and her friend "I am really happy now! I feel pretty and got a good lunch in the garden!" I smiled to myself thinking every day should be as fun for her and it's those little things like when Cindy said that Mom is a true princess, really made me happy to know there are other people who think so too! I am proud of my princess mother!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Arts in the Park

This weekend was so full of friends and family that I truly truly LOVED it and well LOVED EVERYONE! It started out great with my mother stepping out of the hospital for Friday's football game. Then with Arts in the park Saturday after I made my jalapeno poppers for the really fun BBQ at Tony's Dad's place. The Arts in the park here in Boise Idaho is always beautiful and creative that I get new ideas for painting or decorating! Hanging out there for 2 days in a row allowed me to really see everything! Not mention fill my heart with love for my dear friends! I am surrounded by love and beauty all the time I just forget when I am alone feeling sad or frustrated over my mother's stroke and family situations.......THIS weekend was inspiring and simply beautiful! I loved the fire pit time with Dad and Teresa, I loved the big Sunday breakfast Tony created and when Brecca introduced me to a magical artist name Mark Ludy, I was overjoyed!!! (he was really a nice guy while signing the books too) What a world to escape into as he paints it for us! My life is the most beautiful it has ever been and I am aware from such pains comes deeper meanings.....So now I can sit under the big dark trees on the flatten grass while the sights and sounds of arts in the park unfold thinking to myself "BEAUTIFUL. Life just is beautiful!"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years ago...Today.

We all talk about where we were, what we were feeling or thinking on 9/11/2001. When the twin towers fell, when we were caught off guard in much the same way as during 
Pearl Harbor.....Then the out cry for war and pay back became our nation's hurting passion. I hated that the most in those early days of all the revenge seeking Americans. I can understand why people felt insulted or disrespected....I just knew such a war would be our nation's biggest mistake. I just knew this by the sick feeling in my stomach or the sadness that took me down while I watched people cry for heads to roll. Now 10 years later...I look back with that same feeling of sadness for our nation's hatred and obsession with the horrid event. Did we learn of compassion, forgiveness and understanding? OR do we still hate, still feel vulnerable? A decade is a good time line for such painful healing and I really HOPE we have!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The First Football Game

When I saw my mother yesterday morning she was dressed and ready to go! (even though she had to wait till evening) For her boys had their first high school football game that night in Greenleaf Idaho. This was going to be her very first outing from the hospital, and she would get to watch the game! Everything seemed cheerful when talking to my mom about her plans, In fact it really was such a great game even though the Greenleaf Grizzlies didn't win. Last night's game was on a perfect end of summer weather with a pink sunset and the surrounding fields of mint in the air! My brothers Daren and Doug were playing with such heart and soul that it was so much fun to watch! They would brake away when they could to see our mother in her front row seat from the pick-up facing the flied. When my husband Tony and I showed up I asked Mom if Tony could sit with her and she smiled happily saying yes. The 2 of them stayed in the pick-up while game took place. My Father moved on the side lines with my brother Derek and Sister Dana. It was amazing to me that ALL 6 of  us kids were there in the small town of Greenleaf  chatting with our mother and cheering on our brothers (It is a 45 minuet drive from Boise, from the hospital) Mom loved it all! The drive, the pickup, the cherry coke while watching, cheering and being out from her hospital room after the last couple of months. I loved seeing my brothers play so good and Mom explained proudly how when they arrived for the game Daren said he took care of it, so Mom could park where ever she would liked to watch the game. She was so proud to be a VIP! At half time when the boys came over to kiss their mother she beamed even more and my father hugged each boy telling them how proud he was and how he loved them! I couldn't help but think as I was watching, that something amazing was happening to my family......Like we all knew, having our mother there was a true miracle! The energy, the friendships and the love was filling all of our hearts with hugs and happiness!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hospital Hot Packs

When mom would wake up in all her pain, she would beg and plead for a hot shower or a glass of water. But in the ICU the rules were there to protect her. So when mom got a hot pack she fell right to sleep! It was like a miracle those hot packs! Mom loved them and we learned how to create them. For all of mom's sore muscles and aching back we were able to help relax that pain by putting heat on it. I STILL think they are fascinating! AND my mother LOVES them!

(IF ever you are in need of a hot pack too)

Take a heavy duty ziplock bag
put a dry hand towel or a couple of wash cloths in the bag
Then fill the bag half full of boiling hot water (We get the water out of the coffee maker machine so its super hot)
let the cloth get soaked by the hot water 
then drain completely (Leave no hot water in the bag for safety)
The wet towel in the bag will stay very hot a long time
Then seal close carefully
Put into a pillow case to keep from burning against the skin.
Repeat when necessary.......WORKS WONDERS for sore muscles!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

16 Years

In my family there is a guarded feeling of not being over dramatic or panicked. I grew up with it, as I was taught that we keep secrets and put our best looking self forward. As a child my real honesty was cut down and truly alarmed my parents. I was the odd duck out when talking about what I saw, what I heard and what I thought. My parents had decided I was an exaggerating child, (Then I was a overly dramatic adult)They use to tell everyone right in front of me as I grew up how I liked to tell stories, how I made up what I had just said. Especially if I just made them look bad....... I did however learn to be clever, learn to hold my tongue. Now my father did nice things for us kids, it wasn't always dramatic. He took us to fly kites, play basketball, view airplane shows or just walk the greenbelt. I remember ALL of these events very clearly, because if our father was happy chances were the rest of us was happy too! It also changed as suddenly as the wind for unhappiness to take I was wondering to myself while drinking my coffee in those little white Styrofoam cups listening to my sister vent in the ICU eating room the other day, When did all those events as we were little change? When did he stop doing father like things with us? When did he just stop completely even BEING a father?!? What can happen to a person in their life to dramatically change them?...or maybe the real question is did he even WANT to be a dad?   I sat drinking my coffee asking these kinds of questions to myself. My sister was talking to me but since Dad had just sent us out of our mother's room. I wondered about him. My sister Dana was fired up in not knowing what was going on in ICU with our mother. I understood that our father would want to keep mom's information to himself, not wanting very many people around him or have her situation flared into a gossip chain. So I drank my coffee wondering when did my family stop being a family? 
Dana was speaking as I came back from my thoughts..she handed me a napkin with her long slender fingers, her deep dark eyes were wide in her excitement to talk to me. I saw her very slim figure bend over the chair across from me. She was pulling her long straight blondish tinted hair back into a pony tail again with a gush of energy, with her strong voice saying  "Now I know that I am type "A" person, I am not afraid to tell him either...." my father was a common topic for my sister and I during these stressful hospital days. Mother's stroke had shook the whole family up side down. I smiled at my sister no room to really reply she was fired up!  YET I loved that morning time with just the 2 of us together talking/listening to each other I finally wondered out loud "Am I a type "A" person too?" I asked her as she snorted loudly as if I made a joke, then I smiled again. "Hell No! and you are defiantly NOT a type "B" person either, you don't just do what you are told! I read in class what you were, it was SOooo exactly YOU but I can't remember now.......anyway what I'm sayin' is I know how I am and I will tell you to your face what I if Dad keeps pushing me away or keeping me out of the loop! I am gonna get REALLY mad!" I nodded in understanding at my sister as she refilled her coffee cup mumbling that she had picked a bad time to quite smoking and I giggled. Then Dana's face soften as she shared slowly "Ya know yesterday when Dad told me he loved me I realized it has been 16 years since the last time he said that to me." She was silent looking down into her coffee cup standing by the counter. She was suddenly still, no arms waving, no long loud sentences, no crazy faces like she had just been making. She was sadden by this realization and also happy to realize her father does love her after all!  I watched, I nodded strongly, I didn't move. I didn't say a thing because I was both deeply sadden that she has counted 16 years......and mad at my father for waiting so long to let her know that she is loved! Everything makes sense when you realize there wasn't any love spoken about in a long while. I made up my mind at that moment for it was time I said "I LOVE YOU" every day to everyone no matter the awkward looks or rolling eyes I got in reply! Love can win in this story of our lives, in this family of mine.  So I watched this change overcome my sister, then our eyes met full of silent tears. we didn't speak but understood each other perfectly. She jumped up to go for a walk suddenly without even a glance back at me. I watched her go still holding my cooling coffee. I wondered what kind of pain do we all carry? What kind of fear do we all have? Why is it hard to share an unconditional love or even trust? For I knew as I sat there alone thinking that this is all a LIFE TIME of pain surfacing up from the raw reality of my mother's stroke, of her possible death and of my hurting family. Perhaps the next 16 years will be true love?.....Perhaps.....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Girl who talks to animals...

When my mother was out of surgery and responding better again, I told her all about my neighbor's chicken. He has four of them and I loved talking to them! Mom smiled through her pain to listen about the chickens. My father was walking around so when he heard me say "I am glad the chickens come over into my yard then I can talk to them." He snorted and rolled his eyes as usual, while leaning into my mom's bed saying  "Did you know our daughter talks to CHICKENS?" like it was the stupidest thing, Mom just nodded and smiled again as she squeezed my hand. I could hear the edge in my father's voice but I replied back happily as if my father wasn't as rude as I felt. "I actually talk to ALL animals, but my chicken friends have names now so our conversation is more personal!" I smiled big and my father rolled his eyes again while leaving the room. I told my mother about each color of chicken, "Mrs. Paprika is redish brown, Mrs. Peppercorn looks JUST like a peppercorn! It is funny to think of spices to name each one. I also call them MRS. as a title of respect since they are the queens of laying eggs!" I loved how my mother lit up listening and replying back " their eggs....yard fresh." she said with a grin at her own humor. I loved that time just me and her talking about chickens. Then I began to think about how many years now I talk openly out loud to my dogs and to any animal actually. While growing up on the farm I always talked to my animals and it is something in me that feels they are connected even in conversation, they can't reply but your tone says a lot about your mood. Every animal is aware of who to approach and who to not just by the sound they are making. My conversations are good for me, the animal world is a wonderful comfort! "Dance away humming bird!, Run, squirrel run! and Are you a lost kitty?" I have had many hundreds of conversations to the animal world....whose to say we don't die and come back as one of them? how would you like to be living as a dog in a box? Or a cat in the rain? Each being is connected, maybe even for just a moment. I respect what we say or how we say it to the animal kingdom, when I hissed "Shut up Bird." to a loud squawking crow. it then quickly attacked me! SO maybe I will give a crow just a bit more space next time....
And I will not be embarrass when next time my husband asks "Who are you talking to?" I stop to point to the all black chicken next to me in my flower bed "Just Mrs. Butterworths" while He lets out a loud laugh and shake his head.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our Idiot Sister

I know that I am not an idiot, BUT in my family during the stress and craziness of the hospital drama with my mother. I have felt exactly like the guy in the new movie "Our Idiot Brother." I enjoyed seeing this flick with my mother-in-law JoAnne and her Hubby Roy, We laughed so much and enjoyed it very much. It was also fun to hear how my husband's movie was since he wanted to watch cowboys and aliens.....Hmmm not really interested. He enjoyed it too though! This movie  "Our idiot Brother" was about a hippy, happy grown man with 3 sisters. I thought it was completely adorable! I liked how the brother (Ned) always helped out and trusted people so easily. When what he said in the movie about how he hoped people will step up to be trustworthy and kind. I thought to myself "WOW I've said that so many times, I AM the Idiot sister! Oh how funny!" Now in this movie with Ned (the idiot brother) stumbles about trying to help or deal with his family...often getting completely misunderstood. YET his dog always loves him even when he feels no one else does....again the dog was beautiful by the way and I LOVED the happy ending!!! SO as I wore my purple crocks out in my garden this morning, I thought how lovely my marigold flowers smell and how funny my dogs were chasing each other as my radio played. I will live my life in my "Lovey Dovey ways" proudly...... for maybe just like the movie I have a happy ending too!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Humming Birds

I sat watching TV in my Grandma Eva's living room, the TV was framed by designed wood. The sliding glass door was open with red shear long curtains pulled back as I saw my first humming bird. It came up to the feeder in such motion that it catch my eye and I excitedly call out asking what kind of bird was THAT!?! I remember watching my Grandma refill the feeder often to the fresh pine tree smell outside. In northern Idaho the pine trees cover the hillsides and my grandparents home was on a hill look down a grassy valley out line by mountains and tree tops. The humming bird became my newest focus, as a young child I moved away from the TV that played the "The Phil Donahue Show." or some confusing soap opera, to watching the bright red feeder...waiting. I waited to catch a glimpse of a humming bird. Then I would excitedly be shouting when one arrived until I got on everyone's nerves. I guess ever since then humming birds and me get along great! I think they are magical like bird fairies and if they trust you then they will be back to show off their colors and air dancing! Right now in my home out back in the lilac bush I hang my feeders proudly......Humming birds come in to greet me at the window as I do the dishes, as I sing or dance with them! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011


It was amazing to watch how loving, how supportive we siblings were to each other that first week of our mother in the ICU. Even our father was thoughtful and sensitive, He has always been the toughest of men. He has his reasons for being a work-a-holic, for being proud of his hard work ethics. My father once said that if mom was in the hospital she had to choose a Friday to go in, so he could come see her. We all chuckled at the joke while Mom said back "Even then you would probably get called out." They had been married along time so they knew each other well. I have never been one to think working endlessly was a good character trait, even though I did it myself quite easily. In the jobs I've had when I was trying to avoid my life or make my life better then I worked ALL THE TIME. When I was home I noticed all I would do was think of my job, the list of things I needed to do. So maybe that helps me understand my father's drive to be at work or working. Taking time out to be still and fix your thoughts or struggles is much harder then getting an interrupting important call. I have seen my father RAW, I have seen the sadness in each family member's eyes when we were told our mother would die if she stayed in that coma. My father has layers to him like an onion, he has rules and regulations when he can control or call the shots for his life. But the whole structure of the way he sees family is changed, he is left completely raw and open. WE ALL ARE.....With each battle that my father and I face each other from our views or approach, the journey is important even if it is so painful. Something like this has to hurt in order to heal, I think with each conversation in calm information or in loud shouting my father and I are learning to communicate with each other. (Truly, Something we never did learn) So what I have learned is that there is no shame, NO SHAME AT ALL in being RAW, in being honest and hurting.......

I moved boldly towards my father who was frowning and snapping at the nurse, he wanted to take control with his commands. Although we were just told this was out of our hands as mother slipped into a I reached out catching his arm and hugging him even though he was on the move, "You don't always have to be so tough Daddy." I said as my tears poured steadily, he pulled away saying "I am NOT tough the Lord helps me be tough...the Lord you don't believe in." I didn't run away and hide by his sharpness, I knew suddenly this was the beginning of him and me, of our battles to come, with our lives unresolved issues coming to surface. I looked at him with a confident smile "But I believe in YOU, You can do this without being so tough." He shot back "ME?!? I am NOTHING! Nothing Debby without the Lord." He left quickly as I sadly thought t0 myself that there it is....there is the real honesty in my father. He grew up fighting his sense of nothingness only to be rescued by his faith, with God on his side, he has his answers....and yet he is worth more then he ever knew.....

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I Can't Fix You

I can watch the whole sunset admiring it's amazing beauty!
I can laugh easily, I can smile big and I can dance with no fear! I can teach my dogs and even get my cat's attention with a snap of my fingers. I can talk to anyone, I can trust, I can heal and I can be strong. I can fix the sink, or start the lawn mower. I can be brave, I can be scared, I can be mad, I can be sad. I can look out over the valley, I can look up the deep mountains and know, just sense in me all that I can be! For I can fix my vacuum, I can fix my toilet, I can fix my dishwasher.....I like to fix things, I like my "can do" attitude.
Yet I can NOT fix YOU.
I can NOT fix this, Not in the way I would like, not in the way I can see it all needs to be fixed. THIS is the hardest lesson I have learned for myself (I think) It is the saddest message I ever faced....that I can not fix my family. I would rather jump up on Harry Potter's broom with my own loving wand and say "May my mother be made alright again as if her stroke never was." I want to have friends like Gandalf and Sam Wise to never leave me alone with my father, as he and I seem to fight in only high volume.....I wish my world was where I can fix things by saying "I love you, I love you" over and over again to the humming of the honey bees. ......I guess in the last couple of weeks my personal struggle is NOT being able to fix this, Maybe it is good that I am the "Ugly Duckling" in my family? For I have learned to stop trying to fix everyone. Stopped trying to carry such deep heavy worries, with that panic feeling like I should or could fix ALL of this! Because simply I can not...I can not...I can not fix anything or anyone. Freedom comes from realizing how unimportant we really are, but there is also a great deep sadness in helplessly standing still. Filled with both peace and tears I have stopped trying to fix my family, stopped thinking if I could just give my mother everything she ever wanted she would be healed and happy. I have stopped thinking I could say the right thing to my father and he would see me alive and in front of him for the very first time. I have stopped assuming my brothers need a second mother, the mothering I have in my heart for them will never go away but I can keep from smoothing them. I have stopped thinking my sister and brother who grew up with me would love to start a whole new friendship! Realistically I can't fix things to be the way I see it, with my rose colored glasses. Maybe happy endings are just for the movies? Maybe my happy ending is in my own life as I work on it? I said out loud in all my tears, in all my pain "I can't fix them, I can't. I can't  fix this time in my life and most importantly I can't fix my mother." Sadly I can't fix this at all! but I can fix myself.....and I choose to wear my rose colored glasses while looking OVER the rim at the rest of the world. For I see it,  I feel it and......
     I can't fix it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Going to Hell

The day after our mother went "code" my 15 year old brother Dougie and I sat in her ICU room watching over her. I was surprised almost shocked when Dougie burst out crying, even though he is a sensitive kid, I still surprised by him. His tears were usually always apart of his face, so to see him burst out melted my heart! During all of this with our mother's stroke, we usually both had tearful eyes. Outside the ER on the first scary morning when I asked him "How are you doing?" he hugged me and never let go, then we cried together. Each brother of mine has shown how they feel in different ways but Doug just walks silently with eyes full. He will always be the sweetest young brother, I have 3 of them and they all impress me with great qualities! 
So as we sat in the ICU room Dougie said to me in his burst out of new tears, "I don't want YOU to go to HELL." My eyes widen in surprise then I hug him for a moment as I thought to myself that even in the breathing machine my mother's fears of hell are being filtered through her younger kids, I had survived it on my own journey now my brothers carry the fear of hell with them. I calmly reassured my worried brother that I was NOT going to hell....but the whole event shook me up so much! I was both pissed off and sadden that my brothers think I am going to HELL!!! 
What the fuck?!? was what I was really thinking as I hugged my brother. (That says how upset I was, the f word always has a kick to it when you are angered)  but I calmly said "Doug Bug, Listen Sweetie I am NOT going to hell! That is the last thing you need to be worried about right now okay? God is an amazing powerful force who will never allow anyone to ever go to hell. God has plans for you after going through all of this with mom, YOU can be the shining light of Love for God. Honey, I am not afraid to die, I am not afraid to live and I have a really great happy good life that God has given me so please don't worry I am NEVER going to hell...You are loved by God and by me and you are worth so much, in all the good you can do, I believe God is real and full of love or maybe love IS God?" I was amazed at myself for staying so calm, I really wanted to go find my father and chew his ass for telling my baby brothers that I was going to hell! (WHO DOES THAT????!!!?? again what the....???!!??) Dougie looked confused but I think he felt better and when I saw my father shortly after this I just left to be on my own for awhile. I was shaking again in my anger, I hate fighting with my father and I will always try to find a bridge to cross to meet up with him in more calm conversations...BUT I can only run after him so long to try and talk without fighting then I stop still wondering "Why is there even a hell in the story of faith, hope and grace?" It is bad enough your mother is in ICU living from day to day with unknown issues, but to have the going to hell issue pop out at me just made me helplessly sadden! It made me want to "spit nails" back at my father again, both my parents said this about me that I going to hell. (Maybe I am already IN HELL with my mother in her hospital bed struggling???) Now I THOUGHT I wasn't that angry person anymore!? For it is  grace  that saved me to live a peaceful life again....Now I realize I NEED to share that same grace to my parents, especially my father who isn't easy to approach. For Love and Grace is the only thing keeping us ALL from HELL!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Look UP!

  My favorite Author Jon Katz shared a powerful poem on his blog (You MAY have heard about him on this blog once or twice before:-D)...Now I've been outside in the center of my back yard most summer nights and last night when I looked up at the most beautiful darkening summer sky and I felt such amazing tears fall because We live in a beautiful world, sometimes it helps to be reminded by looking up! The trees stretch out and the sky holds so many colors! Maybe we live in the most amazing place in the whole universe.......Maybe we do just by looking up!

Posted: 30 Aug 2011 04:51 PM PDT

Look Up, Look Up
If you turn off the cell, and the TV and leave the computer behind.
And take yourself into the deep woods, and look up.
You might cry, as I did today,
for the colors in the world.
for the people in love.
for the flowers that bloom.
for the babies born.
for the creatures we love,
for the things we learn,
for the chance to change,
and the stories we tell
and the crops rising up.
for the birds that sing
for the hope in hearts
for the spirits unbroken
for the light that shines,
for the songs that are sung,
and the walks that are taken,
hand in hand,
with hearts still open,
to the joy of living
one more day.
Look up,
Look up,
and cry.