my turn

11.19.17 ~ Katherine walking in Ireland ♡

For all the products making claims, exercise may be the only miracle cure for both physical and mental health.
~ Mark Bertin
(Mindful, December 2017)

So, after so many years of Tim’s health problems (2007 – heart attack followed by triple by-pass surgery ~ six years of diverticulitis attacks followed by a sigmoid colon resection last January) it looks like it’s my turn for surgery, a hysterectomy. My uterus is full of pre-cancerous cells. Sigh. After spending 26 years wondering if I might get breast cancer like my mother it was a surprise to discover that it is my womb in danger.

Surgery tomorrow. One night in the hospital. If all goes as planned I will be home Wednesday in time to watch the first episode of season 5 of Vikings. 🙂 Then we can plan our trip to Ireland! I cannot wait to take a very long walk with my granddaughter ~ I miss her so much!

11.19.17 ~ Katherine feeding the sheep on a farm outside of Galway, Ireland

surgery update

5.16.15 ~ Venice, Italy

Just a quick update: Tim came home from the hospital yesterday and this morning we are waiting for his first visiting nurse to arrive. He is comfortable on Tylenol and starting to resume a normal diet.

The laparoscopic surgery did not go quite as planned. After an hour the surgeon decided to open him up go in the traditional way. So Tim was in surgery for six long hours. Thankfully my sister was waiting with me.

The surgeon said Tim will likely never have a bout of diverticulitis again!

He will have a huge (10 inches) scar across his lower left abdomen. It joins the huge scar from by-pass surgery (2007) down the middle of his chest. Battle scars… And we’ve been introduced to the concept of healing from the inside out. While his incision is held together with staples on either end, in the middle (4 inches) it remains a gaping open wound.

When a wound is deep … packing the wound can help it heal. The packing material absorbs any drainage from the wound, which helps the tissues heal from the inside out. Without the packing, the wound might close at the top, without healing at the deeper areas of the wound.
~ The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma

On the advice of the occupational therapist I went out and bought a recliner to make Tim more comfortable as he recovers for the next month or so. He’s walking around and doing the stairs, but in between moving around he needs a cozy place to rest. Hopefully the worst of it is behind us now.

sunshine on a rainy day

1.31.16 ~ Essex, Connecticut

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted much of anything besides quotes and paintings. That’s mainly my way of coping with stress, distracting myself with beautiful images and wise words.

Tim has been ill with recurring bouts of diverticulitis for several years now, getting more frequent and more severe this fall, and so the decision has finally been made to proceed with surgery, a sigmoid colon resection. Friday. My sister is coming to stay with me and sit with me during the operation. Larisa and Katie will be coming up after Tim gets home from the hospital. Recovery time is expected to be 4-6 weeks.

1.31.16 ~ Essex, Connecticut

We had our basement renovated this fall. I’m thrilled with the results — we now have heat in the guest room and the powder room and two new closets for storage and updated lighting and electrical outlets and fresh paint on the walls. But being the way I am it was stressful for me having noisy workmen in and out of the house at unpredictable times. I had to give myself a pep talk every morning for several weeks to keep my wits about me. But it was worth it in the end.

My aunt Lil died on October 27. She was 101 years old. I still have unresolved and complicated feelings about our relationship. She had a hard life, becoming a widow at an early age and then losing both her sons, one in a car accident at the age of 29 and the other from a fatal heart attack at the age of 48. Perhaps understandably, she became a very bitter person, and I had sympathy for her at times but it was so difficult spending time with her.

1.31.16 ~ Essex, Connecticut

And then there is the dark cloud hanging over our country now…

But…

1.1.17 ~ Larisa and Katherine enjoy taking selfies for the grandparents, even on rainy days. They’re coming to visit soon!

I am full of gratitude to be living so close to many places where I can go and find grounding and healing in the natural world. And when I cannot get outside I hear the song birds singing, the gulls calling, the Canada geese honking — I love that sound — and enjoy the lovely water-reflected light that flows indoors.

There are many blessings we continue to enjoy, including our darling granddaughter. We’re looking forward to having her puttering around the house while Tim is recovering. Like her mother, our amazing daughter, she is a sweet ray of sunshine, even on a rainy day. 🙂

And our wonderful son, the computer wizard, who lovingly keeps things running smoothly here on my blog. I couldn’t maintain a presence here without him funding and watching over the many things that I fail to understand in the technical world. We had to cancel a January trip to Georgia to see him and his family, because of the surgery, but will reschedule as soon as possible. 🙂

I am surrounded with love and present moment awareness. Life is here/now.

a very short visit

8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze
Katie ~ 8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze

Katie’s all-too-brief mid-August visit was a bright spot in our mostly crummy summer. We hadn’t seen her in two months and were happy for the chance to see what’s she’s been up to lately. At eleven months old she is crawling and exploring her world. Because the caregivers at her daycare label her belongings “Katherine V” (her surname begins with a V) her father has taken to calling her Queen Katherine the 5th.

8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze
8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze

The Russian name for teddy bear is misha and Katie brought one of hers with her. (You may remember her other grandparents are from Russia…) Her face lit up and she sighed with pleasure when she saw the four mishas I had waiting for her here. Then she tightly hugged each and every one of them in turn.

8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze
8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze

Katie’s parents told us that she loves music and is fond of Jason Mraz. She dances on her knees and enjoyed shaking toy maracas to the music we were playing in the background. The next day she bonded with her teenage cousin Kia over music. They sat on the floor facing each other and bobbed their heads to the music Kia played from her cell phone. It was so sweet!

8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze
8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze

Green beans and scrambled eggs for breakfast – yes!

8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze
8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze

Katie and I got to read several books together and it warmed my heart to see that she loves to read on her own, too. Maybe some day we’ll find a way to tame all those wildly adorable cowlicks.

8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze
8.14.15 ~ Sound Breeze

Morning nap in Grammy’s arms – an hour and a half of bliss for me. Little did we know that hours later our visit would be cut short when Grandpa Tim got seriously ill with another bout of diverticulitis and wound up in the hospital for three days. But Katie’s aunt Bonnie and cousin Kia came down to look after her and the three of them had a wonderful time together. What a blessing a loving family is.

In a couple of weeks Katie will be coming again for another visit. I cannot wait!!!

low tide

5.3.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
Zoë waiting patiently for her morning sunbath ~ 5.3.14

Over the years our double-paned sliding-glass doors filled with condensation and became so “foggy” that we could not see out of them. It took us a long time to get around to having them replaced, but we finally did so near the end of April. Zoë was delighted to be able to clearly see the birds and we celebrated by buying two chairs and a little table (at an estate sale) for the balcony.

5.20.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
an extraordinary piece of driftwood ~ 5.20.14 ~ Eastern Point Beach

Never mind that right on the heels of these sips of joy we had a flood in our basement, a sewer backup. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Funny all the twists and turns life brings. Thank goodness our home insurance is covering the cost of clean up and repair. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I’ll be glad when they finish, but we had to interrupt the process to drive to North Carolina as planned.

Everyone’s experience indicates that everything we are, and everything we do, is simply the movement of existence itself. It’s here that we come to the highest realization indicated in all the great spiritual traditions: we do not exist as anything apart from the flow of nature and that flow is an unformed, inexplicable dance accomplishing itself.
~ Darryl Bailey
(Essence Revisited: Slipping Past the Shadows of Illusion)

For a few days forgetting about the ‘inexplicable unformed flow of nature’ in our basement, we started our journey south and delivered Aunt Flora’s rocking chair. We had a wonderful time visiting family. Nate & Shea drove up from Georgia, and I got to see an old friend from high school who happens to live about 2 miles from Dima & Larisa.

5.20.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
5.20.14 ~ Eastern Point Beach

And then… Tim got sick with diverticulitis (not again!) which delayed out trip home by a day so the antibiotics he was prescribed could have a chance to start working. Needless to say, we didn’t arrive home feeling particularly refreshed physically, although emotionally we were revitalized for having spent so much time with our children.

5.20.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
5.20.14 ~ Eastern Point Beach

Last weekend we made it to a local farmers market. This morning we took a walk on the beach – the tide was very low, revealing the largest piece of driftwood I’ve ever seen. Tim estimates it to be 20-25 feet long! What could it possibly have been? This afternoon we ate our farm-to-table lunch out on our new little table on our sunny balcony. Life is good!

5.20.14 ~ Groton, Connecticut
5.20.14 ~ Eastern Point Beach

first day

12.25.12 ~ New York, New York
12.25.12 ~ New York, New York

…”The Little Drummer Boy” is Larisa’s favorite Christmas song…

12.25.12 ~ New York, New York
12.25.12 ~ New York, New York

This year Tim had a vacation for the week between Christmas and New Year, so we decided to travel to visit our kids, who did not have time off from work for holiday adventures. Tim spent Christmas Eve in the emergency department seeking treatment for another bout of diverticulitis… But a CAT-scan determined that it was caught early enough and was mild enough for him to be treated with oral antibiotics and sent on his way.

12.25.12 ~ New York, New York
Larisa and Compromise ~ 12.25.12 ~ New York, New York

Christmas morning we set out for New York to spend the day with Dima & Larisa, who cooked us a scrumptious feast for dinner. When darkness fell the twinkling tree lights came on and we admired all their decorations. Compromise, their pet albino rat was allowed out of his cage and spent the evening with us, cuddling with Larisa, while we were playing board games. It was a lovely, cozy and peaceful evening, our first Christmas in the city, with Christmas carols playing softly in the background.

12.25.12 ~ New York, New York
Compromise ~ 12.25.12 ~ New York, New York

Whenever Larisa needed to get up to attend to something she left Compromise on her chair, knowing he would not risk jumping off it. He would wait patiently for her to return and hold him again. We never knew a rat could be so affectionate. Sometimes he would sit on her shoulder while she was busy with things. So adorable!

The next morning Dima & Larisa were off to work and then Tim & I left for our next destination in Virginia!

selecting and collecting words

Mangetout Organic Cafe

Yesterday we had lunch again at my new favorite restaurant, Mangetout, pictured above. I had Potato, White Bean & Swiss Chard Soup (yummy!) and Tim was pleased with his Tempeh Reuben Wrap.

Two years ago today I started writing this blog. To mark the occasion I’ve adopted still another new theme, Twenty Eleven, and installed a new and improved email subscription widget, in case any readers are still not receiving notifications. Keeping my fingers crossed! I’ve been self-hosting since September with lots of assistance from my computer wizard son, Nate, even though he moved a thousand miles away from me in November.

This winter has been a no-show. After last winter’s record snowfalls I’m not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed…

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make your own Bible. Select and Collect all those words and sentences that in all your reading have been to you like the blast of trumpet…
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Journal, July 1836)

The past year I’ve been concentrating more on ‘making my own bible’ here. I love posting words that have been ‘like the blast of a trumpet’ to me, and then reading all the delightful comments my friends leave about how they were inspired by or disagreed with the sentences I’ve chosen on any given day.

But I’m itching to get out on more nature walks soon, to see what I can do with our new camera!

I finally got all of the data transferred from my old family history site to Rodgers Family History – that was a big project. The site is now buzzing with activity and distant cousins as far away as Australia have found us and connected with us. It’s wonderful!

6.24.06 ~ Bristow, Virginia (Jeff Child/Rudy Arias)

Another big change this past year has been our becoming a vegan household and me finally learning to enjoy cooking.

Didn’t see that one coming!

She runs up into the light surprised
Her arms are opened
Her mind’s eye is
Seeing things from a better side than most can dream
~ Dave Matthews
♫ (Best of What’s Around) ♫

This picture of Dave Matthews was taken at a concert I went to with Fran in Virginia in 2006. Thankfully we were under the pavilion roof – there was a tremendous thunderstorm and the driven rain reached us 35 seats in from the edge! The folks on the lawn were soaked to the skin.

I cannot believe that was almost six years ago! Before all the heart attacks, falls, broken hips, femurs and ribs, diabetes, biopsies, dementia, diverticulitis, hypertension, osteomalacia and outrageously expensive prescriptions… Phew! Let’s hope the new diet, walking, and careful sunbathing brings an end to most, if not all, of these problems.

Haven’t been to Dave Matthews Band concerts recently and am missing the spiritual high. But I’ve seen a couple shows streaming online and one once in a movie theater – much more comfortable than fighting the rowdy crowds and jammed parking lots. Still, while the music is playing live under the stars and the words are floating through my very being… there’s nothing quite like being there.

Mr. Logic in the Hospital

Hello, my readers. Tim (my husband, Mr. Logic himself – doctors are always surprised at his analytical answers to their questions…) is in the hospital for a few days with diverticulitis. Of course, the stiff-upper-lipped and silent sufferer endured his symptoms for a week before seeking treatment. The walk-in care clinic doctor gave him antibiotics on Thursday, which didn’t work, so by Sunday he was in so much pain I took him to the urgent care clinic. They did a CAT-scan to eliminate the possibility of kidney stones, found the diverticulitis, and admitted him to the hospital. They’ve got him on morphine and two different antibiotic infusions and a clear liquid diet.

We had jello for dinner last night.

Predictably I woke up with a migraine this morning (stress hormones), but I popped a Zomig and am doing some laundry and dishes before I head over the bridge to see my patient, who has already emailed me on his fancy Android gadget. I see my scheduled quote/picture combo posted here this morning, so I thought I’d let you all know why I’m not responding to comments for a while. I’ll return as soon as possible!