On the outside (Annyta & Emma)

Looking around the butterfly patch the other day, I found this little flower it it’s escape mode. The seeds are exceptionally viable when there has been a little more moisture. And apparently the little bits of rain and the extra water sessions aided in it’s growth. This made me think of the the year of miscarriages three and four.

On the outside, I was very occupied by writing music, Bible school curricula and home schooling my two little preschool girls. My ITP was sinking to a new low and the doctors that I saw at the time told me that this was normal, and that some people just live with the low numbers for life. While I did not think was acceptable, several rounds of six weeks of steroids would only last so long. My body was in fight mode and my immune system was taxed to the “nth.” Of course during all that season of busy, I also suffered from migraines.

Debilitating migraines. Unfortunately the doctors thought that Zoloft would be the answer. That was one of the worst three months of my life. The head aches knocked me out for half the month, and the zoloft knocked me out the next month for half the month. And the third month a 38 day cycle ended up in horrible cramps like a miscarriage. What more was to happen?

The music I heard in my mind was constant during that time. God the Father was putting His creative tunes into my heart and soul. I almost could not keep up with the whole flow of events. I began to put together my CD “Are You Ready?” During that time of blessed presence, I knew that God was carrying me every step of the way inspite of all the challenges.

Multiplying Gerber daisies in my greenhouse today made me think of the days that I hoped to have another Gerber like baby. My first daughter had such a doll-ful expression I though she should have been the new picture on the little jars. Surely, God did not mean for me to have only two little “sugars and spice.” Yet, now looking back I wish I would have soaked up those years with my girls a little bit more. The challenging time for me of their early years is such a blur.

Annyta and Emma were the dolls that I found next. Though Emma is one who falls asleep while reading, Annyta is a constant mama’s girl. My imagination is strong enough to give them personalities and voices. But that is all I will ever have- a strong imagination.

The Geranium nursery this summer in the tire made me think of the years as a child I had a sand box in a tire. This was my early elementary years. Now i sill love to play in the “dirt.” but growing geraniums is my new love. I think some day people will call me “that crazy geranium lady!” That’s okay, it’s better than being crazy because I had secondary infertility.

Canning tomatoes thus fall has been far and few between batches. The drought really hit the garden hard. No beans. The zucchini’s took on worms and died. The onions were only twice as big as when they went into the ground. The only happy stuff is the cucumbers and the beets. And I am not much of a fan of either. I know that God’s thoughts are not my thoughts. Living through a barren season of “infertility” is not easy. On the outside it looked like my life was productive and happy. But on the inside I was crying for the hope of more children that I would not have. I found only a couple of other women during that season that I could visit about this. That part is hard also. So many just want to push it all aside and say “be grateful what you have.” Finding contentment took some time.

One more year of this ITP thing and two more possible miscarriages were yet to come. If only I knew then what I know now…

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain…” (I Timothy 6:6). This verse would echo through my mind so much. After this season, we left our house in the country for town dwelling. That did not last very long. The inability to see the seasons and the crops in the field brought on a whole set of emotions that I did not know existed. I was a “farm” girl stuck in town. We also had a dig Lady that simply was not happy as a city dweller. She had so much energy. So… we made a decision that would alter the course of life dramatically…

Thus far

Struggle bus rather than sleeping is one of my common life challenges. So the other night when my brain took off on it’s highway robbery, I found myself thinking about all these things once again. Setting up stones…. Our acreage is full of really large rocks. Many of them were picked up from the fields around and placed in the “rock pile.” Once years ago, someone lined the driveway with the rocks to keep drivers off of the lawn. My father-in-law still hates to see the rocks even in landscaping. My preference is to put them into the landscape and garden areas, rather than a pile that grows weeds and trees.

Not many people know what an Ebenezer stone is. Or even have ever heard of such a thing. Milestones are more commonly recognized, like growing and walking, driving, graduations, etc. Middle of the night statue building and laying stone walls while sleeping? Never.

My favorite Bible verse is from I Samuel 7:12, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name [a]Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” What makes this verse a Milestone Marker for me? The idea that one thing is ending and another beginning has always intrigued me. Marking transitions in life, whether they be new jobs, careers, or life changes is important. But most important is recognizing how you got there and how you will accomplish the next. “Thus far the Lord has helped us!”

New phones are never easy for the visually challenged. But for me, I simply put the new one down and it takes weeks rather than days to learn everything. We get use to doing things a certain way, and when that way “expires” life moves on in a different manner. Sometimes rather slowly.

Brain fog that follows a sleepless night is probably the worst The ability to function well and do anything with precision is hard. So I spend the majority of the time crocheting some pattern that is very repetitive. The past two weeks I finally finished my virus stitch shawl that I started two years ago. It is quite beautiful. And yes, it makes me look like I was born in the wrong century. I don’t care. I love making and wearing shawls

This little area of the yard is passed by daily. It is very strongly and “Ebenezer” for me. “The bridge that once was…. “. Has such a story. The wood was once a fort over the sandbox, then the fort in the trees, and now the bridge on it’s own island (haha). The wheel was found in the lilac bushes. The only wagon wheel we found on the place so far. The basket that came from my sister’s driver’s mother’s attic. The stones that were brought in years earlier from the field. Each piece has it’s own history. Then there is the tree stump planter we just made from one of the sixty plus year old trees in the grove that are falling one by one. This year being three years into drought, many of the trees are simply hallow and tired of standing up.

“Thus far…”. Birthday celebrations are in the works for both of our moms this year. My mother at eighty and his mom at ninety. Celebrating life is so important. “The Lord has helped us”. We can see the elderly living this even more so than ourselves. For them, it is sometimes hourly that the Lord helps them. Each day holds it’s own Ebenezer as they march from sunrise to sunset. Waking each morning requires a call to the Lord for help just to rise out of the sleeping chamber. Of course it is because of the tale of Christmas and Ebenezer Scrooge that many of us think of old as grouchy. But sometimes I make a mental list of all the challenges our mothers face each day just to remind myself that my milestones are few.

Last night I survived an allergic reaction without an EpiPen. And we made a symptom checker that told us “NEXT TIME” these things occur, it is time for the epinephrine. . It was rather scary, and though I new something was not right, it did not occur to me at the time that it was an allergic reaction. Now I know. Thus far the Lord has helped me, but my husband says, next time the Lord will have to remind us to use the EpiPen!

Beautiful dreamer (Chapter One in Good Grief series)

Sometimes we make plans, but the Lord directs our steps another way. Like for instance, today I very much intended ot sit on the bench in the greenhouse and enjoy the atmosphere for awhile. One minute after setting out my work zone, the “little messes” began to call my name. Soon I was spending an hour of time tidying up the house. I prefer to clean in the greenhouse than in the regular house. The sound of the pond fountain, the plants, and the fig snacks just keep me coming back. Most of the plants are in thier summer homes and so all of the transplanting material needed to be removed. Also, I had done some clean up last week and the garbage was due to be removed. My daughter gave me a phone call break. And becuase the sun was heating up the geodesic dome, I took my water outside to another bench for the chat.

The first time that my positive pregnancy test ended up in loss was in March of 1999. It was a bit shell shocked to have a positive result tun into such failure by my body. Just forty five days into the gestation. Though we already had two beautiful daughters, I hoped maybe a third would make our nest full. Many arrows make the quiver ready, right?

Looking back on those days, brings a rush of emotions welling up. What am I to do with this still small sadness that creeps unexpected? Back then it was something like how the weed night shade entered our garden during these awful drought years. The dust and wind so hot and dry yet powerful enough to bring grass seed, weed seeds, and the invasive night shade. My knowledge of the plant or my allergic reaction to it was unbeknownst to me during those years of failed pregnancies

How could my body decide to fight itself? It began in my early twenties as I was first diagnosed with ITP. The low platelet disorder took me to the hospital twice in the year nineteen ninety. Auto immune disorders come in so many shapes and sizes. Viral infections usually start the process. And the results are little discoveries of physical weakness and limitations that are sometimes not overcomed by any of man’s innovations or medicines.

Nora was one of the names I had in the “nesting” bank for future use. I think the only person other than my husband that even knew that it was a possible choice was my mother. She told me about all six of her miscarriages and how some had to be cleaned out due to mid-term loss. I was thankful that it was early enough no one knew that it had happened.

While I wished for more little ones, God was not to grant this want of mine. Psalm 23 begins with “the Lord is Shepherd, I shall not want…”. Those words were so hard to except. What were my wants? And what if my hopes and dreams never came to be. What was God trying to tell me in this newfound barrenness?

Learning to live without was a new thought process for me. Meanwhile my spleen was on it’s last leg of use for my body. My platelet count continued to drop into the danger zone. The ITP that I was diagnosed with at age 22 was plaguing my system.

Each day I walk by this cemetery cement ring full of flowers. When my father-in-law offered it to me, I knew exactly where it would go. If find it ironic that we have dreams that morph and change through our life and sometimes one dream is whisked away like clouds in the blue sky. Then another day the clouds take on a new shape and we have new dreams. In the last few of years of living with a spleen and suffering early term miscarriages, I would have thought it cruel to use this cement ring as a flower bed that I pass daily. Now? It is just another reminder that God replaces many lost hopes with His flowers of kindness. His mercies are new every morning. And His grace through the mourning process is ever gentle and new each time we need His comfort.

From My Park Bench

The whole month of June flew by and though there are four drafts in my file, nothing made it to print. The month was busy with farmer’s market, purging flowers and geraniums, trying to stay ahead of the weeds in the garden and some much needed family time. The local farmers market saw us twice. Then the work thing crept in and there just was not time to keep up with everything on the acreage and be gone from home for four or five hours on a Saturday morning. When all you have is the weekend to accomplish the acreage cleanup, the hours become precious. Also, the heat kind of kept us away a couple of times. Purging flowers and plants from the greenhouse took all of the month. I planted the last tomatoes when my niece came for camp weekend. They looked pretty worn out from their little containers. But are thriving in their “space” outside. Most of the larger geraniums are outside the greenhouse now. And thank goodness the wind has given us a break and things look wonderful. Staying ahead of the weeds also meant planting the old “potato” box grow bed into the salad box. It was so hot and dry the day I planted it all. But the thought of it gave me so much pleasure. With some appropriate drip tubing everything is up and green.

Family time this last month meant Sunday lunches with Gavin’s folks. I have been playing piano more at church these days. Though it is somewhat stressful to memorize the entirety, my mind wandered back to the day when as a thirteen year old I thought I would never be able to sit at the keyboard without a line of music in front of me. We had Christmas in June with my family and got together for the first time in over a year. It was so good to see everyone. We also celebrated my mother’s 80th birthday that day.

The month of June was also taken up with kitten care. I started a blog about the ferrel beastings and their little broods, but it seems to have lost it’s importance. After the family gathering, I spent much of the night in grief wondering where the years and time have gone. It’s hard to have the holiday blues in the middle of the summer. But thank the Lord, the days are busier and it did not last long. Nevertheless, I have nearly three drafts started all just in that week alone.

Good Grief!

Who ever coined that phrase anyhow? Grief certainly does not feel good. And there are many times grieving amounts to no good at all. This past month there have been a number of women on my prayer list that have had to deal with their share of grief. So, my mind took a play list of memory lane that I have not visited for some time.

The change of life comes in many different shapes and colors. For me, having early term miscarriages one after another for four years told me child bearing was not to be my main lot in life. I should learn to be grateful for the two beautiful girls that God had gifted us with. About the time I began to except secondary infertility, other things began to change the course of our lives.

Each of the beautiful souls that God gave me a glimpse of are commemorated in my library. The next few weeks I hope to spend some time remembering each of the “hopes” that I once had. I am so thankful that God brought Himself ever close at hand beside me during those days and the memories of His hand holding mine are special to recall.

From my park bench…

This July began with a family birthday gathering. God has blessed our girls with beautiful spouses and gifted us with grandchildren. They bring so much joy and pleasure to our days. I am so thankful that I can count the ways of our Lord in His goodness to us. We spent the fourth of July in quietness and in the heat my husband made me this lovely park bench.

We went to Boston the summer of 2010 and while there I ended up taking a walk on the waterfront by myself one evening. I saw a bench like this in repetition with many women in pairs sitting and catching up with each other on their lives. Of course much of the conversation was in another language. I thought that so particular to Boston. Then last summer my hubby and I took a motorcycle trip and found ourselves visiting a garden. There again were multiples of this particular bench.

I know that my hubby probably hated every minute of trying to measure and cut and assemble this park bench. Knowing his displeasure of carpentry makes the bench all the more meaningful to me.

So for the next six entries, come have a seat on the park bench with me as I share how God has been part of my journey form childbearing through miscarriages and into the present day of good grief!

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God ; to those who are the called according to His propose.”(ESV)

Naming Kittens

Boomerang sits guard as Boston, Java, Zorro, and Latte eat their kitten food. These four kittens are the offspring of Lela, the daughter of Autumn. Two summers ago, the result of kittens mostly black drove me to the neighbors to pick up a new color combination. Boomerang and Tabitha are the only survivors of the migrants. We already renamed the little grey one from this litter. She is happily homed at our daughter’s in laws and named Freya. Rightly named as they picked her up on a rainy day from the greenhouse. I worked in there all morning most days and it was an easier place to keep them boxed and on guard.

Latte and Boston are the friendliest of the four kittens. Latte will sit right in the walking path, which is not real wise with a blind lady running about. So I just pick her up and walk around a while doing my chores with a single hand. Java and Zorro are very jolted and playful. They are much harder to catch. At the food bowl is the best place to nab their little fur bodies and get them use to being handled.

This is my last phot op. These six little kitties belong to Stitch. She had them in the bucket and I moved them to this box. It must be roomy as they are still there. Even through all the stormy weather last week, she kept them put! I get a kick out of the markings. Five of them are all yellow and orange. And then this one… “One of these things is not like the other ones…”. We find ourselves attracted to the unusual markings in kittens. And I was already told that we have to give some of these little things away. Of course…. Our acreage is not going to hold more than six to nine cats. I thing these is enough out buildings, but its the feed bill that gets speedy!

Back to the garden…. The butterfly patch received a new sprinkler stand. My husband welded up a horse shoe and ready rod tripod for the sprinkler. It will still be on the sensor. Any animal attendance will set of the motion. It might not be the best option, but I do not want this flower bed to be the litter box! Then there is the “Bridge Island” that we completed the other day. We dug out the soil and put down weed barrier and rocks. This should keep the bridge from rotting in the moisture and soil. For now I sill use flower pots to dress up the “Island.” The storm did some hail damage to our front window frame, siding, skirting and plants. The wind may have done more damage but we hope all remains minimal in nature. This little pansy survived the hail and is looking quite lonesome!

May showers, dusty gusty wind, and unpredictable temperatures are delaying the garden a bit. However, the greenhouse is doing well and those tomato plants will be rather large by the time we get them outdoors.

I spend an entire day planning the garden row by row. One row of flowers, one row of veggies will be the sequence this year. We are slimming down our garden zones and hopefully my husband will be able to help with the drip line system to watering. I wanted to start building growing boxes for the garden but everything is in short supply and a little too expensive. Priorities will have to be elsewhere.

Bad hair day

Monday was a bad hair day for me. While today’s hair is definitely bed head, the picture fits. Waking up in a shadow mood set me up for an emotionally dead day. The battle to avoid saying the wrong thing ended with a journal entry worthy of trash.

So after fighting the head ache with all the normal things, the decision to simply go back to bed was made. Other people might not have that option. Since no one is here to stop me, back to bed it was.

Dreams about log picking or stacking are common themes in my nightmare migraine mode. Either being chased and having the paths clogged with fallen trees, or stumbling over large surface roots fill my sleep attempts. This day being chased by others with torches and forced to carry my cross beam did not make for much rest. Burned at stake, and waking up feeling tied down was common.

Just when my emotional state is most empty and the longing for some cuddly little snuggly critter overcomes me, Honey rises to the alert service dog that she is and saves my life once again. Sleeping nearly eighteen hours with a few moments of awake to eat, drink or relieve myself was a bit of a shock. More so was Honey hitting and bumping my hand with persistence to wake me up. She would not stop nosing my hand until I actually took both puffs on my inhaler. Then she would lick my hand as if to say “good” and go lay back down. She did this job three times Monday into Tuesday morning.

Dark, depression days are something like a shadow life for me. My memory of these thoughts goes all the way back to my teenage years. The battle to emerge out of these dark valleys is lifelong. The last ten years of solitude days have counted more shadow days than sunshine. Some times my emotional being is a dragonfly skimming across the surface of a ditch full of dirty water. And I wonder when the rain storm will come, causing my wings to loose their strength and I will be sucked into the swirling drain pipe and drown. I know that is not a pretty picture.

Where is my faith in all of this? Scripture and the the Bible has always been there to lift me out of the darkness. The pit of self pity and mental vomit must be cleansed by God’s word. Rising up out of myself means letting Jesus blow the healing breeze that will let my spirit soar once again. Is life to be full of these roller coasters all of my earthly journey? Must this life in which I dive and plummet nearly to destruction and then be lifted up once again be so constant? David writes in the Psalms about the downcast soul. And then he writes again “Bless the Lord, o my soul!” Oh, that my heart, soul, mind, and strength could be in the same place of worship all of the time! Faith is no magic wand. Prayer is not some magic words.

Here is the latest mosaic crochet that I have completed during this past week or two of physical, emotional, and spiritual battles. There have been a few books in the pile next to me as a crochet. And no, Honey does not sit next to me. She usually falls asleep on the othe rside of the room.

It’s “wind”-s-day again. The whistling , howling ambient sound is not pleasant and peaceful. The thoughts of others in the path of the storm does not help. My prayer list has been updated for the others list this week. Taking my mind off of myself and thinking about others helps. The refugees, the cancer survivor, the brain surgery recovery, the waiting for a kidney transplant, the sniffly nose, the coughing, the allergy sufferers, the war torn lands and people. ALL remind me that my life is relatively easy. Get out of the mire and the mud and get on with the day. Call Honey in for a hug even if she growls while I administer my own healing potion.

Isaiah 12:3. (ESV). “Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.” This is the promise from God’s word that I am clinging to this week. While there is no Joy is seems and I am not even sure which wells God would have me dig up, I will ONE day find joy again. He will provide for my salvation and He will be glorified in it.

And so it goes…

And so it goes.. you never expect your dog to bring back the collar that she lost over six months ago. And so, when doing the spring yard clean up, it was a pleasant surprise to find the collar that I paid 25 dollars to have her name and my phone number embroidered on. The return of the tag for vaccine info was nice also. We found a few other things that went through the roto rooter. That dog has an iron gut. I don’t thing the average dog would live after some of the things that she has ingested. We call it the typical Labrador genetics. Lab genes brings a garbage disposal to your fount yard. And most of the time it looks more like an explosion of some sort. She is such a little trash compactor and bulldozer. Thank goodness she has overcome her initial fear of the cats. when the refrigerator leftovers come out she is growling and snarling with her head in the bowl just like the other heads! EVA!!!!

And so on… Finding space in the greenhouse for all of the babies has been the latest project. I begged my hubby for some help on Sunday. And we came up with the one legged shelves to put the trays of pansies on. There are 120 clear dixie cups of pansy plants. Hoping to sell them at the local farmer’s market. And I am considering doing a donation to a local charity with the proceeds. And so on go the enjoyable tasks of watching things in the greenhouse grow.

And so forth… It took me five or six attempts to replicate a basket that I already made last year. This one did turn out swell. It was a challenge to get the beginning the same. And the handles are a little useless. Just for looks. I had an old ice cream tub to shape it on. To dry it stiff, it must be on a similar form. I love making the little baskets out of crochet. It is rather rewarding. And so from now on, I’ll just do an exact count before I try to copycat!!

And from now on…. I packed up my piano books the other day. It was bittersweet. Left out only the hymn books and a few other favorites. I have not been able to read the music because the RP has become so pinpointed. The tunnel is closing on so many of my activities. I have to study the music note by note and them memorize it for performance. My in-ability to read music makes me sad. But I have always been able to “ad lib” better on the third and fourth go around anyways. Memorizing it means the quality is there from the get go! Such slang we use in all of this gibber-gabber. And so from now on I will have to practice before the actual rehearsal. I am so thankful that my training through the years has lead me from reading, to chording to playing jazz improvisation to playing by “ear!” While I would readily admit that I can’t actually play by ear, one’s fingers must be used in response to the thought process in the mind. There still has to be some knowledge of the musicianship of piano to complete the task. So very thankful that I can still tickle the ebony and ivories!

Therefore…. While the family is all about their happenings and my life trudges on in absolute monotony, our Pastor’s sermon series on Isaiah has me buoyed up with many memories of my own studies on the great book. Here’s one of my favorite verses from the prophet found in chapter 26:4 “ Trust in the Lord forever. For in YAH the Lord is everlasting strength.” My own study notes have been misplaced, but nevertheless, the mind does recall much through the days and the nights. One night I began my own midnight worship session just considering the name of Yahweh, and the Hebrew whispering of the “Breath of God.” The Yah is spoken as an inhale something like a yawn and the Weh is whispered on the exhale. This name of the Lord is true to the Genesis account of creation in which the Lord breathes into the nostrils of man the breath of life. Our modern day common place use of the Lord’s name does not hold this intense reverence and awe in whispering the name of the Lord because it is too holy for unfit human lips to speak. If only we could hold such awe and fear of the power of our God to give life and to take life. Therefore, I will trust in the Lord forever. For indeed Yahweh (as a whisper of breath0 is indeed my strength and my song. Isaiah 12:2-3. HE alone has become my salvation.

Still trying to find myself

This is an RP update. I did not know that when I first started writing this one. Sometimes the journal of going blind one day at a time gets an entry. I could call it the Chronicles of Yvonne Annette. Not sure anyone would even read such a book.

Seven years into blogging and I am still trying to find myself. Just the other day I decided to look up some of the history. It is really pretty embarrassing to discover that my writing has taken so many twist and turns. Perhaps that is normal.

For one thing, I find it hard to be completely frank and honest. Someone might actually read my blog that knows me and ask me a question that I do not want to answer. Here are a few potential nightmare questions… “How can you say that you are blind and still crochet?” “Why don’t you just get a job and have something to do that way?” “Where is your focus and purpose for this blog?” “When are you ever going to write something that earns money?” “What do you really want to do with your life?” “Who reads this stuff anyways?”

Here’s the thing, for the most part of my fifty years I did not know those answers and I am not even going to attempt to try! Writing for me is a release. Just an exercise, kind of like taking a walk that has no purpose. Every once in a while we take a walk that actually leaves us filling fulfilled and happy. Every day I send my dog out to do her business or on the days I actually go with, there seems no other purpose than just doing the routine.

Routinely writing for me is relaxing and a way to release often unintelligible thoughts. Once in a great while, the thoughts find a path and I find a gorgeous waterfall. Other times all I notice is the barren ground and large cracks in the winter earth that are screaming out for some snowfall moisture.

Today is one of those awful after-insomnia days. The ruminating thoughts that keep me awake at night are nothing worth repeating. Yet on they go. Sometimes, my mind is so hyper-alert it feels as though I did not get a wink of sleep. The sheep counting “God Bless You”-s did not work. The Bible mindful listening did not work. The warm milk and hot tea did not work. The pre-slumber routines did nothing to aid in the sleep process.

Last evening I went to church to do a recording with a friend. The song was quite repetitive and the count patterns got stuck on repeat for my mind. Also, when I used the facilities to release my full bladder, I walked right into the wall afterwards. How could my tunnel vision keep pulling so many tricks on me? I am constantly finding myself “lost” these days. Often right in the bedroom while turning in circles to put away my clothing. I ran right into the table the other day in the kitchen while doing the dishes. Had I forgotten the table was there? I was not paying attention to my other senses and did not even realize that the rug under my feet was actually NOT there. Ugh. This blind think sometimes catches me by surprise.

In just one half hour the brand new song was embedded in my memory and I had to play it by little signs like # * > 1 2 X and letters for chord names. My focus on how many times of certain chord patterns kept me from reading the words all together. Besides, unless they are size 50 type, I would not be able to read them anyway. Same girl?

On another note…. The ability to learn a new piece of music is getting to be shorter and shorter time expense. The song was mentioned to me one day. I listened to it a few times the next day. We ran through the piece with some “guitar chord lead” sheets that same evening. And by the third go round I actually did not loose my place in the sheets and words. This is the same girl that failed her first few recitals in early years of piano lessons. This is the same girl that could not memorize pages of classical piano for the jury sessions in college. This is the same girl that could not play a single note by ear training in the early years as church pianist. This is the same mother that made her little string playing children switch positions to play a song in the key that it was written so that mommy could accompany them at the nursing home church services. This is the same woman that bombed reading the music for her daughter’s senior recital and ruined the whole event (in my mind.). This is the same woman that one church rejected as pianist because she could not play the praise and worship “style” that they wanted. (Which by the way is the same “style” that she now plays completely by ear with just a guitar chord lead sheet!)

Not hardly. I feel like a completely different person than I was at twelve years old. I feel like a different person than I was even at 40! How do I make peace with this new me?

Shading the Night Black

It’s been a mont or two…

Yep, it was a whole month of silence on the blogging end. But ever so busy. Harvest is a topsy turvy kind of life on the acreage. From the garden produce to the preparations for fall’s colder nights, I sometimes cannot quite decide what takes priority.

This moth, it was my sanity and my health.

The moth started off with beefing up the back side of the greenhouse. My lovely capable husband took the week off and we buttoned up the latches. The previous finishing cement board was weakened by the snow loads and soon began to leak. The rubber surfacing on the new materials should seal it up much better.

Then I decided to start harvest the lovely flower seeds that I wanted to have “more” of in the garden next year and perhaps even “share” with others. That’s when my whole month took a turn for the sudden self care needs. Apparently, I am VERY allergic to the black night shade weed. I was on Benadryl every four hours for nearly three or four days to help control the itch. Thank goodness after several salt bathes, they finally disappeared. But now suddenly, the garden was off limits to me. Controlling the gigantic weed infestation was not going to be an option for me.

Nevertheless, the harvest canning took a nose-dive also. My desire to avoid hives from head to toe just sort of turned of any desire to do amy more canning. And my energy level began to plummet as I would even think about doing another batch of tomatoes for something. Besides the thoughts of not having a cellar to store the beautiful goodies in, my mind just could not wrap around another processing day.

My focus went back to the greenhouse. We just completed a re-make to the pond. Previously the depth of the pond was at about five feet and the combine tire containment plain never let the water actually “warm” up. So we built a whale ribbing and put the pond liner back in. Our gallon amount might be a bit less (accoring top all the excess tarp material) but the four foot depth should do nicely with the sun’s power.

Meanwhile, I began putting away all of the canning supplies and getting my house back. OHHH! I almost forgot! The moth started off with a new kitchen sink.

My little trailer house variety will find a new home in the barn or somewhere as awash tub outside. The new farmhouse apron sink was quite the “back-ache” for my plumber/carpenter hubby. But I LOVE it. And for the most part I don’t let the dishes pile up like I use to. It is such a pleasure to fill the sink and actually wash dishes in soapy bubbles with water that covers the objects in need of scrubbing.

So while there were much improvements about, I feel my work ethic has not improved much. Many days I find myself just scratching the surface on all that appears to need to be done. My eyesight makes reading recipes such a chore that cooking has lost it’s pleasure for me. And much of the time I miss items becuase I missed the whole line in the recipe.

I wonder if sanity is slipping away. Especially when I make something that does not require a recipe, and like the apple crisp where I forget to sprinkle sugar on the apples…. Well, it will still be edible at least.

The two days that I suffered asthma aftershock from eating my allergy enemy stick in my mind pretty strongly. This past year I found out that white potato and barley are two of my worst foes. Learning to avoid them has made life much better. But the two days I suffered aftershock relapse were not much fun at all. The asthma drove me to the nebulizer machine and the albuterol infusion. The one thing that has become quite the blessing is the attentivemess of my girl Honey.

A service dog that loves to work and finds a purpose in helping is a special thing. If I am having a bad asthma day, she gets really sticky. Her namesake finally arrives on the bad asthma days. She will even nudge me a little if she thinks it’s time for me to stop and take care of my breathing need.

Some of us need a full time companion. Knowing that Honey is sticky and messy has not deterred me from my hope that she will be what I need her to be when the time comes. There are days though, we should have named her ‘Tigger’ or ‘Roo’ instead of Winnie the Pooh’s favorite snack.

Writing has really been the last thing on my list the past two months. So today, I though maybe I would try to catch up a bit. There have been some things on my mind that need to be sorted out. I spent the last two months working in the garden, painint a few rooms (at my daughters house and mine) and generally fall maintenance.

Today it is damp and chilly outside and my boots were in desperate need of waterproofing. So I am inside finishing the fall house cleaning chores. Garden and greenhouse can be such a strong pull that the house literally becomes a pig’s sty. So after some much needed cleaning there are only a few surfaces left to uncover. Because my desk in the library was turned to accommodate my grandson’s sleep-box, I am not too happy with the “writing zone.” But this is my attempt.

I Hope that you are all keeping life well balanced better that I am. Being scheduled use to be one of my strong suits. But now that it’s just me here most days, schedule is lost in the diving into projects. Swimming is not something that I do well, Will the aid of a life preserver I think I have found the other side of the lake!