Out of sight, out of … hands

Version 2.0 on the “out of sight” installments. Last one was just onee year ago on January of 2021. Perhaps I am getting closer to a title for my book. Haha

Out of min…

Some people think that loosing one’s mind involves not being able to find the car keys. For me it was the carrot smoothie in the fridge…. I spent nearly 10 minutes trying to locate the drink. I had taken it to the library, right? No, then I went to the living room. Oh, yeah in between all that i had used the restroom. Okay, where are you little carrot smoothie? I found it in the fridge.

Or maybe I had not lost my mind altogether. I was simply distracted. Until the book I was listening to brought up another entire area of loss that most people never think of. Gestures and facial expressions. Here’s my story and I am sticking to this one.

Out of memory…

A long time ago when I was just a teenager, I remember an incident that shook me up quite a bit. We were at one of those famouse birthday luncheons at the church where I grew up. This particualr evening, my dad was into his famous story telling moods. And whenver there was an audience to be had, he seemed to think that he was the center of everyone’s attention. So, when I ran about to fill up the coffee cups as my waitress heart deemed necessary, the next few moments were very much a tell tale of the RP digression of his eyesight.

The coffee was delivered, and the speaker was not attentive the the surroundings. I waited, and waited and waited to get his attention and let him know that the drink had been refilled. Suddenly, the story teller gave an unexpected hand gesture that upset the apple cart. But that was not even the pretty part. The surprise of the spilled beverage, the demeaning words and the angry expressions by my father in that particular setting (church) made for a memory tattooed on my hearts emotional being. Yes, the negative response is a memory somewhat repressed, but nevertheless not forgotten.

Out of words…

Years later, a friend of ours said that one’s emotional explosions and expressed words after an upset hot beverage are really what the person is really truly made of. When the coffee spills, how do we respond? Surprise and shock do not necessarily mean bad words. Sometimes, choosing words of blessing and apologetic behavior matter much. I always felt that my spilled milk was always followed by yelling and angry words. No reason to cry over spilt milk? Well, being blind and having the spills happen so frequently either makes one wise up and sue sippy cups, or find some other solution to the frequent spillages.

Out of mouths…

Dealing with an eyesight loss can mean a whole new change of character. My uncle lost an eye as a result of an unfortunate farming accident. I remember visiting with him about the changes in his life. One particular change was finding moved objects in his path with toes and shin bones rather than his eyes. Now he found himself frequently cussing and fuming. It was both exasperating to himself and to those around him. Apologizing for his surpised outbursts was becoming far to regular. Ahh, how eyesight loss changes the way we must move and the way we react to surpises. There is no more laughter at the jack-in-the-box events that happen. One soon learns to live in a constant state of tension while moving for the possibility of those awful little “weasels!”

Out of hands…

My gesture loss happened during my children’s high school years. I was done teaching club at church due to my hands constantly hitting an unsuspecting child. Pointing across the room only to poke a child in the eye was so distressing. The gesture loss was hard for me. I use to talk with my hands all the time. Who does not want to point a certain thing out while talking? This abilbity to throw my arms about during speech actually began to decrease the amount of speaking that I would do. It is really hard to stop acting out like a stage professional during a good story. But waving my hands about was not an option with the peripheral vision loss. How do I visit with others in group settings without being able to point or gesture in some common way?

The next obvious loss for me was the facial expressions and hand gestures of others in group settings. It is also hard to tell, who might want to jump into the topic next with a speech that they deem very important to give. While I may be able to view the person across the way, the others around the table disappear from my view. This might allow for greater focus, but moving my eyes around to catch the others reactions to a speaker is exhausting. This large group silence at times is really unbearable for me. Expecially when I still remember so much.

Except where my smoothie is…

It was during this loss of “circle movement” by the others in a group setting that I noticed some other things happening. More often then not, I was getting “shushed” by those around me. I had missed some conversation cue of eye, or gesture that indicated who was next in speaking. My thoughts that were so ready to blurt were getting stoppped up by those around me. This too was hard. I began to feel like certain people were treating me as if I were a misbehaving child. Becoming blind day by day, year by year does not mean that I am reverting in my behavior. Simply put, I was now out of the circle…

So now, I find myself listening more and more during group settings. When I am so desperate for interaction with people, I find that interaction being stolen by my loss of vision. The surpise of a cake plate upset on my lap or on the floor feels like a common occurrence while at family gatherings. Coupled by the deafness in my left ear, the abiltiy to even hear the oncoming delicasy, is hampered by the lack of sight. Plate on the floor. “Oh, no!” Learning to live life in a perpetual motion of “i’m sorry!” Is not very fun. Embarrassment and humility do not always gather closely. Sometimes the embarrassment is overwhelmingly sad. The feelings of loss and the inability to even help with the cleanup are so frustrating. Playing statue is not that easy!

I really don’t like surpises any more. Boo! Is not fun like the peekaboo of babies and little children. The last few times that we had Christmas present openings, I lived in a state of perpetual “what if the coffee spills?” And not knowing what was in the presents or trying to figure the item out in the semi-dark was exasperating. Having the person next to me tell me what each item was supposed to be and trying to find the right facial expression after my completely confused confoundedness was not enjoyable. I began to really dislike opening my gifts. Watching the others was somewhat more enjoyable. But oh, how I needed a little parrot on my shoulder telling me all the happenings about me. It makes one feel very alone in a crowd.

And that’s the last experience that I want to share on my way towards becoming invisible me. The last time that I went to a church event without a close family member was very painful for me. Extended family that has not grown up with a “blind father” does not really understand the needs that arise as the Retinitis Pigmentosa progresses. While I could walk a straight line down the sidewalk, I could no longer navigate a crowd of people carrying plates at a potluck. Attending the church without my husband had turned out to be a “fatal” choice for me and I had become invisible. No one in my current church was familiar with the challenges of RP and I was left sitting in a corner throughout much of the meal event. I finally left the crowd and sat in the sanctuary alone. Truly alone. My ability to “flow” through the plate bearers left me feeling very disabled. I cried without end over the potential of “spilled milk.” I called my husband, and he was able to come and pick me up. The rest of the day was spent in tears. The people that I had gone with did not understand my needs, were busy and had not ever checked on me. I felt unable to express myself and ask for help in a situation that left me feeling so invisible.

Recently I read “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien and found it very full of forward motion. The adventures of the hobbit keep one listening just to see what happens next. In the book the discovery of a magic ring gives the little fellow the ability to become invisible and disappear from danger and tribulations. Honestly, being invisible and feeling invisble are two totally different phenomenon. Choosing to shrink from view within a public event and loosing the ability to see who all is there in the public setting are two opposing feelings. Being blind in a community setting makes everyone present invisible to the blind person. Not a very fun feeling when you walk into a group of people and all of the talking stops. This has happened to me so many times that I cannot count. I can begin to imagine however what it is like to walk into a room that feels full of people but seems empty until someone addresses my presence. My father’s ability to get the group to burst out in laughter helps to break the ice about his blindness and lets him know just how many people are really in the room. I don’t see myself ever being “on display” as that-blind-lady. I don’t see myself breading the ice with bad jokes just to count the voices of laughter within the space. i don’t see myself as others see me. I cannot.

My position in a group setting is usually at the piano with the whole commune behind me. Sometimes I wish I could turn the piano around so that the people were in front of me instead of behind me. Maybe that’s the next change in my life. For now I’ll let them see my hands while I play piano since I cannot. (P.S. My therapist said that I am not supposed to use “can’t” in my speaking or writing anymore. I asked her if she still could drive a car… I said, “I cannot.”)

Another update

Okay now I really don’t like my word press blog site. They updated it again! AND I really hate change. The whole look and the way I want to write has been changed. So, yep I once again am completely hampered by the change.

This block editing is totally not my style. Not sure that I have a style, but this is definitely not it. I think of myself as a semi-professional writer. Maybe I am an amuteur at web paging, but writing is something I am suppose to enjoy. Insert emoji loudly screaming baby face!!!

So along with this unwelcome change, life moves on. April showers were non-existent but May flowers are still blooming. There has been some rain in the last week enough to chase the drought away. But if you dig down six inches in our garden, the soil is dry. Somehow the corn is up about 10 miles to the south of us.

We are in the middle of “Birthday Month.” And so that is keeping us busy with celebrations. It seems that in our family the spring really sprung! From March through June there are equal birthday numbers to the Octoberfest that slides into November.

Meanwhile, I hope that at some point I can get my blog set up back to what it was. (The change is permanent, so I have read.) I can’t even find how to add photos to the blog. My husband had to poke around for me and show me what to do. Nobody quite comprehends what screen changes do to someone with Retinitis Pigmentosia. Once that little curser runs away, there’s no hope of finding it again. The icon changes, and the like… well, I ought to quit my belly-aching and just write.

I am pretty excited about my upcoming logo design. I made a few contacts but so far no one has answered me. So I am patiently or not so patiently waiting. In a lot of ways, I feel like these three ladies in waiting. Haha.

Next time you see these two images, I hope to have the logo on the creamers at the greenhouse. They will sit in the rocks of the landscaping. The dairy cans are waiting for another coat of colored paint, but the weather has not been cooperating. I have the flowers for the top of them already also. Keeping them growing in the greenhouse has been enjoyable. I am aslo trying to figure out how to make the cans a bit more self-watering. They are so tall the bottom half does not even get used as a potting soil source. I will be filling them with riverrock.

Meanwhile… The garden has been all mapped out with the seedling plants in the greenhouse included in the key. There will be treasures galore as the summer comes on! I was also blessed to supply the Mother’s day plants to our church. The baby geraniums did very well. Of course those statrted in november did better than the February shoots. And I have some for myself that are taking their own sweet time at rooting out.

Well, there is my update. I am also putting together a song that I wrote based on Psalm 36. The melody is so catchy. I am always humming it.

The latest greenhouse project was the dinner-plate arrangements. Parsley, oregano, cilantro, chives, and basil work just as well in the planter as they do in the pantry. It’s crazy how seeds planted at the same time grow at different paces. It feels much like walking completely different dogs!

These pretty little geranium babies all found new homes on Mother’s Day. It was such a blessing to give them away. I only had a few left overs. Those are finding new homes this week as the days roll by. Soon the rest of the plant babies will all head out to the garden. The greenhouse will have to get it’s shade cloth on for the summer, so that everything does not get scorched from the heat. Judging the water needs is hard to do when there are so many different size planters and pots.

Color My World Pumpkin

John 8:35 “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.” NKJV. Abiding freedom that comes from Jesus the Truth brings us up out of slavery to the past, sins, and bondage to world views that are not His way.

In actuality, this blog was written nearly twenty five years ago. At the time I was putting together the song track for my music debut. The result was twelve songs that told my life story. Each one shared a slice of both my spiritual journey and my coming of age. While the music continues to sneak back into my thoughts now and again, the sharing of these songs came to a standstill at some point. Perhaps looking at each one still give me some peace. So for the foreseeable future, I am planning a “focused writing clinic.”

Right now the creativity in my life has gone into fast track. Keeping up with all of the ideas has forced me to start making lists again. I have lists for everything: what I want to write about, what I plan to crochet, what books I want to listen to, what music I should look up, what plans I have for the garden and greenhouse, and anything else that comes to mind. And for some reason, I am not wore out before I even get started. Yay!

First up Stained Glass Windows. This song was written in my college years as I sought to understand my early growing up years. Originally focused on the first ten years, I think that it actually goes clear through my teen years. what the words mean to me now is different than what it meant at first writing.

Sundays during my childhood always meant church. This past year when church has become a time on Sunday when we sit and watch a live feed, is simply not quite right. All those years of pretty dresses, fixed up hair, shiny shoes, and church music really had a strong influence on me. I loved the music part of church of course. The clothes were just a bonus. (However, getting me to put on a dress these last few years requires summer temperatures.)

The churches that we went to always seemed to have stained glass windows, and so did the houses that we lived in. Old buildings have a history to them that is undeniable. These windows were not my focus as a child. Though they were beautiful works of art and I can picture them in my mind’s eye to this day.

It is what happened during my thirteenth and fourteenth year of life that changed me to the core. I had already had my “Come to Jesus” moment by the time that life would change me forever. I knew who I was, or so I thought I did.

Then came the “mean people” years. Mean classmates, mean men, mean peers, mean parents, mean church people, mean friends. Though I guess if they were mean, that would declare that they really were not my friends in the first place

God chose to color my world pumpkin.

Color my world pumpkin?

Yep. And being a spring baby (birthday in April) this was not my favorite color. I remember when I asked my parents to let me have a yellow room. All was not really my choice, as they proceeded to put up pink wallpaper and gold carpet, and my Grandmother made me a pink with grey bedspread. I never liked any of it. The room was just not quite cheerful enough. Of course, I also lived in one of those houses with a tower room and the windows were at sky level. Talk about the real life “Tangled” experience.

I suppose if you mix pink and yellow, you get orange.

And so that’s what happened.

About the time I could get a drivers’ permit (in my state it was fourteen) my mother decided it would be best to get my eyes examined first. Off to the eye doctor she took me. The only local doctor that had any experience with Retinitis Pigmentosa was alarmed at the progression of the disease in my eyes, and he took drastic measures He prescribed pumpkin colored spectacles.

Well, that about sealed the deal with any hopes for friendship that I might have with my peers. Growing up in small town America meant that since I was no longer athletic material, I was out of IN. Yeah, I said that just the way I wanted to. Mean came into my life more that it had ever been before. I was picked on, teased, called names, and basically treated terribly by everyone who had a capacity for ruthlessness.

Coloring my world pumpkin may have saved my eyesight so that I would be able to drive for the next twenty eight years, but it gave me an “orange tinted” view of all those around me. Some people are simply rotten clementines. I hope they grew up.

Everyone has rose colored glasses. You really can’t deny it. No matter what has happened in your life, all of these situations and experiences effect one’s worldview. Knowing this about yourself, and about others is what makes us human.

It’s when we can take off our pumpkin colored shades and put on someone else’s color for just a moment that makes us relatable, friendly, and healthy.

I don’t know what color glasses you look through. Maybe like me life has handed you some very difficult set of circumstances. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones, with the “rosie” view of the world. I doubt it. Everyone has stained glass windows in their worldview. We don’t have a choice about it. It’s what window pane we choose to look through at others that matters.

Sometimes we have to take the spectacles off. Sometimes we have to put the glasses on. Sometimes we have to clean the lenses to get a better view. Blindness is not always a physical disability. Sometimes blindness is in the heart and soul. Sometimes pink blends with yellow and makes orange.

Disclaimer Alert! I don’t really like pumpkins. Okay, it is fun to watch them grow and it is cool to watch them change colors. I use to love the taste of pumpkin pie, but these days even that does not agree with me much. I would rather have a “squash” pie that tastes just like pumpkin only better-because it agrees with my system. And I am not a fall lover, so the loaded pumpkin decorations are not really my thing either. So it is now obvious to me why my CD failed. The picture was taken in the fall and the coloring is fall. For this “forever spring” garden lover, the CD should have had a spring picture and it should have been color toned to my spring palette with some yellow on it. Oh, well.

Autumn falls into winter

From dry to snow to shirtsleeves again

Where else do we scoop snow on Sunday and mow the following Saturday? Wo, this land of infinite variety sure has us busy with all three seasons in one week.

Since when have we called this “God’s country?” Sometimes I think people are a little too proud of their place of origin and not giving full credit to whole scope of things. Oh, well, the soap box is all soggy and won’t hold me up any longer!

Years past I have collected the zinnia seed late in October, and this year I picked them off in September. The lawn is so dry that the grass is crunching under feet like french fries left in the fat too long. I was tempted to water the yard before it go cool again. We may be re-seeding more of the yard than planned.

A few years ago, my daughter’s retreat from wok place took her to the hammock while she was home. And then she had to work the weekend that we worked on the Greenhouse erector set. There are so many pictures of the construction in my pictures from four years ago. We just replaced the pond pump that filtered the water and added humidity to the room. It’s great to hear the sound of the water again when I walk in there. The plants will all soon be happy again.

Four years since we built the greenhouse and a name and a logo are still in the works. I have done some drawings or sketches but a marketing or graphics helper would be better at it. Anyone want to help? It is soon coming I hope.

Saving seeds and sharing goodies is my favorite part of the building. I hope next spring is even more generous.

Planning ahead for the next year, or the next growing season is so much fun. I know that I am a perpetual spring-aholic!! The plans always seem to be more in the head than on pater. I tried to keep things in a notebook once and got a little confused Suddenly it was three seasons later and I had not even looked at the list. Oops!

The beauty of art is in the eye of the beholder. For some reason, I just love this picure of the dired cone heads after the harvest was all complete. Three days late it snowed and we were digging the carrots up in the snow. Brr!

So I am back to crochet. I take a “warm” break in the greenhouse in middle of the day. It is so lovely to go and get warmed to the bone. Hats and mittens take up a larger portion of my busy time and they are a great in between thing for the larger projects to be set aside and rest my brain some!

I am so grateful for the chance to watch plants that God created grow. And I am so thinkful for the ability to be creative with my yarn projects. And NO-I have no plans to rais flax and make thread from it. Nor hemp, or cornsilk, or any other plant material that might make my allergies go completely bananas! That is the honest truth, because I am allergic to those little yellow buggers now too!

So Thanksgiving has come and gone. The goose is still getting fat. Which in our case the goose might be the bank account actually getting smaller, so that’s not true either.

This fall, my poor hubby is learning the value of a good strong spine. An old injury that he had, has turned into quite a physical challenge. Physical therapy seems to be the answer in discoving most of his nerve impingement. My heart aches for him as he tries to figure it all out and get answers from medical staff during this world health crisis. I pray for his safety every time he has a meeting with someone.

My health improved considerably with the onset of cold weather. However, my eye sight continues to be an issue. So many things do not even get attempted because of it. And then when I do try something new, technology just does not seem to aid me as much as you might think it should. Oh, well.

Ecclesiastes 12:1. (ESV) “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ” I have no pleasure in [birthdays anymore] them.”

I am not picking on the birthday people really, it’s just that this month holds significance for some and this verse seemed appropriate for all the happenings in the world and the memories I have of all the people celebrating this month. I sure hope that Christmas still holds some excietement for you and that celebrating Christmas as the birth of our Lord brings you some pleasure this year. Even if you do spend the day alone. Find someone to call. Find someway to give something this Christmas.

From animation to art

When disability changes personality

One night last week, my mind found a hundred different sunset silhouettes to keep me occupied through the sleep hours. Wonderment filled me as I woke, had I ever seen any of these pieces in real life? One in particular was a tree swing, only the rope’s obvious use and frayed strings were more evident. Another was a scene from the Disney movie Bambi that is actually a fire in the back ground. One was the two doves on the tree branch, but with more leafage than the one below. And there are the fishing scenes on the lake, and the moored boats next to docks. While three hours looking for any silouettes on the internet was an empty handed fishing trip. The only ones in my dreams that sort of matched were these two. Each one in my vision did not have an ovious sunlight, the sun being off to the side of the actual object of focus. Sunset is implied rather than targeted.

And why would such art images fill my mind so much? I am unable to dissolve their possibilities in my mind. Each one just keeps recurring at some point in the day. What does this thought process mean to me? And why a sunset? I am not a prophet, I don’t think. Are these prophetic in their nature or a symbol of the past?

More revelation has come to me over the days since these images first appeared to me. I see so much more than the setting sun or a tree swing resting from its flight. The waters of the lake have no ripples from the jet-skies, or the breeze. Each item seems quiet, tranquil, peaceful.

At rest.

Years ago, my brother and I would write little plays and act out various performances. Remembrances of woodbox stages, and piano bench theatre fill my memory. We dressed up as pirates, or Indians and cowboys, or maybe Cleopatra, it does not really matter. Imagination was lord and we were King and Queen of the drama world in our home. From those days I learned to mime, to pretend, and to fib my way through our play day.

Throughout my childhood, from my early temper tantrum fits into my teen years, I learned the power of dramatic and emotional hand gestures. These seemed quite effective in the whole of conversation, speech, and relating an incident to an audience.

Until…

One day as a teenager, during my “waitress” years, I learned a valuable less about the tragedy of lost peripheral vision and hand gesturing. My father (who is the carrier for my families genetic retinal degeneration) was telling some story as he often did. While dramatizing his tale to a table of men, he used his hand to gesture some scene. Unbeknownst to him, I was coming in with his refill of coffee. I had tried to get his attention, but everyone knows how difficult it is to get my dad to quit talking. Interruption is not much of an option. Needless to say… the coffee got spilled.

Those were the days of my growing up. Many instances like that very one happened frequently. The challenge was to wait long enough to get noticed. Or to have the patience to wait out the telling. Or to simply never serve. Some chose the later. Gradually my father leaned not to wave his arms about while fabricating his stories. Sadly, it took me a few years to lean this dismembering of my arms and hands from conversation.

And not too recently, a plate full of desert was easily sprung to the floor when because of my lack of sight, my hands reached out for the item only to flip it through the air. Videos of food flying, cakes tipping to the floor, or cups leaping through the air are not funny to me. They are a part of the surprise of visual impairment. Sitting perfectly statue is the best response to the possible “Boo!” Not really so fun anymore.

One example that still frustrates me is my children’s club teaching years. Much of what one does while teaching children is achieving compliance so that the teacher can do her job. One particular student of mine never learned to stay in his designated space. I was actually okay if he did not sit, but the wandering into my space caused acciden after accident. My frustration reached its boiling point each week at lesson. Every night, I would go home in tears because Nathan would get “HIT” every week either by my arm, hand, foot, or another appendage. Could he never learn that I could not see him coming towards my path? I cried every week, because this child made teaching club miserable for me. My eyesight made teaching kids impossible.

Finally we made it to the end of the year and I quit teaching kids club at church. I was heart broken to end on such a sour note. I loved teaching, but children have this nasty ability to move faster than my eyes. Peripheral vision is key to dealing with “needy” children who cannot comprehend another might have some disability that clashes with theirs. I was so sad.

Ending my teaching due to my eyesight.

Yep, It was just one more thing my eyes had taken away from me. Grief set in for some time. I still don’t want to attend a Vacation Bible School program or any child focused event. It hurts. I still want to teach. But it is not possible. These encounters with moving targets still continue. I can’t even read children’s books very well because the text is so unpredictable on the pages. It’s all over the place. Up, then down, then in the middle, and sometimes on the edges. Uff. It’s just too much to feel lost all the time.

So RP changes personalities. Where does the teacher in me go?

What happens to the dramatic, funny girl that once loved to tell a story and get laughs from the room?

One time someone told me, I acted like I did not want to be in a particular place all the time. Actually, that’s not it at all. When someone hands me a cellphone with an image to look at, I simply do not see the gesture. My focus has been on their face, and unless the words indicate their actions… It is not within my perpheral anymore. People in a room throw conversation around like a hot potato. It has become difficult to follow who is talking and where the ping pong ball is now. There are times it gets so tiring, I just don’t try to follow it.

So interjecting appropriate conversation has become difficult when there are more than two or three people in a group.

But just becuase I miss a lot of conversation cues, does not mean I miss every facial gesture. Sometimes I am completely passed up when a “picture” on said phone is shown. This does hurt. Not intentionally, but it does. Sometimes, I see someone roll eyes in my direction at another person because I missed something. Yes, that hurts too.

So I have changed.

From animation to still art form, I have become the unused swing hanging from the tree branch. While everyone else around me is playing baseball, or croquet in the lawn, I miss the whole thing. The ball wizzes right by my head and I haven’t seen a thing. I am lost. And no one has found me.

I am blind, but now I see. I see that I cannot be the same animated dramatic energetic self I once was. Moving too quicly through any space could be hazardous to my health. Having a friend that can’t even sit still for a conversation is not my cup of tea. I had a friend like that once. She was so busy bodied that I would get a head ache trying to figure out where she was all the time.

Now I see that being lost all the time might just be part of who I am. Getting my dog to figure out that she has to be my eyes is the task at hand. If she becomes a new tripping hazard….

Well, the blind fold might have to go up for a day to teach her that she is IT! When I am around people that do not see me as blind becuase there is no blindfold, well, life turns into a still life form in a piece of art. I become a silhouette sitting on the dock while others are gazing at a glorious sunset. The suns rays are not my friend, so I am looking at the silhouettes. The sky has a beautiful orange and pink glow. I hope I don’t forget it.

The Honey-moon is over

Not so serviceable

So after all that training-ha! This highly alert jumping bean tries to turn everyone into fainting goats with her not so delicate response to most noises. We decided the best dogs grow u.p around little kids. Or come from the rescue shelter with a second chance lease on life.

Today, I just carried my good girl down three steps to go potty. They I promised to dispose of the bad stuff just to get her to go in an area that she finally-after two years of yelling- has learned is off limits potty area. Well, she felt bad enough. So I did it. Carried her back up the three steps and let her in the house. Today we have a couch bum.

I know country living is the quiet life, but if I don’t respond with exuberant energy, why does she? Should have named her Kangaroo or springboard or trampoline. Recently met someone else that named their dog Honey an they had the same bee in the bonnet attitude in their dog. That would have been nice to know two years earlier. .

So we are trying the underwhelming approach. Never be excised at much of any thing. Ignoring her when company comes over. That really has not works either. She still annoys to the point of exasperation. Fixation on attention makes me wonder how she developed ADHD. Then I remember that she has never chewed anything up-ever. Hmmm.

No matter what excitement there might be, we are all dull drum when it comes to handling this pickle. Taking her with should be easier. But I think we will have to get another no tug harness. The band at the park outing the other day was difficult. We just have to mny memories if our perfect “Lady” – forgetting age as ten years old at perfection.

So we left her home the other night while we went for a quick ride to gas up the goldwing. She has never followed us before, so what happened in the 45 minutes timelapse,who knows? But when we got home she was obviously distressed. So the yearly trip to the vet for vaccines go moved up a week or two. This morning her paw needed some attention as the pad’s one inch gape needed fixed.

No one has ever pickled honey but some people do add apple aodar vinegar to their tea with honey. I have yet to figure out if this thing is jut the boiling hot water There is no taste to th tea if you burn your tongue first. And there are times, when I feel at my age, my tongue is just burned too frequently with the antics of a young puppy. This morning we met another doodle at 5 years old and they told us ours would get better soon.

Sweet and sour barbecue sauce usually has both those ingredients (Honey and vinegar). Honey, vinegar, ketchup and a whole lot of turmeric makes some really great rib sauce. But this girl does not even tickle the ribs funny. Calm down pickles! Well, today she is definitely down. Just look at her giving up on life with her injuries. Two pads have obvious woulds, and another she licks at, but I cannot sense the would with my probing. We are not being lazy… just resting through the healing process.

Words sweeter than honeycomb cannot be peppered with garlic and jalapeño dills. Yet this mutt gives the same effect when she greets strangers. Should have named her Cookies, like the hot spicey barbecue sauce!

While whispering to a hyped up dog does not always work, adding a cookie or cheese stick to the senses surely does. Not long ago she actually pleased us all day and we rewarded her with a McD’s burger. That’s when we found our that she was smart enough to spit the onion and pickle out. So now we know she’ll never get poisoned. She would not even take a treat from the vet this morning. It’s like she said. “Yeah, right, I did not see those two needles, and the scissor, and the iodine. You’re a stranger, I’m not pleasing you.”

Having a not so serviceable dog makes me wonder if this energy can ever be harnessed. Her idea of anything is full bore ahead. So getting her to walk the steps WITH me has been challenging. The service harness that I put on her is something she “puts up with.” It’s not a love, like Seymour considered it. But then maybe loving her through this injury and carrying her up and down these exact stairs will get her to love being with me.

Whatever was I thinking?

And how did she ever begin to choose Pickles for a nickname? I have taken up it’s use for when she is naughty. That way I never use her name “in vain”– the trainer said only use a happy tone of vice with the dog’s real name. So Pickles is the discipline name. So far, she does not care. Either one is good for her.

I haven’t decided yet what kind of pollen our bee used for making our Honey. I am thinking hay or alfalfa because they are my wort allergy. Sweet clover honey often gets too biter. So I prefer garden flower Honey. Just the other day upon arrival home, I was playing tug of war with her upon arrival home, and a bee stung me. That’s what got me thinking about all of this.

One last story about the starts before I carry her out again for another potty break. One time when she was just a wee puppy, we went to visit our daughter at the retreat center. The stairways are long, and at that time dark. Gavin was leading the way, followed by Honey and then me, and then our daughter. Two steps into the dark and this sound greeted us, “thud, thud, thud, thump, UFF!” Honey fell down the dark stairwell. So much for her being a sight dog to help me in the dark and down stairs.

Well, these next two weeks are dedicated to healing pads. We took this opportunity to put all of the frisbees into the deck box. She will not be playing for a while. I will get some muscles carrying up and down the stairs. At least the back deck only has three steps for us to fall down or trip over cats on.

Look square in the eye

Facing the facts of blindness

Square eyes?

Realistically speaking, the pupil of the eye is round, not square. So considering the whole concep of looking something square in the eye does not really add up with the bulls eye itself is round. Whoever thought up such a thing does not seem to remember that David hit Goliath in the square right between the eyes. Locking horns with the bull-elk just might get you square in the bulls’ eye. The fact of the whole matter is that going blind “one day at a time” does not make that hymn become my themesong.

My challenge to myself lately is removing clutter. Some of the things are easy to do. Going through a container full of boxes and old picture frames for example. Other tasks are not quite as easy. In particular, tackling the greenhouse clutter left me nearly in stitches and brokenness. The pathway was getting so bad from the items left there, that tripping over things was a daily event. So I am trying to do one corner at a time.

The geraniums were in desperate need of deadheading and some plant nutrition. An earlier decision to raise them up in the greenhouse left them high and dry, literally! So that job finally god done last week. After my reaction to bug repellent required me to use Benadryl, I decided it was a good time to expose myself to more plant pollens. Rough morning. But if I already had the allergy monster on my side, more exposure to plants seemed natural.

Cleaning the geraniums up is no easy task. With my tunnel vision, I left unseen dead blooms many times and had to turn the pots two and three times around to get them all clean. Then after all nine pots were done, I took a step back to survey and realized I had completely missed one of the nine planters. Thank goodness I did not have to climb the ladder today to get any more down from the high perch. It was so hot in there. Even with all the vents open, the outside temperature is mirrored under the glazing of the timber frame.

Decluttering the yarn scraps gave me some new projects. Just when I think I have a new pile of yarn cleaned up, I find one little scrap on the floor, or remaining in the basket. I don’t curse myself or the object, but it is frustrating. I feel like it takes me three times as long to do anything.

Trying to use up some of the freezer stores, I decided to make a zucchini cake one day. Only to realize there was no cocoa in the house. Then the next day, it is found by my husband. Everything use to have such a well defined home when I was up to putting things away better. Now, unless we get one of those fancy label guns, my husband has decided not to use his memory and put things back where they came from. I have to use my memory to find things. My eyesight did not find the cocoa or cacao powder.

Going outside and down the stair steps of the front deck causes more anxiety than usual lately. The blinding mid-day sun makes it hard to find the steps with my eyes. Even finding the rail in the bright sun is hard. I don’t want to resort to using the mobility cane in my own home and yard. Yet the feeling that I am lost hits me so many times each day. Thankfully, Honey sometimes helps with the stairs. And if I an conscience of what I plan to do, I just have her guide me.

Cleaning the house does not happen as frequently as it should. The clutter makes it treacherous, so that’s why I am trying to clean up some. If the surfaces have less things, then the cleaning is easier. But even while putting things away, I still come back and find something that was out of my range of sight that got left behind. So time consuming, all this clean up.

While recovering from my reaction to absorbing junior (to keep off the bugs) I found more things to clean up and throw away. There was a stash of jars on the counter from the canned goods. There was a collection of spices not put away yet. And there was a stack of towels not sorted to their various homes.

While I soaked in the epsom salt to help the hives, I finally found my sunglasses. I had left them on the dry sink sometime last week. Memory did not serve me very well on that one. Being routine, and scheduled has taken vacation for the past week as I do such un-ordinary organizing routes around the place. So that’s why the sunglasses were set down in the wrong location in the first place. This de-clutter thing is tough.

Making decisions about toss or keep is easy when moth and rust eat up an object to nothingness. Other keepsakes are more difficult. But now I even look at once valuable to me things, as dust collectors and hazards to my health. For instance, the glassware that decorates the tops of the kitchen cabinets. Why did I like things just to clean? Pretty to look at should be in something less dust collecting. So now collectables make me thing only of dust, accidentally knocking something off the edge of the table, and climbing up and down on a ladder. Funny, what is no longer valued.

So, I value my toes, my nose, my head, and my eyes, more than things. I would say that’s pretty normal, right? Just like I use to enjoy some things, now the labor of it is too tedious. It has become easier to sit and crochet than to dust all those silly glass objects. Creating something new is better than removing old dirt.

Every day something finds me square between the eyes. Lately, it is the low hanging branches. Another hazard of the acreage. We took care of those one evening last week. Hubby got out the ladder, the saw, and the skid-loader to haul away the mess. He can do things so much quicker than I can. And even find my lost objects, if I just ask. I spent all day yesterday looking for my yarn bobbin winder. He found it five minutes after being home. Never mind that I hit my head on a wall during my searches. Suffered from the headeache all the rest of the day.

We got the dry sink and the little bench fixed up this last weekend. I am not happy about where to put that writing desk that is now smooth. The next item to clean and refresh is the bench that his dad made nearly twenty years ago. It never had a coat of poly on it, just tongue oil. Me and the smell of tongue oil does not get along. And poly is less dust collecting.

So I have looked at myself squarely, sized up the situation and attempted to clean up some of the clutter. My tunnel vision is not a square tube any more and at times it becomes a pin hole. I do not look forward to my visit to the eye doctor this week. It just feels like a failed attempt at hope to go. Oh, well.

God Above

God above, oh, God of love, be merciful to me.

Be merciful to me, a sinner.

Be merciful, be patient, a sinner, Your servant.

Show me, Lord, show me Thy word.

Be patient Lord with me.

Be patient Lord with me, Your servant.

Be merciful, be patient, a sinner, Your servant

-written song and tune by Yvonne Annette, approximately 1998

Morning Mist

Fleeting faith

Hosea 6:4. “Oh (fill in with your name here) what shall I do to you. For your faithfulness is like the morning mist, And like the early dew it goes away quickly when the sun comes out.”

Who knew that the Bible has something to teach us about every thing that happens in our lives?

This morning while I did my morning chores, the fog rolled in and blurred my vision to return back to the house from the barn. Then my mind had to tell me “no silly that’s the fog, not your eyesight.” Sometimes this has to be clarified with my retinitis pigmentosia. There are times when the eyes dry out and that glass of water is one cup of coffee too late in keeping my eyes hydrated enough to see. Evening is the worst. So this verse about faithfulness and the morning mist is very real to me.

Another verse in Hebrews eleven tells us something similar. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is not what we see, rather it is the hope of things not yet seen. Hope and faith seem to go so hand and glove together. A glove does not keep me warm just lying there. I have to put it on. Faith does not become a working thing unless there is some hope involved. These concepts of spiritual and physical are very hard to grasp. It’s something like trying to squeeze the mist out of the air!

My lungs were just trying to get the air and not the water. I did have to come inside after a few frisbee tosses to my muddied up doggy. My “smoker’s lungs” told me it was time to leave the mist and opt for the dryer house.

So goes the clouds. So the mist evaporates in the sunshine.

This week my husbands plans to take a trip literally went south. His midnight vertigo turned into severe motion sickness and the plans were canceled. My plans for the week also ended up flipped upside down along with about a dozen other people that are close enough to be affected by his movements. Thanks to his sister for all the car rides as he got his stability back. A doctor visit, therapist, and chiropractor all had aid in helping him get back to upright. One ear can sure make the world go topsy turvy-literally.

So now with new plans, and another schedule in the future, we wait to see how that will all take place. Faith has to be both firm and flexible at the same time. How do we find hope amidst such feeble circumstances. Change in an instant can surprise or devastate. Faith cannot be placed in physical objects. Yet we place our faith in others hands all the time. We walk by faith not by sight. Once again this thing grips us and we must decide what carries us forward.

Hope that the sun will take away the fog. Belief that the morning mist is not a dim view of my Lord’s faithfulness to me. My God is sure. My God is steadfast. My God is here with me whether my eyes fail me, my ears give me vertigo, or my wits grow dim.

The substance of faith for me is the hope that God is here with me whether I can see the house through the morning mist or not. His Son is that ray of light that drives away the morning dew and allows my spiritual lungs to breathe once again. Ahh. Air. Fresh clean perfect air.

Book review “Thank Heaven”

About listening to Leslie Caron’s memoir

So far I have avoided doing any book reviews because of all the copyright issues. But this actress so intrigued me that I spent hours on YouTube watching her film clips and listening to her many interviews. While most people get pepper books, mine come on a little floppy disc and I plug it in to my player. I am thankful for the technology today and the chance to still “read.”

The Title

Perhaps it might be fitting for her own thinking. But she gives no glory or credit to the the Creator. Rather it is to the “Stars” that helped build her career. She was discover by Gene Kelly and first performed in “An American in Paris.” Through the book she does five credit to the many film makers, directors, and actors and actresses whom she had the pleasure to work with. , be married to, or otherwise be engaged with during her life.

So the title is to her own belief that the “Stars of Hollywood ” are the Heaven that she is thanking. Perhaps her gracious mannerisms could be learned by a few people. We all have others who help to shape us and build our lives into the castles that we become. Perhaps we all could learn a few things about the thankful, grateful heart of Leslie Caron.

The Memoir

Writing a memoir has always been a dream of mine. So as listen to my talking book library it is the memoirs that I spend the most time on. Often to the point of going past due on my book returns! Sorry. Study yang the memoirs of others will be my next constant background work to writing my own.

Leslie Caron grew up in France and was old enough to understand the World War II traumatic effect on her family. Her references to both the past and the present and the lessons that she learned are refreshing. She gained wisdom through all of life’s events and writing the memoir late in life lends a grandmother’s knowledge to her many stories.

Being a teacher at heart (homeschool mom, said Bible school teacher, etc.) my listening catches the learning curve that people allow themselves. How did Leslie learn from her mistakes and her successes? If you get a chance to pick up the book, be assured she shares her expertise in light of her hands on experiences. Her drive to learn language, acting, and the other endeavors that she took on shows determination and grit.

The Writing

Her style as a writer was developed over the years that waited for an acting job. She has a present-tense style that lends to watching a film in action. Very fitting for both her life story. This too tempted me to to look up many of her her scenes and stop the book just to check out the movie. I enjoyed each one that I viewed.

The Language

The book was a good read. Recommended for those who can handle the lifestyles of the entertainment world. While I have no desire to learn their secrets and the way that people follow their”fashion,” Leslie Caron kept the book on the street in it’s language. There were a few bedroom and closet discussions that were not detailed to the point of listening ears embarrassment. Because my books are read to me, I prefer not to have bare floor bathroom talk in my books. This is just not my kind of reading material. So for a nod to the title thank heaven she kept it clean for the most part. Would I suggest this book for my mother? Probably not. Do I want to share it with my daughter? Well, as a learning tool perhaps. Would I listen while my husband was in the room? Yes. In fact I did a few times and then shared movie clips from YouTube with him also.

Final Notes

“Thank Heaven” by Leslie Caron was a good read. Worth the time if you enjoy films and movies with music, dancing, and depth of character. Her inner beauty as an actress did shine through the book as she gave credit to the many stars that invested in her life.