The Search

Of everything
There is so much more than a name
There is so much more than an age
There is so much more than what you see
There is so much more beyond me

Friday, June 26, 2009

Second Chances

I had a great conversation with my son last night, who just returned from going with his daughter to her two day college orientation. She will be attending his “alma mater” so the visit was especially heart rendering as he slept in his old dorm and they visited the various educational halls and classrooms. They also paid a visit to some of his old favorite hangout’s. After a little stammering and working his way around the subject in many different ways, he finally said “Mom, you know I feel really bad that I didn’t get to involve you and Dad in my college experience as much as I wish I had”.

He had transferred from a junior college in our hometown, to an out of state University for his junior and senior year – therefore he did not go thru the freshman orientation. I remember helping him pack up his car and watching him pull out of the driveway and go down the road driving out of the life we had known with him for 20 years….. He was thrilled with all that was before him, I cried for three days…..

He graduated 2 ½ years later, mid semester at Christmas time with his Petroleum Engineering degree. They had no mid term graduation ceremony, and because he was already working, he chose not to return for the Spring graduation ceremony…. We had a small celebration at home the day he received his diploma in the mail, and then it was back to work.

The only thing I could think to say to him last night was that all of the disappointments you go through in raising your own children, is why God gives us grandchildren. He laughed and informed me that the weekend before, 3 of my perfect little grandchildren had accidently met up at “cactus canyon” a favorite hangout for college kids in a neighboring town, and they had not gotten home until 3:00 a.m. and he had been up half the night worrying. I just had to laugh…. My son, you never appreciated the nights we did the same for you, only to finally understand 20 years later…..

My response to him?......... “Ah, the freedom of youth”. Get used to watching it, as they’re experiencing just a taste of being almost on their own, and are willing to pay the price in wrath from their parents as they sample the good and the bad of growing up. Give it another 25 years or so and Dad will also get to enjoy the story of his grandchildren leaving the nest…… I reminded him last night that he’s already given her “flight training” now all he can do is hope she takes the lessons with her…….

Not a lot different than the baby birds I've been watching

Michael's Dead, and Elvis is Still out of The Building....

June 25th, 2009, and August 16th, 1977…two dates forever etched in the minds of Rock & Rollers around the world.

As the news of Michael Jackson’s death was released yesterday, I couldn’t help but think back to the day we learned of Elvis’s death…. Another fallen icon of the music that has made our world go ‘round, each in their own era that has now evolved into history…… From Elvis’s “shake”, to Michael’s “moon walk”, and melody’s like “Billy Jean” and “All Shook Up” rolling around in our minds, we are different, if not richer because of them.

Michael Jackson, as Elvis, both absolutely overflowing with talent, were souls born into a part of our lives and thus making our lives more complete. Each of them creating and changing the world of entertainment in ways that have molded what we conceive as enjoyment. Beyond their influence in music, their influence is also reflected in how so many of us view our world and conduct our lives.

I can’t help but think of their parents…both Michael and Elvis lent by God to common families for a short time to love and cherish before they had to give them up to the world… They were given an enormous task, so if mistakes were made they are totally understandable.

And the world did change their children. For sure, their lives were not their own. They gained great wealth and notoriety and enjoyed self indulgence, but they also suffered great physical and mental pain for the largest percentage of their lives. All of it as their parents stood helplessly by, unable to control the world’s intrusion and their children’s own self-destruction.

I have the distinct privilege of being one who loved Elvis before Pricilla did. I left behind my childhood with Elvis’s music, and the reality of an unkind world as I mourned his death, just as those whose introduction to life came in their teens with Michael. It’s sad, but many of you just learned another hard lesson, that of how fleeting life really is.

My prayers go out to Michael’s family, and especially his parents who had no choice but to stand by and watch God’s plan come full circle once again. It is being repeated over and over again in their minds at this moment that "it wasn't supposed to be this way".

Mrs. & Mrs. Presley, and Mr. & Mrs. Jackson started out as just regular Mommy’s and Daddy’s like millions of others, only to learn a different view of sharing than most of the rest of us have. Thank you for that, we all grew from your sacrifice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Flight Training

The baby birds have been leaving the nest over the past two or three days.....The parents have taken them out, (or coaxed them out) one or two at a time, so it's been quite the process. Their house is under the eave right above this porch rail, and that was their first landing place... They set there talking about where to go next, and the Mom was over on the back of the patio chair. Next thing we knew, they made their way over there.

From the back of the chair, they followed Mom to the fence... then we lost track of them for
awhile. The way they got from one place to another could not really be called "flying", as they just fluttered through the air, very lopsided and unsteady with awfully rough landings, but very cute to watch. Mom and/or Dad were never far away....

The ones left in the nest to wait their turn were not very happy.... however; they did what they were told and waited, and waited, and waited. It helped some that brothers and sisters got to come back to the nest at night after a hard day of training so when dusk arrives, so do the babies. You can actually tell they're pretty tired when they return. This morning the
last one got to go out for his lesson, then we had a storm hit about 5:30 this evening and it wasn't long before they were all 5 back in the next to await tomorrow's journey.

As all the excitement is happening in the yard every day, there is usually quite an audience..... The little sparrows are lined up watching and seem to be saying "didn't take US that long to learn"! I caught six of them lined up in a row like they were just setting there observing....

The Robins have also left the nest, but their first time out they just set on the ground. Their Mom will bring them worms and feed them for a few days out of the nest but they're not expected to fly so quickly. They are fairly large by the time they leave, so I'm sure flying is quite a chore.

Take notice of the field of cabbage behind the's beautiful this year! Part of it is planted in purple cabbage and part in green....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

the babies......

Update on the bird families....... The barn swallows are doing great, they're about ready to leave the nest.....we still can't tell for sure if there are 4 or 5.....

And, we're not sure if there are 2 or 3 of the baby Robins..... They're not as far along as the barnswallows, but they seem really happy and healthy.

The odd thing is the dove...... The nest is empty! There are no signs of any eggs or birds in the nest now, and the Mom has not been on it for a week. We don't know if the baby's have already grown up and left and we just missed it, or if the Mom was just pretending all the time she was setting up there and maybe just building the nest and trying it out?..... Or, if she decided for one reason or another to just move somewhere else before she laid eggs. We never did see any eggs, just her setting on the nest every day for at least a couple of weeks. Whatever, it remains a mystery to us......

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weaving the Way

Sometimes you don’t even have to know where you’re going, but you still need to start building the bridge to get there……

There is so much more, but the most important tool you’ll need is a vision

With that, and your need to know and see, your journey can begin…….

Woven woods or steel or even a thought or action can be the beginning, but only your efforts can bring the end.

And don’t be surprised if it takes it’s own route…

In the beginning the way is never clear.


I traveled in my mind from fear

To the will to live and back again

I constructed a bridge to carry me

To an easier place with no pain

From this place of burdens

To the great heights of freedom

Where I can laugh at my insecurities

And cross the chasm from which I came

And nightly I build bridges ……..

From one place to another.......

Each with a new purpose........

and to another place.......

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Getting to the other side

Little know fact about “tarzan”…….. I LOVE structures of any kind, but especially steel structures…. There is just something beautiful in the way man designs and creates useable objects from metal.

Bridges have always fascinated me, but also scared me. I really hate crossing bridges. I imagine that comes from several situations involving bridges when I was a kid. There were two bridges just down the road from us that we had to cross every time we went into town….. One we called “big bridge” and one we called “little bridge…… When it flooded, we had to use them anyway, if we needed to get to town for any reason. The water would cover all but the side rails and it was very frightening to cross in those conditions. Also, I remember hiding under the old wooden bridge when I didn’t want to be found. The steep slope of the creek banks it crossed, and the rumbling of the cross beams when a vehicle went over it with me setting under it….. Of course I was told not to ever go under the bridge …. I wrote in a earlier post about the old swinging foot bridge that crossed the creek on down to the south us…. I pictured myself falling thru one of the old boards every time I crossed it.

It may not surprise you that I also think oil drilling rigs are one of the prettiest structures that man has built….. There are so many sizes and kinds, but each one holds it’s own personality. When you see the countryside dotted with rigs lit up at night, it’s like a wonder world of Christmas trees the whole year round…….

Following are pictures of some of the bridges we’ve crossed that falls in my “favorites” category….. As you look at each one, I hope you will just imagine the hours it took to construct it and the stories behind it. Honestly these are only a sampling of the hundreds of bridge pictures I've taken, I also have quite a few pictures of wooden bridges and covered bridges. Isn’t it amazing what man will do to go from one place to the other……

Oh yes, and I also added in a drilling rig just for the heck of it……. Of course there is so much more to each picture and each bridge crossing or structure that you see here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Three New Families

top left: The birch tree in the south yard holds a dove’s nest, she was setting very still as I got close enough to snap her picture, you can just see her eye looking at me.

top right: The oak tree in the west yard holds a robin’s nest. Try as I may, I could not get a shot of her facing me, so what you see is her tail.

Under our south porch is a barn swallow’s nest. This is taken from inside the house just as Mom brought supper.

Just plain old "yard birds", nothing special or beautiful, but we get so much enjoyment out of watching them from birth to adulthood.....

Though the doves have been coming to our yard to get drinks for a couple of years, this is the first year they have built their nest within the boundary of the fence where we can watch their progress, so it will be interesting. Their nest is right outside the living room windows. From what I can tell so far, they are taking turns setting on the nest.

Mama Robin sets on the nest most all of the time while Dad brings her food. Their babies have not hatched yet. Just as I walked away from taking her picture on the nest, here came papa with supper, he's holding a worm in his mouth.

June10th the swallows hatched. Mom & Dad are currently flying in and out on a frenzied feeding schedule. This will be the third year the swallows have came back to the same location to build a nest. They are a delightful family of birds to watch grow and leave the nest for flight training. the one day old baby swallows are doing fine, we think are 3 in the nest but we’re not sure yet. Mom and Dad will swoop and try to dive bomb us when we go outside close to the porch.

I’ll be keeping you updated on their progress……

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'll Try Anything.....

Since the heart doctors have told me I cannot have surgery on my back to correct the bad discs and pinched nerves, I had to do something to try and give me some relief from the pain so I can exercise to strengthen my heart.

I came across a chiropractor who has one of these DRX9000 machines, and I had a consultation with him today. The concept is that the machine gradually stretches you, easing the disc apart, while it releases the affected nerve and at the same time brings healing oxygen into the disc space which will encourage the return of the disc padding or gel like substance that gives the disc cushion…..

Whether it really works or not, or whether it will work on me, I have no idea, but I’ll try anything to lessen this pain I live with every day. I have personally visited with a couple of people who swear they have been helped by it. The outcome of my trials remains to be seen.

It has gotten to the place where I can hardly walk at all, so if it provides any improvement, no matter how small, it will be a blessing.

The dr. has to go over several of my MRI’s, CT’s & X-rays, and then he will set up the program. It will consist of a series of treatments 4 days per week, for 5 weeks…..or if I can tolerate it, we may try 5 days a week. I would like to finish before we go on vacation about the 12th of July. He will have the pictures in his office tomorrow, then we’ll set an appointment to get started.

I have not been able to resume any type of exercise to strengthen my heart because of my back, and since I am on blood thinners and other medicines for my heart any invasive surgery is impossible….. so if nothing else I hope it will at least make life bearable until I am able to have surgery.

Finally reaching the point where I feel like fighting again, I am willing to do whatever it takes…..there is always so much more, even when you think you’ve reached the end of the road……you just have to keep searching and experimenting. I’ll keep ya posted on how it goes.

I marvel every year just before my peony bush bursts into bloom. The dark green leaves filled with long stems topped with buds resembling tiny pink and white lollipops… Every year I wonder how long it will take them to open into the beautiful large flowers I know are eventually coming. I check them every day at this stage of their lives waiting with great anticipation for
them to reach their peak, the ultimate of beauty.

The buds grow larger every day, but it’s hard to imagine what they may become and how anything so tightly knotted up could possibly become something so large……

And then, just when I almost give up on ever seeing an actual bloom, the tiny ants and black flies appear…. The bush becomes totally covered with little black spots moving and working, working ever so digilently, hour after hour and day after day. And then finally, the outer green leaf coverings of the bud, begin to peel back allowing the bloom to spread it’s petals into a

beautiful flower…….a vision to behold

And then their job being finished, the ants and flies disappear for another year.

Year after year, it’s proven to me, the flowers cannot open on their own. The renewal of life is a wonder to cherish, but it takes more than just the urge to want to live…..

It takes work……from ourselves and others. The types and tools of work vary from species to species, job to job, but in whatever form, it’s necessary. I’ve yet to see an accomplishment of any kind that was produced on it’s own.

Give thought today to the various elements and how many other individuals it takes for you to live your life, and give them thanks. The ants and little black flies are there for a purpose, and so are those who surround you. What have you done today to help open another flower?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Now who the hell really cares?

My world is expanding, but how necessary and important that is, depends on whether or not you really care. Thanks to my curiosity, and my love of the written word, and the fact that my handwriting is horrible and I hate doing snail mail, and I forever lose pens,...... I do e-mails on a regular basis with several friends and relatives. I belong to two forums, one heart attack related and one cancer related. Wait – make that 3 forums because I recently joined one to chat with others about the NBA playoffs. I now do my blog “so much more”, and I just joined “twitter”. Oh yes, I almost forgot, I also belong to the “caring bridge” sites where several post updates about serious illnesses. At the moment I am tracking two acquaintances on their sites.

I love e-mail – it is the best tool ever delivered for staying in touch with those you care about. Of course my complaint with it is that those who do not love to write end up using it to forward stuff….. Therefore, I get dozens of forwards every day about any number of subjects . Instead of writing me their news, they send me an unbelievable picture of a snake swallowing a man or other subjects too numerous to mention here...... OR, they call, me, and I hate to talk on the phone! Just learn to write, would you please? It’s right there at your fingertips and it’s free! What more could you ask for!

My blog…..this blog……I love it! I love it because it’s mine. If I’m in the mood to take a stab at poetry I can and no one cares if it’s good or not. If I’m in the mood to be philosophical that’s ok too, I can babble on about any subject in the world I choose to and people can take me seriously or not. If I want to tell an old story I can without having to watch your boredom. I don’t have to be a professional photographer to share my pictures, and if you are so inclined to comment on something I do write or show, then you’ve made my day. I can empty my emotions, or otherwise dump on you and make myself feel better, I can whine and complain and if you don’t want to read about it you don’t have to, I can be totally stupid and you can relate to me or not. Or I can share a laugh or a hug and help make your day. Or, I can write nothing at all for no reason and no explanation to anyone.

The forum’s….. In the beginning when I was first diagnosed with cancer and scared to death, the lymphoma cancer forum was a Godsend. I learned a lot about the disease, I received the reassurance I needed, I made cyber friends with similar problems, and it was wonderful. Then I discovered that it was taking my life over…..literally! For receiving the support I had needed, I felt I needed to give back, so every other hundred or so people who joined that particular board, I tried to support in return…. That led to hours and hours of my trying to give comfort to a lot of people with a lot of serious issues, to the point that I found myself grieving for them every day. I could not let that continue and save my sanity….. it was just too much. Yes, a person can care too much. I visit infrequently now but still stay in touch with 4 or 5 who mean a lot to me.

I am relatively new to another forum that is all about women with heart problems. It is useful to me for now and has enlightened me to the fact that there are many women in the world just like myself who deal with more than one health issue in their life. In fact, I was surprised to learn how many! The heart forum does not seem to be as personal as the other one, the drama is less and the gals do not seem to be so chit-chatty. So far I am enjoying it and it has not required much of my time or me. We'll see how it goes.

When I get a notification that there has been a new post on one of the caring bridge sites, I do log in and try to post a reply….It is difficult to feel their pain especially when it involves a child, but I try to offer encouragement as I can.

And then,...... I heard about twitter and my curiosity got the best of me. I’m not sure I understand it yet, or what makes it any different than a regular “instant message” site…. (If any of you can clarify that for me, I would appreciate it). A great thing did happen, since I joined, a long lost relative contacted me, so it’s been wonderful for us to catch up with each other’s lives….. However: You only get to write 140 characters in one tweet…… 140 letters and spaces and punctuation marks is hardly enough to tell anyone I’m alive….but then I’m sort of mouthy and alive does not necessarily mean alive and well…… Did I tell her I went to the grocery store yesterday? Do you think she really cares? She's a sweetheart, but I really didn’t think so.

After she and I made our initial contact and proceeded to visit for a few days, I started checking out other twitter sites….like Oprah for instance. I checked it this morning and there was a tweet that she was going to some play, then another tweet saying how much she liked it! Keeping in touch is one thing, but tracking each other’s movements 24/7 with dozens of other people? Somehow that does not seem healthy to me, not does it serve to accomplish anything. I am very confused over this whole, daily, worldwide conversation that everyone seems to be having with each other. Who the hell really cares if Oprah goes to a Broadway play or not….that’s really not a part of my world. Or, did you know that Ashton Kutcher, (whoever he is) has a kazillion and some followers? Oprah and Ashton will be taken off of my “follow list”, do ya think they’ll miss me? Ha! On twitter, there is the standard question of “what are you doing”? I actually got caught up in this enough that I jumped right on there and said that I was sitting in my living room having coffee…… Such a profound statement!......not.

There are those, myself included, who probably shouldn’t bother answering that question.

The Internet has been wonderful for me, and I assume for a lot of others. It is an important and useful aspect of our lives and a stationary item in most homes. I love being able to find the answer to a question immediately, I love being able to keep up with world news at the touch of a key, I love knowing that those I care for are ok and living their life and their dream, but hearing that you just pulled a tick off your dog Oprah?...... please spare me. One friend of mine confessed that she liked “facebook” better than twitter….. Now I have not tried facebook yet, but how many ways of talking and writing does one girl need? As wonderful as it probably is, I think I’ll skip that one. To each his own, ya know?

Here’s raising my glass to communication, but spare me the details ok? I’m too busy trying to figure out how to block the idiot who tweeted to me on my twitter that he has the answer to all my financial problems and all I have to do is send him one thousand dollars and he’ll be sure to tell me how.

Oh, did I tell ya?.........I love my blog, there is so much more to come, and I promise I won't try to sell ya nothin.........

Monday, June 8, 2009

From My Garden to You

The flowers have been beautiful this spring even though they are late blooming. The vibrant pink peony's are as big as dinner plates, and the colors of the roses brightens the whole yard. I hope you will enjoy them with me.........

Our Hideaway

After my grumpy post on it being spring again, I figured I had better let you know that so far it's going not half bad.  Luckily we have had a long spring, several rainy days, no sweltering heat to make life miserable, and thanks to hubby's help, the weeds have not overtaken me yet!   Today I am sharing some pictures of our yard....   It is our private little haven, built just for the purpose of having a place to hide from the rest of the world.   I have to tell you that we did all of the work ourselves. The ponds and creek were dug by hubby with a little back hoe,  following my design laid out with a garden hose, the kids and grandkids helped us line the ponds and creek with the proper materials, the large rocks were purchased from a  quarry and moved into place with a crane, and every other rock was moved into place by hand from those I had collected over the years.  And I wonder why my back aches?   After turning the pumps on about 4 years ago we have not shut them off other than for cleaning and maintenance.  They do run all winter and are beautiful as ice forms around the water falls.   I want you to know you're all invited to come over for a cold lemonade on the patio or to just set on the bench and meditate....   There really is so much more than meets the eye......  You see the fence?  I was the hod carrier......over 150 feet of one block on top of the other one 6 ft high.  (some day I'll tell ya about that).

Return to Me

Where did she go …….that one that used to be me.  

The girl with no fears

The curious, fun one who touched everything.

The healthy, strong one with energy.

Where did she go…….that one they called sunshine

The one who always had a smile

The one who loved to be with others

The one who never rushed time.

Where did she go…….


It’s about time I updated this blog don’t ya think?   I have learned that even a major illness cannot stop the automated response to life, doing what is expected of you, doing the things that come natural to your being., and doing what seems normal in order to be you.   Others expect it of me, and I expect it of myself……..   The largest part of life, that of learning to be me all over again.  I think one begins by doing what one has always done.

April and early May brought the realization that I would be hosting a big party to celebrate my two granddaughter’s high school graduations, just like I did two years ago for my other graduate grandkids.   There were so many details to take care of, I knew I had to get started soon.   Being able to think straight, finding the energy, having the enthusiasm to make it perfect.   None of them easy to come by, but something told me I must.


And I did it……a successful open house with decorations, the right food, special touches, our yard and home full of happy people wanting to celebrate a phase of life with a day of joy.   Those joys made possible by my efforts, and my love of entertaining.   Instincts led me through it.  At any cost……. I did it and I loved it and I got through it and I completed the expectations of myself and if only for a day, I was normal once again.   Now it is June and I am ready to start searching for other ways to be me.  There is so much more and so many more ways.......