Requisit Respite

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just found a site that can make a signature.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Crochet Preemie Afghans

I'm on a roll.
I think I'll post more of my 'artwork.'

This is a Trip Around the World quilting pattern made with yarn scraps from other projects.

This is a Log Cabin pattern.  I figured out how to do it.  I love using yarn scraps to make these.  Or, like this one, I bought the yarn and used the scraps from this project to make others.

I don't always take pictures of all the preemie afghans I make, but sometimes, if the colors are unusual, like these new colors I really haven't used before, I will take photos to remind me of the color combinations.  There are lot of new yarns out there in all different collors.

Love these color combos...

Twenty Years Ago Today

It is twenty years today that my father died.
I can't believe it's been that long, but, as all parents, I measure time by my children.  I remember Jewely was just seven months old at his funeral. Jewely is now 20 years old--and seven months, tomorrow.
I received a phone call from my mom at about nine in the morning, I think, and she told me that dad had passed away early, early in the morning.
As usual, he had been up during the night and left their bedroom to go to sleep on the couch (sometimes he would get on the recliner) for one reason or another.  When my mother awoke to get ready to go to a Christian Women's Club meeting (I think it was), she just took her shower, got dressed, put on her makeup, etc., knowing my father was an early bird and he must be outside enjoying the morning.
When she came out of the bedroom into the living room, she noticed he was lying on the couch--unusual for someone who wakes up at 6 a.m. every day.  It was going on 9:00!  Then she saw that his eyes were open.
  We knew my dad wasn't feeling well.  He had just failed a stress test on Friday and the doctor told him to come back to the hospital the next Friday for a cath.  He didn't make it.  He died Tuesday morning of a massive heart attack.  He was only 63.
I was calm when I received the call from my mom in Florida.  I listened.  She said everything was going smoothly with medical personnel.  My aunt and uncle lived near, so I knew she had them and many friends.
I hung up and called my husband at work.  He said he was coming home immediately.  I told him I was fine.  He, thankfully, didn't listen to me and came home at once.
When I hung up the phone from him, my body started shaking involuntarily.  I. couldn't. stop. shaking.
That had never happened to me before.  I'm glad my husband came home.  I had little ones to take care of, and kindergarten and nursery school car pools, and...

I remember collapsing into my brother Andrew's arms at the cemetery and sobbing, finally able to release my sorrow. My mother, who was about my age, reflected after the funeral that she was much too young to be a widow.

Anyway....after 20 years, I guess this is a good time to reflect on my dad.  He died right before Thanksgiving.  Having my Uncle Tony's funeral this week has caused us all to ponder it, I think.  We know they are in that better place and are now watching over us, our guardian angels, to make sure we are safe and to help us when times get rough. They are that whispering in our minds to remind us we left our keys in the car, or to turn off the lights, or you forgot to unplug your curling iron. 
I can just picture my dad in my mind's eye, gently nudging me awake every morning, reminding me, "You're going to be late for work!" as he did for me when I was in school.  He was my personal alarm clock.  He would come into my room every morning at 6:55 a.m. and gently say, "Susan, wake up."  I would, bleary-eyed, come to my senses, look at the clock and at him, then drift back to dreamland, only to feel my father lovingly give me a back rub and quietly urge me to wake up.  It was a long process.  Now I set the alarm and push snooze about 10 times before I actually leave the bed, waking up slowly, slowly.
I never set an alarm as long as I lived in that house.  My dad woke me up every morning, ever so quietly and gently, and slowly. 

As a parent, I can only hope that my children remember me fondly and lovingly.  I know I failed at a lot of things, but I have never failed to love them with all my heart.  I hope they forgive my shortcomings and remember, oh, remember, how much I love them.

It's Not a Hard Concept

"God is the one sure source of truth. He is the fount of all inspiration. It is from him that the world must receive direction if peace is to come to the earth and if goodwill is to prevail among men. This earth is his creation. We are his children. Out of the love he bears for us, he will guide us if we will seek, listen, and obey." (The Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 555).
I love this quote.  I remember one time, when my kids were younger, I asked my oldest two to clean up the family room so we could have Family Home Evening.  "And don't fight!" I added as I started doing the dishes from dinner.
It didn't take long until I heard the screaming and contention and, probably, pillow fights that were going on in the family room.  I called over to them, "I asked you not to fight.  If you would just listen to me and obey what I say, we would have perfect peace in this family!"
At that moment I straightened up with wide eyes, mouth dropped open, and looked at my reflection in the kitchen window at the sink.  It dawned on me so rapidly that Heavenly Father must say that every day!!
"If you would just obey my commandments, you would have perfect peace and harmony in your world."
As a parent, I wonder what He must be thinking all the time.  He gave us the Plan to be happy and to make our way back to Him.  It's not a hard concept.  The mercy of the Atonement of Jesus Christ acknowledged, we should be nice; do good; pray; go to church; go to the temple; love one another; ask; seek....What's so hard about that?
"...Out of the love he bears for us, he will guide us if we will seek, listen, and obey."
What a concept!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh, Wo....

Today was not great.
I have heard of people who were caught blogging about their place of employment and fired on the spot, so I'm not going to do that today...not in so many words, anyway.

It's a dog-eat-dog world out there. I wish I could find a job where I worked with real adults. I am flabbergasted by the trite acts of grown-ups in my workplace. Some acts are not so trite as they are underhanded and spiteful.
'nuff said.

I miss my time as a reporter. I don't miss sitting for hours at endless meetings that lasted two hours and could have ended two hours ago, if you get my drift...
I miss writing about events that really matter--not earth shattering, but community oriented. I met so many wonderful people as a reporter. I was shown the hand of God many times by peoples' courage and humility and strength and endurance. These people are Joe Ordinary, right in our own back yard.

How many times have I thought how small I am in the scheme of things. There are so many great people. I don't mean it lightly...really 'great' people who give of themselves and sacrifice without any thought of remuneration or payback.

That's what I would love to focus on.

Instead my head is crammed with numbers and facts and statistics; my hands type numbers and letters all day that fill in blanks, that fill up pages, that are sent via cyber space to another land far, far someone else can make sure I filled in all the blanks.

I love the place where I work, though. It is needed. It is good. The people who live there are walking angels. I am priviledged to know them and be in their presence for a short period of time.

That is who I'm really working for.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Miss Timmy

Ya' know...Timmy is a very private person and when he was here, we hardly knew it. Zannah's like that, too.
But now that Timmy left for college (today!), it still feels like he should be here. For the last 18 years Timmy was always here!
I feel his essence or his energy or a shadow of him left behind here.
I remember, growing up in a big family, sitting around a table with 10 people, you still knew when one was missing. And you knew exactly who it was even without checking the seating!
There is a family bond that is kind of indescribable.

I miss Timmy....
He is off on his college adventure.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Can't Believe We Both Forgot Our Anniversary

Yeah...the title just says it all....
Then again...32 is a long time and we're old now (old-er anyway). We're not that happy-go-lucky young couple that got married in the 70s and went on our honeymoon in our '67 Chevy paneled van that broke down 3 times -- once in Boulder, Colo.(the steering console), once in Yellowstone Park (flat tire), and once at Mount Rushmore (dropped the muffler). I guess, even in 1977 a 1967 van was old.
Then there was the No-tel Mo-tel in Indiana, but that's a different story...
We ended our 3-week honeymoon a little early because we ran out of money....
oh, to be young again....
eh...maybe not.

Menopause Mom Ranting

I always thought I was born too late. I love music from the 30s and 40s and dancing the fox trot.
Now...alas...I have discovered I may have been born too early -- too early to cash in on all the mom blogging stuff out there in bloggerland.
I can't believe all the millions of blogs there are for moms. How sad that I and my generation of moms didn't have the same support group on the web. We didn't even have the web. We didn't even have a computer! We barely had VCRs, let alone Tivo and DVRs!
Now, if you have a bad day when a kid wipes his nose on your new, one-size-larger T-shirt, just blog about it and receive 431 comments from other moms ready to boo-hoo with you.
How do they even have time to READ 431 comments?
I was a stay-at-home mom and I didn't have a blog to refer to to ponder if I thought it was harder than working or how much guilt I felt about leaving a job or wanting to stay home. Now the bloggers appear on Oprah to vent their angst.
I shouldn't be so judgemental.
I would definitely be on Oprah if I was a mom blogger today. I would lament about how if it didn't happen on Sesame Street I didn't know about it. I would talk about the time I paved the way for nursing mothers when I sat on a bench in the Smithsonian Institute to nurse my baby in public -- so they can do it today! I would complain that I had to wind up the baby swing every 15 minutes, which meant the baby, who was only on the verge of falling asleep, woke up every 15 minutes when I wound up the swing. I'd tell about the time I had to call Poison Control twice in one week! How I mashed my own baby food from leftovers and froze them in ice cube trays. I don't even think ice cube trays exist anymore, do they?
Oh, I guess I'm just jealous.
I mean...I was a reporter and I would love to be able to be a stay-at-home empty-nester and write all day about my day. Uh....slept in....ate cereal...let the dog out....checked my e-mail....
I can see how that wouldn't work.
I'd still like to do it, though....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kenny Rankin died....

I was so sad to read that Kenny Rankin died.
I have his music on my Playlist and I love the way he plays the guitar and sings.

My friend's son, Eric Forsyth, reminds me of Kenny Rankin a bit; the same carefree and agitated guitar playing and tenor, sometime falsetto, energized voice. You defintely know that when he is playing his guitar and singing he is having the best time. Holy time. Sacred time.

I first saw Kenny Rankin at the Main Point in the late 1970s; a famous place for former hippies like me. My friend, Janet, introduced me to his music. She and I went to the Main Point, an intimate coffehouse atmosphere, to see him perform. He just sat there on a stool, told stories and sang his heart out; easy, carefree, jazzy, folksy -- definitely professional yet fun loving.
Last summer, I got to introduce the music of Kenny Rankin to my new son-in-law, James. Rankin was scheduled to appear at the Washington House in Sellersville. I got 3 tickets. I asked James if he wanted to go. Jewely was in Maine with her friend, Katie, having a last hurrah with her friend before her wedding day. So James pretty much was pining away and had nothing else to do, I'm sure he thought at the time.
I was so glad when he really 'dug' Kenny Rankin. James plays guitar, so he admired his guitar playing. Rankin does a mean "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" -- my favorite rendition of the song. He plays piano, too.

He just sat there on a stool, told stories and sang his heart out; easy, carefree, jazzy, folksy -- -unplugged.

He died of lung cancer. He was only 69. He was only diagnosed 3 weeks ago.
When we saw him last summer he sounded like he was getting over a cold -- or getting one. His voice was raspy but he still nailed his songs. And, of course, the guitar....

Please check out his music. You will love it as much as I do:

Check this out, too:,0,5347669.story

And check out the music of Eric Forsyth at:

You will see what I mean.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Have More Initials After My Name

I can't believe how quickly it happened!
One day my boss says she is going to ask if I can work on marketing and the next day it happened!

I was working part-time for over two years -- just under the radar of full-time 32 hours. I had Wednesdays off, which was nice, but we really needed me to have a full-time job. If something happens to Ken's job, I will need benefits.
Since I work in such a small place, and since we are usually always full, corporate never bothered us much. Now we are two rooms down and they are wondering -- why aren't we full?
I've been saying it for two years -- we don't do any marketing!!! You told us not to advertise!
I have been trying in my own way to help the public relations of our facility. I wear my name badge wherever I go so people will ask me "What's ____ _____?" and I can tell them all about our memory care community. I pushed for ads in community booklets and school musical Playbills, I urged them to advertise on diner placemats, etc.
Anyway.... my director did a marketing day at Dublin Community Days and when someone who lives on the same street as our facility didn't even know where it was...she was embarrassed.
So she got mad and went to corporate and said, "Susan can do it!"
They were like, "Susan can do marketing?"
(As she was telling me this, she rolled her eyes then went cross-eyed)
"Of COURSE Susan can do this!" (I've been secretly marketing for two years! I've been saying ____ ____ is the best kept secret in Bucks County!)


That was Thursday. She said she asked for an additional eight hours for me, which would push me into full-time (yay! paid time off!).
Friday morning she got an e-mail -- corporate made me the Community Sales Representative for ____ ____ -- and gave me an additional 12.5 hours!!!

I can't believe it. Marketing is SO ME! I love Public Relations and schmoozing with people and I believe in ____ ____, so it will be easy for me to sell.

Tomorrow..... I'm actually going to wear a SUIT!!! I'm going to visit some doctor's offices and even the Pennridge Chamber of Commerce.
I have giveaways * brochures * notepads * pens!!!!

I have so many ideas. I want to have an end of summer Pig Roast. I want to have a Memorial Service with DOVES! Dementia Support Group meetings for family members -- my imagination is running wild.

This is what I like to do. If I can't be painting, I can be using my talents to tell the community about a lovely and worthwhile place in their midst. It's like when I was a reporter. I feel like I'm doing something useful -- not just bean counting and answering phones -- which I will still do because I have also retained my title of Business Office Coordinator.
Hmm....I wonder if they'll pay for me to take college courses in communications or marketing ...hmmm... I'm going to check into that eventually.

By 3:00 on Friday I was going on to the next thing at work when I suddenly was stopped by a thought... a prompting... "I think I like my job now!"

("Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's "Messiah" playing in my head right now...)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Continuing The Knight's Tale

So the knight is not to be outdone by a squirrel....

One morning this week I woke up to see this

The knight had strung a wire -- a tightrope, if you will -- from the oak tree to the cherry tree across the back yard.
If you look closely, you can sort of see the wire it is hanging from...right up close to the baffle.
The knight is sure he has baffled the squirrel this time. He said if the squirrel goes across this thin line hanging on for dear life, or walking it like a tightrope, then the squirrel is entitled to whatever it can get from the birdfeeder....
I hate to tell him I saw a squirrel on the birdfeeder the other day....

There is nothing so beautiful as an azalea bush flowering in all its glory. Azaleas mean spring has returned. I mean, spring is in full bloom when the azaleas open their petals.

Consequently, there is nothing so ugly as an azalea plant that has bloomed.

Why is that?

If I was in charge of flowers in nature, I would probably have them all bloom at the same time and all the time.

I know flowers bloom at different times and give us variety, blah, blah, blah... but I would have them bloom all the time...

....maybe that is why I'm not in charge of flowers.....


just my two cents.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Glass Full: I Miss Kathy Davis

There are many people who have inspired me in my life. Some of them are my heroes. One of these heroes was my friend during a very creative and satisfying time in my life -- Kathy Davis. She is now an exclusive greeting card artist for American Greetings. I just purchased her new book, "Scatter Joy: Living, Giving and Creating a Life You Love" and, when I read it, I feel like she's sitting in the living room with me. So many memories shared with Kathy have resurfaced.
Her new book is a sort of self-help book for people who need joy in their lives or are trying to look at the glass as half-full -- actually just plain full! It's on the line of "The Artist's Way" only it's full of her whimsical watercolors and her effervescent personality, which I really miss.
I went to her website tonight and seeing her artwork just makes me happy. I've read the many testimonials given by people who have seen or purchased her greeting cards and they all say the same thing -- they bring joy.
What a satisfying feeling it must be to bring joy to people.
I hope in my own life I can be thought of as someone who helps to bring joy.
My New Year's resolution this year was to always look at the positive side of things in my life, particularly my job. Being a business office coordinator at a memory care facility is not my ideal career. I would like to be an artist like Kathy and my friend, Nancy Collier. She is another one of my heroes.
Nancy runs a non-profit organization called "New Outlook Therapy." (read about her here:
She gives art lessons, or does art therapy, to those who thought they could never paint. She gives lessons about watercolor painting and, consequently, about living life to the fullest -- glass full!
She visits her 'patients,' as she calls them, and teaches them to paint. Some are paraplegic, some are retarded, some have MS, some are fighting cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.
Wherever she goes, she gives these people a "New Outlook." She helps them make their artwork into greeting cards and even books.
I am so happy for Nancy. She is finally getting published. She has nine books; two are being published already and are available in Barnes & Noble and, etc. and her ninth book is finally the one she has always wanted to write: "Cozy Isn't Being Alone." I can't wait to read it. I've heard all her stories. She is a great storyteller.
Nancy wants me to work at New Outlook and I would like nothing more. But, alas, I am at a time in my life where I have to make money. I would love to be able to paint and create, but having to make money hinders my self-confidence in that direction. I don't have a degree. It is my one big regret in life. *sigh*
Nancy is also trying to inspire me to write a book. I would love to do that, too. I have been trying to think about what I would write about. I don't think of myself as an inspiring person. My life is pretty uninteresting right now. I try to do good, but so do a lot of others.
But I do have a lot of interests -- and I know there's a book in me. I just have to discover what 'it' is.
I would really love to get back in touch with Kathy now that I'm reading her book. I'm actually a little intimidated now. I knew her 'when,' but I have this un-self-confident feeling that I am so out of her league now. I don't know why I think that way. This is exactly the feeling Kathy is writing about in her book. Maybe I will take her advice and just think positive.
I hope someone will read this and click on the links for these two stimulating artist women. Then maybe I'll be considered inspiring! haha
And when I finish Kathy's book, I'm going to call her and see if she wants to meet for lunch, like we used to, with Rosely and Eileen...I hope she says yes!

Monday, May 25, 2009

How to Make a Card Pop: One Stroke Tip of the Day

When I'm done painting, I inevitably have leftover paint. Who wants to throw paint away, right?
So I get a piece of card stock and start painting butterflies (or random flowers). I fill up the card and use all the paint on my palette and blend blend blend.
When I'm done filling the card, I cut them all out and put them in a small zip-lock bag.

(cut out butterflies)
Then I can add the three-dimensional effect to the card I'm painting by attaching a butterfly with a pop-dot.

This one has cut-out pansies that have been attached with pop-dots as well. The butterfly is waiting in the wings....
It gives the card just the color it needs and adds to the overall arrangement.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who's Baffled?

Once upon a time there was a beautiful back yard garden at a knight's castle in Perkasie where birds could come and eat to their hearts content from a bird feeder hanging on a limb of the blooming white dogwood tree. was a nice garden, without cats... only a pesky dog that occasionally sunned himself on the deck and pretended to chase squirrels every once in awhile.

Lo, and behold, the knight that owned the fair garden decided to buy a different kind of bird feeder. He was bored with the beautiful goldfinches that nestled on the wooden feeder. He thought maybe another type of feeder with another type of food might attract a different kind of bird.
Unfortunatley, the new bird feeder attracted a whole different kind of hungry creature.

One little grey squirrel eventually tired of gleaning the fallen seed that fell by the wayside of the dogwood tree in the garden.
This daring animal decided it would try to get the feed before the birds.
It climbed up the tree. It walked down the limb. It eyed up the bird feeder. Then it went back up the limb, got a running start and jumped from the limb to the bird feeder.

It almost fell, but with stealth it hung on for dear life as the feeder swayed back and forth.
After this, the skinny fine wire and the length of cord, coupled with the cage around the bird feeder, didn't seem to bother the sure-footed, nimble-fingered furry-tailed rodent. In fact, when the target was placed even farther down the tree limb, the rodent decided it was a challenge it couldn't refuse.
The knight then decided he would find an object to baffle the squirrel so he could not scurry down the fine wire rope that held the bird feeder.

It was a tense moment to see if it would work....

...but it didn't ...
...and the furry-tailed creature continued to gorge itself at the bird feeder.
Even the birds didn't seem to mind because the squirrel was always willing to share the spoils.


Then the knight got another idea...
"What if I put the baffle up higher?"

Hmmm.... this could work!

(eyeing it up)

Making a move...

Guess not....

And so continues the saga of how to baffle a squirrel...but in the process, how not to baffle yourself.

As for the lady of the house....

She is very content to watch the beautiful goldfinches at the wooden birdfeeder that hangs from a limb of the blooming white dogwood tree in the fair garden of the knight's castle in Perkasie....

As for the squirrel, he even practices his dives when there's no food to be had from the feeder. I think it is now just a form of exercise and daring.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

At Least My Dog Loves Me...

You feed me when I'm hungry,
You keep water in my dish,
You let me sleep on anything,
Or in any place I wish.

You sometimes let me lick your hands,
Or even lick your face,
Despite the fact I've licked myself,
In every private place.

You taught me how to come when called,
You taught me how to sit,
You always let me go outside,
So I can take a ...stroll.

You'll always have my loyalty,
Up to the bitter end,
'Cause after all, it's plain to see...
You are a dog's best friend.

Have a Wonderful and Happy Mother's Day!

Didn't Know I Was Famous?

Check this out!

Happy Mother's Day to You, too!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

She Knows

A poem by Alexander Knight
for his mother

Feeling pains of growing world --
the nothings that pain more --
She feels me whether near or far,
And holds me to her.

Her warmth's what heats my veins,
Her will holds up my weight;
What smiles me when I climb high,
She's proud of me always.

She holds my love inside her heart,
She made my walls and chambers --
With Mortar blood and tears --
My ribs -- her arms -- protecting,
Ever holding, ever loving.

Thru nothing pains,
I close my eyes and --
I know she knows --
I love her.
I love her.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Favorite Movies

If you asked me what my favorite movies are, I'd probably say all the classics from my age group -- musicals -- like, you know, "The Sound of Music," "Wizard of Oz," "Oklahoma," "My Fair Lady..."
Now at work it must be Musical Month, and if I hear "Doe, a Deer" one more time I think I'll scream! Or "I Have Often Walked Down This Street Before..." arrrgggh! I LOVED those songs.
I think this new monthly theme is ruining my love of the classic musicals.
No kidding... I think they play 3-4 times every day.

But then I got this e-mail with photos from the grown-up versions of the children who played in the movie, so all is well again....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I found Nie Nie

Ironically, I found NieNie's blogspot while perusing another of my friend's blogs.
I was JUST tonight speaking with Roslyn Kinneard. In her Christmas card she told us that her husband, Doug, had been killed in a plane crash -- no other information. I knew he was a pilot. I couldn't believe it!

So tonight I called Roslyn and talked to her at length about Doug and the Nielsons, Christian and Stephanie (NieNie), who both survived but with severe burns -- Stephanie over 80 percent of her body. Doug was the pilot who was helping to right the plane that NieNie's husband was flying as it had trouble in flight.
Stephanie and Christian Nielson were flying with Doug from New Mexico to Arizona. Christian was taking flying lessons from Doug. The plane had trouble and before it went down, Doug took the controls and tried to land the plane, but alas, even though he landed the plane, it caught fire and Doug's body was burned over 90 percent.
Roslyn said he was lucid, and was walking around and said he couldn't believe they were all alive. His poor body could not feel any pain because all the nerve endings were damaged. He remained in such a good mental state that he was able to instruct the EMT crew. He was conversing all the way to the hospital. I think the EMTs knew he wouldn't survive; I'm not sure if Doug did.
Roslyn said the nurses told her he was talking up a storm and they were sorry they had to intubate him because his body was going to swell up so much that his breathing would be cut off if they didn't. Roslyn was there and able to spend one last night with him.
They induced a coma, but the doctors and nurses said he could still hear them but couldn't respond.
Roslyn's whole extended family was there the next day, along with Doug's kids. He was given a blessing. He was removed from life support but his heart kept beating. Roslyn told the docs he had a runner's heart, so it probably wouldn't give up easily.
Roslyn's father then gave him a blessing of release and he died peacefully.
She told me about the NieNieDialogues blogspot and I decided to check it out.
Before that I checked my friend Debbie's blog and there was this button link to the NieNieDialogues! Freaky.

I never heard of it until tonight and then I saw it for the first time through another -- tonight!
Debbie, where did you find out about it?

Serendipity is my favorite word. Even though I know serendipity is really Providence, I like the way it sounds and I like saying it.


I told Roslyn that I just happened to have found a photo of my son in a plane with Doug when he was in Boy Scouts. I keep it next to my computer.
Roslyn remembered it.
Here it is -->

I still can't believe it. It only seems like yesterday that they were here in Perkasie and our children were playing together.

Good times...

I am amazed at Roslyn's resilience. She is so upbeat. I could hear the smile on her face. She said she has her good days and bad days. I pray she will have more good than bad.
Please e-mail her. She would love to hear from you I'm sure:
And check out

LUV U Doug <3
When did it happen,
the change from cool to balm whispering breezes
that once before were
harsh winter winds?
The change of the seasons is upon us;
flowers and blossoms protrude
from trees and bushes and bulbs;
splashes of purple and pink are everywhere;
and I watch from the window

It's spring now;
All that's alive awakens from the dreary winter slumber;
flowers, bushes and trees assau
lt the senses with intoxicating fragrance
and give the appearance of a Persian tapestry covering the new earth.
I ride in my car with my windows up

I can only look through the windshield of my car

May came in
riding a raindrop left-over from
an April thunderstorm.
The grass magically formed a plush emerald carpet

beneath the purple red bud (a dichotomy);
it's dotted with grape hyacinths playing peek-a-boo
with the violets
that bloomed first in April.
I imagine its thick touch from the window

I watch the neighbors
dressed in shorts and walking their dogs;
some push baby carriages
to show off their diminutive newborns
carried to term through austere winter months;
others stroll to the chant of motors as they
attempt to tame the grass;
They spot me lurking and smile;
and I wave from the window

All the animals come out to play;
the squirrels climb the trees and chase each other
around and around the back yard 'neath
the blooming white dogwood tree;
The bunnies hop lightly with a hobby horse motion; their downy tails wagging.
Spring is so exquisite and exhilarating.
I yearn to be part of it
but I can only, sadly, gaze from the window



Sunday, April 19, 2009

So, I've been reading my blog and figured it was time to come out of the funk. I won't talk about dementia or dying, at least not right now.
I attended the high school musical again this year -- "The Music Man." A real favorite. I live vicariously through all the students up on stage and long to be there! Maybe next year I'll see about joining a theater group in the area. I will never play the ingenue again, but I could play the ingenue's mother, right? Just think of all the fun roles there are: Aunt Eller, Mrs. Paroo, Blood Mary.... *sigh*
I'd also like to take art lessons. I teach them, but I don't do those for me. I want to take lessons just for me, so I can create. I've been away from creation for too long.
And I'd love to write again. I use the left side of my brain so much at work I've forgotten how to use my right. That's scary. Or maybe I'm just out of practice.
This blog should help, but it's not really writing. It's putting my thoughts into words. Right now my thoughts aren't all that great.
I'd also like to get back into genealogy research.
How can anyone narrow down to one thing? I like to do so many things. I'd get bored if I just had to pick one....
hmm... which would I pick? Painting? Writing? Acting?

I taught a class yesterday to the YW after our ward's breakfast. It was "Growing your Gifts Through Motherhood." Since I work with so many young women who are unwed mothers (is that even a nomenclature anymore?) -- One has two children with her 'fiance.' One left her son's father and is now living with another man -- NOT her son's father; How can that be good for those children? -- I thought I would dwell for awhile on how hard it is to be a mother. Once you have a baby in your arms, you can't do too much else. You can't type on the computer, you can't take a shower, you can't eat -- until the baby is taken care of. So many young girls think it is a badge of womanhood to get pregnant and have a baby. They don't think that being a mother never ends! You can't go out with your friends; you can't sleep straight through the night!
I kept asking them, "Do you get what I'm saying?"
They looked at me all doe-eyed and nodded their heads....
Then I told them what motherhood is supposed to be like and what happens to you -- once you are married (in the temple) and have a husband to help you with the family. I told them you become a nurse, a cook, a maid, a taxi driver, a teacher, a tutor.
I told them how important it is to learn homemaking skills. Homemaking is a dying art. I hope my girls don't live to see the end of it altogether.
Anyway...I'm ranting....
It was fun to teach the YW again. I'm so into Primary, I hope I didn't talk down to them...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When I Die

One of the residents of the memory care facility where I work wrote this request of her family. After working in memory care, and seeing those fragile people take on a world that is incomprehensible to them, I have to agree that I would not want to be kept alive to live in a state that is less than being human anymore. The human-ness has been taken away. There is no more communication and understanding. Thank goodness for the ever-vigilant caregivers that love them so much. I do worship them.

Here is what 'Fran' had to write, when she was still in her pre-dementia mind:

"If the time comes when I can no longer actively take part in decisions for my own future, I wish this statement to stand as testament of my wishes.
"If there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from illness or disability, I request that I be allowed to die and not be kept alive by artificial means or heroic measures. I ask also that drugs be mercifully administered to me for terminal suffering even if in relieving pain they may hasten the moment of death. I value life and the dignity of life, so that I am not asking that my life be directly taken, but that my dying not be unreasonably prolonged; not the dignity of life destroyed.
"This request is made, after careful reflection, while I am in good health and spirits. Although this document is not legally binding, you who care for me will, I hope, feel morally bound to take it into account. I recognize that it places a heavy burden of responsibility upon you, and it is with the intention of sharing this responsibility that this statement is made."

I have asked my Heavenly Father why dementia and Alzheimer's disease exists and have tried to reason it out in my mind. Since my mind cannot reason it out, I must just accept that it does exist and must be for a purpose. That's the only thing that can make sense to me.
I do know that the caregivers where I work are amazing people. I never knew that people cared so much until I worked there. Bless all those nurses and nurse-types. I look up to them. I know I am not one of them in the same way they are. I care and love those residents, but I am not a caregiver-type, per se.
I hope my children will know that my wishes are the same as Fran's. Before I worked there, I felt that if I was in a state where there might be no hope, I would want to be kept alive in case I came back perfectly whole and mentally sentient.
But I realize it is not desirable to have a functioning body without a functioning mind.
Although my body is quite imperfect, I can still walk and talk and communicate. Some of our residents are higher functioning mentally, but their bodies do not work (like Lewy body dementia). That would be a living hell to me.
Likewise, having a functioning body without a mind would be equally unappealing and undesirable.
Some of our residents have no idea about what is going on around them, but they have bodies that still function, meaning their lives will be prolonged in that demented state for many years.
We have a man on hospice right now and I may go back to work tomorrow to learn that his spirit has crossed through the veil. Many of the caregivers are keeping vigil and one in particular has cried many tears because she will miss him so much.
Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who rejoices when they die. I know that they are now in a much better place, seeing their long dead relatives and friends and are released from that imperfect mind to once again 'know' what is going on around them.
That is what is scary to me -- not knowing what is happening around me.
I feel it a little because I am hard of hearing. When I can't participate in a conversation, I feel so left out and disheartened. If I feel that way being hard of hearing, I can't imagine not being able to communicate at all.
To describe it a little, it's like I want to communicate, and I think I am, but what I am saying is non-intelligible to others. If I want to say, "I am hungry. When's lunch?" I might say, "Hand. Travel. Calendar" and think I am communicating what I want.
I have no idea what they are thinking when someone just redirects them to do something else and there is no communication or understanding.

It is so hard to put into words how I feel about where I work. I love the residents. They are so dear; like little children. But they are adults, so we need to help them preserve their dignity. Because they are adults, I respect them and treat them like my elders, but it is so hard to not think of them as little children.
I look at them all and remember the words of Christ -- unless you become as little children you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
These people are literally becoming "as little children."
I guess their reward is sure.
Perhaps this is the reason their reward is sure....

Sunday, January 11, 2009



Started your own blog
Slept under the stars
Played in a band
Visited Hawaii
Watched a meteor shower
Given more than you can afford to charity
Been to Disneyland/Disney World
Climbed a mountain
Held a praying mantis
Sang a solo
Bungee jumped
Visited Paris
Watched a lightning storm at sea
Taught yourself an art from scratch
Adopted a child
Had food poisoning
Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
Grown your own vegetables
Seen the Mona Lisa in France
Slept on an overnight train
Had a pillow fight
Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
Built a snow fort
Held a lamb or kid
Gone skinny dipping
Run a Marathon
Ridden in a gondola in Venice
Seen a total eclipse
Watched a sunrise or sunset
Hit a home run
Been on a cruise
Seen Niagara Falls in person
Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
Seen an Amish community
Taught yourself a new language (but I took French and Spanish in high school...)
Had enough money to be truly satisfied ((I always count my blessings)
Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
Gone rock climbing/repelling
Seen Michelangelo’s David
Sung karaoke
Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
Visited Africa
Walked on a beach by moonlight
Been transported in an ambulance
Had your portrait painted/sketched (but I've sketched others)
Gone deep sea fishing (and got sick as a dog and wanted to die...)
Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud
Gone to a drive-in theater
Been in a movie
(indie homemade)
Visited the Great Wall of China
Started a business (didn't last long)
Taken a martial arts class
Visited Russia
Served at a soup kitchen
Sold Girl Scout Cookies
(and was Cookie Mom a few times)
Gone whale watching
Got flowers for no reason
Donated blood, platelets or plasma
Gone sky diving
Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
Bounced a check
Flown in a helicopter
Saved a favorite childhood toy
Visited the Lincoln Memorial
Eaten Caviar
(tasted it...yuk!)
Pieced a quilt
Stood in Times Square
Toured the Everglades (been through but never 'toured')
Been fired from a job
Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
Broken a bone
Been on a speeding motorcycle
Seen the Grand Canyon in person
Published a book (self--published)
Visited the Vatican
Bought a brand new car
Walked in Jerusalem
Had your picture in the newspaper
Read the entire Bible

Visited the White House (sad to say, I've always wanted to...been to D.C. many times)
Killed and prepared an animal for eating
Had chickenpox
Saved someone’s life

Sat on a jury
Met someone famous (great story...I interviewed Art Linkletter over the phone when I was a reporter because he was making an appearance at a fundraiser in the my area. When Alex was cominig home from his mission we waited for him at the airport with a banner and balloons. Up walks Art Linkletter! I went up to him and shook his hand and introduced myself--he didn't remember me, but he was very gracious -- and frail -- in his 90s)
Joined a book club
Lost a loved one
Had a baby
Seen the Alamo in person
Swam in the Great Salt Lake
Been involved in a law suit (as a witness)
Owned a cell phone
Been stung by a bee
Read an entire book in one day
Fallen in Love

As I can now see, items naming foreign countries (except Canada) are non-existent in my life, but I also see I have a very blessed life.