Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Sun

I do admit, first off, that 4 days of cold, dark and sometimes rainy days, befitted my mood this week!  Just now some rays of sun have broken through, and I physically felt the uplifting effects with sheer gratitude.

I have just come back from a second 2+ weeks of time spent with my brother, Ev and his wife in Baltimore.  This second trip brought me home with new hope that we may see the possibility of remission  Acute Myeloid Leukemia is a force to be reckoned with, and we are so blessed to have an amazing team at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Research Center in out corner.  Currently, Ev is stronger than he has been in awhile.  He has continued on chemo, while receiving many infusions of platelets and red blood cells to keep him strong enough to endure what lies ahead.  Monday saw the beginning of a 28 day protocol of 2 chemos and infusions. This will be followed up, hopefully, by radiation, and culminate in a bone marrow transplant.  Ev is now able to drive himself to and from the hospital, which is a great relief for wife, Jenni. My time was spent helping with driving, cooking, shopping, and just general support to keep their lives afloat during this tense time.  At any given moment the leukemia could blast its way through the effects of the treatment and end the progress. So far, so good. We are bolstered everyday by the amazing support, and love from friends and family, and most of all, by Ev's ability to remain very positive, that this will all work, to bring him into a full  and vibrant life ahead.

Meanwhile, it was lovely to be south of here where Spring was bursting forth with green leaves and cherry blossoms!
 Cheerful Daffodil faces from Ev and Jenni's garden
 Ev's, Ms Lucy caught in a yawn!
 A lovely sweater was being knit during my visit....mohair.
 Johns Hopkins hospital alit with cherry blossoms
 JH cherry blossoms

 Cherry blossoms in Druid Hill Park, Baltimore on Ev's first day of driving.
Druid Hill Park
Coming home to the brownness of Winter still clinging, added to the doldrums and sadness of leaving Ev, but I came home to loving arms and lots of purring.  My beloved LM was waiting at the airport for me to fall in to his longed-for arms, and he delivered me safely home to my waiting Jason, Alison and Teddy!! I missed them all so much.
 Just off the plane in Providence, LM and I enjoyed a lovely and delicious evening at 
Turk's Seafood Restaurant in Mattapoisett, MA on the way home. There may or may not have been some Makers Mark consumed. 
 Baked scrod perfection
 Fried clams and sea scallops. Dreamy!
….and when I finally got into bed, this darling boy was waiting to cuddle his Nana. Sweetness!

Taking a walk through our garden, looking closely, I can see the earth bringing the promise of great beauty.  On Ev's last visit here in June of 2018, he brought, from his amazing garden, a lilac sapling, and a large tree peony, already living in his rich mulch, and I was thrilled to see them with new life this week.  Renewal!!

Teddy is having a great 4th grade, and is reveling in being chosen to sing a solo and portray Aladdin in a coming All Star Revue event. We are busy with voice lessons and rehearsals for the next 2 months.

The sun is now intermittent, as will be emotions in the coming months, and we hold strong to our underpinnings from nature and faith to buoy us on the journey.

Stay tuned for more photos from my time in Baltimore.....

Scatter love and  smiles as you go!!๐Ÿ’š

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Falling off the Grid

Two weeks ago, Baltimore, MD called me to the bedside of my beloved brother, Everett. He is gravely ill with 3 forms of blood cancer. A combination so rare that treatment possibilities are almost unknown. Johns Hopkins Weinberg Pavillion is treating him with a combination of aggressive chemos, to be followed, hopefully by a bone marrow transplant. I am here with his wife, Jenni, and son, Martin,  and we are holding down the fort, as their life has been thrown into a completely new form.
Ev will be remaining in the hospital through the completion of treatment.  His treatment falls within a a clinical trial which, I believe was pioneered at Sloan Kettering in NY. It is a last ditch effort. Each day finds Jenni and I driving almost a half hour into downtown Baltimore, and checking in to the hospital, where we have to wear masks, at all times.  Johns Hopkins is an amazing institution and surely on the cutting edge of cancer treatment and many other diseases, as well. We stay with Ev for a few hours, then leave to pick up the pieces of our souls.  This will be a day to day process.

Meanwhile, back at their house, I have been cooking and helping Jenni to get some life things in order.  We manage to keep our spirits up, but, of course, there are breakdowns into tears.  My free tie is spent notifying the rest of the family and siblings of progress. My siblings are the world to me, and I am homesick for them all right now!

So that is where I am, I miss my family back on Cape Cod so much....going home for a short time next week, but will come back.

Love and peace and extra hugs to family at this time.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Birthday Wishes

Celebrating the birthday of my LOVE, aka LM, today.  Wow, could I have ever imagined, that life would bring me the love of such a wonderful man??  I doubt it!!!

The day has begun with his favorite strawberry shortcake scones!

Soon, we are off to visit a farmers market, purportedly to find the best homemade rye bread anywhere. After that we will visit Crabapples in Falmouth to acquire a quart of fish chowder.

Maybe, just maybe, we will stop at People for Cats in E. Falmouth to see if there might be an adult kitty looking for the perfect home.   

A delightful memory from our recent trip to Canada...
A sweet moment in memory of dear Ms G

In gratitude, with deep love, and happiness, this day is dedicated to you, my love!!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Boz Day

Oh, Happy Boy!

 Purrfectly happy with his stolen hair elastic!
Napper extraordinaire, so when it is time to pillage and plunder he is ready!!

Stormy Thursday here, high winds and heavy rain.

Got to the Y for a workout before the worst arrived.

Peace! ๐Ÿ’™

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Finding Warmth

Cape Cod and much of the northeast area have been gripped in a deep freeze for a few days, and it is a great relief this morning to see brilliant red skies welcome the day. Temps are going up!  We have all come through fine with no frozen pipes, and I am most grateful for only having to take a few quick trips out each day, and having a warm home and my humidifier to get me through.

So, let's go to the Bahamas, if only for a few minutes.

Just before Christmas, my grandson, Marshall (son of oldest daughter, Anne, and her late husband, David), married his beautiful and sweet, fiancรฉe, Paige, on the beach at Anne's home on Eleuthera, in the Bahamas.  Thought I would share a few photos to at least give you all the illusion of being in warmth.  They had a very intimate ceremony on my very favorite beach, Coco di Mama, near Governor's Harbour.
Paige -always beautiful, especially as the bride.

Grandsons Marshall and Jared with lovely Mom Anne

Bryan, father of the bride
Rhonda, mother of the bride

Anne, Page and Ronda

Anne, Jared, Marshall, Paige, Nana Blanche (David's Mom), Jenn (Jared's wife)

Front porch of Anne's house

At Coco di Mama Resort

They had a beautiful day and celebration in the elegant yet casual manner Paige envisioned!

Peace, love and warmth this day!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2019 to everyone.  LM and I spent the past weekend talking about this blog's namesake, our dear departed, Ms G, and we began a long trip down memory lane, trying to remember just how Ms Graysea came to live with him so many years ago. From the time I began a relationship with LM in 2007, Ms G had been to his house to stay while I took trips, etc., and it was very obvious they had a very strong bond.
For some crazy reason, we had to know the date of her permanent move, and, knew the only place it could be was here in these years of writing.  Hours passed, and finally, we found it....July of 2009, was when she moved from my then home in Chatham to live with her darling LM, in Harwich.  His house, and my second home, is not the same without her.

Since shortly after she died in September 2017, we have had Ms G's ashes placed out of our sight. With her death having come the week before the very sudden death of my dear, dear son-in-law, David, in FL, the grief was all too much. We have debated about the ashes, and for now our only solution, is to place the little box, with a small amber cat sculpture atop, on the mantle in LM's living room.  Said, mantle was crowded (read cluttered) with 12 Staffordshire coffee mugs adorned with fish (of course), AND, each one was filled with dozens of fishing lures and hooks. In between said mugs, were cards and a LOT of other fishing memorabilia.  The day we decided this location for the ashes, LM cleaned off the mantle, and also the adjacent bookcase, and we made room for MS G.  It looks nice and the fish print above is also moved, and replaced with a beautiful pastoral oil painting. I will get a new photo this week. We have made major progress in our grief, and are thinking of a new furry friend.....maybe.

Meanwhile back at my other home with Jason, Alison and Teddy, we have, nearly 2 years old, Bosley and Betty, and they are quite the dynamic duo.  LM and I have decided the blog name should remain the same, in loyalty to our sweet girl.  This all sounds a bit much, but at our age, we are giving ourselves the right to be cat and grandchildren sappy. 

Betty is very attached to Alison and Teddy and Boz to me.  He is almost always where I am, and loves to cuddle.  His addiction to hair elastics is crazy, and he is always opening drawers or coming to the back of my chair to try taking one right off my head!  

Catching up a bit with a few photos from Christmas. We hosted a lot of family - mine and LM's- here on Christmas Eve day. Alison and I did all the cooking and really enjoyed having everyone together.

son, Jason, Teddy and Alison 
(f) LM's family daughter, Meg, and her son, Ollie, LM, Kristi
(r) son, John 

Richie, Sara and Samantha (my daughter, son-in-law and their daughter, 12)

 Moi et LM
We love this spot for Christmas photos, as we can capture the tree in my grandmother's mirror.

Before this current arctic blast we are having here, LM went shellfishing with a friend, and brought home some fantastic oysters.  We transformed them to Oysters Rockefeller and they were swoon-worthy.  We kept reminding ourselves how fortunate we are to have such perfect food so available.  
I use Tyler Florence's recipe from Food is perfection.

Ready for the oven! (placed bacon atop a few)
This feast was accompanied by some chowder, made from quahogs, also harvested with the oysters.  Perfection for us Cape Codders.

Leaving you with peace, love and gratitude!!๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜ป

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Canada Trip - Part 3 - Waterloo

A whole lot of life, profound sadness and feeling of loss for the victims in Pittsburgh, wild and unusual storms with tornadoes, crazy cat stuff, and catching up with friends, is going on here!
Grasping for some hope and relief, and amidst deep reflection, the need for the light, love and joy we felt on our trip needs to be here we go with more photos.   

Bright beauty welcomed us as we arrived at my sister, Margaret's lovely home
in Waterloo, Ontario.  The city is booming, the new light rail system has come a long way, and the streets were abuzz with campus life. 

Margaret treated us to a lovely dinner out with both her girls and their partners, at the trendy new Proof  Kitchen and Lounge, just around the corner from her house, in the beautiful new Delta Hotel.  Every plate served was a work of art, but I think this salad was especially lovely with all its colors!

LM and I enjoyed my favorite Fall wine, this beautiful Niagara Gewurztraminer.

This photo of Margaret and I made me laugh out loud...I am my Dad and she, our Mum.  Always so happy to be together.

I love this close-up....the face of joy, resilience, creativity and love.

There was calamari!
Our charming waiter, with his face and personality of Oktoberfest aglow, suggested The Proof's most popular dish, Weinerschnitzel. Margaret opted for this spectacular dinner, and was not let down. It was so generous that 3 of us shared the leftovers with great relish, a few days later!  It came with sweet beet sauerkraut, and heavenly mashed potatoes, and many other little treats, on a very large wooden board. Swoon worthy!
The Proof's ceiling and lighting were so interesting!
Ellie and Andrea - oh, what a joy to be with everyone!!
Andrea enjoyed a wonderful veggie burger and duckfat fries!

Emmy and Matt.....So happy to be together with you always!
We really had a perfect evening and conversation.

Prior to our visit, Margaret and I had been discussing all the things she wanted to do, among them, shoe shopping!  MS-related walking difficulties mean that M needs to choose shoes carefully, they need to slide along a floor easily, and be open to allow her feet to breathe, and they must have some essence of style, of course!!  Off we went to Walking on A Cloud shoe store, and, with the help of the dedicated, intuitive and attentive, Jim, Margaret has two new pairs of shoes, and I have some, too. THANK YOU, Margaret!

My feet are very difficult to fit, and my recent metatarsal breaks have not made it any easier.  These Reikers are truly like walking on a cloud!  Cute, too!

One of our days was spent visiting Ellie and Andrea in their beautiful new home!
We were so excited to be there, and amidst the greetings, etc, I neglected to take a photo of the outside!  It is a mid-century modern red brick duplex in an old part of Kitchener, Ontario.  This house was constructed with true old-time craftsmanship, and in Ellie and Andrea's creative hands, has quickly become a welcoming and warm home for them, and their darling, Chico (kitty).  Everywhere you turn, is a reflection of their love, artistic talents and happiness!
These Chessie cat photos were treasures from my Mum's house, and look so perfectly at home.

Of course, I had to photograph the beautiful turquoise bathroom....all original
and so pretty!
Andrea and Ellie have lots of children in their lives, and I loved how a wall in the guest room is adorned with a collection of art gifts!

We were treated to a lovely array of delicious snacks, and thoroughly enjoyed the bright and beautiful living room.
The back yard is huge and has just been completely enclosed with new fencing.  It also has an original clothesyard, and I see gardens emerging soon!
Heading to the second floor, the wall features portraits done of each other by Ellie and Andrea. 
Of course, a Kliban cat calendar hangs on the kitchen wall!
The lovely Chico, gazing at cat whisperer, LM

Margaret admiring the kitchen decorating!
One of Margaret's beautiful quilts in the master bedroom.
Chico assessing LM's trustworthiness!

She hopped up to a table right at the end of LM's reach...see the ears!
It was a great visit. Sadly, Ellie was off to work, but the rest of us joined Andrea for a delicious dinner at an authentic Oktoberfest Hall.  No photos, alas, it was too dark, but we had fun and more delicious food.

Another day, we were visited by Margaret's next door neighbor, Suzanne, and her elegant and friendly cat, Jazzy.  What a beautiful creature.  He comes right in, makes himself at home, and we fell in love.
LM's hand, of course

Such a sweet beauty.

Saturday morning we visited the St. Jacob's Farmer's Market. It is a huge place with acres of shopping, outside and inside.  The apple fritters and beautiful fruits and veggies were wonderful.

A wall at "The Crazy Canuck" restaurant.....we had a late breakfast and visit to an antique mall with Margaret.  License plates from all the Provinces.

Margaret recently completed this masterpiece quilt called, "Down the Rabbit Hole."
A Sarah Fielke pattern.

One evening, Margaret's quilting group, The Sew and Sews, met with us and Lou got to meet this TINY Pomeranian, Priscilla, owned by one of the members!  

Lou took this photo of me wearing one of the forget-me-not necklaces I brought to commemorate, Margaret's late husband Jerry.  We were very grateful to be able to attend a little memorial service for Jerry while visiting.  He was a wonderful husband and father, and we shared so many happy times. We miss him very much. 

More to come............for now, I leave you with wishes for peace, tolerance, and love as you go about your days.