Saturday, May 30, 2009


An anvil on my chest upon awakening
Unbearable pressure of unspent tears in my eyes, face and throat
Not wanting to get dressed, go out, talk with others
An irritability and hyper-critical impatience with those I love, namely LM
Making bad decisions about eating
Choking with ineptitude as I attempt to share how this feels with others, and sure that I am just a burden in my grief
Crushing remorse for not being more emotionally stable right now, for making others worry.
A vicious circle
How can my emotions crash so dramatically from one day to the next? Is this common in grief?

Just mumbling aloud here this morning as I struggle to face a day with many shoulds....there is a lot to be done in preparation for Teddy's christening tomorrow and I want to feel all the joy and love that surrounds this special time. Somehow I will.
Saturday was our day....a lovely ride, sharing all our news, having lunch out. Little presents.
He would be so proud today to know that Teddy's christening is tomorrow, and that Sam, Trish and family are right now cycling their way from Boston to Craigville (100 miles) for the Best Buddies fund raiser.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Creative Inspiration

Here's what is saving my sanity........

Muse, quality control inspector and assistant.....known to be a thread thief, as well!
From somewhere the past few weeks, creativity has taken over my thoughts and hands! perhaps it has been spawned by working in LM's garden, and being out in nature where healing has often come to me. Many years ago, I made some beautiful quilts as I was healing from cancer surgery and treatments. At that time I was working with very muted colors; soft greens and pinks seemed to soothe my soul and eyes. Now, I am working with very bright colors, using a fun theme, and just having the best time using fabrics which would ordinarily have grated against my norm of neutrals and perfectly matched pieces. It feels so good! There are many more blocks to make but I have an efficient assembly line set up and am managing to make 2-3 a day.
The fact that I have some babies in my life who need to have their own quilts is also the impetus. There are some older grandchildren who are due a quilt from Nana, too, and those will come next.
Today would have been Mum and Dad's 67th wedding anniversary. It is almost a relief that Dad is not alive to pass by this date once more without his beloved Eleanor. It is a special date in many ways and I will be sending wishes to my dear brother and his wife as they chose to honor Mum and Dad by marrying on May 29th, as well.
Back to my sewing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Surfcasting with a true "Saltie"

We kicked off Memorial Day weekend by ordering fried clams to take-out, heading to nearby West Dennis Beach to enjoy them, and, for Mr. Cape Cod "Catch a Fish," aka LM, to fish for several hours. It was truly a spectacular night of fishing with striped bass and bluefish aplenty. This is the beach where LM always takes his students on their field trip as they learn to surfcast at the hands of a pro. On Friday evening the beach was lined with fisherman, but guess who was catching a fish on almost every cast. He attracted an admiring crowd and I was able to get a few photos of the process before the light of the day faded.
After doning his waders and other fishing gear, he threads the line on one of his trusty rods.

Everything he needs for fishing, is neatly organized and stowed int eh trunk of his car, ready, at a moment's notice to be used.
Up and over the bulkhead to the beach, toting all his gear...

Bluefish on the first cast
Yet another bluefish, and that was the story for the next two hours. He gave away all the fish he caught...about 20. It is a mighty workout as these fish really are strong swimmers. At this time of the year they are in close to shore feeding voraciously as they head north on their migratory journey. They will be around until June and then return again in the Fall.
End of the evening....
Meanwhile, the next day began like this for Ms. G...she has a very tough life.
We spent a rainy Saturday cleaning out all the kitchen cupboards and re-organizing at LM's house. A very cathartic process which yielded me a set of three 10" cake pans. Bob had so many wonderful things hidden away. On my list of errands for the weekend was, "buy 10" cake pans. I'm making my mother's special strawberry cake for Teddy's christening party next Sunday.

In the evening we relaxed and watched a very cute/quirky British movie, "Happy-go-Lucky."

Sunday we got more work done and had visits from baby Teddy, his Dad, Jason, and daughter Sara and her family. Pix of that event are sorely lacking because I was too busy holding Teddy. I did give him up so that Sara could hold him for a bit. Samantha was so jealous because Teddy was in my lap. I felt so bad. I must give her some one on one time. She is not ready to share her Nana. I love the look on Teddy's face here...LM had just turned on the kitchen chandelier and he was looking up like a little bird.
All day Monday was spent trying, and I say TRYING, to conquer the garden/yard at LM's. We made incredible headway and accomplished things I never thought we would get to. A lot of trimming and pruning was done and we began the process of removing years of ivy growth from around the base of the house. It had completely covered the front steps and is along the base of the house on three sides. It was even making its way into the house under the front door! LM worked for hours hacking away at the front step growth and he made a lot of progress. It is all coming out!! I trimmed briars off of lovely rhododendrons and uncovered the entire front fence. My arms are covered with scratches, etc, but it is so worth it to see the progress. Another major accomplishment was the removal of a huge dead holly bush and shrub. Several years ago a truck went off the road and drove into the yard on the side (the house is on the corner of a street), and cut a swath which did the damage. My "Paul Bunyan" was in there with an axe, a saw, and other equipment. They looked pretty bad! Now it is all cleared away. We must have made 25-30 trips to the brush pile. A great workout. We ended the day with lobster rolls and a little ride. Perfect!
These photos show the work we have ahead with the ivy which is growing up the front of the house. We worked for 6 hours!
LM hacks away at the front steps. He hacked and I hauled it away.

To be continued......The upcoming week is going to be very busy so not much else will get done but we will be back to it, ASAP.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Ms G and a walk in Chatham's Old Village

Now that her Mummy is back from the dogs, Ms G is a very happy girl, once more. As soon as I got out of bed yesterday morning, she climbed right in to the quilts and made a nest in the very spot where I had been happily sleeping after a long week away. She stayed there all day!
Yesterday (Friday) was the most glorious Cape Cod day, so I made a plan to walk on my lunch hour and knew just where I wanted to be....the Old Village in Chatham. The last few months, as I have been grieving Dad and Bob, there have been few walks, and much inertia, so it felt good to get out and enjoy all the beauty around me. Many will be arriving to open their houses for the season this weekend, so the landscapers have been out and about planting, mowing and cleaning up. Everything looks so beautiful. I love the quaintness and the "old" feeling in this area. A very strict historic committee regulates anything that is done in this part of town, so it is beautifully preserved, even the trees. I parked my car at the lighthouse and these pretty lilacs greeted me as I crossed the street to begin my walk. Looking to my left there were views such as this between all the houses. The ocean was the most beautiful green color.
This house occupies a lovely corner and has such a large amount of open space enhanced by one of the largest copper beech trees I have ever seen.
There are numerous horse chestnut trees in the old village.
This house was a general store in the 1700's and was beautifully restored by my company in 2oo6. New owners have just had us add a summer kitchen in the back and this week we installed the beautiful copper mermaid weathervane. Project is almost done.

Can you see the whale? This whale-cut privet hedge is a neighborhood tradition and appears to be swimming inland from the ocean.
Lovely lobelia on the door step of another award-winning restoration.
This house is a village icon and the porch so inviting with its pink geranium planters.
Huge hostas
Coming back around toward the lighthouse, another view of the copper beech looking toward the water. The tree with the white flowers is a horse chestnut.
Tree canopy's are carefully preserved here, as well.
Back to my parking spot....I always stop here in the morning on my way to work. It looks different every time.
It really was a healing walk and the rest of the day was fun, too....They let us go 2 hours early at work so I headed to LM's to work in the garden and later went down to the beach with him while he fished for 2 hours and caught a LOT of fish! As always, Mr. "Catch a Fish" drew a big crowd. Pictures of that event later. The day ended with a beautiful sunset.
West Dennis Beach.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Purring and Chirps

I've absconded myself to my house, away from the dogs for a while, enjoying the sound of Ms G purring from across the room....she sits on the guest bed staring me down with her "sweet" eyes, cardinals and many other bird songs are just outside my window in the lovely early evening light. The sun came out today after many weeks of darkness.....or is that just my perception?
There has been much progress on my pre-sewing preparation for the quilts I am making, and, yes, I do feel about 75% better. Grateful!

Sleep has been evasive because of a certain barking dog but that will end on Thursday.

My oldest brother will have surgery tomorrow to repair damage from diverticulitis. Thinking positive thoughts for his quick recovery. He is very special to me, and to all our family. He will be in good hands.

I made a call to hospice about finding a grief support group. So far, no groups fit into the schedule of a working person, at least one who works 8-5 pm. I will keep looking. The past week or so has shown me that I need to find a way to sort some things out and I have always gained a lot from group interaction. It saved me when my life was nearly lost to domestic violence. Aside from writing a little here, I have not shared with many people just how much pain I have over losing Dad....everyone always comes back with "he had a good long life, he didn't suffer too much, you were a wonderful daughter, etc. That is really nice from one perspective, but what do I do with the actual emotional pain of the loss, other than just feel it? I am retreating from life into the pain and feel a group interaction would get me out of myself somewhat. It is getting tedious.

Thanks for the recipes for the graham cracker cakes. I plan to try making one this weekend!

LM is at the beach tonight.....he teaches a very popular class called "Take a Course, Catch a Fish" and tonight is the class field trip to actually apply what they have learned over the 8 weeks. The course focuses mainly on saltwater fishing so tonight they will be searching for striped bass and blue fish. It is always a fun night and he tries so hard to see that they actually do catch some fish! I am so happy that it is a nice evening and the wind is in their favor. LM fished there last night and was successful, so he hopes tonight will be the same.

Time to tend to the dogs....I cannot believe that Memorial Day is coming up. We will observe it on the actual far as putting flowers on Mum and Dad's graves.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lost in Space

The sun is shining and my spirit so much wants to be outside, perhaps working in the garden at LM's, walking or just birdwatching, but my body is not cooperating. Since the colonoscopy on Wednesday, I've not come back to myself and today has been spent curled up in bed with Ms G.
Realizing I had not eaten more than a very small bowl of rice krispies early on in the day, I got myself out to buy a few groceries at 3:30. By the time I returned, I was in a cold sweat. Not sure what is happening, but this condition only has until tomorrow to disappear. In one hour I have to get myself back over to my dog sitting post and settle in there for the evening. Sad not to be with LM. He is checking on me regularly.
Feeling this way taps into my grief and it makes for some very sad thoughts.

Hopefully, you are all enjoying this spate of sun. Rain again tomorrow.

A random question to my mother used to make the most delicious cake with crushed graham crackers. Have any of you ever heard of such a recipe?? In missing my mother today (always happen when I am not feeling well), her graham cracker cake came to her last years, I collected many of her wonderful recipes, but that one escaped.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Survival Tactics

Ahhhh, the test is over and I am healthy! The preparation period went well, as I scheduled a full slate of things to distract me from the anticipation and the actual "drinking the drink." Here is what I found when I got home from work to begin the process....I'd left a winter sweater on the end of my bed to remind me to put it away in my winter storage box, but Ms G had a better idea. She dragged the sweater to her nest (an old piece of my clothing which I arrange for her every morning). She was highly incensed when the turquoise sweater was taken away...1st diversion.
After that, I spent the after noon ironing the fabrics for the quilt I'm making for Teddy. I did a goodly amount of cutting, too. They look so pretty and Ms G thought they would make a nice nest, too, so they had to be covered, for fear the entire quilt would be gray!
After a night of little or no sleep, due to hunger and stomach pain, I began my next diversions, designed to lift my spirits, now sorely sagging due to hunger. I gave myself a really nice manicure and pedicure, then a facial. A rare treat. LM finally arrived to get me to the facility for the test to be done at 11:30........I was shaking, cold and nervous, and none too happy when it was announced that there would be a 45 minute delay. UGH. They took me in after an hour and nicely covered me with heated blankets. My ability to meditate saved me at this point and I even fell into a nice sleep. It was 2 pm before they did the procedure. I sure was glad to be put to sleep for the duration. It's over and I was so happy to see LM and to get home. Ms G awaited me and we had a nice nap for two hours.
Now to rest up some more and get ready for a full week of dog sitting for my boss....Sammy and Liza, see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Necessary Evil

No breakfast for me this morning, except my beloved Earl Gray tea.....Today begins prep for a colonoscopy for moi tomorrow. It will not be fun, but is a relatively short period of discomfort/distress to be certain I am "healthy." The magic potion is mixed up and I will work half a day today before coming home to begin the process. This may seem like too much information to share here, but I hope it will inspire others to have this test, perhaps to save their lives. Being a two-time cancer survivor already, I need to be vigilant with my health, and colon cancer is preventable.....someday there will be an easier test, one would hope.

My wonderful LM will be my driver and observer when I come home tomorrow. I'm in good hands. Ms G will be here waiting to cuddle and purr me back to normal.

Today is the final day an objection can be filed to Bob's will. LM received a call last night which gave us great hope that things will go smoothly for us...tenterhooks still hold us but positive thought rises to the surface often. Strange place to be. It has been interesting to watch how LM coped with this waiting time.....another opportunity to really "know" someone. He has good character.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Primrose Paths, Friends - Furry & Otherwise & Dear Family

As I had written yesterday, a full day was ahead of me, much of it to be spent with old friends and doing some errands. I did get my new sewing machine and it is all set up and one block in the cat-themed scrap quilt I am making for a certain beautiful baby boy, is already complete!
After the shopping, I arrived at my brother's house to pick up some things....there was Bob waiting to greet me on the porch. Bob followed me on a tour around Trish's lovely gardens and through the primrose path she has created in her wooded garden.
Come along with me on the tour. Forget-me-nots in a tree trunk.....
Tulips and grape hyacinths
Spectacular parrot tulipsFragrant wisteria by the garage
The fish pond and garden, all set in rock
Along the wooded garden path
Primroses guiding the way
Trish has created a beautiful peaceful place!

Late in the day, I met up with my friend, Albie. He and his delightful wife, Claire, are back here to attend a HS reunion, so we met up at East Bay restaurant in Plymouth and had a wonderful early dinner and great conversation. Albie keeps us connected with lots of our HS friends and is a very caring and supportive friend. His father was the minister of St Andrew's Episcopal church which was an important hub in our childhood, where we were all christened and grew up to be married, etc.
Mother's Day found, LM, Kristie along with me to visit Jason and Teddy (Alison was working) and go for a walk in the beautiful SUNSHINE. Just as I took this photo, Teddy was about to lurch toward me....he gave me a big smile but I missed it on camera.
We packed Teddy up into his stroller and headed out to the Cape Cod Canal service road, with a very strong but warm wind at our backs. We were bound for a spot I had been seeking for years......Sagamore Hill. It is a high spot overlooking Cape Cod Bay where during WW II, there was an observation point set up by the military to guard against attacks by Germans reported to be dangerously near our coast line in submarines . Remaining today is the site where a huge gun was set up, and some bunkers where ammunition was stored. Hiking for a mile or so through the woods up to this point was so magical....beautiful trees, the only sound came from many songbirds and the wind. We saw, Baltimore orioles, warblers, cardinals, and so many other birds. I was thrilled to see the warblers as they are always migrating through here the first two weeks of May. The Army Corps of Engineers has set up screech owl houses in this area, too. The trails are wide and easily navigated and we saw evidence of ancient stonewalls, as at one time, the area was used by farmers to graze their animals in the summer months. After the lovely walk to the top, this view over the bay on this perfect day was really spectacular.

Dear Teddy, waking as we returned from the walk. I do admit that 3/4's of the way back to Jason's, I found a bench and had to sit....Kristi and I sat and pondered the walk while LM and Jason got the car ro rescue me....not too far but there was a steep hill which I knew would put me over my limit! It's been a lovely Mother's Day weekend!