Friday, August 21, 2009

Another Birthday and maybe a Brush with Bill

LM's daughter, Meaghan turned 25 last weekend and her wish was to have beautiful sushi. The rest of us - LM, Kristi and I, are not sushi fans, but off we went to the lovely Ying's in Hyannis. Much to our surprise they had some very delicious options and we had a delightful dinner. As you can see in the photo, Meggie, had a beautiful sushi platter and she savored every bite. Tomorrow I have guests from New Jersey arriving at my house to stay for 6 days. Things are just about ready and tomorrow morning I will pack myself up and move over to LM and Ms G's house. Ah fun....meanwhile, during the time I'll be moving my things, it looks like Chatham and environs will feel the effects of hurricane Bill. Seeing we are perched on the elbow of Cape Cod and jutting out into the Atlantic, LM and I are hoping to have a little weather action here. Yesterday, the town was filled with dish trucks from all the major networks and one would think we were expecting a direct hit. They were also covering the fact that 2 kayakers witnessed the attack on a seal by a great white shark this week. It happened very near ligthhouse beach where I go each morning. It actuallly is not that unusual as we have a HUGE population of seals who loll about on the barrier beach.

Wednesday evening, a friend and I went for dinner at the Outer Bar & Grille at Wequassett Inn & Resort. It was such a perfect evening and we each had beautiful salads and a glass a wine. My company has been working on upgrades at the resort over the past few years and I was thrilled to see how beautiful it is looking. The flowers were spectacular!

The view from where we had dinner on the porch.

I'll be back on the weekend with other birthday news.
PS. Forgive the poor photo camera is on its last legs. New one arrives next week. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ms Graysea's History or should I say Herstory

It's no secret around these parts that Ms G is my darling feline friend. Under "normal' circumstances she lives with me, and manages my life quite well. I am barely able to function without her. After all, she begins my everyday with loving pats to my face, and loud purring in my ear to tell me it is time to get up, and then must make sure I proceed to the bathroom, then to the shower, and after that to the kitchen, all in a timely manner. Every step leading to when I will sit to have my tea, and she can adorn my lap and make up for the love she missed while I slept. She is a dear little one and these days she is using the same routine to manage LM's life. Two more weeks and she will be home.
One of my dear and thoughtful readers asked me to relate how Ms G came to live with me. Long story!

I was divorced back in the mid-90's and leaving that marriage to start anew, having a cat was really impotant to me as I had never lived without a furry friend. At the time my daughter's cat had a litter, soon, two of those babies came to stay with me. They were crazy, and in to everything and were soon named Pillage and all gray and the other tortoiseshell. For about 5 years I lived and healed and grew on my own, and P & P were my pals.
In late 2000 I met a man (let's call him PG)who swept me off my feet....a very dynamic and strong personality who dazzled me and led me to believe we were destined to be together forever. He was very successful, a pillar of the community, had a nice home, AND he had a very nice gray cat named Sneakers. Within 6 months he convinced me to give up my place and move to live with him in Chatham, BUT, he would not allow me to bring P & P. Through the insanity of loving him, I gave them up to another home, tears streaming down my face. At the exact hour that I dropped them off, Sneakers was killed by a car in front of PG's house. He called me hysterical and I rushed to be with him to offer comfort. I never received any comfort for my loss of P & P. BAD SIGN! I ignored the red flag, though. He did promise that after a few months we would get a new kitten. I moved in as planned and within a day, the abuse began. It was the beginning of 3.5 years of living prisoner in abject fear, pretending that everything was alright, never daring to tell another soul the truth of my life. When he was good he was wonderful, but more often than not I lived in fear that I would say or do the wrong thing, bringing down his wrath of blows and violence. I would learn, almost too late, that I was living the life of a classically battered and abused woman at the hands of a narcissistic sociopath. Time would reveal that I was his third "victim." I was incredulous that this could happen to me.
As months passed, I was torn whether to ask to bring a kitten into the fray, but I was in desperate need of some kitty love, and when I broached the subject of looking for one, surprisingly, he was fairly ammenable, but put all sorts of parameters on the search....right color, had to be his choice and had to be a female. It was crazy but I conceded. We went to look at a litter we heard about, and there, was a tiny little ball of gray fur, still too young to leave her mother, a sweet orange tabby. The owners just loved their many little furry friends, so there was a good feeling. We made arrangements to come back in several weeks.
From the first hour of her life with us, Ms G was subjected to a very loud and violent voice and slamming of all sorts. I confined her to the guest room to help her become acclimated and she never showed her face for the rest of the day. Early in the morning, I went into the room, closed the door, crawled under the bed and lifted her from her hiding spot in a far corner. Very carefully, I held her, against her very strong will, close to my heart and sat with her for nearly two hours, talking softly to her shaking little self. Finally she began to nuzzle and purr and to this day she wants to be held in that very same way.

I stayed in that relationship until 2004. Ms G became a very loving little friend but the minute she heard a raised voice, she was not to be found. She would shake and not eat. It was very sad.

I lived in denial and the belief that things would get better, all the time, they were getting worse and I was knotted with stress. After a weekend of severe abuse and being locked in the house against my will, I managed to escape to the police, just barely saving my life. There was a stand-off with police, and finally he was arrested and jailed. I've not spoken to PG to this day. After spending some time in jail, he was forced to move out of this state but it was a painful transition, during which time he made threatening appearances, etc. I found a new place to live and Ms G and I began anew, helped by some wonderful and loving friends and a lot of counseling. During the first 6 months I had all I could do to get out of bed to go to work, not to mention that I had to have surgery in that time, and Ms G glued her sweet self to me during every minute she could. Just thinking of the care she took of me during those months brings tears to my eyes as I write this. It took her a long while to let her true self emerge just as it did me. Now she did not have to be scared and hide. She became a different cat. We played endlessly and in many ways I think her love got me through.

That is the long of the short trip we took to get to the point, in 2007 of welcoming LM into our lives and finding love in a whole new and refreshing form. A gentle, fun and enduring love which makes us both feel happy no matter what. Through his love, Ms G and I have learned to trust, to feel secure, and safe. It is a blessing beyond my wildest dreams, and hers, too.
LM just called me to tell me he and Ms G are having play time.....she is just totally smitten with him. She'll be home here with me again in 2 weeks. Meanwhile, I will be staying with them beginning this Saturday while guests take over my house. Handy to have the two places.

Ms G and I have been through a lot of changes, and without fail she is my dear sweet purring companion and blog namesake!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Having a brief repsite from pain midweek, was such a relief, as I awaited the results of the MRI. Not sure if it is a psychological response or not, but as soon as I found out that I have serious lumbar disc degeneration with impingement on my sciatic nerve, I was right back in the pain all day Friday. That really brought my spirits crashing down, complete with tears of grief for Dad and what the future will bring if I cannot walk. Yup, I went right to the worst possible outcome and then some. I am so good at that.
My daughter-in-law had invited LM and me to join her to see Julie and Julia last night, so as I drove toward LM's house to meet him, I had to give myself a stern talking to in order to stop the tears, etc. "You are in control of your mood, happiness, blah, blah, blah." It worked, and we all had a lot of fun. We LOVED the movie. Meryl Streep was just perfect as Julia Child. A highlight of the movie for me were the period sets, and also the wardrobe for Amy Adams who played Julie Powell. Her clothes were obviously vintage and in each scene she wore interesting old pins. When Julia's book came out all those years ago, my mother, already an accomplished and incredible cook, began cooking many of the French recipes, and I can still remember us all sitting around watching Julia on PBS. The laughter echoed in my ears as I watched the movie. Also, Mum acquired a lot of the same cookware which Julia is shown using in this movie. Really wonderful!! The blogging aspect of the movie was great, too. A truly enjoyable evening, shared with two people I dearly love.

Today finds me in better spirits, althought the pain lurks. The next step in the process is to be seen at the Spinal Pain Institute on August 25th. Long wait with constant lectures to myself to take this one minute at a time. is a gloriously beautiful summer day and I am going over to LM's.
In Ms G news.....when I arrived at LM's last night, badly in need of some kitty love, she took one look at me and bolted upstairs to her lair. No sign of her when we returned. As I was driving home, per usual, LM called to tell me her royal highness was happily ensconsed on his lap, curled up and purring. Maybe today......happy weekend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

2 Years!

Two years ago today, I was eagerly anticipating a first date with a man I'd known for nearly 20 years through my former job. In the morning, I went for a walk to the beach with a friend, and then came home to get ready for my late afternoon date to see a movie....cannot even remember the movie, but I do seem to recall the "electricity" of being in LM's presence on a real date. The movie was followed by a drive to the beach to watch sunset, and the rest is history. Love came along from the least expected place.

"We" have been tried and tested to the enth degree, yet we remain very happy and devoted, and to him I am eternally grateful for the gift of his love. Even if he has "stolen" my cat!

Happy anniversay my sweet LM!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just Stopping By

Not much news in my world, and it seems that way for many blogging friends. August brings the doldrums to some, and thus it is here.

We have heavy humidity and high temperatures lurking about, and, for once, I am grateful to come to work for the AC. I have it at home, too, and it is getting me through the nights.

Last night I had the MRI done on my back to see if we can identify the source of the pain in my hip and right leg. Results should be in by Friday. Meanwhile, I have a better handle on the timing for medication to keep the pain under control.

My weekend trip to Provincetown was very lovely. We were able to park near the pier and within a short walk we were at "The Lobster Pot" to have lunch. It was perfect as always. The harbor was teaming with activity and we sat on a bench in the sunshine for awhile taking it all in and continuing our catch-up conversation. Barbara is such a dear friend and we rarely have the opportunity to be alone to share our thoughts. She's been through a lot in the last year, too - a hip replacement and then the near loss of her husband to aheart attack. He is having a slow and arduous recovery which keeps her confined to home too much, but it is what she wants to do.

Late Saturday afternoon found me at LM's, pretty tired and in a lot of pain. I also was in need of some love from Ms. G......not to be. I was there for at least 5 hours and she never showed her sweet little face. As I was driving home, LM called to tell me that she appeared within minutes after I left. Is there a message here ??? Me thinks she is a bit peeved. LM is getting LOTS of kitty love! Sunday was a repeat of the same. Never saw her at all. LM and I did accomplish a lot. He brought me a huge pile of papers which needed sorting (and lots of discarding) and I went through the entire project in no time. He's making great progress on the paperwork of Bob's estate and is just about done. This is also enabling him to make some needed financial arrangements in his own life.

Life is really quiet.....grief is in the background, and managing the pain is time consuming. It has given me space to meditate, deeply breathe and rest, although not quite the way I would have it, it is the way it must be. As I broke down in tears to LM about the frustrating pain on Sunday, I also heard myself say, "I know this will pass and I will be back walking and having an active life again." Just for today, I am accepting where I am. If this hip/back issue HAD to happen, the August doldrums is the perfect time, as it is too hot to be moving much anyway!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Morning

Beautiful clear and cool night for sleeping last night, not waking to the alarm at 4:45 am meant I could wake naturally about 6. Such a luxury.
Last night was sweet as LM came for dinner and we enjoyed a light weight movie - just perfect for the end of the week.
Pain in my hip and knee persists and the balance with pain medications is becoming quite a struggle. My dear dear doctor, Mary, called me last night at 6 pm to tell me that the x-ray results show some serious issues in my lumbar spine, and they are most likely the cause of all my pain. I am now booked for an MRI on Monday evening at 6 pm.

I cannot let this keep me down, although I have been cautioned AGAINST walking too far, exercise, and GARDEN WORK. Oh, OH. LM says he will have to trade me in for a more able model as he cannot handle his grounds himself. Yah, right! Not to worry.....he's kidding. He's keeping me around because I am Ms G's "mother."

Anyway, today finds me leaving for the farmers' market in about 20 minutes. Many more vegetables coming in now, and I want to buy a big bouquet to take to a friend I will visit in N. Truro this afternoon. Barbara and I have a long friendship which began in Sandwich many years ago. At that time I worked as a chiropractic technician in a very historic and beautiful old building, and she lived in a spacious and lovely apartment on the second floor. We became fast friends and when she married and moved to N. Truro, I was able to move in to that aparntment, and I LOVED it. She's been widowed twice since that time and is now in a wonderful new relationship. We have shared so much through the years, and I always look forward to our visits. Usually, we go in to Provincetown and walk around, have lunch at The Lobster Pot and then shop at all the wonderfully funky shops, but today, activity will be curtailed by my hip. Oh well, we will find some great place to have lunch, enjoy a view and catch up. We do plan to visit a stained glass artist's studio this afternoon. I will try to get photos. These two artists have done some lovely custom work for the home my company builds and I have always wanted to see their process.

Tonight I will visit with Ms G and LM.....they may get a bouquet, too!
Happy weekend......Cape Cod is glorious today.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Questions of the Day

What do you suppose this society does? Spotted at the fish pier in Orleans last Friday afternoon as we were headed for a fried clam lunch.

What could be prettier than Cape Cod flower boxes at the peak of summer? Main St. Wellfleet last Friday.
Do you suppose this huge brush pile at LM's house could be the cause of my hip and knee problems?? These are the spoils of our labor for the last few months, and as you can see we have "many miles to go before we sleep."

Just musing.....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Celebrating my Birthday in the Beauty of Nature

Sorry for my blogging hiatus. Motivation has been sorely lacking as I continue to ride the waves of grief, loss, and coping with a very painful hip and knee. The medication for the pain makes my, already taxed, thought process arduous. The pain is most likely caused by bursitis in my right hip. X-rays done yesterday will clarify matters and then I will, hopefully, be able to begin PT for some more relief and get off the medication.
Last Saturday was my birthday, and I was really happy to have my brother, Ev and his son, Martin come to visit from Baltimore. They stayed at my house and Ms G and I moved over to LM's. Another terribly traumatic car ride for my poor baby girl. She hates the car and carrier even more. Once she got there, all was well, and she is still there even though I came home on Sunday. Once again, we have the daily promise from LM that he will return my dear furry friend. We know how that goes. He loves her more each time.

Anyway, we all celebrated my day by visiting Haskell Nursery in New Bedford; a place I have wanted to see for many years after Martha Stewart televised a visit there back in the 90's. They have an amazing collection of beautiful and unusual trees and plants, most especially dawn redwoods in all their lacy glory, hostas - from the tiniest of plants to the HUGE specimens. The day was very lovely and below are some photos:
This beautiful baby boy, AKA Teddy, came along and slept through a lot of our tour.

These beautiful lillies announced their presence with their fragrance long before we saw them
This little garden greeted us as we got out of the car. I was fascinated by the green petaled cone flowers

There were amazing hydrangeas and this one was pure shell pink; a color I have not previously encountered

These succulents were all in bloom and so sweet
Martin and Ev near an interesting pine (Martin was not too thrilled by idea of the tour but he managed to have a good time and find things to point out).

A lovely Japanese garden lantern

A lovely espaliered pear with nearly ripe fruit.
Martin found this welcoming shade garden and several old shops which housed beautiful planters. The Japanese maples were so lush and many had the most amazingly pointed leaves

More maples
A very pretty pathway
Alison takes a break in the shade to feed Teddy a bottle.
A just-fed Teddy with "Nana"
There was a long row of towering and very fragrant magnolias
There were handsomely crafted stonewalls throughout the is a very old property right in the middle of a busy city
After the tour, we drove barely a mile to an interesting Portuguese restaurant, Antonio's, and these very appropriate and lovely plates were on the wall above our table. The food was delicious but I think we all agreed that the portion sizes were obscenely large.
After that we battled the Saturday on-Cape traffic to get back to Jason and Alison's and enjoy a visit on their lovely deck.
I missed Dad to a depth I had not felt in awhile. How much he would have enjoyed this day with his family. Milestones!
I'll be back soon with updates on fighting back vines and trees at LM's.