Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Speeding Toward 2011

Could someone help me pull the reins in? The sled is flying way too fast toward New Year's Eve. Last night I finished my dog sitting stint. My boss and family had gotten delayed in St. Thomas because of the blizzard which hit us on Sun and Mon. I was so happy to be with LM last night for the first time in almost 4 weeks. We'd seen each other briefly during that time but that was it.

I'm so far behind in posting pictures. There are fun scenes from Teddy's birthday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day awaiting, as well as some funny Ms G stuff.

Meanwhile, last night, my grandson and girlfriend arrived from FL to stay at my house for a week. I am with LM and Ms G and so very happy. Going to catch up on my sleep and some car maintenance with a day off tomorrow, and we will be doing some fun Cape Cod touring with our visitors.

Happy New Year wishes to everyone and I will be back as soon as I can with more details.

Love and gratitude to everyone! Here are the only two photos from the last week which I have at the ready.....

Nephew, Bob and my SIL, Trish, celebrating Christmas Eve....
Ms G in her most common pose under LM's dining room table.....she reminds me of a beached seal. This is the look she has when she wants to have LM's full attention....actually, she doesn't have to work too hard for his love.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Day

Happily I have today off and after being woken by my canine charges at 4 am, I found myself over at my house by 5:50 am. Love driving in the very early morning. I've just completed a strawberry chiffon pie for Christmas dinner tomorrow at LM's....used another of my Mum's customary holiday treats. Also in waiting, is a large jar of hot fudge sauce to take to Christmas Eve dinner at son, Jason's tonight....cannot wait to see Teddy. LM and I will be making our way there about 4 today. Before that, I must get my house back in order, tend to the dogs, and also go to Orleans to feed my friend's cat, Khaos, whom I am caring for until Monday. Busy time for me but happy I can help out my boss and friends while they are away over Christmas.
LM is doing all the Christmas dinner will involve fish and lots of veggies. I'm very grateful.

We are awaiting another huge snowstorm! It is ill-timed as my grandson, Jared (Anne's oldest) and girlfriend, Jessica, are due to arrive here for a week on Monday, early in the day, from Florida. The forecast is for the snow to start Sunday and not to end until late Monday, with the Cape getting the heaviest snow. They may have to stop before reaching the northeast as neither of them have driven in snow before, and, for that matter, Jessica has never seen snow. Part of me hopes we will have a beautiful snowfall to greet them, but the hassle and danger of driving is a worry. They plan to stay at my house, and I will take up residence with LM and Ms G for a week....mmmmmmm. Heaven! We'll be taking them around to see Cape Cod in the winter and for Jessica it will be a first trip to new England so there will be lots to see.

Well, that is about it for now. Sending out lots of love and best wishes to all my family and blog friends. May you have a peaceful beautiful Christmas/holiday, and be surrounded by love, beauty and delicious things to eat.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

White Christmas!

LM took this photo yesterday morning at the beginning of the snow. We got well over a foot and it is still snowing this morning!
I'm staying at my boss's and it is about a mile down a dirt road. Thankfully, the wonderful guys I work with came by this morning to plow and dig me out, then followed me in my car until I was out of the worst part. Many are without power so I am grateful we are warm. Our town got hit the worst but it is so beautiful that I am choosing not to mind.

I'll have a few photos to post of the snow's beauty later today. Nice to be at work with my friends.
I'm way behind in posting but the schedule with the dog tending has me off my usual path. Thinking of everyone and wishing you well, happy and warm!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

That Time of Year

Happy birthday, Mum......I miss you more each minute and I search constantly for ways to bring you back, to bring you closer, to emulate your traditions, but never quite reach the mark.
This year I've baked loaves of your cherry nut cake almost everyday. As I pass them along to friends, wrapped in foil and ribbons, your hand will be holding mine.
We celebrated your birthday that last day, you were happy, clear, and surrounded by love and then you left us in your sleep. You'd begun to leave this plane slowly but on your last birthday you were back!
Everyday, your hands seem to do my daily chores, and I watch them gratefully.

This week throughout Christmas will find me with my doggie friends at my boss's house. A simple Christmas celebration will be squeezed in, between the wagging tails, in and out doors and nights alone (the money will be saved toward vacation). LM is very busy with his household, his children and tending Ms G. It is a time of transition. He has one month to keep close tabs on John until the next court date. Tenterhooks are making things feel shaky. We are hopeful the judge will allow John to go to Job Corps instead of back to jail. Day to day.....
We miss each other and hope to spend maybe an hour later today. I miss Ms G, as well.

Just a time of missing, and allowing a little bit of feeling sorry for myself.....Won't last long - not time for that when I have so much and others so little. The stress of daily survival, is especially hard for some I love.

Well, the sun is rising, more cherry nut cake is cooling and I am off to help a friend choose fabrics for a quilt today.
Thank you again, Mum for my spirit to keep going. I know you had that, too.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Things Happen for a Reason

Friday night was the office Christmas party and it was really a lovely time. An opportunity to spend time with various co-workers and spouses, most especially my boss's wife and Mom to the two doggies I spend a lot of time with. We firmed up the plans for my stay there 12/17-12/27 while they go on a catamaran cruise in the British West Indies. The doggies have been undergoing some training with an ace dog trainer and I needed to learn the new routine. I think I'm ready!
Anyway, LM was unable to go to the party with me so I arrived late to his house and was so happy to just sit on the sofa with him and catch up on our respective news. Ms G was in full "time to go to bed, people" mode, and soon we were happily snoozing.
I was wide awake at 5:15 am feeling the best I have in awhile, thinking about the fact that I needed to get up and do some baking in preparation for Teddy's party. All of a sudden I realized that I had left one of Teddy's gifts at my house so I quickly hopped up, got dressed and was headed to the car. I loved all the things I saw on this little journey.....first, Ms G had been a bit agitated at my rush, I thought, but in reality, when I opened the back door in the early pre-dawn light, there was her "arch enemy" the large tabby cat who frequents the back steps. What a beauty. We both stopped in our tracks and made eye contact for a few seconds. Loved it. Ms G did not! Off to the car, I drove the 8 miles as the sun was getting ready to rise. What a perfect way to start the day. The forgotten items were quickly retrieved and I was on my way back to LM's, my path lit so beautifully by the sunrise. As I approached the Herring River, there was a low shaft of light shining down into the glade and there was a huge blue heron on the bank. Normally that area is dark and deep and I cannot see in to it very well, but this morning it was glorious. I would have missed all that beauty if I had not forgotten Teddy's pillowcase. So nice.
Here is the little birthday gift....thought you might like to see this very fun fabric, "Fish Fishing for Cats."
The finished case
I love this finned cat

After having a cup of tea and baking some corn muffins, I was off to the hair salon for a trim. When I returned, LM was eager to get me back to the, not for what you think....his princess was all curled up on the tuffett of fleece blankets he makes for her each morning.
A tad indignant about the presence of the papparazzi.
We are off to celebrate Teddy....have a great weekend.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cultivating Healing

Having had enough of the Wayward Son expressway, I've chosen to take an exit and drive slowly on the back roads, take a look around in what little daylight we have these days and just cultivate a new appreciation for the beauty nature gives us in winter (if only I had recorded the rustling sound of the grasses above)....not even winter here yet but that's to be debated, as the thermometer denies it could still be autumn. The trees are bare, as are our emotions, the shadows so long in the lovely light, and here and there we find roses still blooming. I wonder at their strength to still seek the light and flourish. Each day my desk is bathed in sunlight for many hours, warming my soul, and I am profoundly grateful for the strength I have found to detach with love from the tests we're handed right now.

John is receiving treatment and counseling, seeing his attorney, helping his amazing Dad a little, and awaiting a court hearing next week. We may have found a residential program in which he could thrive if he wishes. It is all up to him, and the courts. Meanwhile, I choose to walk along side all this, keeping that high point of the path a barrier to protect my own sanity. Detachment with love is holding the hands of those I love, as they make their own decisions without my unsolicited advice and judgement. It is also keeping my eyes busy observing the beauty which can nourish and heal. It is everywhere: sunrises, every little twig across my path wearing a furry coat of moss, to the sound of crisp dry leaves skittering across the street in the winter wind, and in the smiles and voices of my dear co-workers during the course of each day. Surely it will make my time at LM's bright and happy, and especially, today as we celebrate Teddy's 2nd birthday, family all around. There will be laughter, early Christmas beauty, an Elmo cake, LM hand in mine, and other fun.
I've some of the endurance keeping the Main St roses in bloom.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sunday Funnies a la Ms G

It takes a matter of seconds after new things are brought in to the house for Ms G to go crazy inspecting! Sunday, we came in with the makings of two Christmas door swags and she had a field day. I set down the ribbon and other things needed to make bows and she was after them in a flash, dragging them off to be chewed.
Here she is watching me make a bow. I had to stand in the middle of the kitchen to keep her away.
She was almost made right into it
Next I began laying out the greens to assemble the piece. I was trying to get LM to remove the little critter but he was too busy taking pictures and laughing himself silly (a happy sound to hear in light of the days we've just had)
She loved running her nose over the greens and sniffing every bit carefully.
This cat is just plain crazy and at this point she had to be removed. I was afraid the greens would make her sick.
For LM.....all greens from his garden.....mess under the stairs is fishing related. Oh well....he loves it.
Styling by Kristi! (Not a real gun in the corner, there.....pellets for the coyotes!)

Earlier in the day.....
Ms G at her pathetic best.....she's waiting for her manservant to retrieve her favorite playtoy of the moment, but he's taking his sweet time getting his morning coffee. Seems that her little furry ball rolled under the grandfather clock in the kitchen. No matter how much she extended her front legs, she could not reach it, so her only choice was to manipulate dear LM into fetching the furry ball retrieval tool, the back scratcher. Her wait seemed endless and these looks were just more than we could stand. She does this staring thing all the time, and will not give up.
Warning: x-rated photo coming up.....finally he is ready to do her bidding,
...but first a little back scratch...mmmmmmm...she wanted to help the search.
LM goes through this process several times a day.....he really has no choice. He COULD block the point where the ball rolls under the clock but he feels it would spoil Ms G's fun. Huh???? Well, he loves it.
Ahhhh, and we were laughing so hard at this point.........Ms G was at my feet watching his every move.
After all that fun, it was finally time for my morning tea but first I needed a hug from Ms G. Sometime, I must try to record this process because picking her up evokes all kinds of squawking and squeaking. It is so funny. She finally settled in my arms for a few minutes and it felt so good, my tired eyes showing over her "owl" ears, and those cute little front paws. Dear girl, we so love the fun you bring to our lives!!Late morning Ms G retreats to her lair in the upstairs - a large open storage area, where she has made what we call the cave, for herself. She even has her own Christmas tree on a timer, and gets nice sunshine.

Time for a long winter's nap. After a bit she pulls the quilt so she is completely covered.
Thanks for being our very cute comic relief, Ms G.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

He's Cooked

Last night about 7 the phone rang....a little voice says, "I need a glass of water"......I ask, why can't you get it yourself? "There is a gray furry thing in my lap sleeping soundly." My 8 miles to then walk 5 steps from the chair to get him a glass of water??? Poor guy. His life is so sad. He's been turned in to a cat couch. He admits it. He loves it. Every single second. Me, too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Seismic Shift

As the weekend approached, the tension and tears were intensifying with every minute. Having a 24 hour span out at my boss's house to tend the dogs, was actually just what I needed. After a bracing walk in nature, I could see clearly that my behavior was creating more chaos for LM. I needed to step back, and let him handle the issues with his son in his own way. Sounds simple, but it worked. LM said he was never really upset with me, just trying to get through and he understood where I was coming from.
Come along on the walk I took Saturday afternoon in the Scatteree area of North Chatham. As I walked along, there was not another soul in sight, I stopped to look through the brush at one of my favorite houses. The view of the house and salt pond obscured by thick branches, just like my actions had been blocking my judgment. As I took a few more steps, there visible, was a beautiful family of swans, gliding in the afternoon sunlight. Perfect beauty in the silence.
In the distance you can see the barrier beach just off our coast. There are about 9 houses left on the beach which have not been washed away in storms. Sturdy stalwarts, they are.
The marsh grasses are golden right now as winter falls.

This house sits right on the water at the north end of Chatham Harbor. It has always seemed so romantic and almost haunted. No one is there most of the year.
The swans were swimming toward the sun and diving frequently for food.
I walked a short distance north and saw this boat out for a spin. The tide and currents were very swift as the boat headed for the break in the barrier beach. Dangerous area....I was relieved to see the boat turn before trying to pass through that opening. As it turned to head back, the tide carried it south so quickly that I thought he would be unable to complete the turn.
As I walked back to my car the sun was lighting up this autumn jasmine high in the trees.
Bittersweet vines turning their deep red. Love the low afternoon light.
Back to the doggies and this lovely arrangement on the steps of their house.
Liza came around to see what I was doing......she was missing her "Mom." Sammy was deep in the back yard barking at who knows what. So many coyotes in their neighborhood.
Beautiful holly berries!
This little collection of pears has been on the kitchen window sill for it. The three on the left are candles.
I love sitting in this chair to read or meditate...beautiful southern exposure.So after that lovely walk and a bit of playtime with the dogs, I was through with my duties there, and it was finally time to be with LM. After a very tense week, we were able to put talk of John aside and focus on our love and some plans for the holidays.
One last shot from the doggies' house....this poinsettia was an interesting reddish-gold color and looked so pretty on the dining table. I felt privileged that my boss asked me to come and stay with the dogs. There were peace, fun and clarity waiting for me and I soaked it up and felt renewed.
Next up I have some Ms G adventures from Sunday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Hits Keep Coming

As the sun was setting on beautiful Cape Cod last night, LM drove to Dancing Feather Corner, his favorite place of peace to capture this sunset for me, and I am sure, to rest his mind from the challenges he's faced this week. I can only imagine how heavy and tired his head and heart are from watching his son struggle to do the right thing, yet continually fall into the abyss once more.He took these beautiful photos and could not wait to get home and send them to me. He no sooner did so than he got a phone call from John that he had, once again, been arrested and was being held at a local police station.
I was at home having just finished my dinner, when LM's voice on the phone asked if I were sitting down. I knew....the news could only be bad. I pleaded that he not bail John out this time. He said he was going to do so. I backed off, as I need to fight my own battles not LM's. I sat and stared for awhile, talked to an empathetic and loving on-line friend, called LM's sister and then gathered myself up and begin to work on quilting; just like a robot. Finally after 2.5 hours LM called to say he didn't bail John and was letting him stay in jail overnight. This morning they would be in court. At this point, John is now out on bail again and there will be a hearing on both charges Dec 16. A lawyer is involved. I'm using what strength I have to work and hold back the tears. LM is exhausted and out driving John around on errands. All I can do is offer non-judgmental love.

Meanwhile, along with the sunset photos I received last night, were some of Ms G. This one with the light reminds me of Ms G's special powers.....

She knows that when you don't know what else to do, you take a nap in the sun and regroup!!

She also knows that when your beloved is on the phone too much, you stand on the computer or cause some other distraction.
I'm going to be off-line for several days. Sunday I will be busy trying to extract some of Ms G's love and sharing it with LM. Thank you, all, for the support and caring.

PS. In very exciting news, my dear blogging friend, Debbie, is on her way to Columbus OH to pick up her new puppy today, and I am so so happy for her!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Power of Ms G

Amidst a very tense time of discussion on the weekend, LM looked down beside his chair to this cute site. She was upset by the mood in her world, and did her very best to distract us. It worked! LM, looked down, chuckled, reached for his camera, leaned over the side of his chair and took these photos.
We think she was trying to talk to us here.
This sweet pose just melted our hearts.
Later in the morning LM found her gazing out the window.
My favorite view! She spent a lot of time on the bed this weekend and before I left on Sunday, I just buried my face in her softness and sobbed. It helped somehow.
From the Wednesday morning perspective, there is a return to a loving feeling between LM and me, each one of us is doing all we can to seek out help for John. So far ALL the government agencies which say they help young offenders at risk of re-offending have turned us away cold. No help. The other aspect of our search is medical help and John and LM were able to make an appointment with a Community Action Council agency for Friday morning. They should, at least, be able to get him set up with some counseling, health care and evaluation for other agencies.
Meanwhile, every second we are away from John, the worry is all-consuming and it is tough to focus on any thing else. This morning, John's sister is taking him to the Housing Assistance office. Finding a job seems impossible. The fact that he is a felon (driving a stolen car) is bad enough, when trying to find a job, but we have a mostly seasonal economy with many business closed until Spring. Any of the major companies do all their hiring corporately now, so no local store owner is available to give a struggling young person a hand up, as used to be the case.

Last night I had an appointment with my acupuncturist, Jenny. She is a wonderful woman and always asks about everything happening in my life. As I relayed our current journey with John she felt compelled to say she would see John to counsel/treat him at a very reduced rate. We will be taking him there next week. She is a very wise, no-nonsense woman and I think Jenny has the power to make a difference.

UPDATE: John had a positive meeting with the Housing Assistance Corp this morning and has an appointment with a counselor tomorrow. They help with much more than homelessness!
Also, tomorrow, LM and John will meet with their attorney to discuss the next steps and find out if and when John may be returned to prison. Fingers crossed, prayers said, we just want John to have the chance to receive counseling and begin the road to recovery. Returning to prison will be a disaster for us all.
I've been offered the opportunity to house sit on Fri and Sat. so have suggested to LM that he bring John to his house for a nice dinner and just sit and watch a funny movie. Get the focus off the troubles right now and have a little fun. Make the most of each day.

A message from Ms. G.....peace, love and happiness must prevail! We're doing our best, little one!!
Thanks everyone for your messages of support and understanding. This major boat rocking may have been a big nudge by the universe to take action.