Thursday, January 30, 2014


Yep, the refrain is all too familiar these days. I am still at home, coughing and recovering. This has taken a long time. Each day there is progress; way too slow if you ask  me, but who am I in all this?  I do admit to some teary moments of loneliness and frustration but am not being hard on myself, as I have been very sick for 38 days!  I miss being with LM and MS G and just being out and about. Monday I WILL be back to work and keep right on going to claim my life back.

Thank you everyone for your caring notes, etc. Your kindness and encouragement mean the world to me. In a stupor, as I was waking from a nap on Tues, I spilled some water near my laptop and killed the keyboard....a new computer is in my future but for now I am ever so grateful for nice neighbors who gave me a new keyboard to plug in and use in the meantime.  "You get What You Need When you Want it"....floated through my mind at that moment. 

My dear friend, Kittie, just sent me a sweet note with concern and also mention of Pete Seeger.  I wanted to let anyone interested know that this week, with all my FREE time, I watched an incredible documentary. I just happened to find it on Netflix on the day Pete's death was announced. I was enthralled.  "Greenwich Village: Music that Defined a Generation" had me in tears and even doing a bit of fist pumping and talking to the computer out loud.  Those were "my" people, and I am so happy I grew up in that era and became immersed in the love of folk music.  I loved seeing photos of Broadside Magazine.....I subscribed to it for so many years. BE SURE TO WATCH THE VERY LAST SCENE!  I gasped and burst in to tears.  That's all I'll say. I'm also a huge Arlo Guthrie fan and his interviews in the movie are very good.  Saw him perform live fairly recently and he's still got the goods, and then some. Also Richie Havens...gone now but it was great to see him in the movie. Richard and Mimi Farina sang their very profound message, as well.

Not only did I love everything Pete stood for, his music and his manner, but he lived all his life in the seat of my paternal American roots. My great grandfather and grandfather were born in Beacon NY and lived next door in Fishkill, right on the Hudson River. I know why Pete loved it so much.

I leave you with gentle Pete asked me to was always his message.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Yes, I'm here, still coughing so much and wishing my friend pneumonia would leave but it is on his terms not mine. Returned to work last Thursday and Friday then spent the weekend in the house coughing and resting. My lungs are trying to clear but it is a slow process. Not sleeping due to coughing is wearing and I may work 1/2 day today in order to get more rest. It has been healing in a way to go in and organize my desk and the 100's of e-mails, as well as catch up on all the little things needing to be done. Relieved my mind. There is an exhaustion with this plague that I have never known. Gravity at work, pulling me down most insistently.

LM had a birthday Sunday and we had a quiet celebration here with just "us."  We ordered two 2 lb cooked lobsters from the fish market  next door and  they were scrumptious.   A most lovely birthday celebration.

Mourning, Peter Seeger this morning and celebrating the impact he had on so many lives and the world. May we all go forth and set the fine examples he gave us to follow. His music is playing softly as I type. I heard a wonderful interview with his grandson this morning, and he seems to have Pete's voice. What we need more of in this world. Pete changed my life in so many ways, not mention the joy in his songs and voice. He caused us all to sing his refrains.

Love to all......

Friday, January 24, 2014


Ms G knows how to find warmth, and this picture from a past warm sunny day, brought me right back to how warm her fur was as I buried my face in her tummy to give her some love.  Thought I would trot out this oldie as we are at 9 degrees this morning.  I don't mind at all, really, as I am just so happy to step outside on my way to work, take a deep breath of cold air and feel so much better.  The cough persists but it has taken on an easier form.
Yesterday was just wonderful and all felt right with the world as I walked in to happy hugs and welcomes. I made it through the whole day and plowed through hundreds of e-mails and other projects. 

I know this harsh weather is very hard for so many and I hope everyone in your worlds is safe and warm.
Love to all.....It's Downton Abbey night for LM and moi.   mmmmmmmmm!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Back to Work

Back to work this morning. It's been a long month, in so many ways, a rest for my body, mind and spirit, even though I was so sick.  I cannot wait to catch up with all that's happened and see my friends.

Very, very cold here....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


As a blizzard raged outside my window last night, a meditation took me back to a time when I was about 9-10 years old. My friend at the time, Jeannette, lived on a neighboring farm to ours. Hers had once been a thriving dairy operation - Cedar Tree Dairy, N. Hanover, MA - and we loved to prowl around the back of the property to hunt for remnants.  There was a large dump area where we could find old bottles and thousands of those labeled cardboard tops that would have been the stops in the glass bottles of milk or cream. It was beautiful there with many namesake cedar trees, very lush green fields and off to the right a cool, clear brook ran by. It's soft mossy banks making a great place for us to sit and bring the picnic we had carefully planned out the day before. Jeannette was one of 13 children who lived in a tiny apartment on the second floor of the original farmhouse. We would somehow come up with a can of tuna and mix it all up carefully in the apartment's tiny kitchen, then prepare our sandwiches and wrap them tightly.  Earlier we would have *canvassed the neighborhood for enough bottles to return to the store in exchange for two beautiful green glass bottles of Coca-Cola, those bottles would be carefully planted in a special spot deep in the brook's cool water, right at the place where we would have our lunch. After our dump explorations and discussions of what the dairy might have been like way back when, we'd make our way to the brook, sit on the beautiful green banks, dangle our legs in the water and savor our picnic.  There was nothing as delicious as those sandwiches and the taste of the icy cold Coca-Cola. I may not have photos of those special times, but the memories are very vivid and delicious. Jeannette's brother, David is one of my dearest friends to this day, and I send him many thanks for providing me with these wonderful photos of an original Cedar Tree Dairy bottle.

*One of the neighbors where we'd stop to ask about returnable bottles, was Mary....she had an historic Cape-Cod style house, and my reading life had led me to imagine she was Beatrix Potter or a relative, as the house and wild gardens were filled with animals...the front door was usually open with goats, rabbits or chickens, or all, peeking out.  There were many cats, too! Mary almost always had bottles for us and sometimes asked us to do some little chores in return.

Planning to return to work tomorrow after a month away dealing with flu and pneumonia. Still coughing but hope it will lessen as the blizzard moves on out of here later today. 
Love to all......

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hootenany.....Cape Cod Style

What fun our local press is having with all the owl news....and actually their presence is livening up January which is dead quiet here on Cape Cod.
I woke this morning feeling happy a fairly energized, coughing a little, but feeling stronger.  The plan was for me to spend the day with LM and Ms G, and by 8:30, I was on my way.  Being out in fresh air felt so good. We caught up, Ms G did her usual milling around LM and hunkering down in his lap with her back to me, and after awhile, my dear sister, Margaret, called me from Canada and we had the most wonderful time talking about all sorts of things for over 2 hours.  She doing much more talking and I doing much coughing and finally I had to go as my coughing was out of control and was making me feel very stressed and short of breath. I could talk to any one of my sisters forever it seems. Meanwhile, daughter, Anne, was trying madly to reach me as she was working on acquiring tickets for our flights to Eleuthera in March, and I was unable to talk.  We finally got that sorted out and LM said we had to take a ride to the beach to see the owls....cameras and binoculars in hand, we were out the door. During the course of the morning the winds had really been intensifying and were now blowing between 30-40 mph and when we arrived at the beach the air was so heavy with blowing sand that visibility was really low.
 The normally calm sound was roaring!
 Against our better judgement we drove down the beach to see where the birders had set up. It was pretty surprising to see a large number of people out on the front beach in the area of the lifeguard chair where the owls had been yesterday.  These people are hard core. We were not going to walk out there, especially this sick one. We are assuming that there were some owls present.
Thought you would find the attached blog post written by our local newspaper photographer of interest. I love the photo of the owl yawning!!  He found a nice observation post on one of the many osprey nests, currently unoccupied by its owner.

After a stop to gather some food for a  meal, we were on our way back to LM's house and I was really ready for some cuddling with Ms G and she finally relented.  We had several hours of quiet, pats and purrs.
 Note the nice layer of fur on my laptop....her original intent was to sleep directly on the keyboard!

Cough, cough, cough....tomorrow WILL be a better day.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Slogging along toward recovery here. Pneumonia is certainly a mighty foe, and reminds me quite adamantly when to back-off. I'm still very exhausted, coughing heavily off and on, and having side effects from prednisone withdrawal - upper abdomen /chest pain, racing heart, headache, and numbness.  There is improvement today, though, and I got up, showered, ate some oatmeal and ironed several items before collapsing back into my chair.

Yesterday morning, my dear friend, Lynne, did a distance reiki session with me, and it was such a gift of release, relaxation and obvious healing....we will do several more sessions. I am so blessed to have her loving gift to help me through this.

Last night I had another invaluable gift -  LM's company for the whole evening. He brought over some light dinner, and we watched a movie followed by the 2 hour season premier of Downton GOOD.  We were both in tears at points and were just raving about the delicious writing.

So this will be another day in the house.  Tomorrow I am going to LM's house for the day. We will watch the Patriots vs Broncos game and share a meal, and I am sure hoping for some kitty love from Ms G.  It's tough cajoling her away from LM's lap, but maybe a fleece blanket will help.

LM brought me some photo he took West Dennis Beach he saw this lovely  great blue heron taking in the day from the marsh

Ms G tilting her head to take in the flag whipping around in the wind.
 This is one of the snowy owls perched on the life guard chair. Not a good shot as LM was afraid to get much closer for fear he would take off.  There was a huge crowd of birders around, too.
 The owls remain there today and LM says you'd think there was a Hollywood celebrity hanging around.  Lots of fancy cameras and telescopes angling for close-ups of these avian celebrities. I recommended he carry around a pocket full of mice!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dreaming of Color and Warmth

Turned on the wayback  machine to find some color and beauty on this really gritty-gray, dark and frustrating day.  I am still scary sick, and to complicate it, I have had the most awful reaction to coming off the prednisone.  I can never take that drug again. All day yesterday, on top of the deep cough, my head was numb, my upper abdomen throbbed and pulsated causing pain that felt like a heart attack, and I became more and more confused and exhausted.  I fell in to a deep sleep at midnight and woke at 3 am this morning drenched in perspiration and shaking. It has been that way all day.  I've been back and forth with the doctor and nurse on the phone and they assure me I should be better tomorrow as the drug leaves my system gradually.
Tomorrow will be a better day!  Hope your day was a lovely one......
Two months and we will be on beautiful warm Eleuthera!!  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Snowy Owl Follow-Up

Our Cape Cod Times newspaper has a little piece about the owls we saw on Sunday. Thought you might like to see the real thing:

I have some slight progress with healing but after visiting my doctor yesterday, I am still advised not to go to work. My bosses have been so kind and concerned but I know my absence is not easy. I may try a half day on Friday and then we have Martin Luther King day making it a long weekend with more rest time.

Today is gorgeous here....50 with no wind, clear skies. I am aiming to take a short walk around noon.

Wishing you sunny skies and good health this day!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fun with Cats and a Donkey

The day my father died at the age of 97 - a peaceful passing with his beloved cat friend, Bob, at his side, I came home and decided, in a fairly compulsive manner, to pull out my collection of cat fabrics, and began to cut strips like a mad woman. I got out my grandmothers large wooden clothes drying rack and hung all those strips, and within 2 weeks, I had sewn 20 of these blocks. Every spare minute, between all the funeral arrangements, visiting family, and work, was spent sewing. There was such a peace about the process and I would lay them out and look them over and couldn't quite believe I made them. At the end of 2 weeks, I put them all neatly into a plastic storage box and didn't take them out for nearly 5 years. Oh, yes, I would look at the box from time to time, and then turn away, not quite ready to face the memory. This Fall on Dad's birthday, the time had come to open that box and begin to put the quilt together. Of course, I realized I needed about 10 more blocks, so out came the collection of strips and the extra blocks were made in record time.

The past 3 weeks I have been home with flu that turned in to pneumonia, and each day I've sewn a little. Tonight I finished assembling the top and am just so happy with how much fun this work conveys.  Front and center is my inspirational virtual donkey friend, Simon of Bedlam Farm!! He just makes me smile.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Lure of the Snowy Owl

Slowly, ever so slowly, I am feeling better.  The cough is deeply embedded and seems to activate the moment I begin to talk, but I feel stronger.
Since the onset of the flu, I have found immediate relief and sense of health when I put my head outside and breathed in clear cool air and it was my goal to spend some time outside yesterday, as it was a beautiful day with a nice SW wind.  On Saturday, LM had spotted a snowy owl at his favorite beach. (found the photo below on line, as neither of us have a sophisticated camera)
The beauty was just sitting on a mound of sand in the marsh, and attracting its very own flock of birders.  You can bet I was chomping at the bit to see this sight. So after a fashion, yesterday, I ventured out to drive to LM's house to visit Ms G, and cajole, LM to taking a little walk with me, as I just had to move and be outside for awhile, and before I knew it, we were at the beach.  As we drove down the mile long strand we were able to spot two snowy owls and get good views with binoculars.  The array of birders and their huge telescopes and cameras was amazing. For some reason, this year we have a very large number of snowies wintering over along our coastline. 
After all that excitement we parked at the end of the beach and were off for a walk through some high marsh and then back along the waterline. It was just perfect and I felt strong enough, on LM's arm to be out for about 30 minutes of gentle walking, breathing deeply, and savoring my source of all healing.
come along on our little walk-
These scrub pines seem to thrive in winter, and we stood by this little stand and closed our eyes to listen to the song. They really do sing in the wind, and their song brought tears to my eyes as I listened yesterday.

 The low growth is marsh heather
 Bass River low tide
 The way back took us right along the beach - only available at low tide

 The view at our feet was as interesting as all the others.

 We were surprised to see a lot of oysters
 Nature's designs
 We made our way along the jetty that leads to the mouth of the river where it meets Nantucket Sound
 We got to a point where we could climb up on to jetty and head back to the car.
 I love these winter colors - the grass was leaning in the wind
It was the perfect temperature and amount of time to be out, and after another stop to look at the owls we were back to LM's house where I tried unsuccessfully to lure Ms G to cuddle for a bit while I took a little nap. She was too busy plying LM with her charms, though. Oh well, she did allow me to share her presence.  

Renewed, and after a little dinner, I was on my way home.
Thanks for all your wishes. 

Friday, January 10, 2014


This little journey off my normal path has been fairly solitary, as, at first, I did everything to avoid others, that they might get the flu.  I've been saved by my love of reading, learning, movies and organizing.  I've caught up greatly on my Netflix list, gotten a lot of rest, and cleaned a few cobwebs from corners.....I do find that my "corners" can become a bit cluttered, literally and figuratively. Unfortunately, just the rest and home remedies were not enough to keep me from falling in to the pit of pneumonia.

 As I began to feel sicker and sicker this week, this terribly independent woman had to ask for help. LM has, of course, done whatever he could, but I was very fearful of him becoming sick, too, and his work has had him traveling far and wide. I'm fortunate to have a nice neighbor with whom I exchange pleasantries every morning on my way out to work. He has a little office just outside my door. On Monday morning I'd gone to work, hopeful I was getting better, but had to return home to my  bed  by 11:30.....late afternoon as he was leaving his office for the day, Keith knocked on my door to see if I was better. There I was in complete dishevelment, and he could see I needed some help. He went to the market and brought me back some things, and also took out my trash for me....I just broke down in tears at his thoughtfulness.His  last words that evening were, "You WILL call the doctor in the morning, right?" He's been checking on me daily.  That little bit of compassion is a gift beyond measure, but I was still doggedly certain I would feel better each day. I was becoming more and more tired, having trouble breathing, and very strangely, staying awake for 2-3 days without sleep. I couldn't go to sleep, no matter what trick I pulled out of my bag. I felt caffeinated, but had none at all, all the while trying to cast the rock off my chest.  I did make the call and then called my dear  son, who drove so far to get me to the doctor. Co-workers, and friends, too, have been texting, e-mailing and calling me frequently and are willing to do anything they can. I have orders to stay out until next Wednesday at the earliest.
I've had 3 visits with my very compassionate doctor's office and staff, and they've been checking on me. This morning, in quite a lovely snowfall, LM came to drive me over, once again. I knew I was not doing well, having trouble breathing, chest pain and very weak. The doctor immediately began a nebulizer treatment which eased out my breath although made me feel quite disoriented and dizzy.  They kept me there for several hours until I stabilized.  Back home, post bloodwork and picking up yet more prescriptions, I have strict orders to call 911 if I have any more breathing issues over the weekend. When my breathing eased out this morning I began sobbing with relief, and compassionate arms and words were applied.  I am so blessed to have this incredible team of medical professionals.
My fondest wish right now is to be outside and breathe deeply the beautiful Winter air and WALK.  My wonderful LM did take me by my favorite beaches this morning as we returned from the doctor's.  He knows!  They are iced in right now and so stark in their winter coats.  I felt slightly healed and so loved.

Thank you to everyone. Your compassion and caring is carrying me along.
With LOVE.

PS....Sue, Your offer to come and collect me and bring me to your house so that I could have kitty-love means so  much. Please tell Jaxson his god-mother will come by for a healthy visit and some purrs and pats very soon. You are so dear to me.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Pneumonia......cough, cough, cough. LM coming shortly to take me in for  more testing. Night was calm as I was given a prescription with codeine to calm the coughing. Trouble getting air.
I will get through this.....Jason was wonderfully patient yesterday and I was fortunate that I didn't have a long wait. My physician's office is very compassionate and well-run. Going to warm up to 25 today!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Plot Thickens

Much worse today, and I have had to succumb to a visit to the doctor. Son, Jason, is coming to cart me off. I hated to call him to drive all the way out here, but LM is in Vermont on business, and it would not be wise of me to drive, as the coughing is quite serious.  I continue to be amazed at the tenacity of this flu.  I have been so healthy, and to get this sick is frustrating. I guess this is a particularly strong strain.

My spirits are strong, and I will get through this....thank you for all the kind thoughts.

Wishing this not to affect any of you!!!
Love to you all.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


You know he loves you when he calls from a  road trip to New Jersey on this frigid day, laughing hysterically, to tell you he just passed a "Donkey Crossing" sign. Sputtering with laughter, he apologizes for disturbing my flu-induced, coma-like sleep, to say he thought of me immediately when he saw that sign, and just had to tell me.....that laughter made me feel so much better, and so very loved!!  Lucky woman.  LM and his co-driver are on their way back to Cape Cod right now....they left in sub-zero temps before dawn this morning.

Hope you are warm and flu-free.  More and more cases seem to be springing up here. Hoping to return to work tomorrow.

Friday, January 3, 2014


As a raging blizzard does it thing outside my windows, my body is continuing its successful raging against the flu.....doing quite a good job I would say, slow and steady. A few symptoms ease each day, and today, so far, the awful headache is gone. My head is still stuffy and the vertigo is there so I have to be careful moving around. I feel a lot of relief that we didn't lose power. That was a concern yesterday and overnight, as roads were pretty much blocked. I am still not able to get to my car, let alone dig it out. LM's is not able to get out of his house, either, and his car is under a huge drift. He has wisely decided not to shovel. He's hunkered down with the very curious Ms G. She's busy gazing out at the blowing snow.

We have about 6 more hours of snow to go. The high tide flooding will not get close to my place so that is a relief.

I appreciate your little messages of concern, and I am resting, drinking lots of fluids and taking in nature's beauty out my windows.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Healing Light

The flu continues to hold me tightly in its grips here, and if not for a 15 minutes-long coughing spasm that left me breathless, heart racing and scared at 11:30 pm, I would have hissed hearing all the cheering and the fireworks go off at midnight. Prior to that I'd been dead-asleep, as yesterday was a pretty sick day. This plague spread north into my head, making my eyes almost impossible to open and my nose ache from blowing, plus my entire body hurts from coughing.
Well, anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR. 2014 is going to be wonderful, and as we brace for a snowstorm coming our way, I've just managed to finally get up and take myself a cup of Earl Gray and some cold home made applesauce (feels so good on my sore throat) into my sitting room. Raising the drawn shades, bright sunshine lit the room, and as I sat down in my chair with direct eye shot of the sun, the rays hit my Eleuthera, Bahamas cobalt blue sun catcher and it beamed me directly to my daughter, Anne's place of paradise where LM and I will spend considerable time in March. Ahhhhhh, healing has commenced.

The "Other Pineapple Island" sent me hope.....

I send it along to all of you this morning, and hope to return in a less addled state soon.