You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2012.

This Civil War chess set, at the Carr Manor Luxury Bed and Breakfast in Cripple Creek, Colorado, served as a reminder in that in many subtle ways and places, the war between the states is still being quietly waged.

Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “We all need people in our lives who take away the chill of this world with the warmth of their presence.” —  Lessons Learned In Life

Daily gratitudes:
So much exercise today!
Sencha Rose Green Tea
Plane tickets
That it gets light earlier
That the cat crawls into my lap whenever I am sitting down
Finishing Pride and Prejudice

The Soares’ pet lamb at Neptune’s Treasure will never be dinner, despite her name.

Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.  —  Barbara Hall

Daily gratitudes:
The nice lady I met in front of the Lucky Pie this morning
Keeping to my calorie count
Playful spirits
Only setting the steak slightly on fire
Getting a seat on the bus this morning
Getting home by 8:00

You’ve probably gathered that I’m not a traditional religious sort of person. I’m spiritual –  I might fall into the pagan category, but certainly not in the purest sense of the word. So when I decided to observe Lent, my friends and loved ones said, “Huh? Why would you do something like that? You’re not Catholic.”

As it turns out, Lent is not the exclusive property of Catholicism. Also known as Quadragesima, it  is observed by Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans, and Presbyterians. As you may notice, pagans are not included in this list, but I did go to the Presbyterian church when one of my grandmothers took me to whatever church they could.

Regardless, I decided to observe Lent as a test of my self-discipline, which I have struggled with for some time. I’m not being all crazy about it, but I am giving up something that tempts me – and that something is sweet stuff.

Yes, dessert (and snacky sweets) has gone off into the desert of my past for the 40 days of penitence. I have no real devout aspirations – I just want to see if I can do it. It’s been almost a week tomorrow and I have been tempted sorely by fruit tarts, brownies, home-baked cookies, numerous pies, and luscious chocolate bars.  And I am pleased to say that, while tempted, I have resisted.

The whole thing is good for my diet, good for my teeth, good for my temperament, and good for my spirit. In fact, I’m finding it somewhat of a relief to have this self-imposed moratorium on these things. I know I have a tendency to indulge, and to eat emotionally, and sweets are one of those things that I turn to in times of stress, boredom, and depression. With this personal pledge, I don’t have to worry about it. And it’s helping me be more proactive with healthier eating in general –  for example, today was Meatless Monday.

I think the main thing for me, aside from the health benefits, is proving to myself that I can stick with something I’m not keen on doing for 40 days. I believe this entire experience will go a long way towards furthering my faith in myself, and my ability to meet challenges, even when they’re not fun or easy (if it’s fun and easy, is it really a challenge?) So I guess in many ways, the whole thing is about having faith.

That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

This little fellow was living by the dive shop at Anegada Reef. He was kind enough to pose for me, surrounded by diamonds of sun.

Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “Life’s too short not to sparkle.”  —  Julayne Campbell

Daily gratitudes:
Beautiful blue sky this morning
Sharing my favorite bookstore with MKL
My gorgeous daughter who donated 12 inches of her hair to Locks of Love – for the second time
The playfulness of the house spirits
My turquoise cowboy boots

The sun rises over the edge of Setting Point, the horizon hidden behind some scrubby trees that edge the shoreline. Standing on the dock at Neptune’s Treasure, you can watch the day start and the light change as it gently splays across the anchorage. You can never quite be certain what a day on Anegada will bring – except for some new loveliness.

Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “If you’re squeamish, don’t poke the beach rubble.”  — loosely translated from Sappho

Daily gratitudes:
That I was warm today when the rest of the world was cold
Lunch with MKL in the Tattered Cover
Visiting with my niece
My new Wodehouse book! (Thank you, love)
Cuties

That’s what the bus felt like this morning.

My commute is a little over an hour, door to door. if I take the bus. It’s a 15-20 minute drive to get my feet in line to board, just under 30 minutes on the bus, and maybe an 8-minute walk to the office from the station. (It’s about 40 minutes doorstep-to-desk to drive to work, but add in $7 for parking and the cost of 40 miles worth of gas, and the stress of traffic going home, and the time becomes less of a factor.)

I’ve never had a commute of more than 20 minutes. At least not to a “real” job. When I was piecing part-time jobs together to make a living, I did, but that was different somehow. I always swore I wouldn’t work in Denver unless there was a train, because I knew I’d hate the commute, so it has taken me a while to make peace with this. And I have made peace with the actual transportation element, just not with the extra time it takes from my day.

I can’t read on the bus, because I get carsick. Once in a great while, I can almost nap, if I am very tired. Oddly enough, I can do some shamanic journeying (adding a whole new meaning to the term “magic bus”). But most of the time, I just zone and think and look out the window and write in my head. I use it as decompression time between the world of work and the world of, well, the world.

Today was a little different. Last night, we had gale force winds, which usually accompany warm temperatures at this time of year. At two in the morning, I was awakened out of a sound sleep by a THUMP out front. It was a big THUMP as you might guess from the capital letters. I lay in bed, wondering what it was, imagining what it might be, listening to the wind howl as it beat up the wind chimes, and realizing that no, I was not in an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” and yes, I was a single homeowner who had to get up and see what the haps was. I dutifully opened the front door, and was almost blown away by freezing, blasting, flying snow. It wasn’t a lot of snow, but it was most certainly a blizzard of snow. Realizing that it was just a little camp table that had blown over on the front porch, I went back to bed to listen to the rage until I fell asleep.

With the snow shovelling citation still looming over my head, I went out and dutifully shovelled half an inch of snow off my walk, and it was off to the bus stop. Ridership increases in proportion to the vileness of the weather, so the bus was already packed when it arrived. My co-worker whom I sometimes encounter during the commute insisted that I take his seat, which was most gentlemanly of him (and I have a whole post about ladies and gentlemen of the bus brewing in my busy little brain, so stay tuned). That I didn’t have to stand was unusual enough, but the bus itself was unusual today. Because of the sheer mass of humanity packed inside, there was no view whatsoever through the windows. They were completely fogged up by the hot exhalations of all these people (which is actually a little disgusting when you think about it too much, so don’t). The lack of view made me feel almost claustrophobic – something I never feel – and kind of anxious – something I wish I never felt. It was like travelling in the belly of a worm, or in something that has been thoroughly licked by a giant tongue of milky slime.

I kept my eyes closed and that seemed to help.

But really, it was just another bus ride, just another morning commute, with a good driver (this time) who didn’t constantly step on his brakes for no reason, and had confidence in his own skills (unlike one of the lady bus drivers whom we occasionally get in the morning).

Image courtesy of http://www.inside-lane.com.

Thank you, RTD, for spitting me back out at Market Street Station, unscathed and unslobbered.

Don’t you hate it when you see that you’ve written something down and you have no idea what it means? I have the word “coodle” written on a napkin in front of my computer. I don’t think “coodle” is an actual word. Though perhaps it should be.

Headline in The Denver Post today: “Melons Claim Another Victim”. Perhaps I’m overtired, and I truly do feel awful about anyone who has lost someone due to the serious melon health problem, but this headline struck me as funny. Killer melons on the rampage, roaming about in gangs. Something out of a B-movie.

There are rabbits living in my garage. I know this because I saw one squeeze under the super-tiny space between the door and the concrete last night. Now I am concerned that there are lots and lots and lots of rabbits living in my garage. When I open the doors in spring, will I be crushed by an avalanche of bunnies?

Roscoe is doing much better. I miss him now that ex-Pat is back taking care of him. And I’ll bet he misses me too.

Our wind gusts are supposed to get up to 120mph today. Those, ladies and gentlemen, are our chinooks. Hopefully, the warm temperatures that they bring will melt the remaining ice on my sidewalk, so the city doesn’t issue me a citation. But that’s a whole other rant.

This whelk sat on my Mother’s bookcase for many years. Now it sits on mine, reminding me of many things beautiful.

Quote of the day:  “We are all of us richer than we think we are.”  —  Michel de Montaigne

Daily gratitudes:
The arch of a goose’s neck
Thaw
That Roscoe is improving
That Kelsea is so wise
Down pillows

It’s cold and snowy here, I’m housesitting, and the animals here woke me up every three hours just like an infant. Today, I need to work, deal with problems, hang with Roscoe, and shovel my sidewalk, which means buying a metal shovel. I really want my beach.

Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “Hope is a waking dream.”  —  Aristotle

Daily gratitudes:
That Roscoe is improving
I have my bed to go back to tomorrow night
Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling
Soft kitties
Dreams and memories of tropical beaches

 

I’m not whining, but I do want to share.

Roscoe’s injury has hit me hard. Not as hard as it has hit him, obviously, since he’s the one who had a nine-inch stick in his body cavity for a week and almost died, not me. But in an emotional way, hard.

I’m at the vet now, sitting on the bed that he’s become attached to here, typing this. He has his upper body curled against my leg, and is sleeping peacefully, breathing normally for the first time that I’ve seen since the injury. He was dreaming a bit, his paws twitching like dogs do when they’re chasing something in their sleep, and he just gave a big contented sigh. Nothing is waking him – not my sneezes, not the barking dogs in the treatment room, or the voices of the staff. He’s peaceful. I cuddled him and sang him all the lullabies I used to sing to Kelsea when she was a baby.

He still has the pump in his side. They upped his antibiotic dosage, and so the incision sites are cooler, and he is much more alert. The shaved spot is the size of many other dogs, so he may have to wear a t-shirt when he gets home, which I always think looks adorable on dogs. But he’s still not eating and not drinking. He did covertly eat the food I brought yesterday sometime in the middle of the night, so I brought some more for him today. They gave him two liters of electrolyte IV solution earlier to help him keep hydrated and his body just soaked it up like a sponge.

Roscoe's Frankenstein incisions

I don’t even want to imagine what the bill will be. I don’t care. I can’t really afford it anyway. But you do what you’ve got to do.  The vet – Arapahoe Animal Hospital in Boulder – has been fabulous. All the doctors and all the techs here know Roscoe now and love him. They want him to live here with them and be their vet pet. (Sorry guys, we got him first.) It reminds me of when Kelsea was first born. That first night, they took her away and told me they’d bring her back for me to nurse her. I woke up seven hours later with no baby and no one answering the bell. I wondered if something had happened and I was the last person alive. So I hobbled out to the nurse’s station, and said, “Um, excuse me, do you know where my daughter is?” “Oh, Kelsea?” they said, “She was so sweet that we just decided to keep her here with us at the nurse’s station.” Sweetness must run in the family.

So, Roscoe is getting better and is going to be okay. And that’s all the news that really matters.

But now we come to me. Yes, wussy me. I am so exhausted energetically from caring from him from a distance, emotionally from worrying about him, and physically from not sleeping well at my ex-husband’s house while I care for the other animals that I can hardly tell which way is up. Sitting with my puppy while he sleeps, along with this wiped out feeling, is totally taking me back to taking care of my mom the week before she died. I was up all the time, sleeping in strange places, showering when I had a second, snarfing food when I could, sitting with her all the time because I could. (I haven’t been able to do that with Roscoe all the time.) This zombie-like functional state is so familiar in my bones from that time with my Mother that it’s giving me flashbacks to a most tenderly painful episode in my life – her death. I never thought I would feel that way again. I couldn’t have told you exactly what it felt like until now, when I’m experiencing it again. And now it is flooding back in a strange, disjointed, poignant way.

I will deal with my own feelings, and it will be fine. I will be fine, just like Roscoe will be fine.

But it is strange to wander in this strange land again.

Roscoe in my lap

Even though the sky is overexposed, it fits with the wolf. This was taken at the Howlers Inn outside Bozeman, Montana. It’s a fantastic wolf sanctuary/bed-and-breakfast. Kelsea’s and my room overlooked the wolves, right above their watering tank. We could hear them drinking and singing all night (that sounds more like a bar, doesn’t it?)

Bozeman, Montana.

Quote of the day: “Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”  —  Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Daily gratitudes:
The plethora of bunnies living in alley behind the Bungalow
How the house spirits are returning things just now
MKL’s Reiki skills
Champ snoozing on the couch
Tiffany stained glass

Roscoe update: MKL and I spent a couple of hours at the vet with Roscoe. MKL did some Reiki work to put good energy in, and I did some shamanic work to draw bad energy out. He’s more alert, but still not eating. I brought some of his food in his bowl from home, and he would sniff it, but wouldn’t touch it, and spit out whatever I tried to force in. The vet took more x-rays to confirm that there was no puncture of the abdominal wall, and it appears there isn’t, but his white blood cell count is back up, as are his kidney counts. The vet is still confident that he’ll recover, but it’s going to be a long haul.  I will go back tomorrow with my computer so I can hang out with him and work for a few hours.

February 2012
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