Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

I subscribe to an email from a website called Big Green Purse.
It focuses on environmental issues
and what we can do with our purchasing power
to positively impact the environment.
I almost always learn something that I can use immediately.

One of their emails arrived Monday
with a list of things not to do, and a list of things to do,
to celebrate Earth Day.

It made me think: what will I do on Earth Day this year?

So here's what I did:

Took the recycling out to the curb for the weekly pick-up
(I'm grateful that our village makes it so easy to recycle)

Took the kitchen scraps out to the compost pile
(not a well managed pile, but it works for me)

Picked flowers from the garden for a centerpiece
for the birthday dinner

Hung the laundry on the line to dry
(started this last April and
have not used the gas dryer more than a handful of times since)

Planted onions
(there are almost a HUNDRED in this bunch!
I was told there would be about 25. But I'm OK with that.)

Made dinner
(roasted turkey breast and fresh vegetables
in a rosemary cream sauce,
fresh asparagus with chives from the garden
(the chives, not the asparagus)
grilled whole wheat crostini, and fresh strawberries for dessert)

Washed the dishes with earth-friendly dishwasher detergent
and dishwashing liquid. No phosphates.

Thanked God for our beautiful earth
and for the chance to make a difference

What's next? I'm thinking of installing a rain barrel.

Oh Happy Day

With her older brother

Today is my mom's birthday.

About age 14, with her mother

I won the womb lottery when I was born to my parents.

Mom and Dad's wedding day

My mother is loving, tolerant, funny, caring,
and tireless in her support of her family.
Nothing is ever too much trouble.

I am so very thankful.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No Monopoly on Birthdays

It's that time of year again.

And to celebrate the day: going to work, then to take G to aquatherapy (we both go into the pool, which is a cozy 92F), back to work, then to church for choir rehearsal prior to the Maundy Thursday service.

My parents were here on Sunday for dinner, and my mom brought me this picture. My two sisters and I are playing Monopoly at a card table in the living room. I was 10, and the picture was taken in April. (Kodak wasn't more specific than that in the old days. Now we know not just the month and year, but the day, minute, and second.)

My older sister and I seem intent on the game.
My younger sister, who would have been almost 4,
is more absorbed by the photographer.
Her concentration has improved since then.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Scillas in snow

Despite the last few days being sunny,
the snow of Sunday night has lingered in places
where the sun hasn't touched it.

This morning's early sun highlighted
the contrast of the bright blue of the scilla
against the newly green grass
and the white snow at the base of a tree.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Long Winter

This morning about 7, after another snowfall last night.

It has been a long winter.

G had a number of problems which began last October and which have left him a little weaker and more unsteady physically, as well as with some further impairment in cognition.

In February he finally started to come out of it, though he has not come back to where he was in September.

That is not unusual for dementia. It's progressive, and sometimes after a downward step, there is a recovery, but rarely to prior levels. While I know this, it is still difficult to live through and manage.

His diagnosis was 5 years ago. Since then, with each step down, it has taken me a bit to adjust and cope. But it was always a matter of days, not months, that I needed to come to grips, emotionally and practically, with the new level of physical or cognitive abilities. This time, though, it took me several months, and I'm still not as well adjusted to this level as I would like to be. Which means I have a shorter temper with G. Not helpful to either one of us, but there it is. Even my various support groups haven't lifted me as much as I've needed (not their fault).

With the days getting longer and some of the pain issues he had finally gone, he is in better spirits, which makes life better for both of us. I am wondering how much the shorter days of winter negatively affect him and will talk to his doctor next time about light therapy, so we will be ready next fall with something to try.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Shower

You know:
the kind where you get together with family and friends
to celebrate an upcoming wedding.

My nephew Jim is getting married in May,
and there was a shower yesterday for his fiancee Elizabeth.

Elizabeth has gotten the flower arranging bug,
so I put together a flower arranging "kit" for her shower gift:

My absolute favorite book, that includes
an excellent listing of flowers
(with common names and Latin names)
that are good for cutting and how to condition them.
Sadly it is out of print and has been for some time,
but I was able to find a gently used copy online.

I also included a variety of containers for her flowers,
a box of glass marbles for floral stability,
and a gift certificate to a shop near their soon-to-be new place
where she can buy cut flowers.

The shower was really wonderful -
the table beautifully decorated, the food delicious and creative
(and I forgot to get my camera out until after lunch was over),
and a convivial group of women to help celebrate the event.

My beautiful and wonderful mom.

We are all excited about the wedding.
Elizabeth is a wonderful young woman,
and we are so lucky to have her joining our family.

Elizabeth with her little sister Katherine
whose assignment was to put together the ribbon bouquet
from all the packages.

Friday, April 3, 2009


The twirling around in circles is a newish behavior.

Not sure what it means.
Maybe Quincy just thinks better when he's whirling.

Whatever the reason, G and I find it very entertaining.

(And it's all about us, isn't it?)

(The fence is newish, too, as Quincy can't see very well. Starting last fall he would sometimes trot into the neighbor's yard thinking he was on his way to our back door. It happened a couple of times after dark last November, so I was just ready to have our handyman put up some floodlights in the back, when Quincy wandered away in broad daylight. I caught him on the other side of the neighbor's house, just about to hit the sidewalk. And to where from there? He would never have found his way back to our house. At that moment, the prospect of having to go outside with him in the dark and the snow to prevent him wandering away didn't really appeal to me, so I found some inexpensive and easy to install (push into the ground) fencing and installed it before the ground froze. I created a smaller footprint for him to use so that I can keep him in view and he can't disappear behind the garage as he used to be able to do. I added the white netting (festive, don't you think?) to make the fence more visible to Quincy, but he can't really see that, either, so sometimes he just bumps into the fence. He doesn't seem to have sustained any injuries. Or, could the twirling and whirling be because he's knocked himself silly? Ack.)