Posts

Preparation

Image
One week from tomorrow I am scheduled to have a total knee replacement.  So, I have been busy in the garden this past week in preparation for being laid up for a bit.   I am hoping to be able to sit on the porch quite a bit while recovering and enjoying watching the garden grow !    Each morning that I have been outside, digging in the dirt, planting a new flower bed under the kitchen windows by the St Swithun climbing rose bushes, tending to the grape vines, feeding the multitude of rose bushes, planting some vegetable seeds in the raised beds, or thinning out the iris and day lilies, I have felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for having the blessings on land with which to garden.   The wisteria filled the morning and evening air with its delightful sweet scent as I watered the roses and the birds sang to me as I sat on the side of the raised beds.  Its the perfect place to pray, to think and to get some exercise.   
I am excited about my upcoming surgery, as I know its step numbe…

Love With Action And Truth

Image
1 John 3:18Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.For nearly a year now, we have been caring for my 95 year old father that came to live near us.  For a few months, he lived with us but we could tell he wanted a bit more independence. So we were blessed with being able to get him into Assisted Living just down the road from us, less than a mile away.   This has been a learning experience for us.  Learning what sort of things we need to have in order by the time we reach the years where we are not able to do things for ourselves.  We are learning a new level of patience and acceptance for the things that will never change.  Its a blessing in many ways but it is hard in many many ways.  We have days filled with Dr visits, medication lists, hard choices and a lot of running errands.  I am learning so much about my husband through all this.   He is a saint of a man.  His patience with my dad is never ending.  He has a willingness to help my dad a…

Winter Morning

Image
Nature is sleeping, it is winter. The vibrant colors have faded, replaced by subtle shades of fade. Beauty can still be found all around, in shapes, and in the puffed up feathers of the birds, chasing off the morning chill. The sun, dulled by a sky filled with ice crystals, has an ethereal beauty that stirs the soul. The bare branches, showing their form and shape, delicate like the veins in the hand of an well used hand. How blessed we are to have eyes to see and words to express the beauty around us. Life is amazingly wonderful !

The Christmas Season

Image
I was putting away some of my Christmas decorations and feeling a bit sad, since I love the Christmas season so much. All the vibrant colors, the scents and the joyfulness that goes along with the holidays. I sat down for my breakfast, using my favorite, Twas the Night Before Christmas dishes and smiling at how the decorations, casually sitting on the table near me, waiting to be put away in a box for another year, matched my breakfast dishes so nicely. It was nice to take a quiet little break and just enjoy the last of the Christmas season.
Its been a very busy month for me, both my daughter and father were in the hospital at the same time, on the same floor of the hospital.  There have been many issues to deal with regarding my Dads failing health that have kept me a bit stressed and very busy seeking the resources he needs in order to stay in his apartment as is his wish.   
Christmas eve, there were four generations at my table, ages 2-95.  I felt so blessed, so full of this love th…

The True Beauty of The Season

Image
The Christmas season is one of my all time favorite times of the year.   I love the colors, the scents, the tastes, the laughter, the elements of anticipation and surprise.  I find joy in the happiness of this holiday.   But, the most important aspect for me is the true beauty of the season, the love.  The love that was born so long ago, that we celebrate during this season.  The transforming love that came from one life, one tiny baby, born in a stable.  Humility personified.  An example of how to live our lives with compassion, non-judgment, and empathy.  We celebrate all the good things in life at this time and many of us, seek to find deeper meaning in the way we live our lives at this time of the year.  Seeking to be more like Christ.  To look past the shopping madness and look inward and in turn, manifest goodness to those we love, to those less fortunate and for those with deep aches in their hearts. 
This is what the holiday season is about, the true meaning.

Mei-Ling

Image
I am not sure how it is that time has past so quickly that it has been months since I have posted.  We were sure that once we retired, we would have more time than we needed, but instead, it seems like we still need more hours each day to do all the things we want to.The 3rd of November, Mei-Ling had a planned surgery to revise a previous surgery.  Everything seemed to go just fine, until it was discovered she had a pretty serious infection.  Emergency surgery was done last week and the next morning another surgery to do some additional repairs that were needed.   I think that was surgery #35 or somewhere around that number.  She is on isolation due to the infection and having an open wound.    It looks as if she will be hospitalized for many more days and she is beyond discouraged.  She hates missing school and no one likes being stuck in bed in a hospital room for this amount of time.  She cannot get out of bed, or leave her room.   My heart bleeds for her.  Today she had a little m…

Food For The Long Haul

Image
A backpacking trip that lasts for weeks, requires lots of careful planning.  There are several lists posted on my refrigerator and one corner of the living room is piled high with what we will pack in the car as our resupply station.    I have been having so much fun making our meals for this trip.  All our meals will be of the "just add water" variety.  Little bags with complete meals fill our food storage container.   Freeze dried vegetables and fruits have made the preparation quite easy.  Instant rice, couscous, powdered eggs, dehydrated soy meat substitutes and milk have made it so these little meals are balanced and good tasting.
My dining room table resembled a little factory last week.    We saved a lot of money by making our own meals and not buying the already prepared backpacking meals.  Plus, I know first hand all that is in the meals and can easily adjust the seasonings to our personal preferences.

A New Adventure

Image
It was at this same time last year, that we were preparing for our camping adventure in Colorado and New Mexico.  This year we are upping it a notch and adding in lots more backpacking trips, as we have next years trip in mind already.   This year we plan on heading to the Rocky Mountains and get some serious backpacking trips under our belts.   This is nothing new to us, hiking and backpacking have been a part of my life since I was 10 years old and as soon as we got married, nearly 38 years ago, I introduced it to Emery and he loved it from the start.  
Life is about living out your dreams and even more so when you are retired and have the time to do the things you love.  Such is the case for us.  We have the time to do what we love.  I recently read a quote about backpacking that made me laugh, simply due to the truth of it. It went something like this. . ." backpacking is where you spend a fortune to live like a homeless person."     This year our hikes require more equip…