My Favorite Old Movie

“The Hills Are Alive..”

The Sound of Music is my favorite old movie, I think it came out in the early sixties. Though I have to admit I feel terribly old to think that this would be considered an “oldie but goodie.” Wasn’t it just yesterday that I watched this in the movie theater with my dad holding my hand and handing me buttery popcorn?

The Sound of Music to me is a feel-good movie. There are elements of love, friendship, betrayal, romance, war and fighting for the right to be free. When I feel down I watch this movie and I have to admit, it makes me feel better. I  know every word verbatim. As for the songs? I could give a concert! My dream? To go to a Sing-Along-Sound-of-Music showing; I would be so happy just to be able to sing every song out loud.

The Sound of Music

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Winter Sports

Tropical Menagerie
Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream
Skier carving a turn off piste

Don’t Call Me “Snowbaby”

I like winter sports when OTHER people are doing them; I hate to be cold and wet. My favorite destination is the ski lodge where I can sit beside a burning, magical fire and talk to the flames that warm my face. My favorite beverage is hot chocolate with whipped cream so I can wrap my hands around the cup like a hug and sip the sweetness very slowly. When I imagine a get-away it is never to someplace cold and snowy; it is a tropical island where the clear aquamarine water and tiny striped fish nibble at my pink, polished toes.

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Haiku Heights – Light

Infrared sun with tree silhouette
crocus

Image by TBoard via Flickr

. Love .

Deeply dark inside

Slowly stretching to the sun

My arms help me up

***********************************************************************************************************************

Gratitude from love

The lightness of being kind

Let it shine on us

Thanksgiving Leftovers

NO LEFTOVERS…..

turkey sandwich (with notes) from Thanksgiving leftovers

NO leftovers this year, no turkey at my house, no house. I’m sad, sulking and starving. It’s been the first time in a long time that Thanksgiving was not held at our home, we went to my sister’s house and it was lovely. However, I have been dreaming and drooling about leftover turkey since last night and I have none. If I had been able to live at home and host Thanksgiving I would have plenty of leftovers. I would have tiptoed downstairs late last night, opened the refrigerator and displayed the leftovers on the table like a wedding dessert buffet. I would take pieces of white and dark meat turkey, haul out a large jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise ( I am very brand loyal) and some Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce (again, brand loyal) and happily eat. I would pick things up with my fingers, I would have a bite of stuffing, maybe two. I would then go back upstairs and the next day, I would pile all the ingredients into one delectable sandwich and start all over again.

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On Silence

Happy
LISTEN
Holding Hands

Since I am comfortable with myself, silence does not make me uncomfortable at all. Years ago, when I was young, I am sure that I felt awkward at times with silence. Silence and strangers.

Now, it is a strength to be comfortable, alone or with another person in silence. It’s an act of faith, one that takes years to build; I am extremely comfortable with my husband or best friend beside me, together, alone.

Trust yourself and the other person both in silence and in speech. Know that the person beside you, the one that you have loved for many years is your soul-mate, your very best friend. It shouldn’t and doesn’t come quickly, it takes some time to understand each other, and even then, there is always the tiny unknown.

Start with a glimmer and a smile, many years later, you know each others thoughts, words, smiles and nuances. I can hear my own thoughts in silence, I can use words as photographs in my mind. More importantly, I listen to how I feel.

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Happy Thanksgiving – On Gratitude

fall

It’s Thanksgiving and being with family and friends is a huge part of what I am grateful for; not to mention my sweet dog curled up, on our bed. It’s seeing my son’s first smile as he enters the room, home from college. It’s my husband giving me a cup of coffee and a kiss on the cheek. It’s watching my daughter sing to our dog and wrap her arms around the dog’s fur. It’s the little things. Those snapshot moments that will stay in my mind forever as a present for my future.

It’s been a rough year but I’m trying to put that in the past. We’re still house-less but when our family is together, we’re still at home. I know I need to focus on my own attitude; to count my blessings daily, instead of my losses. When you lose a family member, it’s harder to do this. It’s been ten years and I still think  “I wish my dad was here, I miss him.” I know my dad would not have wanted us to mourn every holiday but still his memory is deeply ensconced in my soul. I would love to see him heaping his plate with mashed potatoes (known as mashlers in our family) and constantly refilling his plate. That’s all gone, but I have the memories and I am grateful for all the Thanksgivings and Holidays we did have with him; I need to appreciate that.

When I am at my family’s house today, with my two teenagers, my husband, my niece and nephew, brother-in-law, mother and treasured older sister, I will be happy. Today I want to collect new memories to add to my collection of past memories. Things will never be the same, without my dad, and I have to accept this different reality. It just isn’t easy.

What I have to focus on is that the rest of the family and there is a great deal of love, together in one room.  I know I have to look forward and not back,  each and every day. I will try to concentrate on the next generation, my two kids and my niece and nephew, four really great young men and women, who love each other deeply. I am grateful they have each other.

I am grateful for all my family, my friends, both old friends, new friends and cyberspace friends, my dog and the gracious blessings that we have in our lives. To ALL THE READERS OF HIBERNATIONNOW, I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU!!!

Be kind, be grateful and love one another.

My Definition of Wealth

Automatic Pool Cover.

Image via Wikipedia

Fantasy Wealth vs Reality Wealth

Wealth, to me, is just a fantasy. It is an incredible amount of money that you win and don’t earn. A game I play if I drop a dollar or two on the lottery. In my mind I see big houses overlooking the water in different places, being able to redecorate without first looking at the price tag. Designing a swimming pool so that at night when I went to bed I could picture its beauty and smile into my fancy pillow. It’s not ever having to think about money for anything. Travel? No problem, I would have a private jet. Drive my car when I am scared to drive at night? I would have a driver. Lovely, original art on the walls, gifts to nice

Handkerchief

people who I don’t even know; giving to family and friends is of course, a given.

I realize it’s a fantasy, I know I’m never going to have the money to buy such things, ever, but for a dollar per dream, it’s worth it to escape reality. Wealth, in my fantasy, is never having to worry about money ever again. Wealth in my reality is everything I have, a loving family, some great old friends, my gorgeous nine-year old shelter dog and an old handkerchief that belonged to my father when he was alive, soft, thread bare but always with me in my pocket.

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My Dad, The Little Yellow Butterfly

Clouded Yellow butterfly (Calias crocea)

it was an absolutely brilliant day, the thirteenth day of November

the sun was shining high in the sky,

covering my shoulders and arms with warmth that felt like a cashmere shawl next to newly showered skin.

I miss you dad, especially on your birthday

sometimes I forget that you died ten years ago

and I don’t know how I can go on without you

but then you show yourself to me, when I need it most.

‘see me there on the tree branch’  you whisper like a passing cloud, a subtle breeze

i am this small yellow butterfly: i can finally fly, i am happy in my spirit, and no longer in my poor, old, aching body

that made me feel so sad and powerless.

believe me honey, i would not lie

my spirit never left you and it never will for I will always love you.

see? i’m down here now, i didn’t leave you,

you just turned away.

PFAM: You Call Them: CURVEBALLS?

Weeping Willow

To me, a new symptom is a curveball, it’s a nice term for something that feels so bad. I feel them as gut-wrenching hits to my stomach that makes pain reverberate everywhere. Shocks, starting one place in my body, going through my body.

Here is how it all began: my body fell apart in my late forties and crashed at age fifty with menopause. It wasn’t a horror story or a deep, high-pitched scream of severe decline. I had a few anxiety attacks here and there, a little more intense than PMS and hot flashes more frequent than before but not much drama, no sweaty sheets, no wringing tee-shirts.

In an annual check-up I got the eagerly anticipated diagnosis of an under-active thyroid. Didn’t this mean I could eat what I wanted and the extra pounds would melt away? I thought so, but unfortunately not. I was prescribed Synthroid. I took it for weeks and weeks with no change. I was sleeping all day and everything hurt: my teeth, muscles, joints and nails. But, as I was told, thyroid symptoms need time to adjust and so I was a good patient and waited for it to go away. It didn’t.

Three months later I still had aches and pains all over; I described it as having the flu without the temperature. I was back in my Internist‘s office weeping on the table, unable to swing my legs to a seated position; telling her I felt horrible. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t walk, all I did was sleep and ache, non-stop. My Internist looked straight through me,  as if there weren’t tears dripping through my swollen green eyes. She turned away, clicked on her fashionable high heels and left the room saying under her breath yet still audible” I can’t do anything more for you.” My friend and I call her The Ice Princess.

She sent me to see a Rheumatologist in her big medical group ( factory). This doctor told me I had scoliosis (the one thing I do not have) and that I had an auto-immune disease which would lead me wide open to catch all other auto-immune diseases so I went home and googled it. I did indeed have an auto-immune disease of the thyroid called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: the solution?  Synthroid. I was on it already so why was I still so tired, and in pain every waking moment. I couldn’t sleep deeply either anymore. Nothing made sense to me, all the doctors said completely different things and no one, no one, acknowledged my pain.

I then went to three other Rheumatologists before finally one of them came up with a disease called Fibromyalgia. “I believe you have been misdiagnosed” the second Rheumatologist said.  A chill of joy went up my supposedly not-s0-straight-spine. A new diagnosis? A new cure? YES!!! I will be cured. Thank you! I was deliriously happy for a few moments until she then told me there was no cure. Curveball? How about complete devastation?  And so, it started again, new drugs, all different kinds, some helped a little, some almost killed me, some were radical and only used to save organs when a transplant was required  others were benign but NOT helpful at all. One kept me in a bathroom for two straight months unable to leave my house.

With the firm diagnosis of Fibromyalgia I knew I was in a whole, new world of chronic pain and no cure. New symptoms would appear from time to time and I would consider those the worst curveballs of all. I would groan when my legs starting hurting so badly I cried out in pain; some were illnesses that were old yet I had never associated them together, others were new and I would groan and moan at yet another symptom of some elusive yet particularly painful, widespread disease. I had always had a small bladder so I never thought about the fact that I had to pee often until the diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis was given to me, hair loss, body aches, muscle aches and those pesky stomach aches I used to get time after time? The ones that made me get all cramped and bloated and then doubled over with intense pain?  IBS, also listed under  symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Each individual symptom that I thought lived alone, now lived within a deeper, bigger context.

As strange as it may seem, having a chronic illness composed of all these connected parts made me feel better mentally if not physically. I thought I was an outcast  but now, the diagnosis of all these links put together and given a name made me feel more credible. When I get a new pain, a curveball, if you will, first, I fight. Then, sometimes I cry. After that I do some research and realize yes, this is part of that huge family called Fibromyalgia. Then I understand and accept. Fighting back at the curveballs, the new symptoms, in the long run, doesn’t help. Trust me, I know.

Think of us as strong weeping willow trees that lean and sway with the strength of the wind. We don’t break from the force, we learn, as hard as it is, to lean in and go on.