Daisy

One of my oldest, dearest friends is staying home this Thanksgiving with her dog, Daisy. I feel for her because Daisy is close to dying. Barbara, one of the most tender people I know, if you can get inside her layers of bravado, will not leave her side. She will sit with Daisy and eat turkey together and will not leave her house for one minute, she knows this is Daisy’s last Thanksgiving.

Ba and I have grown up together and I don’t say this lightly. We have been friends for over 30 years. We may not see each other for 5 or 10 years at a time but our connection is unbreakable.

Barbara has cooked a turkey for Daisy because Daisy still has her appetite and I know that my dear friend will be eating with her. The dog can’t walk easily so Ba helps her on to the bed, where she sleeps, on and off. Barbara hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks and from how she sounded I can see the dark circles under her eyes. The ones I used to see when she allowed herself to be sad in front of me, crying, when she was vulnerable and unafraid to be who she was.

Part of me wishes I could be there, for her, part of me is grateful that I have my own family to be with, I was never good at endings. I can barely say good-bye. All of my old feelings of our first dog, Callie dying unexpectedly are coming up.  I can’t write this without being misty-eyed and I am controlling myself. A lot.

I am sending my love to Daisy and to my friend Barbara because I know how hard this is, most animal lovers can certainly relate. I know that Daisy does not have much time left in this world, and in fact, when I found out that Daisy died, about a week later, I knew it in my heart, I felt it deeply. I even told my husband the very same day that Daisy had passed.Dog lovers, animal lovers, there is a bond like no other. Daisy was Barbara’s fur baby.

You cannot know love until it is taken away from you. That is when the grief process begins. The house, Barbara lives in now, is just way too silent.

In memory of Daisy, dedicated to Barbara with love.

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My Dog Lexi And Me

Vanilla custard with raspberries, blueberries and slices of thinly cut kiwi fruit, a small chunk of fresh pineapple, flaky almond crust. Small bites spread over an hour with a blue glass of icy cold milk. A dessert fork, lights dim not glaring. A peaceful Sunday night dessert.

Fresh fruit tart with kiwi, raspberries, and b...

Monday is cold and biting, raining, sleet. No place to go, to rush out the door. My dog is downstairs curled up on the couch, she looks like a sleeping fox. She, apparently, has no energy today either, I try to take her out but she looks at me with disdain.


She will not go. We look at each other wisely, we agree we should all move together to a warmer climate. “Florida?” I ask her. “California she murmurs, less humidity.” I agree immediately.”Someday” we agree.

We sit on the coach as we do every morning. Her body and paws on my lap, my arm around her head softly scratching behind her rusty colored ears, in her favorite place. We talk together.  She tells me if we move she is scared to swim in the ocean, I tell her I totally understand. We will start very slowly until she feels comfortable or if not she can play in the sand. I wouldn’t force her to do anything, I’m not that kind of mom.

I never forced my children to do anything they didn’t want to do either, I just insisted on them having good manners and being respectful. They both are. I am so proud of your siblings, I whisper to the dog,and I am so proud of you.”  I let her in on a secret: “they will be home very soon to visit you.” The dog looks up at me, her eyes brighten with interest. She knows when her brother comes home he will rough house with her, she knows when her sister comes home she will get extra hugs and kisses, mostly in private.

Everybody says we should not feed the dog at the table

but we all do except for dad, he is the strictest of the family. I just need a soft, warm, mushy look and my hand is out. Sister sometimes slips too and gives in not to mention grandma who gives pieces of food all the time, even to the dog’s cousin where it is really NOT allowed. “But it makes him so happy” she says, calling the dogs boys when they are both girls. It’s a language thing.It makes us all laugh.

It is finally time to get out of bed and take a hot shower, whether I want to or not. It is so cold in the house, I am shivering. Nothing motivates me except the amount of days I haven’t showered. I have accepted/relented to Winter because I have no choice. I will stay in as much as possible, that is my coping mechanism. I can’t fight it, I may as well hide from it. I’ve given in.

Time does not stand still, not at all. It breezes past, its bitterness a step away from me. I like it that way. If I don’t have to go out, I won’t. If I can’t live in a warm temperature, I will make the temperature warm in my house. I will only go out when I need to go out. Tomorrow, I need an EKG, just a three-month check-up, no biggie. I will go and I will come back, happy to be home.  I will make a cup of tea with a spoon of honey

and I will appreciate that even more than usual. After that, I will sit once more, with my dog, lying on the bed and we will close our eyes, together. Nap time.

 

It’s Really Okay

Nothing could console me the other day. I was heart-broken about life in general and dear family friends whose demise was absolutely shattering. There didn’t seem to be much happiness in our lives (with the exception of our kids) and not one blessed thing could cheer me up.

I initially thought I should try to shake myself out of this mood but the world was an evil place, life was not fair. I thought things were supposed to work out in the end, I had believed that all my life, not anymore. Things don’t work out many times and even though I may root for the underdog, they don’t always win. There was is way too much random sadness, unhappiness and sickness, things, often, don’t work out.

First, I tried to justify things, to try to explain them to myself. That didn’t work, there were no answers.  There was also no need for me to try to cheer myself up. So, I stopped.

I realized it was perfectly okay not to try to make myself feel better. It is really okay to feel bad.  What’s wrong in feeling crummy once in a while? I never got dressed, I wore my long black V neck T-shirt that falls to my knees and didn’t even take a shower. I stayed in bed not that I felt particularly sick or winded, I just felt blah. No one ever said  life was perfect so I decided to have a mental health day and be alone with my crankiness and cuddle with my sweet dog, Lexi.

Lexi didn’t care if I was in bad mood, she still jumped up on the bed right next to me.  She always keeps me company. I can count on her to be there for me, that’s the wonderful thing about dogs. Unconditional love. She doesn’t have to give me pep talks or call me on the phone like a friend would have to do, she knew I needed her and she put her head on my stomach, even our breathing was in sync.

I’ve noticed lately that my friends don’t even call anymore. They text. I find this horrifying. When did my generation start doing this? I make my kids call so I can hear their voices but my friends now text? Insulting.  They can’t be bothered, either? What’s next? I’m sure I won’t like it.

It’s a very hard world out there and I used to be such an optimistic person but I’m not anymore. Life, as we know it now, has changed me. Part of me feels like bursting into tears this very second and the other part won’t let myself. I’m not sure if I could stop if I let myself cry….. I keep trying to hold it in and hope it goes away. I know that won’t last. Life is tough, really tough and the older I get, the more difficult it becomes.

I have no more expectations that things will get better. Why should they? They haven’t been good for a really long time and yet still I try to be grateful for the good things I do have.

It doesn’t change the world but I don’t want to become a bitter, cold person. I know it won’t change my circumstances or any one else’s but it keeps me focused on the good not the evil, most of the time, it’s hard work.

When I was young, my mother used to sing this song:

She never did promise me a rose garden, but I always thought there was one anyway.

Haiku Horizons, Comfort

ballroom-style bluesLove, Two Ways

Comfort in his arms

soft kisses nuzzling my neck

Our backs arch to dance.

 

 

 

 

 

Becky and Rob

Thunder booms, fierce wind

Don’t be scared, my son, my love.

I will comfort you.

 

 

 

Indian Dinner, My Favorite American Snacks

 

Chamuças de Goa. Chamuças (samosas) from Goa.Last night, hubby and I, after treating ourselves to see the adorable movie, Chef, went out to a lovely Indian restaurant a few towns away from where we live.  It was a treat and we ordered Samosas (I always get these mixed up with Samoas, Girl Scout Cookies that my kids love.)  We ordered the Samosas three

different ways. One was potato with peas and lentils, one was spinach and the other was filled with lamb and spices. They were delicious and filling and frankly my stomach could have stopped there but what’s the fun in that?

We then ordered Shrimp Saag, shrimp in a bed of spinach ( I thought there was a little cream in there, my husband said absolutely not) and an amazing sweet dish of chicken in a yellow cream sauce made of honey, cashews and apples. The consistency was smooth so all the ingredients except for the chicken were blended, creamy and rich. We also ordered one portion of Nan which resembles pita bread if you ironed it to barely nothing. After all, what good is all that creamy, sweet sauce without the proper bread to dunk it in?

I drank a sweet Lassi ( a yogurt drink made with ice, rosewater, sweet syrup and blended) see the easy recipe below, and my husband had some alcoholic drink with figs, rum, bourbon and too many other ingredients. I took a sip hoping I would like the taste. I made my usual disgusted face that my family is so fond of seeing, gasped and reached for my water-glass to clear my palate of that nasty alcohol taste. Next time:I’m ordering a double lassi, on the rocks.

English: Fat-free lassi from Mumbai

We ate like four-year old children, having dinner at 5 o’ clock, (okay it was really 4:50pm) but that has never bothered us before so by the time we came home it was only 6:15 a time when most families are preparing dinner. Nope, not us. When we came

 *Easy Sweet Lassi

Ingredients:Servings:2-3Units: US | Metric
1 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ice-cube
3 -5 teaspoons sugar
1 pinch salt
Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Read more: food.com/easy recipe

home we had dessert (I deeply regretted not ordering the yogurt balls in honey…) so I had the gigantic molasses cookie I had purchased at the small grocery story in town. It was enough for  three people but I finished it with ease. Had too much sugar and no spice ( I expected ginger) but I’m not that fussy so I ate the entire thing.

Around 9 pm my husband and I roamed around the kitchen because at that point we were ready for a snack, I just needed SOMETHING.  I headed to one of my all-time favorite snack combinations and one of my dog Lexi’s favorite snacks too. A small packet of square pretzels, two slices of Kraft Individually Wrapped American cheese and a box of chocolate Yoo-Hoo to drink.

Now that, was a perfect snack. It is always the perfect snack for me and for my dog. I only gave her one pretzel and bite of cheese but she knows the sound of the pretzel bag and comes running when she first hears the bag rustle.

Yoo-hoo Chocolate DrinkBasically, you can take me out to a fancy dinner anywhere but when I come home, I retreat to the food I really love. My snack: pretzels, Kraft American cheese slices and Yoo-Hoo, my childhood drink of choice.  I went to bed, happy.

 

Dedicated to PK Sr.

#FWF Kellie Elmore

Petrichor: The smell after it rains.

 

After it rains

 

Lavender

 

the scent of sweet lavender lingers in the air

 

droplets of water, morning dew, glisten on tall, oblong leaves.

 

Wild flowers, purple, pink, yellow, blue sway together like fans in a concert

 

dancing in the wind

 

stretching to feel the warmth of the velvet sun.

 

Fresh, green mint plants,

 

tickle our noses,

 

we inhale the menthol, clear our senses, to feel alive.

sunset

sunset (Photo credit: lil miss priss)

Mix mint with lime and muddled basil and sweet cane sugar, seltzer

 

to celebrate the glorious day with mojitos.

 

We sit on the freshly painted, white outside deck, of our house

 

waiting for the sun to set

 

With our best friends, our beloved dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Pleasures

Three rubber ducks in foam bath

Three rubber ducks in foam bath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, I will take a long, hot vanilla-sugar bubble bath and soak until my fingers look like large raisins. Afterwards, I will put body lotion on so my skin feels silky soft, maybe I’ll clip my toenails and paint them pink without rushing. I will do everything today at my pace.

I will drive to the diner in the next town to order the best tuna sandwich on multi-grain bread to-go. I have exceedingly high standards for tuna fish sandwiches and this is the only place that I will eat it in.

I will clean the clutter in my room just enough that I feel I have accomplished something, I am no neat freak but mountains of clean laundry (3 baskets) makes me feel uneasy. I will sort them and put them away. I hope. The worst case scenario is that I hide them, once again, which is a guilty compromise.

Maybe I will take myself to a movie, in the early afternoon. There just so happens to be a bakery on the same street that sells only cupcakes, yes, just cupcakes. I will stop in to buy a vanilla, pumpkin spice or banana cupcake with vanilla icing. The key is the vanilla icing.

I can’t decide which book to read next, there are two hardback books grinning in front of me. “Pick me” says one, “pick me” says the other and yet I have opened up both books, read a few pages of each and have stopped. Tomorrow, I will read the first fifty pages of both books and then decide. The rule, when I was growing up was to read twenty pages, but now, that I am older, I have changed the rules to fifty pages. How can you judge a book by a mere twenty pages?

When I am cold, in the afternoon, I will make myself a cup of hot chocolate and not the instant mix packages that are hidden in the pantry. Real hot chocolate made lovingly with milk that I stir slowly, and add melted chocolate or chocolate syrup, I am not that fussy. I will put many marshmallows on top. I will drink it out of my big, bright, yellow mug that my best friend gave me for my birthday, she knows that yellow is my favorite color.

Maybe I will take a nap, or meet my mother for lunch and if I can’t sleep I will cuddle with my dog on my bed, her body closely aligned to mine so we both feel safe and warm. Tomorrow will me “my” day and I will go to my local shops and browse. If I see something I love and can afford I will buy it as a gift for myself. Who says gifts have to come from other people? Who knows me best? Yes, I do.

More importantly I have a secret plan to do a good deed or as many as I possibly can, I will do some anonymous acts of kindness knowing in my heart that is the biggest gift of all.

Free Write Friday: Kellie Elmore

Tell me about a beautiful person you know…

quotes-about-strength

She is  a wisp of a woman, small, slender, I would like to be able to cover her with layers of warm blankets, one at a time, like a really special birthday cake. In her case, the rich, cocoa brown chocolate frosting, the color of very fertile soil, that will grow anything with abandon… especially ash trees… that sink their roots deep into Mother Earth to pull up strength and nourishment from below, and raise their branches high to the sky to soak in Light of the sun, moon, and stars… the sweet frosting would gently hug her and rock her to sleep. In my dream, she would be able to eat everything she wants to eat and she would be able to gain some much-needed weight. Right now she needs to gain a lot of weight, weight falls off her tiny bird bones and she is weak. She would sleep soundly all curled up in a sugar rose, like one of those wonderful Anne Gedddes photographs that I used to have hanging on my wall on a calendar. Newborn babies in sculptures. Asleep. Blissfully asleep. My friend has been physically sick for a long time, just like many of us with chronic pain disorders and the like.

I’m talking to you about my friend, Ash, a woman who to me is the essence of angels.  She is warm and open and shy all at the same time. She tries to be strong for other people but once in a great while she will show me her vulnerability. I can read her because, though not biologically, she is my sister. She is a spiritual sister to a few people and none of us are jealous of each other because in this spiritual plain, jealously doesn’t exist. Our other sister is Michelle, at one point we became a family of our own and I have yet to meet either one but that doesn’t seem urgent or even necessary. Ash seems to be the oldest of the sisters, though chronologically, I am. Her wisdom flows, teaches, keeps us grounded.

My friend has been through difficult times, I worry about her health, her adrenal glands, very weak body, the way her energy sounds over the phone she sounds wound-up and anxious and yes, scared. To me she is usually Mother Earth, Goddess of All Things Natural, all things Golden, an Angel on Earth but tonight I was strong for her; she needed ME tonight. No one is safe from a disturbing past, although I used to think that everyone had a clear, easy, simple path to adulthood. I was wrong. If you look behind the curtains you find out that every person has their own story. Sometimes they want their story to be a secret, sometimes they pretend not to understand the question. Every child has a story as do their parents.

Ash, had a rough childhood, she has Aspbergers which I never would have known had she not told me and a hard time growing up. Ash is a mountain girl, one with animals, I expect she relates more with animals than with people and the animals know that. They love her as their own. She has two daughters with two very different personalities, I know one better than the other, but the one I do know is loving, caring and has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders, I have been there too.

I had too much responsibility on my shoulders too when I was young so I can relate to “the little one” with ease and admiration. And with a word of caution, “you have your own life too, sweet one, please make sure to remember that” I am only a phone call away from both of you.

My friend is now bugging me to take dairy and wheat out of my diet, I try not to laugh out loud but she knows me too well. She wears me down, the most I will give her is “I promise to try” but it is a weak promise though I won’t let her down.

I will not let her down, my sister, my friend. I hope she knows that applies to my “niece” too.

My friend is going through another difficult time now, health-wise, I will always support her, I do what I can, living far away, but this gentle soul could use a break, please join me in putting a peaceful, spirit prayer to help her through the tough days ahead.

Spiritual

* PHOTO CREDIT SONGEDELUXE Spiritual (Photo credit: songedeluxe)

photo credit: songdeluxe

Diagnosis: Anxiety

Anxiety Always

Anxiety Always (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know that feeling in your stomach that makes your muscles clench but you don’t have a real stomach ache from eating too much and you don’t have a virus? That’s where anxiety starts for me. I’m literally writing this blog while having an anxiety attack and honestly, it’s not that easy to remain focused. Part of me thinks about throwing up but I’m trying to be calm, trying to breathe until I can’t do this any longer. I know you guys understand. That’s why I love blogging, for the people who read my blog. If you can’t relate to anxiety, I’m sure you can relate to other things I write about, humor, Pop Cop, my love of Food, Chocolate, Pizza (fine, with jam but only if the pizza is too dry) some of the ailments: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and having the energy of a dying tick. Actually, an ailing tick may have more energy than I do. I forgot a few other ailments like Imbalalnce and such but it’s pathetic enough as it is, I won’t bore you with more details. I bore myself as it is.

My husband and I are (and I hate these words) “empty nesters.” We’re also in the “sandwich generation” another over popular phrase that is used ad nauseum. Basically we are a married couple, we just celebrated twenty-five years of marriage and both our adult children are in college. I have my mom who is still alive and my husband has both parents alive and they still play tennis. Amazing.

Like many people my husband just got laid off from his job a few days ago. That’s stress provoking, people. He works doing computer stuff which is what I basically call it but it’s something like Software Product Development Management. I know nothing about it but if you do or know someone who might be able to help can you please have them get in touch with me?  I’ll send it to him and it would really be an act of incredible kindness, no matter where you live. In any case, I can’t change things, I try not to worry about them and in the end, things will turn out the way they are supposed to turn out.

About a week ago I had the mother of all anxiety attacks when my son turned 21, my husband lost his job and my mother, who was a little sad because all her friends were moving, decided that maybe she should consider moving too. It was a long day and a tough weekend.  We all know I’m not very good at change especially three changes in one day but after 24 hours I was much better. Breathe in, breathe out. Maybe that meditation class was worth the money after all.

I’m trying to do the best that I can, even writing this all down has helped me become last anxious. Having my dog Lexi, literally lying on my legs so I can’t move, her face close to me, makes me happy. From a crazy, wild puppy she has become an affectionate, loving girl dog. She knows that I need to lie down a lot and when I am home, she jumps up on the bed and cuddles with me.

The anxiety has lessened. I know there will be moments of panic but from now on, we have to take it step by step. I give thanks for what we still have. I will try to keep reminding myself of that, whatever happens will happen. Worrying about it won’t do me or anyone else any good. There’s a reason for everything and now we wait.

Do over (Friday Wrap Up)

English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do over. Can I call do over? Because this entire past week, has been downright miserable. Medical tests, doctors appointments, dizziness, nausea, balance tests from hell and condescending (male) doctors. I thought it was all over and  I was safe last night but then my dog projectile vomited yellow stuff all over the white wall. I prided myself on having two kids that had never done that, now, my dog?  After having children, you know when something is up or about to be up chucked. Ugh.

I write about food and my love for food and strange combinations. How did I rescue a puppy from the shelter with the same feelings about food? Heads up to the “nurture” theory, I swear she gets so excited at mealtime that she throws up in anticipation. Leave it to us to have a dog with food issues and who is an actually dog “foodie.”

Tonight, I thought ahead, I gave her a third of a cup of dog food before dinner just to calm her down and will give her the rest of her meal later. I also soak her meal in warm water so her delicate stomach can absorb the food. If it happens again, I’ll call the vet and see if there is an anti-acid that I can give her to stop this anticipatory reaction. Oh dear, the dog is just like me “nature” I too have anticipatory anxiety at times. Win-Win!

Unfortunately, I can no longer take the dog out for walks unless I am with my husband. Lexi is so strong, all muscle that she will literally pull me down in two seconds flat. She doesn’t mean to do anything wrong but she is incredibly muscular. I, however, have no balance and it’s gotten worse. Using a pink cane is not exactly an asset while walking an elephant strength, red-haired, adorable, short-haired mutt around the block. Please, no more advice, we have every collar, leash, zapper that is known in the animal kingdom, she defies all odds. Four well-respected dog trainers have admitted that. We are focusing on love, her better quality. She’s a sly, slick dog, that is so stubborn she makes me seem like a pussy willow.

Now, she does look like an angel lying down on my bed next to me. Not only does she keep me company if she knows I am feeling weak or tired, her head or her side, some part of her is always leaning in to me, always touching but with strength. With the kids in college it’s nice to have my dog home with me, she protects me and loves me. She barks like an attack dog if someone even passes in the street outside.

The last day of the week is warm and beautiful. The late afternoon sun is shining on the yellow-orange leaves, it is quiet. I’m hoping tonight will be the end of this past horrific week. Next week already has its own scheduled appointments and tests so we start anew. A dear friend of mine called me “awesome” but there really is nothing awesome about me. We all do what we have to do, we don’t have a choice, here, on my blog, is where I can think out loud, complain, where people understand me. There is nothing more I can do, except looking at alternative health care, meditating and continuing on, step by step, day after day. To me, there is no other choice.