Haiku Horizons, #45 Just

Just, Right, Fair, Peace, Trust

World upside down, bloody mess

No senseless killings.

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Measure, Love and Hope

Just in time, align with God

We give gratitude

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Sun, honey dripping

Vacation, just for me, you

Cleanse our inner souls.

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The Absence Of Color


I always thought I hated Winter with such a passion just because of the harsh, brutal temperatures, the raw wind and the mountains of snow and the biggest evil, ice. For someone with no balance looking down at a sheet of ice and having nothing to hold to grip, is pure terror. Those reasons alone are enough to hate Winter but I figured out recently there was something else that I hadn’t put into words before.

 

English: A digital photo that used to be in co...

 

Winter is gray, black and white, while the other seasons are filled with vivid colors in various things. I miss the bright bunch of wildflowers popping up in the meadow, multi-colored and alive, the rich crimson of roses trailing down a newly painted white trellis. The bright green of a neighbor’s lawn, glossy and spiked like army soldiers standing at attention.

 

Nate, our neighbor, spends hours on his lawn, every Spring, Summer and Fall to make sure that each blade of grass is equal. I know that in the Winter he is just longing to be outside, as much as I am. I have dubbed him “The Mayor,” the unofficial mayor of our little neighborhood.

 

It’s a very long Winter here, the snow will start falling any day now and it will last, at least, until late April. I don’t like it but I have no choice so this year I am accepting it, not fighting with it. Moaning and groaning about it hasn’t helped before and it only makes ME feel worse so why bother? I will keep myself happy doing something else, I will learn to bake or cook new things. Maybe, I will write a book.

I guess after the long Winter I appreciate the Spring even more. Oh, when the first bud of a purple crocus  pops up, sometimes even through the snow we know the end of Winter is near. Soon the budding yellow leaves of a forsythia bush in our backyard will slowly begin to show themselves and I cut some stalks to bring inside the house. I put them in a tall, dark blue vase, the only one I will use, loving the contrast of dark blue and yellow. They stand proudly waiting to burst, happiness from the outside proud to bring us joy inside our home.

In the Spring and Summer the sun is out shining brightly against a baby blue sky. Colorful birds sing to each other, we listen to their songs, we watch their beautiful, petite bodies flash in front of our eyes with different colors. I will try hard to let the absence of color in the outside world not strip the color of my world as well. I’m sure I can do it, it will be fine. I’m looking at Winter with a different attitude. I’ll find color inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jelly Beans, Low Blood Pressure And Artichoke Hearts

Here it is, free style writing the title: three words that came to mind and now I am just typing without thinking about it or looking at/correcting it. I am not reading  sentence by sentence I am considering this as a writing exercise. I’ve heard writers do this twice a day but I don’t think I have the fortitude for that. Besides, I am getting really tired and loopy and God knows what will be on this page when I finish.

Gray-white scottish terriers

prancing in their kilts, Mrs. Kelly probably planning her St. Patrick’s day party already. I have known two wonen of Irish descent and we don’t mix well, I wonder why.I don’t think it’s a religious thing at all, maybe our astrological signs are so differente. But, the two women have similar traits , coldness, showing no emotion, blank. Just a coincidence.

Everyone knows I wear my heart on my sleeve, the complete opposite of that and sometimes I really need to shut up. I say too much lately and I need to control my mouth. Lately words come out that I used to edit and censore and for a few months I’m slipping, something to work on like mindful meditation twice a week.

2015 the year of me, writing, not being afraid of so many things, gratitude

of my relationship with my daughter that was so hard for so many years. My son, is as always sweet and lovable.

I worry about my mother and think about bad things too much, Ebola and bad diseases and worrying about things I have no control over, what’s the use of worrying if you haven o control? Exactly, useless. Stop.

I want to invent something, sell a script, write a book, try to remember things with attention to detail. Like names, I will ay it outloud several times or in my head. I will make a list and write about 2014 as it comes to an end. And we will say, as we do every year, 2014 was a horrible year and that next year 2015 will be much better. Truthfully, we’ve been saying that for years. Here’s hoping.

The Family Of Foodies

When our kids come home from college for a visit, suddenly our kitchen is bursting with the smell of my freshly baked banana bread with raisins and chocolate chips, soon afterwards dark chocolate brownies are left to cool waiting for me to slather on the thick, creamy dark chocolate frosting.

Their dad and I have both gone to the supermarket to stock up on their favorite foods, they could stay four weeks, even though they are only here for four days or is it one day? It doesn’t matter. We pack the leftovers so the kids can take them to share with their friends.

 

I stood in the freezer section getting frost bite while choosing six quarts of ice cream, all different flavors.  We have Ben and Jerry’s Coffee, Coffee Buzz, Graeter’s Black Cherry Chip,

 

Graeter's

Graeter’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Black Raspberry Chip, and Chocolate, Chocolate Chip. We also have Mango Sorbet, Blood Orange Sorbet and Haagen Daas’ Pistachio ice cream (which to me, is a great disappointment, vanilla with a couple of shelled pistachio nuts in it. I won’t buy it again.) Any suggestions of another brand of pistachio ice cream?

 

 

 

 

 

We have rainbow cookies, molasses cookies.

 

 

amaretto cookies, and of course, Double Stuffed “Oreos.”(Thank you, Nabisco)

 

We don’t live like this all the time, believe me, we only stock up when our college kids come home to visit. Our daughter’s description of the ideal break is: “watching, (streaming episodes) of her favorite television shows on her computer and eating her home-cooked favorite foods and I quote.” Isn’t that what coming home is all about?”

My husband made a delicious eggplant parmegian/ parmesan, I made guacamole, and a tomato, mozzarella, olive oil, basil salad, we had

 

English: Guacamole in a bowl. Photograph taken...

 

chips, pizza, huge salads, creative salads with lettuce and arugula, cranberries, goat cheese, string beans, grapes, and cucumbers (and anything else I found) with no meat (for our daughter “the vegetarian.”) Yes, she DOES get plenty of protein, she never liked meat and never ate it as a baby. I’m anticipating the questions that will follow…

BOTH of my grown-up children came home a day early as a surprise and I consider myself deeply blessed. I am truly grateful to be able to have one night together with my whole family, where we eat will be up to them, with our approval, and bound by price range and affordability.

Tonight, we will eat leftovers with no complaints and if there are complaints, that’s okay, the only other option is…no other option. I do regret how lenient we were with our children when they were small. I felt like a short order cook, a grilled cheese for one, spaghetti with meatballs for the other….the things you learn in hindsight.


We all make mistakes as parents but if that’s the worst mistake we made then I think we did pretty well. We have super nice, polite kind, kids, independent, loving, street smart and compassionate. What more could a mother and a father want? NOTHING.

Are they perfect?  No.  Are we? Heck no. Do we wish they would change certain things?  Sometimes. No, I am NOT going to argue with you about this!! (you- know -who) I know that they wish the same for us. We’re a family, we all need to work together. Every single one of us needs to learn how to compromise and accept not always being right. Accepting someone’s difference is harder than deciding to disagree. Respect another person’s position without judgment. Try.

What would you rather be, a very old friend asked me thirty years ago, right or at peace?

My answer thirty years ago was” right,” I changed my answer in the years to come. The kids will learn that, in time. Or, they won’t. That is entirely up to them. It took me a long time to see it, peace wins for me now, every single time.

We all grow-up, we make mistakes, we fall down, we get up and we fall down again. Children, like adults, learn, from their mistakes. Let them make them.

When our kids went back to school a few days ago my husband and I went right back to eating very simple meals. Scrambled eggs with cheese and toast, pasta with meat sauce, home-made pea soup, chunky with carrots, ham, spices and a salad and french bread. A roasted chicken, rice and freshly cut vegetables with a yogurt dill sauce. After dinner, we often go upstairs, lie on our bed, watch our television set with a small (ok, medium) bowl of ice cream in our hands (with rainbow-colored sprinkles for me) to watch the Jimmy Fallon show from the night before. A simpler life, quieter, we accept what we have, what we can’t change and that’s okay. Love what you have today, understand and accept that you will see your children less, yesterday is gone and we don’t know what the future will bring.

Enjoy the moment. Be Thankful. Breathe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same Old Pain, Now With Migraines

I’m used to the pain I have from Fibromyalgia, it’s not bad most days, no pain killers needed. Sure, there are a few days, mostly weather-related, that it gets worse but I can  stand that too, most of the time. It was under control until one day when I started having a headache that would not go away.

 

 

 

 

I’ve had plenty of headaches before mostly in the middle of my head and that’s how this one started so I thought nothing of it. I took Tylenol, the only medicine I am allowed  (Chronic Kidney Disease) to take, but it did not help. It was a mild headache for two days, I thought nothing of it.

Suddenly, the pain started crawling up on the left side of my face. It settled there like a jumbo jet that had just landed at the airport and was pulling straight into the proper gate. Passengers came off the plane then airline crew, the plane was cleaned and this baby was not going anywhere tonight. The headache had landed.

 

It’s hard to imagine I have another pain symptom but I accept it as my curse, this ugly life of mine. At almost 58 years old I now get migraines. “Welcome to the club” I mutter angrily under my breath, asking: “Why me?”

 

The first migraine, which ended me in the Emergency Room of the hospital moaning in pain and begging for a shot of something, anything, to relieve the intense, hammering pain happened a couple of months ago. “Nice to meet you, meet your new doctor, your Nurologist”.

I thought it was a one time thing, A visit to the Emergency Room, a shot and hydration and two days later I was fine. I went home where the lights were dim, I was safe in bed and all I wanted was darkness and no company, no radio, no television, just black solitude. I laid on my back and pulled the covers over my forehead, yes, this was my safe place, I promised myself the pain was over, gone for good.

Unfortunately, it came back with a vengeance twice more. Once a month ago and one two weeks ago.  I tried all the tricks, the medicine to supposedly make it go away before it really hits, a dark room, breathing slowly, ice, pressure points, Reiki, meditation….you name it, I tried it but it is clinging on to my head with traction and beating harder and harder.

It is now moving to the center of my forehead and the hammer is following after the movement, banging away, beat after beat rhythmically while all I can do is shut down and shudder.

Deutsch: "Kopfschmerzen". Die wohl b...

Deutsch: “Kopfschmerzen”. Die wohl berühmteste – stark von James Gillray beeinflußte – Arbeit in einer Reihe von sechs Blättern “medizinischer” Karikaturen, in denen Cruikshank Krankheiten als Teufelswerk brandmarkt. Erstmalig publiziert: 12. Februar 1819. Originalgröße: 210 x 255 mm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know this isn’t fair, I know that life isn’t fair. I have accepted this new symptom because i don’t have a choice. It has joined the family of maladies that already exist, trapped in every limb of my body, from head to toe.

 

Since I was five I’ve always had a very low tolerance for pain, my parents used to tell me that. If one orange baby aspirin worked on other children to get their temperatures down, I needed two. I am still that way, believe me, it isn’t fun.

Recently, a friend told me to push my Internist to check more complicated Lyme Disease tests and I will do that. What are the chances? I don’t know but I will try. I don’t want to get even remotely excited.

Been there, done that, way too many times. I have no hope. I feel battered.

Enough already. This is getting old. Fast.

 

 

How To Debone A FISH


Imagine taking a serrated knife and slicing the length of a body right down to the soul. Picture a piece of that fresh fish, covered in the juice of two fresh lemons that you need to debone, carefully and delicately. That slow slicing is, in itself, is a work of art. It is also a technique that happens in your mind. Your mind is calm and steady.

I have tried so hard to get rid of pretension, most of the defense mechanisms, all the external comments, the noise, the insensitive remarks. I don’t need them in my life, nor do you. We need balance, clear thoughts, not the mean chatter of other “so-called friends.” They do more harm than good. Stay away from people who do not serve you well, sever relationships with false people, those that tempt you to behave badly.

Don’t go down to anyone else’s level. Raise yourself up. Have high standards for yourself, try not to judge others but accept them. All of us need to take a break in our hurried lives. You don’t have to go anywhere to do that, not an expensive gym or retreat, you don’t need an airplane ticket or a ride on a white, bulbous sailboat.

Center yourself, wherever you feel most comfortable.

Pick a place where you won’t be disturbed. It can be on your bed or your favorite chair, someplace that speaks silence to you. If you want soft background music, fine. More importantly, this can be in your mind. Simply close your eyes. Concentrate.

 

Feel your breath going in, going out. Maybe it won’t feel natural in the beginning, that is perfectly okay. What is perfect on the first try? Try to get in a pattern of breathing slowly, inhaling and exhaling. If external thoughts race in, accept them, don’t try to push them away, they are part of you. Let them appear, and let them go away while you go back to your steady breathing, your rhythmic breathing..

Once I feel that I am completely relaxed sometimes I find myself  rocking in that place, sometimes I feel so tired that I want to sleep, I have nodded off when practicing this in a class.   Spend time outdoors, watching nature, listening to sounds, bird songs, children laughing, notice the color of the bunny’s tail you see on your green grass, the noisy seagull on the beach hovering over your leftover cheese sandwich.

 

Focus on beauty and not disaster. Be grateful for what you do have and do not focus on what you don’t have. Believe me, I know that sometimes that it is difficult. Do it anyway. Go out of your way to be kind to a stranger, or wave to a baby that is fussing in front of you. Be aware of how your face looks, does it match how you feel?

Live a simple life, every day. Stay in the present. Relish your age, get old gracefully, stop worrying about what anyone else thinks. Your happiness will glow and shine through you. Look deep inside you. Love what you see? Tell people you are grateful for them being in your life. Dance with joy.

waiting, waiting

English: Animation of a diaphragm exhaling and...

English: Animation of a diaphragm exhaling and inhaling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

waiting, waiting

fingers shaking

we haven’t even left for the CAT scan, hard to breathe.

i’m playing it strong for my honey, he would do it for me naturally i just need to work at it a little harder but i know deep inside I can do it. I am doing it and have been for the last what seems like forever.

trying not to play the what if game, but once in a while it sneaks into the cracks like a deadly snake, from behind with its rapid, insidious long tongue. hiss, hiss.

this is what a grown-up is, i’m sorry baby, there is nothing for you to do until we know something and even then, your life stays the same.

i’ve been trying to meditate, deep breathing, slowly in and out, but as the hands on the clock keep ticking, I seem to swallow more, it takes more effort to remember how. did you think I would disturb the test for an unknown? never. ever.

life is certainly not always about pudding and pastries, if only, right?

in two minutes, we have to leave, oh that’s now.

of course we’re early but good luck! they take him right away, in less than ten minutes, he’s back, bad news: no results for 24 hours.

we sit again, waiting, waiting. until tomorrow. trying to think that waiting is often better than knowing.

tomorrow comes, not that but this…

see a cardiologist, it could be this or that but not the other.

so we go on, we have no choice, once again. to do what we have to do.

my stomach is clenched, it hurts so much, tension begets tension.

all i want is for all to be okay and then we can breathe normally soon.

or can we?

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Yellow Mellow Magic Madness

Yellow # 55 (Photograph by Author)
It is sleeting outside, it’s been a bad day. I’m looking at this peaceful photograph I took last year. I SHOULD meditate. Perhaps this is the reminder I need to set aside 20 minutes twice a day. I need it, I know that for sure. I will start tomorrow.
Buddha
One of my favorite sayings and I am sorry I don’t know the source: “Praying is talking to God, Meditation is Listening

An Open Letter To Ellen Degeneres

English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009.

English: Ellen DeGeneres in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Ellen, I hope you don’t mind me addressing this to you, I just need someone to listen, someone who cares about other people. I thought you were the right person even though I’m sure you will NEVER see it. That’s okay. With the exception of a few best friends I’ve learned the hard way that other people are too busy in their own lives to care.

I DON’T WANT ANYTHING FROM YOU.

I guess I’m trying to think and talk out loud here. I’m lost, and have no idea what happened to me, I have no idea who I am either though I used to know so clearly.

Have I just become a mountain of symptoms trying to blend themselves together in a jig saw puzzle where no piece fits? I’ve made changes, I stay away from negative people, I try to be as kind as possible and pay it forward when I can but still trouble follows me like a black cloud.

Believe me, I am NOT asking for pity. I don’t want anyone’s pity, if I want pity I give it to myself, underneath my three layers of blankets, with the door shut tight, my dog lying next to me on my bed. I don’t want pep talks either, encouraging me that it “is just a phase.” This phase is my life and I have accepted it, I just don’t understand it.  When I try to fight against the “down” period, people tell me not to do that and to be positive. Everything is a mixed message.

You have the natural talent to bring joy to others just by being yourself, I love that.

Right now, I am a huge collection of symptoms that I don’t mind sharing, I’m 57, there are people who are 97 that are healthier than I am. From head to toe: narrow angled glaucoma (eyes) many, MANY painful treatments in my eyes to try to correct that, but its a life long condition, hearing loss (had stapedectomy-operation for ears) the dreaded Eppiglottitis, I don’t wish on my worst enemy, I shiver at the thought, (open, gaping wounds below the throat,) horrific TMJ, shooting pains from my jaw/ear to my brain causing me to scream with agony caused by any random thing and some other facial myalgia the doctors threw at me) which I don’t even count. I have IBS, Fibromyalgia, Fatigue, No energy, Chronic muscle and joint pain, Fibro Fog (not remembering something someone said a minute ago.) General Anxiety Disorder, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an auto immune disease of the thyroid) foot pain, wait, the most recent one and most deadly,  Kidney Failure, Stage 3? (No one ever told me about Stage one or two) I think I’ll stop here.

Now for the social things, I can’t work because of the above illnesses, my husband was laid off for the second time and still is not working. We have two fabulous children who are attending two different state universities and a dog (our second) I rescued from a shelter.

I want you to know that we ARE thankful for our blessings, we truly are. Writing this down makes me realize that even more.Thank you for listening, sometimes it is good to write it down and look at it on paper.

But, am I jinxed? Is this what they call “going through a rough patch?” Whenever I feel I’ve reached bottom something else happens. Do you only know where the bottom is when you finally start climbing up slowly? Isn’t it possible to stay down here forever?

I guess I just have to accept what is going on now, breathe slowly in and out and believe that something good will happen. Someday.

Please don’t “like” this post. I don’t.

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FWF Kellie Elmore

“I am a very old man, yes, I am older than this tree that grows in the backyard of my son’s house. I sit on the green bench so I can watch the tree in all weathers, I have lived here for 200 days now. Enough days, too much. I am dying, I need to go home.

Two hundred days and twenty days ago my beautiful wife, Shuen-Lie of sixty-seven years died, my son from America come to China, I am with pride. Soon, he moves my things together. I say good-bye to him and he gets large and shakes his head the way I used to saw trees and branches to make huts, back and forth, NO, NO, NO in angry voice. But in our culture you do not say no to an elder. He does, he takes my things, brings me to plane to America to live.

It has been 200 days since he take me away, he said “it was best for me to be closer to him.” Who was it better for I tried to ask him, but he keep pretending not to hear. He does not look in my eyes now.

We lived in our little town in China so happy,  but I was so weak, so sad that when my wife, Soon-Li  passed away, mother of our son, that I could not think anymore. I just needed time, I needed time for my sorrow to settle inside me. That is what I needed but he won’t listen.

My son came from America too fast, too fast. I was still very sad, I needed more time to be with my friends who are my people. They understood, we were all together every day, every night. Now my half was gone.  I know. It happens to all of us someday.The hurt in my body would leave but not the love.

I also worked on a fishing boat since I was a boy, It was my job since I was six to catch fish with my hands, for the family. Well, you see my hands now, so many years of work building huts from trees, fishing, I work every day. As I got older, I got better. I learned that with experience. Everyone needs to learn that in their own time.

My son and his wife bring me to America so they can “help” me, watch me, but it is my heart they took out. I want to be in my country, to be with my people who understand me, who have grown up with me. I know they love me here but love talks in many languages. I love my grandson they call “Sam” an American name. My sadness will be missing my grandson but he knows I want to go home. He loves me that much to help me now. That is pure love, white love.

The lights are too bright here, everything is rush rush and too loud. I do not like this. In my world I was a healer. People came to me for my help, now I meditate alone and ask to be listened to, to be back in my country, to die in my bed.

My grandson is a man now, he bought me a ticket, he will take me to airport, we go now to tell his parents, it is my word, the elder’s word that we listen to, as it should be.”

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