A Haven for Vee

Monday, June 29, 2009


Recently, my blog was described as "nuanced." Nuanced? Really? Is that a good thing? I do know this...it's an eclectic nightmare, a regular mess, a hodge-podge for certain. I do believe I hear Forrest Gump now...


So I've got a few things to share and you really don't know what's gonna turn up. Feel free to hang on to the end or drop off whenever you get bored, 'kay? I promise not to be offended.

First up...have you seen the beautiful, exquisite, omigosh-I-have-never-seen- anything-quite-like-it photography at Down Abbie's Road? You must do yourself a favor and scamper on over there. It'll lift your spirits and make you smile. I promise. (And I don't even like peas.)

Nil Desperandum is one of my favorite expressions. It means never despair! I know that I've spoken of it before, but then it's because I think of it often. I'm thinking of it more often lately. Anyway, one of Brenda's favorite expressions is "Carpe Diem." Sieze the day. And she's written most eloquently about it *here*. You'll be blessed. Oh, yes, you will.

It's been raining here. And raining. And more rain. Drip, drip, pour, pour, flood- the-basement raining. This means that I must follow quiet pursuits and what's better than a cozy corner of the sofa to snuggle up and read an afternoon away? You see some of my reading stack above. Yes, I am reading all of them. Noooo, hahahahah, I have not yet learned how to read them all simultaneously. Silly people!

Do you see my darling Sandi's book The Crazy Cat Lady? It's so much fun to see it in print and to reread all of those favorite posts from Holding Patterns that I love. I have laughed all over again at cats streaking from the forest, Mac's embarrasment over teaching her semi-semaphore, and, oh my heck, what a riot about Evil Sister's antics. Say, and did I tell you that when I turned this book over and looked at the back cover I squealed? Squeeeeaaaaled just like this...eeeeeeeeeeeeeahhhhhhhhhoooooooo...wanna know why? Well, I'm not telling. Go ahead, call me mean.

A few days ago, Sandi posted this picture on her blog. It's from one of her book signings. I hate to gush so, but that's a book signing. This picture has a little something extra added — don't be creeped out — that shadow represents a pat on the back. Sandi, I'm so proud of you!

See that turquoise colored book back aways? That's one of my new favorites. We found it tossed on the heap of free books at the flea market two weeks ago. Talk about a God breeze. Thank you, Lord! It's titled You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought. I'm going to share just one thing that I have found to be a blessing. (There are many, but this post is getting long.)

I have a few truly disturbing memories. Ones that keep popping up when I least expect them. Sometimes they show up in dream form, but basically they are waking recollections of less-than-pleasant events. What do you do with them when they pop up from time to time? This book shares a technique that I have found very useful: watch the event happen on the screen of the mind just as you remember it. When the tape stops, take out a big black permanent marker and place a big black X over the memory. Then replay it as you'd like to have had it happen remembering that you're the star of the show and it's all about you and it can happen as you want.

I had nothing to lose so I tried it. And it really seemed to work for those painful childhood memories by removing the sting. But wouldn't you know that once you've learned something new, you'll have an opportunity to practice.

Within three days, I had received a nasty note from a family member. It made me want to cry. Instead, I reread it and then played it again on my memory screen. I put the big black X over the whole note and rewrote it in a loving way. Voila! It worked again. No stressing. No fretting. No reliving. I simply remembered doing it the "new" way.

Fine. Within just a few short days, I had yet another "event." My mother was being released from the hospital back to the Rehab Center. Her admitting nurse was checking her back in and going over things when she turned to me and said, "What's the matter with your face? You look so angry right now. Do you have a problem with me or with this facility? I mean it! Your face is saying a lot right now."

Well, I was taken aback as I wasn't aware that I was wearing an angry expression or giving off any vibes. I was, in fact, delighted to be moving my mother back to Rehab. I began to sputter that perhaps I was tired, but that I certainly wasn't angry. My mother piped up and said, "No, she's very happy to have me here."

Later I told John all about it and he suggested that I try my new trick. So I played that memory in my mind and when the tape ended I got out my permanent marker and slapped a big black mustache on that nurse's upper lip. Then I blacked out three of her teeth leaving nice gaping holes.

Okay, so I may need to practice a little more...

Create a wonderful week, my friends. Miss you all!

P.S. Have you read *THIS*? I know that I've already been political this week, but this seems like way too much Big Brother in Government for me and since it involves blogging and bloggers...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Outraged...Oh yes I am!

Political Commentary Ahead...consider yourself warned.

"If the American People are not outraged by this, they never will be."
~Congressman John Shadegg

What is that? Congress passed a Global Warming Bill (often referred to as the "Cap and Trade" Bill, which amounts to a tax on utilities) that Congressmen and women could not possibly have read. Why? Because an unethical Speaker of the House filed an additional three hundred pages to a 1200 page bill (loosely defined...no specifics...we're.all.in.so.much.trouble.if.this.thing.passes.the.Senate) at three in the morning yesterday. Three in the morning!!!!! The vote happened at approximately seven last night. Our rights as property owners, vehicle owners, virtually any rights we now hold will be in the hands of an out-of-control government.

Oh yes, Nancy Pelosi is one wily, sneaky, unethical politician. She deserves every bit of the scathing criticism that she will certainly receive for this one. May the people of California see fit to remove her from office at the earliest opportunity.

The American people, through a constant flooding of the phone lines, voted 20 to 1 against this bill and still this rogue Congress approved it. Despicable. I am ashamed of all those Democrats who allowed their arms to be twisted by unconstitutional treachery. And I am appalled by the eight Republicans who voted for this bill. If this group of eight Republicans had voted against this bill... Who are they?

1. Mary Bono Mack-California
2. Mike Castle-Deleware
3. Mark Kirk-Illinois
4. Leonard Lance-New Jersey
5. Frank LoBiondo-New Jersey
6. John McHugh-New York
7. David Reichert-Washington
8. Chris Smith-New Jersey

Hope that they're voted out at the earliest opportunity as well.

“This is the biggest job killing bill that’s ever been on the floor of the House of Representatives. Right here, this bill,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner. “And I don’t think that’s what the American people want.” Source

Outraged? Yes, I am mad as I can be and I am not going to take this anymore without comment. May you comment? Sure. Email me. ;>

Monday, June 22, 2009

Window Project Mosaic

I'm not all about creating pretty mosaics, just so you'll know. ;> But all is not lost as you can find some gorgeous ones at Mary's Mosaic Monday.

John worked all Saturday on our little window project and all he got for it was this homemade pizza for lunch. I used the recipe posted at Little Birdie Secrets.

A big thank you to Dawn at The Feathered Nest for all the beautiful images used to make this project and for the idea in the first place.

Enjoy a wonderful week!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One Thing I've Discovered

One thing I've discovered is that the longer one stays away from blogging the easier it becomes. That can't be a good thing! So in a purposeful effort to stay connected, even a little bit, I'm going to post weekly. Maybe.

So many of you have reminded me to take care of myself and John and to do something fun from time to time. I am not certain why I find this so difficult, especially when it's the very advice that I might give to someone in similar circumstances. Perhaps it is this: It feels as if it is a betrayal to those who are unable to do "something fun." But thinking that is a lie since both my mother and grandmother have continued to enjoy their lives even while in Rehab. So I attempt to nip that wrong thinking and focus on "something fun" for John and myself like an evening off to the lake to watch folks hit golf balls down the driving range and to partake of the best onion rings in the state.

Doesn't he look intent?! :D

After that, we are not ready to head home so soon. A stop at Giffords is definitely in order and John splurges, yet again, on one of their banana splits while I enjoy my favorite Caramel Caribou cone.

Still not ready to return home, we strike off for one of our favorite spots. Since the sunset is not cooperating quite as well as we'd hoped, I settle for taking a photo of Sebago Lake, stacks of wood being readied for next winter, and a Tufted Titmouse.

Wonder what the plural of titmouse is? Titmice? Titmouses?

Enjoy this beautiful day, Dear Ones!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thank You for Praying and Thinking of Us

Before anything else, I want to thank you for your prayers and encouragements. I've received such supportive comments, emails, and letters. They are very much appreciated. Indeed, sometimes a fellow blogger offered such insight that I was able to use the information shared to better help and protect my family.

Sometimes Real Life and Blogland walk along harmoniously, but in my world Real Life has become something of the proverbial "train wreck." For that reason, until things calm down again, I am taking a extended break from blogging. I have even considered tiptoeing gently away forever because I simply no longer have the time for blogging or for visiting, which is by far the thing I most miss.

I will share an upbeat thing with you today and then some fine day, when you least expect it, I'll catch you again I hope. Nan, my grandmother, was coming to live with John and me for a season when last we chatted. We still hope for that, but she was hospitalized with a fracture in her back that radiated such pain that for several days she was misdiagnosed with a pancreatitis attack. After five days or so of being in the hospital and having to say goodbye to my mother who was herself heading off to the hospital for cancer surgery, my grandmother was transferred to a nursing home.

It may be that there are wonderful nursing homes, but the one where my grandmother stayed had both John and me concerned. There was a lack of staff and the facility was not clean. My grandmother suffered through over a week of that. Sometimes we were there three times a day just checking. I'm sure that the staff became very weary of our actually taking them up on their 24-hour-a-day policy. There were some wonderful people there, but all it takes is one bad nurse or CNA to negate it all. Nan kept going by looking at my mother's picture above. (I think my mom was about my age now when that photo was taken. Noooo, not the baby picture. Gheesh, you guys are a tough crowd. ;> )

In the meantime, my mother was enduring her own struggles and it soon became apparent that she would be unable to go home without further care and assistance. She was released from the hospital and admitted to a rehabilitation center. She had been there a few days when they told her that there was an open bed if she would like my grandmother to go there. Oh yes, she would. Oh yes, Nan would love to go. Oh happy day. Until...

Friday found us at the car with everything packed and Nan in her wheelchair ready to get in. We heard a call, "Wait!" Apparently, the nursing facility had hit a snag and didn't feel able to deal with my grandmother's needs over the weekend. Unbelievable! I felt my heart sink and a cloud descended over my grandmother that we could actually see. The Word of God says that "hope deferred makes the heart sick." Oh so true.

By Saturday, Nan had been returned to the hospital because her right side was weak. My sister went to be with her while John and I handled yet another family fire. The doctors couldn't find a thing wrong with her and though my sister practically begged them to hold onto Nan over the weekend knowing that she'd be transported to the new facility on Monday, she was released back to the nursing facilty from whence she'd come. Ackkk...

We encouraged Nan to be ready for Monday...eat, get lots of rest, keep her spirits up because then she'd be reunited with my mother. She smiled at us weakly. Her vocabulary dwindled to nearly nothing. Her eyes didn't sparkle anymore. We worry. We pray. John prays for her every time we leave and she thanks him with a tear.

Yesterday morning I made a call to the receiving nursing facility...everything was a go. I called the releasing nursing facility...problems. My grandmother would be evaluated before they could release her and since she appeared to be "unstable" it didn't look good. When I got off the phone, I think I must've looked like a wild woman. My one mission in life was to get two of the dearest women in all the world to me back together again. John was so supportive and he began immediately to pray. Calmness descended and clarity reigned.

I knew exactly what I would say and do with firmness and kindness: Yes, Nan would be leaving their facility. In fact, we would be leaving at 11 sharp. I had already signed release papers on Friday, there'd be no need to sign again. No, she would not be transported by ambulance. We could make her very comfortable in the car. Lots of sweetness and thank yous (even if I didn't feel so much like being sweet nor saying "thank you.")

So we left before 11 am. We drove the 15 miles to the new facility under clear blue skies and bright sunshine. Nan commented on the vividness of the dandelions, the beauty of the lupines, and the fading of the rhododendrons.

Fast forward to her being settled in her room. Lunch had arrived and the nurse was helping her with that. When the nurse stepped aside, there was my mother standing with her walker wearing a big smile. As recognition dawned on my grandmother, her face began to glow and she lifted her arms to gather my mom in. John started to cry. I was crying. It was worth it all for that golden moment.

The last thing I told my grandmother yesterday was that I was taking the first break in a few weeks today. She said, "Why? What are you doing tomorrow?" Cracked us up!

You take care of yourselves and create a wonderful day...