Friday, December 31, 2010


*I held her all the way in the car--wet dog smelling, limp, rolled up in a dark blue fluffy towel. It seemed that I could feel her ribs through the towel. He couldn't find a vein until the third leg. I never knew she had freckles there. I knew she could not see well and hardly could hear but that her sense of smell was still keen so I kept my hands and as much of my body as possible near her nose. Her muzzle rested on my palm. A bit of pink liquid and I felt her gone before he even placed his 'scope on her chest. My cheek nuzzled her as I kissed her good-bye. Blindly I found the door knob and stumbled out toward the car, pieces of her fur in my pocket. Through it all I kept my sunglasses pinched onto my spectacles to hide my swollen eyes, the tears dripping down my cheeks.The gem of this day is the remembrance of the pure joy she gave for seventeen years.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

back, musings, head cold

*Arriving at my home airport. Riding the fast moving train. Finding my check in intact. Then out into the cold:precipitation action obsecures parts of the mountains and dances over the plains. The ride home in the car, the last integral of a happy trip.

*The day after, I muse about people I met.

*And now a head cold. An excuse to wrap myself in shawls, drink hot tea, not eat, and watch old movies.

Friday, October 29, 2010

ring, spark, water bowl

* I am early. The guest of honor has not arrived nor any guests. I snag women who look like they are here for the party as they walk by, coming in from the cold. They continue to come even as we settle at a table downstairs (the g of h arrives from the dentist) and we pull over tables and tables and tables until the room is at a bursting point and filled with ladies ooing and admiring THE RING.

*"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person." How many times I have borrowed a spark!

*A water bowl sloshes with a brown cocker spaniel ear.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

29th, road, square

*T e-mails to ask if this is his sister's birthday and I plunge into memories of 29 October 1972--the wet red and yellow leaves on the early morning sidewalk on the way to the hospital, the amazement of delivery after succumbing to imaging I would be pregnant for the rest of my life, bliss.

*We drive a favorite road which runs (funny, a road running) parallel to the mountains, far out on the prairie past enormous grain silos, dodging tumble weeds.

*I master a mitered square!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mma, reservoir, ears

*Mma Ramotswe

*I drove to the reservoir road and paused to view the autumn hued city. On my right is the city, on my left is the brimming reservoir with late season boaters slicing through the cold blue water.

*The ears of Wilson the basset hound flap in the gale-like wind.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

sage, hole up, petals

*I drive by our former house and see the Russian sage blooming purple flowing over the fence that I built.

*We hole up in the cool of the apartment all day, reading. At dusk we go out to sit on the patio following the setting sun and breathing in the cool shadows.

*I peel away the dried red rose petals daily to keep the roses on the table for as long as possible.

Friday, July 23, 2010

instant, fresh, ask

*That enchanting instant when from a hodge-podge of letters comes a word. Ahhh! Scrabble.

*Fresh unused mini colored pencils ready to glide over paper.

*Having someone to ask where something is that we just drug from one apartment to another.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

braided, grasses, boxes

*Yellow braided straw placemats on a dark oak table.

*I chose grasses to plant in my pots this year and they sway with the wind when I line them up on the ledge of the patio:3 yellow pots, one black and one cobalt blue.

*Tidy-ing up the boxes placed on the floor of the new-to-us living room just enough to create an island we can safely walk around until tomorrow.

Friday, July 16, 2010

cousins, chain, aroma

*A long unseen cousin and I marvel at our similar likes and dislikes.

*I walked the streets that my father walked as a child, saw the houses my mother grew up in, heard stories of my grandmother-she with the ten children. The dead have come alive and I can look to left and right to see the endless chain of ancestors and descendents which fastens me together.

*Laying my nose into the soft buff colored fur of the dog to inhale her distinctive aroma at the end of a day's journey.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

gliding, patter,Lola

*Gliding through the pool in the near dark. The intense heat of the day has fled, the wind has died down, sags and wrinkles are semi-invisible and I know I will sleep well.

*The lovely patter between the doctor and nurse as they divert my thoughts from the impending injection. I count the seconds that the needle remains in my knees:3 seconds for the right, 4 for the left. And I am free to leave.

*Lola is coming for her first visit.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

booth, planters, sweetness

*Slipping into a booth while he finds a parking space, ordering a frozen margarita. When he comes through the door I watch him before he sees me. And he walks toward me, a ship toward its moor.

*Cleaning out the outside closet and thinking of all the gorgeous plants to grow in the empty planters.

*When I step outside the door a waft of sweetness engulfs me. What is this? Is it the neighbor's dryer sheet? A new floor cleaner someone below us is trying out? Question answered when I turn around and see the pot of purple petunias that I planted before I went to the beach. They are blooming profusely.

bush, pounds, layered

*When I left I could not even see the buds on the rose bushes and now they are a riot of color. One branch pokes through the fence surrounding the swimming pool:"Let me in, I want to swim."

*Curious to figure out which apartment the pounding is originating from.

*Fresh post-it notes layered in the colors of the rainbow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

warm, mint,fan

*A warm teapots.

*Changing purses and finding a mint.

*The whirrrrr of a fan when I most need it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

believe, beach, reunion

*To have someone say "I believe you".

*Creatively finding ways to keep alive and precious the deep contentment found during two weeks on the beach.

*Anticipating a reunion with my Aunt Rose whom I have not seen since 195?.

Friday, May 21, 2010

talking, talking, sorting

*Talking to my Aunt Rose.

*Talking to a Catherine relative.

*Sorting out ancestors.

Friday, May 14, 2010

benign, sew, a box

*"Benign" A beautiful word. benign benign benign benign. benign tumor=trips to the beach, journeys to relatives, wearing newly sewn dresses,wiggling toes in shoes. Benign is escaping the downward spiral which is the march to death. Benign.

*Constructing a dress .Pattern. Laying out fabric on an immense flat surface. Pinning. The snick of sharp scissors. Needle poking through layers of fabric. The hiss of a hot iron. Hand sewing the hem. Making a tidy bolt of cloth into body covering. Coco, I understand you.

*A box of chocolates wrapped with a flowery hairband on Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

gp, dog, abloom

*I really like my general practitioner. She patiently answers my questions and encourages me to be a better, healthier person.

*Dog in the back of the car (it is cool enough so we evade the anti-dog-in-the-car-people), we trundle about on errands. With each stop the dog smell more strongly pervades the car.

*A bike ride to the doctor. Crisp air, few cars, pride at evading the draw of Starbucks, ducks gliding on a lake, fruit trees abloom.

Monday, May 3, 2010

plunge, travel shows, ticket

*new swimsuit on
swim cap
I enter a silent world=first dip of the season.

*Travel programs. Today I am Geneva, home of the International Red Cross (first named something else).

*Ticket purchased. I consider what to take. Will T's inherited fruit cake pass security?

Monday, April 26, 2010

morning dog, simple, sprinklers

*As I stumble out to the big room, R begins to tell me the story of taking the dog outside first time today. I laugh throughout the day when I think of it. Will it be as funny when I tell it here? The dog sleeps in the bathroom(easier to tidy up messes) and R puts her collar on there to carry her down the stairs. (She was born in Nov 1993 so the stairs are difficult for her.) Today he set her down on the sidewalk. Thump! Over she falls. He picks her up and sets her on the grass. Thump! Over she falls. R finally bent down to inspect this dog-who-continues-to-fall-over and discovers that he has caught her front paw up into her collar as he put it on her. I giggle because I can imagine how dopey-sleepy he must have been and the dog's response, "Oh, well. Now what are they doing to me?"

*Confined to a chair or bed it is fun to slip back into doing simple things and just thinking.

*Watching landscapers fiddle with automatic sprinkler systems.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

a book, total comfort,

*Double Comfort Safari Club

*Spending the day in my nightgown. Not done since 1976.

*I hear a spontaneous football game going on as I lay in bed, then see lads in muddy shirts dashing about in the park.

Friday, April 23, 2010

rain, bok, Myrna

*I totally love walking in the rain, even when it is cold rain.

*Bok choy+fresh ginger+broccoli+garlic

*Myrna Loy in "The Best Years of Our Lives"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

hiatus over

Our fam has been gliding (actually, holding onto the main mast for dear life through the chopiest of choppy waters)on a sea of medical sticky wickets since Jan 17th. As a result of the turmoil I have not listed gems for awhile. "Who reads your blog anyway, MOM" says a son whom I forgive for his youthful distain of my blogland endeavours.
Well so what? If no one one reads my blog is it still a blog? (reference to tree falling in forest sans listener).
It was lung and bile duct cancer--given a 2-3 month life. But it is over and R and I managed to laugh along the route--however impolite the laughter during the travails of the dying. Jeez! What am I saying? Laughter kept us sane because after all we were the ones making the yucky decisions and still making the after life ones.
So here goes---

*I looked out today and spring smacked me (unhurt) in the face:fruit tree blooms about to burst, the greeness on the foothills as I drove west, mallards mating....

*I found liquid Omega-3, chocolate flavored. I hadn't been doing Omega-3 because the capsules were toooo big to get down my throat.

*We may get to move into a bigger (slightly), sunnier (on the west side) apt with a niftier floor plan.We'll find out May 1.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

waiting, news, warmth

*He says to wait inside the bookstore but I want to inhale the fresh air of a warm now cooling day. Through the doors I find a bench. As I sit, books in hand, my nose gradually becomes numb and I wrap a saffron sarong around my head. When he comes he does not recognize me.

*Hearing good news second hand of a friend who will not see me.

*Warm enough to leave the door and windows open.

Monday, March 1, 2010

cleared for action, purr, ting

*In order not to loose a piece of paper, a book, a DVD, a bill I tell everyone to "put it on my desk". Then comes the satisfying moment when I've put all these things in their places and my desk is clear to do the work I really like to do. Like Hornblower's "clear for action" bellow.

*Annette Bening's voice described as "a dark rum-flavored purr".

*The tingy thud of melting snow as it falls three stories through the down spout to land in the crook turn of metal.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

visit, gramma,earring

*He visits, cooks. A week later I cannot find things in the kitchen. I smile.

*My two grown sons visit their dying gramma and bring her happines.

*I find a lost dangly earring under the car seat just as I was about to
make a necklace of its mate.

Friday, February 26, 2010

ride,melting,period clothing

*An hour's bike ride on the path+ "The Last Station"+ An hour's bike ride home.=bliss

*Melting snow has flowed across the sidewalk. It is a continuous graph. Stalactites. Craggy mountains silhouetted.

*The clothing of Countess Tolstoy. Pure white lace. Her upswept hair.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

clouds, balm, zip, feisty

*Snow clouds form over the western mountains reminding me of the short moments right before the curtains open at a play:anticipation, movement, shadow and light.

*New mint lip balm flavored just like my first lipstick.

* She has not dressed warmly enough so I give her my grey winter coat which overwhelms her small weight loss frame. As she ties the hood I bend down to zip and it reminds me of all the zippers I have raised for squirmy children.

*When I remind R to pick up his Mom's medicine I say,"Watch out or she'll feisty you." (From the time her doctor said, "She's feisty.")

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chinese, hung in a row, willows

There is a bit of a discussion about finding gems in daily life. Some people say it is proper to find something nice and put it after a comma or however ("The rain ruined the picnic however"," the grass turned a lovely green.) So Pollyanna. Bah! A gem is walking down a black and white street and turning the corner into vivid technicolor without even mentioning the black and white. Bumbling about then gobsmacked.

*Discovered a hole in the wall out of the way delicious Chinese-Japanese-Thai restaurant a brief walk from the old homestead.
*The sheep and lambs are finally hung in a straight line as though a load of wash.
*Pussy willows--fuzzy, pearly.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

bread, egg, thumping

*A really terrific loaf of bread. needs nothing slathered over it. aroma, texture,density,flavor,grain flawless.

*A still warm egg.

*I hear the thumping on the outside stairs and know that they are home safe.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

costumes, word, attitude

*The day after viewing The Young Victoria I am still marveling at the sumptuous costumes, at Emily Blunt's decolletage, her collarbone structure. Victoria's photos do not convey her vivaciousness but it certainly comes through in the movie.

*I read the critique of the scene in which Victoria first sees Albert. Her use of the word "Hello!"is anachronistic or in the least the word was not used by her class and I understand what the writer of the critique was saying but her use of the word certainly conveys her vitality and youthfulness.

*Blunt's body language conveys much. In the scene with the new Prime Minister Robert Peel, Victoria's back is ramrod straight as she, a young woman new to the throne, asserts her authority. After he leaves the room she slumps and sprawls back into the armless chair, the reason for a regal attitude no longer present.

3 verbs,water in air, youngsters

*We sit around thinking up parodies of "eat, pray, love".
wash, rinse, repeat.
slip, shovel, walk.
gorge, burp, throw up.
dig, bury, forget about.
buy, purchase, go bankrupt.
drink, collapse, repeat.
stop, look, listen.
fold, spindle, mutilate.
gut, skewer, roast.

*The moisturized difference of just fifteen minutes of a purring humidifier.

*In every aisle of the market today are children being pushed in carts. I love to watch them--their tiny fingers, babyfine hair,soft round cheeks--and remember when mine were young.


February, footprints, chocolate

*It must be February--last night lying in bed I began to plan the garden.

*Footprints pressed into mud now frozen in place on the path of my daily walk--dog (of course), raccoon, bird, duck, human, horse.

*Chocolate gluten free cupcakes baking.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

limit, making music, fish bowl

*I decided to limit my time being with people who do not want me to sing or whistle.

*I buy a harmonica.

*As I walk past the fish tanks at the Vietnamese restaurant a little girl in a puffy pink winter jacket stands by a large black bowl of fish which is just at her height. Her finger slowly creeps along the rim of the bowl toward a large orange-gold fish. She so much wants to pet the fish, to touch its shininess.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

lilacs, dressing,neighbors

*Through the countryside I drive past a long row of bare branched tall bushes, so wintry. And then I remember that this is a long(quarter of a mile?) row of lilac bushes that in May will be overladened with deep purple lilac blossoms. The thought and imagined aroma leads me to remember and index all the places in town I go to collect lilac branches in the spring, places that are public and where no one will accost me when I relieve the bushes of heavy branches. Let's the pizza place, by my daughter's former apartment, around the corner of the grocery store.....oh, yes, by the church with the maze.

*A new and different salad dressing.

*I come across our neighbors as they are closing their door--they are out to lunch having just gotten up after a night of writing (him) and art(her). She is so cute in a grey jogging outfit and bouncing ponytails.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

stained glass,tools,ruminations

*A late night supper by the large windows of a restaurant looking out over Old Town Square. I've spent the day helping a woman in the hospital who dislikes me so the bangers and mash are especially good and it is lovely to be with my son and his wife. The white Christmas lights are still strung through the trees under which happy people stroll. I glance up to the second story windows of the buildings opposite (shops on the ground floor, offices above) and notice for the first time ever (I've never been here at so dark a time)that the long windows have a wide rim of stained glass through which light is passing.An iris blue, garnet red, jonquil yellow. Someone is late at work. When I glance back up as we are about to leave the windows are dark and I know the person is homeward to their supper.

*I like to give people the tools with which to solve a problem. They pick up the tools and find solutions.

*The lovely rumination of someone else's idea and the decision whether or not to agree with it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

balloon, type, facecloths

*"Can the balloon be on it,too?"
"And the plants will be fresh?"
"They will find really nice plants in their greenhouse."
And so the plants are sent out as a thank you.

*Thank you, Dad, for forcing me to take that typing class. I've been doing it all day and making things legible.

*A stack of new facecloths--muted colors and fluffy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

b and m, floating, eyes closed

*Bangers and mash. Potatoes so soft and warm I want to lie down in them and forget the negative numbers. With the skins left in. Sausage crisp browned skin that takes some extra muscle and pop when my teeth finally go in. With warm applesauce.

*I forget about the warm floating table when I lay down for a facial and just about slid off onto the floor--so easy then to imagine I am on a water mattress in the summer pool.

*We have a morning routine that I can do with my eyes barely open.

Monday, January 4, 2010

massage and coffee, rosy glow, 40's

*Perfect day=a massage by someone who knows when to talk and when to be quiet+Vietnamese coffee at a cafe where I am not bustled along so as to vacate the table and chair.

*Little bits of Australian wine left in a canning jar on the table. When I peer through the red the world shimmers and glows.

*40's radio programs on the car radio--the sound effects and the need to describe all the action in words. My brain works hard to imagine just what is going on and I purposefully drive out of my way to hear the end of the tale.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

dormez, bebe; vertical, a pile, olfactory

*I read the twitters of a very tired mother and send good vibes and love to her.

*Just as I ask the weather forecast I can say it myself for out the window vertical snow (horizontal would mean wind additionally)is falling and continues until the street lights go on and make the flakes glisten.

*Sitting in our usual Sunday chairs at the bookstore engrossed in my top-of-the-pile book I glance up to see him similarly engrossed in a book from an equally tall pile.

*When we choose Sunday chairs they are just far enough from the bakery to ignore my chocolate desires but deliciously close enough to fascinate my olfactory sense.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

juice, coffee, day off +

*Crisp apple juice.

*Grinding coffee in the market--the freshness follows me into the car for the drive home. Even after I put it into the kitchen the car retains the wonderful coffee smell, a plus for being forced to keep the car windows closed in the cold weather.

*As I take a day off from my desk I realize that I've become too engrossed in some projects. It's like I stepped away and can get a better perspective of all the tatty paperwork which covers my spindly folding table desks.

(*He bought me a reissued cartoon collection that we both grew up reading. I haven't looked through them but enjoy his laughter and "I remember this one" as he reads them.)

Friday, January 1, 2010

fishbowl, lap baby, streets

*I work on something till my eyes are dry and stinging. Look up. And see it has become dark outside and my work at my desk a fishbowl in front of the open blinds.

*Connecting with someone about a family photo in which her ancestor is a month old baby on his mother's lap.

*The holiday has slowed down the city so that the streets are quiet--I can drive and look around without worry that I'll run into something.