Posted in Holidays

Happy New Year

Wishing everybody a wonderful and safe New Years Eve. May all your wishes and dreams come true and may 2018 be filled with nothing but magical moments. May your New Years Resolution remain strong and help achieve the goals you have set forth for yourself. As we finish this year and look forward to new chapters, I give thanks to YOU for being a part of my journey. I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart and here is to us and to all the magic 2018 will bring our way. Xoxo 🦋💙

Posted in Family, Health

A prayer across the miles

On this last day of the year, all of my thoughts are traveling home, back to Germany, back to Mom. Mom has surgery today and she is losing another toe. And while everything could be a lot worse, for the moment at least it isn’t, although things could change tomorrow. For the moment I’m holding on to the silver lining that she is keeping her leg, while I silently pray that she is recognizing the seriousness of her conditions and that it will truly end with just a toe.

Posted in Origami, Spirit animals

Origami Crane

I saw a post on and Dominique was talking about Origami. Immediately I found myself intrigued and was ready to create, even though I didn’t start right away. I had a crane in mind and that shape was going to be my first attempt. I voiced to Dominique that I wanted to do a crane mobile and remember her response, which by the way still makes me smile. “You never do things like everyone else, don’t you?” It’s not that I try one way or another, I just follow what calls me at the time and quite frankly it feels good to maybe do the unexpected. To be unique and not predictable, I’m ok with that and it is what made me smile.

The day after the news came about Mom, I sat down after work and remembered my little crane project. It seemed perfect to take my mind off and indulge in a little creativity. I needed a distraction and what better way then learning something new. I looked up a tutorial and found an intermediate one that looked appealing. The beginner in me had to rewind a few sections but I managed to make my first crane. I was happy with the outcome, given it was the first time folding origami, but I wondered why I had chosen the crane. Granted a dear friend who calls me Tiger and who studied Martial Arts, refers to his movement style as the one of a crane, but soon I would learn that there were more underlying reasons to choosing this shape then I was initially aware of. I looked up the spiritual meaning of the crane and here is what I found.

Do what you need to do to bring greater balance into your life. This is a time of great abundance and plenitude, one in which you won’t want for anything. A portal has opened that allows you glimpses of the future without fear of trepidation. Maintain a relaxed vigilance at this time, paying close attention to signs and omens. It’s time to revive and restore that hobby or recreational interest you once enjoyed.

Crane totem reveals the secrets of longevity and spirit centered creativity and their connection to the eternal and divine realm. With the crane spirit you become witness to the power of your emotions and how they rule every facet of your life. Emotions lead you into a gale storm where you feel lost and powerless, it is not until you get into the eye of the storm that your power is revealed to you. Here in the center of the storm you can see the vortex surrounding you, the vortex is the field of your unharnessed emotions, fear, pain and stored trauma where you can feel lost and overwhelmed and not know how to find your way out. At the core of all storms is the eye, it is where you see the light has broken through the clouds, this is where the calm waters give safety. It is here that you have perfect clarity and can see the overriding power of your emotions surrounding you.

It seems like a perfect message for this point of everything that is going on in my life…

Posted in Hiking, Photography

A beautiful day in the Sierra

A day off is never a waste and here is a picture of the beautiful Sierra Nevada’s. The jagged Sierra Buttes are in background, and normally this area gets snowed in pretty good. It must have been the latest we were able to drive the Gold-Lakes Highway to be treated to such views and it just never gets old.

Posted in Chronic illness, western medicine

The science of grounding

I came across this the other day and feel it could be a missing link for treating my RA. I have nothing to lose but I will try what is covered in video and it speaks more to me than the call of taking hard core drugs as a form of treatment. It would explain the feelings I get when I’m in nature, when I sit on the ground and feel peace flooding my body. When the pain and the stress leaves drains from my soul and I literally recharge. For the longest I have referenced going to nature is like recharging my batteries. I never realized how true this statement really is. I believe this is a step in the right direction when it comes to my own health and who knows what’s next.

Posted in Photography, Travel

Lake Tahoe rocks

My backyard is a famous travel destination and can get crowded. This picture dates a few years back and today I seldom visit the lake and usually prefer to be found (or not found) off the beaten path where I can escape the crowds. The off season maybe something to consider if you come to visit and seek more relaxing moment within this beauty.

Posted in Hiking, music

Trail music

A few years ago, I had the chance watching someone play the ukulele on the four mile trail. It was in Yosemite National Park as a small group of hikers passed us on the steep trail to Glacier point. I noticed the small music instrument strapped to one of their packs and I could only imagine the moments shared between this young group and the songs played. Memories would be made and special moments where waiting to be created. Wanderlust at it’s finest for sure.

Luck would have it that a short while later the young group was taking a break which allowed us to catch up. We were treated to a small excerpt from a song and it was simply magical. I will never forget this moment and it was beyond cool to experience this trail spirit. Ever since, I have been talking about getting a ukulele and the subject comes up here and there, although I don’t know how to play one. It was like one of those unusual things that all of a sudden pop into my mind, when I feel that there is some sort of connection with it. Kind of like the rain boots that I wanted all of a sudden to relive a childhood memory of jumping into the water puddles without a care. It’s something like that, something that will enrich the experience and soothe my soul. Well guess what’s? Look what Santa brought! Looks like I’m going to learn how to play the ukulele and Santa’s Elves made one for me. Heaven help the wildlife that I will serenade soon. 😉💙🦋

Posted in Family, My story

As the news keeps coming

Life always happens in one way or another, and this time I sense major changes heading my way. The news keep coming, and messages from Germany and Mom have put me in some sort of a slump as of lately. It’s hard to be happy and carefree although I’m trying to keep some balance the best I know how to, to not trigger my own flare up. I’m still holding without the use of heavy medication and the pain levels are tolerable so far. I’m waiting to hear more details about Mom and to be honest, I’m scared of the messages and I constantly prepare for bad news. I know it’s coming and it did so yesterday. I felt strangely calm at first, as if I had prepared for this moment all of my life. I knew the news would arrive soon or later, and the only thing uncertain is usually the extend of the message. It was a rollercoaster of emotions for me yesterday. At work it was business as usual as I fought through sadness, guilt, helplessness, frustration and feelings of anger. I was glad when I could return back home to just be and lower the shield.

Mom is still in the hospital and it looks like she won’t be going home any time soon. Things have progressed since my visit and she can hardly walk. It was bad as I was there, but at least she was somewhat mobile. Still she believes that she doesn’t need a walker, and at this point her stubbornness, foolish pride, denial or whatever it might be that leads her to believe so is stirring feelings of anger within me. Her diabetes has long taken a hold of her legs and she lost a toe awhile back. She fell over a week ago, unable to get up, alone in the house, laying there for hours until she could pull herself to the phone to call for help, leaving her knees scraped from pulling herself over the floor. I have to remind myself of this mental picture as I question if this is the message here. How many more mental picture like these Can I endure?

What I know so far is that the doctors feel that more of her toes have died off and that everything has spread up into her leg. The chances are high that she might lose one of her legs or maybe both al, together. I feel it would be the beginning of the end and she wouldn’t get passed that. I feel the bitterness would consume her completely and rob the tiniest of joy from her life. From time to time I heard her wonder as to what terrible thing she has done in her life to be deserving of such punishment. Is it punishment or adversity? Have you ever met a person who doesn’t have some sort of baggage to carry? Sure it’s different when it comes to your own, but you still have a choice to make. We all have our suitcase to lug around and this is where she and I are a lot different. Where she is passive and is waiting for things to fall into her lap, I am much more aggressive and don’t accept the status quo. I create my future and I have picked up plenty of suitcases along the way. I’m sick myself but I have to take ownership of it. You choose whether you let it defy you or whether you say “I’m the storm, try me”. She never managed to do so and it makes me sad. For the longest I have felt guilty about it as if it was my responsibility to lead her to a better life. I still feel that maybe if I would have stayed in Germany, although I could have not controlled her illness, just maybe her life could have been a little brighter. And on the other hand I feel that we gamble a lot when we place that responsibility into the hands of others. I know I’m all over the place and I probably don’t make any sense here.

She is denying help from pretty much anyone, and especially me, it feels like. We never had an adult conversation, never had a mother daughter talk and life stopped with my Dads passing as I was ten years old. She never got over it and lost her soulmate. What could a ten year old possibly know and how could I be of any help to her now. She doesn’t know who I am as a person and while there is guilt on my part feeling that I took that opportunity from her, I do know that it was up to her as much as it was up to me. The house in Germany is stuck in a time warp from 43 years ago and time stopped for her. All this combined and more is where the anger comes in on my part and where I feel that I have talked about this for so long, warning her that this could happen. I even heard the nurses say “ Dear good Woman, I think you are taking this way too easy and don’t understand the seriousness of your situation”. “Oh just stop it” is her usual response as if something like this is so far fetched that it is impossible to imagine. The time has come and my frustration stems from feeling that I can’t help because she doesn’t allow me to. It doesn’t really matter if I’m here or there, what good does it bring if your efforts to help are denied? I saw it while I was there and all I could do is be there, enjoy the moments when you can bring a little relief and watch the demise happening in front of your eyes with your hands tied. It’s a tough situation and even tougher to do.

Somehow I feel that things won’t quiet down this time and a new reality is shaping for all of us. This time things won’t go away to buy more time, and it is time, which is the most powerful resource we have that is running out. For the first time I feel like I’m not going to be enough to help her and that I can’t do anything if she gives up the will to live, if she is not ready to listen and if she doesn’t want to accept help. It won’t work as long as she has feelings of disgust and contempt towards me. As long as she holds on to the past and her grudges for what she believes happened with me leaving her behind. Maybe things escalated after my last visit as I left again. I truly believe she had all her energy and strengths set on me staying and that dream went up in smoke when I left. I crushed her hope and her belief that this will ever happen. I don’t know how much more responsibility I can accept and while some things are within my control, others are not. I can’t be responsible for the choices that Mom made and her illness, it’s out of my control. It breaks my heart to reflect on the life she had, although I know that much was up to her and I have to respect that her decisions were what she wanted at the time.

The doctors found something in Mom’s blood and they don’t know what it is yet. The thought of it is not comforting as it allows my mind to go all over the place. What could it be, why don’t they know, is it so rare or unknown, what is going on? I’m preparing for the next blow and it’s hard to stay optimistic and positive at this time. Whatever it is, it’s something else out of my control and I wonder what I can do and how much help I can be in the future. Without a doubt do I have to go home. For how long or if forever, I’m not sure and I can’t see the future when it comes to that. I have doubts and I don’t think I can handle Mom if she loses the ability to walk completely. I know that I have to be there for her although I do believe that she is at a point where she requires 24 hour care. She shouldn’t be alone anymore and it’s not possible for me to remain by her side ever minute of the day. Mom rolled over in her bed, turning her back onto her visitors the other day. She did a few times and I have to look at it with different eyes now. I wonder if she is sensing something, if there comes a time where there is nothing left to say. When hope is fleeting and you are tired of fighting. When nothing makes a difference and the end of a life takes its natural course.