Posted in Family, Mom

Blessings

Blessings can come in many different ways, and yesterday I received one that touched multiple people. Unexpectedly and without my knowledge of such grand, scheme, plan, I received a few pictures from Mom’s cousin yesterday. Wednesday was what we used to call “salt day”, and every first Wednesday of the month we went to the salt pools to let all the troubles float away and enjoy a few hours in great company. I remember the first time when she convinced me to go, and I am sure glad that I did. I got to learn so much more about her, meeting a beautiful soul with so much in common, and the rest has been history ever since. A fond friendship was formed that never existed prior and perhaps couldn’t have as timing is everything and our life experiences often mold us together, bringing the right people into our lives at the right times.

We have stayed in contact ever since, and yesterday she sent me a few pictures. It was salt day and it is not uncommon that she visits Mom on those days to say hi. Mom has her own fond memories of a younger time spent with her cousin and they share a beautiful, natural bond that touches my heart. I didn’t know about the plan of taking the visit to the next level, and she, along with her boyfriend Herbert (such a sweetheart, she met at the salt pools while I was there), took Mom on a little trip out of the nursing home. I instantly welled up seeing Mom so happy and carefree, for whatever amount of time possible. It was huge for her and I can only imagine how it must feel to be in the same room day after day without feeling the sunshine or being able to be outside. Her last trip outside was on October the 13th 2018 with me, and I am grateful for the blessing of seeing Mom smile from ear to ear, and the blessing that was given to her by enjoying a different quality of life and a few hours of distraction. 💙

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Posted in Life, Self care

The analytical mind

How do the pieces fit together, was a question that came to mind today.

I talked to Mom both days, yesterday and today. She was in great spirits, actually a bit surprising to me, given that it was Dad‘s birthday yesterday. I think perhaps she felt good not having to share his memory alone, having someone (me) there to recall some of the stories. It was easy to stir her back to the funny times, and we found ourselves laughing instead of being overcome by grief. I’m sure Mom’s well-being and lighthearted mood on those two days certainly lifted a burden off of me. Even if just temporary.

It’s raining today and the barometric pressure has dropped. The humidity is climbing and I should be hurting. Yet I am surprisingly comfortable and it makes no sense at all. So what’s different?

  • I have been more active. Spending more time outdoors and using my exercise equipment. It’s definitely a plus and I am determined.
  • Since I dumped a whole glass of water in my bed, mind you that it happened at bedtime, I carry around a half gallon jug. Not only because I can close it tight, but it helps me gauge my daily water intake. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I have definitely increased the amount of water I drink. I wish water could always taste as great as it does when you are hiking, climbing that summit, being parched.
  • I have started to make a conscious effort deciding what I feed my body. Many more salads, no sweets, no soda, no processed foods, reduced sugar, and that kind of stuff.
  • I have been doing some crafting, felting to be more precise, that requires me to work more with my hands. Working with warm water and kneading the fabric has made a difference. I still have some ways to go, but it’s small steps I celebrate today.
  • I have stepped away from typing so much, which has also helped my hands heal. It is in those stationary moments and actually now, writing this post that I can feel my hands getting stiff and the pain returns.
  • I have started to take a few ibuprofens at bedtime. It has allowed a more restful sleep which is important for people with RA.
  • Last but not least, I laughed a lot today, thank you to the courtesy of one amazing soul sister. So much actually until my belly was hurting and I could hardly breath. We will be in trouble when we meet in person, and I look forward to that day with all my heart.

So how do the pieces fit? I am not sure, and no matter how hard I have tried to analyze and figure this out in the past, I just don’t know. Laughter and love are definitely strong medicines and powerful potions. Great friends and amazing people, a content Mom for sure add to the equation. Maybe it is chasing my dreams and being on the brink of doing something a little different. Can you believe it, I thought of a great name to represent what I want to do, and I ordered business cards? So exciting, and they arrive Friday with the next step in sight. Or maybe it is just finally time for this cloud to lift and better times to greet me around the corner. It just has to be….it’s time. 🦋❤️

Posted in Life

Unforgotten

Happy birthday Dad, I love you and miss you more than I could ever say. But you already know.

I love this picture of us and without any words I can see the love and bond we shared as father and daughter. A relationship that would have developed into a lifelong friendship and closeness. In a way it has, and although you are not here with me in the physical sense, there are times I feel your presence as if you stood next to me. I know your soul has never left us and you continue to watch over Mom and me. You are never too far away and you live on within our hearts, but it’s so hard not to hug you and laugh with you. You continue to do the best you can, feeling bad of having left us behind, and so many times I have wished we could join in a giant group hug and let everything be ok again. To be a family again, complete.

My life has never been the same, and 45 years after you’re gone, you are missed beyond words. You are unforgotten and your legacy lives on. Sometimes I don’t know how Mom managed to get passed you’re being gone and I look at her in disbelief of what she had to endure and conquer. She is one strong, tough lady, and you were the love of her life. The one that had to fight for her love with her playing hard to get, and the one that made her laugh and feel happiness to the core of her being. Sure other people have endured such pains before and made it past, but it becomes personal when it visits your own front door and makes you see things in an entirely different light. She loved you that much that she choose to be alone, although she had tried to fill her life again, twice, but she couldn’t get past the love she felt for you, and nobody could come close to you. Her decision is something understood by few, and most would see it as her downfall, as a result to her current situation. I can see way past that and I don’t know if I could be that strong. Perhaps I feel this way because I have been strong for too long and if I was in that situation, perhaps I too would have to find a way. I am just not sure if I would want to, and I am grateful that Mom had no other choice, she had me to take care of. I know it is here where her thinking comes in that it is my turn to take care of her, because she did for me. It is here that I wonder if she would even be here if I wasn’t in the picture so many years ago. She found her strengths because of me and because she had no other choice. I see myself in her and I know I have my warrior spirit from her. I know people would tell me that I have overcome incredible odds, that I have been strong in my own ways, that I had no shortage of battles myself. It’s true and it’s amazing how strong you can be, when being strong is all you have left. No doubt about it, but I don’t want to prove anymore that I can do it. I just want to be, understood or not, judged or loved, I am yearning for calmer sees.

Spending ten month with Mom, I feel she got a good glimpse of who I am. She saw, and met the person her daughter grew into, and it was an honor to hear her telling me how much I am like you. There are plenty of things I inherited from Mom, but most of me is a replica of you. The funny side, my way of being, the laughs and jokes, it’s all you and I think you worked your magic through me while I was there. For awhile life was getting as good as it could be for Mom. It was you she saw in me, and it helped her to get better when she was sick and near death. I can see the difference now that I am gone, and her face looks older, wrapped in worry and loneliness again. It is by far no comparison to how it was as I first got there, and I do my best to make her laugh when we FaceTime. Still it’s a drop in the bucket and not nearly enough.

Spending all that time with Mom brought us closer, and I loved her sharing a few stories about you. Stories I never knew and I think it was good for her to talk about it, and good for me to hear it. I have always had such a hunger to know every little detail about you and I hang on to every shred, every picture, every memory of you. Fact is you are missed and life has never been the same. Time doesn’t heal all, but it teaches us to go on, to live with the pain, and a heart that is left behind incomplete.

Happy birthday Dad….forever your girl.

Posted in Art

Meraki

(v.) to do something with soul, creativity, or love, to put something of yourself in your work.

I’ve always felt that my art was including a piece of me. A part of my life reflecting on the canvas, created with love, passion, and soul.

Here are two more pieces awaiting a clear coat of glossy varnish against a matte backdrop. I hope there will be some interest in the likes of these pieces when the time comes. I shall surely find out. Fingers crossed 😉. Thank you for any and all feedback.

Posted in Inspiration, Spirituality

Healers

We all have healing properties and even more ways to soothe each other. Sometimes it takes a listening ear, a understanding nod, perhaps a smile or a warm hug to lift someone and bring healing to their soul. But in every case the work for healing remains with each and every one of us. We all require healing at times. So whatever end of the stick you might find yourself on any given day, just remember that some days you are the healer and others look to you for help, and other days it is you who is in need of healing.

No matter which one, a healer is not someone you go to for healing. A healer is someone who helps you to find the key within you, for your own ability to heal.

We already have all the answers inside of us, sometimes we just need a little help.

Posted in Mom

Art & Metamorphosis

Mom made some butterfly art the other day which really surprised me. She can knit and might make a tapestry out of cross stitches, but she never really had a thing for doing crafts. She says she has no patience for it which in turn I never understood. Knitting socks is not exactly a thing that doesn’t require patience, but to each their own I guess. The nurses at the home have tried to involve her in classes and events several times without avail, until now it seems.

Talking to Mom, (all is well again, and we both have avoided the subject of a recent incident when she wheeled herself out of the picture because she no longer wanted to talk to me, but didn’t know how to turn the iPad off) she told me that the nurse asked her if she could help her with the butterfly’s. Well played dear nurse and a clever approach, since Mom will not say no when it comes to helping someone. Apparently she has helped this so said nurse a few times already (according to Mom, because the tasks would be too difficult for the old ones and it is what Mom calls the other tenants). Remember that she is 80 years young, and far from being old.

I couldn’t help but smile seeing all the butterfly’s end up on Mom’s wall right next to her bed and at the table where she sits. I think the cutout, and in this case a butterfly was a perfect subject considering how much has changed in a year. Last year on her death bed, Mom has learned to smile much more these days and she truly has left her cocoon and emerged as a butterfly, in metamorphosis and still trying to find her way.

The review – re-evaluation was just a few days ago to determine Mom’s level of care and support needed. This will go for the physical as well as the monetary support and so far I have not heard anything. I thought it might be a touchy subject which made me avoid asking too many questions, but Mom seemed ok and remained calm. A big relief and shortly we should know what’s next and what to expect. Fingers crossed her support continues in every way possible.

Picture courtesy of my cousin Moni who’s birthday is today. Happy birthday, may your day be filled with blessings and special moments.

Posted in Inspiration, Photography

Surrounded by light

Day is over, night has come.

Today is gone, what’s done is done.

Embrace your dreams, through the night.

Tomorrow comes with a whole new light.

….today brought amazing light and it was a beautiful day. There was a glow in the air, reflecting on Washoe Lake, and within my heart. Nothing was missing and I felt rich in every way.

Oh, and today a business name for my dreams was discovered, finalized and available to be registered. Stay tuned for the reveal. 😉

Posted in Mother nature, Photography

Mount Lassen

Came across this oldie but goodie of Lassen Peak today, and it’s got me thinking. I can see it as a metal print, but then again on the other side, I think I can do better. It’s sure nice to look at and I love the colors of the day light fading, but I’m not sure it has that “WOW” factor that just totally grabs you and blows you away. And with that I think I just answered my own question.

The struggle of us artists, always our worst critic, but it also keeps us inspired and striving to get better. Not a bad thing if we learn to celebrate the achievements we already have accomplished.

Posted in Dreams, Inspiration

Chasing dreams

So here it is, and this is what I’ve been up to in my downtime. I’m daring to dream big as I recall some of the comments from coworkers who have felt that I should pursue my talents and stop wasting my time. Perhaps now is that time and things surely have happened for a reason. And if not now, then I don’t know if it will ever be that time. I have to try or die wondering.

I realize that some of those comments were made in regards to my photography and my acrylic paintings of a different kind than those pictured above. Granted those paintings are acrylic too, but they are made up from an entirely new technique and process. So far only a few people have seen them, while giving me their view and input. I appreciate it all and feedback is crucial at this point. All response have been positive so far, and the pieces made will remain with a spot in an ever growing inventory. Please feel free to comment your impressions and feedback. It’s much needed and valued. Thank you.

So far I have made some paintings and have dabbled in soap making, including felted soaps. It’s been fun to make goats milk lavender soap or goats milk honey soap which leaves your skin super soft and smooth without the chemicals. There are so many ideas on the back burner, but right now the goal is to see if I got something here. If this could turn into something like a want, a demand that perhaps some day will support me financially and afford my dreams of life on the bus. Plus there is a financial hurdle at the moment where not all inventory and ideas can come to fruition immediately. Perhaps a garage sale or participating at one of the fairs would give a feel for any interest.

The future will include items containing my photography in a unique way, such as timeless and classic metal prints. Reproductions of my paintings, driftwood art, including other nature pieces, greeting cards, knitted socks, felted stones, postcards with my art, and much, much more.

At the moment I am narrowing down a company name in sync with my values, my love for the wild and many hobbies, my blog, and the many choices life throws our way. It needs to be relatable and make you feel good. It needs to tell you that you are not alone and that your tribe is out there. I’m looking for ” the warriors journey” (my blog) to continue. It needs to echo my love for helping others and empower people. To give back and make a difference.

The products I hope to make need to be as unique and as special as you are, the consumer, and echo a mantra that is wild, free and untamed. It should make you feel good to purchase for yourself or to give as a special gift. You see it’s quite a lot I am trying to tackle. A tall order I know, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Posted in Inspiration, Spirit animals

An old friend returns

An old friend came to visit me today and for a moment I was amazed at how much joy this little critter brought. Why, I don’t know, and maybe it was just the realization and the reminder of how much the simple things mean to me.

In good ole fashion his name is Alvin and he used to come every day, collecting his peanuts and other goodies I put out for him. It was always a highlight whenever I saw him, to watch him stuff his little cheeks near bursting, stop to eat a few, and eventually run off to his little apartment under the shed. There was a time he even brought his lady squirrel and their three babies to feast. It was when the offering (food budget) had to be upped with increased rations due to many more mouths to be fed.

Later on the neighbors cat became a serious stalker and Alvin and his family disappeared. I hated that day and nearly came to hate the cat, which is almost an impossible thing given that I’m an animal lover. But I hated to think of anything bad happening to my little squirrel family. It’s been nearly two years, and although I doubt that it is Alvin returning, another squirrel was sighted today. It appears that he or she had found the apartment under the shed and it was a welcomed sight. The peanuts are out and I hope it’s the start of many special sightings.

So why now I wondered? What is the universe tying to tell me? Sure enough the message came through loud and clear from my squirrel spirit animal. It made sense and there has been little socializing. It wasn’t possible, but I believe this is my reminder that things are changes and to incorporate play once more.

Get ready for coming changes by lightning your load, clearing out and giving away any goods or material possessions that no longer serve you. The best way to deal with the challenging situation that’s before you is to confront it head on and be totally honest with your feelings and thoughts. Be extra vigilant and cautious right now, and be willing to avoid or escape any threatening situations. Prepare for the future by gathering and storing extra food, water, clothing, candles, and money for possible later use. Although you’re actively and aggressively pursuing your goals right now, you need to balance this pursuit with more socializing and play.