Saturday musings …

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Another week of healing has gone by. After last weekend’s stress – all related to medicine prompting nosebleeds, the last few days have been quiet – but – I realize that I haven’t written a blog in some time. Perhaps it was the chaos; perhaps I was too weak; perhaps I had nothing to say (not likely).

Today I am watching it snow – which is good because we don’t have much snow cover. For those of you that live in the city, when we – in the country – flush our toilet, it does not go into a pipe and is carried far away. Instead, it goes into a tank in the ground – tanks that can freeze up. We’ve already had that happen once this year. The snow is also not good – it brings the work of shoveling and plowing. But overall, the snow is good.

One of my techniques for healing is reading. I am currently reading “The Able Life of Cody Jane.” This book tells the story of Cody and her life with spina bifida. It was very ably written by her mother, Marly Cornell. I am striken with similarities to my recent medical experiences – the absolute fear when you are on your own, the vulnerability, and the hospital protocol that does not allow for adjustments to suite the needs of the patient. I am about half done with this book – so I may have more to say when I am done.

I also knit to heal. This was quite a productive week with dish cloths, spa cloths, scrubbies and significant progress on a ski mask. Knitting makes me stop and focus. It calms my mind – which is always racing from one idea to another. And it makes me feel productive. For someone who is used to being very active – and, at least for now – suddenly cannot be, this is important.

I also started a valentine craft project. There is something about creating and working with your hands that also promotes healing, Perhaps it is just that I have to pay attention to what I am doing. I can’t work as long as I  would like – shaky fingers are not good when cutting — but I can take it one step at a time.

And that is what I continue to do. One step at a time.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return. 


A small thing …

Believe it or not, as you age you find that you need less … perhaps because you have collected so much … but mostly because you really need less. You likely don’t NEED everything you have. You WANT it – so you have it.

Sometimes, though, the smallest things bring the biggest benefit. With winter here – which means coats, scarves, and gloves, an oxygen line, pockets that are too small for my phone and assorted medical devices, I am always having to struggle to carry what I need. So I improvised and did what I do – knit.

I made a holder for my phone (and medical cards,, etc.) to hang around my neck. It only took a couple hours but it already has proven very useful. The bonus – I always know where my phone is. It’s not in the bottom of a bag or falling out of my pocket or in my hand. It is in the holder around my neck.


This small project made a world of difference to me. Is there a small project that you can do that would make a big difference to another? Can you help carry in groceries? Can you shovel a sidewalk? Can you call to say Hello? Remember, something small may be considered something big by others.

Thanks for reading! I hope you return.


My personal 2018 vision …

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I’m sure  you’ve heard others comment that time speeds up as you get older. It is true – it does! Maybe it’s that it takes more time to take care of yourself – medical needs,etc – or maybe it’s because the number of opportunities to attend events for grandkids, friends, family members, etc. has grown exponentially, or maybe it just seems like it is speeding up. In any case, some of us oldsters – who used to think we had all the time in the world to get things done – now realize that our time is limited.

As many know, I always have many projects going at once; many of them remain undone. In the past few months, I was so sick that it took a conscious effort for each task – standing up, eating, walking, etc.,  During that time, I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to get done and how I need to adjust to my new reality (and that is, that I can’t do everything I used to be able to do). I quickly realized – given how much effort it took to do simple tasks – that my some of my current plans were a bit unrealistic. That doesn’t mean I am giving up on many of those goals.

People have been using vision boards for many years. Some people use it to bring about change in their life – to focus what they’d like their life to be, what they want to do and how they want to feel. I’ve adapted mine just a bit to be more about what I want to accomplish in 2018. Even if I even only accomplish part of the plan, it will  affect how I feel (for the better).

My vision board is still a pretty ambitious but … The most beneficial part of creating the vision board, at least for me, is that it makes  you think through your ideas and helps you choose those that are most important to you.

My vision board was created using  the computer version of ‘cut and paste.’  First, I found photos that easily remind me of each project. Then I created a photo collage – where all of the photos are combined into one photo. You can also do it by cutting and pasting photos from magazines or other documents onto a thick piece of paper. The purpose is to be able to display it so it is a daily reminder.  I printed my photo and taped it up in an area I will see daily – the side of my computer.

Here’s a quick look at my vision board –

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Here is a very brief explanation of my board: knit a sweater for myself; paint rocks; knit lots of spa cloths; finish my fiction book (the picture with the trees); learn to use by scan’n cut machine for various craft projects, and complete various work projects. So, I will need to find some rocks. Completing the vision board will be dependent on how much time it takes me to heal and improve my health.

Perhaps  you want to try creating your own vision board? Even just thinking about may help you in the coming year.

Thanks for reading! I hope you return. 



This year …

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Just days before Christmas,

And nothing is done,

With doctors and tests,

We‘re always on the run.


So how do we get ready?

How do we cope?

We simply can’t make it happen,

We don’t have that hope …

So –

This year we’ve decided,

Will simply be green,

So those who are gifted,

Can decide what they need.


The best part of all,

We can just sit back,

And not have to wrap,

Instead we can chat.


Have a wonderful holiday season!! Thanks for reading my blog. 


That little bit extra …

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Now is the season where everyone is gift shopping – hoping to find that bargain – and, in some cases, hoping to find something special — just the right thing. I would submit, however, that you often don’t need to look for ‘just the right thing.’ You can easily accomplish your goal by taking time to enhance those holiday memories.

Here’s some ideas:

For younger children –

Make a decoration together – one to take home and one for you, Make sure you have all the supplies ready to go. This one also doubles as a treat – because they are edible. Just fill cookie cutters with peppermint candies (placed a cookie sheet with wax paper);  melt in the oven on low heat (200 degrees); remove from the wax paper, punch a hole in the top, add a ribbon – and, behold, you have a decoration or a treat.


Make a fun veggie display. There are so many ways you can do this. Here’s some examples to spur your creativity.

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Have a special treat  – one that don’t always get at home – but don’t overdo. Just a few. Simple is often a good choice. I have grandkids who would be just as happy with dollar buns.

For your ‘adult’ children –

Did you keep decorations they made as children; if so, display them. (And for those of you that have way too many decorations – consider donating your commercially made decorations to a home for veteran’s and keep only those that have special meaning to you. Then you can also downsize or eliminate the need for a Christmas tree. You can also display the decorations in other ways – on mantels, on houseplants – be creative.)

Did you keep sketches or drawings? Frame one and give as a fun gift.

For your spouse –

Some of us in the older crown really don’t really need anymore ‘stuff.’ We are trying to eliminate stuff. So, for this group, you can …

Make a meal that you don’t make very often – perhaps something that you really aren’t supposed to eat – (those pesky restrictions on salt, etc) or something that your spouse’s family used to make. I keep getting a request for klebba – a family version of potato dumplings. The dumplings are made from raw, grated potatoes that are combined with flour and cooked in boiling water; then the dumplings are drained and put in milk – along with potato pieces, heated and served (like soup). I haven’t found a recipe yet but family members tell me this is how you make it. I do remember my husband’s Aunt Agnes making them in a similar manner. If I recall, the potato dumplings have the interior consistency of a golf ball and, once they hit your stomach, they stay for a long time. However, we are going to try them – one more time (and maybe for the last time).

And for the ‘older crowd’ … 

As I mentioned, most of us oldsters have more stuff then we need. What most of really want is to have you spend time with us, make a handmade gift, help us with a chore, but beyond that – really nothing more. A little time with family and friends is the best gift of all.

Just remember – gifts are okay but memories last forever. This year, remember to make some memories.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return. 


Faith, Love, Hope and Joy …

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Dreams can be strange things. Sometimes they are simply bizarre – like the one I told you about in the last column. Sometimes I can’t remember them at all. But last night, I had a dream that seemed like it went on for hours — simply showing me the phrase “Faith, Love, Hope and Joy” over and over, in various ways. There were different scenes were the words showed up on the wall, on a mantle, etc. There were also scenes where people kept telling me that I need to remember them – over and over. So, what does this mean?

So, off to the internet I go to be enlightened. I found a lot of articles about recurring dreams but nothing much about words being repeated in the context of one dream. I didn’t really understand what the articles were saying – I am not much into Freud.

That leaves it to me – to either figure it or just let it go.

As you know, I am recovering from heart stent surgery and I have a lung disease. The recovery has been slow – which is hard for me because I am used to being on the go — as in being busy, not being athletic. And, really, I am not looking for sympathy or anything like that – I just want to get better.  But I also tend to be anxious about it. So —

I think this phrase is a message for me to lighten up and let the healing progress as it will. The message is …

Faith – Keep the faith.

Love – Let love help you heal.

Hope — There is always hope.

Joy – Find joy in each day.

I have listened and I will try to remember these four words  guide me as I heal. I think it’s a good list for everyone to remember. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you return! 




Still healing … and sleeping

Tomorrow it will be three weeks since my heart stent surgery. It seems like it has been much longer … healing is slow, very slow – complicated by my lung disease. I’m sure I am getting stronger each day – although some days are spent mostly sleeping – whether I want to or not. However, that’s better than in the beginning  . . .

After the first few days, I simply could not sleep. So, I decided to take matters in hand and took two benadryl tablets to help me sleep. Well, that may not have been the best idea. Soon I was in a state of delusion. For whatever reason, I thought that I must sleep sitting straight up. If I moved and did not keep the position, the clock would turn backward and morning would never come. And it appeared to work!  When I slide down in the chair, the clock appeared to move backward. When I sat up straight, the clock moved forward. So, there I sat – straight up – waiting for morning to come. It seemed like many hours had passed but the clock never seemed to move past 5:00 (am). Finally, morning came and it was 7:00 am. For several days following, I tried to stay awake as long as I could, hating the thought of watching that clock all night.

As for sleep medication, I will not be taking a double dose of benadryl again. Interestingly, however, I told this story to one of the nurses during my remicade infusion treatment this week. She said that sleep-deprived people can become delusional – without any help from medication. So, perhaps the delusion was just me. In any case, no more benadryl.

I am surprised about how weak I am. Never would I have imagined a time where I was too weak to knit !!!!! – or – too weak to read !!! I have finally started to knit a little – and read a little — so progress is being made.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return.