Friday, October 31, 2014

gathering October

This past October seems a confusing month to me … at the beginning we were at the
end of a visit to family down further south, which included our annual
tradition of breakfast at the pier and time with our sweet great nieces and nephews.
Back home, we had our first mentor gathering with a new group
 of young women that we'll meet with for the next two years.
Then full-fledged preparations for surgery, and when all was ready, 
a colorful day in the mountains before my new knee got installed.
The last ten days are a bit of a blur as I recover from surgery.
We've enjoyed a last gathering of wonderful tomatoes,
an autumn surprise to grace our salads.
I look forward to next month when I'll be getting back to 
normal and we celebrate the giving of thanks.

Joining with Cheryl's Thinking About Home and her
Gathering the Moments Series.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

something new

I have a new knee. It's something the Gardener and I talked and prayed about for a long time and then the time seemed right and the decision was made.  And for the past several months I've been preparing. Everything in my life has been impacted by the coming surgery. I had a long list of house projects--some since I retired from nursing that never got done, and I was determined to get most of them done. I knew it would be a long time before I would feel like washing windows or scrubbing baseboards or . . . so I needed to work on my list.  Check. Check. Check. The list dwindled.  I was nesting like a woman ready to deliver her baby. Finally I checked off the last thing and everything was ready. The Gardener and I took off for a day to enjoy the color in the mountains.

The week before surgery my fear intensified. I've heard many horror stories of the pain after a total knee replacement. My fear was mostly about how I would deal with the intense pain. (I'm not sure nurses always make the best patients.) The last time I was in the hospital  was in Africa, many years ago and it was a faith-stretching experience then, where God gave me peace in such a tangible way I could almost touch it. He did that again for me this time. I felt like I was floating in His love and warm arms. I was relaxed when the big day came.

My knee dressed up in ice and in its stretch machine.
I did not have general anesthesia but a spinal with "twilight." I remember getting the spinal. A man in scrubs held me firmly curled up like a ball to expose my back for the spinal stick. I remember saying, "Now I know how the babies felt." I'm sure they thought I was already "lulu" but I meant it. Many a time as a baby nurse I had to hold a wee one in such an awkward position as we did a spinal tap. And now I was experiencing it. I felt the stick, and the pressure, and thankfully nothing more.

A week later I'm doing well. I feel like I'm back in school when my physical therapist gives me a good score and applauds my hard work. The Gardener has been a wonderful caregiver and a strong taskmaster when he coaches me with my exercises and stretches my knee. That's when the  tears come. Such pain, but it is worth it as the   flexibility increases.  Recovery is busy -- nurse and PT visits, naps, six hours each day in the knee bending machine, icing, exercise,  E  T   C. . . But it is better than I thought it would be, and I am so, so grateful to be on this side of it and on the way to taking walks again and riding my bike. I'm thankful for blog friends who have checked on me. And I'm thankful for God's presence all along the way.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

sky tricks

The Gardener and I decided to spend Saturday looking for color. The leaves
here have barely started to change so we headed for the mountains. It was cool and blustery 
with a variety of "color" depending on the kind of trees and the elevation.
(We do wish we had more maples here for their bright red hues.)
We never tire of seeing the gracefully winding roads
and the layers of the mountain range, always blue,
and always smokey––thus the names Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains.
The sky played games the whole time.
From bright blue and sunny to dark and menacing blended with odd sunlight.
No rain, but dropping temperatures and lots of wind.
 When we got to 6000 feet, we were in the clouds and the trees
had shed their leaves and there was no view at all.
But it didn't take long to get down to sunshine and color again.
What a great day!

Joining with Judith's Monday Mosaics.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

a tweak here and there

My sister and I have an "unwritten rule" when we visit each other's house. It's the "change around" rule--or better said, "invitation." An invite to move things around (probably not the furniture, that might require permission and help.) But anything else we see in each other's house that we think may need a little tweaking, we have permission to do just that.

The game is if it is noticed. (And it always is, we're such women of detail.) Sometimes there's a discussion, but often things are just left changed. This time she brought out a wedding gift vase which had probably always been in storage as it doesn't really fit with her decor.

But the color! So I found a spot for it. It's a smidge too tall for under the painting, but, I do love it's pop of color.

A little work on the book case, turning our grandmother's old novels on an angle and moving some photos, adding the fat green bird up top.

Now here's the deal: Now that I'm gone, are things now moved back to where they were?

I probably will never know, for next time I visit most likely I will have forgotten all about it!

This sweet dollie never got moved until I needed the chair
 (our grandfather's) for a few minutes. She kindly switched to the bed.
And this gorgeous big doll is always sitting here when 
we visit this favorite antique shop. 
She does change her outfit, but it's usually pink.
One last thing about my creative sister's house.
I've always been fascinated by her laminated (clear packing tape)
reminder signs that she keeps handy in a kitchen drawer.
She has embellished them with some of her stamps
and they truly are lovely to see sitting on the counter.

Monday, October 13, 2014

collage of color

Last week on our trip further south we saw a lot of color. 
Not fall color, but rather color of the tropics.
I am amazed at the gray that came out in the first set.
Oh how I love color.

Joining Judith's Mosaics on Monday.

Friday, October 10, 2014


 Donna speaks of telling stories with our still life photos.
All these "stills" were taken with my point and shoot during a recent visit to my sister's house.
I love this one because of the peek at the highchair in the corner.
Now quiet, but patiently waiting to be used by her grandchildren on their visits.
 I love that she keeps the vintage wallpaper up in the guest room. A shelf there is filled with
interesting old things, including this elegant little purse sitting so quietly now.
It begs questions from us that will never be answered, but we can guess.
The weddings, balls, banquets it may have been to . . . 
The corner cupboard filled with favorite things and family heirlooms.
Always a pleasure to view.

Joining Donna's Photo Challenge today, for the still life challenge.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

weather change

Last night a breeze came up.
And today we woke to cool, clear, dry air.
 A change in the weather. Smiles abound.
Windows open,we hear the clink of dishes 
and chatter of voices from neighbor houses.
And before we know it, "color" will arrive.
"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn." 
Elizabeth Lawrence

Joining Judith's Monday Mosaics.

Thursday, October 02, 2014


I love a quote from In His Everlasting Arms by Gail MacDonald: "Someone wisely said that a contented person is one who enjoys the scenery along the detour." Well said and certainly the life attitude I desire to live. I remember a busy time in my life when such detours would stress me. Delays I think of include long gas lines, traffic jams, an unending wait at the doctor's or anything else that does not fit into my scheme of how things should be. I remind myself to look at those delays as a gift of time. I try to have a small book along to read (which could be on my phone) or I spend the time working on my calendar, or thinking, or people watching, or praying.... And when I stop stressing about it, the wait transforms into an unexpected blessing.  I can even feel a little disappointment when the wait is over.
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