Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Welcome Home

We spent some time at the new house for a few days. We discovered a sunset view, old flower pots hiding in the weeds, dead pine needles and green pollen everywhere. We went there to build a wood picket fence for the dogs and ended up doing clean up work, before we could start.

I always say we, but I really mean Dave. He does everything and when allowed, I supervise from where I'm sitting. This trip I decided I was going to help. I felt compelled to take on the heavy hose monster. I straddled it, grabbed the nozzle with both hands, hit the trigger and sprayed. So what if I hit the dog, my foot and my head. That was one clean deck, front and back. I was a pot spotter from the decks and Dave retrieved them. My brain forgets my limitations and failed to stop me from over doing it. I was enjoying being a help and not a pain. I even went around with a little broom getting spider webs. One web was very stubborn so I just grabbed it with my hand. I soon discovered a black spider dangling on the web stuck to my hand. Dave "is this a black widow?" Dave got it before my shriek brought over new neighbors to see the crazed lady with the walker. I noticed later that night I had a blue trigger finger, or rather a bruised finger. Today is my first good day, after my recovery from stupidity. I hurt my muscles, causing weakness and the inability to blog (lift my arms). Today I spent trying to catch up, so if my typing is off cut me a little slack. Being a helper to Dave was worth every minute of weakness.

I brought my new poetry handbook with me and stood on my back deck letting the beauty sink in. The smells, sounds and plants created a poem in my head. I hope to have it ready to share on Thursday. The fence looked great, but Nikki was afraid to go down the stairs. 140' of fence and she learned how to pee on the deck. Oh brother! I was feeling good about the move and all our new plans. The sunset from our deck, gave us a beautiful welcome home.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Always Remember!

I watched the flag pass by one day, It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it, And then he stood at ease..
I looked at him in uniform So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night, when everything was still,
I listened to the bugler play and felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times that Taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin. Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children, of the mothers and the wives,
of fathers, sons and husbands with interrupted lives.
I think about the disabled men & women,
whose lives have been forever changed.
No, freedom isn't free.

Enjoy Your Freedom & God Bless Our Troops!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Poetry Thursday- Earth is Enough

We are leaving tomorrow for our mountain retreat/retirement home. We have been stressed fixing up our home to sell and fixing up our dream home to live in. I came across this poem and it was screaming at me! This man lived in the area we are moving to in 1875...freaky :)

Earth is Enough

We men of Earth have here the stuff
Of Paradise- we have enough!
We need no other thing to build
The stairs into the Unfulfilled-
No other ivory for the doors-
No other marble for the floors-
No other cedar for the beam
And dome of man's immortal dream.
Here on the paths of everyday-
Here on the common human way
Is all the stuff the god's would take
To build a Heaven, to mold and make
New Edens. Ours the stuff sublime
To build Eternity in Time!

Edwin Markham

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Round Robin Photo Challenge-"Reflection"

Cheryl at http://boiseladie.blogspot.com/ choose a fun topic "Reflection." I had two entries because I could not make up my mind.

This is Manny, my 1st love. He is sixteen and a black lab/border collie/cocker. He was given to me when I first retired, for companionship by a neighbor. He was already 5 and well trained. It took me one month to un-train him. LOL He took the other side of my lonely California king and had his own pillow. He was my constant companion and caregiver. I was single and did not date for 12yrs because I thought it would be selfish, if I was going to die. If I had any idea I would still be here I would have dated, but I had my God dog. Manny started to notice me struggling to rise from my low couch and sat in front of me with a cocked head. One day, as I was on my third try getting up, Manny nosed my arm and I put my hand behind his neck. He went totally stiff in the sit position, which allowed me to use him to pull myself up. He almost never hogged the remote, but did track in mud. (who says I had no man!). When I would fall from time to time, he would bark and pace. Never leaving my side. Once I got stuck in my shower for four hours. Manny barked, paced and laid outside the door until I was out. He still lays outside my shower to this day. Now I watch over him. He is hard of hearing, can't see well through the cloudy blue in his eyes and sleeps a lot.
He still can be found by my side, he can be jealous of Dave and will wake up to guard my little dog in the dark if she needs to tinkle late at night. This is a reflection of unconditional love :)

This is my grandson and daughter looking at each other with love in a mirror. He loves looking at himself. I call this a reflection of love :) Go check out other reflections!

Cheryl... "Welcome To My World" and "Life Through My Lens"Karen... "Outpost Mâvarin" Carly... "Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly" Valorie... "Retrospect USA"Sachin... "Sac@Works" **Welcome, New Member!**DesLily... "Here There And Everywhere 2nd Edition" and "Here There And Everywhere"Kimberleigh... "I Shaved My Legs For This?"Erika... "Stealing Time"Nancy... "Nancy Luvs Pics"Julie... "Julie's Web Journal"T.J. ... "Every Picture Tells A Story"Suzanne... "Suzanne R's Life"Derek... "Derek's Picture Of The Day" and "Through My Eyes" Tammy... "The Daily Warrior"Connie... "Moments To Remember"Steven... "(sometimes) photoblog"Deb... SassysEYEDorn... Through the Eyes of the BeholderSteve... PAPARRAZI BY PROXY **Welcome, New Member!**

Monday, May 22, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge- Introduce Myself

My adventurous side
My not so scary side.

I'm a newly married woman, at age 44, to my special guy I met on the internet. We married privately on a beach in Bali Hai, Kauai. It was sunset on Valentine's Day and a double rainbow appeared as a blessing. Hubby is retiring at 50 in 13 mos. and we have bought our dream home in the mountains, near a lake.

I have two grown daughters, I raised as a single mom for 13yrs. My youngest daughter is married and just gave me my 1st grandchild 5 mos. ago. He is my pride and joy! Our children are all out on their own. WooHoo!

My hobbies are movies, books, poetry, photography, visiting Kauai, water aerobics and camping. I have won a medal sailing, flew in a bi-plane, snorkeled and flew in a helicopter. All after 40, I'm a late bloomer...Not!

I have been battling ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) for 16yrs. I use a walker, talk like I'm drunk and my hands are weak. It takes forever to type, but I get my point across. God has been by my side every steo of the way. I'm not afraid and I have a great life.

I've recently discovered creative expression on my blog. I feel free and have been shown a side of me that was lurking in the shadows. I'm writing from my heart and letting it all hang out. I'm romantic, funny, goofy and living fully. This is just one more way to express myself. This is my 100th post!

I'm happy to meet you :)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sunday Scribblings - Three Wishes

The subject this week is what would you wish for if you had three wishes. I had to think long and hard on this one, I kept hearing "Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it."

FIRST WISH- Mana from heaven for the whole planet!
You get just what you need everyday, no more, no less. Starving people would
be fed, no more obesity, better health and no more grocery shopping. We would adjust in time. OK, it would be hard.

SECOND WISH- No more stereotypes!
I would love to have us look at each other without preconceived ideas on who we
are. Race, color, religion or looks would not be how we judge each other. We
would judge on actions. That would be really cool :)

THIRD WISH- I would like to be healthy as long as my husband lives.
This one is just for Dave and I. I have come to terms with death from having
Lou Gehrig's. I don't want to ever leave Dave and would love to throw away
the walker and dance. Bad health made me a better person and knowing what I learned, I would like to be healthy once more.

A Swim, A Gift, A Poet and A Power Washer

Gramy Tammy found a way to hold TK
"Path of the Spirit Warrior" by Jessie

I've been going to the pool for my muscles and now I'm ready to move up from "pool PT" to regular water aerobics. In two weeks, I can add weights to the two days I don't swim. Woohoo!
California had a very long winter and that caused an extra nasty allergy season. I'm not getting much oxygen with my asthma and medications are not helping. The AlS has already weakened the lung muscles. I've been extra weak, but found the pool helps. Must be extra oxygen in the water, who cares, it gets my butt to the pool. I'm taking deep breaths in the pool.
I found a new workout buddy after class and he is too cute. TK! I can't hold him out of the water, but in the water I can feel his little body close to mine. His head rested on my shoulder and I felt pure joy. He is starting to wiggle, so I must build my strength. I added new pics of him in Flickr.

This painting was painted just for me. It's so beautiful and touched me to the core. I was part of a "creativity exchange" hosted by Tara Dawn. Jessie is a really neat gal I'm getting to know through the exchange. I took her favorite things and used a photo program to create a coffee mug for her work space. She loved it!

I'm still in love with expressing my heart with poetry. I joined "Poetry Thursday" and realized how green I am. I'm now reading poetry and bought a book on writing poetry. So far I relate to Nye, Sexton and Wordsworth. I hope I got the names right. LOL Let me know who rocks your boat? Thank you to those who believe in me and keep encouraging me. It's scary, but as V says "To Grow is to be Anxious."

Dave started his eleven day vacation. Happy Dance! He is painting our current house on the outside and we will spend the rest of our time in the new house by the lake. Want to make your man a happy one, buy him a power washer. Arrr...Arrr....Arrr The dogs and I locked him outside before he power washed us! Nothing is safe today. LOL

Thursday, May 18, 2006

WWWC Entry & Poetry Thursday


The mind becomes lazy,
not willing to take the lead.

The body can feel heavy,
burdened, weighing you down.

The spirit can get tethered,
too comfortable in its ways.

My mind will take control,
leading with creativity.

Let my burdens wither,
lifting me to new heights.

I will set my spirit free,
running toward each new day.

Never looking back.

by Tammy

There is a story behind this little poem. I have become really comfortable in my life and I have had many burdens weighing me down. My body is getting its butt kicked by this years allergy season and I have had to make a life changing decision. I just could not imagine moving to a new home, fixing it up and leaving my secure little world. I even talked my husband into selling our dream home. It was the easy thing to do and would allow me to stay in "my box."

What happened to my adventurous spirit? My love of decorating? My ease of making new friends? When did I sell out? I have dreamed of living in the mountains near a lake. Why is change suddenly hard, when it used to be so easy.

I have made my decision and we are out of here in 13 months. I feel my spirit running free once again :)

Friday, May 12, 2006

In Honor of Mothers

This is my mom Judy at age 44, with my daughters. She died later that year suba diving.
This is Dave's mom Ruth at 82. She raised six kids and we will be spending Mother's Day with her.

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up puke laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here."

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football , hockey or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our are thoughts for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...

And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers..

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. (Author Unknown)

Happy Mother's Day! See you next Tuesday :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Round Robin Photo Challenge-"Free"

My husband Dave's version of "Free"
My entry for "Free"
Our support for our troops

There are so many things that were swirling around in my head for this topic. The one that was heaviest on my heart, is the men and women who have died for my freedom. My entry is from my little town in the foothills of California. The Veteran Memorial Hall was built in 1936 in memory of our World War I Veterans. It was built in the depression by men who desperately needed work to feed their families. I was born in 1961 and have always been fascinated by history and forever grateful to the brave men and women who have fought for our country. I wish more of the younger generation would realize how they got the freedoms they take for granted.

In our town we have a very old cemetery and Dave wanted to take a few shots. He felt it was a great expression of being free. I'm not a fan of cemeteries, but I am a big fan of his :)

This last shot moved me and I posted it to show my support of our troops. My heart breaks as I read of the precious losses we are seeing everyday on the news. Bless them all.

Check out the other entries :) This was a great topic chosen by Phinney.

Phinney... ParagonKaren... Outpost Mâvarin POSTED!Carly... Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly POSTED!Tammy... The Daily WarriorSara... Animated SeasonsConnie... Connie's Photo PagesErika... Photographs of my SoulNancy... Nancy Luvs PicsT J... Photo Inclusions: Every Picture Tells A StorySuzanne... Suzanne R's Life ***Welcome New Member!***Julie... Julie's Web JournalValorie... Retrospect USAMary... Alphawoman's Blog ***Welcome Back, Dear Friend!***Sassy/Deb... Sassy's EYE (AOL) and A Sassy Blog (Blogspot)Steven... (sometimes) photoblog

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Where Are You From?

This is a fun writing template I got from http://tabordays.blogspot.com/. It was originally inspired from a poem by George Ella Lyons called "Where I'm From." Here is the template with examples http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm. This was not easy, but Try it!

Where I'm From

I am from vacations in a RV;
from Converse tennis shoes,
bean bag chairs and waterbeds.

I am from a track home, a green lawn
and the sound of tv in the den.
I am from grey gravel,
maple trees and a wooden deck.
I am from camping and no affection,
from Judy and Patrick and Pontrella's.

I am from a world where no one talks
and keeps to their separate places.
From a past that college was a must
and "things" were a measure of success.

I am from the Catholic church,
a place were I felt safe,
wrapped in Gods arms,
a place I would go to escape.

I am from California, the south of Italy,
spaghetti and pizza.
From a mother who was angry,
took it out on me, drowned too young
and a father who was never there.

I am from a photo album of a family I barely knew,
a grandfather clock that chimes memories,
a bedspread started by mom,
finished with tears by a loving grandma.

A family legacy of fear.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sunday Scribbling - "My Shoes"

I retired over 10 years ago from an occupation where I had to wear suits, nylons and pumps. Being only 5'1" that was tough on the feet. I worked a few years into my illness and I fought really hard to stay in my heels. Balance and "drop foot" are major with ALS. Have you ever fallen in public? Tripped, but caught yourself? Well with ALS balance goes without warning and once you start to trip with " drop foot," there is no righting the inevitable fall. I was so stubborn I learned how to fall. In fact I made it an art form of it. "Drop foot" is dragging your foot, so I was wearing out my expensive shoes on the tops.

When I retired I could not snap, buckle or tie my shoes. Flip flops were a tripping hazard and I was left with slippers or velcro. I was wearing tennis shoes with laces made with elastic that looked like a glittery telephone cord. Big hit with the little kids and worked great. I now wear water socks to the pool and mule tennis shoes outside. I don't spend alot on shoes, but I get pedicures and wear toe rings. I still have that fashionista deep inside.

My favorite shoes are none :) It's a great topic, because it's always a good thing to walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Poetic Justice Creative Writing Contest

New Life

I heard his words in my head,
sounding very far away.
How could he say these words
to me, he must be confused.
I am not dying, I am not done.

His words did not hold my life
hostage, I did not curse my God.
I was given a new life that filled
my soul with compassion. My
courage held by the hand of God.

Love flowed into my life leaving
me full, knowing I would never
be alone on this constant journey.
I will learn the secrets of life,
I had always taken for granted.

I am not afraid of dying, but of not
seeking all that life has to offer. I
will not feel cheated when my time
is done. A new life I have been given,
a life that has just begun.

My Favorite Men!

I was suppose to be on my way out of town this weekend, but I'm at home instead. We were going to visit my mother-in-law, but my neighbor had a cold and could not dog watch. She would have done it anyway because that's the kind of woman she is. When you have 2 dogs, a cat and flower pots from hell. A weekend away is never spontaneous. It dawned on me that next weekend is Mother's Day, so we will go then. It worked out perfectly! I'm a Mother, but one daughter is working and the other is a first time mom. I doubt I'll be missed this year.

I have spent some quality time with 4 month old TK. I've forgotten the spit-up, leaking diapers and demanding "I'm hungry" cry. It's great to be a grandma, because they visit and then go home. lol You kiss them, hold them, make them laugh and then say "oh mom." I love it! I can't do any of the mommy tasks due to ALS, which made me sad at first. My first poopy diaper I was happy to just step aside. I had girls, with boys there are way too many nooks and crannies. He is now losing his hair, just like grampy dave. They grow so fast, I had to show you my little man in his grown up shirt, sitting with my favorite big man! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Dread of the First Day

Monday was my big day, I had to get up and squeeze into a swim suit. I was tired, bloated and way too comfy in my cave. In California spring came very late and I was getting way too used to being at home in my sweats and slippers. I have no pinching abilities, but I had to get into that suit by myself if it killed me. Dave took a sick day, but I would never let him witness my winter fat rolling into my "shaper suit." This suit is suppose to make your boobies perky, lift the butt and suck in the gut. The trick is getting those wobbly parts in the right areas of the suit. If I was truly brave, I would tape the event and send it in to "funniest Home Videos." I was exhausted by the time Dave arrived to help, but I was already in. My newly mowed legs were so white I had to hurriedly put my shades on...boy was I lily white! Yes, I whined and so wanted to stay home! Dave said I could stay home, but I knew he would be disappointed in me. He knows it's keeping me alive.

When I start I do an hour in a water workout class for people with medical stuff going on, three days a week. In two weeks I move to a regular water aerobics class for an hour, after my previous "easier" class. In another two weeks I work the machines inside on days I don't swim.
I go slow and drink a smoothie when I get home. The ALS people are still debating on if it hurts or helps ALS. I don't need no stinking medical trial to prove it, I already have.

When I arrived Monday I was greeted by all my "gym friends" with great enthusiasm. Happy to see me back for year 4. It's what will get me up out of bed in the first few weeks. Between them and Dave (my cheerleaders) I keep up the gym. In the picture above are a neat married couple, Doug and Chris. I'm going to take more pictures this year because when we move I will be leaving this gym. They will always remain my cheerleaders and I plan on visiting them when I come to town. I finished the "100 things about me" on top of my side bar. I've read a few and they were fun and enlightening. It was very hard and I tried to mix events up to keep you awake. TJ http://paisleyskys.blogspot.com/was once again my inspiration and Meg http://wingwoman.blogspot.com/also gave it a whirl.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Entry for WWWC- Expression for pic #10


I no longer fear you.
You have no more
power here.

Your tongue can not
strike me down with
venomous words.

Your reign of terror
has slowly turned
from my mind.

I am no longer your
Daughter, desperately
Trying to please you.

I am a warrior who
longs to touch you.
You taught me well.

In death you are free
and in life you have
been forgiven.

by Tammy