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A Sad Day

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I had written about my mother-in-law, Glenna, when she was so ill from inhaling a calcium tablet. We almost lost her then, but she struggled back to health. During her hospital stay, it was discovered that she needed a valve replacement, which was successfully done two weeks ago. After that, her heart was not regulating itself, so last week she had a pacemaker implanted. She was making a fine recovery, but in a convalescent home, where she could be monitored.

Glenna was very unhappy in the home and wanted to return home. Last night she called her grandson and asked him to pick her up and take her home. Instead, he went and spent the night in a chair in her room to keep her company. She was angry about not being able to leave, and refused to eat or do anything they asked her to. Eating, she said, was one thing she still had control over. This morning, while Ryan was sleeping, she decided to go to the bathroom by herself. She was unable to keep her balance and fell over backwards, hitting her head with full force. She lost consciousness almost immediately after Ryan called for help. She was taken by ambulance to the local hospital, the care-flighted to a hospital that is better prepared to handle extreme head injuries.

At the second hospital, the neurologist determined that her head injuries were inoperable, had her hooked up to life support, and left without even checking in with us. The nurse had to fill us in with what she could, but was a poor excuse of a nurse. We asked to see a different neurologist for a second opinion, but he was unavailable until after 5:00PM. While she was comatose before she arrived at the hospital, we watched her condition deteriorate over the course of the day. We could see that it was only the life support machines that were keeping her alive, and wanted to honor her living will by releasing her from the machines. This we could not do until after we saw the doctor.

In the end, we were able to see the CT scans. Essentially, she was brain dead when she arrived. With great sorrow in our hearts, we had her released from life support system.

A kinder and more loving person you could not imagine. The loss of Glenna is a loss to the whole world.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAPAMIKIE 6/20/2010 8:15AM

    Prayers for you and yours

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LAGREBE 6/20/2010 5:27AM

    I am sorry to hear that. I have lost a great friend in a similar fashion a year ago and it still hurts. Thinking of you.

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ROOBYBEGONIA 6/17/2010 12:08AM

    Awww. :( What a sad accident. I know it isn't much consolation, but honestly, she probably was unaware of much of anything after the impact. The previous weeks with the hospitalization and surgical procedures must have made her miserable, and losing control over one's life is absolutely the pits and any age.

Big hugs to you and your family.

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MARYMAC45 6/15/2010 10:13PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you.

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WESTCOASTGIRL1 6/15/2010 5:44PM

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We had to say good-bye to my mom in a similar way. Keeping you and your family in my prayers...

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ETWOLIE 6/15/2010 5:35PM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I wish there were something I could say or do to lessen your loss, but I know there is not. So from afar, I am sending hugs to you and yours.

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SIRIRADHA 6/13/2010 5:51PM

    Thank you for sharing about Glenna. I am grateful that we got to have had her good and loving heart here with us on this planet for as long as she stayed.

Peace be with you and yours

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GRACEC29 6/13/2010 11:07AM

    Oh wow....so sorry to read this. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I'd rather feel any other feeling besides grief. It's by far the most painful feeling to experience.

You will carry her in your heart which will be closer to her than you've ever been before.

Again...my prayers are with you. emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 6/12/2010 7:25PM

    Oh Chris, I'm truly sad to hear of Glenna's passing. My prayers go out to you and yours. Here is a Native American prayer I came across while grieving after my mother's death. I've found it to be very comforting when I experience the loss of a loved one. Peace and heartfelt hugs, Kim

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush.
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight of night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

~Native American Prayer

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DJS-DEBBIE 6/12/2010 1:59PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

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TKADEEPBREATH 6/12/2010 9:53AM

    My prayers are with you. Ms. Glenna must have been a very special person. Her memory will always stay in your hearts.

Blessing, Jan

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/12/2010 9:50AM

    OH dear.. I am so sorry to hear this. What a sad day for all of you. You and the rest of the family are in my thoughts.

Hugs to you... diane

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    So sorry for your loss.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 6/11/2010 5:15PM

    My prayers are with you and your loved ones during this sad time.
Hold your treasured memories of Glenna close to your heart.
Sheial emoticon

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    You have my profound sympathy for the loss of Glenna. May you and your family be comforted in the coming days. Sandee

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~MISS_TEA~ 6/11/2010 2:19PM

    My thoughts are with you =) Big Hugs!

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PATRICIAANN46 6/11/2010 12:39PM

  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hang on to your memories.....they will NEVER go away. emoticon

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GRNISHADE 6/11/2010 12:22PM

    "They whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are"
~ St. John Chrysostom


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OLDERDANDRT 6/11/2010 11:55AM

    Dear one,
I am soo, sooo sorry you all lost Glenna.......especially in the way it happened! Suffice it all to say that any way it happened, it would be a shock and such a great loss, but remember that even though her loved ones here are in pain at her loss, she no longer has any health issues and is so happy with the Lord. Now she can watch over you all always!
Prayers from me to you and yours that your pain will ease quickly and quietly as you become able to remember the good times and smile when you think of her.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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MAWRTIAN 6/11/2010 9:24AM

    Hang in there babe, I will keep you and the family in my prayers emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 6/11/2010 9:10AM

    Chris, I am so sorry. I am sad for the loss of your beloved MIL, but also sad that you have to endure yet another loss in what seems to be an on-going series of losses for you. Reading your writings about all this, I have come to see what a strong person you are, that you do find peace and happiness amidst sadness. My heart goes out to you and your family, and may you once again find peace at this difficult time. emoticon

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BEACHMOMMY87 6/11/2010 8:39AM

    I am so sorry for you loss! You & your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

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IUHRYTR 6/11/2010 7:23AM

    Please accept my condolences for your loss. Glenna sounds like an independent woman who was like most of us in resisting the lack of control over her life. I know you'll keep fond memories of her close to your heart. emoticon -- Lou

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MCGS62 6/11/2010 7:22AM

    Please extend our deepest sympathy to you and your entire family. When you need a hug, count on us we'll be there!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
jim lois elena briana

Comment edited on: 6/11/2010 7:24:49 AM

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    Sympathy to your family.

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HANNAHV 6/11/2010 3:36AM

    My heart goes out you and your family. So sorry for your loss emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LADYNETTIE 6/11/2010 1:39AM

    I'm sorry for your loss. It sounds like she wanted to go out on her own terms. Peace be with you and your family.

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MONKEYGIRLRAIN 6/11/2010 12:53AM

    How very sad that you lost such a wonderful person in your life, but I am so glad that you were able to share your life with her. My thoughts are with you and your family. Please take care, and have faith that she has moved on in which ever fashion you believe. Take care.


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0309COOKIE 6/11/2010 12:40AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I will pray for Glenna, you and your family.

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2BHLTHY4LIFE 6/10/2010 11:32PM

    Oh Chris.I am in tears, emoticonwhat a horribly sad story. I am lost for words to express how I feel. I am so so sorry for this turn of events,she just wanted to go home. I can tell you,after my mom was in a nursing home,why she wanted to go home. How is the grandson,bless his sweet heart,doing emotionally?She was suppose to be monitored? Oh,that is someones mistake at the home she was staying,it's so sad and yet so maddening for the lack of care on the convelesant homes part. The way seniors and elders are so neglected in these places,it makes me see red, emoticon.Such a tragic preventable situation. Many hugs, and prayers for you all coping,Diana emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SOON2BEFITSLP 6/10/2010 11:19PM

    I am sorry to hear of your loss, but glad that you cared so much for her. I hope that you find happiness in memories and make it through this difficult time. I recently had an aunt pass away. I found it very comforting to see everyone again at her service and memorial. Keeping your family in my prayers.

Take care.



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    emoticon I am so sorry for you loss.

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WATERMELLEN 6/10/2010 10:49PM

    Sincere condolences. What a moving tribute you have written.

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PENNYAN45 6/10/2010 10:48PM

    This was a very sad story.

Her grandson sounds like a caring person. It is too bad that things ended as they did - with such a sad and unexpected result.

My sympathies go to you and your family - for this great loss.

emoticon emoticon

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AFM-SPARK 6/10/2010 10:47PM

    I hear the pain of your loss. I am so sad for you and your family.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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COCOABUTTASAKI 6/10/2010 10:42PM

    Sorry for your loss.
Make sure to tell Ryan that its not his fault she got up and went to the bathroom. Im sure he is blaming himself but he has to know whether he was there or wasnt there he couldnt have stopped her from getting up and doing whatever she wanted to do.
I'll pray for you and your family.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 6/10/2010 10:40PM

    My prayers go out to you and your family. So very sad, when it seemed she had made a turn around, and was going to be okay.

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MOMOTHREEBS 6/10/2010 10:32PM

    I am so sorry to read of your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family. Her Grandson Ryan sounds like a wonderful, loving and caring man to have stayed with her and try to make her feel more calm. I am sure that she was a wonderful person and really quite fiesty from the lines i read above. She will watch over your family from heaven and she will know that she was blessed to have a family who cared enough to honor her wishes.
Many prayers and wishes that your grief passess and you only remember Glenna for the wonderful person that she was and share your memories of her every chance you get.

Comment edited on: 6/10/2010 10:38:10 PM

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LILPAT3 6/10/2010 10:31PM

    So sorry for your loss. Know she is in a better place.

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STARINTHESKY 6/10/2010 10:29PM

    Oh what a sad story. She sounded and looked like a beautiful person. So sorry for your loss! emoticon

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Offering Strength

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my dear friend Jeanie's breast cancer has metastasized and gone into her lungs. She is undergoing heavy chemo therapy and some other therapy which I am as yet unfamiliar with, but it sounds very positive. I feel fortunate not to have had to go through chemo, but this is not my first time around on the sidelines. From observation, I know how much the treatments take out of a person.

My gift to Jeanie, as well as being on the Meal Preparation Gang, is to clean her house while she is having her chemo treatments so she can come home to sparkling clean. Yesterday, I spent three hours vacuuming, organizing, dusting, and scrubbing until the house shined. I brought an elegant flower arrangement from my garden to place on the bureau in her bedroom, homemade frozen fruit smoothies to put in her freezer, and a menu with dinner selections for her to choose from for when it is my cooking night. I will do this each chemo day, which will be once a week for three weeks, one week off, for a series of 5 rounds.

My sweet friend has just completed her first round. This round has actually made her feel better and stronger than she felt before her treatments began, and she is feeling very encouraged. My experience as a support person has been that the first round is the easiest, and she is in for a long and difficult haul, but I am staying quiet on this. She knows this, too. Neither of us are strangers to cancer and its treatments.

Do you have a friend or family member with cancer? Give them the gift of time and of humor. Your time is so well spent, and a having a calm, supportive attitude, infused with humor, helps the healing process. So many times, when a person is gravely ill, people avoid being around them because it feels awkward and they don't know what the right words are to offer as support. The answer to that is give your time and be a good iistener. Let your friend or family member be the guide in terms of where conversation needs to go.

Share your strength.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 6/12/2010 7:28PM

    You are the quintessential friend! What a thoughtful way to support Jeanie. I pray she will tolerate the chemo and beat the cancer. emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/12/2010 9:48AM

    Such a kind person you are with a huge big heart :)

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OLDERDANDRT 6/10/2010 2:29PM

    What a great friend you are! Hope if I ever need this level of compassion, someone like you will be there!!
Well wishes to your friend and ........

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    That's what friends are for!

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KATIEGLEN012 6/9/2010 11:49PM

    You are such a good friend. Having a clean home is so good for morale. Listening and being fully present is the perfect treatment. Being able to enjoy her company is a gift for you both. I wish her the best of luck through the treatments.

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MARY1313 6/9/2010 10:56PM

    that is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the gifts you are giving are soo great and the gift of laughter is wonderful gift too!

I read an article on some information that has been gathered by one of the big hospitals that treat cancers, could be the Mayo, anyway they said that their gathered data showed that those people that had a good positive outlook and a good attitude did much better at fighting the cancer and surviving. they also said that they had found that it is very important to keep impurities out of your system, particularly as it pertains to tap water, as there are lots of cancer causing chemicals and things in it and if you already have cancer, you are even more susceptible to it because your chemo treatments are taking away your body's good fighting cells along with the sick cells. It also said that fresh veggies and fruits, and for meat only fish had been found to help too. Oh and they said to drink purified water during this time in the place of tap.

I know that you are going to be a warrior for your friend in all that you do. On my end, I'll be a prayer warrior for the both of you!

Hey take your flamenca sometime and just play for her. It's very soothing I am sure.


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CLEVAGAL 6/9/2010 7:06PM

    I live 4000kms away from my sister who is having her second round of Chemo as they have found more cancer. I am flying down to see her in about 4 weeks time. I have made her a necklace with Kyanite, clear quartz and amethyst. I have also made her a sun catcher with the same crystals but included rhodonite for its benefits to the immune system and healing vibration. I feel often helpless when trauma/crisis happens to my family and I am unable to help out physically. I go home twice a year, this will be my second trip home and wont be there again until next year when I can save up for the airfare. It costs 1000 Aust dollars return to fly home and back. I am doing what I can do and thats all I can do. Thanks for the blog Chris.

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    emoticon Coming home to a clean house and fresh flowers must have felt wonderful. She is very fortunate to have you as a friend.

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2BHLTHY4LIFE 6/9/2010 5:29PM

    Oh Chris! You are such a treasure, your blog made me teary eyed. What a beautiful person and friend you are. You are right in that it is uncomfortable being around people with serious illness,as we don't want to say the wrong thing and hurt them. We to often avoid situations like this as we are uncomfortable,this is truly when the person needs us the most to give them some encouragement and a big hug emoticon.You deserve the highest award for this act of kindness and compassion and friendship. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonfor sharing this with us. We are proud and honored to know you! emoticonand admiration, Diana emoticon

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DJS-DEBBIE 6/9/2010 2:34PM

    You are a very good, wise friend.

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ROOBYBEGONIA 6/9/2010 2:23PM

    Good luck to your friend. Not fun times, that's for sure.


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REVJVH 6/9/2010 1:54PM

    This made my eyes mist up. What a great friend you are, and what important words of counsel and remembering you offer to us. Thank you!

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MAWRTIAN 6/9/2010 1:27PM

    I love this! When a friend had her baby prematurly her mother-in-law came to the house, cleaned everything and stocked the freezer with home cooked meals. There couldn't have been a better gift! I'll pray that you can keep on being such a blessing, I'm sure glad you are my friend!!


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IUHRYTR 6/9/2010 10:23AM

    Thank you for caring. emoticon -- Lou

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LMB-ESQ 6/9/2010 9:54AM


I'm so glad you're able to do this for your friend. May you and she both find some measure of peace on this difficult journey.

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CELLOSONG 6/9/2010 8:40AM

    That's great that you can do this for your friend--how great! My uncle's undergoing chemo for stage 4 colon cancer right now, and I wish I could be closer to him so I could do things like this for him, but he's in upstate New York and I'm in DC, so it's not really possible during the school year :-( Hopefully I can make it up this summer to see him. This is my first time dealing with a relative (or anyone I know closely, really) with cancer--I appreciate running into your blog and reading this.

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MCGS62 6/9/2010 8:19AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Take care of your friend. You're the best! Lois's sister is on chemo for colon cancer that's why the early screening on monday. She seems to be doing well. I hope your friend has good results also.

jim emoticon

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TISMELEELEE 6/9/2010 8:19AM

  You are an amazing friend. I am going to do what I can today, and every day, to help someone in need. Thank you for the sweet reminder.


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Transition - Ouch!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I am enjoying summer, but also having some difficulties with transition. During the school year, my schedule and routine are tightly set, and over-scheduled. One day I am working too hard and have been for nine months, the next day I have totally unstructured time - BOOM! It isn't a bad thing, but it is a thing to be reckoned with. I make lists; lists of things I need to do, calls I need to make, things I need to purchase. I map out plans for my days; X hours to work in the yard, X hours to work in the house, schedule in time with friends, and time with music. It is the glue that holds me together so I don't lose track of my daily goals.

This summer I am having trouble with thinking I forgot things I didn't actually forget. It probably shouldn't, but it scares me. Usually it is pretty manageable, for example, thinking I left the hose on. I go out and check it. Hose wasn't on. Thinking I forgot to turn the lights off on my car. They were off.

But the other day, it was a full out anxiety attack. I was at the garden center with my friend - browsing the plant selection, taking photos of things I thought might look good in my garden but wasn't ready to purchase yet, and enjoying time with my friend. Afterwards, we went for lunch at a little restaurant we both like. I sat down at the table and jumped right back up. I told Judy we had to leave immediately. I thought I left the lentils cooking on my gas stove.... hours ago. I was afraid I had killed all of my animals at least by smoke inhalation, if not by having burned my house down. It felt very real. We were 15 miles from my house and it was torture getting back. As we crested the hill before my home, I was relieved not to see smoke. I rushed into my house to check the stove and the animals. Everything was fine. Stove off. Lentils done. Stella, Emmitt, and Tex - fine, healthy, and happy to see me. I was very relieved that everything was just fine, but it still scares me that I am having these lapses. Would I be as scared if my grandmother hadn't had early onset Alzheimers? I don't think so. I am hoping that this is just a phenomenon of going from having a highly structured life to one that lacks external structure.

Okay, I'm off to take my fish liver oil - stay healthy, brain!

Sunset Over the Field.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 6/12/2010 7:33PM

    You haven't unwound from school OR all the worrisome and sad events you've been going through for the past months. Don't worry over this as worry no doubt caused it in the first place. Breathe Chris, breathe.
P.S. When I was 16 I had 3rd row seats at a Frank Zappa concert and couldn't enjoy any of it because I KNEW I had left the iron on at home and burned the house down.
Must have been the shock of actually ironing something.... lol! emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/12/2010 9:46AM

    I am reading EVERYONE's responses with care! I am so scared of any sign of Alz.'s And so I look for ways to help myself through a day so that I can rest easier. Mos t
often what I worry about, turns out to be a false alarm, but then something will happen that seems to confirm my fears. ARGH.

Fish oil? Really????

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    This is the sign of having too many things going at once. Settle yourself down, young lady:)
If you are getting too anxious, make a note pad to keep by your doors. Write something like:
Before you leave did you...
Shut off stove
turn off water
let dog out.

Anthing you want but remember to change it every so often. After a while those reminders become meaningless papers on the wall.

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DJS-DEBBIE 6/9/2010 7:12AM

    You are not alone, Chris!

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    Chris, I have similar issues and I created a checklist that I taped to the garage door to check off the items I need to check or turn off before leaving the house. It has really helped relieve the anxiety. The only issue not covered on my checklist (since it's on the garage door) is closing the garage door. Many times I have to turn around 1/4 mile from my house and go back to make sure it is closed. My neighbor gave me a tip. She told me she audibly tells herself that she is closing the garage door when she pushes the remote and that helps her to remember that she has closed it.

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CLEVAGAL 6/9/2010 1:19AM

    Theres nothing more to say except, breathe....Cleva xxx

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MCGS62 6/8/2010 11:40PM

    I hope everything calms down as the summer progresses. Teaching grade school kids probably has an element of controlled chaos . You may just be missing that feeling. If the panic attacks continue, you should consult a pro.
Check your spark mail emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 6/8/2010 11:24PM

    I have that kind of problem when my mind is trying to focus on too many things at once. I am thinking about something else instead of what I am doing. So I don't remember turning off the stove - or unplugging the iron - or some other potentially dangerous thing.

So when that starts happening, I stop and pay attention when I turn off the stove and say to myself, sometimes out loud "I am turning off the stove now." Or I'll say to myself, "I am unplugging this iron now."

I also had to find one place to keep my keys in my pocket book - otherwise I could never find them. So, whenever I put my keys in my bag, they go in the same little pocket on the inside.

Like you, I also make lots of lists. That is the only way I can keep track of what I want to do - and of what remains to be done. My memory is just about non-existent.

This memory issue has certainly gotten worse as I've gotten older - but I have to admit that it is a problem I've had forever. I have always had a bad memory.

I hope you don't have any more nasty scares like that one. Running home thinking that you are responsible for burning down your house is a horrible experience.

And- I wish you a great summer!!


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IUHRYTR 6/8/2010 10:34PM

    That had to be scary wondering if you had left the stove on. I guess as we age it is somewhat normal to wonder if it "the time" when we forget something that we will continue forgetting. Hmm. Glad all was okay. -- Lou

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PUDLECRAZY 6/8/2010 10:27PM

    Okay, Mary, cheers (as I lift my tablespoon of fish liver oil and click it to yours * without spilling, I might add *) and here's to healthy, youthful brains.

I do expect it is from months of brain overload, rather than Alzheimer's, but I have to say, that fear lurks at the back of my reptilian knee-jerk brain. I did talk to my doctor about it a few years back because I have a tendency to forget where I put things. My friends hate it now that I have switched to a cell phone because I am always misplacing it or forgetting I have it on mute. My car keys are now on a carabiner clip that I attach to my purse or my belt loop so I don't lock them in the car or lay them down someplace peculiar. She gave me a tip: if you forget your keys, that's forgetfulness. If you don't know what your keys are for, that is Alzheimer's. Good tip!

There are other factors involved: brain injury that has haunted me throughout my adult life, and ADD. Either of those are probably suspects, especially when I have brain overload. Normally I deal with it with a sense of humor. This time, it scared me.

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MARY1313 6/8/2010 9:44PM

    Yes you are right, it is the transition from rigid to flexible. When this happens to me, and it does since menopause, after I complete something and the oven/stove/iron or whatever is OFF, I put a check mark beside it on my list. that means I have not only completed the chore, but everything involved with it is off and put up. My list goes everywhere so when I have one of those moments, I just look at my list. I'm going to take my fish liver oil right now!!!!


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B2B2BA 6/8/2010 9:37PM

    I have that happen to me sometimes, too. I think that it is just brain overload. It usually happens when I have too much going on. I understand your concern, though. So let's hope that it is just your brain switching gears.


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MMPHELPS1970 6/8/2010 7:29PM

    anxiety...i know it well! it's a normal part of life, but it when it gets in the way of enjoying healthy activities and time with friends, it might be a good idea to check it out with your doctor. i'm also most comfortable with structured time and routines (which is one of the reasons i think i do well with sparkpeople.) i remember feeling very "at sea" when i graduated from college, and not knowing where in the world i was supposed to be or what i was supposed to be doing at any give time--very disorienting. it sounds like making your own schedule and routines will help, but any time you have a panic attack it's worth looking at more closely just to make sure it's not becoming an issue that interferes with living a healthy life. you have my heartfelt empathy and support! *hugs* xoxox Michelle

ps Julia Cameron has a beautiful book called "Transitions." I bet you would love it. She's the author of The Artist's Way and other books--very spiritial and positive and healing.

Comment edited on: 6/8/2010 7:33:00 PM

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LMB-ESQ 6/8/2010 6:48PM

    Oh my! I can imagine the panic you were in! I've left my house thinking I've left something on, or unlocked, or forgot to pick up the cat food... but I've never had such an extreme reaction.

I'm so glad it all turned out alright! And I'm sure you're right; it's just getting used to the new schedule. But, really, if you're that concerned about it, why not check it out with your doctor?


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WATERMELLEN 6/8/2010 6:47PM

    Oh, anxiety. Soon unfair for it to leap out at you when you've got a break from work.

You have my sympathy for sure. If it doesn't taper off in a week or so -- yes, you might want to consider consulting with your doctor. With your devotion and commitment to your students, you deserve this time to recharge without panic.

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Chickens and Other Updates

Monday, June 07, 2010

Here is a tiny video clip of the chicks. They are so cute, I could watch them all day. In fact, they love to hang out with me, so I do get to watch them all day when I am out working in the yard. They are very entertaining, but then, I AM easily entertained. The big black australorp rooster is Denty, the chick who survived the cracked and glued egg.

I have really been logging in the fitness points recently. Now that I am finally on vacation, I have been catching up on yard work between thunderstorms. It has been such a warm, wet spring that my yard has become a tropical forest. I have been pulling gigantic weeds, cutting back shrubbery, filling the garden cart, hauling the weeds off to the compost, planting new plants, and clearing the yard of branches that have been coming down in the storm.

When it has been storming, I have been doing the deep cleaning the house has so desperately needed. I promised myself to get rid of 'stuff' and I have begun the process of extruding. My parents grew up during the great depression and believed in throwing nothing away. I learned that lesson very well. The thing is, I do still believe in that. We have become such a wasteful nation and it has been very hard on the ecosystem, from wasteful production, to the toxins that result from production, to the issues we now have with waste disposal. So I am not at all critical of myself about not throwing things away; but I do need to share with others... time for a lot of my things to head to Good Will.

I have also been getting to spend time singing with friends and practicing my guitar. I can strum away pretty well now, and arpeggiate, but I am focused on learning new picking styles. I need to break out my flamenco guitar today, it has been sitting on the sidelines during my hectically busy end-of-the-school-year.

I have come to believe that I had set my original weight goal too low. I seem to be 'stuck' at my current weight, but it is a good weight. The love handles (muffin top) are still there, and maybe they will come off now that I have more time to be more strenuously active, maybe they won't. I wonder if a little thickness in the middle is just a condition of being in the thick of middle agedness. Right now, I am thinking that there is a body-wisdom I should be listening to instead of the mind games I can play with myself. So, I have actually reset my goals to be a few pounds heavier than what I originally thought; not as a cop-out, but as an offering to a greater wisdom than my self-referencing brain.

One of my dear friends brought me a bouquet of these roses for my birthday. I love the color!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLEVAGAL 6/8/2010 1:04AM

    Ahhhhh :) Chris..... beautiful rose-my favourite kind. Ez calls that kind of coloured rose 'sunset roses' I get them for her when I can find them which is not as often now that we live in the tropics....

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    My grandfather was a chicken farmer...and this brings back a ton of memories! emoticon

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    The chicks are adorable! I'm so glad Denty is thriving!
The rose is beautiful! That is my favorite color for roses, such a pretty shade of peach or apricot.

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MARY1313 6/7/2010 11:20PM

    Awwww I love the sounds of the chickens! so peaceful and happy sounding. Denty is awesome!

I myself have just taken I don't know how many really great outfits to share with the local charity too. If I haven't worn it in a year, it goes.

Thanks for a great blog!


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DJS-DEBBIE 6/7/2010 4:30PM

    I try to have a donation a month for the Vietnam Vets myself.

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CECEJAY 6/7/2010 4:22PM

    I loved watching your chicks! Terrifically inspiring blog too! Thanks.

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ROOBYBEGONIA 6/7/2010 3:57PM

    The chickens are SOOOO cute! :) I can't believe Stella doesn't chase them around. Good dog!

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REVJVH 6/7/2010 10:49AM

    Love the chickens!

Today is the beginning of home office decluttering for me. Argh!!!!! Good luck on your efforts to prune the outside and inside of your home!

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ASTABETH 6/7/2010 10:49AM

    The chicks are cute! I am so glad the one in the cracked egg survived!

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HOPERISING 6/7/2010 10:01AM

    Love those chickens. My fam in africa bought me 5 chicks because I told them I wanted to keep chickens when I arrived. Unfortunately 3 of the 5 have already died from some terrible chicken disease.. I can't remember what it is, begins with a "c" but its wiping out all the chicken populations in the area emoticon

Since I divorced I have been very big on getting rid of all the "stuff" that has been cluttering my life for the last decade. I gave away what I could, put a lot of "free" stuff on the curb which was snatched up by folks in the neighborhood. I love having less, it makes life simpler, and things stay cleaner when I don't have to battle the clutter.

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LMB-ESQ 6/7/2010 8:49AM

    Boy, for such a rough start, Denty sure has made his place in the world! He looks strong and healthy... good for him!

Did I ever share this with you? This is my nephew's flamenco company. He and his wife live part time in Spain and part time here, and they've been touring. Their show is really a worthwhile experience if you ever get the chance. He manages the company and is one of the guitarists, and she is the principal dancer.


(Can't post a link here, but you can copy and paste)

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PLAYBLUES22 6/7/2010 8:08AM

    Nice blog and you will lose the love handles they just take a little longer I guess emoticon

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 6/7/2010 7:35AM

    We are an extremely wasteful nation... and we largely operate on an unconscious level. We go through life like robots, doing what the media tells us, trying to be like the media we see... it's depressing. I have a difficult time connecting with people because everyone seems FAKE... but when I really meet someone connected, especially someone who believes in the same kind of idyllic world I do, it's a blessed day!

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

I do not for a day take for granted the privilege I have to be able to grow my own fruits and vegetables, and to have chickens in my yard. When Mike and I first got married, we bought a run-down Victorian home in town, that I adored. Several of the people who were looking at it had plans to bulldoze it and build a parking lot for a local business, it was that bad. But I love old homes and Mike and I had a plan. We spent 8 years restoring the house and yard, resurrecting the fish pond, the beautiful tiled fireplace that had a closet built around it, the lovely staircase, etc. It was all done with sweat-equity. I don't like loans and on a school teacher's salary, paying for the work was out of my economic range.

After eight years of restoration, we sold our house to a sweet couple, an artist and a computer analyst, who 15 years later, are still giving it the tender attention it needs. Mike and I used our equity to buy a house with acreage in the country so we could enjoy more expansive gardening and a quieter life style. I do not love my ranch house the way I loved my Victorian, but it is practical and homey. However, I LOVE my yard and gardens, as well as the expansiveness of the sky around us. I love the birds, the herons, hawks, woodpeckers, bluebirds, owls, and songbirds that live here, in fact we have actively made our home a bird sanctuary. I feel very blessed and fortunate to be able to live where we do, and to be able to grow our own food.

We DID grow our own food in town, though, just not on as grand a scale. Even city dwellers can grow veggies in container gardens.

As I was working in the garden this morning between storms, I was thinking about the many advantages of gardening. You can probably add to my list:

emoticon Vitamin rich and freshness guaranteed
emoticon No pesticides
emoticon Connection with our earth, you can't help feeling protective when you get your hands in the dirt.
emoticon Physical work keeps you in shape
emoticon Spiritual connection with your food and the earth it grows from
emoticon You can go out and pick your meal
emoticon Fun!

For those of you who love nothing more than a tomato, fresh and warm from the sun, picked right off of the vine, I have posted this link to Molly Mason and Jay Unger singing 'Homegrown Tomatoes'.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoDVEIUR4xs emoticon

I am working on this song, but am no where as good as Molly - yet. emoticon

I love being able to have chickens, too. Just like fresh tomatoes are nothing like the cardboard-like renditions you get in the store in the winter, a fresh egg cannot be compared to a 'store' egg. It is entirely different. I never liked eggs until I had chickens, so in my case, the answer to which came first would have to be - the chicken!

The girls say 'Hi'. emoticon

To my gardening friends, have a great weekend of gardening. To my friends who don't have the luxury of a garden, Saturday is usually a Farmers' Market day. There are not only great fruit and veggie offerings at the farmers' market, it is a great place to socialize.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REVJVH 6/7/2010 11:25AM

    I'm a terrible gardener, but I envy those who do it well and love it. Sounds like you're finding lots of joy this summer!

I hear you on the eggs. I just started getting them from my CSA farm, and they're amazing.

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DREMARGRL 6/7/2010 9:30AM

    I love your blog on gargening! It tells me so much about your life....your personality and I know that we would be friends! If you have read my blogs about critters, you'll see it, too! haha.
Yep....warm, juicy tomatoes right out of the garden. My granddaughter loves eating them like that, as I do, and started enjoying my garden when she could barely walk. Don't you just love the gathering part of it, too? It always makes me happy when I can take a basket out there and pick all the freshness right out of the back yard.
Thanks for posting...for sharing and for the unique way you expressed your love for your hobby and your life! Thanks for the first really warm smile today!
XO MaryAnn
PS You are so right....a home is where you are happy....It doesn't really matter what house it is you are living in.

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JAZZMINE 6/6/2010 5:50PM

    Gardening is a great hobby. I also enjoy gardening, although mainly herbs and flowers, due to the wildlife population. I have given up on vegetables, because the wildlife always get them before I do!


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FT4EVR 6/6/2010 3:34PM

    I love my yard and gardens too! Watched an eagle sit high on a tree top this morning. And listened to the sounds of many frogs last night. I have lived in the city before but I feel very blessed to have our space in the country. Enjoyed your blog!

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CLEVAGAL 6/5/2010 10:44PM

    aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh theres that breath of fresh air again.............I love growing my own vegies and herbs too. i grow them in baths right in the driveway, as the mango tree has taken all the sun out of the yard by about midday. I just harvested the basil, coriander, parsley and lemon balm. As it is tropics here, normally spring/summer harvests occur over winter.

We have a low set Art Deco house that we are starting to renovate....one of only 6 brick houses built in that era in this area.


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MARY1313 6/5/2010 8:29PM

    I love to garden! that is really my passion, and even though I am now in an apartment, I'm doing container gardening.

Love that song!!!

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MARYMAC45 6/5/2010 7:25PM

    Chris, another great blog. You have a beautiful place there. I love my gardens too. We cannot have any farm animals due to zone restrictions. But I would love to have some Rhode Island Reds. We have plenty of deer and an occasional black bear. My brother has a variety of chicks-lol, I mean hens on his 28 acres. Also Rosie, the cow and a couple of goats. We have 2-1/2 acres, but some of it is over grown now, due to my prolonged illness. But I spent 2 hours today, raking, mowing(for the 1st time in 4 years)& a bit of shrub trimming. The azalea's & rhodies need to be trimmed before the new buds set for next year. But I do love my gardens & look forward to more of your posts.

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SASSYBLONDE69 6/5/2010 12:43PM

    I completely agree

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ENERGIZED4LIFE 6/5/2010 12:39PM

    emoticon thanks for the encouraging words. I want to learn to garden (beyond my container tomatoes) I have a large yard but don't really know where to begin.

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MCGS62 6/5/2010 11:52AM

    We tried to plant a garden at our camp last year. The deer loved it and the amish kids thought it was funny watching me work I must have been doing something the hard way.
Lois and I talked about getting some chickens after we build a house, but we don't know much about raising them. Are they hard to care for? How many do I need? I'd really like to wake up to cock a doodle doo I can hear one in the distance when we camp. emoticon

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PINETREEGIRL 6/5/2010 11:05AM

    Excellent! It's funny how the weather can really influence the garden-side of our mind! I am actually headed out to the backyard now, to see how everything is faring and check up on all the events that have happened since I last weekend. I can't think of a more creative place.
Happy weekend!

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/5/2010 10:57AM

    This sounds like such a glorious garden and spot to have. Peaceful. Plentiful. Calm.

Today is PERFECT weather for my garden. I have my veggies ready to go... seeds are staring out from their little packets... and the birds and anticipating some of the leftovers!

Here's to Farmer's Markets and the variety they bring to our lives.

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PATRICIAANN46 6/5/2010 10:56AM

  I couldn't agree more!!! After teaching all day, I would come home to my gardens and even though they took alot of work, they were also my sanctuary. We also lived in town for several years and moved out to the country with 6 acres of woods and a huge yard and gardens everywhere. We have never regretted our move.

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