Wordless Wednesday – pleasant pause


The good, the bad, and the ugly

We’re going on a little more than 6 weeks since Mr. Bob’s diagnosis. Since then, I’ve learned A LOT about myself, my cat, and his condition.

Just chilling on his favorite spot — the back of the futon.

The good: While it has been very trying, and an emotional roller coaster, it’s also been nice to have this time with Bob. No matter what happens, it will cherish each and every snuggle and purr I get from him. Not that I didn’t already cherish them, mind you. But there’s a renewed sense of specialness to them now.

This is his smushy pumpkin face, all wrapped up in a blanket.

The bad: I’m still dealing with dropped commitments and reshuffling priorities. Friends have been put on hold, and work has been intermittent. And while I’m cherishing my good moments with Bob, I’m left with little extra energy for anyone or anything outside of care taking. I have more respect for people who have special needs children or elderly parents who need constant care. I’m just dealing with a little cat that I can wrap up in a towel and force feed, and it’s still an emotional challenge to get through some days. And I’ll admit, I got really frustrated the other day and hit my cat on the head to get him to stop squirming.

All snuggled up in a towel. Not happy, though.

The ugly: My yard. It looks like I was in the middle of a big project and then just quit. Which is what happened. Paving stones are still half assembled. There’s a pile of straw left where it fell. Plants are dying left and right. All the plants I’ve bought in the last two months are dried up twigs, still in their plastic containers. But the weeds are flourishing. I finally found a free minute and two free brain cells and turned on the automatic sprinklers, so maybe that’ll help save a couple of plants. Of course, that’ll also encourage the weeds. Oh well. Bob is far more important than anything going on outside.

Not a happy cat. Not happy at all.

Funnily, I was out getting the mail yesterday, and the neighbor was just pulling up. I chatted with her for a minute and then jokingly apologized for the state of our yard and then explained the situation. Turns out, she has a blind, elderly dog with kidney failure and she’s pretty much doing the same thing at her house. So, there’s that consolation.

Spontaneous snuggles are the best.

Felicitations (x2)

Today is Mothers’ Day (yes, I know where the apostrophe goes, I like it there since it’s really a day to celebrate all who mother, right?). A day to celebrate my awesome mom, and all the other awesome mothers in my life.

I wish I had a photo of my mom. I know there must be one around here somewhere, but I can’t put my hands on it easily. Sorry.

My mom is a rock star. She’s been a huge influence in my development (my dad is awesome too, but his day is next month). I know she went out of her way to make sure my sister and I were brought up to be kind, caring, thoughtful, intelligent women. She didn’t shy away from the difficult discussions about race, gender, justice and equality, and many of the other Big Topic issues of the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

She also gave me my love of language and the power of words. Pun games and word play and the like were always fun pass times when I was growing up. On long car trips, in the time before DVD players and hand-held games, we had to entertain ourselves somehow, right? Who else has a mother who studies Aramaic, New Testament Greek, and Latin? I think in another life, she must have been a great linguist.

And my love of books is directly attributable to her. I have a  distinct memory of her taking me to the library to get my first library card when I was probably around 5 years old. I was so excited! I used to check out ALL THE BOOKS! Heck, I still check out far more than I could possibly read in a week.

My dear mother has lived through a lot these last few years. First, her beloved brother Jimmy lost his battle with Pancreatic cancer. Her other brother and her sister have both had their turns with cancer, although both are doing well in remission. She has worried for year about when it will be her turn. As it turns out, her turn came earlier this year, when she was diagnosed with stage 2 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It’s not a terrible diagnosis, as far as cancers go. It’s treatable, and has a pretty high cure rate. She just finished her third treatment of chemo and various other poisons which make her feel terrible. I admit I haven’t called her enough during the last two weeks. I’ll make up for that today. With any luck, she’ll be done with chemo with this last round, although there may be one more. We’ll see.

As for how this will make this Mother’s Day different, I’m not sure. I know it has certainly reminded me of exactly how much I adore my mom, but I think I’ve always been pretty good about letting her know. We never do anything really fancy or special. I won’t be going home until later this year.

Happy Mothers Day, mom!

May 13 is also my sister’s birthday. Every couple of years, it falls on Mothers’ Day, proving again that my sister will always be able to claim that she got our mom the best present.

My sister is seriously awesome as well. We were never really close growing up, but have become closer over the years. She’s smart, super crafty, a great cook, and she has a wicked sense of humor. And she doesn’t suffer fools. Case in point: while those of us with an immediate blood tie can call her “Beck,” everyone else calls her anything other than Rebecca at their peril. Call her Becky if you wish to die a drawn out, painful death.

Sadly, I don’t have any good photos of her around here either. (TBH, I don’t have a lot of photos of people.)

Happy Birthday, Rebecca!

I love you both dearly and can’t wait to visit with you later this year!

Thankful Thursday – summertime fun

1. We’ve gone from spring to summer in less than a weekend. I’ve already gotten my sandal tan going. I’ve pretty much given up on wearing PJs and jeans, in favor of shorts and skirts. And tank tops and camisoles. I’ve even lucked out and found some great skirts and tops at Goodwill. It’s like a double bonus!

2. I’m really enjoying looking forward to a summer of blogging and crafting. Even though I still have one last paper to write for class, I’m already feeling like it’s summer break around here. And, while I’d like to show off photos from my garden, it’s looking a bit bedraggled right now. It needs some serious weeding. I can’t wait to get out there and really get it shaped up. I promise, I’ll post pictures for you soon!

3. We’ve got some great camping trips planned. There’s even talk about doing something for Memorial Day Weekend, although we don’t have reservations anywhere. And then a trip in June, and another in July. I can’t wait. We didn’t get to go camping at all last year, and I feel like I need to make up for lost time! At last one of these trips will be to Yosemite.




Blooming Tuesday – backyard edition

I love how these come back year after year.

I buy Cyclamen whenever I see them in the stores in December. I’m not sure why they’re sold in December, since they don’t bloom around here until February and March. I guess they make a lovely alternative to poinsettias. This year, they were late, and didn’t really get started until mid-March. And they’re still going strong.

This was a house-warming gift.

This beautiful flowering maple is one of my favorites. It’s so wonderful, and so striking in my back. And the hummingbirds like it too. This was a gift from my friend Madaline, and I think of her every time I look at it.

I just love these. And they seem to love this spot.

The campanula is such a lovely little purple flower. And really hardy. I got these as a small container plant from Trader Joe’s and transplanted them out side a couple of years ago. They just keep going, no matter what kind of weather they’re given. Frost, heat, whatever. They do prefer a little shade, and I’ve got them under the alder tree in a spot which gets dappled sunlight year-round.

Blooming, and making seeds.

My Lenten Rose is going strong! More flowers coming, and seeds too!

I don't know the name of this, but the bees love it.

I bought this at my CSA a couple of years ago to act as a beneficial to attracted bees while I was waiting for other flowers to come up. I have now idea what its name is. But it’s happy, and getting ready to make lots and lots of these blue spike flowers!

Thankful Thursday – random happiness

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done one of these. Today’s is a truly random collection of images representing the things that have brought me joy recently.

This beautiful iris was single mother given to me as  a gift the first year we moved into this house, from my friend Madaline. I believe it was a daughter of an heirloom iris she had been tending for many years. I saw a neighbor down the street who has a similar iris of a slightly different color, and I think this year may be the chance to trade daughters. I just love how plants like this can be traded among friends and neighbors.

Speaking of friends, this photo of one of the funniest rounds from this past weekend’s impromptu game night really speaks for itself. I have some fun friends, right? I can’t even tell you the story about this hand without cracking myself up. It’s definitely off-color and totally inappropriate. Which is why it’s so funny. None of our Apples to Apples games go very long without denigrating into juvenile humor like this, or somehow becoming something that just wouldn’t sound right when explained out of context.

And, yes, I know it’s a cop-out to re-list Eric and Mr. Bob, but seriously. How can you blame me when they’re so cute like this?