"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, May 22, 2014

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE....

I let it shine, where ever I may be. It comes on at dusk and turns off at dawn. It shines so that those who were taken before me can find me if they want to. Here on the lake, I am sure this light has led my Dad and Mom to me, as well as the Reverend George H. Tooze, a great outdoorsman and blessing in my life for many years.

I hear their voices and remember their faces every time the loons call to me. I hear my Dad's soft "shhh, listen," I see my Mom's face turn to the lake, her eyes softly closed, and I hear George remark "of course there is a God somewhere, that is the only way to explain such beauty."



OPENING WEEKEND AT THE LAKE

Last weekend we ventured north and opened up the lake house.  We found nearly everything in good shape after this harsh winter, and fell back into lake life pretty easily.  

A GREAT NORTHERN LOON WELCOMING CASSY BACK TO THE LAKE.  I BELIEVE THE LOONS AND
THEIR CALLS ARE PROBABLY MY FAVORITE PART OF LIFE ON THE LAKE.  
THE LAKE HOUSE IS JUST AS GRAND AS ALWAYS.  


BELLA HAD DUG A HOLE IN THIS LOCATION LAST SUMMER.  DAVE HAD FILLED IT IN, AS HE
WAS AFRAID OF A WALL CAVE IN.  IT DID NOT TAKE LONG FOR BELLA TO DIG AN EVEN DEEPER HOLE
IN HER SPOT.  SHE IS A PIGPEN WHEN THE DAY IS DONE.  
IT WAS DELIGHTFULLY QUIET ON THE LAKE,  NOT THAT IT'S EVER THAT NOISY.
THIS IS THE VIEW FROM MY GLIDER SWING.    


THE VIEW FROM OUR DECK AT THE END OF THE DAY.  






Tuesday, May 13, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

A bit late, but Happy Mother's Day to my blogging pals.  And, I always extend a Happy Mother's Day to every woman, whether or not she has given birth, as I believe that every one of us is a "Mom" many times over to people young and old that come into our lives.  Whether or not we gave birth to that person is irrelevant.  

We had a lovely day here, the weather was perfect, and Paul came for the day for a cookout and then a visit to family.  A call from Anna on the West Coast made the day complete.  I am blessed.  

On top of all of those gifts, I got these:  

Paul brought me a beautiful scarlet Hydrangea, and I will plant it at the lake this weekend.  It will be a great contrast to the white and the blue Hydrangeas we already have popping up in our gardens there.  I will think of him each time I tend to it, for many years to come.  It's such a wonderful lasting gift.  
I've not seen this color Hydrangea in many gardens.

In yesterday's mail a very artful package arrived from Anna, what fun it is to receive gifts from afar!
How sweet is this?  Made from one of the millions of
lovely beach pebbles in Ventura, a great medium for
Anna's art.  


Anna has finally gotten the time to embrace her artistic talents, locked away for far too long. Here she has perfectly captured our 5 critters at a sunset on the lake.
From left to right she got Reesie, Misty, Bella, Cassy and Poppy.
Somehow she captured their profiles and personalities perfectly, from
Misty's cuteness to Cassy's stance, more alert than Bella's, and
most importantly, the constant curl at the end of Poppy's tail.  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

LIFE WITH AN MS BRAIN

Life is an interesting activity.  We all have our challenges.  Somehow we all push on an adjust.  

In addition to the physical challenges of MS, I have what I call "MS Brain."  A lot of folks do not know that MS can make you really, really slow and stupid.  It can.  Significant cognitive loss is not part of everyone's MS, it is a part of "mine."  It has altered my life in many ways, but has not stopped me.  In the past year I've gotten a bit dumber, but that's just made me more creative in finding coping skills.  

I push on and I adjust.  Some of my adjustments are hysterical, but they work.  Everything in our house has to stay in the same spot, because if I go to a spot to retrieve an item and it is not there, I will not take the time or energy to find it, it's just too difficult.  There's some things in really weird places, but I know that they are there, and that works for me.  Rubber bands hang on the antenna of the kitchen wall phone, bread ties on the left of the kitchen window sill, my Swiss Army knife in the kitchen drawer closest to the stove, the can opener has to be in with the silverware.  That's a small sampling.  I'm sure Dave wants to move a thing or two around to places that are more logical to his mind, but he puts up with the arrangements I've got going on, because not to can put me into a rage.  I'll blame that on MS too.  

If you want to tell me a story about time place movement, you'd better have a pencil and paper in hand.  I can fully understand a sketch, I can not always understand the spoken word.  And, if you are telling me this story or drawing me this picture in a spot where there is background noise, never mind, because it will not get through to me a bit.  If the TV is on too long, my brain turns into scrambled eggs.  I do not drive more than about 1 mile, and for a couple of years didn't drive at all.  I had to reclaim some independence, though, and so am on the road only at certain times of the day and never drive in the afternoon or after dark.  And, I do not take left hand turns.  I can negotiate my entire circle of freedom by making only right hand turns.  I'm afraid to give you any more details of the things I do or don't do, because some of them are downright scary, even worse than the never taking left hand turns.  

In the sewing room, the best invention for MS Brain is the sticky note.  I use them by the hundreds, especially in the sewing room.  

Right now I've got all the parts made for Paul's batik quilt.  Easy parts, 4 patches and 1/2 square triangles, but all composed from 20 different fabrics and I can't remember the name or number of a fabric while walking from one side of my sewing room to the other… about 5 feet.  So, first the parts are on my cutting table, with sticky notes attached, identifying the color numbers of that pile of parts.  I'm guessing we all do this, right?  
 When I went to start arranging the parts on my design wall, having to put the rows vertical since my wall is a bit narrow, that's when it all fell apart.  I could not pick the parts from the table and walk to the design wall and remember what the heck I had in my hands.  

So, as you see, on the left of the design wall is a sample of all 20 fabrics, with their numbers and names pinned to them on a sticky note.  In the middle is the design pattern, and to the right are the first two rows.  I take the pattern to the cutting table and pull the parts for the row.  I return to the wall and have no idea what I've got, so have to refer to the design chart as to what parts go in what order facing what way, and refer to the sample fabrics to identify the parts.  My system works.  
So, if you come across someone in your life who has MS, be understanding when they hand you a paper and pencil and say "draw me a picture."  Women are visual learners anyway, so maybe I'm just being a girl.