Friday, February 24, 2012


This February is so crazy this year.......especially the weather. Spring like days have so many things blooming.......too early. I saw a lot of daffodils blooming up around Langlois, along with a couple of new lambs. Not too many yet, but the beginning. The above photo is my clematis on our deck........strong fragrance too. The photo below is the one we're so happy with, though!! When we first moved to our house here up in Cedar Terrace, a frangrant daphne was one of the first shrubs that we planted. We've been waiting for years and years for any sign of a bloom, with no luck. We had such a wonderful daphne in California, and we couldn't figure out why this plant was just growing but not blooming. This year it finally came through for us!! Since the rains have returned I really wanted to enjoy that beautiful aroma so cut a few of the blooms for the house. One of my favorite aromas! Sweet but slightly lemony. Yum!!

I had a hair appointment with Tim the Hair Magician today. I really needed that appointment!! And at Jeffrey's Salon, there is more than enough going on to keep my mind buzzing for quite a while. So much news! By the time I left it was getting close to my dinner hour. I had thought ahead and made up a Hungarian Mushroom Soup and my new favorite bread.........a European Peasant Bread! It was sooo good. Raining on the way home made coming in to a warm house, dinner made and a nice fire going to warm hearth and soul just felt soooo good. One of the times that are just 'good' and you're actually aware of how fortunate you are to be where you are and with whom.........and life is good. Just sweetly simple times.........ahhhh.........

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Ours here on the south coast will be wet and cold; another return to winter, just when you were thinking about planting those flowers and veggies, huh?? It's too soon. Norm always wants to start those seeds too early and they sit and moulder in the mud.........the cold mud! He's holding back pretty well this year........only planted some onion starts and has worked in some early manure. I've been getting out to go after some of the pruning and weeding....a little every day if the weather is dry enough. I have guests coming in May and want to have it looking a least a little less over-grown. Emily gave me a beautiful Tower of Jewels and it's not only survived the winter but is growing by leaps and bounds! I'm hoping for blooms this year. But the daphne has taught me patience knowing that a plant will bloom when it blooms and that's that!!

Enjoy your Saturday and Sunday so you can have a happy Monday!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I didn’t expect it so soon…………When I read that she had passed over on Facebook, it knocked the earth from under my feet. I saw her last summer and it was such a wonderful re-joining! We each had such beautiful, loving memories of each other. I had planned on having lunch with her, but the busy days of life just get in the way; and then it’s too late. Barb had posted on Facebook about her re-occurrence of breast cancer and although not in any pain was undergoing chemo and radiation. It just happened all so quickly. My history with Barbara goes back over a decade ago. A friend, who lived in Bandon at the time, asked me if I would be willing to begin A Course In Miracles group up in Bandon. Although the group I’d started in Port Orford was going strong, I agreed because I believe I was asked for a good reason. Barbara was at that first group meeting where I would attempt to explain what ‘The Course’ was all about and how the weekly meetings would be conducted. She had some questions that gave me pause for a few minutes, but I guess I answered to her satisfaction because she was a faithful attendee from then on…………even hosting it at her house for about a year.
Barbara was always very open about being a survivor of breast cancer……..and the subsequent problems that were off-shoots of that…………getting insurance, having fibromyalgia, etc. Somewhere around that time another dear friend from Colorado, Millie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. In spite of having done all the “right” things like yearly mammograms, self-exams, etc. Millie was diagnosed with stage 5 breast cancer. We all know the helpless feelings of wanting to do something…….ANYTHING! help someone you love and the powerlessness and frustration of coming up empty-handed. Then I had the idea come to me to have various women I knew who themselves were breast cancer survivors, and ask if they would be willing to write to Millie and offer some support and encouragement in dealing with all or some of the various areas; physical, emotional, spiritual and mental…………..Something THEY might have benefited from knowing when they first faced their diagnosis. And Barbara was at the top of the list and immediately responded. Barbara had been thinking of writing a book about her experiences with this awful disease and so I’m assuming that she was more than full of ideas, suggestions and hope to offer. My friend, Millie, who is a remarkable and courageous woman in her own right, did indeed become one of the survivors of breast cancer, joining Barbara in the ranks of success stories. A number of years later, Millie, came out to Port Orford to visit me and I thought I’d set up a lunch up in Bandon with Barbara so these two could meet. Well, I might as well have been one of the salt or pepper shakers for all that I was able to contribute to that get-together! The two of them immediately embraced, enormous grins of their faces, and proceeded to explore every aspect of life’s ups and downs and blah, blah, blah…………I don’t think I’d ever seen either one of them so animated. After a few attempts of join the conversation, I decided that this was NOT about me, but two beautiful, strong survivors connecting as only those who would know can connect……..understand beyond mere words. I felt privileged to

have witnessed it.
So Barbara’s breast cancer returned, but I will always call her and think of her as a survivor. From her initial bout with cancer to the final, the lives that she touched, the people she loved and was loved by in return, the inspiration her life instilled, her joyful laughter and down-to-earth honesty, she survived Life………by example……..and by simply Living. I know for certain that there will be at least one set of open and welcoming arms to greet me when my turn comes round……….God Speed, Barbara~

**One small footnote.........I was told by a close friend of Barbara's that her final passage was caused not by breast cancer but by an unusual type of non-smoker's lung cancer.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I bought a new camera lens recently and it's not just one to attach and instantly take great shots, I'm seeing. It's an ultra-wide angle lens, and there are some things that do and those that just don't work. But here a couple I felt did work, especially as these were the last ones I took just before coming down with what I consider the worst flu of my life. Of course, chills and fever, but included were TMJ type pain in my jaw, migraine headaches with the visual auras, and a "spring-is-bursting out all over" kind of viral rash. We're down now to an occasional headache, a low fever, and the rash, which hopefully is going to disappear soon. And I'm back caring about things beyond my own little drama of "life on the couch". And recognizing my incredible lucky fate at having such a loving husband, caring and thoughtful friends along with my family, even from afar.

While I was 'down and out' one particular Netflix movie I saw has stayed with me and left a lasting impression. It deals with death, which is exactly the way I was feeling. The movie is with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn (neither one of my usual favorites, but so well done by both). The plot is about the impact upon the family of a young man who each, especially the mother, asks questions, anguishes, pleads as she tries to grope her way towards understanding and coming to terms with a pain that probably only parents who lose their children first, can comprehend. The film has beautiful photography as it deals with various issues, via flashbacks. Then it shows the destructive nature of a volcano, the re-emergence of life, the coming of nature's growth, the various eons and eras, animals, peoples, shifting sands of life and death in a weird but beautiful flowing dance of the Universe. The various views of life and death.

And that brings me to Abraham Lincoln. He has always been one of my favorite heros.....those sad and forlorn eyes that has seen too much and felt too much. Today, also, would have been my Father's birthday, had he lived. He died back in 1980. All of this somehow ties together in my own mind, but if I sound a little rambling please just chalk it up to my recent flu.

I care very much for the concept of Forgiveness........I believe in it, and try to live it. I realize that it's not always so easy to accomplish......not in the quiet honesty of your own heart. When my father died, I thought that I would be free of the fears and vulnerabilities that I grew up with. I did the best I could to see him over the threshhold of life and death's door, but the truth was that even his last day, I again felt thrust into that awful pit of fear yet again. Over the years I've noticed that whenever I think of him the first thoughts that come to mind are ones of the fear and vulnerability. So.........who is being held hostage to their own unhappy memories?? A few days ago, still thinking a lot about the above movie (The Tree of Life, by the way) and I noticed that I thought about my father and the first memories were of a kinder, warmer and happy nature. Might not seem like much, and I still consider that he mades some very serious mistakes against me, but it's a start, don't you think?? I wish I could be someone who just instantly desires to feel a certain Forgiving........and it happens, because my desire would be so pure. But.......shallow and weak little human being that I am, I look for little baby steps here and there that will hopefully bring me back to that beautiful Peace and innocence, unafraid and Forgiving.
I hope in wishing my Father a Happy Birthday, that those beginning new steps have begun.