MORNING GLOW

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Though frigid, yesterday’s morning greeted my sleepy eyes with a warm glow. Today’s morning hides the sun as the biggest storm of the season descends and all the area schools are closed.  

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from gardens of summer’s past

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Cory made a memory stick for my car with all my favorite musicians. Paula Cole came on and after turning the volume up her words and voice brought chills. 

STEADY

008 (2)photos by Patricia, my garden- courtesy of Mother Nature….

You are an inferior citizen, person, child. That was the message given when expected to contain such vile, unwanted, and confusing sexual attacks on my body. Do not speak of it. And since I was born a child to speak up with strength, silencing me took a good deal of shaming.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” she would say if I spoke up about anything. I am Mom, I am. But not anymore. 

“Stupid,” she’d admonish. It took till middle age before relinquishing the idea that I was stupid.  Raymond, my psychiatrist at the time, mentioned the A’s earned in preparation for nursing school which begrudgingly awakened awareness of my intelligence. That was undeniable proof.

Whatever tactic needed was used to keep the shameful secret. Those manipulations were also readily employed by siblings whether they were the perpetrator or not. Families do not speak of such things.

My wish is that they would and doing so is the first and most monumental step in providing the desperate help needed for all within the family system. So many issues have come out of closet and so should this. Intervention at the time childhood sexual abuse occurs helps greatly reduce a hellish life for both child and perpetrator.

Being an older model means much tuning up. Taking care of myself takes time and it also takes being in my body to notice what it needs. I work throughout the day reminding myself, it is OK to take care of yourself. It’s perplexing to need that much affirmation over and over, having to repeatedly give myself permission and believe it. Yet the basis of how my personality was formed is explanation enough.

You are bad, unworthy, unlovable, and not capable. These are the messages which cement a child’s personality when no one comes to her aide after she has been sexually abused and attacked by those she once loved and trusted. The negatives embed themselves like granite.

Others give themselves love and self-care automatically. Others who have not been broken into many pieces strewn about. I gather the parts like fireflies but one escapes here, another there.

Progress is made. Meditation brings a feeling of wholeness and groundedness. Sticking with it day after day, week after week, and year after year brings results. Less anxiety. I can be around others in peace. Not always, or with everyone, or for too long a period depending on who it is, but a great relief than for most of my life.

Do your meditation. Ingest the foods that make your body work right. Drink 64 oz. of water. Do the pelvic exercises three times a day that tighten appropriate muscles. (Kegel’s) And though these can be done anywhere and anytime by most, I need quietness to concentrate on the right muscles. Walk the 20 minutes, more if you can. Rest. A life of living constantly on edge has worn out the adrenals and a lot of rest is needed. Keep thoughts steady trying not to allow them to go to the negative as they tend to do. If you feel down or bored don’t try to change it, just be with it. Keep sleep routines and stick to them.

This is my work, satisfying work because the results help form a person healthy, happy and whole.

027purple, a magic color

SUGAR SHACK

102-large The breath caught in my throat while the frosty air tingled my nose. Dipping below zero overnight made every surface crystallize. What must the robins think who just came to town? As my boots make crisp crunches on the light snow towards the bird feeder my eyes gaze at the branches glittering from the freeze.

After two bird cakes are delivered the path leading down to the creek awaits me. The tediousness of donning snow-pants and a thick coat were needed. The sun begins to peek above the hilltop hopefully warming the day enough for the sap to run in the maple trees.

My son is taking his children, William and Cindy, and their Poppy, Samuel, to the Sugar Shack. They will adopt a tree, learn about maple syrup and how it’s made, and taste the sap at the sugar house. As a child memories come forth of the long handled tin dipper coming out of the boiling sap waiting to cool for us to sip. Shane’s wife and three week old Nathan will stay with me while I heat up Reuben’s in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, a yearly tradition.

All of the birds that have returned from the south to this early spring—where do they hide, how do they manage this unforeseen Arctic? The scarf around my face warms the air before traveling to the lungs. Still, the cold grips my insides before warming to the body heat from movement. The laps invigorate every muscle and cell. The sudden cold kept me inside the last three days, too wimpy to brave it after temps in the 60’s. I have chosen the coldest day to embark, but the wind is gone making all the difference.

At last sweat forms and the feeling of accomplishment and health returns after the laze of going too long without exercise besides vacuuming. The snow sparkles… fairies have strewn their diamonds to entice us and magic abounds. The glow of oranges and red from the dawning yellow orb of the sun make the swirling thick smoke from the neighbor’s chimneys more prominent. One last gasp of winter reminds me of her delights despite the frigidity.  

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HOLIDAYS

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I am a sucker for holidays, celebrating each one, always have. With spring bounding in so early the Easter decor cried to be brought out. Cindy, Poppy and I made Easter Baskets out of used egg cartons. I think I have more fun with these projects than even Cindy does. Afterwards I watched them both ride bikes in the driveway while sipping coffee in the sunshine, brisk breeze and chortling birds, nestling into my soft coat and hat. Ahh, Spring! I feel renewed and ALIVE!

Still, the juxtaposition of wintry weather one day and warmth the next causes havoc with brain chemicals and my spirit. Old hard-wired habits arise, excessive worry along with repeated thinking about one particular negative thought like a gerbil in a wheel.

After previous work on these pesky rituals I am much better equipped to use the ‘Stop’ technique, and replace it with a positive thought or memory chalking up it’s presence to the change in daylight. Coming into spring takes adjustment as challenging as the winter doldrums and the acceptance of less light. 

Sitting by the creek after a meditative walk tears come. My immediate reaction is to talk myself out of them and impose positivity. Then I remember Janet Cate’s recent post, a woman of great depth and wisdom. Allow all feelings. With permission granted, my mind, body and spirit settled and a wholeness was felt. Thank you Janet. 

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As the sun set in west a golden glow appeared in the east…

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The Wild Ride of Spring

photos by Patricia

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Spring in February? The birds say it’s so. The only trouble with spring is the brain chemistry going awry, up, up, up one day, then thoughts of calamity and doom the next… Tigger then Eeyore. Waking in the night brings odd thoughts that need reining in, and thoughts of the ‘family of origin.’ Comfort is found nesting in fictitious memories where love abounds, though day to day life excludes any interaction focusing only on those that accept and love all of me.

It is a daily chore to also focus on connecting with my body. Others seem so connected and take that ability for granted. Both fear and satisfaction are found in the groundedness of residing fully in the home of my body. The fear comes from the life long habit of residing elsewhere, perhaps my head, but also from pain and what will go wrong next or wear out. Satisfaction comes in tending to my body’s needs in a caring thorough way. (like other ‘normal’ people do) 

The day erupts with unusual warmth and hope rushes in where winter gloom had permeated. Ten laps today. Samuel joins me while resting after my walk pulling out the canoe. The melted snow along with recent rains have swelled the creek over its banks. This allows for longer excursions. He brought his clippers to clear branches. We make it to the beaver lodge, then the pond area by the falls that the beaver created with his growing dam. Evidence of his work is everywhere. It is so noisy now by the creek since my bird friends have returned, a joyful ruckus that had long been silent. 

Later Samuel delivered the grape pie to my son Shane and his family, but there had been enough filling to also make a hand held pie for Samuel and me… yum!

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Vegetarian Dishes

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I threw out one casserole, but the rest have been divine. Samuel will eat some but wants a beef burger, not veggie. I love veggie burgers and am taking the time to cook them. Black bean burgers are my favorite so far, but these exotic lentil burgers with ground walnuts are scrumptious too.

It called for herb de provence which has a long list of spices, some I had, some not. Topping the list was ground rosemary and fennel. Easy, I can do that. And I added many of the others listed. What an aroma. I also hate peeling garlic, but a friend gave me a bag of fresh garlic from her abundant garden last fall and I peeled. There is certainly a much better highly herbaceous scent from fresh garlic. I am enjoying my escapades into this new arena of vegetarianism with a great deal of success.

The simmering Moroccan stew concocted yesterday was so different and appealing to my taste buds. I had ground many spices together adding a hefty amount of curry. Time was taken to finely chop or grate celery, carrots, peppers, onions and carrots. Rice, lentils, black beans and orzo completed the dish. I made up the dish and the name, but it worked. (unlike the casserole that was thrown out)  I am not adverse to adding meat and this tasted good with cut up chicken breasts.

Today, a grape pie for my son’s family from the grapes harvested last fall.

The morning glow before the sun rises while the birds call is so pretty!

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