MTM: The streak is over

How do you describe
the sound a raindrop makes
as it filters through the leaves
from the sky to thirsty ground
after 80 days without moisture?

The musical notes
of a babbling brook in the gutter
The percussion
on the roof (almost steady)
like the snare drums
of a 6th grade band

And the hollow emptiness
when those sounds slow to stillness
in the pre-dawn quiet
until all you hear
is the clock (tick, tock) calling
Autumn, Autumn



MTM: Full of Memories


The boardwalk is a new addition but the view remains the same glorious sight it has been for centuries.

We’re in a small window of warm weather right now and everything is gorgeous — the trees, the river, the sky. I was in my old neighborhood, where we lived 27 years ago, and stopped to snap this picture. It isn’t the best part of town when it comes to socioeconomic standing but it does have some fabulous view of the river within walking distance. When we lived there we often took walks and enjoyed the peacefulness of our surroundings away from the noisy street.

When we moved back to this city a little over 5 years ago, one of the first things we did (after unpacking and setting up the house) was to raft the river. In late summer and early fall, the water is low and it’s easy to get hung up on the rocks in some places but it is always lovely.  I wasn’t able to float on the river this summer and I miss it. I fondly remember kayaking in the calmer sections and getting soaked with near-icy water in the small rapids.

In this older part of town there are huge trees that create a canopy over the streets. Sometimes I return to reminisce over our days as a young couple when we were too poor to turn up the furnace, so we wore jackets and hats in the living room each winter evening. The old rental house still has the same faded red siding, the neighboring houses are just as dilapidated as they were a quarter-century ago, but the view from the bluff over the river is free and remains as beautiful as ever.

From August to September in only one week


  1. Monday was a summer day in August. My teenager was still on summer break, the day was hot, the sun was bright.
  2. On Wednesday morning, I went to the dermatologist to ask about a spot (sort of a suspicious mole but not exactly).  The doctor agreed it was worth checking out and numbed me up for a biopsy. I walked out with a dime-sized wound on my cheek well-covered by an appropriately sized bandage.  [Awareness alert and example of white privilege: the bandage color is close to my skin tone so it blends in very well when I’m not using a flash.]    I walked back in 90 minutes later to have the wound re-cauterized and bandaged again. It is best to not walk around with blood streaming down your cheek.

    Hopefully this is all just for peace of mind (worth it!)

    Hopefully this is simply the price paid for piece of mind.

  3.  I placed two bead orders this week — one to each of my favorite online bead stores that just so happen to be my favorite bead stores to visit as well. I received one package in the mail today and plan to pick up the other at the store tomorrow. [Side note: $80 worth of beads may fit in one hand.]  I sold quite a few pairs of earrings at the farmers’ market today and need to replenish my stock, so the timing of all sales — stores with price reductions, stores to me, me to customers — worked out nicely. Now to actually sit down and create! I’ve had a bit of a dry spell but am feeling inspired tonight with new vision for my new beads and some positive feelings. Having a customer return to my booth today made me happy for both of us. She had purchased one pair of earrings last week after I told her why I make them. (The very short story is that I can’t wear most store-bought earrings. My skin is really sensitive to metals, but the earrings I make I am able to wear on a daily basis without any trouble.)  She had the same experience I’ve had, being able to wear earrings again. She returned today to purchase 4 more pairs of earrings. I’m grateful for the sales, but most of all I was happy to make her happy.
  4.  On Thursday, September 1st, the clouds gathered, the wind blew, and the air cooled. It felt as though Mother Nature looked at her calendar and got busy. It rained a little overnight, and then today a storm snuck into town. The wind nearly blew several canopies away while setting up at the farmers’ market this afternoon, but the rain held off until we were taking them down again after 7pm. By the time we drove home, there were flashes of lighting. I feel a little cheated, like a kid whose summer is interrupted by fall. Nothing against fall — I love many things about fall — but I don’t feel like I had enough summer. Not camping might have something to do with that feeling.
  5. Five is the number of Fridays this month — and that’s a good thing, right?
    (Confession: I edited and changed that last bit. I had previously written “– and that’s a good thing, eh?”)  Five Fridays = five market days until the end of my vending season. I’ll miss the people and interactions, but it will be nice to have my Fridays free again.

Bonus pictures:
The Scout goes to grade 11, 8-30-16
first day of school = sad dog
Moses sad under table after his boy went to school

Have you transitioned into fall yet?

Surgery side-effects

My foot came to Thanksgiving dinner,4x6 websized

After the dishes were cleared from our Thanksgiving dinner.

My oldest son and his lovely wife visited for Thanksgiving, daring to be overnight with us, 80 miles away from their birthing hospital. My DIL is rather talented and drew this face on the bottom of my cast:

TWINS artwork on cast by DIL, teen minus glasses as model

Twins!  The teenager might have been the artist’s inspiration.

Pain is mostly under control here. I had a “wound check” today and then a new cast put on my ankle. Started having an anxiety attack, complete with racing heart, nausea, dizziness, and shallow, rapid breathing (a new, not-fun experience for me!) as the post-surgery cast was being removed. It turns out part of the problem was that it was time for my next dosage of pain meds, so I was having pain & anxiety at the same time. Oh, joy.* But we got through that.
The incisions are healing nicely — better than I thought they would look! Big, fat, “beefy” puckers but no nasty drainage. I’ve got one on each side of my left ankle, each approximately 5 inches long. I had SuperDad take a picture of one side, so if you want to see it, just ask. It just looks like a normal fresh scar, post surgery. No dead/dying skin, which the surgeon had been concerned about, so that’s good news.
My dh has been a most excellent caregiver. He sets a timer/alarm on his phone for my medication and uses it 24-hours a day. Since I’m now down to every 3 hours (was every 2 hours over the holiday weekend) we are both getting better sleep at night — until that alarm goes off!
One side effect of being on what is basically mandatory bed-rest is that my backside gets a little sore. I noticed my right hip area becoming numb on Sunday night so I’ve been working on keeping some feeling going to it (I must be pressing against a blood vessel or something). Yesterday I moved ever so slightly and it felt like a lightning bolt shot into my right hip joint. Yikes! So while that area is battling numbness, the nerve works just fine!
I’ve also been having some fuzziness and double-vision, which is another side effect of the Dilaudid. I became fully aware of it on Monday evening when I was working on the bulletin on my laptop. The Mayo Clinic website says to tell your doctor right away… so we told him when we saw him today. Guess what? An orthopaedic surgeon knows nothing about medications and their side effects. He seemed to wonder why I was even telling him about it. That shouldn’t surprise me — I discovered 3 years ago that surgeons do one thing: CUT. And I am happy enough that he did a very good job repairing my very broken ankle. I can live with temporary fuzziness and double-vision, because the pain meds are otherwise doing their job well. Hopefully those who are getting written communication from me via blog posts, facebook, e-mail, and texts can read through my spelling and predictive text errors.
I haven’t yet been set free from the 24/7 elevation rule (ankle higher than my nose and heart). I hope that next week I will be given several hours a day off from this position.
DSCN2305  Top of cast, wine glass

Look! I have a glass of wine! My dear, sweet DIL drew a wine glass for me to carry along wherever I go, which mostly meant that I could lay on my back in bed with a glass of wine. (The face shown in the other picture is on the “bottom” of my cast/foot.)



Sadly, those fun drawings are now gone, since my ankle was re-cast today. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted, and the people who saw me being pushed in a wheelchair into/through the clinic building got a smile out of it.

Grandbaby #1 has his due date today, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to make an appearance yet. For this, I am glad — I am not in a position to ride 90 minutes to the hospital, and yet the zombie apocalypse couldn’t keep me away. The good camera has a charged battery and is ready to go when we get the call.
After the trauma of my morning (I confess to downplaying the experience in an earlier * paragraph) I was very glad to be back in stranded turtle position on my bed again this afternoon. Apparently, the entire injury/surgery/recovery process is taking a lot out of me. I didn’t even discover that I had my underwear on inside-out until a few minutes ago (although I did wonder why it felt strange). Being here in my little nest feels safe — no one touching my foot or ankle or jostling me around — even if the nerves in my hip continue to shriek whenever they are pinched.
Have you ever had an anxiety attack, or had a loved one who struggled with anxiety? 

The best laid plans…

On Friday morning, I wrote this:

Too busy laughing over Jen’s post to make decisions here… and when I’m done wiping the tears of mirth from my eyes, I will be freaking out over the impending panic that it is almost Christmas and I haven’t thought about it at all.  Instead of worrying, I’m going to go take a walk.

It’s still fall, right? It’s still fall…

puddle of denial (Christmas is coming)

PUDDLE OF DENIAL  (Christmas is coming)

So here’s the thing: aside from the time-wasting gained by looking through those daily catalog giggles (no offense intended, Jen — I enjoy doing it, too) the mail drop does include the ticking of the Christmas countdown clock — something I have been ignoring for the past few months. My mind has been otherwise focused. I’ve been all “BABY IS COMING! BABY IS COMING! I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!!”  with a due-date of December first, but I suspect that the rest of the family is more concerned about Christmas.

Or maybe not. Perhaps they have been focused on cross-country meets and driving, or work, or college finals?

It’s possible that my husband is hoping I’ll shop for and cook the Thanksgiving dinner.

Meanwhile, I’ve been sewing and quilting and checking yard sales for a chest of drawers that will be the right size to top with a changing pad. Christmas, what? Do I still have time to make gifts? I’d better check my Pinterest boards…


And then on Friday afternoon, as I prepared to go on a walk with the dog (much like the photo above), I tripped, slipped, and fell in the kitchen. No sign of cuts or bruises anywhere on my body except for this:

Both legs are stretched out straight, and both feet should be pointed in same direction... but one of these things is NOT like the other...

Both legs are stretched out straight, and both feet should be pointed in same direction… but one of these things is NOT like the other…

The above photo was taken in the ER prior to the four attempts at “reduction” for my dislocated ankle. I’m glad to say that (finally!) the 4th time did the trick. However, the X-rays show that I’ve broken my left ankle in three (3) places.  I’ve been home since 9pm on Friday, faithfully taking Percocet every four hours, and hopping on my right foot behind a walker.  Why yes, I did have a spare walker in my garage, a yard sale find from a few months ago. But what I really need now is a wheelchair. Because hopping on one foot is neither a secure nor smart way to get around.

Monday morning, SuperDad and I will be contacting my primary care manager (PCM) and the orthopaedic surgeon to get the ball rolling on the rest of story.

The rest of the story probably does not include my shopping for or cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It is doubtful that I will be driving myself anywhere for the remainder of 2015. Details of work are about to get a little lot more interesting; unless a minor miracle occurs, I cannot be there tomorrow to prepare for a monthly meeting nor do I expect to make it in to the office for the rest of the week.  As you may recall, I am an office of one without a replacement. Helpful documentation has been squigly since the burglary 4 months ago with changed passwords and procedures that are not all written down for such an emergency.

And I am desperately clinging to hope that the rest of the story will include being present for the birth of my first grandchild.

MTM: Chinese Lantern Festival

Monkey Tunnel webshare

The month of October is rapidly slipping by with only a few photos taken of our fall colors.  Luckily, I did get the opportunity to visit the Chinese Lantern Festival a few weeks ago, and if you live near me, you still have the chance to go. They have announced that it will be extended two extra weeks into November.

Lotus Pond 4x6 webshare

SuperDad and I paid our fees and visited on a lovely Sunday night earlier this month.

The Peach Grove

The Peach Grove

Butterfly 4x6 vertical, LOMO-ish

It took months to create these incredible lanterns which are all for sale at the end of the festival.

Terra Cotta Soldier 4x6 webshare














This terra cotta soldier can be purchased for $500.

DSCN6931 4x6 Pink Lantern webshare

Do you know anyone who would like to buy a 200-foot-long dragon?

DSCN6929 Dragon

Dragon head 4x6 WEBshare

He’s rather impressive from head to tail.

Dragon Tail 4x6 webshare

As you might be able to tell from some of the photos here, I am trying to figure out how best to mark my pictures if I’m going to sell cards online.  I already make and sell photo note cards during the farmers’ market season, but it has ended and June many months away. On one hand, I enjoy sharing my photographs and offering cards at a reasonable price; on the other hand, I find that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I wish to accomplish.  (Case in point: it has taken me 2 weeks, start to finish, to get this post ready to publish. It takes time to size pictures down and add the signature.)

Lanterns 4x6 Web-sized



Outdoors in Autumn

Birch Tree as Traitor to summer

There’s something about the beginning of the fall season makes me more intentional in my enjoyment of the weather. I am invigorated by the chilly air in the mornings; I revel in the cool evening air and am nearly gleeful when I feel the need to don a jacket. The leaves on the trees change color and drop to the ground like orange, yellow, brown, and red manna.

DSCN5153 overachiever, RESIZED

Along with being outside for my high school student’s cross-country meets, I’ve been making extra effort to go for walks. Soaking up sunshine on these beautiful fall days is something that my soul demands of me, even to the point that I become grouchy if I am indoors all day. Last Saturday, SuperDad invited me to go with him to the disc golf course (he plays, I walk along and take pictures). On Monday, we made a mid-day date of walking along a newly paved stretch of the Centennial Trail high above the river. We ate our picnic snack of cheese and crackers, talked about how much our old neighborhood had changed (this particular area was old railroad land 25 years ago) and then chose one of the new trendy restaurants with patio dining for the salad course.

I am outdoors for more than 5 hours each Friday for the farmers’ market. One of the new vendors is a craft brewery which had its grand opening on Tuesday afternoon. Since I knew this in advance, I went to work more than 90 minutes early on Tuesday so that I could leave a little early that afternoon. At 4:00 p.m., several of us walked the two blocks to enjoy a glass of beer together, sitting outside on the fenced-in patio as we talked and admired the work of the designer. (I also noted that I was in the presence of more hipsters than I had ever been before.)

Due to work, vending at the farmers’ market, and the times & dates of our “home” football games, I have not yet been able to see and hear our youngest play with the high school marching band. Nearly all of the games are played in a much-too-large (and aged) stadium shared by all of the teams in the league, so the designation between home team and visiting team is made by which side you are assigned to sit and whether or not you can bring your band. I have only one more chance next week to see SM perform and I’ll make a sincere effort to get out of work early to make that happen.

Putting up seasonal decorations makes me happy, and it’s something I haven’t been as timely about since I began working outside the home, but yesterday I managed to take down the spring/summer decor outside and replace it with more appropriate colors for autumn. A few more do-dads will come out of storage for the week of Halloween, but at least from the street it looks like I am aware it is no longer May.
The inside of the house will probably have to wait for a day I don’t want to be outside.


Happy hour

Happy hour

Two weeks ago, I was sitting on a hotel patio in Tucson. The sun was out, the beer was cold, the chips were salty, and the guacamole was a true treat. I had painted my toenails a turquoise blue to match the water in the pool and the color scheme of my warm weather wardrobe. The weather was perfect: beautiful 82°F  sunshine with a light breeze weather…  sandals weather, skirt weather, sit outside for breakfast and happy hour weather.

Looking up during happy hour

Looking up during happy hour

I returned home to weather that was 40 degrees cooler and steadily dropping. We didn’t see temperatures above freezing for nearly a week.  My favorite gloves — the ones I use for driving and everyday wear in winter — were nowhere to be found.

But apparently the weather wasn’t quite cold enough yet for us because spending all day at a cross-country meet in freezing temperatures was on the agenda for the following weekend. The things we do for family!

SnakeMaster runs at the Nike Cross-Country Regionals

SnakeMaster runs at the Nike Cross-Country Regionals

DSCN1263 Tanner Anderson, 4x6We cheered on our boy who is new to the sport, was rather overdressed for the race and failed to bring his spikes (needed for every race but especially one with these conditions).  And then we cheered on his cousin who runs several minutes faster with his team from another school. And finally we cheered on a runner from our high school who happens to be one of the fastest XC student athletes in the nation:  go, Tanner!


Now we are at Thanksgiving week here in the United States. Next Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent. Christmas decorations have been on display in some stores for nearly 2 months already.  My house is decorated for fall but it feels like winter outside: an inch of snow on Thursday morning and icy streets overnight most nights. The steering wheel of my minivan is frigid by the time I drive home from work. I still haven’t found my gloves, but there was a spare pair in our supply of winter gear that my husband kindly gave to me. I had those plus my mittens, hat and scarf with me in Idaho at the NXR. And then I somehow lost my keys when we were leaving the race site. We’re waiting on the new key fob but at least I can unlock the door and drive my minivan. As long as the locks don’t freeze, I’m okay.

pink clouds at sunset, resizedThis evening  — if evening can possibly begin at 4:00 pm — I admired the pink sunset clouds and changed into pajamas. I had been at church for more than 6 hours: setting up my craft booth, rehearsing with choir, staying for the worship service, and hanging out by my booth to answer questions during a Thanksgiving dinner… followed by packing up my booth and being semi-useful to those who were decorating the sanctuary for next week. (Okay, mostly I watched other people decorate as I rested my sore feet.)  I was out of craft fair shape; I hadn’t tried to sell my wares for an entire month.  I still need to finish putting my supplies away before packing up for a quilting day tomorrow at a friend’s house. I might have multiple crafting personalities. 


I hear the tapping of a computer keyboard in another room. EB is home for his Thanksgiving break. MusicMan and Rapunzel will be spending Thanksgiving with her parents, and H-J will hopefully have Thanksgiving with relatives who live near his university (his break is too short to drive the 11-hour round-trip twice within four days). I’ll soon be posting pictures and descriptions on my Etsy and facebook pages of the items I hope to sell on Small Business Saturday and into December.

What are some of the extremes and changes in your life at this time?