Saturday, March 21, 2009

Playing for Change ... Peace

Enjoy. Well done.

From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe.

Stand By Me | Song Around The World from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This is what is happening...........

I have avoided my reality for a while here in blog land. Sometimes it is just easier not to write about it and keep it locked inside hoping it will change for the better and I can write about things like Disneyland. That is not what seems to be going on. This is what is happening now.

I am watching Tess’s body break down. You know when you live with someone you don’t always notice the gradual physical changes the other person is having right away. Like when a person is dieting and looses a lot of weight. The changes may not be that obvious to those who have daily exposure to the dieter but when they do see them in a new tighter outfit, whew, the changes are obvious.

Tess has always been a full figured woman. Very Rubenesque in her appearance. She never seriously dieted so when she began loosing weight we both felt it was great as it medically would be good for her body. Now, she has lost over 120 lbs and I feel so sad about it. She has not been dieting but rather nausea has caused her not to be interested in food. Medication will do that, you know?

We are still in a waiting mode. My patience is running thin. We are waiting to see a new doctor. A Pulmonolgist. It seems as though there is still something else wrong with her body. Her body is seizing up on her. Everyday she has less mobility and recently she is beginning to look really frail to me.

Her need for my care is increasing. Making a simple sandwich takes all her strength. She tries, she wants to do for herself, just as we all do. She no longer can do it all. It is difficult for her to ask for help. She uses a walker when we are home and a wheelchair if we are out of the house. Every step she takes causes her face to grimace and the air around us fills with sounds of pain. Oh, the sounds of pain eat at me and cause me to detach from the reality of what is happening to her, to us, to me.

Someone told me that denial is not such a bad place to be. It’s not if you are not there too long. I didn’t realize how much denial or avoidance I was in until the other night when I reached over to touch Tess and tell her good night. I wanted it to be like old times. I wanted to be close and feel connected and when I touched her all I could feel was thin skin and bone. The forearm bone shocked me but the rib cage stopped me, just froze me in the moment. I laid there stock still, my eyes began to tingle, all those feelings I have been avoiding came rushing in. I began sobbing and sobbing. It was as if my reality was crashing in on me.

And what does my dear sweet Tess do? She wants to hold me just like she used to do. It didn’t seem right. I am healthy, strong, pain free; I should be the holder and not the one being held. I know it really doesn’t matter who holds who just as long as we are there for each other. I know this deep in my heart. It is as it has always been between us. We are there for each other.

I may blog more about this process in the weeks to come. My one escape has been the exercise regime I have kept to. While Tess is sleeping, I go to the gym and workout. The women down at the club are loving and caring. They know what is happening in my life and are there for me in so many ways. I am touched by their kindness. Today, I had a complete meltdown in the middle of my routine. Ironically, as Tess gets physically weaker I am getting physically stronger. I am overwhelmed with all that is going on in my life now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Birdhouse Photo Challenge

As we all know, timing is everything. Turns out that this is just an ordinary decorative birdhouse unless Miss Lizzy Lizard visits and you happen to be walking around the back yard with a camera. She popped out just as I took the shot, the funny thing is: I did not even know she was in there. Sometimes it pays to walk around with a camera hanging around your neck.

Click on the photo if you would like to see the birdhouse and Miss Lizard enlarged. I think her little foot hanging down is so cute.
Blogger's Community Birdhouse Challenge

Friday, February 27, 2009

What's age got to do with it?

Take deep breath. Now take another. Fingers touch keyboard. Shut world out. Be here now. Another deep breathe. Begin to blog. Let it flow.

I just described my last few seconds in a three-word sentence format. I read about that style of writing today. My style is more random. Sometimes my mind goes on and on and rambling nonsense fills me. I have so many choices to write about. I love and appreciate my mind and usually find my own company pleasant. Streams of consciousness’ have always been so important to me both personally and professionally. Be aware. Notice what you are feeling. That is some important stuff. Just talk nonstop for two minutes. You will get to it eventually if you trust the self and the process.

Now I am ready to share.

These past few days were filled with a mixed bag of surprises. I was reminded that I could be more accountable to myself and for myself. True.

I have been going to the gym for nearly four months now. A lot can happen in four months. I have been on a weight program. I feel much more balanced, my coordination has improved, I feel physically strong but overall much more alive all over. I have been 100% aware of everything I have put in my mouth these past few months. It is time.

I see now how I have avoided exercise because I feared more pain in my back. Guess what? I am pain free. I am not saying I don’t have a few aches and pains…actually, my feet cause me some pain and I am stiff in the morning when I wake up, but as I was told for the first time a couple of weeks ago, “Sheesh, you’re close to sixty.”

I hear an echo in my minds-ear. "CLOSE TO SIXTY."

I think I was in shock for a few minutes when my dear trainer said that to me. I thought, ‘Holy hell, I know that.’ Yeah, sure I knew it intellectually but there was no way I had ever really embraced it. I really don’t care much about age. I mean we all age and we can’t really stop it, so to hear “close to sixty” somehow felt like it had a negative connotation when we are helpless to change it.

My initial reaction was to laugh. I know that I laughed and joked. Under that laugh was the truth, I was not being very realistic about my expectations of my weight. I must have momentarily forgotten that I had given birth to two sons more than 30 years ago, spent the last 25 years adding a few pounds each year and avoided most situations that required too much physical exercise. Privately I feared I was turning into a sloth. When Tess got hurt, life changed for both of us. I am turning that around.

A therapist told me once that I hide behind my smile. Both my trainer now and that therapist then was right. I do tend to laugh when I feel sad or angry. Besides, I know I have a wickedly quick sense of humor and every now and again, I can dodge a painful bullet with a well-timed series of rapid-fire retorts or wisecracks. I know how to avoid my own discomfort.

You would think in my almost 60 years I would know better than to hide. To everything there is a time and season.

On Tuesday my BFF and I had our annual day at Disneyland. We have been doing this for about five years now. The first time we went to Disneyland together we were sixteen years old. We sang in the Christmas program as juniors and seniors in high school. Need I remind you that was more than forty years ago? We managed one year to miss the bus back to school because the Matterhorn broke down. It was a memorable event. Our parents were put out with us as they had to drive to Disneyland and pick us up at midnight.

This year we had just as much fun as we did back then. We rode the rides that make you forget how old you really are. Actually after we rode BFF's favorite one:

one of us said, “Let’s do it again.” A woman sitting at the exit of The Tower of Terror overheard the comment and said, “You sound like a couple of teenagers.” God Bless her. Meanwhile, BFF and I knew that the other was up for another go around.

After dropping 13 stories we decided to do the Screaming Roller Coaster which is my personal fav…

We can’t get enough of it. Of course, we ride it multiple times. Can you blame us? Wouldn’t you? I think the thing that we most appreciate about those types of rides is that we have absolutely no control over anything. Once a year, we ride with total abandon. Multiple rides. Multiple times. Screaming, laughing and acting our true age.

We were not done with Disneyland yet. BFF and I always dine at Club 33. Yes. It is a real restaurant at Disneyland and it is private. Read about it. It is special. Too bad Walt never saw it finished. I only know a handful of people that have eaten there. It's over the top and it's yummy. My weight management program was put on hold for that meal. I stuffed myself. It was a buffet dinner so there was a little of this and a little of that. It is wondrous and elegant, not like the hot dogs we ate at sixteen, more than forty years ago.

Since I have already burned off the additional calories, I consumed that night I will share a bit of the evening offering. I personally had: 2 lobster tails, crab claws, shrimp, Thai beef salad, fresh kiwi, strawberries, pineapple and various melons, huge yellow and red tomato slices with thick cream cheese slices, lox, asparagus salad, Caesar salad, NY steak, 2 lamb chops with horseradish and mint jelly, fresh yellow beans and baby carrots, garlic mashed potatoes, Mickey Mouse pasta with Alfredo sauce. I was stuffed. Who wouldn't be? I had a cup of coffee and raspberry mousse, passion fruit cake, macaroons, cheese cake, rolled chocolate straws, and glazed pecans. I avoided the chocolate fountain only because I would have been sick. Anyway it is a once a year splurge that is without a doubt a 5 star experience. I am grateful I don't have to pay for any of it.

Definetly a special time. BFF really knows how to spoil my inner child.

Maybe after I am sixty I won't have such a voracious appetite and I doubt my inner child will ever age. I wonder, what does age really have to do with anything?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blogger's Winter Photo Challenge

Our WINTER challenge starts today & ends on Thursday Feb. 26 @ 9PM EST. This challenge is about WINTER, could be something representing winter, a snow scene, snowflake, snowstorm...... you may use a file photo, but it must be your photo.
Please follow guidelines.
To Join in click here: Bloggers Photo Challenge

Click on the photo if you would like to see it supersized.
After my step dad died, in 2002, I spent a year in western New York taking care of my mother. I am a Southern California girl and this was the first time I experinced the four seasons. My mother lived out in the country and every day was filled with things city folk just don't see. I did my best to photograph everything I saw that year so I would never forget them. This sunset was taken a few yards from the entrace to my parent's place about 50 miles south of Rochester.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Palm Trees and Snow

While I was out and about today I found myself on the 5th level of a parking stucture with a fantastic view of the snow covered mountains here in southern Calif.
Do you think we have enough palm trees?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Close-Up Photo Challenge

Macro is Close-up Photography

In this Challenge we are looking for Close-up or Macro images.
It is capturing something, usually small, at a close range, & seeing things at a different viewpoint. You can use a macro lens, macro settings...or just get as close as you can, but make sure your subject is in focus.

I love macros photos. Especially when I they give me the feeling of being in another world. This flower has so many different worlds that I just got lost in it.