Monday, July 30, 2012

Warning- Destruction Zone

This is a warning...If you love your "things", do NOT - i repeat, DO NOT add a parrot or small kittens to your animal family. This used to be a vintage yardstick. Many beloved plants have gone over the Rainbow Bridge... The lesson in this for me? Breathe and let it go.....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bird watching

 Two kitties in the windows

 and one on the floor
playing with her toy mouse

Friday, July 27, 2012

Unstoppable- Claude Monet

In spite of vision difficulties, age and lung cancer, Monet continued to paint, creating some of his most famous and most loved paintings.
Never give up....

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I AM.....

"I am Lola and I am a Big Sister Now"
(Lola is in green at 8 years of age-she's been thinking of getting older-and Zoey is in black)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Flower Essence~ Sweet Basil

 It's a Beautiful morning to make flower essences, and perched atop the post in the back garden is a bowl of spring water, my healing pyramid quartz crystal and some flowers from my sweet basil plant.
 Basil is a wonderful culinary herb. It also has many healing, medicinal properties. It is used for digestive issues, used for curbing nausea, and has mild sedative properties and can help ease depression and anxiety.
 The flower essence is useful for all the above, but on a deeper level, it is used for merging your sexuality and your spirituality, bringing a little bit of Heaven to Earth...
 The flowers look like tiny orchids...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unstoppable- Frida Kahlo

As a young girl, Frida was severely injured in a traffic accident that caused her crippling pain all the rest of her life. She never let this stop her.
Never give up...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Poppy

 We celebrated a special day yesterday-Poppy's birthday! Katie made a delicious chocolate espresso cake from scratch and also a batch of his favorite peach ice cream.
 And Carly brought the family by and Poppy got to hold his new little granddaughter.
 I include this great photo taken by Lola
I am so happy we were able to all be together and that Bill was home to celebrate his birthday. A good time was had by all...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Raggedy Sisters

 I love rag dolls. Especially hand sewn dolls. There is so much of the creator in dolls made by hand.
 i found these two in an Etsy shop(which i can no longer find) and i absolutely love them.
The seller thought they were made by the same person, and the doll with the short hair has "Sacramento California, 6-14-52 "written in faded ink on her dress.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Mountain Dulcimer

In March i got this sudden desire to learn to play a musical instrument. I had never learned to play anything when i was young...I guess there were so many other things i had to learn in school so adding more was just not something i wanted to do. But lately i've been thinking of things i would like to accomplish before i die...a sort of "Bucket List". Learning to play an instrument and learning another language are on that list now. Thru a series of events, i decided i would learn to play a mountain dulcimer.. (Thank you Jenna and Joni )Suddenly that was all i could think about. I needed to find a dulcimer and learn how to play. But that was not so easy. I called local music shops,and wrote to musically inclined friends and searched online, but dulcimers are not exactly easy to come by around here. Luckily, after searching a bit more, i found a local legend, Susan Trump, who has been playing, singing and teaching dulcimer lessons for years. She asked me some questions, had me measure my hand and ordered  a Walnut Creek dulcimer from T.K O'Brien for me.
Here is the result of all that searching...Isn't it beautiful...It has a cherry top and a walnut back, fretboard and sides...
I asked for bluebird sound holes, because they remind me of my Grandmother....
(i'm sure she would bring me luck)

and the little flower sound holes look like columbine to me...I started practicing on my dulcimer after a short introductory lesson from Susan when i picked it up, with a promise that i would return soon for more lessons. But within 2 weeks i had the hemorrhagic stroke, and that has slowed things down a bit for me. It took me a month to pick up my dulcimer after i got home from the hospital. I was afraid the little bit i had already learned would be forgotten. But amazingly, i remembered everything! And since i started working with it again it is helping me with my memory issues. It's really been an amazing gift. I look forward to playing it every day. And tho i don't think i will ever play like Susan does, i play just for the joy of it, and right now, that's enough...


Here's a little video from Jenna's blog, all about the mountain dulcimer

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jasmine in my window

 I woke up to a Beautiful Morning... It was cool enough outside to open the windows and turn off the air conditioner, much to the 3 little kittens delight. The birds are like little jewels on the feeders, teaching their babies how to feed themselves. And the breeze coming thru the windows spread a wonderful floral spicy smell thru my house. I knew immediately what it was.

 My little Jasmine tree is blooming
 and blooming
 and blooming.
I have never seen it bloom so heavily since i carried it home from a vacation weekend in Burlington Vermont one year.
i wish you could smell these beautiful blooms. The coffee is brewing, the air is fresh, the sun is shining, and Bill is home again. It promises to be a beautiful day...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Little Hannah Pearl

 When i first saw Hannah Pearl's picture on the website for my local animal shelter, the Mohawk and Hudson Humane Society, i knew she was mine. This happens to me sometimes. It's like i recognize an old friend, or know a new one is coming along... So i contacted my friend Barbara who is one of the Angels who runs the adoption room for the shelter at the local Petsmart, and made a date to meet her.

 Hannah has a "wandering eye" and seemed to have difficulty seeing certain things. But that hardly mattered. She was sweet and friendly and we liked each other so i took her home.

 After living with her for two weeks i noticed that she had a hard time doing normal kitten things, like jumping up on furniture, or playing with toys. She would try to climb and fall, try to jump up on the couch and miss it completely, run and slam into the wall... I made a wellness appointment with my wonderful vet, Dr. John White. When he asked why i brought Hannah in i told him i knew this would sound like i was "projecting" my own issues on my kitten, but i was concerned that she may have brain damage.She and her sister were found in a parking lot in a box. Anyone who could do that to two baby animals would not hesitate to give them a good hard kick. He examined her and saw the same things i saw..inability to focus, head bobbing, balance issues. I recognized these things in Hannah Pearl because i am experiencing them myself in my own head and body!

 Doc said she may or may not completely heal but the deficits she has are minor, and we both agreed she is a delightful kitten. I took her home, feeling better that i knew she was in no pain and would be alright. I think it is so amazing that we found each other this way at this time. We are both recovering and dealing with a brain injury. Who knows how hers came about...a birth issue? Or that imagined hard kick? I guess that part is not important any more. Now we will work together to get stronger and see where we stand on the other side of our healing time...She will definitely keep me on my toes. She leaps into toilets, tries to eat inedible things and runs for the door whenever it opens. She makes life a little more interesting... I just love her to pieces....

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Update-Fresh from the tube

Well, i spent a day being stuffed inside of an MRI machine last week. My doctor ordered an MRI, an MRA and a special head scan with dye contrast. Let me tell you, an MRI  is way easier and much faster than an MRA.(MRA tests focus on arteries in the body) If you are claustrophobic, i do not recommend either one. My doctor was looking for signs of an aneurysm, either past or present. After the tests were over and the doctor looked at the results, they met with us(me and my daughter Kate) and told me that i do not currently have an aneurysm,  and that the cause and location of my subarachnoid hemorrhage is still unknown. The kind of bleed i had is very rare. And the good news is, people who have this sort of episode almost never have it happen again. So that is great news! Some of the restrictions are lifted: i can lift more than 5 pounds(within reason) i can start to exercise  (but no stomach crunches as that would cause undo pressure in my head and spine) He even told me i could drive until i told him when i walk i still use a walker because i tilt towards traffic when it goes by me(hopefully that will clear up soon as i get stronger)So driving is on hold for now. Bill can come home from Heritage House, and we can start with the new nursing schedule. And as far as they were concerned, i am discharged as their patient(except for Bunny the P.A who said i could call her any time i had a worry, question or concern. I love Bunny!) So big progress was made! It's a little scary too, because now it is all up to me... I just started reading "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. She had the same sort of hemorrhage as i did, but her bleed was inside the brain and mine was on the surface. She lost everything...essentially became an adult newborn, and it took her 9 YEARS to recover everything. But she DID it! So for the few little issues i am dealing with, i know i can do it too!
(i am blessed i am blessed i am blessed i am blessed i am blessed i am blessed i am blessed)

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Secret of Life.....

 Still searching for the Secret of Life? Then watch this little video, bring it up to full screen, turn up the sound and listen to James. I think he's got it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Zoey and Family...

No words needed. Carly and the baby left the hospital today, came home
and started their lives together as a slightly bigger family! We are all very happy...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

She's here....

Little Zoey Ellen Stebbins, 7 pounds 6 oz. 20 1/2 inches long, dark hair and her Mother's mouth. She is Beautiful! A new life begins. I can't wait to get to know her....

Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm Doin' Alright...

 So many folks have asked how i am doing
 I have to say i'm doing alright. The stroke has brought about some necessary changes, and some of the changes are difficult. I still use a walker when i walk in the street. I still prefer silence to any noise at  all. Reading small print is close to impossible. But i believe in time all this will correct itself.
I am incredibly grateful for this life i have. For the Family and Friends who hold me up when i need a hand. I know there is a reason i survived  this and i want to find out what that is and get to work.
Thanks everybody....
(photos by my official photographer, Lola)

Card(s) for the day

 I picked this one

and this one popped out too.... Very appropriate.....
(This is my new favorite deck, called The Golden Tarot. The artwork is lovely and the edges of the cards are gilded in gold)

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I'm waiting for my little granddaughter Zoey to come out and meet me...Anytime now....Keep your fingers crossed for us! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Do You Believe in Magic?

 I Loved these guys...Especially John Sebastian. It always felt like Summertime music to me. They were kind of goofy and fun. High water pants and bad dancing..Didn't try to be sexy or take themselves too seriously. It was just good clean music. I forgot he played an autoharp in this song...It takes a minute for the video to start so just hang in there...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Ordinarily, on a 4th of July morning, i would be running here and there, getting things ready for a big family picnic of anywhere between 20-30 people(if everybody shows up!)...wiping down deck furniture, counting paper plates, cooking last minute goodies...But this year, everything has been turned around a bit since i had the stroke. I thought i would spend the day alone, quiet in my home...maybe read and garden and sit in the sun a bit. Generally i enjoy being alone in my home. But today it felt really weird, and sort of lonely...

But my daughters just called and are planning to pick me up and take us all to visit "Poppy" (Bill, who is still staying at a local nursing facility until i get the all clear from my doctors) and we are bringing a picnic with us! Immediately that sad and lonely feeling has disappeared! I was feeling sorry about the fact that our usual picnic was cancelled and that somehow i was responsible for that. But my daughters just showed me that it doesn't matter where you go or what you do, it's really who you do it with.

I hope you are all out there doing something you love, with someone or something you love, whether you celebrate the 4th or not...

 Have a wonderful 4th of July, wherever you find yourself.... Love, mare

(This sweet plant is called "Angelonia" I bought it as much for it's name as i did for it's beauty. You can never have too many Angels around...)