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Picture taken by my friend Cyndi Leos....thank you Cyndi.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

We Had Some Excitement The Day The New Bed Was Delivered...

First night in our new QVC bed and I have to say, I slept very comfortably.  So far so good...

It has been very cold and super windy here. Yesterday, it was stormy, gray skies, the wind was howling and freezing cold.  When the delivery men were carrying out the old mattress and bringing in the new one, I asked them to keep the door closed so our dog would not get out...

Some how, our dog Izzy got out...there was a woman walking her dog and Izzy ran right to them for a "meet and greet", but the woman was screaming at Izzy, "NO! NO!"....I called Izzy and she came toward me, the woman yelled, "YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEAH!!"  I yelled back, "I DO, BUT WE ARE HAVING A BED DELIVERED AND SHE GOT OUT!!"

I looked at Izzy, who was standing on our front patio, but looked like she wanted to play...I could see in her eyes she wanted to rip loose.... Ironically, the other day I was telling my husband I wish there was some place I could take Izzy, remove her leash and let her run free....just to run as fast as she could....

I called to Izzy, but she looked at me and then turned and ran full speed down the street....she was at the corner in seconds.  I ran back into the house to get my shoes on, getting her leash and halter.  Desperately, I grabbed a couple of dog bones and ran back outside.  My husband was in the front of the house and yelled "THERE SHE IS!" and she was right back on the front patio, panting and smiling.

I called her to come in and she did.  I almost cried, because after a year and two months, she knows this is home and it is better here than on the streets.  I don't even want to think about if she would not have come back, or worse, been hit by a car.  Thank God, we don't live in a high traffic neighborhood!

I can just imagine how good it felt for her to rip down to the end of the street and run back up the hill, full speed.  She must have turned around as soon as she saw I was not chasing her....  I am so happy she wants to be with us...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Magpie Tales #46: Persuasion...

He was shy.
She was impatient.
Driving to his house
on the hill
the wind howled
as her long
smooth legs
swung out
from the car door
and strutted
his drive way
like a woman
with a mission...

Her black,
soft leather,
gloved finger
pushed the door bell...
Her breath
vapors
streamed downward
from both
her flared nostrils.
Her mouth
 parted with anticipation...

He opened the door
with surprise and a smile
his heart skipped
as he admired
the cleavage
peeking beneath
her coat...

Without
waiting
for
an invitation
she stepped past him
slipping easily
out
of the
satin
lining
now lying
at his feet...

Her warm body
waived her
perfume
as she lightly
brushed past him,
filling his
senses
with
peaked
excitement.

He
reversed
his gaze
from her
three inch
black heels
to those black
leather
gloves
now, each,
spread like fans
across her bare chest
and
 upper thigh..

His eyes
met hers
in
hypnotic
heat...

In silence
she
gently
caresses
one
side
of her face,
her arms...
flexing
her fingers,
together
apart
together...
pulling
slowly,
removing
the
soft
leather
from her hands...

His eyes
fixated,
following,
the gloves
between her breasts
up one side
of her neck
across
her shoulders...

She tosses
the gloves
at his feet.

Swallowing hard, he
catches his breath
allowing a sigh
to escape
his lips
as he
imagined
their bodies
intertwined
like the gloves
on the wooden floor...

~dkb~


Photo by Tess Kincaid

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Sweet and The Ridiculous...

Back home from California...

Wonderful time with family... full report on our trip on my other blog ...

That's my nose in the upper left hand corner with my grandson, baby Jacob...

Talking away...

Always smiling...

Update on the Dream Beds at Ayres Inn are $1800 for a queen sized mattress and box springs, plus $500-$800 for delivery... forget that idea.

Instead, my husband, who LOVES infomercials, bought a queen sized SERTA perfect sleeper "Kettering" pillow top mattress and box springs on QVC.  He paid $784 with free delivery, set up and haul away of the old mattress...

It will be delivered tomorrow. Wish us luck... I will not allow them to haul away the old mattress until I have laid on it, inspected it, and smelled it...

I have been contacted by our community computer club.  Turns out they took my offer to teach a class on starting a blog.  They want me to schedule a class in January or February.  ME AND MY BIG MOUTH!  I think I was so desperate to get the GURU to fix my desktop when we got the virus, I would have promised anything.  My main problem is nervousness when speaking in front of crowds... Guess this is an opportunity to challenge myself....

I will have to work up a format of the class... (oh Lord, pleas help me). 

Any of you dear blogging buddies, if you have any helpful hints to pass along to me to help me with the class, please feel free to comment with any advice you might have...

Time for a cup of tea.  The news said we are in for very cold weather in Nevada...we may even get some snow...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Blessings To All My Blogging Friends...

Today I spend the day baking and packing.  I will not be posting until our return next week.

We leave tomorrow on "the road to love" to spend Christmas in California with the rest of our family. I am so looking forward to seeing my family, my three grandsons, my daughters, my sister, my Mom and Dad and my brothers.

May each and every one of you dear fellow bloggers have save travels, both going and coming, and enjoy however each of you choose to spend Christmas Day. May you each stay healthy, happy, warm and well fed.

Love to all of you!!! Donna

Christmas Blessings
to all
my
Blogging friends...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Beware of System Tool Spy Ware Trojan Horse...

I am so grateful to our community computer GURU at our Computer Club.  He came over today and fixed our computer after my husband inadvertently clicked on a hoax while on FOX SPORTS.  It claimed our computer was infected with a virus.  He thought it was our computer spyware/anti-virus warning.  The virus is called System Tool Spy Ware.  It took control of our computer and completely shut it down.

We had eight of my husband's family for dinner last night.  We leave for California this Friday.  I may not be blogging too much due to wrapping and preparations for our upcoming trip.  I will be posting again, before we leave...until then...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2nd Sleep Study with CPAP: Felt Like Panic In A Cockpit...And I'm No Pilot...

It has been a busy week. Tuesday, my husband and I were gone all day doing errands and finishing our Christmas stuff.  Tuesday night was the 2nd Sleep Study with the CPAP machine (I will describe later in this post). Wednesday when I returned from the Sleep Study, I had another doctor appointment with the Dermatologist to burn off some barnacle sun damage on my hands and slice off a mole/blister looking thing on my upper chest.  Afterward, I picked up my husband from the car dealer, had lunch, and finished our Christmas stuff.

When we got home I was too tired to do anything.  I used the last of my energy to cook dinner and hit the sack.  Today I had a hair cut appointment at 10am, more errands and then an appointment with the Nutritionist at 2pm.  GOOD NEWS!!!  I LOST 5 POUNDS!!!!  She was very impressed with my food diary, my exercise, and weight loss.  She told me to stay on track and call me if I need her..then we agreed to touch base in January...

2nd Sleep Study with the CPAP Machine:

I had not spoken with my doctor about the first results, other than being told I have moderate sleep apnea.  A few days before the 2nd test, I called the Sleep Center and the manager explained I also had restless leg syndrome.  She told me I stopped breathing 26 times per hour and my oxygen went down to 74%.  Pretty scary... She asked me if I was tired all the time.  I told her I did not have the energy of my youth, but I did not usually nap during the day...

Same as last time, I was asked to come at 10pm.  They were BUSY!  I had to wait in the lobby instead of going straight to a room.  Another woman and her husband were waiting.  She spoke in a whisper, guess she was afraid of disturbing anyone. Her husband was waiting to find out what time to pick her up in the morning. She told me she did not snore, or have sleep apnea, but her oxygen drops to 85% while she sleeps and she said it made her red blood cells increase.  (I googled this and discovered a drop in the oxygen levels in the body will trigger the kidneys and liver to release ERYTHROPOIETIN, which makes more red blood cells.)  She told me to check with my doctor on my next visit.

Our conversation was cut short when I was called to my room.  The young lady asked me to get myself ready and my male tech would be in shortly.  GREAT!  Guess I will be sleeping in a bra tonight...I said to myself...

I had plenty of time to prepare, go to the bathroom, and take some pics of my room....

This is most of the stuff they hook or strap on me...there were two long wire thingies hanging behind the door.
    Peaceful photos on the wall, nice furniture...


Dresser and nice plasma TV on the wall...the "how are you feeling at check in" questionnaire, my water bottle, backpack, and my jeans.

Finally, my tech comes in.  He apologizes for taking so long and tells me he is almost done with another patient, so I read some of my latest James Patterson novel... I look at my phone and it is 11:05 pm ...
This is going to be a long night...I can feel it.

Fifteen minutes later he comes in and apologises again.  He is holding four masks in plastic bags.  I ask how they are sterilized in between patients, as I am grossed out thinking of someone elses nose, mouth, bodily fluids being on the masks.... He assures me they are sent out and sterilized.  I am still uneasy...

First he suggests we try on the various masks because he has been forewarned by the nice nurse manager I spoke with earlier, about my claustrophobia issues.  He shows me the first one for people like me, then casually says, "Most people don't like the air shooting up their nostrils"....

'YA THINK???

I told him I would try it on...

Believe it or not, it was pretty comfortable...he had different nose pieces depending on the size of the various nostril holes.  It sits right above the mouth, even though in the picture, it looks like it is IN my mouth.

He asked if I wanted to feel it with the air?

This is the machine which is a combination humidifier and air.  He told me he will increase the air pressure during the night as I need it.  I don't know about this...

He started the machine with a light flow of air and I opened my mouth to tell him I did not like it and all the air went out my mouth, making talking difficult and giving me the sensation I couldn't breath, so I ripped it off my face and he lunged to assist me...

I rejected number #1 mask and moved on to #2....

When he connected #2 to the air machine, the air kind of waifed over the bridge of my nose and sneaked down and up my nostrils.  It didn't seem too bad, so we put that one aside as a "maybe"...

I have no pictures of #3 and #4 because I would not keep them on my face long enough for him to take a picture, let alone turn on the air.  #3 captured my nose and was too claustrophobic right away.  #4 had a thicker strap across my forehead and chin and despite him adjusting it, I felt like someone had me in a head lock, so I ripped it off my face immediately.  He started sweating at this point and ask politely if I would allow him to help me on and off with the masks from now on...

By this time it was close to midnight, and I am still not hooked up.  I selected #2 and he began the hooking up procedure.  He used to be a diesel mechanic before he decided he hated the dirty fingernails and broken knuckles.  He decided he might want to be a nurse, but would start off as a medical assistant to see how he liked it.  He LOVES his work.  He also has sleep apnea and has worn the #2 mask for two years and has so much more energy and better sleep.

He is very precise and uses a red grease type pencil to mark my face and scalp before he places the pads and leads on me. Both of us are sweating now, and I ask if he can open the door (the hallway is always cooler than the rooms for some reason) and he gratefully opens the door.  He asks if I mind if he turns down the AC.  I tell him "GO FOR IT!"

Finally I am all hooked up. The manager also told him about my blister from the "ET light" so he gave me another type which was fine and I had no problems. I ask for my extra blanket and he asks if I want the fan.  I told him the room feels good, so I am OK.  He tells me if I change my mind to buzz him and he will bring it in.  He is very kind and patient.

As last time, he turns out the lights and goes to the monitoring room and will call me on the intercom to test all the connections, having me move my eyes, limbs, etc.  I am not sure if it was the dark or the mask, but all of a sudden I began to panic.  I felt like I was wearing an oxygen mask in the cockpit of a fighter jet and I am no pilot!  I don't even like to fly!!! Quickly, I  buzzed him and frantically announced, "THIS IS NOT GOING TO WORK..." 

"I'll be right there Donna..." and in a flash, he had turned on the lights and was removing the mask, I had already pulled away from my face...

"We're out of options here young lady (told 'ya he was kind), if you can't do it, you just can't do it... a lot of people cannot handle it..." 

I was NOT going to drive home at whatever time it was, after getting all hooked up.  I asked him if we could try #1.  After he gets me connected to the machine he warns me he is going to turn on the air...and I brace myself.  I was OK.  I had to keep talking to myself in my mind, making myself calm and telling myself I AM going to do this...

I tell him I am OK.  He turns off the lights and shortly he is giving me my directions.  All systems are GO, so the rest is up to me...

I popped my cholesterol pill with a sip of water, put my ear plugs in and tried to settle in...I have no idea how long it took me to get to sleep.  It seemed like forever.  I coughed once and the air gushed out my mouth, but this time I shut my mouth quickly!  I had worried about keeping my mouth shut during the night, because normally I am a drool-er because my nose gets so stuffy at night.  He had told me I would probably be fine as the machine has a humidifier in it, but if I opened my mouth, he had a chin strap he could put on me...NO FRICKING WAY!!!!  So I propped up my chin with my pillows and hoped for the best...

Around 4am I woke up coughing and momentarily freaked because the pressure of the incoming air felt more like a fire hose of air than the gentle breeze I feel asleep with... Immediately, I heard my tech asking if I was OK, and then before I could focus my eyes, he was in the room beside my bed.

He told me he could stop the study then if I wished, but I did not feel like driving home at 4am and really wanted to return to sleep.  Surprisingly, I feel right back to sleep.  I don't remember any dreams... but he told me the next morning I did reach REM sleep.

Now I schedule a follow up appointment with my doctor and get a script for the CPAP.  Here's hoping between my current insurance and my new insurance, I won't have to pay too much, because I really noticed a HUGE difference in how I felt, especially in my legs.  During the night, my legs feel weird, tingly, like they are going to sleep and I HAVE to move them.  When I first walk in the morning, my legs feel weak and heavy.  My nose is always stuffed and I often have a dull headache.

Another look at my "big hair" from the "goop" for the head leads...and I am so relieved to have this test behind me!

I will keep you posted on what type machine (if I can afford it) I select, but I am leaning toward the nasal one I ended up with.  I know it will take some time to get used to, but I believe the results and benefits will far out weigh the hassle.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Magpie Tales #45: Love At First Sight...

Photo by Tess Kincaid
Another Magpie Tale


Precious and sacred
Mother and child,
my life's longing,
calling to her,
beckoning,
wishing,
hoping,
praying,
holding, rubbing
my protruding belly.
 Womb dreams,
psychic visions
of an unborn face.
Feeling alive,
destined,
planning.
Willing to take
all discomfort
and pain
to count ten fingers
and ten toes.
Love at first sight
weeping with a smile,
strong, instant
connections,
protecting,
remembering,
cherishing,
joyful exhaustion.
Knowing.
Feeling
a tiny hand
on my breast,
that sweet smell
of a newborn
fed
satisfied
growing
all from me...
Thanking God.
Overwhelmed with Love,
spilling over
filling my life.
Each day
a precious adventure
together.
Babies
Toddlers
Even years
Odd years
Adolescence
Pre-teen
Teenager
Young woman
Woman
Mother
Oh, my precious daughters,
the gratitude
to hold
and share
another generation...
Mother and child
precious and sacred...

~dkb~

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sleep Study Number 2....

Spent the last two days decorating the interior and exterior of our home for Christmas.  Tomorrow I have a "to do" list about three feet long.  Tomorrow night, I return to the sleep center for my second sleep study to fit me with a CPAP machine for my sleep apnea. 

My plan is to wear myself out tomorrow doing errands so when I arrive at 10pm, hopefully, I will be able to conk out and go to sleep...I am NOT looking forward to this.  I have claustrophobia and cannot imagine anything remotely resembling "comfortable" or "not so bad once you get used to it".  Anything over my face will not be pleasant in any way, shape or form!!! 

If it is more than I can handle, I have no qualms of unplugging and leaving...wish me luck!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Six Word Saturday...

While visiting blogs this morning, http://www.showmyface.com/ hosts a Six Word Saturday (see my side bar to pick up the html if you want a link).  Her challenge is to describe your life in six words...here's mine:

Going to lose weight during holidays

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Magpie Tales #44: No One Believed In Fences...

Another Magpie Tales challenge...

Photo from Tess Kincaid

From 1952 to 1957
we lived in
Bremerton, WA
with four seasons.
It was the best
of my childhood
memories...

Winter meant
 breaking off
ice cycles hanging
from the roof,
snow angels,
shoveling snow,
making snowmen,
building the best
snow fort,
snow ball fights,
and 
best of all...
sledding.
No one believed
 in fences...
 Our sled run
was the top of the hill
from our neighbor's
back yard
all the way to the
bottom,
around
the curve
to the
street below us.
Bundling up
layers of
clothes,
gloves, boots
scarf and hat.
cup of
cocoa with
marshmallows
and away
we went.
Sitting at the top
of the hill
butterflies of
 fear and excitement
(excitement always won)
booted heels
dug in the snow
 either side of
my sled.
gripping the steering cord
both hands with
just the right
space in between.
rocking back and forth
to get
the runner blades
ready...
pushing
forward
to the slope
of the hill
 cold and wind
biting my
rosy cheeks
Ready...
PUSH OFF!!
One foot on
then the other,
crouched down,
getting the feel
of the rutters,
steering,
careful...
snow flying on my face
 in my eye lashes
(hated goggles)
gleeful giggles
imagination kicks in
skiing
racing
escaping
winning
gathering speed
gotta stay on
all the way!
all the way!
feeling free
so very happy
adventure
bravery
guts
pride
skill
all
the
way
to
the
bottom
and then
pulling it
back up
the hill
and
DO IT
AGAIN!!!

~dkb~

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Inside INFO On Results To My Sleep Study...

One of the nice ladies at the Sleep Center had told me to call her last Friday.  I did and she told me she types up the notes after it is dictated by the doctor.  She told me she would call me to let me know if I did have sleep apnea and would have to come back.  I had explained to her I have to change health care companies and my doctor wanted me to use my current health plan to do the sleep studies because the sleep centers on the other health plan are conducted at motels and are not as nice.  She did not call me Friday, so I called her yesterday.

She told me I had "moderate" sleep apnea and she had just faxed the doctor's notes to my primary care doctor.  When I called his office, the gal told me he would contact me in a couple of days.  I reminded her, the doctor had wanted me to use this sleep center and I was changing health plans in January.  I will call them back if I don't hear anything by tomorrow.

I am really surprised I have sleep apnea.  I didn't think I did.  Pretty scary.  My husband is convinced he has it, but will not go to the sleep center because he could not stand all the paraphernalia one has to wear for the test.  I am apprehensive as I am claustrophobic and if they are going to have me wear a mask, I may just have to decline and then run on a treadmill daily to loose this weight around my middle and around my neck!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Climbing Reverently, Gratefully...

Photo by Tess Kincaide

The crunch
of fresh fallen
over night
frosted snow
swollen
booted feet
trudge
beneath
weary bones
from
the
night shift
tired eyes
a gloved hand
pull keys
from
 a warm pocket
focusing
on door knobs
which lead
to a kitchen
a kettle
warm tea
thick socks
slippers
and a
long
hot
steamy shower
before
climbing
reverently
gratefully
into
bed
for sweet
precious
sleep....

~dkb~

Thank you Willow for another Magpie Tales challenge...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Puttering and Purging In PJ's...

It's cold.

Feels like Christmas.

So much to do,
so little time.

Our family
agreed
to make gifts
this year...

Don't like
feeling pressured...

brings on
anxiety.

Instead,
puttering and purging
personal files
in my PJ's
was more
of a priority
this weekend...

~dkb~

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sleep Study: Just Call Me Hannibal Lecter With An ET Finger...

It's 10:30am.  I got home from my sleep study at 6 am.  Izzy had been sleeping on my bed and came scampering to greet me.  She did well staying alone, all night with my husband, for the first time.  We took a couple of laps around the block, enjoying a nice, long, brisk walk and watched the sun rise over the valley below...

I was scheduled to arrive at the Nocturna Sleep Center last night at 9 pm, but one of the staff called and asked if I could come at 10:30pm instead.  The staff were very professional, informative, kind and friendly.  The rooms are small, but stylishly designed like any top rated hotel.

I was given a questionnaire to complete, mainly to see if I had any aches or pains and how I felt generally.  I changed into my PJ's and a nice young women came in to attach all the electrodes to me.  It took about forty-five minutes.  I had straps across my chest, my rib cage and my waist.  Leads on my legs, arms, neck and a clip taped around my right pointing finger with a red light, like the tip of ET's finger.

The two worst part were tubing like oxygen, only with sensors on it, which I had to wear up my nose with some piece that hung down toward my mouth (very irritating), and the leads put on my scalp.  First, she exfoliated the spots on my scalp before she put the gel on.  Kind of scraping my scalp.  The gel was thick like toothpaste, followed by the base, the lead, and then wrapped with a cotton ball.

When she finished, I asked her to take a picture of me to share with you all.  I looked like Hannibal Lector!


What do YOU think?

This picture was before she put all the leads on my head.

She put that toothpaste gel on my face and then taped the tubing in place.  Lovely, huh?  Behind my head was a five inch by five inch block where all the ends of the leads were plugged into and it is gathered and secured behind my neck...

And I am suppose to sleep like this??? 

She told me to buzz her if I needed to go to the bathroom or needed anything.  She asked if I needed anything and I asked for a fan, as I usually sleep naked with the windows open and I knew I would be HOT wearing Pj's.  They observe me throughout the night via a camera, so I opted to wear the PJ's. The blanket was very light and I prefer some weight on me, so she brought me another blanket.

I popped my cholesterol medication, drank a sip of water, got my ear plugs out so I would not be distracted by the sound of the fan, and tried to make myself "comfortable".  Once the tech reached the front desk, she called me on the intercom to have me follow some verbal commands to make sure everything was connected properly.

She had me wiggle my legs, my hands, fingers, open and shut my mouth, move my eyes up and down and side to side, breath in and out only from my nose, then only from my mouth, shut my eyes, open my eyes, and breathe with my belly.  After the OK, I put my ear plugs in and told myself as soon as I went to sleep, the sooner I could get all the wires off me and go home!

I normally fall into sleep quickly.  It took some twenty or so minutes of self talk to take myself some other place to distract myself from where I was, and finally fall asleep.  I woke momentarily when I would turn over or was too uncomfortable in a particular position, but I did sleep...I even had a dream... of being released and going home!

The leads on my head, reminded me of sleeping with bobby pins when I was a little kid.  Kind of "pokey" and uncomfortable.  At some point in the night, I began to get a headache from the stuffiness of the room and lying on those "porcupine leads".

Thankfully, at 5:20 am, I heard the muffed voice of my tech asking me to wake up.  She told me to open my eyes but to stay in bed and not go back to sleep.  Surprisingly, I felt wide awake.  I was so relieved to get out of there!  I became aware of my headache and my right ET finger, which was throbbing with pain...


Turns out the pulse lead on my finger with the red light was taped so tight, I got a blister.  Hurt like heck!  I told her and she apologised telling me I must have sensitive skin and I am the first blister she has ever seen.
(I am happy to report it has disappeared and no longer hurts....)

As she gently pulled off the tape from my face (OW!!!!!) , disconnecting me and removing the gooey leads from my scalp, she commented on how thick my hair was and I may have to wash it three times to get it all out of my hair.

Actually, it made an excellent root enhancer as my thick hair looked three times as thick as it normally does...some what resembling a Halloween Fright Wig...


I had to fill out another questionnaire and then I was released to go home.  I should get the results in a week to ten days.  If I have sleep apnea, I have to come in for ANOTHER sleep study...

 LETS HOPE I AM JUST A LOUD CHAMPIONSHIP SNORING MASTER....

Monday, November 29, 2010

Is It Snoring OR Sleep Apnea...

Tomorrow I go in for a sleep study.  I stay all night, wired up for "sound" (pity the techs who must listen to me snore all night!).  I told my doctor about the many complaints from my family on how loud and disturbing my snoring is.  My husband says "I open and shut drawers in the dresser".

My oldest daughter has video taped me and recorded me on her cell phone.  I cannot tell you how embarrassed I was, but how hard I laughed!!  You'd think snoring THAT LOUD I would wake myself up.  Guess it is an indication of how soundly I sleep...

My doctor told me he was not as concerned with my snoring as he was about sleep apnea, when one actually stops breathing while they sleep.  I guess we will find out...I am concerned if I DO have sleep apnea, I would have to wear one of those masks while I sleep... I have claustrophobia, so the idea of some mask over my face creeps me out BIG TIME...

Guess I will find out.  I have toured the room and it is very nice.  So are the staff.  I am not suppose to take any naps or drink any caffeine during the day.  I go in at 9pm and am supposed to be ready for sleep by 10pm.  Generally, I have no problem going to sleep...but just in case, I may bring a good book...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sad News In Learning of Poet Hugh Prathers Death...

Did you ever read, NOTES TO MYSELF by Hugh Prather?

If you were like me, and millions of others, it was one of my favorite books of poetry.  He was the first published poet who wrote "free form verse poetry" like I did.  He just wrote from his heart.  My copy of this book is well and often read...

I loved and related to his work.  He motivated me to organize my box of poetry into journals and began a habit of keeping journals for over forty years.

I read in the paper this morning he died in his hot tub after suffering a heart attack on November 15, at his home in Tucson, Arizona. He is survived by his wife Gayle Prather, their two sons and a son from a previous marriage.  He was 72. 

The article said he was a very humble and unassuming man, who was often quoted saying, "I'm no better than anyone else".  People often offered to pay him for his advice and he would humbly refuse.  If someone insisted, he would donate the money to charity.  He wrote several books, which I have seven.  He and his wife Gayle co-wrote a series of advice books for married couples.

Some  favorite quotes from "Notes"...are:

"My trouble is I analyze life
  instead of live it."

"Don't fight a fact, deal with it."

"Fame isn't fame. It only appears that way from a distance"

"Love unites the part with the whole.
Love unites me with the world and with
myself.  My life work could well be love.
Love is the universe complete.  Detachment
is the universe divided.  Detachment divides
me from myself and from others.  Love is
the vision that can see all as one and one
as all: "I and my father are one".  Is
there but one reality and one truth? Love
shows me where all minds and essences unite.

How do I get love?  I have it.  I must
drop my definitions of love.  Love is not
saying nice things to people or smiling or
doing good deeds.  Love is love.  Don't
strive for love, be it.

I love because I love."

Thank you Mr. Prather for all you have written and what you have meant in my life...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Home Again, Home Again...

We are home again.  We came home a day early.  My husband's daughter and son could not get off work today, so we decided to save the cost of another night in the hotel and another night of boarding for Izzy, and just come home.

I have to say, the beds at the Ayres Inns are INCREDIBLE!  Thanksgiving night I slept twelve hours straight and felt so relaxed and rested the next morning.  We inquired on the make of the bed and they have their own style beds.  I got the card and plan to investigate...

I wrote a more detailed account of our trip on my other blog, Mystical Journeys.

Izzy was so happy to see us and we were glad to see her little fuzzy, scruffy face too.

She is curled up with my husband watching TV, so I think I will sign off and join them.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Am Thankful...

We leave early tomorrow morning for southern CALI to spend Thanksgiving at my oldest daughter's home. We normally spend it with my Mom and siblings, or we travel from my brother's house to my daughter's house to squeeze in two visits, or we stay in Nevada and celebrate with my husband's two sons and their families.this year, it is CALI's turn, but we are slowing down and only going to one house.

My oldest daughter will cook for my youngest daughter, newest grandson, her boyfriend, her husband and two boys, her husband's parents and us.  We will get to enjoy a small gathering and more time with the grand sons... We will  be back home on Sunday... Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, dear friends...


I am thankful
for my health,
happiness,
my husband,
my children,
my grand children.

I am thankful
for my Dad and Mom
my four brothers
and my sister.

I am thankful
for each and every one
of you
dear blogging buddies
who listen
who support
who share
laughter and tears.
without whom,
I would have
many lonely days.

I am thankful
to live
in these United States,
for our
many freedoms;
despite
all the challenges
our country
now face.

I am thankful
for the food
on the table,
the roof over
our heads...
for the Blessing
of spending time
showing love
with my family
and friends.

~dkb~

Monday, November 22, 2010

Learning From These Three Things...

" I've learned
that you can tell
a lot about a person
by the way
he/she handles
these three things:
a rainy day,
lost luggage
and tangled
Christmas Tree lights."

~Mayo Angelou~

I just LOVE this quote.  When I first read it, it reminded me how often we humans allow some external thing to obliterate our internal feelings of calm and peace.  Case in point the three things listed above.

I LOVE rainy days.  Rarely ever will the rain upset my day, normally, it lifts my spirits and I feel cozy or adventurous.

Lost luggage?  Fortunately for me, it has never happened to me...but I would like to think I would look upon it as an opportunity to challenge myself and find quick replacement outfits at a tag sale or second hand store.  Admittedly, I would panic if my jewelry or camera was misplaced, but generally I always carry these items on my person or packed in my carry on bag...

Tangled anything has always been an interesting challenge to me.  For some odd, unknown reason....maybe it is my love of puzzles... but I actually enjoy untangling anything.  One day, while shopping in a store, a young female clerk looked very frustrated as she had the task of untangling a glob of tangled mess of necklaces. 

I offered to help and her look of surprise tickled me.  I told her I had this quirky self entertainment in untangling things.  Her reply was, "Knock yourself out and thank you very much!"

What about you?  How do you respond to the above three things?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Simple Fun Times...

Last night my husband and I went to our friend's home.  We take turns going to each other's homes, or going out to dinner on two for one coupons.  She made a wonderful turkey, mashed potato, broccoli dinner.  Her husband, who is from Switzerland, made his signature shredded carrot salad with special dressing. Everything was delicious!

Afterward, they introduced us to a card name we had never played called SKIP BO.  The game is played with partners.  We decided on men against women.  It is multi tasking and strategy game because players must pay attention to the five cards in their own hand, their individual pile in front of them, which must be played to the last card in order to win, plus the four ascending or descending piles of cards in the middle of the table, in addition to your partners cards, as well as the two opponents cards.

It was so much fun! 

In between the game, we chatted, laughed, snacked and ate her home made, yummy, banana cake with sour cream frosting for dessert.  What a blessing to have such good friends to enjoy simple fun times and great company.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mag 41 Almost 4 am...


Inspiration picture below:

Photo by Tess Kincaid

Lying paralysed
on the
wooden floor
staring
at the
clock...

 world
literally
upside
down...

Almost 4 am

Tears pooling
in ears
and
splashing
beneath
like
a
bucket
of
cold water...

Allowing
 time,
situations,
to slip
away
 dissolving
dignity...

ignoring
inner
wisdom
indicates
idle
indecision
indicating
immaturity

Clarity
comes
like
thundering hooves
on
cobblestone streets

not
distant
echos
of fading
intelligence

Don't...
please...
wait...
observe..
listen.. 

Learn
the
lesson.

~dkb~

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monkey Man: Mag 40

Willow has another challenge at

The picture below is the inspiration.
I surprised myself with the words
that poured forth
after being sucked into
this intriguing piece
of jewelry...

Photo by Tess Kincaid

mysterious monkey man
making me laugh
giving me chills
sweeping me
away
to
the
top
of
the
trees
wild with abandon
as your
cool sweat
whispers at my neck
like
misshapen rare pearls
head back
breasts to the sky
eyes slit with passion
burning
like molten gold
Embed yourself
within my soul
keep me
use me
lock me
in
your
chest
of
jewels

~dkb~

(Where'd that come from?)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Battles...

to lose this poundage
which hugs my core
to make my clothes
fit looser on my body
so grunts and groans
STOP
pouring from my mouth
to eliminate all
the clutter
to know the peace
in simplicity.
to accept what is
to allow
possibilities
to focus
on the now
and STOP
worrying
about the future
to enjoy
to savor
the simple things
to STOP
concentrating
on the age spots
on my hands
and find
something worthwhile
to do with them
to love
with all the love
in me
yet
still keep
some for me
to take
each day
as it comes
and do
my best
to make it better...

~dkb~

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In Search Of A Dream...

Yesterday morning
My daughter and I
found a beautiful
manufactured home
for $59,000
built in 2005
3 bedrooms, 2 bath
1225 square feet
with an incredible view
of the valley
in Calimesa.

I left two messages
for the Realtor
and she finally
called back late last night
to tell me
the park rent 
was $425 a month
plus an average
of $200 per month
for utilities.

I should have known 
it was too good
to be true...

If the price is low,
the HOA or space rent
is high.

For now,
we will stay
where we are
and keep searching...

I've noticed
a huge change
in my husband's mood.
I complimented him
on how much more
relaxed he is.
He told me,
"I feel a lot less stress
knowing 
I don't have to
return to work
when we get home."

~dkb~

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Learning To Slow Down...

On our drive out from Nevada, my husband normally tries to beat his last land speed record in seeing how quickly we can arrive at our destination.  Pity me if I need to use the restroom.  When he is on a mission to get somewhere, stopping, is not on his agenda....

He started our trip in the fast line with a determined look on his face.... I reminded him,

"Remember honey, you are retired now, we have all the time in the world.  We don't have to rush anymore".

He looked over at me and smiled, "Yeah, I need to learn how to slow down.''




Today is our third day in California... Our schedule has been jam packed, me going one direction and my husband going another.  Our challenge is to visit with as many of our large family as possible within a one week period. Today I went with Mom to her church group which helps young Mothers, to the nursing home for Dad's 90th birthday celebration given by the nursing home, then back to her house to wait for my husband, who had gone to Riverside to meet one of his friends for breakfast and then have lunch with his youngest son.



We barely had time to change clothes before piling in the car to meet the rest of our family at the nursing home to celebrate Dad's 90th birthday. Everyone made it except one of my brothers who was delayed on the freeway. The party was a big success and Dad was ready for bed when we all kissed him good-bye.  Afterward, we caravaned to my second oldest brother's home in Covina Hills for a delicious spaghetti dinner.  We got back to Mom's around midnight...

Tomorrow he will return to Riverside to see his daughter, after he drops me off at 7:30 am in Claremont to walk and spend time with my sister.  Later my sister will drop me back off at Mom's where I will meet up with my husband, pack up and we will drive to Beaumont to stay with my oldest daughter and grandsons.  My daughter's husband is away in Colorado on a hunting trip.

My youngest daughter, her husband and baby Jacob will also arrive Saturday and we will all spend the night at my oldest daughters. Sunday we celebrate my second youngest grandson's birthday.  Monday and Tuesday is whatever comes up and we return to Nevada on Wednesday...

Maybe we can work on the slowing down part on our drive back home...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Keeping It Light...

"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need--a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink, for thirst is a dangerous thing."

~Jerome Klapka Jerome~

Since his retirement, my husband is doing his best to relax and I have been cheer leading with positivity, but both of us are two peas of the same pod, we both cannot "lighten up" until all our T's are crossed and our I's have dots... 

Gathering all our supplies and safety nets to supply our journey into the uncharted seas of retirement has been weathering both of us.  We have another full day tomorrow and then we leave for California on Wednesday.

We had a wonderful talk this morning and the above poem spoke to me.  It is the direction we wish to sail...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Movie, HEREAFTER...

Today I took my husband out to breakfast and then to see the movie, HEREAFTER. I would give it a 10, but it a very different Clint Eastwood movie. Some might say it is too long, because it moves very slowly. I think he purposely takes the audience separately into the three central characters lives. If you go with the intention of being "entertained", you might view the movie as slow...but if you have the time, and want to enjoy this movie, go into the movie theatre, settle in and prepare to visit each of their lives as an observer...as if you were a spirit floating above everything happening on the screen.

I really enjoy how Eastwood selects actors not well known or famous, so you can relate to them on a more human level. This is a different type role for Matt Damon I feel, but I really enjoyed his character. I have heard Eastwood completes movies very quickly, because he does not get in the way of his actors.  He collaborates and allows his actors creative freedom.  I also like the way Eastwood never insults the audience by explaining every single thing in the movie.  He acknowledges his audiences are smart and will get the story he is telling.

The boys who played the twin brothers were fantastic. I must say, there is a scene in the movie with Matt Damon and one of the characters, and I sobbed my eyes out.

I have always believed there is a dimension between life and death, and we experience it when we first die. I have always believed loved ones who have died, attempt to make contact with us, but we are closed off to it and don't tune in. Often, I believe, our passed loved ones visit us through our subconscious while we sleep.
I have always enjoyed reading about after death experiences and wished it was discussed more.

Both my husband and I really enjoyed the movie.  I think you will too.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Woman Had A Mission...

Cardinal John Henry Newman wrote this beautiful reflection:

“God has created me for some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have a mission. I may never know exactly what that mission is in this life. I shall be told it in the next. I have a part in a great work. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for nothing. I shall do good. I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, even if I do not realize what I am doing. But, if I keep His commandments, I will serve Him in my calling.”

This reflection was read today at Aunt Flora's funeral service.  One of my husband's cousins had heard this reflection and he immediately thought it needed to be read to describe her life...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Celebrating One Year With Our Dog, Izzy...

One year ago today, we rescued and adopted our little female terrier mix and named her Izzy, short for Izzabella. Here she is in our backyard the day I brought her home:


She was abused by men or a man and we think she was kicked, because she would never get near my husband's feet.  Any time he stands, she moves out of his way.  She used to bark at him when he would dress in a suit and tie, wearing dress shoes, when he went to work, and until he changed clothes after he came home. 

One year later, through my husband's frustration and patience, she will come to him when he lies on the couch and will even kiss him.  She is always there beside him when he has a snack, which he shares with her, despite my asking him not to...

She is such a sweet dog. She is smart and good natured.  She used to be very nervous and spun in circles.  She has calmed down a lot.  We still have more work to do, but are so thankful to have her as part of our family.



We love you Izzy girl.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Funeral Blues...

I was cleaning out my files and found this poem from the movie, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.  I loved the poem. I am not sure why, but it spoke to me...I thought I would share it with you if you have not heard the poem...it is kind of dark and sad, but I loved the words and the feel of it.

When I was young, love felt totally different to me.  It was all encompassing and I thought there was only one person for me.  This is how the poem struck me, as if it were a young person, madly in love and absolutely desperate and lost after the loss.

Love still fills me up, but maybe I stand sturdier on my feet these days being an older person. I am better at loving & knowing myself and know I will survive.  Maybe all the learning and loving I did in my life, filled me up so much, I can only be left with such beautiful memories of love and knowing love gives us lasting comfort. Love is Love and should always be the answer...

What do you think?

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one:
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods:
For nothing now can ever come to any good.


by W.H. AUDEN

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sad News And Happy News---- Kinda...

Today, at 12:15am, New York time, my husband's favorite Aunt and God Mother passed away.  She would have been 98 years old in February. A few months ago, her blood pressure began to get so low she would faint. Before then, she managed her home in Orchard Park, cooked from scratch and did her own yard work. Her mind was "sharp as a tack" and carried on wonderful conversations. She was a total joy to be around. She had started to slow down and had a few falls, so two months ago, the family put her in Assisted Living.

In April, 2006, we flew back to visit her and see all my husband's cousins in Buffalo and Rochester.  We had a huge party at his cousin's home.  All we did was laugh, eat, sleep and poop.  No sooner would we wake up from a full stomach nap, Aunt Flora would be serving up another meal.  God, I love Italians...

Aunt Flora
(Notice what the pillow says?
"You can always spot a Lady".)

She and I would take long walks around her neighborhood.  OH MY LORD, the houses were so big and so far apart!  Beautiful big trees and creeks.  Squirrels scampering, flowers bursting up at first Spring.  We went to Vidler's 5 & 10 in East Aurora, New York... Talk about finding A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G you could ever want!  It was like going back in time to the 1950's...


We went to Father Baker's Lady of Victory Basilica, one of her most favorite places.  He also built an Infant Home for all the unwanted babies and helped unmarried teens.  He also built an Orphanage, Hospital and School.  Incredible.  Google it.  I may post about it some time and share my pictures...


We saw Niagara Falls, which was a life long dream for me to see.  I need to post about it one day as well..


Aunt Flora was a unique and wonderful woman.  She was first, last and always, a lady of the highest caliber.  So positive, so loving, so remarkable.  She joined her beloved husband, her infant daughter, brothers, sisters and a lot more family and friends in Heaven.  She will be greatly missed.

As for the happy news.... My husband found out this morning he was laid off. Sadly, fifteen other people were laid off too.  Eighteen other employees, who survived the lay off, had to take serious salary cuts.  His last day is next Thursday.  No severance either...

He was thinking of retiring the end of December, or April, or maybe June....(he could not make up his mind) and I wanted him to retire six months ago.  He was miserable there.  Things have not been the same for a couple years He HATED going to work.  This past year, he has been in charge of all the bad loans from all four banks.  Not fun. He was starting to get grumpy too...

When he returned from Mexico this past week, he asked me to pray they would let him go when he returned to work. Our prayers were answered.

We feel badly for the younger people who were let go, no one likes to see so many people without work...Luckily, he made a good enough salary so we have been able to save and prepare.  It was the main reason we moved here. We'll be OK... He wanted to save more, but I told him there is no dollar compensation worth more than one's health and happiness.  He has been in  banking fifty years. He is seventy-one years old (but looks like he is in his late 50's). He has raised six children and worked hard all his life.  He deserves time to do what HE wants....I am excited and looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.