Monday, October 5, 2015


I love it!

Even after 'downsizing' my 'fall collection' to only 1 box -
(and sending 3 boxes of Halloween trinkets
to my extended families with children) -
there's still just enough to make me know
it's fall.

 I even took spring topiaries
altered them with some paint,
added a forest of fall brush trees  -
and voila...

A fresh fall mantle treatment!

We could lay around
and look at our pretties all day long!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Randomness ...

I've been gone because
sometimes words are too much;
words aren't enough;
I need to sink deep into silence 
and just rest in that space
until I'm ready to emerge again.

Not sure this is a full emergence,
just poking my head out of my hole to let you know I'm still here.

Just call me Whack -a -mole!
 I sent my son in CA some fall color -
do they even HAVE fall in Northern CA?

He's in and settled ...
all he needs now is a job
and to start painting again!

Grateful this man made it out of our country
without some idiot with a gun
trying to make a name for himself.

I appreciate his attempts to live a modest life
(in the face of a tradition that favors over the top pomp and glitz),
his obvious love of serving others
and his joyous response to what he perceives as his 'call.'

That being said,
I'm deeply disappointed that he met with Kim Davis
since he seemed to be trying so hard to steer clear of meeting people
with obvious agendas.
I'm also disappointed with his decision to canonize a man responsible
for participating in and perpetuating
a system that brutalized and dehumanized Native Americans.
As for his statement that
"We must not judge the past through the lens of the present"
I can't help but wonder what the reaction would be if he were to say the same thing
to Holocaust survivors,
those who still demand that Nazis be brought to justice
for crimes against humanity.

There is such a thing as evil that transcends the boundaries of time
and genocide would fit that description
if anything would;
I don't care what time frame it happened in.
And I think the Pope should own that.
I love the Jesuits.
I've been educated by them and their values continue to inform and shape my life
on a daily basis,
but 'back in the day' their system was part and parcel of a larger system
that oppressed and killed thousands of people
whom they believed to be inferior.

He should, at the very least, have acknowledged that more openly.

So much for Papal infallibility.
I'm convinced the only reason these two are doing as well as they are in the polls
 is so Republicans can prove to themselves
(since they're not fooling the rest of us!)
that they're not bigots and misogynists.

Mark my words,
true to who they are,
they'll end up nominating some old white guy
more interested in regulating a woman's reproductive system
than banks or corporations.

This is merely the freak show before the circus.
Yeah, we got nothing in my part of the Midwest.
HUGE disappointment -
especially since the next one will be in 2033 -
16 years from now -
and I suspect I'll be dead by then.

At least 2 friends on the reservation got images that were amazing!
A former colleague,
retired for 10 years now,
had a massive heart attack and died
while working on his vineyard last week.

A huge shock for his family
 but I suspect a huge relief for him.

He had been feeling well,
had just made the rounds of seeing all his kids and grandkids 
across the country
and was doing what he loved the most - 
trying to craft the perfect Norton.

Those of us who worked with him for over 25 years
distinctly remembered a time we were talking about
 "medicine running amuck"; 
how machines were keeping a child 'alive' in the PICU 
who had no brain activity, 
no hope of survival,
and no one with any balls to say 
enough is enough.

He lamented, "They just don't let people die anymore.
What ever happened to just keeling over?"
He found out.

And he would have loved being spared
the dependency,
violations of privacy and body,
the financial hardship
and the emotional turmoil
any other kind of death today
inflicts on those we love and leave behind.

ps: he never got to the perfect Norton stage -
not in this life anyway;
although I can easily imagine him with a glass in hand at this very moment.

Rest in peace - and rise in glory, Wayne!
Happy Birthday, Dame Julie!
I can't tell you what a class act she is!

Several decades ago,
a young child grew up in our hospital.

A 24 week premie weighing less than 1lb,
she was handicapped not only with being born too early,
but with lung disease,
poor parents who lived several hours away,
neither one of whom was old enough to drive;
parents whose impulsivity, lack of education and extended family support
was never going to allow them to parent this child with so many needs.
After several long years, multiple scenes and involvement of court and state Protective Services,
 they relinquished custody and made her available for adoption.

She was basically raised by hospital staff;
learning to walk, climb steps, play, have pool parties and sleepovers
all within the confines of our hospital Intensive Care unit.

When she was 3, what would have been an innocuous infection
for anyone else
almost killed her.
Raging high temps, multi-system organ failure
and increased work of breathing
all brought her body to the brink of what she could handle -

One of her biggest pleasures in life was watching "Mary Poppins" on continuos loop.
Coincidentally, Julie Andrews was scheduled to appear at the Fox in St Louis
for a vocal performance and our staff reached out to her agent,
describing how much Tosha loved her and how sick she was.

We didn't hear anything back and assumed our attempt had been for nothing;
not that we would have blamed her;
celebrities get asked to do stuff all the time.
There are limits to what they can do - we get that.
We let it go and went on with our lives,
telling ourselves it had been a long shot and we were glad we had at least tried.

One night, at nearly midnight, staff  on the Unit got a call,
saying that Ms Andrews had just finished up at the Fox
and, if it wasn't too late, she wanted to stop by the hospital.

She agreed to see Tosh -
on the condition there would be absolutely no publicity or pictures.

She arrived within minutes -
and spent the next two hours rocking and singing to a critically ill toddler.
She left with tears in her eyes -
thanking us for giving her the opportunity to meet such a sweet fan.

Inexplicably, Tosha started to respond to treatment and get better the next day.
It wasn't over night but she began her road back.
She continued to improve and, within months, was able to go home
with a new adoptive family that had been found for her.

On Tosha's first Thanksgiving out of the hospital in 5 years,
I got a call (through the hospital operator) from her adoptive mom.
After apologizing for interrupting my holiday, she said she just had to do a reality check.

Seems the family had been watching the Sound of Music on TV after dinner
and Tosha told them of how she was pretty sure she had met that lady;
she remembered bits and pieces "of being hot, having cold rags put on her head,
rocking and then hearing her voice,
asking her new family, How could I forget a voice like that?
Tosha was so insistent that the family needed to 'fact check'.

Imagine their surprise when the meeting was confirmed!

I have no idea why Ms Andrews chose to respond that night.
I only know that my admiration for her has never wavered.

She's wonderful human being who happens to have MANY gifts,
one of which was her voice.

I think of that story every time I hear she's celebrating another birthday!
May she have many more.
Enjoy the smells
and the sights of the season!
And always find something that makes you smile!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

On the Move

Even as I write, 
the oldest boy is headed West.
His belongings culled from a packed 5,000 sq ft loft
to a packed small truck;
reduced down to the basics;
ready for a new chapter in CA.

His younger brother
decided to change residences as well.

Same town, different location;
different level of responsibility.

He and his wife are homeowners!

 and over the moon excited!
Man cave, anyone?
All this coming and going
is exhausting to behold.

 - still here -
focusing on taking it all in;
sharing the joy, fear and excitement
and enjoying the small miracles
every day.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Just asking

He's slimy - 
even without the bozo hair! 
When will this freak show of 'all things Trump'
lose its appeal with the media?

When will they stop shoving him 
down our throats?

(Which may be the wrong expression 
since it conjures images I do NOT want to have -
but you get the gist.)

Monday, September 7, 2015

And it was ...

even if there was family to help

 roses to make me feel better

and knowing how excited he is 
for all the new adventures to come.

"If there ever is tomorrow when we're not together

 there is something you must always remember. 
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. 

But the most important thing is, 
even if we're apart... 
I'll always be with you.” 
A.A. Milne
I love you, Mike.
Vaya con Dios,

Saturday, September 5, 2015


It would seem as though the significance of the day had been forgotten.

After all, it came and went
with nary a reminder, post or mention on social media 
which as you know, for some folks,
means it didn’t happen.

It DID though;
28 years ago,
which in the grand scheme of the cosmos
is but the blink of an eye.

I remembered;
I cried about it across South Dakota and Iowa.
Your death continues to impact 
those who were left behind.

Leaving us incrementally didn’t help.

You mattered.
You are missed.
You are remembered.
You were, and are, loved.
December 24, 1947 - August 30, 1987