Sunday, October 31, 2010
We started out at the cemetery this morning, first to visit my Nana.
This Mockingbird watched us the entire time we were visiting Nana and began to sing as we got ready to leave.
Then we headed across the highway to another cemetery...
"My daddy always said there's a separate God for children." (Fried Green Tomato's). There's also a separate place for children here.
Happy Halloween Boo! Lord how your Mama loves you. On days like today, I embrace the grief so I can let it go until the next time. Hubbs is just the most amazing, loving man - holding me as I cry for a daughter lost, crying his own tears though she wasn't his.
Cemeteries are beautiful places.
Could this be the same Mocking Bird from Nana's cemetery?
Once home, I finished up some last minute preparations for the trick.or.treater's and got started on making a roast beef for dinner. (It came out So delish!) This is our front porch. (Hubbs said this is the Halloween version of sitting on Santa's lap, lol!)
Our living room mantle.
From the back yard, I caught site of this Gyr Falcon sitting in the tree across the street. Yesterday we saw a Paragon Falcon (which is much larger than this fella) flying over head.
And now it's time for rest after a busy weekend. More photo's may follow soon (in a slide show).
Tomorrow is All Saint's Day, and November 2nd is All Souls Day as well as Day Of The Dead. If you haven't taken some time already to remember your loved ones who have passed, perhaps do so in the coming days. I find it a nice, comforting annual ritual.
*Update: Here are the rest of the photo's from Halloween~
Saturday, October 30, 2010
It's All Hallow's Eve; I can't believe it's here already. For me, the most wonderful time of the year is nearly over. Bah! Humbug!
Posted from My Palm Centro.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Because I thought the street I normally took into town was blocked off at the bottom for the Borough Hall renovation, I veered off onto a different side street. We live in a very hilly neighborhood to say the least and by the time I got to the Historical Society Mansion (all decked out for their haunted tours on Halloween) I was thinking that perhaps this walk wasn't a good idea! (The walking wasn't easy at first physically for me and jeepers it was Hot!) I stood here, looking at the Mansion for a bit then decided to keep going. (At least from this point it was down hill into town!)
Aside from the volunteers who 'haunt' the Mansion at Halloween, I wonder what haunts it the rest of the year?
After my errand at the hardware store was complete, I headed across the street to the park to rest and cool off. I found a completely shaded bench and plopped down.
The trees here are such a stunning shade of orange!
A crisp breeze was at my back thankfully (as the sun had been on it my whole walk into town and I was wearing a black t-shirt). Despite the noise coming from the Borough Hall reno, it was so nice sitting there, people & leaf watching. I took out my journal and actually began to write.
And so I made my way slowly to the other side of town, stopping at the creek.
This is the fence alongside the creek.
Home at last!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Come in, come in! I'll just be a moment. 'Scuse cobwebs but they're in keeping with the season. The spiders are so generous to help with the decorating, aren't they? I've been a tad under the weather anyhoo what with the surgery last Friday & all so I haven't cleaned in a bit. You don't remember? I told you all about it here. That's why I'm not having a tea party here tonight but heading over to Frosted Petunias. You'll walk over with me, won't you?
There! I hope that's better. Oh good! I know, the sun is setting and the dark of night will be upon us shortly. I do hope the clouds and fog are good natured this evening and let the Moon shine through. Let's be on our way!
Isn't it glorious?
To join me in more Halloween Moonlight tea party fun, please visit Frosted Petunias.
What could be better than tea with friends under the full Moon?
Friday, October 22, 2010
I am worn out. Physically and emotionally. I feel so old yet I'm "only" in my 35th year of life!
Last Friday's surgery was harder on me than I expected.
I know, I should have expected it to be, after all, 2 surgeries and a life threatening illness within 3.5 months is a lot for anyone, but perhaps it was better for me that I didn't anticipate it being so hard afterwards. I was nervous enough.
I've managed to get out twice this week but the outtings were very short because I'm in pain and exhausted. I'm glad I got out though. I can barely stand to be in the house any more. Especially at this, my favorite time of year. I feel as though Autumn is passing as quickly as water through my fingers from a faucet.
With gardening, 'there's always next year' has never bothered me in the least. But to wait through another year for Autumn to return? To suffer through another hot & humid Summer? I can't bear the thought. Honestly, gardening is what gets me through the warm months so I'm glad for that much during Spring & Summer. I live for Autumn and then Winter.
I've spent too much time here at home since I got home from the hospital in July. Way too much time. But what choice did I have? What choice do I have? In one way it's been good - I've purged A Lot of stuff from our home & basement and I intend to keep doing so.
I can't read. Nothing holds my interest when it comes to books. Magazines seem to be easier on me so I went through my stack that had piled up since the Summer. (Before this I couldn't even manage them). So frustrating!
I can't write outside of the occassional blog post. (Not even in my journal). This is something I don't recall happening before, overall writer's block. I've always been able to at least journal (and blog).
It's all relative. I know it could be worse, could have been worse (or even the worst, I could have died in July and was pretty dern close to it).
33lbs lost and I'm finally Looking like me again. I wonder when I'll Feel like me again? But, really, who was I? Who am I? I'm not sure now.
I'm overwhelmed. Angry. Sad. Un-inspired. Discouraged. Clueless. Drifting again. Numb. Faith shaken. Changed. (And not for the better).
I'll get through this, one way or another. It's going to take time this go-around, a lot of time I think.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
For more Halloween & Autumn Fun, check out my "Autumn Tuesday" & "Halloween Thursday" posts by clicking on their labels in the left hand column.
~Happy Halloween & Pumpkin Blessings!
*Update for those friends wondering, I put this together prior to surgery yesterday to make sure I would be able to post it for today! (Though it didn't post at 12:01am like it was supposed to). Anyhoo, I'm home and resting (uncomfortably). Surgery went well, my kidney tube and stone are gone! I have an internal stent on the left hand side but I'm okay with that because it comes out in the doctor's office in 2-3 weeks (no back to the hospital) and especially because it meant they could take that nephrostomy tube out! (The last nearly 2 weeks of that 15 weeks was rough with that thing, my body was simultaneously trying to heal around it and reject it - ick). It was a much more evasive procedure than I expected (given my stent surgery 5 years ago) and boy howdy am I feeling it today! But I'm snuggled up in bed, the winds howling & gusting outside, Halloween blog party hopping on the laptop, snoozing, reading Little Women & Artful Blogging and taking my meds. Now I am OFFICIALLY on the road to recovery!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I have an ideals Country Roads magazine from 1985 which I cherish. I found it at a thrift shop years ago for 50 cents. (I have a few Christmas issues and an Easter issue, found at antique shops over time as well). Unfortunately they've stopped publication. Anytime I miss Autumn, all I need to do is look through this, my favorite issue of ideals.
I see crimson 'long the lane.
Yellow Spreads across the mountain-
Now that autumn's here again.
There is nothing so enthralling
As a mid-October ride
To see the Master Artist's work
Enflame the countryside.
~Earle J. Grant
It's showering yellow leaves today,
The lowmost limbs are bare
And there's a lusty pungency
Like challenge, in the air.
I'll take your challenge, Autumn,
Lay down my years, my load,
To roam like a child in the woodland
And down the river road.
Then when age makes me prisoner
This zest, this tang, shall stay
And set mu old lips to singing
It's showering leaves today!
The autumn harvest lies beside
A road we'll take one crisp, clear day
When fall descends upon our land
And takes our breath away.
The farmer's crop will be displayed
For city folks out for a drive,
And country neighbors - they'll stop, too,
To pick a pumpkin for a pie.
There will be gourds, in orange and green,
And yellow squash, some pale, some bright;
That russet-colored Indian corn
Will hang upon our door at night.
With Nature splashing fruitfulness
In blazing colors o'er the land,
It's easy to feel grateful for
The bounty of a roadside stand.
I walked the lanes of autumn
On a bright October day,
And fall displayed her fashions
Of red and gold so gay.
The woodsy scent of autumn,
The haze that cloaks the hills,
The fields adorned with pumpkins -
All are autumn thrills.
I strolled amid the splendor
Of autumn's gifts to man,.
And said goodbye to summer
With memories in hand.
~Mildred L. Jarrell
Autumn's magic pattern of
gold and scarlet flame
Is woven in the woodland
within an earthy frame.
This fascinating alchemy
has a sweet, wine-tangy smell
As autumn uses witchery
to weave her magic spell.
~Roy Z. Kemp
What is more enchanting than
October's autumn treats?
Her trees with ruddy foliage
transform our humdrum streets.
October's such a gypsy, though,
her charms we must recall;
For, once she's lost her raiment,
we have lost our fall.
There's beauty in an autumn morn,
Its colours, red and gold.
The sunrise casts a work of art;
Its secrets yet untold.
There's beauty in an autumn eve
When sunset shadows fall
Upon the brown and yellow leaves
Ere winter comes to call.
With the Fall
The summer people have moved back to town;
I am alone with fall.
Grapes in the arbor are hanging down;
Woodbine is red on the wall.
Shining horse chestnuts dot the lawn;
Thorn-apple trees are aglow -
The summer people have packed up and gone.
I was glad to see them go.
The lake and the beach, trees and the sky,
The late-blooming asters and trailing vine,
The formal garden, the geese on high -
With no intruders, the country is mine.
~Bernice Kreitz Abrahamzon
The scent of rain always reminds me of Spring so it's a shock to the senses to inhale its' pungent scent on an Autumn evening.
Saturday was awful. Nephew.in.law's memorial service. I still can't get the image out of my head of our niece carrying her husband's box of ashes out of the funeral home afterwards.
Gentle word of advice? If you are married or in a long term relationship and/or have children, no matter how 'young' or 'old' all involved may be, please Please get some kind of life insurance! Even if it's only enough to cover funeral and burial costs, it's better than nothing, better than leaving your family in a position where they may be unable to pay for the arrangements and need help doing so. (And even if you are sick/have a disease, you can still get life insurance in most cases).
It got down right cold Saturday night into Sunday morning while we were at home #2 (up north) after the memorial service. Low 30s! Jacket, scarf, gloves, wool socks and campfire required. Not to mention turning the heat on inside. We 'borrowed' our neighbors campfire since it was late by the time we got up there and we were exhausted. It was nice & cozy sitting 'round the fire talking with them.
During the middle of the night, I woke up (and not because of my allergies for once) and had no idea why, then realized that I was hearing the winds blow dried leaves around. As I settled back to sleep, I heard a growl coming from outside. A distinct & definite growl. Likely it was either a bear or a coyote, but I wasn't getting up to go find out, lol! Hubbs told me Sunday morning he heard something walking around outside before dawn, crunching the leaves. Likely it was a bear or deer. He was too tired to get up and see what it was.
The foliage is just about at peak up there too! So stinkin' gorgeous I can't begin to tell ya! (Of course I took (oodles) of pics, this is Me we're talking about after all).
Mother's had a bad cold since last Monday. She sounded a teeny bit better today though she sounded tired. Mother was in a MOOD when I called to see how she was feeling. I should have hung up when she started off with, "I'm not trying to start anything with you, But..." but I humored here & didn't. Bad move on my part. She really does love to spread her misery. I've gotten good at not letting her bother me but I was just perturbed the rest of my day today.
I can feel that my self is truly off. Last 3.5 months finally getting to me or am I getting nervous for surgery? Probably both. I'm hoping Friday's surgery helps to change that. But I'm not so sure.
I feel different. Kind of numb. Disinterested. Disconnected. Disengaged. And I don't like it.
Tomorrow's rainy day lunch is a toss up: Butternut squash soup w/cauliflower or potato cauliflower soup. Either way, I'm already looking forward to it!
Also on Tuesday's agenda (aside from my new Autumn Tuesday post!) is laundry and cleaning/purging the bedroom so I can come home from the hospital to a nice, cozy place.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Everything about it makes me happy, the colors, making jack-o-lanterns from pumpkins & turnips, the images, the spooky & scary side, the creepy & magical sides, the decorations, the Fun of it all. (I'm not big on the candy side of it believe it or not!)
"...She loves Halloween. She loves it for all sorts of reasons. The decorations. The mystery. Remembering the little chill that went up her spine as a child, feeling her way through the dark, trying to get a little something for her trouble. Trick or treat! Now, she likes to watch the children traipse through the neighborhood in their disguises..." From Sufficient Grace: A Novel by Darnell Arnoult. (One of my favorite southern lit novels of all time).
I believe my love of Halloween started when I was young. My Mom decorated for it inside of the places we lived and she was the only mom I knew who did. She always made sure I was home to see The Great Pumpkin. (She did bribe me with cash so she didn't have to take me trick-or-treating after a while but she was a single working mom so cut her some slack!) She still has many great decorations but sadly doesn't put them out any more. (And she stopped having a Christmas tree years ago too).
Have you ever read Edith Wharton's short story "All Souls"? Her ghost stories are the best but this one is my favorite. I first discovered it in a collection of Halloween themed stories entitled "The Ultimate Halloween," purchased in 2001. Since, I've read Wharton's story annually the week of Halloween. Talk about mood and tension!
Now I realize that All Souls Eve is actually on November 1st (as All Souls Day is on November 2nd) so while technically this story doesn't take place on Halloween, if you've read it, you'll know why I make the exception. If not, I highly recommend The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton, in it you will find "All Souls."
"Who that has lived in an old house could possibly believe that the furniture in it stays still all night? Mrs. Clayburn almost fancied she saw one little slender-legged table slipping hastily back into its place."
"A noiseless world-were people so sure that absence of noise was what they wanted? Let them first try a lonely country-house in a November snow-storm!"
"More and more the cold unanswering silence of the house weighed down on Mrs. Clayburn. She had never thought if it as a big house, but now, in this snowy winter light, it seemed immense, and full of ominous corners around which one dared not look."
I love Tim Burton's movie adaptation of "The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving, which I'm sure many of you have seen, but have you ever read the short story? I have it in the Penguin Classics Washington Irving The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories, purchased in 2000.
Bolt and bar the front door,
Draw the curtains tight,
Wise folk are in before
Chestnuts to roast,
A gift for the fairy,
A prayer for the ghost.
Who will have their fate told
This night is known,
Whose hand is full of gold,
Who goes alone.
A lover for me,
And a fortune for you.
Stars shiver blue and green,
Moon's wide and white;
There tattered clouds between
Witches take flight.
Elves at the keyhole
And imps on the hob.
"Twelve" calls the deep bell
To the hollow night;
"Twelve" whispers steeple tops
Far out of sight.
Fires burn high,
Who shall say certainly,
Who can tell truthfully
What solemn company
Pass through the sky?
From Ghosts and Goblins Stories for Halloween.
(I just love (free!) vintage Halloween clip-art!)
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
(I know, for those of you who've been with me for a while, you're just shocked).
The mere sight of colorful leaves, pumpkins or Halloween decorations makes my soul burst with joy and brings a smile to my face as does the crisp, chilly wood smoke scented air.
In addition to my regular posts, I've decided to share with you writings and other surprises about and in tribute to Autumn throughout the rest of this Season.
Today I'm going to start off with some favorite passages from "New England Fancies" by W. Elmer Ekblaw. My copy is a first edition, signed by the author from 1935. Hubbs bought it for me 3 years ago in a shop down town.
The peace that comes with work well, and well-nigh, done hovers over all Nature's domain, and nothing soothes the restless surge of our hearts so well as the peace of Autumn, the peace of harvest, the peace of garnered stores, the peace of homes prepared for Winter.
Young and old, we set ourselves to the slower step of September now past, the softer mood of misty mornings and hazy evenings.
The haze that hangs over hill and harvest, that drifts between the woodlands at dawn, that steeps the horizon in mystery at noontide, and that settles over the hollows and the valleys at nightfall, symbolizes best the change in atmosphere, the change in rhythm and reason..."
"Apples are ripe in the orchards. We harvest and store them for Wintry days ahead when wind piles high the snow and frost chills our bones. Then with a juicy Baldwin toasting on the hearth, a rosy Winesap baking brown in the oven, or a jug of Jeniton cider tantalizing from the mantlepiece, we may hark back to the days of opening blossoms, or ripening grain or harvest abundance, and feel secure in the faith that they will all return."
Just a quick update: Tomorrow morning I report to the hospital for pre-op testing (blood work, paperwork, etc) and on Friday, 10/15, I'm going in for a day stay surgery to correct a portion of the tube which leads from my left kidney to my bladder and hopefully get the nephrostomy tube out of my left kidney as well. Hubbs and I decided the more evasive procedure is the best one because it doesn't just correct the problem for now, it hopefully corrects it permanently so I won't have any more problems passing any kinds of stones in the future. I had a similar surgery on the right hand side 5 years ago (though that one was more evasive than this will be) and I haven't had a problem on that side since. I'm praying this brings everything to a healthy close for me in this department and I can finally & fully move on from this horrendous experience. After all, it will be 4 months passed since this started once I'm finally finished with recovery!
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Halloween Countdowns at WiddlyTinks.com
I've found a delightful poem to share with all of you about this happy, glorious month!
(click on title for source)
It Must Be October by Pearl N. Sorrels
The harvest moon hangs round and high
It dodges clouds high in the sky
The stars wink down their love and mirth
The Autumn seasons is giving birth
Oh it must be October
The leaves of red bright gold and brown
To Mother earth come tumbling down
The breezy nights the ghostly sights
The eerie spooky far off sounds
Are signs that its October
The pumpkin yellow big and round
Are carried by costumed clumsy clowns
Its Halloween lets celebrate
Come one come all and don't be late
We know now its October
We'll roast and toast some luscious food
For apples we'll be bobbin
While tales are told around the fire
Of timely ghosts and goblins
Oh how we love October
The moon has grown pale
The stars have grown dim
Our Halloween party is over
With a hi-de-ho homeward we'll go
What a delightful month October