Saturday, September 24, 2016

INSPIRATION FROM A WORKSHOP



 I was lucky to take a few workshops with the Oregon Poet Laureate Emeritus Paulann Petersen.  She is amazing and gets the creative juices flowing.  We were told to write a different way to describe things, being unique.  I chose Whirlpool and Mist. We were to keep them short.
How did I do?

TO THE WHIRLPOOL
Liquid hurricane tickling across stones,
the laughing, spinning, dizzy
Rollercoaster for leaves and twigs,
a merry-go-round for daring frogs.
  
TO MIST
A shroud upon hillsides and mountains,
a painter creating ghostly silhouettes of grand firs
in mottled shades of grays,
composing depth, softening landscape.
  
MIST IS…
a million dandelions flooding the sky,
a softened surfing cloud,
a smoky blanket obscuring fields,
dispersed where roads cut through.

Rose Lefebvre

Sunday, September 18, 2016

SHARING A POEM I WROTE

I write poetry and realize that I have not shared much of it on my blog.  So on this rainy day here this one came back into my memory.  I hope you all enjoy reading it, and my photo as well.



WALK BETWEEN STORMS

Rivulets of rain carve wrinkles
in the earth; feathered clouds
depleted of energy for now
glide listlessly overhead.

Worms, expelled from sodden soil,
form mysterious script  on the path,
native code talkers writing
alien communication.

Liquid diamonds quiver on a strand
 of spider silk, a bracelet adorning
the uplifted arm of a red bud tree
swaying to a rumba beat.

Rain-pasted leaves craft
a collage of natural hues
alongside the river running russet
with torn flesh from mountains.

Along the worn path miniature craters
comprise a moonscape
as wind wafts diminutive swells
across scattered puddles.

The fragrance of moist grass
is a heady aroma,
an aide memoire of
renewal and growth.

Returning home as rain begins again
I gaze through the icy window,
witness the writing of water
across it, and covet its clarity.

Rose Lefebvre

Monday, September 12, 2016

INSPIRATION FOR ME



 The last few months of my husband's life, during very difficult times handling his physical disabilities and his frontal lobe dementia (he had for the last 6 years of his life) this song had special meaning for me, both before his passing and after.

I WON’T GIVE UP by JASON MRAZ

When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well, there's so much they hold  (he had beautiful eyes that spoke to me)
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

Well, I won't give up on us  (I was inspired to keep going through difficult days)
Even if the skies get rough  (they did get rough)
I'm giving you all my love    (to the end)
I'm still looking up                (now looking to heaven)

And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth             (he, to me, was a falling star)
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it               (we, as a couple, were worth the struggle)
No, I won't give up.
I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily    (Amen)
I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make    (and I did)
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you're still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not, and who I am    (These last few lines say so much)

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up, I'm still looking up.

Well, I won't give up on us -no I'm not giving up
God knows I'm tough enough - I am tough, I am loved
We've got a lot to learn -we're alive, we are loved
God knows we're worth it -and we're worth it                    (another Amen from me)

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up                     (now he looks down on me)

After my husband passed, a dear friend of mine and her daughter said this song said it all.  She did not know that it got me through the last difficult months.  I felt like I was facing it all alone as many did not want to see him in that way, and no one offered to help with him.  I HAD to be strong, and even in the most difficult, heart breaking moments, I "heard" this song.  When I wanted to run away from it all, the words played for me.  
Is there a song that has "played" for you when facing difficult days?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

ENJOYING MY GARDEN

I am blessed with a lovely garden to enjoy during my recuperating thanks to my dear friend, Lisa. Here is what she started with 1 year and 9 months ago.
 
 
You can see that there was nothing but weeds mixed with grass, trash left behind, and a big yard.
She created beauty where there once was none.

 
 
 
 
You get the idea...it is great and colorful and full!!
It definitely brings me peace and joy.
It also brings hummingbirds and butterflies and birds and bees!
They enjoy it like I do.

Monday, September 5, 2016

MY LITTLE VISITOR

There are two hummingbirds who fly around together in my gardens, often hovering to peek in the window at me.  They seem to enjoy each others company.  Today one seemed very tired and sat for about a half hour just 2 feet from the window and did not seem frightened at all by my nearby presence, I grabbed my camera and began taking photos through the window.  Here are the few shots that came out.  I enjoy their presence every day and it gives me a little lift of my heart.
He/she had pale green feathers along its back. On his neck he had some red and golden feathers.
I do not know what type of hummingbird it is. It seemed to look right at me.
 
The sun kept coming and going from behind clouds floating above.
I enjoyed my little visitor and it made me smile. Haven't done that in a while.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

I HAD NOT FELT MY AGE BEFORE,...

now 64 as of July 24th, where I spent my birthday in a rehabilitation center, I feel old.  These last 3 months of recovery from a bad fall, knee replacement surgery, and trying to gain back muscle loss/strength loss, has left me OLD!
In my head I always pictured myself around 23, always felt like everyone was older than me, always kept active, and enjoyed venturing out.  I would take my friend Camera, head off to a flower gardens, or hike a park, or drive for something to photograph and later share. Sometimes I would go on "the hunt" for a little treasure at a garage sale, yard sale, barn sale, thrift store, or antique shop.  It was fun even if I did not get a thing.  
Now being so weakened, I struggle to stand for long, or walk much or even sit! Doctor says "muscles atrophied" so it will take time to regain my strength.  I wasn't this way before.  But three months of being laid up sure does do a job on the body!  I am so anxious to get up and go. Physical therapists and the doctor tell me I cannot go out alone. I must have someone with me, as it might end up with a fall.  I will sit at the window and watch neighbors headed out, wonder where they are going, want to go and do SOMETHING besides be at home.  I think I am going stir crazy!  Maybe one day a friend will come by and find me seated in the shower babbling insanely about wanting to have wings to fly.  
I would love to go to lunch at Bugatti's and savor the Chicken Parmesan!  Or eat lunch at the Mongolian BBQ and enjoy lamb and noodles and wonderful seasonings! Mmmm!
I would love to sit under a large shade tree and enjoy a picnic and laughter and music.  
I do enjoy my yard and it is such a blessing. I can close my eyes, savor the sweet air, listen to chirping feathered friends, feel the soft caress of the breeze.  It is relaxing. 
But sometimes I feel that wanderlust and urge to take off, even if just to drive around aimlessly and discover a cool older home, or lovely park or a field filled with horses or cows or sheep.  Through the years of my marriage with my husband, Clay, we would often head out for weekend drives, me enjoying the scenery, both of us singing along with James Taylor or John Denver, enjoying freedom.
Since he died, I still enjoy journeys, often feeling him with me, and taking notice of the world.  I am so eager for that again!!
I know I need to be patient, I know I am not strong enough to be alone to do those things, but oh, how I want to go...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

ARFID: AVOIDANT/ RESTRICTIVE FOOD INTAKE DISORDER

In the current diagnostic DSM-5 manual, ARFID is detailed in the eating disorders section. ARFID is being presented as a new diagnosis as of the 2015 edition.  It is reserved for people who are clearly struggling with food and eating issues, but do not fit the criteria for anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorders.
Individuals might refuse to eat certain textures or colors of food, have trouble digesting certain foods, will only eat small portions at one sitting, are fearful of vomiting or choking, or have no appetite. 
In the DSM-V, ARFID is an eating or feeding disturbance that manifests as a chronic failure to satisfy energy or nutritional needs associated with at least one of the following:
  • A significant deficit in nutrition.
  • Significant loss of weight, not achieving expected weight gain, or the absence of normal physical development.
  • Disruption in psycho-social functioning.
  • Reliance on enteral feeding (e.g., feeding tube) or oral nutritional supplements.  
 The eating problem cannot be owed to the unavailability of food or to a culturally sanctioned food observance. ARFID is not accompanied by a distortion of one’s weight or body shape and is not concurrent with symptoms of anorexia or bulimia. An ARFID eating problem must be unrelated to a medical condition and not better explained by a different psychiatric disorder.
Though ARFID typically begins in childhood, it can persist into or begin during adulthood. For treatment, children and adults usually receive behavioral therapy such as gradual exposure to the avoided foods, and are also assessed for possible underlying symptoms of depression or anxiety.
It is good to be aware of ARFID, but having it is uncommon. Most children, and some adults, go through periods marked by strange eating patterns, such as only wanting hot dogs, or refusing to eat fruit. These patterns usually resolve themselves without professional intervention.   As a result of the eating problem, the person isn’t able to eat enough to get adequate calories or nutrition through their diet. There are many types of eating problems that might arise – difficulty digesting certain foods, avoiding certain colors or textures of food, eating only very small portions, having no appetite, or being afraid to eat after a frightening episode of choking or vomiting.
 As ARFID is officially still a new diagnostic category, there is little data available on its development, disease course, or prognosis. We do know that symptoms typically present in infancy or childhood, but they may also present or persist into adulthood.
Complications associated with ARFID have risks which include:
  • Cardiac complications
  • Heart
  • Kidney and liver failure
  • Bone density loss/osteoporosis
  • Anemia
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Low blood sugar
  • Constipation
  • Bloating and other gastrointestinal issues.
ARFID is more than just “picky eating”; children do not grow out of it and often become malnourished because of the limited variety of foods they will eat. 
ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) is one of the new additions to the DSM, and still has that unique strange affliction stigma attached to it. Even among the medical and psychiatric community, it is poorly understood.

I have known of my diagnosis for 3 years and it is not easy to handle. People tell me "just eat."  It is not as simple as that. I can be repulsed by everything in my house and turn to milk to substitute for food.  Sometimes it is just a color or texture, a smell or shape, or my "mind" says that nothing can be put into my mouth.  I do not know why, or how to overcome it. I am hoping to find the right help and make myself healthier, as going this way is definitely going to cause an early death.  It scares me. Right now dealing with healing from a surgery on my left knee to replace it after being laid up for 2 months is my focal, but regaining strength and handling the eating problem so my body will be healthier and the diabetes better is also a goal. I am 64 and need to do this.  One doctor told me that my body hangs on to everything bad as it does not know when I will give it the food it needs, and also overproduces the wrong chemicals in my body, like insulin.  It is all out of wack from starving.
I pray I get the right kind of help and solve this life-long problem.

Monday, August 22, 2016

FREE AT LAST!!!

I am back in my home! I was released August 20th. Being home is not as easy as I thought it would be.  The last 3 months have taken quite a toll on my body and I am quite weakened. Following my fall, I spent 2 months laid up waiting for my hip and foot to heal so I would be able to have the full knee replacement done on my left knee. The doctor cancelled the surgery 2 times due to my hip. The surgery finally happened July 20th. July 23rd I was sent to stay in a rehabilitation center.  There were some bad experiences there due to some miscommunication, and lack of communication with my surgeon. The center kept trying to call my primary care doctor instead of the surgeon, and I have yet to meet my primary care so he never responded as he did not know who I was. The lack of connecting with my surgeon despite my requests led to problems with a brace on my leg (delayed PT for a week) and problems with the catheter and its removal!  This caused me great pain and led to interventions by friends of me to make its removal finally happen! 
 Oh, and the food in the rehab place was horrible.  The cooks overcooked most of it and it was not edible. I lost 40 pounds in the full 3 months, mostly muscle.  The physical therapists were great and worked hard with me over the month there. I was told by them that it will take much longer for me to regain muscle strength and be strong again and I need to be patient.  I see the surgeon on Weds. to find out if he will release me to drive and tell me what else I need. I am going to be getting PT at home through home health care.  
It is hard for me to ask for help and everyone has been so kind and helpful. I am so touched by the loving kindness that has been shown to me.  So many took time out to care for my 2 cats, to care for my home, to get mail, to drive me to and from appointments, caring for my yard,  to shop for me, to visit me, and to show love to this old lady.  It has meant a lot.  
Not sure when I can return to work for more than 2 hours a day as after 2 hours of sitting, my left leg muscles start to spasm in pain. PT told me that is because of the loss of muscle. 
I am not sure how my work will take that when I am told I can return. That is, if they allow my return to my part-time position at even lesser hours per week.  
I am so happy to be home, though struggling with some things and finding myself tiring out way too easily.  One of my problems that is complicating things is my eating disorder that I have lived with all of my life.  I think I will tell you about that in another post. 

 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

I HAD A DREAM LAST NIGHT...

I dreamed that my husband, Clay, was stroking my hair and saying, "Be well, be well."  It seemed so real, I swear I felt his hand.
So today is bittersweet so far. I looked back on my memorial page for him, have listened to a lot of John Denver, who we both felt was an amazing poet and singer. 
One our drives or camping trips we would sing along with John.
I am missing Clay's wonderful smile, his enfolding hugs, his soothing voice and his laughing eyes so filled with love.  He was my one and only soul mate.

Friday, July 29, 2016

SO FAR STILL ALIVE

My total knee replacement surgery took place on July 20th. I was moved into a rehab center July 23rd about 2:30 pm. Being here has not been the greatest experience. Lots of miscommunication, horrible food, delays in pain meds., slow response (up to one hour) after pressing button for help, and more.  Do not want to go into details, but friends witnessed some problems and were shocked. I was in tears off and on.  The head of the place was finally notified and she came to interview me and help me.  
It is so depressing to be laid up for so long, especially since I was laid up for 58 days prior to the surgery and already weakened. I am so used to being active and on the go. Been trying to let go and let God. I am trying to take it one hour at a time more than one day at a time. 
Still accepting prayers on my behalf.  Worst is that I had to spend my 64th birthday here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

CHANGE IN SURGERY SCHEDULE!

The orthopedic surgeon rescheduled the surgery for my left knee replacement. I was not too happy, but the concerns he had about my left hip were enough to cause this to be rescheduled to Wednesday, July 20th @ 1:30.  You know how disappointed I am that he could not just go ahead and do it Monday, but his schedule is filled. IF they do have a cancellation, I was promised I would be the first person called.  So I have to suffer a bit longer with pain.  Now I have to re-do the schedule for care for my 2 fur babies, Kala and Mooshoo.  So, keep prayers going!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

1974: A YEAR TO REMEMBER

In 1974 I was at two historical events. The first was a huge rock concert in Ontario at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Southern California. It was called the California Jam on April 6th 1974 and the cost was $10.
The bands performing were Deep Purple, Black Oak Arkansas, Rare Earth, Earth Wind and Fire, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Seals & Crofts, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and Black Sabbath.
Jackson Browne came along with one of the other groups and was a surprise. All were top bands at the time and the concert rocked!  Over 200,000 people were there.  I was with 5 friends.  It was well organized, very peaceful, and fun.  No way any more could you see all those bands for only $10.
The other event was Expo 1974, the first environmentally themed world's fair held in Spokane.  Spokane was the smallest city to ever host a world's fair until Knoxville in 1982.  Peter Max designed a stamp for the event.
 
 The IMAX theater made its debut here at this event. The Expo slogan was "Celebrating Tomorrow's Fresh New Environment." For the first time since the company's beginning, General Electric did not have a fair pavilion but it sponsored the musical group Up with People that performed during the summer at the fair. Nations with an official presence at the fair included Australia, Canada, West Germany, Iran, Japan, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of Korea, USA and the USSR.
This world's fair was particularly notable for its large participation by the Soviet Union, the first time since World War II that they participated in a United States world's fair. It would also be the last time.
You can watch a video about the Expo here:
Forgot to mention that my brother, Jim, and friend, Cheri Simpson, were with me on this camping trip in my Gremlin! Tight but fun, and we even went to Canada!
 Now when I watched this video the first thing I noticed was how many balloons they launched at the grand opening. We all know how bad this is now and how dangerous for our wildlife!
I know my friend, Pat, will roll her eyes!
Enjoy the video! Wonder if any of you were at either event.