Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just a Smile Before I Head To Mom's

Life is made precious by connections, whimsy and sharing the wonder of it all.

I'd have missed this Tree Frog a few weeks ago if mother hadn't noticed him as she reached for the banister to steady herself as she went down the porch stairs.

Great Spreadwing Damselfly


A tiny tired spider

Water lily

A Tiger Swallowtail on Tithonia

Milkweed Beetle

Bee dance on Dahlias (This is pretty neat, clicked)

Great Blue Heron

Wary Jumping Spider(Oh, do click)


Tito? (Actually, you're looking across a patio table at socks that my brother had kicked off. My husband pointed out that from his perspective it looked like Tito lying there)

Tito and 'Sock Tito'. (Just a different perspective)

I'm headed back to Mom's after a few days here at home to restore order and reassure myself that hubby is doing OK in my absence. Mom is doing better, but a TIA required a Doppler study of her carotids and there may have to be a little intervention there. One day at a time.

Summer is gone. We northern bloggers are sharing a sense of 'where did it go' as summer has vanished into the hedgerows where the Goldenrod and Asters frame the tawny fields.

So I wanted to leave a few of my favorite photos from the last weeks, a little reminder to myself that even when life is tough - beauty and whimsy persist - perhaps no further away then under a flower petal or resting on the porch banister.

Hope you are all well and sharing laughter and joy with those you love. Life is very precious.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

She Wants to Go Home (her own home, on Newberry :0)

Mom left her ruby slippers at our house in Loudonville two weeks ago. She and I had spent time there alone for a few days. I recorded her reminiscing about the past. She kept emphasizing that she's had such a wonderful life.

Three days after her heart attack her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered round her. Here, Sarah and Katie brighten her day.

I went to her house Saturday to fetch more clothes and clean the fridge. Family photos smiled from walls and from under magnets on the refrigerator door. This is Dad and my brothers. It was taken a year before his death. He was the kindest, dearest of men.

This is Mom and my sisters and I. It was taken at Sarah's wedding five or six years ago. Time flies. (Our kid-sis, Jen - wasn't able to be there)

Can you imagine working like this only four days after a major heart attack? My sis and hubby agree: medicine has changed a great deal in 40 years.

Mom is in the Rehabilitation/Convalescent section of her community hospital. I helped move her from ICU Thursday afternoon. I watched her eyes grow as large as dinner plates when the nurse informed her that her shower days would be Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mother stood up and announced "That's it. I'm going home. I shower every day of my life. That's the reason Europeans immigrated to this country - so that they might bathe every day of their lives."

Needless to say - Mother is now receiving a daily shower.

I've so missed dropping in on all your blogs. I'm home for a few days to restore order here and then am headed back to Mother. It's tough not having access to the internet. I'm hoping to find that her local library is wified. In the meantime - all my best to my blogging buddies as these cooler days arrive and the sunny hours slip away. We'll make our own sunshine, eh? Thanks for your prayers and caring. I hope to check in on you all, soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

From My Heart - Thank you . . .

I left mother this afternoon. She is rallying and darling and frightened. Over the past few days I watched her as she fought her way back from death. Even as she grimaced in pain - her chutzpah - her engagement with life - her merriness - filled me with wonder. I am not my mother.

My sibs are thanking me for spending those nights beside her. Believe me when I say that I have no sense of filial obligation fulfilled - no sense of sacrifice - only gratitude, profound gratitude.

I am tired. I'm going to bed, but first had to thank you - my friends - for your caring, your thoughts, your prayers. Life is good. People are good. Our connections - matter.


Sunday, September 09, 2007


Mom called my physician sister yesterday to ask her if a heart attack would cause chest pain. Deb was at her side within minutes. Four of her seven children were with her within hours.

I will relieve my sister and sleep beside Mom in the ICU tomorrow night. Eighteen years ago Mother slept in my hospital room. I remember waking in the night and watching her lying on the makeshift bed against the wall. I remember the flood of gratitude. I remember her silver hair and her sweet face in the soft light. I was still her child. She was sixty-eight.

In the emergency room she assured everyone that she was ready to go - ready to see Dad again. She gave instructions that she not be resuscitated.

I'm not ready to say goodbye to her.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

As The Seasons Turn - Time Out

I've got to get something done - Anything - before the ground freezes and the shorter days become my excuse to sit and sit and sit - book in hand, computer on lap, old movies running endlessly on TV. So, here's to the Equinox and my role models - all the little and great creatures who are scurrying about as they ready themselves for the big sleep.

I couldn't figure out this Differential Grasshopper. Why was he being so patient with my nosiness.

Oh. Sorry, Madame.

Plants, insects - fungi - they're all concerned with DNA dispersal. You might easily guess the common name for this Caninus mutinus
(OK. I'll just whisper the common name: Dog Dickie )

This fly is acting in his own self interest as he gathers fungus spores for dispersal. If you've smelled this fungus you understand the fly's affinity. (For a real 'treat' - click on this fly)

This scene will go down as one of my favorites of late summer - for the glow, the leafy setting - for my best-ever encounter with this stalwart little spider.

We played a little 'hide-and-seek'. (Oh, please click, above)

He'd finally had enough and signaled, "Bug Off!" I did, smiling and smiling - holding my camera close and carefully with my recorded booty. Bev (looking through your gallery), is it Eris militaris, . . . do you have an ID on my brave little fellow? UPDATE! Bug Guide's Phidippus Audax has identical back markings. OK. So my little Bold Jumping spider is common. But he was 'uncommonly' cute.

So, think of me racing around - stowing summer away, filling the larder, organizing closets and shelves . . . . go ahead - dream a little dream of order and serenity - I am . . . . . dreaming.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Your Order, Please . . . . .

Hey Lady! I'd like a Big Mac, french fries and how's about a leaf-green shake to wash it down?

(Guess who went along with Mom and me on our trip to McDonald's. He's a real Katydid and he's CLICKABLE ;0)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

International Rock Flipping Day

Yep. Today was International Rock Flipping Day.
My hubby helped flip the sandstone rock that borders the driveway hosta bed. My camera at the ready, I watched as he used a hoe and in seconds the soil that hadn't seen light in decades was drenched in sunlight. Below are the photographs of the denizens of this shady little world.

I'm sure you recognize the pill bug and the worm. I think this pix reveals worm 'poop'. See that little pile of small dirt balls?


I wish I had a way of showing you how teensy-weencie that little white centipede-like bug is. But he was massively upset that we'd up-ended his world. He desperately tried to get back into his shadow world. (UPDATE - My hubby and I agree that if placed on a US penny he would barely have run the length of the top of Lincoln's head)

My husband was happy to oblige him and after I snapped these shots did a reverse flip.

His take on the whole affair: "I don't like anything on the other side of the light."

Well, I suspect the feeling was mutual.