Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just another week...

It's been a busy week at work and will continue busy through November as we have IEP after IEP. I either have intense allergies or a cold right now. I suspect I'll be at the doc's for sinus infection in a few days. It's pretty typical for me this time of year.

I'm trying to decide on a loom knitting pattern. I want to make a large lap blanket. I have the yarn but not the pattern yet.

I think I'm fully stabilized grief-wise. I feel good about feeling more even and balanced emotionally. I still can get weepy at the drop of a hat, particularly when I'm tired. Overall I think I'm doing pretty well.

Sunrise, Friday October 30:

This was for a friend of a friend, lol. It knitted up quickly. The request was for a red hat and I thought interesting yarn was better than plain. As it turns out it was very hard to find nice red yarns this year. This is Maple Crimson by Red Heart. It has stripes of red with a dusty green, red with blue, and red with crimson. I like how the hat and scarf turned out as does my friend and her friend! Yay!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm either fighting off a cold or coming down with the flu. Neither thrills me one bit! But, I'd rather have either now than when sis is having surgery or undergoing treatment.

From the driveway this evening:

And the front patio:

And my favorite hanging sun. Needs to come down for the winter soon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Maybe some procrastination

I definitely feel the end of this incarnation of Blog. I'm not quite ready to bring things to an end. I'm picking at Chapter 24, Saying Good-bye to Grief in Experiencing Grief by H. Norman Wright. I have many of the signs of moving forward and yet quite a few lingering grief related oddities.

Moving forwards: Reduced crying....very much so, want or able to help others in similar situation, eating, sleeping patterns returning to normal, not as tired, patient with self, discovering new personal growth.

Not quite there: concentration difficulties. I find this most annoying. Getting through worship without crying-I can't even begin to think when that might happen. I do it now but only with a lot of gritting of teeth, breathing, and sips of water.

As I look to closing* this blog I think I'm going to keep a new blog for moving forward and keep this open a bit for those lingering areas that the author says can take up to 2 years to fully resolve. I think I know who I want to talk to about books or studies to give myself a bit of structure. *The blog will stay up but won't be actively used.

Recommendations from the author in this chapter include eating well. Food may not taste good but eat anyway. Stay fueled to stay healthy. Exercise. It can reduce stress and provide a time and means for socializing. Rest and sleep. I'm finding that I still crave more sleep than I anticipate. I'm trying to get to bed earlier and honor those times when my body says, "Go to sleep right now!" A confusion about sleep is that I'm in a stage of life where I wake up more frequently-usually because I'm hot. sigh. I'm not sure what is lingering effects of grief and what is peri-menopause.

I can say with confidence that raw pain is very much gone. I have "grief attacks" but they are fewer, less intense, and I'm not as surprise by them. I can also say with confidence that I can and do live in the sure hope that Mom and other loved ones live at peace with my Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ. I too will join them in eternal praise! Hallelujah

Some photos from this week:

Sunrise, on the way to work. Clouds courtesy Hurricane Rick

5:30 p.m. same day, Monday, I think, Looking east near work.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The End (of the book) Nears

Sort of. I don't want to read chapter 24. It's Saying Good-bye to Grief. I don't want to finish it-not because of the subject matter but because I had enjoyed reading, thinking, and writing.

I guess I should look about for another book that makes or helps me think and do this again. I do feel the end of this blog coming. I'm a bit sad and a bit glad.

The very last chapter is Trauma-The Deepest Wound. I've skimmed the chapter and I don't think I need to read it closely or respond to it. So, Chapter 24 really will be the last chapter. sighs

These roses are at the side of the house visible from the street. They are a very rich deep red. Quite pretty....until you get up close. I don't know if the bush has powdery mildew or something else or if it's just that rose. At any rate they are striking to see from the street.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Fine Fall Day

I met sis in Ventura today and we enjoyed a couple hours at the Harvest Craft Festival. Many fine crafters had displays that filled three buildings. I enjoyed walking, looking, and chatting. We both had a lot of thoughts about presents for our Christmas Elf gifts but for all that we didn't buy very much.

After lunch at a Thai/Peruvian restaurant (we went Thai) Sis went on to Lancaster to visit with family and I stayed a couple hours to visit the San Bonaventura Mission. It's one of the smallest in the California Mission system. I'm hoping I have enough material so that my students can do their 4th grade report on this mission. One of my goals this year is to design a report format and gather materials that are suitable to my student's abilities rather than making all of us plow through the high level of materials we saw used last year.

The drive home was beautiful. Fall is splendid in California's own quiet way. There was only a little traffic and few crazy drivers. I noticed a lack of big trucks that made freeway transitions so much easier than usual.

Mission San Bonaventura

Just after Gorman heading North on I5. My photo doesn't do the golden color of the mountain side any justice.

Sis brought these chrysanthemums last weekend. They are the similar in color to Mom's grown outside our backdoor when we were small. Mom's were the same color family but in a lighter least in my memory.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Peace in the midst of heartaches

I think perhaps that is going to be the lesson I'll be learning this year. Sis called yesterday with the news that her biopsy was positive for breast cancer. I want to be unglued but none of us need that and it doesn't feel very trusting.

I do know that with the good medical skills and the healing of the Lord of Life there is every expectation that Sis will live a good, long life.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just when you think you're doing so well.....

I had a wonderful weekend with sis. She came over to help clean some more out of Mom's room. We cleaned out bathroom cupboards and then tackled some boxes. What a treasure trove. We found picture albums, appliance manuals (Mom kept them all), and the most interesting-papers and photos from early in Dad's career. Sis took a stack of photos to make copies for us and brothers and for Dad and his wife.

I thought we did pretty good. We didn't get too nostalgic and I didn't feel sad. Until this morning when driving to work. Something made me think of Mom and I had a small meltdown. I'm sure this is reasonable and to be expected but it did surprise me.

Not the best Dad picture but he always makes a face somehow when he's getting his picture snapped.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Good to know.

I've noticed something this week. When I'm tired, or rather, overtired. I tend to fall back into emotions of previous hard times.

My mind wanders, whose doesn't? I recently found myself quite weepy over a memory. While that's ok it made me wonder why I was crying. I've come to the conclusion in the last two days that it's the fatigued feeling. I lived there for the last two years while Mom lived with me. Everything I did was overlaid with fatigue. It makes sense to me that when I'm overtired the feelings of that time come up more easily and more intensely.

That's good to know.

Grammy with her 3rd grandchild.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Retreats, Revelations, and Candy Corn

This weekend was choir retreat. It was a wonderful retreat. We sang good music. We had a marvelous speaker. And we had fun moments together as a choir family. On top of all that the weather was cool and I wore blue jeans both days. It was such a treat. We were at 3000 feet near Oakhurst, CA (gateway to Yosemite). The trees are beginning to change color and the lower shrubs are in their autumn garb.

I had a couple revelations this weekend about how I'm feeling. I've had in the back of my mind that I feel untethered. I decided this weekend that is exactly one of things I've been feeling lately. It's not that I feel disconnected but more intentionally drifting. I'm close enough to people and routines not to have lost connection with my life but I'm happy to be floating a distance away. I knew once I wrote about this it would be difficult to explain. Part of this is feeling a lack of obligation. For the most part if I don't want to do something I don't. At the moment this mostly affects attending covenant group and Bible study type functions. I think I might be avoiding closeness and not wanting to reveal where my heart is tender.

The other thing I noticed this weekend is that I feel more peaceful. At one point I remember thinking, "I haven't felt this way since my 20s and early 30s. " I think it may go back to the lifting of obligation. I'll have to think on this more because I like this feeling. It's not only peaceful but almost grounded or centered.

I'm wondering if cherishing this peaceful, grounded feeling also has to do with the false anxiety of migraine meds and the physical changes of peri-menopause. My migraines are changing or the particular meds I used aren't working as well for me anymore. The medications don't quite relieve the migraines and leave me feeling anxious, panicky, and jittery. I seem to be in a near migraine state all of the time in which bright or flashing lights, and sharp, sudden, and loud noises can push me into a migraine instantly. It doesn't take any duration of a stimulus to trigger a migraine. I suppose I ought to hurry up and see the doc again.

I'm having mini-flashes in my progress through peri-menopause. They are at the same time funny and annoying. It's hard to know what to wear and I find I need layers that can come on and off easily. I feel more hot than not and was perfectly happy wearing a tank top and jeans this morning when most of the women were wearing 2 layers-some with sweater or jacket over that. It is funny to see the other women in choir get a chuckle at me in a tank fanning myself in a 65 degree room. ;*D

I tried using a knitting rake rather than a circle loom to make a hat this weekend. I found using the rake more difficult but liked the result a lot. I was able to use decreases to shape the hat and look forward to playing with this technique.

Here's the result:

And here are the materials: