Sunday, July 19, 2009

Time is all around except inside my clock*

*Regina Spektor "Time is all around"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sun City

Floating in sunlight

in Surprise, Arizona. An on-line friend flew from San Francisco to Phoenix to finally meet Erin (and another on-line friend) face-to-face. That week, I found lines of poetry written all over our condo. My favorite spot? On my yellow tulip stems. Thanks for coming to see us, Cuileann. (Taken outside a small museum.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sharing the love

My Friend Amy and Lenore are hosting a Book Sale Drive for the first week release of Beth Kephart's new Young Adult Book, Nothing But Ghosts. I'll quote and second Amy, "Beth is a gifted writer who deserves a wider audience." This release party's goal is to help Beth sell 200 books this first week. Prizes and a live chat with the author on June 30th are all part of the fun. Rush on over to Amazon (use this link to make your purchase count automatically.) (And don't forget to go to Amy or Lenore's blog to get details about the rest of the party.)

Trust me, dear friends, you will not regret making this summer reading purchase and joining us as we celebrate with Beth. I'm off to finish reading my copy. Cheers!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Photo of the Week (21)

American Idol

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Picture of the Week (20)


Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Photo of the Week (19)

White whisper, "Hope..."

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Photo of the Week (18)

Golden Moment

Other Photo of the Week posts:

Fields of Gold

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things that make me happy today

  • Being stopped dead in my tracks by Erin's singing of "The Wizard and I" even though I've heard her sing this song a zillion times. The girl needs to star in a musical.
  • Hearing Brady's French teacher's pure joy about Brady's natural abilities to speak the French language, an extraordinary feat for an American, she claims.
  • Singing every word along with Pat Benatar's "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" (which I didn't put on our family's iPod), while preparing lunch, as a shout-out against my illness. (Who knew, when I was a freshman in college and my girlfriends and I learned an aerobic dance routine to this song, in the basement of our dormitory, how much I'd appreciate it so many years later?)
  • Finishing my reread of Sorcery and Cecilia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, a story that is a cross between Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice, and has a romantic moment that rates right up there with P&P's romantic moment.
  • Erin, in the kitchen, bending my ear, telling all that she's learned about acting and moviemaking from the latest good interview she's found on the Internet.
  • How beautifully rich Erin's fuchsia-tipped roses, look against the black marble-like tile of our living room fireplace.
  • The glimpses of sunshine, which indicates that our latest bad, low pressure system has emptied its snow and rain-filled clouds and is heading out of town.
  • The odd thrill of not knowing which American Idol contestant is going home tonight, even though I know I'll be sad no matter who gets axed.
  • My husband's willingness to go the grocery store, after his long day at work.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We're not alone

A friend of mine recently gave me the name of a family who is in the midst of a journey not altogether different than ours. I quickly connected to them by e-mail. In the month we've been in touch, they've already given me a great deal of support and encouragement. The husband and wife write frequent posts on each of their own blogs, which are highly recommended reading for anyone who desires further glimpses of the joys and sorrows faced in the day to day life of those with difficult health problems.

Today's post by the mom/wife, Andrea, is particularly good. (Any post that quotes Charles Dickens gets points in my book.) We have these kinds of Charles Dickens days at our home, too. Things can get low as can be with much despair and pain, but an hour, or so, later we'll be able smile at the beauty of the sunset, then laugh, boo, and cheer together, in front of the TV, watching American Idol. We go to bed thankful.

We're hoping our families get to meet while we're in Arizona. The connection we've already established is a like a new spring garden. We look forward to to it blossoming while we all grow into better health.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Photo of the Week (17)


Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Picture of the Week (16)


Other Photo of the Week posts:

Fields of Gold

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photo of the Week (15)


Other Photo of the Week posts:

Fields of Gold

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

From my reading

No one ever finishes his life. Nothing is ever complete. Our souls are in the things we love and the ways we arrange them. Into the Tangle of the Friendship: A Memoir of the Things that Matter Most, by Beth Kephart

It's all connected in strange, mysterious ways, she guesses...the sprinklers, the M*A*S*H reruns, the tree frog, the dogs, even Mr. Henderson...all connected in ways they can't ever know, ways only she can sense, because on this dark, starry night she is there to hear them. She is there to listen. A Room on Lorelei Street, by Mary E. Pearson

...I'll be back in school soon. Or maybe not. Maybe I really will take the rest of the semester off. Might make me graduate late, might even set me back a whole year. So what? Years don't scare me anymore. Things Not Seen, by Andrew Clements

But these afflictions were mild compared to the awesome loneliness, and in the way of prisoners since the beginning of time he spent countless hours savoring the lost, now clarified sweetness of ordinary days. The people in his life seemed so precious to him - I love you all! he wanted to tell them, his parents, and siblings, the biology department secretaries, his affable though self-absorbed and deeply flawed professors. Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, by Ben Fountain

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Photo of the Week (14)

Miss Amazing

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

When I go visiting

I entered the blogging world sometime in 2005. Firstly, in encouraging the kids to blog. We'd had our good health zipped out of us and blogging seemed like a fun, creative output to challenge B and E until we could all get back to a normal daily routine. Secondly, in finding blogs that I liked to visit. By the beginning of 2006, each of the kids had created new blogs of their own, Miss Erin and mcsanimations. (They've since bumped up their blogging activity even more. Erin talks acting on Backstage Musings and takes a photo a day for Chromatic Aberration. Brady added a personal blog, Breakaway.)

This blog was facing desertion. But I'd found my way around the blogosphere, visiting several favorites every day and I realized that I wanted to join in the fun. This blog became mine, just me. I cannot remember it's original name.

I mostly started blogging as a reassurance to the three of us, that even though our world had turned upside down, it was still good. See the blessings. Be encouraged by pockets of joy and laughter, the generosity of others, help from our doctors, the successes given. I realized my family and friends needed this assurance, too, so I starting sharing my blog address.

When I first started blog hopping, I'll admit, I was mostly a lurker. I was kind of shy about pointing visitors to my blog and I spent what energy I had trying to write posts. But soon, I realized that I wanted to share in the conversations with these new friends, who were giving me so much but didn't even know I existed. These days I don't get around to writing as many posts, I'm busy conversing on others'. One of these days, I'll be in a place where I can do both.

A week or two ago, I was given the "zombie chicken award" (something about "excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse" along with a funny dance) by friend, Beth Kephart, an extraordinary author, poet, photographer who interviewed Miss Erin last year, when I finally "discovered" her. Her kind words have motivated me to introduce you to a few of the bloggers that make me smile with their writing and/or photos:

beth kephart books - Each of Beth's posts are gift-wrapped in beauty. Not only does her sincere kindness and amazing writing/photography talents inspire, but she consistently challenges me to see, feel, think, hear, and do life in a grab-hold-of-it way. Beth's authored close to a dozen books, and I don't intend to miss a one. Look for her newest, Nothing But Ghosts, this June.

Sarah Miller books
- Sarah is another blogger, author friend courtesy of Erin. Sarah doesn't just write historical fiction novels (Miss Spitfire and an upcoming, 2010, novel of the Romanovs), she lives and breathes them. She's a ferocious reader and it's hard to keep up with all the good books she recommends. Sarah has a quirky, snarky personality that invites you to laugh with and at her. How can you not love Sarah, (aka, The Book Fairy).

art and aioli - Okay, third one in a row of bloggers I've found through Miss Erin. Nicole shares her love to create in the kitchen, not just by giving us a photo and recipe, but the process, too. Throw in a sweet personality, some Southern California sunshine, along with a glimpses at mothering her young children while juggling a business (original designs on notecards/invitations/birthday cards) and you have a fun place to visit.

Keller's on the Prairie
- Laurie and her husband moved back to the Dakota prairie a couple of years ago, after a few decades of city living in Texas. They live outside the town we went to have my teeth straightened, my ears and throat checked, to shop for the family's monthly staples and all of our new jeans. Laurie watches the prairie sky, just like I use to and now am able to do again, thanks to her blog. Her witty writing makes me smile as much as her beautiful photography.

Learning to live with CFS - Sue writes about the journey of her and her two boys living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Sue's family, like mine, is a family of four who's husband, also like mine, is healthy and supportive. Sue writes and posts the nitty gritty, for which I've been appreciative because often I can and do not. Sue's daily struggles and mine, though different in many ways, ultimately are the same. It's been a great help to me to know that someone else "out there" knows and truly understands.

sandy cove trail - At sandy cove trail, cloudscome (Andromeda) shares her gorgeous photography, sometimes with a verse or comment, almost every day. I always try to stop by to satisfy my required daily beauty quotient. cloudscome faces health struggles, too, and I appreciate the joy that she consistently spreads, despite those challenges.

I have to say...One of the first blogs I started visiting, again thanks to Miss Erin, who found Randi's blog through her daughter, Polka Dotted Pickles. Randi blogs about life as a crafter/seamstress, homeschool mom, faithful wife, and Christian woman. She, also, takes beautiful photos. Hers is a popular blog that humbly documents her daily struggles and joys, in the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness.

Femina - My pastor's wife shares this blog with her two, young married daughters, and her young daughter-in-law. Never a dull moment here, these ladies share everything from recipes, to stories of stolen luggage in Rome, the antics of toddlers, favorite iTunes downloads, along with solid wisdom in parenting and homemaking.

magistramater - A friend introduced me to Carol's blog. Carol is the kind of homeschool mom that I used to try to be, only much smarter. I'm not sure if anyone can truly keep up with this lady, but it sure is fun trying (or watching, as is my case presently). Gracious and sweet, yearning to learn, and striving to make her life and her home a light from which others can flourish - that's Carol.

dreams of genevieve - I met Jenni while commenting at Femina. Jenni suffers some of the same health problems that I do. She's a young writer, editor, homemaker - wife to a drummer. dreams of genevieve recounts, in thanksgiving, the good things she's been given each day. From an article, to a movie, to her latest favorite tea or song, it's always nice to be able to go to her for pick-me-up ideas when I'm "stuck."

A professional photographer that not only takes photos of some of my favorite places, but also offers helpful shooting tips. Don't miss his recent post of where to catch sight of the elusive jackalope!

Well...I'm finding it hard to stop. Before I do, let me share a few of my favorite young people's blogs. These girls are class acts. Friends of Erin's, each of these talented bloggers are going places. It's a privilege to visit their blogs to tag along:

never jam today
book crumbs
the holly and the ivy
Fields of Gold

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Photo of the Week (13)

Singing and Dancing in the Rain

Other Photo of the Week posts:

Fields of Gold

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Photo of the Week (12)

Dream House

Other Photo of the Week posts:

Fields of Gold

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Photo of the Week (11)

Back to Town

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Photo of the Week (10)

At Home with Clouds

Even though I stepped outside to take the photo, this shows some of my sky view from my favorite end of the couch, as seen through the two tall corner windows in our living room. From where I sit, the trees are a bit obscured, but not the sky . In March, the firmament starts putting on a show that can really entertain, going through more changes in fifteen minutes than an actor's costume changes in an entire show. I've watched clouds all but seven years of my life. Seven years of cloudless sky (excepting the monsoon season each August) in a desert. I really wouldn't want to do that again.

Other photo of the week posts:

Fields of Gold

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Photo of the Week (9)


It is rare to see fence line next to the road around this part of Idaho. The abundant wheat fields run down the hills spilling into the ditches. But small areas of pasture land are found here and there. This one sits empty, but maybe a few horses call it home come spring.

Other Photo of the Week posts:

Fields of Gold

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Photo of the Week (8)

Music man
Other Photo of the Week posts:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

5 days without, 4 years with

We're celebrating around here. We were five days without Internet, which let me tell you, was not a pretty sight. Not restful, not a nice break, not anything except torture. We missed our friends and conversations, our work, the challenges to our thinking and living, the moments caught by brilliant photography, the book reviews, writing our own blog posts, finding new music...can you see how we suffered?

At times we could sneak a peek at a blog or our e-mail in-box, but with a very slow, weak connection. Only a tease. Today, because I had nothing to lose, I called our Internet provider and threatened ending our need for their services. Wa-lah, by 5:00 we were back in the game. Yay!

So, how to catch up?

I think I'll just come out with it. Our new doctor has found that I'm battling a Lyme infection. Probably have been since the start. There are all kinds of other details, but the best of them is that she's pretty sure that the kids do not face this foe. I've started fighting it with a new protocol of stuff. The kids are fighting some things in new ways, too. We're glad for our new doctor. We're all off to a good start.

So there's plenty to cheer about. Even without the sun shining...although we could cheer even louder with it (which is another story).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Photo of the Week (7)

A Neighborly Greeting

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

My Valentine to you

That you come here to spend part of your busy days. What a gift you give. I thank you. Wishing you a Valentine's Day chock full of sweet kindnesses. Yours, Sherry

Monday, February 09, 2009

Living today

Today I give you a couple of quotes from songs, because my today has been lit by music: Watching parts of our recorded video with the kids from last night's Grammy Awards; listening to iPod shuffle while mixing cookies; all day inspiring, energizing me. Music was my sunshine, since the beams that gave this flower sparkle just this Saturday had disappeared.

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
Cuz the days we are given are gifts from above
And today we remember to live and to love
We live, Superchick

Sing me something soft,
Sad and delicate,
Or loud and out of key,
Sing me anything,
we're glad for what we've got,
Done with what we've lost
Our whole lives laid out right in front of us

Existentialism on Prom Night, Straylight Run

And I also give you...

The 2008 Song of the Year awarded at the Grammy's:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Photo of the Week (6)

Joy all around.

If you want to know more about this happy event go here and also here.

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Friday, February 06, 2009


Before you knew about CFS, would you ever have believed there was an illness that made exercise BAD for you? I wouldn't have. It's just surreal sometimes, isn't it? We're surrounded with advice and admonitions - from TV, magazines, the internet - that we have to exercise more in order to be healthy. Not a day goes by that I don't read or hear of another benefit of exercise. It just seems insane to me that something that is so good for the rest of the population can make me so sick. Excerpt from today's blog post from Learning to Live With CFS (Sue)

It is the hardest thing to understand about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Exercise Intolerance. Please read the rest of the Sue's post; she manages to talk about this subject in a plain, matter-of-fact manner.

Sue, also, recently posted about a research study, which provides some justification in defining CFS as a mitrochondrial dysfunction. She highlighted this quote from the report:

"A useful analogy is to compare your body with your car. The mitochondria represent the engine of that car, the diet represents the fuel that goes in the tank, the thyroid gland represents the accelerator pedal and the adrenal gland the gearbox of that car. Using cognitive behaviour therapy or graded exercise to treat a patient with CFS/ME is akin to beating up the driver of the car when actually the car needs a re- conditioned engine, suitable fuel in the tank, resetting of the accelerator pedal, a new gear box or whatever."

This is a great analogy. Even though, I am confused as to where we fit in terms of a true CFS diagnosis, this describes how we feel after we've tried to get some good exercise (or any type of exertion that is "too much," for that matter). At first, even those who live with this disease, 24/7, will look to blame other causes for the resulting headaches, worsened fatigue, etc., that follow...but not for very long.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Photo of the Week (5)

View from our basement window

Used Picnik software for sepia and vintage tones

Other Photo of the Week posts:

Fields of Gold

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Holding on to what I've been given lately

~ a sunshiny morning yesterday and my backyard walk in the fluffiest snow ever

~ the fun, annual event of watching (the delayed video feed of) the ALA Youth Media Awards with E (yesterday afternoon)

~reading my third book this month of a new-to-me author, Beth Kephart

~a personal book recommendation from this author

~the theme song from Chariots of Fire showing up on my Ipod shuffle play as I gathered energy to prepare lunch today

~a new attempt for me to try to connect with the outside world: Facebook

~the creative ideas my son comes up with during our mealtime discussions

~an appointment, to consult with a new doctor, tomorrow noon; the result of a friend sharing some of her research from her own recent quest

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Photo of the Week (4)

We lost our spring-like sunshine, so I asked my husband to go searching for some at our Safeway store. Safeway's floral department is known for getting tulips in around the end of January. Hurrah!

The fogged in week dulled our spring fever, but the tulips helped shake a bit of gloom away.

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Photo of the Week (3)

I can almost hear the screak of the windmill on our farm when the wind turned. I'd be up in my room with the window open, waiting for the sun to sleep after its work of heating up a summer's day. I liked windmill speak - the ancient sound kept alive by new air. I often feared a strong gale would fly off with our windmill, taking our foothold, our memorial to days past and our assurance of the new breath of hope in the morrow.

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Friday, January 16, 2009

Poetry Friday


by: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

      HESE are the days when birds come back,
      A very few, a bird or two,
      To take a backward look.

      These are the days when skies put on
      The old, old sophistries of June,--
      A blue and gold mistake.

      Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
      Almost thy plausibility
      Induces my belief,

      Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
      And softly through the altered air
      Hurries a timid leaf!

      Oh, sacrament of summer days,
      Oh, last communion in the haze,
      Permit a child to join,

      Thy sacred emblems to partake,
      Thy consecrated bread to break,
      Taste thine immortal wine!
Emily writes this of a late Indian Summer day, but I enjoyed reading this poem today after hearing geese fly over our house at dawn with their good morning call. We've had four days of sunshine in a row. And even though temps are not veering too far from the freezing mark, the sunshine provides some continued melting. Several robins visited us yesterday. Can you guess what we have? Spring fever. "O fraud that cannot cheat the bee" we must remind ourselves it is January 16th.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There's light

We're nowhere close to a place in which we'd say, "I can live with this, I'm handicapped, but that's okay." We still fight our way through each day, hurting. So in '09, we hope and pray that we can turn a corner. Our improvements this past year were small, but hopeful. We're thankful, as we try not to be anxious. Independence is a dream world for us - oh, if that could change.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photo of the Week (2)

I've wanted to photograph this fraternity house (Kappa Sigma) for years, but it's on old Greek row at the University of Idaho, the little road that's directly in front of the house is one way -the wrong way off the road from which I pass. I'd never taken the time to find close parking, so hadn't seen the front of the building until this week.

I needed to go out one icy night (right before our January thaw arrived). The streets were empty, I mentioned, it was very icy. I'd gotten to the store, realized I'd left my wallet at home, slowly made my way home, and set out again on a different route to the store. My camera rode shotgun next to me as a reminder to look out for my next "Photo of the Week."

As I approached the spotlighted columns and snow-frosted tall evergreens that stood regal in the dark night, I could not resist my long-felt temptation to turn the wrong way on the small one-way street - no traffic, the road looked to be snowplowed..and...hey, I'm not the first to break the law to get a photo.

The Kappa Sigma Fraternity is the oldest fraternity in the state of Idaho - established in 1905. Kirkland Cutter, a well-known architect in the Northwest who also designed Spokane's Davenport Hotel and Monroe Street Bridge, designed this house built in 1916. The exterior is of classical Georgian architecture to represent the southern heritage of Kappa Sigma.

And, no, I didn't get stuck backing out of that narrow, icy one-way onto the main road, again. Thankfully.

Other Photo of the Week posts:
Fields of Gold

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Beautiful Day

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out
(from "Beautiful Day" U2)

My little girl on her 18th birthday. Still as winsome as ever...

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Remembering to tell you...

pics: 1) Singing "He's a Most Disagreeable Man" at dress rehearsal. 2)Two of Aunt Trina's nieces.
  • Erin just posted pictures of "I Remember Mama." (Check out her hats!)
  • My feeds finally work on my blog, so if any of you use Bloglines, Google Reader, etc., you'll be able to subscribe.
  • I'm on Goodreads now, so friend me if you're there too.
  • I didn't get Christmas cards sent, but I'm hoping to get out a card and letter this month. There...I said it, now I have to make it happen.
  • I hope everyone had a delightful Christmas. Cheers to you all in 2009!
EDIT: I just remembered to tell you that Erin posted a video of herself saying the Lord's Prayer in Norwegian - which all her sisters recited together during the play.

Photo of the Week

Brady, Traci, and I have each decided to post our favorite photo, that we've taken during the week, on each Saturday of this year. Erin has started a new blog called chromatic aberration on which she will post a photo each day. The blog is a two person effort: Erin and another senior girl, Jocelyn -who lives across the country from Erin- will each provide us with a glimpse of their day for the 365 days that make up 2009. Make sure you check out each link.

I took this photo of Traci from my kitchen window as the kids were venturing out for some sledding. Traci lives in the south now and our snow days were a big treat. It was a nice week's visit - a gift for which we're all thankful.

Thursday, January 01, 2009