When Silence enters the heart.

I am a functioning depressed person.  I can chat, cook, shop, babysit,

pay bills, wash, clean – all those tasks I need to keep my home and family

running.  But what I want to do is read and occupy someone else’s life.

And I cannot write.

There is silence inside my heart.

The feelings are so strong that my words shut down.

Spring has become a trap for me-

I long for the new life around me and yet I encounter the

memories of death and loss.  I lost my sister-

a woman who was part of myself-

the other side of myself –

Fifteen years ago.

I started this blog 5 years ago when I finally could

write again and for the first year all I really wrote about

was her.  And those final 10 weeks of her life as we

battled against the cancer that took her.

Ten weeks- all of Spring and then she was gone.

And Spring was gone- and has forever after become a time

of hope and loss.  And…

That silent place within my heart.

I look at budding flowers and see her gardens.

I long to make them into small bouquets of tribute and hand

them out to anyone who will reach for them.

I spent my time in the Intensive Care Unit making little

nosegays and giving them away – asking for prayers- hoping

for miracles.

Silence breeds silence. 

If I don’t shake this off, I may walk away-

and I don’t want to do that.

I have made some very dear friends through this

venue of blogging and losing you would diminish

my life more than I can say.

So please forgive me –

I will be back as soon as I can find something

positive to say. 

And thank you for your friendship.

Growing and eating Brussels sprouts…

Growing them is considerably harder than eating them.

I planted Brussels sprouts in mid Spring.  It is now late

Autumn and they were still very tiny- my sprouts.


But my husband was done with gardening and just wanted to clean

out the area.  So I had to harvest what was there.

And this…


is what was there.  Very small sprouts.


Very, very small sprouts.  The three large ones were at the top of the

plants and perhaps should not even have gotten into the mix.

But I wanted Brussels sprouts that I had grown- so I picked all the tiny ones.


And cooked them with onions and garlic in butter.


Then mixed them with Basmati rice.


They were very mild.  This is the first time Frank has ever liked Brussels

sprouts-  I was kind of disappointed- but – I DID grow them and he DID

eat them- so that was a success?  Right?

Baby Brussels sprouts with Basmati rice- another try for a meatless meal.

September Blues


The skies have been beautiful- cloudy and blue- Stormy and dark blue and grey-

My blues don’t have anything to do with the weather.

I have been blue.

Down in spirit.

Down in body.


I haven’t been able to post- or even communicate in general.

because –” If you don’t have anything nice to say,don’t say anything at all”  according to Thumper’s dad.

So, I get quiet.

Only then I got sick, and had to go get rehydrated at the emergency room just so I could get back to functioning


And now – I’m back.

Still kind of down-

still kind of sick-

but not giving up.

I’m not sure if blogging is going to be a priority for me.

It is a lot of work- and it is hard to put one’s self out here-

I can’t always be productive and cheery.

I had planned many posts in this last period.

Made lots of breads and even took pictures- but somehow

I got lost before I could put them up.

So- I’m kind of planning a break.

Unless my creative side just suddenly breaks out and starts

dancing- I think I will just be kind of sporadic in the blogging


Thank you so much for visiting- I love all the friends I’ve made here-

and I will still be visiting your blogs.

And who knows- I may be back with 100 cookie recipes to make

for Christmas.

Just don’t hold your breath.

Up close and personal





Have you ever noticed how things get blown out of shape when you mess with them too much?

I tend to keep going at a project or a subject until someone says- “enough!”.

I’ve always been a fan of the Oscar Wilde quote, “Nothing succeeds like excess.”

There always seems to be one more morsel, one more tweak, one more item that will make the

package, product, gift, dish –whatever- complete.

But I’m starting to grow more fond of simplicity.  Of stepping back and taking a look at the big

picture instead of going in for a closer shot at the detail.

My oldest son and his wife let me do a lot of the detail in their wedding (almost 13 years ago- May 22)

I helped decorate the wedding cake, made favors, arranged the flowers and the bridal bouquets, made

bread and soup and salad for the reception,catered the rehearsal dinner, helped make the invitations-

I participated in a foot washing ceremony at the wedding and well- I could go on- but you get the idea.

I loved helping- and these were all areas of strength in my abilities.  But at one point, Willow said- “stop”.

And it was good- it was a relief.  I love my daughter in law- she is a loving, talented, wonderful woman-

and I appreciate her boundaries and her understanding of my nature.  I think back to that “stop.” a lot.

It is a blessing- to have someone say enough- no more- this is done.

And so, after a week or cleaning, digging, planting, polishing , refurbishing, fixing and scrubbing it is nice

to say done.  My husband and I spent an entire week getting the house in  Chincoteague  ready for

guests this season.  We literally worked all week just on the house and grounds.  We never even got to the

beach- did not go into any of the local shops- did not stop until we left on Sunday morning.

I went up onto the 3rd floor deck to take some pictures the morning we left.  I try to take lots of pictures

of what we are doing to send to my niece in Australia.  It is her house- and I like to keep her up to date on

the changes.  So as I looked at these pictures this morning I realized how close to the subject, how very focused

we had become on our tasks for the week.  Like the bee on the lavender in that first picture.  All we could see

was the job in front of us- and then the next job and then the next.

We got a lot done.

And finally, our time ran out, we needed to come home.

But my husband was not done.  He still had plans- details to finish up- ideas to fix one more area-

and I found myself in the position to say, ENOUGH!

He wanted to paint one more ceiling, change one more handle.put up one more towel rack.

But we had done enough.

And he didn’t say it, but I think he was relieved.





And quite frankly, so was I!

Kitchen help

When my boys were young, I had them help in the kitchen.

They set and cleared the table, swept the floors, filled and emptied

the dishwasher, and helped prepare the meals. 

They liked spending time with me- and my time was mostly spent

doing chores and preparing meals- so that is where we accomplished

much of our work.  I wasn’t a photographer back then- I’m getting better

now- and my son and niece take so many pictures that I have a library of

images to go to.

But I have no pictures of those years of activity.  Of the learning and loving

and sharing that went on then.  So- in looking at my most recent photos,

I was so pleased to have pictures of my grandsons working along with us-

in the the kitchen.


Kieran putting away the crayons after an art session!


And sweeping the deck after a rainstorm brought down the crab

apple blossoms.


Aidan washing the dishes from breakfast.


Kieran sorting out my cupboard.

Luke used to get Jordan to help put away the dishes by calling out, “Hi Ho Silver(ware)!”

and Jordan would come running to put away the silverware. 

And after sweeping up the floor he’d call for the “dustpan man” and his little

brother would hurry to do his part of the task.

No pictures of my sons- just fond memories and an echo in my heart of helpful

and obedient children- who have grown up to be fine upright men.

I cherish the times spent with children- it can be tiring – but those moments are

like silver and gold- never losing their precious value.

Psalm 33- A new song.

Psalm 33

1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
   it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
   make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
   play skillfully, and shout for joy.

4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
   he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
   the earth is full of his unfailing love.

6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
   their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars[a];
   he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
   let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
   he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
   he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
   the purposes of his heart through all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
   the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
   and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
   all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
   who considers everything they do.

16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
   no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
   despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
   on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
   and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
   he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
   for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
   even as we put our hope in you.

Sing to him a new song…

there are many references to a new song in the

scriptures- most of them in the psalms. 

What does it mean to sing a new song?

Is it about a change in tone or behaviour?

Or is it more about style and tune?

Does it require a change of attitude?

Perhaps we need to find some deeper meaning,

some hidden symbol or heightened understanding

of the text.

This psalm has 22 verses- and often that suggests that

the psalm is an acrostic psalm- each verse corresponding

with the Hebrew alphabet  Alef to Tav.  This is a very old

mnemonic device used by the Jewish people to signify

that the psalm is all inclusive – what we would say includes

everything from A to Z.  The next Psalm –34- is an acrostic

psalm- but 33 is not.  It is a NEW  song.  It has its own style

and rhythm – it is not following the tradition, but speaks of

the LORD from an experiential point of view.

Not a hymn- a praise song.

I’ve been singing a new song, lately.

Looking at the brevity and frailty of life here from a different

point of view- and praising the Lord for His protection.

I’m recognizing that truly, God is in control.

And I’m grateful for His Providence.

Singing a new song in Akron, Ohio.

Sons and grandsons


Here is my son, Luke.

He came from a busy week of work to make a wonderful meal for his wife and I

for Mother’s Day!  We had baked sockeye salmon, roasted ramps and asparagus,

King Trumpet sauteed mushrooms, fresh lettuce salad with pear basalmic vinegar and

a marvelous Australian pepper olive oil, a selection of gouda and feta cheeses with

luscious olives and crusty fresh baked bread.  It was delicious.


And here is Jordan, our youngest son- he just turned 25 last week.

What a treat to have both boys here to share this fine repast!


Kieran was in such a happy mood- smiling a blessing at all around him-


Grandpa sure enjoyed this time together!


Aidan’s favorite is always the bread- foccacia and seven grain- this time.


Although the fruit- mangos and raspberries- made everyone quite happy!



Yes, everyone was quite happy.


Even my husband.  Grumps, I mean Gramps!

Phone calls that take you back-

 Adam Jr (3) Pauline 1920

Ha –ha!  Not this far back!  My Uncle Adam and my mother in 1920.

Yesterday I got a call asking about my mother’s married status in

1994.  It was for an improperly filled out land deed transaction and

the clerk just wanted to fill in the missing information.

I gave her what she needed and the call was over in just a couple of

minutes.  But I have been skimming around in those years now-

looking at the past.  Rethinking and remembering.

Pauline and Ruthie 1935

Here she is again in 1935- about 17 years old.

My parents anniversary is coming up on May 6th.  When he died,

they had been married for 32 years.   She lived another 34 years as

a widow- not interested in marrying again- she said there was no

one else she could love like she did my father.


Mommy and Daddy.jpeg

And here they are- she is about 32 here- so around-  I don’t know-

my brain isn’t up to math today.

But there they are- in love- facing life and death together.

I miss my parents.

They were brave and beautiful.

They lived through tumultuous times and survived.

They loved and lost and won and gave their children

a firm base to grow upon.

And now I’M Grandma.

Funny- I still feel like a little girl.

Tuesday Afternoon.

Think grey.

Imagine gloomy.

Visualize mist and sluggish winds.

Then shiver.

That is my picture gallery for today.

Taking a picture is too depressing.


I’m depressed because this little guy is going

to his parents at the end of the week.

Fostering children is a good and noble job for

loving parents.  It helps give children a strong

start in this world.  I’m all for loving children

who need a soft place to land when their parents

run into trouble.

But it sure hurts to have to give them back.

Monday morning

I slept last night.

It’s been so long since I’ve managed to sleep,

this is a small celebration.

Pain is a magnifier of problems.

And an isolator of individuals.

I have felt like I don’t completely

belong anywhere.

I don’t even sleep when my family does.

I have become other.

But today, after 5 hours of sleep,

I am home, again.

Home in my family-

home in my mind.

So, in celebration of this great event,

I grabbed my camera to document the


Here is a random sampling.


-magnetic ladies(one with child) riding on an elephant



-porcelain rabbit teapot.


-bark and spaghnum moss growing in my front yard.


-tiny and small daffodils !


– yellow cowslip or primrose- depending on your mood.


– Irish moss littered with fall debris.


-early violets, still in their bed and nightdress-

slowly opening one eye to see if it is time to waken.

Like the violet I am rather tentative in my celebration.

One night of sleep!- or- Only one night of sleep?

Pain still lurks.

It is around the corner, waiting.

It is behind the curtain awaiting its cue.

But this is Easter week.


There is ample reason for celebration and joy.