The Sweetest Smell

UI received the most beautiful flower bouquet today.  No special occasion, mom special reason.  Well other than that a few friends attended a workshop on how to arrange flowers.  I was supposed to attend the workshop, but due to lupus I had to cancel, thankfully one of my friends was able to make use of my ticket.  In return she sent over the arrangement she had created.

The workshop was supposed to teach you how to create effortless and beautiful looking arrangements, both in vases and hand tied.  The bouquet that arrived at my house was a beautiful riot of colour and perfume, tied up in a delicate pale lavender ribbon.

Based on my lovely gift, the worship completely delivered all it promised.  And based on my friend’s phone call to thank me for thinking of her and offering her my ticket Id say she has completely run with the lessons!

She phoned me in between cutting flowers from her yard to create arrangements for both her mother and mother-in-law. And she had made plans with the other friends who attended the workshop to go flower shopping tomorrow so they could create some more arrangements to take to some seniors homes.  (She told me that they hoped I’d come with them and learn from them.  If I’m not well enough or have enough energy for the full deal, they’d stop by after picking up the flowers so I could still learn or just spend time with them while they make the arrangements.)

Beloved is currently collecting a count of the flowers we have so he can cut some tomorrow for arrangement lessons.  He wasn’t able to sign up for the workshop and couldn’t use my ticket today because he was with me, but perhaps tomorrow he will have a chance to learn. I bet the smell of the bouquets the ladies make tomorrow will smell especially sweet and heavenly the way mine does.  Not because of the flowers used, although that helps, rather because the simple gesture of care and surprise that goes into making something for someone when s/he doesn’t expect anything.

I’m Dreaming Of Food…Or Channeling My Inner Chipmunk

Today I’ve been dreaming about food.  Well dreaming is probably the wrong word, lusting is probably more accurate.  I have been lusting after food today.  No don’t misunderstand dear friends, I love good food and I love sharing it with people I enjoy so it’s not unusual for me to think about food.  I’ve been known to plan whole menus as a means of pleasantly passing time and I’ve no shame in this either.

However today I’ve been running on the see food, think food, desire food sort of cycle.  I blame my medications partially for this shift in my food relationship.  I also blame people sharing delicious ideas and placed with me all in a very short period of time.  This sharing lead me to feel like I need to try it all, right now.  Not that I’m complaining about people sharing these things with me; whether we break bread together or separately but shared experiences I think is a wonderful thing indeed.

The thing is, though, between my medication, my lupus flare and the insane hamster on the wheel that is my brain, I fee exhausted just trying to figure out what to do and try and when.  And of course this makes my health teeter totter a bit more.  Again I am not complaining for I am blessed, truly blessed to have wonderful people to share food with and more importantly to not having to worry about where the next meal comes from.  I just need to tame the lusting of said food into something more manageable so food isn’t falling off my plate!

Sharin’ ‘Em

A while ago I stayed at a bed and breakfast which had the most amazing food and quilts. Not together mind you, but the food was some of the most delicious and simple food I’ve ever had and as for the quilt, well it was perfect in weight and comfort.

It was the kind of place that you want to share with someone, or maybe it was the experience that I wanted to share most of all with a certain someone.  At any rate it was a lovely visit that i know a certain person in my life would have enjoyed with me.

You see this person is an amazing friend, one I’ve unfortunately taken for granted at times, ignored at times and such.  She is one of the most incredible people I know.  When I told her about my diagnosis of lupus she went out and did her own research, not just to understand the illness, but also how to be involved in and incredibly supportive way.

The delicious food was something that I know she would have enjoyed and we would have had a wonderful time sharing and tasting things.  As for the quilt, well this lady makes the most amazing hand stitched quilts.  Anyone who receives any of her handy work (she does al types of amazing, creative things made with love) is truly lucky for they are made with love and that love simply wraps around you.

Without ever saying it, her support, her love and her positivity has always been open to me.  Sadly I’ve been too stubborn at times to receive or be open to her positiveness.  As I lack creative skills,I am unable to develop a quilt for her to let her know how important she has been in my journey in life with lupus.

Natural Gifts

It was written in his eyes, the pure look of love and affection.  He leaned in against me, his solid body feeling reassuring and warm.  Without saying a word he let me know he was there for me.  Jack is as dependable as he is loyal.

If I needed any more confirmation that he cared about me, all I had to do was note how today he opted to stay near me while I was resting.  He chose to stay inside rather than sitting quietly rather than heading outside for a nice, long walk.  Normally Jack loves taking time for himself by going for a long walk, especially when the weather is just right.  Today the weather was just right for that kind of walk.  And Jack chose to stay inside with me instead.

And if I needed concrete proof about Jack, all I really had to do was look at how wagging tail or feel his warm, wet tongue as he runs it over my hand.  He didn’t even care that my four-footed, trusty side-kick wasn’t sure about his presence.  He seemed to know he was safe, needed and loved.  And he trusted his new owner, my friend, when she left him with me while she went to go do some shopping for me.

There is nothing like the way a dog, no matter how old or what sort of life it has had, can forgive and love humans.  And in time my own four-footed companion will become as sure about Jack as I am.  Unconditional love and acceptance are truly the most beautiful gifts in life.

The Strength And The Fragility Of The Human Condition

While out and about today, I stopped off for some nourishment in a small, local café. The time and the location meant that the café wasn’t crazy busy or so full that there were no tables available. But it was busy enough that you could tell it wouldn’t be a risk to stop and eat there. Maybe that’s just me, but when I’m the only person eating in a place and it’s not a super odd hour to be eating I always worry if everyone else knows something I don’t know about the food or the reputation of the place!

I was directed to a nice table near the corner of the café with only the table directly in front of me also being occupied. Once I placed my order I decided to have a quick look around before pulling out my typical reading material. (Yes I am that much of a book-worm that I will read any chance I get. And yes my mother was not a fan of reading at the table, but she also was a fan of reading so at times she would permit the odd book or two.) Just before I pulled out my book I noticed that the orders for the three people seated in front of me had arrived. The food looked delicious and smelled wonderful and to confess I was a feeling more heartened by this.

But I went to pick up the book I was going to read, I was reminded of just how frail we all really are. I was also reminded of how far compassion, care and empathy can go in making a person’s day so much better. You see one of the elderly companions at the table in front of me was unable to use her hands. They had curled up and she could not hold cutlery or the glass with her drink in it. Her two other companions took turns helping her to eat and drink with effortless grace while affording her dignity. Clearly despite this small setback they were having a good time laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

I got to wondering if in our fast paced lives, so focused on devices, electronics and everything instantaneous we haven’t misplaced something more important. Something that will come back to us when we are older or in need of help and if this something won’t just be lost as we drift further away from human relationships. I know I’ve been guilty and still am guilty of putting things before people in my life at times. I know I’ve decided that I prefer solitude most often, and I wonder if as I get older or my struggles become greater, if I won’t be missing out not just on human companionship, but the dignity and grace that comes with friendship and love.

Cooking Exchange

About this time of year my mother would get down to planning her serious baking,  from breads to pies and cakes to cookies, she would create her list.  And then it was all about the shopping for ingredients and what had to be made last-minute versus what could keep perfectly on the counter or in the freezer.  The kitchen would start to smell wonderful, but it would be filled with the sound of “not yet”, or “wait” as my small hands would try to sneak a taste of this or that.

My kitchen, this time of year, is full of big intentions and recipes laid out.  THe intentions for the most part stay exactly as that…just intentions.  I run out of motivation, time or courage to cook these things.  I begin to remind myself there is no family for me to cook for, I don’t know where I will be and food doesn’t travel well so why bother.  And each year I vow the next year will be different.  There will be cookie exchanges and get togethers with friends and such.  And each year, it’s the same vow without much change.

So today I pulled out the recipes, and decided rather than have intentions of making them, I should try instead to share them.  That’s more or less what I can do and not have to lose motivation or courage.  So this year I will send out hand written/printed recipes to friends and share the cookies that way! Each person will get a recipe chosen just for them.  Well other than Beloved, who will get a list of recipes that we can make together!

Not Exactly My Cuppa Smell

A friend and I decided to check out a tea shop, called The Tea Shoppe aptly enough.  It is supposed to be all sorts of herbal teas and various blends  of whites, and dark teas.  And not really as much my thing as hers.

The store recently opened and she was waiting to try it out until someone would go with her.  Evidently she had asked other people who had all declined.  Of course this wee fact she held onto until we were seated and waiting to be served our teas.  Basically she held it close to her until there really was no way out gracefully.

I had settled for a simple fruit tea, peach, as a safe bet.  I can’t even remember what she finally chose except it had flowers and what appeared to be twigs in it.  After going through the agonizing exercise of her choosing the teas we were invited to choose out tea cups.

Now prior to Beloved coming into my life I wasn’t too concerned about the type of receptical my tea was in.  Mostly because the only time I drank it was when I was sick.  And let’s face it when you are sick you just don’t care.  But Beloved taught me you need to have tea in a very thin and fine porcelain dainty cup when you have tea.  The whole little pinky our thing isn’t really required, in case you are wondering.

So then we had to choose our cups and saucers, which we took to the table with us to await our brewed tea.  Mine was about as expected, a safe and comfortable drink.  I have taken to consuming peach tea now and then.  My friend’s  tea smelled like a combination of mushrooms, wet grass and dirt with a hint of must.  How she’d ever managed to bring that mixture up to her face after she poured out the tea from her tiny teapot was beyond me.  But she did it and claimed it was delicious.

Normally I’m good for some adventure, but not with tea.  Not after Beloved insisted we try some oolong variation that neither us managed to enjoy.  To be honest, after the first sip we were done with it!

If you ask me how the outing went, the tea I had was okay, the company was great.  But her tea and the smell of some of the other teas were rather overwhelming in a less-than-pleasant manner.  Perhaps if we had consumed the stuff outdoors it might have been less aromatically assaulting to my nose.

She is already planning our next visit to try something more adventurous for herself!