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.

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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.

Of Frogs, Prizes And A Little Boy…or Wonderful Anythings

The most wondrous prize I ever wanted to have when I was young was a small frog in plastic bag. Each year when the fair would come to town I would set my heart upon getting one of these frogs. It didn’t matter that my mother was dead set against the frog coming in-house or that the amount of money that would have to be spent for me to acquire said animal was ridiculous. I just I wanted that frog. I mean I dreamt about getting a frog. I picked out a name and decided how to I would fix up an old fishbowl as a frog home and all the rest.

Alas I never got the frog and not just because my mother was dead set against it either. Nor was it entirely because my father was too fiscally responsible (read that as frugal) to spend money on a frog that probably wouldn’t last long. I outgrew the frog or rather I shifted my obsession to other things. Some of those things I got such as books and toys and some I did not, such as the snow cone maker I was wanted for a couple of years.

While at the clinic today, I overheard a mother promise her son anything he wanted if he would just go and do whatever the doctor was asking him to do and I was left to wonder what his anything dream would be. Judging from his size he was roughly the age I was when the frog was the most wonderful thing to win and have. I wondered if he would choose a frog, a pet, an ice cream or something more like a tablet (probably already has one) or such.

But this little boy surprised me because I bumped into him and his mom while I was on my way out. It seems he had been a good boy and so now it was time for him to get that anything that he wanted. It turns out the most wondrous prize for this child was a hug from his mom and a promise of a story when they got home. And you know what? If someone offered me those things when I was his age I’d take it every time too because it is really the most wondrous thing. The love and comfort never goes away and the adventure of the story, shared with someone special stays with you too, long after the frog has hopped away to find his own princess.

Where Is Waldo…He is Definately Not, But He Is Here

Shirts tossed on a chair, shoes kicked off in the corner over there. Signs that Beloved is home, somewhere and everywhere. Signs that when I walk further into the house he will be there, and not just when I close my eyes, but when the sunrise comes back to coax me into another morning, signs that are the reality that Beloved is home again.

I can feel it before I see those signs in the house. The house seems different even from the outside, as though it has shaken some dust off of itself in a way to prepare for his arrival. I can hear it as I come up the sidewalk, open windows letting soft music join in dancing with the breeze.

And I give pause before I search him out. He is back home yes. In my house, my world and my routine; he is the one intruding this time, not I. I give pause knowing that his being here means changes again. Yes food lovingly prepared and ready for when I get home. And a clean house during the week, not waiting for me to get to it on the weekend as is the usual case. It also means a different set of noises and routines must be given space to take place. For he sings a different song, dances to a different beat and takes up his own space regardless of who owns the place.

Not that I am complaining, not in the least for if I wasn’t happy he wouldn’t be here. The door would not yield to his hand, to his turn of the key. But I must pause and take in what is about to happen so that I can move things around in my life to accommodate his sudden descent into my every day routine. And I must pause as well to see what changes have come with him as he opened the door to the house this time. Will there be something haunting in his eyes, deeper lines cutting across his face or will there be only laughter and smiles to carry us through?

The music tells me the room he has at least been in. The smell of food holds a promise of a wonderful meal. And the soft, gentle way he sets aside the book tells me that there is no surprise, nothing to worry about this time. He is whole and well and has come because he can, not because he must. He promises to put away his unpacking and tidy up his shoes later on, once he has managed to make it his home again as well. His home and our routine again.

Opening The Closet Door, Or Not

My four-footed companion, when she’s had enough of me, heads off to her kennel (which has blankets not just in it, but covering part of it as well) or a dark corner somewhere that acts as her den. It’s her own personal retreat, her way of saying this is my space and you don’t belong here. If I try to remove her while she is in one of these two places, I am guaranteed it won’t be without a fight on her part. A fight which involves not just digging in or trying to suction down to the floor, but also showing me her teeth in all their sharp, pointy glory, just as a reminder of her power regardless of her size.

Respect, as well as previous experience, has taught me to honor her safe retreat and privacy for the most part. Unless it’s time to go to the vet and she has decided to hole up in her little den. Then I manage to get her out so we can go for the trip. It is, after all, for her own good, even if it means some bruising, bumps and the odd scratch endured by me.

After our last experience in what I have come to think of “puppy extraction”, I had my own medical appointment with a specialist. This is a specialist I do not see often, partially because thankfully I don’t have any immediate or on-going issues in his field, it’s more or less a precaution visit. But also because any time I see this specialist, I want to crawl into my own safe den and dig in my heels. You see this specialist keeps asking me if I’ve “come out of the closet of safety” and moved into “the light of openness”.

The closet of safety he is referring to is the fact that I do not share my health news with everyone. It isn’t something I am legally bound to do; it might be wise, if it can help provide insight to my employers and such about things, such as if I missed a lot of time or needed to take a leave. But so far I’ve been able to navigate around all of this without sharing it with the dreaded everyone.

If you’ve ever been through anything from a divorce, to health crisis in a workplace, you may have encountered the dreaded everyone. Suddenly your very private experience has been laid bare, maybe just to your boss and perhaps human resources. But of course it rarely stays there. Soon it’s “your team needs to know this”. Or somehow the information just becomes public knowledge. And people stop by to “check on you” when they never did before. Other people suddenly start talking to you, people you may only know by name. And you, my friend, end up under a microscope of sorts. On top of that scrutiny, you have people offering you well-meaning yet not always helpful advice.

And the answer to the question is I’ve told a few people a bit about my health, I’ve cracked open that closet door and allowed the outside to be visible. And I’ve stepped a foot out of the closet, but I’ve not left it. Because the light of openness does not always show kindness, or acceptance and being chronically ill has a way of making you feel far more vulnerable than you otherwise would.

So I’m slowly allowing myself to leave that closet a bit more, but I may never fully open the door and run out of it. And that’s okay. Just as it’s okay if you want to bust open your own closet door and step fully into that light. The thing is, what each of us do is okay, as long as it works for each of us as individuals. We have to, as does the rest of the world, accept that not everyone will be okay making their entire life public and others will be. And either way it is okay

Pet Therapy, Scones and Tea or Giving Back Four-Footed Style

A friend suggested we head for some tea and scones to a place that welcomed pets.  So free I finished submitting some reports, I headed off home to gather up my four-footed companion and then off to wet my friend.

The eatery is a quaint, wee place, seating no more than twenty people as plenty of space is between tables allowing for four-footed companions.  I confess I was apprehensive about taking my own four-footed wonder in simply because she is a high energy type of puppy.  She likes to get up close and personal as she checks out every thing, whether it’s the first time she’s encounters it or the one hundredth time.  But she was on her best behavior.   And thankfully the place wasn’t overly busy so she was the only dog who came in.

Most of the patrons were seniors enjoying a late afternoon tea with some nibbles.  Once we found a place to sit, the owner immediately brought out meds and a bowl of water for  the four-footed one.  My little dog who can act like a devil behaved like angel enjoying all the attention and strokes she was getting while my friend and I sorted out our tea and scone selection.

While we waited for our order to arrive my four-footed friend insisted upon visiting with every person in place.  Fortunately she was welcomed at each table, lapping up the attention as if she deserved it.  An elderly couple took to her spirited nature and applauded her many tricks.  And she too took to them.  So much so that when my order arrived she happily wandered back to the couple and visited with them for a bit before coming back.

The owner of the shop even brought my four-footed companion a wee treat for being such a good girl.  She also assured me we were welcome any time we wanted to drop by. Most of her customers, she told my friend and I, are elderly and having dogs come in help bring smiles to those faces.

I must confess it is nice to be able to take my four-footed companion with me rather than having to leave her behind.  It’s nice she is welcome and I’m happy she is able to bring joy to others.  We are working on getting her better behaved so she can do more visits with the elderly because everyone needs some pet time.