Monday, January 20, 2014

Looking Forward to a Better Week

I can only hope that the coming week is better than last week.  I had the flu last week, complete with headache, sneezing, chills and a churning tummy ache.  I tried to barrel through it for the first part of the week, but by Thursday, I had to give in and take to my bed.  I am feeling better now though not perfect.

The sad news last week was that my mom’s Seeing Eye dog, Ula, had to be retired.  Ula is ten years old and showing signs of aging.  Ten is quite old for a working dog.  My mom generally retired her previous dogs at around eight years old.  Upon retirement, most of her other dogs were adopted by friends or relatives to live out the rest of their years.  I adopted her last dog, Crystal, who was my constant companion for two years until she succumbed to cancer.

Mom took Ula to the vet for a check-up on Friday at which time it was discovered that she had a tumor on her spleen and would not any longer have the ability to be a guide. Mom was, of course, devastated.  However, the vet assured her that if Ula survived surgery and recovered that they would find her a good home.  It seems the vet has a client, a woman who recently lost her dog, who is need of a companion and Ula is the perfect candidate.  My mom agreed to this arrangement.  Hopefully, this will all turn out for the best.

Mom is doing well all things considered.  She phoned The Seeing Eye to ask for an application to begin the process of training for another guide dog.  We are hoping she is strong enough to go through training process, which is quite rigorous.  In her late eighties, she is still active within the community, yet does have days when she tires easily.  However, she is a determined woman who will not back down from a challenge unless it proves undefeatable.

In the meantime, we will miss Ula’s presence in our lives…

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wait Another Day

Wait Another Day

My head is throbbing,
My stomach is churning.
I have too much to do
To have the flu.
And so I get up
And have a cup.
But the voice in my head
Says, “Go back to bed.
For you know what they say
Tomorrow‘s another day.”

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Photos from the Neighborhood

I am happy to report that the deep freeze is over, well, for now anyway. I took advantage of the warmer temperatures to take a walk around the neighborhood to snap some photos. There is a  park behind my house, Durand Eastman Park, packed with forest trails and waterways. Most of these photos are from the park. Enjoy...

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Sometimes, I simply write...

Because I’m a writer, I have to write.  Writing is my best form of communication, not just with others, but with me. There are times when I sit down with paper and pen or pencil, or sit down at the keyboard with no idea or plan as to what I will write. I simply write.

There is something magical about the writing of words without thought as to what I am writing. Random thoughts appear in an endless flow of words filling the once blank page. Even in abstract, they have meaning. The words might seem gibberish to someone else, but for me they bring clarity to my world. Once written and read, I might find answers to a problem I’m facing, or I might discover something that is bothering me, or I might discover a new idea or line for a story or poem.  

For me, writing is a release and a relief from the everyday worries that life can bring.

I have to write because I am a writer. And sometimes, I simply write...

Monday, January 06, 2014

A Sleepless Night

Good Morning, Everyone, from the shores of Lake Ontario.

I am a little tired today.  As you may know, we had quite a bit of snow last week along with very cold temperatures.  Over the weekend the temperatures rose to near 400 (F), and yesterday it rained most of the day and into the night. 

Well, in the middle of the night a very loud buzzing rudely awakened me.  This horrible noise sounded much like an alarm clock, and since I rarely set an alarm to wake up (and when I do set one, it’s set to music), I knew it wasn’t a clock making the noise.  After checking the security alarm and the smoke alarms, it finally dawned on me that the alarm was coming from the crawl space basement. I knew I would have to descend into the crawl space to find the cause of the irritating noise.

After clearing all the things stored in the closet over the trap door to the crawl space (a card table, chairs, a ladder, and the elliptical runner) I opened up the trap door. The alarm was definitely coming from the dark cavern below and I could smell the musty odor of the basement seeping up to greet me.  Mustering up my courage, I found the drop light with the long cord and a flashlight for back up, and climbed down the short distance into the close, black space beneath the house.

I followed the sound to a back corner to discover that the sump-pump was over flowing and that it was the float alarm making all the racket.  I reset the alarm, which was quite a relief to my ears, and checked to make sure nothing was blocking the water in the basin.  Finding nothing, I proceeded to give the sump-pump a stern lecture about its purpose and explained that I do not have the money to replace it.  Then I waited.  Nothing happened and I began to realize how eerily quiet it was under the house in the dark space under the house.  I decided to get out of there and wait in the comfort of the house proper upstairs.

I made some coffee and sat down to wait for the sound of the pump to start working and do its job.  Twenty minutes later, I heard the motor kick in and the rush of water as the pump regurgitated the contents of the basin.  It was a long and loud noise.  Finally, it stopped after a good, long minute, and then ran again in about 30 second intervals.  Eventually, it slowed down.  I waited another half hour to make sure it didn’t overflow again and that continued its normal duties.  Feeling all was well; I closed the trap door and replaced all the things in the closet in an organized fashion.  The time was now five-thirty, and I was wide-awake.

Now usually, I don’t notice the sound of the sump-pump running.  Actually, it doesn’t run much except in the spring when there is plenty of rain and the ground frost is melting.  I think I grow used to the noise.  However, I heard it run for the next hour as I tried to fall back to sleep, which thankfully, I finally did for a couple of hours.  I am thankful it’s Monday and I don’t have any appointments today as I am not too alert.

I am not sure why the sump-pump stopped working.  Maybe it was over-whelmed, or maybe it had a bad dream.  Or, maybe it just wanted some reassurance that I appreciate its hard work, much the same as people need to know the same.  I think in the future I will visit it occasionally to make sure it’s okay and to let it know it’s needed.

Have a great week, Everyone!


Friday, January 03, 2014

Journal Entry 010314

Good Morning, Everyone, from the freezing shores of Lake Ontario.  The snowstorm hit us yesterday and dropped about 8 inches of snow here, and the wind built up some very high drifts.  The current temperature is resting at 10 (F).  I am not going anywhere, so I will not shovel today.  The forecast promises temperatures to rise into the mid 30s tomorrow.  I hope to get out over the weekend to snap some photos of the neighborhood and the woods around us. For those of you who did not see them on my Facebook page, the photos below are of the lake after the the first storm of the season For those of you who did not see them:

Today I am going to continue reading the “Divergent” series by Veronica Roth.  I just started the first book and it is holding my interest.  I will also get some writing done today.  I did some writing yesterday and I feel the story is going well, but I am not sure where it will end up.  However, that is how it goes sometimes because characters have minds of their own.

I hope you are all keeping warm wherever you are in the world. 


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2014 Suggestions for Resolutions

And so a new year begins, 2014. Stepping into a new year is always exciting, for who knows what lies ahead. Many people resolve to personal accomplishments for a new year; however I am not one to make resolutions. I have pretended to make one or two flighty promises to myself in some years past. I say ‘pretend’ because I knew I would never really stick to them. That’s not to say that I didn’t try, but alas, life has a way of moving in unexpected directions sometimes, and those unrealistic resolutions tend take a backseat.

However there is one resolution that I made to myself many years ago, and I did stick to it.  It was more of an oath, really or you could call it a promise. It was as follows:

“Be who you are, let no one define you.”  

This was the most important resolution I ever made and I believe it is the most important suggestion I can give to anyone who is looking to make a life-long resolution. However, before one can make that promise to oneself, one must realize who one is and what that entails. Finding oneself is the first step, though not necessarily the most difficult. The most difficult is to stay true to oneself in the face of any and all adversity. That takes practice and determination. There may be those who disagree with you, or those who don’t understand you. There may even be those who decide to walk away from you. But those people really never knew who you were in the first place and it’s best to leave them to their own path. It’s truly better to be happy alone than miserable in a crowd.

My second suggestion for a life-long resolution is:

“Be kind, be generous.”

This is not always an easy resolution to stick with either. For we sometimes come across those people for whom it is difficult to extend kindness towards. Sometimes we might find that we are being used due to our generosity. Other times, we might come to realize that our acts of kindness or generosity are not helping or improving the person we are extending these things towards. We have to learn to recognize these situations and to kindly walk away without anger or bad feelings. In that you will find that you are not only extending kindness to the other person, but you are also being kind to yourself.

So these are my suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions.

Happy New Year, Everyone! Peace...