Friday, July 29, 2011

Sometimes The World Seems Out of Focus

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go". ~ Author Unknown
This is a post my head knew I would have to write someday, but my heart hoped that day would never come.
It is hard to say the words, or type the words, or make sense of the words or even really believe the words in that most real sense of believing.
It wasn't supposed to be this way... this cannot be happening.... but, I see the sadness in my Dad's eyes and it is real.
Our mother, Nyssa's grandmother and Dad's beloved wife of 60 years, passed away on Monday, July 18th, 2011.

"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break." ~ William Shakespeare
There was a fall, a small fracture in the hip and a three day stay in the hospital for pain control with plans to move to a rehab facility. But the delicate balance keeping her myriad of health problems in check was overwhelmed and one by one, small problems became bigger problems and interventions simply did not work. Three days turned into four and four to seven. To say the end was "sudden" is a cliche... death is always sudden even when expected. Her final struggle was short and now our struggle to live without her has begun.

"And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." ~ Isaiah 35:10
Mom was a woman of faith and that brings great peace, with the promise that we will see and be with her again. Right now, the world seems out of focus, but comfort comes in remembering.... funny stories of events past... first dates and blossoming love.... the kind words of those whose lives she touched...and knowing that her pain is gone, she has been restored to full health and rejoices with the hosts of heaven.

We sang this hymn to close her funeral service of worship and it captures the essence of what I believe.

What a Day That Will Be

There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be,

~ Jim Hill, Words and Music

(end of post)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Finding Her Best Light

Happy 19th Birthday, Miss Chloe!!!!! Posted by Picasa

"I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering ones aspect to the sun." ~ Virginia Woolf
The years pass so quickly and old age sneaks up on all of us; it seems like only yesterday we were starting out in school or our profession or having a child, or seeing a tiny Siamese kitten for the first time. She was the first born of a litter of six and has always played the part well. Miss Clover was "the dark one"; instead of being born white and developing the Siamese mask and tips, she arrived a medium to dark tan and simply grew darker as she aged, with the most marbled deep blue eyes. Clover was always angry at something. Chloe has always been calm and cool and collected, with a passion for grooming and making sure her sitting position is just so... front paws tightly together and tail wrapped neatly around to the front. Nothing bothers her (except for that one time at the vet when Clover threw such a hissy fit, they both got caught up in the drama) and she carries herself with dignity and reserve. This does not mean that she will take any guff off of the other cats. Chloe is now the Grand Dame of the household and commands the respect of ALL the cats... even those bossy ragdolls.

Her sister, Miss Clover, passed away almost three years ago and while Clover was ill and blind, Chloe showed her the way to the food and patiently waited for her to eat first. She groomed and curled up with her, even when Clover was cantankerous and in a foul mood. After Clover's death, Miss Chloe simply returned to the group of cats and her role as eldest diva.

Now, Miss Chloe is 19. She has aged a lot these last three years. Her dark facial mask is fading with rounded circles of light tan above her eyes. She still longs to be perfectly groomed, but does not have the energy for all the effort, nor her sister for cleaning her ears. She battles with kidney failure and refuses to eat the special diet, but she looks forward to her Fancy Feast each day and is holding her own with her weight even though she is very thin. Her eyesight is starting to go, but her hearing is acute. Arthritis has made her gait stiff and her front legs are slightly misshapen by age. She has her favorite bean bag sleeper and still enjoys snuggling with a catnip toy. Most of all, she loves to sleep... or, as here... sit in the sun.

I don't know how many more years.... or months... she has. I'm sure she will continue to live her life with the dignity she has always had and will let me know in her own way, when it is time. Until then, she will soak in all the sun she wants and eat all the Fancy Feast she wants and strike fear into the hearts of all the other cats...
what was that? Did I see a slight twinkle in that eye as she stares down Nicky? I do believe I did!

Happy Birthday Miss Chloe!

(end of post)
Friday's Ark
Weekend Cat Blogging
Camera Critters

Friday, July 08, 2011

First The Storm, Then The Promise, Then The Reward

The storm clouds roll....

'Til The Storm Passes By
In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face,
While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place.
'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

~ Mosie Lister, 1958

Then the promise......

"Mild arch of promise! on the evening sky
Thou shinest fair with many a lovely ray,
Each in the other melting."
~ Robert Southey

Then the reward...... Posted by Picasa

"The sunrise is Gods greeting - the sunset, his signature." ~ Unknown
Storms have blossomed each afternoon all week. They appear almost out of nowhere, with wind, flashes of lightening, and booming thunder before the downpours. An inch one day, a tenth the next... nine tenths the next. Slow moving, flash flooding, and still the humidity does not break. A cold front stretches, lazily languishes across the area... asleep. And the storms keep developing. I don't have to water the grass, but the cats hide each day, afraid of the sounds of pounding rain and rolling thunder. Still, after the clouds move on to the ocean... a promise appears in the eastern sky.... a rainbow. Then later, with clouds and storms to the north and south, the setting sun delivers a magnificent masterpiece to the end of the day.

This was July 6th, 2011.

(end of post)
Nature's Notes
Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Yarrow and Yellow in the Yard

Yellow rose of Virginia.... sorry Texas.

“'Twas a yellow rose, By that south window of the little house, My cousin Romney gathered with his hand On all my birthdays, for me. save the last; And then I shook the tree too rough, too rough, For roses to stay after.” ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (bk. VI)
In Victorian flower language, a yellow rose meant or was used to convey jealousy. However, in the western U.S., the yellow rose came to symbolize a familiar, native and humble love, including feelings of home and domestic happiness, joy, and friendship.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in my yard Posted by Picasa

"Thou pretty herb of Venus’ tree,
Thy true name it is Yarrow;
Now who my bosom friend must be,
Pray tell thou me to-morrow.”
~ Halliwell’s Popular Rhymes
The old Myth concerning the yarrow's name sake, Achilles, states that his Mother made a strong tea of yarrow and, at his birth, dipped him in it, thus making him totally invulnerable except for the heal that she held him by, the Achilles Heal. Another bit of yarrow lore declares that if you sew a bit of yarrow into a flannel pouch, place it under your pillow, and say this poem before going to sleep; you will learn the name of your future bride or groom in your dreams.

Placed in the garden it discourages beetles, ants and flies! If a handful is added to the compost it will speed up the breakdown of the plant material. In the garden it is a very good companion plant improving the health of all plants around it.

(end of post)
ABC Wednesday ~ Letter "Y"

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Busy, Buzzing, Bees! Sort Of.

Mine! All mine!
(Click pictures to enlarge)

"The solitary Bee
Whose buzzing was the only sound of life,
Flew there on restless wing,
Seeking in vain one blossom where to fix."
~ Robert Southey, Thalaba (bk. VI, st. 13)

One "busy" bee.

"How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower.
- Isaac Watts, Against Idleness

Drunk with nectar....languishing in the summer sun. Posted by Picasa

"Give and Take...
For to the bee a flower is a fountain if life
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love
And to both, bee and flower,
the giving and the receiving is a need and an ecstasy."
~ Kahlil Gibran
"Busy as a bee" and how busy the bees have been this spring. We have all sizes from tiny little yellow fellows, all the way up to these giant bumble bees. They have latched on to the hyssops of blue and apricot (agastache), the lavender, daylilies, milkweed, black-eyed susan, and any other plant with anything that resembles a flower. Of course, the lavender and the bee balm (monarda) are the favorite. In fact, each bloom is often covered with two or three big bees at one time. I noticed that even at dusk when most insects are retreating for the night, these bees almost seemed to be in a bee-drunken stupor; settled down in between the blooms with wings folded, not moving even as the camera came to within inches of their heads. Yes, indeed... these two are drunk with delight. It wouldn't surprise me if they didn't stay on the flowers all night.

We had many bees last summer as well, but it seems as if there are more this year. And yet, the black swallowtail and monarchs are still slow to lay eggs on the abundant milkweed and fennel. Could the bees be part of the reason?

(end of post)
Saturday Photo Hunt ~ Busy (late)
Mellow Yellow Monday