Sunday, November 27, 2011

You are a Gift

My thank you card. More of my cards, and how to purchase them, here.

This Thanksgiving, Jim and I cooked together, improvising a simple, traditional meal of organic turkey baked in a bed of onion and sweet potato, cornbread and mushroom stuffing with sage and leeks from the garden, apple-cider gravy, string beans, salad, and cranberry-orange relish. And for dessert, apple pie, homemade vanilla ice cream, and toasted walnuts. We used no recipes, had no guests, and, sorry folks, took no pictures. It was a no-stress holiday meal followed by a long sprawl on the couch watching movies.

But perhaps the best part of the holiday was reflecting on all the incredible people who got us through this very challenging year. So many reached out to us with everything from words of encouragement, cards, and gifts, to help around the house, casseroles, and yard work. I made a painting specifically to express my gratitude and designed a greeting card from it so we could get our appreciations out in style.

Over the weekend, Jim and I staged a marathon card-writing session. We wrote a lot of thank yous, but I would not feel complete if I didn't send a thank you to all of you who read my blog and watch my videos. It helps that so many are interested in my story. Thank you for your attention, for your caring, and for reaching out to me through the inter-webs. It means more to me than you know.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Every Three Months

Speaking of routine: my husband's Sunday morning pancake extravaganza. This week: buckwheat-cornmeal cakes with almond butter, plain yogurt, bananas, and strawberries. Oh yeah, and maple syrup. This is the plate he made up for himself. He kindly paused mid-meal for the photo shoot. Speaking of pancakes, check this out.

Today's the day. My second of who knows how many years worth of every-three-month check-ins with my oncologist for a thorough once-over and a blood test. Three months goes by fast. I get the feeling I'm going to be hating this ritual before long.

My back has been sore lately. I'm trying to shake that irrational fear that it means cancer in my bones. I say irrational because all the evidence stacks up against that being the case. If it was cancer, I don't think it would have started to hurt so suddenly after running a half-marathon, my second in two weeks. Or rather, after running and then sitting in an extreme slouch, feet on the dash, in the car for half an hour. If it was cancer, I don't think it would have improved gradually over the past few weeks. I don't think I would leave the chiropractor feeling better each time.

But panic is what panic is - oblivious to rational persuasion. Once you've been scared for your life out of the blue, it's easy to revisit that feeling.

Yesterday I admitted to a friend that I'm scared and she talked about Buddhism. About being in the present. Good advice. However, I did not receive it well. Deep down, for me, it is embarrassing to admit that I have this fear. Advice, no matter how well-meaning, makes me wish I hadn't mentioned it. It makes me feel alone. Advice is tricky like that. And I can be a prickly bastard. Ah, well, we're all human. Right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On the Radio

I am opposed to clutter, and also attracted to it. That's why, when I picked up this wire basket at a thrift store I chastised myself. Just like when I kept refusing to throw out a random package of old flash bulbs. Every time I pick up a stone and bring it home, I ask myself why.

The light in my studio, on this particular afternoon, is my answer.

Sometimes you just have to go with it.

Me, that is. On the radio today. On Rhode Island's NPR station. You can hear me if you want, reading a short essay (just 400 words) on why I believe in falling apart.

Like that? I wrote it at the request of the show's producer, because he got a big response from my last "This I Believe" essay (written in 2006 though produced years later). You can hear that one too if you like!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life is Good

I've been neglecting this blog, I'll admit it, but working hard on so many fronts. I'm behind on video editing too, but here's the latest, including an eleven-mile run, Millie meeting a sheep, and good old-fashioned family time. More of my videos here.