Thursday, June 05, 2008

Organizating still...

A quick update on my medical issues: I saw my GI doctor on Tuesday and he said that the tests show I had experienced something called ischemic colitis. Essentially it is caused by a blood vessel in the colon being damaged due to ???? (former abdominal surgery, a twist in the colon, a hard bowel movement, hard running, ???? nothing for sure) and that causes the wall of the colon to bleed. Ischemic colitis comes on suddenly, usually without warning, usually to people over the age of fifty.

The treatment is antibiotics and fluids, in a hospital setting, staying off foods for awhile until the bleeding area has a chance to heal, and the total healing process takes two to six weeks.

After that life goes back to usual with no changes in diet, and recurrence is rare. Nothing really can be done to prevent it besides the usual "stop smoking-watch your weight-exercise-avoid stress" mantra that is indicated for anyone with a pulse. I never have smoked, ever, and the rest of the stuff has always been part of my life.

I am SO very pleased. The episode had nothing to do with anything I might have inadvertently done (aside from those two c-sections and I had a choice in these?) AND the fact that I don't have to worry about a flare up in the future or modification of my diet is SWEET!

A scope is still going to be performed next Tuesday just to be sure there isn't anything else going on. I expect all will be well, and the doctor said that likely by then he won't even be able to see where the injury occurred. My innards are still trying to figure out what "normal" is after what they went through, and the doctor said that is OK.

Thanks for all your concern, prayers and notes. They were a real encouragement to me!

Now back to regular bloggy life:

If you have been reading this blog for awhile you know I am on a steady campaign to organize and pare down my belongings. I have a master list of places in my house that I either need to organize or re-organize, or re-evaluate. While Laura was living with us she was a great help in assisting me in this process. We got through a lot of the list together; lucky me...she is is an awesome organizer!

The one area that we didn't get around to tackling was my jewelry collection. Above: One of two drawers filled with boxes and bags of jewelry.

I also had these jewelry organizers taking up another dresser drawer, and one small hanging organizer in the closet. And I had a small bowl and a basket on my bathroom vanity for my most favorite every day rings and earrings.

It seemed like I had my usual selections where I could easily grab them, but every time I wanted to wear the rest of the stuff I had to play a game of hide-and-go-seek, digging through drawers and baskets to find what I was looking for.

That always left the drawers in a mess, and me feeling rather frustrated.


I really did like how easy it was to find the jewelry in the one tiny hanging jewelry organizer.
I got thinking....If only I could have more of those hanging organizers, only bigger. Much bigger.
A quick seek on for "jewelry hanger" turned up these EIGHTY POCKET bad boys!

I bought two at a cost of about $20 total, including shipping.

Now one side is just for earrings (and a few necklaces in the deep bottom pockets...)

The flip side holds my pins and broaches.
Most of them had belonged to my grandmothers and grandmothers-in law....they are treasured.
The next hanger is for fancy "diamond" party jewelry (cuz I have sooo many formal glitzy event in my life, or at least people seem to think I do, based on how many pairs of sparkly earring I've received as gifts. Oh well, maybe one day I'll have a granddaughter who will enjoy wearing them for dress up fun!)
Then under the sparkly stuff are my pearl necklaces, (of various colors and lengths) then at the end are my bracelets.
The flip side holds all my other kinds of necklaces, slides, chains and pendants.
The two hangers take up about three inches in my closet, instead of two whole drawers in my dresser.
Added bonus: I can see every thing I own at a glance!
Some pocket are shared: all my kitten pins are in one pocket, all my red-white-and blue flag stuff is in another.
I've put small notes in the pockets that hold family or sentimental pieces, just in case some day someone want to know about them...
A few pieces were weeded out, and I still intending to weed out a few more pieces, but cautiously. Jewelry seems to swing from chunky to delicate, from glittery to natural through the years. A few pieces that I had mentally written off a few years back now look perfect with some of current fashion trends.
One idea I want to try: I'm thinking of getting some paint swatches, and placing the colors behind the pieces.
The pink based pieces will have a pink paint chip behind them, lavender get the idea.
Right now everything is organized by color, but I have to really look at the pockets to tell with some of the more delicate pieces.
Paint sample chips are free, so I'll give it a try and see if that makes identification easier.
Now I just need to figure out what to do with those organizer boxes! Any ideas?
Wanna come over and play dress up with me?
Oh come will be fun!
(My and my childhood girl friend Emily, all dressed up and no where to go...but boy did we look good!!!)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

High School Graduate: Class of 1972!

Senior prom...a dream gown made by Mom from a silver threaded pink brocade, pink crepe, and gloves!

The La Jolla High Viking girls graduated in red robes, the boys wore black. (Somehow that bothered me; red did not seem as official as black!)

My parents and I had pooled money to buy me that snazzy new 1972 Datsun 1200 fast back, in my favorite color: forest green.
A zippy four cylinder stick shift!

Yes, life was sweet! I was a high school graduate!

Today, just thirty six years later, I tooled down the road on my way to work in my practical Toyota 4Runner. I held steady as several cars zoomed past me.
"Class of 2008!!!" was painted boldly upon those car's rear windows. The sense of pride was palatable; they were part of this year's graduating class. They had had a year of being top dogs, the top guns of Kingwood High, now they were taking to the road as the newly graduated.

Since this time last summer they had swaggered and counted themselves mature, and far along in the world.

During the year senior pictures were taken, in many charming poses, and later the pictures were enclosed within announcements along with quaint little calling cards. What a thrill it was to see their name in formal old fashion script engraved upon those tiny cards. The family address book was consulted, the announcements are to be sent out to far flung family friends and relations, who deserved to be informed of the stellar event: High School Graduation!

Pictures and more pictures in prom dresses and tuxedos, and still more on graduation day.

Oh the giddy glory of it all....

I had to laugh a bit, in a world weary way as I watched the cars weave through the lanes ahead of me. In a few short weeks the feted and glorified teens will suddenly come to the scary realization that they actually are the lowest of the low on the totem pole of adult life.

Perhaps these newly hatched high school grads will enter the work force only to discover that their ballyhooed high school diploma scarcely entitles them to wages that will cover even their most meager needs at first. Time and experience apparently is held with greater esteem than the paper certificate of graduation.

Perhaps they will blast out of town at summer's end to a new life at a prestigious college. More glory that, yet it won't take long to discover that there no one will care about how cool they were back in high school.

The treasured high school ring will be tucked away and the prized letterman jacket will get pushed to the back of the closet.
Only a geek would dream of wearing those items once the next senior class begins their reign.

Slowly it will dawn upon them: never again will there be such an undeserved sense of accomplishment as was felt simply because they were a high school senior.

College graduation...graduate school, they don't hold a candle to the big high school thing, at least around here. The twenty one, twenty two, thirty two what have you year old college graduates simply don't radiate the bloom of innocent and ignorant youth; no one at that age wants that many pictures taken, and proms just no longer make sense. Let's just hope to land a good job, get an apartment and pay off those student loans.

As the cars with the painted windows roared out of view, I silently wished them well, and hoped they would drive carefully, and live long long lives, long enough to once again enjoy their letterman jackets and treasure their youthful exuberance.

Perhaps a new custom should be embraced: Each June all high school graduates should paint their car's windows once again.

"Class of 1972!" "Class of 1945!" "Class of 2006!" our cars will proclaim as we long ago graduates go about our daily life.

And for a day or two, or until the rains wash the paint away, we can savor once again how life felt back when we were freshly graduated from high school.

(PS: I still have the pink brocade gown. And I think I still have my own box of calling cards somewhere. Unfortunately I don't happen to still own that car.)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Two year blog anniversary


Sometimes it is about the tiny details that shine upon a closer examination of a larger picture.

Details that grace the rhythm of life, like the tiny hearts that embellish the scalloped edge of a coleus leaf.

Other times blogging is about the unexpected, the turning points that punctuate life with color and echoing layers of motif.

Blogging is taking the time to see both the long view, and the up close views of life.

It takes a passion to write where I went, what I saw, what I heard, how it felt and what I think it might all possibly mean.

Blogging is the new form of an ancient art.
Journals and letters, the forefathers of blogging, have flowed from writers throughout the ages. In those writings, people of all persuasions have sought to wrestle with words to record their observations and experiences.

Right now we are reading the book John Adams. As we read the letters penned by Adams and his wife, we found ourselves transported into their times. Last night we read the letter that Abigail wrote John wherein she described the anguish she felt as she heard cannon fire in the neighboring town, and rush to climb a hill with her son in order to see what was happening afar.

Writing about....

Where she went, what she saw, what she heard, how it felt, and what it might all possibly mean.

As she penned the letter, she recorded her thoughts, and wondered what was to become of the world because of that battle at Lexington and Concord.

My own writing....well, happily much more mundane. I began to blog hoping that blogging would be a springboard for further conversation between my friends.

It didn't take long to discover that would not be the case.

Instead I found that I was writing monologue for my own enjoyment, capturing moments of my life and experience via word and picture for my later consideration.

It was upon later consideration that I discovered something new: that my memory is an unreliable thing; I've learned it is inclined to forget. It has only been one year since we went to Switzerland; when I revisited the time via my blog I was surprised to find that I had already forgotten many details about our adventures.

If I can't remember something as extraordinary as a trip to Switzerland, then what are the chances I'll remember the lovely moments of ordinary life?

So the blogging serves as a memory aid for my unreliable mind.

(Wish I would have been blogging for some of our other travels...and think how blessed are the younger writers who keyboard into eternity their reflections on their weddings, pregnancies and child rearing.)

For the most part though, blogging has been the challenge and training needed for me to seek out and become more aware of whatever in life is:








thought provoking
(and yes, fashionable...)
I think every life can be enriched by actively seeking to find such things.
And so, two years later, I'll continue to blog. Perhaps though not quite as often or as regularly as in the years before. I need to make a few changes in my world, in order to find more balance.
I have realized that while I treasure the brief comments of my readers (and yes, I treasure my reader's blogs as well, and find myself referring back to wit and wisdom shared by fellow bloggers across the globe), I find that I am yearning more for dialogue than my current series of monologues.
At times I have written my thoughts, and wondered if I was a madwoman speaking to an imaginary crowd. I wondered what thoughts or rebuttals might have been shared if comments could have be spoken face to face rather than tapped out into a tiny electronic square.
Perhaps it is selfish to want more; isn't it enough that my writings were read, and even more so enough that a sentence was sent in response? Greater writers and journalists than I have managed to continue writing while being the recipent of far less!
I realize that I must try to find people and places where such dialogue is natural and flows readily. I want to be able to share in other's lives, and go beyond the short visits to the limited spaces that are opened to visit via blogdom. In short, I need to forge deeper friendship in real time. Friendships that share auditory laughter and yes, disappointments, fears and frustrations. Friendships that dare to confess aloud both the hopes and failures that are common to daily life.
When I read a blog and laugh, I wish the writer was laughing with me as well. When a blogger is silent for a time, I wonder if the silence is to make space for good times, or a symptom of dark times that is swallowing up the creative flow. Sometimes I ask, via comments, knowing I may be exceeding the bounds of the blogging space. I remember though, it is a real person writing, and real people deserve my concern and care.
A few fellow bloggers along the way have opted to add venue for deeper discussion; emails and phone calls enrich the relationships. It has been a blessing to have a note asking how I am faring, or a private comment about something that really is best not shared for all eyes to evaluate.
I welcome those who would wish for more to send me contact information; perhaps we will find we have even more in common that we thought! (Just use that "Do not publish" phase in a comment to send an email or phone number, I will respond in kind!)
I also have realized that while I began blogging with a committment to write daily for six months, that I did so planning on using the blog as "finger exercises" such as pianist might perform before tackling a larger composition. It didn't take long for the finger exercise to become my only writing; and often became sloppy writing at that. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I used my pictures accordingly. Not such a bad choice really...but the true writing, the grappling with words and phases to convey images and thoughts was given a lick and an unfulfilled promise.
A post here rattled me out of my rut; do not read it if you are not seeking to write beyond blogging. For those of you out there who do seek to polish your writing skills, Ms. Hobb's post will provide a lively correction to some of the questionable habits adopted because of blogging. After reading her post, I realized I must make amends, and use my writing time wisely.
The signature phase of any two year old is the adamant, emphatic monosyllable NO!
Will this apply to the upcoming year of blogging as well?
I think not...not when there are still pictures and stories to shared and recorded for future enjoyment.
I simply hope that I will find that I grow and branch out in my life, and that the growth and new branches will enrich me and will be reflected happily within my blog.