Barn and Bed

Barn and Bed

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Going. Be Brave.




It's Sunday, the day before we leave to take R. to college.  He is packed, the earliest I've ever seen him pack up to go anywhere.  I showed him how to fold a dress shirt and gave him a lesson of how my mom would pack her clothes.  Lay the garment button side down, take some tissue doubled and lay it flat on top of the garment, fold to about 2 inches to the neck down the body of the shirt, folding sleeves carefully in the body on top of the previous fold, fold again in half.  My mom for extra measure to prevent wrinkles would add extra tissue before the fold.  Sometimes she would then lay the garment inside a dry cleaners bag before putting in a suitcase.  It worked.  Prevented some serious wrinkles.  R. won't be doing this but the pearls of wisdom must be shared if only for me to talk out loud with motherly advice.

My Love is wandering around, bringing items to R.'s room.  Something he normally does not do.  He took a long bike ride and a short nap but then he was looking for what he could do to help.  Clearly R. needs no help from us.  We have passed this on over the years leading up to this day.

And I, what do I do?  I was great this morning.  Happy and cheerful.  I went to my gym and all was well until the folding advice.  Then it started, the thoughts of him being away and my tears that run down my cheeks, come and go.  I have a hard time with goodbyes.  Even when I know that I will see a loved one again.  It's the goodbye.  I washed the last few items he was going to pack and laid them on his crumpled bedsheets.   When R. was little I taught him how to make his bed and explained that it was a chore that he was responsible for.  And he did make that bed every day except Friday when it was sheet changing day.  He has always been responsible.

Then he became a teen and the bed chore sort of passed.  Having had the three girls before him and all the difficulties of what to push with teenagers, I chose to let that go.  Pick your battles.  A bed not made is not a big deal.  I don't sleep in it and it is out of my view.  The one day of the week I make it is sheet washing day.  I did it lovingly because I knew there would be a day he would not be here and this room would languish in a slumber that empty rooms do till someone needs that bed.  

His room use to back up to ours from birth till near 4th grade when we moved him back to one of his sister's former rooms.  We got a queen bed instead of moving the twin knowing that he would be growing.  That queen bed gave him the ability to sleep diagonal which I never could understand.  It gave him the ability to make the duvet go sideways and the sheets pushed to the foot of the bed unused.  Pillows all over the place but always on the bed.  Frankly I couldn't sleep that way but for his teenage rest it was heaven.  He does like that bed and now he will have to resort to Twin XL.  From four pillows to two.  From mom changing sheets to him doing it all.

Quiet day, heavy in the air of departure.  Lost parents not knowing which way to go.  Not knowing what to say to each other because any possible thought could send us both into an emotional trigger of tears.  "Be brave", my mommy mantra of the day that is said calmly in my head and heart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Who Knows Where the Time Goes



Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
Oh but then you know, it was time for them to go
By the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I do not count the time
for who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
Sad, deserted shore
your fickle friends are leaving
oh, but then you know it was time for them to go
But I will still be here
I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time
for who knows where the time goes?
I know I'm not alone
while my love is near me
I know that its so until its time to go
All the storms in Winter and the birds in Spring again
I do not count the time
For who knows where the time goes?
who knows where the time goes?
who knows where the time goes? 



Last time I posted this song it was on my other blog A Walk into Oblivion and it sang to me of my mom and Papa being gone.  It was sung by Sandy Denny who sang it with a longing of past days that were no longer.   My heart ached knowing my parents would not be around for all the happy times ahead or even the times of sadness that inevitability come.

When I heard this version it felt different.   Not full of melancholy, but of life moving forward.  We can't escape times past yet ever we move forward with fond, dear memories.  With R. leaving a lot of emotions well up in my heart.  He is leaving home earlier than originally as he is joining a Fraternity and they move in a full eighteen days earlier than the dorm he was to go.  Oh me, the mother in me counting the days till my fledgling leaves the nest.  My excitement for him is full indeed but let's be real.  We all remember when we first left home.  Coming back to mom and dad's home was different because we were different.  We separated and begin our own life, our own story that was just beginning.  So many new adventures, new faces, new places, new struggles but through each new beginning the home we remember living in was fading.  The child, now grown, takes flight with wings and eyes wide open.  

It's busy in my head with lists of items to get when we arrive in his new city to live for the next four years.  What will he need in the fraternity house different from the dorm?  Won't know till we see the room and that is fine.  I could order items at Bed, Bath and Beyond in a registry and they will have it ready for me when we get to Washington but in the real world for me right now is we don't have time to go wandering in a big store for useful and needed items when we leave in such a short time.  If truth be known, if there is a closet, a small dresser then he will be fine.  I'm making a list of what I know will be handy.  I'm good at making lists.

 I hope he will take it his guitar.  I've noticed he isn't playing as much as he use to which was constantly, but to imagine him without a guitar I just don't know.  I don't know if I could wander into his room and see all the guitars left behind, idle, and collecting dust and going out of tune.  I just don't know.  And what of the calluses he has from years of playing?  Or the length of his nails that he has grown for playing his acoustic guitar?  Will he cut them?  Most times his nails look far nicer than mine.  I'm encouraging him to bring it and his sister has as well.  We shall see.   When I hear him play my heart swells with joy.  This I know that music will always be with him and if he doesn't bring the guitar now then maybe at his Thanksgiving break.  Maybe he'll ask me to mail it up to him and I will.  Oh I will!  

I'll leave this post on a high / happy note.  A song that from the moment I heard it reminded me of R. and his future days....


I had a dream so big and loud
I jumped so high I touched the clouds
Whoa-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh (Whoa-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh)
I stretched my hands out to the sky
We danced with monsters through the night
Whoa-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh (Whoa-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh)
I'm never gonna look back, Whoa-Oh
Never gonna give it up, No-Oh
Please don't wake me now
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
This is gonna be the best day of my life
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh) My li-i-i-i-i-i-ife
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
This is gonna be the best day of my life
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh) My li-i-i-i-i-i-ife
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh) Whoo
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
I howled at the moon with friends
And then the sun came crashing in
Whoa-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh (Whoa-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh)
But all the possibilities
No limits just epiphanies
Whoa-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh (Whoa-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh)
I'm never gonna look back, Whoa-Oh
Never gonna give it up, No-Oh
Just don't wake me now
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
This is gonna be the best day of my life
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh) My li-i-i-i-i-i-ife
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
This is gonna be the best day of my life
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh) My li-i-i-i-i-i-ife
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
I hear it calling
Outside my window
I feel it in my soul (Soul)
The stars were burning so bright
The sun was out 'till midnight
I say we lose control (Control)
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
This is gonna be the best day of my life
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh) My li-i-i-i-i-i-ife
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
This is gonna be the best day of my life
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh) My li-i-i-i-i-i-ife
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh) This is gonna be, this is gonna be
This is gonna be, the best day of my life (Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
Everything is looking up, everybody up now
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh)
This is gonna be the best day of my liife
(Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Ooh) My li-i-i-i-i-ife


 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Letting go



There have been many thoughts going through my mind these many weeks since we came back from vacation.  It's now August, almost a year since my mom passed away.  That is one deep abyss of confusion still of her the mom and the woman.  

Then there is the coming time when my son, my heartbeat these past 18 years, will leave our little nest to begin his life separate from us, his mom and dad.  We may have had four kids, but with R. it has felt like we had an only child since the girls have been out of the nest for quite some time.

It has been bliss.  Truly.  Amazingly.  Bliss.  



A paradox in my life right now of the year anniversary for mom and the beginnings for R. but also for my Love and I too.  Beginnings can be quite unsettling.  How to feel?   I go from weepy eyes and choked up throat to excitement (alone with my Love for the first time since 1980! WOC ~ without children!), pride (so very proud of my R for being the honest, kind, intelligent young man he is), scared (letting go of R...I knew this day was coming but how to let go of my sweet boy?)  

I will.  I'll let go.  

I remember all the walks R. and had I with his little hand in mine.  Soft childish puffy little palm in mine.  I can remember tracing in my mind that a day would come when he would not want me to hold his hand.  Big boy.  Me do it myself time.  And you have to let it happen.  Parents have to let go so often that it begins to blur when and why, only that you do and the child is learning to be their own person, separate from you.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Guest blogging ~ Tim ~ Thoughts on Robin Williams

       My hubby has some thoughts he wished to share of his time working on Mrs. Doubtfire as an extra.  For two weeks he was at our local restaurant Bridges which was completely shut down, fenced off and even tented in some areas to make it look like nighttime while filming.  Tim worked the oddest of hours.  When they said to show up he did.  It could be in the middle of the night, early in the morning, late afternoon, etc.  Robin Williams makeup took hours to put on.  He sat at a table adjacent to the family table and heard and saw it all.  Truly a memorable experience.  Here are some thoughts he had with the death of Robin.......                     



                                   The Power of Observation

    We all have known people we've had constant contact with family, friends, school mates.  They have opinions on all subjects and influence us through those opinions.  What about those who influence us whom we have never met?  How much can they shape your thoughts?  Some of those people are in the news and media.

     I had the great pleasure of being an extra on the filming of Mrs. Doubtfire in 1993 at Bridges Restaurant in our hometown of Danville, California.  This was to be 15 minutes of the film and take 2 weeks to film.  Robin Williams was of course the one to watch.  Sally Fields and Pierce Bronson were also there acting and observing Robin in action.  This part of the film was unscripted dialogue, therefor many takes were stopped because of their attempt to keep the movie from being an R rating. Also because  the uncontrollable laughter by the whole crew would ruin a take.  The extras were under strict orders to keep quiet, which we did. 

     Watching Robin was a unique experience, and my time there felt like it was a private performance rather than filming of a movie.  Bouncing from one sketch to another occurred constantly.  His death reminded me of his genius as well as his vulnerability.  Robin, who was married to his new second wife at the time,  showed his vulnerable personal side for all to witness.  The crew did not like her being there.  He needed her, and we could see his personal side.  His off camera self was not aloof just very human.

    Robin gave me pleasure in Mrs. Doubtfire and through all his performances, but I could see then, and more recently in his now cancelled TV show, an underlying cloud in his persona.  This troubled side was becoming more visible. Something was lurking off camera, that was now in this new show, affecting him on camera. The comic genius wasn't even funny. Something was up. Now we know.

     So what did I learn from Robin Williams life?  He was publicly upbeat, but privately dealing with demons.  Don't we all have a bit of depression in us? Demons of our own? Haven't we all medicated ourselves with the available alcohol and drugs?  Haven't we also used humor as a way of coping?  Burying ourselves in work, exercise, etc?

     We must be sensitive to those around us and the depth of their needs.  There are limits to our abilities and powers to help others with  issues, or for that matter even notice them. On the other side, allowing others into our private world to help us is also an obstacle. We show vulnerability that we are trained not to show.  Apparently he did and still didn't make it.  Robin however, still gave us laughter as a great way of both escaping and coping in a healthy way. Lets all laugh more! That at least, is a start.
    
   

Monday, July 14, 2014

Come visit me on our journey to Tulum!

Hola!  The family is on vacation in Tulum....stop by my other blog  Snapshots on my Journey where I share some of the trip......


Friday, July 4, 2014

Writer's Block ~ Creative Juices ~ Vacation Bound!

     My writing has been on a long, too long hiatus.   I didn't mean it too but it happened.  One week drifted by, then another and months came in like a cloud cover over my thoughts.  It became easier to just let the blankness fall around me.  

     I've wondered if this is what "Writer's Block" is.  I'm feeling confident that this is exactly what has happened.  Mom's death and the issuing months that followed of cleaning out her home left me little to give towards my creativity.  The emotional impact of closing an estate or in my case waiting for the estate to close (it will take some time) made me protective of my inner being.  

     I think I'm ready to step forward and let the creative juices flow.  I want to let go!  I want to take photos with the eye I once had.  Maybe a new start is just waiting to be released.  Whew......


     We leave on vacation in another week to a place I said I would never, ever go.  Mexico.  I know, I know, people keep telling me how beautiful it is.  I've been worried about getting sick because I've had this happen to me once, many years ago on my first trip to Europe (back in the late 70's).  I've never forgotten that because it didn't happen just once.  We are going to Tulum which is south of Cancun by about 2 hours drive.  Trying to find a destination that all the family would like to do had proven harder than I anticipated.  I was searching on the internet till by eyes and brain began to go on serious overload with an unhealthy headache pounding away.  I think we had four other ideas and Hawaii was on top with a great house picked out in an area we had never been....let it go.  The Tulum idea had been there as I was feeling desperate.  I just wanted to get away!  Why is this so hard to do?!

    After I made the bold decision of saying "Let's just go to Tulum", it all came into place.  What had appeared to be an impossible puzzle to put together, suddenly every piece fell into place.  I found many 'Villas' for rent and for very reasonable prices (probably because it is off to shoulder season / hotter than Hadas /  & more humid than a steam room).  Still there was some juggling of schedules but the trip was put together.  Yeah!!!!




   The 'Villa' (as they seem to call the homes South of the Border) looks amazing!  Hope, hope, hope it really is as beautiful as the photos that we saw.  I had two prerequisites ~ it had to be on the beach and it had to have a pool.  Check and check!  My reasoning was that while a beach is nice it is hard to be out in it too long (the same could be said for a pool).  The pool at the house is surrounded on three sides by the house and a courtyard with plants and vines that provide shade.  Check.  I maybe sitting in a pool on a float an awful lot.  I may become a shriveled up prune but I will attempt to remain cool.  



    I bought two pool floats and two water bottles ( I will use bottled water of course) that have an insert which can be freezen in hopes my drinking water will not be hot enough to make tea while I float around in the pool.  I think Tim is secretly laughing at me and my silly purchases. 



    My search for cool summer clothing has taken on a life of it's own.  Having lost so much weight, my summer skirts all were too big.  I don't do shorts.  Linen is my friend in the perfect pants I found at The Loft store.  I've found some fun maxi length sundresses and of course the hat the has to be worn.  I've decided to bring my Japanese parasol as even though a hat covers the head, it does not cast much for shade.

     We plan on going to some ruins that are nearby and also an overnight stay near Chichen Itza so we can beat the crowds that flood the place mid-morning.  We're staying in a bungalow (please let this look like the photos too!) at a hotel right next to the ruins so we don't even have to drive to get there.  Just walk to the gates and go in.  

   I'm imagining lots of bright colors (once again all the photos I've seen via Google images), deep blue skies, incredible cloud formations, turquoise seas and white sand beaches.  Photo heaven.....

   Guess I will be taking back the "never, ever" about Mexico.  My dear husband will be seeing a way to head that way more often because he loves Mexico.  

    

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp




The few times I noticed rhubarb in the produce area at the market I couldn't imagine it was edible.  Well yes, it does look like red celery and I don't have anything against celery but then I'm not the most daring of vegetable eaters.  Over the years I have spread my wings and have tried new vegetables with glowing appreciation.  Some not so well.  Like kale,  that I have tried in salad and have enjoyed but cooked I'm not going there.  Rainbow chard is a new favorite and I adore snap peas quickly stir fried in coconut oil and just at the end tossing sesame seeds in to finish.  Coconut oil is wonderful to use for stir frying!  I thank my daughters for their patient ways of teaching me about some new foods.

Back to rhubarb.  On the occasion we have been out to eat and have ordered a dessert to share,  we have tried a rhubarb crisp and I did enjoy it.  Especially with some vanilla bean ice cream on top!  Something different about it's flavor of just the right amount of sweetness and a tad of tart and the crumbled topping of oats, butter and flour.  

I was out shopping last weekend and I saw some fresh organic rhubarb.  I bravely picked a bunch up and thought to myself "I'm going to make a crisp.  I can do this!"  I bought some lovely strawberries and then of course thought "now I need a good recipe".   Of late when I look for recipes I do a Google search by image.  My thought is, if it looks good it just might be a great recipe.  So far that has worked for me every time.  I found a couple that looked good, then I read the recipes and picked one that sounded the best.

As so often happens, I didn't consider how much rhubarb to buy and I didn't have enough, at least by what the recipe said.  I had already started working and I was not willing to go back to the store and buy more.  It looked like enough for the amount I wanted to make so I just changed up the recipe and created my own.  It was wonderful!  I would make it again and not change a thing.  Here is my recipe and I hope you give it a try with the same success!


Strawberry Rhubarb Cardamom Crisp

Filling
2 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, 1/4 inch slices
2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, small pieces
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 to slightly heaping teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of ground nutmeg

topping
3/4 cup old fashion oatmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

For filling:
Spray ramekins / custard cups with Pam (or like).  Combine all ingredients, stirring to blend.  Let sit for 15 minutes to let juice form.

Divide rhubarb mixture among prepared dishes.  This recipe seemed generous and could do 8 dishes.  I only made 6 and had leftover filling.


Heat oven to 375 degrees

For topping:
Mix first 5 ingredients.  Add butter using your fingers or cutting in with pastry cutter, until small moist clumps form.



Sprinkle topping evenly over the rhubarb mixture in the cups.  Set cups onto baking sheet ( to catch the juices, it will bubble over) and bake for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbling and golden brown.  Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream


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