Monday, November 13, 2017

Things To Be Thankful For

 I was driving home through a Redwood tree grove and along a pristine river and through a sheer canyon. It was just another commute home after a day working with wonderful children and supportive peers.  I was still feeling a bit down and exhausted, the time change making everything feel later than it was.  I had absolutely no reason to feel anything less than thankful, but I wasn't feeling it.
 When I got home, I decided to drag out the one pumpkin I'd saved from being carved into a Jack-o-lantern and try a new, very old recipe I'd seen that claimed it was the type pumpkin pie that the Pilgrims would have made. It surely wasn't a pie, just a simple egg and cream and sugar flan baked in a pumpkin shell, and it came out very much not tasting of pumpkin.  However just that little bit of change, stepping outside the daily routine, seemed to reset my mood and allow me to feel awake and happy again.
 I know, sugar is poison, but baking is still one way I feel myself connect to my grandma and my mom.  I reach to my roots where my soul is nourished.
 Then I got the granddaughter and we went to the park, running between rainstorms to climb and slide and swing. And this local park also has a redwood trail to explore. In this rainy season the slugs and mushrooms are abundant.

My mailbox brought me a book written by a facebook friend

My new waffle iron made bowls which demanded a caramel sundae instead of syrup

 And old friends sent me old pictures of my Mom and new pictures of my brother Lance.  Life was reminding me, again and again, that it is good to be alive.

My Brother and my Niece

My Granddaughter was Princess Poppy Troll for Halloween

Mom and her extended family in about 1946. ! of many old pictures that were sent unexpectedly from an old family friend.


Mom, with her cousins and grandparents


 So when the rain returned, we simply grabbed the rubber boots and kept on playing.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

An intense August

 “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” 
― Epicurus
 “Remember that an act of hatred belittles the one who acts it 
out - but not the one it is done against unless that person allows it 
to. Each person who reaches out in love grows a bit himself even 
when the love appears to be refused.” 
― Dixie Dawn Miller GoodeDuffy Barkley Is Not a Dog: Tales of Uhrlin Book One
 “she thought of the mix of kids in her class and in Melissa’s and she knew that the future could be bright. No one had tried to say she didn’t have a right to be in that school, or acted interested in who her ancestors were, but they had been interested in who she was and where she had moved from. They wanted to know what she did and wore and liked.” 
― Dixie Dawn Miller GoodeDouble Time: On The Oregon Trail
learning to bowl with grandpa's band camp kids

the peace filled harbor

the fires around Oregon and northern California are painting our skies and dimming the sun

 August isn't more than 2/3 of the way through but it is already a confusing mix of hateful news and smoke-full skies, so that as the eclipse approaches I am left wondering if anyone can see clearly. That is when I look at the children and realize they CAN. We see the social media and the fear and the world wide upheaval. My granddaughter sees the blackberries ripening and the sun looking red and the flowers blooming and that her normally cool-busy family suddenly has lots of time for snuggles. I used to be more aware of the good people. Sometimes I don't hear enough voices reminding us that we share a beautiful world. So today, that is the voice I want to speak with.
baked pancake and free berries from the yard

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Have you been loving summertime?

 Many of my past posts have dealt with how sick my brother, Lance Miller has been for the last two years as he battled an abdominal infection that started in his bladder and pretty much dominated his life ever since.  I didn't get to see him during that time, as we live on opposite sides, opposite coasts the continental USA.
 This summer, I got to go back to visit him, just as he was getting strong enough to have the feeding tube removed and be able to get out and play a bit. My husband came with me, and we also saw my Mom, and my other Brother and his wife and some of his kids.  A family re-union, in a place my husband had never been, as we also met up with one of my best friends from high school, and toured some of the Washington DC area sights.

 I had to touch the Washington Memorial, up close and personal.

 Then when it was time to fly back to the Pacific Coast, summer was far from over and my husband's sister was bringing her family to explore our redwood coast.
 We went hiking in Fern Canyon, where Jurassic Park's Lost World was filmed

 and to visit Paul Bunyan and Babe at Trees of Mystery. See my granddaughter clinging to his boot like a lump of chewed gum?

 we went swimming in the Smith river, and petted sharks at Ocean World

 And the granddaughter made a new friend in Belle at the local library
 We tore out the old carpet and put in new, and a new bed as both were twenty years or more
 and took the killing to play outdoors and indoors every chance we got.

 The only thing I haven't done much of is writing. Writing and teaching, the stuff of the school year, and it's coming right around the corner, and going to arrive soon
but for now, I still get to play.