I have to brag because this weekend I worked in the yard for the first time in three years!

iris2015 Seriously, it’s been that long since I’ve been strong enough to climb our mostly weed covered slopes. Maintaining a traditional yard in Colorado is a serious labor of love. Our high desert climate makes green carpets almost more work than they are worth. Yesterday, I applied fertilizer and weed killer to our long-suffering grass, trimmed unruly trees, and photographed first flowers of the season. After three years of mowing-only by my overworked husband, the yard, like myself, is a bit worse for wear. But, good news…landscapers will be here in early May to give the yard a modest zeriscape do-over.

Too bad people can’t get a do-over, a la Avatar. I’d love to have my decorative rock replaced, my mulch refreshed, and my stumps removed!

Also, this weekend I’ve had a lot of time to think about my writing. If I wrote as much as I thought and worried about writing, I’d have three or four novels completed. Since many of the physical problems I’ve endured are receding *cheers loudly at top of lungs*, it’s time to start pounding the keyboard again. I’m starting with blogging. I STILL love it. lilac-pen-orange-writing-thThe precise word count and the perfect positioning of art makes me feel as if I’m having high tea with a thesaurus. Four hundred words or less is always a pleasure.

Even though my blog’s been silent I’ve noticed every few weeks someone new follows me. The latest is ireadencyclopedias.wordpress.com. Jay is my first follower from Japan, and his lovely blog inspired me. Thanks, Jay.

So, I’m still here…having survived health problems to numerous to mention along with many other challenges. To quote Robert Brault : “Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.”

Maybe corny, but it’s true.

Tell me what you’re doing, fellow dancers!

BE NICE…Advice from Roadhouse

Happy New Year!

Christmas 2014 was the best Christmas for our little family in a while. Finally, the chaos of the last few years receded noticeably, washing us up on happier shores. Mother nature graced us with a white Christmas. Things were glittery, fragrant, comforting. We smiled a lot. Held hands. Toasted one another in restaurants. Shopped, read, played games. fireworks 2A delightful holiday buzz permeated the house and, when the time finally came, I didn’t want to take the tree down, put away the ornaments, or turn out the lights.

In honor of our wonderful festive week I decided to make a SINGLE New Year’s resolution and that is: Be Nice. Be nice to myself.

The moment Be Nice wriggled to the surface of my brain, Patrick Swayze’s speech in the best B-movie ever, Roadhouse, lit up my synapses. RoadhouseWho knew a cooler’s advice to his bouncers  made such an impression on me? I revisited his classic lesson on the following blog: How Do You Handle Angry Customers? Patrick Swayze Style! This link contains great advice about dealing with anger and providing good customer service. However,  it also works on a personal level when doing battle with powerful insecurities about writing or anything else.

So, here it is – tailored for the individual:

Picture yourself in a rowdy bar filled with your personal demons. No, you can’t party with them because while some of them may be attractive, they are not your friends.  (Actually, this isn’t a bad premise for a story…)

Patrick, RIP, is your very own mental bouncer, and he tells you how to kick these monsters to the curb…

  • Never underestimate your opponent; always expect the unexpected. (Your thoughts can manifest themselves in any form so be ready to deal with negative emotions and accept them without judgement. Ask for help if you need to.)
  • Never start anything inside the bar. (Don’t let your insecurities take over your thoughts. Take a break and step away. Ask for help. Your friends will help and encourage you.)
  • Be Nice. (To yourself.)

He continues on in graphic detail, of course, but you get the idea. Being nice is better…usually.

So,  what are you doing this year to be nice to yourself?

 

Thanks, BS, for the inspiration for this blog.

(Warning: Rating on Roadhouse is R.)

 

 

 

4 Good Legs

gallows humor

noun

humor that treats serious, frightening, or painful subject matter in a light or satirical way

The last six months I’ve learned a lot about the expression gallows humor.

Honestly, I used to cringe when I heard folks joke about disability, disease, or disaster. It took me a while to understand this dubious humor was a way of whistling in the dark, of making the inconceivable manageable. (Of course, I’m not talking about sick or cruel comments.)
My dog Abbie and I are disabled. My problem is temporary, but hers is not. My current pain is intermittent, and her initial pain was incredible. I still have my leg, and hers is gone forever. blue-rng-paw-print-th
Recently, I took Abbie for a walk – for the first time since last November. My husband watched us from the window, ready to rush to our aid if necessary. When we hobbled in, he was smiling. When I asked him why, he said, “Woman with cane walks three-legged dog. Between you two, you have four good legs.”
I burst out laughing and kept laughing the rest of the night. The relief was amazing. Suddenly, my problem was moving into perspective. Finally, after months of suffering, I began to understand how lucky I am and how courageous our beautiful dog is. She sets an amazing example for everyone, and I can only attempt to emulate her good nature.
So, in spite of hardships, keep your head up, wag your tail, and lick someone’s face every time you get a chance!
jason-edwards-dog-duke-lays-on-a-big-sloppy-wet-tongue-kiss-dog-show-in-morro-bay-10-may-2009-best-of-bay-pooch-pageant-is-a-dogs-mouth-really-cleaner-than-a-huma
How do you keep your sense of humor in tough times?
Photo by Foter
Art by Clkr