Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of a decade....Happy New Year!

This spectacular photo of a blue moon is from the "Astronomy Photograph of the Day" website and includes the planet Jupiter with its four largest moons.

"Once in a blue moon" is a phrase that refers to a month in which a full moon occurs twice. Tonight's will be since November 2001. So much has changed since then!

There is a wonderful tradition at Green Lake that will take place this afternoon at 3:30pm. It's a walk around the lake with candles, lighting the way into a New Year. And tonight I'm hoping to see our new blue moon from the Ballard Locks.

What more do we really need than light?

Monday, December 28, 2009

The MRI has spoken.

I saw Dr. Daly this morning and the MRI confirmed a "medial meniscus horizontal tear." I actually feel good, and have started to walk without the cane. The swelling is way down and I seemed to have good range of motion this morning when Dr. Daly tested it. So the prognosis for now is to take it very easy and come back in one week. At that time, he may shoot some more cortisone in there to relieve pain, swelling or inflammation; or prescribe physical therapy, which would be a conservative treatment. He has not ruled out surgery yet, so I'll just have to be incredibly careful to ensure I keep healing without surgery.

And look at the bright side: the rest of my body, including my brain, works just fine!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light." -- Glenn Clark

Hyacinth and primroses planted into front pots, after trip to Swanson's Nursery.

Herbs containers by back steps were more or less empty, except for spring flowering bulbs, so I added hyacinth and winter pansies. Very satisfactory!

Clark goes on to say "Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears."

It's another beautiful sunny day in Seattle, and my knee feels more normal. Yesterday, I did some exchanging at University Village, then shopped at Trader Joe's, then went to see "It's Complicated," a movie that causes belly laughs in many places. Snug in last evening, mixing work and reading.

This morning, I'm traveling fast if not far to Ballard, to meet Lauren for brunch at Bastille, then take a look at Ballard's Sunday market, and fit in a trip north to Swanson's Nursery, for some plants that can go into my pots now that it is really winter.

I've been sleeping longer and better the past couple of nights, and am anxious to get back to work tomorrow after I see Dr. Daly.

Friday, December 25, 2009

"We do not walk upon our legs, but upon our Will." -- Sufi proverb

It is a beautiful Christmas morning, and the gifts have all been opened. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve meal last night while watching famiies strolling up and down the streets to see the Luminarias.

My right knee is better. Dr. Daly drained fluid from it and packed in some cortisone on Tuesday. He provided me with a stronger brace than the one I had. The x-rays were inconclusive, so I had an MRI on Wednesday. I see Dr. Daly again on Monday, when he'll read the MRI, then decide a course of treatment.

This afternoon we went to see the movie "The Young Victoria." It was excellent. It made me realize how lucky I m, neither royalty or a politician.

Monday, December 21, 2009

On my knee.

I have had several physical mishaps in the last 18 months, and struggle now to make optimistic mental inferences. I only recently recovered from several months of putting up with a strained right knee. On Saturday, I went up and down stairs and shorter library steps to move 100 or more books in my husband's library. No sweat. Last night, I twisted my knee at a holiday open house (wearing flats, not heels) by moving sideways out of a doorway. Now I have an unreliable and unstable right knee. I have it wrapped and iced. Tomorrow morning, I visit my orthopaedic specialist to see what I have done, and what I now need to do about it. I am sick and tired of having ailments that slow me down, especially when I have deliverables looming for clients.

Because I am such a good little soldier, I went to my office this morning and packed up all my files and my little laptop so that I could work here at home with the leg propped up. For how long, I don't know. I'll just wait and see what Dr. Daly says.

It is probably important for me to remember that at midnight the earth turns back toward the light. It is the winter solstice today, the longest dark night of the year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Be of good cheer!

It's less than a week to December 21, winter solstice, the day after which the earth turns back toward the sun. At the same time, winter solstice is also the beginning of winter, which many of us in Seattle feel we've already had. Especially in this grey-green climate, light and cheer become more important. Here's a shot of my living room, almost ready for a weekend open house. The photos that follow show off more of the decorations, which I am still editing. I have been sorting through 40 years worth of them, and plan to donate a fair number this week.

The Chickering piano was a birthday gift to Leroy the year that James was born.

No much room on the piano for photos, but our favorites of the whole tribe are included.

James and Santa when he was a year old, as well of one with Cassandra and Sabrina and their families early on. At this point, Rachel, Katie and William had not yet been born.

Last year's holiday photos of Cassandra and Sabrina and their families, as well as an even older one, with only James and Matthew born at that point.

An old woven straw sleigh that I do not appear to be able to give up.

Last year's holiday photo, also shot by Suzie, as well as James' train.

And here's the sitting room table where we keep holiday cards that arrive daily, so we can each keep up with them.

Here's also a better definition of the winter solstice for all of you looking for more light.

"In astronomy, winter solstice is when the earth's orbit tilts away from the sun to bring on the colder days of winter. The day of the winter solstice results in the shortest day and the longest night of the year.However, with each passing day after the winter solstice the earth begins to tilt back - to face the sun once again to signal the return of spring."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dirge without Music.

It's hard to be happy today. We are burying four police officers.

"Down, down, down they go into the darkness of the grave,

Gentle they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;

Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.

I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."

-- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Be happy. It's one way of being wise." -- Colette

Yesterday was one of those perfect days. I had an early morning tea with Fred, friend and colleague of many years, at Peet's near Green Lake. His observations, especially in the area of marketing where he is the expert, were both reassurance that I'm on the right track and a reminder of what is left to do.

Suzie, another friend of many years, is pictured here grabbing me branches of holly for my house. We had a wonderful lunch in Madison Park, rounded out with shopping for holiday decorations at Martha Harris Flowers. Martha is currently recovering from a bone marrow transplant for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, but the news that she is doing well made me very happy.
Here's some of the holly that Suzie cut for me, by the fire -- along with a new decoration gracing the mantleplace that I found on our travels today. The "Merry Christmas" piece is covered with bells, which are hard to see in this picture.

And here's even more of the ivy, on the front porch.

It goes well with a beautiful swag sent to us last week by another set of old friends, Hazard and Diana. With friends such as these four, how could one not be happy?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Build, therefore, your own world."

I write mostly to please myself, at least in this journal. But here's one for those of you looking to be inspired tonight. I have been reading a small book called "First We Read, Then We Write," by Robert D. Richardson. It is a book on Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the creative process.

I often quote short pieces of Emerson. But here is a longer effort that shows off his brilliance and his spirit at the same time. It comes from the essay called "Nature" and is quoted by Richardson in the epilogue to his book.

"Every spirit builds itself a house, and beyond its house a world, and beyond its world a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only we can see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house, heaven and earth; Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobbler's trade; a hundred acres of ploughed land; or a scholar's garret. Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let there be light.

Violence seems to be all around us, whether in Texas or Washington State. The murders of military personnel or police officers seems beyond the pale, and one wonders whether media stories just increase the possibility of more such behavior. I was shocked yesterday to find that the police were searching Cowen Park, midpoint between my office and my home, for the suspected killer of four police officers on Sunday.

Based upon the amount of time I spend at work and that we are coming up upon a full moon, I've installed a small holiday tree in my office to remind me that, here at least, "all is calm and all is bright."