Bald Eagle Sighting


So today we got to drive to Hudson, in a snow storm (thank you husband for driving), first appointment of the day was for a permanent cast (yes, I picked fluorescent pink) at the orthopedic surgeon’s office, second appointment was at my oncologist’s office where we made the final decision to do radiation therapy. I cried half the way home. The stress is… Ugh…

Near our house, a few days ago, a deer died in a field close to the road. I believe it may have been hit by a car, got that far from the road before collapsing, and probably froze to death. The carcass is far enough from the road that passing cars don’t disturb the wildlife that have been munching on it, but close enough to the road to get an up close unobstructed view of that wildlife. I’ve seen Crows, Ravens, and Bald Eagles (mature and immature) pecking and pulling on the frozen meat. When I saw the immature Bald Eagle, I wondered if it was from the family that had nested up the creek from the house. It’s only a couple of miles from this field and easily could be within their hunting range.

Today on the way home, as we passed by, my husband saw a Bald Eagle too. I could see individual feathers in its white tail, and the dangerously sharp curved yellow beak, on its large white feathered head. Some of its tail feathers looked bedraggled and dirt stained as well, it has been a rough cold winter for wild creatures. However, that deer’s death helped a Bald Eagle family, and several other creatures, live a little longer in their winter survival story. I’m glad my husband got to see the eagle!


Comfort Cats


So I had a consult with a radiation specialist today, in Albany, an hour and a half from home. Last night, the hospital did not give me pain killer medication, told me to take ibuprofen. Lets just say ibuprofen isn’t up to the task, and it is extremely difficult listen to, comprehend, process, and make informed (possible life altering) medical decisions when you are in that much pain. Thank you husband, for having a clear head and sound mind! When we got home, I took a good strong pain med left over from the lumpectomy surgery and climbed into bed. I couldn’t even eat because the pain was making my physically ill.

So I drifted in and out of sleep, left arm nestled in a pillow for protection. I had myself propped up on a wedge pillow and my knees draped over another pillow. Quite comfy actually, like floating on a cloud.

At one point, I realized that little Shadow Cat was curled up on my belly, nestled down in the bottom of the V shape of my body. I reached down and curled my fingers into her soft silky fur, rubbing her tummy, head, and ears. Loud purring followed as she snuggled closer. She never snuggles in bed, preferring either to stay near the bottom with an easy escape route, or to sleep in bed when she is the only one in it. Then I became aware of Tiger Cat. He always sleeps with his head on my feet, but now he was completely draped over my legs as if he was trying to make as much of his body contact as much of my body as possible. I gently wiggled my legs, Tiger squirmed around, flopped over, and started purring. I then felt four small feet pushing into my thigh as Lily Cat stretched and settled back to sleep. She was snuggled up against my side. I reached down to pet her as well, also eliciting a purr. Lily doesn’t sleep in bed with the humans very often either, she doesn’t like how much I thrash around when I sleep.

But this evening, they were all curled close, purring their healing comfort into my needy body, soothing my troubles away. Somehow they knew their Love Cat services were needed and cheerfully provided warmth, purring, comfort, and love to their human in need.

Beware The Ides Of January


Well, I have been slogging through a few days of mildly moderate depression, trying all the little tricks to keep it at bay. It was slow at the ski slope today, so I came home early and spent most of the afternoon on the sofa knitting and listening to an e-book. I decided I needed to get outside and get some exercise and fresh air. Had to talk myself into it, as inertia is a hard force to overcome.

Well, the walk itself was nice, the sun was setting, the temperature dropping, I was carefully avoiding ice patches in the road and generally trying to soak in the winter woods vibe. I made it all the way up the hollow on the one lane dirt road and then back down to the bridge, when, (as you have probably guessed by now) I slipped and fell on the ice, breaking my left wrist.

The forest echoed with my anguished curses as I lay in the snow curled in the fetal position, in an unbelieving state of mental shock, . How could I have done this to myself!!!!???? I don’t know how long I stayed there in my self inflicted tortuous misery. At some point I realized that I was cold, that I did have a real threat of medical shock and hypothermia, and that my husband probably wouldn’t come looking for for at least another hour or so, after it got completely dark. I couldn’t afford to give in to self pity, so I carefully dragged myself to an upright standing position and gingerly navigated the last half mile back home, cradling my broken wrist against my stomach with my other arm. I felt like a wounded feral animal trying to claw my way to a safe place.

We spent the evening in the ER. This wrist fracture is the most intense prolonged pain I have ever encountered. This is my first broken bone, and if I could go another 47 (or even more) years without breaking another one, that would be fine with me. I would like this to be my last broken bone!

Is there a magic moment in this? Maybe…

I’m thankful I didn’t hit my head when I fell, or injure myself worse than I did or to a point where I was unable to evacuate myself. I’m grateful that my husband is an amazingly strong man who loves me unconditionally, who has taken on the emotional and psychological strain of taking care of me through my neuroses, anxieties, depression, cancer, and now broken bones. WTF! Big sigh.

So love shines through. It may be messy, bumpy, turbulent, murky, blurred, and confused, but Love shines through. Love of Life, keeps us going through the darkest depths, Love of Self gives us the strength to persevere through the painful, scary, and tough situations, Love of Others bestows light and hope upon all who love and are loved.

Waterfall And Lean-To

12-8-017 Magic Moment:

My husband came with me on this sunny but cold late fall day on a short hike up to Westkill Falls. It is only about a mile into the woods, but he had never been here before. This waterfall is one of my favorite “secret”spots. The water is crystal clear and bone numbing cold. The trail is at the top of the falls, so you have to scramble down a steep cliff to get to the water. At its base is a is a small pool ranging from about thigh deep directly under the cascade to ankle deep where the water continues into rapids downstream. One side of the falls is a narrow chute where the water tumbles noisily over the rocks. The other side is a rippling translucent curtain free falling from about 20 feet up creating a veil that hides a moss covered grotto on a ledge behind it. There is also a perfectly flat rock for lounging on where I like to sit to read or dream. I have spent several summer solstices relaxing here, although it has been more than a year since my last visit. After exploring the falls, we kept hiking up to Diamond Notch, passing the lean-to along the way. We explored the area around the lean-to as well, as it is situated on the edge of a steep gully that works it way down from the notch. Up at the top, the trail edges along a steep slope covered by rock slide. It loos as if the earth could shift at any moment, but it is fascinating to be on one side of a mountain and see where the water would flow one way, then take two steps and be on the other side of a mountain and see how the water would flow in the opposite direction. One can stand at the beginning of two drainage basins at the same time! It’s exciting like standing in two states at the same time, but a state line is often an arbitrary phantom line created by people, whereas water drainages are created by topography, and erosion, forces beyond us that dwarf the human scale. I am humbled by the awesome grandeur of it all.


11-30-2017 Magic Moment:

My husband eats oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning as part of his own personal choices for health living. If I eat breakfast, it’s whatever I scrounge, sometimes I may even cook some eggs and toast. On some mornings, I give in to the oatmeal. It is one of the ultimate cold weather comfort foods. On an overcast shivery blustery day when the sky is spitting sleet, the grass crackles underfoot, and the wind is full of malice, these are the perfect mornings to keep the flannel pajamas on, bundle up in a fleece robe, curl up in front of a warm fire, drink a hot beverage, and eat oatmeal for breakfast. I like mine with raisins and walnuts with a large spoonful of molasses dribbled on top and sitting in a little pool of almond milk to cool it off enough to eat. Hmmmmmmmm. Winter morning goodness.

Glorious Sunset

11-22-2017 Magic Moment:

On our way home, my husband driving, me sitting in the passenger seat. We are passing through mostly open rolling hills of farmland, a few scattered houses, barns, and dilapidated out buildings. Here and there are stands of leafless trees standing like dark sentinels outlined against the brighter sky. The sun has set below the dark purple blue black distant mountains on the horizon. Most of the sky is covered in a high thin layer of mottled clouds. In the west where the sun disappeared is a clear band of once blue but now glowing bright yellow orange, burning a fine line edge where the cloud starts a blinding golden orange. From there the colors radiate outward across the whole cloud bank cover most of the visible sky overhead. The western area is deep deep red orange spreading and shifting hue to pretty in pink over in the south east. These colors stream out in wide bands, with thinner layers of bruised purple and dark grey in between. As we drive, black images are silhouetted against the immense expanse of sunset colors; houses an other structures, trees with leafless branches, hillsides. As time passes, the eastern sky fades to darkness, but the western sky doesn’t give up easily, night has a fierce struggle claiming the sky from the intense colors. Even after full dark has fallen, there is a faint red glow where the sun fell out of sight. My husband and I got to watch the whole event as we drove through the thickening darkness, and into the glorious orange sunset.

Milky Way Night Sky

11-19-2017 Magic Moment:

I picked my amazing husband up from the train station tonight. He had been down in New York City with his dad for a couple of days. The Amtrak station is about an hour from home, and his train came in at 9pm. Neither of us had been up this late at night for quite a while. It is a clear night, cold and serene. At home, when we stepped out of the car, I glanced up at the stars. WOW! I stopped talking, stopped moving, and just gazed up, mesmerized by the ethereal beauty of the crystalline night sky. That deepest blue black of outer space, and the millions of twinkling silver stars, so close you can reach up and almost touch them. My husband looked up too and took a few chilly moments to stargaze as well. I pointed up arcing my arm across asking if he could see the thicker band of stars. He replied yes. I told him that it’s the Milky Way. We are looking into the heart our galaxy, staring through all the other spiral arms between us and the center. That is why there are more stars in this band across the night sky. We are seeing space and time, eternally spiraling, spinning into the abyss of nothingness, filling it with pure light.