Mississippi Moments

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You think you are out in the "jardin" doing your weeding thing, when you are actually "Getting Your Pippi On". For those of you who are still deprived of the experience of Villa Villakula (sp?) and Pippi Longstocking, I'll fill you in. Pippi was a Thingfinder. These special individuals have the tenacious gift of finding THINGS! It happens all the time around Fair Isle. I have quite a collection. Tonight I added two old pieces of green and blue glass, a bent roofing nail, a piece of broken white porcelain, and the cream on top, a cat's eye marble-yellow and green on the inside! I added that one to the collection that the Professor next door has in a little indentation on his front porch---he is living in his grandmother's house and apparently his uncle was quite a marble-shark in his youth and these are from that era. There is a growing collection next door. I have several others that I have found on other weeding forays. They are celebrating the birth of their first grandbaby next door, a little girl. I am happy for them. I also managed to locate part of my front garden where I am planning to add French lavender and Scottish heather after the soil is amended and cleared. One thing at a time. So the next time you are bored or restless, consider a bout of Thingfinding. You don't actually have to weed. That's just a perk.

Ephesians 5:8-14
"For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of the Light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them,
for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret;
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, "Awake, O Sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."

This was read today at Nan's funeral at St. James Cathedral. The church was overflowing with those whom she loved and whom she touched and who loved her. She chose this. It speaks to my Heart. The whole celebration of her life did. I saw Rowan, Sara, and Haydn come in. They did not see me. I was just around the corner. I cried the whole time. I don't know why. Life seems to be just Bigger, Deeper, Raw-er these days. So does New Life. I feel wide open and wish I weren't.
That's why yardwork is so good right now.
Time for a bath. And bed. Squishy had fun today with Dave and Alice. He is having a sleepover--over there. It's quiet around here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Concerned, with Love and Support, with what is going down and up 5 flights in NYC.
Humidity---BAH! I know that one. BAH!
I got my first sinus infection with sore throat, teeth ache, fatigue, and your-hair- hurts. I'm learning so much about my body this year.
We did Compost 101 in firstgradeland. Mmmmmm---organic garbage. They also learned the word "pungent".
Tomorrow will be a day. And we know what Jesus tells about that.....I need to go find some lilies....wait! That's easy. I have Montana prairie right in my front garden right now. There are lilies and poppies out there, along with chickweed, a lanky rugosa (sp?), and foxtails. That will change shortly.
Tine for bed. Squishy is fine. sleepy.
I got an invite today to go in a private plane up to the San Juans for dinner when school is out with one of the firstgradeland families. Wow. And another one to one of the best places on earth, Brinnon, with this great cabin and great people. And Mary J. wants to go camping out at Pine Lake-Heaven on Earth for me. Universe is listening----camping may not happen in the traditional ways but local, wonderful adventures are already flowing in......now, where are the lilies? Or poppies in a pinch? I have some gawking to do in the waning evening light. Sweet Dreams, Beloveds.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Let's start with this--
"Live in the present.
Do all the things that need to be done.
Do all the good you can each day.
The future will unfold."----Peace Pilgrim.

These are the words I live by. Literally.
And a whole lot more. But this is it.
Take a deep breath and let them sidle through you, perhaps taking hold.

Groggy this morning. Took some drugs to help me sleep last night. Because I did yardwork and put in the beginnings of a garden to tend and enjoy this summer. I will do more of that this weekend in between report cards, SLE's, end of the year wrap up and family gatherings. We are not dancing this year at Folklife. However there are two amazing groups you might wish to enjoy-Town Cryer Monday 11:40 at the NW Court Stage. These musicians are layered, abundant, catchy, funny, cute, good-hearted, and talented...and you should hear their music! The other group is the McKassons-same stage in Sun. night (late) at 9:20 pm.

It's been a tough couple of days. I had been lulled into what I called "chronos". For this 4, this means that life seemed to be getting back to normal. You know, normal. FOr me, that is soothing and what I know to be best for me. And then, WHOMP, more "kairos"--standing at the Good-bye Door again (for Nancy Flohr), standing at the Endings crossroads with my friend Sue who is moving on to something else in her life other than full-time teaching, dancing the dance about Cancer again(it happened to slip off of my radar for a bit), wondering what else might be joining us....reading about the Steven Curtis Chapman family and the grief and horror they are going through right now. And as I settle in, remembering not be afraid in this place of DEEP feeling, of what seems to be Loss, Pain, Despair, Abandonment...the Truth is--I am not in this Sacred Circle alone at all...and the Truth is that it is a Sacred Place--of Quiet Peace, Real Peace, Love, Healing, Presence, Unity, Connection, Eternity and Quiet Joy.
And I'm not Alone.

The appointment with my surgeon went very well yesterday. The incision is healing well. It is still lumpy and tender--but oh well. It is healing just fine.
She confirmed and affirmed the original assessments of my situation. What was so hard about the day before yesterday at SCCA was the manner in which news and assessments were presented. There was a lot of extraneous information that I didn't need. But I understand from speaking with others, that at SCCA, they are known for making sure that those in their care have ALL of the facts. At SCCA, things seemed to be more serious and they were viewing my tumor and type as 'intermediate" which to them means "serious" and "High" and so the oncologist was presenting treatment options and numbers for that scenario. Here is what I believe I heard clearly after yesterday's discussion and time processing what went on at SCCA:
1. The re-excision was a success. The healing is on track.
2. There is a 20-30% chance this cancer can come back.
3. It is more serious for people who get it in their trunk (that's where they classify the chest area) than those who get it in their extremities.
4. Only 1-2 people out of every 100,000 in the US who are diagnosed with sarcoma get this kind I was found to have.
5. I will schedule a bone scan in the near future as a baseline.(At SCCA, they have concerns about some things that showed up around my lungs and tow of my lymph nodes.)
6. I will schedule a mammogram as soon as school is out. (They found another lump in my lower left breast. I am not concerned. I have dense fibroid whatevers there anyway). We'll cross that bridge if it is something else, she says bravely.
7. I will schedule my next CT scan for around Lughnasaidh. Every three months for this next year.
8. I will meet with Dr. Astrid Pujari for support in the follow-up wellness plan I am creating for myself.
9. I will meet with a nutritional counselor at SCCA to evaluate and direct that aspect. I will schedule therapy and massage as needed.
10. I will keep reading bits and pieces of the helpful books and information that other survivors and helpful folks give to me.

And for the other. These next few weeks, I am going to concentrate on saying good-bye to Nan, doing assessments and report cards and all the other end of the year stuff at school, enjoy family, friends, and Fletcher, spend copious amounts of time walking my dog at ungodly early hours, and nurture this little garden that is unfolding. We will get the mice out and the raccoons...and yardwork. The weeds are winning but I just haven't showed up yet. It's coming.

Oh, and I am finding ways to do "Out email" so I can reply to what I am receiving. Enjoy this soft day, Beloveds.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Home. Rough, rough day.
Our friend and colleague passed away last night. She is Home.
I can't write much right now. Shock. Grief. Sorrow. Quiet Joy in the deep somewhere.
The visit to SCCA was rough today. My mother has a different perspective.
I am still processing. I heard a lot of things--things I didn't want to hear.
But have a more clear picture about the next steps.
This isn't over. It never will be...so it seems...
I need to go pull some weeds and remember that I am driving the train and I might just ask Jesus to do it for me....I have to lay this all down for the joy of the Lord who strengthens and prospers us.
Hands in the earth and on dog..............

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's Tuesday. Full Day #2 back at work. It's going well. "Summer itch" has hit some of the students. I am very tired. Glad to be back. Very tired. Hurt a bit but it keeps getting better everyday. No more stinking pain killers but my brain is still trashed. I look forward to being able to access some of my sweet Life Doings-French Circle, Walks around Green Lake, camping, even cooking something other than tea water and tomato soup.... no complaining here, just sweet lookings-ahead.
We received news today as a faculty that one of our beloved 7/8th grade teachers is in ICU with pneumonia and it is not expected that she is going to come out of this. She fought cancer all last year and now has nothing to fight the infection with. Her family has asked for prayers and loving support from afar. I will hold her and her family and loved ones close in prayer and healing support. I have more than enough to spare. I am so sad for this. I am happy in support that she has chosen not to hurt anymore on this plane and that she is going Home. But she was my friend. And colleague. And spiritual sister in Christ. I have been given my Life back to do what Work and Healing is asked of me. She is going Home. So much Loss. Seems to be the mantra of a 4---and this 4 is Holding all of this as Gift. Because that's what this is. And it is still in Loving Abba's Hands and Bosom. ALL OF IT.
And for those of you curious about it--yes, I am in love. His name is Fletcher. He is wonderful. We are learning about each other. He is a friend from several years back. This was quite a surprise. Gift, too. Impeccable timing. We shall see what happens. Never thought I would have the opportunity to say a succulent "YES!" to this side of Life again and this quiet, sweet, patient man. Didn't need it. And here it is.......
p.s. My email is receiving mail but I am unable to send email out. Working on it with help. It's on the list, right up there with getting the mice out of the basement. Starting to stink down there. Home Depot is on my list after Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and school.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm channeling my Inner Emily Dickinson this morning. I sit quietly at the front window, dog on his perch watching as well, observing the families of nuthatches and chickadees busily gathering nesting materials and engaged in cooperative building. Their sweet trills waft through the open window with the morning breezes. My mind wanders happily as the warm fingers of Soleil caress my legs and face. I see where I missed. I mowed twice yesterday--the backyard and my legs. I'll check the backyard later and say to myself for the 2nd time, "Ah, well, good enough-eh?"
There is a pile of work that calls and I've started laundry. Dishes are done. And I cleared off ONE chair already. Do you know how GOOD IT FEELS to engage in ordinary tasks and callings and to know that this, too, is HEAVEN?
I've been reading this book on the Religions of the World, a compelling and fun read because it has graphic photos along the lines of Dorling-Kindserley(sp?). It also has maps and timelines. The writers are prejudiced which I find annoying but I am thankful that my mind is working well enough to recognize and filter bias. I have been off painkillers for two and a half days now. There are still gaping spots in my vocabulary and moments when I just stand and stare upon walking into a room (I only have 6)because I can't remember why I've gone there. I don't think that is from being on meds and healing...I think that is being Erin. :)
I worked part of a day and one other full day on Friday. We were on a field trip for much of the day on Friday to the Center for Wooden Boats. If you have not gone to the CWB for a visit on the south end of Lake Union, DO THIS. It is one of the undiscovered jewels of our city and so close, so accessible. It beckons to adults and those with children. Many of the activities are free or low-cost. One may sign out wooden craft of all kind to spend time out on Lake Union. There is an educators' experience at the end of the month. I hope to have the energy to go. There is also a dugout canoe in process by local First Nations artisans and the public is welcome to add energy, love, and effort to the task. What an opportunity! THe parking is ample and you get to see the SLUT at the same time. We saw the purple and orange ones and unfortunately, they passed without being hit by any SUVs. Maybe next time...
It was a lovely time and once again, Mith R #5 ran interference for me as companion teacher. I did not have the energy so I just wore my yellow safety vest and pretended to be in charge. I did not anticipate how it would totally mess with her sense of order and other training (eek, the woman is a professional coxswain also--I TOTALLY FORGOT:P)when she had to go out in the umiak with 10 first graders who had never paddled anything and their mothers(who hadn't paddled anything either in the last 20 years except one). It was an adventure to watch and when she came off the water muttering--IT WAS CLASSIC. And she hates it when the parents call her "#5"....I do not have advanced portable technology to record things but my brain was sort of working to remember this. The children had a wonderful time building wooden boat models and paddling the umiak and being out on such a beautiful day. And we went back for regular school to finish with PE and I came home for a 5 hour nap before dinner and a walk with my dear boy-dog.
It has been a quiet weekend. I went out to the cabin to set and heal and relax. I ended up going swimming--first time in 8 weeks plus--that something DID NOT HURT. I moved. I laughed. I breathed. I shared with Loved Ones. I remembered. I smelled--you have to know that the cabin and the lake have the scents of my childhood and of happy times, of my grandparents and of family, of sweet, warm nights and barbecue and laughing children and my Fiona swimming until we couldn't tell if she were SHeltie or otter, of Sadie chasing people off the docks and waddling off the dock, tail high, Sheltie smile on for a "job well done" (not sure what the job was but she knew) and seeing Squishy doing his Sheltie version of his "job". He's still not sure and neither am I.
We have Little House in the Prairie going on here at Fair Isle...except the prairie has moved in. Raccoons in the eaves, rats in the basement, mice in the kitchen, and birds in the corner of the gutter building nests. Man, when I asked the Universe for a family in this little home, my prayers were answered! En masse! I did not specify species. On that front, I am waiting. And happy to be doing so. Not even thinking about it much but feeling pain and support for the other families who are in limbo, too. The official website for the adoption agency is much more positive than the emails that are being sent to the waiting families. I did check every other program they have. Russia is the only one available to me through this agency. I am considering my options at this point but not in depth. Just when it comes up in my thoughts, like today. I will bring it to therapy where it belongs and is held in support and care.
Get out there and connect with your Sunshine Child!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Miracle #9: Mom and I met with the first radiology oncologist specialists today. After a couple of hours of more information that I ever wanted and was ever so glad to have from the most respectful, invested, compassionate professionals (the Circle of Care just keeps getting bigger with these people), I got the best piece of information of all--the margins are so clear and so deep and the other characteristics of this tumor/cancer in me fit the specs so that his final words were---"Well, it was VERY nice to meet you and you can say hello to me if you see me in the supermarket sometime." Then he escorted us to the parking garage...on the way, we stopped to take care of a few final details and while he was busy and Mom was watching me down the hall, I went to what I thought was an isolated spot to do the 1st Grade Happy Dance...which I did...twice....which brought a couple of concerned nurses SCREAMING FAST out of their office...apparently the thumps of coming down in my best rendition of Keith Whatever His Name Is from the Rolling Stones doing Jumping Jack Flash sound like someone falling down...oooops. They visibly relaxed when I explained the "Happy Dance"..once again, a drawback from not working in the adult world. Ooops. Then my mother and I took the secret way home, got a strawberry milkshake and lemonade, picked up my silly, happy, tired boy-dog from Auntie Lydia's and I came home to crash and nap. For a couple of hours with an ice pack.

It was so good to be back at work today, even for just a half-day. I sat most of the time and instructed from there. I practiced my facial expressions in the mirror before school today and that came in handy. The work and posture and focus were not exactly to standard. But it's amazing how many times a whispered "I missed you" from behind can bring a smile to your face when you are trying to frown at sloppy s's. I also had fun blasting a new, bad-form billboard with bad English to them. I wrote the caption on the board and was very pleased that they found and corrected all FIVE mistakes. I will be contacting the billboard company and the folks who created the bad ad now that I can care about minutiae.

I am elated. tired. well cared for. loved. supported. honored. relieved. focused. and falling in love.

I meet with my surgeon next week for a follow-up. I also meet with the medical oncologist team at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance next week as well. With the information that comes from that session, I will be able to make my final decision about treatment. That's how this works. My therapist taught me that I am driving the Healing Train. And the doctor today liked that image a lot. He smiled and said it was his job to provide all that was needed to get the train up and running, fueled and ready to go and that yes, it was my job to make the informed decision about the trip. :)

It is becoming a tradition to pray in hospital bathrooms with my mother. That's another perk about all of this. Doing sub plans is not. But that should cease soon. It looks like I will be having a healing, quiet summer at home.

There will be monitoring for this in the future. But that is another piece that will be discussed a little later. There is no known cause for this. There is nothing they can pinpoint that created this cancer in me, in this place. I counted the words "rare" three times today, "Uncommon" at least six times and they couldn't find info in two textbooks and on a key website about my "kind and location" of soft tissue cancer because it is so rare...there aren't enough documentable cases. I don't want to be this kind of special.

Time to say a COSMIC THANK YOU, receive and BE LOVE, and send it forth to help heal the world. My love to all. To the Master Surgeon and the Light of the World. i have been Held, Loved, Rocked, Comforted, Encouraged, Filled with Hope at the foot of the Cross. And Especially the knights. And the Sistahs. And the Queen and King.

I am still resting. I am almost ready to take regular phone calls. I am not back to snuff for dancing or anything like that yet....almost ready for cups of tea and chats face to face with Loved Ones. And remember--Don't do the Happy Dance outside of nurses' stations.....

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Getting ready for what's next.
The RV goes today.
The raccoons go today.
Little Feather comes today.
Sub plans must be completed. Meeting with mentor teacher today.
House must be smudged.
EMR must be smudged.
O'Shaughnessy must find his way home for a while.
Squishy goes to Auntie Lydia's for a time.
And me, I am.............................................
Oh, and I learned I forgot how to make pancakes. Go figure....

Saturday, May 03, 2008

This Witch has a Knight, two Knights actually---maybe more that I am unaware of.
I share the same Knights with my father.
OH, we should all have such Knights. And they are partnered. What power, goodness, strength, wisdom, battlemarkedness they hold and practice.
And there is a Sharp-eyed Hawk, and a Coursing Hound, and a Strong, Steady Steed...not to mention a Rowan Shield the size of the Cosmos.
Unlike the song, this time, the Wittch needs the Knights...
for Healing.
She knows it. She loves them. Get out your goldenrod. She'll bring what she has and we can all share...

Friday, May 02, 2008

This has been one heckuva week. Don't have the energy to write what's really going on inside.
I am standing in a pool of Miracles. After a day of Hell. Which I did not create or invite. I was so enraged yesterday by the time I got to school that I just sat in my car in the parking lot. The screaming happened on the way to school under the cover of ACDC and the Stones. When I got quiet, Someone told me to count the miracles. Just count. So, with heaving chest and ratty breaths, I started. 1. Dad's surgery and recovery 2. The HUGE Circle of Love around Me--in ordinary and non-ordinary reality 3. The amazing Circle of care-providers 4. Walking and Breathing (at the same time even) ...when I got to 5, I named it Myself and said "I WANT THIS ONE! I WANT THIS ONE....Thy will be done. And I can't describe what happened at that moment, but it was like I took a Breath and Abba was in the Breath with Me. One. And I got this flash of myself sitting with my back to the Cross and Jesus right there with my hand in His and the Both of us in Abba's Heartspace just by the sternum where it is warm, safe, quiet, perfect. One. One. One. One.

The Miracle. I call it #5.

"The sun brings forth the beginning
The moon holds it in darkness
As above, so below
For there is no greater magic in all the world
than that of all beings joined together in love.----Wiccan blessing