Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Thank you" at Christmas and always......

I so love our Christmas tree and all the ornaments Skipp has bought me over 20+ years.  Each one has such meaning and beauty and purpose.  The white shell with the two red flowers was from my nephew Clayton and his wife Gatey.  They made them for all of us.  It was their only Christmas together as husband and wife - he died the following November after only a year and a half married.  They were an ideal couple in so  many ways. Clayton is truly missed.

My manger is priceless.  It was our family's manger when I was growing up.  If you look closely you can see the small angel candle and the small choir boy candle leaning up against the manger - they were my Grandma's and are over 100 years old!!  Oh how I love family heirlooms and traditions.

Did I thank all of you for your loving support and understanding during my recent low spirited mood?  Well, "thank you"!!

And so it comes to be - Christmas, the New Year - so much to believe in, hold on to, let go of,  fight against, surrender to, scream in anger, laugh in delight, celebrate, mourn, stand firm, walk away, run to, run from, - I think you get the gist of life with all its twists and turns as do I, as do I.......... I leave you with this song -

I hope you see and feel the hope in this song - "Merry Christmas"  and "thank you" for all you do, are, give, share and intend. You are a 'gift' to  me, each and every one of you............

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Hi all - I haven't really felt much like writing - truth be told?  I am struggling to feel the spirit of the season.  I am very much in rhythm with loss and fear.  Perhaps that is in keeping with the 'season' since it is this season that brings to mind days gone by, people gone by and challenges too. For all I am so blessed to be and have and believe it is dripping with tears of wishes for some things to be different.  Oh I know all that sayings about living in the moment, celebrating what I have, counting blessings etc., I do and I am and I thank God because without all that, well, I shudder to think However, all of that does not dismiss what I long for,  I want my eldest daughter to remember me, to come home, to show me I matter in her life, to bring my grandson here to finally meet him, to see my other two grandchildren too - it has been years.  I don't understand why.  I wish for friends that have slipped away to come back - to have an active presence in my life again - I wish to NOT have MS - I want the pain to stop.

Meanwhile I do want to wish you all a Merry Christmas so I leave you with this song which says it all for me and is my favorite Christmas song.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What Is Your Glory?

I watched a wonderful, heart-warming Hallmark movie last night.  One of the Rabbis questions to his young friend was,  "What Is Your Glory"? The question went straight to my heart, Skipp's too and we both new the answer for ourselves and for one another.  Skipp's is his musical talents; singer-song writer, guitarist and pianist.  And mine?  To give counsel to and advocate for those in need.

And so I ask all of you - "What Is Your Glory?"

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Most of you "know" my husband Skipp. His 'birth' name is Babe Laurin. You see, he was adopted at three months old, and actually was raised with his full biological brother. They were a year a part in age and number five (5) and six (6), of 12 children. Can you even imagine? After a long and frustrating search over 20 years ago we found his biological family in 1990. There was a big reunion down in Virginia. His Mom, Helen, passed away six months before we found them. We went to her grave.

His Dad shared that there was trouble in their marriage for a time and so he and his older brother were given up for adoption. His parents later found their way back together and had six more kids!!His Dad also said that they tried to find him and his brother but all the adoption records were sealed. Skipp found out his birth name - "Babe Laurin", which he felt is a better 'stage name' than 'Stanley Schwartz'!! :-) You agree?

He is an accomplished singer/songwriter, guitarist, pianist and music producer. His original song below is fitting for the times. He wrote it in 1997. And so, without further ado, I give you "Babe Laurin, singing "Second Revolution". "YAY"!!

I can't seem to undo the second video.  Good Lord  :-)

oops, got a third one too,  what?   :-)

uh oh!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In snowy silence

We finally got power back after a foot of heavy wet snow that took down trees and power lines.  As dusk came over the land on Saturday night the world looked like a silver gray haze and as night fell it darkened to a charcoal mist, heavy with snow and sleet.  We laid in bed listening to trees snap loudly and we held on as the top of one tree cracked and slid down across our bedroom window and along the side of our house.  Beyond the snapping tree limbs the heavy dark and cold silence was deafening.  It was, in moments that night , the Apocalypse.

And so we started each day by lighting the wood stove and the charcoal grill.  We boiled water for coffee and washing. The neighborhood men gathered to haul water for "flushing" - which was much more difficult than two months ago in August after hurricane Irene. We also gathered one night and played music and sang by the warmth of our wood stove and the glow of candles and oil lamps. One neighbor brought us hand warmer bags - you snap these 'tea-bag' looking sacks and they get warm. Such a nice gesture of good neighbor-good will!   :-)  One neighbor brought some vodka!!!  Good neighbor-good will!  And so the evening ended, folks found their way home through the heavy, cold and silent darkness - candles were snuffed and fires stoked to make it through until morning.

And then it began all over again,  - light the grill, get the wood stove going, check food and water supplies - cook breakfast - and then came the much needed shower.  We could shower on the back deck in August - but certainly not now.  We heated a big pot of water and filled the watering can and brought it up to the bathroom upstairs.  We gave one another a make shift showers.  It was freezing even though the water was warm the air was SO cold.  We survived!

And so we made it - we did it - together.  I did wake up one morning and just sobbed.  I did NOT want to face the day.  I snapped out of it, actually laughed at myself , literally pulled on my warm socks and boots and got to the business at hand.  The MS, although a reality did not hinder me all that much.  I did my fair share and felt so good that I could.  We even made a beef stew which we started outside on the grill and then simmered for a few hours atop the wood stove.  It was delicious.  Of course, the hearty bottle of red wine we drank with it enhanced the stew and the whole evening.  After, we spent a couple hours looking at old pictures of when our kids (and us) were younger.  It was wonderful.  We would stop, and pause, and touch a photo trying to capture a time long since gone.  Memories.

And so the 'Nor'Easter of October 2011 is 'one for the books'.
Many are still without power and there are downed trees and wires all around town.  Meanwhile, we will count our blessings and appreciate every convenience we have.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dad lived until October 22nd 1984

My Dad was born and raised in Stratford, CT. - one of eight children - six boys and two girls. His parents were immigrants to Ellis Island from Austria. My Dad was given the nick-name of "Booty" when he was a boy - apparently because he always wore boots. He had many, many stories to share of his childhood - his father would repair their shoes with railroad ties and they slept three in a bed. One of his younger brothers was a bed-wetter! He shared how he ran away from home and joined the carnival when he was twelve. The police found him and he said they hit him with rubber hosing. Can you even imagine? Although, he added, he never ran away again. :-) His Dad died when he was sixteen and then he joined the army as soon as he was of age. He had already had met my Mom and she 'waited' for his return. He was a WWll vet - earning the purple heart. He was captured the last seven days of the war - and was held captive in a barn. He claims the reason they didn't shoot him is because he had chocolate to offer as a bribe. He also said they had beer and he kept a can opener under the rafters on a nail outside a window in the loft. Twenty five years later my Mom and Dad returned to Germany. The barn he was held captive in was now a restaurant. He went upstairs, reached out the window and there, on the nail, was his can opener. I have that can opener now - proudly displayed in a glass case near his encased American flag given to my Mom at his military funeral.

My Mom and Dad had a gentle loving relationship. I learned how a man should treat a woman and vice versa from watching them. His only vice being that he, at times, drank way too much. Way beyond that was his strong work ethic, love of family, appreciation of flowers - he was a florist by trade although he spent his life readying new trucks for delivery and at times he would take long hauls with piggy-backed 18-wheelers. He taught me to drive his company standard shift pick-up truck when I was twelve and I was able to drive an 18-wheeler by age fourteen.
He taught me how to pitch fast ball- I was a star softball pitcher - pitching no hitters at every game. I practiced with my Dad every night - broke my share of windows too!! He is the one who gave me my nick-=name - "Gimpy" when I broke my ankle. He said I 'gimped', not limped! :-)

I also learned what being a good friend and neighbor meant - when the house across the street from us was on fire they had to stop him from going in to save the woman still trapped - I can still see the other neighborhood men holding him back as it was clear it was just too late. She died that night holding her dog. My Dad never really made peace with that.

His philosophy was that every day he needed to make people laugh. And he did. He was very funny. He also was able to cry - I watched him sob at his brother's funerals and when he lost dear friends. He cried at happy times too, our weddings, graduations, births of our children. He was very 'present' in our lives, no matter what.

He was just 64 when he died - a heart attack. He lives on in me, and my Mom, my sister and all those who knew him. In honor of him I will leave you with some of his funny sayings - I hope to make you laugh today in honor of my Dad ....

"We have more fun than people"

"How tall do you weigh?"

"Do you walk to work or carry a lunch"

"You didn't eat that did you?" (which he would say if he went in to the bathroom after someone had done their "daily constitution"...) :-)

"Get Bent" (he never really swore so if he was upset at someone, and only if it were a guy he would say "Get Bent"...

He was a real joker too. His sister Eva lived with us for a while and she was going on a date and he hid her false teeth!!!

If you were an over-night guest at our house expect to have your bed "short-sheeted"

and I could go on, but you get the gist, :-)

I miss you still and oh how you live on.

I love you,  Gimpy-Gays

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Please Hear WHat I Am Not Saying - a poem

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this.  I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
and I know it.
That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this.  I don't dare to, I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.
So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.
I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings--
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator--
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.
Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

Charles C. Finn
September 196

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

OCTOBER - many truths

October! Any of you who have known me for a while know October is a tricky month. It is the month of events upon which parts of the premise of my blog was formed. TRUTH.
I felt as of late in a slump, sad and distracted and as if chaos and turmoil were astir within. And so it was so - "Annie" (the kid in me), has been whimpering some and looking for voice and love and place and memory to be in the light. I have never let her speak/write first person before - today is the day.

(sensitive material)............

"I wanted Dennis to save me from him. I hated how he smelled of that English leather and cigarettes. his skin was dark and big hands, his blue shirt hung down and i felt him push on me. i threw up after, and i walked home bare foot. i washed him off me. me and Dennis made it together in a way even though we faced him alone except that one time he made Dennis stay. i felt worse of that time. Dennis went away after the summer - i missed him so much. "

Annie is amazingly strong - she is my greatest source of strength for all she survived. She is me and I am her, we are one. I hid her for years believing I could not face my truths - it was in facing my truths that I was strengthened and freed. It took 25 years and then the priest(s). Oh the betrayal - I still feel him recreating the original abuse, claiming Jesus was guiding him to save me and I remember and feel the back of his hand across my face. It is a forever sting, forever.........

and so October is when I honor some of my past as it is a part of me. I don't run from truth any more - I live in it all. From MS to childhood abuse to betrayal by Roman Catholic clergy and so too I revel in the truth of my love with Skipp, our peaceful home, nature, my blessed Mom, my children, friends and our dog Gracie-Blue. All have merit, purpose and reason. To rid myself of any part of that which is me is to destroy my design - not happening. My design, the fabric of my life is made up of many squares each colored with its own unique experience and all connected and integrated. I am whole.

The squares and design of October are in the forefront right now as I remember, feel, smell, see, know, believe and stand firm. Later, I can surrender in to sweet drifting as the time to remember slips away in to my body and mind and spirit. The miracle of healing and freedom and empowerment is that I am in charge and I choose "it" so to stay true to myself, always.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Zero to Thirty -Thirty to Sixty - Sixty to Ninety

We are all in one of the above titled stretches of years - spans if you will.  And I can tell you with confidence that the view from 'sixty' to 'ninety is way different than the view in 'zero to thirty'  . and 'thirty to sixty'.

When I think of what I understand now as opposed to when I was say, twenty or forty, I am awe struck.   It seems that the first thirty years are gauged on learning and planning and  gaining an identity of self and choice and style, the second thirty is about being and doing and realizing and putting in to motion our life's quests and desires. The third thirty is a time of reaping the fruits of our choices, some ripened and sweet, some rotted and fallen, some perhaps still ripening but for the most part by the last thirty years we are who we are and we celebrate and regret and believe and doubt and know and wonder and surrender and fight and all from a centered place of self and truth and reality that has been developing for sixty years.  There are lines and ware and signs of aging, memories galore of sorrow, happiness, broken hearts, strengths, weakness, love, pain, health and sickness, children, family, -  friends have come and gone, and a few forever friends remain.

What's important has changed drastically - and whats hoped for has too.  I hope for another 30 years of love and health and peace and mobility with my guy Skipp.  I hope that MS does not take over. I hope that my children 'remember' and acknowledge family and faith and God.  I hope for a simple home with enough food and warmth to sustain and laughter and music and LOVE  in volume.  I hope for courage and strength and faith to face whatever lies ahead and I hope for joy in the simplest of miracles and nature's beauty and gifts in every day. I hope for hugs and smiles, tears and rage at injustice.  I hope to be remembered (closer to the ninety mark not sixty-phew.),  because I made a positive, loving and purposeful difference.  Amen.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

An aluminum pie plate, a plastic watering can and our charcoal grill

And so we survived- perhaps even thrived, more or less.  A week with no electricity or running water!! Irene, despite her somewhat weakened status when she slammed in to Connecticut ravaged the coastline here. When we took a drive to 'see' the damage it was devastating, homes were lost, extreme flooding, trees torn up from their roots and power lines and utility poles snapped like twigs. Irene's wrath was evident, for sure.

And so we settled in to creative survival  mode. We (well, Skipp), hauled five gallon buckets of water from the brook in back which has a deeper spot to fill the buckets for flushing.   In the mornings we heated a big pan of water on the grill   which we mixed with brook water in our large watering can which has a lovely rain shower type spout. In just my underwear and bra I sat on a plastic seat whilst Skipp poured water over me and I washed my hair and other essential parts and then rinsed.  ahhhhhhhhhhhh, and then we re-filled and I poured warm water over Skipp while he "showered" as well.   Thank goodness our back deck faces the woods.  :-)  (sorry about the placement of these photos - blogger wont let me cut and paste them)  oh well!!  :-)

 We heated water for coffee and created a type of french press - it was delicious.  We cooked eggs in the aluminum plate and put sausage on aluminum foil and made toast and even waffles.  Breakfast was always so good.  Lunch was usually peanut butter and jelly and  for dinners we cooked everything we had from burgers to chicken to fish. Once all the perishablefood that we could safely use was cooked  we then  heated soups, stew, beans -  right in the cans!!  The nights were long - we played cribbage, trivia, scrabble by hurricane lamps and candles - and we sang and played guitar out on the deck with the torches lit.  It really was wonderful.

Oh we had our moments of "enough" and even snapped at one another from time to time!!  The toilet thing was the worst.  Our own personal 'systems' were all off as well - and the exhaustion from the steps necessary to eat or shower or go to the bathroom were, at times, quite overwhelming.  We talked each other down or up and made jokes and quickly balanced knowing that we had to keep on keeping on.  And we did!!   It was quite an adventure and a testament to our love, strengths, weaknesses, humanities, neighborly kindness and faith, yes faith!!



Saturday, August 13, 2011


All of us are fighting some kind of battle.  Each and every one of us.  I saw a movie last night, titled - "Trust".  Very powerful content.  The ending song was a song titled "My Declaration" by the singer/songwriter 'Tom Baxter'.  I chose the woman Eliza Bennett singing it because it was the only one I could find with the lyrics.  Each word is a challenge, a promise, a hope, a faith hard driven.  I want every line to continue to be my quest and truth.  Please take q moment to listen and hear the words - let me know your thoughts.  I hope you are inspired and challenged as much as I was. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our garden abundant - life thickens too

Oh these steamy summer days.  Our garden is thriving though, as pictured above.  Enlarge them. especially the mostly green one that also shows the front of our house to see all the tomatoes on the two hanging plants - about 45 of them and one just beginning to redden.  We are quite pleased.  And my beautiful butterfly bush is filled with all types of butterflies - I was able to capture a picture of one as shown above.  Our daisies are so abundant - we even moved a large amount of them to another location along our brook.  Still, they fill in so thick.  The second and third picture of the pinkish flower?  I am embarrassed to admit I don't recall what it is.  Anyone know what kind of flower that is?  Thanks.

And so too, life thickens, realities and truths intensify and grow bigger, some good, some not so much. Our love thickens every moment - our gratitude for our bounty intensifies and the blessings grow bigger and more humbling.  Challenges increase too, mobility issues and pain management and adjustments to limits while maintaining an aura of celebration for all that is still possible. Such a delicate balance.  Summer, as it yields such green and growth and lovely scents of blossoms and sounds of birds and bees and the bull frogs bellowing at night - it also by its natural heat and humidity takes it toll on MS as my muscles struggle for every step, and my nerve endings excite in pain - I am given hope and the faith for new life as I look and feel and hear and smell and even taste the full growth and fertility and virility and beauty of summer.  By design it attacks me and revives me in one moment.

I have learned to redefine what success means. Let me explain by this example.  Skipp and I had a heart to heart about traveling. For me, when I walk from our front door to our car and travel down town and out for lunch I feel so normal and successful and so grateful.  If I stay focused on what I cannot do like travel more than two hours or navigate an airport I will be in a constant of "poor-me".  I refuse to live like that.  There are so many things I can do and at times I long for what I once was able to do without a second thought - those days are gone.  And new days of celebration of what I can do have emerged.  I was reading another blog and a dear friend of mine wrote about her desire to climb a mountain by a river near by.  I commented that for me, climbing a mountain has taken on a new meaning - when I make it up a curb or a step I have climbed a mountain.  Hallelujah!

To finally get to this place of celebrating my reality is life-giving, much like our garden.  Oh yes, the stuff I can't do is like the weeds in our garden trying to choke the life out of the abundance - out of me, -  so I choose not to focus on the weeds, - rather I do my best to celebrate the abundance of freedom and life in my vision. I never forget that the weeds (MS symptoms), are there because I have to tend to those weeds (symptoms),  so they don't take over.  Please don't think that I don't have my days of tantrums and "why me?", because I do.   But most days, after my woe-is-me times, seeing our garden and being loved is the best cure and life-giver to balance me. Soon it will be Autumn - a season of change.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Come on in - take a look around.

 The pictures above are of the new "back or extra" room now a wonderful peaceful reading and music room.  The view is the best from any where in the house.  The chairs are wicker. - enlarge to hopefully see the colors better.  The ladder leads up to a sleep loft we had built for Dolan when this was his room.  I also have our Wll in here for my exercise and balance program and we play golf and tennis and bowling and other fun games together.  :-)  This is our escape room.  I love reading n here in the corner and looking out to the woods.  It is SO peaceful.

The above pictures are all of our gorgeous bedroom, with the tree house - tropical Island hut theme.  Enlarge for better view, especially the picture over our bed which I took of the last time me, and my Mom and Sis were all at Chatfield Hollow together gathering greens for the graves.   The last one above is of the peak which is a gold glitter swirl and just above my computer table.  And on our bed?  That is "Berringer" our bear cub.  He is the actual size of a bear cub and is so soft and cuddly - great to lean on to read  or snuggle with on a Winter's day.  :-)

 And this last one is of our very lush garden.  It has filled in so thick and beautiful.  :-)  We are so blessed.

And to think of all that I have lived, all we both have lived and survived - and to find one another amidst all the possibilities and circumstance. I believe, I know "I Was On My Way To Him and Him To Me - all part of a greater plan.  Hallelujah!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Go on, regardless.

A year old!  Damien Chase - I don't know him.  He does not know me.  I am his Gram - the many facets of why this is so are heart wrenching at best.  I heard he was sick - in the hospital even - needs surgery of varying kinds.  The details are not shared.  This is one of those "oh just go on with my life and be happy regardless situation" that is way easier said than done.  It's his Mom's birthday too this month - I sent a package - filled with love.  I had a letter written with some serious guilt and shame on her in it - I sealed and re-enveloped her card at least 10 times - and now I have a bunch of cards with no envelopes  :-).  I didn't send the letter.  Wanna know what finally helped me decide?  Ready?  Oprah!  I swear it's true.  She said how we are all responsible for our own lives (I know this) and that we are also responsible for the energy we bring to others (I know this).  The energy in the letter of guilt and shame was bad energy.  The package had only love in it.
For Damien?  I had a little Nascar shirt designed with his name on it and a Nascar Teddy Bear too.  For her?  A plaque that said 'daughter are to be cherished'. also I found a card I had sent to her when she was 16 - it said she could always count on me - I sent that along, and some pictures of her family, here - that loves and misses her.  Her estrangement from me, us....breaks my heart.  I am reminded in June - she was born June 21st.  Her own daughter as well, she has distanced herself.  Her daughter left because of the boyfriend - terrible situation.  He is Damien's father. My daughter wants him to stay - she is paying a high price to hold on to him.  Use your imagination.
And so June will end- and I will go on with my life, regardless - I keep a candle in every window - lit all year so she can find her way home. 
Please pray she finds her way home.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Computer will be shut down for a few.

Just a quick note.  My computer is being shut down today.  We are finishing the painting in our room and getting ready for the new carpeting being installed tomorrow.  It will be a few days after that before things are back together.  I am SO happy with the colors and our "tree-house" theme.  It feels so natural and simple.  See you all soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Wont Back Down

Okay, I officially dislike 'systems', corporate systems are the worst.  That "$250,000.00 diagnosis post I wrote - where-in my parents-plus loan could be "forgiven"  Hah!!  There is a loop-hole.  Seems that any loans secured after 1993 don't qualify!!  What?  What does "when" have to do with "why"??  I am on Social Security Disability and I cannot work.  Duh!!  I do meet criteria for "unable to work" which has a different process after 1993.  Every six months I fill out the "I cannot work" form and I can do this for thirty six months = six times.  Then I qualify for financial hardship which will defer the loan for another 25 months.  Perhaps it is me but if one cannot work the obvious outcome is a financial hardship.  Can you even believe this rhetoric??!!  SO for the next six years I can defer the loans as outlined above.After that I have NO idea.    I am not at all happy with this plan.  I am going to contact an attorney because I find it very odd that I was told to submit VERY personal health information signed by two physicians which I was told would then qualify me for 'loan-relief'.  Clearly, when I was told of this option it was known that my loans were secured after 1993 and therefore the conditions stated above applied.  So why then would 'they direct me to submit the "personal health information" necessary to be relieved from the loan full well knowing I didn't have a chance in hell because my loans were secured after 1993.  .  Mind - boggling!  I swear I am going to 'stand my ground' AND "I Wont Back Down"

Monday, May 9, 2011

A villa in Tuscany and a rainbow

(play the video as you read)  :-)

The sun shined brightly, warmly, as a breeze swirled around us in gentle delight.The scent of lilacs filled the air, the bees were busy , calmly buzzing, birds sang and the brook babbled gently.  A day so beautiful, so filled with blessings.  As my Mom and I sat together before dinner we were so thrilled for this moment in time.  Skipp turned the CD speaker to face out the window and put on one of my Mom's favorite singers - Andrea Boccelli - as he sang for us and we were surrounded and consumed we felt like we were in Tuscany - at a villa -

Just before we had given her a gardenia corsage.  She cried oh so softly as she recalled a time when my Dad bought her one while they were in New York City 50 years ago.  She delighted in the aroma and I could feel her memories so alive.  Our meal was so lovely, so kind and loving.  I felt overwhelmed with the gifts of love around us and with in us - almost too much to absorb in the best of ways.

As we drove home a sun shower popped up - and my Mom said "after a Spring rain rainbows appear"  And within seconds, right before us appeared the most beautiful rainbow of hues of lavender, mint green, blue, yellow, pink - it was divine.  We were in awe and kept thanking our God for the natural gift of a rainbow. 

Our day together was so wonderful - "I love you Mom"

Love, Gail    peace.......

Monday, May 2, 2011


It's been a while since I have posted.  Partly because my life is so different in the best of ways because Skipp is  not working and therefore home with me.  We love being together - each day an adventure of simple pleasures, blessings, gratitude, laughter, music, shared meals and kindness.  Of course, everything has a price - and we are concerned about our finances and very concerned about health insurance.  We have applications in process and still have another month of 100% coverage while we explore options. And come November I am eligible for MediCare because I am on disability and Skipp can continue on whatever insurance we get until he has employment with benefits.  Phew.

Also, I had a minor setback with the MS where I had extreme weakness in my bad leg (the right one) and I have had to 'beef up' my toning and strengthening and also elevation of the leg so to improve and to avoid IV steroids!! Slowly, it is coming back to my abnormal-normal.   And, I have done something to the upper muscles in both arms, - I believe due to the extra strain of compensating for the weakness in my leg.  I am going to the doctor tomorrow for that.  Geesh.

I wanted to put some thoughts out about patience and tolerance and hopefully hear back from you about your understanding of these words.  I wrote on Face Book that I believe ..........."patience is when you are waiting/hoping for something/someone to change and tolerance is when you accept 'whatever as it is and whomever just as they are." Thoughts? As I delve even deeper patience can actually appear righteous if I am waiting for someone to 'come around to my way of thinking because I believe I am more right!!.  And that whomever will 'see the light' as I do.  Oh my.  Patience is also a gift to one's self and to another if we are quietly supportive while some one else finds their way, reaches their goal or resolves a problem.  Patience has many faces.  Tolerance has only one face,  - that of acceptance - regardless of how different or odd whatever//whomever may seem - some things are not for us to decide - only to accept.  Of course I am NOT speaking about evil or acts against humanity or hate crimes and so forth.  puh-lease! I/you/we have every right to rise up against such injustice.  Tolerance, for this writing is about people living their lives, being who they are, believing as they do for the greater good.  

Patience? Tolerance?  What do you think?