Thursday, August 30, 2007

devouring books


my body feels like a trap
this shell that I wear
that can't seem to keep up
with my mind and heart
that reside deep inside
they hide

I dream of an escape
like the worm from it's cocoon
and the snake shedding skin
newborn chicks breaking shells
and the butterfly is free
that's me

by darlene simmonds

I have been very sick and doing everything in my power not to worry. That alone feels like a job to me. Avoidance isn't healthy, so I'm aware of the fine line between pretending everything is okay when it's not and remaining positive.

I have been going through some tests and have a few more to go. One test will require that I am under anesthesia, so that doesn't float my boat, but the cause is a good one. I have no news yet, just been living with the "sick" feeling, recording pain numbers and trying to keep a real smile on my face.

Today is my wedding anniversary and I'm in love with this husband of I have a lot to smile about. I love you J :) No one takes care of me like you :)

I have been devouring some books...and I do mean devouring. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, gleaning wisdom and hope from people much wiser than myself. People that have been in horrendous circumstances, yet have been able to find that peace in the center of the storm. I admire that quality and appreciate that they have put their experiences in small packages, so I can purchase and own them.

I have read this book for my sister. I've done a lot of crying and feel like I understand her journey a little better. We have compared some notes and both "highlighted" the same passages. I just know this was her guiding me while I was reading, so that she could show me what was important to her. She is one of my hero's.

This book shares insights on how to focus on what you do have, instead of what you do not. As soon as I saw the title, I could envision my own storm and how I lean into the wind to get a foothold and keep my balance. If you give into it's weight, you get blown away. Leaning forward is the only way to stay on your feet.

If you like one sentence quotes that are pack full of wisdom, this book is for you. It has a very 'why wait' attitude that I find brave and charming. If you actually saw my books, your mouths would probably drop open. I mark them up like crazy because I visualize them being passed on to people I love and I want them to know what these statements mean to me. When I'm done with a book, it resembles a Rainbow because anyone who knows me also knows...I LOVE pens!

This book is my lite reading, comic's just simply adorable and the proceeds go to a good cause.

Imagine a Woman is yummy...a book I would buy for a loved one and know that it would be a blessing to her. Men, buy this for your ladies and girls, buy this for your bff's, it's a winner. Short reading subjects that are deep and thought provoking.

This book is so chock full of truths, I will read it more than once. My husband and I read the short chapters out loud and then discuss them. The author is credible and has been given amazing wisdom from actual experiences. My hubby is easily bored and for him to want to read this and then discuss it??? What a great find. If you do end up reading this...please email me...we would become fast friends! :)

And last, but not least, the current bible study I am working on. I want to be Beth Moore and Beth wants to be like Jesus, so...... This will be the 5th study I have done of hers and she makes the bible come alive with sense. Her brain just gets it and then I finally get it. When all the other bible studies start to feel ordinary, get one of hers. I am a fan for life.

So, this is what has been keeping me sane through it all. Nuggets that I can't keep to myself and I hope you are able to see something here that peeks your interest. I'm still in the valley, still in quite a bit of pain and very weak, but my mind is being kept busy and I am smiling. Thank you for your love and care ~*~ Darlene

Monday, August 27, 2007

sicky girl

Darlene has been very sick and dealing with some kidney problems again. Today is full of doctor's appointments and tests of all sorts, so she will get back to you all as soon as she can. Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

job description

"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child."
~ Sophia Loren

"Maternal love: a miraculous substance which God multiplies as He divides it."
~ Victor Hugo

I've been a babysitter, a hostess at a restaurant, a cocktail waitress, a front desk manager of a major hotel, a student and then a teacher for years....but nothing has been more challenging for me than being a mother. Truly, other than living with Lupus, this maternal job has been the one thing in my life that takes up a good portion of my personal thought life. Even though my children are adults now and the thoughts regarding them have shifted, the job of motherhood is ever present. Mentally, I'm trying to find my way in this world, wanting to be the right kind of parent to my children, that faithful parent/friend combination. And I realize that this is more for me, than it is for them because I already know how to be their mother...I'm just not sure I understand the new job description.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

choose your road

*click on picture for a larger view*

just a small doodle that came to me while meditating :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

i am a mystery

hidden here with my back against the thickness of this aged tree
I look out across the ocean and feel the mystery of it all
then a small voice inside of me asks, "you too, are a mystery, aren't you?"

"Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved."
~Soren Kirkegaard

my circumstances could be problems, if I let them
I could allow great sorrow and regret
but instead, I choose to make them a mystery
a story to be lived out, while gathering bits of information
clues to slowly collect and oh, what fun that will be

yes, life is a mystery to be lived and I refuse to let it be a problem

Friday, August 17, 2007

all dogs go to heaven

Deep sobs~
That start beneath my heart
and hold my body in a grip that hurts.
The lump that swells inside my throat
brings pain that tries to choke.
Then tears course down my cheeks-
I drop my head in my so empty hands
abandoning myself to deep dark grief
and know that with the passing time
will come relief.
That though the pain may stay
There soon will come a day
When we can say her name
and be at peace
~Norah Leney
Goodbye Daisy doggie was loved as much as you!
Rest in peace, we all will miss you...forever
Mom and prayers are with you and I share your pain.
I love you...and sorry just doesn't feel enough :(

Thursday, August 16, 2007

heart talk

"When your heart speaks, take good notes."
~Judith Campbell
My heart has been speaking to me a lot lately. I feel like it has taken on the role of a parent and I have been gently scolded and now sit in a time out. Like, one of those 'time outs' when your mom says, "Now I want you to really think about what you said to me...and you can't get up until you're ready to apologize."
My heart and brain converse on a regular basis and they often disagree. Lately, my brain has taken over the conversations with its logic, calculations and theories. Brain, by nature, is much more negative than heart and speaks very loud, interrupts and can be just plain rude, at times. Heart is rarely stern and always speaks tenderly, using kind words and allows brain to have its turn.
Brain is in the time out
I have really taken careful notes on these conversations that go on within me. My self talk needs to change....I mean, it needs a huge overhaul. I am silencing the noise and really going to spend some quiet time listening to my heart, my God, kind literature and soft music.
When your heart speaks, take good notes....and then take those notes and put them to good use. Those things are called actions.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I've decided that I don't want to grow up either.

Monday, August 13, 2007

prayers for puppies

This is Daisy Mae, my parents companion, the subject matter that my dad makes up songs about, the family member that daily is loved by them. She is very sick :(

Daisy has diabetes, bad hips, sensitive skin issues and other problems...recently, she has been having seizures and I know my parents are much more upset about this then they are letting on. Daisy now may have epilepsy. I can't imagine the fear they feel in those moments when she is shaking uncontrollably. So helpless and scared.

I am asking for prayers and positive energies to be sent out for my parents and for Daisy Mae. God loves doggies too, after all, they were created by Him.

Fromma and Daddy...I know your heart is aching about this. I am praying for Daisy too.

I love you,

~Who are the precious pets in your homes?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

vacation in monterey

Checking into hotels are fun...we stayed in an old restored Victorian, but it was on a very busy street and was an extremely small room. However the bed was comfy and we did have our own bathroom, so I'm not complaining. The flowers at the window were a delight, so that is what I have shown you here.

As soon as we are settled, our tummies rumble and we giggle in great anticipation for our first official meal. Being raised on the east coast, my children were exposed to a love for clam chowder. So we head directly to the Fisherman's Wharf. Here we are waiting so patiently for the steaming hot bread bowl that will soon make its way to our table. There I am in the mirror saying "Hi" to you and to prove that I too, am on the trip.

Here is the view from our table. We are also looking at everyone else's food and discussing it for future reference. We practically have fork and spoon in hand and bang on the table saying, "We want to eat!" We are very hungry :)

Here is the prize meal. We each have one to ourselves because sharing is NOT an option. All conversation ceases and the only sounds we are making could be embarrassing for the people around us ;) We are ravenous and leave nothing on our plates. We roll out of this place looking very full and satisfied :)

Ready for a little walking, we head all the way down to the end of the Pier.

We stood here and quietly listened to the sounds of the sea, the sailing ships and watched out for the pooping seagulls. I put my arms around her and we both talked about the passing year, some very raw and sensitive things that transpired and we shed some tears. The cool air quickly dried our cheeks and we kept each other warm. We made some precious memories right on this spot.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this man rowing out to his home on the sea. His skin looked like leather made from salt and sun, and his back was slightly bowed from hard work. ARGggggg...all he needed was a patch ;P

Turning back, we walked back toward a small silver shop that we love. Every year we always get something the same as a memory of our trip. This year we decided on green amber rings.

Here they are...and yes, my hand is the very lily white one that looks like a corpse and Angela's is the golden tan hand of a young 23 year old. We were very happy with our find...especially at 50% discount!

Back to our hotel...with very full tummies and pretties on our fingers, we both settled down for an afternoon siesta.

Even at 23...when she is sleeping...I see my baby's face all over again.

I heart my daughter so much!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Casa de Fruita

Vacation in Monterey

Memory making begins from the moment we get into the car. We travel the exact same route, make all the same stops, but manage to make it feel brand new each and every time. If anticipation could be turned into a fuel source, we wouldn't even need to fill the car with gas. As we leave the hot summer weather of the Valley behind and begin the uphill assent into the small mountains, we have already covered at least 10 different subjects of conversation. The thrill of going away together only builds as we reach our traditional first stop...Casa de Fruita. We park in the bumpy, well worn parking lot and walk arm in arm to a very decent sized and surprisingly clean public restroom. We always need to stop here first, as we have been on the road for some time now. Recalling a few comical moments that have already happened to us on prior visits, we giggle. These things are too personal to mention, but very funny and I enter the bathroom with a beaming smile and wonder if the people around me think I am extremely delighted to go to the bathroom...and I am :)

If my daughter Angela seems dazed and confused, it's because this wonderful fruit stand, that is more like a Fruit Palace, offers way too many choices. Every variety possible is displayed in a mouth watering way, that I'm sure is done by a professional and neurotic, Fruit Display kinda gal!

This person's goal is to lure you in, causing a reaction that makes you want to eat everything you see...not a small task in the least. Could fruit look more beautiful? Could there be any more of a choice? As you can see, all of this brought a smile to Angela's face.

True to the core of who we are, we usually end up buying the same items every time, but not without first, admiring all that is around us. Our eyes are soaked with the onslaught of bright colors and our noses eager to smell things up close and personal. Knowing that Angela will go about the business of actually choosing what we will snack on, I take a few pictures and marvel at the textures and patterns displayed before me. I love patterns...true honest to goodness, neurotic first born, patterns... even in food.

The dried fruit was amazing and I would be lying if I told you that I didn't reach in and take a nibble or two. It wasn't my fault...these displays beg you to touch and taste. (look one is watching...slyly reach in...Mmmmmm) Besides, I witnessed others doing it too...that makes it okay...right? I know, I know...if everyone took just one little bite...lalala...sorry, Mr. Fruit Stand Owner :$

Angela joined me here. This was filled with candy covered fruit! (my sweet tooth actually screamed out loud ;) We blatantly taste tested the items we could not resist. Sly caution melted away, like confection on our tongues and the only thing left to say was, "oh my Have to try This one!" We each said that at least 5 times. But, being careful not to fill up on the stolen tasty bites, we saved room for the most special treat of all...Chocolate Covered Strawberries...

We purchased our grapes (that are huge and actually make a popping sound when you bite into them) apples, mangoes and teriyaki beef jerky (the best Ever made!) We sat down on the guest patio and both bit into our strawberries, letting the juice run down our chins. We smile and chew, make yummy food noises and it's over, all too soon. The strawberry is sweet, the chocolate divine and we both want another one, but need to get on our way. We wash our fruit at the fountain and then walk back to our car. We pull away from the parking lot and fondly look back. With our car pointed towards Monterey, it is only 10 a.m. and our vacation has only just begun.

I smile
reaching across
from my seat to yours

your skin
feels oh so soft
just like a child's does

just you
and me right now
driving and carefree

our mouths
speak of the times
we have shared many

just now
I try so hard
so I won't forget

and how you look
at this pure moment

is more to come
a memories must

and here
we both will share
mother daughter us

Thursday, August 02, 2007

road trip

I am leaving this stifling hot valley for an annual road trip that I take with my daughter Angela. We have missed the last 2 years because of bad health. We changed the time of year and it also happens to be her 23rd birthday. So, we will be doing all kinds of celebrating.

I will be gone from blogger for 1 week, starting tomorrow...yep, I'm even leaving my computer home and I never do that! She will have my full attention 100% of the time. I will have my camera and plan on taking loads of pictures, yes, I'll even ask a stranger or two, to snap the both of us :)

Where are we going?...Monterey, California! The ocean is calling, with clam chowder in bread bowls (yum) outdoor boutiques and plenty of antique shopping. We love to eat, so the food is a big part of the trip and Monterey has some of the best restaurants around.

Angela recently injured her foot while running/jogging, so she will be dragging the famous Darth Vader 'Das Boot' around. Ha! She will finally be walking at a pace I can keep up with ;) We are taking it slow, savoring this blessed time that we have been given and I look forward to catching up on all of you at my return.

Have a wonderful week...hugs to you all,
be safe, angels on your pillow,
xOx darlene