Sunday, June 24

* A handwritten letter* 

I broke my ankle 20 years ago this month, and only now have they come up with the technology to repair it permanently.  This came through the use of a cadaver tendon.  With the discharge paperwork, included was a card with brief information about the donor program and where it encouraged recipients to write a brief note to the family of the donor to let them know of our appreciation of their sacrifice during such a difficult time.  The first day that I was lucid, I sat down to write them my note.  I do not know their name, but my card included a coded sheet of paper that I could include with my letter so that it could reach the proper people.  I am a donor, and I would like to encourage each of you to consider what a blessing it can be for others if you choose to do the same.  Here is a copy of the letter that I wrote them after a prayerful desire to express my gratitude and experience to them gracefully. 

To my dear family~
I am only just recovering from my surgery that linked me to you forever and I have tried again and again to find the right words to express my gratitude properly, but as the "right" ones escape me, please accept my basic attempt.  I cannot imagine the circumstances you have gone through to bring you here, so I will share min.  It is one month shy of twenty years ago that I broke my ankle on a trampoline.  I ended up with a rather more significant tendon injury which I have gone through surgery to correct unsuccessfully.  As a result of this damage, I have lived with an unstable ankle which gives out roughly once every other week.  It has caused me to fall down flights of stairs repeated, sometimes holding children, sometimes causing concussions and so forth.  I have been scared of having problems during a pregnancy, and I am very careful when taking care of loved ones for fear of it giving out when they depend on my physical strength.  Ten years ago, when I first married, there was no real medical solution for me and so I mostly gave up tennis and other sports and learned to adapt my life for the most part.  This month, I went in to my doctor and was told of a new procedure which called for a transplant.  They tell me that now it will function as it once did thanks to your choice during such a dark time in you lives.  There is no way to express my gratitude, so I tried to offer this note and let you know that I am one of 9 children with 18 nieces and nephews thus far, and I shared with them how I was able to be healed and my choice to become a tissue donor as well as an organ donor, and I asked each of them to consider making the same choice.  I know that getting a new tendon may seem unimportant to most, but for myself, it will change how I get to live my life.  I wish there was more I could say.  I will pray for all of you for comfort and thank you for the legacy your loved one left behind. 

Most Sincerely~
                       Bethany M.

Tuesday, February 28

*Come ride with me*

Today I went out and after roughly 18 months of consideration, I bought myself a bike.  This morning, as I sat in my room doing my morning devotional, I realized today was the time to spend the rather considerable amount of money on a "toy" that I had not tried in about 20 years.  At roughly the age of 12, I went on a "death march" bike ride with my family in Dallas.  It was such a horrible experience bike riding in the Dallas heat on a junky bike, trying to keep up with others in the family, that I swore I would never do it again.  Well, I am a liar.

So this morning, I left the house with the intention of finding a bike to ride by the end of the day.  At the first shop, I walked in fully expecting to buy a fancy Electra cruiser bike with a darling basket, and a little bell.  So, the sales clerk walked up to me to greet me. So, I told him I wanted to buy a bike but didn't know what I should be looking for as I hadn't been on one since I was a child.  His advice: just pick out a pretty color.  Seriously?!? Needless to say, I was not going to drop that kind of cash at a place where they just didn't care to explain things like, gears matter, how it feels to sit in the seat, am I sitting erect, is it pushing me forward.... Anyhow.  Then I headed down the street to the next Bike shop, Taylor's Bike's in Provo, and tried again.  This time I discussed things like what kind of biking would I be doing, how did I want to be seated, how did I like the comfort? Anyhow, by the time they were done, the poor girl got a hug from me, who hates hugs! I could not have been more grateful for the family running that shop and treating me with respect and not shaming me for being a thick lady trying to go bike riding. 

I went straight home and literally prayed that the old adage is true, " it's like riding a bike..." well, luckily it is.  I was panicked at first at the idea of lifting my feet and figuring out how to get started, but that was sorted out soon enough and I headed out to explore the neighborhood I have lived in for the last 7 years.  How beautiful.  It was snowing, and cold, but a gorgeous day for a ride.  I went down a mile or so to the cemetery by my home, and determined that would be as good a place as any to try out the gears, breaking, and general biking skills.  It was so beautiful.  I am grateful for the time out of the house in the sun, and allowing for inspiration to come to me.  I was able to call my brother and have a sincere talk with him, and I was able to once again, feel like myself.  I was not hiding in my home, I was not ashamed.  I was free......

 A beautiful statue from around 1900.  I felt the familiar tingle I once enjoyed in cemeteries in Europe.

 This is the part of the cemetery called the Angel Garden.  It is the graves of the tiny children who lived only long enough to enter the world and be seen by their families, some lived a few weeks or months.  There were headstones with Birthday balloons and stuffed animals.  There was a headstone just past these for a young child that had a shepherds hook with a flashlight hanging on it for a child who was afraid of the dark. 

 My favorite headstone

This is about a block from my home. I had to loop back around when I saw this beautiful door with the wreath on the wood panel. I am thinking about asking them for it!  Perhaps, I will cut it down to a square of the woodwork section and hang it on a wall, or make it a side table.....

Home at last...I love this bike and the freedom of my days.

Saturday, February 18

*I heart organizing*

In the last week, I have immersed myself in every area of my closet/craft space I heard on an organizing podcast that I should organize top to bottom, left to right.  So, here is my spare rooms various walls.  Enjoy!

 Here I created a makeup vanity out of a tiny corner and added my ironing station and necklaces~
My first closet section has purses, scarves, accessories, glasses, drawers of sweaters by color, and my bathroom backstock supplies as my bathroom is very small in this house~

My second wall section is for my most often used craft supplies.  There are lots of cricut and cardmaking supplies sorted out and decanted as I found that when I had them out of sight, they rarely were used.  The pull out drawer is actually made for socks and ties, but I find it much more useful this way~

 My third wall section holds my bottoms by color with first pants, then skirts, and finally dresses.  I have seldom used supplies at the top (wrapping paper and summer workout tanks). Then next to that, here is my tops section and jackets on the bottom rack.  You can clearly see that I worked in clothing retail for ages as I am obsessed with having everything colorized and rotate it each season~ 

Finally, abutted against the tops section forming an L shape, I have my shoe wall. This works well for me because I cannot buy new shoes unless I get rid of an old pair as my space is limited to one floor to ceiling section~

Next up: MY KITCHEN!!!

Monday, November 28

*Ladies and Gentlemen, the devil is real*
Now I know that this is not the site where one typically expects to see images of the supernatural, or musings on deity and the like, but today has just been one of those days, so as it is my place to write, enjoy this if you might.

I have been married more than 9 years, and during that time, I have been brought to realize the true nature of evil. Evil wants you as miserable as he is, he constantly confronts and challenges you in ways that you previously thought unendurable. He is nasty, hateful, and when I sense his presence, I feel anger, fatigue, and helplessness. I of course refer to, the adversary, the devil, my cat Kenshin.

That bugger has been with me since roughly a month after saying "I do" and his goal in life is to make me sorry I have ever met him. Well, it has worked. This afternoon as I sat home while the cable company worked on restoring my connection, I had offered the gentleman at my home a drink, and so just as I stepped into my front room to deliver it, the devil laid me low. I had barely handed my guest the glass when I heard a tremendous whooshing noise, and upon turning round to the kitchen, I saw Kenshin, the devil incarnate, had knocked off a gallon of egg nog from where it sat closed on the counter and had created an egg nog orgy for himself and the three other youngsters who are prone to follow his bad example.

One of these days, that damn cat will be gone. Please make it sooner rather than later!!

All four kitties, gorging themselves on my sorrow

Poor Gigi has been blind since birth and has never had to take a bath in the sink before, though she has never been drenched in egg nog before either. Thank goodness my sink was essentially empty to begin with.
Sad note, she has no clue that faucet is right in front of her nose. I kid you not. Luckily for us all, my cable guy suggested I photograph the evidence of this misbehavior to share with the world before I got about the business of once again, doing my floors.

Sunday, November 27

The Road Not Taken
- by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I started off on my adventure, ignorant to the fact that at the end of November in the Utah mountains, one would expect to see snow...
To someone else, this means something.... stay on course? Anyhow, it wasn't bad to start and the terrain looked manageable though slow going.

The trail quickly went from snow ankle deep to something more disheartening...knee deep!
Here is the exact point I turned back. I looked above me on the mountain side and saw a merry group of cross country skiers making their way across the terrain. There is no shame in turning about when one has short hiking boots and ankle socks where snowshoes and skis are the proper apparel.

My very own "Road less traveled." Rather than follow the relatively mild path I ventured out on, I decided to take the higher trail which offered more scenic views. Please note, this ended up being the path that I was knee deep for the last 30 minutes or so of my adventure though the prospect of this is precisely what precipitated my turning back in the first place.

After I realized that my snow filled shoes and surprisingly warm calves (despite being repeatedly dunked in snow) might be a reason for concern, I began a sad attempt to run a portion of the "trail" to get to warmth faster.
The most beautiful cabin in the world! A welcome sight after 2.5 hours on the ice covered mountain side
Welcome home!