Saturday, May 30, 2009

Breakfast again...

I drove by a Catholic cemetery on my way to breakfast this morning. I actually drive by it just about every day. But today for some reason I flashed on the the thought that I don't want to be planted in a box underground when I die. To me it just seems like such a waste of space and resources. My wish is to be cremated and to have my ashes spread in a wooded area. I want my remains to be returned to the earth to be used again, not decomposing in a box somewhere taking up valuable space.

As I parked at the restaurant I thought about life after death. I do believe that there is something after life ends here. When Dad died I felt grandpa and Aunt Betty (Elizabeth) very strongly in the room. Then when I was seated at a table I suddenly recognized the song in the background, Galileo by the Indigo Girls, how appropriate! Re-incarnation... Ah! Something more to think about.

Just so you don't think I am totally morbid today I had better change the subject here. Let's do a 180 degree shift here and talk about life, specifically new life! Yesterday I took a road trip and drove out to my sister's farm in Wisconsin with TJ, a resident from the group home that I work at. It was a beautiful day for a ride in the country. We left the traffic and the stress of the cities behind and drove into blue skies and sunshine!

It is about an hour drive and when we arrived my sister Cheryl was watering her newly planted flowers. We were greeted by a Nelia, Cheryl's dog. Nelia was barking and growling until she heard my voice. I was driving the house car and she didn't recognize it. Nelia quieted quickly when she knew it was me and came over to properly greet me.

First stop was the baby goats. They were arriving slowly this year. There were only a few newborns to hold. Cheryl brought a couple over so we could get a better look. One she had already named "Trouble." I had to laugh at that because "Trouble" is what TJ calls me. He also refers to me as "pest" to which I always reply, "Yes I am!"

Next we went down to the barn to see the baby lambs. There were many babies here, but they were moving so fast it was hard to take pictures. Cheryl again caught a couple and brought them over for TJ to hold. Cheryl had a particular favorite, Spot, that she couldn't find. She seemed just a little worried as she was uncertain the mom who she was attached to was actually the real mom. Spot was a little under-nourished compared to the other baby that was with that particular mother. I was also re-introduced to "Sweetie" one of the bottle babies from last year. She was looking very nice and strong. It is amazing how fast they mature. Next year Sweetie will be having her own babies.

We moved on down to a pasture farther away from the barn to see the baby calves. The cows were grazing at the far end of the pasture, but Cheryl had brought a pail of grain with her and called the cows when we got close. They came running at the prospect of a tasty snack of ground corn. Close behind were numerous baby calves. They were so cute and playful. The moms were Scottish Highland, but they had been bred to a polled shorthorn bull. It seems that all of the local vets were afraid of the horns. I find it amusing that the one vet who is not afraid, is a woman.

Cheryl said that there was a new calf born just that morning in the next pasture and asked if we wanted to go find it. I was game, so we kept walking. We hadn't gone far when we found the momma cow but not the baby. At this point Cheryl suggested that we move to the other side of the fence as the mother was not familiar with us. We didn't have to walk much farther before we found the baby alone in the woods about 20 yards from the mother. As we walked closer the mother shadowed us from the other side of the fence and then walked over to her baby who was wobbling to her feet. We watched for awhile as the baby tried to find the right place to nurse. The mother's bag was full and the teats were swollen to the size of sausages. There was plenty of milk for the little one once she figured out what she was supposed to do.

After walking back up to the barn Cheryl peeked back inside and found the little one she had been looking for. Spot was hiding by a fence. Cheryl grabbed him and brought over. TJ didn't want to hold this one, so I did. Spot was very little, but strong. Hopefully the mother that he became attached to would continue to let him nurse.

It was hard to leave and drive back to the city. It was so green and peaceful there, budding with new life and promise. But, we had to get back. As we got near downtown Minneapolis the traffic became congested with the afternoon rush hour. As we inched along bumper to bumper I could not help but contrast the stress of the city with the bucolic serenity of the country. Someday, maybe...

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Good News Wednesday!

I don't know what to write these days now that I actually have time to write. I chaffed under the pressure of a deadlines, over the assignments, over someone telling me what to write. But now that pressure is lifted, I know not what to write! I would like to write of my friends, but I don't know where to begin. I would like to write of my personal journey, but the journey seems to be stalled and I am not sure where I am going at the moment. My current condition is best described as "at rest."

For the first time in many years, I am not being pushed. I have a break in the action. It is like an intermission in my life. I finally have some leisure time and I am not sure what to do with it. It would be all together too easy to spend more time on the computer, but I have felt the need to take a break from that as well. So for the last couple of weeks I have taken a step back to a time before I was connected to the world digitally. I picked up a book and devoured it. It only served to intensify my appetite, I read two more! I then was moved to pick up a pen, but I did not write. Instead I drew a picture.

Still, I felt guilty that I was not doing something! I had let a lot of things slide while I was in school. I confided in a friend by email of what I was feeling. How after years of having my actions being driven by events, I was suddenly free. But, I also had no motivation to do anything. She responded with this:

It sounds to me that you are very clear about what you need right now... which is to step back, take care of yourself and learn to relax (without guilt). You're life has been busy, busy, busy... and will be again soon. But, for now, maybe some non-hurried time is in order. You deserve it!

I decided she was right and spent the entire evening last Monday doing nothing but listening to music. I haven't been that relaxed in years!

Thank you Tammy!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I have always loved to eat breakfast out more than any other meal. I think part of it is because I am so slow to wake up in the morning. I am hungry, but just don't want to fix it myself. It is so much nicer to have someone make it for you. Since I don't have anyone to make breakfast for me at home, I have to go out. It is kind of nice to be around other people too.

My favorite place to eat breakfast is Key's in Spring Lake Park. I loved living up there! After breakfast I would go walking at the Springbrook Nature Center. They had the best food breakfast's there! The omelets were huge, filled to bursting and after eating one you felt as if you would burst as well. But, I moved and I don't make it up to Keys much anymore...

Now I go to breakfast at Country Kitchen which is only about 2 miles for my house. And I really can't complain, the food is good. I got here a little earlier today, 8:15am. Very unusual for me! My norm on weekends is to wake anywhere from 10 am to around noon. For some ungodly reason I was up at 6am. I think my sleep patterns are finally changing. But, I kind of miss being a night owl.

There are not to many people in the restaurant yet. I am by the window and there is a family with two boys in the next booth. The baby in the high chair looks to be about a year old. He is a cutie and keeps trying to make eye contact with me. His older brother might be around 3 or 4. It is a little hard to tell as all I see of him is his head which keeps peeking up over the booth to sneak a quick look at me. I don't know what it is, but dogs and kids seem to like me. The baby at one point held out a piece of pancake he was eating as if he were offering it to me. I shook my head no and he popped it in his mouth with a huge grin. I have always enjoyed amusing little kids and making them smile while their parents are totally unaware.

I usually come to breakfast alone. Most days I read, but sometimes I get distracted people watching. It is fun especially with families, trying to figure out the different personalities and the family dynamics. A mother ignoring her children until they do something bad enough to get her attention. Then she has to show them who is boss and try to control them. In most cases, it always ends badly. I am glad this is not the case today with my two little friends in the next booth.

Breakfast has arrived! Lately, I have been ordering pancakes instead of my normal, healthier option, whole wheat toast. It kind of comforting and reminds me of those special occasions when Mom would make us pancakes or waffles. I had ordered what I like to refer to as the "heart attack" breakfast. It consists of two eggs scrambled on top of chunks of ham, bacon bits and potatoes. In addition it comes with two pieces of sausage and bacon. Then of course, the pancakes on the side. I figure once a week won't kill me. I'll have a salad for lunch, maybe...

My entertainment, the family with the two little boys is leaving, so I guess I will stop writing and concentrate on feeding me.

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