Friday, January 19, 2024

Introducing...The Meandering Muse!

Hello!  Some big news here;  after much thought it is time for a refresh of this space's name. Since the wheel of the year has cycled almost 15 times, it is time to evolve my blog as I myself have done moving from one phase of life to the next.  

Since 2009 I've been Tilting at Windmills...after almost a seven year break I have returned as The Meandering Muse.

Some may think that running a small business is enough to keep a young family busy.    In 2007 we purchased a 130 year old farmstead on six acres so that we could garden, eat seasonally, preserve food, take care of farm animals and reach for a sustainable lifestyle while bringing up our young children.We have managed all of the typical family fun stuff, teenage years, club sports, first dates; in addition we now have a deep understanding of  advocating for mental health which has become very dear to my heart. 

Today our children are both in college and spreading their wings while we begin to preen our empty nest. In the last year B and I also each lost our mothers, after short and unexpected illnesses.  We are profusley feeling the seasons of change.  It is through entering this new phase of life that my voice has found volume again.  Join me while I meander through life while trying, as always, to take a less traveled by road.

Please find me and subscribe on my Substack.  It is truly a fantastic community!!

Thursday, January 4, 2024

A Challenge To You

For all of you starting the year and thinking Whew!  I'm so glad that 2023 is OVER!!  I challenge you to take an hour and look back through your pictures.  I did this yesterday trying to gain some perspective
 on a year that had left me feeling numb.  I am so glad that I did!  

Entering last year after the passing of my Mother In-Law in November 2022, I wanted to try to focus on home, family and seeing friends (which still was stunted post Covid).  What I found was the year was full of wonderful things.  I started cooking again...A LOT.  We focused on rehabing and planting the kitchen garden, We had dinners with friends and a girls weekend.  B and I spent a weekend away for our 25th wedding anniversary. I surprised my mom and flew back to California for Mother's Day (in retrospect, the best decision that I made last year).  We visited Rhi in Asheville. We drove to New York to go to my cousins wedding.  And I dusted off my rusty blog and began to write again. Whew!  Not such a bad year!!  

Then August came and we went back to California for our regular summer vacation, however this time my mom was having a major, yet relatively routine surgery.  That spiralled over ten weeks into pneumonia, unforseen infections, an additional surgery, recovery, then a sudden code overnight, ventilator, my dad going into the hospital as well, successful extubation, mom starting to chat again full of humor, then a month after that sudden respiratory failure, and her passing 2 hours later. The breathtaking grief associated with this long road that was truly unexpected overshadowed the year.  I am forever thankful that I was able to be present for the time my mom was hospitalized to help her and my dad navigate the rediculousness of our medical system at work (that would be a whole other post to even scratch the surface)!

My dad came and spent the month of December split between us, in Wisconsin, and my brother's family in New Jersey, and we were able to take time together to process, remember and love one another.  I mentioned in my last post some of my mom's last words to me You Can't Be Afraid of Life.  I've realized what an important exercise it is to look back at things in their entirety. It allows you to remember all of the good in the shadow of the difficult. It teaches gratitude and not to take anything for granted.  Reflecting on this I am walking, with intention into 2024.  

Monday, October 23, 2023

You Can't Be Afraid of Life

 You can't be afraid of life.  Mom said this to me in one of the last conversations we had.   She passed away yesterday.  My mom and I have always been very close, but over the last eight weeks of medical trials and turbulations, we became closer yet, and left nothing unsaid.

 My mom was a fighter.  She fought MS for over four decades, and did so with incredible positivity, strength and endurance.  She was always looking for ways to laugh and find joy.  She surrounded herself with groups of friends whom she shared a wide variety of interests with and who she loved dearly. She was married to the love of her life, my father, for almost 56 years.  She was a role model for taking life by the horns and doing all you can regardless of its challenges.  She was not done yet, but sadly her body gave out long before her spirit.  It is that spirit that will live on in her family and those who knew and loved her.  

Thursday, September 7, 2023

August 365 Project and Update


August was a hot and busy month.  I jumped into my photography project with an open heart, and that allowed me to find some center in a crazy and emotional month.  I spent three weeks in California, as my mom has been in the hospital.  Things are finally beginning to look up, and for that I am deeply greatful.  There is a long recovery ahead, but one thing about my mom; she is the strongest person I know. 

 If you would like to see the whole collection of photos from August, you can find them on Instagram.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Time to 365 Again

Back in the day when I was blogging up a storm, I also gained a lot of joy and friendships from photography groups.  One of the things I've missed over the years is doing a 365 project.  So yesterday on Lughnasa, I took the day marking the beginning of the harvest season to begin to cultivate my photography again.  I'll be doing daily posts on my Instagram, then will post a monthly recap here. 😃