Casual Friday – 5/1/15

Casual Friday BootsOn Fridays I join Amie of Amie Writes for Casual Friday, a post “with no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.” Check out her blog, and join us in observing Casual Friday if you would like.

Another week and another month in the books.

As I frequently ask, where does the time go?

We had an interesting weather week. From rain and snow on Saturday and very cold weather through Wednesday, it finally warmed up and Thursday was a beautiful day. Another beautiful day is promised today and the whole weekend should be great with highs in the 70’s. That is my favorite weather.  The last frost day here is thought to be around May 9, and many people follow a rule to not plant anything tender until Mother’s Day. A quick look at the internet shows later recommended dates this year, with one county extension agent suggested not planting tomatoes until after June 1. My gardener (in the guise of my sister) has been spending a lot of time outdoors working the soil and moving established plants from one area to another. We have very little grass in our landscape as we accommodate dry conditions and continuing water issues, but I did have to cut grass this week.

We had dinner guests last night. In this wonderful life I lead, my sister who stays at home does most of the meal prep. When I came from work, I only had to set the table, fix the salads, put a pitcher of ice water on the table, and then greet our guests. We had a wonderful dinner of shrimp linguine, a salad of greens, cucumber and tomato, and delicious moist muffins made with yellow squash. The shrimp linguine contained lightly sauteed sliced zucchini, sliced yellow squash, julienned carrots and fresh broccoli florets. It was a superb dinner. My sister is an excellent cook.

I have two sisters, one of whom I blogged about last week on her birthday. It is the other sister, Mary, who shares my home. She had become disabled and after my husband passed away I invited her to leave Virginia and move out to New Mexico to live with me. It has been a great arrangement. In many ways, my life has never been so easy because she takes care of the house, the yard, the dogs and all of the routine tasks. I go to work at my demanding job but when I come home I have very little that I must do, because she takes care of almost everything. As I told our friends last evening, “Everyone and everything thrives when Mary takes care of you.” My wish for others is that everyone could have a sister Mary.

At work we are furiously working on a project with a deadline of June 1 with still so very much to be accomplished. The work days are hectic but the relaxation of home is very welcome at the end of each day.

I am looking for another relaxing weekend, but if the expected weather holds, I hope to help with some outdoor projects. That kind of activity is completely different from what I do at work, and thus it is a welcome change of pace.

As I sit here composing this post, I am looking out at the green trees at the back of my house that border the open space. The birds are active in the trees and at our feeders and bird bath. My windows are open and I can hear the melodic chorus of their singing and chirping. Everything is so bright and calm and peaceful. I will soon be leaving for the hustle and bustle of work, but it is great to know that I get to come home to this.

Wishing for everyone to have a beautiful and serene weekend, and to have a sister Mary.


30 thoughts on “Casual Friday – 5/1/15

  1. garym6059 May 1, 2015 / 8:27 am

    Sounds like your weather is a wacky as my weather. Enjoy the weekend since it sounds like you are going to have some great weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 6:48 pm

      It’s kind of interesting to find what will show up next. We got into the high 80’s today but it is already cooling off nicely. You have a good weekend as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature May 1, 2015 / 8:40 am

    I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend. Yes, I would love a sister like Mary. She would need a different name, though. I have always wanted a sister. I have lots of chosen sisters, though….but they don’t live with me or help around the house. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 6:49 pm

      It could get very confusing if there were two Mary’s in the same household. I value both of my sisters greatly and really appreciate all Mary does for me.


      • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature May 1, 2015 / 7:38 pm

        Well, my mom”s name was Mary, so there were two in the household, but I was called Mary B.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 7:43 pm

          I can imagine the issues that could have been created. I am imagining a boy you had a crush on calling your house, asking for Mary, and your mom taking the call.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature May 1, 2015 / 7:49 pm

            Sadly, she died when I was 12, a long time before I dated, and she had sort of a raspy voice being a smoker.


            • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 7:51 pm

              I am sorry. You were so very young, much too young to lose a parent.


              • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature May 1, 2015 / 8:28 pm

                Thanks. It was sad. I had to grow up that day, but I am so grateful to have had such a loving mom for the years that I had her. It was a good foundation.


                • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 8:48 pm

                  I am always so deeply affected when children lose a parent; it seem so unfair. Being a woman of faith I believe we may not always understand but it is part of a larger plan. It is too profound of a loss too early. I can’t help wondering what might have been and I am sure that is pondered many times. Clearly you have managed quite well in your life but I expect there were times when it was emotionally very difficult.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature May 1, 2015 / 9:15 pm

                  Yeah, I missed her every day for years. And it was during a time when kids weren’t really considered and grief wasn’t talked about – more less death. I always try to get families talking when someone is terminally ill in the family – especially to the kids, and grief counseling for them after. I had depression as a kid until I really grieved. Fortunately I got onto my spiritual path very early and that helped hugely. Thank for your heart, Helen.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 9:53 pm

                  Thank you for your sharing. My daughter was 16 when her dad passed away. He had cancer. She could not believe that he was going to die–she said God was going to work a miracle, It was clear to me she wasn’t dealing well as she did everything she could to not be at home and when she was at home she barely acknowledged him. And they had been so close. So I asked the hospice social worker to talk to her…actually to talk to all of us. We cried and hugged and yelled but it helped. She started to sit by his bed doing her homework and talked to him about everything going on with her, even when he wasn’t responsive. He passed away not long after. I have often thought how important it was for her to have those days with him.


                • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature May 2, 2015 / 10:30 am

                  Oh my gosh, yes!! You totally did the right thing. Perfect. So glad she had that time with him. She may have regretting not doing that for the rest of her life. I don’t know your daughter, but I have seen people blame themselves forever for that very thing.One of the reasons I loved working in the death/dying field was for that very reason. It is so rewarding doing what that hospice counselor did for your family. Being so secretive about death in the 50s robbed me of that chance. I didn’t know my mom had (the c word…shhhh) until the day she died. Thank you for doing that for your daughter!!!! In some way – even though it was hard – a healing took place, not only for her but for you and your husband. Also, when we heal something in ourselves, it echoes all over the world and other people are healed as well. ❤

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Good Woman May 3, 2015 / 7:02 am

                  I definitely feel for what you went through. In some ways things have moved in the right direction in terms of more openness in communication and understanding that it doesn’t do any good to keep children in the dark about such significant things. I suppose some people still do it but I grew up much the way you did without really knowing what was going on. My mom was once in the hospital for 12 days (my memory says it was that long) and we never were told the reason except she was “resting”. With you having been kept in the dark with your mom’s illness, it had to have been such a complete shock, similar to losing someone in some kind of fatal accident. One thing with cancer is there is time to prepare. Although it is never pleasant or easy and there still is a lot of grieving of course, but you do some emotional preparation ahead of time. But, oh my gosh, I had not absorbed that part of your life’s work had been with death and dying. As emotionally difficult as that had to have been I can see that there also would have been great rewards.


                • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature May 3, 2015 / 7:44 am

                  Working with death/dying was a natural niche for me to get into. I was sick a lot, so I know how it feels to have a chronic/life threatening illness. Also, since I lost my mom early, every time anyone lost someone close, I was the go to person. I am comfortable with going to those deep hard places with people, and when people are dying, they want to get their “unfinished business” done, so they grow hugely and deeply every day. So rewarding to have the honor to be with them for that. I was told that my mom was getting better, and flat out lied to about it. So I learned to doubt my own reality. The trees and the angels told me she was going to die and to prepare. I wasn’t sure what to believe. When I confronted her about it, she swore to me she didn’t have cancer (with tears rolling down her cheeks). I know she thought she was doing the right thing, and i love her for that….she was just mistaken. I am grateful, though it was hard, to have learned that lesson and to have been able to help families tell their kids.


                • Good Woman May 3, 2015 / 9:18 am

                  I expect your mother did do what she thought was best, and her decision was part of the culture of the time. In so many ways we have such a much better understanding now. How wonderful that you were able to use your own experience to benefit so many others.


                • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature May 3, 2015 / 12:48 pm

                  Thanks. Yeah, I know she did the best she could. She wanted me to stay young and innocent as long as possible because she knew the rug would be yanked out from under me. From my perspective now, a chance to say good bye would have been good. Can you imagine what it must have been like for her to know she was leaving my brother and myself behind? Especially with an alcoholic father. I feel so much compassion for her. How is your daughter now, having lost her father? How long ago was it? You may have said, but I can’t remember. How did you get through it?

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Good Woman May 3, 2015 / 10:05 pm

                  I can only feel compassion as well for what your mother must have felt. My husband passed away in early 2006 so we have had a long time to adjust. There are still times when I hear a bit of news and I think I can’t wait to discuss it with him. But that happens less and less. My daughter is doing very well, thank you. She is now 26. We commemorate the date of his death and that continues to be hard but I think she has put it in a good perspective. To me there is really an advantage to having been able to care for him at home until the end. We saw his steady decline and grieved throughout his illness, which was remarkably brief. When he passed away we knew it was time. Of course there was still much grieving to do, but I do believe that helped both of us.


                • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature May 4, 2015 / 8:17 am

                  Yeah, i think anticipatory grief, while excruciating, is so special. To be able to share that time is sacred. I am glad you and your daughter are doing well. I think when “unfinished business” is completed before the death, the grieving is uncomplicated. It is “just” overwhelming sadness and loss – no guilt or anger – but sadness laced with gratitude for the love. So nice you were able to keep him at home.
                  I was able to keep my brother in his apartment through his illness and death. He died so peacefully, I think because of it. I was grateful to be able to go live with him through it.
                  I am so glad that our culture is now more comfortable talking about death. Part of my work was doing trainings to teach people how to be with people who were dying…people who wanted to volunteer, as well as family. It is such an important topic and we all experience deaths of loved ones as well as our own. Why not talk about it?!


  3. Donna May 1, 2015 / 8:44 am

    That is so nice wish I had a Mary living with me but not to do the work to go hiking and kayaking and geocaching etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 6:51 pm

      I don’t think she could do a lot of those activities, but she would love to go along and just be there. She would try to do more than she should and exhaust herself completely.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Faye May 1, 2015 / 8:57 am

    I imagine your sister would tell a similar story of what you do for her to make her life so fullfilled.
    It is wonderful that you two have been able to work out this arrangement.
    I love gardening and my husband and I spent much of the day outside yesterday. It’s a kind of therapy for me. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 6:53 pm

      I would hope she would tell a mostly positive story but I don’t do the same kinds of things for her that she does for me. The arrangement is mutually beneficial I think. Mary does most of the gardening and she too finds it rewarding, but she tends to overdo it.


    • ma May 1, 2015 / 10:43 am

      I have tears in my eyes. Okay if I take the rest of the day off and bask in the warmth of your words. . . except the dogs are already demanding to be fed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ma May 1, 2015 / 10:48 am

        I did not write that first sentence about moderation. Where did it come from?


        • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 7:00 pm

          The first time a person comments I have the opportunity to approve or not approve the comment. That is why you saw the comment about awaiting moderation. But I think you are safe – I am not worried about you spamming me or being derogatory or negative, etc., not that I have had any problem like that with comments.


      • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 7:06 pm

        Ma, I didn’t realize that post was somewhat emotional. I just was reporting my honest appreciation. I think you should take the day off and bask and cuddle with those dogs while you are basking.


    • Good Woman May 1, 2015 / 7:05 pm

      Jeanne, that is very sweet. I hope you had a great conversation.


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