Day 11: Mystery and Lighting Effects

This was a fun theme. Here are my entries for mystery and lighting effects.IMG_3403


mystery and lighting effects





Mystery – a time portal??


Playing with refections



Evening Reflection


Staying in Focus: LIfe is the Journey

Daily Prompt: JourneyIMG_9657

We all on a journey because life is the greatest journey we will ever take.. Where we began and where we end is not the focus of life, but the journey through it is. What have I learned in my 60 year journey through life so far? I’ve learned that there will be joy as surely a there will be tears. There will be success  and there  will be failure. There will be moments of fear and acts of heroism. There will be days when I think  I’ve  had just about all I can take,  and days so beautiful I never want to see  them  end. I’ve learned that my life experience is up to me. I can make choices and I can make changes. The journey is not always  a straight line from beginning to end.  Sideroads and hidden paths sometimes confuse my progression, other times lead me to new experiences that help me grow.

Take my Parkinson’s disease, for instance. Never that one coming. A bit of a roadblock,  it has become my constant  companion for six years now, and  it has, of course,caused me to make some changes in the direction I was going on my journey before PD. As John Lennon so wisely observed, Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. My advice is  make plans, but make them out of silly putty,  so they can stretch in whatever direction your journey requires. PD may have slowed me  down, but my journey continues and I am moving forward.

Let me add that the journey will  provide opportunities for mystery and promise, challenge and  despair, triumph and heartbreak. Life is not a journey for the timid or the weak. It is a journey of discovery, of finding a way past the roadblocks, meeting the challenges,  finding the opportunities to be magnificent.  Discovering who you are and what you are capable of achieving  is the quest of the journey.

I try to take my journey one step at a time, not so intent on trying to see what is coming that I miss what is, right now.  If I am mindful, when my journey is complete, I will have the memories of a life well-lived; if not, I’ll be filled with regret for all those lost opportunities to make my life matter , to embrace my journey. no matter where it leads or how it challenges me. I intend to complete my journey with no regrets.

So, perhaps, I will see you out there on the road,. Our journeys intersect and mix with others constantly. May your journey be just what you need it to be. may you be what your journey needs you to be – magnificent.

Focus On: The Winds of March


with nature poised to reawaken
I taste anticipation in the air
but harshly blow the winds of march
and still snowflakes may fall
until the iron grip relaxes
and I shake loose from winter’s thrall.
and as the long night gives way to day
I bask in the light and celebrate life.
– pc 2013

It seems as if this has been a long, cold, dark winter despite the fact that we had a few really warm, sunny days sprinkled in, here and there. I think what has colored our perception this year in particular has been the wind. I can take the cold of winter, if the night air is still, but add that wind and I’m shivering from head to toe.  For the most part, wind is a mystery. We can’t actually see it, but we can hear it. A few times this winter it literally howled outside my window, a beast loosed in the night. And we can see the paths it travels by the devastation it can leave behind.  Should it form a tornado, its power is magnified and it is potential is deadly. Wind is a force to be reckoned with, but one associated with the return of spring. As the news informs us, keep an eye on the weather and be prepared.

In a recent poetry class, we worked on simile and metaphor and I searched out a poem I had written previously and revised it: With March roaring in like a lion, I thought it was topical:

The Storm

she watches,,

as the wind rages
a beast, unleashed,
like a total solar eclipse
consumes the light in its hunger,
until darkness rules the day;

at the window she stands
behind her fragile barrier
the power fascinates, the wind
a wolf howling its challenge
as it races toward her

she wonders…

will the beast eat hungrily
leaving nothing behind
save piles of broken boards
scattered like fractured bones?

or will it leap, release the light
and like a horse, now gentled
flow like a mere breeze
brushing by her face
on a spring day?

she waits…

I am trying to live in the moment and just enjoy these last days of cold weather. I know in August, I’ll remember them fondly. But I can’t help looking forward to welcoming that gentle lamb which March is supposed to emulate by month’s end. And although spring can be a volatile season of tornadoes and destruction, it is also the season of hope and of life renewed as the trees and flowers wake from their slumber.  Don’t let the season go by without seeing ,smelling and feeling it.  Enjoy the bright green of new leaves ,the saucy yellow of the daffodils, the scent of fresh, newly planted earth, the warmth of the sun on your shoulders.Take a walk, Feed the pansies. Use that wind to your advantage and go fly a kite. Tour the seed catalogs and plan your garden.  Practice being in the moment. Remember to:. Pay attention. Be astonished!

Staying in Focus: Pat and the Mystery of the Colonoscopy

Well, while all of my faithful followers were tucked snugly in bed last night, I spent the night drinking.  No, I wasn’t on a binge or celebrating the Super Bowl.  I was drinking a cocktail of PEG 3350, Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Chloride,  Potassium Chloride, Sodium Ascorbate and Ascorbic Acid mixed with water.  In other words, a  product called MoviPrep, ( sadly, no relationship to cinema), the foulest tasting concoction on the planet, designed to cause your intestines to turn themselves inside out and hang themselves out to dry. At both 6:00PM last night, and worst of all, again at 3:00AM this morning, I downed a liter of this foul stuff followed by a 16 oz. chaser of water. By now, I’m sure many of you recognize the colonoscopy cocktail party. First, you starve (all day) then you binge (on the MoviePrep), then you purge (believe me, your intestines will take care of this part, your job is to get them where they have to go — fast!)

While I was waiting for things to, ah, start happening, I was playing Mystery Manor on Facebook.  And I started to think that while the prep is all too real, the colonoscopy itself is a bit of a mystery. I’ll explain my thinking further in a minute. (Keep in mind it is now 4AM and I’ve had about 3 hours sleep, so thinking is a challenge at this point)

By the time the second round was finished, it was time to head to the colonoscopy center, where very nice, gentle people, put me to bed, with nice warm blankets and enough wires and electrodes to turn me into a cyborg.  They wheeled me into an icy cold room, asked  a few questions to confirm my identity, just in case someone off the street decided to steal my colonoscopy (Is there a lot of that going around?) and then I woke up back in my  curtained cubicle, and my husband (designated driver) was waiting there to take me home..

And that’s where the mystery comes in.  Unlike other medical procedures, there is little evidence that one was done. Through the magic wizardry of the doctors, all I remember is – nothing.  One second I was awake and the next I was waking up somewhere else. I don’t even remember falling asleep!

If you have surgery, you remember because you have stitches and stuff.  If you have a tooth pulled at the dentist, you have stuff stuffed in your mouth and a missing tooth. If you give birth, you have a baby. But a colonoscopy — no scars, no stuff, no baby.  You may have the need to push some excess air out of your system, but that’s about it.

However, the wizard of colonoscopies, Doctor Stephen Furs, and the man who knows the inside of my colon far better than I, solves the mystery at last — he brings proof of the procedure – full color pictures of my newly-cleaned colon in  8 X 10 glossies. No, I’m kidding about the 8 X 10 part, the pictures are creepy enough in thumbnail size.

Now, I will spare you from having to view my colon picture gallery (they’ll be on the mantle at home if you want to drop by) and if you’re thinking, well, photos can be faked – trust me, no one is that imaginative!

But despite my humorous take on all this, colonoscopies are a serious business. Were it not for my primary care physician, Dr. Maureen Dollinger, urging (and nagging) me to get my first colonoscopy, I may have learned too late that my polyp was cancerous. As it turned out, I had a procedure called a colectomy, where the part of the colon with the polyp was removed and that took care of the problem. I was spared a colostomy bag, chemo this timely test.  That was over five years ago and seven colonoscopies later. l want to urge everyone out there who is 50 to call and make an appointment today.  I waited until I was 54, and it was almost too late.

And despite the rather unpleasant taste of the cocktail, it is worth it in the long run. The prep is the hard part; the colonoscopy is so easy you sleep right through it.   If I can soldier through the prep 7 times, anybody can.

For any of my followers in the Raleigh, NC area, there is a 5K Run/Walk for colon cancer awareness on Saturday, March 2, at Fred Fletcher Park in Raleigh.  For more information go to Get out in the sunshine and take a walk for a great cause. 75% of the funds stay in the local area to fund colon cancer awareness, prevention programs and bringing screening opportunities for those under or not insured.

Oh, and by the way, my colonoscopy was clear!  No polyps in the colon.  Next one: 3 years from now.  I think I can wait that long for another colonoscopy cocktail.

Bottoms Up 😉