Refreshment and Inspiration


As I walked around outside this afternoon, contemplating today’s entry here, I passed my kind of skimpy-looking peonies.  Every year,  I always think about digging them up and replanting them in a sunnier area, but as the summer progresses, and the activities increase, I forget all about them.  By the time autumn arrives, the poor peonies are but a memory….a forgotten one!  And each spring, as they faithfully reemerge, in spite of my mistreatment,  I smile when I see them, as the plants originally belonged to my paternal grandmother, who passed away in 1972.

One of the high-on-my-list of priorities this morning was to call a person who had ordered some supplies from me.  Shirley is a teacher who also makes soap and candles, which she and her husband sell at craft fairs. She has been a customer for several years….she and her husband raise Golden Retreivers to be used by the disabled for helping dogs.

I called Shirley and she answered the phone. I explained what I needed, and she asked me to repeat one of the things I had said.  She then went on to tell me the horror she and her family had endured….

One morning, she had been feeling badly. She explained that she never takes sick days, but the previous two days, she had taken off. Her husband left for work, but after getting to work, he sensed soomething might be wrong, and returned home to find Shirley in a weakened state, and “garbling” instead of speaking.  Her husband called for an ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital where she remained for three months.

It seems Shirley had the flu,  of which she was unaware. After getting to the hospital, she went into a coma for three weeks.  She was then semi-conscious for two more weeks. This illness left some nasty scars….the hearing in one of her ears is totally gone, and she will be fitted with a hearing aid for the other.  She said she also experiences “eye flutters” and her balance is somewhat unsteady.

As Shirley disclosed the events she had endured, it became obvious I was talking to a very strong woman! I told her this, and she said that is what the doctors had told her as well! The doctors had initially explained to her parents that Shirley’s life was hanging by a thread, and if she were to pull through, her life would be spent as a vegetable.  Shirley confided she had a secret desire to pull through for one particular reason… of their Golden Retreivers has cancer. Moca was given about 6 months to live……but, that was 2 years and 3 months ago! Shirley had to make it back home to her special boy!

What an amazing woman Shirley is….and, she told me that although she anticipates being in a wheelchair because of the unstable balance, she plans to return to teaching this September.  I was so inspired by her story, and what an incredible person to know!

It was only after I uploaded the peonie picture and began writing about Shirley that I realized Shirley resides in the little town where my grandparents settled and raised their eight children!

I began looking through the photos I hadn’t removed from my cameras and I found this one….I took the photo from the kitchen of our neighbors’ house. At first, I was disappointed that the hummingbird was black against the trees, but as I looked at it, I really began to like the silhouette appearance of the bird!


We have been having such a heat wave, it has been grueling just doing things like cooking and laundry and household chores. Add the frustration of a sick dog, and I thought I was going over “the edge”. After the vet visit yesterday, both Scots are fine and fit as fiddles.

When we got up today, the clock on the kitchen stove was flashing “12:00”.  I set the proper time on it, and off went the electricity! It popped back on again, but this was repeated about 20 more times throughout the day!  It was totally impossible to work on the desktop computer! We are in awe that none of the appliances blew up with all the surges on and off! Mark called the power company and they sent two fellows out a little after 5. After talking with them, the power remained on! They had explained that with the weather as it was today, a limb might be bouncing on a line, causing the power to go into the limb and causing shorts.

Our weather? Well, the forecast was for strong, damaging winds. Thunderstorms with heavy downpours and lightening. We were also under a tornado watch until 6 this evening. As it worked out, none of the above happened in the Bristolwood. We did receive about an inch of rain and the wind blew, but not vigorously!

I went out with the Scotties early in the evening, and the air was fantastic! Not only had the temperatures plummeted to much more comfortable levels, but the humidity was gone! 

As Iwalked the boys, I spotted a deer standing on the crest of a hill by the road. I was so excited…it was such a perfect photo op….but, my cameras were in the house, and my hands were gripping two rambunctious Scotties. They had not picked up the scent frm the deer, so I quickly took them back to the house and grabbed my camera.  As I walked down the driveway towards the road, a large truck was making its way (very noisily) up the hill. The deer became frightened, and hid in a small growth of bushes. I watched and the last photo is the deer in its hiding place. Not a good photo, but the poor little thing was so disturbed as the truck roared by.



It was not a busy day by any means, but a rather strange one as it turned out!