Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Today was one of those ordinary days that was filled with moments.  I know every day is like that, but I am not zen enough to appreciate and live in each moment all the time.  I would like to, but I am just not there. 

However, today was one of those days.

I woke up with the alarm this morning, anxious about going back to work.  I wanted to go back, but after 2 weeks, what would I find?  Would I be overwhelmed?  Or what if I am not even needed.  I was anxious.  I fixed my quick cook steel cut oatmeal that Ms Moon got for me and it was delicious.  I know oatmeal is not thought to be the tastiest dish, but these steel cut, even the quick cook or good.  They have texture and a nutty flavor, yum.  

My timing was perfect and I was out of the house early.  As I drove up to Hwy 19, the sun broke free from the trees and sky was filled with a light glimmering gold and pink and orange.  Breath taking.  I stopped for a minute watching the sky and just felt that morning wrap its brilliant fall sunshine around me.

I got to work 20 minutes early, and found a parking spot right in front of the door. Normally I like to park on top of the hill, but I knew that I could not make that walk today.  And there was a perfect parking spot right in front of the door.

I walked into the office and everyone was happy to see me.  They came up and hugged me and I got to catch up with my friends and hear about Kelly's sister's wedding.  I even got to see some of the photos and they were amazing.  The light was perfect, soft, amber glow lighting up Derby's white dress.  She looked like an angel with a halo all around here.  

I went to my office and I felt alive, like I knew what I was doing.  I started catching up on the hundreds of emails.  I did not check my voice mail.  I needed to get a draft to my bosses concerning the end of the Federal Fiscal Year, EPA Grant.  I sent out the emails to get the information from all of the parties.  I read through the drafts that Kelly had started working on.  I added in the rest of my information.  I sent out the draft to the bosses and let them know that I can get them the final the first of next week.  I prioritized, picked out things that I could accomplish today and I rocked.  I had told Kelly that I was getting to the place where I needed to be.  To understand that I cannot do my job the way I am used to doing my job.  I am not there like I was, and that others were picking up the work and keeping things going.  I need to give up the guilt and do what I can, and let those do the rest.  They will catch me back up to my job when I am well enough to come back full time.  The Assistant Director and Bureau Chief came in to say hello.  I really appreciate how well they are handling all of this.  The three of us have worked together for 25 years, and for them to see me with cancer, and be my bosses, I know it is tough on them.  And they are so supportive.  Part of that is because we have 90% of our procedures in writing.  And actually, we have every procedure written up; some just need to be updated.  So that way, even if the main person who does that job is out, someone else can step up and take care of it.

Everything seemed so crisp and focused, and I loved being at work.  I am already looking forward to going in tomorrow.

I left work at quarter after 12 and met Isabelle at Wal-mart to buy a new Christmas tree for our Garden Circle.  We sat at McD’s and ate and talked.  I like Isabelle.  She still has such a thick French accent that I have to listen carefully to understand her.  She is a wonderful Gardner and grows amazing roses and chrysanthemums.  She picked out the tree she wanted and paid for it, I went and got the car.  And as I drove up to the front where she came out, the light was soft and glowing around here.  Then one of the Salvation Army Bell Ringers loaded the tree into my car, which I thought was awfully nice.

As I headed to the Opera House to drop the tree off I thought I would stop by and see how Ms Moon was doing.  Bless her heart, the pre-Thanksgiving party is at her house and I really don’t know if she even gets to choose whether or not to have the party.  I think people love this party so much that they would just show up.  It is a very special night filled with music and oysters and fire light and friendship.  It reminds me so much more of a real harvest festival, versus the ones that are organized to avoid Halloween.  I am looking forward to being there, maybe I will dance.

Ms Moon was busy, busy and the Sweet Miss Jessie had washed the dogs and was helping her Mama to get the house ready and when I got there she had the little man out for a walk.  That is one lovely sweet young woman.  Well, she is Jessie Moon, and raised by two sweet people so in love.  It shows in all the kids.  And as Miss Jessie came walking into the yard pushing the stroller with little Owen fast asleep, it was so lovely.  Ms Moon saw them and the love just about bursts out of her when she looks at those two special children, one an adult child, the other a grand child.  And Miss Jessie looked so pretty in her sun dress, and that little man, well, he has a baby face, but there is a huge presence about that little boy.  He is big, but his spirit just overflows right out of that giant little man.  And he looks older.  It is so hard to remember when I look at him that he is only 14 months old, instead of 24 months.  And again the light was just perfect today, shining down through all the trees on the Moon property and the light coming out of those three people, it was intoxicating.  Owen didn’t sleep for long so I got to see him before I left and by the time I was on my way, he was smiling and kissing his grandmother, and well, he is one special boy.

There was a lovely Thanksgiving card from a friend in the mail, and I felt myself smile.  Then as I pulled into my yard, there was my Daddy’s Christmas present sitting inside the fence.  I bought Daddy a walking stick with a flashlight in the grip.  It looks very easy to use and is adjustable so he can set it up to his own comfort.  Now I know we all have that special pair of shoes or a hat or a shirt that we just can’t replace.  I would think that something so relied on as a walking stick would be the same, but I thought that Dad might be able to leave it next to his bed so he can use it at night.  I also thought it would give him some piece of mind when we head to Europe this spring to know that he has a flashlight available while we stay in friend’s homes.  I was so happy to see that box and know that present is taken care of.

I opened the pasture gate and let the three dogs free.  Well, free into the ½ acre that is separated from the 1 ½ acre pasture.  Yep, they have it good those three.  And so do I.  I rested for a few minutes, but I wanted to start baking my breads for tomorrow and Thanksgiving.  So as I made the sage corn bread to use in making the cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving, I threw the ball for Bob and Maggie.  Bob is young and fast and can steal the ball away from Maggie no matter what I do, but she is still happy to be out there, and she acts like she is going to get that ball. 

Then I made two loaves of pumpkin bread, one plain, one with walnuts, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.  And well, the oven was still hot, so I baked a chocolate cake and made some whipped ganache for the filling.  As I went to bake the cake I realized I was short one egg.  So I went out to the chicken coop, and there were two perfect green eggs.  I love my green eggs.  I love my chickens.  Thank you Dani Quail and Buttercup Stanford for the eggs.  Zora lays brown eggs, so I know that Dani and maybe Buttercup are responsible for the green ones.  And the eggs were so perfect; they are not shaped quite like the white eggs at the store.  They are a little longer then rounder, but large to extra large in size.  And the green color is so lovely.  I think this spring the Moons and I will split a rainbow egg layer batch of baby chickens.  We could order chickens that are all exactly the same to optimize the number of eggs we get,
but these are pets not just egg makers, and both Ms Moon and I enjoy the variety of chickens.  I also found out that Ms Mabel is a black star hen.  When I was looking at the chicken choices this weekend I came across the black stars and they could have had Ms Mabel’s picture on the site.  In fact, that might have been Ms Mabel in that picture. 

And as I baked and threw the ball for Maggie and Bob I also watched “Oceans” on pay per view.  I recorded it so we can watch in on Thanksgiving while we are eating.  Ms Judy is an animal of the ocean, she will love this beautiful movie.  The light as it sparkled in the drops of water flying off the dolphins, the bubbles and light made by the whales as they hunt together.  The colors reflecting the light in the water, it is a beautiful movie.  I highly recommend it, with a warning that it does show violence.  I don’t know why they think we all want to watch whales rip and tear seals apart.  Admittedly it is all part of the circle of life, and they did handle those few parts with good taste, but I really don’t care to watch that portion of life.  I don’t want to watch animals poop, I don’t want to watch animals rip each other a part.  Different strokes I guess.  But it is a beautiful movie and the baking just zoomed by.

So many moments today that just stood out at me.  I have to admit there was light involved in each situation.  I mean a light that I saw that drew me to say, pay attention, here is a moment.  And I am happy.  I feel like I was really present today.  Maybe because the last 2 weeks or so I have not felt very present.  No for the last couple of weeks, I have tried not to be a part of the pain or nausea, or the times not being able to sleep or eat.  I did not want to be too in the moment when I was wiping my head as I broke out into a cold sweat, or the dry heaves.  No, I don’t mind pulling into myself and getting through those moments.  But today, today, was a day filled with little every day moments.  Those ordinary moments each day is filled with, and yet today, they stand out in my mind.  Filled with a sort of glowing light, warming me and making me feel a part of them.  A part of my own life.  A life I like.  I like my job.  I love my friends and my “kids”, and the rose bush that needs to be trimmed back and the pine cone lilies that need to be planted that Isabelle gave me.  I love the temperature where it is warm, but not hot, cool, but not cold.  And that fall light, shining through the leaves as they put on their fall show.


  1. This is an entire book on how to live a life.
    Thank-you, Kathleen, for writing it down, this day of yours, and sharing it with us.
    Love you truly...Mary

  2. Wow, you had a busy day. I think many would not be able to do all that you did. Have a Happy Thanksgiving Kathleen.

  3. this was so so lovely. and full . overflowing .

  4. Glad you are enjoying some zen moments.
    xo m

  5. love all the light descriptions and your wonderful moments, the visit to the Moon's sounds lovely. I esp loved you throwing the ball for the romping dogs.
    Happy Thanksgiving Kathleen.