Monday, May 31, 2010

constipated rain

Of the things I'm getting used to in living here (things like microscopic ants that just appeared out of NOWHERE but are EVERYWHERE and brown-ness) it's the "thunderstorms" that are the hardest for me.

This afternoon I was sitting on the porch with Skye writing a column and it started "raining." And that's when I got the metaphor - constipated rain. I'll let your imagination describe that for you.

I'll just say - I'm used to gullywashers. This was not a gullywasher.

BUT while it might not actually rain in all its liberating glory, it smells like rain often. It is by far the most pungent nature good-smelling odor I've ever smelled and I remember it from living in New Mexico.

The other day I was substitute teaching and when I opened the door to let children outside, the fragrance hit me. The nature-loving tree-hugger that I am, said to their accompanying teacher, "Oh my gosh, you can smell the rain."

She looked at me like, "Um, yeah, what else are we supposed to do with it? We never see it; we might as well be able to smell it."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two weeks

When I opened this gift from my family yesterday, I started crying and I crinkled up the wrapping paper and said, "I can't read it right now."

It's been two weeks since Jada died and yes, life does go on and I'm smiling and happy and not thoroughly depressed but there is still this absence in my daily life without her here. Mostly I miss her the most at night. We spent a lot of nights alone together and the ones when I couldn't sleep and couldn't get comfortable or the days I sat in the recliner alone, too sick to do much of anything, she was always there.

It's not that she did anything grand or that she knew tricks (I was lucky to get her to sit!), but I could always count on her. She was always watching me, making sure I was safe, that I wasn't being undully attacked by Micah, that the cows weren't getting too close or that I wasn't going anywhere alone. She hated being left home. She hated being away from me.

And now I hate being away from her.

I hope that everybody at least once in their lives can be loved as unconditionally (whether by dog or spouse or grandparent or pet goldfish or child) as Jada loved me.

Now I'm back to crying. It's really true that sometimes crying is just plain good for the soul.

My soul is good.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Today I glided. Two days before I went, I learned that gliding was flying in an engineless plane, which opened up a whole new set of questions for me. Like - how do we get up in the air?

Well, to get said engineless plane into the air takes one plane with an engine and an FAA certified tow rope. At 7,000 feet, the pilot of my glider released the rope and our bumpy trip into the atmosphere suddenly became very smooth and quiet.

If I had to sum gliding up in one word, it'd be peaceful.

Or, to sum it up in the words of my pilot, "I feel like a kid on a playground with my hands in the air."

And the analogy worked. I was on cloud nine on a playground in the sky.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Life at this moment...

...means I'm sitting at the computer tonight eating saltine crackers and drinking Sprite, in hopes of appeasing this incredibly ridiculous nausea that's been with me all day and...

...blogging because apparently not being able to sleep tonight was in my cards. Despite the fact I have to get up at 6:30 a.m.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


This afternoon I made a familiar trek from the back door of my house to my car. This time was different, though. The wagging body of my Australian Shepherd Jada was starkingly absent. I got to my car and felt as if I'd walked a mile. Minutes passed while I cried under the realization she will never walk with me again.

It was always our thing, as many things had become in our five years together. She'd get so excited at the possibility of going with me and she'd wait for the "load up", which meant she could go or the "you have to stay home," which sent her sulking into the house.

She's gone now. She died late Sunday evening after being hit by a car 'in' our driveway/yard area. I was on my way home and just moments before I found out she was gone, I'd been thinking about her.

Those of you who knew Jada and I know that she was more to me then just a dog. She was my companion, my best friend, her world revolved around me. In describing her, I often told people, "She doesn't do any tricks. She just loves me."

And she did.

All day today I remembered her. In some cases, I was forced to - she's no longer in my shadow or under my feet. In other instances, I wanted to.

Tonight she's just not here and I want her to be. I want her curled up at my feet, to get up and follow me to bed, to lay beside me, to just be here. I want her here.

I am so lucky to have loved and been loved by a dog like her for the past five years. But right now, this hole in my life completely sucks. And hurts.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

More Like Falling in Love

This is my new favorite song. I think you should watch it:

Jason Gray's "More Like Falling in Love"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Living as one

I have written about being single before. But a recent discussion on Facebook has me thinking and writing about it again. One reason is because, well, I am single. The other reason is I want my opinion in the pool of opinions.

One of my friend's husbands recently told me (and I paraphrase), "You are a complete person by yourself; you don't need to wait for someone to make you better or to complete you."

Here I sit. Twenty-six. Single.


That five-letter word doesn't mean "I'll just say that to psych out the love gods so they think I'm happy and then 'poof' here comes Prince Charming."

It means that I'm genuinely, seriously happy.

Looking back, I'm not sure how I arrived at this place of completeness with myself. It started with insecurity issues with my body and then suddenly realizing that my body is, well, my body! Being healthy and going to the gym became about me. Me wanting to extend my life. Me wanting to live healthier. It became less and less about guys finding me more attractive. (this was pre-Lyme Disease when I actually had some semblance of control over my weight)

As that need for men's approval wore away and I replaced it with a pride in myself, I think my journey to completeness took over.

I have some basic thoughts about being single:

1) it is a choice; not a curse. My single lady friends who are on a date-drought would argue but I stand by my statement. :) When I look at my own life, I can say that being single has been a choice. And there are certainly more things I could be doing right now to enhance my man options if I wanted to. But whether or not you believe it's a choice, it is certainly not a curse. Every season in our lives has a purpose and being single definitely has its own unique mission.

2) celebrate life. Your life is still begging to be lived to its fullest whether you're single, married, engaged or casually dating. Live the life you have right now. Make a difference, impact your world, live vigorously.

Yes, I get lonely sometimes. I want the spot next to me in my bed to be filled. I am human, afterall.

But those things don't take away from the fact that my life is rich, my life is full, my life is blessed and I have every day beckoning for an adventure.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Today, tonight, last night

Today I:

- got up at 6:10 a.m. to feed my niece
- went back to bed
- got up again at 8:30
- set out steaks for dinner tonight
- went to a county meeting at 10
- came home, ate lunch
- visited with my new newspaper bosses
- ran errands
- watched TV
- cleaned up the kitchen
- played Yahtzee
- got annoyed at Micah and instructed him on wrapping potatoes for baking
- found a recipe for sugared pears
- cooked steaks and potatoes and corn on the cob and sugared pears
- enjoyed dinner with my family amidst a crying baby and horses escaping their pen
- got horses back in their pasture with my brothers
- went to the high school auditorium to watch a play
- got a call from mom that the horses were out again
- came home to get horses
- the neighbor had already helped her
- went back to the play
- came home

Tonight I:

- served dessert
- played Yahtzee
- sat on the back porch with my dogs and emailed a friend
- started the dishwasher
- watched Dancing With the Stars
- chatted with a friend
- watched House
- showered
- had my mom look at the sole of my feet where I have a cut
- put a bandaid on my finger
- got lost in the kitchen - feeding my niece and then realizing I needed to put away the sugared pears and start the steak-cooking pans soaking. I then realized I couldn't do all three at once so I did the most important first and came out to the others.

Last night I:

- walked with my sister and brother and multiple dogs. Here's a photo with the beautiful sunset.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 0-10

French crepes and scrambled eggs for breakfast, complete with a prayer by me thanking God for the ability to feed my family.

Mother's Day plans rerouted thanks to the woman we celebrated today, and despite my brief moment of OCD "I have nothing planned for that plan!" moment, we moved easily into our new plan.

We visited a natural spring fed pool and enjoyed, LOVED, relished in the magnificence of the WATER. Water, ahhhhh.....and green grass. Bonus: it's only an hour from us. We will be visiting often.

"Act like you love each other!!"

The springs and the pool. Loveliness.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


When an eighty-something-year-old, 100-pound-woman leans across the table, looks at you earnestly and asks you to be a member of the board, what do you say?

Well, if you're me, you say yes, apparently.

I went to cover the local homeless shelter board meeting. Two hours later I'm a member of the board. I'm slightly confused too.

In what was probably the most informal board meeting I've ever covered (obviously!), I was asked by the treasurer to be a member and when I said how I would like to help as much as I could, she leaned over to the secretary and said, "No one else heard it but I just asked Holly to be a member of the board and she said yes. Sherry, write her name down. She's a member of the board."

There you have it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Life with Lyme post

Visit Life with Lyme for my latest Lyme-related post.

Bread Dough Part 2

This is the end of my bread dough story and then we'll move on to more exciting things. Well, maybe not exciting, per se, but we'll just move on from the subject of the rising organism we eat.

But first - proof that letting the yeast rise in a bowl with say 1/2 cup of heated Meet my potato roll dough from last night.

So my OCD bread-dough making paid off. Revel in the dough glory.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lesson in bread dough

I have a tendency to make things harder then they actually are.

I hate admitting that. Because I love multi-tasking, I love making things work more efficiently, I do not like wasting time and I like organization and a system.

For example, when I make dinner, I make an organized dinner. I have ingredients in their little dishes and I know in my head when to start the bacon to coincide with the scrambled eggs and waffles.

Why do my examples have to do with food? My bread-dough making experience tonight prompted the first sentence of this post.

When I make bread dough (yes, by hand!) I follow very specific, regulated steps. For example, I will only mix bread dough in a stainless steel bowl and I will only use a stainless steel wire whisk and later a wooden spoon. Why? Because when I was like, oh, ten and my mom was teaching me to make bread, she told me that anything else would interfere with the magic of the yeast.

Ah, the yeast. The Mecca of bread making. It's a miracle really. It's tiny grains of a substance that lifts up a very heavy lumpy piece of dough. And it must be treated with reverence.

Mom always taught me to dissolve the yeast in just the right temperature of water. Water that was hot enough to hurt a little when you stuck your finger in it but cool enough to not burn you. (It's a science.) And she would always dissolve it in a seperate bowl while mixing the other ingredients to give the yeast time to rise slightly to make sure it wasn't dead.

See, all these steps.

So tonight I printed off a recipe for cinnamon rolls. I wanted to make the dough tonight, let it rise overnight and make the rolls in the morning.

I followed the recipe exactly. And it did not include things like dissolving the yeast first in water or waiting for it to rise slightly or dissolving it in warm water.

That's when I thought that maybe, just maybe, sometimes I have a tendency to make things more difficult then what they really are. What if all those extra steps and attention to detail aren't necessary?

Tomorrow morning I'll find out. When I open the fridge door to see if the bread rose or not.