Two Steps Forward, One Step Back...Regroup and Repeat

It's been a fairly good week, overall. Mostly positive, for sure.  Some unexpected, overwhelming emotions that have caused me to hit the 'pause' button, too.  Ah well...such is life, dealing with grief, right?

Let's start with a positive, even though it's out of order on the calendar.  On Tuesday, after I had attended a Master Gardener wrap-up/planning ahead Plant Sale meeting at the Extension Center (way the heck on the other side of the county, mind you...:-), I dashed to the Moose Cafe out at the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market to meet a couple of EMGVs at noon for a country lunch (I had the fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, and green beans...yummmmm!  I just wish they would serve yeast-rolls instead of the rather bland biscuits...but you can't have everything, now can you?).  One of them is expecting her second child ANY MINUTE NOW, and I had knitted up a little outfit to welcome Baby M to the world.

5 Hour Baby Sweater Set
for Baby M

I used the 5 Hour Baby Sweater (or 5HBS, in knit-speak) patterns and some warm, washable Cascade 220 wool in hot pink and grass green to create a sweater, bonnet, and booties (see photo, left).  I enjoy knitting these patterns because they are fast and coordinated, and not just garter stitch...but I'm not sure what planet someone knitted these in only five hours!  I'm a pretty fast knitter...and I'm guessing it took at least three times as long to complete the outfit as written (only change I made was to use two colors instead of one...everything else was as written...honest...:).  OK, so I did knit the pieces while watching TV...so what else is new?  Still, I think it turned out as I'd hoped for, and the MG Mom seemed pleased to receive the gift.  Since she's moving to Michigan soon, I'm thinking the wool will be welcomed.

Other good things have included a working-lunch meeting about Speakers Bureau with MGer JA on Monday here in High Point, and a meeting with the MG Rose Garden Project Team in the lovely Learning Center in the Legacy Garden on Wednesday.  Yes, I did go back out to Burlington Road again the very next day.  My car knows the way...what else can I say?

We are working our way through all the tasks necessary to make our presentation on the rose garden on October 5th.  The biggest task for this project has been to identify the roses that we already have planted there.  Hard to imagine, but there is no written record that we can locate.  Well, we're gonna take care of that!  And, we will be ordering and planting a few more later this month...now that's exciting!  Because it has been decided to table the Earthkind (c) Trial Rose Garden I mentioned in my last post for a while, I'm happy to be a part of planting some new bushes.

Are you detecting a theme here?  You would be on to something if you observed that Master Gardening is getting me through this difficult time in my life. And I am thankful for this group and their support more than I can say.

Anyway...


A return trip to say Thank You...
The step back?  Well, it all started with that trip last Friday to see the Bereavement Counselor at Hospice.  I had baked some Triple Chip Cookies (recipe below) to take to the staff, many of whom I had not had the chance to say 'goodbye' and 'thank you' since Mom died at 4:00 a.m. - several hours before the Day Shift came in on that Friday, four weeks ago today.  So, before my appointment, I went into the Hospice Home to deliver the cookies and my appreciation...and to return a book that I'd found in my knitting bag.  I hugged in at the Team Station and all was well, if only a bit wet from the tears.  I got to see several of Momma's nurses, aides, her doctor, and the social worker...and I felt as surrounded by their love and care as I had before.

Then, I took the book back to the desk (a beautiful Bob Timberlake design, by the way) where I'd found it in the Sun Room...and that route took me right past Momma's room.  Of course, another family was there with their family member.  But I didn't need to enter the room to have all those feelings come flooding back.  Whoosh!

Apparently, I tamped them down into my subconscious, because I really didn't talk about that experience with Amanda the Counselor.  It was too new, too raw to discuss so soon, I suppose.  But every day this week, I have tried to do a little work in Momma's rooms...and each night after I do that, I have very vivid dreams about the morning she died...in Room 101.  And, then to top it all off, after the landscapers arrived yesterday to make quick work of cleaning up the Way Back, I just dissolved into a puddle when I came inside and thought about how that area had been my refuge from all my caregiving responsibilities.  So, the grieving is definitely not over...not by a long shot. Sigh.

I'm so lucky to have Mr. T by my side this week so that I don't have to deal with all of this on my own. Where would I be without him?  And, since he has his own moments, he appreciates being able to talk about those to someone close to the issue. That's where Happy Hour in the Morning Room (no, not in the morning...:-) comes to the rescue.  He's doing his end-of-the-month, end-of-the-quarter stuff, so he has to be close to home...most of the time.  Today, he was off to Charlotte so early that he said he'd get his coffee on the road instead of making a pot at the crack o' dawn.  But, he'll be home in plenty of time for Friday Night Pizza and Beer!

And, we are both getting excited about this weekend, when Missy M and my grand-dogs Ella Rae and Dixie come for a long visit.  Woo hoo! We've got something special planned for the next week, especially since this is Mr. T's birthday week...more on that in my next post.


Can you see them?
Two rainbows over High Point!
So, I regroup...because I can't be too sad for too long. I have lots of people and support and activities to help move me forward...to keep me from sliding back too far.

And, I have faith.

Speaking of which, I forgot to share this photo I took as we were returning to HPNC after Momma's funeral.  Remember...we saw a Double Rainbow last September, just about this same time, when we were in Maui?

Two sets of double rainbows in one year?! I'm so lucky!    Maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket...:-)


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Triple Chip Cookies

1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cup self-rising flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped (opt.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together.  Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix in.  Slowly, add in flour until well-blended.  Stir in chips and nuts; blend thoroughly.

Using a cookie scoop (or small ice cream scoop), form cookies on cookie sheets.  I can usually get 11 or 12 cookie "balls" on a sheet.  Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Do NOT overbake.  Remove from oven, and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 2 minutes.  Remove cookies to baking rack(s) to finish cooling.  Store in airtight container to keep soft and chewy. 

This recipe makes enough for 24-30 large cookies. You can even freeze 1/2 of the recipe (after forming the cookies) for baking at a later date.  Enjoy!

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