Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter Storm Warning - Mindful Writing Challenge

snow swirling through the night, wind buffeting, the house a groaning ship in a white sea 

We're back in Breckenridge, where a gusty storm deposited 10" (25C) of snow overnight.
Trees hold fluffy pillows and drifts undulate into the forest.
The sun is shining, telling me to put on layers and snap into the touring skis.

This is the last day of the Mindful Writing Challenge.
Though I am in the habit of writing daily, it's not always something to share.
Posting daily is a challenge for me.
Perhaps I'll join the community in writing a small stone each Sunday,
which seems more doable. 

Yippee for small stones, blog friends,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

City Snowfall - Mindful Writing Challenge

sifting snow filagrees the trees as city lights turn the sky sienna

A temperature drop of 40 degrees in Denver overnight - we woke to a couple inches of snow. 
By the weekend, it's supposed to be spring-like again.
Crazy winter weather. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Split Personality - Mindful Writing Challenge

Thanks to all of you who inquired by E-mail about my health.
I continue to have skin problems which my DRs now expect is allergy-related. 
I am on a course of treatment that involves removing any possible allergens from my body.
Because of my loss of appetite and now a restricted diet, I'm losing weight rapidly.
For some, this might be welcome, I know.
For me, I shouldn't lose much more weight, or I'll become too frail. 
I haven't really felt "sick," just miserable from the itching/burning.
I found I was unable to be mindful about much but my misery,
which I didn't really want to share!

Today, I'm feeling much better, so I'll  post,
hoping I can visit other Mindful Writers soon.

two pretty scarves, one a bold graphic pattern
the other a shy, pale field of wildflowers
what fun to decide each day which person I'll be

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Chance Meeting - Mindful Writing Challenge

On a warm, winter afternoon, we sit alone but together outdoors at a neighborhood coffee shop. I watch the tiny bird as it watches me. We don't speak, yet we communicate. Our brown eyes hold a gaze as I lift pieces of scone to my mouth. I'm thinking about blackberry being my favorite when the bird seems to tell me, "It's MY favorite, too." We relax companionably as the rhythm of the city moves around us. Finally, it's time for me to go. "Goodbye," I whisper, leaving behind a tidy pile of flaky crumbs. In no rush, my new friend waits politely until I vacate the space.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Taking a Walk - Mindful Writing Challenge

the sun warming our faces
we walk a wide boulevard
talking and holding hands
I see us through eyes from my younger years
when I would smile and point and say to my husband
when I saw an old couple strolling

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Transformation - Mindful Writing Challenge

I used so many words yesterday
there were none left for mindful writing.

I'm in the city.
I have errands and appointments.
Constant interaction with doctors, strangers, and shop people
exhausts me.
When I was younger, I thrived on this mix.
Now, not so much.

One of my last stops is at the salon for a hair cut.
It's the high point of my day.
My "gal" is not young.
However, she's very hip.
Red lips and swinging asymmetrical blonde hair,
she's wearing skinny boyfriend jeans (rolled of course)
just above her high-heeled ankle boots.
Tight black tank dress shows just a hint of lacy black t-shirt.

I'm in my usual and very ordinary black on black,
yoga pants and T.

She pays strict attention as I sit in the chair.
(An artist ready to create a masterpiece?)
After shampooing, massaging, and patting dry,
she raises her scissors and begins. 
Grey hair flies from my scalp.
We laugh and talk as she works.
My hair gets shorter and shorter.
She twists and gels it into spikes.
I am transformed in less than an hour.
I am still a grammy, but now a hip grammy.
I'm thinking about ankle boots or at least skinny jeans.
The new me.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Shift in Attitude - Mindful Writing Challenge

Birds may have chirped, but I paid them no mind. A yapping dog ran beside me - my stride never wavered. Businessmen, phones pressed to their ears, ignored me as I did them. I didn't noticed any warmth from the sun. Monkey Mind chattered incessantly in my brain.

double exposure - grandson opening gift - edited

Suddenly, a little boy scampered in front of me. Head cocked so my pink coat reflected in his mud-puddle eyes, he grinned up at me. "Hi ya!" he shouted gleefully. I stopped and fumbled for my my smile. Where the heck did I put it? "Hi yourself, little guy!" Satisfied, he pulled his Mama forward. She shrugged an apology as we continued our separate ways. Immediately, I felt the caress of the sun. Birds began to serenade. My shadow walked jauntily, slightly ahead. People began nodding good morning. 
"What a great day, " I thought to myself. 

Still smiling...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Still with Us - Mindful Writing Challenge

my husband stands silently holding the phone to his ear and smiling
I know he's hearing his best friend's voice
Frank's been dead a year and a half
he sounds strong and cheerful on his answering machine

View from top of Imperial Chair, Breckenridge Ski Area (2011) - last time we skied with Frank

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Banishing the Chill - Mindful Writing Challenge

An ice fog obscures the mountain.  Overnight chill penetrates the house. I light the fire and brew tea. Warming my hands on the cup, steam rises to greet me. I draw the bow of the serrated knife through the bread with a flourish, as though I'm starting an overture. The scent of cinnamon reaches me as the slab turns crisp and brown in the toaster. 
The phone rings - I hear the smile in a friend's voice. 
Finally - fire, tea, toast, friend - the cold is banished. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lighting the Candles - Mindful Writing Challenge

 Needing cozy, I light all the candles in the early afternoon. Though still daylight, their glow makes me content. The hearth beckons with leaping flames. Snow sifts downward, white onto white. 
In my cocoon of warmth, I wait.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Find the Tear - Mindful Writing Challenge

Awake suddenly in predawn darkness. Flames in the bedroom fireplace cast flickering shadows. Into my mind comes a phrase that has haunted me all week, "you can't mend until you find the tear." I concentrate on what this might mean, but any literal interpretation eludes me. Now, in the afternoon, I probe for meaning once again. I google the phrase, thinking maybe I read it somewhere. But, nothing matches. Is it guidance or warning? I'm sure I won't forget. If I ever find the tear, I'll tell you. And I'll start to mend.

Sculpture along Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA (May 2011)

Saturday, January 12, 2013


We share ideas, feelings, questions. A winding discourse about the mundane and the important brings us back to the moment. Afterward, I feel unburdened, happier, my spirit lighter. 

The bond of true friendship sustains and uplifts.

I have a few close friends with whom I feel a deep connection. 
I  thought of them today as I wrote this stone. 
They are my daily Good Things. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Inside Looking Out - Mindful Writing Challenge

trees trunks flocked white 
branches waving skyward
wind chill plummeting
gusts rattling windows
sheets of snow whipping
winter storm warning

warm triple-chocolate brownies 
peppermint steam rising from tea
fresh bread wafting cinnamon
fire flickering its invitation
book open on my lap
awaiting the storm

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just Another Day - Mindful Writing Challenge

driving out of the foothills early morning, we catch a glimpse of Denver, the sun winking through smog as feathery clouds hang languidly behind hazy skyscrapers - we join commuters jockeying for position as they head to work

Very little sleep last night - an early-morning emergency call to my dermatologist, and we head down the Interstate to Denver. The burning/itching is maddening. Biopsies of two areas on my hands - face inspected with magnifier. Still no relief in sight. Raw torture. Another day goes by. "Healing takes time" is a repeat lesson I don't want to learn.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Winter Morning Run - Mindful Writing Challenge

Avoiding the gleaming middle-of-the-road icepack, I stride the edge on a narrow strip of sugar. My boots crunch, each footfall taking a bite of snow. I taste the morning air and smile. The day’s banquet has begun, and I have a place at the table. 

Breckenridge needs snow - at the ski area, the upper mountain trails still have uncovered obstacles and rocks. I've started my 4 mile walk/runs again for exercise. Yesterday, I ventured up the trail behind my house and didn't need anything but my hiking boots to stay on top the snow. Other days, I've been running the dirt road near us, staying to the edge so I won't fall on ice. Temps this week have been milder, just below freezing and today slightly above. It looks like spring, but we really need it to be winter. I'm depending on all of you - start doing the Snow Dance for me immediately. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Three Years Post Heart Attack - Mindful Writing Challenge

miraculous percussion
timpani symphony
my beating heart
celebrates Life

I've written about the third anniversary of my heart attack at Live and Learn. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy Bling - Mindful Writing Challenge

The sun leaks a golden glow onto the snow, opening a jewel box of glittering treasure. Seeing the spangled scene, I know that I'll save the sparkle in memory for a gloomy day when I need a bit of happy bling.

Thanks to all who have expressed concern and sent healing wishes for my frostbitten face and hands. I am so much better today, I was able to venture outside on a walk. Though still below freezing, the sun warmed my face and shoulders and uplifted my spirits. Healing will take time, but hopefully, skin will regenerate, and the blistering/burning/itching which is less today will soon be a thing of the past. I believe I've learned that Nature always has the last say and that I'm not invincible to the elements. (You'd think I'd already know that at my age, but I guess I had to be reminded!) In minus 13 degree weather, a person with even mediocre common sense does not leave a face uncovered while skiing fast downhill and does not take gloves off to get a photo of the ice halo around the sun (even if said photo shows the glorious beauty of a frigid day). Lesson learned! (Until the next time...)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Losing My Marbles - Mindful Writing Challenge

Hair a burnished red-gold, freckles marching haphazardly across his nose, he bends over my marble jar, holding first one orb and then another up to the light, studying the world within each sphere - air bubbles, curlicues, smatterings of color. His blue eyes crinkle with pleasure when he catches me watching him. 

“Tell me about when you played with these, Grammy.”

So, I think back sixty years to that curly-headed tomboy I was at eight - the same age he is now. Not in my wildest dreams, when I was the quiet girl crouched at the edge of the chalk circle amidst boisterous boys, did I imagine that so many years later a little boy who is my future would ask me to tell him a story from my past. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Face It - Mindful Writing Challenge

Awakened in the night with a pain like fire ants burning and itching just under the skin of my face. Early morning, I E-mail a photo to my doctor - not a pretty sight. The incessant need to scratch trumps vanity.  We back and forth a couple times with new, horrible photos 
of redness, swelling, weeping. I tell my husband that my face hurts, and I know he wants to say, “It’s killing me, too.” Luckily, he refrains. A possible frostbite dermatitis is the diagnosis. 

Poor old face!

(For obvious reasons, there will be no pictures with this post!)

Friday, January 4, 2013

What's for Dessert - Mindful Writing Challenge

Hair swinging to her waist, she maneuvers the mixer through the heavy batter, trying hard not to splatter. Eggs are cracked carefully until six yolks glisten in the cup. She’s delighted with the flower she sees - each yolk a bright petal. Into the mixing bowl and some more whipping. In a couple hours, we all "ohhh!" and "ahhh!" at the finished product, the browned top rising above the rim of the pan. Perfection! Everyone claps. Our nine year old chef takes a bow. There will be cheesecake for dessert.

Cheesecake recipe

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Waiting for the Bread to Bake - Mindful Writing Challenge

Quiet not silent. The fire popping and rumbling like water slowly boiling in a steel pot. And the bread machine grumbling a bit, kneading the bread one last time. Soon the yeasty, cinnamon smells will call to me. You’re supposed to cool the bread on a wire rack for an hour before cutting. I won’t. Except for me, an empty house. How wonderful! But, tonight, the chatter and giggles of grandchildren. Different moments, each special to me. Now, alone and quiet. Later the children's flurry of activity. Lucky me to have both moments (and the bread).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Way Too Cold - MindIful Writing Challenge

My husband says, "You can't ski in summer." I roll my eyes and ignore him. Way too cold!

pale sun in ice-crystal halo
vapors of breath frosting my cheeks
my body clenching like a fist
folded into its own puny warmth
thoughts dwell on flickering fires
fleecy blankets and hot chocolate
mind over matter failing
I shiver and endure

Tuesday, January 1, 2013