Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy (Belated) Birthday

A very happy belated birthday to my love.

With my dad's death and all the activity that surrounds such an event, Don's birthday although not forgotten, did not get the attention it deserved.

So here is a belated Happy Birthday to you.

Thank you for all the support through the past few weeks of daddy's illness .... thanks for your beautiful words at his funeral ..... thanks for allowing me to bring my mom here to live with us ..... thanks for just being you, the man I love and choose to blend my life with.

Here of course is Poppa surrounded by his grandkids .... he can't do much of anything without Miss Gabriella on his lap.

"There was a star danced, and under that was I born."
William Shakespeare

Upside Down

Well, here we are upside down, inside out and just generally in a terrible mess.

Before my dad's death, Don and I discussed bringing my mom to live with us. So that's exactly what we have done. She did not want to stay in the condominium they lived in together ... it was quite large and too many memories.

So she will live with us and hopefully create some new memories here.

Don was working on the bathroom himself, but it was still without a toilet and vanity, so we've hired a contractor to get this done quickly.

So, here we are once again, in renovation "hell". The contractor ripped out the bulkhead above the shower Don installed in order to move the fan over. He put in a combination fan/light.

This is our living room with a few of Mom's things just piled up around the walls and on top of furniture. (This is only just a very small part of it.)

And here, is where my Mom is sleeping presently. We had to put a single bed in our office until the master suite (which we are giving to her) is completed. This will give her a room large enough to make a little sitting room and sleeping area and she will have the master bath for her exclusive use.

I think she will be quite comfortable and this gives her something to look forward to with decorating, choosing colours, new curtains, bedding and how to lay out her new room.

So soon, very soon I hope, we will be back to normal - that is if we ever were normal to start with (LOL).

We wanted to make our master bathroom elegant, so this is the vanity we have purchased. Mom just loves it and is quite excited about her new (oh-so-elegant) bathroom.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Brilliante Weblog - Who Me????

A very dear "blog" friend nominated my blog for this award. Thank you Vickie.

Vickie at Frenchy Addict - a blog I found through my daughter, nominated me for this honour. Vickie hails from Nova Scotia, Canada and has such an interesting blog. She lives her life simply and shares her experiences frequently. My morning is never complete without a stop by Vickie's to catch up. So I am going to pass this award back to you too Vickie.

I read most of the same blogs that Vickie does, so it doesn't make much sense to me to double up, but a mention is definitely worthy.

My daughter whose blog keeps me updated on my darling grandchildren each day when I can't be with them. I have watched this child grow into the beautiful, confident woman that she is today and I am so proud to be called her mother.

Colleen who is my daughter's best friend. I too have been fortunate enough to call Colleen my friend too.

TheElementary, a blog that I found through a random comment she left one day on my blog. How fortunate for me that she left her comment that day. She posts every single day and what a treasure her words are. Stories about her life that capture every nuance of emotions and allow my imagination to run wild and see where she has been and what she has done.

Julie at Moments of Perfect Clarity whose blog I found through TheElementary. Again another treasure. This woman lives in Denmark and leads such an amazing life, travelling the world for her job. She allows me to stroll through her garden frequently and allows us to travel along through the a restoration/building project at her home.

These are my favourite blogs that I am passing along the "Brilliante Weblog" too. Hope you enjoy them too!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Tribute

My mother asked my husband, Don to provide the eulogy at my dad's funeral. Three nights before dad passed, he and Don spent the evening deep in conversation. Don then came home and wrote this beautiful tribute to my dad based on the words and time they shared.

As a last tribute to my dear father, I'd like to share these beautiful words that Don wrote and shared at the funeral. My mother, my siblings, my aunts, uncles and cousins were very moved by the words that he spoke.

Thank you again for the many kinds comments you have left on both my and Sebrina's blog.

"Today we celebrate the life of George Bowman. He was born 88 years ago on March 31, 1920 in what was formerly called Port Arthur Ontario. Today we know it as Thunder Bay. George Bowman was one of 11 children. He is father to six children – Gina, Jim, Fran, Barb, Scott and Vicki, grandfather to 14 and great grandfather to 18. Most importantly, the husband of Shirley Bowman, his wife of 59 years.

Dad had 2 very different careers. The first as a sales manager for Investors Group, and the second as the founder of Operation Balance, which was the driving force in his life.

As a young man Dad was a bit of a rebel, unfocused and as he told me, ran on the wild side – if you can imagine that. One day he found he had the desire to go to Church – a desire he never had before. He attended a church service, listened to a man speak and something came over him. Little did he know that this would change his life forever. That night he became a born again Christian. The man that spoke that evening became not only one of his very dear friends but also his father in law. Mr. George Coghill.

Dad had three goals in life:

1) To learn about religion
2) To become a writer ( a lofty goal for someone with only 8 years of formal education)
3) To run a mission and do work that advanced the sound doctrines of grace which hold biblical truth in balance.

To learn about religion, he started attending church services and bible study classes.

To become a writer he began by writing a piece of poetry and sent it off to an American University to see if he could gain acceptance in a writing course. A letter came back from a professor granting acceptance and saying “he expected to read great pieces of work from him”. Throughout his life Dad estimated that he had written over 18 million words in over 250 books, as well as a monthly newsletter from his missionary organization “Operation Balance”. He started his writing using a typewriter, graduating to personal computers as the technology became available – this from a man with a grade 8 education. Recently Dad was reading one of his books and commented to my wife Barb, that he did not have any recollection of writing the book and that he thought it was quite good. I thought about this comment and the many times we would visit. Dad would pop out of his office, chat for awhile and then excuse himself and return to his writing. This was a man truly driven and devoted to his work, and, I believe guided by the Lord. Dad would spend a great deal of his waking hours writing at his computer and rarely missed a day.

In 1991 Dad founded Operation Balance. In his words Operation Balance is a personal, non-profit writing ministry which advances sound doctrine that holds Biblical truth in balance. He once told me that too many ministers today ask what you want to hear and then preach about it. He felt this was wrong. Ministers should teach what is in the Bible and not cater to the congregation. This caused great controversy. Some agreed and others were in complete disagreement.

By the grace of God, Dad’s written word has spread and today his books are read throughout the world. There is a world map in their apartment with little pins all over it which represent the countries that Dad’s books have been sent to. You would be amazed! Cities in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Africa, South America, India, Australia, and many others. The cost to send these books is quite significant. But if you could not afford the cost, Operation Balance sent them out free of charge. Dad has spent thousands of dollars of his own money to spread the word of the Lord and his beliefs. He felt that strongly about his work.

Because of his strong belief in the Lord, Dad was not afraid to die. He knew he was going to a better place, to be free of his pains and illnesses. He told us he was only sad because he saw how upset we were.

Throughout his illness, I have had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time with Dad talking about the things he holds dear. He recently told me one story about reading a memoir by United States Senator Robert Dole called “One Soldiers Story”. He was so impressed with this book that he wrote a letter to Senator Dole at the United States Congress – that’s how he addressed it! Along with his letter he enclosed a book he had written called “Pain, Problems and Persecution “. A few weeks later he received a letter written on United States Congressional stationary. Senator Dole thanked Dad for his kind letter, telling him how much he enjoyed his book and requested Dad to send a copy of that book to a relative of his that was dying from cancer, as he felt he too would benefit greatly from Dad’s book. He enclosed a cheque for $250.00 towards Dad’s ministry and asked dad to send him the bill for the book as well.

Mom, the decision that Dad made to remain at home instead of going to the hospital was his decision – no one else’s. It was a very hard one to accept as we all knew what the consequences would be. I saw the love and tender care you provided Dad as well as the first rate nursing care. He could not have been in a better place - you tended to his every need. This was something that he would not have received in a hospital. I fear that he would have passed away a lonely and broken hearted man had he been admitted. You provided him the opportunity to spend his last days at home - surrounded by love – as you’ve always done throughout your 59 years of marriage.
God bless you both."

I would like to add that after the funeral when we were back home pondering the words of not only Don but another dear old friend of dad's who spoke, we were struck with the thought to "google" my dad's name. We were shocked to find over 1000 hits with many sites selling dad's books, two of which were Chapters Indigo and Amazon.

My father was a very modest man and never looked for praise or recognition for his work. He would be amazed to know just how far his words have spread as were we.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saying Good Bye

First, thank you my friends for your comments, your emails and your very kind wishes during my dad's illness.

Tuesday morning at 10:30am (July 22, 2008), daddy slipped into a coma and at 8:30pm my dad George Bowman took his final breath.

The fire that drove my dad through his entire life was extinguished tonight.

He died in my mother's arms, my sister, my daughter, my husband, my brother and me surrounding him with love as we released him, allowing him to leave us.

Good bye daddy, thank you dad for letting me love you, for letting me share myself and my thoughts with you, for letting me nurse you .... I'll cherish these weeks forever.

Your Barbie

Sunday, July 20, 2008

To Everything There Is A Season

It is nearly midnight and my thoughts constantly drift to my father. I feel I must write to ensure that some of my feelings and thoughts from these days are never forgotten, but engraved in my memory to draw strength from in the days and weeks to come.

This is an incredibly hard journey sitting hour after hour slowly watching my father die.

I feel strong, then weak ..... I feel love, then hate ....... I feel compassion, then anger ........ I feel frustration, then acceptance...... I feel peace, then restlessness.

I am awash with so many emotions that tonight sleep eludes me.

In the earlier days of my father's illness, we were able to sit and talk .... now I just sit and watch as he grows weaker and weaker slipping in and out of consciousness. When he wakes, he suffers pain & restlessness & dehydration & discomfort.

The cycle of life has come full circle. My father is like an infant, unable to perform anything in caring for himself. The simple acts of washing himself, brushing his teeth, putting on a pair of socks, even urinating have all dropped away like the last leaves before the cold breath of winter. What must this be like for a man who was once dignified, modest and proud?

But then through this emotional warfare I see that this is his final gift to me as I care for him during his last days. Yesterday when he was a little more lucid, I sat beside him as he slept. He woke and asked me what I doing there. I replied, "just sitting with you to keep you company". I told him I loved him and he replied that he loved me too, then smiled and drifted back to sleep. A very small moment but a memory that I will cherish.

Today my daughter came to visit her poppa. When she embraced him, his tears flowed with the love he felt for my child ..... another memory I will cherish. How many more moments will he have that I can collect memories from to hold in my heart for a lifetime? Each time I say good bye ... is it the last good bye? When I left tonight I stole into his room to give him a kiss goodnight and tell him once again how much I love him, but he slept. He did not know I was there as I stroked his cheek and felt the newly grown whiskers on his face. The softness of his whiskers against my face must be lovingly recorded and filed away with all my other cherished memories. As I left I touched my fingers to my lips to leave a kiss on his forehead ... will tonight be the night that I lose my dad, will that be the last kiss I give him?

Since Wednesday he has slipped further and further away from us. Today he asked mom three times to send me down to see him. When I got to his room and asked him what he wanted, he said he just wanted to see me.

Why should a man who devoted his life to God suffer like this? I am angry that he must end his life in suffering. This journey our spirit must make as we cross from this life to the next should not start like this. Why, why, why?

Dad has always been outspoken in his life, never shrinking from a challenge ... but this challenge to his very life is a war he cannot win. "Oh death - where is thy victory, oh grave where is thy sting"

As I sit and witness this slow deterioration, I pray night after night that he will be released from his suffering.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3

Thursday, July 17, 2008


A little bright jewel in the days and days of sadness we are enduring as my father is dying.

My earrings for the wedding arrived yesterday and they just made me smile. They are not as big as they looked in the picture on line, but the work in these beauties is incredible. Each little pearl is hand wired and are so delicate I almost need a magnifying glass to see the detail.

Scroll down and see how beautiful they are on ......

So Pretty .........

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hold On

My father is holding his own .... he is critically ill, but getting hydration through an intravenous drip and is taking in small amounts of food.

He constantly does not want to eat and it is a struggle to get anything into him because of the esophageal spasms he is suffering from. Tonight when I took an Ensure/ice cream combination in to him, he said he was too tired to eat. I sat beside him and held his hand and said, "Dad, mom and I are fighting for your life ... please fight with us."

When I kissed him goodnight as I left, I asked him, "What are you doing with me?" and he replied, "Fighting...."

Each day as I spend 12-13 hours with my mom and dad I have arrived at a place of serenity and calm cceptance within myself simply through the joy of nursing my dad and helping my mom.

Oh that all my siblings had this same opportunity that I have been gifted.

I had thought that this experience would yield unbearable pain .. but instead I have been infused with feelings of joy through loving, giving and sharing with my parents.

Yes, I am exhausted, but it is a good exhaustion ... when I get home at night, I can go to bed knowing that I gave them my all today and should daddy slip away this night, there are no regrets.

Today I sat on his bed and held him in my arms like I would hold one of my grandbabies while my mother fed him. He sat up - me behind .. him in front with my arms around him so he would not fall, and as he laid his head against my cheek, I felt the tears silently slip from my eyes for the father I knew I may so soon lose ... whether from this health crisis or if we are fortunate enough to pull him through this, in the not too distant future.

So I wonder have I too soon expected his death from his present sufferings? I don't know ..... can we predict that instant when our spirit is freed from it's earthly chamber or can we choose the moment of our birth or death ....

Then Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Khalil Gibran

Thursday, July 10, 2008


This has been a week of great reflection for me with bittersweet moments as I have watched my dad's health fail. He is still struggling, but I fear this is a battle he will not win.

Reflections on the fact that maybe, just maybe I should have interrupted his writing more often to get some daddy time. Reflections on the years as a young woman when I resented my dad for the manner in which he chose to discipline us and what I, in my "youthful wisdom" considered his lack of parenting skills.

Mark Twain once said, "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." So it has been in my life.

I have realized as I have aged that all parents, mine included do the best they can - whether right or wrong, we all learn by example .... watching how our parents raised us. Parenting skills are not in an instruction manual we take home with the new baby, it is on-the-job training and falling back in our memories to what we learned at the foot of our parents.

This week has given me the opportunity to see the little boy inside my dad who is reaching out for love and reassurance as all children do. This little boy ... one of 12 children was severely disciplined as a child for wrong doings and learned that he must fight for everything in his life. His father didn't have time to reason over bad behaviour .... dad told me of many broken noses and teeth when grandpa would in dad's words - "haul off and belt one of the us - no questions asked".

As this opportunity presented itself this week, I reached out to that little boy and held him in my arms and heart to give him the love and reassurance he needed and that I wanted to give him.

The very painful part of losing a loved one is the knowledge that once gone, you will never see them again ... never have that chance to let them know how very much you loved them.

Seeing the futility in my moms face this week as she nurses my dad ... doing everything in her power to prevent the inevitable outcome of his health crisis has been almost more than I can bear and then to ponder the fact that all this pain she feels right now will not subside but will explode into depths of grief when the time comes.

They have been together 59 years .... a lifetime.

But then through all the tears .... a beautiful door opened to me as I spent each day with my mom and dad. Talking with dad about his death which he is prepared and waiting for. Dad has a very deep faith in Jesus Christ and looks forward to the freeing of his soul from his body which is wracked with pain and then being re-united in heaven with his Saviour.

Writer Charles Spurgeon, known as the "Prince of Preachers" in reformed Baptist circles and whose work my father cherishes, once said that "death is but the birth pains to a new life".

Yesterday as we shared .... he likened his life's energy to the falling autumn leaves on a tree. We spoke of love and life and death .... we shared our love for each other .... I fed him this week .... held his hand and just sat with him quietly when no words were necessary. All past wounds are healed, forgotten, forgiven ....

So as I reflect on these past few days, when the time comes that he will leave his earthly bonds, I will be comforted by the fact that my Father loved me and oh how I loved him.

The beautiful words of this hymn so beautifully portray my Father's deep abiding belief in his eternity:

And then one day I'll cross the river
I'll fight life's final war with pain
And then as death gives way to victory
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know he lives

A side note: Today my father made the decision to stay home - he does not want to go into the hospital so I have initiated the process of in-home care to assist my mom and ease my dad's final days.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Mother's Tears

Sebrina posted this information on her blog this morning and after reading and watching the videos, I felt it such an important issue, so I am posting here as well for those of you that don't visit her blog.

Take the time to watch the videos and then take the time to think about how you might help.

What if this was you with the lifeless body of your child in your arms????

This is a grieving mother holding her 4 old daughter's body after she died from malnutrition. The family lives in southern Ethiopia. Can you imagine the helplessness of watching your child die from lack of food. Imagine the four year old girl and what was happening to her body and soul. The story is so tragically heartbreaking.

There is a HUGE global need for food relief. Ethiopia is one of the places in the world where malnourishment kills children, where mothers and fathers must make life and death choices about food and work and family every single day. It is a terrible reality that no parent should ever have to face. We must all make every effort to create a world where mothers and fathers don't have to give up their children in order for them to live.

Doctors Without Borders /Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971.

Today, MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, negligence, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. MSF reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crisis, to challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols.

In 1999, MSF received the Nobel Peace Prize.

You can count on Doctors Without Borders to use your donation well. In 2007 nearly 88% of their budget was devoted solely to program services (1% went to management and 11% went to fundraising expenses - this means your money goes right to WORK!).

Why today, you ask? Ethiopia, and other areas of Africa, are in the grip of a severe food shortage. Many children are dying of starvation. World reports are ominous - and the need is dire. Doctors without Borders is delivering relief to many of these places - and they are using a revolutionary food called Plumpy'nut to save lives. You can watch a video about this amazing food source as it was featured on 60 Minutes here. This 11 minute video could change your life and ignite your passions.

Click here to donate to Doctors Without Borders.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Tribute to Midas

Four years ago this September Don & I went through the excruciating decision of letting our beloved dog Jake go.

Prior to his death, he was diagnosed with diabetes and I took on the task of caregiver injecting him every 12 hours with insulin. It took a few months to get his blood sugar regulated but we persevered and got him to acceptable levels.

During this period we spent quite alot of time researching how to treat Jake's diabetes and fortunately for us met this wonderful lady named Chris who incidentally is mom to Midas in the picture below. We met through a canine diabetes chat room. She encouraged us and supported us through this very difficult period of getting Jake & me used to the injections, changing his diet, etc...

This beautiful boy - Midas had diabetes and also suffered from Cushings disease. Here he is above in happier days.

Chris and her family spent many happy years with Midas who enjoyed a wonderful life. From her emails we read what a wonderful companion he was.

And then today, an email arrived from Chris with only the word "Midas" in the subject line. Don and I both knew before we even opened it what it would say.

Unfortunately Midas is now afflicted with severe arthritis. He struggles to get up and is very wobbly. Midas is a big boy at 110 pounds so they cannot lift him up to help him and are very concerned that he may fall and break a hip.

So they have made the heart wrenching decision to let Midas go tomorrow afternoon.

Chris, I will keep you in my thoughts during this very difficult time and send my love to you and your family. I will hold your hand in mine tomorrow and share in your tears and sorrow as you say good bye to your beloved "Midas".

Edited to add that it was 11 years ago today that Midas came into Chris' life.


From the silence of your pain I heard my name
and on the wings of light I have come
to see the sadness in your eyes
that cry without tears.

Can you see me, I am here
I will always be near you
to calm your shattered heart
and to make you smile at the memories.

Do you feel me, perhaps a soft brush of fur
You ache to believe it's real
but you are afraid to hope
You brush away a strand of hair.

But it was I, whispering.....
I am only here for but a moment
The silver thread gently quivers
I will leave behind my love in a dream.

When you awaken
and without really knowing why
Your heart will know at last
That it is all right, for now
to say good-bye.

Lisa Carmel Singer

Need Some Prayers and Positive Energy

Might I be so bold as to ask my blog friends to keep our family in their thoughts and prayers over the next little while.

My dad is not well. As I have stated in previous posts he is 88 years old and recently he has been unable to swallow due to a severe overgrowth of Thrush in his mouth and esophagus. He has suffered for years from GERD and a hiatus hernia, so this problem is just adding insult to injury.

He has not eaten any solid food since June 21st and is managing to get down ginger ale & thinned down Ensure, but only about 25-30 eye dropperfuls a day.

I have been with my mom and dad quite a lot over the past two weeks of his illness and have watched him lose an enormous amount of weight and go from sitting at his PC writing for 6-7 hours a day to lying in his bed or sitting for short periods of time in his favourite lazyboy chair.

This is not the dad I remember who has always been a very disciplined and driven man.

At his age, I fear that he will never recover completely from this.

Today he made a decision to give up his writing ministry - "Operation Balance" ... something he has loved for many, many years. To his credit this ministry has gained worldwide notoriety in religious circles. This is a life altering decision for both him and my mother who has edited the hundreds of thousands of words he has written over the years.

This feels like he is finishing the final chapter.

As our parents age, we all need to prepare for the inevitable conclusion of their lives - it is indeed the circle of life. But it is hard to watch the deterioration of a parent that was once so vibrant, so full of life and jokes and an extremely hard worker.
So please keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next while.

"Apertures" "Shutters" & "Zoom" OH MY!!!

Here is our new camera.

Don has always preferred Canon cameras and our last & first digital camera was the Canon Powershot Elph with 4Mp and 3X zoom. That camera followed on the heels of a couple of good old fashioned 35mm Canon cameras with all the extra lenses, filters, etc....

This new Canon PowerShot A720 upgrades us to 8MP and 6X zoom. It uses two AA batteries which for me will be better. The Canon PowerShot Elph used rechargeable lithium batteries, but I found they didn't hold their charge for very long after a few years of use, so we were constantly recharging and had to keep a spare always charged.

The pictures on my previous post of the lilies were taken with the new camera. I was particularly pleased with the water droplets and how well they showed up on the picture without even using either the zoom or macro feature.

Now the only problem I am facing with this camera is that it only comes with 16mg of memory just enough for 6 pictures, so I will have to upgrade the memory.

So now I am looking forward to some picture taking with my new toy.

There's a Muscle Where?????

Okay, here's an update on my yoga adventures.

I just finished going through my DVD .... first watching it in its' entirety, then following along and performing only what I felt I could do, which in my case were 5 sun salutations, cat pose, downward facing dog and also tried to do the cobra.

It is interesting, I discovered there are muscles in places I wasn't even sure there were muscles. I also discovered how very out of shape I am and I also discovered that I probably need professional assistance/guidance with this adventure. However one very positive thing I discovered was that if I can master only some of these stretches it will certainly help my very stiff and painful back and maybe even help me regain my balance which I didn't realize I had lost.

Because of my inability to kneel on my artificial knee, I cannot really move smoothly from the sun salutation which slowly progresses into the downward facing dog.

So since we have a new yoga studio here in town, I'm thinking it would be a good idea to drop in one morning to talk to one of the yoga instructors. They offer a drop in class called "Gentle Yoga" which apparently is designed for pretzels like me. After watching and participating through this DVD, I'm not sure how to get to a point in Yoga that is smooth for me when I am unable to do all of the up and downs required during the different poses.

This is going to be much more challenging that I anticipated. As I write this the yoga instructor is lying on the ground with one of his legs straight out on the ground and the other one is ............ well, let's just say his nose is touching his knee on the other leg which is bent upwards and right down flat across his chest and head. Hurts just to watch this. I can't imagine ever becoming that flexible.

It is a beautiful DVD though, very relaxing just to watch and follow the breathing, listen to the music and watch the participants work out in a most beautiful environment - gorgeous blue skies, pure white sand with very little vegetation to disturb its' beauty.

Words Not Necessary

"We Are Gathered Here Together"

Well, here we go again .... the last of Don's brother's is getting married on August 16th.

Unlike Paul and Sarah's wedding when I was only 3 weeks post knee surgery and had to cover up a very nasty looking knee, I am well healed now, albeit with an 8" scar down the front of my knee. I do not need a dress to the floor, so I choose a lovely silk chiffon dress which just skims over my knees. It is a white, pewter, navy blue & aqua blue print and because it is sleeveless I purchased a white shrug to cover my shoulders.

Below are the gorgeous sandals that I am wearing with the dress and I think I actually may go barelegged. You must remember here, I come from the old school where ladies always wore stockings, but I see today that is not so much the style anymore.

Since I cannot lie in the sun nor is that a smart thing to do today, I may try to self tan my legs or failing that get sprayed at a salon. How wicked does that sound!!!!

These sandals are from Aerosoles, so are built for comfort. Remember I have very painful feet. I also purchased a silver/pewter leather bag which Sebrina saw on the weekend and loved. Although she did say it didn't look like the type of purse I usually carry. Too hip maybe????

And now for the pièce de résistance, these beautiful earrings. I found them on Etsy for way too much money, but after searching (with Don) through 8-10 jewellery stores and not finding anything remotely like them, he told me to just buy the &*$% things. I don't think he enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. They will match the aqua in my dress. The earrings are 11 x 16mm smooth drops of aqua blue chalcedony. Cascading over each one are dozens of 2mm freshwater pearls and 3mm apatite rondels and are 1 3/8 inches in total length.
As a side note, Chalcedony is a stone that is dyed to achieve these brighter colors.

The artist who made these earrings was great. She had them listed since April 24th, so I asked her for a discount. She gave me $35.00 off the original price, which eased the pain a little.

Because these are so unusual, I don't imagine I'll wear any other jewelry except my new aquamarine and blue topaz ring. I purchased the loose aquamarines & blue topaz about 5 years and finally decided this wedding was a good reason to have them set. I will post pictures when I pick it up from the jewellers.

I love these earrings so much that I am making another dress for the rehearsal dinner just to go with them.

Since I don't have the opportunity to get dressed up much as I'm home and don't work, occasions such as these are quite exciting and necessitate the purchase of an entirely new outfit, personality trait which unfortunately I passed on to Sebrina who has also purchased a beautiful new dress, shoes and jewellery to wear.

Here is the Butterick pattern (#B5206) for the dress I am going to make. I have a geometric black and white print for the body of the dress and a very small turquoise and white print for the accent. Both are a jersey knit which this pattern calls for.

It's raining here today, so I just might make this a sewing day, although I still have to finish painting my craft room, continue with the piecing on my quilt, clean up and finish drywalling a spot in the our semi finished basement and prepare for painting down there.

Wow ... I'm getting tired just writing about all this ... think I'll go make some coffee and read a book for a while before I get started.


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