Looking for answers to life's questions

Archive for December, 2020


I’ve signed up for a writing challenge through Daily Om as a gift to myself. Or maybe it’s another way to torture myself by adding one more thing to my to-do list.

My son’s Gracie loves Christmas too. Bring more paper.

The first prompt is about roadblocks. I’m aware enough to know that the only real roadblocks to anything are those that I place there. I have a closet full of them. I can take out whatever works that day.

We don’t want to take it down yet.

Usually, I get out the biggest obstacle. My lack of  formal education. I barely made it through high school partly due to another roadblock; my visual impairment. Textbooks and required reading were often printed so small that the letters would swim on the page after a short time.

A favorite ornament hand stitched by a friend. She never goes back in the box.

I made another roadblock of the fact that I spent my childhood caring for my siblings rather than on my schoolwork. I’m still trying to fill in all the gaps from a gypsy life and education.

Don’t go yet! The closet is still full of roadblocks. I like the one that says ‘my sister needs me’ as she is healing nicely after her lung transplant. She has a friend doing care giving and all that’s needed from me is telephone support while in isolation. Just so you know, that’s a sneaky way to slip in an update.

Zooming with my happy sister. She’s looking good.

I have more to-do’s than hours in a day and I can all but guarantee that most people have many similar roadblocks to getting done things they really want to do. Christmas was all over my cutting table to create a nifty roadblock to completing my quilts. I cleared it off before going to bed last night. Unplugging Facebook and the TV while I sit in the light of the Christmas tree writing has helped to eliminate another roadblock.

A very old and favorite that says it all.

I’m trying to be more mindful of those minefields buried deep on my path to any success. I was not groomed for success. It doesn’t come naturally. I was brought up to be hardworking, honest and ordinary. Big aspirations were considered “silly.” I think the parents were trying to shield us from disappointment. That has become a major roadblock I didn’t even realize was there.

I needed a FLOUR pot to transplant these little darlings. Bob’s Red Mill lines them with plastic and will do till I can go shopping this spring, maybe.

I think it could be helpful to look at all the areas in life where we set up these obstacles. Keeping cookies out on the table does not help my plan to drop extra fluff from my midsection. So, I got all dressed and ready to go for my walk when daylight finally shows itself. One roadblock averted. More to go. That’s what you do with roadblocks. Find a good way around them or eliminate them.


I have 52 weeks of prompts on this agenda. How many of them will I find roadblocks to navigate? How about you? Are you aware of your roadblocks?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Suzy Q an Update

My sister has never, ever been conventional or ordinary. Around 16 or 17 she left home for good without finishing school. They kicked her out. She was seen kissing another girl. Back in the early 70’s, that did not fit in anyone’s box of okay.

The end result was she left home because the reception to that was less kind than what the school handed down. She left with a friend and joined a traveling carnival. Who does that kind of thing? Really? Only my sister, who I love with all my heart. I was out of the country during that time so I was unaware of how her life was falling apart. Somehow, she keeps landing on her feet.

She has been living with friends the last few years. That  has allowed her to have a menagerie of dogs around to spoil. Only one is hers, the rest belong to her friends. All the dogs sleep with my sister and depend on her for their meals.

Feeding the dogs. Notice the only one with a leash is my sister’s green tether to the oxygen in the other room.

We were treated as well as the dogs this Thanksgiving. Suzy Q made the small turkey and potatoes, etc. We brought pies and rolls. She had to watch her intake to keep her weight in check. It turned out to be very important.

December 2, I received a text from my sister at 3:45 a.m. She had just received a call to go to San Francisco. The domino effect was in play. We waited and waited. Finally, the medical airbus was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Then, there was more waiting. Finally, a text that she was in S.F. at the UCSF hospital. Then a lot more waiting. Surgery took the entire night and into the next morning. Twelve hours of waiting and praying. We also prayed for the donor of those precious lungs and the family.

Another new adventure on a medical airbus. Oxygen onboard

Now my sister has new lungs to take a fresh new breath of life. We wait to see if they get along with each other. There will be three months of healing before she can go back home. Her good friend, a retired nurse is with her for the duration.

Finally awake and looking good.

How do you repay someone who gives up three months of their life to help save your sister’s life? How do you let the donor’s family know how much the gift has meant?

Breathing on her own with gifted lungs

We have had some sleep deprived nights and filled in with a nap to keep functioning around here. There will be a new normal for this Christmas season. My sister received the gift of life and is now on a new adventure. I am certain she will make this adventure exciting as has been her entire existence. The staff apparently commented that she was the strongest lung transplant patient they have ever had.

Thank you for bearing with my being so distracted. The year 2020 had a lot that was hard to deal with but as far as I can see, there has been a great deal to be grateful for as well. Has it been a mixed bag for you also?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself