Looking for answers to life's questions

A New Normal

Spring is officially here for a few weeks at least. One day we get a taste of summer temperatures, then go back to the cold and rain which I always welcome. Someone down the road a few miles decided to camp out in the back yard and set the tent, house and 40 acres on fire. Again we got warnings of possible evacuation. Thankfully, our fire department got it out before our area had to leave. Spring is so full of hope.

Even this cut down tree is still trying to bloom

I’ve had a full plate the last few weeks with spring cleaning inside and out and getting ready for my daughter’s birthday.

Found a home for the bumper stickers and some cards.

Spring on my dresser

She announced a need for the beach and so we made plans for two nights so we could be leisurely about the trip. I found a route that would avoid a great deal of interstate so we could enjoy more scenery. It took us an hour longer and we stopped at the Tillamook Creamery and Blue Heron Cheese company for lunch and dessert. Everyone on their best behavior and masking as well as being socially distant to anyone that didn’t come with them.

My daughter loves yellow for it’s cheerfulness

Back of the heart.

Happy colored bowl cozy for my daughter

We’ve never been to the beach in the spring months. It was colder, clearer and much windier. Everything this trip was done with new eyes. Nothing is taken for granted.

Clear skies and hope flying high

I’ve come to the beach with new equipment as well. After going for my annual lung function test, I got the results that I expected. The hills have been steeper and the roads have become longer. So, I’m in need of assistance when I’m out walking for exercise. They sent me so much equipment that I am not quite ready for and some I’m very much welcoming.

 

I had my annual appointment with the pulmonologist yesterday. The news, in spite of everything was good and hopeful. The exercise is doing its job and keeping the progression of decline very slow. I could have much more time than I expected.  Maybe even two or three years! I can read a lot of books and sew a lot of fabric in that time. Maybe I’ll even get around to writing my life story for my children.

Mask, oxygen, walking stick, hat, check, check, check.

It’s been a wild ride through this life and I’m obviously not done yet. Yay!! The oxygen is only on two liters when I exercise and I don’t need it to do daily life…yet. This is my new normal. He also agreed that working in the garden was not harmful so I’m back at playing in the dirt. I told him that’s what keeps me so healthy. Breathing in all those microbes builds immunity to stuff in the world. Color me happy today and out for another walk up that big hill.

Heading for the hills

Are you facing a new normal? What color are you today?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "A New Normal" (73)

  1. So glad you are able to get out and do what you want. Sometimes we just need a little help. Enjoy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doing what I want is stretching it a bit but I’m still getting out some. At least we have 2 more days of sunshine before the rain returns for the rest of them month and into May. Weather is weird here too. Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Aspen said:

    Love the message Continue on a high note. Spring brings the best in all of us. May you travel far in the coming years.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think in life there’s always “a new normal” approaching at regular intervals, as part of the cycles of life. For various reasons, we lose skills and people along the way, and at times we gain new ones , if we’re lucky. For instance, with age our perspective change, enabling us to hopefully see a wider context.
    Myself, I’m adjusting to come to terms with the transient property of life, with the knowledge that dear people will come to pass and there is just nothing one can do about it; in fact, it’s just like it has always been – the circle of life. So I’m training myself to slowly become more detached and accept that things will come to happen, that the wheel of life will always keep turning and time cannot be halted.
    As I say in my moments of lucid observation – we are just a grain of dust in this universe.
    Sorry if this sound sad, I didn’t mean to.
    I am so happy that the doctor broke the great news that you have longer time to enjoy this path, and share it with the loved ones. This is the greatest gift we can receive. Time and Love.
    Sending you lots of good vibes and ❤ ❤
    Peace and love and salutations

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. I think we come from similar perspectives. I was preparing my family for the inevitable and myself as well. Now I “may” have more time to get the things done on my list. It only matters to me but it keeps me grounded a bit. In the meantime, I want to just enjoy each moment. I’m not clinging just savoring.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Now that was a brazing time at the beach. Hope it blew away some old cobwebs Marlene 💛🙏💛

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wishing you many more beach trips and much fabric stitching!

    And I love your new mantra:

    Mask, oxygen, walking stick, hat, check, check, check.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 2 observations: is that the Oregon coast and is it at low tide when you shot the picture; I admire your discipline to ‘keep at it’, walking is healthy. Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m happy to hear you got some good and hopeful news from the doctor. It looks like they are taking good care of you and that makes me happy. Keep going! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Jill. Life is very uncertain and for me it had a capital U. There are so many books I still want to read including yours when it comes out. So looking forward to it.

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  8. I’m selfishly glad we get you around a lot longer, my friend 🙂 I’m glad the pulmonologist agrees with your regime, just goes to show that listening to the body is important. That beach looks like spring or autumn on the beaches of northern Europe, especially the Netherlands. They build beach cafés with removable clear plastic screens around them so you can sit in the weak sunshine without being blasted by wind or blown sand. Very civilised!

    Liked by 2 people

    • How interesting about the beach cafe’s in Europe. It was low tide then or there would have been considerably less beach. I’ve learned to listen to my body (most of the time).. When I don’t, I pay dearly. My sister kept saying they told her no more yard work. It’s how I meditate so I couldn’t give it up at any cost. I was so happy with yesterday’s news after starting on oxygen. My mother and sister were done after a year of it. Was feeling quite done in. I have so much more energy now. Shift in the mind. 😉 You keep taking care of you. Keeping you in my thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It was so good to read your post today and your new lease on life. You head for those hills!! (Just be sure to come back. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Liz. I love those down hills. My entire neighborhood is hilly so if I want to walk, I have to go up hill at some point. Turns out they are good for me! 🙂 A few of the neighbors on my route keep track of me. 😉 Thanks for the visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Nobody’s going to call you a quitter! I love your expeditionary get up. And gardening is wonderful therapy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lou. I’m very pragmatic but not a quitter. You’d think I was going on a forest hike in that outfit instead of a two mile walk up the hill and back. Gardening is meditative for me. I never want company then. Just me and the dirt. 😉

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  11. Marlene, you are one of the most pragmatic people I know. I’m happy to hear that your exercise is paying off, and so pleased, too, that you can continue in the garden. I hope the portable tank ends up working in your favor, allowing you to enjoy your walks without feeling winded.

    As for the fire, my goodness your poor neighborhood can’t seem to catch a break. I’m glad it is all under control and that no one is hurt.

    It’s great getting a more positive lease on life, something to match all those bumper stickers. I recognize many of your cards, too.

    Sending you love and a virtual hug. Happy birthday to Ms. Sunshine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Birthday wishes delivered and a thank you returned to you. I’m going to put up more cards on the other mirror because I hate having them out of sight. Mirror is not much good for anything else. 😉

      Pragmatic is the perfect description for me. I an so happy to be back out in the yard finally. It’s perfect out there now. Got most of the weeds in front so I can get started in back. My happy place. Did you get my email?

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  12. A New Normal

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh Marlene, that is some good news! To have the ability to remain activity and engaged and just living life. I know you are a fighter and with your walking stick at hand you can literally fight off any obstacle!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is music to my ears, Marlene! You have done really well! Well done and Keep it up!
    I am also glad to hear that you made it to the beach! The salty air will do the lungs good!
    Many happy returns to your daughter for her birthday! What a fabulous present to have her Mum and a day or two at the beach. Nothing is better than that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Amanda. I’ve been quite overwhelm these last few months and am now feeling a resurgence of energy. The beach did us both some good. We had a good time in spite of restrictions. Change of scenery is always good for the soul. I’ll be trying to catch up soon. Ready to catch my breath here. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Hey Marlene – I love the grace with which you approach life. So glad you got to spend time at the beach. It’s a refreshing place to be. Happy Spring, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear Marlene, you are one impressive lady. Most people would be lucky if they had only half the determination and strength of character that you have. Not to mention sense of humour. I wish I could meet you one day xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Your posts are always cheerful, Marlene. Looks like you had a wonderful beach trip, and your spring cleaning is motivating. Get moving, Jennie! I’m glad to hear that your walks are beneficial and you can still play in the dirt. Yes, write that story of your life for children! Really!! Love your heart quilts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jennie. No point in being morose. I’m too busy to do that. The hearts are mug rugs for you tea cup or coffee mug. Very small but fiddly, if you know what I mean. Still lots of fun to make for friends. I’m a Virgo which is an earth sign. Playing in the dirt is where I’m happiest. My sister said she was told to not do that any more. So much for sisterly advice. 🙂 Happy Earth Day, Jennie. I’ll catch up here one day soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Marlene, I’m glad we’re both members of the glass-half-full club. Dig away, I’m headed out to do the same today as soon as it warms up. Best to you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Happy spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. misunderstoodmammy said:

    I enjoyed this – I relate well and you inspired me. Keep on keeping on!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hey Vonderfrau, looks like you are all set to get on with life. Yah for wins! So happy to hear your news. It’s been quite dry here this spring. Our wet month is actually June. For now there is a fire ban. I’m glad you didn’t have to evacuate after your neighbour caught everything on fire. How horrifying! Too bad it was so windy at the beach! It sounded like a nice trip though. I love those casual drives that include lunch in fun places. Keep on keeping on lovely xK

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the visit, Kelly. Miss you. At least for a small town, we have an excellent fire dept. Those guys do amazing work. It was a fresh new experience at the beach and that’s what life is supposed to be, fresh and new each day. I think we hurry too much to get somewhere rather than enjoying the journey. My daughter likes to drive so she really enjoyed me navigating us to some fun places.
      I can’t say with any certainty what the weather will do in June. One year we hit the hundred degree mark and the next year it was wet and cold. It’s called “keep ’em guessing” weather. 🙂 Hugs to you sweetie.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Marlene, I forgot to ask you if the Creamery was the same that producers the Tillamook ice cream that we buy in the store. My cat and dog will do anything to get some of their vanilla ice cream. They know as soon as I bring it in the house. Sinful stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is the same Tillamook creamery. We had ice cream for dessert before we had lunch down the street at the Blue Heron Cheese company which makes their famous Brie. Lots of cows in the area. 🙂 My dog loved her vanilla ice cream too!

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  22. I am afraid that as we get older our health declines and so important to concentrate on what we can do. So more walking,stitching, reading and writing, for you so enjoy it all. All in all a lovely positive post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. it was all good news this time and no matter what, I’m not a fan of sour and dour, It takes us twice as long to do half as much but we do persevere, don’t we. Here’s too being to busy to notice that we’ve left the stage. 🙂

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  23. Oh, i love this post, Marlene. You teach us all to find the hope, the good, in each day. Color me yellowy orange, in honor of your daughter and her birthday, in honor of good breathing, fresh air, and years ahead to enjoy it all. Love to you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pam. Thinking about you this week. There certainly are so many shades of yellow, are there not? Yellow makes her feel happy and as the mother of a daughter who was always dressed in black as a teenager, I so welcome this change. She was born on Friday the 13th and Halloween is her favorite holiday. Hence the spider in the heart. 😉 We are still trying to find “her” yellow.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh myyyy, from black to yellow – a nice turnaround. 🙂 Daffodil yellow is probably too “yellow” for her; I’m thinking a creamy yellow. Perhaps the yellow of a Dahlia, which symbolizes beauty, elegance, and strength.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Marlene! I’m not quite back to blogging but I was yearning for some news about you, and feel in need to catch up, so I’m very secretly visiting you here. 😉
    Oh my, that was a windy day at the beach! Reminds me very much of when I visited Spain in Spring one time and came back feeling like a Wiener schnitzel, all covered in sand! Haha! 😀 I’m so glad you got good news from your pulmonologist!! Okay, the oxygen bottles are a bummer, but it’s good that you have them when you need them. Total yes to working in the garden!! I’ve read some articles about kids getting more allergies these days because they don’t play as much in the dirt than earlier generations.
    Your daughter is going to love your yellow heart – it’s so lovely and cheering. 😀 Oh, and I spotted my little Robin in your mirror!!! 😀
    Wishing you a beautiful spring! Take care! x

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Marlene, how true that we can take ‘Nothing is taken for granted.’ You’ve gone through so much this past year and glad you and your daughter managed a break by the sea. Yikes! It is windy though but there is a wonder in all that drama of the sand sweeping across the beach. You look well kitted out and ready for stepping out into the world – it can’t be easy at all for you to wear a mask. Happy Reading, Creating and enjoying the gift of every day. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the visit, Annika. I think we have all gone through a lot this last year but it seems to be looking up in so many ways. I loved and was mesmerized by the blowing, wet sand. That was quite the outfit I was rigged up in but no one seemed to take notice of it. 🙂 The mask actually helps keep my nose warm since the oxygen flowing in can be quite chilly. My mother and sister went through this so I have no room for complaint. Anything to get to the beach even for a few moments. It’s a good 3 hour drive so we don’t go often. It was well worth it. Have a wonderfilled week ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I sure have missed your posts………..reading your words always makes me feel encouraged, understood, and motivated. I am cheering you on in your new normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life seems to hand us adversities so we pay attention to the value of it. I’m way behind on my reading too, Wendi and spring and summer are going to make it more difficult with outside tasks as well. It’s hard to do things with so little energy but I’m working on mine. I agree with you, I read things that help me know I’m not alone in all this and motivated to keep going. I think that’s why we should continue to share. Helping the next one struggling. Thanks for taking the time to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Looks like you’ve doing what is best for you – and I think we have to understand how lucky we are with medical advances, that allow us to have semblance of a life. An an upbeat post about how you will continue to have a “new normal” with the blessing of your doctor.

    I too was thinking the other day about my “new normal” – “maybe this is as good as it gets” – most of it’s manageable but still hoping when the hospital dude gets around to talking with me (phone consult) – he could offer something else to fix one part of it all.

    Too top of the digestive issues, I had some tooth issues – and now apparently it’s at my leisure which teeth I deal with next. Two went to the dentists’ garbage can on Thursday – so that’s messing with a lot of eating which isn’t truly helping the digestive issues. Hopefully, I will get back to “maybe this is as good as it gets” real soon

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m never satisfied with as good as it gets either and often have moments when I want to give up but I don’t stay there because my adult children are watching how I handle adversity. I’m sorry you are having multiple issues too. It’s exhausting to always fell awful. I do know that. I’ve never had much faith in tradition medicine. But I have to start there and do the rest myself. I hope the teeth get fixed soon. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Marlene, so glad to hear that you are adapting to your new normal with high spirits as usual. And that the exercise is keeping you steady. I think we all are adapting to a ‘new normal’ with COVID, just not sure yet what that will be. But my farm is in bloom right now and absolutely beautiful and I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be at the moment. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Celine. My new normal includes not getting all the things done I used to do in a day or week but I’m learning to let a lot go. Time here in this world is not to be taken for granted to I’m having to pace myself more. COVID really did a number on everyone but there is a silver lining there too. A giant pause so we can be more mindful of how blessed we are to have nature all around us. I’ll be back in my tiny garden again soon. My list of want to do’s is much longer than I’ll probably get done. 😉 I’d rather be on a farm too. I’m glad you have that to get you through all this.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Happy Birthday H!! I just love that little spider on the heart. As Lou said, I enjoyed seeing you in your trekking getup for your walk. You seriously look like an adventurer and it’s kind of thrilling to be inspired to think about adventure when we’re sticking so close to home. Thanks for that! Again, I say, the hills around your house are STEEP and would be tough for anyone. You keep downplaying your workout, but I’ve seen where you live and it’s a feat that you walk two miles there. Celebrate your awesomeness!

    All those O2 bottles and equipment looks intimidating. I like that you have it all there, but don’t need it all yet, or very often. For me, I would like to just stare at them for awhile, and let the idea of it sink in, and let the equipment slowly become a part of my life before I became more dependent on it. How do you feel about having that one piece of equipment that you said you don’t need yet? GREAT news that you are going to live strong for a few more years, and I am not surprised. Maybe I’m in denial, but I assumed you did have a few more years, despite your health challenges. I am glad that someone who knows what they are talking about says you have time. ❤ Maybe you're like that cherry tree at the top, whose body isn't the same anymore, but is still going to find a way to bloom.

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  30. I think the cherry tree trying to bloom is a good metaphor, Crystal. It feels right to me. Life is just one big adventure and I wait to see which way I’m guided next. Thinking about a lot of different options with all we have to consider. Getting accustomed to needing oxygen almost made me feel like giving in. It’s usually a one year slide to the bottom so I wasn’t expecting more. The concentrator, huge brown machine was part of my mom and sister’s life. I’ll need it at some point at night. It could help my sleep but there is quite a way to go yet. 🙂 You know me, I’ll keep on plugging. Too much to do for sitting and moping. 😉 Giant squishy hugs.

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  31. Th Beach is a looking refreshing, I bet it blew the cobwebs away Marlene…. And your oxygen pack doesn’t look too heavy or awkward to carry…. So pleased Marlene you are getting out and about my friend..
    Your daughters gifts really special…. You certainly have been busy decluttering and creating…. Spring does that….
    Keep walking and enjoying Marlene.. Lots of love Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sue. My daughter needed a day away from work and everything that reminded her of work.
      The backpack and oxygen are very light to carry, much lighter than what my mother had to carry. I’m grateful.
      Working in the sewing room is much the same as you with your painting. It can be stressful if not going well but very rewarding when it does go well. Trying to get out into the gardens as well. So much needs tending that I rarely have time here. Sigh. You take care too, Sue. Lots of love and hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lots to keep us busy and our minds active away from the negative… Your daughter recognised she needed to get away…. We all need that at times.. Lots of love my friend ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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