Monday, December 19, 2016

Just so you don't think that Jacob is being neglected. Although...his grooming is way past due. But, there is a reason for that.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Just a week before Christmas...Eve

I've been so silent here. The sparks of inspiration hit often...but rarely when I can capture them. Today after some required chores I took a much-needed nap.  I need more naps in my life. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Few Changes

Just a few changes since our diagnosis. We decided to get a Service Dog to help JM with his conditions. He actually has two major conditions. In addition to Alzheimer's, he has diabetes. Both are serious. Diabetes is a really complex disease. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

An Altered Life

So, my husband has Alzheimer's. His 59th birthday was just 11 days ago. He's way too young to have this particular condition. His is called "early-onset", which I appreciate. It's an acknowledgment that this is not usual. In fact, Alzheimer's is not "typical" at any age, it is not a "normal" part of aging. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Autumn is Here


Autumn is finally upon us and I am reminded of why I love this season SO much. The cooler air with some breeze. The crisp mornings with a surprising number of songbirds singing as though they are coming back for spring. This is the first year I noticed that. They are singing so much more than they did in the summer. If spring is the season of new beginnings, what is fall? 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rainy Day Bliss

I asked for the day off and got it. The nervous me hesitated because I'm running to the end of my time off. I'm afraid I haven't planned out all my needed time for doctor's appointments and such. On Wednesday, when I woke up I thought it was Thursday. I had psyched myself up that the next day would be Friday before a 3 Day Weekend. So, when I went to work again on Thursday feeling like Groundhog Day...I asked for Friday off. Voila, I had the day off.

This morning looked like a Seattle day with a grey sky and soft, light rain. As Jordan and I went out on our errands I felt homesick or nostalgic (I'm not sure which) for our Northwest home. 

After our errand, I wanted to stop at B&N, "just for a minute", so I could pick up a sweet, happy novel. My goal was to really live the dream. The one where I'm on the couch with my novel with a cup of hot tea and loving the soft sound of rain outside. What better way for me to spend what is likely my last real vacay day of the year? 

I told Jordan I would just run in and run out...so he could wait in the car. --If we both got in there we would never get out and my opportunity for rain, book, and tea would be lost.

I've had trouble finding novels that capture me like I longed to be captured. I planned on asking the salesperson to help me find a novel with these requirements: 1. Sweet, 2. Happy 3. Not dark, dreary or sad.

But, I thought "I can do this". So I raced down the fiction aisles looking for new books by my known and trustworthy authors. --All of my authors must be between books. Choosing an unknown (to me) author can be tricky. I did not want to regret my book on my Ferris Bueller Day Off.

So, to the YA aisle, I went. I was happy when I found Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. It's been on my list for a while. I chose two other books and almost skipped out of the store. 

Books in hand, we drove to Starbucks for a favorite, vanilla latte and banana nut bread. Yes, this day off was going to be everything I ever wanted.

And it was. I finished my first book in pretty much one "sitting". I did take a bathroom break or two and I ate some lunch...but my nose was back in the book very quickly. 

The book that held me all day (and for many days to come, I believe) is The Memory Book by Lara Avery. 

Sammie, the main character, grabbed me on page one. She wrote to herself so she could remember what she needed to remember. A rare condition causing memory loss at the early age of 18 had taken residence in her body. It sounds like the story would be depressing, but it really hopeful. Sammie wrote down things to remember as she continued to work on her goals of being valedictorian and going to NYU. She was basically already valedictorian, she just needed to hold on to her grades for the last school term. 

Sammie was strong, she was determined, she was ME! 

I recognized her dedication to her goal which was to get to college on a scholarship. My goals didn't include a scholarship, but they did include taking the academic side of school very seriously. I recognized Sammie's need to stay in control. The need to control the things "you can control" because there are so many things we can't control. Sammie could control how much she prepared and studied. She could taste the end goal.

In the middle of all of this, of course, is a complicated love story. --That is the sweet part. So, so sweet. So worth it.

I was in Sammie's world the entire day. I was wanting to help her make the "right" decisions. You know, like when you tell the girl in the movie not to open the door? Like that. But Sammie has a strong mind of her own. She didn't really need my help. 

So, there you have it. My last day off for no reason, except to do exactly what I wanted, was a success.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Home as Art

I had brunch with a friend on Saturday. She lives in the cutest neighborhood. I always enjoy hanging out with her. She often takes me to new places and I get to know my hometown in new ways. One of our common interests is urban(ish) living.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Balance, Priorities and Puppies

blog

I haven't been on my blog for a while. I'm a little overwhelmed. Not necessarily in a bad way. Work is very busy. Which is great. Coincidentally I've also had to schedule miscellaneous appointments (dentist, eye dr., reg. dr., etc. ). The time away from the office is not ideal. But, it's hard to predict when our production spikes will occur. So...I've had to put in a few more hours on the back end of a normal work day.  That's my story.


Work / Life Balance

Instead of going to yoga, I've stayed at work. I really should start a practice at home. But I really enjoy it so much more when I have a teacher to follow. It's also a nice communal experience. Neither of which I want to give up. But...when we are busy and I have to choose where to spend the extra time...I do have to keep in mind that work actually pays for yoga.  So...


Priorities and Choices

I admit that I'm making a choice. It is a choice. It's a choice between leaving work "on time", or early even and doing yoga for the health and mind-clearing benefits. But, I also know that leaving without getting what needed to be done completed...just means a sleepless night as I worry about how I'm going to get it all done the next day. 

So anyhoo, I woke up today blue. Stressed a little about what I have ahead of me at work. Worried a little about how I will get it all done. Yadda, yadda, yadda---blue.

I took Jacob out for his morning walk. --It was already muggy. I wanted to give Jacob a little extra time. So I walked the long way around the complex, making our way to the dog park. Jacob and I visited the apartment dog park a couple of times when we first moved here. Both times we were the only two in the park. So, I sort of had it in my head that going to the doggie park at the complex was a solo kind of thing....which isn't that appealing.

Happiness: 

The dog park has been updated. The grass is a turf so that it doesn't become a mud pit after our torrential rains. They added a few obstacles for dogs. It is nice.

More happiness: 

Two doggies were already in the park. Instant playmates. One dog was a Yorkie (I think). The other...a puppy. An English sheepdog puppy. He was a joy to watch. Several other people came with their dogs which made the whole thing more interesting. 

Puppies, sheepdog

And, just that short time watching a puppy play...made all the difference in my day.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Nothing Beats a Cup of Tea

Photo: Taking Tea at the Orangery.
I'm getting back into the swing of posting. For the past several weeks I've been working late (which is a good thing, because business is good). I've also sacrificed my yoga practice (which is NOT a good thing). I need yoga. I WANT yoga. And now, today as I type this I have to decide if I will return to yoga tonight. 

I have read a new book which I plan to tell you about...it is just a little dense for me...but still worth it. The book is about the brain. I've just not wanted to write about brains, but soon I will.

I was really sad a few weeks ago. I visited with an attorney "get my affairs in order."  I'm not sick. I'm just trying to be a good grown up. When Danielle was born, we had a will made. The main point of that document was to appoint God Parents, in case the unthinkable happened. Luckily, the unthinkable did not happen and Danielle, herself, is now an adult. 

But, you know each year when I choose my medical benefits at work...I have a nagging thought that the unthinkable will one day be the inevitable. I had this crushing feeling that the unthinkable was becoming more thinkable each day.

So here it is. I actually had a very clear realization that I don't want to die. Not only that, I was seriously surprised by such a realization. ~I mean we all know that everyone dies, right? Even as a child my bedtime prayer included "if I die before I wake..." But, I'm just now feeling mortal. Like I not only may actually die one day but that I actually will die one day. 

I'm a Christian. I have faith in an afterlife and I've held onto that faith each time I've lost a loved one. 

I'm finding out that it is possible to have two diametrically opposing views simultaneously. The two contradictions are equally weighing on my heart. This too is surprising to me.

What I realized so clearly is that I don't think I'm afraid to die. I don't think I'm afraid of what comes next. But I DON'T WANT TO GO. I don't want to leave. I love so much here on earth that I just don't want to go. 

I guess this is a mid-life three-quarter life crisis. It sort of makes sense. We've been an empty nest for several years. Before the nest was empty, there was no time or energy to contemplate such things. 

In the midst of all of these heavy emotions, I've also been struck by some amazing moments of serendipitous joy. That is also a contradiction. And yet, it's true. Even now, as my heart is happy because I just spent 30 minutes thinking about taking tea at the Orangery in London. It is something I did by myself on my first trip to London. 

And so, I leave you with these thoughts. Some of them are quite heavy. But so many more will be light.




Sunday, June 26, 2016

I Don't Know Where to Start

I have opened this blog so many times to write a real post.  The actual writing of the post never happened. Instead, I busied myself with non-writing bloggy things. I've heard that writers get their best house cleaning done when they are on a deadline. That was me. Only, that really never happens to me. Technically, I'm never on a deadline. And yet...I came here to write. 

You may have noticed I changed the look of the blog. Yeah, that kind of bloggy stuff can really keep you from writing. I also got so OBSESSED "caught up" in the new look that I could not stop tinkering. There are still some hidden secrets to getting the formatting consistent throughout. Yeah, this code is above my pay grade. In fact, I need to give a should out to the designer:   "Bthemez".  It's funny, I've spent so much time working with this HTML code I had this feeling that I knew the designer. But, I really don't. But their work is really nice!

I have been writing...but not for publication. Maybe that is why I couldn't bring myself here. Maybe I had already expressed what I wanted to say. 

But, no. That is not the case.  I have plenty to say. I just haven't gotten comfortable with saying it yet. (Sharing it yet?)

I really do like my little space on the web. I hope you continue to stop by. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Signs of Spring and Ow, My Knee

Source
I have not been here for awhile so I'm back to tell you what's new around here. The geese are back at the office. This is the third spring they have nested there. It may be that they've been nesting there even longer...it's the third spring I've been at this office. You remember the first spring when the nest was in the parking lot? Both this spring and last they nested in the greenspace in front of the building. The female sits on the nest for most of the day. The nest is actually flush with the building and an office window. I absolutely love watching these two sweet geese return to nest at the office each spring. 

I have not been to yoga this entire week. I feel a little lost without my practice. Two weeks ago when I moved to table top position I felt a sharp pain in my left knee.  It was surprising how sharp the pain was but it ended immediately. I thought it was sort of a fluke. But, here it is two weeks later and the knee is still acting up. It feels like gravel is inside of the knee.  It feels like the gravel is pressing against the skin from the inside. This is the same knee that I've had trouble with. I actually have arthritis in both knees. But it is significant in the left knee. I had physical therapy for this knee in 2013. Physical therapy helped immensely and I learned exercises to keep the muscles around the kneee stable. I've been keeping up the muscle maintenance with yoga. 

I did some web diagnosis...because I really don't want to go to the doctor. Ain't nobody got time for that! I'm actually hoping that this knee thing will just go away with rest. It is so close to being better. My thinking was a week without yoga could allow my knee the time to get better.

It has been an interesting week with a break in my routine and my discipline.
I want it back. 

Cheers for the weekend!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

D's New Place

Apartment Entry
We spent Easter weekend with Danielle at her new place. I took several pics with my Smart-phone that I'm sharing here. I'm starting to think it may be time to upgrade to my camera phone.

So, to set the scene...a two-hour drive to her place was an all-day affair for us. I took the day off work, so it was a vacay day for me, which meant I wanted to sleep in, which I did. I woke up and realized we were getting a later start than I planned. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

A Little Catching Up

Apartment Kitchen
How lovely was today? It was still chilly here but with a beautiful blue sky. I took the pic below from my porch today. It's the same view I've posted before. I know it isn't that different but today, I felt that the bright sunny day was especially cheery.

One of the things that I love about living here is that we can appreciate the lovely landscape without the work.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Storms

Sleepy Puppy


Yesterday's storms were crazy. I left work early yesterday so I could get home before the winds and rest of the storm arrived. I'm glad I left early...because when the storm was overhead, it was intense. 

~I think I've turned into my Grandfather. He was all about the weather and planning ahead and discussing yesterday's weather. When I was young I would be like, "Yeah Grandpa...it's the weather." You know? Weather happens every single day.  But now that I'm older and I have to drive in the "weather" I take it a lot more seriously. Funny how that works.

Our dog was okay with the storm yesterday. It didn't spook him. But Alister (the cat) was not happy about it. He usually sits in the window looking at whoever walks by and he was in the window when the storm "landed". The storm came pretty fast. 

I wanted to write a longer post with all kinds of pics...but it's late...so the fun will have to wait.

TTFN (ta ta for now)

~Kimberly

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

More Apartment Living

I realize that the photos of our apartment are pretty sparse here on the blog. One reason is that I haven't felt that the photos I've taken actually do the space justice. I have been relying on my smartphone as my impromptu camera, which does not do well in low light.  ~That's the excuse reason I'm using, anyway. So, to give a better idea about our apartment, I'm sharing pics of the model units, which are very nicely lit.
LIving Room
Source

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

More Photography

Not long after the yearbook publisher deadline, Jordan and I began dating. He continued to pursue photography for his degree as well as contributing to the college publications. I would go with him on photo shoots just to spend time with him. I also spent time in the dark room watching him create. 
Photographer in Park
Jordan Behind the Lens
I rarely used a camera. That sort of changed on my first trip to Europe. I went alone and wanted to be sure to document the experience. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

I'm a Serious, Enthusiastic, Amateur Photographer

Photographer and cameras
This is a pic of Jordan when we were at the Cherry Blossom Festival a couple of years ago. He taught me everything I know about photography. I would call myself a serious, enthusiastic, amateur photographer. But, Jordan? He's an artist. He's modest, so he won't like that I wrote that. Jordan studied photography in college. He has a BFA in photography. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Making My Apartment Home

Kitchen Built in Desk
There is not a day that goes by that I don't look around my apartment and say "I love this place." We've been in our place for a little over a year and have zero desire to consider leaving. We enjoyed the home we had before and I enjoy looking back at the photos of how we made that house our home

Monday, February 8, 2016

More Hygge Thoughts

So, the game didn't go the Panthers' way. I know that stung for the team and players. But like I said earlier, I don't think anyone was pulling against Peyton. 

CoffeeI've still been thinking about Hygge. For years, I've enjoyed Hygge coziness without attributing a name. I don't want to imply that what I think of as a hygge experience is necessarily the hygge experience. And maybe that's part of it. Maybe hygge is different for everyone. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

HYGGE Much?

I stumbled upon this article called "Why We All Need Hygge in Our Lives" and the idea has been percolating in my mind ever since. I may be the last to the Hygge awareness...but just in case this is new to you the explanation in the article is:
It’s a concept that’s all about making things soft, cozy and comfortable, sort of like the embodiment of a warm fuzzy feeling.

Hygge is a Danish concept / custom and is credited as a reason Denmark is is considered one of the Happiest Nations. Basically, in a country that has very long winters with longer nights than days, creating a cozy home gathering with loved ones makes for a happy winter. There are tons of pictures on the net of what Hygge looks like.

Starbucks on a Winter MorningFrom what I can tell, Hygge looks like cozy socks and heavy afghans, candles and blazing fires in the dark. I think it probably smells and tastes like cookies, coffee and hot tea with a little chocolate and cinnamon.

Last weekend, when we were snowed in, I approached it as a Hygge opportunity. Pajama bottoms, warm socks, and an afghan while reading on the couch. We ate sausage biscuits we had in the freezer. We had a copious amount of hot tea and we had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.
English Tea

We were lucky that we did not lose power so we were able to stay nice and warm. We enjoyed a very Hygge weekend. I hope your winter is cozy and warm and safe and happy.

'Til Next Time,

~Kimberly

P.S. Tuesday is Ground Hog Day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Meet Alister


This is Alister. He is the newest addition to the Montgomery household. He wasn't exactly "planned". But he was definitely meant to join our family. 

It was the weekend before Christmas and we were out running errands (getting ready for the big day) when I got sidetracked by a sign that said "Cat Adoption Today". 

"Let's stop," I said thinking I love petting cats. I just wanted to pet a soft kitty...you know? Maybe a soft kitty that is also a warm kitty. 

Of course, my husband said we needed to stay on task. But at the very last minute, he asked if I really wanted to stop. 
Uhhh... Yeah! And so we went into the pet store that was hosting the cat adoption event.

All of the cats were sweet and looked like they would enjoy some loving. I just walked around and then I saw Alister. He was so quiet and mellow, not to mention beautiful.

He is a Flame Point Snowshoe. Snowshoe cats are closely related to Siamese cats. Some say that they are a Siamese cat with specific markings. I'm not sure how it all gets classified. He has some Siamese characteristics such as points, and blue eyes. But he has little "snowshoe" front paws. He also seems more sturdy that the typical Siamese.

So, when we saw him we asked if we could hold him. --Mental note: Remember to only hold a cat (or anything cute, soft and furry) if you are prepared to own said sweet cat.

We were smitten. As with most pet placement agencies, they are not a "store" you can't just say, "I'll take the pretty one over there." You have to complete an application and they have the right to call your references and your vet and do a home visit. All I knew was that Alister had to be ours, and so we went home to complete said application. The rest of our errands simply did not get done.

Long story short, we passed the adoption screening and are now proud parents to a sweet cat/kitten. He was seven months when we got him.  --I know, he's big for being a kitten, right? We've had him since right before Christmas...so now he's eight months.

As you can see, Alister can do pretty much whatever he wants. Expect to hear more about this guy! He's just too fun. More pics are on the way too.

TTFN!
(ta ta for now)

~Kimberly

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The First Snow Day of 2016

Not even a month into the new year and we got a snow day. It seems we get one big snowy or icy storm a year...sometimes two. I'm perfectly happy staying in on those days. I so hate the idea of driving or feeling guilty because I chose NOT to drive...meaning I chose not to go to work.

You remember that one time when our Bank closed at 1:00? But so did the entire city of Raleigh. So everyone was trying to leave at the same time. Not to mention that year the storm came so much faster than anyone could expect. I mean, it was clear at 10:00 a.m. and by 1:00 the roads were COVERED in snow and ICE.  
I use this photo as a cautionary tale to remind me not to try to drive in this weather. Yes, that's my car. See how beautifully I pulled it off the road? That year I didn't make it home. I stayed at a co-worker's house for three days. 

I believed the weather forecast this year. I knew that if there was any ice or snow I would not be going to work, but I was surprised that the Bank was closed. Yay! I could do what I was going to do anyway without any of the guilt! 

Because I'm thinking of snow days, I've reached into my old photos and pulled out two from when we lived in Charlotte. Danielle was in elementary school.

The beautiful poodle in this pic is Simon. He was our standard poodle and he was our heart. An incredible dog. 

Jacob is Simon's mini-me. His personality reminds us of Simon all the time. We can't imagine life without him. 
Here is a photo of Danielle and me playing in the snow. I'm pushing her on our makeshift sled. As long as everyone is safe and has the ability to stay warm and fed, a snow day can be a wonderful thing! 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Word of the Year



















Last year my word of the year was "Relax". Looking back, I don't know how much of an influence the word was. I think last year was the first time I ventured into the idea of declaring a word of the year. I guess I'm not really sure how it's supposed to work. Do you meditate on the word? Do you make it a mantra? Do you use it to help during decision moments? I guess it's like choosing a theme for the year. 

Anyway, I think the last few years I've improved my ability to relax. And yes, I think that's important. Looking back, I think I did a decent job of relaxing in 2015.  I think my intent was more than "just chillin'". I think I was going for the idea of relaxing into situations. You know, not get anxious too early. I meant that's what Aaron Rodgers was saying, right? Relax, we've got time, we're going to be okay.

I also think I was thinking the word relax could mean "don't worry". I'm going to say I was giving myself permission to relax in every sense of the word.

I enjoyed a special (cruise) vacation with my daughter. I really enjoyed that. One of the best things was that I carved out small moments of "me" time. One day I chose to stay on the ship instead of going ashore. I felt like I was on my own private ship. It was exactly what I wanted/needed. I gave myself permission to enjoy my vacation in an unconventional way.

Our weekend in Asheville was also perfect. We got to hang out with some of our favorite people. We got to explore artist studios. We stayed in our first Airbnb, which had the most comfortable bed I think I've ever slept in. 

I have chosen a word for 2016. It came to me earlier this month. I actually tried to fight it.  I thought it had negative connotations but the word would not leave my consciousness. I decided to accept my word. The word is  Surrender

This year I did create a word cloud for my word. I actually think I may have thrown a few words in the cloud that may not apply. But...maybe they all apply. When I was making the cloud my mind was thinking about yoga practice. That the best practices are ones where you surrender to the present and don't try to force things. To surrender you allow things to unfold (in yoga and in life) without trying to influence the results. I'm thinking that to surrender is a deeper form of the word relax. 






That is all for now.

~Kimberly

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hello 2016

I have to say I really took my "goals" seriously for 2015. I grew in more ways than I expected and I'm changed. I like that concept: "changed". I like that my goals were pure. I would categorize the 2015 goals as Health and Happiness goals. The goals focused on actions and ownership rather than results. I guess it's based the whole idea of if you do the right things, the right things will happen.

Okay, to be clear, some of my secret hopes for end results have not been achieved. I was sort of hoping that I'd drop some weight as one of the typical definitions of "health". Funny enough, I did lose a little weight, but not really a significant amount. After about six months of my regular yoga, a few people commented that they thought I lost weight. And here's the thing, my dresses are hanging like they are too big. So, although the scale didn't move very much, things appear to have shifted which gives the illusion that I'm somehow smaller. Hey, I'll take it. 

But (and I know you are not supposed to start a sentence with "but" much less a paragraph...but...) if I had focused on an end result, I would have abandoned the goals. Being focused on a # on the scale (that did not happen, by the way) would have been too discouraging. Instead, I'm taking "baby steps". Baby steps I go to the yoga studio. Baby steps I get through a full class without passing out. Baby steps I begin to get stronger and can do more of the poses and take fewer child's poses and so on. 

I've learned so much just by doing. 

Without further ado, I will set my intentions for 2016.  ~I like the concept of intentions better than goals. I think it speaks more closely to what I'm doing.

❋ Continue to Own My Practice

❋ Get My Sleep {I mean REALLY!}

❋ Own My Daily Water Intake

❋ Nurture My Relationships

I have so much more to say about all of this...but it is already past my bedtime...so I need to go.

Peace & Happiness,
~Kimberly