Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Friday, December 23, 2011

Good To Be Home

I am sitting a little uncomfortably at the computer table, thinking I need to write some thoughts about having bi-lateral knee surgery.  My knees are flexed back as far as I can get them at this moment and I have to say it feels good and hurts at the same time.  Maybe a blog will be a good distraction. 

Grandpa Santa and Tatum, 2011
On December 5, 2011 I had both of my rickety, hard working knees replaced.  I lost several days following surgery, the use of heavy pain killers gave me a fuzzy memory (which is probably good) and as I began to come around I was then whisk off to the in-hospital rehab to learn to walk again.  Holy Cow, walking on new knees was rather a startling experience.  I am no longer bow legged and I even felt a little taller.  My legs were like lead!  I had to learn to use muscles that had been stretched beyond anything I care to imagine.  The skin from above, over and below my knees were being held together by staples.  These staples were removed on Dec. 21st.  Richard counted 40 in each knee.  I would like to say I was brave and it was nothing, but it took my breath away several times and tears came to my eyes. 

I can't say enough about the care and attention I received while in the hospital.  Everyone was kind and helpful and never left me hanging.  They would bring me heated blankets on request and were at my side with every attempt to get up and move to the bathroom or sit in a chair.  It didn't take long with Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy moving me along and all I could think about was getting home. 

When I got home I couldn't have been happier, truly the best medicine ever!!!!  Our house with our stuff and I could move about freely when ever I needed.  It seems I can't just be in any one place too long, I get too locked into a position and need to move.  Sometimes I feel like I start over with each transition. 

My children have been amazing, they picked up the slack while my wonderful husband accompanied a friend to Florida that needed help driving.  I am a lucky girl to have such an amazing support system.  This is something you can't do alone, no matter how independent you think you are. 

Now two days before Christmas, the tree is up and decorated because of my daughter.  My other daughter wrapped gifts and my son had to finish my shopping.  The kids and grand kids will be coming before noon on Christmas morning and they are bringing all the food.  It will be noisy and fun watching the grand children.  Their smiles are medicine to me too!

I am reminded that it isn't about the gifts, it is about all the love that surrounds us.  I have all I could ever want for Christmas, my awesome family, my very amazing friends and new knees!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Season

Canvas off,  poles coming
I have in the past few years started looking at the passing of time in different ways.  I rarely wear a watch, time is not important when being creative in the studio.  Oh yes, I still must be aware of appointments and what time my grand daughters are getting off the bus, I have my smartphone to keep track of this for me.  It will signal me well ahead of the appointed time and I am usually startled with the beeps and chirps when my phone suddenly brings me back to reality.

I also find that the calendar on the wall is often months behind.  I just took down a 2010 calendar that was stuck on May.  Again my smartphone has a calendar and I try to keep track of my life in this little mini computer I carry in my pocket. 

I know that the seasons come and go, I prefer to look outside in nature at the signs that changes are happening, not at a calendar, even with it's pretty pictures.  I know the way the spring colors change from bright green to a dark rich green that summer has arrived.  I know when plants begin to wilt from the heat, it is high summer and you can see fall creep into the world one colored leaf at a time.  We don't need calendars to follow the seasons, we need to be in touch with the little changes, it becomes as familiar as taking the next breath. 

November full moon.....
Fall has come and is nearly gone.  With this time of year I know that Tipi Season is over too.  The nights become clear and crisp, the winds pick up and a fire that was nice on a cool summer night is now necessary if you want to keep warm in late fall. 

The past two weeks, I have spent as many nights as possible in the tipi.  I have had wonderful company during a couple of those nights.  A time to have ceremony, play flutes, to drum, to hear songs, to enjoy laughter with friends and feel the heat from a warm fire.  Full moons, shooting stars, coyotes howling and owls hooting.  Coping with wind and adjusting flaps, door open or door closed, still it was good and fall was in the air.  One night it began to rain, I went out to adjust the tipi flaps and heard deer snorting not too far away.  What a gift to be so close to the earth and hear and feel it's life around you.

afternoon campfire
My tipi lodge had its' last campfire, a ceremony of gratitude was performed and the dogs and I had a short nap in the afternoon late, mid November.   My wonderful husband and son decided it was a good day to take down the tipi.  And so now the pasture is empty, the tipi is stored away in a dry place for the winter.  I await the signs of late spring, green grass, the end of spring storms and bright sunny days.  Then the tipi lodge will again be raised and will welcome awaiting friends around the fire once again.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Adventure in Remembering..........

Last week I did something that surprised me a little, it felt good, brought back memories of getting on my horse and going exploring.  Going someplace from a different direction, being carefree and requiring a little courage.

Where I grew up......

After my grand daughters got off the bus, I took them for a ride in the Gator.  Lizzy was trying to do a math paper and Cait was reading.  I decided to make it an adventure they would have to give their undivided attention to.   I wanted them to enjoy this warm sun on a late fall day in November.

So we left the horse pasture through the fence that our neighbor had taken down to repair some drain tile.  We were suddenly free to explore a place we had never been.  As we raced along the edge of the still standing corn field, we could hear the hollow dry bones of the corn stalks rattling together from the wonderful breeze.  The girls were suddenly looking around and laughing as they had to duck from low tree branches.  Weed seed flew on us as we raced down the very bumpy ground.  Coming to a rather deep waterway, we had to figure a way around and the girls were full of good ideas. 

As we reached the end of the field we came to the edge of a woods, a place I had not been in probably 30 years.  It looked foreign and yet familiar.  It look so much smaller than I remember.  I hadn't been here since my step father died and the land sold.  It was the house that I grew up in.

It sold all those years ago, the new owners built new structures and backed up a ditch to make a shallow pond that was hauntingly covered with green and an old wooden boat sits afloat at the edge.  Those owners have since moved and the house remained empty for a couple years, neglect took it's tole and so did kids who came and destroyed windows and terrorized the inside of the house.  Critters found harbor there and water leaked from pipes and rain.  It seemed to be in ruin, this home my parents lovingly started building when I was around five years old.

Oh the memories came rushing back, we had an outhouse for years, there is still the idea of a path to that outhouse and on to the chicken houses.  The old shed that protected our rabbits from the wind was gone, as was the trees that held our beloved tree house.  The big oak tree that held our swing is still standing but has died.  One side of the old chinning bar, that was held by two trees, protrudes strangely from one tree still standing, it's end is hidden by the growth of the tree that holds it.  I look at the leaves on the ground and remember having to rake them, funny the area doesn't look as big as I remember it.  I wonder were the old playhouse went and we loved swinging on the thick old grapevines. 

The house itself is being repaired, brought back to it's once beautiful state.  It has been gutted and yet it is found to be strong and solid and will again come back to life.  Windows have been replaced, doors are closed to critters.  A flood of emotions take over me as I write this, remembering the long summers under the shade of those big trees, remembering having only my brother and sister as companions.  Raising rabbits, chickens, and turkeys.  Our dogs and orphan pigs and lambs, my goat, my donkey and then my horse.  So many memories and I got to show my old home place to my grand daughters.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Okay, not the best picture, my hair
looks a lot more grey due to the light
behind me, really I'm not that grey! 
This is a funny blog.....  well to me at least.  I just needed to record a milestone and this seems to be where I record those events. 

It has been a year now since I decided to allow my hair to grow out from the short easy cut I have worn since my children were small.  It was easy to have a wash and dry haircut when you live a very busy lifestyle. 

Then one day last August (2010)  I went to get another haircut and told my stylist that I wanted to grow my hair out, just shape it up for this change in length I would be going through.  I don't know what I was thinking, I just knew I wanted to grow my hair out.  When I announced this to my family, they all looked at me in disbelief, I have gotten used to that "look" from them.  This is not the first time I made an announcement they all thought was rather strange and out of character.  I share this with much laughter.

Now a year has passed.  Having only one little trim to even the sides to the back.  My hair is still thick and even a little wild, humidity does things to it that I have no control over.  It is now long enough to pull back, but I am having trouble with that look, I also think pigtails went out when I became a teenager..... I am also having trouble that there is so much grey in my once very dark hair. 

I wonder, what was I thinking, growing my hair out.  Now I look at pictures of myself with short hair and I don't know who that person is.  I have gotten used to seeing this longer hair.  I have this notion that I want it all one length, no bangs, no layers.  Now most of it is shoulder length, the sides are a little shorter.  A year of changes for me.

Funny things have happened in my evolution of dealing with my hair through the years.  When I was a small child, I remember having my hair tied up in "rags" when it was wet, when it dried and the ties were pulled out, I had Shirley Temple curls.  As a teen, I slept on rollers at night (the things we did to look beautiful).  In the 70's I had long hair until it was slowly trimmed shorter and shorter.  Electric rollers in the 80's and most recently the curling iron were my means of styling my hair. 

Now slowly I am going backwards in my styling, I have purchased rollers, I hate them.  I have new electric rollers and even the pink sponge rollers (almost like tying "rags" in my hair).  No one thing is making me happy, I again wonder when I will be finished with "this" stage of growing out, looking forward to much longer locks. 

I ponder the grey hair too, a sign of my maturity, a sign of wisdom (?), a sign of acceptance.........  I wish I knew.  As for coloring my grey........... I am afraid, what if it looks awful, do I really want to continue with coloring the grey roots?  There are always so many questions and no easy answers. 

I will tell you, I like having hair on my neck, it feels good to me.  I do like pulling it up on a hot day, I like it blowing in the breeze, even it it means getting messy and a little wild.  I do like knowing that it has been a year, I really survived a year of growing my hair out.  I think it is getting easier this growing out process.  I have no intention of going short after making it this far.
So, it is still growing.............  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sunwatch, 2011

Sunwatch Flute and Art Festival 2011 is now one for the books.  I wanted to write about my work in the studio before the event, the projects that I felt needed to be finished before going to the gathering.  I wanted to share how much effort it is to go and set up a booth to do a three day show.  Trying to remember everything from chairs to ink pens. 

Linda, Leonard, and Cynthia 2011
Now it is over and all I can remember..... my friends who gathered at Sunwatch.  I am deep in the journey of a major withdrawal.  Three days of sharing space with other vendors who are my friends.  Three days of hearing the sweet sound of flute music drifting through the air.  Three days of shared hugs and smiles and stories and love.  Three days is not enough and yet I could do no more.  I am still trying to recover from all the emotional energy and spirit that was found in this little center of the world.

My heart longs to spend more time with our friend Leonard.  His journey with cancer has effected us all.  We came together this weekend to surround him with our love and support.  All the while he comforted us with his love and wise words.  Our hearts were one as we joined one another, we all felt it and we all want to have more and we all want give more. 

On Sunday we had to take down our booths, we had to go back to our lives and yet we are forever changed.  Our hearts have been expanded with love, we will never have these precious moments back.  I am so happy we were all there to share this moment in time and to share our hearts.  Sometimes the struggles are what pulls us together, making us stronger, giving us the hope and the faith we need to continue.

Our journeys will persevere, we have done our best, loved to the fullest and that is all we can do.  Until our paths cross again, I send my love to my flute friends who gathered at Sunwatch in 2011.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Fathers Hands

Hands have been something that I've always found attractive about people, some people look at eyes, I look at hands.  Girls who have dainty pretty hands, with longs slender fingers and nicely shaped nails, they can wear pretty rings on both hands.  I always wanted hands that were pretty and girlish looking, it wasn't to be.

My hands are short, square and the knuckles are knobby.  They have been hard working hands, they've had callous from hanging on the monkey bars at school, blisters formed every new school year.  I was rather proud of those callouses on my palms.

There were other blisters acquired when helping move wire hay or straw bales in the hay mow each summer.  Or from hoeing weeds in my vegetable garden.  I am proud of my hands and the work they have done.  Dirty nails were not uncommon when digging around in the flower beds.  I never thought of them as pretty girls hands however.

My hands are softer now, maybe my spirit is too.  I don't have to prove my strength by the blisters on my palms.  My strength comes from other places now, more from my convictions in what is fair and just for all people.  My callouses are gone or maybe just unseen, those callouses are from learning life lessons the hard way.

My hands now take time to feel the cool stream water, to write a letter, to wipe away a tear or to even hold the hand of another, with love.  My hands enjoy picking up a paint brush or a carving tool for my next gourd project.  They are rarely blistered these days.  I wear rings of silver and turquoise on my short fingers and still admire people who can wear dainty little bands with pretty stones on both hands.

I often wondered where these hard working hands came from.  My Mothers hands are a different shape, though no less hard working.  Her fingers were longer and more tapered.  My sister has hands like our Mother.

Just recently I sat beside the hospital bed of my father.  I'd only just discovered this side of my family, I had not seen my father in over fifty years.  I sat while he was unconscious and on life support from his stroke, speaking to him, holding his hand and longing to know this stranger, to make some connection to tie us together as father and daughter.

Then before my very eyes, I noticed the hand I held and my heart nearly jumped out of my body!  My hands look just like my fathers hands!  I had my fathers hands!  It was an unexpected gift, a connection to this stranger, a connection to my father.  The question I had pondered all my life was answered that very moment. 

Later I sat with my brother Mike, I remarked about this little discovery.  Mike and I then compared our hands together, they too look the same, even our life lines are the same......   As we compared our hands, front and back, I found that I will no longer think of my hands as anything but beautiful, they are linked to my family, I am linked to my Dad and my brother and that is even more beautiful.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I love the forest trees high up on the ridge.
I'm in Hocking Hills, where the ancestors lived.
Hocking Hills

They surround me now, as I linger
Having my coffee, I try to remember.

Allowing myself to become a part of the sounds,
as I close my eyes and listen.

I hear the birds morning songs,
making known to the world they have risen.

Each leaf quietly moves with every gentle breath,
providing cover and shade for all to enjoy and become a guest.

The sun rises silently over the hill,
sending it's rays into secret places.

Can you see them hiding in the rocks and mosses,
the ancestors faces?

Cynthia McDonald   -    July 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Ancestors Gathered

So much has happened, keeping me away from the world of blogging.  My focus has been on family, the one that was never a part of my life.  I understand better now the reasons for this disconnect and know it is not my baggage, things happened long ago that really have nothing to do with me.  It is what it is and that is all.

Not knowing my birth Fathers family is loss to me and it can't be fixed.  I do know,  I would change nothing about my life.  My brother and I were in the care of a young and struggling mother, who provided the best possible care.  We grew up with an amazing step father, I looked at him as my Dad.  I honor them both, they are the reason I am who I am today.  I grew up learning to be responsible, independent, and strong, not so unlike my Mother and Dad who raised me, my brother and my sister. 

I look at my life as a wife and mother, I learned life skills well, I cooked, sewed for my family, I gardened, and love my family and to those around me.  As I journeyed through adulthood, running kids to school events, living on a farm with critters to care for and being involved in other outside activities, I didn't think often about the father I never knew, I was living my life.

I'm in my sixties now, the children grew up and are living their life with their children.  I know I have been blessed, our children are wonderful, they are also responsible, independent and strong.  They too are loving and caring, something I hope they learned before leaving home.  We have wonderful grandchildren that we see as often as every ones schedules will allow.  It is ALL good and amazing.

At this stage in my life, I began to wonder about my birth father and his family.  I didn't have much information, it seemed to be something "not talked about".  I feared asking, wanting not to hurt anyone, wanting not to show any disrespect.   I started doing a little searching.  It didn't take long, a door was opened and there was no way to close it, as information about my DeRemer ancestors tumbled out, the more I learned the more I wanted to know. 

Not only did I discover the ones who are no longer of this world.  I found the ones that are here now!  I spoke a couple times to my birth father by phone, it was not very rewarding, his hearing wasn't good and I am sure it was rather shocking to him to hear from me.  He had just turned 80 at the end of May.  I don't know exactly what I expected from this man that hadn't been in my life since I was small.  I do know that I longed for something, to be acknowledged, accepted and maybe even to know I was loved........  Doesn't everyone want that?

Maybe the greatest gift my father gave to me was the name and phone number of his oldest son from his second marriage.  I learned that I had a brother and I knew his name, calling him was another matter, my insecurities were showing.  How would he feel about me, did he know of me, what would he think?

My saving grace was contacting him on Facebook, no personal phone call, I could not handle that possible rejection, I could not think about how to talk to this stranger who was my brother........
Well, the rest is history, written about in an earlier blog, my heart has never been happier for meeting my brother Mike.

I know I am meandering a little and will now to get back to the Ancestors Gathering..... 

My brother Mike called me on July 16th to tell me our Dad, whom I haven't seen in more than 50 years, has had a stroke.  My logical brain said, "Okay, they are in Texas, I'm in Ohio, I may never get to hear my father speak to me, there is nothing I can do."  In a day my heart began to speak, even yelled at me, "You must go to Texas, now!".   Thankfully my brain listened to my heart and I called Mike to tell him I needed to come to Texas.  He ask me when I was coming....  I will be forever grateful for his response.

I was blessed to spend three days with my three Texas brothers, Mike, Mark and Mitch, at our Dad's bedside.  It was wonderful to see their tender loving way with our Dad.  I am so grateful by their acceptance and love they shared toward me.  The gifts of those three days cannot be measured, it changed my life, I will never be the same person I was before that trip to Texas. 

I left Texas with a heavy heart, I knew I had to come home.  My friend and I played flute prayers for my Ohio family and my Texas family the morning I left for Ohio.  With my eyes closed the tears streamed down my cheeks.  I saw the ancestors gathering, they were in a large group, looking toward my left, there was someone closer to the bottom of this "picture", I knew it to be the one helping our Dad make his journey into the spirit world.  Even though I did not "know" these people on earth, I knew my Aunt was helping and my Grandmother stood out in the crowd of ancestors, waiting to greet her son and our Dad with such joy.  Our Dad died on July 28, 2011.

Stephen Guy DeRemer  ~1931 - 2011~
Graveside services were held at Ft. Sam National Cemetery, in San Antonio, Texas on August 3, 2011.  Full military honors were performed that morning on August 3rd as the family gathered around. 

There is something about this little story, it is all about "Divine Timing".  Everything happened just as it was suppose to, everything came at the moment it was suppose to come, only to prepare the way for the next "moment".  It is only when it is over that we see all the connections, a big web, each strand important to last and the next.   My heart cries that it took so long and yet, I would have changed nothing.  The good and the bad of it all these events brings balance, acceptance and a heart filled with love.   I am grateful and blessed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Empty Pasture

One by one they have left us,
     as they journey into the spirit land.
I hold in my hand, from your tail
     a braided strand. 

I long to see you again
     racing in the clouds.
Bucking, rolling, running
     head and tail held proud.

You've left my pasture of blooming clover
     for another place.
You have joined your trail buddies
     on the other side for yet another race.

I'm left behind with my pictures
     and many memories.
They will stir in my mind with
     the slightest of a breeze.

My horses grazed in their quiet pasture
     for years it seems.
They were contented here, in our barn
     and in the grasses green.

A time of rest, after years of work,
     they ambled along in the warm sun.
I loved to watch them scratch each others
     backs, kick and play and run.

They have left me now, Swift, Gypsy, Trudy, Feasty, Chance, Bones and Knipper,
     one by one.
As they journey to another place to
     have their eternal fun.

The pasture is empty now
     of my Equine friends.
Someday I'll find you and
     this pain in my heart will end.

I stand here now listening,
     in the distance I hear thunder.
Is it them joyfully running a race,
     I wonder........

I am waiting for something to happen
      with this braided strand of hair.
My pasture is empty of my best horse friends,
      I hope they know I still care.

                                                    Cynthia McDonald,       8-3-11

In memory of all my wonderful horses, who taught me life lessons along the way. 
Lessons in love, responsibility, freedom, travel and trust..............

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Art Fair Mud

Rain has created paths of mud
     at the local Art and Garden Show.

The vendors put up their tents of white
     and hope people come in a steady flow.

The gates have opened and the people come,
     visitors with hats, umbrellas and raincoats in tow.
Cute little sandles adorn their feet
      as mud oozes between their toes.

Sundresses and tank tops, shorts and skimpy
      skirts too.
It is always the footwear that catches my eye, it's true
Getting real gooey as they slip and slide in the muddy glue.

Some shoes with sparkles and lovely colors,
     the flip flops are danty and cute.
Also seen are athletic shoes, clogs and even boots.

Painted toenails, ankle bracelets and toe rings,
     all adornments of beauty.
Tracking along the muddy path
     no matter how soupy.

Cynthia McDonald, my reflections after the rain at Lilyfest
July 9th, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Country Door

Sunlight comes calling at our country door,
Our Country Door........
     Gently touching the flowers there.
The fairies smile and ask for more,
     As they watch over my plants with care.

The country door is painted red,
     Covering what was once blue.
After thirty years of marriage, my husband
     confides that he never cared for doors of that hue.

So off to the store I go,
     Looking for a paint color new.
He's always loved his trucks of red
     Maybe he'll be happy with red doors too!

Now, twelve years down the road,
    Maybe it's time to rethink red or blue.
Or maybe just leave them weathered and faded,
     Greeting family and friends who come calling
          at our country door.

Cynthia McDonald,  6-16-2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Animal Messengers

my tipi lodge......

I look at animals that cross my path as messengers.
They tell me things, if I listen.  It happened again, just the other day..
Somehow, somewhere in my mind, I knew I'd find a friend waiting.
He knew I was coming too, on this beautiful day in June.

So the story begins with sunshine and cool springlike air in mid-June.
I am preparing the ground for the tipi raising, 
It will happen very soon.

I mow a slightly wandering path through my horse pasture,
the tipi will sit as far from the house as possible, on a level spot in the meadow.
This pasture is also know as the butterfly pasture, in the summer heat
it looks like a mirage of movement as they flutter around.

This spot where the tipi sits, was shown to me by an immature bald eagle, maybe
six or seven years ago.  Just after my order was placed for my eighteen foot tipi lodge.

A message of importance for sure, as he flew up from the spot where the tipi spends it summer. You see this message from the young bald eagle was one to take notice of,
we don't normally have bald eagles here........
He had much to share, another story for another day. 
I have gratefully embraced his messages.

On this day in June, I needed to move the stones that circle the fire ring. 
These stones are nearly hidden by the tall grasses.
As I pick up each stone that is seated well upon the earth,
I know I will discover the messenger waiting there. 

butterfly pasture.....

Only four stones left, humm... even the number four could be important here...

I find him coiled and without fright we looked at each other.  I understand his
message of transformation, the shedding of the old, the past.  He acknowledged
my cleansing and my journey to embrace a new chapter in my life.

We both paused and looked calmly at one other, message received and 
so he quietly took his leave into the tall grasses. 
Thank you my snake friend, as I offer some tobacco for his gift.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Wind of My Soul

After almost a year of dreaming, painting, planning, writing and even some road blocks, a vision is coming true for two friends.  My dear friend, Peggy, voiced her idea of doing a book together as we casually sat on the porch at Wild Gourd Studio last summer.  She loves to write poetry and I love painting on canvas.  Her idea was to combine our talents and create "The Wind of My Soul".

The difficult part had little to do with the art of painting, I have more paintings than I know what to do with.  I just painted for my own pleasure and crossed my fingers that something would work for our book.  Peggy Hill, the author, has always been able to express herself in words, she has shared her heartfelt feelings about life and the results are amazing.  The poetry touches the spirit of every soul who reads Peggy's words.  The real effort came trying to put the two together.  It may have been easier if we didn't live in different parts of country, I live in south central Ohio and she in northwest Arkansas. 

After months of emails, phone conversations, hours of computer time to organize the book in the proper order, the vision came together.  I would like to thank Peggy Hill and her wonderful husband, John Two-Hawks for all their hours of effort.  I would also like to thank my wonderful husband, Richard, for his support in all of my creative efforts. 

The soft cover book, is now ready for you to purchase.  You can order from my website.  
Just click on the link at the top center of my home page   The book will not only take you on a journey, there is room for you to write your own innermost thoughts, making it your book too.  I know you'll love the spirit of this publication and I am looking forward to sharing our dream with you.

Website price includes shipping and handling and the first 50 orders from my website will receive a lovely gift!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Little Brother

OMG, waiting on my little brother Michael to call was like a kid waiting on Christmas morning to come.  His lovely wife Jeanne told me that he was busy Friday morning and she and I continued to share information. 

Mike, age one....
Finally in frustration at spending so much time in front of the computer, I went to the studio.  I had a couple of packages to get in the mail and so I went out to get them ready.  I wasn't there five minutes and my phone tells me I have a voicemail!  It never rang, it just went to voicemail.  Of course it was that long awaited call from Mike, my brother.

I had to rush back in the house to get his number and call him back as fast as I could.  My heart melted when he called me "Cindy".  Oh, I've been called Cindy my entire life, in the last ten years, since I started selling my art I've been going by Cynthia.  I thought it sounded more "artsy".  To have him call me Cindy truly took me back to my childhood.  A brother should call me Cindy.

My handsome little brother.....
We talked about different things, I'm having trouble recalling just what we talked about, I was just so happy to be having the connection. I called my brother, Brian (who I did grow up with) and he seems as happy about this as I do and that is all that matters.

I am also anxious to make some sort of connection with my other two brothers, Mark and Mitch.  In time that will happen, I am sure. 
My brother, Michael Stephen DeRemer

Right now I am basking in the new found family.  

The Rest of the story,

I wrote the first of this continuing story on March 26, 2011 and today is June 7, 2011 and this is the next chapter.


This past weekend my new found brother, Michael Stephen DeRemer and his lovely wife Jeanne came to Ohio, they came to meet me and my family.  I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude.  To know he was as anxious to make a connection as I was, it is something I prayed for since the moment I heard him call me "Cindy". 

I have needed to make the connection to the other side of my family tree for a long time.  I totally believe that things happen in your life when you are ready, not always because you think you are ready, but when a higher power knows you are ready.  Not knowing anything about my birth father has been somewhat dormant inside me until very recently.  I have spent my entire life living as most of us do, not really thinking much about the past.  Then little things started happening, nudging my curiosity, perhaps it was time.

First it was the TV program "Who Do You Think You Are".  That lead me to and then those little leaves started popping out when I put names in of people I'd somehow found that had been forever hidden... until now.  Distant cousins contacted me and really pushed me to start making calls.  I am forever grateful to them, it was so difficult to do.  I am not very brave when it comes to exposing my insecurities to strangers.

I have actually spoken with my birth father, Stephen Guy DeRemer.  The conversation was brief and not exactly what a daughter with a longing heart would hope for.   He did give me the name and number of his oldest son from his second marriage to contact about the family history.  My fear almost got the best of me.  What would he know of his fathers past, what would he think about having a sister?  Fear can keep you from moving forward, my distant cousins pushed me again to make a contact. 

Me, brother Mike and lovely Jeanne......
The rest is history, now a new chapter and a new memory in my life.  My brother is awesome and so is his wife Jeanne.  They spent last weekend at our home and we shared ourselves openly, authentically, and with love.  My heart is overwhelmed and fairly bursting with joy. 

All of our children and grandchildren came to meet their Uncle Mike and my new found cousin Gina came too.  We shared old photo albums with one another, we talked, laughed, and ate together, just like families do.  It was easy and it will flourish into much more, this I am sure of!

To say my heart is happy is very much an understatement of my feelings, sometimes there are no words for the way you feel.  I wish I were a poet and could write the perfect lines to translate my feelings.  Just know I'm happy and dreams do come true.  I love you Mike and Jeanne!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Mother Goose Story

Some of my favorite mugs......

Once upon a time...........   I was a member of the Mother Goose Club.  This was a Home Extension Group in Greene County.  I remember joining when Ryan was just a baby in my arms, close to forty years ago.  The group was made up of women from the Cedarville area and all were fairly close in age and were doing the same things I was doing, raising a family.

Being in this OSU Extension group required monthly meetings, each meeting had a subject matter that one or two members would bring back to our club after they had attended the county meeting. 

As the years progressed, the size of the group grew and so did the number of children.  We held our meetings at each others homes and often hired a babysitter to watch the little ones while we held our meeting.

This was the highlight of my young married life.  I was able to interact with other mothers that were going through the same growing pains I was going through.  Of course after the planned subject matter was presented and talked about, things usually came around to our individual concerns and questions.  We grew close and became very good friends.  Living in the same community we found a common interest in the school, farm life and even church.  It was a wonderful time of sharing, taking care of each others children, fixing meals when friends were going through difficult times and even gathering as couples as time went on.  I will never forget my friends from that moment in time.

Funny how things change as children grow up.  Interests move to what our children are involved in and not so much about ourselves.  Membership changed, some friends could no longer participate, many homemakers who had children in school all day took jobs away from home.  New younger members joined and continued the Mother Goose tradition. 

All too soon, I participated less and less, kids events pulling me this way and that.  It was difficult to say goodbye to that special time.  Today, maybe twenty-five years later, I cut another tie to that past.  I cleaned a cupboard that kept protected and safe all my favorite coffee mugs.  I managed to collect mugs with geese on them.  I am ready to let them fly away, on another adventure.  I am donating them to a local coffee shop in Cedarville.  Maybe, just maybe, a former Mother Goose member will sip hot coffee from my mug and be reminded of simpler times, when our children were small and friends for life were made.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trying To Stay Focused

I long to attack my endless list of "things to get done".  There is always so much to do.  Sometimes I am unable to do something planned because of all the never ending rain we have had.  Our yard is taller than ever, as the rain encourages it to grow.  The moment it looks dry enough I will begin mowing, finding a trail of muddy mower tracks following me.  Do I stop and wait for it to dry or just swim on through? 

I can't seem to focus on anything to any great degree.  I discover myself trying to hang a picture, in looking for the proper hanger in the cabinet, I find myself cleaning out the cabinet and forgetting why I was there in the first place.  Picture still not hung and the day is over.  And besides I don't remember seeing any picture hangers or maybe I would have remembered the picture and stopped the cabinet cleaning.  Who knows if I'd every have gotten back to cleaning the cabinet. 

The Great Wall Project......

I have painted a wall in a bedroom that is rarely used.  It seemed to fulfill a creative void I've had recently.  I am expecting company soon and this would freshen up the room a little.  Everyone who knows me thinks I am not all together sane, starting a project in the middle of "cleaning house".   It is not uncommon for me to do some big art project when there is so much else to do.  This project was one of those things I've thought about doing since my daughter still called it her bedroom.  For some reason it never got done.  Until last week that is. 

You see, I have company coming and yes they are, to my delight, staying with us for the weekend.  Painting the wall in the bedroom is just something to help me pass the time before the visit.  Something to keep me busy and distracted from the emotional excitement that I am feeling about the visit.  I can't seem to concentrate on any one thing too long and since this project requires layers of paint, that means some down time to let it dry.  Just what I need to keep my brain engaged on a project. 

The funny part is, it doesn't end here, now I need to dress up the beds a little......  and one project leads into the next and before long, several days have passed and I am that much closer to spending the weekend with company.  As I write this I am aware that in a week and one day my new found brother and his wife will be here for a visit.  My heart races and my smile is ear to ear.  Oh dear, I better go and check that list again! 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Fragile Backyard Eco-System

Little pond 2009
I am in a quandary now that spring has come.  I have some issues that need my attention and very quickly.  I can't seem to make up my mind how to handle the effects of our little Eco-system in the back yard.  

Last winter my little pond where my twenty year old goldfish have lived, was damaged when a large fallen branch punctured a hole in the liner.  I took the pump out and caught the fish and moved them to the horse tank for the winter.  Due to the constant rain, I have been unable to put in a new liner and the fish have been happy enough in the horse tank.  Until yesterday........  disaster came with warmer temperatures, my big beautiful fish suffered from the warmer water and of the 8 fish, I lost four.  In a panic to save the other four, they were quickly immersed in cold water and I am happy to say, those four, are doing fine this morning.  I have two little fish and two twenty year olds left. 

frog pond 2011
I know I must get the pond back in working order.  When I came back to the house after the fish crisis, I go to the partially filled pond and two frogs jump into the water.  That is when I realize that they have made the pond their home and probably have little tadpoles swimming around in that large greenish puddle of a water.  Taking out the liner of the pond requires everything to be out, plants, frogs and whatever else might be living there.

The question I have, can I destroy one Eco-system to accommodate another system.  The fish need fresher clean water with a pump to circulate the water to keep the oxygen levels good and frogs like quiet, less clean water to call home.  I am trying to figure out a way to keep my goldfish happy in cool and in clean water. I also want to allow the frogs to grow and live at my back door.

It is hard for me to decide one over another, I pray for an answer, stay tuned...........

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!
Here we are again, it's Mothers Day......    I think everyday for me is Mothers Day, my wonderful children are in constant contact, I would most certainly say that I am blessed and I love them so much.

I decided to go back and read last years blog, it seems I only just wrote it, I remember the day like it happened yesterday and I am smiling and in tears at the same time.  I wrote about my horses and Ryan and his family coming down and helping to groom them as a Mothers Day gift.  Two of those special horses have found greener pastures, where spring is everyday and grass is always green.  I also wrote about my daughter's, Trisha and Emily giving me the gift of a "cleaning fairy", she comes monthly now, woohoo!

I am again surprised at how quickly life can change in only a year.  I am reminded to live each moment to the fullest.  Follow your heart, live your dreams, be joyous, find a reason to smile and share your love.  Each moment counts and each is a blessing.  In this past year there have been losses that rocked my world and in this year there have been discoveries that have been life changing

My life changing discoveries are overwhelmingly wonderful, my heart is overflowing.  I welcome into my life three brothers and their families, nieces and nephews, cousins and second cousins.  A part of my family has been kept hidden my entire life, to sudden know of them is the one most amazing things that may have every happened to me.  

So, I spend this Mother's Day sending love to all my family.  Love to my children, grandchildren and my brothers and sister and a special prayer to my youngest brother in Afghanistan, flying a Black Hawk Helicopter.  Be safe little brother.   They are all in my heart today. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Joyful Flowers

Oh my, I do it every year and by August I am questioning my sanity.  Today I bought flowers.  Not for anyone but myself!  I love the bright colors the flower bring into my life.  The red and white inpatients are so pretty in their beautiful blue flower pots.  They do so well on my shaded porch. 
I am also attracted to the plants that require full sun, even though I don't have full sun, I still buy geraniums!  I found some today that were marked down at Lowe's, I don't know why they were reduced, they'll be wonderful potted up around our gardens. 

I also bought some Boston Ferns, I love seeing them hanging from the studio porch, they just "say" summer.  Of course, I also had to buy a couple of fuchsias, the hummingbirds love them and they are so pretty with their long graceful stems and pretty bright pink blooms, blowing with the spring breezes.

After being in Florida, I'm so ready for spring sunshine and warmer days.  So far it is just wishful thinking!  We are going to have possible showers for the next entire week!  Our yard is a swamp, I don't dare mow, I can't possibly work in the flower beds, ahhhh but I have flowers I can pot up for immediate enjoyment!   

PS..... Remind me in August, when I'm dragging the hose around watering pots of flowers, how much I loved them in the spring!