Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Azaleas and Cherry Blossoms

The whole family returned to Missouri Botanical Garden for a lovely sunny and warm day celebrating my birthday over the weekend. Peak spring blossoms with the 80F/26.6C allowed for a pleasant walk through a beautiful landscape that refreshed our memories of previous visits while creating enjoyable new family moments. We spent three hours wandering the paths of the English woodland garden, touring the Henry Shaw house and taking lots of photographs of blooms in the Japanese Garden.

We finished the day at the Olympia Kebob House & Taverna  savoring Greek gyros, sharing dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and yummy galaktoboureko, a custard dessert I prefer to baklava. Once home, the nap effect hit from all the sun, fresh air, and calming natural beauty combined with a full tummy and an afternoon of walking. One of the best family activities we have all been able to coordinate and uninterrupted by digital media or scheduled demands. Our level of relaxation indicates the power of the natural environment to sooth our busy human selves. It is so important to make the effort to connect to the seasonal beauty of the outdoors, take a walk in a garden, a neighborhood or on a local nature trail. The benefits are both subtle, yet amazing. We are smiling in all our photos and look back on the day with a smile...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring and Rebirth

MoBot Reflecting Pond & Chihuly Orbs
Spent a lovely, drizzly Sunday at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was a wonderful three hour springtime walk and I was thrilled to be able to "naturally" ambulate. I think I am finally rehabbed from the ankle replacement of last May. Lately, I have been fighting the arthritis demon, but happily this too is resolving. This whole experience of prolonged recovery has tested both my endurance and patience. If nothing else I have learned that persistence does pay off... over time, oh and with a bit of pain, a few additional trials and more tears than I care to admit. So, this spring season seems brighter, sweeter and every bloom is a sign of celebration to me.

University is almost over! Graduation is May 14th and I will be walking independently across that graduation stage. Resumes ready I am already looking for jobs. Big steps, a little scary, but I am confident there will be a new path for me to walk.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Emma has been sad and seemed to be more anxious when we left the house and during thunderstorms. Spring in Missouri is just one thunderstorm after another with the occasional tornado and lots of noisy hail, so an anxious dog is going to be stressed for months. We decided to start visiting our local pound a couple weeks ago and Emma had a few sniff visits that were unsuccessful, but she did seem to perk up after meeting different dogs. We were hopeful if we found the right little female dog Emma would be receptive to sharing her space.

Our surprise at finding, then adopting a smaller, active and younger dog buddy is still part of our family adjustment, but Emma's co-dog is Trixie, a Yorkshire terrier mix. Emma always wanted to play with Wendy, who had no clue as to what dog play was, but Trixie plays chase and tug! Emma is exhausted but happy. There have been a few doggy snarls as Emma sets her boundaries on where to sleep and "don't jump on me" instruction, but Trixie, a 1 yr old, seems to be willing to comply. Us humans have had a few good laughs while they play in the yard, so the new dog is really helping to smooth away our sadness over Wendy's death. Spring should be action packed with both happy and exhausted dogs.