Monday, February 22, 2016

Finding My Happy Place

What do you do when you're nervous or scared of something? Because I'm nervous as hell at the moment.

I have big ticket items on my list for the next few months, and I'm not talking about concert tickets. I'm actually pertaining to (1) a root canal; (2) surgery this week; and, (3) a second possible surgery sooner or later this year. I feel overwhelmed.

I am scheduled to undergo Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy this Thursday. I know it's one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures, but I'm a worry wart and it doesn't make things easy.

My question is, "How many more medical procedures do I have to go through?" I'm frustrated and there are times I feel defeated in my quest for normalcy. Somehow, I've forgotten how it feels to be normal. What is normalcy anyway? For a BMT survivor, I guess this is my new normal - to keep fighting and surviving.

I've been unable to get a decent sleep the past few days, so I've been keeping myself occupied by "going out" (walking and shopping) and if I'm at home, I bake.

 I feel happiest when I'm baking. The humming of my mixer helps dull the pain of my worries.

My mind turns to happier memories as the oven warms my kitchen. I feel excitement as the aromas of cinnamon and vanilla fill my home. My sense of taste takes over as I savor every bite of anything I baked.

When I bake, I am in my happy place.

Linking with Wordless Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Maryland: Swallow Falls

On our second day in Oakland, we visited a couple of indoor flea markets in the morning; I found a cookie jar and a first edition of the book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  In the afternoon, we decided to do a little hike to Swallow Falls.

The trail was icy and slippery, which made for a treacherous hike. I wasn't sure if I was sweating from anticipation to see the falls or from fear of slipping and landing flat on my back. My boots couldn't get a good grip. It felt freezing up in the mountains.

My excitement unraveled when I saw the beauty and nature that surrounded me.

Waterfalls frozen in time.

Icicle ornaments.

 We had to get off the trail to check out these beautiful ice formations by the shore.

Island by the Youghiogheny River.

Swallow Falls wasn't as big as I expected, but it was refreshing to hear the rush of the freezing water.
The sound of the waterfall was zen. I felt the pulse of the river and the quiet breathing of the trees. I also realized how time doesn't exist in places like these.

I want to go back.

Linking with Wordless Wednesday.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Oakland, Dora And Oliver

My birthday gift from Kepi was a massage and a weekend retreat.  

So this recent weekend, we packed our bags and drove to Oakland. Oakland is located at a high elevation and considered to be among the snowiest and coldest locales in Maryland. Our drive took us three hours. From the window of our car, we passed through forests, mountains, small towns, lonely bridges and log cabin homes with thick smoke bellowing from their chimneys. It must have been really cold that day.

We got to our inn late - about 10 PM. According to the owner, who patiently waited and brewed cups of tea for us once we arrived, the original part of the house is 100 years old; it was expanded to create more rooms for guests.  The house is no longer a residence but a place for retreat and wellness.

The house looks rustic outside. The inside is decorated nicely with antique chairs, wall clocks, old photographs, wooden chests and vintage books. The older part of the house is newly renovated, but I know that it has survived many cold winters.

I felt like we stepped into the pages of a hundred year old book.

One of the drives we took was to visit Deep Creek Lake. It was and probably is still frozen. My massage therapist told me that there's a town buried in the middle of the lake. I still have to do research on this story, but it's a fascinating one.

Meet Dora guarding the garage door. She's making sure no one blocks her owner's car.

Every morning, you can find Oliver basking in the sun in front of the kitchen door. I guess he loves it there because of the delicious and warm aroma of blueberry pancakes, smoked bacon, apple bread and fried sausage and potatoes wafting through the kitchen door.

During our weekend stay, Dora and Oliver made us feel welcomed and at home. They were there every morning and they met us in the evening when we came home from our hikes or drives.

I will be posting more photos from Oakland soon, as I've only managed to download and edit three photos this week.

Linking today with Wordless Wednesday and Skywatch.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Daisy Naughty, Daisy Nice

Here's Daisy pretending to be half-awake or half-asleep. This photo makes me laugh every time I look at it.

I think she just finished playing catch with Kepi when I took this photo, so she was probably tired from all the running and catching.  I have to say that at 13 years old, she has the exuberance of a puppy.

We adopted Daisy from a rescue group in 2014. When we first met her, we bonded right away and we instantly became a family. She was my therapy dog during my long recovery from transplant. She's my angel.

Well, she's not totally angel-like.

We know she tries on every seat or couch in the house when we're not at home. She also ate the 16 party cupcakes I baked and left for cooling on the dining table.  And most recently, she managed to reach the bacon on the high stove. Poor Kepi couldn't make his BLT sandwich when he came home.

Well, no matter, we still love Daisy - naughty or nice.