Like A Blue Sky

Sky Puzzle

Sky Puzzle – WikimediaCommons – Courtesy of MSN Clipart

Do you remember putting puzzles together or painting by the numbers, when there was mostly sky? It was hard to find the pieces to put together, as there was nothing with which to match them up; or, in painting the sky, the same color got tiring ― maybe, even boring. It was how I was thinking about my life the past few months. Things slowed down to a halt with not much happening and I got to wondering what this was all about.

I’m back on my feet now, after breaking my ankle back in June, and I couldn’t feel more blessed. But, I had a lot of time to reflect waiting for it to heal. I wasn’t in a bad place, really; in fact, it was actually refreshing, after I stopped fighting and began to embrace where I’m at in this stage of my life. I had been given time to learn and be grateful.

Sitting out the summer has given me a different perspective. I have to say, this broken ankle is one of the hardest things I’ve experienced, from the start ― physically, mentally and emotionally ― mostly because I fought it. At first, I went through the whole gamut of emotions from angry to depressed feeling completely restrained.

There was so much I had planned to do this summer and it wasn’t sitting on my butt with limited mobility. We were coming out of winter, things were greening up and the air was warm and I was itching to be out of the house. The seasons are shorter in the mountains and springtime is slow coming at our altitude. I couldn’t wait to breathe in that fresh air, get out and do things, like work in the yard, or walk around exploring trails on mountain mini trips. (Please understand. I was having a major pity party. I knew I had some mobility and there was a lot I could still do.)

Truly, there were things I was just not willing to accept and I was making life much harder on myself than I needed to. Within me, I always know there is more going on for reasons yet unknown, when events like this happen in my life. With all the emotional triggers pushed, there would have been many reasons I would not have taken the time to sit still and notice. In these golden years, I felt time was running out.

But, I wasn’t getting it and it was like the universe had other ideas by pinning me down and have me look at things I’ve been avoiding all my life. I had space and time to really see me. There was probably no other way to confront some of those deeper hurts and issues. As I panned over the years of what happened and the things I had done, my life looked like a blue sky. Was it that empty with not much to show for it?

Sky Blue

Sky Blue – Free Stock Photo – Public Domain Pictures – Courtesy of MSN Clipart

At first, that seemed pretty dull but over time my views began to change, Now, summer is over and fall is here and it won’t be long the snow will be flying. I have finally come to know that the time has not been wasted. I’ve realized, though a blue sky appears not to do anything, there is more going on than at first glance. To begin with:

  • It’s blue and beautiful
  • It gives air to breathe and stay alive
  • It’s openness allows the birds to fly through and clouds to float
  • It embraces the storms that come and allows them to pass on
  • It absorbs oxygen from the trees and replenishes me with moisture
  • It filters the sun’s rays to give me warmth and energy for growth
  • It holds the moon and shares the stars to help me dream and rest
  • It reminds me to be still and wonder at the goodness that’s around me

Instead of chasing after something I felt was missing in my life. I’ve realized that all I would ever need is already here. All the things I’ve done in my life were necessary and important to get me to where I am now. I don’t need to go out and look for it anymore ― it will find me and I will know it and what to do.

All those questions I asked myself ― “What is this all about?” “Why?”― are not necessary anymore. The word ‘courage’ came to me pretty clear at the start of this year. I don’t know that I’ve had a lot of courage or cooperated very well in all of this but I’ve really tried my best. It seems like the timing was right this year for me to put things in better order, though in the beginning I didn’t understand nor want to.

If I were a poet, maybe I’d put it to words something like this . . .

I am
Here now
In this
Like a big, beautiful sky

I am
Here now
In this
See how each day unfolds

I am
Here now
In this
Embracing life with arms open wide

I am
Here now
In this
Like a beautiful blue sky

It’s true in what Michael Monroe sings, “everything is as it should be”. I’ve had some lessons on that this summer and it feels good to reconnect and share them with you. If you’ve had similar feelings and experiences I’d love to hear how you handled them and what you did.

Thank you for your patience in my blogging absence. I’m happy to see you’re still here.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Pat Ruppel
Acknowledgements: "As It Should Be" - Michael Monroe more...

Crutches ― For Real Not a Metaphor

My crutches

My crutches

Life has a way of sending messages and getting my attention . . . Whoa! Pump the brakes and back up the bus! This is not a metaphor. I’m really on crutches.

Let me see ― I managed to make it almost 69 years without a broken bone until a few days ago. Yep ― that’s right. I slid on gravel after hooking up the hose and fell fracturing my ankle in 3 places.

on my crutches

On my crutches

I have to say it has created some humorous anecdotes with hubby and me. I never knew how important the little things would be.

If you could see the two of us ― me hobbling and him behind preparing to catch me ― you may chuckle. I know we do, like after I fell (not serious) and he was trying to help me up.

It happened on my way to the bathroom when I had just stood up to get my balance and my crutches. My timing was off in getting up and hubby letting in the dogs.

It was like slow motion, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kimber (our daughter’s puppy) making a beeline for me and running so hard she tripped for a moment and fell on her face. Weaving on one leg, I could see her coming and couldn’t prepare for it any longer. I fell. It was a soft landing and happened so fast, like a blur ― in one motion.

Picture it ― two old people and one trying to pull the other up saying, jokingly, “You should have done this 30 years ago ― not wait until I was in my 70’s”. It was more difficult to get the job done when we were laughing so hard. Then, after success, we made progress and were up and moving, while tooting along the way.

Boy! I’m a mess but I have the feeling I’m going to lose some weight and gain more leg and upper body strength once I get the hang of it. I’m getting better but it sure is slow going.

This is not all that has happened this year and it’s only half way. It seems like I remember writing a post like this last year catching up in a similar way. Only, those events were more serious and I needed those invitations of the miraculous to begin the year.

This year, it was the word ‘Courage’ that came to me in January to set the tone. I don’t how courage has played into these events but I guess it figures in some way.




In April, our daughter found out their lease didn’t accept dogs and they had 3 days to remove her from their rental home. Interesting, how the owners they’re renting from once had a dog when they lived there. It wasn’t something my daughter thought they had to be concerned about when they were presented the rental agreement at closing after selling their house to them. I know . . . it’s complicated.

They had gotten Kimber last Christmas at 5 weeks old. They had fallen in love with her and didn’t want to give her up. So, she was around 4-5 months old, when she came to live with us, until they figured out what they were going to do.

Can’t say we were prepared for such a high-energy dog having mostly owned Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. I remember the first day standing in awe with my mouth open. I was frozen, watching her tear around the living room.

It was like a Tasmanian devil with her running behind the chairs and table catching cords, with the phone and lamp falling, and grabbing a dish cloth along the way. Then, in full charge leaping up and over the couch, never breaking stride, continuing to run until she reached the end of the room and circling for another round.

I never knew an animal could have that much energy, at least not in the house. Then, with being a puppy her biting ramped up the more anxious and hyper she got and she bit hard. So, we definitely had our work cut out for us. We really didn’t know if we could do it or make it worse.

April Snowstorm

Not only that, but also in April not long after we got her, we had our biggest snowstorm ever with around 45 inches of snow. That meant no running around the yard to let loose of that energy. Dogs would have to be inside until some of it melted and a path made to do their business. That was more difficult with Kimber but we managed . . . playing ― biting ― playing.

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We got on the same page . . .

Over time, we got on the same page with Kimber and she mellowed a little and is real sweet. It just took a little consistency, helping her feel secure with a lot of love.

Yesterday, our daughter and the boys came to pick her up on their way out to South Carolina. They’re moving and I’m feeling a lot of emotions with them leaving and Kimber. The house will be quiet again and that’s not all good. She came in and out of our lives, like a whirlwind stirring things up we didn’t realize were even there, and probably wouldn’t have seen.

Steph, Kimber and the boys heading out for S Carolina

Steph, Kimber and the boys heading out for S Carolina

I called her my “miracle puppy” as she pushed buttons and set off triggers I had not seen in myself and hubby before. Funny, how things go and we think, “I’ve got this figured out”. Then, something comes along that shows I really don’t.

It got hard and I wanted it to go back to the way it was before. I didn’t want to deal with this anymore. But, I learned you can’t throw up your hands and quit. When it gets hard, keep working with it and find a way. I thought I knew all about that but Kimber showed us different ways in living color and more.

House wanting our attention, too . . .

Then, during that time working with Kimber, I’m embarrassed to say, we discovered a leak in the laundry room. It showed up in the bathroom when the tiles on the floor started feeling squishy. We pulled out the washer and dryer and found a small leak in the pipes behind the wall. It must have dripped for some time, which was not good news.

Fortunately, we were only out of water for a few days and our handyman neighbor fixed the leak (God bless that man – we love him!). Now, we have a dry wall man coming to tear out and replace the damaged dry wall. Ugh, what a mess! Where do we start and how? I feel like my house is in such disarray.

There is so much I had planned to do this summer and it’s time to put things in order and get things fixed. We’ve neglected it and put it on the back burner far too long. It’s demanding our attention right along with securing up the back deck and weed whacking our little acre.

My first big pine cone order . . .

first big pine cone order

My first big pine cone order — Yeah!

In May, I got a small, set of 5, pine cone fire starter order. Little did I know, she would like my pine cones the best and give me an order for 275 for wedding favors. I was ecstatic ― bouncing around ― happy. I didn’t have that amount in stock so it took a little while to complete that order for her.

I had so much fun with this and I’m looking forward to building up my stock again and get ready to harvest the new crop of pine cones when they drop. I can see the pine trees are full. Now, I just have to work around it on crutches. It’s all good and a work in progress.

So, if you’ve been wondering what happened to me, I’m still here, kicking, and this is what’s been going on in my corner of the world.

In all seriousness, putting aside my attempts at being lighthearted, I’ve had to stop and take care of myself. I guess I haven’t been good at that – I thought I was doing okay. Being on crutches forces me to listen to my needs and my body first, instead of looking to see what else there needs to be done. I can’t jump up and do what I want to right away, like I used to. I have to ask for help and it’s something I’m finding I’m not comfortable with. I didn’t realize how independent I was and how much easier it is for me to do things other than for myself.

It’s giving me pause to reflect on so many little things I’ve taken for granted and have not appreciated on what my mind, body and soul does for me every day. Too long I have pushed me to the back for what I thought was more important. Think I’ll have to pay better attention this time as I’m not going anywhere real soon or doing anything too fast for a while. I will listen ― my heart has heard.

I’m living trying to embrace all that comes into my life and see it as a new adventure. When I dig in and resist is when I struggle the most. Each day just keeps ticking on and we can either jump in and play or grumble on the sidelines. I’ve found it works better for me to jump in and play. Either way ― it keeps ticking away . . . tick – tick – tick.

How do you do it ― handle adversity when life doesn’t go the way you want? I thought I’d had a lot of practice but somehow it’s been different this time.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

Can You Feel It?


Aurora Photo by Jason Ahrns Courtesy of Compfight

Jason Ahrns via Compfight

The evidence is all around me. I can hear it, if I listen. I can feel it. It’s a quiet, subtle sound that’s building and it speaks of harmony. It speaks of love. It’s picking up momentum and its voice is strong, yet gentle, unlike the other noise and chatter demanding my attention. It cuts straight to my core shining light on the darkness and fears I still need to face.

It’s always been there only I’m becoming more aware of it. I’m choosing to listen to it. What will you listen to and how will you respond? It begins with us.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Pat Ruppel
Acknowledgements: "The Great Bell Chant" from R Smitt more...


Thank you, John, for allowing me the opportunity to share your post with my readers. To me, it struck as a reminder of the world conditions and how critical it is on the part I play and what I can do.

We’re all connected and if we can send out the energy of love, collectively, I can’t help but think it will matter and touch those that need it the most. Here is John’s post:



Pray for peace

A Poem by Coyote Poetry

" I’m tired of violence and war. "

“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
John Lennon, Imagine
Pray for Peace

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
– I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
– I shall fear only God.
– I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
– I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
– I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
Albert Einstein

“Dad, how do soldiers killing each other solve the world’s problems?”
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995

I once walked on soft grass with great men. Old battlefields in Europe. 20,000 men graves.
Once proud Soldiers. They were fighting the last war.  How did we honor them?
Soldiers don’t want their children to fight and die like them. They want their children to know a peaceful world.
Please pray for peace. Don’t raise your fist. Open you arms and embrace love and kindness.
War is fair. Kill without thoughts or concern. Peace is hard. We must forgive and stop the killing.
Please pray for peace. Make the leaders know. Every life is worthwhile.
Coyote/John Castellenas


Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table