The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Monday, November 30, 2015

down by the river

egret in our back yard

Your legs will get heavy and tired. Then comes a moment of feeling the wings you've grown, lifting.
~ Rumi

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Turkey Tacos

chopped left over turkey

guacamole - this one was a few ripe avocados  mashed with a can of spicy ROTEL drained* before combining with a dash of ground cumin, garlic and onion powder

corn salsa -
two ears of corn (roasted is better, but these were microwaved, husk on, for 2 minutes)
red onion (I used half of a large one)
garlic (two cloves finely minced)
fresh cilantro (leaves only of half a large bunch)
jalapenos (finely chopped with seeds)
key lime juice (Nellie and Joe's)
* liquid from Rotel can is a good addition to the salsa
also, I prefer serrano peppers with this, but had jalapenos on hand

Glad to live where excellent commercial corn tortillas are prepared fresh throughout the day!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 Appetizer Recipes

 I roasted a pumpkin last week.  We made appetizers from it.

Pumpkin Hummus 

with thanks to Closet Cooking

  • 1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas (reserve liquid just in case)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • juice of one large lemon (1/4 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • some cinnamon
  • salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
we added ground cumin
puree everything in food processor
I wish I had served this with red pepper wedges ... 

Filo tartlets with Spinach,  Pumpkin Feta and Pine nuts
with thanks to mediterrasian
6 sheets filo (phyllo) pastry 
2 cups peeled, diced pumpkin
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 onion
1 bunch spinach (around 8 oz/240g)—stems removed, chopped 
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill (we used dried dill)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 oz (120g) feta cheese—crumbled
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons raw pine nuts

Basically - prep Phyllo as usual (I used four sheets per tartlet for 8 sheets total) - cut sheet in six equal squares. Sauté everything except get and pine nuts.  Add feta, stir ... fill cups of muffin tin (12 each) bake 22 minutes on 350 - somewhere along the way add pine nuts to tops for light toasting.  we had filling left over which will be used as a hash.  Everyone loved these.

Pumpkin Soup

I just made up a recipe.

about 2 cups of roasted pumpkin
bag of peeled parsnips
1 white onion roasted
1 small purple bell pepper roasted
1small red pepper roasted
3 cloves garlic roasted
chicken broth
Creole seasoning mixture to spice it up (Tony Chachere's)

heated then pureed to consistency of soup
served with dollop of greek yogurt and pipitas
I made this a few days in advance and re-heated.

Husband didn't like - said it tasted like a baby food ... more for me.

One Baked Brie in a pie shell and topped with black cherry jelly (delicious)
Wrapped Brie in pie crust, brush with egg and melted butter (he said lots of butter) bake at 350 for 20 minutes top with jelly to serve

Deviled eggs ... the way I fix 'em.  Recipe available upon request.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

few thoughts on "the stories we tell ourselves"

Thanksgiving week.  Today I expect to finish up my grocery shopping.  The aisles have been swapped! Yesterday, I chickened out within five minutes of arriving inside the store.  Sunday shoppers are surprisingly feisty, the Monday crowd seemed aggressive.  I have time, and my list is dwindling - five minutes worth of shopping at a time.  Thinking about cooking the turkey today and compressing it to provide space in our tiny refrigerator for other things.
Also on today's list, icing cookies to gift the neighbors.  I am thankful for really great neighbors here at the rent house.
Still whistling snippets of the Saint-Saëns which we began rehearsing in September.  The performance was Sunday past.  Next work will be Mozart's Coronation Mass which I'm looking forward to.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the stories we tell ourselves. Mark Twain observed,

  • "... life does not consist mainly -- or even largely -- of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one's head. ",  
  •                         the stories we tell ourselves.

  • The Pastor's sermon a few Sundays back got me to thinking about it.  He said his step dad was physically and emotionally abusive.  He didn't say emotionally, he used a guy word that I can't recall right this minute.  He said he hated him.  And he told himself that basically everything wrong in his life was wrong because of this man, his mother's husband.  Somehow, and I believe it was part of his conversion process, he told his step dad that he was angry and asked him to forgive him for that anger.  Personally, I don't think anger is "a sin" but I do think anger may incentivize sinful actions.  That's probably what he was talking about.  His own actions.  

  • Some stories are about God will make things right.   Well, some little stories are about that, but I guess that's really one of the major themes of the Bible ... redemption, restoration.

  • Love is a theme we seem to like.  
  • I think love stories are really the main stories ... finding love, nurturing love, sadly - losing love, love will make it "right", unconditional love.  Love as a theme seems to transcend the genres as a major need and therefore point of interest.  I am wondering what I tell myself about love.  About who I love, how I love, how I am loved, or not ... and less importantly, the things I "love".

The flowing of time is another interesting topic as stories go.  
I sometimes look at my hands and think of how different they looked when I first started noticing them.  Say, for example, when I first started wearing a wedding ring.  My hands have been busy since then.  We all have busy hands.  The lady sitting next to me in the choir had her 75th birthday on Saturday.  She lost her husband this year ... this was her first birthday without him in I don't know how long.  Her hands look strong.  The skin is loose and spotted yet the actual hands are still strong. Her clear blue eyes sparkled.  I loved singing beside her. My mother-in-laws hands were continuously shaky as they searched, seemingly with a mind of their own, for something to fidget with.  The nurses told me that reaching for the air and pulling at the bedding was fairly common for those nearing death.

I like stories of discovery and tend to see them as a result of some heroic effort.  I see one type of  hero as the character in stories about discovery.  Of course they are the good guys in all the good-verses-evil stories.  Those stories aren't always about saving the planet from __________, sometimes they are small stories like reaching something down (adore that phrase, it just popped up from little memory wrinkled up in the 60's) for someone, or holding a door.  I like good guys.   

  • Those larger font words are probably the main types of story themes I think about.  It seems like to me that telling oneself "right" stories would be most helpful.  

  • Stephen Covey has some pretty good ideas.

    Mrs. Roosevelt is one of my favorites.
I do believe that we collaborate with God to create ourselves.  We are "becoming" ready for what comes next.  That's what I think.  And I'm going to start paying better attention to "the stories" I tell myself about me.  I remember that movie, The Help, where the lady told the child, "You is smart, you is kind, you is important."  
Those seem like good words to tell a child.  One of the things I tell myself that simply is not true is that I am alone.  Just not true at all.  Not even a little bit.  
This is busy day.  I'm doing the day before Thanksgiving cooking, so I have to scoot, but I wanted to make a few notes about this while it's still near the front of my mind.  I think you can observe the people you know well, like yourself (myself) and see some wrong thinking going on. I think it's a good exercise to listen to what the story you tell your self sounds like and recheck the authenticity.  Along that same line, I know just from being a grown up that some of the stuff I was told as a child just isn't correct.

“His words, soaring above his circumstances, set his troubles in a context large enough to contain them.”  Derek Kidner.

The Kidner quote - even when one doesn't have "troubles" to speak of, words may establish a context wherein life events are processed and  "contained".

I bet there are only a few "themes" that are explored or re-inforced by the stories I (maybe even subconsciously) tell myself.  It's fairly easy to see those I know best establishing "stories" about themselves or what is going on around them - some of the stories  not accurate and in the falseness harmful. One of mankind's first stories "God is withholding something good from us" hasn't fortified our way ... has supported troubles.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Jeff Foxworthy jokes, "If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Texas." Honestly, I don't think of distance in another way.  The other day, driving home from DFW, while stuck in traffic on 35 I saw a digital construction sign which read Temple 4 miles 40 minutesFoxworthy also notes, "If the speed limit on the highway is 55mph, and you're going 80, and everybody's passing you, you may live in Texas."  People laugh at those one liners, but ... seems just a fact to me.  They gotta get 35 back up and running!

Yesterday I walked with Sammy for a couple hours, came home, fixed a lunch (that is a word meaning "prepared") of chicken salad and leftover vinegar slaw, then set out on another walk with Sammy and my husband.
This picture was snapped from the low-water crossing (a concrete bridge) near our place. A heron is frequently fishing from a perch on that spillway along the San Gabriel River.  Yesterday, a baby heron practicing gliding skills delighted us as he flew from one side to the other.

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A weed is but an unloved flower.~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

These two pictures were taken from a top the rock ledge which borders the spill way.  I wasn't keen to take that path, wary of snakes and sticker burrs, but enjoyed seeing where I more usually walk (over the dam and nearer to the lake) from where I look towards. You can see the natural rock wall in the second snapshot (to the left) but it's harder to notice the sheer drop off to the right.  The color of the dry grass camouflages the fall.  I wonder if arrow heads can be found up here where things are less disturbed.  I appreciated my husband making that walk with me.  Back in the middle of nowhere there was a deer feeder, a motion detector on a fence stake (I think that's what it was), a cammo clothe pup tent and a big white dog sniffing it out.  He was off lead and I just hoped he'd hear the cease and desist tone of my voice.  We walked on without delay.  Bow hunting on the Corp. property is okay in season, setting up a "camp" probably would be discouraged!

Looking forward to planning and shopping for the Thanksgiving meal today.  Cooking is one of my favorite activities.

Also saw these cool things yesterday ... a leaf with branch aspirations and a snail making his way.  I like the story a shadow will tell.

Monday, November 16, 2015

200 OVC ... 67*F ... less than a quarter mile visibility Perfect day for a long walk, I could feel "the clouds" on my face.


161550Z 15008KT 3SM BR OVC002 19/18 A2993 

later today, BECMG ... -SHRA and later still, TSRA OVC009CB
around mid morning tomorrow NSW BKN20

May I should get back out there for another walk!

It is a joy to see the floral changes along the trail.  I like the coral leaves especially and some others that look like palm sized pottery bowls.  I would like to "make" some and use tiny twigs for their stems.  Pretty soon we will be settled in enough for me to find a studio.  I am certain that there are places for that around here!

We are about half way through our rental contract here, and thinking is turning more and more towards a longer term situation.  We still like the idea of building.  There are also 10+ acre older homes available that might make sense for us.  The building lots we have considered tend to be around one acre.  Later today we are going up to the courthouse to look at the deed restrictions on a lot we seem to be becoming more and more interested in. That lot "wants" an fairly contemporary looking structure built on it.  It is bordered on two sides by flowing water, on one side by a four story rock wall and the other by a residential street.  A conventional build would be very costly on that lot (which is precisely why it hasn't been built out).  There are a couple of lots, quarter acre lots, in the older downtown area.  We like the idea of walking in to town where lotsa fun seems always to be happening.  If we built there we would select a craftsman style home - modern craftsman.  For me the big downside to living in town is that it seems to be a pocket of relocated Austin Liberals, who I think would be lively dinner companions but maybe tiresome as neighbors.  I'm sure I would get on their nerves with my not so PC dependent leanings.  The big plus side of the downtown area property is it sells fast.  Though not the two empty lots (one became available when its house burned down), it seems like people are less likely to build new homes there, preferring to renovate the older homes.  The other possibility that we go back and forth in our thinking with is that acreage  option.  We like to think of restoring the older home that those places come with.  I do like older construction, homes built in the 50's and 60's ... the down side is they need a lot of work.  I also don't know what we would really do with all that land ... I might be able to take care of a few chickens, but that's about it.

I am excited about meal planning and cooking for Thanksgiving.  This week, maybe today, I'm going to make a first attempt at "knocking off" the iconic Black Forrest Cake which is served at Ft. Worth's Swiss Pastry shop.  It is my favorite dessert.  I should learn how to make it!

Monday is house cleaning extravaganza day for me so maybe no time for baking today (plus I'm wondering if the humidity will adversely affect these dry little cake layers).  Trip to courthouse!  No baking today.  I also want to put together a fresh lesson package on the BFR.
And I have both PTA and Choir rehearsal tonight!  I better get crackin'!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

"We die daily. Happy those who daily come to life as well." ~George MacDonald

I should have noted that I flew last week.  And I remembered why I love it.  Someone was talking about people your soul knows (I love that and instinctively feel the truth of the words), I think there must be things we do that our soul "knows".  It's good for me - flying little airplanes.

After the flight I saw a missed call from my mother-in-laws Memory care facility.  She had taken a fall, maybe fractured her hip, and was at the hospital.  I hurried to pick up V and got her settled at home then made the drive up there.  By time I arrived I'd already learned that her hip was fine but there was a slow bleed in her brain.
My husband arrived (after a 12 hour drive) in the parking lot at the same time I did and we walked up to the ICU together.  She survived the night but never regained consciousness.  The next day we moved her to a hospice facility.  She passed yesterday.

I am happy for her.  Life can get pretty confusing and frustrating when memory loss gets the upper hand.

I am ready to be happy again.  As happy as I usually have been.  Maybe even happier if that is possible.  It looks like flying is going to be part of that.  And painting (big canvases).  And getting settled into a home.  And going to the beach (I just threw that in there because if anything is a "reset" in life, it's gotta be going to the beach).

Last week (this is random) a guy who I had friended on Facebook just because he graduated from my high school and had a ton of the same friends, I thought he was probably a classmate who I just didn't remember.  Anyway ... he was best friends with the guy who was killed in the car accident with my big brother.  He has been wanting to text me about that for a couple of years now.  I hope what ever resolution he was hoping for was found.  We carry our baggage too long I think.   Why is it so hard to put down?

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. 
Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with 
love, grace and gratitude." 
- Denis Waitley

"There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy." 

- R.L. Stevenson

Can you will yourself to "be happy" and can you will yourself to "put down our baggage/burdens"?
Worth a shot.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

silliness with my girls


The idea was - take a picture of yourself right now, filter it with that chrome deal that makes everything so white, post it to our group chat so we can all see each other.  (Because I need to see them sometimes.  Of course my sons wouldn't participate in this type nonsense and they are not included in this group for that very reason.) V, declined. So I used the screen shot of what my phone flashes up when she calls.
IV Between classes

II  @ work

me painting at home

V on the bus so this was a fill in shot

In the Company of Heroes

Matt Hall Studios


“In the Company of Heroes” depicts an event from December 2004 when members of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment visited the Luxembourg American Cemetery where many of their fallen comrades are buried. Originally released by Valor Studios, the legend on the bottom of the print reads… “On a cold December day, veterans of the Battle of the Bulge reunite at the American cemetery in Luxembourg. Here, guarded by tall pines, rest the mortal remains of some 5,000 American boys who died fighting to liberate Europe. As the veterans reflect amidst the gently falling snow, their welling emotions confirm their often-stated belief: “The real heroes never came home.” Here, they feel a presence, a warmth amidst the cold. Something tells them they are not alone and this silent reunion is not the last.

"As we express our gratitude, 
we must never forget that 
the highest appreciation is not to utter words, 
but to live by them." 
– John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

just like shimmering pennies

 The hospice nurse noticed that fire works were going up.  Vibrant bursts of colored light brilliant in the night sky.  I love the ones that seem to fall like pennies, those little cascading copper lights always make me smile.  Pennies for your thoughts ... hundreds of them, enough to fix any problem.
"Why in the world are there fireworks tonight?" The nurse wondered.  Probably someone's fancy occasion, I thought maybe a wedding, but I said, "They are for T's birthday ~ 9* today." I wondered if she would "pass" on her birthday, but she didn't.  My husband is with her now and I am back at home tending to our daughter.  I would be fine sitting with her, but I am happier to be home.  Please God, let this be the last of my people who need this sort of care for a while.

Tommy's birthday just past as well.

 I was thinking of him as I drove home snuggled in with these professional drivers ... we were tearing it up at about 5mph.  Plenty of time to think.
I did pretty good until right at bed time.  I was thankful to be home in my own bed.  I was thinking that as nice as it felt there between the cotton sheets that one more night in a hospital room listening to him breathe would be ... nice.  God doesn't hear that as a prayer, I'm sure, as sure as I am that He catches our tears (though to what purpose I do not attempt a guess).  Then what happened?  I was alone in the dark, remembering, and basically feeling sorry for myself, and  feeling sad for how difficult life can be.  Just then a msg popped up illuminating my phone on the side table and it said, "Thinking of you.  Big hugs.  The 'firsts' are hard.  Know you are loved sweet friend."  And I cried just a little bit.  Sometimes it feels like even God has forgotten. But God didn't forget.  And my old friend helped me see that.  Pretty sweet.

That's why I'm not big on feelings.  Feelings feel real, but can be so misleading.

Quite frankly, I am exhausted by this dying stuff.  For me the gratitude exercise that Ms. Voskamp has so eloquently encouraged us towards ... is the only antidote I can think of for the fatigue of this time.

Today I saw a big white bird skimming the surface of the water.  And a former student texted about his "real" job coming up.  I cooked breakfast today and I love doing that.  (It was a frittata of sorts.)  Delicious.

My husband just sent a note - 12 to 24 hours left.  That's how a life sometimes ends.  
Pretty sure there are lessons for us all there.  The there being seeing time run out. 

Thinking about being thankful for those moments which seem to fall in the darkness 
like shimmering pennies. 

Monday, November 9, 2015


Thankful for the ministry of Hospice.

The sadness of saying goodbye is softened by knowing that the last few days, hours, minutes are cushioned in comfort.

Mother-in-law laboring with her passage.

Figuring Life Out - One Thousand Gifts

Ann Voskamp's blog

Monday, November 2, 2015

Walked around Austin on Saturday with One (who is always so much fun).  So much fun. We started out with brunch and I enjoyed a grapefruit brûlée and the cocktail which was recommended by a lady in the nail salon several months ago -a Negroni. I was surprised to see it on their menu and enjoyed sampling it. The grapefruit was cool - they didn't pre-separate the segments and it was served with a neat little serrated spoon. A kitchen sized blow torch seems like such a fun little extravagance!
I guess living in a Southern Baptist home has leaned me away from the brunch cocktail so that was different and probably memorable. I am conscience of collecting memories, which is weird, but nonetheless ... . Shared time is especially valued by me.  It seems the greatest luxury to have time alone, even in a crowd, with my adult children.

The walk in beer cooler at a nearby grocery store was full of interesting labels and names - never been a beer drinker but way back in the day, I did join in with the attempt to sing our track coaches crazy with the  99 bottles of beer on the wall chant during long late night bus rides home after meets. Beer seems to be evolving. The visual on that silly old song had only one label on all the bottles!

We browsed around through several furniture shops.  My son is very sure of his taste in home furnishings and he definitely doesn't like sales people coming up to help him along.  It was a treat to share the day with him.  I am very much aware of how quickly time moves along and runs out, suddenly it often seems.
More then ever before, the fragility of life is on my mind.

I can't remember if I mentioned spending a few days with my mother-in-law in the hospital last week.

It is interesting to see that she has retained the memory of her two sons, her absolute need to assert her expectations, and almost nothing else.  I mean, her brain scan compared to one done a few months ago shows progressive brain atrophy, how does she hold on to the overt bossiness?  The ER doctor suggested she be discharged with a hospice referral (not my call so I deferred that decision until the guys can put their heads together).  He said every time a patient in her condition comes to the hospital it's like slicing a piece of them away ... meaning, I think, during the process of what hospitals have to do, perhaps more is lost then what can be gained.  She had stopped eating, drinking, was refusing her meds, wouldn't or couldn't speak and was confused (and frightened I thought) when I first saw her in the ER, it had been so for the previous two days the care giver informed me.  They, the hospital staff, were unable to find an infection, nor did her blood work indicate any treatable concern.  She wasn't  clinically dehydrated (I don't know how that is established), wasn't running a fever, her blood sugar levels weren't throwing up any red flags.  Her blood pressure fluctuated between really high and even higher. They were unable to get an IV started after she pulled out the one the ambulance guys had gotten started.  Not to be morbid, but I was thinking ahead to how to best handle arrangements with both of her boys away. One of them is out of the country and incommunicado until mid November, the other is just not here, no where near here, away working.  It's difficult to communicate the true situation (as you see it) over the phone.  I snapped a few pics (to send) which felt somehow disrespectful but did help with the thousand word thing.   She was admitted for observation with essentially "nothing wrong (save skipping the BP meds) and clearly wishing to be done with the whole thing".  That's what I think. Upstairs we went.  I was exhausted by, first the drive, then the intensity of the situation.  I asked them to try another IV suggesting maybe down by her feet.  That, turns out, is an automatic no-go with a diabetic patient.  I know practically nothing about diabetes. I even have to rely on spell check to get the word right.  After several pain-filled attempts, they were able to get an IV going with a slow drip to re-hydrate her.  The next morning I asked the rounding doctor if she could get her something comparable to the "home meds" through the bag.  I don't know why that wasn't possible, but they did grind them up and let me feed them to her with jello which she was able to swallow. Pretty soon she was looking slightly less corpse-like and speaking again.  Later she was actually somewhat coherent.  Like my mother, the awareness of being unable to go to the bathroom to go to the bathroom as a HUGE source of agitation for her and therefore the rest of the floor.  As soon as she was physically able to move her legs over the edge of the hospital bed it was ON.  Poor baby.  I didn't feel that it would be very responsible of me to let her fall out of bed.  I sorted through possible ways to explain that to my husband (everyone of them sounded like I decided to let her cross the expressway w/o even holding her hand just to let her see how not well it would work out).  I asked for the rails to be put up - you have to ask for that now because it can be seen as restraint.  I didn't know that.  It seems like common sense to me.  I also asked for the bed alarm which was more for me in case I dozed off. Once she worked out the fact that a sideways sprawl over the edges would not render an escape path, she spent a good deal of her time slowly working her way down towards the end of the bed where the rails could not prevent a determined exit ... and every time she was attended to by the nurses, working together, we would move her back up towards the top of the bed (and she'd begin towards her goal yet again).  I admired her single minded perseverance (apparently one's will is an actual source of physical strength) and it made me smile that her first complete sentence was a disdainful "You are in my territory" said as I gently lifted her dangling foot back up in to the bed.  Territorial to the end, that's her.  I wonder how it is possible to "remember" who we are.  I wonder how what is remembered is "selected" by a decaying brain.  FITBIT has me burning about 400 calories after the daily reset but before I really start moving for the day.  Her caloric intake is practically non existent now.  I wonder how the brain chooses to fight for flight when there's no apparent source for renewing energy.  Having the PT lady come in and help her to standing and a shuffle around the bed really took the sap out of her.  By time I drove her back to her memory care facility, got her to the comfy chair in her room, and turned over her care once again to the charge nurse there I felt that we were back to where this adventure began.  It is a matter of time.  If I were making the choices for her,  I would have just brought her home with me.  I do not think I know best.  I remind myself that this situation was the situation she chose for herself when she was still quite competent.  I can understand that decision being honored.

When I am unable to remember, not only these people, but the specific moments of these pictures ... two things; first, why would I care to continue to live (what is "my" life without these memories and the many memories that were shared with my people) and what will I remember?  What happens when you forget who you love? If you can't remember that, how can anything else matter?  And, I think there is a tragedy  in perceiving insult when the opposite intention is being expressed.  I am glad that she is unable to pick up on that, because it is less gracious then she would want to behave if she were choosing rather then acting on instinct. 

I think, I hope, that I am activity constructing an "old me" who I would like by how I choose to interact with people while I am still able to choose.  I hope I am etching the habits into those last few neurons that I'd like to have at the end of my days.  I hope I'm not a stinker. I would like for my last days to be less difficult for the people who love me.  Mostly, if I live long enough to forget where I am and how I got there, I hope I'll remember the joy(s) of loving these five people especially.  My husband says I am best able (temperamentally) to tend to his mother and maybe that is true, but I'm not the best person to be there for her. She needs someone, one of her sons, who she remembers. Someone she has let in not someone feels she needs to keep out, someone she remembers she loves.  Anything less then that seems empty to me.  

It does seem strange to me that we think it's right to select length rather than quality of life. I am afraid that we aren't very conscious of spending our time on what makes life meaningful on a personal level.  I'm saying, if I knew I had X  amount of days left, how would I really want to spend them?  Thinking about that isn't about dying, it's about living.  What feels like the best life? Just walking around with someone I love seemed like a perfect day to me.  When I can't do stuff like that, it's going to get pretty tedious.  When I can't remember those days I think I'd rather not hang around.  I don't want to be here when my favorite thing is orange jello.