The Healing Of Ordinary Ways



Each of us knows the darkness of feeling lousy. I’ve just been through a spell for a few weeks of resting, pain and various gut problems. I’m sick of television, reading and being a “layabout.” A little boredom goes a long way but there are times when we have no choice. When a trip from the bed to the bathroom is the major journey of the day, well, what’s to be said?

Coming out of a bad spell is a trip through a tunnel and equals that feeling one gets when a dark and gloomy days suddenly reveals the sun. It just feels good. Instead of lying around and thinking of the list of chores that needs doing, both personal and household, you know that feeling of finally being able to accomplish something. To be useful, creative and to fulfill a need, whether that need be personal or household, it’s simply rewarding.

The most ordinary of daily accomplishments can take on a new meaning if it has been denied to you for a period of time. All humans have a way of taking life for granted, even the most menial of tasks can actually be healing. I wonder if the hidden meaning in the ordinary ways of life is just that, a built-in vitamin for the spirit. It would compare to the poison of despair versus the medicinal effect of feeling hopeful.

Let me list just a few of the ordinary things in my life that I have found rewarding as spring approaches this year, in spite of facing metastatic cancer, two rheumatoid diseases which cause me daily, hourly pain and the always there annoyance of irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes I reach a point in my life when most of my conversations are about my health. My mind is often fixed on one terror or another and I can becomeconsumed by it all as I lose sight of that in life which actually brings life instead of taking it away or threatening to.  Now to my list, with hopes that you can come up with a list of your own by doing and not just thinking, however ordinary that task may be.


SUE’S LIST of life-giving, common, ordinary ways:

Being greeted by a growing white and orange tabby kitten as his purrs fill the air as he speaks” his unspoken Good Morning to me.

Experiencing laughter when that same kitten sticks his nose directly onto my glasses while I’m wearing them. Such a funny view of cat eyes and tiny nostrils.

Grabbing a sweater and some sandals and sitting on my front porch just to feel the spring breezes blowing in from the Columbia River, cool and invigorating.

Taking a quick inventory of how much damage the ice and snows of winter have done to beloved plants that fill the front and back porches of our ordinary yet lovely and slightly rundown old Victorian home, itself the colors of spring, a riot of soft green and deep rose.

The joy of spotting new growth on an old apricot colored geranium. It sits in an ocean blue pot that has been in front of a large picture window for many years, a joy both inside and out. It’s like seeing an old friend awaken from a long nap. It’s alive, in spite of the brown leaves and stems that extend out above the new growth. There is so much hope in the tiny buds of spring, once dormant and now alive with eager new growth.

The joy of holding clippers and filling a box with old, spent growth and the simple pleasures of just putting on waterproof gardening gloves.

The healing feeling that comes from a freshly scented load of clothes, much needed for too long as their warmth fills your hands on a cold damp foggy spring morning.

The sense of satisfaction from giving oneself a pedicure and manicure so I no longer look like I’ve been digging in the dirt with my toes.

The joy of soaking my feet in a healing foot soak of organic rare salts, Epsom, CBD oil, lavender and various organic oils. Soft clean feet are a silent wonder of nature, especially if the feet are arthritic.

The simple pleasure of putting on clean pajamas, freshly scented from the dryer.

The satisfaction and joy of cooking my own meal after weeks of soups, hot cherry Jell-O and/or hot ginger tea with honey. A simple poached egg can taste like nirvana when you haven’t eaten solid food in several weeks as it’s accompanied by a warm flour tortilla dripping with butter fresh from the microwave.

The thank you that springs from my throat at finding a kindly, well informed new physician. Sometimes one has to “kiss a lot of frogs” before finding a prince. There have been too many “frogs” in my life this year.

Discovering a new drug that will relieve an old pain.

The simple joy of a warm heating pad on a sore back.

The soft texture of a new fern green blanket, warm and begging to be cuddled. It’s even better when I bought it on sale.

The reassuring bark of a tiny Yorkie as his daily hopes of catching the mailman, just one time, fill the air with his raucous tones. He’s forever hopeful and oh so fierce in his own mind.

The simple look of relief on my dear man’s face just because he knows I am feeling better. Knowing one is loved is the greatest healing of all and too often I take it for granted, and him.

A warm, hot cup of tea or a latte brought to me in the morning before my daily meds allow me to descend the stairs to the kitchen. Once again, I whisper a “Thank you, Lord” for my dear man.

That feeling of warmth when reading something I love that is uplifting instead of always negative, like the daily news. I’ve discovered, turning off the news is a therapy of its own.

I find it particularly uplifting when I get a text from a stranger who has read one of my hundreds of blogs and tells me how it has uplifted them. Just knowing my experiences and words are out there, perhaps helping others is such a sweet reward for my life’s experiences, both good and bad.

A phone call from a good friend or the call from one of my children telling me they and their family are home after a long trip via air and auto. No matter the age of my child, I am always their Mom and always reassured knowing when they are safely at home.

The giggle that arises when watching a tiny kitten with green eyes hide in an empty Amazon box before leaping out to attack my feet. He’s such a “cheap date” it reminds me of a child playing with the wrappings at Christmas, finding more joy there than in the actual gift. Oh, the simplicity and healing we can learn from animals and children.

A simple reward that can be obtained by cleaning off a sticky counter top or putting away a warm load of dishes fresh from the dishwasher.

The innocent chore of taking pleasure in a few lovely possessions long cherished, long admired and too long covered with dust. So many objects in our home are accompanied by a story about the giving or the giver and the incidence of the giving.

The most mundane task of cleaning a bathroom and uncovering the sparkle, just like a commercial on television.


I hope each of you, my friends and readers, will find the healing and joy waiting for you and I in the most common areas of life. It’s truly incredible the world that awaits us there in the little, the ordinary ways of our lives.

P.S. Excuse me now as I start a new bag of give-away clothing while I start to clean out a very cluttered closet. Wonder how far I’ll get before pooping out? Well, we’ll see, but it’s at least a beginning.



32 thoughts on “The Healing Of Ordinary Ways

  1. My goodness sue that spoke to me
    It really hit the spot for me at the moment
    We here have both had new and old problems and I have been thinking how it’s the little things that matter and make daily living worthwhile
    Just to be able to get back to just living well in your own zone is good.being able to do what is required
    What I’m really appreciating at the moment is having a hot chocolate in bed and writing this knowing I can get back to sleep…it’s 1.30 am dd and gs came over yesterday and it was mother’s day here.and gs bought over some lovely chocolates and we all dived in to them and I could have a few.just being able to think about it
    So I’m gonna go back to sleep now and think of your list and mine
    Good to hear you are picking up now
    Did the new diet not work from the new book not help at all
    I’ve got to go onto a fasting one for a few days I think just finished antibiotics and not sure of it staying away
    I’m always on a soft diet of only a few things so a fast looks like it might be what’s required..and I can lose some weight
    See……one good thing to thank for is a positive outlook….!

    • Chris dear, you do sound better, also. Those chocolates do sound delicious. Eating them with family is always more fun anyway. Actually, I have used the book on IBS/IBD quite a lot. It has a great deal of helpful info and several very good recipes. I particularly like their ideas on how to get some of the flavors we like without the bad side effects, like using the greens from scallions for the flavor but not the white. It works. I usually have trouble with any onions. They also suggest no pepper, even bell types but do allow canned pimentos for the same or similar flavor. There is a very good chicken and rice soup recipe in it, too.
      Hope you got back to sleep and the hot chocolate did the trick. Love ya, Sue

  2. That was great and I truly enjoyed reading it, Sue. To me, life’s simple pleasures are the best and they’re especially enjoyable after a period of being “down”. The item on your list that resonated most with me was the pleasure of putting on a pair of clean pajamas; that and cuddling with my doggies. Love you, girl!💕

    • Karen, so good to get your comments, yes indeed, feeling fresh after a hot shower, a shampoo, clean PJ’s are the best. That reminds me of some laundry I must do today. Jim spilled his cup of coffee coming up the stairs yesterday so we scrubbed the carpet with rags and towels; at least it smells good. Time to call the carpet cleaner. We both hate to do the stairs but have a great shampooer to do the rest of the carpets upstairs. Downstairs I have area rugs and they don’t get the dirt we do upstairs thanks to George having a couple of favorite spots…UGH. I miss larger dogs, like yours, because they are so much better about not going in the house. I don’t think our Saint ever, not once, went in the house.
      Keep enjoying all of life’s simple pleasures that are usually right before us. Love, Sue

  3. Just what I needed this morning, Sue. Not a great night last night, though I was surrounded by sweet furry ones, rough morning this morning, recovering from my latest projects. I tried to take it easy yesterday, but it still caught up with me, of course, I know today will be rough, but much to do. I’ll make a point to look for the best in each moment and do what I can. Thanks for the reminder, and the sweet visuals. Enjoy your moments today. And snuggle those fur babies for me. Best to Jim. Love to you.

    • Lyn, so what have you been up to? Sounds like fun even if it did leave you sore and in trouble. Bet you were resurfacing a piece of furniture once again. Hope you have signs of spring to perk you and your body today. Our new kitty is quite a snuggler but at night, he has to be in our guest room because George is in our room at night. Sure wish he’d get over his mad for the cat. Feel better soon..Love, Sue

      • Yes, another furniture redo. We have 2 wooden folding chairs – you’ve probably seen the kind, faux leather padded seats, deep cherry-ish (think burgundy) stained finish – that needed reupholstering. I figured as long as I was doing that I might as well perk up the wood that was getting a bit worn looking as well. I did the wood work – paint, color wash, sanding and distressing, waxing and a friend did the seats (he can pull the fabric tight and staple much easier and better than I. We love the new look. My body doesn’t love the demands on all that activity and all the standing through it all.

  4. Sue
    Very nice indeed. I am struggling to get going this morning as it is 23’ outside. So much for Spring ! Cold again tomorrow, but then warms up. However….flowers and trees are all a bloom around me. I do pray the cold hasn’t killed them. My young apple tree that grew out of my blueberry Bush is covered in blooms. Hopefully apples this year. I walked by my sisters Pussy Willow Tree the other day and it sounded like a bee hive. It was covered in honey bees. Gave me notice that spring is here , even if the cold wind doesn’t agree.
    Soon the hummingbirds will be back, as will my man, I hope. I miss those morning cups of coffee being set down on my table. Putting the handle just so, that I can pick it up easily. And the smile and good morning that goes with it. Please continue to pray for us, and mostly him. He starts his treatments on Wednesday.
    So glad you are feeling better. Warm weather kinda gives you no choice.

  5. Tonie, Here’s hoping and praying your DH gets to come home from France very soon. Also praying he arrives with his problems in health behind him. I know he’s anxious, also. My gosh but you are surrounded and abuzz with spring. I also hope you get apples this year and this cold weather of yours isn’t worse. We have a huge storm coming with snow and rain and it is colder today. I love this spring and am sorry we’re getting another visit of winter.
    Busy week for me with getting both knees injected tomorrow and a PET scan and its prep on Thursday and Friday for the exam. The doctor let me choose the PET scan or the CT scan and I chose the PET. It is the most comfortable with a slightly padded area to lie on and it isn’t as long as the other. The prep is difficult because there are so many things you can’t eat for 24 hours before the exam. UGH. It’s all protein and meats which I normally don’t eat because of IBS. It is a bit past the time I should have one as my last one was 16 mos. ago. We have delayed because my lab for cancer has been very good but now, we need to know if it has spread further than back then. Hope you warm up soon, Love to you as ever, Sue

  6. Tonie
    Your morning coffee with the handle towards you says it all and paints a picture if harmony
    Be it that time will hasten and be well
    Hope all is going ok for you this day and all is not too painful after all the scanning
    Been busy again I see…..hope you are feeling better by now

    Sunny here but the winds are cold
    Lots on this coming week test scans something every day as well as tomorrow Saturday

  7. Morning all
    A blessed Sunday to all. It has been a crazy week here. Started last Friday and Saturdays with yard selling. Wore me out. This week was a lot of things to be done here, springtime, and one day for Mrs Blair. So tired all the time…..and so tired of it. Just make myself go and do. This is the last week on antibiotics, I think. Must call and see. I am nervous about how I will feel. My hand is not good today from the surgery. Using it too much I guess. Swollen , red and hurting.
    Brad his injection, said all is well. Two more, if he keeps on with them. The 13th and 17th. But following up with his friend and Dr…so we will see.
    Sue, I hope all was good with your tests (and your tushie). Praying, always.
    Well, time to get moving on.

    • Tonie, I am concerned about your hand. Don’t mean to alarm but it could be infected so maybe you should watch closely. Glad B had another injection and pray that will do the trick for him.Indeed antibiotics can make you feel very fatigued from its affect on the metabolism. Prayers for the best after taking it so long. PET scan was a nightmare. I got so dry I couldn’t swallow and it panicked me. I just kept mouthing the 23rd Psalm and prayed for it to pass. I was wrapped tightly and with arms at side couldn’t do anything so sore from all but that feeling and dryness was the worst. Glad it’s over. Love you, Sue

      • Sue
        The hand is sore inside, as is the finger. Just a little red around the incision. I keep putting antibiotics on it. I go back soon for follow up.
        Glad you understood “Brad” was actually B had. Stupid computer. I woke up and now can’t sleep. Eyes are burning so I have to get off this thing. Hope you feel better soon my friend.

  8. Hi
    Well dh had a jaundice after some antibiotics he had strong ones…but i always have those and no problem..but there we go he did.its cleared up,thank goodness. Took two weeks to start to improve
    More ct scans and ultra sound this week and the eye clinic for his turny Inny eye lid
    Went to the glaucoma clinic and discharged ok from there
    My diver is playing up
    But went for a cheese scone!
    Do hope your hand improves tonie with this inflammation .best get it looked at
    And soon be over with the injections for B then
    This tiredness it could be the antibiotics. They are bu..ers for that
    Ok that’s it for new
    Hope everyone ok and you sue I expect you are resting it all away

    • Chris, boy, what a week you have coming up. I’ll be thinking about you each day with so many factors for you and DH to consider. Love, Sue P.S. Can you take the cupboard doors off and do them outside?

  9. Lyn
    I wonder if you can help,me with a problem I have with pine with a gloss varnish
    I have a heavy wardrobe in the spare room and I would like to paint just the doors to brighten it up a little
    It will have to be painted in situ and I have sorted out some chalk paint that has a low smell
    But as sanding would be dusty for my you know if a liquid deglosser is any good or if it has a strong odour
    I just wondered if you may have used it when you have painted before
    I have delayed doing this since we moved here for various reasons but thought I’d face it now!

    • Sorry, Chris, I haven’t been back on until now. I use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. No sanding necessary, however, I do clean the surfaces well. I forget what we use here… DTP maybe?? I’m sure you can find a good cleaner. Anyway, mostly that is all you have to do. However, that said, sometimes varnish can bleed through, especially with lighter colors. Doesn’t sound like you should have this problem, however. I’ve not had a problem with the Annie Sloan paint fumes (not strong.) I am sensitive to scent, but do not share your mucosal issues. I strongly suggest sealing Annie Sloan paint with Annie Sloan clear wax and a good buff, as they recommend.

      • Hi Lyn I’ve found a stockist for that chalk paint it’s not too far from us thankyou
        Next time I’m there I’ll go in and look for it..they do classes about it all too
        I can see how it will smell as well
        Cheers Chris

  10. Sue
    Well lost last post
    I did say in it dh has tried to take the screws out of the wardrobe to move doors but they have been glossed over and stuck ,he was dizzy after for a few days after with bending, so don’t want to try that’s too big and bulky to take out so I can see me not doing it again!
    It sounds awful what you had done sue prayers you feel better in a few days

    • To all of you who are not on FB with me, let me share that I got a phone call from the oncology office last night at dinnertime and my new PET scan did NOT show any new metastatic growth since the last one 14 mos. ago. Praise God. Sue

  11. Chris
    So sorry for all the junk dropped on you again. Seems it just goes on and on sometimes. You will both be in my prayers for sure.
    I was thinking of making some lemon scones with a bit of cheese added. Whatddya think ? Made Judy a coconut creme pi’s on Saturday. Shortbread crust. It was good. She had asked for lemon, so I bought lemons. Then she changes….now I have to use the lemons.
    We are warming up here. Spring rains and suddenly all is green , full of weeds and the grass needs mowing. Busy time, and so much to do. Still on the antibiotics. He wants me on for another 120 days. So…… my hormone levels are out of whack according to his tests, estrogen high and testosterone is low. So that may play into the fatigue. I know one thing, that inversion table is great. Really giving me relief.
    Okay I need to go back to sleep. Take care my friend.

    • Yep it certainly does
      Now we have heard he also has to have an endoscopy
      Saw eye clinic today and they took some eyelashes out that turned in with the lid and he does feel more comfortable. but they have referred him again to the plastic for the eyelids
      Had his head ct scan back they were satisfactory and no further action so that was good
      Just an ultra sound on Saturday to come
      I have another polyp in the uterus that has to be followed up ugh..
      I’m not sure about lemon and cheese in a scone……but who knows
      What a bind so long on antibiotics. but still if needed …that’s a bit why your tired I’m sure
      the coconut pie sounds good…Lucky Judy
      Good you have that inv table wonder what B will make of it
      Sunny days here but cold in the wind and it gives it freezing tonight

  12. Sue
    Hope all is well and your weather is not too stormy. Here, the wind is terrible, although it has been very warm. All are loving it. Judy got out and mowed her yard and went with us on trash pickup detail.
    Got the results of my back xrays. My stenosis has gone to “severe” in L1-4, so explains the sudden nerve pains. Ugh 1mmhowever the inversion is doing well. First thing in the morning, sometimes in afternoon, and before bed. I have 10 new baby chicks, and they are so sweet. Chris, I got one “Speckled Sussex” English breed.
    B is doing well with his infusion. Said it was helping him.
    Now, I am going back to sleep, I hope. Got woken up by a spoiled pup who wanted to be wrapped up again. Lol

    • Just a quick post gotta get going to go,out
      But thank goodness you have that invert board….with that news,can they do anything
      Good news for B makes the time to come back nearer..
      Gotta go Chris

  13. Tonie, Sorry to hear about the back being worse. Is there a plan or is it one of those “live with it things?” I’m so glad your new inv. table is helping you so much and three times a day, well why not? So pleased to hear B is feeling better already. Prayers that continues. I saw Judy picking up trash with her walker on FB and was so proud of her spunk. Can’t believe how much you’ve been finding along the roadways there.
    I am so sorry I have been off of here for several days. I’ve been having serious trouble with my right shoulder and couldn’t use my right arm to type or anything else. Better today after much rest and heat with hemp oil rubs. My shoulder are pretty much bone on bone and I was not careful in what I did…my own fault when I try to be normal. We have had rain all week and to be continued through the weekend and next week. My gut is slowly returning its normal state which isn’t great but better than last months and PET scan prep. I’m still so elated over the blessings of no new mets, at least no more than I’ve had. It is quite rare and wonderful. I had two hundred facebook friends praying for me. I am blessed indeed to have my writings introduce me to so many folks who were once complete strangers to me.
    I know you live for the day your DH comes home. Love you much, Sue

  14. Chris dear, Please forgive my absence from here. I explained partially to Tonie. My goodness but you and DH have had so much mixed news. I hope he gets into the plastic man right away but please they were able to pull some of the offending lashes…how awful to live with that irritant. Good news from the other scan. Why the endoscopy for him?
    Oh no, not another problem with the uterus. You ought to get rid of that useless “appendage”…that’s what I did many years ago. I am sending you an email today. Thinking of you so very often and looks like another busy week coming up for you. Love you, Sue

  15. The ultra sound today because from having the augmentin antibiotics he had a slight yellowing for about three weeks but that has disappeared now so will hopefully be ok.i thought it was from that but the dr said it was rare…huh !!! He has all manner of side effects…
    The endoscopy because he’s has some trouble for a while ,he takes so many meds ,and the usual meds for it stop his bp meds from working and his bp goes high .and he can’t take them so the dr sent for this …unusual again he says….mmmmm
    As for me can’t go thru with an op,like that with dh as he is so it’ll be a small op for the polyps…hopefully
    Glad some improvements with you and such good news with the pet scan
    Sunny but cold here below freezing last night
    Gotta get going for the ultra sound then a cheese scone is calling

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