Friday, December 31, 2010


I'm having a little trouble getting started with this one.... I have mixed feelings about 2010. It was such an up and down year for me and it's ending on a weird note for my family. I lost my boy this year and part of me wants to hold on to 2010, because it's the last year he saw. I don't know if that makes any sense at all.

I'm happy about my new life and I try to focus on the good stuff. I'm excited about Gavin's arrival and living here with John. I enjoy my job and soon Sarah's basketball season will be starting. I try to write about that stuff on Facebook - I want my focus to be on living a positive life. I have a lot to be grateful for, but one of my family members wrote something about how some people are pretending things are perfect or something like that and I suspect it was focused at me. My life isn't perfect. I don't pretend it's perfect. Who wants perfection?  Perfection is a scary thought to me - a sort of fate teaser. I just want to be happy and live I life I can feel proud of. 

All I can do is to keep working and taking care of my family to the best of my ability. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day After Santa Day

Merry day after Christmas.... How was your holiday?  Mine was good. I spent the majority of the day with John and my girls, but in the afternoon John's parents came over and had dinner with us. I tried a new recipe - Roast Beef with a Dijon/Horseradish Crust. Turned out pretty good - smelled great when it was cooking. (Hhmm, I think I'll make myself a sandwich in a minute....)

This was my first Christmas holiday spent with a partner in about 18 years. John is getting me a washing machine. I'm very practical, so that's my idea of a great gift. I just need to find one and he'll go get it. 

I gave him a haircut today and was worried that I cut the front too short, but then I ended up cutting the whole thing super-short and it turned out great. I've been cutting hair for years, since I was 14 and I was a hairdresser when I lived in Washington, but even so I'm not immune to distractions and a house full of kids and pets usually includes some distractions. It seems that the shorter his hair is, the younger he looks. I'll have to get a picture of him today... I think he looks beautiful.

Today is my second day off of work. My hours are super-light next week which is worrisome.  I'm a bit tired of being broke. I'd love to be able to go see a movie and pick up a pair of basketball shoes for Sarah. Time to look for a second job............

We have a new cat. Her name is Tinkerbell, but we'll call her Tink.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Liked the Way He Was In the World

I was reading through some entertainment news today and I found a quote that actress Jennifer Connelly gave about to Glamour magazine last year. It has to do with how or when she knew that her husband, Paul Bettany, was the one for her. I loved it then and I love it now because she exactly captures that certain something that all women in love have felt about the men in their lives.

"It was something about the way that we were together," she said. "He stood out to me as someone singular and rare and beautiful, and I liked the way he was in the world. I liked the way he was with people. I liked the way he was with my son and the way he made me feel."

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Really Kind Of Like It Here

It was a dark and stormy night... and it still is. The tree out front is whipping around and the rain is hitting the side of the house. I hope Sis the hound is in her dog house.

One of the many perks involved with moving back to your hometown is that you run into a lot of "old friends." Some are friends-friends, some are acquaintance-friends, and others are just familiar faces you used to know.

Today, I ran into a friend from the 6th grade. He and I attended Bogus School, a one-room schoolhouse back in...well it was a long, long time ago. While we were students there, he "went" with my sister, Robin, then later, at the end of the year, he "went" with me for about a week, so this was a boy that I kissed when I was 11. John is good friends with his son and I recently spent the day with the son when he helped John get in a load of wood. His son is a really nice guy, works hard, very friendly.

Anyway, this guy, Richard is his name, looks very good, hardly aged at all. I knew it was him from halfway across the front of the store, which is not the case with many old friends. I will look at them for the longest time and then think, oh yeah, that's so and so. Richard has a new baby, only 3 months old, and he's a Grandpa. I have to say this - congratulations to Richard and his lady, but oh man I hope I do not have any more kids at this age.

I walked him over to his car, way across the shopping center, over to where his dad was just coming out of Carl's Jr. Now his dad, I hadn't seen his dad since back in the 6th grade days when he had all kinds of long, curly, dark hair. I remember we used to spend the night with Richard's sister, Sara, and listen to their dad's records. Richard's mom would make us ebelskeivers (sp?) for breakfast... that reminds me, I still haven't used my pan. Richard and Sara taught Robin and me how to build forts and pee outside. It was at there house that we first spent time around animals like chickens and turkeys. And I have this clear picture in my mind of what Richard's fingernails looked like as a kid. Yes, I know that's an odd memory to carry, but I've carried it all these years. I mentioned it to John and I'm pretty sure I got one of those My Girlfriend Is A Weirdo looks.

I love living back here. I really enjoy running into familiar faces, feeling ties to a place again. I lived in Chico all that time and never really felt like I belonged there, never felt any ties to the location, although I did meet some wonderful people while I was there, like Max's teachers. My boyfriends, my best friends, they were all people whom I grew up with up here. Every day something happens that makes me feel more sure that I did the right thing moving back.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'm Back........

Yahoo! We finally have Internet access again. Dang, that was a long (and impatient wait).

This weekend we drove over to meet John, where he's been working in Happy Camp, CA. We stayed in his camp trailer with him and the hounds. He made us a pot of mushroom soup that was incredible... and simple. It was this - saute 1 diced onion and about 5 diced cloves of garlic in butter (he used a whole cube). Chop mushrooms (John had fresh mushrooms, these huge ones that he found while wood cutting. I'll have to look up the name, but it was something with an M and it sounds Japanese), then add to onions and garlic. Then, add about 5 cups of half & half, salt and pepper to taste. That's it. So darn good.

I miss John so much when he's away cutting wood. Our house is too quiet and too tidy without him here. I miss his made-up songs and his loud, Hello!, when he answers his phone. I miss sleeping next to him most of all. I do appreciate how hard he works and I'm glad that he's got the trailer and isn't staying in a tent after working all day anymore.

Here's a picture of the table and chairs he set up for us while we were there.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Laptopping It At Micky D's

I'm all moved and ready to start my new job on Monday. So far, no internet access....... and I'm missing my handsome boyfriend who is out being a wood cutter. He camps when he does that, in the snow. Next time I'm feeling tired and sorry for myself, I'm going to picture him cutting, splitting, and loading wood all day, then sleeping in a tent that night... really puts things into perspective.

Is it wrong to say that I'm proud of how hard my man works, because I really am.  I swear he's 10 feet tall and shines like the sun to me. I bet he'd be embarrassed to read that. Sorry, John. Sometimes I gush.

I'm sitting in McDonald's as I type this, taking advantage of their free internet access. There's a big blown up red M&M sitting in the dining room. The little kids get so excited when they come around the corner and see it. Oohh! They say, then they poke at it.

Well, my computer my battery is going. I wish you a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My 400th Post

This is my 400th post, as you can tell by my title. Wow. I must really like to write about myself. :)

Today is my last day at my new job, because this weekend I am moving almost 3 hours away, to a place where I will need to find a new-new job. We, my boyfriend and I, are renting a cute, little house at the edge of town, with a woodstove and a view of grass, cows, and mountains. I am so excited.

I'm nervous about the moving, but more about the job-less-ness. I am in no way nervous about moving in with my boyfriend. I tried this with him before and it worked well then - I'm hoping it's even better this time. I'm older now and I don't have the same expectations I had then. I'm not as selfish, that's for sure.

I'm also very excited because this means I will get to see Muddy Waters every day and I love that dog.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Falling Behind

I'm very behind on all my blogs. I haven't written anything at Girl Looks Swell in forever and I had two giveaways to write up. Everything is in a sort of upheaval now, so I'm going to leave it for a bit. I'm in the middle of some big changes and I'm not real sure what is going to happen. I wish I did, because I know that my family would like some answers, but so many things hinge on how will an interview will go or if we can find a place. I don't like not having answers for my mom, the girls, my sister, but I don't know myself right now. Sure would be nice to be independently wealthy. I'd pack my stuff, go BUY a house, and move my family in.

I know I said I wasn't going to write about my boyfriend, but I have to write this - that guy is calm. Super calm. I feel myself tensing up and he stays loose and good-natured and I think, I really need to learn how to do that.

I was calm and relaxed for a long time. It was easy, because I made my life as simple as I could, I had my routine and my familiar surroundings. It's change or up-coming change that throws me. I have faith that in a short time I'm going to be feeling calm again.

Okay, time to fold some clothes. I've got packing to do.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Max's Birthday

Today, at work, a wheelchair claim came up in my work queue. I started working my way through it, slowly, because the work is still a little complicated and overwhelming to me. I thought, oh a wheelchair claim - I know wheelchairs.

I read that the wheelchair came with some special features - it was light-weight and had some special padding. I pulled up the original order and the additional information that the Dr sent in detailing why it was necessary. Something about the phrase "non-ambulatory" wiped me out. Just bam and I was crying. It's a word I read a lot in Max's med reports. Max was non-ambulatory. Max didn't walk.

I tried to explain to my trainer why I couldn't process the claim. I had the hardest time getting any words out. It's a wheelchair. My son's wheelchair still sits in my bedroom. I miss him so much. Tomorrow is his birthday. He never made it to 20. It really, really sucks that he is gone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Moving Day Is Closing In

I'm moving soon. I have to be completely out of my apartment and ready for my walk out inspection by the 11th of November. I haven't packed any boxes or gone through any closets or pared down anything that I need to pare down. I have, however, made a decision to not take my round dining table, to instead switch it out with the rectangular table that I call "my desk". One item to cross off my list.

My friend, Leah, can't believe I have nothing packed. She was just here, left about 20 minutes ago and she said, "You've got so much stuff." Yes, Leah, I do. If I weren't so tired I'd be seriously freaking out. In the past, I've moved in a hurry. One time I moved from Yreka to Chico in half a day. We moved so fast, were so efficient, that my boyfriend's mother (the very same boyfriend's mother that I have now) packed up my garbage and loaded it onto the truck. Funny.

I won't have all that help this time. It will be pretty much Sarah and myself. I need to sell my treadmill. I need to pack up all the toys that Sarah hasn't played with for about 2 years. I need to get rid of my vast collection of...magazines. Why do I have such a hard time getting rid of magazines?

I should stay home this weekend and get it done, but I'm going up North instead. I need to get out of here for a bit and plan how I'm going to get everything done. Oh, who am I kidding - I need to escape. This apartment makes me sad. It's wrong to be here without Max. I want to start over somewhere new, live a completely different life.  I need to where I can be hugged by someone bigger and stronger than I am.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Talk, Talk, Talk

I really like my new boyfriend. A lot. And I've written about him a bit, but he's very private and later I've taken down posts that I've written about him, because I worry that he will see them and feel embarrassed. So, I'm going to try to tone down the my boyfriend, my boyfriend stuff, even though I'll be thinking it. :)

Here are a few photos that I took while camping and bear hunting last weekend...

We are sticking close to home this weekend, for Bay's baby shower. I'm very excited to see my sister, sister-in-law, and nieces again. My good friend, Leah, is giving Bay the shower.  We sure are lucky to have Leah.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Love Camping

The girls and I went bear hunting this weekend.

Well, I think it was bear hunting. There was a lot of talk of bear poop (full of berries), bear tracks (an area that looks like some body or some thing slid down the hill on it's bottom), and driving around packed into my boyfriend's truck (he's cute and charming, I enjoy being smooshed up next to him). The hounds took off a couple of times... have you ever heard them before? Sounds pretty. I didn't see any bears, but Bay might have. I enjoyed every minute of it.

We camped by a pretty creek, went to sleep listening to the sound of it every night. Saturday night we spread out on the road, flat on our backs, looking up at the stars. There were so many, more than I've ever seen before.

We ate clam dip and chips for breakfast one morning and hot dogs and marshmallows cooked over the fire for dinner.

We listened to my boyfriend tell stories and make up songs and point out places along the river where people planted pretty little pot gardens next to their vegetables and old rusted appliances.

It was so much fun. I can't wait to go again. I love camping.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thrills and Chills

I was talking to a friend tonight about life and how you think you are in charge, you think you are the one with the wheel in your hand, but it sort of goes it's own way. Really the only thing you can do is to wear a helmet, buckle up tight, and enjoy the ride. It's both thrilling and terrifying.

I've got another adventure planned this weekend. I'm going camping. WooHoo!

My Grandbaby. :) Part of the thrill, for sure.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Love the Shutter Sisters

I'm a little behind in so many ways. One of the things I've been missing is regular Shutter Sister's posts. I remember when I first found the Shutter Sisters blog. They post a short inspirational couple of paragraphs, then invite readers to share their own work in response to the post. Each post teaches a little about photograph or some personal insight or how it feels to be a woman looking at the world through your lens. I love the blog.

Here's a recent quote....

What happens when you choose once and for all to put what matters to you in the viewfinder, regardless of who approves or understands?

What happens when you claim your craft, your art, your expertise and stop asking anyone more established or proficient or experienced to say it's good enough?

What happens when you throw away the rule book and all the measuring sticks and just say what you were afraid to say all along?

Sometimes, I find it hard to feel that my shots are good enough. I always wish there was just a bit more sharpness and I don't know if it's because of my middle age eyesight or my starter-girl camera - is it my lack of skill or my equipment?? More importantly, why do I worry about it? Whom am I comparing myself to and what is the point? I shot what I see - my photos say what I want them to say. And sometimes I catch something and I think, holy crap, I did it! Few endeavors have given me as much joy as photography has and I'm learning all the time. Maybe someday I'll be able to capture that sharpness that I'm looking for - I know that I will never stop trying.

Another Shutter Sisters post was from a man who described a trip where a whole group of photographers were focused on a single view - a lake at sunrise. He shot the lake, but there was a ripple that ruined the glassy-mirror look and he decided to turn his camera to other things - colorful leaves and frost. He said that the other photographers looked at him as if they didn't understand what he was doing.

I connected to this post because I like to try to see some new detail with my camera. I shot things that other people say "eww" about - spiders, insects, webs - and I like to get down low, all the way, laying on my belly, trying to catch the edge of grass, leaves, whatever as I shoot. I will be the first to admit that I don't technically know what I'm doing, but getting low, shooting the details, it's teaching me how to focus and how to use the light, how to compose a shot in a way that isn't traditional or expected. It's a lot of fun and that's why I pick up the camera in the first place.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Better When I Play Yahtzee

Hello. It's late - Friday is almost over.  Last week at this time I was busy packing and getting things ready for my trip. That's so much more exciting than sitting here thinking about how I can rest and clean my house this weekend. That doesn't involve either cute dogs, a charming man, or hot air ballons.  :/  I need to turn this around....I can also sleep in........ and get my camera out....... and cook, because I haven't been cooking much since I'm too darned tired. I will look on the bright side, because it's a weekend and I'm going to be free(ish) for two days. Very nice.

I spoke/imed with my cousin tonight. Prior to tonight, I think it's been about.........30 years since I spoke with her. No wait, more like 29. Still a lot. She has a daughter close to my age - both are my FB friends, but we don't interact a whole lot. She posts anti-tea party comments on FB which I enjoy a bit, since I'm assuming this means she is a fellow Liberal. I think that they are maybe 3 of us on Facebook.......okay, just kidding - I heard once that there are 12......... Anyway, she said that she likes my outlook and while I liked hearing/reading that, I couldn't help but feel guilty, as I always do when getting a compliment on an area of my life/self/whatever that I feel is a front.

I appear positive, because I want to be that way, so I fake it till I make it and sometimes, I guess, I fake it pretty well. My new-old boyfriend, he is a positive person - smiley and laughing and happy. He's facing something big, but he faces it with a good outlook. I really, really like that about him. (It's on the list, right below freckles).

I keep thinking things that have no place in my new life. Like this one, "I want my old life back."  It's not coming back. I can find a new version of a life that is sort of like that one, or a completely new one, but that one, it's over. It's taking me so long to stop thinking that. It annoys me that I hold onto that, but at the same time I think, well it hasn't even been 2 months yet, so maybe I'm doing better than I think.

And I have some new exciting things going on that I am happy about. They are a part of NOW. NOW is pretty good, although Bay isn't so crazy about it. She told me today that I am not the same person any more. I don't want to let her down, but I am so tired when I get home from work. I'm not as much fun as I used to be and I think she misses having me here during the day. I'll get used to the job and I'll be fun again. In fact, I'll be fun this weekend. I wonder if she'd like to play some games tomorrow night.......... I feel a string of Yahtzees coming on. :)

I'm wondering if I should avoid writing these when I'm tired. I have no idea if this made any sense..........

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Facing My Fear

I realized something interesting tonight. I found it in a roundabout way, the way I usually discover something important - insight has to sneak up on me, I guess.

I spent years living with this fear that my son would die. I worried about it every day. I worried about how it would feel, how it would change my family's life. I worried about how we'd get along without him, because he was such a calm, loving person, and he really held us together with no effort whatsoever. He loved us. We loved him.

In the last year or two, he got sick a lot. He had pneumonia twice in the span of about 6 months, so it wasn't a way-off fear. It was real and way too close.

Then, it happened. He was gone. It's an odd feeling when your worst fear comes to pass. I faced it and it broke me, but I'm still here. I get up and face each day without my boy. The girls and I, we haven't given up.

Does this mean that I have nothing left to fear?

I'm not wasting any more time on fears. I'll still get scared, sure, but I'm not letting that stuff hold me back. I want to live bigger than I have in a long time. I took a huge step tonight and poured my heart out a bit. It could go one of two ways and either one is better than just staying stagnant, afraid to take a leap.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Very Good Weekend.... Phew, Finally!

 I had a great weekend.  Sarah and I went up North to visit an old friend and have an adventure. Here are a few pictures. I'll add more later. We went to a hot air Balloon Fair....
Sarah loved it up there. She especially loved my friend's dogs. And my friend. And riding on his 4-wheeler.  She is pretty enthusiastic and open to new things. I love that about her.

I've never been to a balloon fair before. It was beautiful.

 And look what else I got.... a handsome man.  Like I said, it was a good weekend. I hope you had a good one, too!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Diving In & Mermaid Swimming

Today, I wrote out a blog post while in training. It was just after 3 pm, which I've found to be the hour of my saturation point. We take a break at 2:30, go back to class for 3 minutes and suddenly it's like Charlie Brown's teacher is talking at me, "Wannk, wannk, wannk..." I lose my ability to take on any new insurance information.

Anyway, I'd go get it, type it in here, but I'm too tired. Instead, I will share with you my horoscope and if horoscopes are your thing, I suggest you go read yours here.  Rob Brezsney of Free Will Astrology says...

Focus on what's small and slippery, Leo. Turn your gaze away from what's big and obvious. Exult in the salamander on the rock and a friend who has a new trick and the guilty pleasure you just discovered; excuse yourself from obsessing about the state of the economy, the meaning of life, and the clash between science and religion. Your pleasurable duty is to love what's in the midst of changing, and not fixate on trying to make arrangements that will supposedly last forever. Don't just grudgingly attend to the mercurial details; dive in as if playing with them were your central purpose.

Dive in?  Hhmm. I like it. When I was a little girl, my Grandpa Harold had to teach me how to dive every Summer. I'd master it fairly well over the course of the season. A little dive in, then swim like a mermaid to the other side of the pool.  I'd practice over and over - eventually holding my breath all the way across the pool, then I'd do a lap up and back. My dives were pretty good, my mermaid swim better, but I never could execute Grandpa's perfect jack knife.

Then, the weather would turn cold and I'd lose my nerve over the Winter. When the weather warmed back up, I had to re-learn the whole thing again. I think it was fear that kept me from diving. Fear of the belly flop.

Belly flops sting a bit, sure, but I've given birth 3 times and that puts pain into perspective for me. And I'm a really good diver now..........still can't get that jack knife, though.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not A Red Frog

I haven't updated in a long time. First I was bored and boring and didn't feel like talking about being either one. Then, I started a new job on Monday and I'm exhausted. I will be working in transactions, fixing and paying health insurance claims. I seem to be the only one in the class who knows nothing about insurance. That's what happens when you go without health insurance and avoid doctors for 10+ years. I guess that in this case being healthy isn't a good thing.

I think the work is going to be challenging and I like learning new things, but I miss taking care of someone. I miss Max, because he was my son and I loved him, but also because I  felt like I was doing something important and worthwhile. Not that health insurance isn't important, but it's not the same. I wonder if I'm meant to be a nurse?  I wish I could go back to school. I'm going to think on this one for awhile and see what I come up with. In the meantime, I'll keep with the training, because I know there are lots of opportunities for growth in my company.

I'm taking Sarah on a road trip this weekend. We are going to visit a friend and he's got all kinds of interesting adventures planned for us. I don't know what we are doing for sure, but it all sounds good to me. I want to get outside..... and I'm looking forward to seeing my friend. :)

 No, my friend is not pictured above. He's much taller than the red frog and I'm pretty sure he can jump higher, too.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

After the Rain

We lucked out with some cooler weather yesterday. It was wonderful. In the evening, it got even better - it rained. Yahoo! Bay and I got soaked running from the car. After a Summer in Chico, getting soaked in the rain is true bliss. 

This is what I found outside this morning........

I don't know how many times I've taken the same sort of water droplet photo, but I can never get exactly what I'm trying to capture. I probably need a different set up or possibly less shaky hands would help.  I still like how they turn out.

I wish you a happy Thursday.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goofy Spider Lady

I was sitting on the patio, talking to my sister, because that's the only place we can get a good connection, when I noticed that I have a new neighbor.

That spider is huge. Huge! Very exciting, but then I am a goofy-spider-lady.

Tomorrow, I'm going to move it over to a tree, because I do not want it dropping on my head when I'm relaxing. Plus, I'm afraid my friend, Leah, might avoid my house if she has to walk by it next Tuesday, when we have Girl's Night. ;)

I am so relieved  that it's September and the worst August of my life is finally behind me. Tomorrow is the one month anniversary of Max's last day. I am so glad that it was a good day, that I took the time to give him lots of hugs and attention. I want to live every day feeling that way, that is was a good day, and that the people whom I love felt loved by me. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Please Stop Fighting

I keep working to try to bring my home around to some sort of "normal." It's never been an overly calm place - with three women in the house there's a fair amount of raised voices - but I feel very strongly that I don't want any negativity here.

I'm guilty of negativity myself - Sarah's room is driving me crazy. It borders on someting you'd see on Hoarders and that scares the stuffing out of me. I will say, "get that garbage off the floor" and then I will leave the room. The garbage consists of random playing cards, lost earrings, wrappers, wrappers, wrappers, old cotton from doing her nails, little toys she hasn't played with in 6 years, and more wrappers. It takes me only a few moments to clear it away - it all goes into a bag and out to the dumpster - but she will be in there for hours and never get it done. I lose my patience and I blow.

One of the things that makes me blow harder and faster is when my older daughter is fighting with her boyfriend. Sometimes it's here in the house an sometimes it's over the phone. It goes on every single day. Sometimes they will spend a portion of the day getting along, but there is some sort of relationship stress shared with the entire family every day.

Today her boyfriend came over for the first time in 9 days. The last day he was here, he got upset with her and stayed on the patio for hours, until I finally said, just drive him home. He texted me and she talked to me and I could not seem to make these kids understand that our family had been through a trauma and we didn't need the fighting. The week that followed consisted of Bailey being ignored by him. She would text or call him and he wouldn't respond. I know how that feels - I had a boyfriend who lived in another state and he would ignore me for weeks at a time (why did I put up with that?). I tell her stop texting him, stop calling him. You can't make a person change their behavior - they have to come up with that on their own. They have to make that connection and say, hey, I better stop being so selfish.

I need to relax about Sarah's room. Sarah needs me to relax about her room. And I need those kids to stop wasting precious time fighting. Everything can fall apart and you can lose someone you love in an instant. Stop wasting time on ugly things. Be good to each other.

They won't listen. Even with Max dying, I feel like the kids just don't get it. You can't get that time back.

I feel so guilty about wasting time on a man at the beginning of the Summer. I had this big crush and I knew it was a bad idea, but I went for it anyway. And that guy doesn't want to be happy. He called me drunk in the middle of the night last night, sad and rambling. He can't let go of something hurtful. He's wasting every day on this hurtful thing. Why?

I wish I could go back to the beginning of this Summer and start all over, do the whole thing differently, but I can't. I wish I could relive every single moment with my boy, Max, but I can't.

This fighting stuff, it hurts so much. In my head I keep thinking, "I don't want this, I don't want this," but "this" is life and I don't want to wish any time with the girls away. "This" is my grief, as well, and there's no letting go of that. If I do, then it's like I've accepted that he's gone. Even though it's been weeks and he's sitting in a little box on my dresser, there's still a part of me that thinks I can somehow get him back, that a boy that wonderful, that sweet and beautiful can't be gone. The world can't keep revolving without him here. It's wrong.

I'm sorry. I probably should keep these thoughts in my head, but sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode. It hurts so much.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Godspeed Little Man

In my 44 years I've lost a few people whom meant a lot to me, but this time around the grieving process feels very different. Every day I wake up and I think, "Max is gone." My mind immediately tries to reject the idea. "No, he's still here."

For the past week and a half, I've been going about the business of life, trying to find a job, trying to show my friends and family that they don't have to worry about me, that I'm okay. Today, I had a job assessment which is leading to a second interview, so that is encouraging. Plus, we found out an hour ago that my grandbaby-to be is a little boy. That was thrilling news. People have been reaching out to my family sending us cards and flowers and meals and it feels so good to know that Max touched so many lives.

I'm trying really hard to be normal, to find joy in the every day, because I want to be strong for my girls, but this grief thing, it can sneak up on me and sometimes, I have to admit, it kicks my ass. It's like a wave that crashes over my head and steals my breath away.

I can be calm and smiling even. Minutes later, there's that grief again. While driving to get milk at Raleys, a Dixie Chicks song came on and I heard;

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

It's a song that a mom sings to her sleeping boy, but I connected with it and next thing I know I'm a mess again - driving down the road, crying in my minivan. I miss my "little man" so much. He was a wonderful son and I loved taking care of him. Every single day was a gift. People would say things to me about raising him, comment about how it must be hard to take care of a boy with special needs, but he wasn't hard. He was sometimes heavy, but never difficult. Everything about him was positive, everything was good.

Grief might kick my ass, but I think I'm just going to ride these waves as they hit me. I'm not going to push any of it away, I'm going to find a way to keep my head above water, and I'm definitely going to listen to that song again, even if it makes me cry.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


School starts for Sarah tomorrow. She will be in the 7th grade. Bay starts at her new job. I really hope the day goes well for both girls. They deserve a good day.

I keep thinking about Max's class and how I'm sure it will be tough for all the ladies who work in there. He went to the same school for 17 years. His teacher, Jill, brought us dinner last night and the school psychiatrist brought dinner tonight. I keep looking at the place where he naps and he's not there. I hear a noise that sounds like a Max-noise and I look up, but it's not him. I miss my son so much. I keep holding on to that feeling and I don't want to let go. There's some crazy part of my brain that still hopes I'll wake up and the whole thing will have just been a nightmare.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


My boy, Max died yesterday. I need to take a break. I am feeling pretty lost right now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Bay!

Happy 18th birthday to my beautiful daughter, Bailey!!!

It was a busy day for Bay; driver's test (passed with perfect score), a job interview, visits from her friends, and a dinner date with her handsome beau.  Get used to it, baby. Busy is what being an adult is all about. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take That, Funk!

I'm at day number whatever of my funk. Grr. I want to kick it out of the way...... take that, you dumb funk!

I went downtown to watch Mom dance with her Hula group. Lots of fun. She's a wonderful dancer. She's the one in the red skirt.

The young girl below was so good. There is no way that I could move my hips like she does, but I sure wish I could. The crowd loved her.

Tomorrow I will feel HAPPY. Or I will fake it until I actually do feel that way.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Hello. I deleted a few entries from my blog. I don't think I've ever pulled whole entries before. I've been focusing on trying to make things happen. I need to focus more on what IS happening, the parts of my life that are moving along in the right direction. No more sitting around wishing. I get caught up in that so easily. I need to relax. And not grab at things so quickly.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Couple of Words

Not a whole lot to say. It's late. I'm trying to get back into a post-everyday-habit, though, so here's my 365 picture.
And just one more......

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sure Better Than Monday

Wow, what a day.

Last night I updated at Facebook with something along the lines of this weekend was great, but Monday sucked and I have high hopes for Tuesday. Something like that.....

Anyway, I woke up this morning to a comment that needed to be moderated from Isaiah Mustafa, who is the star of the current (very funny) Old Spice commercials. He made me a personalized video, which I posted earlier today. What a thrill. I love working with that company and their body wash smells darn good, too.

I took a few pictures of my garden and had them printed out to be used in what is now a full art show. Oh well, maybe next time, but here's the thing, I am going to fix them for my mom and I to use in our kitchens. I think they'll look pretty good. I can't wait to show them to her tomorrow.

Here's my 365 photo for today. Now I'm off to hang out with my kids. Night all!

He's Swell & I'm Thrilled

I wrote about Isaiah Mustafa, the Old Spice Man On A Horse, Man Your Man Could Smell Like Man, at Girl Looks Swell and he made me a thank you video.  He also tweeted about me. I'm darn giddy about the whole thing! 

Just in case the video doesn't work, you can see it here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Sucks Sometimes

I woke up feeling all excited about the bliss, but then real life hit and I got off track. Some days suck. Really suck. Today was one of them.

I basically hid out in my room, getting my work done, writing, sending out a request for new products to review, which helped a lot. I took a few pictures of a new body spray that arrived - they sent it with little shells, the box had all these stickers saying it was from France all over it. I used the shells in a few shots and at least ended up with one photo for my 365 project. Not a great photo, but at least I'm getting back on track.

Now it's the end of the day, I have my run in, I'm watching The Bachelorette long distance with my sister and I made it through one more day. Tomorrow will be better.  I can't get where I'm going all in one day.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Follow Your Bliss

I just had an epiphany of sorts. You know that saying, "Follow your bliss"? Well, I was reading an interview over at Shutter and the following quote from Joseph Campbell was mentioned:

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are -- if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.

I looked up Joseph Campbell, to find the whole quote and that's when I found the Joseph Campbell Foundation. Joseph Campbell sounds fascinating. Bill Moyers did a series of interviews with him and here's a short excerpt:

BILL MOYERS: Do you ever have the sense of... being helped by hidden hands?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time - namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.


Holy cow!! The most blissful moments of my life have to do with my camera. I have felt so much fear and doubt in terms of what my limitations are - a general lack of talent and definitely knowledge (I know basically nothing), but I get so much joy from working with the camera and tinkering with the photos. I need to embrace the fear, just jump on in and get messy with it. This is my bliss. And heck yeah, I'm going to follow it.

I Visited My Friend

I finally got a chance to go visit my friend. The trip was quick, although the driving seemed to take forever. I came home with a big ol' hairy crush, way worse than before I left. Oh well. I can handle it. A crush isn't a bad thing. He is a very nice man. And I know that "nice" usually is a lame compliment, but in this case I think it's huge. I know some very not-nice men. This guy, he's special.

My friend lives along this beautiful river. We took a walk and there's a long trail alongside with benches and a rope swing that I would really like to try out some day.