Thursday, January 19, 2023

Happy things for January 2023

 I don't know why its been so long since I've written one of these, but here's the first one for the New Year.  Even in sad times, there are good things in my life.  Though I'm not an overly religious person, I do have a sure and steady faith that I am mindful of during my days and I express my thanks to God.  Mostly for:
*My home, which has everything I need to feel comfortable and safe.  Its pretty and smells clean, is warm, and comforting after a long day.  Yes, its big for one person.  But also yes that rent at a smaller place would be about the same as my house note.
*My health, which seems to be on an even keel.  My knee does not hurt, I haven't had a bout of bladder pain in a few weeks, I don't cry as often as I used to, I am cutting back on alcohol, and I am eating well - even while staying within a tiny budget.
*My car, which Subaru has agreed to pay half of the pricey auto repair recommended to me back in November.  Once that gets done, I will have the brakes and a couple of other services done.  I am working on the most important/expensive things first, making my way down the list.  This car is paid for and I plan on driving it a long time.

Those are the most important things to be happy about right now, though there are small ones that occur to me from time to time.  I like the way my back patio functions now after removing things I did not want (the ugly BBQ storage shed thingie) and adding things I did (my anti-gravity lounge chair and some Mexican blankets).  My nails are growing and my hair is not falling out as much.  I have books to read and things to stitch.  I have friends I can vent to, joke with, bounce ideas off of.  And I have plans going forward in the spring.  Lots to looks forward to, even amongst the grief that seems to hang on and on...

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

a grief letter to an old friend

I met up with a friend for a beer last week.  As always, she was understanding and kind and gave me some good things to think about.  It occurred to me afterwards that I never wrote a grief letter to another friend of mine - we have struggled with staying connected through this.  In frustration, I blocked her on my phone and then remembered the idea of the letter to express what I felt.
{A grief letter is intended to let someone know how you feel, what you need, and what you wish they would understand as you travel thru grief} 

I sent it to her, via snail mail.

And as always, I second-guessed myself.  Did the letter seem too harsh and self-centered?  Did I consider the stress and helplessness my friend, living far away from me, might have felt?  I do feel as though I expressed many times to her what I needed, but she didn't understand, I guess.  It was so hard to redirect her, and ultimately it wasn't successful.  But I think it is important to be honest with her.  Only time will tell if the friendship survives.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Oops, I did it again

A photo I took the week after Christmas as I sat on my patio at home.  Looks bleak, doesn't it?
I actually didn't feel bleak when I took this photo, but in hindsight it looks ominous...

I managed to make a mess, both literally and figuratively.  First by not bleeding the pipes properly at Highlands, fixing that one that was cracked, then wrapping the whole thing back up with insulation before the latest freeze.  And second, by panicking when I discovered the geyser flooding the top of the hill, draining my well and working my pump to exhaustion, then calling Chloe immediately.
In my defense, it was very stressful.  And I just reacted.  And she always answers her phone and gives me good advice.
But it caused her to panic as well, ruined her day, and made her feel angry.
And for that, most of all, I am regretful.
Things for me to keep in mind:
*I wasn't the only one who lost someone
*my kids are adults, but they aren't my peers
*I can still be their Mom
*I can handle emergencies with a calm head on my own.
All I can can do is say that I'm sorry, and promise to never let that happen again, and leave her be.
No one ever tells you how hard it is to parent adults.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Trials and tribulations

I'm sitting here at my computer this morning, well past the time I would have normally been clocked  at work {worst day to call in as it also punishes my co-workers}, trying to regain some calm state of mind and figure out what to do.  If its true that troubles come in three's,  I must be the luckiest person I know.  Or maybe I'm just having the hardest year ever, although I have to tell you, 1980 was no walk in the park.  In the last few weeks/days I have had:
*issues with my house
*issues with my car
*issues with my job
*issues with my knee
*issues with my mental health
*financial issues
And by issues, I mean things that stop me in my tracks to the point that I cannot rationally think about what to do as a next step.  I am leaning too hard on my friends and my daughter, and I know it.  But I haven't had a block of time that I was not in some sort of fog to be able to find a clear path.  And I so badly want to move forward.


On top of all of it is the grief.  Always the grief.
I would forgo the tequila in the list above - I swear I'm not being greedy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


I ended up not completing the Grief Share class.  Got about halfway through and thought "this is not really how I want to spend my time off".  I feel like: 
*I couldn't make it apply to my life - I think I am nearing the end of the tunnel*
*It was waaaay too preachy and the content was not all that helpful
*It took a 2 hour chunk out of one of my days off where I could have been doing things for myself
*Some of the people seemed "stuck" in their grief and I really want to be around people who can show me how to move forward 

And another thing that was a red flag for me was that some of them stated that this was their 2nd or 3rd time to do the course..why wasn't it helpful enough the first time?
The facilitator was going to do a "Surviving the holidays" thing on the 20th, but I had plans with a friend for that day.  She was disappointed that I thought the class was not the right fit, but its not about how she feels about it that is important to me right now.  I have to make my own way; my tunnel has had many twists and turns.  I don't think there is one approach to this grief thing that works for everyone.  So I can keep trying things that people suggest, but I will drop them if they don't suit my situation.  And bit by bit, I'm still going forward.

*I could be wrong about this...

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Dream feelings #7

 Back story:  I've spent a fair amount of time lately stewing about this broken pipe at Highlands and have been given advice that I think is wrong,  by people who don't really want to be bothered thinking about it, so I'm just going to formulate a plan of my own to deal with it.  I came up with one in my mind yesterday and I know my dream has something to do with this issue.  It has to be done before anything else happens out there to get it ready to sell - with no water up at the top of the hill you cannot even mow.  Everything is too dry and all of the dry grass and piles of brush are a fire hazard.  

It can be fixed.  I will attempt to do it myself.

The dream:

Our entire family (the four kids were young enough that Dylan and Grayson were pre-school/toddler) were gathered on a beach, waiting to gain possession of something we had rented.  We were on vacation? It required some assembly - connecting tubing of some sort (made of pvc pipe) but it wasn't working.  The managers/owners (there were three) were saying something about a part being repaired, sorry, you can't use this today.  I lost my temper and told them they were stupid!  Meanwhile, Mark was leading the kids over to a spot further down the beach where he was asking about what part was being repaired so he could get a better understanding of the issue.  I thought to myself during the dream - yes, that's a better tactic.  We walked through some caves with low standing water.  It was a large cave with platforms.  At one point you had to go underwater.  Amazingly, we all did.  We had almost reached our destination when I realized the youngest child was not with us.  I'm not clear though on whether it was Grayson or Dylan.  I panicked a little and thought Oh, God I hope he isn't drowned already.  I made my way back towards the beach, feeling frightened of drowning myself now that I was traveling alone.  Instead of taking the route underwater, I took a slippery sloped roof access in the cave and jumped into shallow water feet first, then headed towards a ladder heading further down.  That's where the dream ended.

*Obvious reference to broken PVC pipe and water
*Me panicking, feeling angry and sad, and not thinking a problem through calmly right off the bat is sort of my thing lately.  Its like my mind has to process it s l o w l y.
*Mark leaving, the kids viewing him as their leader - I feel like I'm doing a poor job of keeping my shit together as family matriarch
*We took one vacation as a family - ONE - and it was to a beach
*Worry at the back of my mind about Grayson and Dylan, specifically
*Facing my fears and doing what needs to be done
*ladders - standing on them several times the past few months has done my janky knee no favors

Its been since 2019 that I have felt the need to write down a vivid dream, which is amazing to me as so much has happened in the interim, you'd think there would be no end to the amount of material my subconscious has to dream about!

Saturday, October 8, 2022


 It pains me to make mistakes that either harm myself or my home or both.  After all, I am trying to keep everything maintained, if not improve them, and I assume I am bright enough to figure most things out, or at least, figure out who to ask for help.  I mean, I *think* I have common sense enough to come in out of a pouring thunderstorm, as my mother would say....but just like the garden faucet issue, I find that this is not always the case.

Long story short:  I managed to both graze my arm across the top of the firepit grate while the logs were actively burning, searing a swath of skin on my forearm AND not remove the lid in time while the fire was at its hottest, causing the handle to catch fire and burn. (Side note - what genius designs a firepit with wooden handles??)  I have since ordered a new handle and my arm is healing, but these small things tend to throw me off track a bit.  Did Mark ever make a mistake like this?  Yes, he had scars from many things he did around the house.  But did he learn from it and move on?  Also yes.  
And so will I.