Month: January 2016

  • Saturday Plans

    When I first realized my xanga, or at least part of it, had survived the great purge, I debated whether to start writing here or resume writing in the Notes section of Facebook, where I wrote at least each month after Dylan's death until the second year. I chose to come back here because the halls here feel pretty empty right now. I feel comfortable allowing my mind to flit and flutter and to just babble and ramble about whatever spews forth. I didn't feel like writing for readers. Wonder if that makes sense.

    Today's Coffee Time is being spent with Freddie on my lap. He's going for a grooming tomorrow. He'll come back half his size.

    I'm thinking about driving up to Lincolnshire today. It looks like a cloudy, gloomy day and there are a few movies I'd like to see before the Oscars. Movie watching hasn't been a big part of my life and pretty much not at all the last few years, but I watched a couple on demand recently and was surprised that I was able to sit still and pay attention. So I'm going to run with it and see a few more. One that I've really wanted to see, 45 Years, is only showing in limited theaters, hence a trek up to Lincolnshire. While up there I can also stop at the Lovin' Oven, Kuhn's, Kevin's, and do a drive-by of our old house. Sounds like a plan and a full day.


  • Almost A Weekend

    Two political things have been taking up some of my time. I find I can help as long as I don't need to leave the house to mingle with hordes of people too often. At home is when the anxiety is most often closest to under control.

    I'm helping with Bernie Sanders' campaign. (I thought about having this be a politics free zone, but that would be silly -it's my blog!) It's the first time I've ever done anything like this. I couldn't join the army of volunteer door knockers who went out to Iowa, but I can easily make phone calls and participate locally.

    The second issue is very local. The majority of the residents of our quaint and historic little town are fighting the mayor, city council and planning commission over a proposed 220 unit, 5 story apartment building. With high rents, the builders will be marketing it to mostly millenials making over 70K. (The builder claims 220 units is the least they can do and still make money. They have already purchased the property and razed the building that was there.) I see several problems with this, and judging by the signs in their yards, and the attendance at meetings, I'm not alone. I do wish William were here to add his professional opinion. I know he would be unimpressed with the buildings themselves, not quite hideous, but nothing special, interesting, unique. Those same buildings can be found anywhere. Then there is the size, dwarfing everything else in town, traffic and parking considerations. And where do they think these new residents are going to come from? This isn't The Field Of Dreams. 220 families with the correct finances aren't just going to decide to move to the far western 'burbs because they built it.  I'm not against growth and expansion. If they were three stories instead of five I would live with it. But as it is, I need to join my neighbors in protest. Also new for me, but what the heck, I'm retired, I certainly have time to add my voice and tap out a few letters.

    image image


    Speaking of if you build it they will come...I'm alone now, not really cooking much, certainly not full meals, and absolutely not every night. But last night I did. I made 2 salads, two veggie dishes, a rice dish and chicken. For four people. At six o'clock. At six-fifteen I texted them to find out their approximate ETA's so I didn't ruin dinner. I cooked it, but they didn't come. Apologies were texted back almost immediately. They'd all forgotten and now had other plans. One was working late, another had plans with her sister, another a massage appointment. I must say, I took it in stride. Perhaps I should have called to remind them during the week? Anyway, lesson learned, dinner divided up for fridge and freezer, kitchen cleaned. (All of them? Really?)


    Emotionally today was another good day. I did some grocery shopping, then stopped at Barnes & Noble where I haven't been for a very long time. It's changed in that time, going with the flow to stay in business, I guess. I could easily have spent more time, but it was very hot in there, and me in my winter coat. It worked out well. I escaped with what I'd gone for plus only 3 additional things. Score!

  • I Love You Nots

    Not counting sons, I can count on one hand the people I've truly loved. If I really give it some thought I might even have a finger left over. Is that unusual? Thankfully we have the Internet where people say I love you to everyone. People they've hardly met. It's always made me a bit uncomfortable. Perhaps I don't know the true meaning of the word. Maybe I should check it out on the Urban Dictionary.


    This is is actually about loss. The word love aside, I would at least acknowledge friendships. I certainly like the friends I've made online over the years and am quite close to some of them. Maybe there are just many more kinds of love, variations. Others are probably just more comfortable saying I love you to many people in their lives. Loved ones. I can actually, if so inclined, pinpoint my issue, and place the blame on my childhood.

    Anyway. Jeez, I can ramble. I am in my third cycle of friend loss, which is at least partly why I've gone back to blogging and therapy. The first time was after my eldest son's accident. The one that caused his paralysis. After awhile I noted that that one was actually a good thing because those who stayed were close friends who became even closer over the years.


    The second time was actually huge, and quite painful. It occurred after my youngest son's death. After awhile people just disappeared from my life. Even those who used the I love you phrase. In fairness, I was unable to nurture the relationships, apparently that's a really important part of friendships, regardless of your situation.

    Most recently of course, my husband's death. This time I withdrew almost completely. I left my Girl Group, I withdrew into myself, choosing to read books or binge watch Netflix, rarely leaving the house. No one noticed. Everyone has their own problems, they're too busy to babysit me. I'm a high maintenance friend.


    So I'm blogging, talking to myself, in therapy, keeping a gratitude journal again, allowing my shrink to make med changes, trying to keep the grieving off my Facebook as much as possible, not willing to alienate the friends who have hung in there with me since 1996.

  • Morning Musings

    It's pretty difficult for me to stay on task. Whether I'm writing or working on a project or just doing chores, my ADDled brain is very easily distracted. Blogging, for me, is more often than not just tapping out a stream of consciousness. I only returned to writing here a couple of weeks ago, but I am noticing some positive effects, and it hasn't been difficult to keep at it, so I'll stay engaged.


    This morning during "Coffee Time" my mind wandered to Dylan, which it does often. Today I smiled as I realized the difference time and attitude make in memories. For example, there was a time when I might have thought, "he lived 20 years without ever experiencing _______." Now I can think, "ha! He managed to live 20 years without ever eating a salad. WTG, Dylan!" 




    It is incredibly easy to almost immediately after the death of a loved one to forget every bad, negative, annoying thing about them. Speaking for myself of course. With this comes a fair amount of guilt. I'm talking about my husband now. I'm feeling guilty for being annoyed, sometimes downright pissed off, about silly, stupid little things.  As a nurse, I believe I took excellent care of him, right up until the end. As a wife, I could -should- have been much better. Was he really always so supportive and loving towards me? I don't know, I can't remember. (How do you insert emojis?!) He certainly saw me through an awful lot of stuff. But it worked both ways so I'm thinking it's okay to ditch the guilt. As with raising my kids, I did the best I could.


  • Six More Days


    Six days before William died we were sitting in the kitchen having coffee together. I looked over at him and saw the morning sun glowing around him. He looked so sad and tired, ill and old. I remember thinking it would be soon, that he wouldn't make it 'til Christmas. He had no idea it would be so soon. I snapped a picture and noticed the rays around his head.


    I asked him to smile. I see the sadness in his eyes.
    He died six days later.

  • Two Months of Widowhood

    When I'm not cleaning, reading or binge watching something, I'm still not getting anything accomplished. Wm had 3 rooms he laid claim to. His office was dismantled while he was still here. His "hobby room" is really just a tiny attic space packed full of boxes. I'm inclined to just start a Bagster and pitch everything, but my conscience won't let me. Minimally, I need to go through each box and make a decision: pitch, donate, sell, or save. I have a feeling the Bagster will still end up full.

    There's at least an entire box full of model cars.

    There's an entire box full of his framed licenses and certificates. They used to take up a whole wall of his office. He always said he looked good on paper. I have actually spent a lot of time contemplating them. One works so hard to earn diplomas, etc, then once you're gone....someone throws them away? It seems wrong to do that, but what else would I do with them?

    There are at least several boxes of cords that even he didn't know what they belonged to, always sure once he threw one out he'd find a need for it. Which of course never happened. He'd buy a new one which is why there are boxes full.

    There are at least 2 desk top and 6 laptop computers!

    There are boxes and boxes of paperwork. Taxes of course, but what else does anyone save for years and move from house to house?

    There are boxes of electronics.

    There are boxes of medical equipment.

    There are endless boxes of miscellaneous stuff.

    All in that one tiny room, where he kept putting it because it made me crazy to have it anywhere else.


    Originally he was going to paint in that room. Architects are usually also artists. We have a few of his paintings left. I will keep a couple, one son has a few that he chose, the rest will be given to his nieces.


    Then there's his bedroom to finish.  Almost immediately after he died I started cleaning out his room. Maybe even too soon, but the hospital bed was being picked up, so I just worked on the rest of the medical stuff and moved on from there. I remember doing the same thing when Dylan died, going through his things too soon  like having order in that room will somehow ease the pain, the loss. How silly. It's not even that I know better this time, after all, it's 2 months today, but every time I go in there to finish working, I sort of walk around in circles then walk back out and close the door.

    Maybe tomorrow....?

  • Sunday Means Football

    Football, one of my many weaknesses. I'm not sure it's a politically appropriate game anymore, what with all the concussions and TBIs. But I do love the game. Today will be the last game before the Super Bowl. Of course my team -Da Bears- don't often make the post season. Regardless, I'll be watching and rooting against NE. I'm sure they'll win, but a girl can wissh.

    Happy Sunday!


    Wow, happy Sunday indeed. The Broncos are going to Super Bowl 50!

  • Good Morning

    ...and happy weekend. The news today is all about the blizzard on the east coast. Here in Chicagoland we barely got a dusting. We've had quite a snow deprived winter thus far this season. In younger days that would make me sad. Nowadays, not so much. I'm sure I would really miss winter if the move turns out to be somewhere south or to the dessert.


    I think that FL has almost been ruled out as a destination. AZ still seems to be on the table but I'm not sure that will come to fruition either. Newly in consideration is CO. If I had my druthers? I'd go back to the east coast. It still feels like Home. At some point I think I need to make a list, pros and cons, of the places in the running.

    My main consideration, whether it should be or not, is proximity to a son. It doesn't look like it will ever be both sons as they are not now, nor look to be in the foreseeable future, in the same states. I haven't really considered the option of living my own life away from them both, but perhaps I should consider that too.

    The other major consideration, of course, is finances. There are several states much more retirement friendly than others, and if I am planning on living past next Thursday, I really need to financially plan better, especially now that William is gone.

    I have done the math and figured out that I can continue to live here at least another year, which is great, not only because I love my house and little town, but because it gives me time to do the research and make all those decisions in a reasonably informed manner. First up, a list of states that do not tax social security nor retirement funds.

    At least then I'll have narrowed choices from 50 to 10. Progress!



    Addendum: Did some homework. It looks like these are my choices.




  • Anxiety, Thy Name Is...

    My first xanga entry was in November 2004. For whatever reason it only goes back to 2011 now. I didn't blog much during that time. In the beginning I wrote pretty much everyday. Sometimes more than once. What in the world did I have to talk about? Actually, I do know. I blogged on vacations, posted those photos, blogged about my kids, the good, the bad, and the ugliness of mothering 3 sons, including the last teenager.

    Now I think I'll blog looking to regain control of my sanity. I have an anxiety disorder, and of late it seems to be out of control.


    That's as far as I got a few days ago. Since then I've been sick, feeling much better now, and I had an entire wasted day of anxiety, complete with a panic attack the day before yesterday. For those who have never had one, the symptoms of a panic attack very much mimic what we're taught are the symptoms of a heart attack. The first time I ever had one I went to the ER. Since then, I try to talk myself down, deep breathing, going out into the cold, walking briskly. My fear is that someday I'll ignore a real heart attack while trying to deep breathe away my panic attack. Oy.

    Yesterday was a good day. So far, so good today also.

  • Hot Tea and Honey

    It was a quiet, cold day here in the Midwest. We're still having below zero wind chills but not much snow yet this winter. I spent the day mostly reading and hydrating with lemon ginger tea, extra lemon and some honey. It would be really great if I can nip this in the bud in record time, meaning before my asthma kicks in.

    I did get one thing accomplished, so it wasn't a completely wasted day -I gave Freddie a bath and mini trim and clipping. Each time I do it alone it gets a bit easier.


    Freddie and Floyd


    Cupcake and Freddie