LilySlim Weight loss tickers

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sparkety Spark Spark Spark

In my quest to feel like "me" again, I have been reevaluating my home, my habits, and myself.  Walker left a mess when he moved out, which I literally closed the door on, thinking I would get to it when winter rolled around and forced me indoors.  That never happened.  So, first order of business is cleaning up the debris left when an eleven year relationship ends.

However, that is not fun work and, quite frankly, I have had trouble staying motivated to do it.  So I promised myself a reward and gave myself til fall to finish the task.  The reward?  A week at the beach.  I love the beach, always have.  I have not dipped a toe in the ocean since just after I finished cancer treatment in 2010.  It's time.

But my habits and my health have been pretty low on the priority list lately, so I needed to attend to that, too.  What good is a fabulous beach vacation if I am too tired and too run down to enjoy it?  With that in mind, I dusted off my old SparkPeople account and got to work tracking my daily intake of food and water, as well as my exercise and how much sleep I am getting.  I know the trend is FitBit inspired these days, but I am familiar with SparkPeople, I enjoy the camaraderie of the other members' support, and it is TOTALLY FREE!!  More money in the bank for the beach!!  My little yoga girl at the top of my blog has been updated.  Sadly, she moved backward from her old spot but hey, she knows the way to the finish line.  All I have to do is push her there.  Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Blossoms and Ice

It's not uncommon, in the Midwest, for this time of year to feel as if Mother Nature is possessed by some evil bipolar gremlin.  After spending a weekend outside in sunshine and 60 degree temps we often wake to a Monday morning snowfall of several inches.  This year, the worst of all demons has been at play:  ice.

My mother will be 80 this year, and spent most of 2016 recovering from knee replacements in both legs.  She has been cooped up more often than not by ice storm after ice storm.  The first one was sandwiched in between snow and rain, making the resulting ice field several inches thick, everywhere. There is just no good way to clear that.  Shovels simply don't work.  Salt works, if you use enough of it, but it takes time.  Days, in fact, when the ice is that thick.  And it is hard on animals and cars and concrete and lawns when the residue gets plowed up with the next snowfall.  So our town more or less shut down until an unexpected January thaw melted everything away.  Until it happened again.  And again. 

 You can't fuss about the weather when you live in the Midwest.  There just is no point.  But still, after all this mess, there is more than a little excitement to see the first green, followed very soon after by the first tiny splashes of color. They are early this year, but we are no less excited to see them.  Behold the reward for enduring another long, gray winter:

Monday, February 20, 2017

I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends

So how, exactly, does one climb out of a pit of grief?  Well, by leaning on those who love me, for one thing.  A few months after I lost my sweetheart, sick of feeling lost, I decided to reboot my brain. I thought the best way to do that was to go somewhere I had never been, with people I had never met, to do something I had never done. With that goal in mind, I flew to Pennsylvania to meet up with some online friends and participate in a mud run.  Yep.  Me.


While I throughly enjoyed my weekend out East, I knew it was just a first step.  Pretty much as soon as I got home I started thinking of another adventure.  And a few months later, I reconnected with two childhood best friends, girls I had not seen in thirty-two years.

It's a never ending battle, this grief stuff.  There was a time I thought it would never get better. But every day I find new reasons to smile, and every day I take time to think about the things in my life I am thankful for.  I don't know what the next chapters of my life will read, but I do know there is nowhere in the text that will say....she gave up......

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

And.....She's Back

Wow, almost three years......not intentional.  Shortly after that last post, a summer storm blew that nest out of the tree in my sister's front yard.  She found the nest and the babies and put them back in the tree, but the momma robin never returned.  I guess it's possible, the nest my sister found wasn't the same one.  Or maybe momma robin got hurt in that same storm.  Who knows.  Watching that nest and knowing the babies would die if momma didn't come back was pretty heartbreaking.  Shortly after that my life followed suit and blew apart, too.

Walker and I decided, after 11 years together, that we were better off going our separate ways.  Had we just done that and moved forward it might have been okay, but you know, life doesn't always fit together in a pretty package like that.  It took Walker eight months to find a new home.  Our "amicable split" became less so as the months dragged on.  Right around the time he found what would become his new home, I met a new man.  I can honestly say I have never "clicked" with anyone, ever, as immediately and completely as I did with this man.  Despite this, I told him straight up I couldn't date him until Walker had finished moving out.  So for the next two months, we got to know each other the new fashioned way, through text messaging.  And every so often, we would meet for ice cream.  It was the sweetest, slowest, not quite dating relationship I had ever had.  When Walker closed on his house and moved out, we were finally able to be a real couple.  And for four more months, things were just about perfect.  And then, on a cold, sunny Sunday morning, he died.

I have lost people I loved before, but I don't think I could have imagined anything quite and cruel and devastating as finally finding the person you believe you are meant to be with, only to lose them almost that fast.  I spent the next several weeks in a fog, barely sleeping, not eating, not even sure how I was able to function.  I know I scared my mom, and probably some of my other family and friends, too.  I lost so much weight my doctor ran a bunch of tests while I angrily insisted I was just fine, dammit.  The anger was the biggest surprise.  I never knew I was capable of so much anger.  I am lucky that in those dark days, I kept myself together enough to go to work, pay my bills, and keep myself out of any serious trouble.  To this day I'm not quite sure how I managed. 

And now, two years after that heartbreak......well, as the woman who should have been my mother in law always says, "My dear, we must accept what has been put on our plate and make the best of things."  A lot of grace from a woman who lost her only son, then her husband of over sixty years a few months later.  I am grateful for her presence in my life every day.  But still some days are harder than others.

Friday, May 9, 2014


My sister took this photo yesterday, after she saw Mama Robin shoot out for some food.  It's hard to tell from this photo, but there are at least two babies here.  There may be one more baby, or that egg that fell out of the nest may have been a dud and removed by Mama.  The last egg will likely hatch today, or not at all.  We're doing our best not to disturb Mama, so who knows when we'll find out.  I know when the babies get just a bit bigger, they'll all spend the days stretch up with hungry, open mouths, just like Big Brother here. Mama will spend a lot more time tracking down food for them, and we should be able to get a better look at the babies. Stay tuned......

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Another Sign of Spring

Look what I found in my sister's tree:

The best part is, from the front window of my sister's house, you get a great view of the nest.  It's through a screen, of course, so not great for photos but we'll be able to watch the babies grow.  We're hoping all the eggs hatch, but we had some severe weather last week and the nest was knocked sideways.  One of the eggs fell out, and my sister had to put it back in.  She knew it wasn't out for long, but.....guess we'll see in a couple more days.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welcome Spring

The first flash of color in my garden this year ~ 

Welcome, Spring!