Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welcome 2014!

2013 was a rough year. I struggled with depression for pretty much the entire year. There were many times when I thought it would never get better and I would spend my life in a fog of sadness, guilt, and melancholy.

Sometime in December, I finally felt the fog lift. I am hesitant to believe it will last, but I'm grateful for the weight that is off my chest, allowing me to enjoy life.

I am hopeful that 2014 will be better. I know there will be struggles. Between Dad's two types of cancer and Mom's Alzheimer's diagnosis, I'm going to be busy taking care of them. While I'm caring for them, I'm going to try to remember to be grateful for the opportunity to have them close.

It was hard for me to take care of myself this year. Hell, it was hard for me to take a shower sometimes. I want to do a better job of that in 2014. My body needs better nutrition, much more activity, and attempts at serenity. In order to reach that goal, I'm going to try yoga. I don't know if I'll stick with it (I won't feel bad about it if I don't) but I'm at least going to give it a try.

I haven't met my reading goals for the last two years. It's been hard for me to sit and enjoy a book. I'm going to try to get back on track in the new year. I love to read and can't wait to have that piece of happiness back. I have stacks of books just waiting for me to open them up and get lost in them.

Of course, there are the kitties. Not just mine, but the ones at Wayside Waifs. I hope to give them all the love they need.

I wish for all of my friends and family a happy, healthy, and enjoyable new year.

Monday, December 2, 2013

My Christmas Wish

I've always loved Christmas. All the sparkle and lights make me giddy. I've been looking forward to having our first Christmas in our new home since we first found it. I was planning on where to put our tree before the other owner's furniture was even gone.

Now that's it's here, I'm not as joyful as I had hoped. I'm trying, though. I'm grasping at every little bit of holiday cheer that I can.

I have a lot to look forward to in the next month. First, a friend is coming to visit for a long weekend. The next weekend, my nephew and his family will be here to celebrate Christmas. Then, on Christmas Eve, my niece and her family are coming and will spend the night with us.

My wish for the season is that I'm able to be in the moment for all of these events. They will be so full of fun and love; I don't want to miss out on that. I feel like I'm missing out on so much by spending so much time and effort fighting depression. I miss life.

That's all I want for Christmas.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Time to Take a New Step

I've been thinking about this for a while, but I'm finally going to do it. Tomorrow I'm going to call my doctor and ask her to recommend a therapist.

Things are incredibly stressful at home. My Mom isn't doing well at all. Her memory is getting worse and of course, she doesn't realize it. When I point something out that we've talked about, she insists that we haven't and gets mad at me. We all walk on eggshells around her but she's in a foul mood almost all of the time. I'm going to call her doctor as well and see if we can get her scheduled sooner to go in for testing.

Because of all of the tension, hubby and I are not getting along. Sometimes it's an all-out argument, but usually it's snapping at each other or cold treatment. Our littlest kitty, Lowenstein, hasn't been well lately. We're sure it's due to the tension. He's a very sensitive boy and he's bound to pick up on all the negativity.

I feel like I need a new way to cope with all of this. I hope seeing a therapist can help. I'm sure it will help me deal with my depression and any amount of relief will be welcome.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Difficulty That Is Life

On one level, I've been feeling much better lately. I don't feel depressed as often and my anxiety is completely under control.

Then there is the other level. Life is hard right now. I want so badly to go off by myself and cry.

Mom's memory is getting worse. I have to explain Dad's health issues to her over and over again. I have to remind her to not feed the cats at night. She forgets something that I've told her not more that 10 minutes before. It breaks my heart to have to go through this with her.

I don't even know where to start when it comes to Dad's health. We don't have the full picture yet, but the things they're checking on scare me. He's my daddy and I don't want him to be sick.

We're still struggling financially even though Lee is back to work. I know we have more than many people do, but I hate worrying about the bills all the time.

None of this is out of the ordinary and there are certainly other people out there dealing with the same stuff-or worse! Still, I can't help but wish I could have a break. Just a breather, some time without someone needing something from me.

Until that time comes, I'll just have to keep going.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dad Update

Dad recently had an appointment with his cardiologist. During this visit, they did a chest x-ray. The radiologist spotted something that caught his attention and made him want to look further. So they followed up with a CT scan. The scan showed something on his left lung. Dad already had an appointment set up with his oncologist today, so the cardiologist sent the reports and told Dad to discuss them at this visit.

Today I went with Mom & Dad to his appointment. The doctor showed us the CT scans and pointed out the spot on Dad's lung that is concerning. He said it is probably a tumor, but more testing was necessary to be sure. First, they will do a PET scan. They will follow that with a biopsy. These tests will probably take place in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

If it is in fact cancer, they will have to look at some other factors in deciding how to treat it. Dad also has a MUGA scan tomorrow to determine if his heart is pumping blood properly. If it isn't, surgery for the lung tumor will not be an option. They would have to use radiation and chemotherapy.

Right now, things look pretty positive. The good news from today is that Dad's Multiple Myeloma is in remission still. The doctor would like to put Dad on a small daily dose of Revlimid to help keep it in remission, but we have to deal with the heart and lung issues first. If Dad ends up having chemo for lung cancer, the doctor says that will serve a dual purpose. Not only will it treat the tumor, but will help keep the blood cancer in remission as well.

Please keep all the good thoughts coming! I'll continue to update as we know more.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

One Year Without My Baby

It's hard to believe that a year ago today, I had to give the go ahead to have Sebastian euthanized. It had been a roller coaster week; first thinking we had a diagnosis, then we didn't; every day a new test with inconclusive results; thinking he was getting better, then being told he would have to stay in the hospital "another day".

 When we finally took him home on Friday, I hoped that familiar surroundings would make him more comfortable and that he would start to eat. Unfortunately, he didn't. I syringe fed him and every time I hated myself for it. He obviously didn't want it, but I wanted him to rally, to fight. His little body just couldn't.

As I sat in the bathroom with him, watching his labored breathing, I knew neither he nor I could go on like that. I didn't want to give up, but I couldn't let him linger any longer.

I know that the decision I made to help him to the Rainbow Bridge was the right one. It still feels completely unfair to me, though.

We only had two years together. He was only nine years old. He didn't get to move into the house I promised him and we eventually bought. I didn't get to have him there to cuddle with on the hard days. Funny, the times I needed him the most to comfort me were the days that were a struggle because I missed him so much.

I know as pet owners, this is what we have to go through. This loss has been so much harder on me though. I've told people that as hard as the fire was, I'd rather go through that 10 times than have to lose my Sebastian.

My heart still feels ripped apart. The emptiness is sometimes a dull ache, sometimes a quick sting, and other times an acute pain that seems to be unending.

I've had friends who have recently lost beloved pets. I pray for them that they don't grieve the way I have, that they find comfort quicker than I have.

Although the emotions are still raw, I'm ever so grateful to have had such an amazing soul in my life. I was blessed with a muse, a friend, and a daily comfort. As much as it hurts, I wouldn't go back and not have that precious boy in my life to avoid the pain.

We'll meet again someday. It will feel like forever to me, but for him it will happen in the blink of an eye. Then we'll spend eternity together.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Hard Days Ahead

Last night it hit me that the one year anniversary of Sebastian's passing is coming up in a couple of weeks-June 16 to be exact. Needless to say, when I realized how close it was, I lost it. Sadness & despair washed over me and I started crying, hard.

I so wish I could stop time. I don't want it to be that long ago that Seb was with me; sitting on my lap, cuddling with me in bed, meowing at me to pick him up and hold him. I feel like the more time that passes, the less real he becomes. I would give anything to have him back. I want to hear his purr again and be able to give him kisses-right on the lips the way he liked them.

I know the next two weeks are going to be very difficult for me. The anticipation of the date will be gut-wrenching. My doctor reminded me during our last visit that if I felt I was going through a difficult time, I could increase my dose of Lexapro so I'm going to start taking an extra half tablet today. I'm going to try to remember to take care of myself and do things that I enjoy.

Sebastian would want me to keep helping homeless pets, so I'm going to make a point of volunteering in his memory. I know that no matter how deep my grief is, I can't bring him back. But I can use my love for him to do good in the world.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Broken Hearted for Boston

Everyone knows what happened in Boston on Patriots' Day near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. No need to rehash the disturbing details. Most people who know me also know what Boston means to me. I love the city and think of it as my second home. I have made wonderful friends there to go along with all of the wonderful memories.

I've been visiting Boston for many years now. I'm so comfortable there, I can give directions to tourists and recommend places to visit to others. My husband and I got engaged there, then two years later we were married there. It holds a very special place in my heart.

When I heard the news, I knew that I would have friends at the marathon. My first thought was of my friend Paul (@paulrharvey3). Out of all of my friends there, I figured he was most likely to be there. Luckily, I saw him tweeting right away that he was okay. He had been at the race, but left before the explosion happened.

I began going through my "Boston" list on Twitter to see which of my friends had been tweeting that they were unharmed. I was happy to see friends like Michelle (@grrlysquirrel75) and Bonnie (@lilyluwhot) tweeting that they were okay, too. I started to get sick to my stomach though. I didn't see tweets from my dear friend Pecan (@lilpecan) so I texted her. It took a little while, but she responded with news that she had been at the race, but was fine.

I continued to check on friends the rest of the day. I can't describe my relief to know everyone I care about in Boston was safe. I don't know what I would do without any of these people in my life.

This morning when I woke up, I remembered yesterday's events. My stomach was no longer sick, but my heart was. So many of my dear friends are living through these events, up close and personal. I can't be there for them, but I can send positive thoughts and much, much love.

Kansas may be many miles away, but Boston and all of its people are in my heart. We will carry on.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Use Google Reader?

Since Google Reader is going away soon you can start using Bloglovin to keep up with all the blogs you follow.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday, March 22, 2013

Going Home

I first began blogging at Posterous. Since they are shutting down in April, I decided to move the few posts I had on that site to this blog. This was originally posted August 31, 2011.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sebastian Is So Helpful!

I first began blogging at Posterous. Since they are shutting down in April, I decided to move the few posts I had on that site to this blog. This was originally posted August 12, 2010.

Hey Mom, let me hold down this corner for you while you make the bed! I'm a good boy, don't ya think?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bad Ass Rosie

I first began blogging at Posterous. Since they are shutting down in April, I decided to move the few posts I had on that site to this blog. This was originally posted December 19, 2009.

Things sure have changed since I left Rosie with my parents. Who said he could have a weapon?

Monday, March 11, 2013

I'm Harboring an Illegal Pet

I first began blogging at Posterous. Since they are shutting down in April, I decided to move the few posts I had on that site to this blog. This was originally posted November 9, 2009.
I got a letter on my front door today from the apartment complex where I live. I was being accused of harboring an illegal pet, a dog! The letter said that the management/maintenance staff witnessed an unauthorized pet in my apartment.
Well, at first I was angry. How could they make such an accusation? I have two pets, neither of which is required to have the non-refundable pet deposit of $300 and monthly pet rent of $20. They are a guinea pig and a fish. Certainly neither of which could be mistaken for a dog. Then I looked at the sliding glass door to my balcony. There sat Bob Farley. He's a rather large stuffed dog that I bought to take with me when I had my stand at the Farmer's Market selling dog treats. I had to laugh a bit. My thought is that I had the blinds open on the window and a member of the staff saw him. I'm on the second floor, so they probably didn't have a very good look at him, let alone be able to tell that he wasn't breathing!
I intend on going to the leasing office tomorrow morning and bringing Bob Farley with me. I'll introduce him to the staff and let them see that he does not fall under the pet deposit/rent requirements of my lease. I'm sure that I will then have a nice laugh about the entire situation.
Another positive thought is this: If the staff of the apartment complex was fooled into thinking that this large stuffed toy was real, I can only hope that any potential burglar will think the same. Crime prevention through environmental design!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Wild Friends

I first began blogging at Posterous. Since they are shutting down in April, I decided to move the few posts I had on that site to this blog. This was originally posted October 10, 2009.

I went to Shawnee Mission Park today thinking I would take some pictures of the fall colors. Plans changed quickly though when I pulled in and immediately saw six deer grazing. The trees could have been blue with pink polka dots for all I cared! I changed my goal to seeing how many deer I could spot.
Shawnee Mission Park is situated in both Shawnee and Lenexa, Kansas. It is 1250 acres, or just under two square miles. There is an overpopulation of deer in the park. Estimates are about 200 deer per square mile. According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Shawnee Mission Park has the highest concentration of deer in the state of Kansas, possibly even the country. Unfortunately, this has led to problems with the biodiversity of the park. There's also a fear of the ticks associated with deer and the diseases they carry. Soon, the deer will start to become sick because of the overpopulation.

To address this problem, the Park and Recreation Commissioners have held many discussions and received advice from several experts. They came to the conclusion that the safest, most cost efficient and most humane way to deal with the problem was to cull the herd. To do so, they will bring in police sharpshooters after park hours to begin the thinning of the herd. They hope to get the deer down to around 50 per square mile. This will occur any day now, although officials will not say exactly when, for safety reasons. It has not been fully decided what will be done with the deer that are killed, but there is a lot of talk about donating the meat to families in need.

This has caused much discussion and even protest in the community. Some say the plan is cruel. As much as I hate to see an animal killed, I hate even more to have an animal get sick and suffer. I don't like to think about animals being killed for sport, but this is different. There is a real need for the deer overpopulation problem to be dealt with, not just for the sake of the deer, but for the entire ecosystem of the park and surrounding area.

I, of course, don't have to shoot the deer myself. I know I wouldn't be able to do it (not to mention, my firearms skills are not good enough). I can just read about it in the paper or watch a story on the news. My brain can override my emotions about the deer and I can tell myself that this is the best thing for the park and all that dwell there. I just wonder, though, how many of the 31 deer that I spotted today will survive the hunt. The deer are not fearful of humans. Will they run away from the hunters? I was able to get very close to them and although they might stop grazing to look up at me, they did not run away. I tell myself that this in itself is another problem. The deer aren't wild enough any more. But, for today, I enjoyed the fact that I was able to watch them so closely. Who knows how easy it will be to spot them in the future.


Monday, March 4, 2013

This Birthday Gift is...

I first began blogging at Posterous. Since they are shutting down in April, I decided to move the few posts I had on that site to this blog. This was originally posted September 28, 2009.

My friends Troy and Carmen sent this box of goodies to me for my birthday. It was so cool to unwrap each gift and giggle before moving on to the next one. I think my favorite is the shot glass that says "I'm perfect. You change." I howled with laughter when I saw that! I'm glad my friends love me even if I'm a perfectionist. Of course, the LolCats book will keep me laughing for days. Those kitties crack me up!

Thanks to my friends for making me feel special! Love you guys! Muwah!

Friday, March 1, 2013


 I first began blogging at Posterous. Since they are shutting down in April, I decided to move the few posts I had on that site to this blog. This was originally posted September 1, 2009.

I had the most horrific nightmare last night. All day, the images have invaded my mind. I can't forget it. I hope it doesn't mean anything and I certainly hope it doesn't come true. I can't bear the thought of going to bed tonight and having it again. Maybe I'll sleep on the sofa with the T.V. on all night. I just want the images to stop.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beer Margarita

I first began blogging at Posterous. Since they are shutting down in April, I decided to move the few posts I had on that site to this blog. This was originally posted August 24, 2009.


1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

1/4 cup coarse salt

2-12 ounce bottles of beer (I use Michelob Ultra Lime & Cactus)

1/2 cup frozen concentrate limeade, thawed

1/2 cup chilled tequila

ice cubes


Rub lime wedges around rims of 4 glasses. Dip rims into salt to coat lightly. In a medium pitcher, combine beer, limeade and tequila. Fill prepared glasses with ice, then with margarita mixture. Garnish with remaining lime wedges. Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Perfectionism, Be Gone!

I first began blogging at Posterous. Since they are shutting down in April, I decided to move the few posts I had on that site to this blog. This was originally posted August 22, 2009.

I always thought being a perfectionist was a good thing. Until recently. I realized that I was creating impossible goals for myself and others. I've had this book for a while, but hadn't been ready to read it. A couple of weeks ago, I picked it up. I was amazed! How did they get inside my head? I finished it this past week and had a chance to put the tips in it to use yesterday. I said something to a friend that I thought was true about myself, then I thought, "Wait a minute, that's way off!" I then rephrased what I had said in a more realistic manner. I was so proud of myself! I took these tools and put them to positive use. It felt wonderful. I'm not one to read self-help books, but I learned something useful with this one and I'm glad I gave it a chance.