Monday, December 28, 2009

Taking a look at the past 12 months

The holidays seem to be notorious for putting people in a pensive frame of mind. And I'm no different. In the last few days, amidst the chaos that is the holidays, I have again been taking stock of my life.

15 months ago, the man I was married to, my best friend, died. So many of you have been there for me during this journey. I am still working to find peace. There are days that I feel that things will be fine and that the world is finally slowing down enough to let me back on. Then, night falls, and I find myself alone and aching. Grief is not for the weak.

Last night, after the gifts were put away and my daughter was in bed, I found myself crying. The second Christmas without him. Sure, I've moved forward, and things are improving, but there are some things that are not the same. Some things can't be fixed. A part of me will live forever with him. And those memories come back to me at night.

So, what has changed for me over the past year while I have taken a break from this blog?

I've taken a different job. I am no longer working as a Technical Writer. The job and the company I was working for created too much stress. My health and my personal relationships were suffering. I now work as a manager at a local lingerie shop. I love what I do and I am much happier than I ever was at my last job.

My daughter and I are beginning to adjust to living on our own. Right now we are dealing with some abandonment and separation anxiety issues for the munchkin. Even when I leave her with my parents she often worries about whether or not I will be coming back. She turns 4 in February and is beginning to grasp that other people have Daddies and that hers is not around. She still isn't sure why he isn't. She knows that "Daddy's in heaven with Jesus" but I believe she is only repeating what I have taught her. I don't think she grasps the concept of Daddy being in heaven. If I'm honest, I'm not sure I grasp it. :)

I've begun dating again. On June 21st (Father's Day) I met a wonderful man (Hereafter referred to as "the boyfriend".) who has been a friend of the family for years. I was able to contact him through Facebook and ask him if he'd like to get together. Six months later, I still get excited every time I know that I'm going to see him. He treats myself and my daughter like a queen and a princess respectively. He's kind, honest, patient, caring, attentive, generous, intelligent, and gentle. He's everything I could ask for. It's amazing to me, but he seems to understand the position I am in. I'm fighting every day to find my way and I believe he enjoys watching me grow. I get phone calls and "check ins" for no reason. He manages to find that fine balance of taking care of me when I need it and letting me have my own time and space. He has a daughter of his own and the four of us enjoy spending time together. The munchkin adores him and he adores her. I often tease him that I'm not sure if he's dating me or my daughter.

My financial situation is much different that I've been used to in the past. I am by no means destitute, but paying the bills is often an exercise in patience and prayer. I am in the process of paying off medical bills. This month was big for me. I paid off the first of the balances. Now, that money will be rolled into another payment. I am excited to begin to see things snowball. Never before in my life have I been the one in charge of the finances. Up to this point, there had always been someone else who dealt with it. Now, I keep track of what's coming in and going out, and I make sure that things are being paid on time. It's actually quite a feeling. If I were to get married again, I'm not sure I would want to relinquish control.

I've learned when to ask for help and I've also learned all the things I can take care of on my own. I've learned that there are so many people out there willing to help me if only I can swallow my pride long enough to ask. I have learned that independence is a wonderful thing, but being all on my own is not my goal in life. Thankfully, my daughter provides me with constant companionship.

Munchkin has gotten another year older, another year smarter, and another year sassier. She always makes me smile and more than once has pulled me out of the pit. She's wonderful and she's the best thing I ever did.

So, dear readers, there's a snapshot of my last year (or so). The ache is still there, but it is beginning to dull. I have wonderful people in my life that believe in me and care more than I ever knew. Thank you to all that have been there for me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm a baby penguin. HONK! HONK!

The munchkin girl has taken a sudden liking to penguins. We've been reading penguin books, watching penguin shows, and playing with penguin toys.

She waddles around saying, "Honk! Honk! Mommy, I'm a baby penguin." So, as any single mother would do, I've been indulging this little obsession. While I was at Wal-Mart the other day I found a singing dancing penguin that looks an awful lot like this one.

It does an incredibly annoying rendition of "Jingle Bells", complete with giggles. The munchkin girl loves it and I've had to put a prohibition on it during certain times.

Today she was staying with Mom and Dad while daycare was closed. She took her penguin. While standing near my parents she pushed the button to start the singing, let it sing about two or three words, and then pushed the button again to stop it, saying, "OK. That's enough. Party's over."

I swear, I don't know where she gets this stuff.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Last (Ten) Year(s)

Around the time I was three years old I decided I was going to marry Kenny Rogers. 25 years later, I brought home the man who would be the father of our daughter and would take me on the ride of my life. And sure enough, he looked a lot like Kenny.

A year ago today I lost my best Superman. I can't tell you how many times I came home from work and found Ron listening to this song. He would tear up while listening to it. The image of him sitting in his chair by the patio, head back, eyes closed, and the music around him is one that I'll never forget.

I've done a lot of thinking in the past couple of months. Would I go back and change it? Would I bring Ron back if I could? I still don't know the answer. There are a million things I would change. There are a thousand times I would turn around and give him one more hug and kiss. And there are only 86,400 times a day that I think of him and wonder what he would think of what I've become. I don't know the answers. I only know this. He loved us. All of us. And without him, the world still manages to go on. But, we're going to miss you, Ron.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The turtle next door

Last night we were invited over to the neighbors' house for dinner. The girls had found a turtle on the road sometime during the week and they took munchkin out to see it. His name is Tucker. He's a cute little painted turtle, and surprisingly, Chloe's not that much interested.

We got home and were talking to my mom on the phone. Chloe had to talk to Nana and proceeded to tell her that the girls next door had a turtle named Pecker.

She's confined to her room until she's 30.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Collective Soul

He always makes sure to let me know he's still around. And I'm sure he is feeling better now.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pearl Cream

This still makes me laugh.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Today I decided to make soup. One of my favorites is chicken and wild rice. This is my favorite recipe to use.

The soup is currently simmering away, and here are a couple of pictures. Drool if you like.
These are the veggies and oil before anything else gets added. Looks yummy just like that.

And the finished product. I'll be baking homemade bread too, once I stop at the store to get more flour. Sort of too bad I forgot that key ingredient!

Munchkin's latest

She's always got something that makes me laugh. Here are the three latest.


are pinecones. As in, "Oh, Mama, look at all the pinecones!"

And then, at the horse show, she told me that this...
was a "horse bus". I've got to say, she may have a point there.

And finally, my favorite, she likes to get her toenails painted. She told me she has "smolish" on her toes. Not polish...smolish.
Gotta love a three-year-old!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

This may seem trivial

Probably not high on your list of things to do, but I'm looking for some opinions. I promised someone I would post some options, so now, I thought everyone could get in on the act. Which toenail polish should I choose this time around?

Starting from the left is my perennial favorite. Revlon's Cherry Crush. When this bottle runs out you better believe I'll be ordering more!

Next is Rimmel's Russet Flame. It's new, and I think it's got more of a rust coloring where the Cherry Crush is more, well, cherry red.

In the middle is Maybelline's Fuchsia Fire. It's glittery, and kind of a light pink. The link isn't the exact color, but it's the best I could do.

Next to it is another Maybelline, this time it's Blazing Berry. It's also glittery and darker than the Fuchsia Flame. It's what I have on my toes right now. It's gotten good reviews.

And last is Pure Ice Rumors. Sort of a mauve color. Take a look. See what you think.

Monday, June 15, 2009

When It Don't Come Easy

I wonder if I'll ever get home.

When It Don't Come Easy
by Patty Griffin

Lyrics are here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I have no idea

I don't know why this popped into my head tonight, but it's always been good for a laugh in my book. And goodness knows we can all use a laugh right now. Enjoy!

Click here for the lyrics.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Last Easter

For this one I'm looking back, too. This time last year, we were all visiting the hubby in the heart hospital after his heart attack. He was so completely hopped up (no Easter pun intended) on morphine and nitro that he hardly remembers us being there.

I remember thinking how this had to be the worst way to spend an Easter. Turns out, I was wrong.

So many times over the past year, and particularly the past 6 1/2 months, I've been so wrong.

This year is worse. And I didn't anticipate it being that way. But for the second year in a row I woke up knowing that I was celebrating Easter by myself, with my daughter. It was my job to get her Easter basket ready. It was my job to make her look beautiful in her Easter dress. It was my job to make her day amazing. And I think I did a pretty good job.

Easter is about rolling the stone away from the tomb and looking forward to a new life. And so, I choose to try to do that. Munchkin and I are building a new life together. We're trying to roll that stone away and be amazed at what we find. We're trying to relish the fact that the tomb is empty and that this means so many good things. At least, we're trying.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Taking you way back

Well, I've been in a mood lately. And I haven't been posting. And more than one of my readers has asked what's up. So I'm making a commitment today to posting more in April. I was sitting around this morning and for some reason, this commercial popped into my head. I always loved it. Hope you all enjoy it, too. Anyone remember it?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

All chaotic and twirly

I've been making hats and scarves for my friend Emily. I finished the second set, and they're getting ready to head over to Shanghai tomorrow. Thought I'd get some pictures first. The hat is a cloche style and the scarf twirls round and round on itself. I will probably never make this scarf again. Had I thought about the basic construction of the scarf I would have realized that the number of stitches in each row grows exponentially and therefore, takes longer to finish. Not a good project for the impatient.

On a side note, doesn't Handy Manny look swell?

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Lately I've been thinking of my life sort of like a pendulum. I swing back and forth between moods. The bottom of the swing, where a pendulum stops if no force is applied, is where I go when I'm at my darkest. And I will stay there - unless I apply some force.

And I've been at the bottom of that swing.

I decided it was time to move from there. I'm not willing to stay there very long anymore. It's time to take action...apply some force.

So I still swing back and forth, and I hit that bottom point every now and then, but it's a moment, and I'm only passing through.

There have been some pretty great moments at the high points of the swing. And someday, if things work out, maybe I'll tell you about them. But for now, know that things are still moving back and forth here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I haven't been saying much for the past two weeks because, even with something new and wonderful in my life (a topic for another post someday), I've been in a spiral.

These last few days have been pure torture for me.

Friday was my daughter's 3rd birthday. I did OK at work until about 3:30. Finally, about 4:15 I had to leave because I knew that I was losing it. I knew that if I didn't get out of there I would be a wreck. My mother is the secretary for the music department at our local university and we had all been invited to a music alum gathering. I went. It was a mistake. All kinds of well-meaning people asking me how I am. Then, my mother asked the entire music faculty to sing Happy Birthday to my daughter. I decided I had to make it out of the room after they were done before I completely dissolved into tears. It was so, SO bittersweet.

Saturday was the dreaded day. I never really thought it meant anything to me until it hit me that "his girls" weren't getting anything this year. And it wasn't the gift I wanted. He always thought of it as the day he got to bring us presents in the hospital. Our first Valentine's Day together was actually our first full day as a family as well. I feel sick even thinking about it now.

Today was her birthday party. About 8 this morning I was convinced I should cancel it because I just couldn't do it. I was tired, grief-stricken, and certain that I couldn't make it through the party without sobbing.

She had a great time in the pool and everyone was wonderful. Not really any pressure on me. Now I'm home alone with an exhausted munchkin and fears of what I'll do with myself once she's in bed. I feel like it's me against the world.

I'm just beyond grief. I'm exhausted and have to go back to work tomorrow. Nope, no Monday holiday for me. I could have taken it off but chose not to in an attempt to finally save up some PTO.

I don't know what to say or feel. I want numb back.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

3 years

Tomorrow my baby will be 3.

What a mix of emotions that is. Granted, it's a wonderful and happy day. But it's half wrong. And I don't know what to do about that. I don't know how to fix it.

There's nothing I can do. So I guess I'll just throw that beautiful little girl the best birthday party I can manage. There will be cake and swimming and family and friends and fun. She's my girl and she deserves the best I can give her.

So I'll give her my heart.


For 4 months I've been telling my 3-year-old that Daddy is with Jesus.

Tonight my parents were over and she asked, "Mommy, where's Daddy?" My mom said, "Where IS Daddy?"

Without hesitation she responded, "Daddy's with Jesus."

I cried happy and sad tears at the same time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You're up...then you're down

I was having a good week after a pretty great weekend, and then I got nailed this morning. I pulled into the driveway at daycare to drop the munchkin off. When I got back out to the car, it wouldn't start. Jessica (a.k.a. Jooka Jooka) took me to work and Steve looked at the car when he got home from work. Started right up. Stupid thing. So I got a ride out there.

While I waited for Mom and Dad to buy me a new battery, Steve drove the car up to the house, turned it off, started it again, turned it off, started it again, turned it off, and the blasted thing wouldn't start again.

The battery reads right at 12 volts. We tried a new one, that's not it. Dad thinks it's the fuel pump. So there goes my paycheck. And my bank account is nowhere near where I want it to be. But I'm determined that everything is going to be OK. No panic here.

Something's gotta give.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gastronomic delight

Tonight I decided to try a new meal that I ripped off from a local restaurant. They are famous for their stroganoff burgers, but everything at the restaurant is over-priced. I decided to recreate it at home.

I started off with a VERY LARGE onion that I sliced up and put in a pan with some oil and salt.

I let the onions caramelize. I love the smell in the air when I'm cooking onions. I don't love cleaning the pan nearly as much. :)

I added mushrooms to the onions, piled the whole mess on top of a burger with swiss cheese, added a dollop of sour cream, closed the toasted bun, and dug in.

Mom and Dad were over and they enjoyed it as well. I would definitely make this again. As my grandfather would have said...

"Pretty good for a quick-plan meal."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Adding to my stash - part 2

I haven't decided yet what this is for, but it was on clearance for only $1.79 a skein. Couldn't turn that down. It's Baby Bee Sweet Delight Baby in Ladybug Ombre. It's 60% cotton and 40% polyamide. I kind of think this looks like scarves, but again, I haven't decided.

This is some Vanna's Choice (100% acrylic in Mountain Print) that I bought specifically to go with this hat that I already made for Emily. You can see it behind the yarn. The scarf I'm making is this pattern.

This was especially for me. It's Trekking XXL sock yarn. 75% new wool (as opposed to old?) and 25% nylon. I'm making this scarf with it. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make the hat. I plan to extend the scarf pattern to make it longer.

Adding to my stash - part 1

I was recently chastised (very lightly, but still chastised) for letting my blog go. I was asked why I post nothing new, day after day. Well, it's not that there aren't things to post about. It's just that I usually find myself so tired at the end of the day that doing another thing makes my brain hurt.

However, in an attempt to keep my loyal public happy, here's a post about yarn. Sorry it's not more exciting, but it's what I've got!

This is my purchase for this scarf. It's Crystle Palace Yarns Kid Merino in Berry. 28% kid mohair, 28% merino wool, and 44% micro nylon. It's nearly 5 ounces of laceweight lovliness. It's soft and sqwooshy (phonetic spelling for effect) and I love it. I started working on the scarf at crochet night a couple of weeks ago, but I find that I need to concentrate and really learn the pattern before I can work on this with anyone around. It's not a difficult pattern, but I've never worked with this type of yarn before so it will take some getting used to.

This is Plymouth Yarn Royal Llama Silk. It's 60% fine llama and 40% silk. It's lovely. It's spun in Argentina and is currently being made into a scarf. It feels so nice and I'm afraid that working with specialty yarns may be spoiling me. :)

This stuff is crazy, but I love it. It's Trendsetter Yarns Aura. It's 100% nylon and 100% fun. I originally bought it to make a scarf for the munchkin, but when I was able to pick up three more balls at 40% off, I decided that Emily needed a hat and scarf. I'm hoping that I can get one of the guys going to China to mule it over to her.

This is Filatura Di Crosa Baby for Tahki Stacy Charles Pom Pom. I'm not really sure yet what it's going to be, but it was too cute to leave there. Can you tell I have a problem? :) It's 41% Cotton, 49% Acrylic, and 10% Polyamide. I need to find a pattern for this.

I bought these three skeins of Patons Stretch Socks for, you guessed it, socks. It's 41% cotton, 39% wool, 13% nylon, and 7% elastic. The nylon and elastic should make them nice and stretchy. Now if I can just find my sock pattern book...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blessid Union of Souls

There's nothing to say except that this is perfect..right down to the name of the band.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

To the women who have carried me

Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.

BUT........ Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach. When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you.

Or come in and carry you out.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rough go of it

Sorry again for the lack of posts. I have several things about which I would like to post, but I just can't seem to find the energy. The waves are hitting again and I find myself dragging through each day with my only thought being when I can get back in bed. I don't know what's wrong with me. So I assume one day this will pass. Until then, please satisfy yourself knowing that I'm just doing the best I can. Really. I am.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Three years ago today...

My father gave me away, barefoot and pregnant, to the most wonderful man ever.

Tonight there was chocolate cake, because any of you who know the hubby know that he wouldn't have considered it a celebration without chocolate cake. There was Bluegrass Beatles because it was "our" favorite. Munchkin made Daddy a foam card. You can catch pics of all the action on my facebook page. After she goes to bed I'll be writing a note for him in an anniversary card.

This morning I heard this song on the radio. It had no business being played on the station I listen to. I can only conclude it was a message from him. Sums up my feelings pretty well.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our song and our movie

PT Update

A friend just asked me recently how my physical therapy was going. This made me realize that I hadn't posted about it recently.

Things are going well. I've been working on my lower back and am hopeful that I'll be released from that portion of PT in the next couple of months.

However, I got bad news the other day. Since my neck has been acting up since the accident, my physical therapist decided we were going to have to start working on it.

*Cue scary music.*


I'm claustrophobic people. This sucks. They strap you in like you're going on a flight to the moon. I've been in it once. It was not a pretty sight.

Emily has suggested that next time I'm in it I should imagine her there playing with the wheels and saying "Argh, matey."

You know...that just might work.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Emily's the best

Here's what Emily sent me for Christmas. They're the most beautiful pearls ever. A matching set of earrings, bracelet, and necklace. They're weighty, wonderful, and cobalt blue. I love them. I was going to wear them today and then the weather didn't cooperate. Perhaps tomorrow.

Emily's so sweet, she even sent something for the munchkin. It's the cutest little bracelet. She loves it too. We're working on teaching her not to pull it too hard.

My scarf

I so infrequently make something for myself that when I saw this scarf pattern, I had to make myself one. I chose purple...big surprise. It's Vanna's Choice in Purple Mist. I love it and wear it all the time. I get lots of compliments on it.

Christmas gifts

So I'm a little late on the posting. Oh well. It happens. What you're looking at is a scarf that I made for my friend Emily that is living in Shanghai. The colorway is Cherry Chip. It's done from this pattern. I had made one for myself and loved how it turned out so much that when I suggested to Emily that I make her a scarf, I decided to use the pattern. Now Mom wants one.

While I was working on the scarf, Emily requested a hat to go with it. I'd never made a hat before, but told her I would give it a shot. Here's the result. This pattern works up surprisingly quickly and is so cute.

See, even Scarlett approves!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I'd do it all again. And I can't imagine what I do now. Thank you for the best 3 1/2 years, Bear.

*Additional Note*

Ron was often mistaken for Kenny Rogers. Mom even commented on it the first time she met him. Kenny Rogers and Hulk Hogan.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

He's at it again...

Here's what he left for me today.

Often, when you leave a comment on a blog, you're asked to type in a gibberish word to verify that you're a human leaving a comment, and not a spam bot. Here's what the latest one I got said.
OK, I take the hint.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I've spent some more time making my space my own. For the sake of my sanity, I needed to. My room is looking beautiful and the rest of the house is coming together as well.

And sure, some things are neatly boxed up and put away. And some things...well, they're very much still there.