No words…

Usually on Wednesdays I post about writing, advice from an author or my own progress.  Today though, I find myself coming back over and over to the significance of this day.  I saw this picture this morning and although it was meant for the tenth anniversary in 2011, it stayed with me today.

It was a horrible, mind numbing, unexplainable day, and if I wrote a thousand words, or 52 billion, it still wouldn’t be enough or the right words to express how I felt on that day, or on this day so many years later.

So today, I will simply…





I’ve lived in Arizona all of my life.  The summers are hot, someone suggested earlier that you would get used to the heat or you could be like me and my husband, another AZ native and get to the point where you can’t stand the summer.  It hits 100° mid May, stays 110° and hotter through June and July and if we are lucky it might cool down in October.  One year it was 100° on Halloween, I was not amused.  It makes life difficult and for the past five years or so it’s really affected me.  I know Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is most commonly attributed to the winter months but it can also hit some people in the summer as well.*

The causes for SAD are difficult to  pinpoint, some research blames the lack of light, others suggest that diminished activity may also be to blame.  I think anytime your regular life activities are limited it can cause problems.  If you want to take a walk and you can’t, it doesn’t really matter if it’s too cold or too hot.  It may sound overly dramatic but at times it feels as though you are trapped in your house, sneaking out in the early morning or late into the evening, even then the temperature is often still hovering near 100°.  It can be a bit unbearable at times and in the past I’ve really struggled to stay positive during the summer months.

For several years we would vacation for a week in the later part of July.  We would enjoy the 70° weather and then come back to the tail end of monsoon season.  The temperature would still be 110° plus high humidity and the transition from the cooler weather to the uncomfortably warm would send me into a funk.  In those times I remember feeling very hopeless and trapped.  It seemed a cruel thing to spend a week in nice, cool weather only to once again be dropped into the hell that is Arizona in the late summer.  Again, this will sound overly dramatic but I almost felt like I was being punished.

We’ve since moved our trip into August and that has helped a lot.  Now we spend those hot, humid days preparing for our trip; packing, talking about what day we are going to do what and most of all, looking forward to vacation.  I think this is important, you have to have something to look forward to.  In the past, when we got home we’d have to look forward to the weather cooling down.  At the end of July, October feels really far away.  Now when we get home most of the humidity is gone, the temperatures are a little lower and it seems just that much easier to handle.  Also, we are that much closer to October and hopefully, cooler weather.

Someday we will move out of Arizona.  It’s bound to happen given how much both Sully and I dread the weather here but for now I can deal with the weather as long as I have something to look forward to.

*You can find more info on summer depression at WebMD.


Lights and loss…

All year I’ve been reading the Re-inventing Fabulous blog, written by author Anne Stuart.  She actually goes by Krissie, Anne Stuart being a family/pen name.  This past year those of us that have followed this blog have been there sharing all of our experiences since last January.  

As we move towards the end of the year, Krissie has been working on wrapping up 2012.  Today, she was dealing with sorrow.

“So today let’s put lights up for those we’ve lost, people we loved who lit our lives and then moved on, leaving the warmth of their love behind.”

Here is my addition…

I am putting up lights for…

My paternal grandmother who was grand and adventurous, she organized a group of older ladies from her church every year on trips to different locales, Egypt, Italy, Ireland.

My mother who died when I was 35, she taught me not to let anyone push you around. She was 4’11″, everybody loved her and no one messed with her.

My father who died 16 months after my mom, he was a high school teacher and football coach. A renaissance man who made me believe I could do anything I wanted to do.

My father in law who told anyone and everyone that I had truly became his daughter when I married his son.

I miss them all terribly, but I feel so blessed to have known and loved them.



Today our world became a bit dimmer as we learned of the events in Connecticut this morning.  My heart breaks for the parents, friends, families,  students, teachers and community for their loss.


Newtown broken hearts


Life is not fair…

My sister called this evening, she was on her way to the hospital.  She came home to find her husband collapsed in his office.  Paramedics came and they suspect he’d had a stroke.  He went into the ER, the MRI and other tests confirmed it was a stroke.  He was air evac’d to a different hospital with a neurological center.  The transport happened around midnight.  It’s now 2:00am and they are taking him into surgery to take pressure off of his brain.  

I am dozing between text messages from my sister.  I offered to come down to sit with her but she said no.  She has her son and her daughter (step daughter really but we don’t think like that in this family) there with her.    It’s going to be a long night.

I am not really ready for dealing with this.  Of course, no one is ever ready but it’s too soon after losing Sully’s dad.  It’s barely been six months, we are trying to get through the holidays.  Trying to figure out how it works now that there are four of us instead of five.  Sully’s family was already small, Sully, his mom and dad, and his grandparents.  The rest of the family distanced by either miles or past behavior.    Over the years, I was added and then Boo, it was a good group for holidays.  His grandparents passed a few years ago and then it was just the five of us, a smaller group but we had a great time together.  Now, we are down to four, and it’s hard not to notice that our group is getting smaller.  It’s hard not to be depressed, I cope by cracking jokes.  I am sure some people think that I am not taking it seriously or that I am not sensitive to everyone’s loss.  The truth is that I am overly sensitive to everyone’s feelings, I have to make a joke and break the tension before I start screaming or crying.

I am worried about my brother in law and devastated for my sister.  I cannot imagine coming home and finding him like that.  It’s so upsetting that I can’t even put it into terms of my life.  Running in an undercurrent to all of that I am saddened to see our chance for a normal holiday season seemingly slip away.  It’s selfish, I know, but I can’t help it.  We’ve had few opportunities to celebrate lately and I was hoping for at least this family time for us to heal and make new memories.  We knew it was going to be tough and we are doing our best to make new traditions and keep busy.  It’s like walking into the wind though, for every step forward, it’s two steps back.  It’s exhausting and miserable and most of the time it’s not getting us anywhere.  What’s the alternative?  Huddling in the corner?  No, even at my lowest, I know that isn’t the answer either.  We’ve got to keep moving forward even if it’s in fits and starts, or even though I want to scream that it’s so unfair.  I mean, wasn’t it bad enough that my dog died this week?  Did more bad stuff have to happen?  

It’s crushing and overwhelming, but we have to keep moving forward.  Not just for me, or for Boo and Sully, or for Sully’s mom but for Lily and Hans and their kids.  So, we get up and brush ourselves off, even Scarlett knew that tomorrow was another day. 


Am I blue…

The plan today is to try to make it through as normal as possible.  It would be easier if my first job of the day wasn’t feeding the dogs.  Foley was happy to see me and I gave him a good scratch and a quick hug.   It was a quick hug because he was doing the bathroom dance by the back door.  He had that face that said, “thanks for the hug Mom but I gotta go!”

I am keeping busy continuing to decorate the Kitchen and Great room.  I have boxes that need to go back out to the garage.  Sully is working from home today which I am thankful.  He is doing his best to keep my mind off of things.  It’s funny though, he knows I am distracting myself by keeping busy and just pops in every now and then to check on me.  As plans go, it worked pretty well he chatted with me while I cooked and helped me take the boxes into the garage.

In the evening I sat down and started making plans for my Christmas crafts.  I’ve decided to make some Christmas banners similar to the Thankful banner I made for Thanksgiving.  I’ve picked several sayings after thinking about the different people I will be making them for.

Boo is going to make some stuffed patchwork type of owls for people.  We researched patterns online and found a few that will work nicely.  I have plenty of scrap fabric for us to make a few practice owls.  Boo loves owls so a few extra will note b an issue.  In fact, maybe I will try to find some fabric to make seasonal owls for her.  It will be fun to make some stuff with her.



Never enough time…

That’s Hunter, my sweet Labrador, taken about three years ago.  I was asking him if he’d been digging and he was acting casual.  Of course, if you look closely he’s got dirt on his nose and on his right paw.  I wasn’t buying his innocent act, at all, but he was too cute to be mad at.  

Hunter had his thirteenth birthday in October.  He was born the same week that Sully and I started dating.  In fact, I gave Sully one of his littermates as my first Christmas gift to him.  So, when we got married we had two crazy Labradors galloping through the back yard.  Playing ball started early, Hunter could barely hold a tennis ball in his mouth and always outlasted the other dogs.  Hunter was always the calmer of the two, and adapted well to hanging out in the house.  We still have a hard time with Foley being in the house.  He gets so excited that he wags his tail until the tip is bleeding.  

The sad part of this story is that we lost Hunter tonight.  He was such a sweet boy.  He was laying in the kitchen while I cooked dinner.  I stopped to give him scratch behind the ears and a kiss on his head and brought dinner into the other room.  When I went back to the kitchen after dinner he was gone.  I am sorry that he was alone but maybe he was just waiting for his goodnight kiss.

Holiday thought…

It’s time to cherish the little moments.  Take the time play ball with the dog or pet the cat.  The laundry or the sweeping, or even work will still be there in five minutes.  Enjoy those little moments because you don’t know how many more might be left.