Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Well, it almost felt like it was too much to hope for. As we signed the papers for our counter to their counter-offer Mr. C said something to me about what a nice way this would be to say hello to the New Year.

It turns out that it wasn't too much to hope for.

(please, please, please let the inspection go well)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My offer to you: free stuff

A while back I responded to Niobe's post titled "free stuff redux" about a meme she found on Rhymes with Javelin's site where you get and give away free handmade stuff. Niobe was kind enough to offer to send me a print of one of her beautiful photos, so now I am finally getting my act together and offering some free stuff to the first three people to comment and actually ask for it. Your only obligation is to then post the same offer on your site.

If you think that you can't participate, I encourage you to think again. I believe everyone has something to offer when it comes to creativity and most often we undervalue our own efforts.

Here is what I will create for those that are willing to play along: I will paint you a painting.

My interests in art span a wide variety of media and genre, from realistic oil paintings to mixed-media collage and art books and a bazillion points in between. I tend to work on pieces for a very long time, fussing over them and very rarely feeling that a piece is truly finished. Perhaps that will change once we are settled here and I have some more time on my hands. For now, though, I know that I can start and finish abstract pieces that focus primarily on color, texture and shape.

So if you are responding to this offer here is the information I will need from you:

>Approximate size and format. For example, 8" (wide) by 10" (high). This is to give me an idea of whether you want something smaller or larger, vertically or horizontally oriented (or square), etc.

>Color scheme you prefer. Don't worry about using technical art terms here, just let me know what kinds of colors you like. Please let me know if you prefer bright/intense colors versus more earthy colors, though, as "red" can look like the color on a stop sign as well as the color of a Japanese Maple in the fall.

>Motif/shape/concept I should focus on. This can be as basic as one shape, like a circle, or a more complex idea or theme. But I do need something to give me direction.

>If you would like text/a quote included and if you have something specific in mind.

>I will need an address from you as well, which you can e-mail to me.

the counter offers

I woke up today feeling even worse than I did last night. My cold is getting nastier and when I try to walk it feels like my brain is floating four inches above my head.

And we heard back from the sellers this afternoon and their counter was pretty harsh. So I've moved from peaceful detachment to feeling anxious. It's hard to know how I would be feeling about it if it weren't for this awful cold and the withdrawals from the anxiety medication. At any rate, we should hear back from them by this time tomorrow. Maybe we'll hear from them sooner.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

the offer is in

We went out to take some second-looks today and decided that we found the house for us. Now we wait to hear back from the sellers.

My head is feeling even more like it is about to explode today, but not because I am stressed about buying the home. Of course I am excited about it and am imagining all of the ways that we will furnish it and decorate, but I am also calm about the whole thing. If it doesn't work out then we will find something that does. I simply have what is shaping up to be a terrible sinus cold. Oh, and yesterday I took my last anxiety pill so that probably isn't helping anything. On the other hand, having a bad cold might be a very good way to mask the withdrawal symptoms from the anxiety medication. When things were really bad with my anxiety this summer, right before I went on the medication, I wasn't able to eat much for a few weeks. Once I was feeling better I realized that I was over my caffeine addiction. Always look at the bright side:)

The other day when I made the label my head felt like it was going to explode because I was so busy/tired.

I almost posted 10 days ago to say that I was breathing a huge sigh of relief. Finally, the day that had been looming pretty much since we moved here in October had come and gone with the best possible outcome. The Adult Family Home Licensor came for our inspection and after an extremely thorough three hours, she told us that she liked what she saw. The rules and regulations that must be followed for every aspect of running one of these homes literally fills a large book, which is revised by the state legislature every year, so this is no mean feat. And it is not uncommon to have to repeat the initial inspection before the license is granted. Fortunately we were given the green light to move forward. The feeling of relief was intense, but not followed by any down-time to savor it because Christmas was only a few days away and none of us had been able to do any preparation for it.

Shopping for gifts and whatnot was a lot of fun-- being out among the last-minute-shopping chaos wasn't as bad as I had anticipated--and on Christmas Eve I spent pretty much the whole day in the kitchen. Being able to do that was wonderful, as I've been eating on the run most of the time lately. On Christmas day I didn't even get out of my jam jams and I was in heaven, an entire day of puttering around and doing nothing. But every day since then has been action, action, action as we have been house-hunting and I have been touring families of prospective residents through this Home.

We are moving out of here next week and soon this place will be full of residents and staff. We will be staying with Mothership and Pops until we are able to move into our new home. If all moves forward with the house we are hoping for then we will be living in it by the end of January at the latest.

While we have been extremely busy since we got here it has been the best kind of busy. I love it here and I love what we are doing. Besides loving the work with the residents and all of the other people that I come in contact with, I love that we are calling the shots here. We work long hours because it is what we want to be doing and we know what needs to be done. At the same time, we can sleep-in when we don't have meetings or appointments early, or we can take lunch when we want to. And whenever I start to get tired when I am out and about running errands and such the voice of my sister Lara comes into my head saying "Your job includes shopping, decorating, and visiting with people--you are so lucky." She has never actually said that to me, but she definitely would if I complained of being tired.

And before I stop writing, a little bit about the house we are hoping to buy...

It is move-in ready and has everything from our "must have" list and many of the items from our "would love to have" list. This is a relief to me since I have completely painted and decorated both this Home and the new office for the business. The office ended up being far more work than I had initially anticipated because there were so many surfaces to refinish (wood paneling, bare sheet rock, cinder block, and this awful paneling in the bathroom). The idea that we can move in and I can do things as I feel like it or am up to it, rather than needing to do it in order to make the home livable, is quite attractive to me right now.

We should know by tomorrow where things stand.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

thanks niobe

Um...I really don't have the mental power right now to figure out how to make this bigger (other than by clicking on it, as it will open up to another window much larger). My tech. support guy is at the office right now, otherwise I would ask for his help (and he would, undoubtedly, make fun of me for it).

look what I just found in my inbox

This is my sister Lara and her husband Matthew and their dog Enzo. She said she sent this to me because she thought it would make me laugh.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

a lot to write about, but for now I will share some pictures

I sat down to catch up on my e-mail and to write a post and after only sending one message and clearing out my inbox my brain just isn't up to the task.

Here we are on Christmas morning, which turned out to be a quiet and relaxing day to ourselves. Mr. C had the brilliant idea to open all of our presents on Christmas Eve while Mothership and Pops were over. As a result we were able to just chill and hang out with Gracie and the cats all day.

Oh, and the aquarium water has finally reached a safe nitrite level. We have 10 surviving fishees and they look like they are doing great to me.

More later.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A big, beautiful baby boy!

I'm a little late in reading the news, but am over-the-moon to find out that Beruriah and Josh over at Further Records are now holding Samuel in their arms. Congratulations!

Friday, December 7, 2007

the countdown starts

I picked up my last month of prescriptions at the pharmacy yesterday. While missing the little pill the other day made for a "sadly unfunctional" day, I believe that was largely due to the fact that I was caught off-guard and wasn't prepared for the physical reactions. Over the past few months I have developed practices that I know abate my anxiety and will be invaluable in the future. Most significantly is my daily meditation practice--this is so powerful. Right now there aren't really any situations or circumstances that are cause for stress or anxiety (imagine that!). But the absence of legitimate or "big" causes for stress or anxiety didn't necessarily preclude my experiencing anxiety in the past.

And then there is the other prescription...

I am uncomfortable about writing about it. I realize it is magical thinking that is causing this discomfort. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that you should do one thing each day that scares you, so I can just do this. (All the while I do realize that it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out, but that really isn't the point.)

We are ready to start trying. We have been ready for a few months now, but have had to wait for insurance to kick-in since the move. I don't plan to have a daily record of our path, regardless of how long or how short it might be, so that is all I will say about it for now.

And since I am sharing good news, here is some more: we are shopping for a house! We were pre-approved for a home loan this week and are happily looking around for the one that is right for us. Yay!

Gracie is doing very well. We will attend obedience classes soon, although we have already started our own training. She will sit, shake, and go down to the floor on command (but not when she is excited or distracted). And she is getting better at walking next to us rather than pulling us along. She loves all other animals, including the cats. The cats, however, don't really love her. Jackson growls at her whenever she comes near him. Gracie chases Cleo around, with her tail wagging like crazy because she just wants to play. Since Cleo is so fat we just let it happen, figuring the exercise will do her some good.

The fishees aren't doing so well. We had a tropical tank set up a few years ago and didn't lose any fish, so I thought I knew what I was doing. Apparently that was beginner's luck, though. This time Mr. C didn't hold back and bought a whole mess of fish and now they are dropping like flies. Or, more accurately, they are dropping like fish who are being poisoned by nitrite. Now I know. It's too bad so many beautiful little fishees had to die in order for me to become so knowledgeable about healthy bacteria and all that.

My days are so full. Lately I've become a night owl, though. What a luxury it is to be able to go to sleep without setting the alarm clock. The resident that was here moved to one of the other homes that has a 24 hour awake staff. Since then it has been one project after another for me and I am loving it. I also spend a lot of time with our residents--going on outings with them, helping out on "spa day," sharing meals, and just visiting with them. Tomorrow we are going to the mall so they can shop for Christmas presents.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Yesterday I forgot to take my little green pill. I take the lowest dose, but it still has made today difficult.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Our Gracie

look what found us at the B.est W.estern two weekends ago!

We drove to a city that is about an hour west of here to visit some friends from Seattle who were over staying with family. As we went out to the parking lot Saturday evening for a night-on-the-town (which turned out to be a booth near the door at a pretty seedy bar with karaoke that all four of us thought we'd vacate after a drink, but by then had won us over) this joyful doggy came bounding towards us. She licked all of us and scampered around, looking as adorable as can be. Our friend H begged us to take this sweet puppy home. Mr. C said that if she was still there in the morning that we would take her. Morning came late for us but when we walked into the parking lot again, sure enough she was bounding towards us with her tail wagging like crazy. I looked at her and looked at Mr. C and he just walked toward the car. He said that if she climbed in when he opened the door that we would take her home.

A trip to the vet came shortly after and now she is almost 100% recovered from her surgery (once we were home we discovered that she was in heat). She is very healthy (ribs are still showing, but we are feeding her well) and sooooo happy.

so much to say, but I won't even try to say it all

I realize that it has been over a month since I've posted. And even then my posting was few and far between. I know that the most boring blogging is about why one hasn't been blogging. Really the reasons for that (both practically and emotionally) are, I think, quite evident (or they will become evident as I resume writing) so it is pointless to labor over them.

So I won't try to write a "catch-up" post where I fill in all of the gaps.

It did occur to me a few days ago that I was, in part, holding back on blogging because I wasn't sure what ground was OK to cover. This prompted a conversation with Mr. C, who is far more concerned with privacy than I am, and now I feel comfortable writing about all of the changes that our lives have gone through/are going through.

It is very late. I should be stealing whatever sleep I can get, considering that over the last three days my sleep has been disrupted almost every hour on the hour. But I think I have a bit of the old insomnia tonight. Fortunately when the morning comes I have the ability to catch up on lost sleep. The reason for this is that Mr. C and I (and a staff of amazing care-givers who come in during the days) are caring for a beautiful woman who needs lots of assistance. The family business that we have joined consists of several a.dult f.amily h.omes. We are in the process of opening a new one. The business is very well established and my MIL has an amazing staff at the other homes, several of whom have been working for us here. Mr. C and I felt that it was important for us to have an understanding of what every level of this work entails, so we are getting all of the care-giving certifications and are living on-site through the licensing process. During this time we have the one resident here. She has been with us for three weeks now and we have grown so attached to her.

Our family has expanded since we have been here!
Oops, I just realized that I am logged on to Mr. C's settings, so I need to log off and continue this post later because I want to post a picture of our sweet puppy dog, Gracie.

Friday, September 28, 2007

finally making some time to write

The days are beginning to blur into each other.

This move has not been one of those rushed experiences where you have a day or so to get from here to there. Because I haven't been working I have had the time to really sort through everything and purge like mad and organize things like the true type-A that I am. And because we are not moving into our own place just yet most of our furniture and whatnot is going into storage. Because of this we have moved loads of boxes over each time either of us has taken a trip across the sate over the past several weeks. Mr. C was going over there each weekend while his parents were away in Europe so that he could look in on the business and take care of payroll. Finally he had his last day of work last week and then the "real" moving began. But I have still had appointments over here so I have been living in the practically empty house for almost a week. Sleeping on an air mattress is pushing me to my limit.

It is telling to see what remains in an otherwise empty house when you are down to the "necessities." Here is a list of some of the key items that remain:
>Two cats
>A 12 year old goldfish
>an air mattress
>a portable stereo/radio
>basic toiletries
>a few towels
>several changes of clothes (I've actually held back a lot of my clothes here, Mr. C doesn't know that.)
>laundry detergent & tons of other cleaning products
>a can opener
>a pizza cutter and pizza pan (for Mr. C)
>one fork
>one plastic spoon
>a microwave
>paintbrushes, paint, and works in progress
>a few books to read

An abbreviated version of this list was shared with our therapist the other day (by Mr. C, who is far funnier than I am) and she responded that it sounded like the makings of a good short story.

We are excited and anxious to move. As though Mother Nature is giving us a push, it is raining here and sunny there. Not that I have issue with the rain, though, because I actually love it. But sunny days do make my heart sing.

On another note...
This morning I am off to see my therapist for the last time and to take this painting to my friend Laurie. She saw Sheri's paintings and requested one for herself. She liked the one with the hearts but said she likes orange. We'll she if she likes this color scheme. It is very high-key, so it is possible that it won't be what she had in mind.

Monday, September 24, 2007

something we will miss

I wrote about the raccoon a while back when we first made friends with her. Mr. C really grew to love her and named her Linda. Why Linda? I don't know. How did he know she was a female? I'm not sure about that, either. But she didn't come by for a few weeks and when she returned she had two babies with her. Unfortunately one of the babies must have died, because it has just been Linda and Emery for the last month or so.

I wish we could take them with us.

Don't worry, we won't forget to take you with us

I couldn't resist taking this picture. Jackson is very out-of-sorts right now due to the move. So far he is still here at the house but tomorrow we will move almost everything else. He and Cleo will remain for a few more days, along with an air mattress and a few essentials since I am "urban camping" until Wednesday. I am worried about how things will be for sweet Jackson when we actually move him. He didn't handle the move to West Seattle well, and that was only a fifteen minute car ride. This time it will be more like 4 hours and then a few days at the Kitty Hilton. Poor little guy. I've considered trying to get him something from the vet, but honestly a trip to the vet would be comparable in terms of trauma for him.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the secret project

Monica H. brought it to my attention that I left a bit of a mystery floating out there in my blog. This was not intentional. I was keeping the secret project a secret because my dear friend was also a loyal reader of the blog and I wanted to keep the secret from her until it arrived on her doorstep. I sent it along a little early and I'm glad I did because her sweet baby girl showed up early too. It can be difficult to photograph things like this and really capture an adequate likeness. I don't have the best digital camera, either. At any rate, here are some of the pages and some details. Maybe at some point soon Mrs. MacGyver will post some pictures on her blog with the little lady and the rest of the family filling up the blank spots (hint, hint).

for Sheri

I'm on my way out the door to take these paintings to Sheri. I am wondering if she will like them. I'll know in a while:)

Sunday, September 2, 2007


....really, just too many drinks to count. I suppose if I worked really hard I could sort it out and come up with a number that is pretty close to accurate. No, I am not a drinker. But it was a bachelorette party and I saw it as my duty to drink along with the bride-to-be. Honestly it felt like the first glass of wine did me in...I just kept going with the flow and it really is amazing how people will keep buying a girl drinks.

This is not at all how I pictured my return to posting. The trouble is that so much time has passed. Many posts have bubbled-up into my consciousness and all of the thoughts and ideas that have fluttered through my mind are so varied. Please excuse me, it is a wonder I am able to type at all right now.

What I mean to say is that I am here and I am ok. It is just that I haven't been able to post because time just gets away with me. My days are filled with appointments and tasks and meditating and painting and yes I do find time to flip open the laptop but I find myself unable to comment when I do catch up on blogs because I know that time is precious and how If I allow myself it dissappears on me and also there is the feeling that I get that if I comment on one blog then I will feel like I need to comment on all of them...because I care about all of you and don't want you to think otherwise.

So I resolve to write a bit each day. Just a bit. And to all of you out there, I think about you so much. I will comment on your blogs to let you know that "in person." Yes, I am ok... very well, in fact. And see how brazenly I tempt fate by writing it down in black and white? Wow. But "very well" does not mean "perfect" because that simply does not exist.

OK, I know I am leaving this half-way thought-out...but this is as good as I can muster right now.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


There has been so much going on both internally and externally lately that it is difficult to know where to begin. Backing up and running through things chronologically somehow feels wrong, since comparatively insignificant details would come before some very big developments. So I suppose I will just jump in with the *biggest news* first and then go from there.

We are moving. We knew that we would be moving when our lease is up at the end of September, but we thought that we would be moving several blocks away. Nope. We are moving to the other side of the state. I grew up on this side (the west side) and have basically always lived here. It is green and full of trees and mountains and is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Mr. C grew up on the east side and moved over to the west side to go to college, which is where we met, and he has lived here ever since. His parents still live on the east side and for the last 13 years or so we have made periodic trips over there. It is beautiful in its own right: rolling hills that look like dinosaurs lying on their sides, flat expanses of sage brush, BIG sky and open spaces, orchards and vineyards, the wide rolling Columbia, and more stars at night than I can count.

Why are we moving there? Mr. C’s mom (Mothership) owns a business that has grown and been extremely successful over the last 12 years. It has expanded to a point where she is at her personal capacity. My FIL has continued to work full time in his own career and is ready to retire in about 6 months. He could help run the business, but the man really deserves to retire! Recently an opportunity came along that had the potential to essentially double the size of her business. Since she turns enough people away each month to expand by a quarter of her capacity (and at any given time has a waiting list of about 30 people) the expansion is very reasonable in terms of risk. However, she is only one person and the size that her business has grown to a point that is manageable for her. This is where the light bulb went off—what might it look like to have someone else join the business? Since Mr. C has been working in management for the last year and a half, and he was around to help get her business off the ground when she first started and has lent a hand toward various aspects of the business through the years, it occurred to him that he might just be the man for the job.

So we considered it. We tossed around the pros and the cons and the pros far outweighed the cons. And the timing, while fast enough to make my head spin, feels right. Our lease is up here. Offers are on the table there. My new school year is fast approaching and so (was) the amount of time ticking away that would allow me to be released from my contract. While we love many things about living here—our friends and the lifestyle of this beautiful, vibrant city—there are many aspects that make living here difficult. It is very expensive to live here. The median home price in our neighborhood is in the high $400,000 range and that is for a smallish, older home that needs work. I commute almost an hour to work each day with high gas prices. A large part of the strain on the decision to have a family is the astronomical cost of childcare—which would be a must since both incomes are vital. And even though we both work really hard and make decent salaries we continue to struggle and would continue to do so.

And so we made the decision. Life in the east side will be quiet. We will need to make friends and find things to do that are interesting to us. I won’t be teaching and that feels unsettling to me. It will be extremely important that we maintain our connection to each other and our ability to communicate how we are feeling, so that we can meet the challenges head-on rather than letting things build and grow as they did over the last year or so. We have decided to continue seeing our therapists here (all three of them!). We are excited about the challenges and the opportunities ahead. Mr. C already got online to look at houses, and newly built, 3000 sq.ft. homes are priced at around $250,000! There will be no commutes, and when/if the time comes I will be the one caring for my own child(ren). We will also be close to family, which will mostly be a positive thing. Some boundaries will need to be set, but that will be good for us, too. Best of all, we will have the freedom and flexibility to make a change if we choose to. If we decide at some point that we want to move back, or move somewhere else, we can do that.

It is taking some time for this to feel real to me. It was only *officially* decided less than a week ago and in the meantime I have been preoccupied by running around replacing my car and doing a dozen or so other activities that were already in motion. Since I finally had a car to drive as well as a semi-free schedule on Thursday I finally had a chance to drive to the school to tell them. This was the first time I told anyone other than my therapists (we/I told them on Wednesday). It felt good to get it out and to share it with people who really know me, but at the same time it was sad. I will be leaving a part of me at that school. There are still many people to tell, but so far the telling has gone well. The therapists are very supportive. My sister is happy for us, too, and I had anticipated that she might be sad since I will be an additional 3 ½ hours away. But she doesn’t think about it that way. We can always come to Seattle to see each other, so that is no additional time for her. She is also very excited to come and see our new home and visit us there. Today I plan to share the news with the other significant people in my life. There is one conversation that I am not really looking forward to, but it will have to wait until it can happen in person.

Well this has turned out to be an incredibly long post, so the other *news* will have to wait for another time.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


I don't know if you've been reading my blog at all, but I just wanted to drop a line to you. Wordpress won't let me log in. I'll get it sorted out eventually but for now I can't comment on your blog and it is driving me crazy. I've been thinking about you and checking in on you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What country would I be?

I saw this over at Niobe's blog and curiosity got the best of me.

You're Cambodia!

Life's been really rough, but it's slowly improving.  You know
way too much about the skeletal structure of humans, mostly from being forced to study
it.  This has given you a fear of many things, most especially the color red.
 The future has to be more promising though, and your greatest adversary can now
never come back to hurt you any more.

Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

never a dull moment

Well I am back from Chicago. It turned out to be a much more interesting and enjoyable trip than I had expected it to be. The training was useful and provided some practical information in addition to some inspiration to me personally as an artist. I have finished very little work in the last few years. Here is the last painting that I actually finished. You can see by how short my hair was that it was a LONG time ago...about three years ago actually. Yikes.

Before I left for Chicago we celebrated my birthday. It ended up being a wonderful day, from start to finish. In the morning I got up and met Erin at Greenlake for our last walk together before her departure to Brazil. The night before we went out for a going-away-get-together and when I told her about my plans to go to a shooting range she said she thought it sounded like fun. So she, Mr. C, and I all went to a shooting range and shot pistols! The first gun was a 9mm and the second one was a 38 Special. Wow! I said that I wanted to do something to take me out of my comfort zone, and I sure did! When we got there I realized how truly out of my element I was. But it was so exciting. I was worried that since I am so small that the gun would have too much force for me to handle, but I think I did very well. Erin did take a picture of me and Mr. C, so if she sends it to me I will post it. For now, here are the targets that we shot.

Of course we did go get cheesecake. Mr. C insisted that I get three slices! I didn't have a chance to eat very much, though, since my flight was early the next morning and I didn't take any for the plane. For our evening entertainment Mr. C and I went to a burlesque show at a place in Post Alley called the Pink Door. We had a great time and I even got tipsy (he kept buying me White Russians).

While I was in Chicago Mr. C was woken up from an after-work nap to find out that a man driving down our street blacked-out and drove into our cars. He first side-swiped our neighbor's car, then drove right into the back of Mr. C's car, which smashed into my car, then he side-swiped my car. My car is still able to be driven (although not at night as the tail lights no longer work) but Mr. C's car is in really bad shape. We don't know exactly how things will shake down yet, but are working with the insurance people to get it all sorted out. Yikes again.

Friday, July 20, 2007

on my mind...

This is going to be one of those random posts...

Tomorrow is my birthday. I am still not certain what I will do to celebrate it. Per his request I sent Mr. C some ideas for activities and gifts and at this point I will let him take control of making final decisions. I just want to do something fun/silly/odd to perhaps get me out of my comfort-zone. We'll see what ends up happening. I will post about it eventually. One thing that I know for certain is that at some point during the day there will be extravagantly decadent cheesecake. And if past experience is an indicator for future expectations, Mr. C will insist that I get at least two slices.

I'm leaving early Sunday morning for Chicago. I will be there for six days. I am not super excited to be going as I am finally starting to get the hang of this relaxing thing. The trip is for work--I will be attending an Institute for teaching Advanced Placement Art. I've been teaching it for two years and really enjoy it, so when the brochure came three months ago it sounded like a great idea. I will enjoy it once I am there. Do you think they will let me take left-over chessecake on the airplane?

Holy cow...have you seen Tammy Faye (Baker) lately? Yesterday we were watching CNN and as the program went to commercial her image flashed on the screen to promo. an interview with Larry King. She looked like a painted skeleton. Mr. C and I both literally gasped in recoil. How sad. The poor woman has cancer. Her face will haunt me for months.

Tonight is Erin's going away party. She is leaving for Brazil while I will be in Chicago. I can't write about it because I will get too emotional. I am going to miss my friend terribly.

It looks like we will be moving once our lease is up in September. Last week Mr. C and I had discussed this and had pretty much come to the decision to move. We want to stay in this neighborhood, but find a larger house. Well the other day our landlord called and asked me what our plans are because she wants to move into our house. She has another house a few blocks away that might be coming available around the time our lease is up, so we may move in there. I've walked by the house and it looks good from the outside.

After only three days I feel like the little green pills are starting to work. I'm still not eating a lot but one of the side effects, at least initially, is loss of appetite. Since I've already lost six pounds this has to change soon. It will. I love food. I'm sure the cheesecake will help:)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

about therapy

I saw the therapist for the second time today. The first visit did go very well so before I went in today I had myself prepared for that to have been an anomaly. But once again things went well.

It did take a while to find a therapist. After the experience with that woman who totally went down the wrong road with me I was wary to jump right back into looking. A woman I admire and trust recommended someone, but when I spoke to her on the phone she told me she didn’t have any openings. She recommended several different colleagues and gave me some basic information about each of them. Based on what she told me I called the woman who I am seeing now (it took me over a month to make the call).

She has a background in and practices traditional psychotherapy but she also integrates energy work (Reiki) and mindfulness. So far we have spent the first half of each 90 minute session in “talk” therapy and the second half doing energy work. During the energy work time I do deep breathing and relaxation exercises and she also brings up things that came up during the talk therapy part and helps me work through them.

Something she is really helping me with is to be present with the “bad” feelings as they come up and not try to bury them. After the first visit she encouraged me to allow myself to feel these things and see what came up for me. When she said that I really wasn’t sure how it could possibly help. But it is helping and being able to work things through with her is a big part of that.

I realized today that the feeling I have of not trusting myself comes out of a larger issue of not trusting God. And as we worked through that I realized that I am already on the road to rebuilding that trust, but that it will take time. I also realized or became aware that while my faith/trust was damaged, it wasn't completely destroyed. Likewise, I wasn't destroyed either. And often when something is rebuilt it is stronger than it was initially. I believe that the healing work that I am doing is making me, my faith, and my relationship stronger.

Wow. Am I tempting fate by being so positive?

Oh, and the medication I am taking is for anxiety. She said it will take a couple weeks for them to really kick in, but since I am so small and very sensitive that I will most likely feel them sooner. I'm glad I took that step, too. Who knows how long I will choose to take them. Right now I am not concerned about it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

the big guns

I feel like my world has been turned upside down and shaken up...and this is not a bad thing, but it feels very bad most of the time.

I am facing things. I am forcing myself to have the hard conversations--with others and with myself. I am actively engaging in life. And while I know that change can be (by its very nature) tumultuous, today I finally asked for help in a way that I hadn't thought that I would really need.

I saw the new therapist last Wednesday and it went really well. She said that she might want to prescribe something for my anxiety, but wanted to wait until my following visit this Wednesday to see how I am doing. Today I called her and told her I don't think I can wait. I will pick up my prescription later today.

While things have been improving in all aspects of my life, there is still this strong undercurrent of anxiety that is always present. Yes, I can control it with breathing exercises and visualization. I can control it by dealing with things as they come up instead of trying to avoid them. I can control it, but only to a certain extent. Last night I woke up gasping for air. This has happened a couple of times in the last few weeks. That isn't good. No, I haven't been having all-out panic attacks (I've had them in the past, so I know for sure what they are) but this not being able to breathe thing is not good. And the worst "symptom" of all is this feeling of not being able to "be myself." This is making me feel crazy. Yesterday I really allowed myself to *be* with that feeling and I realized that at its core is this sense that I don't trust myself. Clearly it is something that I can and will work through in therapy, but I need to be able to sleep and eat in order to really do that work/live life.

Monday, July 9, 2007

a new look

So it isn't a drastic change or anything, but today when I was fussing over trying to get my stat meter to show up I played with the template and changed it.

Sometimes change feels good, even if it is something small.

I've been doing that around the house as well. It all started last night when I rearranged two chairs in my living room. We have a leather club chair that matches our sofa and a modern slipper chair and ottoman that is a similar color to the accent wall (in the celadon/chartreuse range). Anyway, I bought this chair and ottoman not too long after returning to work after William died. I feel like I have been sitting in this chair for a year. Moving it felt good to me. I had no idea how happy it would make Mr. C. He kept going on and on about how he can sit in his favorite chair again and how he has asked me numerous times to move it. I really didn't realize how much it would mean to him. Isn't it funny that 1) this went right passed me and 2) that he didn't feel like he could move the darn chair himself? Hmmm...

Another change: I am reaching out to old friendships that I have neglected. Saturday in a burst of inspiration I sent e-mails to two friends who I hadn't spoken to in about three years. One friend called me within hours. The other friend didn't get the e-mail until she got to work today, and wrote right back.

driving me crazy

For the past several days my stat counter is not showing up on my blog. It is still showing up as a page element and when I to into customize mode the html is still there. But the icon is not showing up and I cannot check my stats! I am not a stat freak or anything, but I do like to see who has visited each day. I've checked and the stat counter is still showing up on other blogs. If anyone has an idea what is going on or can give me a tip on how to make it show up I would be very appreciative.

Friday, July 6, 2007

no longer focusing on the hole in the doughnut*

We went to a BBQ at the home of some friends of ours for the 4th of July. We were invited to the same BBQ last year and I backed out at the last minute and didn't go, Mr. C went alone. I just couldn't bare the idea of seeing the baby of another friend of ours, who was born a week after William's due date. But this year it didn't even occur to me that this baby, and many others, would be there until just before we went. It didn't worry me, I knew I would be fine, but I did wonder how it might feel. There was also another baby that I expected to see there--she was just born a month ago, which was a year after William's due date. Like many women who have lost a baby, I avoid newborns, so this would be the first tiny baby I had encountered since before my loss.

All told, there were 4 babies who were about a year or younger, and three toddlers. The small back yard was bursting at the seams with children. It didn't upset me in the slightest. The party was laid back, maybe even a little boring. At some point I sat off to the side with C--one of hosts. He and his wife cannot have children, she went into early menopause. Just after I sat down he made a comment to me about all of the children--how just a couple of years ago this was a completely different scene. I asked him if he and his wife ever consider their options. He said that they did talk about it at first, but came to the decision that which ever route they took that it would be stressful and difficult, and they aren't willing to put their marriage through that strain. He said that they are a family, and he is thankful for what they have and wants to nurture that. What he said, and how he said it, really impacted me.

Yesterday I was sitting on our deck, feeding the raccoon and I was reflecting on my feelings about being around all of those babies, and my conversation with C. While before I could say with all honesty that I am willing to wait as long as it takes to try again, that my marriage is most impotant, it wasn't true that I felt at peace with this on a certain level. In my heart I knew that my marriage was the most important thing, but I really wanted to be pregnant again. Now I am at a new peace with it. I actually do not feel like I want to be pregnant now. Yes, some day, but only when we are really ready. I am not feeling like I want or even need a timeline to grasp onto. I realize that there can be no way to put a timeframe on when we will be ready. I realize that by placing a one year mark for us to try again set in motion an unhealthy way of coping. It was as if I was putting my life on hold until that day came. I disengaged from the world in so many ways. I believe that this only has added to the strain on Mr. C.

Life doesn't fit into neat little packages, and things don't always follow the script we think they should. I am happy and thankful for what we have and do not want to get off track by always thinking about what it seems we ought to have. I could go on, but I think that is where I will leave it for now.

*The title comes from something an old friend used to say. She would refer to someone as always focusing on the hole in the doughnut when they were missing all of the good things in their life by focusing on the things that aren't meeting their expectations. (I suppose I didn't need to explain this, since it isn't that complex)

Monday, July 2, 2007

a visit with Collin...and a request

I went through a long streak of bad haircuts. Well, they really weren't that bad of haircuts so much that they were not the haircuts that I wanted. The streak ended when we were in Hawaii for my SIL's wedding in November of '05. This woman at a salon there finally gave me a haircut that I both wanted and liked. When I got back home I was determined to find a new stylist who could continue giving me haircuts that I would be happy with. I was lucky enough to find Collin. Today, sadly, he cut my hair for what will most likely be the last time. He has been having health issues and the doctor has advised him to stop styling hair because they think the sprays and whatnot may be to blame. But he has referred me to James, and he believes James will be a good fit for me. Here I am today, with a new cut thanks to Collin.

Now for the request. My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. I am turning 35. Birthdays, for the most part, have been a fun and happy part of life for me. Last year we kept it quiet. I still wasn't up for getting out much or being around people. But this year I feel like I really should do something. I will say that turning 35 is going to be hard for me. That wouldn't be the case if William had lived. But now here I am--childless and with no plan in the near future to try again. That being said, I want to do something fun or exciting, something that I will remember next year. I am asking for suggestions/ideas.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

our little buddy

It seems that there has been a change of heart here. At first Mr. C tried to chase this raccoon off with a BB gun. But the little buddy (who Mr. C thinks is a female) kept coming back. So for the last few nights he has been feeding her. The first couple of times he gave her some bread that I gave him. This wasn't very popular. Switching to crackers was a clear hit.