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Join me in figuring out "what now?"

Dec 5: Fruit

december-photo-list SmallToday’s photo dujour is interesting as there isn’t really a piece of fruit in the house. Sunday mornings are when grocery shopping is done and tomorrow you would find a plethora of it.

The Kid reminded me, however, that tomatoes are fruit – not the “vegetable” folks my age growing up were told it was. So, as the only fruit in the house, it has become my picture of the day.

This one (these ones) are kind of special though, as I grew them. Every year I attempt to grow something, either in a garden or in pots. This year I experimented with container gardening and I was relatively successful. There was a whole story behind the growing… from acquiring the containers to their unique cages… captured on my other blog. But once I started seeing tomatoes, they grew like crazy, like there would be no tomorrow! I enjoyed eating them whole, like we did when we were kids, eating them in salads and I even made a super special hot sauce for The Kid. They were delicious. They had flavor and even though most of them were small, I did actually get a handful that grew to apple sized and sliced them for sandwiches. They tasted so good.

Just about a week or so ago, we finally had a hard freeze and even though I managed to keep them going for about a week covered with sheets, there was a point where the season was finally over and I threw in the towel.


While cutting the stalks and adding them to the compost, I saved about a dozen that hadn’t froze and although green, I thought could be saved. They were given a place of honor on the kitchen window ledge and slowly, some of them have ripened and turned red. I have high hopes for the rest of them.

Seeing them there takes me back to a time in my childhood. Even though my Dad was away from home for long periods of time (he was a long haul truck driver that ran from the Midwest to the east coast, then up and down the coast and then finally home) it seemed that he always grew tomatoes. I don’t know if out of necessity or if he just like to try and grow something, I always recall green tomatoes sitting on the kitchen window ledge in the summer and early fall.

Seeing my tomatoes there, reminds me of my Dad.


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Dec 4: Low Angle

december-photo-list SmallWasn’t sure if today’s photo was meant to be of a low angle, or taken from a low angle. So I went with the latter.

I think I’ve written about this before and I’ve probably used a similar photo many times (its a good way to take photos of quilts that I make), but it has significance much larger than that.

The thing I get from this is a sense of knowing, warmth and satisfaction. You see, at the top of the photo is a door. That is the door to my son’s bedroom. And looking up to see it closed like that, means he is in that room. And it means he is home with me, safe from the world at at large and available to me should I need him.

Looking up and seeing that is my sense of peace in a world all too insecure and frightening. Having him home warms my heart and makes me feel loved, without ever having to see his face or hear his voice. Knowing that he is there, is my inner peace.



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Dec 3: Someone I Love

december-photo-list SmallToday’s post is easy: someone I love.

From the time that I decided that I did want to become a mother, I have loved that boy. I know, I didn’t know if he would be a boy and there were times when I truly did not know if he would be born at all!

For those of you who haven’t heard this story (and apologies to those that have), the birth of my son was the culmination of five years of infertility treatments; an endless stream of tears, frustration and prayers and a serious impact on my marriage. It was also, as far as I can account, about the cost of a nice house in California (or a really really nice house in Missouri) and an untold amount of time, energy and blood, sweat and tears. Literally: Blood. Sweat. Tears.

And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the entire world!

But from the point that I knew that I would success with the pregnancy and until now, it has been a completely, wonderfully, loved fill ride. Not only do I love that kid, but I am in love with him. I don’t know if every mother feels the way I do, I only know how much he means to me. He is – and always has been – a great, wonderful kid and now he has grown into the most handsome, talented, charismatic, charming, polite and thoughtful young man. I have never heard “I hate you” or “I wished I’d never been born” and he is always ready to help and lend me a hand. He would hate that I am saying all of this, some more than others. He still tells me he loves me and I get a “you’re the best mom ever” often. I still get kisses and big bear hugs and occasionally I will even still get snuggling from him. He is fun to be with and we love most of the same music and we have many interests in common. He has a crazy sense of humor and a laid back style, and is willing to jump in the car with me for crazy, last minute adventures.

Okay, I suspect that y’all are about to gag from the syrupy mush that I am writing, so I will just post today’s photo and let you off the hook.

SDBG(Obviously not a recent picture, but I just discovered a bunch of old photos on an old drive and I just love this picture. Well, I love all of his pictures, but look at that face!)


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Dec 2: Clouds (?)

december-photo-list SmallSo, today’s photo challenge is “clouds”. Huh. The sky is almost dark its so cloudy. Or should I say overcast. Is “overcast” the same as “cloudy”? It is fitting so well with my mood and physical self today… the increased humidity does something fierce to Mr. Arthur Ritis in both knees that I barely want to get out of bed. But even staying put in one position hurts after a bit and then it forces me to move and then everything hurts anew!

These are the days when I think ahead of the upcoming dual surgeries and am excited. I’ve known a couple of people – and read about a lot more – who swear life is a full 180° after healing from the surgery(ies). And almost everything without fail, says they wished they’d done it sooner.

I think I bugged my ortho-doc every single time I went to see him about it. I think he was holding out ’till I hit the big “55” before he would agree. Kept telling me I was “too young”. Damned if that didn’t sound good about the first ten times he told me!

We did hit on something that really helped for a while. Well, helped me, but not apparently not a lot of others. Or maybe a lot of others and that is why the insurance company stopped wanting to pay for it.

See, for a few years, I was getting injections behind my knee caps. (That’s where my arthritis lives.) These injections – which me and the doc called “chicken shots” – really helped for a while.

They were called “chicken shots” because the original injections were a combination of ingredients including the cellular material from chicken’s combs. Their real name was HYALGAN but for some reason, I could never remember that. Hence the use of the vernacular: chicken shots.

But then, my insurance decided that they weren’t going to pay for them anymore and at $3000 a series (five in each knee in as many weeks), I couldn’t exactly afford them either. And they were getting less and less effective. So, time for the replacement surgeries.

But in the meantime, there has been literally nothing to aid in the pain that has resulted from lack of lubrication and continuing destruction. And like I said earlier, the weather is murder. Just this continuous dull ache that never stops in both knees. No matter what I do. Sigh.

DSCN4202So, this is Kansas City today. Blah. Gah. Ugh.(But at least its not snowing. Yet.)



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A New Direction – “Dec 1: My Choice”


I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about this blog. When I first started it, it was all about retrospective… figuring out where the second half of my life would lead. My son was almost grown, my career was at the top of its game, my personal life was about as good as it could get.

Then some things happened and for a while, this blog became a major bitch portal. The most painful and hurtful things rolled from my fingertips and the keyboard. It didn’t take long for me to realize that not only was I not moving forward, but I was also hurting a lot of people. Including myself. Under the guise of being “honest”, I was being obnoxious.

So, the blog became less and less important. Occasionally, I would stumble across something that was important enough – to me, anyway – to write. But the posts have been few and far between and mostly, inconsequential. While my other blog – my creative outlet – has thrived and commanded a nice little following, this one has laid in ruins. In fact its been more than a month since my last post. Someone out there, God love ’em, seems to log in every day to check on me. Thank you, who ever you are.

So, like I said, I have been thinking about this blog. Mostly because of upcoming events. First, another new year (2016). Second, I have scheduled the surgeries to both knees to have them replaced them with prosthetic ones. I am hoping this will have a significant impact on my life in a way that I haven’t known in a long time.

I want to use the surgeries as a way to make myself better. Better physically, but also mentally and spiritually. I want to make changes to become a better person all around, to give back when I know that I have been given so much. I have been an extremely lucky person in this life. I have been blessed with a lot and I know it.

I want this to be a thoughtful journey and I know that there aren’t any shortcuts – I will be required to do the work. I am going to do my best to my best.

So, to get back into the habit of writing, I am going to start with a December photo challenge. Today is December 1. Seems like a good place to start.

December Photo ListSo, the photo at the top of the page represents my photo for today, December 1. I rescued this little, this-close-to-dead plant from a former cube neighbor at a job. It got a new pot and a spot near my kitchen window and sink. It has thrived. In the past year alone, there hasn’t been a single day when there hasn’t been at least one flower in bloom and in most cases, many. It brings me joy in knowing that there is hope for all things, no matter how small the chance. All that is needed is that one opportunity.

So, in addition to a daily photo based on this challenge, I will lay out plans and hopes for what changes are coming for me in the near future. I would love to have company, bring others along for the ride and the opportunity for them to make their own changes. Depend and lean on each other, no one is alone in this world. Sharing can make things bearable and to know that others feel like you do is an amazing power. For growth. For healing. For support.

The journey starts today. I am glad you’re here to take it with me.


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