Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good riddance, 2011 !!!!!


I can't tell you how happy I am that 2011 is almost over. It's been a miserable year for yours truly and I have to say I am excited and feeling good about 2012. The pity party is over. Time to celebrate the journey and enjoy life's gifts. Surround myself with positive energy.  {Turn that frown upside down. Yeah! Ok, enough already.}

So, to that end, Miss Gloria and I have been sharing studio space at my house (um, former dining room) and the flow of energy has been inspiring! We have been been working at our art, painting and quilting respectively. Gloria has been painting a fabulous series of mermaids and I have been finishing up Ben's little quilt.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My nephew, Will, reminded me of this last Christmas and I thought I would share it with you today.

MR. COPPER'S HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS, from Dr. Who

The Earth continent of Yooropee includes the countries Great France, Great Germany and, separated by the British Channel, Great Britain, also known as Yookay, and they are all at war with the continent of Hamerica. Yookay's capital city is Old London Town, and the country is ruled over by Good King Wenceslas. The people of Earth are a barbarous, warlike race, who worship the great god Santa, a creature with fearsome claws. Their celebration of Christmas is a festival of violence, by the end of which the only survivors are those who have been good. Each year, the people of Yookay go to war against the country of Turkey; they then eat the people of Turkey for Christmas Dinner, which makes a change from the usual Earth delicacy - 'beef'. Soon afterwards, the Earth people start boxing.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I started to write about my therapy appointment yesterday and how my therapist wants me to express my anger towards my former husband and my current situation and how depression is just anger turned inward blah-di blah-di blah-di blah. But then I came across this quote.  I love this:

 "All good things come by grace, and grace comes by art, 
and art does not come easy."
       -Norman Maclean, from "A River Runs Through It"

It seems to me that art would be more therapeutic than raging about what an a$$hole my husband was. Well, maybe I can do some of that too . . . 
Time to start making some art . . . Susan? Gloria? Are you with me girls? 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Well, I worked myself up in to quite a state yesterday. Sophie was not herself in the morning, very lethargic and clingy. And then I found it. A lump on her neck. I freaked. So right away, let me say she is FINE. No cancer cells found. She does have an inner ear infection which probably accounts for her feeling lousy. I thought I had (somewhat) mentally prepared myself for the return of the cancer as the particular type she had does tend to recur, but apparently not. I was a wreck.
I spent the day in a weird sort of limbo while I waited to go to the vet at 4pm. You can imagine the scenarios that were going on in my head...So grateful for wonderful friends who prop me up. 
from Bits & Pieces . . .

Holiday Eating Tips

1.   Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare… You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple , Pumpkin , Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Spay-ghetti and No-Balls Gala

So much fun! My friends, Marti and Dirk invited me to go with them and we had a great time.
Photo


So, here is an extremely unflattering photo (thanks alot Dirk!) of Marti and me and this Santa Doggy. He couldn't keep his paws off us all evening. Kind of icky but anyhoo . . .  There was a really really loud band, wonderful food from a bunch of local restaurants; there was a silent auction - oh I love me a silent auction! -  live auction, and the wine was flowing. I think they must have made lots of money for the doggies.
Hard to see but the party was at a huge estate and it was dark - plus maybe my flash wasn't working - or maybe it was the wine . . . I don't know.
Area foster caregivers brought their charges to the party and there were some adorable dogs in need of "forever homes." So, if anybody wants a wonderful new furry member of the family, let me know - I've got connections.

This little girl is my fave. Her name is Abby. Come on . . . you know you want her!


Friday, December 16, 2011

I am feeling a little STRESSED OUT!  Why didn't somebody tell me Christmas was just around the corner??  So, I have started on my gifts and I will show you what I have so far because I'm pretty sure none of the little ones read my blog.  Look how cute!
Little aprons for arts and crafts or cooking is my thought. Ok, but that is ALL I have done so far so I will be sewing my fingers to the bone in the next few days. Except that today I have to run errands, go to work, go for a walk and have lunch with my BFF. My social calendar is just that full, baby. Oh, and the ball tonight. But more on that later . . .

So, here is my little Lucy who thinks it's ok to bring a coconut in the house and chew it up. Not! So, I throw her out and here she is waiting for me to turn my back so she can sneak it in again.
That's all I got.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I had lunch at the Pilot House with Gloria and David yesterday. So wonderful to see how well Gloria is doing with her new hip! Walking straight and tall. Lovely.
cute couple
Pilot House bar - love the colors.
And, I decided two years of trying to ignore the holidays is enough and I rummaged around in the garage and found my old Christmas tree. A little worse for the wear; the peacock is a bit moth eaten, but the pink lights still work. True Florida kitsch. I know it won't be easy this year but it will be easier than last year and way easier than the first year alone. 
My therapist told me in order to counteract the daily dreams about my husband and our life together, to ask myself to have angry dreams about him before I go to bed at night. I have finally had one. Violent retribution. Felt good. yeah. Felt great actually.
Anyhoo, I also wanted to show you this amazing orchid I bought at the flea market a few weeks ago. It is so gorgeous. 25 blooms!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mom and Dad took me out to Seva for lunch and then we went to see an adaptation of the play, The Beaux' Stratagem by George Farquhar, an Irishman who first produced it in the 1700's. V. funny. Then, back I went to return my rental car and spend the night at the Westin, Detroit Metro Airport - shout out! Fab hotel! I flew out at the crack of dawn - literally - yesterday morning and arrived to 80 degree weather. V. nice.
I do want to back up a few days and tell you about Aunt Dot's sendoff. My friend, CarolAnn threw a great party for her Aunt Dot, deceased this past summer. It was held at Silver Shores in the clubhouse, catered and with a live band.
the  clubhouse at dusk
A great time. Then a champagne toast followed by the "Blast to Heaven." That's right, Aunt Dot's ashes were shot out of a canon to sea. Followed by many of us flinging long stemmed red roses after her. Ah yes, only in the Keys. She is missed. And btw, it took two canon blasts to get all of Aunt Dot off to heaven.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Guess where I am today??

I'll give you a hint. There is ice and snow on the ground and it is 20 degrees outside. And it involves taking a plane and a rental car.

Quite a shock to get off the plane in Detroit in my sandals. Zoiks it's cold! I flew in to surprise my mom and dad for her birthday. And talk about a shock!! Thankfully, nobody clutched at their chest and collapsed to the floor. Even Rose was surprised.
Wuh?
I brought fresh stone crab and a key lime pie in my suitcase for dinner and we had quite a feast with neighbors, Brad and Lydia, the nicest people ever.
kind of looks like the pie is on fire in this picture
Going to Trader Joe's this morning and to a play later on before I head back to the airport. (So lovely to sleep in 'til 8am with no little wet noses poking me. Thank you, Florence, for that!)
Here is the quilt I made for my mom's birthday present. Like a bonce, I left all the photos up in Maine so my sisters helped me out by scanning and emailing me what they had.  So, this is what I've been working on for the past few weeks. Finished it Friday night!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

I'd tell you what I'm working on . . . .


But then I'd have to kill ya . . . .

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Well, life has been a little hectic lately. Today alone, I had the annual hospital Christmas luncheon (my group of four won the bell ringing concert! Right on, girls, shakin' that  booty- and those bells), a Habit for Humanity meeting (and can anyone PLEASE donate enough seafood for 300 people for the party in March? Anyone? Anyone? Ok, then how about just 35 pounds of shrimp? some wine?) and I'll keep you posted on how THAT goes.
I also went back to the shrink. Mostly out of curiosity. But, what a difference a week makes. Seriously, I know mercury is in retrograde but that doesn't quite cover it. Bipolar disorder would be my guess . . . she was definitely out of her manic phase this time - but what do I know? And, she was helpful this time. Really. I'll spare you the details but apparently I had given myself two years to get over the loss of my marriage, and way of life really, and she sort of gave me permission to take longer to get over the fact that someone I've loved for over half of my life suddenly - and most cruelly - walked out of my life, stepping all over me in the process. I thought I was stuck but she said again, I am suffering from post traumatic stress. Whatever. So, I guess I give it more time. Next week, she is going to use neurofeedback on me for the depression and sleep problems. Yay! Instant Cure!! Right? Right?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not the best picture, I know, but it gives you some idea of the chaos that is the annual Florida Keys Quilters Christmas party. So much food! So much fun!
I was lucky enough to "win" Mary Lou's gift this year. It is a beautiful little wall hanging. Check it out:
I'm thankful for this bunch of women. They are wise and wonderful and to think I almost didn't go. So happy I did!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

High Tea at the Biltmore

I went with the Red Hat Rippers to the Biltmore for high tea. All the fixin's including finger sandwiches, scones and clotted cream, petits fours and of course, tea. I had a green/spearmint which was veddy veddy good.
Florence and Sue made a beeline for the bar as soon as we got there. duh
I'd show you pictures of the actual tea but I swear in every shot somebody was shoving something in her mouth and I don't want to risk bodily injury by posting any of those, so you will have to make due with pictures of the Biltmore. A beautiful place with the biggest most gorgeous pool ever.
Shout out to our fearless leader, Jan, for arranging it all!

The Ritual

Retrieve
Shake
Drop
Roll
Repeat


Monday, November 28, 2011

I start to cry every time I drive by my old home.  I was so happy here. Such a loss. In so many ways. It is now under foreclosure and sits empty with "no trespassing" on the gate. I've started to drive in a few times but then I think, why do this to myself?







So, I went to see a shrink. And, I rest my case when I say that members of the psychiatric community in general are crazier than the average bear. No exception here. She was crazier than a rat in a shoebox. But let me back up.
When I had my annual physical, my doctor said she thought I was depressed and might want to talk with someone. She is right. I am having a hard time moving on since my husband left. And, it has been over two years!! I am continuing to let the past define me and no matter how intellectually aware I am of my victim mindset and the need to move on, viscerally I still feel like one. I want to be more than what I am. I just don't know how to get there. So, yes I need help with that.
One thing the shrink said was that there is nothing wrong with being stuck. It is normal and it is what happens when you are suffering from post traumatic stress. She said that is what is wrong with me. She then proceeded to tell me that it took her four years to get over the infidelity and break-up of her marriage. Seriously. Is everyone over the age of 50 divorced??? She also told me I was codependent because I ended up letting my husband define me and that I lived for his validation and approval. True to some extent, but I kind of felt like she was talking about herself . . . anyhoo, she wants me to go to a Coda group. Which is like AA for codependent people. oy vey
All I can say is that I'm sick of feeling sad and empty and maybe if I can admit that and that I need help, I've taken a positive step.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Meet Octavia!

So, as a consequence of Lu-Elaine's fall into the canal and Sophie's difficulties getting in and out, Tom showed up yesterday with bags of concrete and built Sophie her own steps into the canal. (And, they'll be great for getting in and out of my kayak.) They are awesome. Look:
I heard him calling me at one point to bring the camera so I ran out and look who is living in my canal! An Octopus! Isn't she lovely? She changed color several times right in front of our eyes. I have named her Octavia.
I looked at Wikipedia and read, "The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda" and my eyes started to glaze over so I stopped. Seriously though, they are the most intelligent of invertebrates and the drawback? They eat lobsters! So, Tom says I will have no lobsters in my canal. Bummer.



Friday, November 25, 2011

Chapter 3, I think . . .


Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
       There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…I become helpless.
       It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.


Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.
       There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
       I pretend I don’t see it.
       I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
       But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.
       There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
       I see it is there.
       I still fall in…it’s a habit
              My eyes are open.
              I know where I am
       It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.
       There is a hole in the sidewalk.
       I walk around it.


Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Well, the girls and I spent a quiet day together, which I guess is my new tradition. Not so terrible really. (And not so quiet at times.)
The highlight of my day was when Lu-Elaine and Tom stopped by on their way north. We went outside to look at Sophie swimming in the canal and Lu decided to show her how to use the steps. I heard a splash and this is what I saw next.
So she and Sophie had a little swim . . . 
before she struggled out of the canal, took a quick shower, and they were on their way. Note: I noticed neither used the steps to get out. I'm thankful for Lu-Elaine and Tom and their friendship. And the fall in the canal was priceless. (Ok, it was hilarious but I don't want to go into that because she was pretty scraped up and I'll feel awful if I laugh and she is hurt.)
So, this is what my thanksgiving dinner looks like:
Yummy fresh Key West Pink shrimp and a nice salad. yay.
* * * 
I'd like to say I haven't given a thought to previous Thanksgivings with my husband or that I hope he won't choke on whatever he is having for dinner today.

But I can't.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sophie has a new hobby. She spends quite a bit of time at it. I have two coconut palms in the front yard that drop a few coconuts every day. Sophie takes each one to the back porch and shreds it and works it and works it until she gets to the nut. Somehow she is able to crack this to get to the milk and meat. Now, I have only seen a coconut opened with a machete so this is impressive. 
 Makes quite a mess, as you can see.
Then, around 3 or 4 in the morning, I hear it. The unmistakable sound of a dog heaving. She vomits all that coconut on the bedroom floor. A lovely gift for mummy to deal with in the morning. Now, my challenge is getting the nut away from her before she can crack it. We did about 6 laps around the house yesterday and I was not too pleased with Miss Sophie. She thought it was great fun.
And, I wanted to share this wonderful head with you. I was having lunch with my BFF when we spotted the back of this head. My BFF said it looks like coral. I thought, a Shar-Pei.

And, just one more thing:
Dear auto correcyhahahaha

Monday, November 21, 2011

Prepare yourself for a diatribe


and if you don't want to hear it, please don't read on. . .

So, I had a lot of time to think in the 10 or so days I was on the road, and unfortunately -  and apparently impossible not to- my thoughts dwell on the turn my life has taken in the last few years.

I have meant for quite some time to send apologies out there into the ether to the friend of a friend I spoke about when my husband first left. She was in her third year of abandonment at the time and unable to move on, bitter and depressed. I vowed not to be her. Arrogance on my part. Well, hello. Now I completely sympathize with her immobility. Mine seems to be more emotional than material, but still. . .

Something I've recently read resonated with me (and I would like to give credit where credit is due but can't remember who or what.) Anyhoo, it went something like this:
Now that he's gone, you can finally hear yourself think. Gather yourself back together. You've been in a lot of little pieces because you're always dealing with him, listening to him, checking on him, trying to find out what he thinks instead of what you think. Do that long enough, you can lose yourself. Just disappear. Don't I know it. I'm still looking for myself . . . 

I now realize that men are just a bandaid, we stick them over an uncomfortable truth we don't want to look at. That is, we're all ultimately alone. Everything else is illusion. We live in solitary confinement inside our own bodies. No man can complete me. I'm on this journey alone.

Ok, I'm done now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So, to catch you up, from Vilano Beach I hightailed it to Stuart to meet my new great-nephew, Ben. A beautiful little boy, and so wonderful to see Genevieve and Seth who are growing like little weeds. And, of course, Natonio and Sarah - they have a fabulous house with a pool (and I am green with envy.) So happy I stopped but instead of spending the night, I made a beeline for the Fabulous Florida Keys. The girls and I could smell the barn, if you catch my meaning.
So, I got to the dump, I mean house, that I rented on Monday night and have spent the last five days trying to make it habitable. And things are looking up. Two of those days were spent moving out of my storage unit in Florida City and having my things around me has  made things better. (And, not to complain or anything but it is wicked hot and humid here - my least favorite kind of weather. oy) So, without further ado, here is my new abode:
not much to look at from the street side
but this is the back of the house and if it ever cools down,
will be a great living space - nice right?
Here is the canal and tiki out back and nice to see the
working boats going out and coming in. That's my hot tub.
No need for it  yet, that's for sure.
This is a shot of the living room from the kitchen. My BFF was going
to buy that palm from the Habitat Re-Store and I demanded
she let me have it. And she did. She will have
it back in April when I leave..
Yikes! Scary killer palm frond in the canal!