Sunday, December 4, 2016

Time for a little catch-up and no worries, all is going well with yours truly. Been super busy trying to get a quilt done to meet a deadline and I'm getting close. Will share it with you once the recipient has it in hand.

I had a quiet Thanksgiving. Didn't see a soul I knew but did get a single phone call from my sweet friend Sue in Maine. Very peaceful and I was thankful for that. I walked over to Skippers for a margarita and some tuna tartare. Fab! My house is just in the trees behind the boats you see there so I just have to walk around the top of the canal to get there. 
My plumbing problems have followed me from Maine and don't know if you can see this but it is a single leg on a ladder outside my kitchen window. The plumber had to climb up on the roof to snake the sinks about 8 times. Kitchen sink was backing up into bathroom sink. Old iron plumbing just like in Maine.
I took this picture of my backyard to show you what December 1st looks like in the Fabulous Florida Keys. I still haven't finished cleaning up my garden - just too hard to work out there without my Sophie to help - but I'll get there. Beautiful, right? Lucky me.

 This was a sweet little surprise. I was parked by a secret ocean view I know about, having some coffee and waiting until it was time to go to an appointment, when the African Queen came around the corner. Gotta love Key Largo! Really made my day. 

This takes us to yesterday when I went to the annual Christmas party for the Florida Keys Quilters. Wasn't going to go but MaryLou called me and said WHERE ARE YOU? and I hopped in the car and drove down to the garden center for the party and glad that I did.
Maryann made this little quilt. So cute. Hopefully you can enlarge it and see the 12 days of Christmas. Things like Seven Flamingoes Flocking and Six Dolphins Leaping, Nine Manatees Munching and of course the Seagull in the Palm Tree. Great idea. 

That's all for now. It's another beautiful day here in the Fabulous Florida Keys and I plan to go to Our Lady of Perpetual Mimosas this morning, something I have not yet done this season. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I've been thinking this week that there is a fine line between honoring one's feelings and healing, and wallowing in them. Can you tell I've been reading Martha Beck? I'm so good at being a victim and drowning in self pity and emotional negativity.
Do you know I have not had even one single day without thinking about my former husband since he left. Usually just in passing or when waking from a dream but still! We've been divorced for over 5 years. That is ridiculous!
Losing Sophie has brought up all those sad feelings again but I've got a handle on it now. I did the right thing for Sophie and while I am sad, I do not have regrets. I only feel immense gratitude for her unconditional love, her humor, her trust in me, and her stellar company.
It's been hard being here without her and I have yet to go in my pool by myself because I miss her so much. But gratitude is winning over sorrow and I'm feeling a little less like I'm pushing through sludge to get to the end of each day now.
So. just had to get that out and now I'll be going about my day.
giving thanks

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I've been here a week now. I'd hoped a change of scene would do me good but I am having a hard time settling in. It is just so quiet at my house. I realize I've never been lonely before. I've always had a warm loving presence around me, first my husband and then my dogs. Now I'm alone. Sophie was all I had left. It is hard to sleep without the rhythm of her snoring. I have stopped talking to her like I did the first week because she is gone and I realized without her, I am just an old lady talking to myself. So. Time to stop feeling sorry for myself and get busy.
To that end, on Saturday I attended a rooftop party at Tom and Lu's in honor of his birthday. On Sunday I worked on some curtains for my niece, Genevieve. Love the fabric with mermaids and octopi, but I ran out with one panel left to go so I've got that on order.

And I've been trying to clear up my garden. It is choked with weeds and grass and I've already taken 8 trash cans of stuff to the curb.
I went back to work yesterday. And today, I'm going to start a new project for a birthday present but I'll show you that later. The weather has been perfect, the moon bright and beautiful.
My house? Silent.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Image result for leonard cohen
We lost a huge talent in Leonard Cohen yesterday. So loved his poetry and music.

I saw you this morning
You were moving so fast
Can't seem to loosen my grip
On the past
And I miss you so much
There's no one in sight
And we're still making love
In my secret life
In my secret life

Read more: Leonard Cohen - In My Secret Life Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

So, after a brief stop to see my sister, bro-in-law and mom in Mass, I drove to Harrisburg, PA and stayed at a pretty nice Sheraton for the night and then made the short drive to Lorton, VA on Sunday where I lined up for the auto train at 11:30. Decided it would make the long trip without my traveling companion shorter and more bearable.
cars being loaded
I visited the way too cutesy town of Occoquan for an hour while I waited to board the train. The mayor actually comes to the Amtrak Station in a bus and charges $5 to take you to the main street for shopping and sightseeing and gets you back in time for departure.

It left right on time at 4pm, arrived 2 hours late in Sanford, FL and then I waited 2 hours for my car - always a crap shoot unless you want to pay the extra $50 to have it come off first.

I couldn't make it to the Keys before dark so I stayed over night and had dinner with nephew, Nat and family. Stayed at an SPG resort so heard the ocean all night long -- lovely and healing. Slept like a log.
Arrived at my back door to see bananas peeking over my fence, unbeknownst to my neighbor. Lucky me!

I'll have my work cut out for me in taming my garden. But first to the unpacking in my quiet little cottage without my girl. It feels strange and wrong. I miss her so much.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Miss Sophie   2003? - 2016
smiling girlie 
I've lost my very best friend in the whole wide world. We loved each other unconditionally. And she was all I had left. I'm having a hard time coping but I am pretty well acquainted with the "This Too Shall Pass" concept by now, aren't I?

It became clear this summer that Sophie would not be able to make the trip south this year so we lived each day together bonded in love and, for the last few months, in a sort of doggie hospice, the number one goal being quality of life and minimal pain. My girl was such a good sport, such a fighter and so willing to do anything to make me happy. It was my job to do the same for her. I left her only to go to work or on errands, took her with me when she was feeling good, and left her home when she needed to rest. We treasured every second together and when we were home, I don't think we were more than three feet apart ever. Slept in her bed together for the last few weeks.

The hardest thing I have ever had to do was take her to the vet and have her put to death. People say "put to sleep" or "put down" but that's not what happens really. I waited and waited for somebody to help me, but ultimately it had to be my decision to have her life taken away. It was me and her and I did it because it was the kindest thing I could think of and it was horrible. I felt her warm breath on my cheek and then her body go cold under my hand; the most horrendous thing I have ever gone through. I have no regrets; I only wish I could erase it from my psyche.

I'm not handling her loss that well but I've left Maine now and hoping a change of scene will help. Pulling in to rest stops when I can't control the anguish. It is so strange to live alone, travel alone, be completely alone. Nobody left to put me first, to love me the most, and ditto. So grateful for the time we did have...

That chin on my knee with those big brown eyes and the wild eyelashes gazing up at me with love every single night. Well, I just miss her so much.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

It's been a busy week. After work on Tuesday, I drove down to Portland and picked up my BFF, Gloria, at the airport and we checked into the Eastland Park Hotel, We had dinner at the top of the East, arriving in time for the sunset and watching the lights of the city come on. It is odd being 15 floors up when one lives on a Lake in Maine and in flat Florida and doesn't often go to the city. I really enjoyed it.
Directly below our window was Congress Square where they were set up for an outdoor movie. I love Portland.
We dined on lobster sliders and get this... wait for it... goat cheese fritters! OMG they were delish.
Thursday we went to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and then pampered ourselves at Soakology. Pure heaven. Dan was our massage person and he was awesome.
Image result for soakology
We came home in the heat and humidity where we found Bob and Carole waiting for us so we all jumped in the Lake. We started hearing thunder and while Bob and Carole made a run for it, Gloria and I watched the storm roll in. And then we watched it roll back out. Not one drop of rain although lots of thunder. Maine is thirsty - we're having another summer of drought.
On Thursday, we went to King Eider's - represent! - and we went to River Arts Gallery. Some fabulous paintings and this was only one of them. So amazing.
Then home for more swimming-in much calmer waters than depicted here.
So Friday. Off to the annual Maine Quilts and here are a few of the fabulous quilts there. 
my favorite - all hand quilted. gorgeous
I need to make one of these

Oh hell no!  1/2 inch squares.
love this!

It was a fabulous day and at the end of it, Gloria hopped on the bus and was gone.  poof!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A lovely summer day in Maine yesterday.
Barbie Dreamboat waiting (Sophie aboard)
Out on the Lake
Sunday is the beginning of my work week but the morning belongs to me. Three things I am loving this morning:
1. The latest free meditation from Deepak Chopra and Oprah. Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless Life. A perfect way to start the day.
2. In Tune Sunday Morning on the radio. Hearing the luscious tones of Bebel Gilberto this morning. Love.
3. A walk in the woods with my best friend. Yes, that would be my Sophie girl.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

We've been experiencing a drought in Maine this summer and for the first time, I went out and bought a hose and sprinkler. Tried to buy it at the local hardware store and they were sold out so I had to make the trek to Rockland. I came home and watered my garden for half an hour thus sparking a massive thunderstorm last night. You're welcome, Maine!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Big news! I have reopened my Etsy store and you can link to it on your right. If you want something different from what's listed, let me know. I planned to have it up and running over a week ago but managing the listings is so time consuming. Anyhoo, any feedback would be most welcome.
the sweatshop
We take breaks when necessary...
Out for a stroll
So I was watching a movie the other night and a mosquito was plaguing me, right in my peripheral vision. I kept batting it away. Except it wasn't a mosquito. I suddenly had a floater. I called the eye doctor yesterday morning and they told me to come right in. So of course I immediately feared the worst. Detached retina. And of course it was nothing of the sort. Just a floater. She said within the next couple of months my brain would get used to it and I wouldn't notice it anymore.
Image result for eye floaters
And get this, it is "age related". People warned me you start falling apart when you reach the big 6-0. Yup.

last night's awesome sunset

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hot summer weather arrived in Maine last week and Sophie and I have been gunking around in Barbie Dreamboat and swimming most days. Back to work today.
I've been trying to stabilize Sophie on pain meds for her arthritis. Poor baby has a lot of pain and stiffness but carries on without complaining. Even though she has a ramp to get in and out of the water now, she has a hard time. The vet has her on so many pills and supplements every day, she has to take an antacid in the morning so her stomach doesn't get upset. She sleeps a lot. (Jeez, this is starting to sound like ME!) But she seems happy and is as sweet and loving as always. In this picture taken yesterday, she is watching some kids out on a swim float. Perhaps remembering her younger days when she would have been right out there with them.
This morning we are having some much needed rain and it is a nice cool 70 degrees. My garden is looking particularly lovely; most of the hydrangeas are in bloom now. 
 I took these pictures between rain showers.
 and the lilies are starting to bloom now too.
My hanging tomato plant has been super productive this year and I can't keep up with it. I've been making some yummy caprese salad. And, it's blueberry time! Delish tiny Maine blueberry time!

Lots to be thankful for on this quiet misty morning. 
Miss Barbie getting a rain rinse