Friday, May 29, 2009

Stroke. Stroke. Stroke.

My quest to re-rehab my shoulder impingement is going pretty well. I'm trying to emulate the activities that I learned at physical therapy at my weekday gym. There are a couple of machines, like the 'hand bicycle' that are similar, but I'm improvising most everything else.

One of the thing I did was crawl on a Concept2 rowing machine. I didn't add any tension, I was just looking for some range of motion stuff. Boy, do I love that machine. I love how it feels like a whole-body workout. And it got me to thinking about something I've always wanted to do. Row crew. Which I feel like I would have been good at and would have been very available to me when I lived in Washington. But rowing here in landlocked North Texas? Not so much. Except it is! I found a place where I can take some lessons. Now granted, there's no crew to row with - it's a single seat hull. But you've got to start someplace, right?

It also turns out that there is a local rowing club. From there website, it looks like membership is available and it includes use of the clubs' equipment, etc. I know I'm jumping ahead, but I've always wanted to try this and it turns out that it's actually available and right on my way to/from work! So all the more reason to get this shoulder back in shape. I'm wandering back into a spin class at lunch today, but I will take it very easy. I just need to get back into my routine.

Getting ready for Saturday's cook-out. I think I'll have plenty of time to get things prepped. Menu is decided upon, as well as the actual dishes that things are going into. Bick thinks that step is crazytalk. I think Bick doesn't realize how much planning has to go into one of his "easy, breezy BBQs". Ha!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Row your own boat.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Talking With The Voices Inside My Head

I've had an inner voice as long as I can remember. That voice was like Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern and Simon Cowell all rolled into one. It was voice that spewed hatefulness and criticism and it has been with me for a long, long time. It was hard to be positive while this Inner-Rush was whispering in my ear. I became my own worst enemy - my harshest critic. I played that voice in unending loop of negativity.

"I cannot believe you made that mistake. You are an idiot."
"Don't go there and do that. You are too fat. People will make fun of you."
"Don't say anything about that. You don't want to start a fight. What if he leaves you? Who will you be then? You are too ugly, too poor, too fat to ever find a relationship."

Over the years, I've worked on shutting down that inner voice. One of the best tools I've learned came from listening to Pema Chodron's Getting Unstuck. She talked about treating yourself with loving kindness when trying to meditate instead of beating yourself up for not doing it RIGHT. And I did beat myself up. I'd sit down and try to meditate and soon my mind would be wandering and my Inner-Rush would start criticizing me for not even being able to meditate right. Somehow, I was missing the whole point. Here I was, trying to inject some peace and calm into my life and I'd have the WWE Smackdown going on inside my head.

Pema's advice with regard to meditation was to realize that I had wandered and declare it, but without judgment. Just like you would recognize, say, a tomato. Yea, that's a tomato. Hey, my mind wandered. Time to bring it back. No criticism. No judgments. Just assessment and re-focus. Treat yourself with loving kindness. I actually think that was a stated intention I made yesterday.

I had the opportunity to use this technique last night at kundalini yoga class. It was a new class for me. Last night, it was a small class, only one other man, plus the instructor. My Inner-Rush started in:

"You shouldn't be here. These other people have a REAL practice. You are a poser and they know it. The Indian yogi thinks you are a fat pig."

I was able to assess the situation, without judgment. I could expose my errors in thinking without being critical. "Wow, Roxie, you are engaging in some serious mind-reading. You do not KNOW what that other guy's practice is like and you do not KNOW what the teacher thinks about you. Chances are, no one is thinking about YOU at all. Refocus and enjoy the experience."

I was thinking about the experience on the drive into work this morning and I've come to a new way to think about that inner voice. Rather than criticize myself for having a critical inner voice (how's that for circular logic?), I began to view this Rush voice as a coping mechanism/defense strategy gone awry. This voice started years ago to "protect" me from mistakes, as the punishment for mistakes was shame. What started as a help had become a hindrance. I no longer need that inner voice to keep me from harm. It was just trying to warn me that I was a bit out of my comfort zone, that I was stretching myself, taking a risk. I've outgrown that voice. It was a strategy that I adopted when I didn't know any better. And it got out of hand. I now know better and I can do better.

Dentist Dude released me to a few soft foods. Specifically, over-cooked pasta. So last night I fixed mac and cheese. It was good and I enjoyed it, but I've basically been off processed carbs for a number of years and they no longer agree with me. While I didn't overeat last night, I can feel the carb-load today. The search for a clean protein that I can eat continues.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Look at things in a new way.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Setting An Intention

My intention today is to be present and in the moment. I will not look for things to worry about. I will do what I can, when I can. I will treat the world with loving kindness, starting with myself. If I cannot treat myself well, then I will have nothing left to use for other people. My inner voice will be thoughtful, but forgiving.

Shoulder rehab is going much better than expected. I expected to be all sore, especially on Monday when I came home from the gym and then washed windows (inside and out). I didn't get them all done, but it was still a job. So far, the exercise seems to keep the shoulder from getting sore. The body is strange. I was thrilled to get back to my weekday gym and get a little closer to my routine.

Yesterday's first day at work went nicely. It was nice to have some part of my routine back. Today looks to be a busy one. I am attending the new yoga class and while I am excited about that, I also found out about a new water aerobics class and an exciting art class - all on Wednesday evening. Why does Wednesday have to the the world's most popular day in the summer? I'll stick with the yoga, for now.

Dentist appointment today - trying to think positive about that one. And then prep begins this evening for our Saturday cook-out that comes with carnivores, vegetarians and vegans. It's always a challenge to pull together an integrated menu that doesn't look like "this is your food and over there is YOUR food". I like to offer some choices (well labeled).

I am avoiding the scales for right now, as the best thing I can do for myself is to just get through this period of time. I need this to be successful. Besides the out-of-pocket costs (small used car!), I'd like to keep my smile. So, I'm just doing what needs doing and if I've gained (I know I don't feel "right"), I'll deal with that later. Because this is such a strange way of "eating", I've been surprised that my pants still fit perfectly.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Treat yourself with loving kindness.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Make It Sparkly!

I don't know where I got this expression, but it so irks Bick, so I use it as a closure on most of my emails to him (he's a crusty old fart with a soft gooey inside - shhh!). Today I need to use it as my theme for the day as I return to the real world. I've been off work for a couple of weeks and while I still can't eat actual food, I need my routine back! So I am grateful to be returning to work, albeit with a bag full of soup.

I hit the gym early yesterday morning and I came to the realization that I need to work hard on shoulder rehab as I'm easing back into a fitness routine. I am going to commit to doing my exercises diligently for the next couple of weeks before returning to the doc about it. I've done nothing in the last couple of weeks, so rest isn't helping. So, today will be a treadmill walk at lunch, followed by some shoulder rehab.

Wednesday I have another checkup with my dental pro. I am hopeful that he will release me to soft foods - this liquid diet has me pretty cranky. I am excited to start a new class on kundalini yoga on Wednesday evening, as well. I don't know if I will like it, but I'm interested in attending. Kundalini yoga is more about postures coupled with meditations and sharpening of mental focus. I've never done this specific yoga practice, so I'm looking forward to it.

So I've pulled on my positive britches and am starting the day with the thought and intention that today will be a "sparkly" day. I'm off for a bit of yoga and meditation practice in my re-arranged yoga room. It's time to get into the groove again.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Set your intention for the day.


Monday, May 25, 2009

The Reunion

The plan was this: I was going along for the ride, to hang out with the dog, enjoy the spa tub and the cable tv. Plus, since the town is so small that there are no cabs, I was also to be the designated driver. The plan was to drop Bick off at 4:15 (start time on this shindig was 4:00) and he said to expect a pick-up call before 7pm. Ha!

Bick went to a very small, very rural school in Texas. Graduating class size of 27. Of those 27, 14 showed up at the 30th class reunion. Due to the small size of the school, I think these kids were probably closer than a lot of other groups. Bick, of course, hung out with the kids from the "smoking porch". Back when there was such a thing at high schools. At my school, it was the smoking lot, and I hung out there too, despite being nerdly, as was Bick.

Phone calls came in - "having a good time", etc. Eventually, I went to pick him up around 10:30pm. Then my life became a nightmare - you know the one where you show up at school only to find out you've got a test in a class you've never attended or else you show up only to figure out that you don't have any clothes on? Oh, no? Well, I guess it's just me. Anyway, I show up to pick up Bick and nothing do the "smoking lot Class of 1979" than they come out to meet me. Me, with not a swatch of make-up and wearing my pajamas! They crawled in the truck and all over the truck, telling me Bick stories and generally trying to embarrass him (which is impossible) and I was laughing too hard to be embarrassed myself - despite the girls' admonitions to him that I was going to kill him when we got alone!

They were a delightful group and all sober, amazing since they'd been there for hours. They had laughed and talked the night away, catching up and retelling old stories about a life that only happens in small towns.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

For My First Course

Bick and I were on our way home from his high school reunion when we passed the sign as shown here. I declared that the "El Farto Grande" would be my first real meal when I can once again eat real food. We just fell out laughing, but were traveling too fast to get a picture.

More on the reunion later.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Love Technology

Our wireless works OUTSIDE! OMG! What a perfect day this is turning out to be! Bick is getting oven roasted radishes and braised kale from the garden as a part of the he-who-can-actually-chew dinner. Plus a yummy steak, cuz I love him so.

I've been puttering about outside, in the garden, repotting things. Cleaning up the veggie garden and generally being a contributing member of this hillbilly household.

I'm indulging in all my hippy-dippy feel good stuff today. Gardening, meditation (outdoors this morning!), spending time with SadieLuWho, replanting some stuff and I'm going to buy some sort of climby thing to climb up the car pavilion support post.

I'm going inside to grab my brunch - a chocolate-flavored meal replacement drink. Does anyone have a french fry I can lick?

Make the rest of the day as perfect for you as you can!

And this afternoon after gym? I'm watching Season One of Moonlighting on DVD.

And Bick sent me this and it's made me smile. It's QUEEN!

My life is made up of pure fabulous!

Okay, Enough of That

Dental appointment was a disappointment. I'm guess I misunderstood how this was going to go after I got my stuff out. I'm back to a liquid-only diet - no soft foods, even. I was pretty bummed out on Wednesday - plus I was stinking HUNGRY and HURTY.

I made the stop off at work after the appointment for the retirement shindig. I only stayed a few minutes, but was glad I went.

I talked to Pebbles Wednesday evening and she mentioned she was driving out solo from Big D out to Abilene for a quick meeting with a client and did I want to ride along? So yesterday, I opted for another sick day (am taking one today, but today is a get-my-sorry-ass-in-a-better-frame-of-mind day) and we rode out to Abilene. We had a nice visit. I do enjoy that child. She's in the middle of her quarter-life-crisis and is re-evaluating who she really is and who she really want to be (aren't we all? - or is that really just me?) and her new motto is "Say Yes to Life". So we had some interesting philosophical discussions about life and following your dreams and fear and stuff - an interesting way to wile away 6 hours of road trip. Oh, and I packed a cooler with green tea and pre-made soup as my provisions.

Anyway, good day with the kiddo. I do really like this woman. She's smart and funny and self-aware, if a bit flaky from time to time. She's going through a party phase right now, but I've got to have faith that she will keep her boat on an even keel. She always has.

All of this got me thinking, it's time for me to quit moping around here with this hang-dog expression. So today, I declare that I am living life like it's the the perfect one! No reason for it not to be. I'm getting ready to head out into the garden and putter around there. I'm going to enjoy one of the most beautiful days so far this spring. I'm going to read one of my favorite mags (Thanks Meg) that just arrived and I'll drink my soup and I will enjoy it! This afternoon, I'm going to head for the gym to get a walk in - I don't want to get overheated and too far from civilization in case it proves too much - but TODAY I AM TAKING MY LIFE BACK.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Drink your dinner.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Not Going As Well As I'd Hoped

Recovery hasn't happened as fast as I'd hoped. While the whole process wasn't as bad as I'd feared, I haven't been able to make it through a day with only OTC pain control. I guess I will have to today, as I must drive into Where the West Begins to get the stitches/packing removed. Then I need to attend an a retirement party at work. And I already feel bad.

Bick's 30th high school reunion gathering is this weekend. I'm going up with him, but not attending. I'm going to laze around with SadieLuWho, watch cable TV and soak in the in-room whirlpool tub(if available). I'm sure a change of scenery will help.

I am looking forward to getting my life back.


Friday, May 15, 2009


Still home, still sore, but on the mend. I feel kinda like Rocky Balboa, complete with mouthpiece, although I'm not too swollen or bruised up. So far, it's been better than I expected. I have a tendency to "awfulize" things. So I am grateful.

No exercise, per doc's orders. I have gone out and wandered around the garden which is growing great guns this spring. I got to see our garden bunny this morning - we've got some cottontails that live under the car pavilion. During the winter, we'd find them tucked under the row cover, chomping down on some winter greens. That always made me smile, after my heart started beating again from being startled.

Pebbles is bringing Barkley up this afternoon to visit. I'll be glad to see her. She said she was bringing movies and we can snuggle on the couch and watch them. I am not an openly affectionate person, or at least wasn't very much when I was younger. Pebbles wasn't either as a child, but she gets more that way the older she gets. When we go shopping or are out and about, she holds my hand. I think it's the most adorable thing ever. And her "go to" comfort spot used to be to crawl in bed with me and watch "When Harry Met Sally" and hold hands. She really is a treasure.

And speaking of treasure, Sandy has been just lovely since her return from Chicago. She's been over to visit at least once a week, she's secured a couple of part-time jobs for the summer and plans to re-enroll at the local cc. She seems much more relaxed and comfortable and will actually talk! It looks like some progress - perhaps growing up a little in Chicago was good for her. Last night she wandered in the house, flopped down on the couch and just hung out and talked. I know that all progress isn't linear, but I'm seeing some improvements there. Bick, of course, was just beaming when she left. Since he chose to put down the rope in their on-going tug-o-war, it seems to be working. He's been able to detach a little bit and it's made things much better.

He really does work hard to make that relationship work. Change is difficult, but he's done a great job of it. He's got some things to overcome with Sandy, but it's going okay. I'm very proud of him for making the effort.

Lee, thanks for the green tea tip. I've been drinking a lot more of it lately, cutting way way down on my diet coke consumption.

Tena, I know what you mean about the battle between being frugal and making things easier. I fight that battle all the time, but I think that being healthful is the right answer, even if it hits my pocketbook. Getting over that was a huge hurdle for me.

Other notes: I haven't heard about Breakthrough therapy, but it sounds interesting. I've made a list of books and resources that readers have provided and as soon as I'm up and about, I'll check them out.

Morning pain meds are kicking in - gotta go while I'm still coherent.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Better living through Chemistry.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Up and Around

I'm able to get up and around a bit today. I slept most of the day yesterday and till 1pm today. I'll probably head back to bed soon. One of the things I did in preparation for these days was up my Netflix membership to about eleventy billion dvds at a time. So I'm watching Jeeves and Wooster (or visa versa) what a hoot!

Bick is over mowing the neighbor's lawn today. While I don't remember hearing a thing, they started mowing their lawn yesterday afternoon and Bick was afraid it would wake me, so he went over and asked them to hold off and said he would mow it for them today. What a sweetie!

Ended up NOT getting the appropriate meds after all, so while I was in surgery, Bick worked with the doctor's office to get some nailed down. What a hassle. But it turned out okay. So far, no swelling, but I'm awfully sore.

Don't really know if this is coherent, so pardon me if I'm BUI.


161.5 (way too much sodium lately)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Houston, We Have No Problems

Wow- thank you all for your responses to my last post - both in comments and email. I do appreciate the support and encouragement.

Houston, or Cy-Fair to be precise, was a nice trip. Bick is a good ol' Texas boy who loves his Momma. And his Momma and family are a very gracious group. We had a nice trip and got a lot done. But man oh man, was it ever HOT. 93 degrees on Saturday. Tena, honey, I don't know how you do it! I was able to get up early Sunday morning and take the dog out for a long walk through Pleasantville. Seriously, the area was very nice, with lovely walking trails around water features, etc. It's the perfect, safe and very pretty area for Bick's 86 year old mother and his oldest sister who is in her 60's.

We took Bick's Momma in her wheelchair to the Houston Garden Center and she picked out some plants that she wanted and I ran around behind and got some filler plants. We ended up with six large containers full of flowers for her patio. Plus Bick bought a couple of other shrub type things that she liked that her lawn crew will plant. Lucky for us, we didn't have to plant any actual trees. Her crew will take care of that for her this week.

Bick did hang a shade screen on the patio, plus hung some more pictures and generally played Mr. Fixit. Hell, we looked like a couple of Dust Bowl Okies traveling down there with our shovels and wheelbarrow and tools in the back of the pickup. Coming bak the picture was even more accurate, as Bick's Mom gave him a chair that had been his Grandfather's!

We grilled out Saturday night and had another of Bick's sisters and her husband over to join us all for steaks. I was sort of dreading that, as that particular sister can suck the air out of a room, but it turned out to be a lovely, pleasant and fun evening. Bick's Momma seemed to really enjoy herself and that made Bick very happy.

A lot of sweat, but not much exercise, save the Sunday morning walk, but sometimes you just have to do what you can. Dental stuff is tomorrow. DREAD! And as of Friday, still not post-surgery pain meds. I'm calling again this morning. What a hassle!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find some shade.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Saving My Own Life

Recently, I’ve been spending some time, going over past journals, retracing my steps over the last decade or so. When I look at the changes in my life, the path my life has taken, I know that there is no way that I could have imagined that I would end up here. And not that everything is perfect in Nowville, because it isn’t. My relationship with my Mother and what I deem to be her irrational and irresponsible behavior continues to confound and sometimes hurt me. But it does so far less than it used to. I have succeeded in detaching myself from the chaos. Mostly. I still hook in from time to time, but I stay hooked in for less time and sustain less damage. BIG LESSON – I am powerless over people.

But the really big change has become with the knowledge that I am enough. I am okay and I will be okay - by myself, at whatever weight, at whatever size, without external validation. For years, I’d read about self-esteem and building self-esteem and I understood it from an intellectual level, but the lesson never went very deep. Most of the proposed solutions were just extensions on the external validation theme. Validation, at least for me, must be an inside job.

For whatever all the reasons might be, I’ve gone through life with very little self-esteem. I was an achiever, a survivor, no doubt, but I also self-sabotaged myself into bad marriage(s), 120 extra pounds (eating disorders), 85K in debt and a life filled with anxiety, depression, isolation and rage. I was so desperate for validation that I would endure almost anything to get it. The need for external validation began because of the chaos I grew up in. As my needs weren’t met, I began to view (not at a conscious level, certainly) myself as not worthy and I chased ANYTHING that made ME matter, or ANYTHING that would stop me from feeling whatever uncomfortable feeling I had.

It’s only been in the last few months that I actually understood this. The boxing instructor incident really was the catalyst in me seeing how much I’d moved through all areas in my life seeking and trying to manipulate my way into getting the ego strokes I needed, or stridently defending myself against whatever perceived slights. I was living my life on “alert” for the next attack to my fragile self.

I was in bed at dawn right after the whole boxing instructor thing when it finally dawned on me – all my life I’d been seeking the validation from the outside world to try to make up for what I didn’t get at a child -the topic of every second self-help book on the face of the earth and I NEVER UNDERSTOOD it until three months ago. When I hit upon that thought, I immediately knew it’s truth and efficacy for me. The basic problem at the root of everything else was as plain as the nose on my face. How very John Bradshawish! Trite, but true.

I know this isn’t making any real sense and I can’t really portray the profound effect this epiphany had upon me. It’s like the fog lifted and I can see much more clearly my motivations. And when I start to behave in a way that is 1, either habit, or 2 intended to garner me some external validation, I can stop and ask myself what my real motivations are. And once I recognize those motivations, mostly I just let it go. No need to manipulate, no need to over-disclose, no need to paint myself as some sort of heroine/victim/whatever. I can just let it go. No need to blame or live in the past, I can let that go and do the work now of becoming my very best self.

I’ve also done some other work – I joined a 12 step program – Codependents Anonymous – about ten months ago. I’ve been reading the approved literature, along with some seminal works on the issue and it has been very, very enlightening. While I’ve always considered myself an outsider or very different from most people, through CODA I’ve found that my behavior patterns are pretty standard for someone with my background. And while most everyone else’s background is with an alcoholic parent, any real dysfunction that disrupts the family on a constant basis can cause a pretty standard set of responses in children. Turns out, I’m not so “special” after all.

Take good care of yourself. Take good care of yourself. Take good care of yourself.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tough Sledding

Finally left the office after 1 am. In a last ditch effort to get some energy and stay awake, I stopped at the candy machine for some chocolate, as there was no coffee of sodas available. Boy, do I feel the sugar crash today on top of being exhausted.

Dinner was brought in last night - Mexican food. I did what I could with what I had to work with.

Today will be a real struggle. Body is really wanting some energy, so I'm fighting a battle on that front. My goal today is to get some exercise at lunch to attempt to boost my energy level and find a decent protein source. I did not pack my foods and bevies today. I did not plan far enough or well enough ahead.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Plan for success.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Helen and Pre-Op

Helen from The Biggest Loser is 5'6" according to the show's website. I made an earlier statement that I thought I was in the same fitness league as Helen these days. I don't know what I was thinking - she's in week 18 (at least) of working out a bazillion hours a day. I'm fit, I'm just not Helen fit. So she is smaller than me. In addition, we are shaped differently. I carry all my junk in my trunk and on my hips/thighs. At no weight will anyone say my legs look skinny. I'm just not built that way. But even so, we are in the same ballpark and I'm okay with that.

Dental surgery (THE BIG ONE) is schedule for next Tuesday. I went in for pre-op stuff today and I cannot find a drugstore that has any of my pain meds. I cannot tell you how distressing this is for me - a highly dental-phobic patient without the ability to secure post-op pain meds. I am supposed to know by Friday if the THIRD pharmacy I went to can even order them for me. This does not make me feel calm and collected. And reading the post-op instructions nearly have me in a panic. Too bad I'm to busy to panic.

Body Image

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It's been a topic of several blogs I read, plus it's been a thorn in my side for just ever. I think it' an inherited trait - I can remember my Mom always asking me "Am I as big as XYC?"

Last night I was watching a few minutes of The Biggest Loser. It's not a show that I watch and I don't have any background on any of the participants, but I did watch the weigh in. Helen, who is exactly my age, started her journey at the same weight I did and while she's a skosh taller than I am, her weight last night put her right at where I want to weigh. But before the weigh in, I was looking at her and thought she looked really nice. Granted, she's probably in better shape than I am (but not by much). So it was nice to see sorta kinda almost what I might look like.

No gym today. Work is wild and will be for days. Followed by out of town. But I will find a way to at least get some walking in.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find a role model.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Brief Update

Work, she be crazy. Exercise yesterday was lunch hour spent on the Arc Trainer. Love it! No gym today due to work stuff.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Five Years Ago This Week - For Mindy

I'm going to re-post my old entries from the time it happened. I won't say that the tragic events were the turning point in my life, but it was a defining moment. Both Pebbles and I vowed to bring some good out of the events, and with five years perspective, I think we've both succeeded. Pebbles, along with the family, worked very hard to establish a scholarship fund in her honor to pay for interior design students to spend a semester in Italy. That scholarship is now fully funded. Every fall semester a financially deserving interior design student goes to live in Florence for a semester, all in Mindy's name. For me, it was the event that allowed me to let go of the unimportant. And much of what we worry about is unimportant. I've kept that tenet or at least try to get back to it as soon as possible. My heart is heavy this morning, but it is also grateful. My entries as they appeared at the time:

Senior Show #1 Entry Monday Morning

I'm not a sentimental person, really. I don't save mementos; I've never kept a scrapbook, save a few months in eighth grade. I had no problem in sending her off to school; no real issues at high school graduation. That being said, I'm an emotional wreck this morning. I just walked through the gallery where Pebbles and the rest of her class are mounting their senior show.

This stage of her life is nearly over. I'm losing her. She's an adult and she's moving on with her life. I'm proud of her and sad that our relationship will never really be like this ever again. It is an inevitable part of life and one that I hope she embraces fully. However, I can't help but feel a bit of loss. Selfish, I know.

When I walked through the gallery-area, there she was busily working - displaying three years worth of work, talent and progress. I wasn't going to say anything, but she noticed me, got up, came over and hugged me and told me that she loved me. The tears just rolled.

My boss, god bless him, went over and took some pictures of the show being put together - I hadn't even thought of taking pictures (see no memento comment above).

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Enjoy every stage of life.


The World Can Change In An Instant #2 Monday Morning

Pebbles' best friend and fellow interior design student was killed in an automobile accident this morning on her way to do her part of the setup for the senior show.

Pebbles is devastated.

I brought Pebbles home and am trying to comfort her. She's talking to the parents right now. My thoughts from earlier this morning seem incredibly petty and even more selfish. My heart breaks for Pebbles and for Mindy's family. I cannot imagine such a loss. I don't even want to think about it.

more later

#3 Monday afternoon

Pebbles is resting now. Bless her heart. She is in agony over this.

She last spoke to her at about 4:30 this morning. Both girls had been up all night preparing for the senior show.

She was the girl Pebbles went to Tennessee with in the infamous Fall 2003 road trip.

She was here on the Friday morning when I was having a meltdown while decorating Lyn's cakes. I knew her well. They had been inseparable.

They were planning on going to Italy together in the fall.

I'm at a complete loss as to how to help, what to say, what to do. And I know that this is just the beginning.


#4 More Monday Evening

Pebbles is hanging in there. We went this afternoon to clean out to clean out their shared locker in studio. Pebbles wants to gather some of her work to display at the senior design show, as her final project was probably destroyed in the accident.

Pebbles is alternating between wanting me near and pushing me away. Right now she is attending a candlelight vigil on campus. I'm so worried about her. I don't want her to isolate over this. I'm trying to offer just the right amount of support, but honestly, I want her with me. I don't want her out of my sight.

The saddest thing you will ever hear in your life is your child sobbing uncontrollably in the shower.

Thanks for the kind words. They really do help. And if you are the type who prays, please say a prayer for all involved.

#5 Tuesday

Pebbles has been asked to speak at the funeral. I don't know that I could do it, even at my age and with my distance.

#6 Wednesday

Pebbles and I went to visit the family last night. She went to comfort them and instead, they provided comfort for her. As she said when we arrived home "It's the best thing I could have done".

The family is extraordinary. I'm just sorry that I had to meet them under these circumstances. They and Pebbles told stories, exchanged hugs and tears.

She and I then drove by the accident site on the way home. The guardrail has been repaired.

Her parents had planned to visit her while the girls were in Italy this fall. The parents told Pebbles last night that they are still planning on going, and will visit with her while she is studying abroad. Pebbles and I both hope they will do so.

So, a small bit of peace has crept in - today, anyway. The memorial service is tomorrow, with another service and burial in Arkansas on Monday. As it stands now, I'm renting a car and Pebbles and I are attending the out-of-state services as well.

Again, thanks for the kind thoughts and concern. They do provide comfort.

#7 Comfort Friday

I don't know if I have ever been so proud of Pebbles as I was yesterday. She wrote and delivered a beautiful, heart-felt, warm, loving and sometimes funny eulogy yesterday. It was a hard day for everyone, but the service really was beautiful, personal and celebratory in nature. It was both sad and comforting.

Tonight is the senior show reception. Pebbles told me this morning that she didn't want to go, but I asked her "What would Mindy do?" And she said Mindy would go buy some great new shoes and she would go.

So, Pebbles and I are leaving in a few minutes to shop for some knock out shoes to go with a knock-out dress that I bought her last fall.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Because life can be far too short.

- Roxie May 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gravel and Rust, Indeed

Yesterday morning I spent three hours trailing Bick through the Pate Swap Meet. It's billed as one of the largest swap meets in the country. This year the weather was iffy, the economy iffy, and the N!H! panic overblown in the part of the country so attendance was way down. We looked at cars and car parts and rusty stuff. We sat in on an auction, where the expected price for a primo 'Cuda was 200K. It did not sell. All in all, an interesting way to get three hours worth of walking.

I have decided that I want to learn to do a proper "burn-out" in honor of next year's fiftieth birthday. I'm keeping this wish quiet, as Bick needs no real pushing to get some more sheet metal with serious horse power around here. There were some real bargains yesterday.

We managed to get out of there just before the rain hit. We got nearly 7 inches this weekend, complete with flowing waters over one half of the property. No chance to get out and weed, but housework is still on the horizon for today. Yuck! Actually, I don't mind it. We tag-team it, so it goes pretty quickly.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep your engine tuned.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday, continued.

Gym today consisted of treadmill with a side of HGTV. I lost my HGTV for a while, but have discovered that the new treadmills have a special monitor that picks them up (I assume it's some sort of digital or hidef deal). Since we don't have cable at home, it's always a pleasure to see HGTV - I've gotta get my Martha on!

Weekend plans include weeding the garden (YAY!) and washing windows (BOO), cleaning blinds (MORE BOO) and washing and ironing window coverings (BEAUCOUP BOO). Other than that, nothing exciting. Pebbles informed me she was using her ff miles to go watch the Mavs play in Denver, as a friend in CO has tickets. I hope she has a good time! Sounds like a blast.

Looks like I will head to Houston with Bick next weekend, as his Momma, 86, wants some help with her new backyard. I think we are planting tree(s) and I'm supposed to create some outdoor container plantings for her. Should be fun. I've negotiated at least one night in a hotel and I'm hopeful that it will turn into both nights. While his mom and whole family, really, are very nice to me, I'd much prefer to stay away than on the fold-out sofa. But I understand Bick's point about not wanting to hurt their feelings, so I'll leave it up to him.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Take the bitter with the sweet.


Sweet Pea

I fixed sugar snap peas from our garden last night. Oh my, what goodness. I do believe they were the best peas I've ever had. Hie thee to the farmer's market and get some fresh peas.

Work issues. Later.