Sunday, April 16, 2017

~ Easter ....

I've got a basket full of them.
I have the little treasures scattered here...
and there...
and who knows where!
This one almost looks edible.
I like to collect holiday trinkets.
If Tom were here
he would be supporting my habit.

We were quite the pair!
He loved it when I would place these little trinkets throughout the house.
When that holiday was over he would laugh
because he knew that I would forget one or two
of the trinkets
and one of us would find it sitting in its designated spot
long after the holiday had passed.
One of my "peeps".
This one favorite.
He's got attitude!
This is the first time....
in a long time....
that Easter, Greek Orthodox Easter and Passover
fall during the same period.
Not sure when that will happen again.
I hope everyone had a wonderful day!
Looks like I will be spending a good part of tomorrow
gathering my trinkets
and putting them away until next year!

Monday, April 3, 2017

~ When You Least.....

...expect it.
All day Friday and most of Saturday (April Fools Day)
Mother Nature played a joke on New England.
She coated us with approximately 14 inches of snow.
Yup.....she did.

Sure, it was lovely to look at.
But heck.....we're yearning for Spring
and she just doesn't seem to want to hand it out to us.

But today she surprised us
and gave us the sunniest day
with temperatures reaching 57 degrees.
The snow is melting beautifully....yay!!!!!
So, a good friend of mine and I decided to take a ride to the beach
in search of the snowy owl who has been spotted there.
It wasn't our first hunt for the great snowy owl.
We've gone there many times scoping out areas
where he/she has been spotted.
But....sadly...we never saw him/her.
Until today.
Crossing over a bridge we noticed a handful of photographers
down in a parking lot to our left.
Julie quickly found a spot to turn the car around
and we headed over to see what was going on.
Imagine our surprise....delight.....excitement
when we asked one of the photographers what was getting
everyone's attention.
He quickly pointed out the "snowy owl".
Julie and I just looked at each other
and started shooting....
trying to be as quiet as possible as everyone was
so as not to frighten the owl. 
She was a beauty.

I didn't realize that only the males are almost all white.
The females have more flecks of blackish-brown plumage.
And I didn't know that snowy owls are ground nesters.
She just sat there....basking in the sun....
ignoring everyone and all of the commotion she was causing.
When she did move a preen herself....
there was a flurry of camera clicks.
She ignored it.....

.....and went back to sunbathing.
What a treat!
After taking our shots,
Julie and I walked back to the car....
quietly got in....
shut the doors....
looked at each other....
and screamed our fool heads off like two little girls.
Yup.....when you least expect it!

Monday, February 20, 2017

~ Love ....

.... conquers all.
Today is our 46th wedding anniversary.
Yes, I said "is".
I still consider myself married to Tom and I always will.
And I'm fine with that.
In fact, I'm happy with that.
Yes, 46 years ago we said "I Do" to each other.
There we stood......he just turned 20 a few weeks earlier
and I just turned 19 seven weeks earlier.
All grown up and in love.
Ready for whatever life was going to send our way.
As long as we had each other.
That's all that mattered.

His best friend in college was Best Man.
His sister was Maid Of Honor.
I remember the day vividly.
Our wedding was set for 1:00 p.m.
His family was driving up to New Hampshire from Connecticut.
And.....we were having a snowstorm.
Not a minor snowfall.
A big snowstorm.
I was worried that his family wouldn't make it.
Tom said we were getting married regardless.
Thankfully, they made it.

No elaborate white wedding gown for this hippie girl.
I found a brown & gold dress.
No long wedding veil for this flower child.
I wore a crown of daisies on my head.
I don't think I told Tom the color of my dress.....just that it wasn't white.
So, I was truly surprised when I saw him in the church
wearing a brown sports coat with a gold shirt!!!
Or a deep connection?
Makes me smile.
As most brides do, I saved the cake topper.
Even though it was packed away carefully....
wrapped many times in plastic....
it aged and yellowed.
LOL....I'm surprised I didn't insist on a more casual cake topper.
But we stayed with tradition on this.
Happy Anniversary, Tom.
I woke up this morning and whispered it to you.
Did you hear me?
I can feel your love.
I will always feel your love.
My wedding vows to you were:
"My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep.
The more I give to you,
The more I have.
For both are infinite."
~Juliet to Romeo
Yes, love conquers all.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

~ Love Letters . . .

. . . and memories.
Tom and I were not very big on celebrating Valentine's Day.
We always felt that we showed and shared plenty of love throughout the year.
No dinners to fancy restaurants.
No elaborate gifts to each other.
Just love.
Plain and simple.

Throughout the year we wrote love letters to each other.
Yes, we did!
Pretty much every single day.
Sometimes the love letters were a page long.
Sometimes they were on sticky notes.
When I was working, I was up and out of the house before he was.
I'd leave a love letter in his coffee cup.
When I'd get home from work before him,
there would be a love letter waiting for me.
When he would go on business trips I would pack love letters with his clothes.
He would find them in his shirt pockets.
In his suit jacket pockets.
In his rolled up socks.
In his trouser pockets.
And I'd find one under my pillow from him.
When I stopped working and he worked from home,
the love letters didn't stop.
We'd each find sticky notes with "I Love You" written on them.
Sticky notes everywhere.
I miss the love letters.
I wish I had kept them.
But I have the memories.
The memories of a love that will never die.

One day, about 2 weeks after Tom died,
I was looking for some paperwork that I would need
to bring to Probate Court.
I couldn't find the paperwork.
In my frustration and my grief I just sat on the floor
and cried my eyes out.
An envelope full of old receipts fell from one of the shelves.
Stuck to it was one of Tom's love letters to me.
Gosh, this was written at least 8 years ago when I was still working.
From the sounds of the letter, it was a tough weekend.
He had probably been taken to the hospital from experiencing
heart failure.

The letter goes:
"Good morning,
It sure was a long weekend. 
I prefer they were a little easier.
I'm sure glad that I have you!!
You make me want to go on so we can have a long life in retirement together.
I appreciate all of your support and most important your love.
I want you to realize that I really do love you
and I have loved you all my life.
You are all of my being.
I don't know what I would do without you.
I really believe my health will be fine
and all the bad stuff is behind us.
I will really try to get better.
Know I love you.
Hope your day goes by fast.
I will be looking forward to you coming home.
I love you 3 whole bunches.
OMG, I love that man.
I'm still in love with him.

Thank you Tom for loving me
and giving me so many wonderful memories.
You truly are my "once in a lifetime"
and my "happily ever after."
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, November 28, 2016

~ Thankful ...

.... that I made it through a recent storm in my life.
Having been pretty dang healthy all of my life I rarely thought of anything
major (health wise) happening to me.
But lo and behold.....
on the evening of November 4th at around 7 p.m.
I experienced a TIA.
A TIA is a Transient Ischemic Attack. 
It happens when blood flow to part of the brain is either blocked or reduced,
often by a blood clot.
After a short time, blood flows again and the symptoms go away
unlike a stroke where the blood flow stays blocked and the brain
has permanent damage. 
But a TIA is a definite warning.
It means that I am likely to have a stroke in the future.
I read that after a TIA up to 10 out of 100 will have a stroke within 2 days.
17 out of 100 will have a stroke within 90 days.
I feel like I am walking on pins and needles.
I feel like I'm in a blurred world.
My right arm felt like it had been chopped off. 
It lay limp by my side.
At the same time it felt as if someone shined
a spotlight in my face.
I was in a panic.
I was in the hospital from Friday night to Monday night.
Went through all kinds of tests.
CT Scan.....clear
Carotid Arteries......clear
Echo cardiogram......clear
Echo Transesophageal Procedure.....clear
MRI.....showed that an embolic event took place
Blood pressure at one point in the hospital reached 187/110
So, I'm on a new cholesterol medication and a bp medication.

I've always watched my diet but I am being really cautious now.
I had to wear a monitor for 2 weeks.
Possible Atrial Fibrillation could have played a part in having the TIA.
Results won't come in for a few more weeks.

Funny thing is....I'm turning 65 in December.
So, is this what happens when you turn 65?
You start to fall apart?
I gotta laugh at myself about that!

 Anyway, I'm hoping that it's nothing but blue skies from this point.
The only remnants of the TIA is some minor weakness in my right hand/arm occasionally.
And of course the thought of having another TIA or a stroke
is constantly on my mind.
So now, when I wake up in the morning, the first things on my mind are:
1.  Tom isn't here
2.  I had a TIA

I have to change that.
I'm so very thankful that I did not have a full blown stroke.
It was a wake-up call.
A tap on the shoulder.
A slap upside the head.

I think I'm on the right track.
I think someone special was watching over me.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

~ Trick or Treat ....

.... raise your hand if you remember the excitement of shouting those 3 little words?
Yes, Halloween!
That special night.
Fright night.
Candy night.
Rushing through supper so you could get out early and stay out late.
Sometimes you were lucky and didn't need to wear your winter coats
underneath your costume.
Running through the neighborhoods
and collecting pillowcases full of sweets.
Good times!
I love the colors of Halloween.
I love the decorations of Halloween.

I wish you could smell this pumpkin tart.
It smells delicious!
Tom bought me this trio of ghosts one year.
I treasure it.
It makes me smile.
And those little ghosts are sticking out their tongues!
While growing up I noticed that my mother loved "the unknown".
She enjoyed books about dream interpretation.
She enjoyed fortune telling.
In fact, these cards belonged to her.
True story.....
When I was about 16
I went to a fortune teller at the beach.
She told me that I would marry at a reasonably young age.
She told me how many children I would have.
She said my true love would have dark hair
and dark eyes.
She said we would fall in love, break up for a short time
but would get back together and marry.
At the time I believed to be in "love" with a neighborhood boy.
He had blondish hair and blue eyes.
"What the heck does she know!" I squawked. 
 Less than two years later
Tom walked into my life.
He had dark hair and dark eyes.
We fell in love....broke up for 3 months
but realized we were meant to be.
We married when he just turned 20 and I turned 19.
Mom also loved the Ouija Board.
To my older sisters horror, Mom came home with "the board" one day.
My sisters were afraid to touch it.
My younger brother and I were eager to put it to use.
Mom would watch, all the time claiming "it's not real"
but the look on her face made it quite clear that she wasn't sure.
My brother and I quickly realized that we controlled the board.
Needless to say, we used this "power" to our advantage.
Mom didn't want to take any chances.
And with that
I wish you all a Happy Halloween!
Oh, before I go....
Mr. Bones wanted to say "hello"
He's been rattling around the house for weeks
just waiting for me to ask him to pose.
Trick Or Treat
Smell My Feet
Give Me Something Good To Eat

Saturday, October 15, 2016

~ Roots .....

Root (noun)
1. the part of a plant that attaches it to the ground
2.  the basic cause, source or origin of something
Root (verb)
1.  to establish deeply & firmly
For the last two years I've felt uprooted.
No sense of belonging anywhere or to anyone.
With Tom's death came upheaval.
My whole world was uprooted.
My life changed forever.
Tom was my safety.
So his death has caused me to feel homeless in a sense.
Some of you know that I moved back to New Hampshire. 
Back to the city where I was born and raised.
I was hoping to immediately be able to just plant myself here.
It's not happening.
I do not feel established deeply and firmly.

I still feel homeless without Tom.

Every day is a struggle (still).
But like this bulb I am pushing my way through the struggles
with the help of family and friends.
Some days are better than others.
Other days are better than some.
But there's not one single day that I don't think about him.
Or talk to him.
Or wish he were here to plant our roots down together.
I thought long and hard about blogging again.
I think it will help me.
Similar to this growing bulb.......
reaching out and up......
I need to find myself again and grow.
So, I'm back.
My camera keeps me focused (no pun intended).
In fact, when I pick up my camera I can almost hear Tom
cheering me on.

I'm also finally getting my craft room in order
so I'll be back to crafting
and hopefully be having some giveaways.

Yes, it's been a long, hard and lonely two years.
And I'm sure it will continue to be.
And I will never get over the loss of Tom.
But he would want me to get my feet planted firmly on the ground,
reach out and grow.
And I don't want to disappoint him.
Tom, I love you.