Rough Beginnings

It’s starting out to be a rough day.  My computer is acting up, the damn dog is driving me crazy.  My weight is 212.4, up .4 from yesterday.

We had a really windy day last week.  Gusts up to 50 mph and it blew down an entire section of the fence.  Not just one section but five sections that were connected.  Donnie used to do maintenance on the fence almost every year but it hasn’t been done for about three years now and I guess I’m paying the price now.  I don’t know how we’re going to get it back up.  I certainly can’t do it and David is never here.  I guess I’ll have to call in some favors.  In the meantime, I can’t let the dog out in the backyard or he’ll run the neighborhood so I have to either walk him or put him out on a chain.  He barks and whines and drives me crazy to go out and then, after I get him on the chain, he whines and barks and drives me crazy again.  Got to get that fence fixed.

I did good yesterday.  Three days on track.  I actually did a lot better with food yesterday.  Kept track of everything and only had used 600 calories after dinner last night so I had a few left for snacks in the evening.  I ate a few pretzels and some Lean Cuisine egg rolls in the evening so I wound up with a total of about 1,000 calories yesterday and then gained .4 lbs. this morning.  sigh…

Now I’ve got to figure out what to do about a pot roast for dinner tonight.  How in the Hell am I going to make that healthy?

Weight is at 212 this morning.  This will be the third day I’ve been pretty much on track.  It’s always difficult to get started with dieting and exercise.  Always easier to say I’ll do it tomorrow…or next week but it always helps to have a few days of commitment behind me.  Today will be the third day of eating healthier and exercising.

I guess I really should start tracking calories.  I’m eating better but I know I’m going over my calorie allowance every day so I’ll start keeping track today.

Breakfast – Lite yogurt 60 calories
lunch – Green Giant Saute – Indian Spiced Lentils 140 calories
Dinner – Green Giant Buffalo Cauliflower – 150 calories
Lean Cuisine Ravioli – 310

Yay!  I’ve had all kinds of obstacles in my way today when it comes to walking on the treadmill but I persevered and finally managed to get it done.  Did 25 minutes today and it was difficult.  I really didn’t want to do it but so glad I did.

9:00 p.m. – So far, I’ve had 660 calories today.  Leaves a little bit of room for some lite snacks if I get hungry.


It’s a start

I battled my demons yesterday.  I have a really bad habit of not eating anything all day and then eating dinner and snacking all night.  Yesterday, I tried not to do that.  I got on the treadmill and did some stretching exercises.  I made myself eat yogurt for breakfast and a bowl of soup for lunch.

The evening did not go perfect but it went a lot better.  During my snacking/bingeing time I drank about 6 cups of hot tea and tried not to eat any junk. I ate lean cuisine egg rolls for dinner and then, when I was really craving snacks, I ate a small bowl of leftover soup and a couple slices of deli turkey breast.  Around midnight, I really wanted something sweet so I ate a bowl of cereal.  Like I said, not perfect but much better than what I’ve been doing.

I weighed in at 213.6 this morning.  It’s already noon but I’m going to eat my yogurt now and then get on the treadmill for a little bit.  I have to admit my body felt a lot more fluid yesterday.  Not as stiff and achy as it has been.  Maybe it’s time to think about setting some goals.

3:20 – I went to Staples and bought a new set of headphones. Left there and went to Kroger and got some healthy stuff.  Frozen shrimp, more yogurt, apples and oranges and whole grain bread.  After I got home, I went upstairs and got on my treadmill using the new (and third set) of headphones I bought.  I did 20 minutes.  Now I’m going to stretch and then see if I can grill some shrimp with blackened seasoning.  Who says you can’t grill out in the rain in January?


Taking Stock

114.2.  That’s what happens when you don’t pay attention.  It’s cold and dreary and I’m stuck inside.  David’s car broke down so he’s using mine.  That’s three days he’s had my car so far this week and it’s only Thursday.  I just sit on my ass playing on the computer and eating all day.

Taking stock and being aware of what I’m doing is important.   I need to make myself accountable for the way I feel and the way I look.  I made myself eat some yogurt for breakfast.  80 calories.  Then I weighed myself.  And I finally went upstairs to walk on my treadmill.  Poor thing.  I’m surprised it still works. Folded into a corner and covered in dust.

It wasn’t easy.  I have a terrible headache and I didn’t feel like doing it.  Found my MP3 and the battery was dead.  I went to my room to get a new one and the grand-kids/kids had taken them all.  I finally found a rechargeable one and put it in the charger until it worked.  Next step, finding my headphones.  I hate ear buds and find them really annoying.  Again, someone has made off with my headphones so I settled on a pair of ear buds.  I went upstairs and Darryl had moved my treadmill and folded it up with it in the wrong direction so the cord wouldn’t reach the outlet and it’s too heavy for me to move.  I had to go get and extension cord but I finally got it plugged in and turned it on.  I turned on my MP3 and found out that the stupid ear buds didn’t work so I had to stop everything and go in search for another pair.

I finally walked on the treadmill.  Not fast…I started it at 2.0 mph and only worked up to 2.7 but I walked for 15 minutes.  I know…hardly worth mentioning…but I did it.  It’s a start.  I did okay but got pretty winded.  Of course, I used to kill myself on that thing.  Drenched in sweat and breathing hard but that’s a long way in the future.  For now, I just want to make myself do something.

The treadmill was right in front of the window and I couldn’t help noticing my arms while I walked.  Pale and dry.  I need to start taking better care of everything.  Skin, hair, nails, clothing.  Everything.

At any rate, I move like an old woman these days and the short walk on the treadmill actually made my back feel a little bit better.  I feel a little more lithe.  I think I’ll go in the living room and so some stretches.

2:30 – Yay, me!  I went to look for exercise channels on U-Verse and couldn’t find any.  I did, however, find an on-demand movie I wanted to watch and I started to make a snack while I watched it.  Caught myself, made some hot tea to drink and I’m going to sip it instead of eating a snack and clean the kitchen instead of watching a movie.  All about being aware of what I’m doing.


January in Kentucky

Another dreary day.  The temp is 52 which isn’t really that cold but it’s grey and drizzly and it just feels miserable.  Even the dog doesn’t want to go out.  The forecast is not promising.  Lots of rain coming in this evening, a drop in temperatures and snow coming tomorrow.  Lows in the teens at night and more rain and snow the rest of the week.

I’m going to try not to let it get the best of me.  I didn’t weigh myself this morning.  I forgot about it until I was fully dressed in winter clothes and I’m not going to strip down just to get weighed.  Tomorrow.

Not much on the agenda.  I’m going to try to make myself get on the treadmill and eat healthy today.  Healthy being a relative term.  I got some lite yogurt for breakfast and I have deli sliced turkey for lunch. Dinner will be one of everyone’s favorites.  Saute diced bacon and remove from the pan, stir in a bunch of onions, jalapenos, banana peppers and red pepper.  Stir in diced fresh spinach until it wilts and stir the entire mess into pasta.  Olive oil, onions, peppers, spinach-good…bacon and pasta-bad.

I’m doing okay today.  I lost .2 lb.  Don’t know how that happened.  Still, I went to the store and stocked up on some healthy stuff.  At least I have that.

Driving home, I turned on the radio.  Never a good idea when I’m alone. They played “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran and it hit me hard.  Wouldn’t you think I’d be a little more stable by now?  I don’t cry as much but Donnie is always in my thoughts.  I was listening to the lyrics and, the next thing I knew, I was crying so hard I actually had to pull over.


Loving can hurt
Loving can hurt sometimes
But it’s the only thing that I know
When it gets hard
You know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive

We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
Times forever frozen still

So you can keep me
Inside the pocket
Of your ripped jeans
Holdin’ me closer
‘Til our eyes meet
You won’t ever be alone
Wait for me to come home

Loving can heal
Loving can mend your soul
And it’s the only thing that I know
I swear it will get easier
Remember that with every piece of ya
And it’s the only thing we take with us when we die

We keep this love in this photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Our hearts were never broken
Times forever frozen still

So you can keep me
Inside the pocket
Of your ripped jeans
Holdin’ me closer
‘Til our eyes meet
You won’t ever be alone

And if you hurt me
That’s OK, baby, only words bleed
Inside these pages you just hold me
And I won’t ever let you go

Wait for me to come home

Oh you can fit me
Inside the necklace you got when you were 16
Next to your heartbeat
Where I should be
Keep it deep within your soul

And if you hurt me
Well, that’s OK, baby, only words bleed
Inside these pages you just hold me
And I won’t ever let you go

When I’m away
I will remember how you kissed me
Under the lamppost
Back on 6th street
Hearing you whisper through the phone,
“Wait for me to come home.”


Feeling better

I haven’t done a whole lot in the last couple of days but I’m definitely feeling better.  I actually weighed myself today.  212.2.  Crazy.  Time to really do something about that.

I know I’m not in a GOOD place but I have been able to pull out of my funk a little bit.  I’m taking it slow. Lots of things on my mind like exercise, smoking, diet, etc. but I know I’m not ready for all of it.  I love kringles. Kind of a danish pastry but they’re pretty big.  I always get one at Christmas and I couldn’t find it this year so I ordered two of them.  Pricey!  With shipping, it came to almost $40.00 and they finally arrived yesterday.  Too late for Christmas and I know I’m going to eat them.  So dieting is out for today but exercise isn’t.  I want to get on my treadmill today.  It’s a start.

I’ve always tried to help Tina, DIL, when I could.  She had an accident last year and is due for a settlement check from the insurance company for an arm injury she sustained. She hasn’t forgotten that I got her set up in house last year when she was really struggling.  I paid her deposit and helped her get furniture and appliances.  I told her to just keep the money because I knew she wouldn’t be able to pay it back.  Now, it seems as if she’s returning the favor.  She and grand-daughter, Holly, want to take a cruise on spring break and she wants to pay for me to go with them. The prospect has me thinking about losing some weight and trying to feel better.  I’ve got three months so I want to accomplish what I can.

I had an insightful day yesterday.  Things have gotten so bad for me that I’ve become pretty hopeless. Day after day, month after month, despair, grief and hopelessness consume me.  I don’t do much of anything anymore. I play mindless games on the computer, watch TV every evening and night, and do little else.  Some days I don’t even get dressed. I don’t have much money.  I lost not only my husband but his income as well.  I took out Chapter 13 last summer and most of my money will go to those payments for the next five years.  I thought I’d have my tax returns every spring to give me a boost but then I found out they’ll take those too. I get money.  Thank God I planned for a decent retirement for myself and it should be sufficient but I’m supporting seven kids and grandkids.  Every time I buy a bottle of laundry detergent, it serves seven, toothpaste times seven, food times seven.  My expenses are crazy.

I don’t know what to do about it.  David gives me as much money as he can but it isn’t enough to pay for all the expenses for him and his two children.  All he does is work so he’s not that involved with caring for them.  I fix dinner for them every night, I help them with homework, I drive them to all their dental appointments and doctor appointments.  Darryl is now completely blind and I’m his sole source of support. He gets $400 a month from disability and he gives me $300.  I know it’s all he can do but it doesn’t come near to covering his expenses.  Again, I’m the one that does all his shopping and takes him back and forth to appointments.  A friend picked him up to spend the next month in North Carolina but I have to pick up a bunch of prescriptions for him today, go to the post office and mail them to him.  Andrew and Steven are another matter.  Steven went back to school yesterday and he’s self-sufficient but I just had him home for the past month.  Andrew works two jobs now but I only charge him $200 a month because I want him to save his money for a car and to get a place to live.   He’s doing great at it.  He’s saved up close to $5,000 and can’t wait to move into his own place but he still needs to save a little more.  He doesn’t know anything about taking care of a car or maintaining it so I feel like he needs to buy a good one and that’s not cheap.

Everyone is eating me alive and I don’t know what to do about it.  My own car is really starting to act up.  Seems like it some big problem every month.  Donnie was great about fixing anything mechanical but he’s not here anymore.  David isn’t nearly as competent but he tries.  Still, he’s never here either.  Darryl is pretty good but now he’s blind and can’t do anything.

So, yesterday, I’m taking my crappy old car on a seven hour drive to take Steven back to school and I’m a nervous wreck.  Steven loaded all his stuff up the night before, we get out there and the damn thing won’t start.  I was so frustrated!  I called David and he talked me through hooking up the battery charger to it and I got it started but, despite his assurances that everything would be fine, I was afraid to shut it off.  I drove all the way to eastern Kentucky and, every time I had to pee, Steven stayed in the car.  And I had to pee a LOT.  New blood pressure medication and it was really working.  I dropped Steven off at school and then headed home.  It wasn’t 45 minutes until I had to pee again and I was afraid to shut off the car.  So I just drove.  David tried to fix my heater (which quit working a couple of weeks ago) and he was only able to get it to go on.  If I shut if off, it doesn’t come back on.  So I’m driving and driving, the heat is blistering and I keep rolling down the window when it gets to be too much but it’s 30 degrees outside so even cracking a window gets cold pretty quick.  I kept thinking, “Okay, try to hold on until you get to a busy area so there are people around if the car won’t start back up.”  And I held it and held it until I got to the point where it was only another hour and a half, then an hour, and then I figured I could wait until I got home.

And all the while, I’m driving through the mountains and there’s snow on the ground and the sky is brilliant blue with heavy dark clouds here and there.  It starts snowing but just enough to catch the sun on the flakes and it’s beautiful.  Daylight began to fade and the sunset was amazing.  Almost neon pink and orange and I could see areas where it was snowing on the horizon.  And it just came to me.  “Sell the property in Florida.”

I never wanted to sell the property.  I’ve resisted it since Donnie died.  But every time I get the urge to go there, something comes up and I can’t go.  And I’ve begun to realize that my entire attachment to it is through my memories of my husband.  All the time we spent clearing and building and finding peace and solitude there.  All our dreams of spending winters down there are gone.  We will never go down there for months at a time and just grow old together.  It’s not going to happen.  I thought about how I could buy a car and have some money in the bank.  Maybe take a cruise or a vacation. I began to think about my intentions of saving it for my family.  I’ve devoted my entire life to caring for my family.  It’s time to take care of myself.

Those thoughts grew as I drove and I thought about quitting smoking and dieting and exercise and how miserable I am.  Yes, I’m grieving and I think I always will.  I keep waiting for it to get better but I think it’s time for me to take some responsibility to make it better.

New year’s resolutions.  It sounds so cliche’.  And I’m not calling it resolutions.  I’m just kind of soaking up that feeling of….possibilities.


Nothing changes

Still just hanging on.  I’ve worked like a dog the last seven months with my canning business.  Canning Monday through Thursday and doing festivals most weekends.  It brings in a little money and every little bit helps.  My car is getting old and seems like it requires something all the time.

Somehow, I wound up inviting everyone over here for Thanksgiving.  Don’t know how it happened.  I decided to do it here and there would have been seven of us.  Then a friend lost his wife and asked if he and his kids could come over so that made 12.  Then my sister asked if she could come…and my brother…and, before I knew what hit me, the number went up to 20.  Everyone will be here.

There was a time when I would have been scrubbing and cleaning and decorating but I’m not.  I figure everyone knows me and they’re over here all the time anyway so I’m just going to do the best I can with it.


Some old lady

Yeah, that’s what I am.  Just some old lady.  It’s been a year since Donnie passed away.  The past couple of weeks have been full of memories.  Thinking about his last days here at home.  The things we were doing.  His death.  Isn’t it supposed to be a year?  All that fierce grief?  I can’t tell that it’s lifting.

I am NOT the person I was.  I can’t help thinking that woman is dead.  She died with him.

I try.  I really do but I just can’t pull myself out of that big, dark hole.  I’ve lost myself and I don’t think there’s anyway back.

My life is too much for me right now.  Darryl went almost completely blind more than two years ago and moved back home.  He’s progressed to the point that he doesn’t do much of anything anymore.  Stacy dropped Scout and Jake off here on January 4th because she was homeless.  It was supposed to be for a couple of weeks and it’s been close to 7 months.  And she’s still collecting child support.  And she still has joint custody of the boys.  I’ve paid $3,000.00 to an attorney over the last three months and we’re still nowhere. I can’t believe it’s such a slow process.  The only thing we’ve accomplished so far is that since she didn’t have any contact with the boys (not even as much as a phone call) for six months, the court has ordered that her visitation must be supervised by a therapist when she sees them again.  That hasn’t happened yet but she’s calling them a couple of times a week.

Steven is off at school but Andrew is finished with school and back home.  David is still working like a dog and it’s like he’s paying triple child support.  Stacy is still getting support from his paycheck, she’s not paying it when she hasn’t even seen the kids for seven months, and David is giving me as much as he can to help out.  They go back to court August 4th and I hope they do something about this.  I love all my grandchildren but I’m so tired of taking care of all of them.

As for me, I not only lost Donnie, I also lost his income. And I’m not eligible for Social Security on my own and was denied his survivor’s benefits for the same reason.  I’m on a teacher’s pension and they consider Social Security benefits to be “double dipping”.  Never mind that I paid into it for 25 years before I went into teaching.

So I’ve struggled.  I’ve spent the last year trying to figure out the financial mess and I finally gave up.  I can not pay all the bills that were based on our double income on my own.  I filed for Chapter 13.  I’ll pay a big chunk of money to the court for the next five years.  They averaged my living expenses over the last six months and are allowing me to keep $200 over and above that amount.  Sounds good.  Like I can pay everything and still have a couple hundred left but that’s really not right.  This month, I had to renew my AAA membership and had to put $75 into a car repair.  So that left me with about $50 extra for the month.

I’m just so tired and discouraged.  I feel like some old lady running around trying to clean the house and take care of everyone and I don’t see an end in sight.  I don’t have anything to look forward to and I’m still drowning in grief.



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This is supposed to be a link to the trip we’re planning.  If not that, maybe this:

Yeah, the ex DIL.  The one that’s made our lives a living Hell for the last 17 years.  She told David to come and pick up Jake and Scout on Jan. 4th because her boyfriend kicked her out and she was homeless.  Said it would be for a couple of weeks.

Now, five months later, after not calling them or us once in all this time, she called Jake on his personal phone yesterday to tell him that she’s “missed him soooo much” and she’ll be picking him and Scout up before the end of the month.

Don’t think so.  We hired an attorney two months ago.  She’s collected child support and food stamps for the last five months and we had no idea where she was or what she was doing.  David texted her and told her we needed to know the boys insurance information and she didn’t even bother to answer.  Does the bitch have any idea what she does to these kids?  I mean, really, not to see them or call or anything for five fucking months and then think she can just give Jake a call and pick them up?  She better bring the police with her.


Just a quickie!

Weight is still at 210.  Working on dinner.  Gotta go!

This morning I weighed in at 212.6.  I’ve been eating healthy but that doesn’t necessarily equate to losing weight.

Last night’s dinner was excellent.  Lime grilled chicken with Cuban salsa, yellow rice, and stir fried green beans. I ate way too much and I’m still not exercising.

Doesn’t look like I’ll be doing too much exercising today, either.  Lots and lots to do but it’s all in the house and on the computer.

Busy day, weighed in at 210, went to the doctor and got my stitches out from recent surgery six weeks ago.  No more uterus, no more ovaries, new bladder sling, etc. etc.

So I’m sore and all I want to do is take a hot soak.

Sticking to the menu and feeling good about it.


Rainy Day

It’s a dreary, rainy morning.  I had thought about working in the garden but I don’t guess that’s going to happen.

Yes, I weighed myself today.  210 lbs.  And yes, I made a menu for the week yesterday and went to five different stores getting everything I need.  The only thing I couldn’t find was pico de gallo but I can make it from scratch.

Donna dropped off two of her foster kids this morning so I’m up early babysitting while she’s at the doctor.

Crab legs – broccoli – corn on the cob

Breakfast – hard boiled eggs – tomato juice
Lunch – Lean Cuisine
Dinner – Ginger Grilled Pork Loin – apple sauce – green beans

Breakfast – yogurt
Lunch – Lean Cuisine
Dinner – Lime Grilled Chicken with Cuban salsa – rice

Breakfast – hard boiled eggs – tomato juice
Lunch – sandwich – berries
Dinner – Caribbean Pork – sliced tomatoes – yellow rice

Breakfast – yogurt
Lunch – sandwich – pickle
Dinner – Ginger Chicken with snow peas – bread sticks – sliced tomatoes

Breakfast – yogurt
Lunch – Lean Cuisine
Dinner – Fajitas – California Caviar

Breakfast – Cereal
Lunch – sandwich – pickle
Dinner – Tortilla Soup


Make a plan

I know I’m in the abyss.  I also know I can’t climb out without a plan. I’ve been in this Hell hole for three years or so and I’ve become used to it.  There are problems, of course.  I’m weak, I’m exhausted all the time, I’m very uncomfortable in my body. I know what I have to do but it’s so difficult to get back into healthy habits.

I’m in so deep it’s going to take a lot of hard work to find my way out but I need to get started.  Donnie has been gone almost a year and I’ve let my grief bury me.  My emotions are flat.  I don’t have any passion for anything. I know that I will never be the same person I used to be but surely, I can do better than this.

Just a simple plan to get started.  That’s all I can handle right now.  So, here’s my plan:

Get showered and dressed no later than an hour after I wake up.

Weigh myself every day.

Post everyday.

Make a menu for the next week and get some healthy food in here.

Listen to music.

That’s it for now.  It’s a start.



I’m still grieving.  I’ve come to realize that I’ll probably be grieving the rest of my life.  Everything reminds me of Donnie.  I can’t listen to the radio without starting to cry.  Certain movies, certain places, certain people and it all comes down on me.

I’m trying to clean out our bedroom closet.  On the top shelf, I found a box of old newspapers.  He saved certain ones.  Two or three days of when we declared war with Iraq, two or three issues when Princess Di was killed, a few issues when a local factory burned to the ground.  Papers that meant something to him and I can’t bring myself to throw them out.

Every time I toss out some of his junk I feel like I’m throwing away a little piece of him.  All those little pieces and each one hurts and brings the grief back like it happened yesterday.

I don’t cook anymore.
Don’t simmer my spaghetti sauce or make that special bread.
I don’t sit in the spa and share a beer
and look at the moon and the stars.

I gas up the car
and check the oil and water.
I clean the windows
and use the Speedway Rewards Card.

I don’t slide between the sheets
and savor the cool crisp feel of them
while my thigh rests against yours
and your hand caresses my hair.

I didn’t know it was special.
I didn’t know it was love.
I just thought it was routine.

I can check the air in my tires
and I wash the car now and then
I put Rain X on the windows
as far as I can reach.

I’ve learned how to pay the bills
Most of them, anyway.
And I keep my eyes on the paper
to find out what’s on sale.

The bathroom door keeps hanging up
and the air conditioning isn’t coming on.
I bought a flat screen TV and put it on a table.
I don’t know how to mount it on the wall.

I found your ring
The one I bought you
In the Black Hills of South Dakota
Where the ice water is free and coffee is a dime.

The RV is still at my sister’s
I don’t know how I’ll get it home.
It’s not going anywhere anyway.
Not taking me to the Tetons or a weekend camping trip.

I just didn’t know how special it was.
That love was always in the air.
On your breath and in your smile
In a towel left on the floor.

I didn’t wash your shirt,
that one you always wore.
I folded it and put it in the drawer
and I take it out sometimes and hold it to my face.

I listen to the radio
when I’m driving in the car
and the songs make me cry
like they know how I feel.
I never noticed that before.

You know I hate that smell
of sauerkraut and sausage the moment I open the door
I didn’t know it was special
till it wasn’t special anymore.

I thought today was Thursday
but I found out that it’s Wednesday.
One day is like another
They all play out the same.

Ain’t nothin’ special anymore
it really is routine
It only seems special when I think of you.