Isn’t there a movie called Dazed and Confused?  That’s how I feel.  I can’t decide if I’m grieving, depressed, or just lazy.  I don’t want to do anything.  I get up and play mindless games on the computer for a couple of hours.  Then I go in and look at the guide on the TV to make sure I’ve set anything that might be remotely interesting to record.  I piddle around, take a shower and throw on some ratty clothes.  I might actually be productive for about an hour and then I get back on the computer for a while and kill time until the evening when I can start watching TV.

At some point, I’ll start to feel guilty because I haven’t fixed anything to eat for the kids and grandkids and I’ll go make some kind of crap and then start eating and watching TV until I fall into bed around 2:00 a.m.

Disgusting.  And I know it. But I don’t know how to stop it.  I sit on the computer playing mindless games and my thoughts wander to all the things I should do.  Get to work on the house, plan some decent meals, get some exercise, get out of the house and yet I don’t do anything.  I don’t know what I’m waiting for.

Intellectually, I know that I’m depressed and I know I have a right to be.  I’ve lost my husband, my partner, my best friend.  My mother passed away, my brother is having heart problems, I’m burdened with taking care of four grandchildren, two dogs and a cat that I shouldn’t have to care for.  My income has been cut by a third since I lost Donnie and he left me with a bunch of bills. On top of everything else, I looking at some pretty extensive surgery in the next few weeks.

On the other hand, I know I need to do something about all this.  Find a good church, reach out to friends, get some counseling, start eating right and exercising.  But I don’t.  I just can’t seem to care enough to do anything but wallow in misery.  No one sees the big picture.  This is the only place I lay it out and no one reads this.  They all know I’m struggling.  They all see a little bit of the picture but I don’t share with them how miserable it is.

I wonder sometimes if I’m just playing Russian Roulette.  Sitting around doing nothing but chain smoking and eating garbage and sleeping.  I’ve made sure everyone will be taken care of if anything happens to me and I wonder if I’m just deliberately killing myself.  I just have the attitude of “whatever happens will happen” and I can’t seem to get motivated to do anything about it.

No one knows how often I go to my bedroom and just cry.  I always thought I was a brave and adventurous person but I’ve come to realize that I was only brave because Donnie had my back.  He was always there for me and I knew I could count on him to back me up and help me out.  I think about that song Wind Beneath My Wings and I understand it now.  I just never knew it until he was gone.

I’m just digging my grave and waiting to fall in.


Too much stuff!

I was sitting her contemplating getting to work on the house and feeling hopeless because there’s so much clutter and it dawned on me.  (Not really dawned on me, it’s not like I didn’t already know it). This is my house. Mine and Donnie’s.  Now Donnie is gone and it’s my house.  I have plenty of room for my stuff. I could easily deal with all my stuff but this house is also full of all of David’s stuff.  And all of Darryl’s stuff, and Steven’s stuff and Andrew’s stuff and now Jake and Scout’s stuff.  I’m taking care of two dogs and a cat and yet I don’t have any pets.

My beautiful white comforter didn’t turn out very well.  The down filling shifted and clumped up in places and it seems to have shrunk and is full of wrinkles.  Hopefully the wrinkles will smooth out and it will be bigger but I’m aggravated.  My shaggy, fuzzy cream colored rug is still damp from shampooing it and I hope I’ve covered or destroyed the dog pee scent enough that Jake and Scout’s dog won’t go back and pee on it again.  With my luck, David’s dog will decide to cover it with his own pee.



Sometimes I feel so used and abused that I can’t stand it.  It’s one of those times. Stacy pulled another one of her stunts the other day.  Called David and said she’s being evicted and he’d have to pick up the kids because they were homeless.

He went to pick them up and she sent them out with ALL of their belongings (including their chihuahua) and then started cursing David in the front yard, calling him an MF and every other vile salutation she could think of in front of the kids.  David said she was yelling and screaming so loud all the neighbors were looking out the windows. She said this is all his fault because he won’t help her out.  (Keep in mind that David has always been current on his child support and she’s refused to get a job for two years now. She also has her current boyfriend living with them for almost a year.) She and her boyfriend stood out front and yelled and screamed but wouldn’t even discuss what was going on.

Jake and Scout told David that Stacy told them it would be at least two months before they’d be coming home because she needs to “get back on her feet”.  Don’t see how that’s going to happen if she refuses to even apply for a job. David’s child support is supposed to be to help with the kids but I’m sure it doesn’t go very far when it’s the only source of income for Stacy, both boys, the dog and her boyfriend.  Bitch.

So now you can barely get through my living room because all of Jake’s and Scout’s belongings are there and I don’t know how I’m going to find room for all of it.  They love their little dog but I’m ready to throw the damn thing out the door.  It’s too little to put in the back yard because it could easily slip through the gate or under the fence so that means putting the leash on him and walking him a half dozen times a day and it’s very cold outside.  So cold, in fact, that I took him out the day before yesterday and after no more than a minute, he was shaking and shivering so I had to cut the sleeves off an old sweatshirt and make him a coat. He’s very high maintenance and wants to go out every couple of hours.  Although I’ve been diligent about it, I’ve still had to clean up dog crap three times from the carpet and he wandered into my bedroom and hiked his leg on the corner of my snow white down comforter a few minutes ago.  Damn it!  I love my snow white comforter and my fuzzy cream colored rug.  I have the comforter in the washer now and I hope it survives.  I usually have down comforters dry cleaned every year or so because I don’t want them ruined in the washer. Still, David’s car won’t start and he’s using my car so I don’t have a choice.  No way to get to the cleaners. Next, I have to go shampoo my carpet.

This whole situation is a pain in the ass.  The boys go to school all the way across town and that means getting up early, taking them 11 miles to school, 11 miles back home, and then doing a repeat after school. That might not be too bad for a week or two but two months is not going to work.  David went down to court yesterday to try to get temporary custody but they said it isn’t an emergency and he’s supposed to go to court in two weeks anyway because Stacy is asking for an increase in child support.  I guess she needs it if she doesn’t want to work and has to support her boyfriend. Bitch.

Needless to say, I’m not feeling the optimism I was feeling last week.  I better get off here and try to clean my carpet.  Anyone want a dog?

It’s 36 degrees outside.  Gray and overcast.  Tomorrow night it’s going down to 1 degree.  At least there’s no snow in the forecast for the next week. I’m barefoot and the floor is cold on my feet.  I wish I didn’t have to go out but I have lots of errands today.  I have a doctor’s appointment at 12:45, need to exchange a tablecloth I bought the other day, I have to go to the bank and I reserved a couple of DVDs that I need to pick up.

Tomorrow, I have an MRI and a urodynamic test (whatever that is…).  I have another appointment with my doctor on the 13th to see what he wants to do and find out whether or not I’m having a hysterectomy. Whatever I have to do, I want to get it done so I can heal before Donna and I go on our cruise in April.

I scheduled a series of sessions in a smoking cessation program starting this Friday.  I’m not even sure I want to quit.  I mean, of course I want to quit.  I’m just not sure I’m in a good place right now for that to happen.  Sometimes I feel like I’m just sitting here playing Russian Roulette. Don’t exercise, don’t diet, keep smoking and just let the chips fall where they may. Sometimes I think I’m not even supposed to be here. Like I should be with Donnie.  Then the rational part of my brain says that’s a bunch of crap. It’s just hard to imagine going on and on without him. He died six months ago.  Shouldn’t I have a better grip on things by now?

His death woke me up to the possibility of my own mortality. He and I were not prepared for anything. I have a lot of bills and I lost his income.  I didn’t know where his insurance policies were.  And then, he didn’t have much insurance anyway. I didn’t know who we owed or how much. It was, and continues to be, very difficult to deal with everything.

I upped my insurance big time. I brought the bills up to date with his insurance money (there wasn’t much) and now I still have to keep up with them after losing his income.  Money is tight but not impossible. I still support Andrew and Steven even though they’ll turn 24 next month.  I did manage to get both of them accepted to the Carl Perkins Vocational Rehab program in eastern Kentucky.  They train adults with learning disabilities for careers and help them find work.  Andrew went there in August but they didn’t have an opening for Steven until this month.  On January 19th, I’ll drive both of them back to school and they’ll live there until they finish their training.

Darryl is still living here.  His vision continues to be a major problem for him in spite of numerous surgeries and treatments.  He’s legally blind and hasn’t worked for two years.  I don’t know what’s going to happen with him.  He tries not to be a burden but it’s still an expense.

David lives here, too.  I don’t see him moving out.  He seems content and does what he can to contribute to the finances.

I know if anything happens to me, I’ve done the best I can to prepare for all of them.  I have more than $250,000 in insurance which would pay off the house and leave a lot left over.  The property in Florida is paid off and all the taxes are current. The only thing missing is an updated will.  And that’s difficult.  I can’t imagine how to set it up.  It was easy when Donnie and I made our first wills.  Everything goes to him if I die, everything goes to me if he dies and everything is split between Darryl and David if we both die.  Now it’s a lot more difficult.

I could leave everything as it is with it being divided between Darryl and David but then I think about Andrew and Steven. Donnie and I raised them from the time they were 12 and they’re like our sons instead of our grandsons.  They both have special needs and, unless something changes dramatically, they’ll both struggle to support themselves.  I thought about dividing things four ways but then, that’s not fair to Jake and Scout and Holly.  I need to figure out what’s fair and will be of the most benefit for everyone but it’s not something I’ve addressed yet.


Four Women

I noticed four women on the cruise we took last month. They were laughing and cutting up and seemed to be having the time of their lives.  They were pleasantly plumb, middle aged or older and hung out in the smoking area of the upper deck.  Two of them were smokers but the other two didn’t seem to have any problem with it. They all sat together and did a lot of laughing.  It was obvious that they were great friends and had been friends for a very long time.  They had that kind of companionship you see with sisters or best friends.

David is so outgoing.  After just a couple of days at sea, folks were waving to him and calling him over. It seemed like half the passengers already knew him and he was never alone. He sat down with “the four women” frequently and they welcomed him like an old friend.

It rained all day in Jamaica.  As we were leaving port that evening, the women came over and sat with us. Ordered drinks and started talking about what a great time they’d had in Jamaica even though they’d gotten drenched in the downpour.  They said they’d been disappointed that one of their excursions had been cancelled due to weather.  I asked them which one and they told me the zip line.  I was really surprised.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because I’m afraid of heights and zip lining always seems like something for the young and brave.

They went on to say that they hoped all their excursions for the Cayman Islands would go off as planned. They were signed up for para sailing and kayaking.  It changed my entire perspective of them.  I became very focused on them for the rest of the cruise.  They were fun loving, energetic and seemed to be having a blast.

I envy them.  I kept wishing I had a group of women that I could share experiences with.  Actually, I do have a group of friends and we get together for dinner once a month or so but seeing these women made me realize that it’s possible to really live again.  To do exciting adventurous things even though Donnie is no longer with me. To be honest, Donnie was kind of a stick-in-the-mud guy. He didn’t like physical exertion and would much rather have friends over to grill hamburgers and drink beer than get on a zip line or go kayaking.

I told David how much I envied those women and he said, “Tell them that, ask them for phone numbers and maybe you can hook up with them sometime.”  I didn’t.  I didn’t feel like it was practical to try to insert myself into their jolly little group and I have no idea where they were from.  I told him it wasn’t so much about those four women as it was about what they represented.

A lot of my grief and depression has to do with not only the loss of my husband, but the loss of our plans. We were going to travel in the RV, go down to Florida to escape the cold, go back to Hawaii.  There were so many things we still wanted to do.  Now I feel so alone.  It’s not any fun to do things by myself and everyone else is working or married or tied down with obligations.  I wish I had a group of friends to share my life with and do things with. Even going to dinner with someone would be nice.

My sister, Donna, retired years ago and she always wanted me to do things with her.  I told her I would when I retired and had some time but, by the time that happened, Donna had taken on four foster kids and she’s tied down more than ever. It’s a major effort for her to just come to Louisville and that’s just a 45 minute trip. And Donna, much as I love her, is not going to get on a zip line or go kayaking.

I keep thinking about those women. My friends are great but we don’t have the kind of joyous sense of adventure and acceptance that I’m looking for. I wish we did. I’m the only smoker in the group and the others are very anti-smoking.  Pam, one of the women in our group, is very controlling and likes to dictate what we do and she can be trying and overbearing. I went on a trip with her once and had to constantly bite my tongue because she wants to call all the shots. The rest of us put up with it because we just want to enjoy each others company and it’s easier just to go along with Pam than to create animosity and friction. Still, I can’t imagine taking a group trip.  Elsie and Jana and I would be fine but I can’t take Pam in large doses.

Enough about women and friends.  Just a topic that’s been on my mind. On to other things.

I went to bed earlier last night.  I’ve been thinking about how I wreck any attempt at dieting by sitting there watching TV all evening and eating so I’ve decided I need to just go to bed earlier. Cut out some of that useless time that just drags on and on each night.  I went to bed at midnight and didn’t fall asleep until after 1:30 but it’s a start.  At least I wasn’t sitting up eating candy and Cheetos.

I woke at 8:30 this morning so I’ve got an earlier start.  That’s something.

I was thinking about boot camp.  That’s what I used to call an intense diet and exercise routine.  Wondering what the results would be if I just hit it hard and heavy for a month.  Weigh myself going in and then don’t step on the scales again for a month. I don’t think I can plan on more than a month because I’m scheduled for a series of labs and tests tomorrow and will most likely be having a hysterectomy fairly soon. Still, what would I feel like after working hard at it for a month. Would I be less depressed?  Would I be less lethargic? Would it get me on track?  Something to think about.

One of the songs I’ve been listening to lately is called Just Give Me a Reason.  The lyrics keep going round and round in my head but I changed them just a little bit:

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit’s enough
Just to show that I’m not broken but bent
And I can learn to live again.

11:30 – I keep thinking about those women and those lyrics.  I’m going to reach out to a very dear old friend that I’ve lost touch with and see if we can get together for lunch one day soon.  I miss her.


Just another Sunday

It’s noon.  I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing this morning.  Yes, I went to Facebook and hung out for an hour or so but then I started shopping.  Bought a new rug for the kitchen from Overstock.  I’m so tired of this kitchen being unfinished.  David and I were desperate for distraction after Donnie died so we started ripping things apart around here.  Problem is, David works all the time and we started way too many projects.
We pretty much finished my bedroom and his bedroom.  Still have a few odds and ends like rehanging pictures and finishing up little details but the main problems are the living room and the kitchen.  They’ve been hanging in limbo for months.  I really want to get this kitchen finished.

I’ve never been afraid of color.  My clothes have always been bright and colorful, the walls in my house have always been colorful.  All the knick-knacks I buy are bright and beautiful.  But I wanted to really brighten up the house itself so I went with white.  Bright white ceilings, walls, and super bright LED light bulbs.  Now I’m trying to bring color into it.  I’ve always liked Mexican colors and have lots of colorful Mexican plates, figurines, ristras and cookware.  Now I have to get a new tablecloth and rug and get this place pulled together.  I took everything out of my china cabinet months ago and cleaned it but then I just threw stuff back in it and didn’t arrange anything.  I’ve gotten a lot done these last couple of days and want to continue in here.

I weighed myself this morning.  I hate the scales.  212.  But then, I haven’t really done anything to change that.  I made a nice healthy stir fry for dinner last night but then I did what I usually do and snacked in front of the TV until 2:00 a.m.  I wish I could find a way to get through the evenings.  I sit and watch TV and put off going to bed until I’m ready to drop. I hate going to bed.  It’s the loneliest time of the day.  I can’t snuggle up to Donnie or hold his hand or talk to him about all the little things that happened during the day.  I just lie there and feel so alone.  If I go to bed early, I just toss and turn and think about things until I start crying.  Better to sit in the living room and watch mindless TV.

3:45 – Still working on the kitchen.  I scrubbed all the cabinets and the pantry doors (they have a kazillion slats so that’s a big deal), put another coat of white paint on one of the cabinet doors and spray painted the hardware.  Time to take a break and then I need to run some errands.  I need to pick up white screws to rehang the cabinet door and a couple other things but I’m drawing a blank at the moment about what else I needed.  Oh, spray paint for one.

3FC has changed a lot in my absence.  I used to have a lot of friends on here.  Lots of comments and suggestions and encouragement.  Now there’s no one here.  Where did all the little chicklets go?

I didn’t do very well with eating yesterday.  I have to get out of that habit of gorging every evening.  I ate a healthy dinner of leftover low cal vegetable noodle soup that I made the other day and a sandwich made with Laura’s Lean Beef.  I ate plenty and I wasn’t hungry but then I started snacking and ate a lot of crap. Maybe I’ll try to think of something to do that will get me out of the house this evening.

Huh…Just by coincidence David just called.  He used my car to go to work today and, when he got there, he found out they didn’t schedule anyone for tonight so he’s going to have to work a double shift. So much for planning to go out this evening.

At any rate, I’m going to get started.  Painting and working on the house.  Hopefully, I can keep at it again today.

11:45 and I’m showered and dressed.  Took a while to get the paint out of my hair after I flipped the stir stick yesterday.  I didn’t realize a glob landed in my hair.  I know it’s not early but I didn’t get going until 1:30 yesterday so I’m still ahead of the game.  Weighed myself.  211.5.  I suck. I’ve made my bed and now I’m ready to do some more painting.

2:40 – taking a quick break for a ham and swiss sandwich.  Just finished painting the kitchen, got all the stuff cleaned up and noticed that I didn’t paint a second coat on the edge of one wall by the baseboard. That’s what happens when you take three months to paint a room.  sigh…  As soon as I finish my sandwich, I’m going to get the semi-gloss trim paint and do final touchups in my bedroom.

8:00 – I’m beat!  I finished painting and then had to clean up all that crap.  And then, since I’m finally finished with all the painting and drywall in the kitchen, I decided to clean the floor.  I moved everything out of the kitchen and tackled all the little specks of paint and mud with a razor blade, old toothbrush, and rag. I spent two hours on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor and then put two coats of wax down while everything was out of the room.  Now I’m going to move everything back in the room, clean up my mess and make something healthy for dinner.

I never know when I’m going to have a really bad day.  I always feel a sadness that seems to be an integral part of me now.  It’s always there, in the back of my mind.  I smile but I don’t laugh.  I sleep way too much.  I spend days and days just sitting around doing nothing.  And sometimes I just have days where I’m beyond help.

It’s gray and cold and rainy today.  I’ve sat at the computer all morning.  I’ve had two total meltdowns where I had to go to my bedroom and just cry.  I know Donnie wouldn’t want me to be like this.  He always admired my optimism and energy.  I wish I could get it back.

I know I need to get away from this computer and do something.  And I’m making a commitment to keep this post open and list all the positive things I’m done today.  That’s a promise, to myself.

1:30 – turned on the music and started cleaning out the refrigerator.

3:00 – the refrigerator is sparking and I’ve been trying for 30 minutes to get the damn thing back together. I’m getting really pissed!  How many effing combinations of drawers, racks and shelves can there be? I can’t believe that I can’t figure this out!

3:30 – David came home and figured out the refrigerator in about 30 seconds.  I feel stupid.  I decided to finish painting the trim in the kitchen.  Accidentally flipped the stir stick and slung paint all over the place. I feel like quitting but I will NOT give up. Why is everything so hard?

5:30 – I got all the trim in the kitchen painted and moved to the living room.  The front door needed to be painted and the trim around it so I went ahead and did it while I had the painting stuff out.  Think I’m going to put a second coat on my closet doors while I’m on a roll.  Music is still playing and I’m okay.

6:30 – Time to call it quits on painting.  I still have to clean up the mess: paint trays, rollers, and brushes, put furniture back, clean up all the drips and take a razor blade to the edges of the glass where I ran over a little.  After that, I have to take a bath and scrub all the paint off.  All that is going to take me at least an hour and I think I can quit.  I haven’t eaten anything all day but I feel pretty good about getting things accomplished.  It’s really been helpful for me to blog.

If I can get organized enough to eat something halfway healthy, I’ll feel pretty good about today.


Happy New Year!

I hope things go better this year.  It’s another holiday and that means it’s another rough day of memories. Every new holiday brings renewed grief.  Last night, my cell phone was ringing with well-wishers calling at midnight to wish me a happy new year.  I didn’t answer any of the calls and then the texts started coming in. I didn’t acknowledge them.  I was hanging by a thread with tears just a heartbeat away and I knew if I started talking to friends and family I’d lose it.  So I ignored everyone.  Hoping they’d think I went to bed early.  I was desperate for something to do so I scanned through the movie channel and found a movie called “The Face of Love”.  It had Annette Benning, Ed Harris, and Robin Williams so I figured it would have to be pretty good.  Five minutes into the movie, Annette Benning’s husband dies and she spends the rest of the movie grieving and trying to recapture the past by forming a relationship with a man who looks just like her deceased husband.  The movie begins five years after losing her husband and she’s still grieving.  I can understand and relate.

I meant to get back on track with blogging and dieting and exercising a couple of days ago but I got sick. Coughing and runny nose and general misery.  I’m feeling better today and I’m trying to start again.  What better time than the new year?

On the agenda today, I want to finish painting the kitchen, fix some trim in the kitchen and have David follow me to Elizabethtown to return Donna’s van that we borrowed for the trip to Miami.

I guess it’s time to start blogging and entering weight and diet again.  I did weigh myself yesterday and came in at a whopping 206 pounds.  Can’t get much worse than that.