Quiet Days

Quiet, quiet days. When my husband was alive the television was invariably on and if not the radio would be blaring and so often I would long for silence. Be careful what you wish for, they say, for now I have more silence than I bargained for. I guess it’s all a question of balance.

In our younger days my hubby was a boisterous and very out-going man. Disease left him with less energy, especially over the past eight years or so. He grew to be home bound and unable to do much. Thankfully he never lost his sense of humor.

And so, now I still enjoy the quiet times, even though they’re often marked by loneliness. Yet, I know his spirit still resides here with me. Sometimes I can feel him giving me a gentle push to get out and live my life. I’m trying, hon. I really am.

Touched by Grace

Popping in to say hello. So, HELLO! I am okay. It’s been a challenging time since Randy died but life does go on and drags us with it, kicking and screaming at times. I’ve missed you all. Many of you have been staunch supporters over the years and I want you to know how much I appreciate that. Life is very quiet these days. Our family continues to face challenges, as many of you know, my daughter-in-law was diagnosed with brain cancer nearly two years ago. More recently my brother, a brother-in-law and a first cousin have also faced a cancer diagnosis, of varying types. I find as I grow older more friends and family members are facing challenges to their health. It goes with the territory, I guess. It’s hard to remain optimistic and upbeat in the face of dire news. Yet, I know, the Divine One strengthens and consoles me as I walk my path.

I love this quote:

“Gifts of grace come to all of us. But we must be ready to see and willing to receive these gifts. It will require a kind of sacrifice, the sacrifice of believing that, however painful our losses, life can still be good — good in a different way than before, but nevertheless good. I will never recover from my loss and I will never get over missing the ones I lost. But I still cherish life. . . . I will always want the ones I lost back again. I long for them with all my soul. But I still celebrate the life I have found because they are gone. I have lost, but I have also gained. I lost the world I loved, but I gained a deeper awareness of grace. That grace has enabled me to clarify my purpose in life and rediscover the wonder of the present moment.”

~Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss

I looked for his book at our local library where I happen to work but without success. I may very well order a copy from one of the many book stores online. It does resonate strongly with me.

It has been my experience that the people, circumstances, and situations arrive right when I need them. Grace keeps in step with all my needs, however small they might be, or however big, for that matter.

I do hope that wherever you happen to reside that life is good for you and yours and that you are touched by grace, always.

Happy New Year

I hope 2023 ushers in so many blessings for each and every one of you. I have not been active for a bit. Christmas was hard. I guess there was no way it could be otherwise since I am grieving the loss of my hubby in September. But I want you all to know how very grateful I am for all your kindnesses and support.

I thought I’d share with you an image of the memory boxes I made for each of my adult children. Randy loved wolves so each box has an image of a wolf on the lid and is filled with little mementos of their Dad. I hope these boxes will be a source of comfort for them and bring back happy memories. We all miss him, naturally.

Each one was painted a different color….this one for our eldest

For our son

and this one for our youngest daughter.

I am still struggling with my new reality. It’s weird really. I still feel married. Yet, I am now alone, well, not entirely alone. I have my family and friends and I am grateful for each of them for helping me move forward; for helping me heal the wound caused by his death.

Friends, cherish your loved ones. As we make one more trip, one more year of life, I hope it is good for you all. I hope you hold your loved ones close and always, always, let them know you love them….always!

Happy New Year!

Sunday Poser #110 Ping back

Sadje over at Keep it alive posed the following question:

What make you feel shy or embarrassed?

Click on the link below:

I think I am well past the things that would once have embarrassed me and occasions where I felt quite shy. I think we overcome those as we age. That’s not to say I no longer get embarrassed. I do. I dislike being centered out for any reason. I find praise as difficult to accept as any perceived insult. Yet, there are more days than not when I am not overly affected.

However, when I was younger, I was quite shy and any attention paid to me, whether positive or negative would make me blush furiously. It was the most uncomfortable feeling!

Sacred Hours

Sacred hours

When my heart connects

With yours

And peace descends to comfort me

In the sacred, holy hours

Heart to heart

Connections without words

Without a physical presence

But still, I know

Tis you, tis you

And joy fills my soul

Death cannot part us

No power has this darkness

Unless I give it

Light penetrates, warms and comforts

And I know you are here

Your spirit as vibrant as it ever was

Amazing joy and happiness

I hear you laugh out loud

Aw, how good it is So very, very good

Sunday Poser #109: The importance of appearances

Sadje over at Keep it alive posed the following question: “Looking good; Is it vanity or a requirement?

Here’s a link to her post:


I do feel that marketing, aimed at women in particular, strives to convince us that our appearance is of the utmost importance. Ads play on our insecurities and also our vanity. We live in an age that is youth obsessed. Marketing gurus urge us to dye that unsightly gray hair; buy this wonder pill to lose that weight; advise us on the best choice in clothing, health products, skin care, etc. etc. ad nauseum. If we believe their strategies then appearance (and not just any appearance but a youthful, attractive appearance) is certainly a requirement to live a “good” and successful life.

Is it vanity to want to look and feel good? Perhaps. But we are judged on appearance and if we want to fit in, be accepted by our peers, or land that dream job then we are required to go along with cultural and societal norms and expectations whether we really want to or not.

I had a coworker once remark, “She keeps her hair long because she’s trying to be a teenager”. In point of fact I keep my hair long because I can no longer style it due to extreme pain in my shoulder. I simply cannot use hair dryers or curling irons or any other styling tool without causing myself agony. I wear it in a pony tail most days, or clip it up. I don’t think my competence at work is dependent on how I wear my hair!

Psychologists are hired by marketing firms to give them insights on how best to play on our insecurities and vanities. algorithms are also employed to ensure capitalist companies make top dollar. Social media is mined to garner further insights into the human mind.

Sigh! Having said all this I do strive to look my best, because, as Sadje pointed out, I feel more confident and feeling good contributes to my over all well being.

Hop on over to Keep it alive to voice your own opinions.

Christmas with cats

I really want to put up a tree – my tree, not the little thing my daughter bought last year. However, since Randy died Whiskey has reverted to his habit of climbing EVERYWHERE. No place is safe. He climbs on the counters (which I hate), the stove, jumps on top of the fridge and from there right up on top of the kitchen cabinets. When Randy was alive he kept the little demon in check. Now, he knows Randy is no longer here and no bookshelf. t.v. stand, pantry, or desk is safe any more. Which also makes me suspect the Christmas tree would not be standing for long. Sigh!

Yet, the cats also bring us a lot of comfort and make us laugh with their antics. Callie-cat and Merlin are better behaved. Whiskey is definitely the problem child of the three. He sure keeps us on our toes! My daughter insists it’s because he’s an orange tabby. I disagree, we’ve had orange cats that were very chill. Whatever. I am posting a few photos of the little darlings (?).

The above photo is my sweet Callie-cat. although she’s a bit of a diva she’s also well-behaved. This photo is from a prior Christmas. She loved to sit under the tree.

Merlin is a very timid soul, very chill though. Although he’s been caught occasionally on the kitchen table or the counter it’s not a frequent thing.

And this is the infamous Whiskey, looks so innocent, doesn’t he? Trust me, he’s far from it. But he is entertaining when he’s not being a total pain in the butt!

I hope your holidays are filled with the people, events, food, and things that bring you the most joy. Happy Holidays!

Commenting – a ping back to Sunday Poser #108

Sadje poses a question every Sunday. This week it is a question concerning the importance of commenting on blog posts. Here’s a link: https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2022/11/27/sunday-poser-108/

Personally, I love interacting with other bloggers. I had originally started my blog in 2012 and then let it lapse for several years until wildfires forced the evacuation of the city where I live and I turned back to my blog to write out the horrors. Since then my blog has served as a receptacle of my grief when my brother was killed by a drunk driver in 2016 and again now as I travel that path of grief since my husband’s death two months ago.

I have gotten to know several people through my blog. I am so grateful for all the support I have received over the years. The comments made on my posts have lifted me again and again.

It is also important to me to make time to read what others have posted. It is really such a small world when it comes to blogging. I have “met” people from all over the globe and it has been an enriching and satisfying experience. I enjoy commenting and reading the comments others have written on the posts I read. We have become a community, a family of sorts. The connections are important to me. I have come to care deeply about the people I communicate with on WordPress.

So, for me, commenting and responding to comments, whether on my own blog or on others, is important to me. And, more than that, it is a joy!

Coping with grief, coping with life

I’ve been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy to distract myself from grief. Most of you know my husband died recently. And before I get advice about sitting with the pain, trust me I have been. I don’t only binge on old seasons of Greys, I have also been walking to get out of the house and to allow nature to heal the pain. Walking really does help. And today I went back to work after a long absence. I would like to write something eloquent and wise but I just don’t have it in me of late. Any creativity seems to have been frozen with the death of the man I loved. I’d like to write something positive and inspirational. I don’t have that in me either at the moment. So, I am uploading a photo I captured yesterday. Please forgive my lack of writing skill as I cope with grief; cope with this new reality, this new life without him.

Sometimes when my spirit feels as frozen as the fields in winter it helps to get out in nature and just breathe.