Update .. shingles, apartment, whales, loneliness

Another day with an empty heart. At least I can sleep through the night now ... the shingles don't wake me up anymore and my broken heart doesn't aggravate my sleep. The shingles have gone from 'much pain' to 'much discomfort' and hopefully will go to 'minor discomfort' before long.
My apartment (being built on the third floor of my sister's house) is coming along nicely and should be ready in July some time .. it'll be nice to have my own space again but moving from a 1,650 square foot house to a 750 square foot apartment is going to be a huge change for me. I'm trying to keep as much of my 'stuff' as I can.
I was glad to hear that Delta and Dawn, the humpbacks (mother and calf) have returned to the ocean where they belong. It's strange that such intelligent beings would swim out of their natural environment.
Here's another picture of Rich and I .. it was taken in September 2004. My dear, sweet, exceptional husband. His last words to me were "I love you" .. he could barely talk and didn't say a word after that ...


I really miss Oregon

May 29, 2007

Today has been very hectic .. I'm not used to California living yet, I spent 22 years in southern Oregon and with its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful green hills (lots that they haven't built on yet), rivers, clean air and water ... and where 'commute time' consists of maybe 30 cars doing 15mph for three or four blocks!
I'm wondering if I've done the right thing .. there's so much going on in my life that I'm trying to deal with and I don't think anyone understands what I'm going through .. except for those who've been through the same thing. Losing the love of my life, then getting shingles, then trying to sell my house which is being made more difficult by a third party who's not cooperating, worrying about how I'm going to sell most of my furniture and 'stuff', and pack the rest to move 430 miles ... and I'm not even there in my home to do the work. I have no friends here except one who I haven't seen yet because she has such a busy life (the norm down here) ... and she has no computer, so I can say that ... but I have family.

I think about Rich every single day, several times a day ... and I cry every day. My emotions are right at the surface ... I'll be glad when they go back to where they belong.

Here's another photo of Rich when we first boarded the Norwegian Star in Seattle .. we stayed on our deck for ages, watching the passengers walk up the ramp and come aboard.. It was touch and go whether we went on the cruise ... we had been to Crater Lake and he was unable to cope with the altitude .. we had no idea what was happening to his heart and lungs at the time .. and we had to take it easy on the cruise, but he really enjoyed it so much.


Photography .. Alaska Cruise 2006

May 28, 2007

Rich and I took our first (and only) cruise to the Inside Passage in 2006. He had been ailing and lost some weight but we booked the cruise a year earlier, and thought if we don't go when we can, we may never get the chance. (As it turned out, his health continued to decline and he died six months later so I'm glad we decided to go).
I'm just posting a very few of the gazillions of photos I took and I hope you enjoy looking at them. The cruise meant so much to us and we both really enjoyed ourselves. We were very lucky in that we enjoyed the best weather of any of the prior Inside Passage trips the ship had taken that year. We had some cloudiness in Juneau but elsewhere we saw mostly clear skies and lots of sunshine. Norwegian Cruise lines and their 'freestyle cruising' is definitely the way to go!

This sailboat photo was taken at Juneau .. he sailed back and forth for quite a time and I sat on our deck watching him ... as the sun was setting behind the hills, it cast a beautiful light over the water and over the sailboat .. it's one of my favorite scenic shots from the cruise.

The ship's photographer was busy in Glacier Bay .. my friend on the left is Jen .. her and hubby David were in the next cabin to ours and they live in Wales .. we got along famously and enjoyed the cruise all the more because they were there.

Here I am on our deck, waving at Jen on her deck as we were nearing Glacier Bay. I have a nice warm parka on but I was wearing shorts too! (only mad dogs and English ...)

Ketchikan was a fun visit .. we took a horse-drawn carriage tour around town. Rich's heart and lungs were a real problem so we couldn't take some of the trips we wanted to and opted for the easier ones but we really had fun regardless. As long as we were together, we enjoyed it all.

This was taken as we entered Glacier Bay .. Rich was on our deck and ready for the cool weather .. it's one of my favorite cruise photos.

This great photo shows Rich and I (right and left) and Jen and David at one of the restaurants on the Norwegian Star .. we met them every day for lunch and/or dinner and to catch up on our travels ashore.

This photo was taken as we disembarked in Victoria BC on our final day of the cruise .. the only 'foreign country' we visited! lol

It was truly a week to remember and after all the sadness of this year, it's memories I return to often.


Photography ... Oregon

May 27, 2007

One of my great passions is amateur photography - with my Pentax and my Sony digital, I enjoy driving around looking for unusual places or things to shoot ... and particularly strange cloud formations and skies.
Oregon (where we lived for 22 years) is a beautiful state ... the eastern part is scrub desert and high desert, then there are the Cascades and the Siskiyous (mountain ranges) with Crater Lake National Park (Oregon's only national park) being a shining star in southern Oregon, and there are the verdant valleys ... Willamette, Umpqua and Rogue with their respective rivers ... over the Coast Range of mountains and you have the most awesome coastal drive in the country.

This snag was taken at Crater Lake just after the crow graciously threw a pose for me.
My husband and I used to take drives for half a day, two or three days .. whenever and wherever the whim took us. There's so much beauty in the Oregon countryside .. so many rivers, rolling hills and trees.

This photo is one of the many creeks we passed on our travels. In fact, one of the best photos I took of a creek was published in a local calendar .. I'll add it here at a later date ..

This unusual rock formation was hovering above the Umpqua River as we drove inland from the coast .. what a lovely drive ..

Getting better ..

May 27, 2007

2007 has been a rough year .. mother died in January, husband Rich (32 years together) died in March, (photo to the right was taken in Ketchikan in September 2006 on our Alaskan cruise) a friend died on my birthday in April, I am selling my home in Oregon and moving to California to live with my sister and brother-in-law (they're building an in-law apartment for me and I should be able to occupy it in July). To top it all off, I came down with shingles a month after my husband's death and if you ever get it, don't believe that it only lasts a couple of weeks ... I've had it for almost five weeks so far ... yes, it's a lot better and I've been able to sleep through the night for about a week now ... but I'll be glad when the extreme discomfort goes away altogether and I don't have to take anymore pain pills. I do have advice though ... put witchhazel on the rash about six times a day .. let it air-dry .. it will dry up the pustules quickly so they don't become gross and scarring.
Here's a photo of my dear mother .. the Alzheimers had taken hold here but she was still a warm, caring, humorous lady.