Still waiting

It's been just over three months since I lost my dearest Rich. It's been just over two months since I developed shingles. Both are still with me .. in varying degrees.
My 'apartment' is coming along nicely .. my bedroom and laundry room/office should be completed by Monday some time ... thank goodness. My bathroom MAY be done then too but it's being tiled and that takes a long time .. worth the wait though I'm sure.
I found another photo taken on a drive around the part of Oregon where we lived ... it's a nice photo so I'll put it here for you to enjoy ...

Oregon is such a beautiful state ... so clean, green and peaceful. It was a culture shock to come back to California ... to the place I met Rich over 32 years ago. I wonder what he would think of my moving back here and moving in with my sister ... I'm sure he would consider it a better option for me than living alone and he always made sure I was happy. He was the dearest man ... he made sure I felt his love .. by little gestures, looks, touches, words ... he was exceptional in every way and I'll never find another man like him ... and I wont be looking for one either!



Today I had the pleasure of dealing with the FEDS (up close and personally)!
I had to have my fingerprints taken ... and I was pleasantly surprised to find out I didn't need the black ink daubed all over my fingers . . I liked the digital process where they get scanned directly into a computer. It took about ten minutes and some prints had to be done over and over until the computer said "OK" ... but when I asked the female FED, when I'd be hearing from someone next, she informed me that I might be called back. Of course, I asked WHY? She said if they don't accept some of the fingerprints, they'll have to take them again. OK .. everyone together now: "If she didn't think they would be accepted, why didn't she keep doing them until they were all "OK" ?"
I do not want to make another 60 mile round trip and pay $7.50 parking fee just to re-do what should have been done correctly to begin with ...
But ... these are the FEDS!!!


Life Goes On

We've been watching, with great anticipation, the hatching of a baby Stellar's jay outside the front door. There were a few eggs in the nest originally but the first-hatched decided that he's entitled to all the food his parents bring to the nest .. and his siblings were 'tossed'.

They're such pretty birds but so raucous and this little guy will, no doubt, be just as vocal as the rest of his family. No matter what, he's a baby, ergo he's adorable.
He's finally scooted himself out of the deep nest and is 'hanging out' on the rim .. he can't fly yet because he isn't fully fledged but it wont be long!



I have a long-time friend who I met when I was 7 years old .. and we're still in touch. In fact Linda's living on the same street she was when I met her but now she's married! She doesn't have a computer yet so I can say what I want! lol
My parents moved around every few years when I was a child ... so sometimes it was difficult to make 'best friends' but we lived in one spot for 8 years ... long enough to make a friend for life.
What's a real coincidence is that I made another good friend in Oregon (also Linda) whose maiden name was the same as my other Linda. For another coincidence, my parents were going to name me Linda .. but my sister wanted me to be Jennifer .. a name she heard on a popular radio show.
Here's a photo of Linda and her husband Ivan ... they take a lot of walking holidays with friends ..

Here's a photo of my 'other' Linda ... in Oregon ... with her husband Marty. I took this one at Lake Almanor in northern California .. we took a little vacation together.

I thank God every day for my friends .. and family.


11 Weeks since Rich died

Can't believe it's been eleven weeks since my dear Rich died ... I wish I could get the vision of him in the hospital bed, unconscious ... out of my head ... I know eventually I will only remember him as alive and smiling.
Here's a great photo of dear Rich and his son .. taken on his 80th birthday.

My shingles is still bugging me .. it's been 6 1/2 weeks! It's manageable but uncomfortable. At least I have no scarring . . thanks to the witch hazel which dried up the ugly rash before it could really take hold. It's a strange thing .. when I researched shingles, I found that it occurs because of (1) stress, (2) injury, or (3) cancer. A scary thought. Rich got shingles at the end of 1998 on his right clavicle. The following August, he found blood in his sputum and in October, they removed his upper right lobe due to lung cancer and they had to cut right through the shingles scars ..
Yesterday my sister and brother-in-law's dog was euthanized. She'd been ailing for a long time and was boarded while they were away. The vet called and told me 'it's time' so I called my brother-in-law on the cruise ship and he agreed .. so I volunteered to go to the vet's and be with her so she wouldn't be scared. It was the right thing for me to do, but what I didn't need ... I've had enough of death this year!
To the people who've posted comments on my blog .. THANK YOU. I'm really doing this for therapeutic value to help me recover from the horrible start to this year .. but I appreciate your taking time to write.


Mother .. lost to Alzheimer's Disease

My dear mother died in January this year, at 93 (just two months before Rich) ... she had lived with Rich and I for 18 years but finally we couldn't handle her anymore and she moved into an adult foster home near my sister in California.
We first noticed the onset of Alzheimer's Disease when she was about 83 but we thought it was just forgetfulness ... the monster wouldn't let go of her until it finally won.
I wrote an ode to mother one day when I was feeling particularly low ... here it is:

Mother where are you?
You’re in there somewhere … the loving parent, the laugh, the smile, the compassion … they’re hiding behind the most cruel of inflictions - perhaps never to be seen again.
Why have you been robbed of who you are, why have I been robbed of my dearest mother? This devastating disease has taken you from me … if only I could find a way to reach you. I cry, my heart aches with heaviness, sadness overtakes me, despair is fighting to take over but I have to remain strong, you taught me that. I miss you so. You’re here but you’re not … we talk, but do you know who I really am? Do you know what I mean to you .. what you mean to me? The lump in my throat that comes when my eyes well up with tears is here with me.
You epitomized the word “mother” in every sense … you were the best! You were my comforter when I had nightmares .. you’d climb in bed and comfort me until I fell asleep; when I was sick you were my nurse .. always checking on me, giving me special food and attention when I needed it the most; when I was upset you were my counselor .. the voice of reason and common sense.
Why has God allowed this cruel and indiscriminate misery to overtake you? You’re the last person who should be punished … the first who should be rewarded.
Oh Mother, where are you?


Loneliness and Memories

June 2, 2007

I never knew what loneliness felt like but now I know. My sister and brother-in-law are on a cruise and I'm in this huge house all alone. For 32 years Rich and I did everything together .. even going to doctors, etc. and now I'm solo ... and I don't like it.
My shingles are still making their ugly presence known .. I've had them since April 20th and I'll be so very glad when they're totally gone! I'm surprised by how many people I know, have had them ... I'm going to get the vaccination just as soon as I'm over them! I don't want to go through this again ...
Here's another photo of Rich and I ... this time at Crater Lake ... a sparkling gem in southern Oregon.

Few places on earth command overwhelming awe from observers, but Crater Lake, in south central Oregon, certainly does. Even in a region of volcanic wonders, Crater Lake can only be described in superlatives. Stories of the deep blue lake can never prepare visitors for their first breathtaking look from the brink of this 6 mile wide caldera which was created by the eruption and collapse of Mt. Mazama almost 7,000 years ago. Even seasoned travelers gasp at the twenty-mile circle of cliffs, tinted in subtle shades and fringed with hemlock, fir, and pine: all this in a lake of indescribable blue.

Today, the nation's fifth oldest national park serves to stand as a memorial to time. In 1902, Congress decided that Crater Lake and its surrounding 180,000 acres were to be "dedicated and set apart forever as a public park or pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States."