My Novels

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

About my weight...

Haven't written anything since DH died (I don't think) regarding my starvation affliction. Yep, "ana" as the nickname of those on the web with, problem, call it.

At any rate, I will never, ever feel normal regarding eating. If I eat "right" -- healthy -- I still feel guilty if I don't exercise EVERY single day. One day without biking (or walking the dogs/using the indoor bike) and I'm depressed, deeply. If I cut back and eat barely 1,000 calories a day, I feel triumphant, exuburant. So this is a lifetime affliction.

I thought I was overcoming my obsession with eating, since I've now gained beyond 100 lbs. But secretly, I harbor fantasies of getting back down to that 88 lb skinny waif. I always thought if I were alone, no one would KNOW what I ate; therefore, I might eat NOTHING. Not necessarily so. I don't like to cook, never did, but always tried to make nutritious meals for DH. Now I won't cook, unless I absolutely have to -- so I won't starve. Instead I eat a lot of the wrong things: prepackaged crap, soups, too much sodium, whatever (although no fast foods). I love salads, but sometimes just hate preparing one for myself. I still eat mostly vegetarian stuff, with occasional chicken.

Yet today I checked my BMI adjusted for age, and guess what? It was only 17.3. I guess I ONLY FEEL fat, as usual, but I'm not.

It is very true that no matter how we look to others, we will always see ourselves within our mind/imagination in a certain way. And I fear I'll always FEEL like a fat person, though others do not see me that way.

{Update tomorrow on mother's evaluation.}

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Lazy Sunday

It's a verrrrrrrry cold Sunday in the South today. I stayed up late reading a good novel last night, didn't really get enough sleep, which has made me feel especially lazy today. I DID take the dogs on a walk earlier, and even though it's sunny, there's a stiff wind that stings! But if Oscar doesn't get a walk, he whines like he's being deprived. With a whole fenced backyard, both dogs still prefer the neighborhood walk -- all those exotic scents, I suppose.

My mother remains about the same, though she is walking better. She will have an evaluation next Tuesday, and the staff/doctors will determine if she should be released or stay an additional 80 days. At this point, we're not sure what will happen. She wants to stay there, but cannot keep a private room if she remains. That means she'll be in a semi-private room, but the staff does try to match personalities for room-mates. My grandmother had a wonderful, sweet lady as a room-mate, and that turned out to be an advantage for both of them: their families became acquainted, and there was a feeling of being connected to the outside world too. Just have to wait and see what happens. Mother can also choose to return to my sister's house, but has already said she really did not want to stay there again.

No bike ride today; I nearly always take Sundays off, and when the temp is around 30 degrees...well, it would be quite a brisk ride indeed. I do still go every day, except Sunday, when weather permits. The coming week is supposed to be temps in the 40s and I can manage that. I have a set of ear-muffs and wind-proof jacket/pants I wear when necessary.

I have some photos I took of the dogs to post. I'm still using the small cheap camera, just can't decide on what kind to buy. At any rate, here's the pictures:

How YOU doing?

Got bones?

Little angels...NOT!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Continued improvement...

My mother continues to improve, and is even walking -- albeit hesitantly and with assistance. I visit almost every day, or phone, and she has other family/friends visiting too. Yesterday she said to me, "I'm in a good place now." I hope she still feels this way as the days, weeks pass, but I have to admit, all of us siblings are genuinely impressed with the level of care and attention she is getting there.

And you know, I have never hated nursing homes as much as some people do. In fact, I may just check into employment and/or volunteer work at this place. I used to visit my grandmother daily when she was in a nursing home, and I met lots of the residents; some were genuinely engaging and alert. Remember the book/movie, "Fried Green Tomatoes?" People can learn from the elderly, and vice versa. Nevertheless, we're all glad that mother seems to be steadily improving; she is eating well, getting physical therapy every day, has a private room with TV, phone, etc. Actually, she looks more like she did when my step-dad was able to be a care-giver, and maybe this will continue. Or not. Who knows?

The war between my middle sisters has abated, and that is good.

I spent today doing loads of housework I've put off too long. It was mild, sunny and I locked the dogs outside (where they ran in the backyard and enjoyed the sunshine) while I mopped and waxed my floors. I took all my throw rugs outside, let those sun, and all the dogs bedding was hung on the clothesline to air. I also went on my bike ride, then took the dogs on a long neighborhood walk. Tomorrow I have to return some books to the library and will stop in to see mother, just might pick up an application from the nursing home. I do know they now hire people just to help feed the residents, cut up their food, talk to them, encourage them to eat...and that might be a job I could do. I can't lift or do much physical stuff with them, but I live only blocks from the place and could go at meal-times for assistance. We'll see, I suppose.

About Bush's speech last night: I don't like sending more troops to Iraq to be killed. BUT for once he did catch my attention with his program for allowing people who buy their own medical insurance (as I do) to claim it as a deduction. That would be a HUGE help to me, and many others who pay exorbitant insurance premiums each month. Still not a solution (only socialized medical care can truly help everyone) but at least a possible light at the end of the tunnel I find myself in, regarding health care.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Better news

Today was my mother's 75th birthday, and yes, I went to visit her. She is now in a nearby nursing home, getting physical therapy...and remarkably, she seems to be improving. Nothing like a hospital to kill someone, huh? She was moved to this rehab wing in the nursing home yesterday, and I was amazed (and glad) at how well she looked today. She was wearing jeans and a pretty blue pullover, her color was better, and she could actually take steps and get into her wheelchair. I took her a lovely birthday card, and signed it with my name and Oscar, Rambo and all the cats. She got a chuckle out of that. I also gave her some cash, told her to get whatever she wanted with it.

I'm not heartless (thanks to my paternal grandparent's influence). I am, in many ways, still an injured, hurt child inside when it comes to my mother and father. I really will NEVER feel that either of them loved me, because their actions demonstrated otherwise. I don't think I love my mother either; at times I mostly feel compassion and sorrow. Even pity. And often, regret that probably I never learned how to love people due to my parents' inability to love their children (I DO love my dogs/cats -- but humans, I can't seem to truly like or care about, much less love). However, I am not an unfeeling monster either. Hence, I visited today, gave mother the gift, stayed a long while with her and my sisters.

I will be able to visit her occasionally now, since she is only several blocks from where I live. When my paternal grandmother was in a different nearby nursing home, I visited her almost daily, even if for just thirty minutes or an hour. Of course, I bonded with her when I was a child; she was more like a mother to me. Still, I'll drop in on mother and take her things to cheer her up.

I don't know if she's terminal; she looked so much improved, I think she might just pull out of this. She has no I.V., is eating well, and much more alert. You see, she should have been in a nursing home right after my step-dad died; he'd done everything for her, and they lived a very quiet, stay-at-home existence. Trying to live with my sister, who has LOTS of company, and took mother here and there all the time, or left mother alone for long stretches of time...I think it contributed to her health failing (as well as my step-dad's death). When you are in that kind of frail, fragile health, your life must be curtailed, peaceful, following similar routines so you are NOT subjected to a lot of turmoil and distress. AND, most importantly, you need the kind of physical aid/help that most families simply cannot give.

Or maybe she'll get worse, there's no way of knowing. But I do know that my paternal grandmother rallied after being put in the nursing home (after an initial period of adjustment) and lived nearly three years there. She had a wonderful, well-suited lady room-mate for most of that time, and friends/family visited her often. It's not the best place to be, but IF you are that frail, sometimes it is the only place to be.

Time will tell, I suppose.

My inner demons regarding my parents will always be with me, of that I am convinced. I would advise parents out there, be careful how you treat your children, love them and teach them to love, or you might never be forgiven for NOT being good parents. Or, you might just raise a psychopath who will murder others or you someday. Males are far less likely to sit back and forgive and forget; that's why most psychos are men. Women are more apt to internalize the anger, turn it on themselves, and not be confrontational with abusive parents. Nevertheless, if you mistreat/abuse/neglect your children, always remember that someday you may really, really NEED their help/their love and they simply will be incapable of giving it because of YOUR behavior in the past.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Color Me Blue...

New Year, new colors for my blog! Whee, I LOVE fooling around with HTML, and spent some time this afternoon LOST in the bliss of design. Fun. And better yet, next to being engrossed in writing a story/novel, it's the best way to completely LOSE yourself in concentration. What I need, since LIFE lately sucks.

Mother is still hanging in there, though all the doctors have pretty much said she won't live very long. First the doctors said her kidney was failing, then it started acting again; then her cardiologist said she had to have dialysis, or risk congestive heart failure. When mother was confronted with this, she first chose NOT to have the dialysis -- which pretty much convinced my two middle sisters she was terminal. But when a hospice nurse came in and explained the situation, mother said she'd have the dialysis if necessary! Huh? In the midst of all this, my two middle sisters are still at war, and still trying to pull me into their fight. I went to visit Tuesday, and we were civil; then I called yesterday, talked to mother (who sounded better). But late yesterday one sister calls and tells me she has to drive a long way here just to sit with mother a couple hours; the religious sister doesn't want to miss church, and put a guilt-trip on the other one to come and sit for those couple hours.

I just exploded, and called the sister at the hospital and told her that she and my other sister needed to work out whatever kind of problem they were having (which is, of course, that both feel resentful at having to help mother because of mother's neglect/abuse in the past), and leave me out of it. To be quite frank, I told them I might not even attend the funeral, and to just count me out of this whole situation.

I was sooooooooo stressed out, my body felt like it was vibrating. I had to resort to a Klonopin for anxiety/stress, and when it hit, the delicious calm was such a relief I didn't know how badly I'd been stressed/angry. I do not plan to make myself sick over this situation, and being around mother and the sister's fight will cause that to happen. Hence, I have retreated.

Last I heard, the doctors/hospice people were planning on moving mother to a nursing home -- probably by tomorrow. Haven't called today, nor heard from them, and it's been a more peaceful day.

Before you condemn me, you can't really know what we all went through in our childhood. Nor even how long I held out hope mother would change -- up until I was 40. And about forgiveness: it is fine to forgive someone who stops mistreating/using you. BUT IF you forgive them, and they just keep using you/mistreating you...then forgiveness is NOT working. It's like this: Say a father is abusing his child (physically/sexually) and this goes on for years, the mother doesn't stop it, or intervene, and then the child becomes an adult and the mother/father continue in this same path: abuse just changes form, in that NOW the parents become dependent on the adult child and always want their assistance. Perhaps a grand-dad starts abusing the adult child's son/daughter. How long do you put up with this crap? I mean, we wouldn't have a justice system if we truly thought that "forgiveness" and the christian concept of scales being balanced AFTER death, were really true. In simple terms: at some point you must stand up and say enough is enough; you are NOT a victim any longer, you are a SURVIVOR. And forgivness does NOT have to be part of that survival, when it enables the cycle of abuse to continue. That is the message of Dr. Susan Forward's book, TOXIC PARENTS.

I really do think I'm on the brink of finally getting back to my writing, since I've been taking lots of notes lately on this family saga for my memoir. It will probably be the final chapter, and there's much I have to write down so I won't forget it.

With that, I bid ado for tonight. Except for those of you who are writers (or aspire to be), let me leave you (yet again) with the wisdom of Erica Jong

Erica's 20 Rules for Writers

1. Have faith--not cynicism
2. Dare to dream
3. Take your mind off publication
4. Write for joy
5. Get the reader to turn the page
6. Forget politics (let your real politics shine through)
7. Forget intellect
8. Forget ego
9. Be a beginner
10. Accept change
11. Don't think your mind needs altering
12. Don't expect approval for telling the truth -
(Parents, politicians, colleagues, friends, etc.)
13. Use everything
14. Remember that writing is Heroism
15. Let Sex (The Body, the physical world) in!
16. Forget critics
17. Tell your truth not the world's
18. Remember to be earth-bound
19. Remember to be wild!
20. Write for the child (in yourself and others)

There are no rules
Erica Jong

Monday, January 15, 2007

Why I won't marry again..

Baby Boomer Love:
Women Don't Want to Get Hitched

By Judsen Culbreth
Courtesy of's Happen magazine

In the past (and not too long ago at that), a woman over age 50 who was single inspired sympathy and concern from her married peers: Will she ever be able to find someone and settle down? True, even today, many unattached women in this demographic dream of hearing wedding bells. Still, a surprising number have the exact opposite attitude and think, Why the heck would I want to get married now?

Most people believe that men over 50 have long cherished their bachelordom. But these days, a growing number of women also feel that staying single has a whole lot of benefits. When I was conducting research for my book, The Boomers' Guide to Online Dating, I was surprised by how often I heard this sentiment. This doesn't mean these women aren't dating -- on the contrary, their calendars are packed with fun plans and romantic prospects. But if a well-meaning male suitor starts putting out feelers along the lines of, ''So do you ever want to get married someday?'' they're more likely than ever to hear a woman say, ''I doubt it'' -- and really mean it. What's caused such a dramatic shift in 50-plus women's romantic goals? Read on to find out.

Reason No. 1: They've got plenty of company
Perhaps the first reason women are happier to stay single is because they're hardly the pariahs they were in the past. Today, a whopping 16 million boomers -- more than 25 percent of men and women in this age group -- are single. That means unattached women this age are rarely lacking in a little company, whether that's a night out with some single pals or a hot date on a Saturday night. Internet dating has also helped turn the world into their oyster, presenting them with tons of prospects, many of whom are much younger and very interested in wooing an older woman.

All in all, it's easier than ever for women this age to get the same emotional perks that their married counterparts do, whether that be affection, intimacy, shared fun or laughter. In fact, some of these singles might argue that their love lives are even more exciting by comparison, since their relationships aren't weighed down by the draining domestic concerns that marriage entails. ''You'd be surprised,'' says Carol Ford, a fifty-something widow for 10 years and online dater for two years, ''how easy it is to find someone who is warm and interesting to be with. I've been out with a lot of charming men my age. Then after a romantic evening, I can go back to my little retreat and he goes to his, and there's no squabbling over 'Why didn't you fold my laundry the way I like it?''

Reason No. 2: They'd rather downsize domestically
While 7.6 million boomers have never been married, the majority have tied the knot at some point. Many have raised children. If they find themselves single again after the death or a spouse or divorce, marriage is rarely high on their list of priorities because, well, they've already been there, done that. In fact, many have spent so much of their lives compromising in the name of family -- sacrificing their dreams of starting a business to take care of their kids, passing on that girls-only Caribbean vacation because their husband argued that money was tight -- that being single can feel downright liberating! Ford, for one, is reveling in her ability to do what she wants, when she wants. ''Today, for example, I bought a $2,500 'shabby chic' entertainment unit with chicken wire on one of the panels,'' she says. ''My husband would have flipped out. But I didn't have to explain to anyone why I just had to have this beat-up old cabinet!''

Reason No. 3: Their family comes first
Another factor for women who already have families under their belt is how messy things can become with a new husband in the picture. Conflicts of all kinds can crop up once families blend, even if the kids are already out on their own. Some women express reluctance to share their family inheritance with someone else and their children. Others worry about the emotional impact a new husband would have on the family dynamic. Rather than rock the boat, they'd rather keep things status quo. One copy editor acquaintance of mine I know from New Jersey has this story to share: ''I dated a really nice man, and we had no problems with each other,'' she says. ''But he would criticize my 22-year-old son, and I was very sensitive to that. You know, if you bring up a child, you have this history; the long-term view. Maybe the kid isn't doing so well at this point in time, but you remember how hard he worked to win the 400-meter butterfly in a junior varsity swim, say, and you believe he'll dig down and be a winner again. It felt disloyal to hear someone doubt him. So I picked motherhood over marriage.'' [Or vice versa: Those without children DO NOT want the baggage of those who have children/etc.]

Reason No. 4: They don't need a man to make ends meet
Now more than ever, women in this age group are engaged in successful careers with lucrative salaries. The impact of this fact has been twofold: One, they're less likely to think they need to marry a guy to get by. Two, they're often so focused on their careers that socializing and romantic pursuits get put on the back burner. Think of bachelorette extraordinaire Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice. She is not untypical of other women with doctorates, who, as a group, are twice as likely as doctoral men never to have married or to be divorced.

Sometimes high achievers feel marriage would be more of an annoying distraction than a welcome diversion. Just ask boomer Jan Harayda, a successful author and former women's magazine editor. ''There have been many points in my career,'' she says, ''when I've really had to concentrate to meet deadlines or the work is going smoothly and I'm having so much fun with it that I just don't want to stop.'' And while many men often view marriage as a support network that will help further their professional goals, women still tend to think in either/or terms: They can have a family or a career, but ''having it all,'' so to speak, isn't as easy as the slogan suggests. Whether or not this is true is debatable, but the feeling is real and very prevalent, keeping many women content pouring their energy into a career rather than a forging a long-lasting relationship.

The bottom line is, there are so many mature unmarried folks, male and female, that going solo doesn't feel like a lonely proposition any more. If you want companionship but not necessarily commitment, love but maybe not wedlock, chances have never been better that you're in very good company.

Yeah, I heard THAT!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Doing your part...

With mother's ill health lately, there's been a lot of acrimony -- namely, each sister accusing the other of "not doing their part." In fact, the last time I visited, a near-fight broke out practically over her bed! Usually, my stance with family is to withdraw when it comes to this kind of behavior. And that is what I did; I turned on my heel, and said, "I'm going home."

As I've stated previously, my two middle sisters are having war and now, tried to drag me into it. No thanks.

One keeps accusing me of "not doing my part" in helping mother NOW. Excuuuse me, but I "did my part" LONG before she was even born (she's 9 years younger than me). Actually, I "did my part" before I was age 20, but continued to help (excessively) my sisters/mother until I was age 40. At that time, I read "Toxic Parents" by Dr. Susan Forward -- and it changed my life. Sometimes you have to let go and move on -- and no, you do not have to forgive people who have mistreated you, including parents.

I practically raised all three of my younger sisters, AND mother. When our father died in '72 at the age of 42, DH and I moved them all near us and FOR YEARS we were both devoted to them ALL. Mother was more like a dating teenager than a grown widowed woman with three teens to care for. I'll never forget how they'd all fight over who would talk on the phone to their boyfriend. I mean, come on...this is just ONE small example of mother's childish, selfish behavior over our ENTIRE lives. No, I do not think I "owe" her anything; she'll die STILL NOT having been a "mother" to me.

Human behavior is perverse at times, it really is. Take for example: adopted kids hunt down 'birth' parents who absolutely DID NOT want them in the first place. The adopted kid thinks his "birth" parent is more a parent than the ones who WERE good parents. Parenting takes more, LOTS more, than giving birth. Thus, I always felt my mother/father were not my real parents; my paternal grandparents were better parents than they were. We're talking abuse, neglect, you-name-it here, for the uninitiated.

At any rate, let me just say that I haven't been back to the hospital since that last altercation. I do not like to fight, when it comes to family/in-laws, and always withdraw. I have more on my plate, emotionally, than I can hardly deal with -- the one-year anniversary of DH's death is coming up February 21st, and yes, it's getting more and more emotionally difficult to deal with.

I wish that mother's situation had not created the kind of antagonism it has between all of us siblings. But then, I guess it's a "Fairy Tale" to think otherwise. I've witnessed this kind of family discord in the past, and especially with the four deaths of immediate family this past year. Thankfully, I had NO kids to reap the whirlwind, and as I age, the better I feel about not bringing another human being into life.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not out of the woods yet...

It seems that my mother is not getting any better, just worse. Her one kidney did start functioning again, but it has now almost shut down. She isn't eating, has to have a catheter and is not able to have therapy on her leg. Her cardiologist said her heart is having erratic beats, but sees no reason for treatment. Mother is in a private room, but unable to get out of the bed alone.

The doctors/specialist are determinedly "vague" and keep putting off doing dialysis -- won't say why her leg hurts or what they plan to do, if anything. I've witnessed this behavior before with my grandparents; doctors hate to just outright say that someone is slowly dying, their internal organs shutting down. That is what I think is happening, and there's no stopping it. In fact, dialysis might kill her sooner.

I go nearly every day for a visit, even if a short one. My two middle sisters stay longer with her, but then, they have their husbands (both retired now) to help them with mother. I'm just not optimistic about her situation.

Yesterday was cold and windy, so I stayed indoors mostly and put down stick-on tile in my two hall closets. I'd had the material since I moved in, but had put that off all this time. It sure looks nice now.

Today is warmer, still a chill in the air, and I had to run to Wal-mart after visiting mother. When I got home, I took the dogs on a long walk, then went on my bike ride. This seems to be my daily routine, with a little house-cleaning tossed in and caring for my cats, and whatever else needs attention. Not a bad life, and for the most part, peaceful, serene.

I haven't been writing as much lately, due to mother's situation. Emotional upset usually prevents my being creative, but eventually I hope to finish the memoir.

Guess that is the news from here, for now.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Brief Update

I'm doing fine. Turns out the painful side was due to a muscle strain -- I lifted a piece of furniture I shouldn't have. I'm all well now though.

Mother is doing better. Her one kidney is now functioning, but she is still in CCU. Lots of running back and forth to the hospital, busy stuff lately. Maybe mother will get out of CCU tomorrow, into a regular room, but nothing is definite just yet.

My critters are doing well. I have also spent a lot of time (when possible) starting to train my two dogs. I cannot believe how WELL and FAST they learn! Perhaps both had initial training as pups? Who knows? But the method of training with a treat/reward, using a commanding tone of voice and being firm and consistent is working wonders with my boys! Maybe I'll never need to take them to obedience classes after all.

More later!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bad news...again

Mother is in the local hospital CCU. Apparently she fell in the shower at my sister's house, and seemed fine at first...but became more and more sore. Luckily my nephew was home from college, and he helped get mother on her feet after the fall. My sister could NOT have done that, and neither could I.

At any rate, they took her to the ER, and after some tests were done, said that mother's kidneys had shut down. That would account for her growing confusion, weakness, etc. We just don't know what the outcome of this episode will be; I'm heading to the hospital shortly. We can only visit every two hours though.

I didn't sleep well last night, my side was hurting. I thought I'd strained it putting down the stakes on the chainlink fencing, but this morning it was hurting so bad it reminded me of having a kidney stone. I took some Advil, and that took the edge off the pain...and now it seems to have settled in the middle of my back. However, I'm also uncomfortable in the lower urinary tract area and wonder if I have kidney infection. I guess I'll try to make an appointment with my GP and get this checked out.

Looks like 2007 is getting off the same disasterous start as last year.


Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Resolutions?

I really can't think of any to make this New Year's Day. I'm sure I ALWAYS did before, just as I ate the southern traditional "black-eye peas" for good luck. I have no peas and won't be eating any today. I did for all the years past, but from what I went through in 2005, I have to say I believe NOT eating any MIGHT be better luck this year.

I have had a serene day. It rained all day yesterday, and I couldn't get any exercise so today I took the dogs on a very long walk, then went on a bike ride. The temp is around 46, so it was brisk and windy, but invigorating. Nothing like exercise on a cold day to beat boredom.

Although I don't feel bored, really. Just in a sad reflective mood about this time last year -- with DH still home, cozy in our farmhouse. I don't think his leukemia symptoms appeared till around early February; the oncologist said acute leukemia can nearly destroy you in ONLY THREE weeks! Horrible and fatal, the initial weakness and vague symptoms aren't really understood till it's just about too late. That was the case with DH. I try not to blame myself or him, since he was under the care of THREE separate doctors (for his broken toes/shin injury, a cardiologist, a GP) and not ONE of them did a simple blood test -- which would have instantly led to more tests and a diagnosis. How could DH and I have known he was dying if the doctors didn't? Still, those circumstances will haunt me the rest of my life.

I rented some movies over the holidays, and have seen a few that are excellent:

Hard Candy Whoo boy, can you say "Fatal Attraction" for the MTV crowd? An older man chats with a teen online, and she comes for a visit -- but before it's all over, the male pedophile wishes he'd never met HER! Highly recommended!

North Country Well deserved awards went to this movie, and it is easily one of the BEST I've seen about an abused wife who struggles to assert her independence just by earning a wage-adequate job in the mines and provide for her children.

An American Haunting Based on a true ghost story about the "Bell Witch" in Tennessee...this movie wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it had a profound theme/meaning anyhow. Worth watching.

I still have several more to watch before being due back at the rental place. Of those three though, "Hard Candy" was probably the very best.

My sister/brother-in-law brought my mother by after the closing on her place the other day. Mother is truly failing in health, weaker, more disoriented every time I see her. Which I CAN understand -- losing a spouse is difficult enough at my age, but at her age, it usually destroys the surviving spouse. Mother needs to be in a nursing home -- and not just because it would be less difficult on my sisters, but BECAUSE she could probably get better care there. She can't even remember which room she is in anymore, is totally vague, out-of-touch with reality. It takes a stout male for her to lean on when getting about. If she lives another year, I'll be surprised. Sad, but true.

My critters are all thriving. Oscar and Rambo are lying here beside me, taking a nap. Oscar managed to dig under the chainlink fence last week, so I had to find a remedy. I cut up some wire clotheshangers, made stakes out of them, and put them at short intervals -- which pretty much prevents him digging out. He only got into the neighbor's yard, couldn't get any further...but still, if he should get into the yard behind my house with those huge bulldogs, they might harm him.

I'll end this post with the lyrics from a popular country song that will ALWAYS remind me of DH. The odds of me ever finding this kind of love again are about like the odds of winning the lottery -- and oh yes, I've decided I'm NOT ready to date again. The couple times I DID, afterwards I was very depressed -- it just brings back too many memories of DH and he's all I talk about anyhow. No man wants to hear that until and IF I am ever over DH's death, I won't be dating.


"Making Memories Of Us"

I'm gonna be here for you baby
I'll be a man of my word
Speak the language in a voice that you have never heard
I wanna sleep with you forever
And I wanna die in your arms
In a cabin by a meadow where the wild bees swarm

And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust making memories of us

I wanna honor your mother
I wanna learn from your pa
I wanna steal your attention like a bad outlaw
I wanna stand out in a crowd for you
A man among men
I wanna make your world better than it's ever been

And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust making memories of us

We'll follow the rainbow
Wherever the four winds blow
And there'll be a new day
Comin' your way

I'm gonna be here for you from now on
This you know somehow
You've been stretched to the limits but it's alright now
And I'm gonna make you this promise
If there's life after this
I'm gonna be there to meet you with a warm, wet kiss

And I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll earn your trust making memories of us
I'm gonna love you like nobody loves you
And I'll win your trust making memories of us