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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

One Day At A Time. Over and Over Again.

Last night I dreamed that Frank came home. That he had just been missing all this time, and someone else had been taking care of him, but now he was home.

It was a bit disorienting to wake up and remember why he can't come home. My heart keeps breaking over and over again.

I don't want to talk to anyone about it because it seems a bit nuts; there's this little voice telling me that it's not reasonable to grieve this much over a cat. But here I am.

When Frank actually was missing for two weeks a few years ago, I dreamed three times about him coming home. I've actually been surprised that I haven't dreamed about it before now. I figured the difference was that I know this time. There is no wondering.

I have no idea if writing about this will help, but it seems like it can't hurt anyway.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Catching Up

Well now, it has been a while and I don't know where to start. We are over half way through 2016 already, and half way through the summer. Honestly, it feels like 2016 has been a bit rough on me so far.

I was sick with a cold at the end of March, then with a flu at the start of April; it seemed like I was sick for a month.

I managed to trip myself, and smash my knee down on our porcelain tile floor on April 22 (I remember the date because it was exactly 1 week before my birthday). My knee is better, but still not 100% back to normal; I can't stand to kneel on it because it just feels wrong.

Then early in June I hurt my foot. I was walking down our hallway to grab my sneakers so I could go work out and whacked my baby toe against the vacuum. It hurt. A lot. But I brilliantly decided it was no big deal, and carried on. Not my best workout, and I ended up taking some days off from exercise after that. My foot at least seems to be pretty much fine now, though it definitely did not look great at the time.


And honestly, that it all minor stuff. Losing Frank has been the hardest, and while I'm doing better I am still sad. And also now extremely paranoid about Zappa, but trying not to be too crazy.

On the up side, we have been having a pretty nice summer, and we are on vacation next week. No big plans, just relaxing and enjoying some free time in the summer.

I don't have much of a garden planted this year. It was so frustrating last year to see things growing so well, only to be eaten by the deer. So there doesn't seem to be much point until we do something to keep the deer out of the yard. Then, losing Frank in May left me not feeling like doing much of anything for a while.

But I have a few things planted, and then there are the rose and lilac bushes that my parents brought over to transplant at the end of May. This one in particular is doing really well.

From this:


To this:



It is still small, but seems to be thriving.

Workout-wise, I have been doing Chalene Extreme and enjoying it a lot. I'm not keeping up with the schedule, the workouts happen when they happen, but I still feel like I can see progress. I've also been walking more, due to the fact that I finally broke down and bought a Fitbit (which seems like it should be a whole post of it's own) and I do find it to be motivating.

I think that's about it for now. I'm feeling tired and ready for time off next week. Hoping the nice weather keeps up. Maybe once I've had some time off, I'll be able to write something more interesting here.

For now, I'll leave you with a few more  garden pictures.

My small vegetable garden has herbs and a few tomatoes and peppers that I will attempt to protect from the deer.



I planted a bunch of lavender and some more thyme in the flower bed by the driveway because deer don't seem to like eating those. Flower bed really needs mulch, but I guess that will happen next year now.


The beds around the side of the house have been growing pretty wild, but that means they don't require much work, so I'm good with that for now.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I don't know

When you've had a pet for almost 14  years, how long does it take before you stop noticing they are no longer there? It's like a constant weight on my heart right now.

We picked up Frank's ashes last week, on Friday. The vet tech brought out what looked very much like a gift bag; it seemed strange but also thoughtful? I was distraught, visibly so I am sure. The vet tech was speaking to me very quietly and I couldn't hear a word she was saying, but Cory was listening and responding. When we got out to the car, I had to ask what she was saying. He said they made us a plaster paw and it was fragile, so I should be careful with it; I felt a bit bad that I hadn't acknowledged this, especially when I got home, looked at it and realized it was Frank's paw print.

I thought that I would maybe bury Frank's ashes out in the garden, under a bush where he liked to sleep. But then I realized that a) I'm not ready for that, and b) it's okay that I'm not ready; it can wait until it doesn't hurt so much to think about. I don't know when that will be, but some day I will get there.

My parents and brother were here for a visit this weekend. They brought some cuttings from rose bushes and a couple of little lilac bushes. We hope that the deer won't bother the rose bushes, and we've done our best to protect the little lilac bushes to give them a fighting chance.


I have not been doing much - some spring cleaning, trying to de-clutter and get rid of a few things. We're in to the beginning of garden season now, so I should really get out and start getting some things done. I haven't felt like it, but I also know I will probably feel better if I do.

My knee is better, but...it still feels wrong if I happen to bump it, and I can't kneel down on it. I think I can still see a bit of a bump there, but I don't know if that is my imagination. I don't know if it just needs more time to heal or if I maybe I should have/still should get it checked out?

Anyway, between that and between me just wallowing and not feeling like doing much of anything, there hasn't been much in the way of exercise. However, it is time to start. I will start slow and see how it goes.

Mom & I did some shopping while she was here, and I bought this new table runner. Zappa thinks it makes a great lounging spot.


Climbing Rose that I hope will take root and survive.


Lilac bushes are in here....


Hopefully safe from these guys...


Yes, I am talking to you; don't give me that innocent face!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Saying Goodbye



Yesterday was not a good day. Today is only marginally better. Lots and lots of tears.

I will miss waking up in the morning to find Frank snuggled up by my feet. I will miss Frank rubbing his head against me in affection as I get cat food out of the cupboard; he was a big fan of meal time.

He often used to accompany me to the bathroom when it was time for me to get ready for bed at night. He would settle on the bath mat for belly rubs and pets. He actually liked to be covered with a towel; this would often lead to play time, but sometimes he would just sleep that way.

Sometimes he could be frustrating. I would be sitting in my chair in the living room and he would sit down by my chair and stare at me; I called it Frank face. He would lift up a paw and kind of wave it at me, which made us laugh; it was his way of saying I want you to get up and...Well, that tended to be the frustrating part; figuring out what he wanted. Sometimes I think he didn't know what he wanted either, other than for me to get up and follow him around.

I loved to pick him up and hold him because he was so large and solid, and yet so soft. It was comforting somehow.

He was a huge cat, and therefore had huge paws with appropriately large (and sharp!) claws, but he was gentle. He would wake me up by tapping my forehead with a paw. Much as I don't care to be woken in the middle of the night or early in the morning, it was still entertaining to see his face looking down and me, and this giant paw coming down on my forehead.

Fourteen years is a long time, and it feels like something is missing.

It helps that we still have Zappa, and  he has been extra snuggly. I am also more aware than ever that we have limited time left, but for now I'm trying to just enjoy the cuddles.

First & Last

The first photos  I ever posted of Frank (to the rear, and Zappa in front) on my blog. They would have been somewhere around 6 years old.


Frank loved to be outdoors.


Last photo of Frank on my camera, almost 14 years old. They've been enjoying the spring weather. I've been looking forward to summer and hanging out with them in the garden.



Good-bye, my friend. Thank you for giving us as many years as you were able. You will be missed.





Saturday, April 23, 2016

Ever have one of those days?

I made it through the first week of my new workout program! Feeling like this is a doable-thing.

Friday (yesterday) was a rest day, but I was hoping to sneak in a short yoga session; feeling like I could use a good stretch.

Did not happen.

Get up and head to kitchen to feed cats. Turn around from getting cat food out of cupboard to find Frank lying directly in my path. Attempt course correction, flailing wildly while trying to regain balance without stepping on cat and wondering if I've left anything breakable on the counter, where my flailing might lead to broken glass on our porcelain tile floor.

Manage to survive this without mishap, and continue on with my day. As I'm moving around the kitchen, tidying up, knock over broom, step on handle which slides causing me to come down hard on my knee. For the record? I do not recommend banging your knee down on porcelain tile. 

And finally, my cleaning lady comes and, while cleaning the kitchen, knocks the glass cruet that we use for sesame oil onto the floor. She has never broken anything before at my house and she felt really bad. I felt a little bad, I did like that cruet, but at that point it almost felt inevitable.

The bright spot in my day - literally - was the fact that it was a beautiful sunny day that almost felt like summer; being at home I was able to eat my lunch out on the deck and enjoy some sun. Frank kept me company.


Today was the start of Week 2 on my  new exercise plan. It was Chest & Triceps, so I figured I was okay to give that a go. I had forgotten there are a lot of pushups, and while I can do some from my toes, I can't do enough to get through a whole workout so I modified either by just keeping one knee down, or doing incline push ups with my hands on the bench.

Tomorrow is supposed to be legs, which I'm not so sure about; I'm still not bending my knee easily, and I can't imagine doing 50 minutes of squats and lunges. So not sure what will happen there, will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Emerging from winter hibernation

I give up. The winter slump seems to be a thing for me now. The past few years it just seems that I lose my mojo over the winter. This wasn't even a hard winter; we didn't  get much snow, we didn't get a lot of cold weather - pretty much the way I like my winter to be! 

Just when I started  to get my energy back and feel like I wanted to do things I got sick...and sick again. I had a head cold...Just when I was starting to get over that, I got the flu and that has been hanging on and taking forever to go away. I still find that I am tired, but I am finally feeling better.

I started a new workout program on the weekend. Brand new legs workout on Sunday. Result being I've been stiff and sore and feeling like I am walking funny for the past two days.

Today I had a volunteer event with a group of coworkers. We went out and picked up garbage. What a mess. People are disgusting. Is it really so hard to hold onto your coffee cup and your food wrapper until you find a garbage can? And there was one area where I'm sure people were just dumping stuff. 

Anyway, I spent the morning hobbling around on my sore, stiff legs. I did enjoy the fresh air. Now I am really tired and ready for bed. It's 8 pm. Hopefully my muscle soreness will be over with by tomorrow.  

A spectator for part of our clean up effort.


The result of our efforts.