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Friday, May 19, 2017

Therapist Session

So, went to my therapist yesterday and told her I wanted to try the EMDR therapy --cause I'm thinking it can't hurt and might help. So we spent much of the session discussing how to prepare and what to expect...

First what trauma event to focus on -- that was easy -- the day Bob died.

Then "code" words or signs that I can give her if it's too much for me to handle.... and stop the session to take a break.

Then to find a "safe place" to go to -- and I'm thinking, huh? Run to the ladies room?!

 But no, this is an imaginary place or a real place you feel safe --and I told her I love the water, the ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the bay, I grew up by the Mississippi River and water has always had a calming effect for me-- but all these calming places had sad connotations as they were places I would go with Bob --- so is a "safe" place still "a safe place" if it is also sad memory?...

So after some discussion I mentioned my swimming pool (which is water) and was supposed to be a therapy pool for Bob but he died before it was put in, and I decided to go ahead and put it in anyway and it is calming  (and I am so glad the contractor talked me into putting the "water features" in it) which means deck shoots and a bubbler so the pool sounds like fountain -- and I did recall the first time, after the pool was done, and I bought a lounge chair and table and sat next to the pool with my cig (sorry still smoke) and a drink and reclined back and immediately thought "jeepers, I could live here!" and then laughed because ha! I do live here. How about that?

OK -- so the "safe place" is the pool.  Then my therapist said I needed a "container" like a box or basket or bucket or garbage can where I can put "stressful emotions" into --- and I say, "Do I have bring a box, bucket, garbage can or picnic basket to my session or--- what?"  Oh no, this is just an imaginary box/basket etc....

All righty --- I imagine myself running from the room to the "safe" ladies room with a picnic basket full of bad memories.... yikes!

I am not sure about this --- but our first session is scheduled next Thursday....

Meanwhile, tick tock, tick tock --  Bob's death anniversary is May 28th -- and I feel like it was just yesterday -- and am back to puking in the morning, pulling down the shades, wanting to hide/drink/dissolve into nothingness.

I have invited some friends over on May 28 --- so I won't be alone -- but now I'm wondering if I've bitten off more than I can chew..... cause really, I just want to crawl under the bed and hide.... and now I'm committed to making dinner for 6 (count em) people, plus cleaning up the house, getting everything ready and .... yikes -- what have I done?!

I will keep you posted --- thanks for listening/reading

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Comments & a New Therapy

I just wanted to write a quick post thanking all of those of you left so many uplifting, sweet comments lately. It certainly helps me through tough days. And a special thanks to two new readers for your comments -- Vindi and another reader who is starting a blog of their own about caregiving -- unfortunately I could not find your blog and would love it if you can send me a direct link!

Also -- to the reader who suggested I get Kona certified as a Service Dog --- you can see (by the picture below) she is! I have a diagnosis of GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and also PTSD. I take Kona everywhere, to the grocery store, the mall, therapy appointments, restaurants, antiquing, everywhere! And she is a godsend.  (Though my car is full of dog hair! ha!) Don't know what I'd have done without her by my side.  And it's terrible that so many charity agencies who provide service dogs (at no cost) have very long waiting lists, but I was lucky enough to be able to afford the training on my own......

In other news, my therapist is getting her certification for a "new" type of therapy for PTSD and anxiety disorders -- it's called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This therapy is really not so new -- been around since 1987, but is just gaining acceptance by the medical field.  I have an appointment with her tomorrow and I do want to try this -- so I will keep you posted on the results (if any).

thanks again, everyone.  It's still a day at a time here --- seems grief never takes a vacation...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Tribute to Louise

I'm sure you remember Louise -- my duck, who brought me so much happiest before she (and her new family) moved on...
I found a vintage cement duck (for the cement pond!) to mark her nest as I will never forget her and her sweet ducklings, a beautiful gift to me at a very hard time in my life....and always remember that Bob is watching over me.

Meanwhile, it is now May, marking 2 years without Bob on the 28th....  Having a hard time with, but trying my best.....

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What the heck?

I've had trouble getting access to my own blog == finally got on here -- after 9-10 attempts --- what the heck is going on? Kept asking for passwords and then saying they were invalid --- huh? I haven't changed a thing --- Also had trouble posting on Facebook.  Also had sound issues -- couldn't hear some Youtube posts. Even Amazon was denying my account and had to diddle around to get that up at and going ---- what is going on?  Anyhoo since I finally got on here so this is a "test" post to see if it will work! -- We are ready for bedtime -- my BYD (Big Yellow Dog) and huge teddy bear with Bob's Superman T-shirt are already in bed -- Ripley will join us when lights are out  -- heck, hardly room for me!  But -- what is going on with access to internet? Is it my computer? or the whole system?
Kona and Super Bear ready for bedtime!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Still Grieving

I know it's been awhile since I posted -- I haven't because I'm still in deep grief. Next month will be the 2 year anniversary of Bob's passing --- and I can't believe it's been that long, seems like only yesterday, then sometimes feels like 100 years ago... I am still in somewhat of a state of shock, can't believe he's gone...

I just try to get by --- day by day....

Am going to counseling, seeing a shrink, taking Xanax.....

Taking care of my dog, cat, Chris's two fish (still alive, surprise!) -- I swim every day in the pool as weather permits. Kona is the Evil Queen of Tennis Balls, you should see her dive in the pool after them. At least, she can make me laugh.

Still missing Bob so much. My heart still shattered. Am reading a lot of "grief healing" books ---
And trying to heal -- if that is possible.

Sorry this blog is so quiet.

Almost scared to post here -- as I think everyone has forgotten about me, or doesn't care anymore.....

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Searching for Louise

Yesterday, Kona and I walked to the nearest lake (about 7 blocks away) and took a long walk around the perimeter of the lake looking for Louise. We saw all different types of ducks, coots, geese, turtles, snakebirds, herons, egrets -- but no Louise. And then, Kona was nearly attacked by a very mad white goose. I was losing hope, 3/4 around the lake, and still no Louise. In fact, I hate to admit, but I was nearly in tears.

So I said to Bob, "Sweetheart, if you truly sent those ducks to me, please show me a sign that she is here or find her and send to somewhere I can see her, please!  I just want to know she and her babies are okay."

And Kona and I continued walking, searching the water, when I noticed some graffiti on a culvert on the lake's edge that I had never noticed before:

So I stopped there, searching the water near this culvert which was filled with lily pads and reedy water plants and murky and didn't see anything except a turtle.

So I sat down.


Watched the lake.

And in the distance, about 30 feet away, a duck's head popped out of the water lilies and my heart skipped a beat and she swam out of the lilies and it was, my god, I thought, Louise -- but I wasn't quite sure as she was far from me, but then I saw the ducklings and I knew it was her. The ducklings were swimming in and out of the lilies so fast and the best count I got was six of them at once, but hopefully, the other three were under the lilies.

Louise and ducklings, happy and safe!
All I can say is she is one lucky duck to have made it through the busy streets to that lake -- or perhaps she had some spirit guides!!

Update March 29: went back to the lake today and saw Louise plus at least 7 ducklings, maybe 8. Some guy saw me watching and came over to see the ducklings and commented on them, I said, "Those are my ducks!" and he looked at me like a crazy lady -- ha! So had to explain the whole story -- and then he told there's an otter in this lake that eats ducklings --- eeeeeeeek! Didn't need to hear that.

Praying for a white light protecting these duckies from The Evil Otter.

I know this pic isn't clear --- but I am counting at least 7 here!

Sunday, March 26, 2017


On Saturday morning, I went to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and was shocked to look out my back door (which is glass) and see Mama duck with all her babies circling her, standing at my back door looking at me through the window! So cute, they waddled all the way up the wheelchair ramp to get to my back door --- wish I'd taken a photo --- but just thought, jeepers, you guys must hungry so I went out and fed them.

That day, I was helping my friend Hillary move and when I came back later that afternoon, the ducks were still there. But 45 minutes later, when I went out to feed them, they were all gone -- simply vanished!

I, of course, checked all over the yard. Walked down the alley -- nothing. Finally got in my car, drove to the nearby lake, worried --- but didn't see any dead ducks on the busy streets --- didn't find her at all.

Waited today, all day, and they haven't come back.....

Mixed emotions here:  worried about their safety, sad to see them gone, relieved that I don't have to transport them myself.

And then I think that Louise (mama duck) was at my back door that morning, proud mama surrounded by her babies, to say "goodbye" or perhaps "thanks for your hospitality" knowing she would be leaving that day....

(The above video was the last "picture" I took of them....)

Friday, March 24, 2017

A New Use for a Slideboard

I took Bob's slideboard which we used to transfer from wheelchair to bed etc. stapled towels to it and made a non-slip ramp so the ducklings can get out of the pool. It works!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Just happened -- would have tried to get closer pictures but Louise (Mama) was having nothing to do with it -- so I'm going to leave her alone ----

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Duck Update

Finally, the guy from Fish & Wildlife got back to me --- and after "researching" the photos I e-mailed him, he tells me that he thinks my ducks are NOT pure Mottled Ducks, but hybrid ducks, a mix of the rare Mottled Duck with probably a Mallard.

So, he tells me, since they are no longer endangered ducks --- they are actually nuisance ducks, and as such, I can move the nest, destroy the nest, kill the mama ----- jeepers. Anyone for duck stew and scrambled eggs?

From one extreme to the other --- first don't touch, don't feed, to go ahead and destroy them. Of course, I would never ever do that.

But I'm thinking, what's this? The Nazi Duck Police? I mean, just because they are not "pure" they suddenly become a nuisance??? Doesn't seem very humane at all to me... And seems to me, this is just nature taking its course and by the way, isn't this the same agency that is importing Texas Pumas to breed with Florida Panthers because the panther is endangered?

Well, as Bob would say, "whatever".

Louise (mama duck) is still nesting comfortably. And since no longer "endangered" I am feeding her, trying to gain her trust so that, when time comes, we can hopefully transport her & ducklings to a nearby lake:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Duck Dilemma

Well, yikes. So now I have a duck with 13 eggs and that duck maybe a species of duck on the "watch list" for potentially endangered ducks....

Of course, I am not a duck expert. But looking on the internet, and knowing by sight they are not typical Mallard Ducks, they do look like Florida Mottled Ducks -- which are on the "watch list" for a species that is potentially endangered....

So, I talked with Hillary (my vet and friend) and she suggested calling Suncoast Seabird which is a rescue group and I did that today and they referred me to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission which I called and talked to a nice guy and told me if in fact they are Mottled Ducks (a potentially endangered species) -- don't touch them, don't feed, don't do anything --- let mama duck just do her thing and then asked me to send pictures which I did (haven't heard back yet) so he could verify if they are in fact Mottled Ducks or some other duck...  Weird thing is if they are NOT Mottled Ducks I could actually get a permit to have them removed but if they are --- don't touch, don't do anything --- 

He also told me, if they are Mottled Ducks,  to put a fence around my pool so ducklings don't get into it ---- ???? and I'm like what? and how?

And said leave gates open (after I said my yard is fenced in) to let mama duck take her babies away ---
and I'm thinking, jeepers, the nearest pond/lake/natural environment is over half a mile away and how is this duck gonna make it across some very busy streets with a row of little ducklings  --  plus I have dog! so open gates, I mean, you know.. anyway

Oh by the way, I named mama duck Louise ----  after one of my all time favorite movies Thelma and Louise ---

But jeepers --- this is turning into a Duck Dilemma

I was really hoping some agency could just come and get them and take them away to a safe environment....

Pool guy was here today to clean pool and I warned about Louise and he was good about it but she did come out and swim around the pool, watching him carefully -- so cute!

But omg -- what to do? And now my pool of "off limits" to both Kona (esp. Kona) and me --- yikes


Friday, February 24, 2017

Oh No!

Remember those Valentine ducks? Well, today I found quite a surprise by my pool:

Not really sure how to handle this situation........

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines' Surprise

Wasn't looking forward to today, Valentine's Day, without Bob and also this day is the 2nd year anniversary of the day we moved into our new house.... so a sad day all around.

Imagine my surprise when I went out the door this morning to walk the dog and found these two love birds swimming in our pool!

Oh my goodness, a little Valentine's present from above!!  Believe me, I've never seen ducks in the pool before today.... so just a coincidence? on this day?  Either way, I am suddenly smiling and feeling Bob's love all around me.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Little Pink Guest House

 Finally finished the guest house renovation! (This was Chris's old apartment.... so was a sad project in a way.)

Me? Still grieving....
The Flamingo is actually a vintage night light ----

Directions to the pool!

The Innkeeper, call for reservations!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Dog Wars

Well, you all know I put up a lovely fence in front of the house -- this so I could enjoy our front porch and Kona could run around and enjoy the front yard.

And this was working perfectly, Kona and I just relaxing and enjoying the front yard until...

A couple weeks ago, when this jerk walking his dog comes by.

You know how dogs are, and Kona is no exception, so when someone comes by with a dog and Kona is in the front yard, she does what dogs do -- she runs to the fence, wagging her tail, barking.  Pretty normal dog-behind-a-fence reaction, if you ask me.

Anyway, this jerk comes by and he isn't even in front of our house yet, and Kona sees him and the dog and she runs to the fence wagging her tail, barking (friendly barking, you know the difference between that and 'I want to eat your face' barking) and this guy SCREAMS at me: CONTROL YOUR M-FING DOG!!!!

And I'm thinking "what?" though actually I'm not really thinking anything just sort of shocked at this guy's reaction to Kona, so I say something like "She's just saying hello, she's harmless" or something of that sort and the guy continues walking by the fence screaming at me the whole time calling me every profanity in the book and also screaming that I am the "RUDEST M-Fer IN THE WHOLE GOD DAMN WORLD!!"  Which of course, just gets Kona all wound up and makes her chase him down the fence line barking.


The whole situation was really upsetting and shocking to me. I mean, I am a long time dog owner and dog walker, and I see dogs behind fences all the time when walking with a dog -- and Kona's not doing anything scary or unusual, she's not lunging the fence or trying to leap the fence or even growling. And as I long time dog walker, if I don't want to deal with a dog behind a fence, I cross the street.  I mean, duh.

So I'm upset and shaking and go in the house. Because so much for that "relaxing" evening.  And it takes me a few days even to get the gumption to go back out on the front porch, but three days later I do. Everything is fine again until a couple days pass and then here comes the same jerk.

Doing the same the thing, yelling and screaming profanities at me and my dog.

So the next day, I call the non-emergency police number and talk to a very nice police officer who tells me that I and Kona are doing nothing wrong, that the dog is "controlled" as she is behind the fence and she is not "nuisance" barking because it's before 11:00 p.m. and that, in fact, he is harassing me and next time it happens I should call the police on him. And I say, well, by the time the police arrive he will be long gone and the cop says "how far can get, walking a dog? we'll patrol the area and find him."  So OK.

But I am now afraid of this guy and am afraid to sit on my own front porch.... and thinking, do I need to buy a gun? what's this guy gonna do next?

But then I think, damn it, it's my yard, my porch and I have to reclaim it. So I begin sitting out for one hour (I time it) each night, but I'm nervous as all get out, watching for this jerk....

And one day, to my surprise, I go out my back gate and who do I see? but this jerk and he lives right behind me across the alley!  Oh crap.

Now, I'm afraid to go out the front door and the back door!  So here I am, stressed out as hell, each time I go out, checking out windows, is he outside? behind me? in front? and if he is, I go out the other way.... jeepers, what a way to live.

But this does end here --- no.  Because then there is the neighbors' dog -- not the same dog, but the doggie next door who just last week BUSTED through the glass of the neighbor's window trying to get at Kona who was in my front yard.  And that is the same dog who is trying to bust through the fence to get at Kona in my side yard....

And add to this, the neighbor (a known drunk) on the other side of our house, who came out one day and screamed at me to "keep my damn dog quiet, because his kids were trying to sleep" -- this as 7:30 p.m. and his kids are like 10 and 7 years old....  

So I'm surrounded by Kona haters....

And Kona is the only thing really keeping me alive these days.  I've had a hard enough time dealing with the loss of Bob, (add Chris, add Boomer, add Zenith) and especially over the holidays and Bob's birthday and jeepers --- I just don't need this.

That's what's been going on here at The Pink House.  Sorry I've been so quiet.  I'm just having a hard time dealing with all of this....

Sunday, January 15, 2017

January 16th ---- Bob's 58th Birthday

I love you, will always love you, and you will live in my heart forever.
And I am blessed for having known you and having loved you.
And having known your love for me -- the greatest gift of all.
Happy Birthday, sweetheart.
I miss you, but we will meet again.

January 16, 1959 - May 28, 2015