My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Tree Succumbed To The Heavy Rain

Once again I am having tree issues....seriously....can you believe it? I have the weirdest things happen at this house!

Two weeks ago was the hard freeze and while lots of things died my mesquite came out of it in full bloom. Looks beautiful right?

Then last weekend it rained. It rained for 3 days straight! We don't get that too often here.

Now my big beautiful blooming mesquite looks like this!!

Is this not the most bizarre thing you have seen in your life? Growing up in Indiana I saw trees succumb to the weight of ice and/or snow, but water?!

You can see the "bend" in the branches.

This picture really shows how much that rather large branch has bent!

If any of my fellow bloggers have seen such a thing please let me know. I haven't done a thing to the tree yet, but I can't imagine that the branches will dry out and just pop back up. I am not even sure that the tree will survive this to be honest.

Maybe this is a metaphor for my life?

"Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken." ~ Albert Camus

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ride The Wave

"Just ride the wave Sandy", a very good friend told me a while back. "It isn't that simple for me anymore", I replied to her. Really, it just isn't. Years ago I was able to just accept the good; life was expected to be good. I am tarnished now though. I expect things to go wrong in my life. Not just a little wrong....horribly wrong is what I anticipate.

My life is rolling along quite nicely right now, yet I expect to go hurdling head on into a block wall at any moment. I don't know why my brain thinks this way. Is it possible that my brain is against me? Is it simply easier to be unhappy than happy?

For the past few years I have been focused more on avoiding pain than seeking pleasure. It became a habit; a bad habit. Nothing bad has happened for a while, yet my brain is still focused on avoiding pain. This means I am focusing on what is wrong rather than what is right and things that I should be grateful for.

Maybe it is time to retrain my brain. Train my brain that rather on focusing on basic survival it should be focusing on making me happy. I have no doubt that making that shift will be easier said than done. Although I do believe it is possible.

I can't change the world around me by fighting it in my head. All the stress, anger, disappointment, regret, frustration, and bitterness that I harbor will not alter what is. It is only after I learn to accept things as they are that I will be able to create the change I am seeking. I must not and will not give up on the possibility of a good and peaceful life.

"The wave is the signature of every experience of life. By understanding the nature of waves and their characteristics, and applying that understanding to our lives, we can navigate life with a little more grace." ~ Jeffery R. Anderson

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We Had A Hard Freeze!

Two weekends ago it was cold here. I mean super cold! Maybe not for you northerners, but for us desert dwellers it was pretty darn miserable. We had lows in the low to mid 20's F for 5 straight nights in a row. Our highs were only in the mid to upper 40's F. The Valley had not seen temperatures like that for 25 years. Most of us don't have heaters in our homes that can keep up with cold like that and most have exposed water pipes outside. I used my fireplace and covered my pipes with towels, but I am sure the plumbing companies were busy with busted pipes.

Tater spent most of his days curled up like this in front of the fire!

 In the midst of our unseasonable cold weather I saw this walking stick. I rarely see these and this one is, hands down, the biggest I have ever seen! I truly thought it was a twig until I got too close and it moved.

Most importantly, why was this guy out?! Way too cold for snakes to be out this time of year. He was sunning himself right outside my front door. I almost stepped on him. He is just a bull snake and not poisonous so he was moved away from the house and left alone.

 The cold weather once again killed my ficus tree. It was just coming back from the freeze in 2011 and now got hit again. As you can see the top never did recover from 2011 but the rest of it did. I am not sure if it will pull through again though.
But the almighty mesquite tree survived just fine! As a matter of fact it is in full bloom and is all abuzz with bees in the afternoon.

The good news is that we are back to normal temperatures with a high of 80 today and it is only a matter of time before we will be well into the 100's. After that cold weekend I am ready for temperatures topping 100....I can handle the heat but not the cold.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Purged...A Lot...Again

I spent this past weekend inside purging. It had nothing to do with the New Year and everything to do with the weather. It was cold, as in I didn't think I was in Arizona anymore cold. Our lows were in the mid 20's F and our highs were in the upper 40's F. For us desert dwellers that is C O L D!!! I had planned to do yard work (i.e. aloe) but just couldn't make myself be outside. So instead I decided to clean out the closets in the spare bedrooms.

TJ was quite the pack rat and if you have read my blog for a while you have heard me complain about this. Well, after he died I needed to move and quickly. I could not afford the house we were in and needed something that fit into my budget. I went through the house halfheartedly and had a yard sale but many of the boxes he had around I just moved to the new house and hid them away in the closets of the spare rooms. Out of sight, out of mind. That isn't totally true, I knew I needed to go through them, but it was easier to ignore them when I couldn't see them. I was also concerned that having boxes stacked in dark closets was a haven for scorpions and black widows and this was somewhat bothersome. So this past weekend I emptied everything out of the closets in both spare bedrooms and went through each box meticulously. I sorted everything into piles...Goodwill....trash....give to someone....keep....etc. It was a daunting task and took me 2 full days. To be totally honest I cried through most of it.

A big concern of TJ's after his diagnosis was what would become of his "stuff". Like most of us, his stuff was important to him. He and I talked extensively about where he wanted his stuff to go. I have tried hard to stick to his wishes. I gave his nice boots to a friend that had the same size feet. I have doled out his cowboy hats to special friends over the past years and some of his hats are in my current home as decoration. His chaps, spurs and spur straps hang in the spare bedroom that I call "The Cowboy Room" as decoration. But these boxes I had to go through were just stuff. Not special stuff in my opinion and it was hard to decide what TJ would want me to do with it. I was surprised that after 3 years it would be so damn hard.

I had many pictures of us hung up in the old house and not knowing what to do with them when I moved I just plastered them on the walls of my office. I took them all down this weekend....all of them....gone. I have an enclosed patio that is covered in pictures of my friends and TJ is in some of those, but the wedding pictures and those of just us that I hung in the office are now gone. I put everything of his that I wanted to keep in a plastic tote. One tote. Our life together is now stowed away in one plastic tote.

When I woke Sunday morning my first thought was "he is gone, he is really gone". I have put him in a plastic tote in the closet....he is gone! I cried, I sobbed and I felt the pain of losing him all over again. But, instead of staying in bed all day like I used to I got up, showered, and loaded my truck with the stuff for Goodwill and the trash to put in the dumpsters at work. I moved forward. I moved forward like I have been doing for 3 years now. I didn't expect it, but some days it is still just a matter of one foot in front of the other.

I believe there are people who cross our lives in tiny fractions of time, in the briefest of encounters, and yet they leave an indelible mark in our hearts and our minds. Thank you TJ.