Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Hello my friends!
How are you?
I know that it has been a long time since I have posted, Aug I think.
I am doing ok, anxiety and depression are still by my side and I am fighting my way through day by day.
I am sorry this isn't going to be a happy post or one with pretty pictures, but I wanted to say to you all that I am so grateful for everything you have given me these last three years of blogging.
I have met some wonderful friends, some near and some far and some that I will have forever.
I thank you for those that have emailed to check up on me, I really cant' tell you how much that means to me.
I have been absent from my computer, using it mainly for printing pictures for my paintings.  Painting has helped me and I can get lost in it and not worry what my brain is thinking or not thinking.
I have sold a few to friends and hopefully this year, when I am ready, I can get them out there.
Depression is so up and down and there are days that my brain can't stop racing with things that I need to do, what to do, don't want to do, should do, I get pulled into so many directions that I can't concentrate on one thing.  I feel like there are so many ways to go, so many choices, but at the same time I feel bound or tied up like in a straight jacket struggling to get a sense of a normal feeling or direction.
I know that many of you struggle with the same thing, and for that I am so very sorry.  Please know that you are not alone.
I never know what the day is going to bring for me, sad, happy, angry, numb. All of these run through me.  I cry, I yell, I shut the world out at times.  I feel alone even though I am surrounded by people.  I can't make them understand something that I don't even understand.  Frustration plays a big part in it too as well as physical pain, which does not hinder me but it is just one of those reminders that the depression is still there.
I am set off by things one time and then another I am fine.
The meds are helping but it could take up to a year or so.  So while they work on my chemicals I struggle to work on my heart and soul.
I see a therapist, which is ok but the most help that I have gotten through this is my Spiritual Director.  She has been amazing and she is an artist as well, which helps so much.  She has shown me how to put my words that I cannot find into my art and writing, although I am not much of a writer.
There are good things that have come from this thing called Depression, I have learned many things about myself, even relearned things that I have long put aside.  I have done things that I normally would not have done, like fly all by myself to see my best friend.  Believe me that is one huge leap!! :)
Anyway, I know we all struggle with something, that's life I guess, no one is shielded from the hurt.  But we are also made to conquer things, get through them the best we know how.  Who knows, we may even help someone else who is struggling with the same thing.
We do our best as mothers, fathers, sons and daughters and I have realized that there are no "super" people, just people living their lives, feeling pain, sorrow, regret, happiness, joy, anger and love and doing what is best for them. 
I suppose struggles are good for us, make us stronger and make us look deeper if we choose to and maybe, in the end, in the light, we will find peace and joy and a better understanding of who we are, who God really made us to be and closer to Him.
I long for the top of the pit that I am slowly crawling out of and I know I will gt there one step at a time, one day at a time.  I am aware of set backs and I aware that this may be something that I deal with the rest of my life.  But I guarantee one thing to myself, that I will never let it fully consume me and I will fight because fortunately for me, I am too stubborn to give up and my heart and soul are strong because I know that He is carrying me until I can walk on my own two feet again.
I am also writing this to tell you that this is my last post.
My heart has been drawn into a different direction and I must listen to it for now.
I can't thank you all enough for all your amazing support through the years, I am so blessed to have been a part of a wonderful network of woman who truly care.
I will leave my blog up for a while and my email is always, always open.
I will also be stalking you from time to time, seeing what amazing things you have come up, what inspirational words you have written from your heart and just to say hi.
Today is not a good day for me but tomorrow is a new day, a new year.
I wish you love, blessings, joy and yes, even struggles because without those, we cannot truly appreciate the joy that He has blessed us all with. 
Stay positive in this world of hurt and never lose sight of the light that He shines for us.
I love you all and may God bless you in many ways.

Many, many hugs to you all!!!!!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Long Hot Summer

I know that it has been a while since I last posted.
It seems like this summer has gone fast but also drug on like no other I have ever had.
We had HOT temps in the high 90's and 100's which is rare for Michigan and we had no rain for months, a drought that shriveled up fields of nutrients, grass, trees and one of the most important things to me,
my head and my soul.

I have told you about my panic attacks and even took a break from blogging.  What I didn't know that all these were leading up to something that I never imagined myself in the midst of....
depression, obsessive thoughts and severe anxiety.

I withdrew from everything that I loved to do, blogging, painting, decorating, family and friends.  I didn't really know it at the time but as I look back I could see it all spiraling down.  I only wanted to be in my house, safe.  However, I thought that moving would be an answer so we put our house up for sale and I threw myself in to cleaning and packing things away, which I think only made things worse.  I didn't need the added worry.

I went to see my doctor about medications because nothing else was working, we tried some meds and they only made things worse.  I cried everyday and something as simple as putting socks on my sons feet made me fall to my knees and cry, an overwhelming feeling of the day, things I needed to do but could not gather myself to do them.  

June was horrible,  I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror.  I didn't get dressed for days and I lost my appetite.  Days went by and my family would come help me, encourage me that things were going to be ok.  But what they, nor I knew, was that something worse was bubbling up inside, a feeling of deep despair, a feeling of no longer wanting to be on this earth, not suicide or hurting myself or others, but if I didn't wake up in the morning that would have been fine with me. 

I held that inside of me until I could no longer stand it.  I called my dad and told him one morning and my parents were over right away to comfort me, help me, try to guide me the best that they knew how.

Days went on like this until my dad did some research on a drug that didn't give horrible side effects.  I called my doctor and got a prescription.  Unfortunately it was too late, because the bottom suddenly dropped out from under me.  I had a severe panic attack and sobbed and cried uncontrollably.  My husband called my dad and he came over and decided to take me to the ER.

Once there they evaluated me and offered me one of two choices; I either go home and continue on the medication and get a therapy appt or I check into the Behavioral Health Center on the sixth floor.
I decided to stay knowing that I needed help now.

It was scary being in a place that you see horrible things on TV, but I can tell you it was no way like that.  Everyone was amazing, caring and truly concerned and wanted to see us get healthy.  I was admitted July 3rd and stayed until July 6th.

It became a place of safety for me, knowing that there were others who knew what I was feeling, a place to talk freely and listen to others who had advice.
It was a positive experience for me.

When I came home, that was hard, leaving my security and the friends I had made in a short time, wondering and probably never knowing how they are doing.  I had distractions and coping skills to get me through that next week, my daughter played basketball all week and that was wonderful to watch.

Mornings were the hardest for me, anxiety would stay with me for most of it until the meds kicked in.
We then went on vacation to my most favorite place in the world, Glen Lake with my family.  I healed, I cried, I struggled and I laughed.

As of today, I feel good, I feel not normal but the closest I have been to it in a while.  The meds are working and luckily with few side effects, I am really tired all the time and find myself napping, which I never do.  I have more good days than bad and I even started painting again.
We decided not to sell the house, I don't think I could go through that right now so I am slowing putting back  all the things I have packed away.

I haven't been on the computer much, just not ready for it.  I have been taking things day by day, trying not to worry about what is next.  I am trying not to be so hard on myself and always feel like I should be doing something.  If my body says rest, I rest.  The weather has lifted its hot spell and I am trying to enjoy what is left of summer but I am so excited for fall, crisp clean air, cool nights and just a new season not only for Mother Nature but for me.  

The reason for what happened to me was the depletion of serotonin in my brain.  Events since my heart attacks never allowed them to build back up and slowly, unknowingly I was heading towards the events of this summer.  I know it will take time and help, which I am getting on a regular basis not only from a therapist but also my pastor, I have lots of guilt from my heart attacks and many many questions.

I know that I could not have made it without my family and friends.  My dad was over almost every day, helping me with the kids and just encouraging me.  My mom was supportive and listened to me everyday cry on the phone.  For those of you who wrote to see how I was doing, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I know that God is carrying me through this and I know that He will let me walk soon never leaving my side.
I am not sure if I will be the same person I was, my biggest fear is not being able to recognize that girl.  Maybe I will be stronger, maybe not.  But I do know that I won't give up and I will try to be the best person that I am, not the person that I think I should be.

Depression can take you quickly and sometimes you don't even know that it is happening.  Depression is a disease that needs to be treated like any other medical condition.  Sometimes meds are needed to balance out the chemicals in your brain, just like diabetes needs meds to balance out what your body can't produce. You are not crazy, you just need help, and there are people that can help.  I truly believe that if I did't have the help that I did or did not choose to check myself in, things would have been worse and that scares me more than anything.

I won't be blogging much, maybe here and there, I am still healing and taking it day by day.
Please forgive me if I don't answer you or it takes me a while.  I love you all and miss you very much.
Thank you for letting me share my story and I know that I may always struggle with it but now I know that I can control it and perhaps conquer it.

Many hugs to you!!!!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hello and Guest Post

Hello Hello Hello!!
How are you?  I am missing you so!
I am doing well.  I still haven't heard from my results yet from my monitor but hopefully this week I will.  I have been feeling better but still have small episodes every now and then.  
I have been painting alot and loving the therapy that it gives me.
Here are a few that I finished.

Again these are still from the step by step book by artist Jaqueline Penney, but for my next painting and I am stepping out on my own!
OOOOOOOOOoooooooo!!!!  ;)

We have been busy with kid things again, which is good and the kids are loving it!

I just wanted to pop in today to say hello and to let you know that I am over at  A Sort of A FairyTale with my house tour.  Stacey is so sweet and while you there, take a look at her home, it is so pretty and she has been working hard.

Anyway, I hope you are all well and enjoy the rest of the week!
I can't believe that May is already here, I am so excited for summer!!!



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Taking a Leave

Hello everyone!
I hope you are all well.
I wanted to tell you that after long and heartfelt thinking, I came to a decision that I need to take a long break from blogging.  My heart has been telling me things here and there and after an ER visit the other day, I decided it was literally screaming at me.  Everything checked out well but I am being monitored right now to make sure that they aren't missing anything.  

If you are new here, about 6 years ago I had two heart attacks and open heart surgery due to my pregnancy.  Everything turned out well in the end and I have felt really good but it seems like stress and whatever seems to settle into my chest which gives me the feeling of having a heart attack, panic attacks and just weird palpitations.  Things have always checked out good but I need to stop feeling like this and start taking care of me.  I need to concentrate on my health and my family for now.  I will visit from time to time because I love you all and you have been nothing but supportive and wonderful friends and you inspire me.   

I hope to come back, but I think it will be a while before I post again, well except for May 1, I was invited to join Stacey at A Sort of a Fairytale for a house tour a few months ago, I am excited for that, she is so sweet.  So I will be doing that, but otherwise not so much in between and after for a bit . I am very sorry and believe me it was a hard decision and after talking to some friends, I think it is the right one for now.

I hope everyone stays well and enjoys their Spring and thank you again from the bottom of my wonky heart, you are a wonderful community of friends.

I will see you again!!!



Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Brighter Place to do a Dark Job

 Alright, so it's not that dark of a job but at least now it is a bit brighter.  I painted my entry/laundry room over our break and it looks so much cleaner and fresher. Last year sometime in one of my painting fits I painted that room a muddy gray/brown color.  It just felt so dark in there and just dirty.  
This is what it originally looked like about two years ago:

A bit crowded, the dogs stayed in here as well and it just wasn't working for me.
Here is what it looked like after the painting fit with the muddy color.

Now it was just dark and small and still no room.

  So we built a little locker to put our shoes, hats, mittens, etc.
That seemed to work well but every time we opened the door we would get hooked on the chicken wire and or the kids would get scratched.

So I had enough and last Friday we went and picked up some white paint and went to town.

Here is what it looks like now.

I took off the chicken wire from the locker and we replaced it with beadboard. 
No more poking and scratching and I just love the look of it, much cleaner lines for me.

Picked up a few baskets from Meijer and TJ Maxx to give it that natural coastal feel,

and shopped around the house for some other treasures to add like my whale and some beach grass and rug.
(not sure why there is a phone plug in the laundry room, for the life of me I can't imagine why they put it there)

We also got a new washer, I was done cleaning up floods and having my clothes smell  nasty.  The salesman said that the biggest complaint of the front load washers is the smell but he couldn't tell us why the dumb thing flooded all the time, he thought perhaps we had a kidding!
I love my new top loader and now with a bright clean room and a new machine, washing is actually tolerable. :)
There are still a few details that I would like to do like a new light and I have to paint the ceiling which probably would have been smart to do first, but I don't think that way.  I can see by the last picture that I need an outlet cover too.  
Details, details. :)
I love how how it turned out and even though there is less room with the washer and dryer having to be side by side now, it still feels bigger to me.
I heart white paint.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Summer/beach Mantel

Hi everyone!
How are you and how was your Easter and weekend?  
Good I hope.

Since Mother Nature decided to skip over Spring, I decided that it was ok too and put together my summer mantel.  Actually my mantel always looks like summer but for grins and giggles we will call it my summer mantel. :)

I had this mirror that belonged to my grandparents sitting in my basement waiting for me to do something with it. The mirror is starting to crack in places but it is solid and HEAVY!!! I didn't want to get rid of it so it sat and sat and sat until last Thursday for whatever reason an idea popped into my mind.

I have seen driftwood mirrors on line and the prices range anywhere from $60 - $350.
I did mine for free.

I dipped into my bucket-o-driftwood, got my glue gun and went to town.
I first painted the frame grey to blend in with the driftwood.

I LOVE it!  
I also have a hernia lifting it up on the mantel but at least I can admire it while recovering. :) 
Just kidding, but it was really hard to get up there and I think we need to anchor into the wall so it and others will stay safe.

I added some beach grass in a sisal/rope vase and kept my birds and sign that my daughter made and 
voila, my summer/beachy mantel.

I don't know if I ever showed you my honking big piece of driftwood that I lugged out of the lake last year, it makes for a great coffee table center piece. :)

 I now need to replenish my bucket-o-driftwood.



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Break

So sorry I have been away, we are on Spring Break.
Nothing too exciting going on just little things here and there. (Although I have been dreaming of far away beaches and the smell of the water and salty air)

 It has been sunny and mild here which is nice.
My brother in law is still in the hospital, getting off the vent was a bit slow but he has been off now for a day and going strong so I am crossing my fingers.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week and I hope you have a beautiful Easter.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Birthday Trip

I was painting this morning and getting frustrated so I thought I would walk away for a bit and come and tell you about our weekend, or at least our Saturday.
The 18th was my daughters 14th birthday. Where does the time go?!
She wanted to go up to Glen Lake for the day with her BFF and since it doesn't take much for me to say yes to going there, I was happy to grant her birthday wish.
So my daughter, her BFF and her mom, which is also my friend, climbed in the Jeep and off we went!

It was a cloudy day and around 55-60 degrees, not too bad.  It is about a 2 1/2-3 hour trip but beautiful all the way up.
We stopped at a lighthouse in  Benzie County called Point Betsie. It is the oldest standing structure in that county and was built in 1858.  
As of today it is managed by a group of volunteers that make sure that this beautiful historic lighthouse is kept up and cared for.

After our stop there we made it to Glen Lake and had some lunch and then ventured off to a few beaches along Lake Michigan where the girls looked for treasures in the shore.
(my daughter is in the blue sweatshirt)

We then made our way up to Leeland.
It was really cold there so we didn't stay too long.

We even stopped to photograph a local. :)

All in all the trip was fun and the girls and myself and my friend enjoyed getting away for the day.
I can't wait until the summer when I can go park my buns on the dock there and just relax in the sun by the water. :)

Have a wonderful week!!


Sunday, March 25, 2012


I wanted to thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers for my BIL.
He is still in the hospital but getting better.  They have started to try to get him of the ventilator and hopefully he can come home some time this week.
I don't know if I have shared much about my BIL with you and his situation.
16 years ago he was in a car accident that left him what they call an incomplete quadriplegic.  He has no feeling from about mid chest down and he can only move his arms some, his right more than his left, and  has limited movement in his wrists and fingers. 
 Basically he has no fine motor skills.
He has adapted to life very well, works on a computer, NOOK operates his chair and so on. He is the most patient guy I have ever met and has taken all of this with great attitude and determination.

Anyway, when he gets a cold that you and I can just take medicine for, it is a bit more complicated for him.  It usually turns into pneumonia and a hospital stay is normally in his near future.  He has had so much done to him over the years, it breaks my heart.  It seems like being in the hospital sometimes causes more issues and things can snowball pretty quickly.
Anyway, this stay brought on some new issues and we just weren't quite sure what was going on for a while.  My MIL does not leave his side and takes care of him like no other could.  She is amazing!
I would love to tell you more about him, maybe in another post one day.
But please know that your prayers meant so much and they are being answered.
Thank you.

I tried to keep busy last week and it was nice that the weather here was summer-like so we were able to go outside and do a bit of gardening, sit on the deck and just play in the grass.
Things are green around here and it feels so good!
We had a few days where the clouds were amazing!
Distant storms and beautiful sunsets that casts amazing colors on them.
Below is a shot that I took coming home from the hospital one night. 
I actually captured a lightening bolt with my Iphone!

I also found myself painting quite a bit, it relaxes me and keeps my mind busy.
I finished the painting that I shared my frustrations with earlier,

and I also started and finished another painting.

This one was fun with the splatter painting, although I am still finding paint all over. :)

The splash over the rock took me a few tries but I got a chance to learn how to use some different brushes and see which ones that I like the most.

I started yet another painting on Friday, but I just started the sky so I will share that one later.
(These are all paintings from the step by step book I am still working from by Jacqualine Penney)

I am sorry that I haven't shared any home projects with you, I honestly haven't done any.
I hope to paint my entry way soon and now that it is nice out we have turned our attention to the yard and garden.
I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and the week ahead is beautiful for you.
I miss visiting and hopefully this week I can have some time to come see you. :)



Sunday, March 18, 2012


Hello everyone.
I am just stopping in to say that I will taking a bit of a break from blogging.
My brother-in-law is in the hospital, has been for about a week now.
We are not sure what is going on so I am just taking some time to be with my family.
Hopefully we will know some more tonight after they run more tests and they can get him feeling better and get him home.

Thank you all so much for your friendship, it means the world to me.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


This past weekend it was beautiful here in Michigan and it is supposed to get up to 73 on Wednesday!
We took advantage of the weather and headed out Saturday late afternoon/evening for a little drive to visit the beaches so I could do some "homework" for my paintings.
It was still really windy  (hubby is still doing well, no repercussions from the run-in with the downed tree) and it was a perfect time to take some photos of the waves out in the lake, how they roll up on shore, how the light hits them and just their overall movement.

It was interesting because in the town that I live, which is about 20 miles south from where the photos above were taken, the waves were not as big.  
However, that did not stop the surfers from trying to catch a few waves.
Mind you the water temp is still in the 30's. 

(the kids thought it was cool that they could jump over the fence)

Monday was rainy and humid and some severe weather came rolling through late afternoon.  
We actually had to leave my daughters basketball game due to a tornado watch, school policy for the area.  We haven't had a tornado in our town in a LONG time but better safe than sorry. 
After the storms passed my daughter and I went out to the lake to do some more "homework".  
I wanted sunset pictures and to see how the sun displays its colors on the clouds and water while setting.  
Here is what we got.

I love these and may have to attempt a painting in the future.

It was interesting to see how the colors changed from different angles and depending how much I zoomed in and out as well as when the sun was sinking lower.
I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful area.
My goal for myself for painting, after I become more confident in my abilities, is to go up and down our coastline and paint the places that I love so much here in Michigan.
My friend Ral, an artist that I featured a while back, mentioned in one of our conversations that she could paint one stretch of beach there in Hawaii and never get the same picture.  
She is so right!  
The beach, water and sky are ever changing and seem more and more beautiful and inspiring every time I look.

Sorry this is such a long post, I got really excited and inspired.
So I thank you again for letting me share this with you.




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