Tuesday, December 29, 2009

don't look back too far

I've noticed that some people are looking back at a decade now that a new one is right around the corner. I can't do that, nor do I want to look back that far. A lot of good things happened in the last ten years... and some truly awful things too. So for me, one year is a good time frame to review.

On January 1, 2009 I didn't know what the new year would bring, I just knew I would be alone. I decided I wanted to travel and did I ever! None of us knows how long we have on this earth, no matter what our age. And there are places I want to see and I'm going to visit as many possible. I don't like traveling alone, but if it's the only option - so be it.

Stay tuned for more 2010 plans...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

it's a puzzlement...

I don't understand why I will travel halfway around the world alone, but I will not go to a restaurant to eat dinner alone. I did once this year (see Big Salad) and I have resolved to do it more often in 2010. I'm tired of take-out and drive thru... (this is my favorite Chinese take-out place).

More resolutions to come...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yes, Virginia...

"You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

every creature has a job to do...

As I sit at my desk and watch the squirrels cavorting across the lawn and up-and-down the trees, I wonder why the "outdoor" cats (see above) are not doing their job... which is to keep my kingdom (queendom?) varmint-free.

A little background on the outside cat family: over a year ago, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of four underneath my deck. Of course I fed her - she looked quite bedraggled, mostly from nursing her babies. So... I started feeding her and then when the kittens were weaned, I fed them too. The mom eventually left - I have no idea where she went but I hope nothing bad happened to her. And so, today I still feed her family - twice a day. I refuse to let them inside my house - I WILL NOT be the woman who lives with six cats!, so I bought a large doghouse and added a heated bed for them to stay out of the rain and cold temperatures. I wish I could get them to a veterinarian to be spayed/neutered, but they are quite feral, despite allowing me to feed and house them. I haven't been able to pick them up and when my son tried to pick one up it really freaked out. If only there was some animal birth control that I could add to their food...

But back to their lack of good work ethics... their hunting genes are apparently being suppressed by the current buffet on the deck. Perhaps a salad bar instead...

Monday, December 21, 2009


Lonestar where are you out tonight?
This feeling I'm trying to fight
It's dark and I think that I would give anything
For you to shine down on me.

How far you are I just don't know
The distance I'm willing to go
I pick up a stone that I cast to the sky
Hoping for some kind of sign.
~ lyrics, Norah Jones

Saturday, December 19, 2009

the redness...

The 'eye thing' started again the other night... I won't go into the details, but it's painful. I managed to get an emergency appointment with the ophthalmologist this morning and... it's finally been diagnosed and is being treated. Nothing very serious, just aggravating.

Resume the merry-making...

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I am tired of being sad... have I said this before? And then gotten mired once again in the feeling that I cannot move?

I met a couple on the cruise - they were from North Carolina and very nice to chat with. During one conversation, the moment seemed appropriate for telling them that I am a recent widow. They told me that one of their best friend's husband had committed suicide a year ago and they have been helping her deal with his death. And then they said that they were wondering when the hand-holding would no longer be necessary. I know the comment took me by surprise... I don't know if my expression changed, but I thought to myself "Yes, that is how people feel; that a year is probably long enough to mourn." And then you flip a switch and move on with your life. Well, I certainly have tried. I have covered thousands of miles trying to move on, haven't I?

This season always gets me down... I'm not sure why. People are frantic to shop and spend... hoping that in that pile of gifts will be the perfect, life-altering, cue-the-choir-singing-hallelujah!, this is the best present ever!

Too Grinchy am I? Okay, green isn't my color anyway.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

my timbers are shivered

I've returned from my cruise of the Windward Islands, aboard the Royal Ciipper. She is a beautiful sailing vessel and the trip was fantastic!

More photos here

Now... to get through the rest of this season.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

the tree

A little something different for the season.

I made it through the day yesterday. My family kept me occupied with shopping, etc. Milestones don't really change anything; the day after a birthday or anniversary is pretty much the same as the day before. We just use them to mark the times of our lives...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I am not there...

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there.
I did not die.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving thanks

Today, Thanksgiving Day, is the last of the "first holidays alone". Not that I think any of them will get easier the second or third time around, but as the song says - "The World Keeps Turning".

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Too Tuesday

What a day! Too many stumbling blocks for one day. I've been trying to get things done in preparation for my upcoming cruise... and also doing some of the usual pre-holiday tasks. I think everything is back on track now, but my day has been too stressful.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Going back...

... is not an option.

My life will never be the same, but it will turn (is turning now, with or without my assent) in a new direction. When I was diagnosed with cancer 22 years ago and going through chemotherapy treatments, I cried that I wanted my old life back... I wanted things the way they used to be. But that is never possible. I became a woman who survived cancer. The process changed me and my family.

So now I must figure out my new life. I can't have things the way they were and to try would keep me rooted in this place of sadness and melancholy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Short days and long shadows

I haven't been posting much lately... partly because I have been sick and partly because I have lacked inspiration for getting out and taking photographs. I feel much better today and am managing to pick up the camera even though I seem to point the lens aimlessly. It's the time of year... as a good friend reminded me a few days ago. If I can get through the one year mark and the holidays, I know (I hope!) my outlook will improve.

Every day I re-realize that I am alone... will be alone... and I shouldn't be alone. It's still not fair that he is gone and I am here.

On a positive note - I was contacted this week by someone who wants to use one of my photos as the logo for his business! We have agreed on a price and I am very... honored, flattered, happy. It's a good thing. I just wish I had someone to celebrate with. But as soon as I'm off all of the medications, I'll open a bottle of champagne.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I'm not seeing it...

This photo was taken one year ago today. I took a similar shot just the other day, not realizing that I was repeating myself. I have had this nagging thought... no, it's more than that - I KNOW that I am not shooting the photographs that I want to make. I hope that makes sense, because I don't know how to "see" the photos I want to capture. Does this mean they won't come naturally to me?

I keep shooting the same things... over and over. And the results are not bringing me satisfaction. There are some of my photos that I look at and think " I love that, I can't believe I took it!" But lately I feel as though I'm in an infinite loop... retracing my same steps. I'm not growing photographically.

*Sigh*... what to do?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Autumn, Reluctantly

I may have been trying to avoid this time of year... I dunno. Up until now, I have been able to remember last year and think "At this time last year, we had no idea how ill he was." But by October... we knew and the fight had begun; doctors, hospitals, tests, tests and more tests filled the days.

And so... since July, I have been traveling. I am not under the delusion that I can run away from my grief, I have merely been distracting my attention with the beauty of nature and far away destinations. And it's also been about moving on - I have always faced hard times by putting my head down and pushing forward; trying to get to the other side before this destroys me.

I must keep moving...

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have been asked what was the highlight of my trip and wow! is that hard to answer. I saw so much natural beauty, so many incredible animals, met so many wonderful people - I am still in awe of South Africa. But if I had to choose just one experience, it would be the early morning walk with the lions on the Masuwe Estate near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. We walked alongside three young males, ranging in age from 3 - 16 months... no leashes. We watched as the two in the photo above spotted a wart hog and encircled it - the warthog escaped... I don't think the lions were hungry, but were just doing what lions do. Later, we were allowed to hold the smallest cub for a few minutes. He weighed about 25 lbs and it was an amazing experience!

The level of crime in South Africa was probably the most surprising to me, even though I was expecting it somewhat. The security measures protecting virtually every home reminded me of Caracas, Venezuela when I was there in the early '90's. I know I could not live in such a constant state of fear/apprehension. I was fortunate to see South Africa through rose colored glasses, so to speak.... being on a carefully planned and guided tour, staying at the very best accommodations and generally being watched over the entire time I was there.

Would I go back? Yes! Would I recommend a tour of SA? Yes!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

an amazing journey

I am back at home after spending a month in South Africa.... it was an unforgettable experience and I feel so fortunate to have traveled there and to have met so many wonderful people - fellow travelers and Safricans - they all are very special to me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

postcard from South Africa

I am having an amazing time in Africa/South Africa.... been to Botswana, Zimbabwe and am now back in South Africa - in Cape Town. More later...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

a brief diversion

Took a long weekend trip to Daytona Beach, FL... and now I am immersed in the final preparation for South Africa.

Friday, August 21, 2009

zoom, zoom, zoom

Feeling listless and uninspired... and also as though I am standing on the tracks, just watching the train that is South Africa bearing down on me. Am I ready? I have no clue. I keep making lists and seem to be crossing things off as completed... but I have no confidence that, as the date of departure gets closer, I am prepared.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

on the menu

on the menu

I had a "big salad" for lunch today. It's a specific salad at a specific restaurant and of course they don't list it as a "big salad". That was our little joke, taken from an episode of "Seinfeld". Every so often, one of us would say "I'm hungry for a big salad." and off we would go. Now, it's a reference that no one but me understands and so I went to the restaurant alone (which I HATE to do) and had my big salad.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Haleakala Sunrise

Haleakala Sunrise

So I went to paradise... alone. I saw many beautiful places and although the traveling to and fro exhausted me, I'm glad I went.

I learned that I don't like traveling alone, I do like driving a convertible and there aren't enough miles that you can put between you and your grief in order to forget - even just for a moment or two.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

so be it...

so be it...

Yes, I will be... and it's okay. I feel like I've been trying so hard to fill a void that just cannot be filled.

I'm tired. So tired.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Red, White & Blueberries

Red, White & Blueberries

Had a great July 4th.. spent the day with family, friends and neighbors- swimming, eating and playing games.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Window view

I was deeply touched today by the words of a stranger, commenting on my SoFoBoMo book. I have tried to convey my emotions through photos and words, and if I have struck a chord in anyone's heart then I am glad for that.

There are no easy days, no carefree days. There are pieces of days when I manage to slip into a state-of-normal.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I wish... I wish...

I wish... I wish...

Wishes should be reserved for out-of-this-world things... things that seem unattainable or inconceivable.

You wouldn't wish to be a kinder person, a better friend, a healthier you, because those are all within your reach. You can make them happen without the magic of a wish.

A new car, bigger house, better job? None require supernatural intervention.

Quickly, before the wind takes them all away!

Make a Wish!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I cannot see...

I cannot see...

The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

~ from "The Places You'll Go, Dr. Seuss

Sunday, June 21, 2009



The first day of summer... and before this season ends, I will travel thousands of miles. Adventures await and I am anxious to begin.

One is a destination I have visited several times, although never alone.

Paradise... alone... on my birthday... sigh.

It's all about touching that flame in order to get the worst behind us, I suppose.

The next destination is vast, beautiful and mysterious... somewhere I have never been. I have several photography books on South Africa, but now I will see it with my own eyes... and my camera. I am as excited as I am nervous. What will I see, hear and feel?

Ah, summer - bring it on!

Monday, June 15, 2009

LOOK3 - Festival of the Photograph


Spent the weekend immersed in the photography of others... extremely talented and successful others. As I did last year, I came away with the realization that I have to arrange my existing work into projects and think of all new work in terms of a cohesive "idea". The Photo-a-Day project consumes so much of my *focus* that I may have to abandon it at the end of this year. Ah well, we'll cross that bridge...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009



tell me a story...

of gardenia blossoms, the fragrance sweet
reminding me of a tropical island
and days spent lying in the sun
and we were together.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009

and finally

Laughter and carefree summer days.
But each of us senses the missing one... and imagines that we see him there, smiling.

As much as time passes and we go on... he is always in out hearts and minds.

NOTE: This is my final SoFoBoMo post. It turned out to be a most difficult process for me... examining My (Still) Life since the passing of my husband in December. Some days it was very painful, like reopening a wound that had just begun to heal...

the story of a day

The start of day
the demarcation between sleep and wake.
Tell me that this day will be good... that I will be strong
that I will know what to do and will have the courage to do it.

The moments of the day...
some are painted with a broad brush - wide, bold strokes;
others with fine detail - small and tentative,
yet every bit as crucial to the beauty of the painting.

in bloom, perhaps

Things bloom, either on their own... perseverance is key... or coaxed by a reluctant gardener. One who is much more familiar with the comfortable garden accessories than with dirt and plants and weeds. She misses you every day.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

ordinary things

Taking care of the ordinary... the things that must be done. Car washes, paint for the new door and lunch. My (Still) Life moves on.

Monday, June 01, 2009

I thought I saw something move....

I thought I saw something move....

I realized this morning that my coping abilities have improved. Little things going wrong do not send me to tears or fits of frustration. It has been six months... and still feels unreal.

I'd just as soon not have to deal with any major catastrophies though,
thank you very much.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

the everyday

The getting through, the moving forward... the secret is in the everyday details. Take one thing, then another, and so the days and weeks pass. It will soon be summer - hard to believe that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



I remember the day we got the diagnosis. We left the doctor's office and headed for the pharmacy - to get more pain meds. We were in shock, but you keep doing normal stuff even though you are in shock. You drive and chat and then you have to call your son and tell him. Then it is real and the future seems hopeless and frightening.

And it has been all of that.

Things like receiving this certificate bring the reality into sharp, painful focus. He would be proud of this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

staying for a while

staying for a while

I just liked the lines (obviously) and the easy feel... comfortable; hanging my shirt on the back of chair and relaxing for a few days.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

lipstick red

lipstick red

On our anniversary
There'll be someone else where you used to be
The world don't care and yet it clings to me
And the moon is gold and silvery

Who knows where the sidewalk ends
Well, the road will turn and the road will bend
They always say he marks the sparrow's fall
How can anyone believe it all?

Well, the band has stopped playing but we keep dancing
The world keeps turning, the world keeps turning
On his hand he wore the ring of another
And the world keeps turning, the world keeps turning

We broke the bank and we tore up the place
And we disappeared oh without a trace
Now the sun it falls into the sea
And around the only one for me

I was so green and the dress you wore was yellow
And the world keeps turning, the world keeps turning
The sun is down and the moon is in the meadow
And the world keeps turning, the world keeps turning

Put a hat on your head
Will you paint the whole damned town red with me?

Well, the band has stopped playing but we keep dancing
The world keeps turning, the world keeps turning
On his hand he wore the ring of another
The world keeps turning, the world keeps turning

The world keeps turning, the world keeps turning
The world keeps turning, the world keeps turning



some days feel like this
tangled up, unable to break free.

this guy didn't escape
but I will

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

color me

color me

color me... what?
confused? bewildered?

They say that you should not make big decisions during this time.... for how long?

It seems as though any decision is difficult these days. I need advice and I don't seem to have the person in my life with the right balance of attachment and detachment.

Saturday, May 16, 2009



a khaki shirt, an Army shirt
comforting to touch