Christmas Eve Eve Eve

Today was a big Christmas prep day for me. All gifts were wrapped, Gluten Free treats were made (Peanut Butter Cookies, Rice Crispy Treats, and Almond Fudge truffles) and some final cleaning and laundry were done. I work Monday and Tuesday. Jeffrey and I will do our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast before work Tuesday, at a random diner, leaving an especially large tip for whomever is our wait person (my favorite part of the holiday season,) then we will spend a quiet Christmas Eve at home together with the dogs, enjoying holiday treats and cocktails and watching favorite holiday movies.

We will swap a modest pile of gifts Christmas morning, enjoying a quiet day at home together, then take my Mom out to dinner Christmas night.

On December 26th, we pack, load up the car, strap in the dogs into their doggie seats, and head to the cape to spend a week in P-Town, celebrating the new year with the BF, his hubby, and mutual friends.

But, for now, we’re just enjoying the evening by the hearth, stockings hung with care.

What are your holiday plans?

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Happy Birthday Harvey!

He’s 8 years old today, but he’ll always be a puppy in my heart. Happy Birthday, little buddy! Thanks for filling our home with so much joy and love.

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Cookie Monster?

Harvey, being a pint size pup, needs his treats broken into small pieces to eat. If he deems a morsel too big to eat, he will just carry it around in his mouth, looking for a place to hide it. 30 minutes after giving him a piece of cookie, Jeffrey found Harvey wandering around the kitchen with the cookie piece still in his mouth. This is his “What cookie?” Look he gave us when we tried to take the food from him to break it into smaller pieces.

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Dated and done!

22 years ago, tonight, Jeffrey asked me out for coffee. He’s never left my side, since.

Thank you Jeffrey, for all that you’ve shown me, taught me, shared with me, given me, built with me, and supported me through.

Now, more than ever, I am so grateful for your presence in my life.

I am the luckiest.

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For David

It is a sad day.

This morning I awoke to a post on Facebook that had been posted 3 hours prior: my friend David (and former blogger at “Facing Traffic”, “Another Mile Marker”, and others as he changed his blog name a few times) chose to end his life. He made a final post on Facebook and, by the time I awoke and read it, he was in the hospital on a breathing tube. A family member was kind enough to keep us all posted on his status. I’ve been checking for status updates all day. It was confirmed a few minutes ago that Dave’s injuries were fatal and the family was taking him off life support. Dave was an organ donor. It is ironic and sad: he was kind enough to provide life giving organs to others, while unable to find something inside himself to save his own life.

I’d like to say I’m stunned, but I’ve known David for a few years and I know he struggled with bipolar depression, among other things. I tried to be as available for David as I could be as a long-distance friend, responding anytime he reached out, always reminding him I was here to talk, and our door was always open if he needed a place to go. But I know he struggled and I knew this was always a possibility.

We texted regularly over the years and got to know each other pretty well (I think.) When he adopted his dog Cooper (I always called him “The Coop”) a couple years ago and named us Cooper’s “godparents” (funny in that we were both atheists) we visited him to meet them both and had a great weekend hanging out, cementing our friendship. In all honesty, I encouraged him to get a dog, hoping it might provide him some regular affection and company and give him an extra incentive to keep fighting to survive when things grew darkest.

David and I were in touch almost weekly, usually sharing our ailments, dog daddy experiences, and our job struggles: me with hating mine, him with difficulties finding and holding a job that could accommodate his challenges. There was always the promise of another visit: us there or him here, as soon as we could make it happen. We stayed candid with each other, and David knew he could tell me anything and I would listen, without judgement.

Most recently, David told me he had been working at a Casino that had a branch in my area and he was considering transferring here. I tried to give him as much info about the area as I could, assuring him we would gladly and enthusiastically welcome him and the Coop with open arms if they decided to relocate. It was exciting to think he and Cooper might become local friends. (According to his final Facebook post, he has been unemployed for four months, so now I don’t know if the Casino thing was true or not.)

I am not angry at David for making this choice. I am sad that my friend is gone. I am sad that Cooper lost his Dad. I am sad that David suffered so much for so long and felt so hopeless and helpless. I am sad that he was alone in his final moments of awareness, unable or unwilling to find the strength to reach out for help one more time. And I am sad that, despite knowing better, my friendship wasn’t somehow special or strong enough to be his “saving grace” or lifeline.

This is the third time I have lost a blogger buddy to death, the second time it was due to suicide, but the first time it was someone I considered a real friend.

I am sorry this was the only way he could fathom to end his pain.

I will miss him.

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Holidays are work

I try to foster a casual, friendly atmosphere at work; thus, year round, my cubicle is full of superhero and giraffe paraphernalia. But, once December hits, I transition to more seasonal decor:

We are still buried under a couple feet of snow here. It isn’t supposed to warm up until next week, when it’s predicted we’ll get two days in the high forties. I hope enough snow melts to uncover our outside holiday decorations and lights. It bums me out that they’re currently hidden from view. I may just have to take matters into my own hands…

…I hope I have enough extension cords to reach the displays with my hairdryer.


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Nobody snows the trouble I see…

So it snowed a little. These pictures were taken after Jeffrey snowblowed (snowblew?) and I shoveled:

The front porch and driveway


The front yard  (all our outdoor decorations and lights are buried in snow except the tippy-tops of two x-mas trees.)


The backyard with appropriate dog paths shoveled


They couldn’t wait to use their new potty paths


Since the Governor closed down state offices today, we are enjoying our adult snow day at home, snuggled with the dogs by the fire watching an Iron Man movie marathon.

The pups grew exhausted waiting for us to finish shoveling their backdoor bathroom.


Such a special treat for all of us!

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Snow Day!

As you may have heard, the Northeast is getting a bit of snow.

To my shock, I was just informed by my boss, via text, that the Governor has shut down all state offices tomorrow due to the weather conditions.

We are getting a freakin’ SNOW DAY!

(FYI: in my 21 + years working for the state, this has NEVER happened.)

Who’s got two thumbs and is hitting the snooze button tomorrow?

This guy!


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Because the battle rages on

Recognize. Reflect. Remember. Respond.

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Split Rock

Hi all. I’m finally home and all the happy juice wore off, so I’m posting one last update (after a multitude of texts) before I descend into darkness and pain. (Cue dramatic music…maybe something from Phantom?)

Unfortunately, there were some complications: the surgery took longer than expected, stones had formed on my stent, they didn’t get all the stones out, and I need follow-up surgery in 2 weeks. It took me forever to void post-procedure, so we got stuck at the hospital for hours beyond what we anticipated. I’m exhausted and I have some residual issues and discomfort and will most likely be out of work the rest of the week

I’m sure you’ve deduced by now that we won’t be going away to CT for Thanksgiving; so I had the unpleasant task of sending my regrets to Jim and the gang. Very sad and disappointing, indeed.

Alas, poor Jeffrey. He dropped me off at home, then headed back out to the grocery store (after a 12 hour day of medical crap, mind you, in the cold and dark) TWO days before Thanksgiving, to try to put together a last minute Turkey Day dinner for us. Seriously. The guy is a freakin’ saint. (And he did great!)

It’s certainly not what we planned or hoped, but if we’ve learned nothing in 20+ years of battling/dealing with chronic illness together, it’s that life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.

Despite all this bad news:

I’m grateful to have excellent health insurance and can seek care whenever I need it.

I’m grateful to have a compassionate, supportive spouse, life partner and caretaker that has never left my side once, and has seen me through all of it, without a gripe or a grind. He is my constant cheerleader, advocate, and hero.

I’m grateful to be home, with pain meds, warm safe, and dry, with my husbands and dogs.

I’m grateful to have a job that I can miss time from without losing pay or risking being let go.

I’m grateful for good medical people and staff that take care of me.

I’m grateful for friends (and blogger buddies) who send sweet and kind messages of support and are understanding when I have to disappear for awhile or cancel plans.

And, finally, I’m grateful I’m still here on this earth, for better or for worse. This body may be broken, but I ain’t going down without a fight.

(I just wish disease hurt a little less.)

If Turkey Day is a holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a fantastic, delicious, peaceful, fun, warm, safe, HEALTHY Thanksgiving

Be well, and I’ll work on getting better, too!



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