A thing that I find funny, you know, in that funny-not funny way that things sometimes are in life (and death) is a little tidbit regarding my mom and my husband.
They both loved me (us) very much and wanted to take care of me (us) in the best way that they knew how. They just really disagreed on what that looked like.
So, while they could put aside their differences sometimes, they could also really, really, not get along at other times.
Now that they are both gone, we are going through some rough transitional times, but ultimately, it will end up that between the benefits we receive from Al’s disability and the income we will end up getting from mom’s estate, we will be okay. And it will be roughly in half as to who the support comes from.
So they will have managed to work together to take care of us “one last time,” in spite of their differences.

I like to think that they aren’t burdened by petty squabbles any more and can see each others’ motives clearly now. So that will help them to work together to help us as time passes. Between the two of them (and others, of course) we have a pretty damn good team working for us.


Today I miss your arms wrapped around me offering comfort and protection from the sorrows and trials of the world outside the circle of your embrace. What do I do when the very sorrow that I need comfort from is the loss of you and your protective love. The physicalness of you is a lack I feel deeply, along with the many other losses to my heart, mind, and soul. I wish that you could hold me and comfort me to help me get over/through the loss of you. When we first danced together, I knew I wanted to be held in your arms for a long, long time. I got my wish, but I am greedy and would have much more. Your death has left me standing alone on the dance floor with no one to partner me. I don’t know the steps to this solo dance and don’t know the next move to make or where to turn.

a new year is here

I long for the days that were before

Though I know that they can be no more

standing on the cusp of a lifetime of new tomorrows

bled through and steeped with the blue of soul wrenching sorrow

I look to the future weary and heartsore

shivering from the cold of winter’s dark floor

I cannot yet rejoice in the coming of the new year

as those that preceded it were bathed in salted tears

these winter holidays with their festivals of light and cheer

remind us that the all-encompassing darkness will not always be here

with the passing of time and the turnings of the days

there will be incrementally larger slivers of the suns rays

I don’t need to rejoice with a leap and a bang

just light a small candle to light the way again

we know the wheel turns and turns

and the long cold winter nights will give way to summers burns

the light will return and the dark will recede

bringing the respite and clarity we need

Self Portrait Saturday: Change Gonna Come

In our lives there are often big, giant, changes that happen that we have no say over or control about. But we always have control over ourselves whether that is our attitude, our gratitude, or maybe just our hair.










Proof of Life

Having lost both my mother and husband in recent times, I’ll add that I REALLY wish I had more pictures that I am in with them. I am usually behind the camera and have never liked having my picture taken. Now that they are gone, I wish I had done it differently. I have been trying to make sure that I am in more photos with Casey since mom died, but I have about 5 pictures total that I am in with Al. and that hurts my heart. When I look at pictures of my mom, I don’t see what she looked like, I see what she felt like. and that there is proof that she was here and we were with her in this life.

get yourself in front of the camera with your loved ones.

We Are Howling

My friend took that quote that I love about love and made it into a glorious picture for me. I am too busy howling, I will let my dad’s words tell you why.


“It is with great sorrow to post of my son in law Alan Hewitt passing yesterday. He was loving father, husband, marine, mountain man and all around great man. His service to this country took a toll on his body leaving him to face many grueling injuries,and recoveries with determination and true grit. At times bound to a wheel chair but only briefly he would rebound with a determination and will that would shame an ordinary mortal. I am thankful for the joy he brought to my daughter Brook in the many years they spent together, and for my grandson Casey. If he instilled in him just half of his gumption Casey will have a solid foundation on which to build.

What war, injury, pain, enemy bullets, bombs, and the elements could not accomplish sweet sleep could. He will be sorely missed.

The following is an article from the news about a mishap that happened a couple of years ago that for me sums up his tremendous fortitude in the face of adversity.

A Prineville hunter who spent four days and three nights lost deep in the woods, injured and starving, got out of the hospital Thursday, thankful to be alive, to his rescuer, to his Marine training — and to the “higher power” that helped him survive the frigid ordeal.”The last day was pretty — it was getting pretty rough,” said Alan Hewitt. “I wasn’t delirious, but all things weren’t kosher, I know that.”It was a harrowing Thanksgiving weekend for Hewitt, in which he questioned at times whether he’d make it out of the woods at all after his week-long hunting trip went awry.Hewitt, 48, said from his bed at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend, shortly before his discharge, what he felt kept him alive after his horse, Vegas, slipped on a log while he was out hunting on Thanksgiving Day in the Ochoco National Forest southeast of Walton Lake.The fall slammed them both into a tree, knocking Hewitt unconscious.When he came to, in nearly two feet of snow and below-freezing temperatures, hours had gone by. He had no food, and a GPS unit that was dying.”I was cold — extremely cold,” Hewitt said. “During the daylight hours, I tried to get as much movement as I could. I hunkered down in a fetal position, and just make nursery rhymes in my head, like, ‘Wiggle your nose, wiggle your toes — wiggle your nose, wiggle your knees,’ to keep your body moving.’Hewitt said he chewed on pine needle seeds, and was able to pop his shoulder back into its socket to keep trudging on, trying to find the forest road where hunters come and go, and maybe a shot at getting home.”Walking during the day, and during the night, I’d make bivys (shelters),” he recalled. “I’d just find a group of trees that were blocking the wind so I could cove the horse in there, so she’d be protected from the wind.:Thanksgiving went by, then Friday too, and Saturday, then nightfall once more. Finally, late Sunday, he made it to the hunting road, and collapsed.Just 45 minutes later, Hewitt believes, hunter Darrell Hover of Bend and his father were driving by, making one last look for elk, when he spotted what looked like a red piece of clothing.They stopped to see what it was.Hover later recalled, “I saw his (Hewitt’s) eyes, and they were just staring straight ahead — looked like he was catatonic. And I realized then that he was hurt, and needed help. I said, ‘You need help?’ And he said, ‘I need help.'”And I said, ‘How long have you been here?’ And I thought he’d say ’15 minutes’ or ’20 minutes.’ But he said, ‘Four days.’Hewitt also remembers that moment, and besides thinking of his wife and five kids, he said he thought: “There’s warmth. There is hope.””I made it. That’s all I could think — I made it.’Now, Hewitt said, “I’m very thankful for Darrell. I’m very thankful for the knowledge I learned in the Marine Corps, and the faith I have in what I call my higher power.”Hewitt was treated at the Bend hospital for dehydration and a dislocated shoulder. His horses were rescued later by the Crook County Sheriff’s Office and are back home in good shape.Hewitt said the frightful experience won’t change his outlook on the wilderness — and won’t stop him from hunting in the future.”

Remembering The Dead

For me, I end up not being a fan of September. It starts out okay. I love school starting up. I enjoy the easing of the temperatures.  I like fall. I like spring and fall best, but spring tends to be a riotous toddler freshly woke from a nap given to tantrums and erratic behavior. It’s just hard to keep up. Fall is more of a gentle easing. The hot, full, carefree party days of summer are through, though remembered with fondness, and we settle in to enjoy the harvest bounty while looking ahead toward the hibernative nature of the rest of the turning of the wheel.

This is good.

But then, you know, things have happened in September to make it less appealing. Personally for me, it’s my mom’s death. The 21st. This year I was hurrying to accomplish some legal things regarding her death before a time limit ran out. This involved me telling the specifics of the situation multiple times to multiple people who then declined to hear any more about it.

In the midst of this, the 11th showed up to pull the shades down a touch lower.


So I put out a question to my internet friends.

What songs do you listen to for cheering up and endurance, you’ll get through this inspiration?

I got lots of great suggestions, but one in particular hit the spot for me that day.

It’s funny how you forget things.

Things that were a very large part of your existence.

I grew up in a family that was very much into the Grateful Dead.

It was very much the background music of my childhood. And often the foreground music as well. We had lots of family gatherings that centered around us all going to their concerts. The fabric of my life is tie-dyed. Really.

So when someone suggested “I Will Survive” by the Grateful Dead (Touch of Grey, actually) I knew immediately that that was one I needed to listen to. And as I did, it reminded me of those times before.  Those times before I grew up and life got complicated. Before I had known much loss and change. Before she was gone. I listened to a few more of their songs* and felt really close to my mom again.

My heart settled and healed a bit.

It feels good to remember the Dead.

*other songs like:

friend of the devil


sugar magnolia

uncle john’s band

Six Word Friday: Rusty

I know that rusty can mean

a whole entire list of things.

But, for me, Rusty only means

the one single important special thing:

My mom’s best and favorite dog.

We had many over the years.

But mom was never very good

at the discipline of their training.

So often we had to rely

upon their good nature to achieve

Good behavior and long term harmony.

As you can imagine, that didn’t

always work out all that well.

Rusty came into Mom’s life by

random chance or by serendipitous circumstance.

She found him wandering one day.

It seems he’d been a hunter.

Extremely well trained and highly restricted

in his previous life and interactions.

Theirs was a match made in

dog-lover and human-owner heaven.

Rusty came pre-trained and well behaved.

Mom gave him the freedom to

relax and just be a dog.

She was devastated when he died.

When she died, we mixed her

and his ashes and released them

into the ocean together. Together forever.


Healing Susan


This morning a friend on Facebook posted this link.


I went and read this post by the strongest bravest person I’ve seen in quite some time.

If you have a moment to click through and read about her journey and send her some healing thoughts or prayers, you won’t regret it.

For me, the comments are what got me.

When I read it there were 245 comments all saying something very close to the same thing.

Dear Susan, we love you. You are surrounded and bathed in love. You are lifted in healing light. We are thinking of you and sending you love and prayers.

The love I could feel coming off the screen was very nearly palpable, but that wasn’t what got me.

You see, my mother was named Susan.

Reading comment after comment about how Susan is loved and lifted in the light hurts a little, but mostly heals my heart.

Dear Mama,

I love you.

You are surrounded and bathed in love.

You are lifted in healing light.

I am thinking of you and sending you love and prayers.

Six Word Friday: Peace

Earlier in the week when I received the prompt for Six Word Friday, I knew exactly what I was going to write about. I was going to write about the protests. Non-violent protesters by the thousands, gathered to exercise their constitutional rights, demanding change in the status quo. This is going on. Right here. Right now. In our time. It’s much bigger and far more important than the mainstream (corporate) media would have you believe. https://occupywallst.org/ =where it all started and http://www.occupytogether.org/ to find a protest near you.

But, as often happens when you “know exactly,” the fates conspired to give me cause to write about something else under the topic of peace.

This is our dog named Sally.

This summer she suddenly couldn’t walk.

The vet ruled out almost everything.

The only thing left was cancer.

Only way to know for sure?

Very expensive exploratory surgery to see.

We gave her steroids. They helped.

They aren’t a long term solution.

We put it off. and off.

But the change in the weather

was too hard on her body.

Yesterday we put her down finally.

Sally was a good ol’ dog.

My mom will watch over her.

Now she can run like before.

We’ve had her for nine years.

Our son is not quite nine.

It is hard to make peace

with things of this sad nature.

Especially for the poor, little dude.

Love you, Sally. Rest in peace.

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