Welcome to my blog and sneak peek pages!

Lucy

If you can’t eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away.

Wanna go out and play?

 

        I’m a mystery writer–read my ‘about me’ page to find out more.   Feel free to check out the excerpts from my Doggoned Mystery series and take a look at my favorite pictures of our garden and what was once our pond.  The Bull Pen page has pictures of our bullies past and present and friends.   

      

Time flies

I just realized it’s been almost a month since I have written anything here. Ouch. This is not like me.

Lucy and I are doing fine in our new digs. And we just had our first overnight guests. The Uncles came for a short visit.

We weren’t able to do much because of social distancing but we did have a great visit.

This was the first time Lucy met them and she was smitten.

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I know this because after they left, this is where I found her.

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She was pouting.

I’m surprised.

I thought I’d be in horrible shape this week because it is a year since he died. He died on the 21st of February.

I’m not, and that’s what surprises me. I guess all the loss of family and friends over the years prepared me for this.

I do have my teary days but they aren’t bad.

I like my new house, my new town, new neighborhood, and being on my own.

I like being alone…a lot.

It is probably because the last five years I was more his servant and nurse than his partner, lover, and friend.

When I got to Georgia I was exhausted, at my wits end, and ready to be left to myself to find my path in life all over again.

You must understand that I was nineteen when I got married to Jay. We bought our house from his parents without any decision or choice on my part about it. Yep, no choice in that. Even many years later when I begged him that we sell and buy something easier for him to navigate and for me to keep clean. He wouldn’t leave the damned house.

I lived in my mother in law’s house for 46 years. No matter what changes I made to it, it was still her house. Thus the reason why I had no hesitation in leaving it after he died.

That and the fact that I witnessed his fall down the stairs in that house, leading to his death February 21st of 2019. Yeah, the stuff of nightmares, no hesitation on leaving it.

MY new house in Georgia is going through small renovations, I am putting my stamp on it.

I added a sun-porch and fencing. I am looking into landscaping, tearing out my master bath tub and putting in a walk in shower, and putting new counter tops in the kitchen.

I will also be working on decorating my office so I can work more efficiently there.

I miss him, but I am not devastated as I thought I would be.

I am writing again, also….Surprise! I am drawing and painting again–haven’t done that for 30 years.

I hope to find a camera I like and start taking pictures again too.

But, I do miss him, the him before his MS got bad. The sweet and kind him. The man who loved to bring me flowers, work in the garden with me, play with our dogs. The man who loved to go out to dinners and bars for fun with friends. The man who knew to hug me when I needed it the most. I miss that man.

But, I am okay. And each day gets easier.

This month worries me

It worries me because it is the month he died.

It worries me because the year went by so fast. (except January)

Will I be okay on the day?

I don’t know.

On the 21st he’ll have been gone a year.

Will I be okay by myself?

I don’t know.

All I know is that I have to put one foot in front of the other and go forward.

I’ve done a lot in this year.

I bought a house, sold a house.

Made my new place my home.

Made new friends.

Kept in touch with old friends.

As this month moves on, I find I have no idea how it will affect me.

Sure, there will be some tears.

But I worry most about being alone that day.

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Now if I can just get my landscaper to answer his phone…

I keep calling him and leaving messages. He’s not called me back yet. I might have to find a new guy at this rate.

The man who delivered my wheel barrow and gas tank for my new grill builds picnic tables. He’s not far from me so ya never know… I may have a lovely picnic table for the summer.

I do want to get the yard landscaped with raised beds and trees. A simple water feature (no pond) and plenty of places for my bird feeders. Dog safe ranks number 1.

For now, I guess it is up to me to haul all the trimmings to the curb, put the spring on the gate to make it self closing, hang the blue bird house, and all the hangers for plants to hang from the fence.

 

 

New fencing…new tricks

Lucy has enjoyed the freedom the new fencing has given her. Although I am working on a “new trick” with her to make sure she comes quickly when called. I pulled out the old Bobby’s whistle I’d used to train Malcolm for his role as Bullseye in 4 productions of Oliver!

I started by blowing it and treating her immediately when she heard the whistle. Then I took her outside off lead. I’d blow the whistle and when she came (which she did right away) I’d treat her again. Did this all morning.

I’ll probably have to refresh this each day for awhile until, for her, it becomes second nature to come running at the sound of the whistle. It is for her protection and for my peace of mind.

Once again she wore herself out running around the yard.

 

Climb the ladder day…

Well, I know I shouldn’t go up and down the step ladder without someone around but I did it anyway.

First thing I did was put the globe back on the hall light where I’d taken it off when the light went out. Never did find out why, all I know is that it is working again.

The next ascent was to replace the air filter. I’d found a replacement filter in the hall closet. OMG so glad I did it, the old one was clogged, no wonder the heat was so uneven and noisy. Once I did that, the heat is running quietly and I’m getting better heat.

I also ordered new filters and subscribed so I can change them every three months as recommended. I sure as heck hadn’t done that.

I have all 3 of the estimates in for the fencing and kicked one guy, the second one, to the curb right away after checking his measurements (He was 30 feet off (less) on the measurements from the other 2 guys) and having him write the estimate to Mary, not Margaret. He doesn’t seem to be a careful sort of person.

I think I have made my choice. Price wise the first guy is a little more than guy #2 but guy 2 is the moron and Guy 3’s pictures of his fencing looked like super cheapass fencing for more $$$ than guy 1.

I’ll be calling guy 1 tomorrow to discuss hardware for the gate.

I finally unpacked the silk screen and am in the process of figuring out how to get the hangers placed right on the bedroom wall.

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More to do…

Well, made it through Jay’s birthday with a minimum of tears. I am so glad because I truly hate it when I fall into a crying jag.

It’s hard to believe that the 21st of next month marks a year he’s gone. The time both dragged and rushed by.

It’s also hard to believe how much I got done here in the new house. Just a bit more and I’ll be more amenable to getting out and about. To me the priority has been making this house my home.

I believe I’ve succeeded.

Although both my office and the guest room need some work yet.

Grandpa Hauser’s desk isn’t cutting it in the office, although I could use it as a place to sit and pay bills, I need a better space for my computer to do my writing. I may sell the desk and find something else.

The guest room has things in it I need to find homes for, like new blinds I moved with me that are too big for these windows. Two large bags of clothes for donation. Pictures that need hanging in both rooms. That sort of stuff.

However, for the most part the inside of the house is done.

Fencing is next and I already have one price quote in hand. 257 feet of it to do the entire back yard.

Life here is quiet, relaxing, and soon to be very productive.

Things I accomplished this week…

I baked some banana nut bread the other day.

I am working on riding my stationary bike and lifting weights more often.

I finally got the grill together. I had to quit at one point because it took two people to lift the main part onto the base. My neighbor came over and we got that bit together in short order. Then it was a matter of me putting the assembled shelves and door on. Next thing I need is a bottle of gas and it is ready to go.

I have 3 fencing companies coming over during the next few days to give me an estimate on doing some privacy fence in the back yard.

And I got a chapter finished on my new book.

Knowing it was Jay’s birthday on the 15th, I knew I had to keep busy.

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The new grill waiting for fencing, gas, and a cover.

It’s in pieces…

Don’t you just love it when the Fed EX delivery person tells you that the particularly heavy box they are delivering can only be left on the porch or right inside the door?

This is not the first time. But this time it is my new grill. I had to open the box and remove it piece by piece to the sun porch because there was no way this lady was lifting that box.

Most of it was easy to move. I did struggle with the main part of the grill, it was all in one piece, and weighed a ton.

Now my new grill sits on my sun porch in pieces until I either get the energy to put it together and a helper for the part where the instructions actually says it will take 2 people.

I only bought the grill this early because a. It was on sale and b. Target told me to use my card or lose it.

Also found out how fearless the squirrels are around here, Lucy almost got one while on the leash. Yep, the sucker let us walk right up to him and only took off when she went into full on prey drive.

Okay…attach casters to part C, take pieces A and B use screws (match them on the chart) to attach A and B to part C …

One more big construction project…

I’m pretty much down to putting finishing touches on the house. I have most of my pictures up on the walls. Though, there are a few I still need to hang, but those are the ones that belong in my bedroom, the guest room, my office, and the master bath.

I know, it sounds like a lot.

My next major project is to have the bath tub in the master bath removed and replace it with a large shower with a bench. I’ve begun looking at tile.

While looking at tile I am also thinking about the next project after the shower and that is the sun porch floor.

Spring will mean landscaping, raised beds for veggies, and some deer resistant trees.

Yes, we had a deer in the yard the other night. They grow them big around here. The doe was quite large.

Lucy, is a city dog. The scent of a deer in her yard was something quite new to her. I’m sort of glad she didn’t see it when it was in the yard. I can picture me being dragged off my feet and her raising hell at two a.m. We’d not be high on our neighbors’ list of favorites.

I think sometime next fall or so I’ll have new counter tops put in. The ones I have are okay for now, but they are Formica and they aren’t new.

 

Transformations

So this last year has been all about the transformation of my life.

In one day I went from wife to widow.

In 5 months I went from living in Pennsylvania to living in Georgia. I bought a house, I added on to it. I bought new furniture, rugs, etc. And made it my home.

In 6 months I’d made a bunch of new friends.

In 10 months I have found contentment, some joy, and peace of mind.

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A busy day…but…

Since I moved to Georgia and all the pressure of being a caregiver (very little to no sleep nightly, stress, dealing with a man who changed radically from Mr. Nice Guy to Not so nice) is gone, I find that getting a good night’s sleep has me up early.

Today was one of those wake up early feeling refreshed and knowing I had things to do day.

Today I had to get papers notarized to send to PA for the settlement on my house. Yes, it has sold.

My neighbor joined me, since one paper needed a witness to sign it, and having her along helps me discover all sorts of ways to get around the town.

First stop was my bank for a notary…nope, they don’t deal in property things anymore. I was sent to the local library.

The head librarian is a notary. She went through my paperwork and found some things that needed to be fixed before we could sign. I went home, fortunately a mere 2 minutes away.

A phone call later things were fixed. So we thought. Back we went. She found another paper that needed fixing. Back home we went. Got that fixed and back to the library. Yay papers all signed.

Next stop LUNCH. We were both starved by then. My neighbor directed me to a lovely little seafood place where we ate enough to make us groan.

Next we ran the paperwork over to the post office and got it mailed off Priority next day mail. Not that it’ll get there tomorrow but probably Wednesday.

Two stops more and we were home.

Now this is where, if you are one of my Author friends, you will see that I spent a lot of time at my new library today. I got to meet the head librarian (a smart cookie.) I also had plenty of time to talk to her. I talked about your books, conferences, and you.

So here’s the deal my friends. This library could use your books. It looks newly built and sparsely supplied. If you could send a book or two of yours, get people hooked on your books, there’s another market down here for you.

Also any of you wonderful Author friends of mine who happen to be in Atlanta area sometime for any reason…she’d love to have you do book signings here. I have a spare room and fully stocked wine cooler too.

Love you all!