This year

June 14th, 2019

Big long introspective post ahead, fair warning.

I have dubbed this year my “year of doing shit that scares me.” Starting last summer (well, really the year before, but more intensely last summer) I started putting myself out there.

In my relationships, my friendships, my whole damn life. I quit doing so many things I loved when I was younger when I met Tony.

Not blaming him, it’s my own neuroses. I didn’t write much for a time. I quit singing, I quit acting, I quit friendships, I quit so many things.

And, I became afraid of them. I grew a fear of being on stage, being in front of people, showing my art, whether it be my writing, my photography, or the painting (I am not back to that, yet, it’s coming.)

I grew afraid of making connections with people and kept all my relationships on a superficial level.

So much of who I really am I subsumed to who I thought I had to be.

Then a couple things happened and I realized I was supremely unhappy with who I had become, what I was doing, or not doing, and things had to change.

I’m working on these things that scare me. Last September I walked (rolled, smartasses who are reading this, #gimplife) into choir rehearsal having no idea if it would be a good place for me. I quickly learned that it truly was a home for me.

These women and men accepted me and became my choir family. In January of this year when I had a meltdown getting to Thursday rehearsal night is what kept me going each week.

I cried every week at rehearsal for two months. The music choices were cathartic and beautiful and needed.

I finally made it all the way through one song, for the first time with no issues, at our second show. That is how much this song affected me.

Earlier this week I was cast in Charlotte’s Web with the Colonial Beach Playhouse. (Thank you, Sher Lee.) Again, something I was afraid of doing.

But, I did it. I carried my ass in there and tried. It has been a long time since I did this, but I can learn to act again. (If anyone wants to see my favorite show I did, I have Youtube links to where I did Grease in high school.)

I formalized the photography business(I am booking sessions now and I am cheap, come get your pictures taken.)

In the fall I am flying for the first time as an adult. I am terrified of it, but I am doing it.

This morning someone who I admire so much paid me the compliment that I seem so much happier than when I started with the choir.

I am.

Oh, boy, am I so much happier than last year. Or earlier this year.

I know that won’t always be, I deal with depression and anxiety but the situational things are getting better.

I am working on me. I will continue to work on me.

I will do things that make me happy. No more not doing things because they might be scary or hard. Life’s short. I’m not getting any younger.

Let’s do this.



A moment of joy

December 10th, 2018

I have been open about my struggle with depression recently. I have openly talked about dealing with depression throughout my adult life. It is tough, some days are worse than others, but I keep fighting through it.

The last couple months have been some of the toughest depression wise. It has been weighing on me. That doesn’t mean I don’t laugh or have moments of joy. I do, but the darkness has been my companion.

Each week my saving grace has been, “Get to Thursday, get to choir practice day.” I have. When things are at their lowest, I get to Thursday.

I get to go sing, I get to do something that is solely for me. I get to spend time with the wonderful women and men of Connexion Chamber Choir.

Now, I have to work at singing. It has been 24 years since I was in a choir. I have to practice a lot and really work at it.

The work though, the practicing at home, at rehearsal, in my car, as I scoot around town, is worth it to me. There were still spots that I just didn’t have the notes last night, but that’s okay.

Yesterday evening, as we walked into the church to line up and there was a packed crowd, I was in awe. It was cold and snowing really hard, yet, our friends, our families, our fellow Colonial Beachers came out to see us sing.

As we walked (okay, I rolled,) into the performance singing, joy spread over me. True joy. I was happy and for a few minutes, the depression melted away.

During one particular part of “In the Bleak Midwinter,” I got the tingle as our amazing choir director, Benjamin, would say. It was just beautiful and I actually looked out at the crowd for a moment and they were all enthralled and it was glorious.

After we processed, the compliments were so fantastic. The only complaint (besides the weather) was that our program wasn’t long enough. How fantastic is that?

I want to thank my choir family for all the joy, and getting me through the weeks. You all are astounding. We have come so far as a group in just a few months. (I saw a short video of just part of “Glow” and we sounded pretty dang good.)

Thank you to my husband for taking pictures. He isn’t as aggressive as I am, but they looked good on the back of the camera.

Thank you, Benjamin, for starting this group and allowing me to join even though it had been many years since I had done this.

Thank you, Mom(Ruthi,) Nicole, Tracey, Tony, for coming out to support me.



Tattoos and Memories

December 4th, 2018

In figuring out the next of my tattoos I got to thinking about how I want a piece of the lyrics from “A Long Time Ago” by Jim Croce as part of them. Tony has “…in the gold of morning” engraved on the inside of his wedding band so that will be the portion inscribed on me.

I haven’t decided where yet, I’m almost out of arm space with the inner right being reserved for my next piece, the left inner wrist for another piece, and well, that’s about it. I have a huge piece planned for my chest, over my shoulders, and across my back, but there is plenty other space there.

My brain went to over my heart, but is that too much of a cliche? I mean, it’s bad enough I want song lyrics, even if it is a song that has been our song for 22 years, but over the heart?

Or maybe the left shoulder blade. For some reason, that seems right and it shouldn’t interfere with the planned collar piece. Typically, once it settles and feels right, that is what I go with. My right arm began as, oh, just some hippie daisies, no black outline and ended up being the full arm of them. They suit me and it was just felt right.

My Wonder Woman piece was more of a collaboration. I knew I wanted the W symbol on me. Wonder Woman and the symbolism behind her mean a lot to me. The watercolor design was because Brad is just amazing at it and I enjoy being tattooed by him.

Seriously, he is wonderful to talk to, intelligent, great taste in music, just enjoyable. His shop is what modern tattoo shops are starting to become. Light, airy, beautiful, easy to sit in and enjoy.

As a 40-something woman, his shop is much more of a joy to go into rather than so many other shops. While there is another shop in Fredericksburg that I trust (and is where my flowers actually originally began) I am not as comfortable elsewhere.

My Star Wars piece was more, I want stars and Star Wars, with that symbol, but not the typical piece, and Brad ran with it.

The same with the latest piece, four stars, set on my arm like my flowers on the other arm, pulling in those colors. I wanted more stars, watercolor, and different than what I see on everyone else.

Back to song lyrics though. I want them done, I just need it to settle on what kind of font and what it should look like. It will happen.

So, a question for you all if you made it this far. Is there any song that you would ever get lyrics from on you? Or a song that has lyrics that just mean a lot to you?

Your song, if you are coupled? Throupled?

Here is the song in question. Short, simple. The last song we danced to at our reception. At the time it felt like it was too private to be our first dance song. It still is just the perfect song for us.

A Long Time Ago


10 years

December 2nd, 2018
I almost missed it. Late yesterday evening I remembered it was 10 years ago that I had my nephrectomy. 10 whole years is pretty damn amazing.
My life is so different now that it was 10 years ago. I don’t mean in the major ways. I’m still married to the same man, still live in the same area (albeit in a different house,) still have the same lifelong friends.
But, so many other things are different. I am so much more self-assured. I have embraced my 40s and I’m happy about who I am.
In 2008, I was much less likely to tell you how I felt about things. Now, I pretty much lay my feelings out. You don’t like it? You’ll get over it.
Life is too short to not take chances. I faced down the possibility of dying from cancer, the real risk of dying on the table during my nephrectomy, at 33.
I put my feelings out there. Sometimes it blows up in my face, but I’m tough, I pull it together.
I love harder now. I tell my friends I love them. Between the cancer bullshit and losing people, I need people to know they are loved. You never know if you will have tomorrow to tell them.
About the time ten years ago they were wheeling me into my room, I was on the municipal pier tonight waiting for the boat parade with one sister, and three of her children.
I was getting hugs from the kids and happy even though it was cold out there.
Katie was only a Mom of two back then. Boo was a baby. Two of her kids I would have never met.
10 years is so long. In the average lifetime, that is almost 1/7 of a life.
I have become stronger, made so many amazing friends all over the country, and the world.
I became a photographer (literally, I didn’t take many pictures 10 years ago, Tony always had the camera. Nor did I have an idea I would have won two VPAs.) I was still years away from buying my first DSLR.
10 years and a few hours into the next day.

Well Hello End of 2018

November 12th, 2018

Wow, I have neglected this site so much this year. Sorry folks, when you are writing for multiple entities for a living you don’t often have the time, or words, for personal stuff.

I’d like that to change. I write on Facebook quite often, today was one of those days where I poured my heart out all over it over my depression issues. It’s a fact of life, I suffer from depression.

I have been medicated in the past for it, I will very likely need medication again. Right now there is no depression medication in my life. That could change tomorrow. We’ll see then. For today, the little bitch I call “darkness” has been sent to the corner for the night.

I am blessed with so many friends who have my back from my oldest friends to my newest I have so many people that are truly friends. They have my back, they boost my spirits, they light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.

The worst part of all this is I just had such a great vacation away from here with my KoLumbus friends, but now the little bitch is having a staring contest with me. I won’t let her win, but man, she is a damn persistent little thing.

Last night I dove into the shower and sat there with the water running over me for a long time. Water has always been one of my answers when I am sad like this. Either immersing myself in it or watching it. Right now it is too cold and rainy to enjoy the river so the shower it is.

In fact, I think I am heading there now.

So, an entry before Holidailies happens. I got this.