Saturday, December 30, 2017

How Does He Do That?

Yesterday was a real bad day. I don't know if it was because of the gloomy weather or the change in medication, but I was holding my daughter's picture and sobbing.

My phone rang. It was my hubby.

"What happened? Are you alright?"

"Yes", I answered. "I'm fine. Everything is ok. I'll text you when I see your work schedule for tomorrow."

I tried to pull myself together but it wasn't working. I posted on Facebook "Today is one of those days..." I wrote in the online support group. I cried some more.

Hubby called me three times from work, worried about me. He never calls me from work, or very rarely. How does he know?

Other than the tears, the only other news was my endo doc's nurse called. The doc switched my thyroid medicine to 88, because 75 was too low and 100 is too high. I also have a pill to take at 11 pm, whenever I'm sure I can get to the lab at 8 am the next morning. It's called Dexamethasone. It is a corticosteroid, similar to a natural hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It often is used to replace this chemical when the body does not make enough of it. In my case, it will be used to diagnose why my Cortisol level is elevated.

The sun is shining and I'm not crying. I'm feeling better. Hubby is off tomorrow and Monday. We always look forward to time spent together. Too bad it will be colder than snot.

Several of my Facebook friends are sick. I do hope they recover and feel better so they can ring in the New Year.

Best Wishes to Everyone and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sort of a Good Time

We buzzed down to Indiana on Saturday and enjoyed dinner with my daughter, her hubby and two of their friends. It was a fancy restaurant. The food was good, however I wasn't thrilled with what I ordered. We stayed at my daughter's through Christmas. I was great to see her and her hubby and his kids. What made it a "sort of a good time" was my heavy heart. It really hit me when we were on the way home. Driving past the area where my daughter was buried, driving past the old neighborhood where I raised her....I didn't feel better until we crossed into Wisconsin.

I saw my doctor on Wednesday. My thyroid is low (again), so my medicine is getting adjusted up. I've been tired, depressed and gaining weight. I'm up to 160, which is a shock. I haven't been that heavy in years. My doc said one of my medicines is notorious for causing weight gain. Well, that could explain it, as I am not eating like I was when I was beginning this new life, learning to live without my daughter.

My doc wants to change my medicine, but oh joy of joys....Medicare has very few Tier 1 diabetes medicines. A couple are Tier 2 and the rest are 3 or 4. What that means is most of them are going to cost hundreds of dollars per month. I refuse to ding our savings and max out our income unless it is absolutely necessary. My husband would do anything for me, pay anything, but then we will have nothing. I'm trying to find a reasonable-cost alternative here. GoodRX? Company subsidies? thought I could use them? Buhahahahahaha, sorry, welcome to the real world. I'm on Medicare. Yes, I have Medigap insurance and a Part D drug plan. No coupons. No GoodRX. Nope...not allowed. Subsidies from drug companies? My husband works and makes money for us to buy groceries and pay rent and put money into savings so he can visit his elderly parents in Europe. "Need help paying for your medicine?" Nope...don't qualify. So, basically I'm married and not poor enough for help. If I become destitute then everything is free. But because we are struggling middle class, I am in the "nope" class.

Enough of all that depressing stuff. I'm going to start the higher dosage of  thyroid medicine tomorrow. Judging from past experience, I should start to feel better in 2 or 3 days. It will probably pick up my mood as well as my energy. I seriously need that. I really want to enter the new year feeling better.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Forward: March!

In more ways than one. Little by little I am finding it easier to look forward, and of course, we are both looking forward to our new apartment in March.

I knew I had to do this grief journey without medicine. I gave birth to my younger daughter without any medication. Grieving her loss has been a million times more painful. Yesterday I found some drawings she did in school. I was able to smile. I also found my letters to my mom that my mom kept. I even found some from my daughter to her grandma. I cherish these memories.

Last Saturday hubby and I were out and about. We stopped by the apartment to look for progress, and were happy to see the siding going up.

Front side of our building

Out apartment is on this corner on the other side, the scenic side, with a view of Holy Hill and the sunrise and sunset, and no power lines, no power lines, no freakin damn power lines!

So, you may be wondering....why did we choose to rent after hoping to buy for so long. Well, several reasons. For one, we no longer needed a three bedroom home. We were still planning to move forward with a two bedroom condo when my thoughts turned back to the apartments we visited earlier this year. It just makes sense right now. It has all the amenities of a condo without the fees, plus heat is free (or included in the rent---however you want to look at it). It has a spectacular view, something none of the condos in our price range have. We won't have to pay PMI insurance (for not having 20% down), nor dump all our savings into a down payment, freeing hubby to visit his parents and for us to buy another car before mine becomes completely unreliable. In addition, if things change, we can move.

So, I brought all my thoughts up to my hubby. We talked it over, drove back to the apartment complex to take a look, and we both immediately knew the corner apartment was what we were looking for. 

So now I have something to look forward to. Besides the view, we will have all new appliances, including a dishwasher and a full-size washer and dryer in the unit. With two bedrooms, I will have room to do some projects, like go through all my photos for a start. We also intend to furnish it as a guest room. In summer we can swim in the heated swimming pool, and we can use the Clubhouse and Fitness Center any time we want. I will also have south east and southwest windows for my plants, with window sills!

It will have a garage, but not a basement, so some of the plants I have in the basement here will need to stay until spring. I'm looking forward to having a patio, with a yard. 

Here is what I have in the basement. They were previously outside, so I expect they may have sleeping bugs eww! I will deal with them in the spring and figure out what to do next fall.

I hope anyone reading this enjoys the holiday with family and friends. We have something in the plans. Catch you on the flip side!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter Blaas

It's nighttime when my hubby leaves for work and nighttime when he comes home. If he didn't look outside on break he could easily forget he is working days and not nights. I've been moody, which is normal for me when it's dark and gloomy. I have been cheering myself up by watching Netflix. I have been doing some cleaning. My goal is to reduce the number of storage bins with stuff in them so I have empty ones for when we go through the storage room downstairs. Today I had a meltdown. I was going through my daughter's things. Need I say more? I was able to collect myself and finish the job. I now have one empty bin.

We are getting the car fixed this Friday. The front struts need to be replaced. Next week we will head back down to Indiana for some family time.

I saw my Endocrinologist doctor on December 1st. I told him about my daughter. The sad thing is that what he was testing me for is the very thing that killed my daughter. I seem to be ok, but because she had a huge tumor that produced too much thyroid hormone and she hid her symptoms and didn't ask for help and since she was living paycheck to paycheck she couldn't even FREAKIN AFFORD help and especially not the pricey services of an endo doc and since she was trying to be self-sufficient, well, she died. All my health care is covered 100% by Medicare plus a 0-deductible medigap insurance I bought in California. My daughter had insurance through Walmart, but she would have needed to pay $45 to see a general practitioner and waaay more to see a specialist, and any surgery would have had thousands of dollars in deductibles and co-pays. How may loved ones have I lost from our f*cked up medical insurance here in the USA? Uhhh, the count is up to 4 now.

I belong to an online support group for parents who have lost a child, of any age. Some are babies who have died shortly after birth. Some children die from accidents, some from suicide, some from long illnesses from which they cannot recover from even with the help of doctors, and....some die from undiagnosed diseases which they choose to ignore, or don't seek treatment for. Several mothers have written they had found their 40 or 50-something year old child dead in bed, or in a chair, or like, me, on a couch. There is no denying the personal hell we are all walking through, the "what-ifs, the guilt, the regrets. I am convinced more accessible medical care could save lives.

My endo doc said my daughter's condition was treatable. He was really sorry.

End of rant.

It's been snowing all day. It's 5:40 pm and dark as night. I'm looking forward to longer days and the new apartment. I better get back to doing some dishes. I might bake some cornbread.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Yes! An Interesting Day

I didn't explain very much yesterday. The reason we were looking to break our lease is because the apartment complex we are looking to move to is having a 2 months free rent special that was supposed to end December 31st. We found out today that the offer is being extended into next year. Our lease is up on March 1st.

We looked at several two bedroom apartments. We really liked a first floor apartment that was facing the pond, except the sun was reflecting off the water directly into my eyes. It was so bad I was getting a headache. No way. We decided we did not want to be facing the pond.

Another apartment was upstairs. It had a nice view, but it was facing north. That meant no sun. We did not want to be facing north.

We looked at one facing west. It was near the highway. The view was good but we could hear the traffic. I lived next to the expressway in Indiana and we live next to a not quite as busy highway here. We are tired of traffic.

We looked at a small two bedroom apartment with an attached garage. The apartment was too small and the view was looking directly into the windows of the building across from it.

I was afraid we were running out of options. There is one final building under construction with the expected occupancy date of March 1st. We went upstairs and looked at the one facing the parking lot. The view was good. We talked about the balcony with the property manager. The balconies are all the same size, and we figure two people could sit there but three would be a crowd and four or more would be impossible. We decided to look at the first floor units. The least expensive one faced the parking lot. Cars would be parked a mere 6 feet from the patio. We decided to look at the one facing the field.

>>>This is it!!!<<<

The patio, the views, all perfect! The floor plan is the same as the one we liked facing the pond.

We told the manager we wanted that one, so she prepared the papers for us. We went home to fill them out, print supporting documents, write an earnest money check, and then brought them in. We should hear in a couple days if we are accepted. To be continued....

....We are accepted! 

It's still under construction

My view!!! Looking southeast....Sunrises and NO POWER LINES

And we have side windows in the bedrooms! I can see the sunsets, too!!!! This is looking southwest.

No power lines
No power lines
No power lines!!!
Sunrises and sunsets!
That's going to be some dark sky at night and you know what that means...Stars!!!!

There might be an issue with dust from the farmland but the farmers aren't in the fields all the time and there is some distance between the fields and the complex.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sorting It All Out

In order to break our lease, responsibly, we need to find a new tenant to move in on our heels. We might have one, but he needs to fill out an application and be approved. We need to do the same.

Tomorrow hubby will talk to his friend. He knew his friend was wanting to move here, but it wasn't until we talked to the property manager that we found out he actually wanted to move in December.

Even with all the uncertainty, we plan to look at apartments together. Hubby was saying something about trees. I'm looking for a sunny window. Tomorrow might be an interesting day.

A few days ago hubby and I went for a walk. The weather was mild and sunny, and dry. It's been very dry. We need rain or snow. I took a couple pictures I just love. This is near the end of our 2 mile walk, near the entrance of the campground.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Well, That's a New Direction

My mind keeps wandering back to Oriole Ponds Apartments. With amenities equal to a condo, with no condo fee, and free heat, it's looking better and better. Today hubby and I talked, and weighed the difference between a condo and an apartment. I explained that to me, a condo is just like living in an apartment, but you buy it, so why buy one when we can rent? We are going to take a second look at Oriole Ponds on my hubby's next day off.

Oriole Ponds Apartments

We want 2 bedrooms, and I want a view.

In other news, we have taken some awesome hikes at Pike Lake. Pictures need to wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Broken Life

Some days I think I have it "together", other days I cry. Mostly it just sucks to be me and I put on a happy face for people who love me. At times I would like to think that my daughter is aware of me and other times I think it's better if she just sleeps until the Resurrection, because what daughter would want to know that their death broke their mother?

Last night my hubby went to visit his friends and stop by the store. I forgot I set my phone to vibrate and then I forgot it on the end table and didn't hear him call me SEVEN TIMES. He came home frantic, and angry because he was frantically worried. He forgave me, of course, and I felt really bad for putting him through that.

I had one good day this week so far. I happily cleaned and cooked. Friday and this weekend will be good. Hubby is off Friday and my older daughter and her hubby's kids are driving up for the weekend. My hubby and her hubby both have mandatory overtime on Saturday, so my daughter's hubby is driving up after work. We are having an early Thanksgiving dinner Saturday night, and leftovers on Sunday, before they need to return home.

It has been mentioned to me about getting counselling. I can find nothing in my Medicare benefits about that, except for Hospice, or for being hospitalized. There is a psychologist in town, a man. What is a man going to know about a mother loosing a child? Only a mother who has lost a child can understand a mother who has lost a child. Hold your breath. Unless you are a mother who has lost a child, you wouldn't understand. Period. Besides, I'm pretty sure my benefits won't cover it.

In spite of it all, yesterday I got a few things done, and I plan to get off the computer and get more done today. I have the rest of today plus 2 more days to get ready for company. They will be very welcome. I laugh a lot with them, me and hubby, both.

Tomorrow is supposed to be nice. My neighbor across the hall and I hope to go for a walk.

Hubby's work is going well. Did I mention he got a raise? He's also training to be an Operator! The other day the big boss did a surprise safety check inspection, and my hubby got "caught" with a perfectly clean, safe and well-maintained work area. The boss gave him an "atta boy" and shook his had, wrote him up as GOOD. Everyone else in the room had stuff like pop cans and tools strewn around and out of place, so they all got written up as BAD. Sometimes it pays to be slightly OCD.

Ok, it's time for me to get some stuff done, and I'm feeling better.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Before I got on facebook I used to keep in touch with my friends through email (who would have thought!!) Anyway, once in awhile I would write a "Stuff" email, just a conglomerate of whatever was going on. Stuff sounds good for today.

I'm backing up my computer, so I'm typing on a straight keyboard. My hands hurt already. I like hubby's computer. It has a big monitor. We are going to share it for awhile. I can always plug in my ergonomic keyboard.

We are having another run of gloomy weather. Last night, about 6:30, we were bored and decided to go shopping at Meijers in West Bend. Suddenly we found ourselves in fog. It was an adventure. I was keeping an eye out for deer. We made it there and back home safely.

I like shopping with my hubby. We have fun, unlike when I shop alone and I'm in tears by the time I get back into the car.

I ordered some Lithops. They haven't arrived yet. Waiting.....will share pictures when they arrive.

Hubby needs to visit his family next year. His brothers will try to meet up with him for a big family get together. He hasn't seen his older brother in 10 years and his parents and middle brother since 2014. Hubby has been working overtime and packing away the savings, both for his trip and for a down payment on something next year.

"Something next year".....not sure....condo, duplex, small single family. Houses are darn expensive up here. Example, my daughter in Indiana is trying to sell her house. She and her hubby did a total upgrade, everything is move-in perfect, and it has an acre of land. It is $50,000 cheaper than anything comparable up here.

Back to my computer...going through my pictures, making sure I have them all backed up. I am so sad now. There is no "getting over" or "letting go" of my daughter, only learning to live with the loss. It still hurts like hell.

I have been told so many different things by different people. I have had a few (very few) unusual, or if I may say so, spiritual experiences. I don't like to talk about them much. Maybe another time. One was when my dad died. I talked to a minister. He poo pooed my experience as emotional stress and basically hogwash. Some years later a different minister thought it was God's way of calling me into the Church. I have been told that my deceased loved ones sleep until the Resurrection. I have been told they live in a parallel Universe. I have been told their spirit lives in my heart. I have been told they watch over me and are aware of me grieving for them. I have had things happen that nobody ever told me would happen, but when I investigated, found out others had similar experiences. At least amidst all this conflict my husband has been the one understanding and supporting person I can rely on. Oh, and my older daughter, if it wasn't for her and my husband I might not have made it through the first month, or at least it felt like it.

I think my hands are done with this keyboard for today. My computer is backed up. We want to open it and clean it before I format and reinstall.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Gone Too Long

I haven't felt like writing much. Must be the shorter days, the gloomy weather, the loneliness of missing my daughter, and maybe my thyroid is low again. I've been feeling chilled and tired. Or maybe it's depression. Heck, who knows.

My dear hubby has been working all the overtime he can get. That makes for a lot of 12 hour shifts. He has goals, we have goals. When he's off he takes me for coffee or shopping. Today the driver's side door handle broke off. We already had to replace the rear one last winter. I called the repair shop. Everything is on file, so it was easy for them to order another. It gets repaired on Tuesday. Until then we need to open the driver side door from the passenger side. Oh fun.

I've taken some nice pictures of the fall leaves. One afternoon as hubby and I were walking in West Bend I asked him how to say "leaf" in Albanian. Apparently there is more than one name, but "fletë" was my favorite (fletë rhymes with bet, sort of, and a little bit with's the accent).

"Fletë," I said, "Look at all the fletës!"

Immediately we both laughed. "I can't put an "s" on it in Albanian, can I?" I asked.

"No," hubby answered, amused.

" to I say leaves?"


One of these days I need to ask how to say the whole sentence.

Sometimes I can get him to talk in German. He is fluent. German cracks me up. It's so commanding.


Friday, October 6, 2017

A Poem

Yesterday I wrote a poem, placed it on a stock photo from my graphics program, and shared it. In case I ever need evidence that I wrote it, here is the poem, written by me.

Cloudy days and Autumn leaves
Take me back in time
I imagine we are walking,
Laughing all the time
Let me stay here in denial
And pretend you are alive
I'll be OK, I need to dream
Just for a little while.

Remembering Christine by Candy (Last name)

Apparently it has touched a lot of hearts in the grief support group I belong to, and people are asking to share it. I said yes, just give me credit.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Staying Here for Now

The job in Ixonia was bad. 13 hours, thirteen on a dusty roof in the sun with NO BREAK and NO LUNCH. (He did have water with him)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Few Updates

I've been spending most of my time on Facebook. I guess the one thing I like about a blog is that I can actually go back and find the posts, whereas things tend to "disappear" over time on Facebook.. Today I will give you some updates.

I got my new Lithops in the mail. They came bare root. They also came with names! Left to right: Lithops Lesliei Albinicia, Lithops fulviceps aurea, and Lithops julii fulleri

Here they are potted up.

Lithops fulviceps aurea and Lithops Lesliei Albinicia

 Lithops julii fulleri

I also found the names of my other Lithops. The reddish brown ones are Lithops bromfieldii and the gray-green one to the far right is Lithops salicola.

So now onto other news. I have been giving away my duplicates in anticipation of winter. I have made three new collectors happy with a modest gift to each. My winter plans were the same as last year, the inside plants stay inside and the outside plants go into the basement. However, this might need to change.

My hubby has been job searching for some time because the company he works for pays low. The problem is Hartford is a metal fabricating town, and my hubby has no experience with metals, or machine shops. The other problem is companies are not willing to train. He could have picked up one of two other types of work, but neither offered benefits nor enough overtime to compensate for the only slightly higher wages with no benefits.

As it turned out, one of my hubby's friends from work found a job in another town, about an hour away, with good pay, benefits and overtime, and they guy is still hiring. The boss offered to let my hubby work for him on his days off from his current job, to make sure he likes it. If all goes well, then I think we will be moving to Watertown. 

Watertown is bigger than Hartford, about the same as West Bend. I'm not attached to Hartford, but I'm settled. I have a decent neighbor and some plants in pots outside which I was planning to winter over in the well-lit basement. We were planning to stay here until next year and then buy a condo in Hartford. With the new, pending plans, I probably won't have a place to overwinter the outside plants, meaning I will need to AGAIN leave collections behind, or re-home them. 

I have been looking at apartments online. Ixonia (where the job is located) has three complexes with no vacancies. Of course, that could change. Two of them look nice, but when there are no vacancies, there are often no prices posted. Watertown is eight miles west and has quite a few apartments and a portion of them look nice, but very few have patios or balconies. 

So, I guess the best thing to do is try not to get stressed and start packing. Besides, how could I miss out living in a place named Watertown (even though there are a dozen Watertowns in the US), or even Ixonia.

Bruce Hornsby, The Range ~ "Every Little Kiss" 

"Way out here, working on the docks
Everyone sees the long day through
Well, what would I do without the nights and the phone
And the chance just to talk to you

Whoa, what would I do now
Hey, just to talk to you
A thousand miles away, hey hey

What I wouldn't give for only one night
A little relief in sight
Someday when times weren't so tight

When the day goes down on water town
When the sun sinks low all around
That's when I know I, I need you now
Yes, you're what I miss, every little kiss
Every little one, every little one

Everybody here's a number, not a name
But I guess it's all right with me
As I sit alone, after a long day
In the absence of company

Whoa, I let my mind wander
A thousand miles away hey hey

What I wouldn't give for only one night
A little relief in sight
Someday when times weren't so tight

When the day goes down on water town
When the sun sinks low all around
That's when I know I, I need you now
Yes, you're what I miss, every little kiss
Every little one, every little one

What I wouldn't give for only one night
A little relief in sight
Someday when times weren't so tight
When the day goes down on water town
When the sun sinks low all around
That's when I know I, I need you now
Yes you're what I miss, every little kiss
Every little one, every little one

What I wouldn't give for only one night
A little relief in sight
Someday when times weren't so tight

When the day goes down on water town
When the sun sinks low all around
That's when I know I, I need you now
Yes, you're what I miss, every little kiss
Every little one, every little one."

Saturday, September 9, 2017


My plants are good therapy for me. I have collected a few more Haworthia and just ordered 3 new Lithops. In case you aren't familiar with them, here are some pictures and links. In my last post I showed you my two new Haworthia that I bought at Aldi. Here are all my Haworthia plants together.

And I promised a picture showing the windows on the leaves. This is Haworthia "Grey Ghost".

I also enjoy Mimicry plants. Here are my Living Stones (Lithops) and two others, Titanopsis calcareum and Aloinopsis luckhoffii

A closer view of the red Lithops, with gathered pebbles from Lake Michigan

Here are some Lithops I lost a few years ago. I made the mistake of watering them. Some people do water them, but it must be at the right time and they must be in super fast draining soil. The green one with the circle around it is one I just ordered online, because I love the green and always wanted it back. The Lithops in the clay pot lived for several years and multiplied into 4 bodies with just an occasional misting. They died when I watered them.

Update on the succulents next time.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Things Are Getting Easier

Finally I feel like I can live again. My daughter's death certificate should be released soon, if not today. I might have it in hand by next week.

I've been playing with my plants and taking walks with hubby on his days off. The other day we took our neighbors for ice cream. They live across the hall from us. We had a nice time.

We still dream of buying a house. It may be an impossible dream. Prices keep escalating.

Not a lot to write about right now.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Boat on Denial

It worked as a form of relief, until I "fell off", then I felt like I was drowning. Last night was bad. Today at Walmart was bad. I kept imagining my daughter there, I could "see" her in my mind. I panicked. I held back tears and hurried to finish shopping. It's hard to drive with tears running down your face. My trigger today was probably a sky full of beautiful clouds. She would have been taking pictures.

I made it home, brought in the groceries and washed my eyes. Then I went to Aldi. It's easier there, because she and I were only there together once or twice. And they had mini succulents. My drug. I bought two Haworthia.

The bottom one has "windows" on its leaves, which are clear, to allow light inside the leaf. I will try to get a better picture.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Still Here, Still Hard

I haven't been writing much, because, well, how many times can I write about grief. No, I'm not "over it", but coping is beginning to happen more often. There are too many memories here, at this apartment complex. Have no idea when we will be able to move. I'm trying to keep busy. It doesn't always work.

The sun is noticeably changing position in the sky. August...mid summer, soon to be late summer, then fall. I love the change of seasons, yet the changes make me emotional, and vulnerable. With my daughter gone and my hubby working 12 hour shifts, that leaves me a lot of alone time to sulk, eat and otherwise sabotage my health. I spend a lot of time online, talking to people, friends, relatives, the succulent group, but then I'm just sitting. I don't like to walk alone. It would be nice to have a dog to walk. Nothing really good is happening here at this apartment complex. Too many memories.

My husband helps all he can. He takes me places, we talk, he tries to keep me positive. He hugs me when I cry and acknowledges how hard it is. It's not easy consoling a mother who has lost a child. It is a non-fixable, painful, sometimes debilitating situation. I am happy to report that when hubby and I are together, I am for the most part cheerful, and for that we are very grateful. I could never ask for a more loving and understanding man.

Each time we visited my daughter's grave I found it incredulous that I was standing there talking to the ground. "Why am I talking to the dirt? My daughter should be standing her talking to us!" I cried. Hubby said, "I know, I know, it's not right." We set flowers in metal holders and added bottled water. Hubby weeded the bare earth (do they even put down grass seed? I paid for perpetual care). I looked around the cemetery, knowing full well it was impossible, but hoping to see my daughter walking somewhere.

Sometimes when things become bad I write in the online grief support group I joined. I always receive support, answers, and suggestions to cope. One of the questions in the support group was, "Do you have a grief counselor?" The answers were surprising. Quite a few said yes. Some said they had been getting counseling and medication for years. Others said they tried but couldn't find a counselor who understood them. "Only someone who has lost a child can understand the scope of grief of someone who has lost a child." Others said they tried medication and had bad side effects, so they stopped taking it. Others said no counseling and no medication.

One day I started playing a mind game with myself. I decided to pretend that my daughter is still alive and just away, and that's why I haven't heard from her. I started to feel better, but then I began to worry about my state of mind. So I posted on the group:

"Does anyone go into denial, I mean, on purpose, just to be able to get through the day without feeling so horribly sad, crushed, soul shattered? Sometimes I pretend my daughter is just far away, back in Australia or something and that's why I don't hear from her. I know it's not true."

I've gotten 50 answers, 95% saying, yes, as a coping method, denial gives them a break from the pain, and in fact, going in an out of denial was mentioned by several as an approved way to cope from their experiences in support groups.

So, denial it is. On a boat on denial, it's more than a river in Africa.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Gaining on a Slippery Slope

I fell a few times, emotionally, into the deep pit of despair. I contacted a friend. She talked me through it, let me cry on her virtual shoulder, because, well, she is in another state. Hubby had gone to work, and I was alone. But for the most part, I've been OK, even in the evening when I'm alone.

Shopping where my daughter worked is tough. I have a dark cloud over my head when I'm there, a strange sense of foreboding, even when I'm trying not to remember. Today a song came on the radio at the store and I panicked. I hurried to the garden center and told myself to breathe. And then I looked at flowers. And then all I could do is imagine her talking about them.

I went back in the store. The song was over. I hurried to finish so I could go home.

Hubby and I have been doing things on his days off. We visited a zoo just north of West Bend. They have golf carts for rent. We had been wanting to drive one again ever since my daughter in Indiana got married. The reception was at a golf course club house, and we got to drive the golf carts to a location on the course for photos. It was a heap of fun. When we arrived at the zoo and noticed they have carts we wanted to rent one. It was a very enjoyable 2 hours.

I am so thankful for my hubby and my older daughter, and yes, my Internet friends.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Breathing Again

I think I made it through the valley of the shadow of death, because that's what it felt like. I crawled out the other side broken, with pain down my back and in my chest every time I took a deep breath. I guess that can happen with the depth of my grief and the fact that I pretty much cried every day for 36 days. My hubby kept trying to tell me to stop grieving because I was making myself sick. More than once he wanted to take me to the ER. If I thought I had heart attack symptoms I surly would have gone. At first I thought, "Who cares, at least if I died I could see her again." And then I realized that was too permanent and not a good solution, so then I worried that I actually would die of a broken heart, like Debbie Reynolds when Carrie Fisher died.

Reading some comprehensive articles about grief helped me come to terms with it. Understanding that my scary thoughts were pretty normal helped. Knowing that I wasn't actually going to physically do something dangerous helped me to realize that I was just going through a horrible process. It also helped me to understand that my grief is a process that is dynamic and changing, and as long as it was changing then I am doing OK, because eventually the change will be to the better, and if not, if I get stuck, then I know to get help.

I see my doctor tomorrow. My chest is still a bit congested. I want her to check me out.

Going back to Harrington Beach was a turning point. It was the last nature walk with my daughter, on May 5, 2017, 26 days before she died. Hubby and I decided to go last Saturday. It was sunny and pleasant. Hubby was about halfway there when he noticed tears rolling down my face. He almost turned around to go home. I told him "No, let me work through this, I will be OK by the time we get there." He had doubts, but I was OK and we enjoyed our walk.

Yesterday I was able to look at my daughter's former apartment and I was OK. I was able to talk about her without tears.

The new friends I found at the showing didn't pan out. We are friends on Facebook, and we say "Hi" at Walmart, but that's about it. I understand. I'm not my daughter. I couldn't replace her in their lives. They can't replace her in mine, nor did I expect them to. It would have been nice to have some friends, but right now grief is in the way. People just want to get on with their lives, they don't want reminders. I have Facebook friends. I have my husband. I have my daughter in Indiana and her hubby and his two kids. They are most precious to me, and I am making a concerted effort to look forward.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Today Is A Better Day

Yesterday when my hubby came home from work in the morning I looked and felt terrible. I asked him to take me to buy vitamins. I took one. Hubby went to bed, and I pulled out some papers my doctor gave me at my last visit. I looked over the list of therapists and I looked over my Medicare benefits. Medicare would pay once treatment started, providing a diagnosis needing treatment was made by a physician. In other words, just as with the Chiropractor, I would be dinged for the full price of the initial visit, or consultation. I read the specialties of each doctor. A few dealt with grief, and of those, only one made it their goal to use non-medication means of treatment. Great. I already have a bottle of "happy" pills I'm not taking.

The vitamins have helped. I don't know why, but in the past, if I became particularly moody, a good multivitamin helped me turn the corner. So I will take one every day. I'm supposed to anyway, but I ran out.

Yesterday, about the time hubby woke up in the afternoon, the hot, humid air dropped away, leaving a beautiful fresh breeze. I turned off the air conditioning and opened the windows. We spent some precious time together outside before he had to leave for work. I contacted a friend on chat, and she and I talked while I sat outside on the porch and watched the sun set. After it set the mosquitoes came out, so I went inside. We talked some more, and then said good night. Once it is dark outside, my mood is better. I can turn to watching something on the internet. Last night I chose Masterpiece Theater. It was a good choice. It occupied me until bedtime.

So, let me explain that statement, "Once it is dark outside, my mood is better." It's something that has always happened to me. I cannot miss the sunset, I don't want to look at a TV or a computer, I just want to see it. I feel moody when I see it, a combination of wonder, artistic inspiration, intent on photographing it, desire to experience it, and some degree of sadness. Once the sunset is done and it's dark out, I'm fine. I can look at a computer or TV or the dishes or the stove or the food I'm cooking, whatever. It's interesting that years ago, when my mom was living with me and my first hubby, she told me the same thing, "Sunsets make me sad."

So I Googled it, just now. Apparently I'm not alone, but there appears to be no answer. SAD was mentioned. Yes, I have that, but that's a seasonal thing, not a sunset thing. Some people mentioned anxiety at sunset brought on by some childhood trauma. Nope, doesn't apply. Another person mentioned the brain releasing Dopamine at sunset. I have no idea. In any case, I have a whole history of emotions tied to they sky, sun and what I see out the window. Too much to write here, I will save it for the next post.

So, today continues to be a better day. It is cloudy, cool, dry, and the breeze is fresh. Hubby is sleeping, and I'm ok. I might have actually turned the corner onto the path of recovery. My heart is not feeling like a lead weight being compressed in a vice grip, I can breathe, and I'm not crying.

Reminding myself that I survived the loss of my mother helps. I called her and wrote to her for years through my married life, from 1969 until she moved to Indiana in 1992 (I think it was). After that, I would call her and buy her gifts, take her places, you name it. Loosing my Mom was a big loss in my life. I regretted having to put her in a nursing home, but my husband could not deal with her dementia nor her incontinence. He would not allow me to call in outside help.

Loosing my husband was different. His cancer was advanced. The treatment was aggressive. The side effects were horrible. I insisted on caring for him myself even though the doctors recommended a nursing home. My husband refused in-home care, and I refused to go through the guilt of putting him in a nursing home as I had my mom. When at last he passed I was at peace about it because I gave 110%. Then I found another husband.

I could not, nor did I expect to find another mother. Missing her is a part of my life. At least after a great deal of time I was able to talk about her without crying. I miss her when I have news I normally would have called her up or wrote her about. I think that may be a normal and lifelong reaction.

Loosing my daughter was the worst thing that ever happened in my life. Finding her was horribly traumatic. Trying to accept she was gone and not coming back was the hardest realization I ever had to face. She and I were always close. She wasn't much of a rebellious teen. When she started working and was still living at home she would take me shopping and buy me things. When she moved out she would pick me up and we would go places, or I would spend the weekend with her. She was my best friend. When she moved to Australia it was a tremendous heartbreak for me, but I didn't let her know, because she needed to have her own life. Having her move to Wisconsin and living so close was such a joy. My best friend was back! We shopped together. She took me places. I knew her budget was tight, so I bought things for her. We took nature walks together. We took pictures of the same clouds, the same lakes, the same flowers.

When she died I spiraled down into a horrible guilt trip of "If only." We all did. There were so many unanswered questions. Why didn't she ask for help. Why didn't she get medical help in Australia when she had such excellent insurance and care options. From early adulthood she assumed she had PCOS, which may have been the start of the giant ovarian cyst they found at autopsy. When she lived in Australia she told me her (then) husband and she had talked about her going to the doctor because of that. It's obvious she never went, something he confirmed after she passed. Her second husband also had insurance, as she did. He had surgery and the remaining bill (after insurance) was excused because of limited income. Surely she could have taken that as an example of what could be available to her. However, by that time her PCOS symptoms were going away. Another issue was her thyroid. I told her many times how important tests and treatment are because everyone on my mom's side of the family is on thyroid medicine. I talked to her about my own thyroid medicine and how it helped me feel better and loose weight.

Finances were another issue. In the past she bought a car that was too expensive. Car dealerships are real scumbags. They help you find a car you like and get approved for a loan for the price of the car. Then when they write up the deal they tack on all kinds of crap, plus taxes, that raise the cost of the loan. It happened 17 years ago and it happened again last year. I pleaded with my daughter to take action, to have the extra things she was paying extra for taken off. I told her I would go with her. Nothing worked. She insisted she could handle it. After she passed I discovered she was behind in everything except her car payments and rent.

I had pretty much guessed that things were hard for her. She expressed concerns over the fact that in August her rent and internet were going up. Hubby and I had been planning to buy a house, so we decided to include her in the plan. She could pay a much smaller amount and we could share many costs. It was a win-win proposition. We had trouble finding a suitable house. We needed three bedrooms and an extra bathroom, and in decent shape. We had roadblocks at every turn. We finally found one in another town. We had an appointment to see it on Saturday. She died on Thursday.

Sometime after the funeral, after we came home, one of my daughter's former coworkers came over. She told me my daughter didn't show any alarming signs. She did say she was tired, more than normal, and she didn't know why. Her friend suggested she see a doctor, to which my daughter responded, "It's too expensive."

I think she didn't know how serious she was. She told me there was a flower show and sale here in Hartford on June 3rd and she wanted to go. The night before she died she was making plans to visit a dear friend in Illinois after the 4th of July. She, my hubby and I were all pretty sure we would find a house this summer and we told her we would help her when her rent and internet went up in August. I'm sure she must have know that if she needed to take time off from work for any reason we would be there to help her.

As for the PCOS, my older daughter had symptoms as well. Neither of my daughters were ever able to get pregnant. But my older daughter has been seen by doctors. She has had tests and been checked out. Her health is excellent. She does need a light dose of thyroid medicine, but other than that, her heart and vitals are fine. Knowing that, and seeing my younger daughter look good, loosing weight and seeming fine when she moved here just lulled us all into complacency I guess.

I have pretty much worked through the pain of every picture I see of her, every place we went, everything we did together. I had to forgive myself for not taking her up on the offer to go out to eat together on May 29th. It still bothers me. Darn "if onlies". I still cry, but not as much, and for a lot shorter period of time. I loved her, do love her, so very, very much. I miss her so very, very much. She left a void in my life that cannot be filled, just dusted over, maybe a carpet thrown over. It is a hole I'm sure I will continue to fall in for the rest of my life, but over time the bruising and pain will lessen, as I pick myself up, dust myself off, and go on without my Angel.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Time Stands Still, Yet I Function

That sinking feeling...every time I drive by her apartment, every time I see her car still parked there. My heart hurts again. Sometimes my chest tightens up and I need to remind myself to breathe. Sometimes tears flood down, just for a bit, until I can get out a tissue and take a deep breath.

My mind is stuck in the time when she was alive. In my mind I "see" her meeting me at her back door. I hand her something or she hands something to me. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Her back door faced the corner, where the deer come out to feed and the fireflies dance. She could lock the screen door and keep her inside door open, during the day. Sometimes we would walk back and forth between our two apartments because she was moving stuff over from when she lived here with us.

Or when I go downstairs to the basement I can "see" her when she tripped and fell on her knee. Thankfully it was only the last 3 steps and she wasn't hurt bad. When I shop at Walmart I feel the loss every moment I'm there. So many times I would see her there when I shopped, or hubby and I shopped. We would buy her something to drink and invite her to come over after work. She and I would always end up laughing about something. My mind can "see" her driving past our apartment on her way home, or walking over to visit. I "see" her meeting me out at her car because we are going somewhere together. Every place we went together brings me pain.

I am forgetful. I worry myself when I drive, because my mind keeps wandering off and I find myself staring at the road mindlessly. I better restrict my driving for awhile. I keep eating chocolate but it doesn't kill the pain.

Shopping for flowers. We did that a lot, together, at Walmart, at ACE Hardware, at Stein's Garden Center, at Home Depot. I went to ACE again yesterday, and I could "hear" her in my mind again, like I did before, commenting on the flowers.

I have figured out that my heart is not ready to move forward. I am still dwelling in the past. I'm pretty good around people. They cheer me up. I can talk and even laugh. If it wasn't for the awful summer heat and humidity I would talk to hubby about moving back to Indiana to be closer to my older daughter.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

This and That

My friend couldn't come. Her grandmother was going into Hospice. My hubby was off work yesterday. We got coffee from Perc Place. I wasn't feeling well, so we didn't do a lot. I am better today, pretty much. Hubby took me shopping. He was happy he got me to laugh. I'm afraid he's going to go broke trying to "fix" me. He bought me some Capri pants and two blouses, all on sale at JC Penny.

I've been eating too much. I gained weight. My blood sugar has been high. I'm trying to pretend to care, but in reality, I do care because it looks like I'm going to survive this and go on living. I do care about my husband and my older daughter, and I want to be ok for them.

It's been 38 days. I'm exhausted. I've cried pretty much every single one of them.

I joined a couple Facebook groups for grief support, one for the loss of a child and one for sudden loss. I shared my story and shared pictures. The response was compassionate and from many, many people. But the groups quickly became overwhelming as so many people shared their own grief. I had to unfollow and step back.

We are still waiting for the autopsy report.

That's about all I feel like writing for today.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I have been searching for some support. I found this, written by someone who is going through it.

Peyton's Heart
Dear Parents: Advice For Living After The Loss of Your Child

The Dells

We originally headed out to a shooting range with the intent of doing some target practice. It is the only range that doesn't demand a pricey club membership, that we know of. It took about 45 minutes to get there, and we never would have found it without the GPS. Anyway, being the 4th, and the fact that people were off work (I'm guessing) meant the much smaller than we imagined range was busy.

We decided to drive on to the Dells, since we were halfway there. It was nice, not too crowded. It was warm but not humid. My daughter in Indiana had sent me a gift certificate for my birthday, so I used it to buy myself a ring. We walked around a bit, looked in the souvenir shops, and ate lunch at the High Rock Cafe. My younger daughter, the one who passed, and I ate there last October, when she and I drove to the Dells and to visit the old family cottage. Hubby and I also ate there when he saw the Dells for the first time, sometime after I told him about my daughter and I going there. It used to be called "The Upper Crust", and there was a gift shop downstairs.

I managed to get through most of the day without crying, at least not when hubby could see me. My soul refuses to be happy. I guess you can say I am dwelling in the past. My heart cannot just move forward, not yet. I am wallowing in self-pity, I guess. I still slip into disbelief..."Did I really find her that way? How could that be? She was only 41. It's not possible." But yet I know it happened, and a deep sadness crushes me.

My daughter in Indiana suggested I find some diversions, something to do. I tried the library but I was swamped with painful memories. Everywhere here are memories. The Walmart where she worked, Pike Lake trails, the library, her apartment on the corner. Everything rears up and glares in my face and says, "She was here and now she is dead."

I imagine someday when I am very old I will get dementia and I will see a young woman who looks like my daughter and I will think it is her, and since she would be working in a nursing home it would be her duty to go along with an old woman's delusion and let herself be my daughter for awhile. Right now common sense and a clear mind won't let me play those games. I guess eventually I will learn how to live again, without her.

Tomorrow a former co-worker of my daughter's is picking me up and we will go eat lunch somewhere. I do better when I am with people.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Horicon Marsh

Hubby and I walked one of the shorter trails at Horicon Marsh, our first time there. It was a chance to form new memories in a place that didn't have any old memories. It's been very hard for me to enjoy nature in places where my daughter and I walked together. I was surprised that I got good pictures in the middle of the day, because everyone who dabbles in photography knows the golden light is at sunrise and sunset. We want to go again.

Today is my birthday. I really don't "get into" birthdays anymore, but I appreciate the fact that people wish me well and let me know I'm in their thoughts. I got a fat envelope from my daughter in Indiana. It is addressed to "Mom", which I thought was adorable, and it's really pretty.

Hubby took me shopping. I looked at succulents at Home Depot. They had some nice ones but they were big, too big for my tiny growing area. There weren't any small ones that I wanted. We went to Target. I looked halfheartedly at clothes. I wasn't in the mood. I bought coffee.

Then we went to eat. We had wanted to eat at the Grasshopper, a small French restaurant in West Bend, but they were closed, so we drove to Grafton and stopped at the Milwaukee Ale House. We had been there twice before, but we found out the hard way that Sunday is NOT the day to go there. It was loud and apparently the menu on Sunday is drinks, drinks, drinks and a meager assortment of food. Oh well. We stuck it out, then left. My mood has been iffy today. 

Friday, June 30, 2017


There is an ACE Hardware just south of town. They have an extensive garden and flower supply in the spring and early summer. They have 3 unheated greenhouses that they fill to the brim with baskets and trays and pots of flowers, They also carry herbs, greenery and a limited number of vegetables. My daughter and I visited a couple times last year and once this early spring.

I decided to drive there....take a deep breath and go alone. I did it. I got through it. I ended up talking to a sweet lady who works there. She remembers my daughter. I showed her pictures. Yes, yes, she remembers her. I choked up a bit but I hung in there. I told her I can almost hear my daughter's voice there: "Look, mom" or "Aww they are so tiny!" or "Curry! I knew I smelled it, I grew it in Australia" or "Look at these double petunias" or "Mom, come here, look at this!"

I bought another Curry, to replace the one she had, and some Violas, to replace the ones she was too tired to plant before she died.

My doctor increased my thyroid medicine. I'm figuring that will be the boost I need. I'm not going to take the evil medicine, the mood altering one. Too many side effects. Nope, nope, nope.

This afternoon I am planning to help the caretaker and his wife do some planting outside around the apartment.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Trading Tears for Hope

I'm sorry to trouble you, but this is my story. I am hurting beyond repair and my burden is too heavy.

It has happened several times. I have shared my tragedy and found my burden lightened slightly each time, as if handing off portions of my tale of tears enlists many hearts and hands to help carry it.

I saw my doctor today. She and her nurse already knew what happened, because I ended up in the ER the night of the fateful afternoon I found my Angel had slipped away into Heaven. Reason for being in the ER: "Grief". The nurse called me the next day.

So there I was, relating the story in a heap of tears. I apologized and my doc said it was ok, she was just trying to hold back her own tears. She talked to me and listened to me, and asked if I needed help. I told her I was pretty good when I was around family and friends, but those long 12 hour days when my husband worked were not getting any easier.

I am not one for wanting medications, but she offered a mild one just to "take the edge off". After reading all the possible side effects, I'm not sure I want to take it. Still deciding...

Some day I will be able to stop crying. I will always, always miss my daughter, but maybe, just maybe the burden won't be too heavy and I can begin to live again.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Wanted to Write A Letter

I wanted to tell my mom that my daughter died. I wanted her to hold me and let me cry on her shoulder and tell me everything will be ok. I wanted her to know her granddaughter was gone to Heaven. I wanted to write my mom a letter, but I can't.

My mom is not here.

My mom is in Heaven.

I wanted to tell my daughter's father that she had died and she is buried next to him. I wanted to call him, but I can't.

My daughter's father is not here.

He is in Heaven.

I texted my daughter but she didn't answer.

I looked for her at Walmart, but she wasn't there.

I watched for her to walk over from her apartment, but she didn't come.

I drove by her apartment but it is empty.

She was not at work, not home, nor at the park.

I wept and prayed and cried, but no one answered.

My daughter is not here.

She is in Heaven.

I prayed that she is happy and surrounded by love and laughter. I prayed that she can see and visit her loved ones who passed before her. My family's Bible and my husband's family's Quran tells me the same thing, that she is in Heaven and I will see her again one day.

I need to take care of myself because it is not yet my time, nor do I feel my life is over, and people here on Earth love me and need me here with them. My older daughter and my husband told me so. My mother-in-law told me so, with tears in her eyes, she spoke to me in Albanian and hubby translated.

Sometimes I feel myself slipping into the past, to happier times, when the same sun that shines on sadness today was then shining on happy family times together. But I don't have Alzheimer's, so reality snaps me back to the present and I cry again.

In time I will learn to heal and live again, to live life without her and even be happy. But for now my heart is broken and my soul is sad and my eyes crying. I think I might be doing better and then I crumple into a pool of tears. One of my friends told me to take deep breaths and take each day one step at a time. That's the best one can do.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Horror Movie

The horror movie playing in my head of finding my daughter stone cold dead on her couch is starting to fade. I am thankful for that because that's not how I want to remember her.

Yes, I freaked out. After calling 911 and giving them info in-between out-of-breath sobs, I started to scream. I just screamed and screamed and begged them to send someone to help. I have no idea how long it took for the cops to show up, but they did, and the dispatcher said I could hang up. Shortly after the cops arrived, an ambulance drove up....for me.

The cops led me outside and the EMTs took me inside the ambulance. The Washington County Medical Examiner was called. They all told me my daughter died peacefully, with no sign of distress or struggle, but no one could understand why. "Why, why did she die? How did this happen? Why?" I sobbed repeatedly. They asked permission to do an autopsy.

They wouldn't let me call my husband or my daughter in Indiana. Finally they sent three policemen to my husband's work and called him into HR. He freaked out not knowing what happened. They told him and he cried and HR cried. HR drove him home. After hubby and I were calmed down enough to talk they let us call others. Hubby called my older daughter's husband, thinking he might be able to tell her in person. That didn't work out. moments later my daughter in Indiana was calling me. I didn't know how to tell her. Finally I blurted out, "Your sister is dead!" I heard her shriek. Thankfully her long-time co-worker and friend rushed to her side. It was about 1:45 pm when I found her. I talked to my older daughter at 4:02 pm, and other people after that.

Later that evening, about 9 pm, my hubby took me to the ER, because I couldn't stop sobbing. After crying for over 7 hours I had a massive headache. They got me calmed down with a shot so at least I could sleep.

Let The Guilt Begin

It hit all of us. Guilt. My younger daughter was a grown woman of 41, yet we all beat ourselves up imagining different outcomes had we stepped in to take care of her.

Take care of her? How could we know?

Years ago, many years ago, when she was a young woman, she told me she thought she has PCOS.
She had no insurance at the time but I insisted to take her to the clinic and insisted I would pay. A doctor ordered a blood test, which came back normal. Some time after that she married and moved to Australia. She had health insurance there, and talked about getting checked out. I would remind her that she might have cysts on her ovaries. She never went.

Back in the USA 6 years later, she divorced and married again. Again I encouraged her to see a doctor, at least for a baseline mammogram and wellness check. I also reminded her that low thyroid runs in my side of the family, and to get that checked as well. Nope, never went.

My older daughter had some milder issues along similar lines. She also could not get pregnant. However, as she aged, her symptoms started to go away. She did get regular health checkups and she was and is healthy to this day. So when my younger daughter started loosing weight and telling me she felt great (and she looked 28), I didn't worry. That's how she was when she left her second husband and moved to Wisconsin to take care of me after my surgery in May 2016.

It was sometime around the beginning of this year that I noticed she was looking thin in the face. However, she told me she was fine, and was loosing weight by eating Oriental style. Occasionally we would shop together, or visit one another, since she lived in the adjacent apartment building. She was tired, but she was working full time and even some overtime. She was making new friends.

We took a walk at Harrington Beach State Park, her, me and hubby. She and I took tons of pictures. She seemed normal, but she ate slowly. I thought she wasn't eating enough. She said she was fine, but her tummy had been upset.

On May 29th we got together to eat here at me and hubby's apartment. She wanted to go out to eat, but our account was low and I wouldn't let hubby touch the savings, as we were trying to buy a house.

The discussion mostly revolved around what house we were going to look at and about the down payment. I had leftovers for her but forgot to send them.

May 31st was a bright, sunny day, breezy, with that fresh Wisconsin air. The blue sky was dotted with those puffy Wisconsin clouds. I texted her that I had leftovers for her and that I would bring them over. She said she would meet me. She took pictures of the sky. She took videos of the wind in the trees and the birds singing. She talked to the property manager for awhile. She came over, we all chatted awhile, looked at houses online, made plans. That evening we texted about plans to look at a house, the Lake House. The tenants were refusing a showing. It seemed Saturday would be the only option. It was a one hour showing....crazy. She didn't think she would be able to do that on her lunch break. My hubby made arrangements to switch days with someone so he and I could go together. Our realtor would be there because if it looked good, we would put in an offer.

The last text I got from my daughter was at 9:06 pm. It was not unusual for her to fall asleep mid conversation. She had done it for years. Her friend told me that was about the same time their conversation dropped off. Still not alarming. They had been making plans for my daughter to come down for a visit in July.

I went back to bed after my husband left for work at 6:30 am on June 1st. I was tired. I woke up about 9 am. I noticed my daughter had not texted "Good morning", usually about 8:30 am, on her lunch break. Maybe she hadn't taken it yet, I thought. She didn't always text me in the morning.

I had exciting news to share about a home loan and the down payment. I started texting her the good news.

No answer.

Should I be concerned? Not really, it happened before, she forgot her phone in her car, or the battery ran down, or maybe she dropped it, or she was really busy at work.

Later that day I noticed it was past the time she should be home. I felt concerned. I grabbed my phone and her extra keys and decided to walk over to her building. Her car was parked. Suddenly I was scared, because how could she be home but not answer?

I knocked on her door. No answer. I went downstairs. She wasn't doing laundry. I ran back up and pounded on her door. No answer.

At 1:58 pm I texted, "It's mom here at your door. Are you ok?"

I unlocked the door.

Friday, June 16, 2017


The skies should not be so blue
Nor the clouds so puffy

The sunsets should not glow
And birds should not sing

When my daughter is not here
To enjoy them

All the beauty of nature
Is breaking my heart

Because we both loved
The same things

She is not here to text me
Nor to take pictures
Or walks in the park
Or laugh about work
Or go shopping for plants
Or tell me stories
Or listen to mine

I miss her bright smile
I miss her brown eyes
I miss her "Good morning"
I only have "Good bye"

3 pictures from the daughter's camera, the last she ever took

Saturday, June 3, 2017

My heart is Broken

We were going to buy a house. Instead we are going to bury my daughter.

I don't feel like writing much now, but she died June 1st. She was 41.

I'll write more later.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Running things past the loan officer, running things through my head, running things past my hubby, my daughter, our real estate agent. My head is doing a marathon.

I have gone through the "Lake" house photos a dozen times. I'm waiting to hear from hubby, if he got Saturday off. I talked to the loan guy. He said, "Take videos."

I'm calling it the Lake house from now on, because it sounds better than "the house by the Rock River" or "the house in Hustisford". Lake Sinissippi is right around the corner, so Lake house it is. Not that I'm expecting Keanu Reeves to show up. hahahahaha

My hubby just called. He's pretty sure it can be worked out so he has Saturday off.

I would really like to have the Lake house. It looks like a fun place to live. We could have a bunny again (we had to leave Tuki behind in California. He died this year.) We could go boating and fishing, from our own property. My daughter could have her own kitchen, guests could have their own cottage. The porch is sunny. I can plant flower pots and set them there.

Stay disconnected

Stay disconnected

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


The tenants said no to a showing for today. They said no to Friday. They can't say no to the scheduled Open House on Saturday. If we can't see the property we can't put in an offer. My daughter has to work, my husband has to work. He might be able to trade a day with someone so he can have Saturday off. If not, he can get a ride to work and I can go alone.

But I don't feel comfortable putting in an offer without hubby seeing it.

That's just stupid crazy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Or....Just Gone in 5 Days

The Duplex has an accepted offer. Oh well.

The "Lake" house...nothing yet, but there is an open house on, since we can't afford to get into bidding wars, it might go, too.

Many houses are staying on the market for a whopping 5 hours.

If it stays longer than a month its because nobody wants it or it's so bad it's a cash sale only.

Our loan officer says he's never seen anything like it. He said 2 years ago sellers were reducing prices because they couldn't sell easily.

Our agent is keeping an eye out for something we might like before it gets listed. Hard to do when people know they will get a dozen offers in 5 hours if they list.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Plan for Wednesday is....

Two showings:

An official showing of the duplex, the gorgeous property right here in Hartford. The yard is a bit small but it has a large upper deck with a view all around (except north). It has a 2.5 car garage with 2 separate garage doors with openers. It has a rather long driveway, so it would mean using a snowblower. My daughter gets up at 3 am. It is still on our wish list. My daughter has a 401k, and she is gifting us what she can. We will still be about $2000 short for cash to close. Drive time to work...2 minutes in good weather.

Next, a showing at the house on the river in Hustisford. We know it needs the wood replaced around the porch and deck. Other than that, we have no idea. It isn't a duplex (taxes list it as a single family home) but it has an upstairs bathroom and mini kitchen. It also has a guest house, which I mentioned before. We don't know what we will find. Mold? Junk? Doable? Price reduction? It would have more room for guests than the duplex. It could be a fun place to, a small boat for exploring the lake....water front property! Many possibilities, yet many possible road-blocks. It has no garage, but the driveway is short and the parking area is just off the street. Drive time to work...12 to 15 minutes in good weather.

It will be an interesting day!

P.S. I just noticed they have an open house scheduled for Saturday, June 3rd. We are seeing it on Wednesday. I imagine they will hold off accepting any offer until after the showing. Who knows what will happen.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Disconnected Decisions

We learned the hard way, do not become emotionally attached to any property because there are several things that can prevent a sale.

  • Not enough money for closing
  • The sellers could reject the offer
  • It might not pass inspection
  • The bank won't finance what the sellers are asking
*** Remain Emotionally Detached *** until the papers are signed and the keys in hand.

Today my daughter and I drove out to Hustisford to look at a property that is listed sort of at the top of our comfortable price range but still below what we have been approved for. Here are 6 pictures. I didn't want to intrude because the people were home.

120 feet of Rock River waterfront. It's been raining a lot, so you can see there is no flooding.

A small guest house (white and green building) It has its own mini kitchen, bath, sitting room and bedroom.

We walked to the middle of the bridge over the Rock River

The land across the river. This would be the view from the house.

Looking down the street, toward Lake Sinissippi. Yeah, you read that right.

Looking south across the street. There is a narrow park. Some people were fishing. We saw several large fish jump.

My daughter and I were laughing...would we live on a street named Tweedy next to a lake called Sinissippi in a town named Hustisford :D

Drive time, 12 to 15 minutes. I requested a showing for Wednesday. We shall see...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Research, Research, Research

The condition of a home isn't the only thing one needs to look at. Some pre-screening can be done by using Google Street View and Google Maps in Satellite mode.

This listing has been up awhile but I looked anyway. fields next door?

Let's look in Google...what is across the street?
Ugh!! Really?!?! Can you say "stink and flies"?

We found this gorgeous Hustisford listing, right in our price range! fields all around.
Fartilizer, oops, FERTILIZER drift (Freudian slip?), pesticide drift, herbicide drift, dust from plowing, planting and harvesting....nope, I can't deal with any of that. The farms are all around and the tree line is not wide enough to provide a buffer.

Then there is the overpriced dumpy house in Hartford with the leaking foundation we looked at.

And the view across the street

The difficult search continues. Unfortunately for most home-buyers today, inventory is at an all-time low and the number of buyers is at an all-time high. Many houses end up in bidding wars with potential buyers putting in offers above list price. The seller happily gets to choose between maybe a dozen offers.

Duplexes tend to sit on the market for some time. They come with a different list of issues. Since they are not single-family, none of the home buyer credits are available. Also, they require 5% down.

Homes that need some repair but are not considered a "fixer-upper" by the bank can be considered, and they tend to sit longer. There are not many in that category. More likely they will be full-blown fixer-uppers requiring a cash sale.

Odd-ball houses tend to sit longer. For instance, we were thinking about looking at this one in Hustisford, until we figured out there is no way to use the upper bedrooms. There is no bathroom upstairs, and the only way up is by the outside stairs. 

Beautiful property, nice house

A screened-in porch!

Oops! What where they thinking?

So....what do you tell your guests? "The guest rooms are upstairs. There is no bathroom, so you will need to come downstairs, outdoors, in the pouring rain or dark of night, and come into the house to go to the bathroom."

Or...."Here's a bucket."

It would be hugely costly or maybe structurally impossible to put a bathroom upstairs. 

Hartford has lots of older, 2 story homes built in the 1900's. To be updated for modern times, they need new windows, re-wired electric, insulation, new siding, new roof, first-floor laundry (or indoor access to the basement. Often times the bedrooms are too small, such as the common 9x9, and often there is no bathroom upstairs. 

Nice, but the bedrooms are way too tiny

Bigger, but all-wood siding needs scraping and painting, and there is a lot of it.

The search goes on.