A Journey Back to Blogging

I’ll write a blog post tomorrow, I thought, and then, and then, and then. Tomorrow becomes next week, then a month, while life serves up challenges big and small.

I miss blogging. My time on WordPress has yielded wonderful friendships, rich connections, and thoughtful and thought-provoking conversations. How could I be away for so long? In short, life is full.

My youngest son went away to college in August. This included helping him get ready, attempts at helping him get ready, a one-fell-swoop shopping trip and a day-long drive to Southern California.  Within a few weeks my oldest son went back to the dorms, and is now into his senior college year.

We celebrated our wedding anniversary (23 years on September 23rd)

after dinner Santana Row

After dinner at Santana Row

and ten days later I turned 59. Dear friends visited from Canada over my birthday week, including a few days in beautiful Carmel.

My volunteer work at Lifted Spirits kicked into full gear. If I wasn’t working with organizing clients, I spent time volunteering in the boutique. I work two shifts a week, and I’m often there on Thursdays organizing the boutique or other areas of the program. It feels like home.  The work is challenging and rewarding. It also allows me to serve women in need in my  community. I’m learning so much as I go. My favorite organizing project so far is the computer lab. We needed extra space for other programs, so I split the room in two using an abandoned old chalkboard and a fancy shower curtain found in a drawer. How’s that for using what you’ve got?

Mike and I are enjoying our evenings and weekends as a couple once again. In many ways, the empty-nest blahs seemed worse leading up to the boys respective departures. It eased once I knew my young men were and getting on with life.

This past weekend we planned to fly down to see our youngest son for parent weekend. I ended up going alone. I took Mike to urgent care the night before, where they referred us to the ER. They diagnosed Mike with a blood clot or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). It was a long, scary night, but he’s home and receiving good medical care. He’s not allowed to fly for at least three months so we’re adjusting to the idea of possible train travel.  Mike’s not in pain and he’s able to work, so those are both a plus.

Our felines continue to cozy up the place. As the weather cools into a California autumn, I hope to haul out my crochet once again.

Meanwhile, I’m on the committee for our Front Door Communities, Lifted Spirits fundraiser in early November. I’m putting together the program, a soup recipe book, preparing a raffle item and working with another volunteer assembling silent auction items.  It’s a busy time.

Oh, and the garden I used to blog about? It’s still here. The tomatoes were a complete bust this summer, with four huge plants producing about two dozen tomatoes in all.  I planted late-season cantaloupe, only to see them munched under cover of darkness.  I did manage five small pumpkins so all is not lost in the produce department. Overall though, I feel like I lost my gardening mojo. As that tired cliché goes, there’s always next year.

Here in the States we’re gearing up for mid-term elections in three weeks. Once again our garage will serve as a polling place. Change is in the air. I can feel it.

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you are doing well.

66 thoughts on “A Journey Back to Blogging

  1. I’m so happy to see you back in blogging space 🙂 You’ve had sound and compelling reasons to be temporarily absent. In every garden there are good times and bad, and the reassuring thing is that these pass with the seasons. Spring will come again, and with it, I suspect your enthusiasm will return.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kate! It’s nice to see your signature smile and your wide-brimmed hat up there. Spring reawakens something in all of us, so I suspect you’re right. There have been a lot of changes of late, and with that, priorities change too. Looking forward to checking in more often. xo

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  2. Happy belated birthday Alys! I’m sorry it happened at all but thank goodness the DVT happened before Mike flew! I had a pulmonary embolism a few years ago so I understand just how dangerous it can be. I wish Mike a speedy recovery. There are some great new blood thinners now like Xarelto that will help ensure it never happens again. Glad that you’ll be back blogging tomorrow; I’ve missed reading your blog!!

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    • Sara, how scary for you. I’m glad to hear you’re fine and that they caught the PE. That’s the biggest risk with this type of blood clot. They think he may have got it as a result of all the flying he does, coupled with recent sedentary activity due to a back injury. Nothing good comes from inactivity. Thanks for your birthday wishes and for reading my blog. It’s nice to see you here. xo

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  3. It’s lovely to hear from you and know how busy and active you’ve been! You have been missed! I am so glad to know that your husband is doing well now, but so sorry for what you’ve been through. We frequently travel between our home in SoCal and Oakland, and I think you’d really enjoy traveling Amtrak. I highly recommend Business Class, because the expense is only slightly greater and the seats recline and with the elevated foot rest it’s quite comfortable. Given your husband’s circumstances, I think this would be very much appreciated. 🙂 And my tomato yield was about the same. What do you think happened?

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    • Hello Debra! How nice to hear from you, too. Thank you for your well wishes and concern. I will look into Amtrak for day trips to Orange so that Mike can visit with our son as well. We’re not in a big hurry now, as both boys will be home next month for Thanksgiving but early next year for sure. I like the idea of reclining seats. I hope your family is doing well.

      As for the tomato yield, I’ve wondered if the smoky skies and frequent spare the air days may have had an effect? It’s just speculation on my part, but I’m going to do a bit of research and see if I come up with anything. I pulled out the plants on a cold day last week, and the nasturtiums are self seeding once again and happy to have the extra room

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      • I think you’ll love Amtrak…you’ll get hooked. LOL! It’s sometimes just the amount of time that it takes which discourages a bit! Good thought on the tomatoes! We had a lot of smoke pollution this summer, too. I hadn’t though about that as even a possibility! Better luck next year to us both. 🙂 Hope your son is doing well in his transition to college. It’s a big family adjustment for everyone!

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  4. I think everyone needs a break. I too, took a break from blogging 3 years ago, yikes…. can’t believe it’s been that long. I hope your husband gets well real soon. I miss reading your blog, but don’t hate me cause I had the best garden season ever this year! And still have green peppers being picked from our garden…and it’s October! Two weeks ago, my Mother passed away. She was 89. Still haven’t got over this yet.

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    • I’m so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I’m sorry for your loss. My mom also past at 89 and though it seems like a good, long life, it always feels too soon. Be gentle with yourself. It will take time.

      I would never hate anyone, least of all not for enjoying a good gardening season. Good for you!

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  5. okay, so that explains a few things! Been wondering what you are up to and when we could go for the walk and catch up. Glad to hear Mike is on the mend, but quite scary nonetheless! I hope your boys are enjoying school! Let me know when you have time for a walk. It sounds like it might be tricky with our schedules, but hopefully we can make it work!

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  6. Heavens, there has been a lot going on hasn’t there! I hope Mike returns to full health very soon. Sounds like he needs an osteopath too….. Glad to hear the boys are doing well and I love that photo of the cats all sharing space on your bed – what a life! Your organising ability shines through in those photos – and I just know you will be loved and appreciated by all the women you are working with now. Glad to hear you had a lovely birthday trip with the friends 🙂 And it’s so nice to see you back on the blog again ❤

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    • Thank you, Pauline! Mike sees a specialist this week to rule out any underlying issues. We’re going for walks, getting to be earlier and generally paying close to attention to any changes. I’ll look into the osteopath. Big hugs.

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  7. So lovely to hear from you – I have been wondering if you were OK and was going to drop a line as it seemed a long time since your last post. With the dreadful weather over there that we keep hearing about it had crossed my mind that you might have got caught up in a flood, fire or some other catastrophy so really glad to know you are all safe and well.
    There is so much to congratulate you on – belated Happy Birthday and Anniversary wishes and my thoughts are with you both for a quick recovery for Mike and for the change of pattern to your lives without the boys at home.
    You sound very involved in your new work – I am not sure what Lifted Spirits is but you are doing an amazing job of organizing them.
    Lets hope the elections are the change you are lookng for.
    Best wishes Viv x

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  8. Well, as excuses go, I think you’ve come up with some extremely good ones 😊.
    Best belated wishes for your anniversary and birthday and big sighs of relief you got Mike to the emergency room in plenty of time to sort him out.
    As you can see, we have all missed you but completely understand. Life happens and sometimes it happens more than usual.
    By the way, I think my tolerance for my furry friends might have been sorely tested if I found one sitting in the middle of a jigsaw puzzle.😾

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    • Thanks for making me smile (again). I too am glad we got Mike to the ER that night. He’s seeing specialists and giving blood draws and the like. It will take time, but we’re staying on top of all the details.

      Keeping the felines off the puzzle is nearly impossible. They’re not interested in general, but love to sit on one when I’m working the pieces. I usually bribe them away with a treat. The trick is getting them to jump down without sending pieces flying.

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  9. Oh, it’s good to have you back! But what busy days you’ve had–some scary, some stressful, many full and fulfilling! Your volunteer work must really please you–and what organizational and style improvements you’ve made–wow. I’m glad Mike is going to be okay–that’s scary stuff–you need many more anniversaries to look forward to!

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    • Thank you, Kerry. I hope the two of us will grow old(er) together. It is scary knowing he has a clot and needs to wait it out. He’s on blood thinners and using compression socks, and going easy on the exercise.

      The work at Lifted Spirits lets me make a difference in my community. I’ve been searching for the right way to make a difference ever since the election. I think I found it. It’s exhausting and at times frustrating, but its rewarding and gratifying having the chance to make a difference in another woman’s life. I hope you are doing well.

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  10. It’s good to see you back on WP, but I don’t expect it to last long, sounds like you’ve got a lot going on. So glad your hubby is okay. Time to start thinking about a big celebration for when you turn 60! Such an important milestone needs to be properly acknowledged. We found empty nest to be an exciting new phase in our life, and it’s so fun to watch your kids grow into adulthood. Fingers crossed on the upcoming election – if we can’t pull this off, we might as well give up.

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    • Thank you, Karen. I do have a lot going on, but I’m hoping I can set aside time for at least one post a week, and then read other’s blogs over the weekend. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying your empty nest. I think once Mike is feeling better and doing better, it will be a joy to travel once again. Fingers and toes crossed for November 6th. I’m trying to remain hopeful without setting my expectations too high if that makes sense.

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    • I would love to come visit you in Minnesota as well as my friend Heidi who commented below (or above). Wouldn’t it be funny if you were neighbors? Thanks for the invite, Barbara. Mike can’t fly for at least three months. We’ll see how things go from there. xo

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  11. Isn’t it astounding how “tomorrow’ can stretch into weeks, or even months? But as your other lovely readers have observed, you certainly have about a dozen worthwhile alibis. I’m so sorry for your and Mike’s scare, but am grateful too that you caught it early and got proper care. Sending good vibes for a full and speedy recovery! Pity too about your not-quite-bountiful garden. (Doesn’t it make you appreciate farmers all the more to see just how fickle crops can be?) It’s not cliché at all to say “there’s always next year” in such a case; it’s hopeful. And congratulations are in order for getting your youngest off to school! I imagine the house feels very different indeed without the boys around — but you’re certainly making a wonderful use of your free time. (As Wilma said, ORGANIZING DEMON, ha ha!) What a beautiful thing you’re doing for the women in your community by sharing your mad organizing skillz with the Lifted Spirits center. As for the election … well, remember Gandhi: “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won.” You are certainly doing your part to sow love and truth, dear Alys. xx

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    • Yes! Astounding is the perfect word as in “it’s astounding that it’s taken me nearly a week to reply back.” It’s so nice to find your comment here, HB. Life has indeed been full. Mike’s scare kicked us into gear and we’re both back to WW trying to lose our respective 20 pounds. I was a stick all through high school and college, and didn’t have to think twice about what I ate until I hit my mid-forties. We’re not at a dangerous weight, but overweight, so this got us paying attention. He sees a specialist this week. I do appreciate farmers! What an undertaking doing all that work and wondering if something will come along and make it all for naught. Thanks for all your kind words, above. Lifted Spirits fills my soul and gives me a sense of purpose. I love that Gandhi quote, and Gandhi in general. We even share a birthday! I can’t imagine anyone more inspiring to share a birthday with the man who also said: “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Words to live by, my friend. xo

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  12. I have also restarted blogging – after a much longer break than yours. My older left us for Uni (he’s much closer to home than in your situation) and I find the daily routine is slightly more relaxed with a few minutes more to myself each day. But life does its best to get in the way of plans. My best wishes to your husband for a speedy recovery – what a fright this must have given you both.
    PS Hilarious cats on bed photo!

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    • Welcome back to blogging. I’ll come see what you’ve been up to. Congrats on your son’s launch into uni. The biggest thing I notice lately is that I’m not rushed to pick someone up, drop someone off, purchase a particular item, etc. It’s easier to plan, less laundry, less dishes, and a slower pace. I remain busy with work and volunteering and gardening and life, but its different as you say. I’m glad you got some of those magic minutes back in your life.

      As for the cats, they provide hours of joy to us all. Catching them all together on one bed though (and having them stay there while I fetch a camera) is feline gold. Thank you!

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  13. Wow!!!! Can you take a deep breath yet? I read this early this morning but had to run and didn’t want to rush the comment. You have had your hands full. Finding a new rhythm once the kids are gone can be hard but you don’t even have time to miss a step. You did a wonderful job organizing at Lifting Spirits. I’m certain they are thrilled. Love how all the felines manage to share such a tiny bed. 🙂 Deep Vein Thrombosis is nothing to sneeze at. Could it be from all the flying he has had to do? I’m glad he’s had medical attention for it and will continue to monitor. We can’t have anything happen to someone who makes you so happy. I’m glad to see you back as well. You know you are missed. Hugs, M

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    • Hello Marlene! I may have missed a post from you, but hope to visit as the week goes on. I’m running out for my Lifted Spirit shift shortly, but wanted to log on and say “hello”.

      You are so dear, Marlene. I agree that we can’t have anything more serious happen to Mike. He sees a specialist later this week and he’s following doctor’s orders with compression socks and blood thinners, and low-impact exercise. DVT is scary and the potential for PE is even scarier. Sending you a big hug and looking forward to a phone catch up soon. I can’t remember if we have something on the calendar, but if not, we should do so soon. I want to hear all your news. xo

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  14. Hello hello ! Look at you all blogging and everything 😀 ❤ You are a gentle force, whizzing round to make lives happier and better everywhere you go. There we are, having our holidays with the hubsters. That was so enjoyable and relaxing, I loved my visit with you and Mike, as did Jim. Thanks again for every little thing ❤ xox Your great company, warm friendship, welcoming home, shopping trips, bagel runs, puzzle building, nightly tv/chatting time together and taking time away from so many important things to do so. We're thinking of you both as Mike recovers from this health scare. I'm so glad to hear he's not in pain and continues to work.
    I've still not done any fall cleanup in my own garden :/ As soon as I got home, the cold came back. Gah! Just starting to feel good again. I'd have more colds all year round if it meant visiting with you. I think it's from flying (??? not a Dr, but every time I get on a plane).
    I loved seeing Lifted Spirits and it looks so tidy and sharp! You're a blessing there, here, everywhere. You really a super-duper hero ❤ Oh hey! I get my car on Saturday…beep beep! October has been awesome xoxoxo K

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    • Hello hello! Thanks for visiting (here and in real time). I mentioned to Lisa that whenever we’re together we seem to laugh and laugh and laugh. It’s so good for the soul. I too loved puzzle-making, bagel runs, the cool sea breeze and the wonderful company of you and Jim. I’m sure glad Mike’s blood clot happened after you went home and not in the middle of your visit. That would have spoiled our holiday two years running.

      He sees a specialist later this week. We’re both back to WW to lose some weight and we’re getting to bed earlier too. We want to build better habits, and this is as good (or bad) an excuse as any to get to it.

      I’m sorry to hear you picked up a second cold. I have another cold too! D-ang!

      Next time you visit we’ll build a visit into Lifted Spirits earlier into our trip. I would love for you to see it.

      I *love* your new car and I am so happy it’s finally yours. How excited. Tell me more! beep-beep xo

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  15. Goodness, the blood clot thing is scary. I’m glad you caught it! Trains are fabulous. Much more comfy and you can walk to the car where they sell things and move around. Your anniversary is the same as my parents! Many years after of course–happy anniversary and happy belated birthday. Looks like you and Boomdee and the hubs had a good time. It’s good to have good friends. Welcome back to blogging!

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    • Hi Lisa! What a fun coincidence that we share the same anniversary as your parents. It was the first day of autumn when we wed, but of course that day floats with leap years.

      I love trains, but more so in Europe then here. The food is much better on long trips. I’m hoping they’ve improved since Mike and I crossed the country 21 years ago. They still had smoking cars, which you had to pass through on the way to the food car. Gross!

      Thank you for your well wishes. Mike’s diagnosis scared us both. He sees a specialist this week.

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  16. Good to hear from you Alys! Also good news that the boys are both settled at college and you and Mike can enjoy some time together… do wish him all the best. I am sure that was quite a fright for you both. I know they warn people about DVT when they fly but coming out of the blue like that is scary. Sounds like you are busy and happy. Keep up all that good work you are doing, and enjoy the rest of October. Oh and a belated happy birthday and happy anniversary too! 🙂

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    • Hi Cathy! It’s great hearing from you, too. I’ve missed my time here and I’ve missed you. Mike’s diagnosis scared us both. It seemed out of the blue. He’s seeing a specialist this week, and taking blood thinners and we’re both working on dropping a few pounds and getting more sleep as well. Thanks for your well wishes. xo

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