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Concerned Citizen and a Serial Entrepreneur wrapped in a progressive democratic soul longing for us all to get along.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Today is Wednesday, December 23rd

Phew!!!  What a year!  I'm very grateful to be here now... Amazing the changes and revelations of the last year... Saturday,  realized after refusing yet another invitation and looking deep within... the never ending questions... why not me and why Tracy?  Survivor guilt has plagued me.  Now I'll be more conscious.  T would be pissed at me... joy is needed now... no more of this... cause after all, at some point; they'll stop asking...

Went to the Santa Cruz Peace church last night and experienced the Messiah sing along.... wow!!!  Thank you my friends!

Riley is here with me as I listen to Barbara in the home my T designed and built and we made our own.  Taking responsibility and taking care of all those nagging details to preserve it.  Termites? Treated and gone... Lights?  Figured out and back on...  The hardest part of dealing with any home is figuring out what the problem is and then, figuring out what the fix is....Tracy could do it all - seamlessly, now I'm finally trusting myself to get it done with lots of help from the experts.

The one party I didn't miss - our Sereno Group annual party on the 11th:
Scene of the crime- San Jose


Vicki, Diana, me, Erin's son, Erin, Barbara Cole- COO Extraordinaire upon arrival

Joe Clark, Vick, Kim, Marilyn 

A good time was had by all..... Merry Christmas one and all!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Today is Tuesday, December 8th

As we careen towards two of my most favorite holidays, I am grateful that I've survived and thrived this year.  Lots to be grateful for!  I'm here, breathing with my beloved Ry of 15 and almost 3 months.  I've counted on family and friends to guide and support me through this last 14 plus months since Tracy passed.  Spent a lot of time gazing at my navel but through all the tears and joy; I know in the deepest part of my soul that Tracy will always be in my heart.  I'm sooo lucky to have had him in my life and I will always cherish my memories.

This I know:   It wasn't a perfect union but we had a deep and abiding love that allowed us both to grow and prosper and become a force to be reckoned with.  We challenged ourselves and all those around us to be the best of ourselves.  I have become more compassionate and interestingly enough, less tolerant...  "don't sweat the small stuff" one of T's rejoinders...

2015 was a very tough year because the blinders and the numbness have worn off... he's really and truly gone.  2016 looms large and I'm going to embrace it and welcome the next transition.... whatever that entails....

We are what we believe !!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Today is Saturday, November 28th

Well, I survived this week peacefully.... that is to say, I feel peaceful.

Tuesday, November 24th would have been our 20th Anniversary and I marked it by walking to the beach with Riley and spending most of the day looking through our wedding album and watching our video ( courtesy of Di ) and finished at my Community Sing group in Capitola...

Here are a few of my favorite photos culled from my iPhone, album etc...

Kauai Sept. 2013

December 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Jan. 2014

Hard at work in his studio

After a storm 2014

So cute

That's all she wrote today......

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Today is Wed. November 11th

Time keeps screaming by as I feel more and more overwhelmed.  So much to do and to take care of and figure out and there's always Mr. R wanting to go for a walk...

First here's 2 photos from my Norma Desmond Halloween weekend:

Gar & I

Jayne, Lou & I
What a gas!!!

"I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeVille"

Lots of ups and downs over the last few weeks but I keep on trucking....

Started Zumba since I ate my way thru Europe and I'm trying to lose this extra fluff....

More later...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Today is Halloween

OMG!  So many wonderful memories!!!  Tracy and I met on Halloween 22 years ago... and we loved morphing into different characters throughout our time together.

Re-enacting Tina & Popeye

The year T & I met - Lea, me, Di, Jayne 1993

Did a bit of gender bending- can't find pics of T as Oscar the Grouch and me as Mr. Rogers or Tracy as the Tin Man and me as Scarecrow or  me as Harpo Marx and I can't recall what T was.  Lots more fun was had by all...  We'd start at the Goodwill store and 1 acquisition would start T's creative juices flowing...

Hopefully, more current photos tomorrow... I think I can truly rejoice in these wonderful memories...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Today is Thursday, October 29th

The 2nd year is much harder than the first.... true acceptance that T is NOT coming back and that I'm alone.  No one to call with that little thing that happened today or to commiserate over the elections or to be joyous about anything at all...  Most friends and family expect that I'm 'over it'.  That's just not the truth...  I miss him every day... I even miss the annoying stuff... our fights were spectacular altho' infrequent... but truly earth moving... we were so passionate about our opinions and our feelings.... I miss curling up with T most of all....

The Fall is upon us and I normally love the Fall... I am thankful to be able to see it.  I am thankful that I've been very successful this year by making many clients happy with their transitions... Phew!! Lots of work and thankful for it!  I am soo grateful for Riley and his constant companionship.

It's time for re-invention.  I feel it and I know it's time to take some steps.  Gradually, I'm dealing with T's clothes and his things... I'm taking baby steps cause each one is fraught with so much emotion and so many memories.  I know he'd want me to keep going and I'm putting one step in front of the other.

A little catch-up:  took a major step forward with a trip accompanied by Johnny, Shar and Jayne to our Dad's birthplace and the home of his birth which is his first cousin's home- still a Sorcinelli home (Yah they screwed up Dad's name at Ellis Island- Genezio Sorcinelli became John Sorcenelli)  in San Costanzo, Le Marche, Italy in Sept.

Center of San Costanzo

Gorgeous Son, Carla and Mauro

What a fabulous time with our family!!!!  Homemade pasta at lunch and dinner as the first piatti and then, multiple piatti of meat, chicken or fish and veggies and finished with homemade cannoli and always local wine for 4 days and 3 nights.  We saw the artistic side of Daddy's home town this time around.  Mauro married to Carla Sorcinelli was the 6 hr. a week volunteer in the tourist office since retiring from the Fano Tourist bureau.  Mauro knows everyone in his home town, Fano and everyone in San Costanzo... we went to the market in Fano and toured a local winery/farm  that is pioneering sustainable methods.  They grow Sangiovese grapes, wheat that is turned into pasta and olive oil so, they're able to keep their staff year round and they are family.

Johnny in front of the wine guardian

Shar, Jayne, me and Carla

Guerreri Winery

Fabulous View from the Winery
 On our last evening we toured a historic museum after hours.  This was formerly the Prince's castle, Palazzo Cassi, until the town was bequeathed it around the turn of the last century.  A beautiful building that is totally surprising - upon entering you're struck by the bright white winding stairs that surround an elevator in the center... the stairs akin to the Guggenheim Museum in New York ... each floor contains different art or furniture or tools or a photography exhibit of the people of San Costanzo including 'Chano'- Eziziano Sorcinelli (Dad's first cousin) around the 40's I'd guess.  Another floor held the elaborate costumes worn to Carnival in Venice... complete with headpieces and props and footwear.  And the last floor held local artists work ... I fell in love with the work of Roberto Natale Patrizi and since I couldn't resist I asked if there were perhaps a print of 'Il paese dalla finestra' a scene where the view through the window from the artist's studio is San Costanzo or perhaps a website.   Mauro found a print in town by the next morning and I brought it home.

That was the beginning ....  next installment coming soon....

Monday, September 14, 2015

Today is Monday, September 14th

It's Tracy's birthday and I long to celebrate it with him... he would have been a young 66 today. Strange stuff operating within my world so, he sent me a problem with my tire so, I'd stay close to home.... Jayne's b'day celebration on Sat. took place at the new niners stadium- Levi stadium and we enjoyed a fabulous tour of the facility complete with a luncheon and a trip thru the museum... Most poignant for me Tracy's brick is right at the entrance to the stadium...

Adorned with his ring and my heart

missing you baby
Di, Melanie, Mike, Dave, Jennifer, Marilyn, Tyler,Lou,Jayne, Maurice, Me, Bob, Gary, Carla, Tammy, Gary,Deanna, Deb

Gary, Deb, Deanna, Gary, Me, Lou,Carla, Maurice, Tammy, Tyler, Jayne, Marilyn, Melanie, Bob, Jennifer, Dave, Di, Mike

Marilyn & I sharing Brady in the locker room

The birthday girl, Jayne surrounded by 49er swag
That's all she wrote....

Monday, August 31, 2015

Today is Monday, August 31st

I've been aiming at writing for days now... interesting how that happens... as I try to settle Ry down.  He just doesn't want to come in tonite.  Finally dragged his bed out to the landing.  Hopefully, he'll come in sometime soon....been a very long day...actually a very long couple weeks.

First anniversary of T's leaving left me devastated... several days of heavy grieving as I marked his passing and mourned his continued absence.  I know.. I know... I should be over it but sadly,  I'm not.  I'm just trying to get used to it... as life goes on...and T keeps sending business my way.

Music is comforting and when I can handle it, I'm trying to hear it live... after all is said and done... music fills my soul... and makes life worth living...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Today is Tuesday, August 18th

How do I miss you?  How do I count the ways?  How do I fill the gaps? How do I go on?

My dearest Tracy,  a few times in the 21 years we were together; I wondered what it would be like to be without you... just cause of the normal everyday differences of opinion.  Did I jinx us?  I hope not.

Would I feel the way I feel right now if I hadn't loved you with all my heart?  I know I'm blessed to have loved with my whole heart and every fiber of my being... You were my everything... you fit in every situation and ever micro clique... it didn't matter to you or me as long as we were together.  You were the character that always was true to himself and even tho' at times it rubbed me or the company raw; I loved you for it...  I know I probably could have valued the amazing work and care you took of our home, the home that you designed and built, more deeply and apparently.  I know that now, when I'm left to take care of it and our rentals.... which you also had total control over...  but now, when I talk to tradesman and they marvel at the way you, T, built this house down to the attention to detail of the sprinkler system;  I realize I didn't appreciate your talent enough....please forgive me, my love....

I miss you so... it's almost a year since you graced me with your presence.  I miss your "hi baby" and your warm embrace even when it was purely your eyes that encompassed me. You were so pure... so real... so you and so grateful to awake each morning.  When I'm lucky enough to walk on the beach with our Riley,  I remember how you reveled in the day no matter what the temperature and you always welcomed the rain... and the marine life....

I guess I'll always love you... you will always be in my heart... you have the lion's share of my heart after my Cenzo,  Mom, Dad and the myriad of friends and family who have already passed from this plane.  I wonder what the future holds for souls such as mine....

Here is Tracy's poem that he wrote on the blackboard in my home office and that I treasure:

My love
is like a river
flowing to you
always and forever

I cherish the 21 years I shared with my husband, Tracy James McAvoy....

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today is Thursday, July 30th

Race for Trace banner mounted on our booth
Me, Marit, Jayne, Deanna, Tammy
 A Much healthier T on Buttons 

Me, Jayne, Jim, Linda, Carla, Shar, Deanna, Tammy, Judy, Johnny, Bob, Gary, Alan
Opening Ceremony

Carla, Deb
Me holding 49er Faithful Plaque- Johnny looking on

So many feelings...sadness, gratitude, loneliness, hopefulness, joy, longing, regret, thoughtfulness....

The clan surprised me with a gorgeous banner for the Relay, buttons with T's photo on them, photos to carry... and a plaque in honor of Tracy to be placed at the 49ers stadium.  During the Relay, I volunteered to be the American Cancer Society Ambassador for Santa Cruz County.  I have a lot of passion around getting the funding needed for research and my skill set /experience has been presenting to the electeds both in DC and Sacramento... we'll see... First I'm on a quest to figure out where the funding actually goes.

Anyway, I'm gradually getting used to the fact that T is not coming back... guess I was delusional for awhile but I'm now looking around my house; realizing that I'm responsible for it's care and feeding....argh...  Lucky for me,  I just closed the sale of 14857 Payton Ave. San Jose and am making a list of 'honey do's' that I'll have to have taken care of.... wishing for trustworthy folks to complete the many tasks including getting T's truck fixed.

With the Merry Widows yesterday, I realized I need to do a couple things in the house to make me feel safe and comfortable... all in good time.

Di gave me this photo mounted on glass and a beautiful memory for my birthday.... 2 years ago, Tracy and I were celebrating his remission and the twins' 50th birthday bash over the hill.  I was driving so, no alcohol for me but lots of fun, kibitzing and music.  T settled in with a glass of red wine and Di captured him looking at me harmonizing with Gar....


Monday, July 20, 2015

Today is Sunday, July 19th

So very hard to believe that he's been gone 11 months... I don't know what to do with my feelings this evening... I miss him... I miss the twinkle in his eyes and that deep throated " hi baby" and the feeling of being loved and loving such a character...that drove me mad so many times and yet, I never would give up...we wouldn't give up on each other.  I look around our room and feel so lost yet so found...

Saw another survivor Thurs. who hugged me and told me that he &Trace had had a lot of fun together.  I'm glad of that and so happy that he made it but I wanted to scream and holler "why not Trace?"  Why wasn't he one of the lucky ones?!!!  They told us the odds were 50/50...just never believed he wouldn't beat the odds.  I don't want to dwell on the hardest last month... must keep remembering those wonderful moments we had prior to that or I'll go crazy.

Didn't think I could take a walk on the beach this morning and then, I looked into Riley's sad brown eyes and realized our spirits both needed it.... I'm learning and evolving and trying to just listen.... amazing how the absence of the constant need for attention to Tracy's needs has allowed me to slow down and truly listen.... not always sure I like what I'm hearing but at least I have the time...

Our Relay for Life - Race for Trace was truly a heartfelt tribute to T .... our family went all out and we raised ~ $6200 for cancer research to honor Tracy's fight.  Without research, T wouldn't have lasted past the 2 months projected upon his diagnosis.  So many tears and so much joy surrounded by those who loved our gentle giant....

Love, luck and white light streaming....   oh yah and rock on!!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Today is Friday, July 10th

Death has allowed me the luxury to realize that capturing and experiencing those moments of spontaneity are what makes life worth living.

I know most of us are aware that this moment in time is all that we have.... but do any of us really get that?  I try to be conscious, slow down and truly feel but honestly, it takes a lot of effort to 'be here now'.  I vow to give it a go...

Been reading a lot more lately... Finished "The 4th Rule of Ten" awhile ago and looking for his 5th.  Tenzig's outlook on life has pushed me to be more 'aware' and check in with how my feelings and emotions are affected by events.... and they call it 'fiction'.

John & Shar are here from Cape Cod with Riley & I and I truly feel blessed.  This weekend we will celebrate Tracy's and many others valiant fight and raise awareness and money to fund Cancer research which allowed our gentle giant 3 years and 10 months past his diagnosis.

 I am truly blessed with extended family that will walk with us tomorrow and have donated to the cause.  There isn't anyone that hasn't been touched by the big C.

I thank you Jayne and Carla especially!!!  Jayne, without your amazing ability to manage, direct and handle so many bouncing balls I couldn't have survived the last 10 months and 22 days.  Carla for being my welcoming shoulder.  When I think of family, I know I'm blessed. Gary & Deb, Gary & Deanna, Jim & Linda, Alan, Marilyn, you are my rock stars always present and never too busy.... Love and white light and Tracy's gentle spirit surrounds us.

There aren't enough words to express how sincerely I thank all of you my family of friends for your guiding spirit....

Love, light and happiness!!!  

Tie dye reigns this weekend!!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Today is July 3rd

Happy almost 4th of July!!!!!

Amazing crazy busy work week!!!!  Wow!!!

14857 Payton Ave. received 8 offers and went WAY over list price of 1.088 on the 1st.
615 Cliff Drive received 4 offers and went way over list price of 1.049 tonight.
I listed 188 Seacliff Drive yesterday.... not to be on the MLS for 3 weeks but with a 'coming soon' sign which already has calls coming in.

Thank you Tracy for directing business my way...  I miss sharing with you... actually I just really miss you period...

Riley has been really upset by the fireworks the last 2 evenings.  I gave him 3 Melatonin last night and that relaxed him enough to allow for sleep so, we repeated again tonight.  I feel so bad for my boy but he's sleeping peacefully next to me now.

Made a cheesecake tonight for the party I was invited to tomorrow after the parade.  It was very hard to get going on it... I kept remembering my T standing next to me making the crust... didn't know whether I could proceed... it took a few tears and some sweet memories and then, I got the rolling pin out and got into smashing the graham crackers... adding the rest of the ingredients was easy after that.

One more step forward...

Happy 4th of July everyone!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Today is Saturday, June 27th

Amazing journey I'm on.... this time of transition forces me to be more fully conscious of who I really am and whom I'd like to be and how I'd like to live my life...

Losing Tracy after such an arduous fight forced me to acknowledge that you don't always get what you want... the renewal of hope and prayer and hard work are bringing me to another phase of growth  in my life's adventure... T's directing opportunities my way.

Slowly but surely I'm finding some moments of pleasure by unearthing more compassion and understanding and being fully aware of the here and now... and who I am presently.... without my T.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It's a sleepless night June 21st

Friday marked 10 months that my T is gone.  It's hit me really hard...I can't seem to relax into it.  My heart hurts. I'm putting one foot in front of the other and keeping pace but I can't seem to find my joy ... the sun comes up, our Riley wants attention, the beach beckons and Tracy keeps sending me good business... I feel him pushing me forward but what I really want is him back and our life the way it was before he became ill... irrational, huh?  He never liked the commercialism of holidays but he could mark them by the sweetest gestures... we had that unspoken language that happens when you've spent a lifetime together even tho' it was only 21 years.  I think he would have been a great dad, had he given himself the opportunity... unfortunately, it was out of the ? for us since we met too late for that.

Oh my, I sigh a lot and keep trying to engage and I'll keep on trying cause that's what I do... I never give up.  and the sun will come up tomorrow and hopefully, I'll sleep tonight.... and perhaps, I'll get his blue bomber started tomorrow....

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Today is Sunday, May 31st

Life has been absolutely crazy busy lately and then, the loss of Tracy intrudes and I'm back to sobbing .. 

Wed., after a very long day which started with acupuncture, then work, and then haircut and color, I went to sleep around 9:30PM. I slept until 7 o'clock in the morning. Wow!!!  That's something!!!  Before I awoke Tracy came to me.  As clear as if he was in the room, he said "Annie, you want everything all the time, all at once!" He always used to yell at me that I try to do way too much all at once. So, I realized my reticence to make plans for the memorial, tribute, celebration or whatever we were going to call it along with the Relay for Life.  I can't do both a celebration of life and the Relay for life well. I haven't put any effort into the Relay. Maybe the Relay is the focus and the celebration is later? I do know it's making me crazy.   So, I've decided to back off.  Tracy is with me on this...  The Relay is on track for July 11th.  More info to follow....

Life is amazing... faced with a listing I didn't think was a fit for me... I was set to follow through with the appointment when the Sellers made the best decision for them... so relieved I took Riley to the beach.  A half hour later,  dear clients called and said they needed me.  I'll be listing their gorgeous home in the Cambrian area of San Jose in the beginning of July.... A Great fit!!!

Another new listing or re-listing of a RDM beauty early in July too and I'm happily back to working with a new outlook on my career.  I'm glad to say I'm putting everything into perspective and hope all my obligations will be taken care of in the next year....

I'm renewing my bonds with my friends and slowly looking forward to some new explorations in my life...
Started singing with a Community Sing class in Capitola... a chance to breathe deep and let it out...

Soon I will get back to clay...  I really think I'd love it...

Oh how I miss his guiding words and touch but if I quiet down and listen really closely... he's there....

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Today is Tuesday, May 19th

Today marks 9 months by date since T left our midst.

Grief is like a spiral staircase… up and down but I seem to grieve and then, force myself to get out of my head and aching heart.  I’m back to work and fortunately, now I have established boundaries… wish I’d had more of that when T was alive…  I’ve been extremely busy with work and trying to slowly… creep out to the things that may bring joy… last Sat. I went to a juried Clay show at Bargetto and then, on to a few open studios in SC with a couple of my art buddies.  I am slowly, very slowly creeping into my new life. The rest of the time I take refuge in work and Riley.  

Most folks, some friends think I should move on and I have… away from them.  I’m soo happy to hear when the merry widows begin to enjoy life with family and friends.  It gives me hope…  

I have a lot of paperwork to handle today… put my listing 254 Blue Ridge into contract and the Sellers are in contract on their new Corralitos home… Thank you God!!! and T, cause I think he’s pulling the strings.  Then, off to my grieving widows support group and tonight - a singing class.  Ahhhhh

Hang in there... I wish I could have said to T.......  that's my theme lately but I am letting him know what I would have said with more time...

Just finished "The First and Second Rule of Ten" book gifts from Carla and just loved them... gotta find the Third in the series... He's an ex Buddhist monk, now Private Detective and I'm learning from his ways of dealing with life...  and being in the present conscious of our bodies and thoughts...



Saturday, May 2, 2015

Photo from yesteryear

Here's a photo a dear friend, Mary Jo Mauro Carter from Ct., just sent me... My family sometime late 70's, early 80's me thinks.  That's Cenz, Mom, me, Dad, Shar, Shawn, Johnny & Jay gathered around our dining room table.  Happy memories!!!

Today is Saturday, May 2nd

Ahhh life with a capital L.  I'm emerging and the ? is who am I?  I've become pretty busy which is amazing and good, interesting and causing me to truly look at how I'd like to play out the rest of my time on this earthly plane.  

I find I’m very tired and trying to balance work with some personal time in-between physical therapy for my knee, Riley's needs and exhaustion… ha!  mostly, I collapse and succumb to rest.  Time to build up my reserves again.

I started a singing class with one of my widow friends - Community Singing at Capitola Rec. 2 weeks ago.  At first I didn’t like it, but last week I turned the corner.  We sang a Donovan tune in rounds and then, Somewhere Over the Rainbow in the Iz mode - one of Tracy's favorites... found myself in tears and then, I sang with all the rest.  Expanding my chest and using my body to express my feelings...ahhhh

I am being taken out for dinner this evening by my very happy clients.  Closed 1920 Maciel Ave. Santa Cruz this week - after 2.5 years. It was a supreme test of all my senses and experience, but my very happy client is why I do this work.  

Open house on my listing in Boulder Creek tomorrow. Check out this tricked out home:

Moving along slowly uncovering who I am...  such a journey and I truly believe that grief is a spiral staircase.  A song - a cut from Santana's "Supernatural" sent me into sobs a few days ago... T and I would dance to it whenever we heard it... or then, the view of the ocean or a memory will trigger a happy engulfing feeling for having known him....

One thing I know:  I'll never forget him or us....

Love to you all!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Today is Monday, April 20th

Oh my goodness!!!  Tracy has been lifting me up and pushing me forward.   Easter surrounded by loved ones supported my soul and allowed me to see that life does go on... Lots of people have crosses to bear and losses so unbelievably mind shattering....  I'm so grateful that I had 21 years with the love of my life... I can keep my T close to my heart forever.... I AM GRATEFUL!!!!

I witnessed 3 humpback whales and lots of dolphin playing about 75 yds off the sand a week ago when, for the first time in about 3 months, I was able to walk the hard packed sand of low tide on our wonderful beach..  T brought them to Riley and I.....Wow!!! Tried to catch it by photo and no luck... you know how that is... been doing physical therapy for my knee and back for several months now... that and exercising every day whether I feel like it or not has helped.  My Ortho, after 6 weeks of therapy, relented on surgery for my torn meniscus and suggested I stick with the exercise and check when or if needed.... ahhhh...

Amazing how gratitude attracts like and love...  I have been extremely busy with business over the last week.  wow a way to pay back and move forward and T is pushing... and then, a call for jury service.  Instructed to appear at 1:00 today... the criminal trial sounded boring and not the one trial I would have liked to be a part of right now.  I do respect our right to a fair and just trial but I'm not retired and am in the early process of getting back into the rhythm of life and work again and hopefully, earning some $$$$... somebody has to make the donuts...  this criminal trial was part of the reason why I decided NOT to go to law school.... can't discuss BUT after I was called as an alternate and then, a juror today;  I was asked if I'd ever witnessed police brutality... I guess my remembrance of protesting the Viet Nam war and feeling, fearing and witnessing first hand the brutality and rolling under the tear gas shaped my life experiences.  'Course the Prosecuting Attorney didn't like hearing that and in voir dire dismissed me...ahhh... Thank goodness!!!  I'll be looking forward to serving sometime when I'm retired...

Relationships, love and support are what it's all about...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Today is Wednesday, March 25th

Day by day I feel stronger and then, the wave rolls in.... enough of that.

Life has become more interesting.  I've made some new widow friends and that is very satisfying.  We all intimately know those ups and downs...

I'd like to share some great news!!!

1.  Tracy's outgoing message on our voicemail is recovered!!!!  or maybe I should say uncovered?
I couldn't seem to figure out where the computer message was coming from.. Comcast had canceled our VM at my request and still, this message kept on interrupting phone calls by answering on the first ring.  Finally, I happened to look at the base for an additional set of portable phones on T's side of the bed (we have 3 sets of portable phones in our home so, if we needed help, there was a phone nearby BTW: you can't seem to buy portables without answering capability).  The light was flashing and there were 19 messages on it.  We had never used that as our answering machine but somehow the power loss triggered it into use.  So, this morning after a restful sleep; I decided I needed to put a new message on VM.  Called into it first and there was Tracy... We're the McAnellis again!!!

2.  The Property Mgr. has found a new renter and I couldn't be happier!!!  A family of 5 who own La Manzana bakery in Watsonville will move in on April 1st.  Yahoo!!!

   Day by day... here's a bit of prose that rings true for me:

"This is my journey.  I am the one who knows what I've lost.  I am the one left to live this life, and I have to discover what's possible for me."

Here's to the journey!!!  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Today is Thursday, March 19th

Technically, allowing for fewer days in February, Tracy is gone 6 months and 28 days.
 I’m finding it hard to have the words to write lately.  I have had some really good days & then…

We had our 3rd power outage over the last several weeks… lots of broken and falling branches which snag power lines right in my little hood.  So, Sat. another one and finally, the power comes back on.  So, I notice that when I venture out; there aren’t any messages on my digital machine.  Then, I notice on Mon. that when I try to answer the phone, the digital machine here in my house AND Comcast are trying to give a message AND Tracy’s message is not one of them.  I shut everything down and push way too many buttons and am immediately hysterical because Tracy’s outgoing message is gone.  No longer are we the McAnelli’s and it takes 2 days to stop crying.  I do realize it’s not the end of the world, only my world.

Having said all that... I do have wonderful times where I put my head into thinking of other things especially work... and finding anything and everything to avoid my tax preparation.  The beauty of the coast is amazing right now... clear crystal blue skies and calm water...

Life does go on and I feel very proud of myself for finally figuring out my water heater ( I played with the timer on the booster? and my MB shower head valve so it now works) ah a shower where I'm not holding the wand cause it's set up way too high for a very tall man .. the programmable lights that adorn the front of the house and managed to fill in the 20' abandoned but resurfaced well in my front driveway.  I do feel like I'm coming back as I miss Tracy's all knowing intelligence or ability to figure it out, his wit, his presence and conversation and his loving arms...

They say I'll get to the point where he won't be uppermost in my thoughts... hard to imagine... 

I know I miss the male presence and alternative view... 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Today is Wednesday, March 11th

It's raining and I'm so grateful... time to catch up and to be grateful knowing that through all the tests of will and strength and fear... I shall survive!!!  Sounds like a song...

Lots of news:  #1.  Riley-  Here's my conclusions and the email I sent to Lea & Dr. May (our new Vet)Hi Dr. May,

After monitoring Riley’s water intake for the last 5 days,  I’ve found he’s not drinking more than 2 Liters a day.  I’d like to postpone doing anything else at this time.  I need to spend more time with him and allow him to get over his grieving of my husband… spending more time with Riley will help me too.  What I do realize is we’re thankful to have found a new Vet. that cares.

Dearest Lea;

OK  after the ultrasound and the urine culture and a lengthy conversation with Dr. May:

1. rule out kidney infection
2. not Cushings disease unless very rare- atypical
3. normal adrenal glands
4. nodules in liver are well defined- not suspect- benign -  liver size is normal

Next is what you suggested:  measure water intake and take a tsp. of urine in for testing each day for 3 days as I taper his water intake after the initial 3 days of measuring intake.  Warning:  too quickly reducing water intake could precipitate death.   i think I’m into this...

Also suggested:  see Int. Med. Specialists- board certified

Also biopsy & x-ray lungs to rule out cancer

Now after lots of introspection and after my experience with doing anything and everything conceivable to save Tracy;  I’m reluctant to continue doing anything.  Riley is very comfortable altho’ I think he’s grieving and has been grieving T and the vet agrees that his excessive water intake may be psychogenic polydypsia and this could rule out central diabetes insipidus.   If so, my question remains what about his quality of life?  while we put him through all this stuff - he was not himself last night after spending the day at the vet’s office and being shaved etc.  I feel that had we known that T only had 3 months left T would have elected to be home - walking on the beach rather than being tortured for 3 months.  Ry has puppy like energy and loves his walks on the beach and seems to be happy so, do I really want to pursue all this?  Is this just me being too nuts?

So, I've elected to just let Riley, the wonder dog, be.  He gave me a scare last night-  acted like he'd had a stroke or at least a bad muscle cramp with nightmares.  I made him comfortable, he drank a little water and walked with him 'til he was able to rest comfortably while I massaged him.  Oh my boy...

#2 Rentals:  I am oh so grateful to be able to have gotten them back into shape - still some exterior painting and repairing to do but later, once I've gotten some income.  I've found some wonderful helpers in the interim and I'm very grateful for that.  I just hired a Property Manager (a Realtor I've known for about 10 years) and if 105 isn't rented by May 1st to a responsible party of 6 max; I'll sell the duplex.  Finally, a decision!!!

#3.  MRI yesterday on my knee.  Meet with the Ortho Fri.  Physical therapy 2x a week started last week.  May need arthroscopic surgery on a torn meniscus.  We'll see.

#4. Getting back to living the life I have now.  I feel very lonely at times but I just read something that reminded me that I traveled alone for most of my life.  Just have to get out there.  There's so much to see and do and I just have to seize the moment... carpe diem... one step at a time....

Thank you all of my dear friends and family for supporting me through this tragic loss.  I know you are mourning him and our shared lives too, in your own way.  I am soo grateful for your presence in my life...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Today is Saturday, February 28th

I've been trying to figure out why the waves of grief have been so high lately... last week my senior spouse support group honored our lost loved ones.  I started looking through our albums - virtual on iPhoto and tactile actual albums for photos... I've been down for the count ever since... I'm missing that full of life man who shared himself and his life and his dreams with me... I look at the photos and the memories flood my soul... how do you go forward when you can't get past... at least now I'm remembering a lot more of the good times rather than just the crises of the last four years... something to be said for that.... it's raining and it seems like Tracy should be here reveling in it... he loved walking on the beach in the rain with our boy, Riley...

I've been talking to him...asking him for guidance... big ?'s...  our Riley has had lots of erratic behavior that I'd attributed to grief and I finally took him to a new vet for a check up and blood panel; then, when confronted with the prospects also consulted with Lea, our Godchild.  Finally, I asked T if I should subject Mr. R to an ultra sound and have a urine culture now that the blood panel suggests further inquiry... the vets say yes and T says "are you kidding me?"  so, here we go...  keep your fingers crossed... our boy is 14 yrs and 5 months old... I just don't want him to be in any pain or distress.... and I can't stand the thought of losing him too.

The rentals are finally ready to be put on the market.  A couple days and it's a go.... 2 new buyer referrals came in today... just when I thought it was time to let it all go... right now, I wish I could crawl into T's lap and drink in his strength... I hope he's having fun up there... it's time for both of us...

What to do when life feels so hard...keep walking forward ...feel the sun on our faces and the water lapping at our feet...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Today is Monday, February 16th

Amazing leaps and bounds... it's 5 months and 28 days since my love died.  Friday morning at 6:00AM, I read an email from Bookshop Santa Cruz about their annual short story contest. Submission by today.  Here's mine:

Are you crazy?  How could you leave the garage door opener in my unlocked truck
in the driveway?”   This, after not hearing from him for five months and twenty-six days.  She shook her head; suddenly realizing the depth of her mistake, trying desperately to wake up from this nightmare… oh, but he wasn’t finished… “Where’s the security system since Jack can’t hear much any more?  Haven’t you even thought about getting another dog? The unrelenting questions, tinged by the constant barrage of judgement; just as if he’d never left…. Where did he get off asking these questions and judging her actions after he’d basically abandoned her?  Months gone without a word… She’d agonized over the loss of his physical presence, the depth of their conversations, his long standing guidance and counterpoint and the feel of his embrace so acutely… and now for him to finally reappear after so much time only to criticize and mock her; felt overly cruel and uncalled for.  After all, he’d promised to always be there for her…

Once upon a time they’d been so happy.  A dream come true for both Tina & Popeye. They met on Halloween under a star studded sky lit by a full moon; compelled by their infectious wit, they embraced the chance encounter by throwing caution to the wind to pursue a life together.  Courting sparked a relationship founded on friendship, humor, trust and fun and a whole lot of hope…  days of joyful play mingled with meaningful conversation, music and intimacy… a joining of two hearts
formed a union with deep love and respect for who they were and who they would become.  They both had survived other relationships and used their experience to build and shape and infuse this new ‘thing’ they’d made.  Encouraging each other’s moves to new careers, supporting each other through the loss of dear ones and evolving circumstances, ultimately, they would discover their true selves.  Popeye was always urging Tina to fly her wings, take the leap and then, return to earth.  Tina was Popeye’s infection, spurring him on to design and build a home, release the artist within and be his advocate when he needed back up to push forward.  As one, they faced, traveled and edited their world.  Hope their constant companion.

The years seemed to speed by until Popeye slowly felt a drag in his step. Intermittent episodes of unidentified symptoms began to shape his world and adjust his attitude.  Something just wasn’t right.  Many tests with adverse results and the verdict was heard as a new victim emerged… Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia had wreaked havoc on his body.  Drastic measures were required to combat this dis-ease.  Hospitals were their new domain and doctors, fellows, physician assistants and nurses, their new friends…  if they were lucky and oh, how they counted on luck, these new friends would be his savior.

How to survive when faced with a devastating illness?  Popeye learned the value of each and every day.  Carpe diem their slogan; he seized the day.  Tina, the sea and their faithful dog, Jack shaped his journey.  They learned the depth of their courage in the fight for his life.  Four years as prisoners of the disease, many episodes of victory and sheer horror later; Popeye lost the fight.  Tina lost her center and her way for many months.  Her whole purpose collapsed and hope vanished.   Who was Tina now without Popeye?  Her life was so different without her ‘rock’.   Why hadn’t he visited in her dreams? Hmmmm she really wasn’t dreaming….  Grief had overtaken her existence.  A nightly sleeping pill had allowed her to escape to peace and rest.  Until finally, many months later, Tina was ready to surrender….minus the sleeping pills, the clouds began to disappear.  The relentless waves of grief crested when Popeye spoke to her in her dreams.  Armed with his practical advice and a push forward, she had found hope once again.  Tina was going to live ….

Just finished and submitted... I can feel again....