First Snow

The first "real" snow of the season.  Yuck. 

Murray loves it:

Christmas isn't Christmas without a red bow on our Rudy:

An Honest Look

I'm back.  It's been awhile.  Thank you for waiting.  

Depression has reared it's ugly head again. So many things piled up.  Imagine a grassy hill. In the summer it's green and lush, but in winter, it's covered with snow.  Depression for me (because it's different for everyone) is like when a snow plow keeps adding that snow to the hill until the pile is huge. Does that make sense?

Oh, poor me.  I should pick myself up, dust myself off, and get on with it.  Believe me, I'm trying, and hard. I have so many things to be grateful for.  I do, I really do.

But, depression doesn't work that way.  It's not that easy.  Depression is sneaky, and mean, and horrible. It's real. Trust me, it's real.

I'm a pretty good pretender, so I've been hiding under the covers (literally and figuratively) and living life as though I feel grand.  Today I was having a happy visit with a dear friend, and I'm not sure how it happened, but I had a complete melt down.  I cried about so many things. Said friend, being the beautiful person she is, talked me through it and calmed me down. I wish I had the words to explain how debilitating depression is.  But I don't, so I won't try.

I know the evil depression lies within me.  I have months when I'm feeling normal, and stints when I'm feeling terrible.  Knowing how to deal with depression is half the battle.  Exercise and eating well are on the top of my "depression war" list.  Prayer especially, helps.

My prayers are usually sent internally.  I don't voice them, but I do pray.  Today, on my daily walk with Rudy, I prayed aloud. I walked, and I prayed, and I cried. It felt so good to voice my prayers and blessings.

I know I'll be okay. I have lots of  family support, and God to see me through.  Other people have a hundred other problems.  I don't mean to pull the "woe is me card and my life is so terrible" card, because it's really not.  I have the BEST life.

My intention for writing this is to reach out to someone else who might be struggling with depression.
 It's time to get real and be honest.  Because it stinks.  It just plain stinks.

Christmas Cookies

I love to cook.  I hate can't bake.  Too much science and exact measurements are required for baking.  So when my SIL (sister-in-law, Randi) called last week, asking if we wanted to get together to help the boys decorate cookies, I cringed. It turned out that a quick run to the grocery store and some pre-packaged dough was what she had in mind.  We think alike.  Another reason why I love her.

So, we popped the pre-made cookies in the oven, and assembled our decorating materials.  Let the decorating commence!

While we were busy in the kitchen, the boys were squirting frosting (because fake frosting and fake cookies are how we roll) and dumping sprinkles.  When we went to check on them, this is what we found:

Notice that the cookies that aren't on the tray each have a bite in them.  Murray claimed that he was checking to make sure that they tasted okay.

Merry Christmas!

A Letter to Santa

I have recently received several verbal comments that my blog is too sad to read.  I have no idea why this bothers me, but I can't seem to brush it off. I admit, Murray's Momma is often peppered with topics that are serious, sad, or sometimes even depressing. I don't like to hide from the tough stuff, and frankly, I'm just not that funny.

But guess what? I will continue to write what I feel, and I sincerely hope that you'll stick with me.  I'm not ALWAYS that depressing, am I? 

Don't answer that. 

In an effort to lighten things up, the following is the letter to Santa that Murray composed last night.  He dictated, I wrote.  I did edit it just a tish, because he tends to ramble, and I didn't have the energy to hand write a novel.

Dear Santa,

I have been good but Owen has been bad so he goes on the bad list. You should call his mom and Linsay and tell them that Owen didn't help clean up so he is bad. I have been VERY good so can I have some cars, train tracks and a helicopter?

My mom would like a rockstot (a 12 qt. stock pot), a processer for food (food processor) and she wants new jammies.  So could you bring those for her?

Oh, and can you bring Legos so I can build whatever I want? I will leave you milk and cookies and some carrots for the deer, but I don't how you will feed them.
Murray (picture a 4-year old version of the letter "M")

Note:  Notice that DH wasn't included in the letter?  I'm assuming Santa won't be delivering presents with Craig's name on them. 

Merry Christmas!

Nala and Murray

Goodbye, sweet girl.  You were loved, and now you are missed. 

Sweet Nala

Update:  Nala passed away this morning.  Good bye, sweet girl.

I love dogs.  I love animals.  I always will.  Our golden retriever, Nala,  is the one with her head in my lap.  She's very old, and very sick.

Sadly, she's dying.  Slowly, but surely.  She can hardly walk; and if she does, she walks sideways (her right side doesn't sync with the left side), she suffers from bouts of confusion, where she'll stand in the middle of the room or yard and stare at nothing.  She's also incontinent.  She needs to be carried up and down a flight of four stairs and looks just plain miserable.  I LOVE her.  But, I can't stand to see her in this much pain.  It's breaking my heart.  Why haven't we put her down?  There are several reasons.

We realized that her health was declining when she no longer stood in the yard and barked, nor did she chase a ball, or even care about treats, her favorite motivator.

The day after Thanksgiving, she had her annual check-up. I was certain that Craig was going to call and tell me that Nala wasn't coming home.  Surprisingly, our vet declared her "very healthy for her age." Three days later, she deteriorated rapidly.  Now, she doesn't move, she doesn't drink water, and  she will only eat canned Iams. That's on a good day, when we can coax her to eat.  This, from a dog that once ate a 20 lb. bag of dog food by herself.

Craig has cared for Nala since she was six weeks old.  They've been through a lot. I can't tell him what to do, because if I were in the same situation with Rudy, I would appreciate the same respect. 

I don't want to sound cold-hearted, but I feel like it's inhumane to keep her with us.  She's obviously suffering.  No matter what we try to keep her comfortable, we fail. 

Some say, she's "just a dog", but to us, she's one of our best friends.

It's time; it won't be long now until she isn't with us anymore.  As hard as it will be, it's really time. I'm so sad.  She will be missed. 

Tomorrow morning, I will take her to her vet. Again. I just can't stand to see her in pain, and DH just doesn't have the heart to do it himself.  Good night, sweet Nala.  You've been a joy.



A wise woman once told me to slow down. It's taken me years to figure out what she meant. 

I think I get it now, though to stop being in a hurry is easier said than done when you have a personality like I do.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not running around with my head cut off making sure our house is perfect (it's far from perfect), or sprinting back and forth checking laundry and fluffing pillows.

Although, I do have my moments.

For instance, give me a task and you'll never regret it.  When I'm in the mood or challenged, I won't disappoint.  If I feel like cooking, I'll go nuts in the kitchen.  If I feel like cleaning, everything from the baseboards to the tops of the windowsills will be scrubbed.  If I feel like doing laundry, I won't stop until every single article of clothing and linen is fresh, folded and in it's proper place.  The dog needs a walk?  We'll be back after five miles. Murray wants to do a project?  Never fear: I have an arsenal of art supplies and ideas.

But, this only happens when I'm in the mood.  I can be extremely organized, but I can also be extremely lazy. I find that the more organized I am, the more I'm allowed to be lazy.  Quite the catch-22, don't you think?

Let's get back to the wise woman who reminds me to slow down.  My Grandma. I've found that following her advice makes me enjoy whatever I happen to be working at, even if it's not a task that thrills me.  Because, when I slow down and take my time, I have pride in whatever it is I accomplish. And, if I take my time, well, you can imagine that things turn out quite a bit better than if I were in a hurry.  Slowing down takes a ton of practice (I even am trying to slow down my rate of speech), but each time I remind myself to take a deep breath and relax, I find so much more pleasure in accomplishing my goals. 

I love you, G.K.