Hello, It’s Me

…I’ve thought about us for a long, long time. Maybe I think too much but something’s wrong. There’s something here that doesn’t last too long. Maybe I shouldn’t think of you as mine… (Sorry, I can’t say those 3 words without hearing that Todd Rundgren song in my head.)

Okay. I’ll stop now.

Yes, it’s been over a year since I last posted, but I promise I have not forgotten you. I think of you as mine. (Darn song. Is it stuck in your head too?) Please forgive me for vanishing for a while. Some of you must be wondering what happened.

There was a small buzz that I had won the lottery, bought an island (named it The Empty Nest) and was busying myself populating it with puppies, giraffes, pigs and other cute animals that I dream of having in my life.

Some thought I had finally met Nell Harper Lee and she asked me to ghost write her second book.

And then, there was the ridiculous rumor that after 28 years of marriage to Sweetbuns, I had dumped him for a young cabana boy and was living in the Caribbean spending my days soaking up the sun and drinking sweet, adult beverages. (I just love those little umbrellas.)

Closer to fact is that I fell off the deep end, went mute, and have spent the last 12 months cutting out paper dolls.

Not really, but close.

None of what you heard is true.

Here’s the truth: I actually did fall into a pit of despair. It was a minor fall that I dealt with by basically erasing myself from this life. I know. It’s crazy, but true. I rearranged and put away my photos and art, deleted much of my Facebook account, quit writing, quit doing art, and quit hanging out with friends. I just quit sharing (and you KNOW how much I love to share.)

I went inward. Not so Abby Normal for me, but this particular time was a doozy.

Although it was a short-lived time of Eeyoredom, it took me months to dig out, and assess what was going on with me. Today, it’s clear as glass.

I was grieving.

It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last. But that’s what it was.

My mother, as you may have read, has mixed dementia. Honestly, we didn’t expect her to be with us this long, but she is still alive. Yet, here’s the thing. The Mom that I knew is gone.   Our shared secrets, our history, our inside jokes have faded.  I am grateful that I can still have her in my life, but my Mom is a new Mom. I love my new Mom, but the adjustment has not been easy.

Tack on a hefty dose of life’s curve balls and I was a mess last fall.

Now, don’t you prefer the thought of islands and drinks with small umbrellas to the real story? (I promised I’d be honest here. It hurts doesn’t it?) Let’s move on okay?

So much has happened this past year. There is no way to catch you up on the adventure. It has definitely been a year of growth, gain, and loss, and I’m not talking poundage, body parts and facial hair. (Well. Maybe I am. I did finally have a hysterectomy.) Anyway, I’m going to clue you in on something.

I began this blog when my child went away to college. It was a therapeutic, creative outlet for my writing. My goal was to share my feelings, and in turn hopefully help others. Well, I’m cool with the empty nest. I really am. Alli is in her junior year now, and is actually studying abroad in Paris, France this semester. Sure, I miss her, but I feel that I have adjusted well to this new stage of life. Maybe it was because I wrote my way through it? If I had known that the whole Empty Nest thing was such a huge media hype for the heart-strings, I wouldn’t have named my blog what I named it. And I sure wouldn’t have used that Midol advertisement photo of myself for the header.

So, here’s the deal pickle. I’m in the process of creating a new blog which will focus more on general humor (Yes, I heard the plea) and other items of interest.  You will still have to endure my obsession with my loved ones, but I promise I will make it fun.

Are you guys on board? I need a new, grown up name for the new blog. Any ideas or suggestions?  Should my posts be shorter? Do you like the photos or are there too many? Thanks for your help!

I’ll keep you posted. (Pardon the pun.)



P.S. Larry and I celebrated 29 years of marital bliss this past September. There is no cabana boy! That was a bad rumor. But I have been busy thinking of ways to meet and write with Miss Lee, own hundreds of cute animals and live on an island.


The Nutty Big 5-0 (+2)

I just celebrated my fiftieth birthday last weekend…on my fifty-second birthday.

Since I didn’t have a huge celebration when I turned fifty,  I’m allowed to do that, right?

I considered celebrating my fortieth but thought that might be pushing it. I look more fifty, and sometimes I act more like I’m three.

1963- Three years old – At Momma Doye’s Formica top table. Nice bangs, huh?
Note: The window is open, which reminds me how spoiled we are to AC now.

I’m gullible and silly, sometimes shy, sometimes too talkative, and I giggle too much.  

I can’t remember things I’m told to do.

I cry easily.

My attention span is close to nothing.

I like to skip.

Most days I could use a nap.

I want my Mommy

And, I love a good celebration with cake.

Sweet Larry told them to do the cake in my favorite color.♥

This year, my birthday celebration went on for a few days.

Larry invited some friends over for a little gathering the night before.  He did a great job planning dinner and tunes.  

On my actual birthday, Alli made me homemade waffles with fruit, put ice cream in my coffee, and served it in bed with flowers on the tray.

She also took me out to see Brave. I love a good Disney movie, and this one did not disappoint. (How odd to have my child paying my way into the show.)

Some of my cow-orkers (one of my favorite typos) spoiled me the day after my birthday with treats, and enough confetti on my desk and counters to keep me cleaning for months. ☺

That night, Alli and her friend Mackenzie took me out to terrorize the general public. (This really is hard to explain, but it involves pranks.)

Mackenzie and Alli

For the final celebration, on Tuesday, Larry took me on a fine date to the opening night of The Nutty Professor.  It is directed by Jerry Lewis, who starred in the original movie in 1963, the year I turned 3. Eddie Murphy had the lead in the film remake in 1996.  That was the year Alli turned 3.

See, this is how the birthday thing goes with me. I start adding up years and thinking of how old I was when this and that happened, and I always find some strange if not funny irony in it all.

Jerry Lewis as the Nutty Professor, 1963

Birthdays, holidays, and vacations always make me reflect upon my life and think about the passage of time. Seriously, your mind can sort of go nutty if you let it.

While I (Queen for the Day) lounged in bed waiting on my breakfast to arrive on Sunday, I looked around our room at some of the souvenirs of my life. These are things I see every single day and yet rarely stop to think about…

pictures from trips, stuck around the mirror

ticket stubs from shows and movies

books I’ve read

my grandmother’s needlepoint

colorful bead necklaces made and given with love by my child

our framed wedding invitation

my mother’s rocking chair

our engagement photo (Were we really that young?)

another needlepoint by my first grade teacher

 Alli’s baby photo

a collage of us in Colorado for our second honeymoon

stuffed animals from my childhood

a medal from the half marathon

a chair my grandfather made for my Dad when he was little

the chest full of dolls and other gifts my parents brought to me from their trips to faraway places

a jewelry holder from some dear childhood friends

angel wings and a couple of sock monkeys from another

a pencil holder from yet another brought to me from her homeland of Japan

my Dad’s old ink well

a pen that Larry and Alli gave to me the year my book came out

my beach hat

my pig collection (I know, I know.)

This is just in our bedroom!

My house is a dang museum of artifacts and treasures from our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

I thought of the pets I’ve had in my life. Too many to name them all, but I did think of each dog…Lady, Rebel, Brandy, Muggs, Sugar Bear and Bella Bunny.

I thought of each of the eleven homes I’ve lived in over these fifty-two years. I wondered who was living in the other ten now.

And since I was thinking nutty because it was my birthday, I wondered if there would be more dogs, other homes, more friends. Would we really move to Ecuador like we talk about? Where would Alli end up living once she’s grown?

Will I ever own a real pig?

This is when it hit me…a huge ah ha birthday moment. Even though I’m getting older, there’s still so much left. There are places to go, friends to make, things to experience that I just can’t even imagine now. So much of life is still a mystery to me.

In this new stage of my life, with my mostly empty nest, and with the hype about middle age it would be easy to feel like my life is over. But, I don’t feel that way. As a matter of fact, I feel like things make more sense now. The tough times have taught me to wait on the good. The good times are to be treasured.

Life, so they say, is but a game and we let it slip away.
Love, like the autumn sun, should be dyin’ but it’s only just begun.
Like the twilight in the road up ahead, they don’t see just where we’re goin’.
And all the secrets in the Universe, whisper in our ears
And all the years will come and go, take us up, always up.

By James Seals  

(From We May Never Pass this Way Again, 1973)


Libby Lu who’s fifty-two