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Shoots and Ladders....

Monday, September 01, 2014

Do you remember the game of Shoots and Ladders? When I was a young child, I remember playing it often.

In the beginning of the game, it's all about taking small steps forward, climbing a few steps upward, hitting road blocks, falling down, getting back up and re-trying to get to your goal. The longer you stay in the game, the harder the obstacles become, the climb is steeper, and the "shoots" sometimes take you back to the beginning.

The higher you climb, the lighter you feel, the more euphoric you become at reaching your goal.

This game is just like my weight journey...

Something comes along and clogs up the works, I lose my focus and tumble downward again and the struggle with myself starts all over again.

Feelings of being a failure, hearing the ghost of my mother telling me I will never succeed - is just under the surface (she never stays buried).

The last month, my depression keeps dragging me downward and further in despair. I've lost my spark...

Last night I was watching an over-weight reality show from A&E - called HEAVY. I had a light-bulb moment....

My newest addiction and enabler is Assisted Living. Whenever I find something too hard, I hit the "easy button" (the call light) and someone else takes care of my problem. I have chosen to eliminate the challenge, by allowing them to do something for me - because I've gotten too lazy!

I have lost my desire to CARE.

So, it's time for some honesty. When I arrived at Assisted Living....
1. I was recovering from pneumonia
2. Needed to learn to transfer from my wheelchair to a toilet
3. Needed to find wheelchair accessible housing - as my split-entry home is a hazard

I accomplished the first two tasks by Feb 8, 2013....so WHY am I still here?

The grief of losing Wayne (April 2013) and the depression that followed has been gradually getting worse.

The thought of moving forward -- ALONE - scares the crap out of me.

So, what happened to that strong person inside? I think she is still there - she just needs a HUGE kick in the butt!!!

As long as we are on an honesty kick - beyond the pneumonia, how did I feel when I arrived here?

I was down 82# from my high-point, I had increased energy, I smiled more, I laughed and being told I would be in a wheelchair from now on didn't faze me. My challenge is not the chair, my challenge is getting others to recognize that I am still the same person!!

Everyone around me has stopped looking at ME - all they see is my chair and immediately supply sympathy.

PLEASE tell me I can't do something and that evil person inside smiles wickedly and proves you wrong.

Last night's program lit a spark that I'm hoping to turn into a flame.... and like a good friend of mine told me. I need to "GET MY MAD ON" so I can move forward!!!

Time to turn some of those dreams into reality...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 10/6/2014 3:58PM

    You can do it! Prove them wrong! I can't wait for the day you tell us you found a house on your own and you are moving on! emoticon

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 9/8/2014 6:22PM

    Here is a emoticon to get you going again. You are one of the strongest ladies I know and YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Hope you had a great weekend!
My computer has not been working right and my iPad won't let me post to individual blogs. Sorry. I have missed you!
Prayers, blessings, love and hugs,

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    Annie, I have only met you through SP since I got on here in June, and I have to say, the person that wrote THIS blog is powerful beyond measure...not the same person I was getting to know through the things I saw posted before today. Self-honesty and determination will get you where you need to go...and it sounds now like you are a woman ready to be on the move and to take her life back. emoticon Everyday just ask yourself, "what can I do TODAY to move forward?", and then DO IT! emoticon You CAN do it! I will be cheering you on!

Comment edited on: 9/3/2014 10:58:35 AM

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GRINGUITA 9/1/2014 2:04PM

    Welcome back!


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CARO488 9/1/2014 11:46AM

    You have made such strides against horrible events. You know you can do it! Take one step - make an appointment with a realtor, or a social worker - someone to help you look into different living arrangements. The next time you think it might be too easy to push the call button - don't (unless it's an emergency!!)


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LOUISEH54 9/1/2014 10:11AM

    Annie , You are a beautiful person, inside and out and are capable of more than you can imagine. let's "Get your mad on" and do this together

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    ABSOLUTELY!!!! You are an amazing woman & can do whatever you put into you mind to accomplish. NOW.. DO IT!!! You KNOW that you CAN.. this issue is wanting to. Let go of the FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). As your friend says, GET YOUR MAD ON. Stand up for ANNIE!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon We're all hear cheering for you. There HAS to be a place out there for you to live. I AM SURE of it!!!! FIND IT & STOP babying yourself. YOU ARE NOT A BABY!!!! You know it & we know it. I've never met a spunkier person. You have so much talent. You have so much drive. Put it into positive motion. GO YOU!!!!

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I'm stuck in the past.....

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Does the negativity from others change the way you perceive yourself? Or are you strong enough to still be the person you are capable of being?

My maternal grandmother was a positive influence that made me WANT to "do my best in everything I did". She always told me "you can do anything you make up your mind to do". Although she has been gone 31-years, I hope to be half the person she was.

Then there were my parents ~ they spent a lifetime tearing apart my world. No matter what choices I made, how I succeeded or what I experience ~ it was never "good enough".

In fact, it took them 59-years to finally tell me that they were "proud of me" and it carried absolutely NO meaning!!

So, why am I SO stuck in the past??????

How do I get rid of that constant hum, in my mind, from the ghosts of negativity???

My past shouldn't control my future. I should be in control of my future......ME!!!

Perhaps the more I confront the negativity head on, the less it will be able to control me.

How appropriate....the radio is belting out...."What doesn't kill you makes you stronger..."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST2OFUS 7/27/2014 10:53AM

    Your parents were not very demonstrative people and when they finally did tell you at 59 that they were proud of you......they really, really, really meant it!

You are a better person for your life experiences, some you could do without, but it did make you a better person. I am sure you tell everyone how proud of THEM you as soon as you feel that proudness. (don't know if that is even a word, but heck, it works).

I am proud of you, very proud, you are a quilter extraordinaire! You are funny! You are a great researcher. Yes, I AM PROUD OF YOU!

Comment edited on: 7/27/2014 10:54:22 AM

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 7/27/2014 10:43AM

    Easier to say "let go of the past" than it is to actually do it. You're in my prayers friend. Hopefully focusing on Your positives will help.

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GRAYGRANNY 7/27/2014 9:03AM

    So sorry you are dealing with this my friend. I know the past bites me in the butt on occasion also. Wishing you the best in dealing with this......listen to Grandma....you sre sooo worth it!!

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WDIPIM 7/27/2014 6:53AM

  It's hard. My Mom (who is still living) is not a nurturer and hates if I'm doing well. My Dad (who is deceased) was my strength and encourager. I have to struggle to remember he wanted me to be the best I could be and that I could do whatever I set my mind to. Good Luck. God Bless

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My depression makes me angry....

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go.

Whether it's guilt, anger, love, loss or betrayal.

Change is never easy.

We fight to hold on and we fight to let go.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Take good care of yourself... I wish I could give you a real hug! emoticon

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VIADOLOROSA 5/24/2014 7:01AM


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PEGGYO 5/22/2014 7:05AM

    so true

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    Isn't it the truth. You are in my prayers. Love ya

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 5/20/2014 11:31PM

    Prayers for you Annie. Change is difficult and the bigger the change the harder it is.
Continued blessings and hugs,

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Challenges of Life...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Many of us have different types of challenges that tend to clog up our lives ~ emotions, physical, health related, mind-games, etc. How we cope with them can greatly change how we feel about ourselves.

Are you the type that meets these challenges head on? Do you succumb to the emotions and eat through it? Or do you listen to all the negativity and fill yourself full of self-doubt?

I have experienced all these and more!

I grew up in a 'controlling negative atmosphere' and when my parents died in Nov 2011, for the first time in 59 years ~ I was struggling to out-stretch my wings and soar skyward. Their legacy they left me was filled with self-doubt, low self-confidence and low self-worth.

For the first time in my life I was NOT totally surrounded by - "no you can't". The whole year of 2012 was filled with adventure, discovery and building up what had been broken down too many times. I made my own choices, began doing things for ME and the magic began to take place.

We all have that common bond ~ we are here to lose weight. To find that skinny person that lives within us. But for me, it goes WAY beyond that ~ it's much more than just re-learning to eat proper serving sizes and consume nutritionally sound foods.

One of my biggest discoveries was admitting that I am (was) an 'emotional over-eater'. Just saying it OUT LOUD helped to release years of crap from my life. Finding an alternative to "eating through my emotions" has been the challenge ~ but it CAN be accomplished. And now it doesn't seem so daunting anymore ~ all I did was reach out to others. I started to TALK through my emotions - instead of eating them.

Crutches kept me upright for 7 years and by Nov 2012 I was faced with "re-learning to walk or find an alternative". From Nov 2012 through January 2013, Occupational and Physical therapy took up a huge portion of my day. I was never able to consistently stand or walk.

Forty years of Osteo-arthritis had finally taken it's toll, my knee joints could no longer keep me upright. Every time I tried to stand, within 2 minutes - my knees would buckle.

Lymphedema is one of my health challenges ~ a protein based fluid gets into my legs but cannot be re-absorbed through the blood stream and lays stagnant in my legs. In March, I learned that due to the severity of my Lymphedema, I will NEVER have knee replacements.

To tell you the truth ~ when the Orthopaedic surgeon gave me this news ~ It was a RELIEF! I know that my body does not heal like a normal person! Accepting this news was easy, but finding a comfortable chair to fit me has proved more challenging.

In April, loosing Wayne really knocked the wind out of me. Whatever challenges I had, we were able to face together and now re-learning to 'go it alone' has turned too many emotions back on.

When I'm wearing my "big girl panties" I CAN handle anything - it just takes me a bit longer. I AM still the same person I was before all these challenges surrounded my life.

But when I'm experiencing a "pity party" ~ holy crap, all the negativity that continues to surround me today, gets blown out of proportion. I start believing all those people that tell me I can't do something because I'm in a wheelchair. Emotions have been running rampant - I have shut down, succumbed to the negativity, go with the flow and stopped caring.

Thoughts of moving out of this facility - that I HATE - I started thinking that maybe everyone is right? It really is easier to have someone else do everything for me.

When I stopped caring about ME....
* the 100# I lost during 2012 started reappearing.
* my smile quit showing up.
* my positive personality went into hiding.
* I cried more.
* I with-drew into my room.
* my sewing machine became covered in dust.
* I began sleeping all the time.
* exercise became a thing of the past.

Then one day, the 'organized person within' came to the surface. I was organizing my spending, when right there in black & white it hit me like a ton of bricks! I have spent over $20,000 for my surroundings and I continue to NOT request any assistance. I MUST BE STUPID!!

Slowly the transformation is taking place ~ Life and Living is replacing that negative list into positive thought and action.

The FEAR of moving and living on my own (again) is starting to break down. Admitting that I AM stronger than I think I am - is what I'm dealing with now.

Once I deal with those FEARS ~ I will once again be able to open those wings and soar skyward!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Keep up the good fight Annie! Your journey and your passion to keep trying to move forward are inspiring. Never stop looking for solutions...I'll be praying for you!

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QUILTINGBUDDY 1/10/2014 10:52PM

    Wow Annie, I'm so proud of you for facing all of this head on! You are so much braver than I am. I've been through a LOT just like you and can really relate to the negativity also. I was always told "You can't" my whole life. I, like you, have to learn to face my life and find a way to move forward without relying on food, without giving into the pity party (the easy but ineffective way) and doing what is best for me. I wish I knew how to be there for you, but I don't even know how to be there for myself. Life is hard, but we just have to keep on keep'n on. I want to try to be there for you. Let's check in with each other from time to time and help each other through the tough stuff ok?

And let's agree to keep on quilting!!!


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CLAIREINPARIS 10/16/2013 12:35AM

    You are a very brave lady, who is dealing with so much... It isn't surprising that loosing Wayne was a huge shock and that you needed time to adjust. You have, and you haven't regained all the weight lost, far from it: good for you!
And I believe you will conquer your fears and open those wings! I love your background picture, this bird is just beautiful and makes me want to fly too!

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CARO488 9/19/2013 11:12AM

    You are amazing! I love this post, because the beautiful YOU shines through!
hugs and prayers,

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/29/2013 11:04PM

    I'm so proud of you for loving yourself enough to TRY. You WILL succeed because you are a survivor and a person of great worth. I'm cheering for you my friend. emoticon

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RASPBERRY56 8/29/2013 5:46AM

    I am so, so sorry for what damage your parents have done to you.......such a shame!

Kudos to you for your strong attitude despite it all.......so many of us just crawl under the nearest rock and stay there!

I wish you the best with your health and life journey!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 8/29/2013 1:50AM

    You have come such a long way, Annie. Now is not the time to quit. Now is the time to take care of yourself. You can do it!!!
You have written such a wonderful blog. It could apply to many of us, me included, at one time or another in our lives.
You are a fighter and all you have to do is spread your wings and fly. Dust off your sewing machine and make something that makes you happy!!! Do it for yourself and no one else. I am behind you 300% of the way!!!
Don't let anyone take your freedom to be you!!!
Prayers, blessings, love and hugs,

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_KATHY 8/28/2013 11:52AM


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JUST2OFUS 8/28/2013 11:18AM

    Annie, you hit the nail on the head....You are RIGHT ON GIRL! This was a good post, as most, if not all of us, have at one time or another done the same things. Rock on forward, I'll rock with you. And Yes you can learn to cut sitting down; it isn't the easy way but it can be done.

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LADYBUG1943 8/28/2013 11:09AM

    A mentor once told me how he conquered negative self talk, as in "That was a stupid thing to do." He replaced it with "That's not like you! You usually.... [fill in the dots with some positive evaluation.] This works for me.

And I agree with Carlanne.... get that sewing machine going again!. Sometimes we "hold off" on the fun stuff because we feel like we don't deserve it. If not now.... when?


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CARLANNIE 8/28/2013 9:39AM

    What's that you say? Your sewing machine is covered in dust? Can't allow that! You know what you have to do. Dust it off. Figure out how to cut fabric up and sew it back together from your wheelchair, and make one gorgeous, beautiful "I Can Do This" quilt!!! And if you need help getting the fabric cut up, I'd be glad to cut it up for you if you send me the fabric and pattern. emoticon

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ROBERTAUP 8/28/2013 7:12AM

    Thanks for sharing. Fear is the thing that cripples us, that's for sure.

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GRINGUITA 8/28/2013 6:35AM


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MTN_KITTEN 8/28/2013 5:11AM

    I called myself stupid earlier this week and a delightful Sparker gently smacked my hand... we are never stupid. We are intelligent, capable and caring people - who sometimes let everyone and everything tell us how to feel.

You are awesome! Get the mud out from your wings and truly fly.

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A Dog Lover's Prayer

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A year ago, our beloved Buck was laid to rest. Then 10 months later, Wayne was reunited with him. I miss both "my guys", but am comforted to know that they are back together again. In that field of green that I often dream about!


My prayer book's unconventional,
An album scarred with age,
The dogs who shared their lives with mine
Stand out on every page.

Though some folks picture Heaven's gates
Atop a golden stair,
The precious photos in my book
Inspire this humble prayer:

Lord, lead me to a sun-washed field,
Then send them one by one;
Let yelps of joy lead wagging tails
As to my arms they run.

This Heaven that I pray for, Lord,
Where lilacs scent the air,
Is blessed with all the dogs I've loved
Who come to greet me there.
~Toni Fulco

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMLOCOLINDA 8/10/2013 2:56AM

    This is a beautiful prayer for our lost beloved pets. I like the idea of the Rainbow Bridge where they are waiting for me. I say that my beloved little Jazabel, the mama dog bichon is up there bossing around all my big dogs and having them dig a big hole just in case they have to pull my big butt thru. I have 4 bichons buried at the bottom of the hill on my my mom's side of the duplex. I planted tulips with Jaz when she died so I would get notice from her that she was painfree and running and jumping and playing like in her younger daze. All the tulips came up RED...which is my least favorite color!! And I used to say that she was a little Devil Dog...because the Devil would be cute and sweet to entice you in. Just proved it! And Jake has bleeding hearts on his grave. I miss those dogs every single day. I had them 14 and 15 1/2 years. I have 2 new ones...Gus and Grace. They are wonderful little rescues that I got at about 5 and 6 months. They are from the same father and different mothers. Only Gus is in my photo gallery as Grace hasn't taken a really good picture yet....Linda can't figure out the digital camera!!

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GEORGIA_KAY 7/1/2013 9:10AM

    Beautiful. We just lost our dog Tino yesterday. it's a sad for all of us. Thanks for sharing this. It helps!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 6/26/2013 11:50PM

    AWESOME blog!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Annie. May God continue to bless you with healing and comfort as you continue to deal with your losses. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.
Prayers, blessings, love and hugs,

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    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing this Annie. I hope that you continue to heal daily & that you can feel the love that your "boys" have for you, flowing down from above. We love you too! emoticon

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GRAYGRANNY 6/26/2013 9:56AM

    Oh Annie!!! Losing 2 of our pets within a few months of each other several years ago.....this one hits home. Thank you!!!

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ELSEEBEE 6/26/2013 9:53AM

    Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing! This will be copied and shared with all my dog loving friends.

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