One Year Later

Saturday, April 10 was the one year anniversary of being deserted by someone that I thought loved me and that I have trusted for almost 20 years. It was the ultimate betrayal. I still feel it everyday. Its been the hardest thing that I have tried to overcome. The feeling of sadness, worthlessness, unimportant and unloved never leaves me.

But his illness is not stopping him from trying to take half of everything that I have earned. He earned nothing, no 401k, no stock, not shit! But I worked my ass off and he is taking it. A dickless piece of shit he is. Our divorce hearing is sometime in May. I’m not ready but ready for this to be over. I want to get rid of his shit name. I want my Daddy’s name back.

It still feels new to me. I still relive that day. Should I have done something different? I should be feeling better now, right? A few weeks ago, I had another breakdown (for lack of a better word). I left work crying many days. I was filled with such anxiety it was hard to leave my house. Leaving the only things that love me everyday (Peyton and Eli) is a challenge I face every morning. I still came in to work today. I feel much better when I do get to work but its hard telling myself that I need to get out. I work from home on the worst days. My manager has been great and understanding during this time. That has been a plus for me.

I started a new routine to help me…hopefully. I started doing a small amount of exercises each day and meditating for about 10 or 15 minutes per day. I’m desperate when I start meditating and doing yoga! I’m desperate! I plan to start a yoga routine tonight.

Last week I felt much better. One of my best friends, who does care about me and checks up on me daily, invited me out to happy hour with her team from work. It was awkward for me but felt good being with people who laugh. I will meet up with them again. I need to get out. Just to be with people felt strange to me.

Deserted and secluded is not healthy for me, I know that. But seclusion feels comfortable.

In trying to find myself and stay busy, I took up cooking! For 20 years, my ex was the cook and a very good one. He introduced me to cuisines that I had never tried. So now, I’m learning to cook, make bread and many other things. It has given me a lot of pleasure, satisfaction, frustration and a sense of pride. I have a chef’s type kitchen in my beach house. I made homemade greek yogurt this past weekend and it was weird at the pride I felt! I have been ordering for the last 6 or 7 weeks. It has helped me become disciplined and a planner. I hate wasting anything so that is my goal. Eat what I buy. No waste. I have not visited a grocery store in almost 2 months. What I can’t get from imperfect foods, I get at our local farmer’s market.

Homemade Yogurt
Red Curry Coconut Chicken

Anyway, no one reads my blog anymore but it feels good to put my feelings down.

Happy Monday!

A Landslide Brought Me Down

As I reflect on 2020, it makes my heart sink pretty deep so I try to avoid thinking of it as much as I can.

I was listening to one of my favorite songs “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. And it fit how I felt. A Landslide brought down the world I’ve known for 20 years.

“I took my love, I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down”

In one year, I lost everything. I lost my husband of 20 years, my financial security and I lost my relatives here which are my son, daughter in law and grandkids. I say relatives because that’s how I view them now versus family. For most of my life, I have taken the blame for any shitty thing that has happened to me. That feeling had kept me depressed since the separation. After a long struggle, I came to realize that while I am a most imperfect person, none of this was my fault. That did relieve me a bit emotionally after some therapy but it doesn’t change the fact that I am alone. My family is Peyton and Eli. They are senior dogs with several illnesses. So I feel they won’t be around for many more years. I’m trying to prep for that.

And how it was done was a most cruel action by both my husband and my kids, maybe inadvertently. I went for months thinking I deserved it. Maybe I didn’t act like I should have. Maybe this shit, maybe that shit. Always putting the blame on myself. I still have moments of wondering what I could have done to change it.

But I also know that just because something is not my fault doesn’t mean its not my responsibility to set it right. Which is what I am working on. It’s hard and lonely, but I can do this.

In words, my husband of 20 years is a paranoid and borderline schizophrenic. He thinks I am part of a cabal of some kind that is out to get him. I could go into the long details but he is not even close to the same person that I knew. His face even looked different when I last saw him in August. So after he walked out saying he no longer wanted to see me, the dogs, grandkids or anything in our life and he alluded to that I present a danger to him. There is no communication with him. He doesn’t communicate with his real blood family. He is afraid of me. He’s afraid of everyone. He peeks out windows, sees people following him and all are out to get him. He truly believes he is in danger. And its nothing I did. He believes in cults, conspiracies and luminati type stuff. I can’t even begin to understand how that happened in front of my eyes for 20 years and I didn’t know it. I knew he was paranoid and believed in aliens, bigfoot, lochness but I never dreamed he thought I along with my son was part of a conspiracy to hurt him. He is in a cult of some kind that is battling evil. Some people say he left us to protect us. So fucking funny. He has never done anything for anyone else let alone try to protect them. So that’s bullshit. Anyway, doesn’t matter, does it?

And for my son and his family. Politics wrapped in Covid shit caused them to drop out of my life when I needed someone so much. I believe politics have made them mentally ill. In other words, they used Covid to keep me from the kids and them. This happened suddenly after they had helped me out the first couple months. So I don’t know why she suddenly got scared about being around me for covid reason. I think she used this excuse to push me out of the kids life. And do she did. I have seen my grandkids in person 1 time in the last 5 months. And they live 30 minutes from me. I refused to wear a fucking mask in my own house. But what really hurt me was when they jilted me after I came back from my nephew’s funeral in Tennessee. My daughter in law informed me that due to covid, she wasn’t bringing her family to my house for Thanksgiving. I was blindsided by that request especially after coming back from an emotional funeral of my nephew….my sister’s only son. I had purchased $250 worth of grocery for Thanksgiving. She was kind enough to inform me that if I wore a mask and ate outside, she would do it. No. And what even hurt worse was finding out that they delivered some goods to homeless people in Tenderloin district that weekend. You may not know Tenderloin district in San Francisco, but normal people won’t walk there without a hazmat suit on purpose. Yet she took the kids there. But I was a danger to their health.

I think they either secretly or deliberately think I deserved this because I’m entitled?

I actually handled that better than you might think. I am trying to adjust my thinking realizing I don’t have family. That is how I feel. I have dogs. Daniel is so mentally disturbed, I don’t know him. He doesn’t talk to me. I think his parents political illness has got a hold of him. They have never made the kids understand that they need grandparents and so now, they don’t have me. I don’t think they are getting him help. Sadie says she misses me and we do facetime every now and then. Its not the same. I don’t feel the same. I have divested emotionally from them all. I’m trying to deal with things in my control. I still love them but I don’t care to be around them anymore.

I needed my son and his family so much. I was suicidal, depressed, couldn’t work for a while. They stopped visiting or calling. I was devastated. I had no one. Still have no one.

My son even commented that I had such an entitled life, a little bump in the road like covid shutting down everything, divorce after 20 years, fires this summer burning everywhere I loved to hike just caused depression and I couldn’t handle it. A little bump. Entitled?? I’ve heard Daniel use that phrase also describing people. Everything in their life is political. They get rid of people who don’t vote or believe like them.

I am doing much better. I don’t feel depressed so much. I feel lonely but in many ways, I am enjoying living with just my dogs! They are my everything right now. When I think of them leaving me, I almost get paralyzed with anxiety and sadness. How will I make it then?

My work is going well. I stayed fully engaged even in my non working hours. This is good. It always makes me feel good when I feel like I am performing well. So, there’s that.

I live in Santa Cruz but work in Silicon Valley. I stay local on weekends. There is so much to do and see. I’ve also gotten heavily into gardening and cooking. I grow and tend to succulents. I also recently started subscribing to “Imperfect Foods” so I am trying to show off my chef skills which are non-existent.

Eli suffered a terrible injury while we were hiking so there was a big set back with him. He injured his doggy ACL hiking. He’s 10 years old and has arthritis so he may not fully recover. We keep our walks short and slow. Peyton’s eye sight is getting worse by the week. He has cataracts. Both mainly like sniffing around anyway so I let them enjoy the smells. Eli also had a hematoma on his ear that had to be removed $$$. Eli still limps most of the time. I feel responsible for that so that set back my emotional progress over the last several months. I’m attached to my dogs that many days it is hard for me to leave them all day. I have a doggie cam so I can watch them but I rarely do because I am so busy at work.

And for me, I’m getting fucking old. I can’t really exercise much right now. I had an MRI which showed a buldging disk in my lower back. It pinches off my sciatic nerve. I got a steroid shot last week but honestly, it feels a little worse now. Doc said it can take a couple weeks for full effect. I also do daily stretches and exercises for my sciatica. Fingers crossed that soon I will be able to exercise and hike. I will likely never be able to run again and I do miss how I felt when I ran. I hope I can do it on a small scale soon. I’ve gained almost 20 lbs during the landslide. I thought divorce made people get skinny? Not me. My eating habits haven’t changed that much but my activity level is embarrassing.

I do like my neighbors in Santa Cruz and my 2 dogs are the hit of the community. Everyone knows those 2 big brown dogs walking with the lady with a limp! haha

The divorce is in process. All paperwork filed. Not sure what is next. I try not to dwell on it.

Pin by Carolina Hernandez de Castella on Tattoo Ideas | Fancy ...

Turning Anger and Sadness into Something Else

My dogs have a doggie door that goes onto the patio, but for some reason, Eli or Peyton will come in my room in the middle of the night and wake me up to let them out the front door. They do like going there because is a bigger area than the patio for them to do their business but at 2:30 am?? One or both of them woke me up this morning and I could not go back to sleep. I laid there until 3 am or so and got up and made coffee. I was hoping to fall back to sleep on the sofa but I just couldn’t. I intended to take down Christmas stuff but I didn’t want to make a trip to my storage to get the boxes.

Image may contain: ocean, sky, cloud, beach, water, outdoor and nature
Seacliff Beach Today with Peyton and Eli. Ship in the background is SS Palo Alto. Its a concrete ship!

I felt like I wanted to write a long letter to my husband. I wasn’t emotional or crying. In fact, I have not shed a tear all day. I don’t have any intentions of mailing it but because I have never gotten to tell him how he affected everyone with what he did. As I read over my thoughts over and over, I starting feeling relief from the guilt of causing all of this…causing my own pain. In the end, I told him on the letter that I no longer take the blame for what happened to us like I always have and do. He did this. I know he’s mentally ill, but fuck him.

Its my own personal diary I guess you could say. Everytime I think of something that makes me sad or pissed off, I write in my diary. I write it, read it, think on it, re-write it. And I have felt much better the entire day. I no longer take the blame for his bullshit. That private diary may just be what I need to help me with these feelings. I can organize my thoughts and feelings. I needed to express to him what he did, how it affects us all and so many other things. It was so much more therapeutic than I ever dreamed. It was rainy and cloudy this morning so I did housework and would write. Another plus is that I don’t have to drag my friends down complaining about all the things that I still don’t understand about what happened. Anyway, except for work….I’m basically alone anyway.

But the day turned into beautiful, sunny day about 60 degrees. I felt good and my leg (sciatic nerve pain) was better so I took Peyton and Eli to another beach that I haven’t been to in a few months. Its about 15 minutes from my house. We drove there and I spent extra time driving through the redwoods, eucalyptus trees, along the coast with the windows down, blasting “Highway to Hell” and dog ears were flapping out the windows! I love the smell of all the eucalyptus trees in this area.

We walked the beach for a long time. Eli who usually makes a nice walk turn into an ordeal, was a sweetie. Both of them behaved like perfect gentlemen as we walked on the beach and in the surf. It wasn’t crowded. Have I mentioned how much I love Santa Cruz in the winter?

Image may contain: ocean, sky, beach, water, cloud, outdoor and nature

I ordered a few self help books that look like something I’d read. I’ve heard some good things about this book. I just started it tonight but it feels I will finish it soon. It was my Christmas present to myself and it came in today. Merry Christmas to me!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.jpeg
My Christmas Present to Myself Came In

Today was a good day. I cherish it and plan another one tomorrow!

Letting Go

On Christmas Day…..

Until a few days ago, I still held out a little hope that my husband would return to the person that I knew and loved. I miss him. I felt him in bed with me this morning for a moment. I thought I heard him making coffee. It’s not the first time. But I pray it’s the last. 

I have to push forward. Find things that give me pleasure and happiness again. I want to feel contentment. 

Today is the day that I must let go.

Image may contain: plant, flower, sky, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

I drove around this morning visiting all the places that he and I loved in Santa Cruz. I was sad and cried a lot. I dreaded it but felt it was necessary. I have to find my new normal in my life. I can’t avoid all the beautiful places here in Santa Cruz just because they bring those memories. I saw happy people. I saw couples holding hands and even kissing. I cried. I needed a hug from him.

But that is over. He is someone else, now.

I have to find the strength to find another path for the rest of my life even if my life is not much longer. There is not longevity in my family, unfortunately. 

I don’t know what my new path will be yet. Maybe I’ll choose to try do something differently, challenging or maybe I’ll just float along day by day for the rest of my days. Maybe I’ll fall in love again. I crave that feeling. But, I don’t know. Maybe it’s not important yet to make plans.

Today was a good day. I took the pups out early to chase the tennis ball and run in the morning surf. I walked them home to stay while I drove the coast. Jeez, I love it here in the winter. Plenty of places to park along the coast, not like when summer is here. The beaches are mostly empty except locals, the surf is loud this time of year, sea lions are loud and sea gulls are all around. It’s heaven. 

Image may contain: ocean, cloud, sky, plant, outdoor, nature and water

Its time that I stop blaming myself or thinking I could have done something different to save my husband. I can no longer fool myself that one day he will wake up his old self and want to come back. That’s not going to happen. Its quiet possible that I will never see him again or every know what is happening to him. 

Merry Christmas from Santa Cruz, CA

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, ocean, outdoor and nature


My intention of starting my blog again is to help myself. I thought since I have no one to talk to in person and this would be my way of expressing my feelings without adding drama to other people’s life. I don’t have many readers anymore but this will help. I welcome any comments and advice.

I have people who reach out to me but I try to not lay any drama on them anymore. I know that tires easily with people. My dogs are great listeners; however.

I’ve had 2 pretty good weeks dealing with all the emotions and the holidays upcoming. But today I feel lonely and broken a bit.

Unfortunately for me, my son and his family are only about 30 miles from me but I’m not allowed to be around them due to covid. I guess I should understand but it seems so cruel that my daughter in law set this rule when I needed them so badly after my husband deserted me. I thought I was part of their “Covid Pod” in a way. Now, I know my importance to the pod. That hurts too.

They seemed supportive at first and were around me a lot. I live in Santa Cruz and they love it here! We did beach things. I even felt excited and strong during that time. I noticed it at first slightly that my DIL was tense or anxious when they would come to visit me. There was no fucking way I will wear a mask in my own house. I shopped for Thanksgiving…lots of money for the meal and excited to have them over. I had just gotten back from TN when I was at my nephew’s memorial. My DIL text and suggested we do thanksgiving outside, social distance and wearing masks. I was already suffering mask anxiety from the flight to and from TN! I just agreed with her to cancel it. Since, we barely speak. Occassionally on snapchat. I have seen my grandkids 1 time in the last 3 months.

I have been there for them their entire married life with emotional and financial support. I have never asked one thing of them in return. My grandson is so into video games and so many emotional problems, that he never calls or answers texts. My granddaughter, the same. The kids are like robots or slugs. Covid has ruined so many kids life, we will never understand the effects. I never hear from my son except a gratuitous text every now and then.

Today has been a rough day because I had a deadline today to send off disputed taxes from 2018. I needed my husband’s signature and nothing more. So I text him to ask him to meet me to sign. I am timid and afraid to even contact him. I’m either afraid it will hurt my feelings more or scare me. His text and emails to me today seems robotic and professional. It had no personal feeling in them at all. He refused to even discuss it and warned me to stay away. That hurt me again. I’m like a stranger to him. He’s a stranger to me. I keep thinking I’ll see a spark of the man I loved for 20 years. He used to love the dogs more than his own life. He could care less that they are aged and full of health issues. Peyton, my oldest is going blind. That is the thing about his behavior that shocks people who know him….. just coldly leaving his dogs.

Image may contain: dog

My husband of 20 years feels I am putting him in danger if he met me, he wouldn’t sign the paper of taxes that we owed. I can’t understand any of this. I had to contact his lawyer. So, I’ve been very emotional all day.

So, today, I am feeling sorry for myself. I feel invisible.

Living Someone Else’s Life

Since I’ve moved here from my comfortable life in Missouri, I’ve gone through many challenges and changes.

Sometimes, I look back at events to see where that little “life turn” happened. Sometimes its within your control, sometimes its not. Within 2 months of me moving here, I received a call that was my “life turn.” I remember exactly where I was with my husband. We were in a Greek café in Mountain View. My baby brother called me to let me know he didn’t have long to live. He died less than a year later. I was crushed.

I think I’ve always been thought of as a strong, self assured, resilient and assertive woman whether it was true or not. But now, I was in a new environment, new job, financial stress of the move, missing my kids, my baby brother died. I worried about my health all the time. I had lost my other brother a few years back.

So, all this started breaking me down. I could feel the change, it wasn’t even gradual. I changed into a person I barely recognized as I struggled with trying to get back some part of control or joy that I used to feel. I’d try to run, hike, go to the beach or travel with my husband to feel good in some way. I thought of death constantly after my brothers death. And I was so homesick for Missouri. I missed my old life unbearably. Those were the best years of my life where I was content and confident. So as the depression got worse, I cried all the time. It became severe. I had serious thoughts of ending it all. I had never felt that kind of grief and depression. I didn’t know how to feel better. I felt like I was living someone else’s life even though that sounds weird to say it.

I have had bouts of short depression much earlier in my life, but this one was almost debilitating. I managed through it at first. Only a few people knew it. I became so different. I went to a therapist, but to be honest, she didn’t help. Maybe for a day or 2 but not for long term.

At first, my husband was sympathetic and supportive. But as time went on, I could tell he seemed distracted and barely cared. He was used to seeing me strong and not needing much attention from him. I felt that once I became weak, emotional and needy, he couldn’t deal with it. He would spend a lot of hours in his office on his computer and often up late even when he had to work the next morning. He stopped going places with me and the family and he grew tense anytime that he took me out. He stopped giving attention to the dogs. Whom he had always adored. He would do the minimum walks, feeding etc. but it was like he didn’t acknowledge them. He seemed robotic often just going through motions or actions. If I inquired, he’d get angry or agitated and he would bulge his eyes or more like a glare like he was under pressure, even at simple life things.

So to help me, my doctor put me on meds for depression in Sept of 2019. The first few weeks were hard taking the meds but after a couple weeks, I was starting to feel better and was able to start feeling more engaged with work and life. I was hopeful.


It started out as a bad year with a tragic family event back home, my brother in law attempted suicide. And in March, Covid-19 hysteria hit like a tornado. I felt like I was living in bizarro world. It felt surreal to me. It also made my mental issues worse. I get very anxious wearing a mask. On top of being sheltered in place with my husband, we were getting ready to move to Santa Cruz. It was our dream place to live. We found the house we loved and it was a 5 minute walk to the best private beaches in Santa Cruz. Even with the epidemic, we felt good about moving to Santa Cruz. Or so I thought.

In April of 2020, we had an argument. I truly felt it was an insignificant or a nothing argument. He walked out and that was it. At first, he would come around to see the dogs and it seemed he regretted leaving us. I saw him cry a few times when he would come to walk them. A few times, he hugged me crying. I was so confused. I remember once him crying and saying how hard this was for him. I didn’t understand any of it. It seemed he tried to come back or at least be friends at first, but he gradually started behaving stand offish again. His mother died soon after he left. He never called me and I tried many times to call him to talk to him about it and he would not answer phone or text. He wouldn’t contact grandkids or the dogs. He would tell me that he would contact them in “due time”. Even with my emotional issues and being all fucked up, I felt it sounded bizarre. What was “due time?”

My best friend and husband of 20 years was gone. He made it clear that he didn’t want anything to do with any of us. I tried a few times to reach out to him to discuss divorce amicably. He rarely answered emails. He changed his phone number. He had given me his address in a document so one day after work, I dropped by his apartment after he agreed to meet me somewhere to discuss next steps and stopped answering the phone, emails and texts.

I was a bit scared to even see him face to face because he had been so different and strange. I knocked a few times and he opened the door and peeked out. He looked surprised to see me. I said “Hi” and he opened the door wider. His face changed from surprise to anger. He gritted his teeth and pointing his finger and trying to get me to leave. He was keeping the door so I couldn’t see in and I thought he was gritting his teeth and talking low because maybe someone was in there with him. Maybe another women or someone. I asked him if he was alone. He said yes and started angrily telling me to leave. He was saying “you don’t know what you have done.” He seemed more scared than angry. I left shaking and crying. I did not know him anymore. After I got home, I noticed he had emailed me the most bizarre, rambling email, mentioned hearing me say things that were absurd that I never said! He was hearing voices! He talked about people after him, cult activity and by coming there I put him and myself in danger. He mentioned that “they” could have followed me. He was speaking about cult and other bizarre things. He even told me that my family and me were being warned.

That was in August, that was the last I have heard from him except through his lawyer. The divorce is in process.

Its been 8 months since the separation and I still love the person that I had known so long. I miss him daily. My heart is broken. I’m worried about myself, my job. But I still love him. I’m worried about him. I never hear from him. He told me point blank he didn’t’ want anything to do with me, the dogs or the kids. He made it crystal clear. He has no one to help him but he doesn’t even realize he is sick. I wonder all the time how he is doing. But more than anything, I feel I am grieving my husband, my best friend and that pain is almost unbearable sometimes. To be ghosted and left not understanding what happened. That is what I’ll have to live with. I’ll never know what happened.

And with Covid shutdowns, watching more and more homeless and hopeless people not working, my own broken heart, sadness, loss of social contact, my depression had gotten to a level where I no longer wanted to get out of bed. I did work but more often I worked from home but I felt unengaged and I couldn’t even hold a thought for longer than 2 minutes. My job performance was low but my manager and my co workers were supportive and help me through it at work. I will forever appreciate how they carried my load while I tried daily to pull out of my emotional state. I took a few medical leaves to try to help me get through it. Nothing helped.

Before Thanksgiving, my nephew died so I flew home to Tennessee to be with my sister and attend his services. The plane ride was pure hell. My anxiety made that plane ride misery. But I made it. I spent time with my sisters, nieces and other family members. It was good to be with my family. I came back home and Thanksgiving was here. I spent it with my two dogs. But I make an effort every day to get better. There is no doubt in my mind, I would not be here without my dogs. Many days I can hardly go to work because leaving them causes anxiety so bad that I can’t drive. I’m working through all of this with my doctors.

Christmas season has been lonely but I am finding ways to feel good along with my dogs. Its been a struggle every day, but the last 2 weeks have seemed to turn around. I get support from a couple friends and some family but its all virtual due to new shelter in place. California is such a mess. Its leaders could care less.

I am feeling better. My last 2 weeks felt good. I was totally engaged at work and had energy. I didn’t feel anxiety attacks except once this past week and it ended quickly. I didn’t cry as much and not at work. So I keep my fingers crossed that I will soon feel like seeing what I will do in the twilight of my life.

I live in a beautiful area with my 2 dogs. I love my job. But I will be alone for Christmas due to Covid-19 Lockdowns in California. But as of tonight, I feel hopeful that I’ll be fine.

Merry Christmas from Santa Cruz, CA.

Image may contain: night and outdoor

It’s Complicated

It’s been over a year since I made that long 3 day drive from Missouri to California to work and live in April of 2017.

Despite all that Northern California has to offer, it still does not really feel like home. Don’t get me wrong, I do not regret my choice to move here. My job is great and challenging. We are healthy and doing well, financially. But I do still get homesick for Missouri and particularly St. Louis.

Image may contain: ocean, plant, sky, outdoor, nature and water
Davenport, CA

When I see pictures of sights in St. Louis, my heart sinks a bit. I should delete all of the St. Louis instagram accounts that I follow. But I want to see what I miss. I know it’s weird but for some reason, I keep thinking I’ll move back when I retire. Hey, I forget that I don’t have many more years to my retirement! It’s just a quick thought in my head. But I am where I will be until the end of my life’s journey. I was intimate with that city, one might say. I ran so many miles through that city. Kevin and I had so much fun there. St. Louis is an old and great city despite the crime and poverty there.

I long to be in St. Louis the same way that I longed to be in California when I lived in Missouri. I know that’s weird. My feelings are very messed up and complicated.

I miss my kids and grand-kids so much that I feel like I’m not really, completely here. They say they are moving here next summer. I think they really want to be here and nothing would make me happier. But even so, a piece of me will always live in St. Louis.

I feel so left out of Daniel and Sadie’s life. I was very close to them and watched them grow and contributed to their upbringing. This must be how an empty nester’s feels.

And what makes it worse is that my baby brother is very sick. Since I am the older sister, I feel like the Mama in some ways and that it is my responsibility to be there. He has a great family and life there but I feel I should be there for support and comfort. I wasn’t there for my other brother when he was fighting cirrhosis and died a few years back.  I have 2 sisters that I feel like I deserted.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Barry Barber, people sitting
My baby brother and one of his 2 sweet grand-kids.

Most days and weeks, I’m happy and fairly content. But other days, I fight depression. Yes, I said it! I think not many people would know that about me….that I have experienced depression since I’ve been here. It’s not that often or that bad..ok it can get pretty bad occassionally. I’ve thought of seeing a counselor but somehow, I feel that makes me weak or a waste of time and money. I’m the tough one. I’m the one that adjusts to everything. I’m clutch! Kevin is a good friend, husband and person. I couldn’t keep my sanity if I didn’t have him. He’s patient with me and sees the pain that I am in when I go through these episodes. He tolerates and puts up with my crying spells.

Peyton and Eli are aging. It really shows on Eli lately and he is the younger of the 2. They are not that old but Eli is experiencing arthritis and walks like an old man. It’s never far from my mind that one day….probably soon that I’ll have to say goodbye to my babies. I have tears in my eyes even typing that. At the end of every work day….those boys welcome me home like a queen. That will never get old! It’s all I think of driving home….getting that love!

Image may contain: Charlotte Barber Snead, smiling, dog, outdoor and nature
Peyton, Me and Eli

This area is full of natural beauty. I relish it. I indulge in it. But, the traffic is horrible and it pushes the limits of my patience…not that I am known for patience.

Daniel is flying here “solo” in the middle of July and the rest of the family is coming out for a visit 2 weeks later. I look forward to that like a kid looks at Christmas! I go to sleep thinking about hanging out with Daniel for the 2 weeks he is here alone. I want to spoil him like I used to!

Image may contain: Charlotte Barber Snead, smiling, sunglasses, sky, outdoor and closeup
My friend, playmate and husband

I don’t blog much anymore. I find I either don’t have time or don’t know how to put my thoughts into words like I used to.

I had gained considerable weight and stopped running which also caused some depression. I’m happy to say that I’m on track to getting back to my goal weight. I am running again consistently and it doesn’t suck so bad. Kevin has lost a lot of weight and runs with me regularly. We are getting into some local 5ks and 10ks which is helping us feel like part of the community. It’s still not like those running parties in St. Louis. I do really miss those.

Image may contain: one or more people, sunglasses and outdoor

I’ll wrap up by saying that I love it here. I love my job, the ocean, beaches, redwoods, sea lions, otters, parks, diversity of people…..I’m happy that a boss turned friend gave me this opportunity. When my son, daughter in law and sweet kiddies move here, I will be content.

My advice to myself ~ life is short, stop bitching ~ 

Homesick in Silicon Valley

My son, daughter in law and grand-kiddies came to visit us back in October. It was my happiest time since I’ve been here, but it was so short. I felt deep sorrow and grief when I took them back to the airport to go home. I hold out very little hope that they will ever be able to move here even if they want to. I enjoyed my time with them and tried to live in the moment which I have a tough time doing. For the most part, I dwelled on the day that they would leave.

Arrival at SFO

Santa Cruz Kiddies

I am still working through my “homesick” issues and trying hard to completely adapt to being here. But that’s not coming along as well as I would like. I function like a normal person. I love exploring the area. I love the beaches and ocean. Very few things take stress and sadness away from me like the sight and sound of the ocean. Our financial situation is good. I still like my job and find it very challenging.

But I’m homesick and miss Daniel and Sadie constantly. It’s never far from my mind. It never shows for the most part, but my heart is very sad. I find myself living in the past and crying often. Daniel rarely calls or texts. I rarely hear from my son or daughter in law. I always feel that Daniel doesn’t care to talk to me or do facetime. He just goes through the motions. He used to love me deeply and I always knew it. I know he’s a kid and rather be playing video games instead of talking to his grandmother. I shouldn’t be hurt by that, I suppose. But I’m not reasonable!

Kevin is very patient and understanding. He misses home also. But he grew up here so there is comfort for him in seeing familiar things. But, still, he misses Daniel and Sadie. We both miss our home in Columbia and our apartment in St. Louis. I miss Christmas in St. Louis. I hold it together well for the most part and work hard at trying to get over it. But I’m sad a lot of the time. Especially when I am home and not busy. So, I stay on the go. I do that as a mechanism to help deal with my saddest and homesickness.

I had intentions to go to Memphis for Christmas to see the kids and visit my baby brother who is having some major heath issues. But travel during the holidays is extremely expensive and hard to get decent flights with the schedule that I needed to accommodate only a few days that I had off work. We are planning a visit in March timeframe.

Maybe its just common as people get older that they miss home especially at Christmas. I love the Christmas season. I’m always the early Christmas music and tree person. Kevin and I went to a Christmas tree farm in Half Moon Bay and chose and cut our own. I haven’t had a real tree since I was 11 or 12 years old. I enjoyed doing that. But it was so warm and sunny here, it didn’t feel right cutting down a Christmas tree in shorts and t-shirt!

We had Thanksgiving alone, but we did go to a popular restaurant here that serves traditional Thanksgiving food. It was good, but it didn’t feel like Thanksgiving here. The weather is beautiful so its hard to get in the Holiday spirit.

Christmas is coming soon. California does an excellent job of making it look and feel like Christmas everywhere. Christmas music started early and the homes here in the neighborhoods are decorated extravagantly. Last night we went to a Christmas parade of lighted boats at the marina in Santa Cruz. We then visited the boardwalk to see the Christmas train and decorations. It was cool seeing Christmas lights, drinking hot cocoa and hearing the ocean roar in the background.

I am not writing all this for sympathy or to say that I am depressed. Kevin mentioned how I used to blog often and he thought it might be therapeutic. My sadness comes and goes. It’s not that bad. I do love living here. I have always dreamed of living this life. Kevin and I have plenty of great times exploring the area. Peyton and Eli make our lives better. I think they are finally adjusting to moving here.

What’s not to love about living here. I’m near San Francisco, the ocean, Santa Cruz, redwoods, great weather year around and plenty of things to do that it would take a lifetime to see. Even the autumn trees are incredible here. Snow is near here. I have a good friend who has been gracious enough to offer Kevin and I to spend a weekend in her home in Tahoe which we intend to do soon. I think it’s more of a matter that as I get older and feeling the grip of mortality, that I miss the things that always made me feel young and that was always being around Daniel and Sadie. I miss my brother and sisters. I miss home. I went through this when I moved from Tennessee to Missouri. It did take me a while to adjust. This was such a big move that it might take a little longer.

Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay is still where I plan on calling home in the next few years! We’d do it soon, but I’m worried about the traffic and commute home from work. I go to work so early, I don’t think that would be an issue…but going home would be a freaking nightmare.

On top of that, I’ve been concerned about potential health issues that has plagued my family including my baby brother right now. I worried it was happening to me. This past Monday, I got great news that I am healthy. A little too healthy, Dr. Li said take off 25 lbs!

Anyway, I thought it was time that I complained about my great life, again!

Merry Christmas, Mele Kalikimaka, Feliz Navidad

Adjusting to California

This time last year, I was on vacation in California dreaming of the time I might be able to move here. Life can change on a dime.

It has been a little over 4 months since I moved from Missouri to the Bay Area in California. I either have not felt like blogging or had no time to do it. It is hard to sit down and put into words how your whole world changed so quickly and dramatically and how it affects you.

The first month was very stressful. I was starting a new job. I was in corporate apartment that did not feel like home. I was alone. I was so homesick. I missed Kevin, Peyton, Eli, Daniel and Sadie. I was trying to sell my house in Columbia. I was still paying for an apartment in St. Louis due to a lease. I did not really have anyone to confide in. I did make a good friend who happened to be my manager but I could not lay all that heavy crap on her! She would start to believe she hired the wrong person!

I just left a job that I had spent 17 years doing, a house that I loved, an apartment in St. Louis where I spend great times with Daniel and Sadie. Sometimes when I think about Daniel and Sadie being so far away, I get very sad to and it is almost unbearable. I feel like they are out of my life completely. It is even hard for me to talk to them now on FaceTime without crying. I miss playing with them in my backyard and Forest Park. I think of that daily.

I love the ocean, redwoods, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, the Bay Area and everything this area offers. I go back and forth between being super excited that I live in my place of dreams to a depression that is hard to shake off.  I miss Columbia, my house, our beautiful backyard and my butterfly gardens and the birds. However, I miss St. Louis so much that it is hard for me to think about it without crying. I will never see that city again. I feel sure of that. I knew when I left it the last time that I would never see it again. I still keep up with Facebook and Instagram friends from St. Louis. I love seeing the pictures of everything I miss, but it is hard to see them without getting sad.

I did so many special things there with my family. I first went there when I was a little girl with my Mama and Daddy to see the St. Louis Cardinals. I watched Cardinal games with my brother Barry and his family.

I ran this city! I knew this city! I ran so many miles through those streets in the heat, rain, snow and cold. I loved running there. I ran my first 5k there in Soulard. I ran my all my half marathons there. I ran my first marathon there. I trained for the Chicago Marathon there.

I miss Broadway Oyster Bar, Forest Park, Art Hill, The World’s Fair Pavilion, Soulard and Soulard Market, The Hill, Adriana’s, Pi Pizza, Mardi Gras, Llewelyn’s, St. Pats Day Runs, Straub’s Chicken Salad, Coffee Cartel, Greek Fest, Benton Park Café, Off Broadway Music Hall, Tom’s Bar and Grill, Hop in the City and Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale. I miss going to Daniel’s school events. I will miss Grand Friends Day at his school every October. I miss the St. Louis Blues and I miss the St. Louis Cardinals. I miss too many things to even count. The list of what I will miss is almost never ending. I love that city. I always have. The best times of my life were spend in St. Louis. I suffered and recovered from a serious surgery in that St. Louis apartment. I celebrated two St. Louis Cardinal World Series Championship wins in that downtown.

Most people would not know it but this has been an incredibly hard adjustment for me. I am still not quiet adjusted. I can be so depressed at times that I feel like I need help. Kevin has suggested that. Then the next day I am enjoying California as though I am on permanent vacation! I love all this area offers. I have gained weight. I do not exercise even close to what I did in Missouri.

How can I be both so happy to be in a place and so gut wrenchingly sad at the same time?

I love my job and everyone that I work with. They are professional, quirky and personable. This company was very generous in their financial support for the move. If they had not been, I am not sure how we could have done it financially. Kevin and I had set ourselves up pretty well financially for a move like this but it would have depleted our savings practically if not for my relocation benefits. I was fortunate to find such a position with a great company. I work in a place that makes robots for major surgery events! Kevin found a great job that he loves. Our financial situation is good and sound.

We found a very nice neighborhood and house to live in. I have always dreamed of having fruit trees. I have lemons, apples, cherries, loquats, avocados and Japanese persimmons in my yard! Yes, it cost a small fortune to live in but we love it and it is reasonable for the area. However, for some reason, I still cannot feel at home there. Kevin has done most of the decorating, which is not much! I cannot make myself do it yet. I am getting a little better. I have a hard time sleeping which has never been an issue for me. Many times now I sleep with the TV on or on the couch with the dogs just to keep my mind from racing over all the things in my head. My baby brother is very sick and I feel like I am a lifetime away from him. I miss Ashley and Allison. I miss my friend Jerry. I fear my own health crisis if I do not take care of myself.

I question many times if this move was the right choice. Kevin and I talk about it sometimes. I know that I would be miserable in Missouri without Daniel and Sadie being there. Kevin loves it here. He is comfortable here and knows the area like the back of his hand. I love it here! What the fuck is wrong with me?

In my perfect world, I would have brought my house here along with my kids!

I did not take any time off from my last job and drove 3 days straight to California to start my new job. In retrospect, I should have taken a week or so off. Maybe that would have helped with my adjustment but I feared that time in between with no health insurance. In addition, I was paranoid that something could possibly happen like a car wreck or other illness that might put us in debt and especially since, I was driving 3,000 miles with little rest during that time. Then Kevin had a 3 day drive here as well a month after my drive.


I love my job, my co-workers, my house, my neighborhood, my financial position, the area, the sea lions, the otters, the whales, the beaches, the redwoods, the city, the fruit trees, the parks, the diversity of the people and land, the hard working people that make up Silicon Valley.

Here I am in the place that I always dreamed that I wanted to live with the job that I feel very fortunate to have yet I am pissing and moaning like a little bitch.

~ Living the Dream, Sorta ~

Saying Goodbye to My Life

I haven’t written in my blog for a long time. I think the last time was right after the Chicago Marathon. Maybe it was after the Super Bowl. I probably don’t have any readers anymore.

After years of dreaming of snagging that perfect job in the Bay Area of California, it happened. Not only did it happen, I had 2 offers from 2 great companies in the Bay Area at the same time. One was in Alameda and the other in Sunnyvale.

I eventually chose Sunnyvale. The money and relocation package was incredible. The company makes robotic surgery systems and instruments. It’s in Silicon Valley. It’s a coveted position that I never dreamed that I had a shot at. I almost feel like I don’t deserve it.

It all started a few months ago when my son informed me that he and his family was moving back to Tennessee from St. Louis for financial and work reasons. I was crushed but I put on a good face. I knew that day was coming but I didn’t realize it would be so soon.

Kevin and I always wanted to move to California and since they were moving, I thought it might be time for me to look at opportunities. Truly, I never thought it would happen.

I went to LinkedIn and put in notifications for manager of production in California reminders. I never dreamed so many Medical Device manufacturers were in the Bay Area.

I got emails and phone calls for phone screenings, Web-ex interviews and offers to fly out to San Francisco for full day interviews.

This has been ongoing since early February. It felt like a whirlwind and yet a lifetime ago.

Now comes the difficult part. I’ve been in a state of emotional ups and downs since February. I cry daily. It’s not that I’m not excited. I go back and forth between sadness, agitation, excitement and gloom. I pretty much stay in a depressed mood at the thought of leaving everything I love. Everything!

Saying goodbye to Daniel and Sadie are the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m still crushed. That’s a sadness that I will feel for a very long time.

Leaving St. Louis was much harder than I ever imagined. I only lived there part time but I loved that city. I watched my kiddies grow up there. I ran hundreds of miles there. I went to ballgames, hockey games and parties that only St. Louis can throw. I’ll miss hanging out with Daniel and Sadie. I’ll miss picnics with Daniel. I’ll miss going to Tom’s Bar and Grill with him. We had many serious conversations over a beer and lemonade. I’ll miss the bars, organized runs, Forest Park, the Blues and the St. Louis Cardinals. I’ll miss Broadway Oyster Bar, Llyweln’s, Molly’s and Tom’s Bar and Grill. I’ll miss my apartment that gave me a special get away place. I ran my first marathon in St. Louis. 

Leaving Columbia is difficult. Kevin and I had a great life here. I find myself crying as I drive by places that I never noticed before. I noticed blooming trees in our neighborhood.

I said goodbye to my friends at Cardinal Health today. One had been my best friend for almost 17 years. We had a special relationship. He knew everything about my life. And I knew his. He was the person I went to when I wanted to talk about anything. I’ll miss my friend, Jerry.

But the thing that I can’t stop crying about is leaving my house…leaving my yard. I love this place. It’s been my place of comfort and joy for 10 years. It was the only house that Kevin and I have owned together in our marriage.

I’m looking around now crying knowing that in the morning when I leave for the last time….I will never see it again. I’m not sure I’m strong enough. I’m not sure where I will get the strength to leave that driveway. Especially because I’m leaving Kevin, Peyton and Eli. They will come out later in May.

I’m leaving everything I love. I feel weak and frail right now. It’s sad that my entire life will fit into a moving van.

I know that I would be miserable here in Missouri when Daniel and Sadie move away. I know that I would never get a fantastic opportunity like this one again in my life.

But that still is not helping the pain that I feel right now and likely for some time.

I start my 3 day drive there alone in the morning.

I have loved my life here. I love Columbia. I love St. Louis. I love Missouri. I’ve had a great life here. I know new adventures await me in Northern California.

Why am I paralyzed with sadness now?