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Category Archives: Transitions

Where Have I Been?

I’ve been MIA on my blog and if you looked around my house, you would think I’ve been MIA there, too!

INTO THE DEEP went to the editor this week!!!!


Art request form is off to my cover artist! Can I get an ‘amen’?

I felt guilty not being here. But every time I thought, ‘I need to write a post for my blog’ I would feel guilty because I wasn’t working on ‘The Book’. And yes, Into The Deep is going down in the Annals of Anita as ‘The Book’. By the time I was in the full swing of edits, my hair fell out.

Really. That happened.

I have fine hair, but a lot of it, thank God, because one sweep of my hand through my mop and I’d end up with twenty of them between my fingers. (Yes, I counted!) On my pillow. Plugging the shower drain. Falling on my keyboard. Drifting onto my dinner plate! It was hug-me-at-church-then-brush-yourself-off falling out. I didn’t freak out (much). I was more annoyed and embarrassed that I was leaving a trail everywhere I went.

By the time I visited my dermatologist, I had a new business all figured out in my head. An on-line store named Here’s Your Hat. If I was going to have no hair, I would have some fun hats to wear. I kept tugging on my eyebrows, trying to decide if I’d have to have them tattooed on, but thankfully they stayed put.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

After all was said at the dermatologist’s and done at the lab, it came down to this: Telogen Effluvium  This malady wasn’t because Jack and Lucinda were giving me fits as I edited Into The Deep. There was a shock to my system that shut down hair follicles and sent my hair into the rest stage. A few months later, all that hair began to shed. What was the shock to my system? A norovirus. One of those ‘cruise ship’ viruses. Though I was spending time (in my head) on a tropical island with Jack and Lu, I didn’t have the fun of cruising to get there. I never became bald, but my hair is thin. I usually have so much, though, it isn’t noticeable to any one but me. I’m waiting to see how much grows back in. On the upside – it doesn’t take long to dry, now.

I have a new empathy for anyone who has been through a rapid hair loss for whatever reason – be it illness or meds to treat an illness, such as cancer. You folks are my heroes and heroines. And though I won’t be opening a hat shop, here is a place with some pretty soft hats:

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My One Word – 2014

I’m ditching New Year’s resolutions again this year. My list was always ridiculously long and on New Year’s Day I couldn’t remember half of what seemed so important the night before. The only items I’d remember were those that appeared every year. Which only proved I didn’t keep my New Year’s resolutions! What’s the definition of insanity? Oh yeah, repeating the same thing time and time again hoping for a different outcome. I was driving myself insane! So I’ve hopped on the One Word train again this year (You can read about my 2012 word here and 2013 word here.) and I’ve invited some friends along for the ride. Yay!!

So what’s my word?



My One Word - 2014 Release

My One Word – 2014

This word could go in so many different directions it’s scary. (More on that in another post, or two or three.) For now I’m just praying that God will use this word this year to mold me more fully into the person He created me to be.

Do you pick one word to focus on for the year? If so, what is it.

In Memory of TRAPPER

Greene's Bear Trap Du Rozzi

Greene’s Bear Trap Du Rozzi

A week ago, we said our last goodbye to a precious family member – our Belgian Malinois, Trapper.

aka  –  Baby, Bear, Mutley and in later years, Old Man.

Trapper came to us 13 years ago as a one year old. His owner/breeder was training him for personal protection or police work. Falling on hard times, he had to sell some dogs. A new litter of puppies and Trapper were available so we took a day trip to Maine to meet everyone.

The puppies were cute, but we were drawn to Trapper. He had a great personality and would come to us trained. Off the lead, he raced in circles around the field before coming to us for attention. On that first meeting, I leaned over to pat him and he went belly up. He wasn’t an assertive alpha male. Once he was ours, we discovered two puncture scars beneath his chin. Another dog had gotten a hold on him at some point in his first year. Perhaps that was why his automatic response was submissive. Always a love bug with the family, as he grew he developed a protective streak.

Just a big baby

Just a big baby

We didn’t bring Trapper home that first trip. We wanted to think about our choice and be sure. A week later, we went back to Maine to make him ours. His trainer spent time training ME on the leash. I loved that I could walk him without being pulled along. We also had to learn his commands in French. We never remembered in the ‘heat of the moment’, so he soon became bilingual and over time the French disappeared.

Leaving a kennel situation and coming into a home, there were new lessons for Trapper to learn. No paws on the kitchen counter, no snitching food from the dinner table and how to navigate a flight of stairs. He’d always worked on a lead so we had to teach him to come when called which entailed us acting like fools while calling his name. He loved it.

Because bite work had been a part of Trapper’s training, Old Roady lost two winter coats that first year. All it took was a sleeved arm cocked a certain way and it was game on! I didn’t want him jumping on me. If he did, I wouldn’t touch him until he got ‘off’  and sat. Then I’d love on him like crazy. A quick study, it wasn’t long and he’d run up to me and sit, waiting for the attention. Thankfully, he did the same with extended family including elderly grandparents.

Crate trained, he never charged out the door, but would step out with his front paws, stretch in a play bow then come out the rest of the way. Crating didn’t last Trapper1long. He was a ‘velcro dog’. He wanted to be with the family and we wanted him with us. If he became truly upset about being left home alone, he’d empty the wastebasket beneath my desk, leaving a trail of tissues and papers for us to find.

He always entered the house on our left. If he was on our right, he’d back up and switch sides before coming through the door. I’ve wondered if this was a holdover from his early training. Maybe so he didn’t interfere with an officer’s gun hand? Not sure.

A good dog, he chewed only two pairs of shoes. Both were mine. Both of them had thick chunky heels and were bone color. I think Trapper thought they were his chew bones. An easy mistake to make, yes? His nose was into everything. If a bag, box or tote came into the house, his nose was in it. He loved to help ‘bring in the groceries’, sniffing every bag especially the ones containing meat. He came to us on a raw diet. (Another thing we eventually changed!)

A true ‘Maine-iac’, he loved snow. He would roll and romp and run with his nose beneath the surface then come up with a face full of it. When he came inside and it began to melt, he’d rub his face on chairs, coats, anything he could find to dry it. Same with rain. He hated a wet face.

Best Buddies

Best Buddies

For a week now, we’ve been adjusting to that empty spot in the family. Coming through the front door, a greeting on the tip of our tongues before we remember  Trapper won’t be standing there waiting for us.  There’s no nose at my elbow, sniffing and hoping for a tidbit when I prepare chicken for supper. No happy dog at my side when I run out for the mail. No stepping over him on late night runs to the loo. Trapper had two unwavering objectives each and every day. To love his family and to get a dog ‘cookie’ when he came in from outdoors.

If you’re still reading, thank you. He had a long life for a dog, fourteen and a half years. Even so, it was too short a time for us. 

We buried him beneath the front bushes where he liked to lay and watch the world go by.

Rest in Peace, Trapper.

Trapper old man

A Week Neither Here Nor There

Goodbye, 2011

This week – between Christmas and New Year’s Day – has been a time of reflection and anticipation. Other than an attempt to bring the house back into the realm of everyday reality, I’ve passed the time seesawing between the memories of the past 360+ days and the untouched, yet-to-be-lived future. A week stuck in limbo.

Thankfully, there were no huge disappointments or heartaches in 2011. For that I praise God. And I can say the same for goals met and happy memories made – no BIG news or life-changing events. Just… life.

Messy. Wonderful. Confusing. Laughable. Blessed.

That’s my life.

A part of me hopes the new year will remain much like 2011 – no losses, no heartache. While another part of me gets all breathless with the possibilities of a fresh beginning. A clean slate.

What will 2012 hold for me? For my family? For my friends? For my nation?

Pondering the answers to this question, fills me with excitement sometimes, and with dread at other times. Because life is like that. It hands out happiness by the bushel, and heartache by the truckload.

But this I know – whatever comes my way in this new year – happiness or sadness, laughter or discouragement, wellness or illness – God is in control.

He is in all of it. The messy. The loving. The confusing. The hurting. The blessings.

He’s there in each moment, waiting.

For me.

To seek Him out. To lean on Him.

He is there to walk with me.

He knows the way.

He knows my needs.

He knows.

Because each moment I live, every thing I experience, is part of His divine plan for me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13


“My times are in your hands…” Psalm 31:15

Transitions make me uncomfortable. Big or small, I don’t like those in-between times. Leaving church or work, my ‘good’ clothes feel uncomfortable and I want to get home and change. But even the physical act of undressing and redressing is bothersome as I struggle to re-focus my energy. Preparing to go on vacation, traveling to a chosen destination, I’m anxious. I’m between home and there – in limbo. Is it any wonder the huge, sometimes traumatic life changes leave me gasping like a guppy out of water?

The school year ends this week. My schedule changes and I’ll work only one job instead of two. Should I make a ‘bucket list’ for summer? Things I want to do and things I should do? Will I stay vigilant maintaining my weight loss? I’m in that uncomfortable zone anticipating the switch from my winter schedule to my summer schedule.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Even the transitions. The in-between times.

In creating time, God could have skipped the transition times. How often I’ve wished I could wiggle my nose like Samantha on the old TV program Bewitched, and ‘pop’, I’m in a new place, a new time. But God didn’t create time that way. He wants me to travel the bridge between the old and the new all the while leaning on Him.

Guess I’d better figure out how to be comfortable with the daily and seasonal transitions so when the next big change comes along, my focus will remain on God and His plan for me

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