Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Beginning

I haven't written here since losing Pete.  Every time I would open my blog post I would get a great sadness seeing Pete's face and thinking about the pain we have experienced with his death.  I also didn't feel I could follow his story with anything else, like I needed to let it just honor him for a while.  Though I realize now, tonight, that it's time.  We still cry with the missing of our buddy.  We wish he was here everyday, but I believe he has sent us a gift and a new beginning.  Her name is Idgie.

We get her in a weeks time.  We are amazingly excited and in love with her sweet little face already.  We haven't even met yet, only ooh'd and aah'd over pictures sent from her breeder.  I can't help but see Pete in her.  She has the same sweet look in her face that he did. The pictures show that she has a similar attitude.  I owe her the freedom to be different from Pete, to just be Idgie.  I know she will steal our hearts away.  But I think the gift of all of this is that we will constantly be reminded of Pete, he will live on through her and I think that's beautiful.  What I have learned from Pete's death, is that each of us, when gone, lives on through those that knew and loved us.   Those that are gone continue to touch our lives and make us better people. They never truly leave us.  For they are around us everywhere, helping, healing, guiding.  I find this to be true Grace.

So in this New Year, we will find our hearts healing, our family unit complete once more, and a new little girl to spoil.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You died on a Tuesday

I am reading the post I wrote just four days ago and realizing how quickly life can take a turn.  Two days ago, the sweet softly snoring bulldog, Pete, had to be put to sleep.    It happened so quickly.  Tumors. Cancer.  A decision I knew some distant day I would have to make, but never ever wanted to.  He wasn't himself and was in such a lot of pain, so he made the decision a little easier for us.  He put on that strong confident face he used when he wanted his way.  This time it was no different.  He went peaceful, with us there with him, stroking his face and telling him go sleep sleep Pete Pete like we did every night.  This time he didn't get his favorite little nigh-night cookies to go with it.  Eternal rest.

We have spent the last two days lost, crying, wishing anything to have him back.  Wishing for one more time to play ball with him in the yard, one more time to see his sweet little almond soulful eyes looking lovingly up at me.  Hell, I even want to hear one of his funny little airy farts!  He was full of noise, personality and life.  You knew when he was grouchy, you knew when he was happy, you knew when he was schmoopy and just wanted to follow you around and sit as close as possible to you and rest his head on your knee.   How do we get used to life without him?   It seems quiet, empty and colorless.  He was our comic relief, buddy, baby.   I have never cried this much for anything else in my life.  Two days ago I couldn't even fathom how we would heal from this.

But life is miraculous.  With each good cry, and each conversation between Bev and I about all his little quirks and what we miss about him, each time we realize that Pete is still adding to our lives by the lessons his passing is teaching us, we get closer to healing and becoming whole again.  

Last night I sat on a big rock in the middle of the Green River that runs near our house.  I took comfort in the gentle sounds of the current, realized that just like this water running past me, that life goes on, that love is strong and regardless of large stones and obstacles of time, space, loss, that it continues.  I prayed to my Grandma that she meet Pete where ever they both are, that she keep him well, feed him ice cream (which he loved).  I know she would love him.  I asked her also to let us know she has him and that he's ok. 

Today, on the way home from work, we saw a hawk.  We saw him in the same place yesterday.  The weird thing about where we live now, we rarely see hawks.  The hawk is special to us.  A guardian, a guide, a messenger.  Today, that hawk flew along side our car and we instantly knew that it was a message from Pete or my Grandma, that he was ok, that everything was going to be ok.

We will have another dog one day.  But he died this Tuesday and for now he's the only one we want.

Peter Louise Judd
July 2001-August 16, 2011
May you rest in Peace and remain in our hearts always.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Dream Realized

It's been since May that I last posted.   At that time I was impatiently waiting to find a new job that would allow us to move to Vermont.  Something that we have been dreaming of and planning for over 6 years time.  Not two weeks after that post, I got that new job and two weeks after that we moved to Vermont.  I love the new job and the company I work for.  We love our new apartment and the gorgeous property that it is nestled on.  I feel so very blessed that all our hoping and praying and hard work paid off.

Today I am serenaded by the rain falling softly on the tin roof of our studio and the quiet cheep of birds muffled by the rain.  The clouds hang low, draping themselves over the tree branches and rolling curves of the green mountains that surround us here.  I sit here comforted with the soft snores of our bulldog, Pete, as he naps after a weekend of activity.  The light of day is coming to a close and it glows gray green from the overcast sky and the lush grass meadows, tall trees and wild vegetation that makes up our property.   I feel calm and content.  I feel that I am truly and thankfully in my most peaceful spot.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Losing Control

A friend of mine on Facebook posted a quote from Psalms quite a few months back that said something like, “Let God take what is in your hands, so that he can give you what’s in His.”   I liked it at the time and copied it into a word document that I keep of quotes that I like.   I happened to be cleaning up my files at work and came across the document containing the quote.  And as usual, the Universe sent me something that I needed to hear that day, and every day since.  We are in the process of moving to Vermont.  It’s been our dream for almost six years now, and we’ve just decided to stop dreaming and just go for it.  So I have been on the job hunt.  I’ve had several interviews and have seen several apartments that I would love us to live in.  However, in order to move, all the stars have to align.   And this requires patience. I have yet to mention that I am a control freak.   I want to be able to orchestrate everything and have it all fall into place and happen tomorrow.    But this effort requires the will of others, not just mine.  It’s a hard pill to swallow and I have to remind myself daily, that I have to turn over some of the control.    I know that anything that I could construct on my own will be so much greater if I give into the help of a higher power and the help of others.   I have to breath, stop obsessing, and realize that I have taken the actions I can to make the move possible, now I just have to patiently wait for a little trail magic.  I have faith that it will happen because I am working hard for it, but I also know that I have to find the lesson in everything along the way.  This is what builds character.   I have had to get really honest about what I want from a career, have realized that I can’t live as rurally as I thought I could, noticed that the interview process has really changed in the last two years, and there are some really great people in Vermont who I have only spoken with by email, but want to meet for coffee when we get there.   So, I will breathe, slow down my thoughts, stop checking my email every 20 minutes, and let God take what’s in my hands, so he can give me what’s in His. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shine On

I knew the first time I saw my friend and coworker, Kelly, I knew we were going to get along.  She had blue and green hair!  And she had blue and green hair working in the central office of a small town school district!  She's kick ass and a sweetheart as well.  Kelly has alot on her plate personally, but she plugs on and manages to find a smile and a kind word for me when I need it.

Kelly's Peaceful Spot:

"The place where I truly get into my zone and find inner peace is when I listen to 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond" by 'my band' Pink Floyd. I Light some candles, have good company, good wine and just listen."

Join her by clicking the link below:

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Magical Spell of Creativity and Thought

She makes her own costumes too!

Mary Lynn Maloney is a busy lady.  She, her husband, and two furry feline kids, live in Port Townsend, Washington.  Her wonderful collage/assemblage paintings are represented in a local gallery, she has her own online Etsy shop, she has been known to dabble in graphic design, event planning, and sewing and designing her own (and hubbies!) Ren Faire costumes.   Mary Lynn has also written two craft books, Decorated Boxes and Memory Art .  Oh, yea and she's my stepmom.  I wondered how she found peace amongst all this creating!  
Mary Lynn's words:
"I crave solitude. Always have. When I was little, I loved solitary activities the best. I enjoyed poring over books, especially those with great pictures (fairy tales, kids encyclopedia, lives of the saints....a favorite of mine in our catholic school library: some swell medieval garb sported by the saints). I loved playing paper dolls, or making stuff with glue, yarn and fabric. I liked playing with my siblings and friends alot, but I always sought out quiet time doing just what I wanted. It was peaceful and calm and a good time to ponder things.

This love of solitude has stayed with me and I have to say it remains my peaceful spot. I feel most centered and grounded when I just get to sit and do whatever creative thing I want, or nothing at all. It gets even better, though, when I'm way into a design or art project. I get immersed and caught up in the creative process and just flow. Some people call it being in the zone; I refer to it as going to level two. So, my peaceful spot isn't really a physical place, it's being caught up in that solitary, magical spell of creativity and thought."
To see the fruit of Mary Lynn's solitary pursuits visit or

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chaotic little, tiny fingers and toes.

When my sister April (you know her as the one and only AJ of AJ's peaceful spot) asked me to contribute to her Peaceful Spot Project I said "sure, would love to, grand" and I thought I'd be able to type something out in no time but when I sat down to write I realized not only did I not have a peaceful spot, I had no peace, EVER!  Or did I?  Maybe there are things I do that unwittingly bring me, not 'peace', really, as much as a piece of calm.

Now, I never said they were deep.  I have two young boys with lots of energy that require all my attention for most of the day.  When you are a stay-at-home mom you must be constantly aware, awake, attentive, ever-mindful, clear.  You have to be lest one of your children run into the street, pour orange juice into your cactus, hide a dried starfish in their underwear, you know, those kinds of things.  So for me, zoning out is entirely peaceful and something I need and welcome very much after the boys go down for the night.  I don't want to think or be spoken to.  Enter US weekly.  Give me pretty people in pretty dresses to look at.   Also, Bones.  I love the TV show Bones.  (My husband keeps wondering when they are finally going to run out of episodes for me to watch).  But it is fun fodder for me, (I am quite the detective), and plus, I have a girl-crush on Emily Deschanel.  Mindless TV for me is simply not worrying about anything else in the world but catching the murderer who killed that young promising attorney with a stapler, and then left his body in toxins that soon will exude fumes, threatening everyone in the lab!

Something I've started to do recently when I wake up is stretch.  At first I didn't think of this as peaceful or calming because it hurt too much!  I used to be able to put my leg behind my head, now when I drop something I not only bend both knees to pick it up but usually let out some sort of 'uhhhhghrhgh' or 'owwwndhshalshd' noise on the way back up.  However, in my attempt to loosen myself up and to keep my mind off the pain of touching my chin to my chest (seriously, does anyone else feel that shot of a stretch all the way down their neck?!) I talk to my body.  In my head I have a very lovely voice of the yoga instructor and I say 'now slowly and gently roll your head to the left and feel the release of tightness on the other side of your body, feel your hair falling across your back as you roll your head to the right and release your other side'.  Stuff like that.  And it really helps me to feel my entire body, respect it's efforts, be proud of it's ability to feel and want to feel better.  It gets easier everyday.  And I feel looser within myself and I can't help but think this keeps me more easygoing during the day. 

Finally, the most peaceful or calming thing I do is pray.  We pray before meals and whatnot, but those are not the kind of prayers I mean.  My favorite time of day is right before I go to bed, when my babies are warm and safe and sleeping and my husband is beside me snoring (more like a bear growling who is also using a jackhammer while starting a motorcycle that has a microphone attached to the've never heard anything like it) nonetheless, I know we are all home and safely together.  Sometimes though when I lay down, I worry, my mind starts chasing itself all over the place.  I worry about my boys and money and death and family and my boys and my jeans not wanting to button lately and whether or not Bones and Booth will ever admit they love each other and my boys and if my husband still thinks I'm sexy even tho my jeans won't button and Africa and Japan and finally, I stop myself and I just ask God to calm me.  I say over and over, God bring me calm, God bring me calm, God bring me calm.  And then I ask for the faith to trust that all will be OK.  And then I talk to him about why I'm so upset, about things I don't understand, about anything really, like he's my friend and I usually fall asleep mid-conversation with him (and probably around the same time as my tylenol PM has kicked in).  I don't know how people feel about God, but it doesn't have to be God.  It can be anyone or anything you want it to be.  Calm can be brought to you by your grandma who past away a long time ago or by God or by that big tree in your backyard.  (We have such trees and I believe they are trained in calming techniques such as:  making their leaves sound like you are at the ocean, blowing such organic smells into your nostrils and revitalizing air into your lungs that make you truly believe your cactus will survive....anyway, never underestimate nature.  God is fine with being nature). 

And so, while I don't have a true peaceful spot (yet) I do have glimpses of peace and moments of calm that get me through one day and into the next.  What my sister has helped me learn most through this exercise (it must be said that my sister is usually helping me learn something,..... awwwwww) is that I thought my boys prevented me from having a peaceful spot, but really my boys are my most peaceful spot(s).  Every chaotic little, tiny fingers and toes of them.