01 January 2011

build a stronger house

Younger days - about  5 years ago - building a house.
Which is part of the How-When-and Why
of my weight gain, I'm sure!

Undaunted by any challenge....
till I learned better!!
And my Self-doubt and fear came out 
through the pores of my skin -
and stayed there!

"It's a metaphor for Life and Growth!"
I would tell myself....
Make lemonade - right?

How quickly the worm turns....
From triumph to despair!

Anybody want some moldy lemonade?

The unscrupulous people who sold me the house
hid all of the flaws beneath a coat of fresh paint!
And new carpet.  There was even Deadly Mold.

A great way to learn you only cheat yourself 
when you cut corners or try to get ahead
 with "bargains" you didn't earn.

Or try to pass it along to the next person.
Like they did, to me.

If it looks too good to be true -
It usually is! A good lesson to learn.

So, slowly I rebuilt the "little house that could."
Maybe a metaphor for rebuilding my life.

It was like the Bionic Man - or Woman!
I upgraded everything and modernized it all...
The new house was much stronger and better than the old one!

I learned to do plumbing, electrical work, 
and framing, as in carpentry....
I even learned how to solder pipes!
I built a house, for goodness sake!!

Go Go Gadget Anne!

Power tools make a level playing field!
What I lacked in strength in made up for in stupidity!

I even worked 2 full time jobs to finance the remodeling.

It was the equivalent of a college degree
in business.... in management..... in physics......
and in humility.

Looking back, I'm just glad no one got hurt.
Well, that's not entirely true.
The electrician was murdered.
Not on the job, though.
But the project fell apart from there.

The "crew" of men I hired turned out to be 
a "gang" of heroin users and thieves.
The robbed me 10 times.
Over 5 years.

They even took the copper from the walls.
The copper pipes and wires I just put up.

My Mother died, my friend killed herself,
(two friends did, actually)
my dog died, and my kittens died.
I lost every single material possession I owned.
Even my clothes were stolen.

I quit my job, and took the rest of the year off.
Kind of a Sabbatical.
Or maybe a mid-life crisis.
That's when I read the Dictionary 
and the "Old" Testament.
And moved into a cute, little apartment.

I was already heavy, and still 
gained another 75 pounds. 
I was more miserable than I can print in a blog.
I finally lost interest in even living my life.

So now what?
Almost 2 years ago, I launched my 
imperfect and unhappy ass
off into another project.
A weight-loss project this time.

A blundering, striving, not always doing great
weight-loss attempt, and blog to go with it.
So here we are!

Everyone you meet is facing something.
Going through something.
and mostly doing the best they can.
As my friend Winnie says,
"be kind..... for everyone you meet 
is fighting some kind of battle..."

So now, another house.
But not a physical dwelling, this time.
My frame of reference is stronger.
I'm finally understanding how important it is 
to forgive myself and let go of the past.
That makes for a much better place to stay!

Maybe kinder, and gentler.
Sadder and wiser.

"What's gone and what's past help
Should be past grief."
Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale

All the amenities...
With cuteness and happy stuff abounding!

These were my rescue kittens -
Gilligan, Ginger, MaryAnn, and Skipper

Ah, Recovery.
It takes time!
The only failure is to not try.
Something like that.

2011 already?
Al-righty, then!

Here's to a great year!


  1. I had no idea you had been through all that, Anne. And you maintained dignity and compassion through it? You rock my world, honey. And so do those kittens. You gonna get a dog and call him "The Professor"?

  2. Yyou are a strong woman and I admire you soooo much for that. Thank you for being an inspiration and my motivation!

    Happy New Year!

  3. This made me cry. Anne, I'm bookmarking this post. YOU are my new hero. I totally salute you. You are awesome.

  4. p.s. come here. big hug!

  5. Is that a picture of The Beatles in the window of that very pretty almost finished house? How cool is that. What an amazing story. Glad you found your way back to more solid footing!

  6. Gutsy gal, and hard working too. That was quite an experience to go through. You learned so much to get you through the rest of your life, not just the tools and aspect of building a house, but within too. I so hope the year 2011 will be kind to you and you find peace and joy like never before.

  7. Thanks y'all!
    TechnoBabe - this post was originally a response
    to an award you nominated me for.... one of those
    "getting to know you better" type awards!
    But it works well here on New Year's Day as well!

  8. Remarkable! So many stories out there...so many strong women who are living, and learning, and growing. And you are one of them. You have my utmost admiration and respect, and I wish you nothing but love, happiness, and contentment in 2011.

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  10. Sheesh, can't type today - There is a lot of wisdom in those words, Anne - "be kind..... for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle..."

    No need to be cruel or mean. We are all trying our best and just because we don't walk around with a sign saying what has happened to us, doesn't mean we don't carry it around.

    You are a strong and wonderful woman. Anne, I know I've said this before, but not everyone can go from dark hair to blonde. You really and truly suit your blonde hair.

  11. Thanks - the hair? I was jet blond
    until I was about 20 or so.
    Then darker and darker it went!
    It started out as a summer "fling"
    but I like it - I might just keep it!

  12. Wishing you all the best for yourself and your loved ones in 2011:)

  13. You are amazing and deserve every happiness that life has to give you. Inspiring girly!

  14. You are a survivor. Happy New Year and hope for new dreams and more happiness

  15. I started my new years by opening this blog first. I couldn't resist. I thought that maybe I had broken my first resolution (do the workbook first). So what can I say my friend other than the Holy Spirit knows what she's doing.

    Your sharing stilled my mind and soul. All fear and anxiety dropped as I scrolled through your pictures and selected words. Even your story telling is efficient. Oh, and your friend Winnie sounds like a keeper :)

    I feel ready to start this new year with my new friend "Just Compassion".

    Thank You Love and Have a Beautiful New Years Day!

  16. Oh ya one more thing. 462 blog entries in 2010! You have a work ethic like no other. :)

  17. Very inspiring Anne. Happy New Year to you. I hope 2011 is your best year yet!

  18. You have certainly been there and back! The coming back is the hardest and you did it with pride and dignity. And not only did you do that but you helped others along the way!! I'm so proud of you.

  19. You have had an incredible journey, Anne. I wish you much joy in the coming year. :)

  20. Wow.

    Well, it is true what they say, we learn the most from the adversitites we face.

    I am so sorry for your losses, while amazed that you came through it all with your sense of humor in tact. I love your playful nature, Anne!

    I wish every good thing for you in 2011.


  21. DANG....its true, everyone has a story, everyone has personal battles. People go through things and when they come out the other end are amazed they survived let alone thrived, like you have my friend. I too love your friend's quote: "be kind..... for everyone you meet
    is fighting some kind of battle...". That is so true. Im soooooo glad I found you & your blog!!

  22. Awesomeness. You are an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing your wealth.

  23. SawZaw's and Kittens go together? Huh, who knew... Happy New Year!

  24. WOW!!! girl you have had a journey!!
    Happy New Year!

  25. WOW! You are one tough strong woman. Amazing. I am so sorry all that crap happened to you, so sorry. And and I very happy you are here!!!

  26. Wow Anne, I had no idea you went through all that. You are right... recovery takes time. I found this post very touching, very thoughtful.

    You are so right... we are all just trying to work it out, and do our best. This was a great post, a wonderful reminder to be kinder to one another.

    Thank you, and I hope this new year is fantastic for you. :-)

  27. I've always said we really don't know what anyone else has been through till they tell us. Thanks for sharing this story with me. Kind of reminds me of our old house. Sorry those people stole from you though and then your mom passing. Reading this I could feel the pain you were going through. So glad you have healed so much. Here's to another great year Anne. *hugs*

  28. My gosh Anne, you have been through the wringer, and I'm so sorry for everything that you had to endure. I'm also so glad you found your way to blogland - you are not only inspirational, but just plain delightful to follow. Hugs to you, and hope I get to meet up with you this year!

  29. Oh, Anne, I can't believe you had all that happen to you! I'm just sick to my stomach about it. You really are a strong person to come back from all that loss. Hugs and happiness to you!

  30. There will always be jerks that come along and piss in your wheaties.... so to speak.... ignore them.... they'll be gone soon enough!

  31. Well, your story just goes to prove you can't keep a good woman down. Here's to moving through both peaks and valleys with your spirit intact. Happy new year, Anne.

  32. Oh man, what a series of losses. What an amazing resilient spirit you have to have come through all that. And now with your blog you inspire others to be strong. You're a powerful woman!

  33. Oh my goodness Anne, you have really been through it.
    You're so right about forgiving oneself and letting go of the past... it's really the only way to move forward!
    Thanks for taking us with you on your journey :)


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