My Life Thus Far

I’ve had a good life thus far. In the last few years, I’ve made enough money with this blog to pay the bills. And now there’s social security to pad things a bit.

Someone asked me how I’m doing. Well, aside from the ankle thing, I think I’m doing pretty well. I had surgery on a Monday and I’ve been inside for basically 6 weeks except for a couple of doctor’s appointments.

But I’m doing great overall. Mentally and emotionally. Much better than I was doing before the surgery when I was in so much pain.

Whether there was pain or I was grieving the loss of a pet, that was hard. It’s still hard. But life moves on and you just try to ride the waves until it gets easier.

Grieving The Pet Babies:

I miss Abi and Charlie and Gracie and right now tears are pouring down my face because I can’t hold them close.

Every time I see a photo of one of them, I come undone. They were all so very special to me. I still can’t let my eyes rest on the boxes their ashes are held in. But they’re in a safe and honored place and I know they’re here and still with me.

I’ve had good days and bad days, just like everyone else. But for the most part, I’m happy with how things have turned out.

I find joy in my home and in gardening. And of course Ivy.

Right now she’s sleeping on the end of my recliner. That’s as close as Ivy gets to a human being. She likes her space. I respect that. It’s just who she is.

In the evening I take my shower and watch TV in my bedroom. That’s been my routine ever since I had surgery.

Ivy goes back to my bedroom then too. By the time I get out of the shower, she’s usually laying on the yellow table with a quilt I put there for her, all curled up and asleep.

My Nextdoor Neighbor:

Nextdoor neighbor Steve comes over here and there and brings my mail inside. And when he does, Ivy runs and jumps on the dining table because she knows he’s going to give her kitty treats.

He has a cat now to keep him company, and we talk about what each cat has been up to. Like these two cats are our kids. And I guess they are.

Our adult kids have lives of their own and don’t really need us anymore. They’re busy raising their own kids.

The other day when my two oldest grandkids were here, I told them that Steve is a good friend to me. But that one day some lady is probably going to snap him up. And when that happens I’ll probably lose my supper companion.

But for now, we eat together about twice a week, taking turns who pays for the meal.

Sometimes we sit, he on the couch and me in the recliner with my leg still elevated, and shoot the breeze. We talk about what’s going on in the world. He tells me about people he knows who have had or now have Covid.

Me, I don’t know all that many people. Just the neighbors and all of you.


No one could have fathomed all that’s happened in the past few years. To learn to be ever so careful what you touch and to wash your hands constantly. And to keep your distance from other people due to Covid and the other variants that we’ve seen.

It isn’t all that strange for me because I’m a homebody. But I expect it is for most folks. People who are more socially inclined.

But then years ago people weren’t able to order their groceries online and have them delivered right to their door. That has saved me during the past months.

The only place I truly like to go is garden nurseries. Or where people are scarce and taking photos of nature.

Otherwise, I’ve weathered it all pretty well. I never really cared about eating in restaurants. And I’ve never cottoned to traveling.

Basically, my world for the last six weeks has been what I see out my patio door.

Right now I’m just barely walking, but for six weeks the pain of standing on that leg has lessened considerably. I just have to hope that that continues.

Even if I end up having to wear the walking boot much of the time, if I don’t have to endure that constant pain I would be pretty satisfied with things.

Because pain is so hard on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It clouds your judgment and makes you feel trapped inside your own body. And chips away at everything you love.

The Lack Of Daily Pain:

So the lack of pain, even if I’m not walking much yet with my right leg, is a momentous victory to me.

You never truly know how bad things are until it begins to get better. Then you’re more grateful for every little victory. Every hour or day without pain.

Right now I read books and watch movies and don’t really worry about the world outside my door. Ivy never goes out. So now I guess my life is more like Ivy’s.

Ivy spends a lot of time sleeping behind my recliner. Sometimes I look back there and she’s fast asleep with her front paws up in the air like a string is holding them from above. I don’t know how she does that.

Just Ivy and I, living here in the apartment we moved to 7 months ago.

Sometimes I think about how I will decorate for the holidays in a different environment this year. And that’s kind of exciting for this homebody.

You learn that you don’t need all that much. Food and shelter and a companion. And my companion is Ivy.

By the way, today is International Cat Day.

The Family:

Below is a photo of Kasi and Ross at a Mexican resort last month celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.

And here’s a photo of Andrew from a few years ago, and one of Andrew now. His favorite thing to do is go fishing with his dad. That boy catches some pretty big fish!

And here is a photo of Kendra and Marley and Riley recently. Riley now towers over his mom and little sister.

Life has a way of working out.

Relationships are sometimes tenuous.

People come and go in life. Some people are in your life for a short time but were just passing through.

Life itself is a balancing act.

And so, when looked at as a whole, my life has been pretty darned good thus far. I try to live it much like the wording in the famous quote by Nelson Mandela.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

– Nelson Mandela


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  1. If one can examine their life and conclude that it’s been “pretty darned good so far,” well, that’s a win! It’s important to live life the way that makes us most happy, and you have succeeded at that. I’m glad to hear that the daily pain is gone from your ankle, and hopefully, you’ll continue to strengthen it. The photos of your family are beautiful!

  2. Brenda, this was such a wonderful post. I loved everything about it. Your family is beautiful, and you have great friends. Life is good. I am so happy for you.

  3. Lovely photos of your family, Brenda. I am glad you have them and are close enough to see them and for them to help you!! And that you sound like you are at least not doing worse with your ankle now!! All good…keep on healing.

  4. Good to hear you’re doing better. Its good to see your girls and gkids. Andrew has certainly grown. Beautiful photos.

  5. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling more positive and upbeat and especially that your pain has lessened so much. Your girls and their families are so beautiful, Brenda. And just look at that Andrew–growing so fast! And that fish is really huge! How proud he must have been to catch it.

    Well, we’ve had another round of COVID at my house this last week. One of my twin grandsons that live with me contracted it from the teacher of one of the special ed. classes he goes to a week ago today. Then his brother tested positive two days later. And my daughter came down with symptoms about a day later. Her husband and I have so far not contracted it. The boys had significant fevers and coughs and my daughter was achey with a lot of sinus drainage.
    I’ve been wearing my mask indoors except when in my room. But you just never know where or how you are going to encounter the virus. You are lucky not to be going out and about much as that reduces your risk. Anyway, I tested negative today and so have the twins. Daughter hasn’t tested today as we ran out of tests. It’s just crazy how this thing has taken over our lives.

    Enjoyed your post today and hope you keep healing and feeling better and better.

  6. Love your update and good news..hope you continue to improve from surgery and your mobility. Your Family..all..are just beautiful. Best Wishes.

  7. Wonderful to hear such a positive post today Brenda! I’m so glad you are without that constant chronic pain. It can really drag a person down. For you now, there is light at the end of the long dark tunnel you’ve been in! Before long, I’m sure you’ll get to be outside on your patio and in your “yard” enjoying your plants and flowers.. there is still time for that! I love that quote! Marilyn

  8. Your readers have followed along on your life events for quite a long time now. So it is heart-warming to get such a positive update . I admire your gumption in moving from another state, renting a house and two apartments, navigating the Social Security/Medicare systems and the blogging world for income–all while enduring injury and pain. You are a testament to just “getting on with it.” P.S. Reading Blogs has become my main social contact and helped me get through the Pandemic, so thank you.

  9. Brenda, I don’t think you know how much happier you sound. That is even with your surgery and recovery happening on going.
    Your decorating is lighter and brighter. That is not from more light. Take care. I still think you will be dancing beside your Christmas trees or on you patio before you know it.

  10. I think one thing we learn as we get older, is that life doesn’t have to be full of excitement in order to be satisfying. Sometimes the simple life is the best kind. I am perfectly happy with my small, simple home and gardens. Puttering around in both, making nutritious meals for me and my husband, taking care of my cat, seeing my friends and certain family members is what truly matters to me. I do like to get out and about and do things…going out to eat, or visiting with a friend in a coffee shop, visiting favorite stores like bookshops and vintage shops, taking day trips with Brian, etc., but then I’m always glad to get back home to my “nest”.

    Your family is beautiful. I can’t believe how big Andrew is now! Do you ever see him?

    1. I don’t see any of the grandkids all that much. They’re into so many activities and I’m pretty much just here these days. And then there was the pandemic that slowed family time down. When I do see Andrew, he isn’t still five minutes. Always up and onto the next thing.

  11. I’m glad you’re feeling better Brenda!
    Cute family! My grandson is taller than everyone else too!
    I like being home but I also like going shopping and being around ppl too.
    I like to cook and entertain ppl than going to eat out bc I know what’s exactly going in my food! Lol
    I’m quickly sending b4 it erases my comment again!

    1. Sorry if something erased your comment! Did you know if something is accidentally deleted (by you) then you can press Ctrl and Z and it returns? But it sounds like something else erased yours.

  12. Love this post, which is so Happy!!!
    Your family is beautiful, Brenda, you must be so proud. And, Ivy, well that goes without saying, she too is beautiful!
    Things are really looking up, pain is less, and your neighbor Steve, which is nice that you can share a meal together, and enjoy chatting with a good friend.
    Now, next in line. soon we hope, out to the patio and to your flowers.
    Hugs from WI

  13. Thanks for the photos of your family! You have beautiful daughters and grandchildren and it’s great to put faces with the name. This is a beautiful blog, just lovely!

  14. So glad to hear you’re doing well and that your pain has decreased. That is such a blessing. And I always enjoy reading about how you deal with life and it’s difficulties. My oldest son was seriously ill for most of his life with “things” the doctors could never diagnose or treat successfully and his social life was severely limited. But he would tell me how much he enjoyed his little place and his loving cat and what he called his “little life”. Your description of your life reminds me very much of him and it’s an attribute I try to develop in my own life so that I am content with where I am and how things are.

    I’m scheduled for knee replacement surgery in three weeks so it’s encouraging to hear that you are doing better after your surgery. I’m not looking forward to this venture but I know it’s something that needs to be done and I’m determined to do all the therapy I can to make sure I have a good outcome.

    1. I have had both knees replaced and that worked out great. Do your rehab and exercises and you will be pleased with the results.

  15. Brenda I’m so glad the pain is better and believing you’ll be back on the patio in a bit when I had my surgery on my foot several years ago I was in the boot for the better part of five months just recovering from the surgery I still have swelling pain but not like I did before the surgery mine is in the ball area of my foot and side and toes and I have as much hardware in there as I do in my neck I have arthritis terribly I started following you about this time comparing notes as I hobbled around so thankful that your pain is better mine is manageable now that I’ve learned triggers and definitely better than what it was before like I said I have hardware in my neck for arthritis and so I kind of have to be restricted in that area to went in retirement at the age of 54 because of arthritis I am now 66 and I have enjoyed your blog it has been an immense help sometimes and just comparing notes learning how to use different things because of limitations and just generally know when you’re not the only one in the world I am at home most of the time too and like you have become so comfortable with it but when Covid hit it didn’t really affect me love your blog hope you have a great week PS I can’t find it in the history but I love your couch where did you say you got it from thanks Gloria

  16. That’s the spirit, we just have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep on going when we have something that temporarily knocks us off our feet, whether physically or figuratively. Your ankle was “sick” for a long time so I figure it will still take time for it to get up to its best capacity, whatever that will be. Hard to be patient, I know. By the way, you have a very handsome family, including Ivy. She’s a hoot!

    1. I agree. I’m taking it slow and steady. My physical therapist today asked me what I’ll do if tomorrow at my appointment the surgeon says to maybe take off the boot. And I said I’ll take it off gradually, because I don’t want to mess things up. The boot is kind of my security blanket after all this time.

  17. You reminded me of days learning about the Great Depression and soup lines, World War ll metal shortages, and rampant Dust Bowl era death. Someday school kids will read of Covid paranoia, shuttered businesses, at home learning, and toilet paper fights. I used to wonder what it was like to live through challenging times. Now I know.
    Your family members are all gorgeous, Brenda. You are indeed blessed!
    Personally, I don’t think Steve is in any hurry to remarry. Just a vibe I get. He’s content with your friendship and the companionship of his cat.

  18. Oh, my dear Brenda… your column today speaks to me in more ways than I can count… living with chronic pain, being a homebody, preferring take-out to eating in a restaurant, ordering groceries online, not wanting to travel, grieving a beloved pet/person, having a beloved pet, enjoying books and tv with Netflix and Amazon… being happiest at home.

    I don’t need much either … for me, it’s food, shelter, a companionable spouse, and our pet.

  19. What a delightful post this morning, Brenda! Thank you for sharing your life with us.
    Your daughters and their families are all sweet, cute, beautiful, handsome, etc.
    You and I live a very similar life. I’m very much a homebody; living my life in my little house with Cooper (my dog) simply enjoying my hobbies. When I’m asked why I don’t socialize more I smile and say “I really enjoy my simple and quiet life”. Most don’t understand but that’s ok. I have to run a handful of errands today and I must admit I’m not looking forward to it. Three stops to pick up small on-line orders and one stop to drop something off to a friend. Then it’s back home to my “happy place”.
    I’m glad you’re feeling better and living less pain. I hope you’re completely pain free one day but is that a pipe dream.
    Have a lovely day!

      1. Glad the pain is subsiding. You have a beautiful family. Andrew is getting so big. I had to run to Walmart and the grocery store late this morning. It is sad either had the store brand of box bread stocked. Two under 20 items cashiers open at Walmart, not even one for larger orders. I don’t think that is right, especially for customers who can’t scan and bag their own larger orders. I was glad to get h back to my humble home. Love the peaceful, simple life we have made. Glad to read many others feel the same. It’s a blessing we can close the door and be happy inside! Hope you continue to feel less and less pain every day!

  20. Brenda, I am happy to hear that you are no longer in daily pain, that in itself is a miracle! Take is slow, even though you have been inside for 6 week, you have a long life left my friend, so let the body do its thing. I am praying for a complete recovery.
    I’ve been in my house for 5 weeks with my kitchen renovation, not the same as your confinement but similar in the respect that I have to be here with the workmen and three barking dogs. I am so looking forward to this project finishing, I sometimes have to remind myself to be patient. Even though I would love to snap my fingers and be finished.
    Once things are finished I will send you something baked in my new kitchen!

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