Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Here is a picture of our feet in the sand on the day we got engaged. I wish I could go back to that day. It was a wonderful magical moment in our life. I remember driving home with him and staring at my ring absolutely giddy about our future. Our future is still exciting to me.

I'm blue today. Things have been so busy I have no time to think, to talk, to express myself. I hate feeling unexpressed, alone, tired.

I'm so anxious, so phobic about things. I'm worried the dogs will choke, run away, break their legs. I'm worried about earthquakes, Ron dying, getting into a car accident. When I'm in stores I imagine someone coming in with a gun or me breaking all the glass in the store on accident. I get flashes of gruesome scenes every time I see someone on a motorcycle, I am terrified I might run someone over in our neighborhood or hit someone on a bicycle. I'm worried my depression will come back ten fold and that I will do something irrevocable. No wonder I'm so unbelievably stressed.

This weekend Ron might go on a fishing trip if the weather permits. We both hope a storm rolls in so we will finally have some time together. I miss him horribly. I'm quite moody about it.

Now to the day, to hanging in, to getting through it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The chair

I think this is the chair for us. I love the pattern and think the color will look perfect with the brown couch we are getting. Do you like it?


I need to start taking more pictures. Its hard for me to find inspiration. I need to go to parks or something, I like taking pictures of natural things. I love this one of Isabelle, she looks so tiny compared to the rug.

I miss Ronald. I want to talk with him, read with him, have a slow day with him. Instead we have only busy days ahead. It's nice to have someone to miss, someone to love, someone to keep you warm in bed.

Its cooling down. Yesterday we were able to keep the windows open and air out the house. It was so nice to feel a light breeze flutter through the curtains. I can't wait for orange leaves, peppermint mochas, beenies and Christmas, sweaters and wonderland. Its all so exciting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What do you think?

We are hunting for two arm chairs. I'm torn between the two pictured above. The first one makes me want to snuggle up with a book. Its sort of country/cozy. The second one is awesome too. I love the Mad Men quality of it, but I don't know if it will be as comfortable as the top one.

I don't know which one to get, they are both the same price. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

"God bless the Indian Summer"

It has been so hot. Saturday it was 104, yesterday in the 90s. The Summer is holding on tightly and interrupting our lush Fall life.

It was a busy weekend. Friday I helped my sister and her husband paint, Saturday we helped them move and Sunday I ran errands while Ron taught a poker lesson and did homework. I miss him. Hopefully we will get some time together tonight.

We are redoing our living room. Buying a new couch, two club chairs, and a television wall mount that we are going to hang above our fireplace. We will change the layout and be doing lots of redecorating. I'm excited to get a room set up exactly how we want.

I'm tired, anxious and alone this morning. Oh well.

Friday, September 25, 2009

pirate smile

How do you teach dogs to share? This one always steals toys from Isabelle just because she can. She is strong and cunning and taunting. Poor Isabelle feels left out most of the time. Isabelle is the alpha dog. She is the one who plots. Amelia is the dumb brawny one who follows along.

I'm feeling anxious, anxious, anxious. Yesterday I almost had an anxiety attack while I was driving. Luckily, I learned how to (mostly) control my panic attacks through my two years of almost constant anxiety. I can't relax these days. I'm stressed and weary. Its frustrating.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Ronald is so busy these days. He has school, work, poker coaching as well as trying to help me. Every night he is busy studying. I miss him. Its hard because I don't relax unless I know he is relaxing so I feel rather stressed at the moment.

We need to make an Autumn trip to the beach where we got engaged. I miss it. It has been over a year since we have been there. Its a bit of a drive to get there and we love miniature road trips. Its a beautiful drive with twists and turns and farmland. I just adore it.

In home news we have picked the color for the dining room and kitchen. Its called Russian Blue and is a cold grey-blue which is gorgeous. Now if only we could find some time to paint. I think it will be a few weeks before we can start.

I'm feeling so-so these days. A little muddled, very anxious. Anxiety is really annoying. Its like a constant shot of adrenaline. I'm anxious about driving, earthquakes, Ron dying, getting depressed again. All these little phobias.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall things

Stout little pumpkins.

My new Fall shoes which I adore.

My Autumn face which looks identical to my Summer face.

I couldn't sleep last night. Now I have a pulsing headache and lack-of-sleep hangover. I feel rotten.

Its going to be warm again today. I can't wait to pull out my sweaters and various bundle-y wonders. I will be like a warm little bunny rabbit all winter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Its the first day of Autumn and I wore my acorn earrings to celebrate. But its 100 degrees outside as Summer is trying to hang on with all her might. I want her to let go and let me wear a sweater.

The dogs are playing, Ronald is doing homework and I'm here in my pajamas at five in the evening. Things are so simple, good, close, rotten all at the same time. I feel sort of blank these days, like a big ugly lump of clay.

Therapy has been hard. I've been coming to a lot of serious conclusions about myself and am trying to do better and get better. It seems like my depression is replaced by a seething creepy anxiety that beats and beats inside me. I'm terrified of earthquakes and wake in the night in anxious anticipation. Driving is scary to me, I get flashes of gruesome scenes in my head whenever I'm in a car whether I'm driving or not. I try to be strong and go places in spite of it but its starting to get debilitating.

Ronald and I talked about how it seems like I jump from negative to negative. From depression to melancholy, from melancholy to anxiety, I never let myself just be okay with how things are; I always anticipate the worst. I know there are chemical things going on too but there is also a very well worn rut in the road that I continue to follow. I believe I'm cursed--that I am not meant to live a happy life; so whenever I get close to being happy I hold back, panic, lull and hide. Its a bad wrecking ball sort of habit.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Our anniversary was interesting. It usually takes us thirty minutes to get to San Francisco this time it took us an hour and a half. The museum parking was all blocked because of an event going on at Golden Gate Park. We couldn't find parking anywhere in the area so we had to leave. After two hours in the car we finally got out at Ikea. I started crying even though I promised myself no crying and no fighting. We went to a mall and shared a too chunky milkshake on a bench. My feet couldn't reach the ground so I swung them in the air and felt like a little kid. We ate our milkshake while looking into GNC--sort of ironic.

Then to Walnut Creek where we went to Barnes and Noble and to a steakhouse for dinner. They put rose petals on our table and gave us a free chocolate dessert. I drank two gin and tonics and felt relaxed and easy. Overall we had fun even though the days events were rather unexpected.

Now to getting into the week. Its Monday ugh...

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Crazy singing money

An Eland like from my favorite poem.


A meerkat that looks like out cat Oliver.

A very scary fruit bat.

As you can see we went to the Zoo yesterday. It was so much fun. We saw lots of creepy crawly and cute critters. My favorite was the singing monkey pictured above, and the Eland. Ron loved the squirrel monkeys and wanted to take one home.

Today is our anniversary. Off to a museum in the city and a steakhouse for dinner. What a great weekend.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Silly kids

We are still kids. We got together when Ron was twenty-three and I was nineteen. I remember thinking he was so old when we got together, such a grown up. Now that I have surpassed twenty-three, I realize how young we were when we got married. We are lucky to have come this far. We have beat the odds. We are in love and committed to each other.

I think the we have come this far for a few reasons. One being that we are best friends. We love spending time together and we have so much in common. At the same time we are both different and allow each other to pursue our own hobbies; we give each other space. Secondly, we are truly committed to each other and are not swayed by our feelings. We have both made a conscious choice and we choose every day to love each other, to stay together, to make our life special. Thirdly, we are totally honest with each other. We talk openly about everything. We respect each others opinions, we aren't afraid to fight but try not to argue about the things that truly do not matter.

We have come through some terribly hard times with my illness. Times where all I wanted to do was leave, times where I wanted to leave this earth; and we are still here--still in love. I think the biggest thing is that we understand that love is a choice not a feeling. Feeling love is wonderful but choosing to love is even better.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Sunday is our six year anniversary. It feels like we got married so long ago, but at the same time things are still so new between us. Its comfortable; terribly comfortable and magical. We live a simple life. We enjoy simple things. Doing home projects, reading together, talking, taking walks, our redundant-wonderful movie dates.

We've always wanted an uncomplicated life. Me staying home being artsy, Ron working but not being defined by his job, each of us having our own growing hobbies, a small nucleus of a family, a house with a white picket fence. Our house is far from having a white picket fence, but we are starting to make progress.

I love how strong he is, how effortless life seems to him--its very inspiring. I love how he believes in God but doesn't judge me for being on the fence. I love his smile, his face, his beautiful blue eyes. I love how tenacious he is. How he shushes me when I start to worry about unnecessary things. How he doesn't mind my quirks like how I buy him new socks instead of simply doing the laundry; how I rarely cook but love to bake store bought cookie dough and act like a pseudo baker. I love how he encourages me and fights with me and sticks by me even when things are harder than we could ever have imagined.

As you can see I love him. As you can see he loves me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I never think about having kids. I used to--before I was sick, before I entered my cave with the little welcome mat. I said we would in five years and every year I say that. Keeping the thought at a distance. I do this because I doubt it could ever happen. I doubt I will be a good mother. I doubt that my illness will allow me to be present with my children. I don't want to give them a sub-par life, and I feel sub-par so why would I ever think of having children?

Yesterday I met with my Dr. (affectionately known as Dr. K) He said that I seem to use my depression as an excuse to never have children. I told him about how I feel like something is missing in my life, how I doubt it will ever be full and he reluctantly said that children may be whats missing. I told him I would think about it.

After talking to Ron and thinking about it all night, I think that may be part of whats missing. I think my "hole" has many facets; things are missing. Children are a facet, confidence is a facet, I hate to say it but God is a facet. I need to work on filling these parts up and finding the missing pieces like a little puzzle and putting myself back together.

Now I will allow myself to think of having kids. I will get excited about it, look forward to it and not use depression as my handy excuse.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I cleaned and organized my art room after months of it being a little sad unused mess. I even crafted yesterday. I made a big (lumpy) pillow for the dogs. I didn't realize how hard it is to stuff things, especially big things. Its made out of a green thick textured table cloth and tufted in the center with pale pink button.

As my doctor promised, I have gone from depressed to melancholy in the last week. I'm still struggling with finding joy in life, with the reason I am here. I can't find meaning in things like I used to. I can't find satisfaction in anything; this makes me feel different, this makes me feel alone. I feel strange, uncharted, unlike myself, to blame for this. I feel like my lack of satisfaction is my fault. I feel like I want and ask for too much. Is it too much to ask for meaning? Maybe I will never be full. Maybe I am destined to live like this; a robot, a shiftless sneer-eyed downtrodden woman.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Ron went back to work today. His first day back to the office (other than to teach classes) in about three weeks. Its strange being alone, making my own breakfast, not talking in the morning. Its a hard but good thing. Good to get back into real life, good to rely on myself more.

It was a bad/good/bad weekend. Saturday was great. We went to lunch, to read at Starbucks and then to see the movie 9. Sunday was up and down for me. In the morning we went to Home Depot and Ron bought me some flowers to plant in pots in the front yard and a sad little pine tree that needed us. We came home and I pummeled back into the murky depths for the rest of the day. I felt like crying but couldn't cry; it felt horrible. We watched a show about 9/11 and that really messed me up. All evening I was anxious and all night I had nightmares.

Now its Monday and he is gone and I need to get moving in order to tide the emotional lull. I have things to do: rooms to organize, things to spray paint, flowers to plant. But its raining on and off and the dogs are outside getting their paws soaked in it, and it smells so sweet and I feel so distant.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

heffalumps and woozles

It was a warm night. We had the windows open and the fans on in the bedroom. At three in the morning we awake to a "kaboom!" We both jumped out of bed and tried to figure out what was going on. Then we saw a flash in the sky and knew it was a thunder storm. It was weird because it wasn't raining. It started raining during the second storm at six, it smells so good in the house with the rain soaked street smell coming in through the windows. I can't wait to perhaps wear some bundley clothes today.

Now I feel winter, now I feel fall. It so exciting. My favorite time of year.

Friday, September 11, 2009

clean house

No dust bunnies.

Sparkly kitchen.

Tidy living room.

Made bed.

As you can see, I cleaned yesterday. Now that I did the major cleaning I think it will be easier to do one or two things every few days to keep things tidy. This is the first time I've been able to really clean in about two months so it took a long time to get things looking like this. I love a clean house, it feels so cozy in the evening with the candles lit and the little flowers on the coffee table. I hope my cleaning monologues aren't too boring...

I'm feeling ok today. Tired but not really down. Its nearly the weekend and that's exciting. We have no big plans which is the best. We may paint one of the bathrooms. We will also go read and see the new Tim Burton movie 9.

Our new favorite thing is going to Starbucks to read. Ron is reading The Pilgrims Regress and Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling and I'm reading The Time Travelers Wife, and Lincoln's Melancholy. Its so relaxing to read with him at a little table in the corner with a cup of coffee and the huddle muddle of the people around us. I look outside and watch the palm trees that I remember looking at before we were together. Did I mention the place we go to read is the same place we were at when we first got together? Did I mention that as soon as we got together we both new we would get married? I think we talked about getting married on our second date. Did I mention I'm lucky? Very lucky indeed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


These are some baby ducks that live in Disneyland. I would love to be a duck that lives in Disneyland, I bet they get so many coos and sweet treats.

Up early. A whole grain waffle, orange juice and coffee breakfast. Now to swallowing the pills and getting over it.

I'm frustrated with myself. I have a scant amount of energy that slithers away from me so quickly. I am blue as a box. I am afraid of being close and vulnerable with him. I have no ambition, no motivation, no ever-loving high-holy belief in myself.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I miss you

Today I'm looking back. I used to be so thin. I used to not be on antidepressants. I used to have energy.

I used to live in an adorable apartment with painted walls, nice floors, and amenities like air conditioning.

I used to wear chucks and be a rock and roll girl. I was messy back then, but not as messy as I am now. Sometimes I wish I could go backwards. I know I idealize the past, but right now, positive or negative, it looks so much better than being in the here and now.

We talked last night about how we need to stay with the family business, about how I don't snuggle him as much anymore, about how aloof and distant I've become. Its scary to see who you are, what you are; a lost girl, an unabiding demon loving hell bound animal, a depressed person.

He made me breakfast in bed this morning and I was shocked to see the pills on my nightstand. I forgot that I swallow those every morning and every night just to feel like this. Just to feel like shit.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

bottle brush

Therapy, grocery shopping, and lunch leave Catherine a tired girl. I want to try to clean but will have to find a little cavern of hidden energy in order to do so. I did buy some flowers for the coffee table at least.

In therapy we talked about how I am fake around people because I am afraid they can't handle me and my opinions. I am afraid that if I show who I really am I will be abandoned. This inauthenticity leaves me feeling depressed, unknown and different. I have to set out on a slow path to honesty, goodness, and Catherinedom. I like to make my name an empire, a philosophy, a religion.

My antidepressant is being raised by 50 milligrams and the doctor claimed that this should take me from teetering between depression and melancholy to being in the melancholy realm or better. I hope better. Hope me better, hope me well, hope me, hope me out of hell. Yes I made a little rhyme...

Now to resting, now to finding the doldrum monster budding energy creator and fall in worship of him in order to get moving.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

at the zoo

I feel like our house is a zoo these days. We have Amelia, Isabelle, and our two cats along with Ron's parents bulldog named Winnifred who we are watching for a few days. Feeding three dogs twice a day takes time; especially when they are picky and need things just so. Its tiring as our Amelia (the lab) has decided to jump on the bed every morning for a fun romp all over me. In other words, I'm exhausted.

Things are turning grey for me again. I'm down for no reason, tired all the time, unmotivated, overwhelmed by the littlest things, and grumpy. I'm consistently waking up cranky like a terrible-two's toddler. Ron has stayed home with me for the past two weeks. I thought he could go back to work this week but now am not so sure. I hope I can get on my feet again soon.

I'm reading a book called Lincoln's Melancholy. It is comforting in a way to read about his struggles and to know that I am not alone. He was so successful in spite of (as the book theorizes) his bouts with major depression. The book is making me think a lot about things which is good.

Now to watching movies and resting with Ronald.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Our little house. There are some things I love terribly about it. One being the way the kitchen looks in the afternoon sun. It glows and sparkles (well as much as an unfixed-fixer-upper can sparkle) and is as hot as a steam room.

Things change, they turn and twist around me and suddenly I have energy, suddenly feel less pining-board depressed. But then to figure, ponder and figure, what to do with yourself when you are feeling better. This is the tricky thing. I don't know what I want, I don't know who I am. I feel empty in a new way. I feel mournful for what could have been, for all the time I've lost and will lose because of my black bile demon. I'm scared of when he will leave and when he will come back. In some ways I'm scared of losing him because I don't know how to live without him. I do know, and know very well, how to live as a depressed person. Now to learn to live as a full person. Then to remember that it will come back--and I have to learn to live with that, the fact that I will never be in remission from this curse. There may come a time when it is under control, but never a time when it is gone, when I can truly let my guard down.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cleaning lady

Yesterday afternoon we had a cleaning lady come to the house and give us an estimate. She drives up in her brand new Land Rover and gets to work, poking and prodding through our house. She seemed a little surprised at the fixer-upper-state the place is in; wallpaper glue on the walls, old linoleum and drywall aren't very inviting. She said our house was really messy so we would have to pay her extra for the first cleaning. She will cost $200 a month to come every two weeks.

After some more thought I decided to give myself more of a chance to get on my feet and start cleaning again. This morning I went out and bought a planner and a bunch of cleaners. I am using the planner as a cleaning schedule. I think that if I do a load of laundry every day and one other project the house will stay clean.

I didn't realize how emotional cleaning is for me. Having a cleaning lady come made/makes me feel like a failure. My mom really pushed on us the 1950s idea that a woman is in charge of running a tight, clean household. Every morning I would wake up to her deep cleaning the bathrooms, kitchen, mowing the lawn or redecorating. She did this on top of homeschooling us, baking, and cooking homemade dinners practically every night. I am not that ambitious/successful/neurotic. In most ways being different from my mom's ideal is a good thing, in little emotional ways I feel led through the ringer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Poor Isabelle is so hairy these days you can hardly see her eyes. I am going to call the groomer today and set up an appointment for her to get a trim. She hates the groomer with a passion so its hard to let her go (yes, she is spoiled).

I'm feeling so-so today, up and down at the same time. Ron is home with me so that is definitely a good thing, but I'm still melancholy as hell. I don't quite know what to write about it anymore.

Yesterday I was able to go to therapy, tidy the house, go to Costco with Ron and paint my nails. That is a very successful day for me. My energy is slowly, slowly creeping back which makes me terribly, unbelievably happy. I was so debilitated even last week, I could hardly stand up. I can't wait to start cooking, living, gardening, writing, creating again. I know this will also help some of my depression subside. I guess this morning I have a little hope.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

grow up

I feel like my growth has stopped due to my illness. Maybe it is still there, maybe it is smaller than a pin hole, or maybe it is more concentrated and aloof than it used to be. Regardless, I can't shake this feeling of stagnation.

My heart isn't in things anymore. It lurks on the fringes, prim and proper. I am in the darkness, in the gutter next to the crumpled up trash of humanity. It stinks, and I'm still here.

Last night I dreamed about cleaning the house only to wake to the mess around me, a literal and figurative mess. This afternoon I think I will try to tidy away and see how much I can get done.

I'm so relieved it is hath September.