A Fresh Start

Crooked Creek is a tributary to the Allegheny River in western Pennsylvania. My new home. Welcome back crookedcreekcrafts.com I have started again.

The long drawn-out struggle with my marriage has finally come to an end. We were divorced on September 3rd. I am once again Miss Miller. I have moved to Pennsylvania, which I’ve never lived in before, so it’s a new adventure.

I find myself just loving it here, the fresh air, the mountains, the rivers and all the bridges. Also very friendly people Western Pennsylvania. I know it’s going to snow and it’s going to be really different than Florida in the winter time, but already the fall is starting to happen and the colors are starting to change. I’m excited about having Four Seasons a year instead of one and a half.

I’m listening to music and working hard to get my house decorated and clean. It’s coming right along. I’ve got a yard. I’ll plant flowers and a garden. However there is a groundhog living out there. I’ve got to deal with him somehow. But if you’re going to be this close to Punxsutawney I guess you better have your own groundhog right?

I stopped blogging as my marriage was disintegrating due to judgmental reaction by my husband’s family member. I have released those blogs again publicly since we are divorced now. I’m sorry that we both had to go through so much pain to end this.

I do love him and always will but we couldn’t really live together and be our best selves. It’s like we had this idea of what we should be together but we couldn’t achieve it. He would find fault and pick on me rather than encourage. I would get angry and frustrated and cry, going deeper into a wallow and binge mentality.

He didn’t even notice how much weight I had lost. When I brought home new clothes because I lost so much weight my clothes were falling off of me he thought they were too small. He was surprised when they actually fit me. These new small clothes. It was like he saw me as bigger; he still did not find me attractive because to him I was still The Other woman. Though he did notice my personality changing. That was the worst part for him, he did not like the new me. The true me. The happy healthy me.

His attitude would spiral me out of control because I wanted him to appreciate the changes. But he didn’t, he wanted me to be that same sad girl sitting on the couch and eating. I cannot go back to being a couch potato.

As soon as we decided that a divorce was necessary, he started looking for my replacement. He couldn’t bear the thought a being alone. He became much more social and started going out with friends and doing things. Things I’d always wanted him to do with me but he wouldn’t. Just proved to me that he was unhappy with us together too. Without me, he started to have a life.

Though he really misses me now and appreciates what he has lost, we are both going to be happier having a more active lifestyle.

That being said, I moved to PA with a friend here who had helped and encouraged me on my journey to wellness. However all I have done the past two months is work. First packing to move, then moving while getting divorced. It has been hard. I have not had anytime for regular exercise nor been able to spend any real time with my friend.

I have been alone here for the past week. My son helped me a few days, but there was so much work to do. My friend helped too.

I guess I’m going to have to get out and start having a life of my own. I need to make some friends and get some exercise and get back to my healthy lifestyle. If I don’t I’m just going to fail all over again and I can’t let that happen.

I beat diabetes. I broke it! It’s out of my system. I am no longer on any medications. I still have a little ways to go, but I am going to get there. And I will stay there the rest of my life.

Like this bridge I want to be sleek in a beautiful environment. I can’t fall into the same pattern of depending upon the the care and love from another person to be my source of joy. I have to love myself and take care of myself.

Although everyone needs friends and I am not an exception; I just can’t let my joy or my happiness depend upon other people. I have to rely on myself and be joyful within.

The conclusion that I have come to in this journey is that you have take care of yourself and love yourself in order to be well. I love you Miss Miller take care and grow stronger.

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New and Old Habits Steps to Rebuilding

Three years ago

February 2019

September 2019 update 7 months later total lost 102 pounds. About 40 to get to a healthy weight.

Over the past 7 months, I have been incorporating new habits to achieve health and fitness. It occurred to me that the reason we fail in our attempts to change our habits is because it’s hard to make time for them when our old habits already monopolize all our time.

In order to succeed in following new habits to health and fitness, I have had to let go of a lot of time wasting activities. Gone are the days of lounging on the sofa binge watching Netflix or Amazon Prime shows. Now I can’t sit still. I am exercising or dancing or swimming or talking with my new found long lost love. I don’t even have time for crafts because they are a sedentary activity.

But in spite of the success I am experiencing in this body rebuild it just isn’t changing as fast as I am. In overly zealous excitement, I shared new pics with my friend. Pics that are evidence of how far I have to go, more than how far I have come so far.

It must be shocking to see someone you loved and desired looking this way. So does having more weight to lose than previously understood, make me undesirable? Perhaps, from a certain perspective.

Doesn’t true love transcend the physical body. Am I not still a brilliant mind, a sensitive soul, a lover, a confidante? Even now, before I am at my goal weight, I am transcended into my former young and sexy self. The evidence is in my smile and refreshed desires. Just the sexy body is still a little buried. I am me inside. I am the me that has sparked new life in him.

This new life in me is just beginning. Outdated are the days of being overweight and unhealthy. I received a great health check this week from my doctor. I have lost 46 pounds. I have gotten healthy levels on all my blood work. Well still working on cholesterol but it is down too. I have lost 6 dress sizes already. My face is completely changed.

On my journey 9 years ago I got to where I am now then gained half back. So now I am not going back. This time the change is in my heart. It is a complete change.

Nine years ago, I left my husband because I didn’t feel he really loved me. I needed to love me enough to really get well. I left but came back because he promised it would be better. It wasn’t. That’s part of why I gained back 46 pounds. He is supportive in a brotherly manner. He rejects my love and affection. He rejects my requests to exercise together. He rejects sex. And his handicap makes communication even more difficult.

I accepted being roommates for so long because I felt trapped with out any other options. I mean I love him but we are not an equal match. If I continue to stay out of fear of walking into a new unknown life, then I will slip back into my old bad habits. Filling the love void with comfort foods. Losing myself in television. Those are bad habits that have been so hard to break. I can’t do that again. I won’t survive it. I am literally fighting for my life. And for true love.

I’ve decided I really want to go home. I have no means of doing it right now, so I will bide my time. Save money until I can make the transition back to my home.

I love Los Angeles. I was born and raised there. I have lived in many places across this nation, but none compare to LA. Returning to me means returning to my home again. This time permanently unless a different home filled with true love is found.

My mom left my stepdad at age 65 to pursue her true love and life. She and he ended up having 5 good years together until he succumbed to cancer. I think that is why I feel brave enough to try. She doesn’t regret her decision even though she is alone now for the past 9 years.

My friend said you’re looking for a way out. I said no. I’m looking for a way in.

A way into love. A way back to the life I started to live 45 years ago. I’m going back to keep the real me alive. I will survive.

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Feeding Our Passions

I heard on a television show, when you live day-to-day behind prison bars you become someone else. I’ve never been in prison. Been picked up one time when I was a teenager for running away but that’s all. I wasn’t really arrested. I wasn’t even fingerprinted.

I don’t know what that’s like, but I feel like I’ve been imprisoned in this body. I’ve been imprisoned in compromising relationships. I know we all have to compromise and we all have to make sacrifices and we all have to do our part and play our roles. We help others and help our families, but somehow along the way; I forgot to help myself.

So now I have to be as brave as I have always been, but more so because I have to say what I mean and risk losing the most important part of my life if it isn’t received well. But how can I become the me that I want to become if I can’t even talk straight about it? That’s what I am trying to accomplish, be fully developed in this life I am living if possible, but if not, find a place where I can.

I have to tell my truth to the ones I love and hope they love me enough to accept the revised version of myself. I took this leap yesterday, and thankfully he does accept me and appreciate my honesty. He’s in my corner and backing my renovation project 100%. My fears abated, I can now go forward with my new path embracing the future.

I am starving for sex. I am starving for an intellectual equal. I am starving for conversation. Maybe I used food to fill these voids, but never again. I will get these things into my life. I am not going to sit around waiting to die anymore. I am going to live fully! I will feed my passions and not my face. I have already regained 10 years of my life. I look and feel 10 years younger than I did 6 months ago.

Sorry about the soap box, but I am literally fighting for my life and love.

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What if, once upon a time??

As I continue on the rebirth path, I can’t help thinking, what if? Once upon a time I had a great love that I let temporary circumstances take a permanent toll.

What if I had stayed? What if I didn’t leave? What would my life look like now? What would I look like? Would I be happier? Would I be healthier and fit? Would I have my son’s and grandson? Would I have different children? Would we still be in love the way we were then? Is what we feel now a fantasy rekindling of an old flame? Well, more than a flame. Flames burn out. Ours never has.

So, “what if ?” is usually a waste of time. We can’t go back, but I want to move forward holding onto the me that I was and can be again only more mature.

I feel stronger these few short weeks of talking with my sweety pie of old. It has opened my heart, mind, and body to a youthful exuberance I haven’t felt in years, decades. I am alive! I want to live! I am a beautiful soul in a weakened body, that is getting healthier and stronger everyday.

I have a long way to go to get where I am going. But now I am exercising, dancing, swimming, and best of all smiling. Love and joy have empowered me to not only rekindle this rebirth of my soul but to be younger.

So once upon a time I loved and lived with my perfect match, then walked away. What if I hadn’t, we both imagined that life and we know, deeply know, it would have been amazing. No matter how good or bad our lives have turned out, we would have been beyond anything. And although we are content with our lives now, we are happy to have rekindled that part of us that we lost so long ago. It truly has brought us back to life. And incidentally it’s making us happier which is infecting our current lives with this joy.

My husband says, I am happy you are so happy. And he is. And I am. And we are.

It all boils down to love.

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Rebirth of a Soul

Rediscovering my blog is just the beginning of this rebirth of my soul. I was lost in time for so long, traveling an unplanned path.

Reconnecting with my youthful self has woken me. I have, as we do with age, compromised and settled and adapted to my circumstances. I fought hard to find the freedom and creative life I craved, but kept getting stuck.

Oh I would find it for a brief time only to have it snapped back like a rubber band to the limited reality I have lived. And things have been tough. No whining but tough none the less. Maybe that’s why I am constantly longing for a Mulligan, a real chance to get a do over.

My husband and I have had multiple do overs in life and with each other. This is our timeline: met 1974, had an amazing night talking while sitting at a picnic table on Anna Maria Island getting to know each other. This is even more amazing because he is deaf and had to read my lips in the dark. That was fall.

The following spring I headed home to my boyfriend in L.A. We had a good life together in Venice Beach. My first true love since 1973.

In 1976, summer, my current husband visited us in Venice. But I was unavailable. I was happy with my guy.

Spring/ summer 1977 we moved to Florida. We were out of our place. We were in this same place that has always been so difficult for me. We ended up splitting.

Summer: I no sooner got to my mom’s place in Anna Maria, than who should show up, my future husband. We were together for a few weeks, but that was short lived and didn’t get us together either.

Fall: My boyfriend did call and want to marry me, but I had already started down a new path. So I lost them both. I married another. I had my two sons and ended up divorcing in 1983.

Then 1984 here comes my current husband again. Lots of love, but too many problems for us. His drinking broke us then.

Well, then I was raising my boys alone. They had a stepdad for a few years, but mostly it was my boys and me.

I was alone for many years after they grew up. These were the years of living back home in L.A. Working years. Career building. Then when I was in a place I loved; Oceanside, in a job I loved; homebuilding, and had good friends again, I was ready for love.

So in 2006, I had found my old friend through the internet, my current husband’s sister. After talking for a while I asked about him. She said he is doing good. Sober, single, and a dad.

She gave him my email address and I heard from him the next day. We wrote, emailed, video chatted and made a plan for him to move to California to marry me.

Four months after our honeymoon trip across America, we’re married. It only took us 32 plus years from meeting to marriage.

We have been together for 12 1/2 years now. Any of you who were reading my blog in 2010-2011 knows it hasn’t been an easy match.

We moved back to Florida to be closer to his son. The marriage license was more based on the need to be legit for a custody and visitation battle. I started to feel he didn’t really love me. I felt he didn’t really want me to come to Florida. He just wanted to go home without me.

We planned to buy a house, but the housing market crash of fall 2007, and lack of well paying jobs in Florida kept us from achieving this goal.

These feelings that he didn’t really want me here, the horrible climate here ( I know a lot of people think it is paradise, but not compared to Southern California beaches), and the loss of my career, my family, my financial security, all played a part in my losing my mind and wanting to run home.

Unfortunately, no work or only low paying work and the credit crisis made escape impossible too.

I did leave for a while which is also covered in the earlier blogs. We have been back together for 7 1/2 years and doing okay. As told In My Life post this week, communications are tough going. We are stronger for having survived raising his son together, fighting and struggling through my frustration over living in Florida. We’re doing better now.

The thing is I have had to give up a lot of pieces of myself to stay. I don’t want to be alone. I have lost any chance of going back to the career I had then. I am almost retirement age now, so what else can you do?

You settle down and make the best of it. True happiness is never a guarantee. You take your happiness moments where you find them. You change your mind and self into a person who can live in Florida. You spend all your time alone and try to find some peace in small victories and creative adventures. You fight for the minimal life you can accept, but you are accepting it.

The serenity prayer asks God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Well I accepted I can’t change my husband, his disability, or his never having faith in me. Not even believing when I say I locked the door. He always checks it. I have never failed to lock it. Yet 12 years of not believing in me.

I accepted this, but it took stomping down the real me to be able to endure it. Part of this journey to health and fitness always leads to healthy change of mental attitude.

So I don’t get a real Mulligan. I can’t go back to 17 or 20 to make something different of my life. But I can change back to being me. I have that wisdom now.

This rebirth does mean, I can’t accept this lesser version of myself anymore. I have over and over told my husband what kind of relationship I want us to have. I have also told him, I have to take care of my well being. He knows and promises to make the effort to help keep us together while I grow back into myself and continue to grow. Hopefully he will grow with me. I don’t want to fight anymore. I won’t fight. I will walk away into my peaceful self. I won’t settle for crumbs of love anymore.

I don’t know what the future is going to be, but it will be the real, uncompromised, me.

It started 6 months ago when I finally got back on my health plan again. I feel so much healthier. My mind is exploding with thoughts and my soul with emotions.

I reached into my past memories and found the me I was going to be. I can’t undo the last 42 years, but I can make the next 10, 15, 20, 25 or so years I have left, being me getting closer to the me I would have become.

Another start back to me today was changing my hair color to my natural color. Not the natural silver but back to brunette.

I mean I have been living as a blond. I am anything but blond. Its not even right for my personality.

It’s all changing which is the only constant in this life of mine. What a ride it will continue to be.

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Living Things

Yesterday I was busy getting our house ready for a party, then I went out to the lanai to check it out. There are two very healthy and happy Boston ferns living out there. I looked at them and realized I have lived with these plants longer than I have lived with any other living thing or being. I bought the first one for my new place in L.A. in 1998. I split that one in two a few years later. That means I have lived with them for over 20 years.

That’s longer than I lived with my children. They each only lived with me for 18 years give or take a few months. It floors me to realize I have been living away from my children and with these plants longer than they were with me.

The thing is I still miss my boys everyday. I mean I wanted them to go on, grow up, and live their own lives. I just never thought about after, when they are gone or that I would end up living with plants longer than I lived with them.

Our children are our children for the rest of our lives, but we really only get a short span of time with them. I suppose it is different if the family is close and stay near by, but for me we three musketeers went from very close to spread across country and not together much. Separate lives with new in laws being our family now. We never stopped caring, we just got busy.

Christopher in the army in Colorado. Michael in school in Phoenix. Then both married, Michael now on Chicago. Me in L.A., central California then in San Diego. Then me married and living in Florida.

The past 20 years flew by. I saw Michael every year or two, but I didn’t see Chris for five years. Then suddenly, I would never see him again. But I still have those frickin plants.

It is two and a half healing years ago that my baby boy Christopher was taken. It would have been therapeutic to have been writing this blog at the time of this loss. For now though, I am still trying to accept that he is gone.

He is proof that no one is immune to the devastation of heart break. A young successful handsome intelligent and loving man. He had so much life ahead. A family could have been possible, but he couldn’t cope with the loss of everything again.

He couldn’t see what he had. He had a brother who loved him and would walk through fire for him. A mother that would give all she was, is, and ever could be to help him. A best friend that was like another brother.

Rest in peace Christopher my love. 1980-2016

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Back On Line

Hi All,

I shut down this site in 2013 and thought it was gone forever, but found out it’s still here. Six years later, the thoughts, prayers, problems are still all going on. I am still working on getting healthier, still struggling with communication with my husband, still crafting, still not free to bust out from behind a desk into a craft job. But now I have decided to look forward to retirement and be free to Art and Craft at leisure and not work.

Although communication is still difficult with my husband, I realize it is what it is and is always going to be. I can’t expect him to meet my communicative needs. It has been tough accepting this because I feel lonely here. My ceramics classes ended. My two closest friends here moved away. Another friend pulled away from our friendship for an inexplicable reason. So all I have here is my husband and his family, which are all great, but still not mine. You know, a friend that knows me or wants to know me as I am. A friend that likes me the way I am. One who gets me, appreciates my out of the box ideas, and my unique person.

Ironically, fate has provided just such a person. Not a local person, (which I do want for hanging out; my sister’s in law help fill that role), but a long distance friend from long ago and far away. I found my first true love and we are chatting. It is fun talking with someone who can articulate thoughts and has broad interests that we once shared.

Now before you all start saying uh oh, where she going with this. It’s all fine. He has been happily married for 38 years, father of three beautiful grown children, and lives 1,000 miles away. But like me, and I suspect many of you, we realize our beloved spouses can’t fill all our emotional and intellectual needs.

So I am enjoying reconnecting with my old friend. We kind of grew up together, though he was/is older than me. We were each other’s first serious relationship. For four years, during the 70’s we lived life large in L.A. We never fought or argued. We were simpatico. We only split because of some life changing circumstances. We loved each other still, we love each other still. That is the amazing part of finding a long lost love. You realize love is never really lost, it lives on in spite of years of lost time.

Naturally, feeling all this love reboot is confusing and confounding, but it doesn’t alter where we are in our lives now or who we’re with now. It actually enhances where we are. We have had an amazing realization that our love was as real or even more real than we always thought it was. That we were and are real.

Since that relationship ended, I often regretted the choice I made to leave. I even more regretted turning down his marriage proposal a few months later. I am sorry for hurting him and leaving him. Of course things happen that can’t be undone. Fate played her part.

Would we go back to the beginning? Perhaps, if possible. The thing is we can’t go back and just like “Peggy She Got Married”, our children and grandchildren wouldn’t exist. So we are right where we are supposed to be. But now we can still share this love without all the old insecurities about where is this going. We are where we are going, this is simply an enhancement to where we are now.

My husband is aware and okay with the two of us talking. His wife is okay with it too. Since they love us and know us, they know how important and influential we were in each other’s lives. Reconnecting with that piece of ourselves that we thought was gone forever, will only make us happier and stronger. It’s an opportunity to recover from this loss. A chance to forgive ourselves and accept our fated lives. To be grateful for the lives we’ve made, while being able to heal our past and start a new friendship with an even greater opportunity for open communication than we had when we were so young.

In My Life

“There are places I’ll remember, All my life, though some have changed. Some forever, not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments, with lovers and friends I still can recall. Some are dead and some are living. In my life, I’ve loved them all.

But of all these friends and lovers, There is no one compares with you. And these memories lose their meaning when I think of love as something new. I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before I know I’ll often stop and think about them.

In my life, I love you more…”

So to my dear friend, I am so happy we have found each other again. And my other friends, welcome back to my blog.

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