Tiaras, Clappers, and Party Necklaces for the Kitties

I did say I would probably write today about the ups and downs of this past year, but it’s still beyond me. When something is hard to write about in a poem I try a list poem. Here is a list even if it’s not a poem.

January–Doll God, my first book of poetry, was published by Aldrich Press

castle promotional cover

February–my father had surgery for a catastrophic heart event last December. He had a 50% chance of getting through the surgery, but once through that phase, the expectation was that he would continue to recover. By February it was clear Dad was not getting better, but it didn’t seem as if the medical establishment was listening. To top it all off, my daughter moved to the other side of the country.

March–visited my father and went with him to the doctor for his diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, then helped him decide on whether or not to have treatment (no treatment)

April–Dad and I continued to talkย several times every day. Both my children flew to visit Grandpa.

May–my father passed away

June–my oldest cat Mac passed away

July–adopted Nakana (soon began to call her Kana)

August–first real vacation in a long time was both stressful and good

September–what a blur–oh yeah, no wonder–I did the Tupelo Press 30/30 poetry project all month!

October–visited Mom for the first time since Dad passed away & visited daughter who lives the farthest from me she ever has

November–Doll God was a winner in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards

December–something new on the horizon, but not yet surfaced, in my son’s life (stay tuned)

I hope this year is stable and joyful and healthy for all!!! The kitties say HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Click on (or hover over) the image for the caption.


Filed under #AmWriting, Book Award, Book promotion, Books, Cats and Other Animals, Doll God, Nonfiction, Poetry book, Publishing, Writing

71 responses to “Tiaras, Clappers, and Party Necklaces for the Kitties

  1. So sorry about your father and your beloved pet. Here’s hoping 2016 has more ups than downs for you.

  2. What an up and down year you had, Luanne. I truly hope 2016 brings you more mountain top moments than bumps.

    • Thanks so much, Sue. I hope 2016 does all that for you and yours, too! 2015 was a year to remember for me. I added in on September that I did the 30/30 project. In the midst of the rest of it I had forgotten why September was a blur LOL.

  3. You rode the waves this year. Huge losses and great gains. That’s what life is all about.

    • That’s it exactly–I had a very “distilled” life in 2015. Distilled down to the essence: loss and gain. There must be a poem in there somewhere. If not, at least the cats keep on giving me their therapy ;). Happy New Year, Kate!!!!

  4. So sorry for all the loss and change. I hope 2016 brings you a measure of peace and refocus.

    • Deborah, that is so true re loss and change. I’ve read that even good change gives stress, too, so I would say the whole year has been stressful. Peace and refocus sounds so lovely. Thank you so much for your good wishes. I hope that you too will have the 2016 that you so deserve and desire! xo

      • Yes, and when you have a load of good and bad stress, it’s complicated by a roller coaster effect. So you’re doing well, but I hope you get the chance to catch your breath and move toward your goals. Thanks for your good wishes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This year certainly wasn’t “easy,” Luanne. It had its peaks and valleys. I am sure this first holiday with your father (and oldest cat, too) gone is very difficult. I am happy you persevered with your book, pursuing your dream and being both published and awarded! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The holidays this year just weren’t very magical. My kids were here and gone early on and my dad gone, being away from my mother (though now she will be coming, as I mentioned to you), and the San Bernardino tragedy and two deaths too close, also (Jordan and the mom of one of d’s friends). I want to leave 2015 behind and move on with a more stable and peaceful year!!! xoxoxo

      • Luanne, you deserve peace of mind, not more horrible events and deaths, of people close to you, on top of personal losses, Luanne. I didn’t think to come back here to read your reply.
        I hope you may consider finding a zen-like mantra. Something to sing or say in a chant to yourself. Sometimes repeating words as you stride on a walk. (When all heck was going on with my life, all the things collapsing like a house of cards, I said while speed walking, “I will overcome.”) I had a very sweet, young friend say she sings “Jesus loves me this I know. . .” With this in mind, my Mom sings Doris Day’s song during her physical therapy exercises, from “North by Northwest:” “Que Sera Sera, whatever will be, will be.” ๐Ÿ™‚

        • That’s a great idea to find a mantra. Sometimes I do that without thinking about it, but then it’s not always a peaceful one. I do come up with little songs for people and cats, so I just need to find one for ME that makes me feel good!

  6. Wow — what a year! Happiness and pain and more happiness. May happiness continue in 2016.

  7. Sounds like a roller coaster year. Hope 2016 is smoother.

  8. Luanne, I LOVE the photo of Dad and your daughter. It brought tears knowing what a true gentleman and father he was and how much you love him. I hope your sorrow has softened and warm memories wrap you in sustaining love.

    • Sammy, I won’t lie: my father could be a real pain in the butt. But we were close, he was a larger than life person, and I don’t think I realized how much I loved him until he got sick.

  9. You had a real roller coaster of a year. So sorry for all the sorrow.
    My younger daughter’s senior year in high school was like.
    I did laugh at the silliness of your kitties though.
    Wishing you all good things in 2016!

    • You too?! What was it like, if you don’t mind my asking? We were blessed not to have any losses that year, but I had a tumor in my foot that turned out to be a huge deal, daughter had all her out of state musical theatre college auditions and broke her foot at the Christmas concert (she is a dancer as well as singer/actor), but she was dance captain and put on an incredible end of the year dance concert, was Nicky in Sweet Charity (and the theatre had a fire and show had to be moved),highly involved in drama, choir, etc. Competitions. Dance studio. blah blah blah Whew. I don’t know how any of us did it.
      I might be silly, but my kitties are not silly. Didn’t you notice how statuesque tiny Pear looked in her Vegas outfit? Or how intelligent Felix looks in his NYE necklace? Hah. Wish YOU and YOURS all the best in 2016, too, Merril!

      • I stand corrected as to the kitties. You are absolutely correct. I particularly lie Felix in the necklace.
        That year my father-in-law died, as well as her very, very beloved cat, and then a new kitten, too. She also had the stress of senior year, college visits/applications, an audition for grants at the college she ended-up at (Albright). There was a lot of “girl drama” that she tried to stay out of during her senior year, but it made the musical difficult for her. Then she was diagnosed with lupus. She still graduated top of her class, and Albright was a great college for her. Her then boyfriend was there, but she met her now husband there, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. As so many have already noted, 2015 was a year of great highs and devastating lows for you! I truly hope 2016 is at least without the devastating lows though you deserve some more great highs ๐Ÿ™‚ And your kitties seem as thrilled at being posed and photographed as mine would be … actually, it seems to come naturally to Kana ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Happy New Year, Luanne!

    • Haha, Kana does like modelling. She is the only one, although Felix is a pretty good sport. Tiger is definitely not. And Pear can’t figure out why she of all the cats had to be the showgirl cat. So not her style. She’s my Judge Judy cat, if you recall that pic.
      Thank you for your well wishes. As you know by now, we had the good news at the end of the year, so I feel pretty good about facing 2016! I hope your 2016 is your best yet!!! xo

  11. Ian

    Oh dear, Luanne. I thought I had read in one of your posts I skimmed earlier this year that your father had passed away and then your cat, but I didn’t comment in case I was mistaken. My condolences to you now!
    However, some of the latter parts of 2015 seem to have gone much better. Congratulations on the publication of Doll God, and for adding Kana to your family! Cats always improve our lives, don’t they? I feel that 2016 will be a great year for you! All the best from Ian.

    • Thank you, Ian, for your condolences and your congratulations! It really was quite a year, but now my son is engaged as of New Year’s Eve! so 2016 is looking pretty good! Cats make everything better. That is a fact. Hope your 2016 is the very best!

  12. You’ve had a hard year, but it still had some great successes. Here’s hoping for more of that in 2016!

    • It was up and down, that is for sure. And we had a big “up” at the very end of 2015. Check out today’s post to see what happened ;).
      You have yourself a fabulous 2016!!! full of fun and wigs and planes and lots of great photos.

  13. Here is hoping 2016 brings more light and less shadows. xo

  14. Luanne, my mother has Multiple Myeloma. She is 86. I’m so sorry because I didn’t realise your father had passed this year. I took six months off blogging at the beginning of this year and must have missed this tragic news. My condolences to you, my dear friend xxxx

    • Dianne, I’m so sorry that your mother has MM. What a nasty diagnosis. How long has she suffered with it? Perhaps because of my father’s aortic dissection they let the MM go on too long undiagnosed and untreated. His #s were very bad by the time they diagnosed him. It was a really bad winter and spring last year with his illness. Thank you so much for your condolences!! xoxo

      • My mother was diagnosed in 2013. She had had a sore back for about 12 months and the docs told her it was because she was old. She finally saw a good doc who did some tests and found she had MM. She went through chemo (which is unusual for a woman of her age) and went into remission. By that stage many of her spinal discs were cracked and she now has a terrible hunch back. But in the last month it has returned again so I’m not sure how she is going to cope. It’s a hideous disease ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        xxxxx love to you, my dear xxxxx

  15. What an emotional roller coaster you’ve lived this year, Luanne. Wishing you a peaceful 2016! โค

    • Thank you so much, Jill. I’m sure you saw my good news already, so the new year is off to a good start! I hope yours is as good as last year if not even much better!!!

  16. Not an easy year, Luanne, especially with the passing of your father. I hope 2016 brings lots of peace and happiness and cats!

  17. Why is it that life requires we take the good with the bad…that’s rhetorical, Luanne. You don’t really have to answer, but you have definitely had a roller coaster year. When I went to a therapist a couple of years ago for help with the grief I couldn’t let go of, I was unprepared for her questions: how old are you? what did you expect?
    Not exactly the comfort I had sought – but effective for me.
    Thank goodness for Doll God and the critical success it has been this year for you. You must continue to write your truths as you know them.
    P.S. When I moved to Seattle from Houston, my daddy told my mama “I think we overdid the independence part.” Thank goodness for FB.

    • Complete roller coaster, but it closed with good news (see today’s post), so I think 2016 is looking very good.
      That’s a legitimate question from the therapist, but my retort is always: why didn’t the old people tell me when I was young what it was like to get old?! All the aches and pains and medical decisions and people dying off more and more every year. Nobody ever gave me a clue (that I ever picked up on)!
      I love what your daddy said. I think I did that, too, with daughter!

  18. So sorry for the loss of your father. He has such a lovely face.
    I like your list idea for writing about difficult things.
    Happy new year, and may next year be a good one!

    • Oh, what a nice thing to say about my father! Yes, he did. He had a great smile, too. Lists are so bare bones that it’s not necessary to think of something elaborate to say. I don’t have to worry about the sentences and can just jot down the points. May your 2016 be an amazing year!

  19. You had a truly hard year in 2015. I’m so sorry about the deaths of loved ones, particularly your father’s. Beginning with today I hope your journey through 2016 is a smoother road for you.

    • Viv, it was beginning a few hours before January 1 that things began to turn around. I posted about the happy news on today’s post. Woohoo. I think 2016 will be a lovely year, and I hope for you it is a healthy, happy, and productive one!!!

  20. Wow, Luanne – a year of great love and great loss. I’m so sorry for your losses. And I will continue to celebrate your successes and new loves with you – such as how cool Kana looks “clapping!” May the cats keep you smiling and may 2016 be a wonderful blessed year for you filled with more love and less loss! Happy New Year!

    • It was quite the year, let me tell you! Isn’t Kana adorable? She loves to pose for pictures, and she is pretty compliant, except for wearing the tiara on her head. The cats are the best therapy there is! Have a wonderful 2016, Shel! xo

  21. I had to come here after visiting today’s post. You have had quite a year. It’s taken me the better part of three years to get over the loss of both of my parents. I hope your mother is doing okay. And our youngest son moved across the country to California. There’s a grieving involved in that. But WOW. Great news about your book. It’s all about balance, I think. I haven’t yet figured it all out, but will die trying.

    • Christine, it certainly has! That is so difficult to lose both your parents. Having my mother around allows me to focus my energy on keeping up her spirits. I talk to her almost every day and in a few days she comes to stay here in Phoenix for a couple of months to get out of the winter weather.
      I agree about the grieving with the child moving far away. I couldn’t understand it when my father cried when we moved to California from Michigan, but now I get it with daughter in New York.
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope your 2016 is wonderful and that you get to visit your son or have him come home to visit!

  22. 2015 was a year of extreme highs and extreme lows, wasn’t it? For me, that’s been crazy-making. I know life is made up like this, but when it happens so close together it feels like whiplash. I’m happy to read of your son’s engagement, and each one of your cats is beautiful. May the good things in 2016 steadily unfurl for you, bringing a year of smooth happiness.

  23. A roller coaster year for you Luanne, with great highs and great lows. I hope that 2016 brings you continued success but with on much calmer ride. Love the photos, so precious of your father with your daughter…beautiful xoxo

    • I can’t believe my father was so sick a year ago. Ugh. It is all kind of unsettling. I’m so glad my kids got to see my dad last spring. He would be so thrilled to know son and R are now engaged!!! Thanks, Sherri! Did you see their pic on Facebook?

      • Oh Luanne, I can but send you a huge cyber hug โค I'll take a look on FB, I think I missed that, or did I? Can't remember if I read about their engagement here or there first! Shows where I'm at right now…meltdown is the place, ha!

  24. Luanne what a roller coaster of a year for you. The ups and downs of life came riding by. I hope 2016 is a fantastic year for you.

  25. I backtracked to this one to see what the ‘downs’ were. Awfully sad to lose Dad, Luanne. Someone irreplacable in your life. I guess you now have to welcome a new person to the fold in the form of the fiance ๐Ÿ™‚ Best wishes to you for 2016!

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